Monthly Archives: November 2016

11/30/16: Whatever Wednesday

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a whirlwind of a weekend spent with family and friends, and that’s just a preview of the next month. I adore this time of year, but I’m already tired and overbooking myself.

This time of year is also painful for many, and I will add myself in there. Thanksgiving is the last day I heard my grandmother, someone I considered my “partner in crime” from a young age, say “I love you” to me. She was in hospice, and as I prepared to leave, I told her I loved her. She whispered slowly and strained, “Love you, too.” And her voice will stick with me forever. She passed peacefully on December 6th.

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I know others are in their own kinds of pain, and I hope you are able to find some joy in each day. Sometimes, it’s just about survival. And I know part of my survival comes through running. I have been seeing lots of posts on staying accountable through the holidays, and paying close attention to that helps me. I particularly like this post from No Meat Athlete. Good tips for athletes and non-athletes alike.

I also find solace in books. It’s a good way for me to escape for a bit and focus on something not-in-my-head. What am I digging lately? In the past few weeks: Faithful by Alice Hoffman, You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein, and It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny. Also a shout-out to the new podcast Nora is hosting, Terrible, Thanks for Asking. And her new child, Stormtrooper Luckycharm. Because that is epic. I’m a quiet admirer of all she has done.

And obviously, check your local library or bookstore for these items. (I’m totally guilty of Amazon-ing a lot, though, so I totally get it if you do, too.)

Also, books are awesome, and these quotes remind me of that. Save ’em for a day you’re feeling a little lost.

Alright, that’s what I’ve got for today. Later, friends!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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11/22/16: Tasty Tuesday

I woke up late this morning. Well, let me correct myself. I woke up at a proper time to get my 30-minute run done, but I fell back asleep before my feet actually hit the floor. After I finally convinced myself to get up and out the door, it was raining. And the rain was freezing. Nonetheless, I threw on my reflective “vest” and had a brief, dark, slippery 20-minute run. Hoping to squeeze in some other form of movement tonight. Maybe a few minutes on the treadmill, but I’m not happy about it. Ah, ’tis the season.

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See vest here.

It seems to be a slightly more recent fad to “sneak” vegetables into food for kids. I’m not sure I necessarily can get totally behind this methodology, because I think kids need to learn to like veggies and foods of all kinds. Although I certainly see the reasoning behind it if you have a just-plain-stubborn, refuse-it-all, eater.

For me, the pickiest eater I have is my husband (sorry, dear). He has never been a huge vegetable fan, and I know he could use a lot more in his life. We all could, for that matter.

So when he asked me to pick up some ingredients at the store for cauliflower “fried rice,” I was ALL over his enthusiasm. I did some digging for recipes and found one that seemed simple enough from Hungry Girl. Even better, he prepared it himself while I played with the kiddo after a long weekend of work.

This recipe did not disappoint. (And I don’t even have a picture of it, because we gobbled it up.) Hubby and I both inhaled multiple helpings, which is totally cool in this case. Satisfying and surprisingly similar in texture to actual fried rice.

The kiddo is not a big eater. And that means of any food, regardless of what type it is. She will often try to negotiate with us to let her eat a few bites of broccoli if it means she doesn’t have to eat the rest of her pasta or cheese (I don’t even understand this or whose child we are raising). That being said, she didn’t eat a ton of this. But she DID eat this and say it was yummy. So that’s a big win, too!

I’m hoarding the leftovers for my own lunches now, but I am already counting down until next week so we can make it again. It may go into our weekly rotation.

Any favorite sneaky (or not-so-sneaky) veggie recipes in your lineup?

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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11/21/16: Manic Monday

Anyone else feeling a little edgy today? Since this week kicks off the official holiday season, I guess I’m feeling a little stressed. I just ate my feelings in the form of half a cookie, and then I stopped myself. Gotta nip that behavior in the bud and deal with my feelings in less destructive ways.

Speaking of emotions and such, lots of studies/discussion over the effect running and exercise can have on stress and depression. I’ve known for a long time that running in particular is incredibly helpful for me when it comes to keeping the demons at bay, but it’s nice to see that this idea is being put into the mainstream.

See: New York Times and Women’s Running.

First week of AMR Stride into the Holidays was pretty fun! I love the sense of community that goes with this. I did have to delay my long run from Saturday (20+ MPH winds plus really dark when I would have had to go) to Sunday (1 MPH winds plus sunlight when I was able to go). SO happy I did. Did 8 miles in the crisp near-winter air, but it was lovely. I’m so lucky I have time and support when it comes to running. And that my own two legs can carry me further than I ever believed.

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I’ve also been cruising through books recently, and I figure I should start getting some more reviews/updates on what I’m reading. I think I have that on the back burner right now and ready to move it to the forefront of my writing soon.

Alright, buckle up, party people. The holiday season is just getting in gear, and it’s gonna be a quick ride.

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Random November puddle-jumping picture for good measure.

See you in the next day or two!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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11/14/16: Manic Monday

H’okay. So. I’m here. I can’t pinpoint exactly what makes me run (or not run) right off the metaphorical tracks. I don’t know why I suddenly go silent here. I really do like writing, and I like having a place where I track my progress, or even my lack thereof.

But like I said recently, I’m not gonna dwell on these absences. I’m going to get back up and keep moving.

With that, today is the first day of Another Mother Runner’s Stride Through the Holidays! Benefiting Heart Strides! I am so excited for this fun 5-week plan. I’m coming down to crunch time for my half marathon, and I want to put myself in a prepared and positive space. Especially when there has been so much negativity in the air.

Regardless of your political beliefs and affiliations, I think everyone can agree this past week has been volatile. Frightening. Filled with uncertainty and turmoil. We are such a deeply polarized country at a time when we need to be united. I truly hope our next president is able to be successful and serve the diverse group of people who live in this country. To wish anything else upon him would be wishing for the failure of our country.

On a personal level, I wish you kindness, and I hope you put kindness into this world. Shouting and finger-pointing and violence and hate…those don’t serve to unite us or change minds. Instead, they deepen the chasm that exists in this “us versus them” country.

And on a very personal note, last week left me feeling broken in many ways. Not necessarily because of the results themselves but because of the aftermath. Because of this, I have made a choice to focus more on my blog and limit other forms of social media exposure, particularly to Facebook.

It might sound confusing. “Taking a break” from Facebook and focusing on my blog? I’ll make it work for me. It’s just too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of posts showing up in my newsfeed, to watch people bicker through their keyboards and smartphone screens…and even though I wasn’t involved, I was letting it affect me in unhealthy ways. So I decided to take a deep breath and focus on other things. Reading. Running. Crafting. Getting outside. And of course, playing with my kiddo.

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Warm quilt. Book. Lovely.

Well, my Manic Monday posts are usually a little less lengthy. Let’s get to the good stuff.

Relating to my social media rant, Active.com had an article on social media and the negative effects it can have on runners. As a back-of-the-pack runner who is often tough on herself, it’s far too easy to compare myself to others. I can come off a run feeling good and then feel disappointed after I see someone else’s far faster pace. But, I need to remember…”Ultimately, we have to run for ourselves.” Preach it, Active.

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Early morning colors.

I love listening to podcasts while I run. Mainly ones that focus on running. Currently in my rotation? Another Mother Runner, Mind Full, and The Runner’s World Show and Human Race.

But I’m always excited to find some more.
-Women’s Running featured a post on the 3 Best Podcasts for Building Mental Strength (something I’m totally into improving)
-Active.com gave a nice round-up of podcasts, and most of them aren’t directly related to running. Hmm. I might have to try a few of these.

Alright. Have a lovely day, you beautiful humans.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

P.S. I’ve been crushing on Kate McKinnon for some time now, and the opening of SNL this past weekend maybe sorta made me ugly cry. Hallelujah.

 

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11/4/16: Friday Favorites

Sometimes, you’re on top of the world (or at least at a good vantage point to see far across the land). You are pumped and proud and happy and things are better than okay.

Sometimes, you are stuck in bed with the covers pulled up over you head (or at least the metaphorical version: in a bleak and desolate corner of your mind where you can’t even see two feet in front of the haze that has formed around you). You are a mixture of numb and sad and blah that leaves you confused and feeling not-so-okay.

Sometimes, you experience these things within days or hours of each other, and it leaves you drained and wondering what is wrong with you. How can someone who has things going well for them possibly feel this way? Then guilt settles right in, too. It’s a vicious cycle.

I feel like I apologize often for lapses in blogging. And I can pile on the excuses, but those make me feel guilty, too. From now on, I’m just going to assume any blips in my writing are part of life. I’ll be here when I’m here. I’ll make myself accountable to this writing/running thing when I’m able. And all the other times, well…I’ll try to sneak in an Instagram post or two to feel a little more connected.

So on a day when I just don’t feel like I have any updates or anything good to say about my current running regimen (which has been, y’know, nonexistent this week), I’ll tell you something you already know.

My girl is my ultimate Friday Favorite. And making holidays, like Halloween, special for her is one of my ultimate joys in life. She is growing up so fast, and I want her to remember that her mom tried really hard for her. I want her to know it wasn’t always perfect, and Mom worked full-time and couldn’t spend time with her nearly as often as they both wanted. And Mom sometimes needed a half hour of playing Yahtzee on her phone after work.

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Halloween night at dance class

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BB-8 and R2-D2

But I want her to be able to say, “My mom loved me and did what she could to make things special in her own way.”

So I’ll ultimately focus on that goal each and every day.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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