7/28/16: Thankful Thursday

Today, I am feeling so very, very thankful. I have received messages, texts, visits, gifts, songs, and reminders that people care for me.

Today is my birthday.

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I wish I looked this cute in a party hat.

I like to be rather understated about these things (going unnoticed is one of my hobbies), but word gets out. Facebook is really good at telling everyone it’s your birthday, and it was up on the work calendar.

 

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My clever husband had a birthday mirror mural (mirral?) waiting for me. Excuse the jammies/bedhead.

Without further ado, here are my thankful thought-points for the week:

  1. I’m alive: I am thankful to be celebrating another year alive today. There are times in the past where my brain convinced me otherwise, but I am mentally much healthier today than I have been in a very long time. I’m working on being physically healthier as well, and I feel like it’s going to be a good year where I do lots of things I dared not to dream of before.
  2. My job: Along with my birthday comes the anniversary of me starting work at the library. In a couple days, I’ll be celebrating one year here. I started out as a circulation assistant part time, and in March I began my current position as a librarian. A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined I’d be a librarian already in the library where I grew up. Life has a funny way of surprising you like that, even when you think you know what’s coming.
  3. People in my life who just “get” me: The hubby and dino-toddler gave me a couple running/foot support-related goodies (I’ll be sharing those at a later date!), a Star Wars book for DT and me to read, a cute coffee mug, and other goodies that had “Cassie” written all over them. I’ve also received several generous gifts from others that make it pretty clear people care. It’s flattering and humbling, and I hope they all know how much I care about them, too.

All I can say is I am one LUCKY mama.

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Birthday cake pops. Duh.

Many happy miles
and pages,
Cassie

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7/27/16: Whatever Wednesday

Whatever, indeed.

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Honestly, I’ve had little to say these past few days. Monday was a funeral, which is always hard. This one also involved quite a bit of travel, which drained us.

Tuesday morning, I FINALLY rolled out of bed and ran. It had been over a week! My stupid cold made it easy to say “no,” but I couldn’t keep using that as an excuse. I still have a tickle in my throat, but it was time to buck up.

And it was awful. Truly terrible. The humidity didn’t do me any favors. Even if the air hadn’t felt soupy, it still wouldn’t have been great. My limbs were lead. My head was foggy. I just wasn’t into it.

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I guess at least I had some decent views? Apparently I like trees on the skyline. Because there are many pics like this.

I did 45 minutes again this morning. I realized about 8 minutes in that the GPS on my Fitbit Surge had not picked up, and it seemed like the mileage was off by about .5 miles. That was even more discouraging, because it brought my “average pace” down a LOT. I already struggle to maintain a running pace that would be considered “walking pace” for others, and to be frank, it embarrasses me. I keep hoping it gets better, but it’s clearly something that will take time.

Regardless, I did FEEL better today. I got a very slight runner’s high around 25 minutes, and things started to feel a little easier. I also had my AMR podcast to keep me company. Usually, I have already burned through it on my weekend long-run.

Tonight, my family took me out for a birthday dinner (tomorrow is the big…err…not-so-big day). It was nice, and I ate my weight in the complimentary chips and salsa. Good news is I have lots of leftovers for tomorrow, since I was full by the time my meal even arrived.

I got to spend it with some of my favorite people, though. So no guilt there. Ever.

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On our way to bday dinner. Yes, that’s a winter hat. Yes, it’s too small for her head. That’s enough questions.

Many happy miles
and pages,
Cassie

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7/23/16: Sorta Silent Saturday

Rough few days. Sunshine heals. 

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7/22/16: Friday Favorites

I am always on the lookout for cute and high-quality activewear. The more I run, the more I need. Add in the facts that I am a bigger girl and on a budget, and the selection gets a little more scarce.

By far, my go-to favorite lately has been Old Navy Activewear. It’s cute, it comes in a large variety of sizes, it’s comfy, and it’s well-priced. As you may well know, Old Navy is also notorious for weekly sales and flash sales. Today, I got an email that made me nearly jump out of my chair and head there. $8 sports bras, y’all! I have a couple of the high-support styles, and I can tell you they hold up (literally).

A couple of my other favorites include their compression crops (I love that these ones are high-rise and hold in the things that want to jiggle during  my runs) and their racerback tanks.  One of the tanks I own has “REST LATER” written on the backstrap. I’m a sucker for tanks with sayings or graphics on them.

As far as durability, these items are holding up really well so far. I have noticed a bit of sweat stinkiness, even after washing them. However, I don’t think that’s exclusive to the brand. I think that’s just a by-product of consistently working out hard, and I’m in shopping mode for a good sports detergent now. Hopefully I’ll have a future Friday Favorite on that topic!

Many happy miles
and pages,
Cassie

P.S. Let me reiterate the fact that my Friday Favorites are not endorsed. All opinions are mine, and I have no affiliation with the company…other than shopping there and loving the heck out of their activewear line.

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7/21/16: Thankful Thursday

Today, I am still sick. Sicker than I want to be (although, who ever wants to be sick?). I wake each day hoping the scratchy throat or stuffy nose will have disappeared over night…well, the scratchiness and the stuffiness. Not my actual nose and throat. I need those.

But I am working hard to stay positive. Thankful Thursday probably comes at a good time.

  1. Coffee: Let’s see how many times this lands on the list. I was proud because I only got Starbuck’s three mornings last week. I thought, “I can do better! This is only the beginning.” And now I’m back to four mornings. Tomorrow isn’t looking promising either, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
  2. Air-conditioning: I don’t take this for granted. There is a nasty heatwave coming through here. If I stepped outside with my eyes closed, I would likely believe I stepped into a warm bath. Maybe my cold has presented itself at an opportune time, since it coincides with the oppressive weather. There! There’s the positive!
  3. The Bloggess: Specifically, her audiobook for “Furiously Happy.” I keep listening to it, and I’ve never had a book that makes me cry and laugh and yell, “Yes, she gets it!” so much at the same time. It’s wonderful, and I highly recommend it, particularly if you’ve dealt with mental illness or watched others struggle with it. And let’s face it, it has probably touched your life in some way.

Oh, and a bonus “thankful.” I am loving my kid’s smile. This morning, she ate breakfast in her diaper, and she got jelly all over her stomach. I called her jelly belly, and she couldn’t stop laughing. She even wanted to laugh for the camera, and I was more than willing to oblige.

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That’s all I’ve got for today. I’ll keep on hoping for a healthier tomorrow.

Many happy miles
and pages,
Cassie

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7/20/16: Whatever Wednesday

On my lunch break today, I was perusing the buildup of running news emails that plagues my inbox daily. I came across this article from Women’s Running and clicked on it. By the end, tears were nearly spilling into my already salty vegan ramen bowl (I’m still fighting this dang cold and all I want is sodium-laden noodle broth).

One of my greatest fears is something happening to my daughter, whether it be illness or accident. Of course, being the perfectionist I am, I tend to go above and beyond the normal level of anxiety that plagues parents over issues like this. It can keep me up at night for days in a row, imagining all the worst case scenarios. It can leave me breathless and curled up in a ball on the couch, wishing I could just hide under a blanket forever.

Of course, you probably see the irony in this. I’m not spending quality time with my daughter when my mind is overtaken by anxiety and sadness and fear.

Articles like this, although difficult to read, remind me of a couple of things.

  1. I need to enjoy the hell out of today. I need to spend time with my daughter without fear. I need to take in the sights and sounds around me rather than getting caught in my own brain.
  2. Running can heal. I’m finding this out in my own personal journey, and it is reaffirmed in someone who has traveled a road infinitely more difficult than my own. I can’t imagine Liz’s heartache. But she runs. She puts one foot in front of the other, despite unimaginable obstacles. And it helps her.

Also, I love that Heart Strides and AMR are included in this article. I did not participate in the Stride through the Holidays challenge last year, but I am certainly planning on it this year. Gotta do something to get me through that lull until the Star Wars Half Marathon in January!

Many happy miles
and pages,
Cassie

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7/19/16: Toddler Tuesday

This morning, I began to feel the beginning stages of a cold. So I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

Just…why?

Or maybe not so sweet? Dino-toddler and I got some quality play time in tonight. But I’d be lying if I said she didn’t also watch a lot of Peg + Cat while we couch-snuggled. And that’s where she decided to watch upside down with her stinky dino-feet in my face.

Here’s to feeling better and getting back on track in the morning.

Many happy miles
and pages,
Cassie

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7/16/16: Sorta Silent, Super Dorky, 6 Mile Saturday

I ran 6 miles for the first time! So I celebrated with a dorky selfie. And a dilly bar for lunch. Butterscotch, obviously.

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Don’t judge me.

Also, how does my cat sneak into every photo I take?

Many happy miles
and pages,
Cassie

 

 

 

 

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7/15/16: Friday Favorites

Happy Fri-yay! I guess it doesn’t mean a whole lot that it’s Friday for me since I work tomorrow. However, that does mean I don’t work today. And then I get a whole day with my girl.

I ran a couple of miles this morning, and I could actually feel myself making progress. Even compared to the beginning of the week, I felt much stronger. We will see how tomorrow’s long run goes. (Oh yeah, I woke up too late to get a long run in this morning. At least I still dragged my butt out the door.)

I was foam rolling and using my Gaiam foot roller this morning, and dino-toddler decided she was ready to join in. We sat side-by-side rolling for a while. I love setting an example for her.

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“Am I doin’ it, Mama?”

After a pajama-filled morning, we set off for a walk, some lunch, and library time. Girlfriend LOVES the library, and that makes me super happy. Happy enough that I’ll take her there on many of my days off.

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Lunching in a downtown park.

And now here I sit during some prized “me-time” as she naps. I would have been here earlier, but some intense games of Candy Crush and Cookie Cats were necessary.

For Friday Favorites, my plan is to reflect on something related to running that I’m digging right now. It might be a blog, book, news article, product, or…just about anything.

What better way to start off than with the website/book series/awesome ladies that started it all for me?

I don’t remember when I discovered Another Mother Runner. I believe I picked up Dimity and Sarah’s first book, Run Like a Mother, at a library in Minneapolis shortly after becoming a mother myself. I was lost and sad and desperate to feel better, feel healthier, feel something…I’m sure I will talk much more in depth about my mental health struggles in future posts, but that’s not my focus today.

In the book, I found a glimmer of hope for myself, something that was a rarity at that time. I can’t say I’ve stuck with running consistently since I found the book, but each time I find myself off track, AMR and the AMR community bring me back.

Regardless if you are a mom or not, their blog posts and podcasts are insightful, down-to-earth, and informative. I so look forward to my long runs, partially because I know I can spend most of that time listening to the weekly podcast that comes out on Friday. They have professionally crafted training plans available in their new Train Like a Mother Club, and the gear in their shop…well, I want it all. Even at the very beginning of my running journey, the many resources they provide helped me to keep pounding pavement and still feel like a #bamr.

So there you have it. If you’re a lady looking for a new blog to follow or a new community to be part of or a new training plan or some reading material, I highly recommend you check out AMR.

**This endorsement and these opinions are completely my own. AKA nobody asked me to write this. I just really love AMR. For reals.

Happy weekend!!

Many happy miles
and pages,
Cassie

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7/14/16: Thankful Thursday

I slept in today. I didn’t mean to, really. All the cleaning I did made for a late night and a hard sleep. I woke up to DT crawling into bed to snuggle with me at 7:30. That reminded me of how thankful I am for…

  1. Sleep: And I need to remember that on the nights I’m tempted to stay up late to read just a few more pages or clean a few more dishes. So many studies have concluded time and time again that getting adequate sleep aids in overall physical and mental wellness. Even Runner’s World reminds me of this almost daily. So I need to keep that in mind, especially since I’m focused on running better and losing weight. Two distinct battles that can benefit tremendously from getting enough shuteye.
  2. Northern Minnesota shores: More specifically, Duluth. Whenever I visit Duluth, I fall in love with the city all over again. It’s a bigger city with a smaller feel, and I adore the quirky buildings and friendly vibe.
    As I previously mentioned, I was highly disappointed to not get a nice long run in along the shore. I have a feeling I would have loved it, though. If it weren’t so darn far away from the people I love, I honestly think we’d live there.
  3. Tanlines: In most of my summers since I’ve been alive, I have actively avoided the sun and heat. I vowed to never wear shorts, and I hated being in a bathing suit (I guess that part hasn’t really changed).
    I don’t know what changed in me this past year, but I can’t get enough of the heat and sunshine on my skin. Even with practicing sun safety most of the time, I’ve developed a slight tan. Including one gnarly tanline under my Fitbit Surge. I love looking at that bright white strip of skin under it, because it reminds me that I’m healing my mind and my body in new ways this summer.

Alright, well I may be doing my long run tomorrow morning. I best be hitting the proverbial hay early tonight.

Many happy miles
and pages,
Cassie

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