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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8/16/16: Toddler Tuesday

If I said I had another cold, would you believe me? Well believe it or not, here I sit with a stuffy nose and a scratchy throat and generally feeling like a used dishtowel. I’ve let myself be lazy for a couple of days now, and I’m ready to get back at it tomorrow.

I can sum up Saturday’s run by saying that it was 7 miles, it was humid, and now it’s done. I cannot wait for Fall/cooler weather.

After my run, we packed up and headed for the lake. Sometimes, I’m tempted to skip Dino-Toddler’s nap. Then I remember consequences of skipping DT’s nap, and waiting around while she snoozes doesn’t feel so rough.

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Post-nap, we joined family out on the pontoon. I grew up rather close to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and I’m planning for DT to do the same. She has so. darn. much. fun. And it warms my heart.

We’re still all working on becoming acquainted as Chewie joins our family. The pup is like a toddler (especially when it comes to listening skills and mess-making abilities) and is also learning to deal with a toddler. Chewie is also becoming more comfortable with us and therefore testing her limits and boundaries. It will be challenging, but I hope it will also be rewarding.

I’m watching DT develop glimmers of responsibility as Chewie integrates into our family. She asks if she can give Chewie a treat when putting her in the kennel. She lets her inside after she goes potty. DT really wants to take Chewie on a walk, but we know that would result in disaster, given Chewie’s larger stature in comparison. However, we occasionally let her hold the leash (and I already yearn for the day when I can tell her to walk the dog so I can play some extra levels of Candy Crush. Mom needs ‘mom time,’ too.). I tried to capture one of these moments, but man was it hard to get a pic where both of them were stationary.

One of our challenges lately with DT is dealing with the irrationality of a nearly-3-year-old. NOTHING MAKES SENSE, YOU GUYS. Like if I give DT fruit snacks in the shape of Elsa and Anna from Frozen, she will not accept them because she wanted Star Wars ones. She’ll give the pack back to me while she wails incomprehensibly. I will hand them back and say, “Okay, here are your Star Wars fruit snacks.” And she’ll instantly quit crying, politely thank me, and start to giggle.

This type of scenario has played out more than once and often in way more frustrating situations. So PBS posted this throwback-article today, and it sang to me like choirs from the heavens. In particular, this quote struck me and I’ve considered getting it tattooed on my forearm or somewhere else I can read it at a moment’s notice:

“Keep in mind that you can’t actually make your child do anything–eat, sleep, pee, poop, talk, or stop having a tantrum. What you do have control over is how you respond to your child’s actions, as this is what guides and shapes their behavior. If throwing a tantrum results in extra iPad time, a later bedtime, or simply getting more of your attention, your toddler is putting two and two together, making an important assessment: “Excellent strategy! Put that one in the win column.””

Yeah, that’s my girl all right. And me at times. I think we are all guilty of this as parents at times, and often it’s for my own benefit more than hers. Sure, honey. One more minute of “Daniel Tiger” while mommy finishes this level of Cookie Cats chapter of my super intellectual smarty-pants book. Really, though, I need to remember to take care of these issues NOW so I don’t spend more time correcting them later.

Easy to say, tough to do. When it comes down to it, I’ll do the best I can. And she’ll be okay.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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8/11/16: Thankful Thursday

Can you guess what I’m thankful for first today? I mean it has appeared on my list two times already and I haven’t even been blogging that long.

  1. Coffee: As an update, no I haven’t kicked my Starbuck’s habit. I’m using the giftcards I so lovingly received for my birthday as an excuse. And yeah, I’ll work on it  as soon as I’m not tired anymore sometime soon…
  2. Libraries: Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Shameless plug from a librarian wanting you to use the library more. BUT FOR REAL, USE THE LIBRARY MORE. For whatever. Chances are your library has more than you think it does. I am still amazed at the books I realize we have or the DVDs we own. And I’m the one who currently manages the DVD collection!
    Anyway, this relates into running, because I’ve been doing a lot of perusing of running books/materials. If I can’t find what I want at our location, I can try to find it through Interlibrary Loan. If I can’t find it through ILL, Minnesota is set up with a lending program that makes it possible to get a book from most library systems in the STATE.
    Here’s my current stack, and this only includes the running/healthy living books:

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    I actually just returned a bunch the other day, too.

  3. Change: I will preface this one by saying that I am not good with change. I love predictability and routine. I am a list-making, planner-following, schedule-abiding fool.
    But change is part of life. It is inevitable. For us, it has been change because of conscious decisions and change because of fate. Change happens, and a lot has happened for us, especially in the last year. A small amount of it has been really bad, but most of it has been fantastic.So on the days when I wake up to “the circus”
    and the cat throws up on the doormat
    and Dino-Toddler drops her oatmeal on the carpet
    and the dog chases the skittish/neurotic cat
    and I know there’s more chaos waiting for me at work
    and I realize we’re out of cheese slices (I don’t have time to make anything else but a cheese sandwich today for DT’s lunch!)
    and DT tries to “help” feed the animals but just drops a bunch of kibble on the floor
    and why is my hair so frizzy today? I can’t do anything with it
    and did I make my car payment yet?
    and why aren’t the dishes done? why is the garbage overflowing?
    and WHY, Mama, WHY? DT asks me over and over and over again
    …these are the days I need to remind myself to breath. I need to remember that change is good, and this moment is fleeting. My life is its own kind of beautiful, and I’m a stronger and happier person because all of these things are in my life. Eventually, the chaos will die down and all the critters, including DT, will grow older. And I’m sure I’ll miss some of these moments.

For today, I’ll sit here and relish the brief moment of silence I have before going into work at noon. I have my coffee (QUIT JUDGING ME!), and Chewbarka is snoozing at my feet. Romeo is basking in the sun. Nora is…well I don’t know where, because she’s avoiding Chewie, and that’s fine. DT is at daycare, and hubby is working. I am here, and things are changing, and I am thankful.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

8/10/16: Wantable Wednesday!

As teased in my last post, I received my first Wantable Fitness Edit on Monday! After staring longingly at the box in my closet as I carried loads of laundry in and out, I finally got a chance to try them on last night. And I dragged hubby along to document it all. Isn’t he lucky?

Here are the individual pieces:

Initial impressions were that I liked the patterns and jewel tone colors. I was a little skeptical about some features that I was worried would be less-than-flattering on me. I love a good pair of black workout pants or shorts, though. And these looked comfy!

Alright, let me preface this with saying I DO NOT like having pictures taken of myself. I especially do not like pictures of my full body. And I made the mistake of doing a core workout right before this, so…even tougher for me. But I am trying to work on some body positivity. I want to build confidence that, although I’m a work in progress, that doesn’t mean I’m not worthwhile now. *steps off soapbox*

So I paired all the pieces up as I saw fit, and here’s outfit one:

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You’ll see a lovely pair of crop performance pants. They were comfy and sleek, and I believe they are figure-flattering. …Or maybe you won’t notice the pants, because you’ll be too distracted by the girls hanging out of that tank top. Oy.

The top comes with a built-in shelf bra, but that still wasn’t enough for me since I’m a bit top heavy. There were also holes in the side that left little to the imagination. Running + this top would be a no-go. I really did like the pattern, though. Maybe a different time, different place and we could have been a match.
Top: no thanks
Pants: maybe thumbs up?

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This top was really sheer. Like…sheer enough that I’m glad the lighting is kinda bad so you can’t see what I could see. It was also a little too tight for my liking, so double whammy. Those shorts, though! What’s interesting is that they were not included in my “Order Summary.” Instead, I was supposed to be getting another pair of capris. I’m not complaining, though.

Top: no thanks
Shorts: heck yes!

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So I’m all for a fun pattern, but this may have been a little too busy for me. They also were long for these shorty-legs. You can’t see it, but the sports bra I’m wearing matches the pants. The bra, while comfortable and cute, definitely would not have been enough support for me while running. I’d have to double-up, which isn’t ideal. There also wasn’t a way to make the straps tighter, so it hung a little loose.

The top! I love the color of it. Apparently it’s amaryllis. Forgot to take a picture of the back, but the straps cross for extra support and extra cuteness. The order details say it’s a good layering tank, and that’s exactly what it felt like. I think it’d be good for incorporating more yoga into my routine (which is part of my plan).

Top: I think so!
Bra: wish it would have worked
Pants: too long, sorry

I’m still making some final decisions (particularly since I have to check on the price of those shorts and let them know I didn’t receive the capris), but I’m leaning toward the shorts and the pink, err…amaryllis tank.

Jury is still out, but it was fun having a box to open and clothes to try on in the comfort of my own home. Hopefully I’ll have more insight next month from customer service response to returns to reviewing.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

P.S. Here’s a pic of Chewbarka’s face, because there was way too much me in this post.

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8/9/16: Toddler Tuesday

Monday was so manic I didn’t even make it on here to post, despite my best intentions. It’s funny how you wake up thinking, “Yes! This is finally the day I will tackle with ease, and I’ll get my to-do list to-done, and it’ll be great!”

Then you get a phone call mid-afternoon at work saying your kid threw up on the playground at daycare and will you please come pick her up?

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Before daycare yesterday. She looked so happy that I had to snap a photo.

We’re not sure what she has. No fever. Just two episodes of throwing up at daycare. Or as she told me when I came to pick her up, “Mom, I spit all over the slide.” It may be a passing cold. (She gets gunky and has a sensitive tummy when she gets a cold.) All I can tell you is I am tired. I am tired of my girl being sick since starting daycare. I’m tired of thinking, “Hey, she has been pretty healthy this month” and then having a new illness hit the next day. I admit I’m a hardcore worrier, and I fear for my girl often. Hoping this passes quickly.

We’re adjusting to the other toddler in our house, too. She is about as good at listening as Dino-Toddler is. We’ll be working on obedience, but she’s doing pretty well for a newbie at our house. And apparently she fancies herself a lap dog.

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“Lap bear” is more like it

I had a really decent run yesterday morning. I upped my segments to 8 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking, and I was worried about this increase. I didn’t even feel like I had a grip on the 7/3 segments I had been doing. However, it seemed to go better, and I felt pretty good afterward. I think I was mostly thankful to be running before the sun came up (unlike Saturday’s long-run-sweat-fest experience).

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Some of the beautiful flowers that greet me when I get home from my runs

Although yesterday evening kinda felt like a bust, I did come home to find my first Wantable package waiting for me on the steps. After hearing some glowing reviews from family/friends, I subscribed to their Fitness Edit. It’s a once-a-month delivery that has been hand-picked according to your “loves” and “likes.” You pick what you like and send the rest back.

Here’s your preview with a promise that you’ll get more info…tomorrow? I sure hope I get some time to try on the stuff tonight!

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Good things are inside!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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8/6/16: Sorta Silent Saturday

6 miles done on my 6-year wedding anniversary.


And a night at the lake with family.


Big thumbs up.


Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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8/5/16: Friday Favorites

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Photo from fromfattofinishlinefilm.com

“12 STRANGERS, 1200 LBS LOST AND A 200 MILE RACE
THAT MAKES TESTING THEIR LIMITS A TEAM SPORT.”

Just looking at the tagline of the documentary From Fat to Finish Line, you can probably tell why I was instantly drawn to it. I couldn’t wait for this movie to be released to DVD, so I was extremely excited when it showed up in my box this week. On Wednesday night, I settled in with my hubby, pup, and kitties (and let’s be honest, a Skinny Cow ice cream pop because chocolate) and pressed ‘Play.’ For runners and non-runners alike who enjoy a down-to-earth motivational story, this film won’t disappoint.

This documentary tells the story of 12 people who have lost an average of 100 lbs. They have gone from being unable to climb a few stairs without being winded…to athletes. From being unable to tie their shoes without sucking in their stomachs…to participating in a grueling, overnight 200-mile relay run.

If you haven’t heard about the Ragnar relay races before, here’s a little primer. Summary: 12 people, 2 days/1 night, 200-ish miles, 2 vans, 11-24 miles run per person. It takes a lot of teamwork, support, motivation, and pure grit to get this done. Especially if you run it in Miami-to-Key West heat/humidity like these runners did.

The cinematography sometimes felt more like a reality show than a documentary film, but I don’t think that underscored the major themes of the documentary. Learning each person’s story as they ran their first leg was a nice touch; by their last leg of running, I felt like each one of them was a friend. They all have special stories to tell, and that culminates into this one awesome event.

I don’t know if a *SPOILER ALERT* is needed here or not…but the ending of the documentary was a little abrupt for my tastes. I enjoyed following this group through their Ragnar journey, and it was over very quickly as they crossed the finish line. I was hoping to see a little bit of post-race reflection and know if any of them had plans for future events/races. I suppose good movies leave you wanting more though, right?

Regardless, I really enjoyed watching this journey! I hope one day to have my own success story to tell, so it is always reassuring to see others who have been through it or are going through their journey now. Thumbs up recommendation to those looking for a nice boost and reminder of the power of the human body/spirit. Stream it on iTunes, or stream/purchase a DVD from Amazon today!

They also have an amazing community on Facebook and lots of good information on their website. Looks like an app and training plans are coming soon, too? Exciting! I think that is the marker of a truly successful film/movement: it is changing lives.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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8/1/2016: MANIC Monday!

So things are feeling quite manic in my neck of the woods. Yesterday, hubby and I ran the Fifteen’s 5K in Minneapolis. He has done this one before (when I was pregnant), and I was really looking forward to it. Ran faster than usual, even though it was super humid. That always makes for a “blah” sort of feeling as you’re plodding along. It ended on Target Field, though, so you can’t beat that!

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A fun run together.

But the big news from the weekend is that we have a new family member. Meet Chewbarka (“Chewie”).

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A Chewie close-up

She’s a 4-year-old Plott Hound who was surrendered by a family who couldn’t keep her anymore due to family issues. She’s a beautiful girl, and she’s well-behaved, especially for all the stress she’s going through right now.

I’m hoping once she settles in and we get clearance for a few last things from the vet, she will become my early morning run buddy. She loves going on walks already, and I think she’ll be very receptive to the rules of the road.

With two cats and a toddler, though, it’ll be a big adjustment period. We’re going to try to give her the support she needs to fit right into our crazy little family.

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Camper naps

But maybe, just maybe, she’s already starting to feel comfy with us. We hope soon she’ll realize we’re her new family. Although we can’t take the place of her former family, we will provide her with love, compassion, and all sorts of new experiences. And hopefully she knows how much joy she has brought us already.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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