9/25/16: Sorta Silent Saturday – Sunday Runday Edition

I ran 10 miles. Well, I slogged through 10 miles, partially during a downpour, and the rest of time completely soaked. Shoes and all.

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It was ugly. I’m hurting a little tonight. But it was done. And now I hope it goes much better in a couple of weeks.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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9/23/16: Friday Favorites

Hey-o! It’s the weekend. Everyone ready to party?

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In several ways, I think Leslie Knope is my spirit animal.

Well, I don’t know that there’ll be much partying going on in my neck of the woods. I’m off work today, because I have the #saturdaylibrarian shift tomorrow. And I’m debating whether or not to do my long run in the morning. (It’s 9 miles scheduled, but I’d REALLY like to get a 10 miler in so I can taper for the TC 10 Mile in a few weeks.) That would require getting up and being out the door by 4:30 A.M. On a Saturday.

Or I could wait until Sunday. But that would kinda suck the fun out of my Saturday night, too. I guess we’ll see how I’m feeling a little later. Dino-toddler came down with a cold over the past few days, and she hacked most of the night last night. She also woke up at 1:00 convinced that it was time to get up and get going for the day. Took 4 hours and sleeping on the couch downstairs watching Daniel Tiger before she fell back asleep. I am SO glad we were able to sleep in.

Without further ado, I’ll jump right into the Friday Favorite for today. I’ve maybe written about Vionics before? But I’mma go really in depth now. Because I can’t get enough of them.

This question applies to runners and non-runners alike: have you ever dealt with plantar fasciitis? It’s a beast. I’ll spare you a long explanation (you can read up on it here if you want) and just say that some days I have terrible, stabbing pain in my heels, especially my left heel. There are times I can barely walk when I get out of bed. I expressed this to a few different friends, and several of them recommended Vionic shoes to me.

I’m so glad they did. For my birthday this past July, my parents so kindly bought me Vionic slippers, sandals, and orthotic inserts. Ho’jeez, have my feet been so much happier since. When I get my slippers on in the morning, I can walk so much more comfortably right away. And I keep trying to make myself wear other shoes to work, but I come back to the sandals every time. It’s good they’re black and go with everything. However, I’ll be in the market for a new pair soon that will be suitable for winter wear in the library.

I wear the slippers much of the time at home, even in the dead heat of summer. A recommendation for plantar fasciitis is that you wear supportive shoes pretty much all of your waking hours. Jumping right into the slippers is quite a bit easier than trying to lace up your super-expensive supportive Asics or whatever you have to wear to not feel like your heels are on fire. (By the way, I really do love my Asics. For running. Not enough to buy an extra pair to wear all the time at home.)

If you ever have any heel pain or foot pain, I encourage you to try a pair. They are available at select stores, and you can order them direct from their website. I’d also encourage you to keep an eye out on QVC and Zulily, as I’ve seen them featured at both.

So that’s about what I’ve got for you today. Nothing terribly exciting (unless you are looking for some relief for PF, then maybe you’re kinda excited?), but I’m sending good wishes to you for a happy weekend. And please pray for me if I venture out early early early tomorrow.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

P.S. Disclaimer: I was in no way paid or endorsed in any way for this post. I just happen to be a girl who genuinely appreciates a good orthotic. I’ve always been told I’m an old soul like that.

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9/22/16: Thankful Thursday/Belated Wantable Wednesday

Okay, so I’m really thankful for:

  1. Forgiveness/patience: I’m still trying to get the hang of this blogging/believing-people-actually-care-about-anything-I-have-to-say thing. So while I was fully prepared for yesterday’s Wantable Wednesday, last night I let myself fall again into a place where I just ended up sleeping on the couch. Or maybe it was the fact that I didn’t get Starbuck’s yesterday morning. Yes, let’s blame it on the caffeine. So without further ado, here’s an abbreviated Wantable Wednesday:

    Outfit 1 included a draped back tanktop in a really fun/funky print, a purple flared crewneck tank, and some capris with small mesh panel “stripes” and a little sparkle. The item I liked best was the capri pants. I like things with a little sparkle, and they caught my eye right as they came out of the box.
    I was quite puzzled, at first, when trying to put on the draped back tanktop. And then I saw it also is rather flow-y in the back, which just isn’t good for me and my lack of body confidence. I like everything covered. The crewneck tank was also a little thin for my tastes. Disappointing on both counts, because I LOVED the colors. I like bold and fun, and these definitely hit the mark.

    Outfit 2 was a charcoal-colored tank, a mesh tank in the color “frost,” and some Soybu capris that were slightly gathered at the bottom. I was divided about the gray tank. The fabric was a little strange for working out, and it also was fitted at the bottom but nowhere else. The purple tank was cute, and I realized I really liked how the backs of the two looked together. Cute!
    But the pants. Oh, goodness. They’re so soft and they hug me in good places. They aren’t too low-rise, and I love how they sit on my hips/tummy.
    7There was one item I couldn’t try on, because it was sent to me in a medium size instead of XL. And it was for an area that definitely needs XL coverage, if you catch my drift. I was disappointed, because the sports bra was super cute and felt like it would have been very supportive in my size. Drat.
    So…I chose one item. And I bet it isn’t hard to figure out which one. I’m wearing them right now because they’re so soft. I catch myself caressing my own legs occasionally in the Soybu capris, which is super creepy, but I dare you to not continuously touch them once you feel them.
    I’m still feeling a little shaky about my Wantables monthly Fitness edit, mainly because there have been a couple hiccups in the process. But I’ll give it another month or so and see how things continue! They’ve been very kind during any contact I’ve needed, and I love the personalized messages each month. So…fingers crossed for a good month in October!

  2. Quality childcare: I know childcare prices are through the roof in many places. But I also know childcare workers are underpaid for the work they do. The past couple of days, my daughter has willingly run away from me and into the arms of her teacher at the center she attends.
    This may sound sad to some (and yes, I have a love/hate relationship with her growing independence), but it is a good thing. It is reassuring, since she spends (too) many of her waking hours there. I am a full-time working mom, and I am serving the world in a way I always wanted: as a librarian. This means less time with my daughter, which I hate. But I am delighted that she believes “school” (we call it that instead of “daycare”) is a fun and safe place to be. Her teachers are so special to her, and our lives are enriched by them.
  3. Fall:
    “The bright summer had passed away, and gorgeous autumn was flinging its rainbow-tints of beauty on hill and dale.” ~Cornelia L. Tuthill

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    Our tree in the backyard is one of the first to turn in the neighborhood.

    I know I’ve written about my love for Fall before, but I’m just so excited now that today is the first day of autumn.
    New Year’s Day and spring are often times of renewal and reflection and rebirth for people, but I tell you…autumn is my time. I absolutely adore the colors fall brings and the activities and sights and smells and sounds. I love when my morning runs turn chilly and when I get to dream of taking my baby girl to the pumpkin patch. I feel like a better version of myself in fall. And so I’m starting to feel more hopeful each day.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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9/19/16: Manic Monday

The “blahs” and bedhead were real this morning, and maybe I wouldn’t have had to face the mirror if I had just stayed in bed and slept until I absolutely had to roll out. However, I only pressed the snooze button a few times and got myself “up and running”, and the girl in the mirror was a little horrifying.

Try not to be too scared…

Afterward, I noticed she looked like she felt better and stronger and happier. (It’s true, I did. Even if I still had the “blahs.”)

Not exactly giddy, but that gal sure looks a lot happier.
I bet today is Monday for you, too, so I’ll just leave you with a few short items that are intriguing me today.

Information is coming out on how the sugar industry has basically scammed us into pointing the finger toward fat, shaping how we as Americans focus our eating. They paid researchers to coerce us into believing FAT=BAD so that we wouldn’t pay as much attention to the real culprit (spoiler alert: ADDED SUGAR=WORSE). I grew up hearing “low-fat, low-fat, low-fat”…not to mention the low-carb phase, too. Really, we need plenty of good fats and good carbs in our diet.

This tied right into the Another Mother Runner podcast I finished listening to during this morning’s quick trek featuring Elyse Kopecky, who co-authored the cookbook RUN FAST. EAT SLOW. with Shalene Flanagan. She talked about the recipes in the book being “indulgent nourishment,” and I actually exclaimed, “I LOVE that term,” out loud when she said it.

Lately, I have either been on the “too much crunchy roughage” end of the spectrum or the “indulgent not-at-all-nourishing food” end. I know there’s a middle ground, but I often find it elusive. So now I basically can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this.

Okay, that’s what I’ve got for today. Hoping for a good week this week, because most of my waking moments (and probably some of my sleeping moments, too) are spent silently panicking about the TC 10 Mile in 3 weeks.

I think a good yoga sesh should be in store tonight…if I don’t pass out on the couch first.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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9/14/16: Whatever Wednesday

On Monday, I posted to my Instagram account to let people know I’m actually still a live human being. And that I took a week off running. There were quite a few things that factored into it, not the least of which was my mental health. I’ve alluded in the past to some of my struggles with anxiety and depression. It’s something I’ve been dealing with since I was about 12 years old. Although, looking back, I’ve probably had anxiety issues my whole life.

Most of the time now, I manage it fairly well. I have a combination of things that works for me: medication, writing, techniques for taming the panic beast, and running. If I have a little blip in the road of any sort, though, the whole train can go off the tracks.

That’s where I found myself last week. Off the tracks and unsure of what to do about it. I kept telling myself, “There’s tomorrow! Tomorrow will be better.” And then I’d wake to my 5:00 AM alarm, shut it off, and roll over to pull the covers over my head. All of those today’s didn’t feel better.

There were quite a few extenuating circumstances going into all this anxiety, and I can’t get into them here. They’d probably bore you or confuse you anyway.

What I can tell you is that I had a really good run on Monday morning. And another fairly good one this morning. Rather than channeling the “yuck” in my life into more time spent sleeping and feeling miserable, I channeled it into energy for running.

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I also channeled my energy with my AMR t-shirt. Makes me feel like a BAMR every time.

And I ran consistently for 9 minutes at a time with 2 minute breaks. Normally when I bump up my total run time, I can do one or two segments at the most before feeling like I can’t do another full segment. I take more breaks than I want to, and I end up feeling disappointed. That didn’t happen this time.

I know I’ll fall off the tracks again and again. It happens, and I need to be gentler on myself when it does. But I also need to keep in mind that running is therapeutic in many ways for me. It doesn’t take the place of the right medication or talk therapy or mantras for your anxious moments. And you shouldn’t expect to rely solely on it. However, for me, running is a way to take the edge off of a bad day. It’s time for me to heal and keep moving forward, literally and figuratively. It’s time to take care of me.

If you have your own black dog or anxiety or some sort of negativity in your life, I hope you find time to take care of you. I hope you find “running” or whatever your version is of it. I hope you find something that makes you, too, feel better when you don’t know how to keep moving forward.

There will be a better tomorrow soon.

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Not to mention, this smile always makes the day feel at least a little brighter.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

 

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9/3/16: Sorta Silent Saturday

8 miles. First time ever.


Read on. Run on.

Cassie

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9/1/16: Thankful Thursday

Well, after another unexplained absence of a week, here I am. I do try to update my Facebook page and Instagram more often, so feel free to follow either if you have any interest.

Let’s jump in, shall we?

  1. September: I LOVE Fall. This is a real change from when I was younger and hated it. I’m not sure why my brain flip-flopped, but I crave the oranges and reds and yellows contrasting with bright blue skies. I love pumpkin patches and apple cider and chili out of the Crockpot on a crisp blustery day. The first day of September means that is all just around the corner. Summer, you were fun, but my heart blossoms in Autumn.
  2. Dance: I attended a dance studio from ages 3-18. This week, I enrolled Dino-Toddler in the “U & Me” class at the very same studio. Dancing with her last night at the same studio where I grew up was a special treat. She was WILD with excitement, but I hope she grows to love it there like I did. And how can you resist a toddler in a tutu and ballet slippers?

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    Srsly.

  3. Phones Remembering Everything: Okay, this looks obscure, I know. But if you read my post last week, you’ll know I’ve been a bit down on myself. I’ve felt like I’m not progressing and have just been spinning my wheels.
    Since this morning was the first day of the month, I decided to take my measurements, which I haven’t done in a while. I quickly had to find a space to record the numbers, so I opened the “Notes” app on my iPhone. I rarely use this, but I noticed there was a note from December 1, 2015 with my measurements taken on that day. I don’t remember doing this, but come to find out I am…
    …down 10 lbs.
    …down 7.5 inches overall.
    I AM making progress, even when I feel like I’m failing. This was a wonderful discovery for me, and I know my increasing focus on health and training will only make things better and better. I also know I feel better than I did that day. So, thanks iPhone!

And here’s a little photo roundup of things I normally would have interspersed throughout the week.

This is what happens when you have a long run, so your body wants to make healthier choices AND binge at the same time. You eat an entire Dole salad kit. Out of a big plastic serving bowl.

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No regrets.

It’s really tough to get us all in a photo, even when we’re being couch potatoes. Chewie has no “sit still” mode. Neither does Dino-Toddler. Or husband, for that matter.

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“Say cheese!…Dammit, Chewie.” is what probably came out of my mouth.

I had a superb 50 minute run on Wednesday morning. And I was rewarded by Mother Nature in all of her colorful morning splendor.

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This is what makes that 4:45 AM alarm worth it.

Okay, that’s enough for now! Later, friends!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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8/27/2016: Sorta Silent Saturday


Read on. Run on.

Cassie

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8/24/16: Whatever Wednesday

I’ve been in a funk. There’s no denying it. Each time I catch a cold (which has been multiple times this summer), I de-rail. And all of the negative talk oozes back into my head.

You’re so damn slow. Why are you doing this?
You aren’t really a runner. Look at how fat you are.
People must be embarrassed for you. They’re just too nice to say anything.
You can’t do this. You’re going to fail.
You aren’t good enough. Just quit.

And then? I crash. I pull the covers over my head in the morning when I know I should have jumped out of bed and tied up my shoe laces. I drink an extra glass of wine at night to leave me dragging in the morning. I’m too sick or it’s too humid or I’m just. plain. tired.

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This is Dino-Toddler on Monday morning. She knows what’s up.

The truth, though? I’m afraid. I’m afraid I’m going to fail, and so I talk myself down. I tell myself I can’t do this, so I sabotage every chance I have to succeed. This has been my pattern for most of my adult life.

I don’t want that to be an option anymore, though! This cannot be how it goes every single time. I have to break through that mentality. I have to soar past the anxiety and depression that have left me scared and sad and thinking, “I can’t.”

Rather than doing a 180 and forcing myself to believe “I can,” I think my mantra has to be, “I will try my best.” That feels like something I can accomplish, and it still turns my negative into a positive.

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I also need to remember the beautiful things I experience while running early.

I also experienced an “I will try my best” moment when I read this article my sister-in-law, Lindsay, shared on Facebook. When it takes me nearly twice as long to run a mile in comparison to other runners, I have to remember that article. I am pounding pavement way longer, so no wonder it takes me so much mental strength to finish! Yes, I will get faster, but these early stages in my (hopefully long) running-life are what will set me up for future success. If I can get through this, I can do anything.

So here’s to pressing a “reset” button in my brain. Here’s to many successful mornings where I simply try my best and do my best. Eventually, “I can do it” will be easy for me to say, because I will know I already have done it.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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8/18/16: Thankful Thursday

I’ve been neglecting my social media accounts this past week. I think it has been an unconscious result of my current insecurities as a runner/human being in general. I struggle often with self-esteem issues. And when I have thrown myself into the world of running over the years, my emotions come to a head.

I LOVE running. I love pushing myself to do better, be better, run further, run harder…I may hate it during the run, but afterward, I feel lighter and happier.

I HATE seeing other runners: their faster times, their figures, their strength as they pass me on the streets. I hate feeling like I never get better and struggling to lose weight and treading proverbial water while getting nowhere. And yes, I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others and I should only compete against myself and blah blah blah. It’s all much easier said than done, though. Many humans have a natural desire to compete and compare.

Tying it together with today’s Thankful Thursday theme, I’m going to reflect on three things I’m thankful for in regards to myself. (I encourage you to do the same.)

  1. My desire to learn: I am bookish and nerdy by nature. And I love this about myself. It has brought me to a place in my life where I am content with my work. I am always striving to know more, and I challenge myself intellectually, both professionally and in my personal life.
  2. My compassion: I try my best to be compassionate to all creatures, human or otherwise. I believe kindness will get you further than anything. I try to let the people I love KNOW I love them constantly. And I value the same traits/actions in others.
  3. My eyes: I mean, I felt I had to try to be body-positive and put at least one physical feature on here, right? I struggled to come up with anything, but this is something I know my husband loves. So here it is. They’re a pretty neat deep-chocolate brown, and they let me see some really amazing things every single day.

It’s your turn now! Think of three things you love about YOU. I bet I could think of a bunch about you, but that’s why it’s your turn. You don’t have to post them on here (please do if you feel so inclined), but I hope you at least take some time to reflect on all the things that make you awesome and beautiful and just a neat human being.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

P.S. Chewie update: she’s a really bad runner/leash puller. But I still like her.

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