2/17/17: Friday Favorites

Happy post-Valentine’s Day, chickadees! Did you get your sugar fix? Or are you still all hopped up on the stuff? It has been a cuh-ray-zee few days in our world. I feel like I haven’t stopped going places and doing things for a few days now.

In the midst of a jam-packed Valentine’s Day, I did a thing. A scary thing. A “what have I done?” thing. I wasn’t really planning on sharing it quite yet, but there’s no time like the present to commit and blab all over social media (I guess?).

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That’s right. I registered for the Big Daddy of them all. The marathon. I have just under a year to train. And I’m nervous as all get-out. You may watch me crash and burn again, but you can bet I’m going to fight like hell for this one.

I’ll switch subjects now, because I’m sure you’ll hear plenty more about this coming up. I’m still processing the fact that I actually hit that “Register” button and all that it will mean for my life these next 11 months.

In slightly related news, we ran the Valentine’s Day 5k! As usual, Twin Cities in Motion put on a great event. I really enjoy their runs: the atmosphere, the organization, and the fun. They are definitely one of my Friday Favorites.

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Of course, we had to make our traditional post-Valentine’s Run Donut Run. To Glam Doll. Because they are Glam Doll. Donuts already give me googly eyes. Glam Doll donuts? They take it to an even higher level of hearts.

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Be still, my heart.

Above are the only two pictures I was able to take of our purchases. Because I ate my Matcha White Chocolate donut before I remembered to take a picture, so you’ll see it’s an empty bag. And I caught hubby in action as he ate his classic Starlet.

Early morning runs have been unseasonably warm this week. I won’t complain. I guess I did complain about my lunch run today, because it was TOO warm. In Minnesota. In February.

It’s just so much more soul-satisfying when I get my run done in the morning. Because I get some of my favorite views of this beautiful world we live in.

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All righty. A busy weekend awaits. I hope you all have a lovely one, whether you’re running trails or running errands or just relaxing (make sure to do some relaxing).

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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2/10/17: Biblio-Friday

Haaaappppyyyy Friday! How was your week, my dear little bookworms? I’m glad to be heading into the weekend, and we’ve got a Valentine’s Day 5k coming up tomorrow. Not sure if hubby will be so into it, because he was hit with “the crud” after I was. And he hasn’t been able to recover/get any runs in. We’ll take it easy.

So I’m super excited to have signed up for a website called Blogging for Books. Last week, I received my first request: Besties by Leah Reena Goren.

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Srsly. How sweet is that cover?

Besties is a whimsically illustrated ode to, you guessed it, best friends. It tells the many ways that two best girlfriends stay close over the years, all the way from mundane nights in to memorable once-in-a-lifetime vacations or nights out. It’s short, sweet, and a little bit quirky.

I first saw this book when I was shopping for Christmas presents a few months ago. I was very attracted to the cover and the playful illustrations. I considered getting it for my besties, but I passed simply due to finding other titles that fit their hobbies and interests.

Although I do think this book is a sweet dedication to best friends, I’m sort of glad I passed on it. It’s fun for a look-through, but I felt it told a story that was fairly specific to Goren and her own best friend. A lot of the details were too particular, and I know they didn’t apply to my besties and me. I found myself wanting the story to be a little more generic, since I assume the author was aiming to encompass a broad group of experiences and relationships for many women.

It was also a bit sugary-sweet for me. Maybe my besties and I have a slightly grittier relationship, but we occasionally have a tiff or disagreement. And we’re a lot grosser than Goren and her bestie seem to be. That happens when you’re in a long-term bestie-relationship. You deal with the pretty and not-so-pretty realities of life.

Ultimately, I enjoyed reading this, because it did remind me of many silly and heart-warming memories I have with my besties. And I’m happy to read about Goren’s lovely friendship, too. Not to mention she has some wonderful design/illustration skills. seriously lovely. I’d recommend this as a light read to those who have strong female friendships in their lives. It will most certainly make them reflect on the appreciation and love they have for their besties.

All right. That’s what I’ve got for today. Aiming for a Sorta-Silent-Saturday post tomorrow and a race recap next week. (Though I’m not sure I’d consider this “racing” by any means.)

Enjoy your weekends!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie
(Full disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.)

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2/7/17: Tasty Tuesday

Today’s Tasty Tuesday isn’t exactly what it has been in the past. Because this is what we ate tonight:

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Enter a caption

I’m putting it “out there,” because I want this blog to reflect my reality, whether that’s the fluffy happy stuff or the down-in-the-dumps, order-pizza-because-I-don’t-know-how-to-move kind of stuff. I am human. This is something that happens to me. This is how my body wants to cope with stress, and some days, I can’t push through it.

In particular, this kind of thing happens when I’m just worn out. Restless sleep has been my normal these past couple of weeks. A constant weight on my shoulders and chest is the anxiety that plagues me at most all hours. Between illness and other various stressors, I went into today feeling like I was barely keeping it together. I slept all of 4 hours last night, but I still crawled out of bed to greet the day with a run.

It was hard. I feel I have reverted to square one. Between the ice and junky weather, loss of endurance, and various aches and pains (some related to my injury, some not), I’ve gone up almost 2 minutes per mile. It.Makes.Me.Feel.Crazy.

But I knew without my run, I’d just feel crazier. So I did it anyway.

I came home to a sick baby. AGAIN! I am so, so tired of having a sick kid. I feel awful for her, and I can’t fix it. I hate missing work, and I hate feeling behind. And all of it takes the wind out of my sails.

But this morning, I was able to pick up those droopy sails and get through the day. Once she started feeling better, we played and danced and made art and sang. We watched movies and read a zillion books and just enjoyed each other’s company. Rather than trying to fix her troubles, I just tried to enjoy this extra time together.

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When I grabbed my phone, she literally asked, “Mom, are you turning on Snapchat?” I don’t know how this makes me feel. Don’t care. Cute kitty picture.

I fully believe I was able to do this because I ran this morning. It takes an edge off the anxiety, and it gives me even a momentary feeling of peace.

The slick pavement covered in shadows and black ice? That is my refuge. The crisp morning air that burns my lungs and leaves me wheezing a bit when I get back indoors? The burn is a reminder of what I can accomplish when I push through. The ache in my legs detracts from that weight on my shoulders.

Certainly, there have been darker days. I have dealt with them. I will continue to deal with them. There will be better days. I know this to be true, because I have lived it time and time again.

Just.Keep.Running.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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P.S. I wanted to lighten the mood a little. So here’s the face you make when you’re supposed to be sleeping but get caught reading instead. Mama is actually pretty proud.

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2/5/17: Sunday Runday

Mad Eye Moody Constant Vigilence 5k for Hogwarts Running Club: completed. Miles managed.

Then, post-run waffles with the kiddo’s Frozen waffle iron she got for Christmas.(She wasn’t amused that I dubbed them “Olaffles.” I thought I was clever. She insisted they’re “Anna & Elsa” waffles, which I think is kinda morbid.)

And post-waffle movies/snuggling.

Hope your weekend was dandy.

Read on. Run on.

Cassie

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1/23/17: Manic Monday

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via Giphy

My training plan started today! And I won’t lie, I felt a little Nemo-ish when I woke up. Well, as Nemo-ish as one can be at 5:30 in the morning.

Summary: It was sleeting. The sidewalks were covered in ice. (Yaktrax are a blessing.) I’m on the cusp of catching the kiddo’s respiratory illness. I was slow. I had a twinge of pain here or there. But it is done. And I just want to be all healed and back on the road so very badly. Hoping I get stronger each day.

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First day of school! First day of school!

Without further ado, here are a couple quick tidbits for a busy Monday.

Every time I read an article on being too hooked on technology, I think, “I know! I know I need to quit playing with my phone. Put it down, woman!” But then I don’t do a very good job of putting it down. I’ll just keep trying to beat it into my brain. Here’s another good one.

I really enjoy reading what Dean Karnazes writes. This gem is no exception. I should just print this out and read it everyday. So many simple reminders of some pretty darn good ways to use your mind to achieve goals.

And without going too far into discussions of current volatile political topics, I will say this last week has been difficult. I am trying to handle the accompanying anxiety with some grace and mostly just a lot of hiding under the covers. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen some incredibly powerful examples of humanity and kindness and strength.

But I’ve also been seeing the nasty words, the “us vs. them” mentality,  and finger-pointing that has been going back and forth between strangers, acquaintances, and even friends and family. It is incredibly disheartening, and even if I shouldn’t let it weigh heavily on me, I do. I know others do, too.

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Let’s just chill for a bit and eat some popcorn and watch some Curious George, k guys?

All I will say is this: please be mindful and respectful with your posts, words, and actions. That’s not asking too much. (The librarian in me asks that you also fact check before you share that meme, but that’s a whole other post.) Anywho, Jenny Lawson thinks this week has been difficult, too. And I love her, because she gets it.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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1/21/17: Sorta Silent Saturday – Picture Dump Edition

Careful for your dial-up internets (JK), because this post is picture HEAVY! Gotta get my vacation photos out there somewhere. If you’re looking for captions, you may or may not have to hover over the photos.

Here we go!

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Bye, L.A.!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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1/15/17: Today

Today, I should be up and in my gear and on my way to my starting corral.

Today, I should be completing my first half-marathon. Blood, sweat, tears, and fun. 

Today, I should be celebrating months of training and early mornings and sore muscles.

Instead, I’m currently in bed, unable to sleep. Restless. Frustrated. Disappointed. Hurt. Limited.

I promise you I’m trying to make the very best of this vacation. I am enjoying my time with hubby, and it is wonderful.

But there is a small cloud hanging over me, and I’d be remiss to not acknowledge it.

Regardless, we will have a good day today. I will celebrate all the amazing runners here, and I will remember that my new training plan starts in just a few days. This is just a lesson in patience and healing.

I will get there. And I’m hoping I’ll be crossing this starting line in one year: healthier, happier, and with even more pride in how far I’ve come.

Read on. Run on.

Cassie 

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1/11/17: Whatever Wednesday

As of 6:30 PM tonight, I am on vacation. Technically, I finished work at 5:00, but Dino-kid had dance class tonight. And going to dance class, although only a half hour long, is a feat in and of itself. It is work. Wonderful work, but work nonetheless.

I don’t know if I feel like I’m on vacation yet, but I think it is sorely needed. I love my job. I love my life. But it’s probably time for a breather. I’m still feeling pretty lousy about my ankle sprain, and I just.want.to.run. But I don’t run, and then I sabotage pretty much everything. It’s a vicious cycle, and I’ve got to change it.

For my Wednesday round-up of whatever, I’m focusing on being kind to myself. So I was pleased to see this article in my inbox from Minneapolis Running. (Lots of hearts for MPLS Running, btw.) How to overcome a setback. I think that verbiage is important. Get control, have a plan, gain perspective. And lots of good stuff in between.

This is a good reminder of why we should take care of ourselves.

Aaaand, I made some awesome purchases recently, and they all arrived in the mail today.

Two of them were apparel. A TeeTurtle shirt with my fave lady. And an amazingly comfortable SparkleSkirt. Can’t wait to get running and represent HRC.

Tough to get a good picture that didn’t include toddler elbows and such, but I tried. I’ll have better ones in the future.

Okay. Like I said. Vacation. Hoping to update the ol’ blog during California time, but if doesn’t, I’m sure you’ll understand. And you probably won’t even notice I’m gone. 😉

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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1/6/17: Biblio-Friday

So I’m trying something new today. In celebrating the intended spirit of bookish-ness that I wanted this blog to have, I want to focus on books, libraries, or the literary world in general for at least one segment a week. Let’s see how it goes!

Books!

What are your reading goals this year? I’ve already mentioned I want to read 50 pages per day. (Day 6 of the year, and I’m going strong!) Hopefully that will end up being enough to read 50 books, as that’s what I’ve set for my GoodReads challenge.

Just finished up The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom for my monthly book club. I read it in just a few days, because it was intricate, captivating, and brilliantly written. The characters were written with honesty and believability, and you couldn’t help but love the lovable ones and hate the hateable ones. Highly recommended.

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My current TBR pile from the library…I might have a problem. And I also might not care too much if I have a problem.

These past few days, I’ve been working on If at Birth, You Don’t Succeed by Zach Anner. Have you seen Zach Anner before? You may remember him from his various shows/projects. If you don’t remember him, you should check him out. Hilarious and smart and well-spoken. I can hear his voice come through when I read the book, and it’s a nice light read about sometimes-kinda-heavy topics.

Libraries!

As someone who struggles with seasonal changes, I am highly interested to see that the Lawrence Public Library is offering light therapy for their patrons suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I kinda love it, and I wish I could try it out! I was surprised at the low-ish cost of the lamps, too.

More Bookish-ness!

Anyone a member of the Hogwarts Running Club? After being a lurker for awhile, I’ve really started to enjoy getting involved. Anywho, they announced their first virtual race of the year: the Mad Eye Moody 5k. Look at that medal! And what a great cause. #somuchgood

Aaaaannnnddd…I may have a SparkleSkirt on the way to me soon. Eeeee! When you mix running and reading, well, you know I’m gonna geek out.

Have a lovely weekend, my special snowflakes!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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1/2/17: Not-so-manic Monday

More like mellow Monday? Days off for all of us today mean we are still in our jammies at noon! That’s just fine. Usually, I’m in such a big hurry to get dressed and ready and out the door doing something that I don’t take time to just sit. We all need to just sit and enjoy our coffee some days.

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My cats happen to be experts in relaxation.

I suppose it’s also time to take down some of the Christmas decor today. *sigh* I am one of those people who generally puts it up in mid-November, when some would consider it “early.” Doesn’t mean I’m any less sad to see it go.

My BFF got me an infuser water bottle for Christmas, and I already am in LOVE with it. Had myself a non-alcoholic mojito yesterday, and I sucked down 32 ounces of water in a snap. I’ve been having trouble meeting my water goals this last year, and I think this is really going to help.

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Lime, mint, and some blackberries for fun. Added a tsp of coconut sugar, but definitely not needed.

So in the not-so-manic spirit, let’s all be in awe of this amazing record-setter. It’s all I can do to just put one foot in front of the other while I run, so I bow down to this gentleman (and his predecessor).

Hope you are finding some time to relax today, too!

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Brunch with my wild girl yesterday.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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