3/17/17: Friday Favorites

A festive happy Friday to you all! Are you Irish folk wearing your green today? I now realize the only green I really have belongs to race shirts. So I’m sporting my 2017 “Get Lucky” top today. No pinching, please.

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at our house, because a leprechaun snuck in while we weren’t looking. It put rainbows on our pizza and dessert when we weren’t looking!

Silly leprechaun.

Today, I’m featuring a “favorite” that’s fairly new in my life. I’m always on the lookout for workouts that fit my style: fun, fresh, and distracting. (I’m not saying I personally am fun, fresh, or distracting. I just like those kinds of things. I’m actually more meh, stale, and inconspicuous most days.)

When POUND showed up in my Facebook newsfeed, I was immediately smitten. I thought it was such a neat idea, and I was disappointed there were no classes near me. At the time, I don’t think they had yet released any DVDs for at-home use, but I could be wrong. I just remember thinking, “I want to do that!”

Then a couple months ago, it popped up again! And I realized they do have DVDs for at-home use. And I wanted them. So I saved up, and my brand spankin’ new POUND DVDs and Ripstix arrived in the mail about a week later.

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The first night I did a workout, I was mainly planning on viewing it and maybe doing a few moves as a tester. The workout I picked was “Jam Session,” which was 40 minutes total. No way was I going to do all that on a Tuesday at 9:30 PM.

Well, fast forward 40 minutes, and I realized I was finishing up the entire workout. I did the whole damn thing. And I was sweating a lot. It hadn’t felt like a ton of work though, so I cleaned up and went to bed.

The next morning, oh goodness, could I ever feel it. Cursed DOMS! It got me. But I also knew that meant this was a good workout.

I’m currently following their 60-day routine, so I’ll likely have an update for you in a couple months. So far, though? Great stuff.

If you’re interested, read a little more here and here. Even if you’re not necessarily interested, they have good information and recipes on their blog.

What’s on your weekend docket, chickadees? I have a 7-mile long run in the plans, a couple POUND workouts, work on Sunday, and not much else. Here’s to hoping you find some time to relax, green beer (or ginger ale) in hand!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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3/16/17: Thankful Thursday

This week, post-8.7 mile race, I’ve been a whole lot better at horizontal running than actual running. I think that’s bound to happen now and again. I’ve been keeping up on my strength and cardio except for a bummer-kind-of-day yesterday. Back at it tonight.

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Nevertheless, I am ready to be thankful today. This semi-weekly ritual has helped me keep a good perspective on life when I need it most. I have a good life, and some days I just have to fight the brain ninjas who are trying to tell me otherwise.

  1. Mother Runners: especially those ones who just get it. Adrienne Martini sums it up so well this week when she says, “I tell you this not to show off — although sometimes the knowledge of how bad one’s ass must be to run in this awfulness gets me through the worst of it — but to assure you that every single mother runner you know gets what it is like to push through and get it done. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns out there all of the time. There are months when it is grindingly bleh to be a BAMR. Still, we keep going.
    These months are difficult for me. My energy level is lower-than-low, and all I want to do is snuggle in a blankie and hide from the world. The BAMR community, in particular, reminds me of why I need to get out and run, especially on the snuggly blankie days.
  2. Awesome people doing awesome things: especially those who dress up as stormtroopers while they run. Have you seen this guy? Fantastic. (Although I am glad to not be the one cleaning that uniform.) Dream big, folks.
  3. Positivity: especially positivity from those who understand what it’s like to be back-of-the-pack or a bigger runner. If you are either of those things, I encourage you to read those and any other articles you come across that make you feel good. Encourage yourself every day. If you are not either of those things, I still think they’re good reads. New perspective. Understanding. All good stuff.

Guess what? Tomorrow is Friday! And St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t forget your green, and celebrate safely.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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3/14/17: Tasty Tuesday

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Welcome to Tasty Tuesday! Gave a little teaser on my Facebook page this morning, so I figured I better follow through.

I’m still really enjoying LJ’s active interest in the kitchen. She wants to drag her stool everywhere so she can see everything going on, whether it’s prepping ingredients or washing dishes. (I hope she’s still fascinated by dishes in about 7 years. Or forever.)

Last night’s experiment was with black bean burgers! I have been vegetarian for, oh…maybe 9 years or so now? Hubby has for probably 5, and LJ has been her whole life. We face some challenges with this, but it’s worth it for us.

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She mostly covered her ears when the food processor was on, but she did take a few pushes of the button.

Anyway, even though we’ve been vegetarian for a while, we’ve never made our own black bean burgers from scratch. I’m a fan of a good black bean burger at a restaurant. Not the defrosted Boca burgers that many restaurants use. An actual homemade burger. The best ones even fall apart in the bun, because they’re made from honest-to-goodness whole foods.

I found this recipe on the POUND fit blog (sidenote: if you are a fan of music/dance during your workouts and haven’t checked out POUND, you’re missing out), and we decided it looked easy enough that we should give it a shot.

It was a mostly successful venture for us!

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Stove-top griddles are fantastic.

The initial recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of black beans and 1/2 cup of chickpeas. We ended up doubling the amount of black beans and probably could have added more chickpeas. The recipe didn’t thicken up as much as we had hoped; I didn’t expect it to be thick like an actual burger, but it was basically liquid when we first mixed it up.

I also left out the cayenne, because hubby has a sensitive palate. Hubby commented that he thought the recipe could use some more salt and seasoning. I told him the goal was to eliminate extra salt sources for health reasons. He agreed it was healthier that way but tastier with more salt. We are at an impasse…though he is right. Most things taste better with salt.

LJ wasn’t a fan at first, but that’s normal for her when she tries new foods. We pulled out the good ol’ Daniel Tiger song, though, and he helped us save the day. By the end of the meal, she had eaten almost all of her burger and bun. And she even hesitantly admitted she liked it.

I think we’ll try this again, but I may research a few different recipes to see if there are some different seasoning options. Any of you ever tried making your own black bean burgers before?

Happy almost-hump day!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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3/12/17: Sunday Runday

Technically, Saturday was my “Runday,” but I’ve still got some stuff I want to get out of my brain.

I ran a 14k yesterday. (That’s just about 8.7 miles.) It was just kinda okay. It was really cold and windy. The muscles from my feet up through my calves started spasming. At one point after the race, my toes literally curled under on my right foot, and I couldn’t figure out how to uncurl them. I’m not sure if it was from the cold, but I do know I had to walk most of the last 1.5 miles (bringing my pace wayyyy down).

 

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Sent this pic to hubby along with a four letter word in all caps. You can take your own bets on what word it was.

 

I was last place in my age group. I was nearly last for the whole damn 14k. Most days, I have the energy to tell myself, “But hey, you’re out there doing it! YOU are your only competition! You’ve got a lot to be proud of.”

Yesterday, my brain wasn’t having it. I was so angry and spent a good chunk of the afternoon and evening in our hotel room: sore, tired, and wondering why I do this. Why do I pay money to travel to races, run until I want to barf or lie down, injure myself occasionally, and generally feel sort of miserable? Why do I do this if I’m not even “good” at it?

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The truth is…I still can’t exactly explain it. I still don’t exactly know why. This thing, running, this thing I used to HATE in school (I was petrified of running the dreaded “mile” in school.) has become a savior for me. I can’t explain it, but most days I can feel it.

It’s going to get better. I’m going to get better. I have to believe that. I have to believe this isn’t “all” for me.” And I have to remember that even if it is, I still have a lot to be proud of. Back of the pack is okay. It’s more than okay. It means I still tried, and I did it, and I’m setting a good example for others, most importantly LJ.

 

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There’s my reason.

 

I am okay.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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3/11/17: Sorta Silent Saturday

After a 14k (8.7 mile) race in reeeeeaaaallllyyyy low temps and wind, I sure am glad to have such a cute little leprechaun to warm my heart.

 

Read on. Run on.

Cassie

3/7/17: Tasty Tuesday

It’s Tuesday! Which means it’s not Monday! It’s the 7th of March! Which means Jenny Lawson’s new book/coloring adventure is officially released.

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It arrived on my doorstep today, and the wait was worth it. (I pre-ordered that bad boy in September.) I’ve had a rough few days in my hurricane brain, and the first page I opened to said this:

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Lovelovelovelovelove

I can’t wait to get coloring and reading and thinking. And I’m hoping to have a review up in the next week or two.

We’re still going somewhat strong in our house with the healthy eating and meal planning. Tonight’s fare was something a little different, though! I received a recommendation from my friend, Dana, about some stellar BBQ jackfruit sandwiches with avocado slaw. I had no idea what jackfruit was (pictures told me it was some sort of Kakuna-like creature that grew on trees) before this whole endeavor, but she kindly gave two cans to me so I could try out the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

The resemblance is uncanny, right? It’s like for real, real-life PokémonGo.

I am glad to say, though, it does not taste like Kakuna. Though, I have never actually tasted a Kakuna to do any sort of comparison. I’ve never tasted any Pokémon if you want to know the truth. I’m vegetarian. You’re welcome, Pikachu.

We had mixed results with the recipe, but that was nothing to do with the jackfruit itself. The BBQ sauce I chose for the recipe was much spicier than I expected, and that doesn’t jive with hubby or the 3-year-old. I did smear some plain Greek yogurt on her sandwich to mellow out the flavor a bit. She took three bites at my coaxing (and with the promise of a PB&J if she took a few bites). She isn’t a picky eater, so I no problems with her deciding she doesn’t want something, as long as she tries it. (She eats quality foods, but we have problems getting her to eat enough of a quantity to sustain the level of energy she exudes every minute of every day.)

I enjoyed the recipe! The spice was a little overwhelming and distracted from the jackfruit itself, but I was amazed at the similarity in texture to pulled pork. What a strange little fruit. I hadn’t ever made a slaw before, and I thought that was pretty tasty, too!

Hubby doesn’t like slaw. Or spicy things. But he ate his whole sandwich. I will consider this a victory.

When we try this again (notice I said “when,” not “if”), I’ll get a sweeter BBQ sauce. I’ll also use lime juice in the slaw recipe. The lemon juice competed hard with the jackfruit. I wanted it to complement it a bit more. I think lime is a bit more subtle, so maybe that’ll help.

Anyone else ever tried jackfruit before? Dana said it’s hard to find, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for it!

Have a fabulous rest of your day, folks! You’re almost halfway through the week!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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3/6/17: Manic Monday

Hello! Congratulations! You survived Monday! Go, you! You are fantastic!

As for me, it was the typical circus of a day. Work gave me a case of the panic attacks, and then I had time for a quick dinner (thank goodness for Crockpots) before heading to my wonderful lil’ book club for the rest of the evening. Now, I’m on the couch in my comfy running leggings, and you can’t make me get up. Oh, wait…I have laundry to fold and yoga to do. And sleep to get, because I went to bed wayyyyy too late last night.

 

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Random photo. Just some proof that she’s never afraid to be herself.

 

So let’s make this sucker short and sweet.

  • Jenny Lawson’s “You Are Here” officially comes out tomorrow. It gives me googly eyes, and Jenny is my spirit animal. I’ll be coloring if you need me anytime after the mail arrives. Anyone else color or craft as an anxiety-reliever?
  • I have a huge crush on Mirna, who blogs under the name Fat Girl Running. She was featured on a recent Runner’s World Show podcast, and I totally ugly cried in the middle of my long run. Because she is so upbeat and inspiring and makes me feel like I am a runner and I can be a good runner, even if I don’t have what would be considered a “runner’s body.” I don’t follow conventional beliefs about what makes a runner, and that’s just fine. I aspire to be even half as badass as this lady.,
    She hits it out of the park again with this article. As someone who has spent far too many years stressing about my BMI numbers, I needed to read this.
  • I’m also here to solicit some feedback. Anyone else have a nasty case of mom (or dad) guilt over most things? I spend a lot of time dwelling on how little time I spend with my kiddo. I miss her so damn much during the workday, and I feel like I’m doing her a disservice by sending her to daycare for 8-9 hours a day. It breaks my heart, especially when I make an effort to get out every now and again to do something by myself. I know I need things like book club in my life, but I also end up feeling so (irrationally?) terrible afterward. I don’t think there’s a way to fix it, but I also don’t think I’m the only one who deals with this.

Alrighty then. It’s late. I need to do some yoga and/or foam rolling. So I will plan to see you tomorrow! (Or the next day…or the next day. Don’t make me commit!) Have a lovely day, my friends. Again. Let me reiterate this: You are fantastic!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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3/4/17: Sorta Silent Saturday

 

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Couldn’t stop watching her happy face today.

 

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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3/2/17: Thankful Thursday

Wait, how is it Thursday already? And wait, it’s March? Somebody around here have a Time Turner for me? No? Okay, moving along.

This week, I had to write a focus in my Believe training journal. And I wrote, “Re-focus and re-build.” That has been what I’ve been trying to do. It has felt successful so far. I’ve been sleeping more, even if it means I still haven’t folded two loads of laundry that came out of the dryer 4 days ago. I’ve been eating better, even though I really wanted that mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, because what harm could it do? (One turns into two turns into popcorn turns into I-don’t-care-I-hate-me. Better to avoid that song and dance altogether for a while.)

With that, I am thankful! Always thankful!

  1. New opportunities: I have several new and exciting opportunities on the horizon for me. I am not talking much about them yet, because I don’t know how things will pan out.
    But I will say I’m also excited for the new opportunities provided to me through my daughter getting older. As much as I miss my baby, I’m also really happy with the fun conversations and new activities we can do together.

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    Ready for “The Little Mermaid.”

    My hometown high school did a production of “The Little Mermaid” this last weekend. We decided to take LJ, just to see how she’d do. For those who don’t know her, she’s…high-maintenance in the loveliest way. She is always go-go-going, talk-talk-talking, sing-sing-singing, move-move-moving. Always. She exhausts me, and most days I love it.
    Well, we made it through the first act and then headed home to watch the second half of the movie on the couch. Hubby was impressed with her, even though I was a little frustrated. Oh well. Progress is progress.
    We have also been cooking more together, which leads me to…

  2. Healthy food that still tastes really damn good: LJ also seems to be developing an interest in cooking, and I am trying new healthy recipes. This week, we made some North African Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine that I  found in a Weight Watchers cookbook available to me from the library. (GO TO YOUR LIBRARY FOR THIS STUFF, PEOPLE!)
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    I’ll learn to take better food pictures someday. I promise.

    Mmm. Look at that zucchini. And chickpeas. And cooked carrots. These are a few of my favorite things.
    Served it all over couscous. This was also one of those recipes that was even better the next day. I actually found a slightly modified version of the recipe here in case you’re interested.

  3. Friday: Do I even need to explain? Probably not. But I am reallllyyyy stoked that we’re nearly at a weekend level-up. My long run for the weekend is a shorty at only 4 miles, and I’m ready for some family time + R and R. I hope. We’ll see.

Alrighty, that’s what I’ve got for today. Happy almost-weekend, chickadees! You are magnificent!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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2/25/15: Sorta Silent Saturday


Six miles on packed snow and ice.

Beautiful sunshine. Good podcasts. I’m so lucky I get to run, even when it feels really, really tough.

Read on. Run on.

Cassie

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