Category Archives: MANIC Monday

The Sound of Silence

I’m aware I’ve been quieter than usual. Which is really quiet, because I’ve been pretty absent from here lately. My brain has been a completely different story, though. I kinda wish my brain would shut up, because it’s really good at blabbing and chatting and screaming at me until I think, “Brain, I’m mad. Be quiet.” And Brain is all, “MAKE ME.” And then I sigh and try to find various ways to make it shut up. They don’t usually work. If they do work, they’re self-destructive.

But Brain is happier when I’m staying organized and on track and mindful of my thoughts/feelings/habits. That has been my goal these last few weeks. Re-organizing. Committing to meeting my goals and making plans for how I will get there.

My weekly plan comes out in Bullet Journal form, and I like it. It looks like a lot of work to some people, but for me, the work is soothing. I enjoy having some time to just mindlessly draw lines and dots, time where I’m just following my own template to make my days better and more structured. I need structure, and I guess this is just a visual representation of it all.

Last week, I finished Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. It was such a moving account of mental illness and all the ways it can rock you in your heart and guts and brain. Some things were so well-described that I physically began reacting to them and feeling old feelings. Probably not super helpful for someone currently going through tough times with anxiety/depression and wanting to avoid triggers. I think it would be fantastic for someone trying to understand, though. It has a hopeful message, and we all need that.

Now I’m working on This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel, and I’m hooked. Lots of good stuff sitting in my TBR pile right now, too. Eeek. Never enough hours in the day for books.

Other than that, I’m just working hard to get myself back on that proverbial horse again. This morning’s run was super-humid, which I should probably force myself to adjust to. But I don’t like humidity at all, and it just feels like a punishment when you make the effort to wake at 5:00 AM only to be hit in the face with bathwater when you go outside.

The flowers blooming in our yard, though, provided a pretty end to a very sweaty run.

Here’s to a not-too-sweaty, happy week for all of us!

SHOP

 

 

 

 

P.S. Obligatory goofy kid/goofy dog pictures.

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Goldy’s 10 Mile Recap

After a day to recover from Goldy’s 10 Mile run and digest the experience, I’m still feeling a little defeated and worse for the wear. Usually, no matter my time, I feel a sense of accomplishment. This time, though? I was left wondering, “Why do I do this?

This isn’t to say anything bad about the race. This is a wonderful race in a beautiful city that I adore! But boy, did this route beat me up. As a librarian, I’m kicking myself for not researching a little better. I should have taken a closer look at the elevation map beforehand. Oh! the hills. I felt grossly unprepared for the hills.

And I ended up experiencing the same issue with my toes seizing up that I had experienced during the Get Lucky race mid-March. I had assumed my toes were cold, and this is why I had trouble with the muscles doing very odd things. But yesterday was picture perfect weather. Alas, I still had moments where I couldn’t go more than a few steps without feeling like I had talons in my shoes.

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Photo reenactment of the contents of my shoes during miles 6.5-10

Now that I’m aware this isn’t just an issue of “cold feet,” I’m going to have to experiment again with new shoes. I think the toebox on the ASICS Gel Kayano 23s is narrower than on the 22s (which are my favorite shoe of all time, but no longer available in my size/width). So I’m on the hunt for a good pair of stability shoes with a roomy toebox. Let me know if you think of something that fits the bill. Running is expensive, no matter what “they” say.

Back to Goldy Gopher.

Pre-race, it was much easier this year to park and get to the stadium. Last year, we faced some major traffic jams on the highway. Hubby knew better this time, and he navigated us there with ease. My wonderful aunt joined us for the ride, as she was also running the 10 mile, and we made it in plenty of time to wait in the long potty line. (What we didn’t realize is that there were plenty more Porta Pottys around the corner, so we probably would have had half the wait time.)

We were a little confused at first and almost ended up in the 5k waiting area, but we finally heard an announcement over the speakers that 10 mile runners needed to be toward the front. We hurried ahead of the cutoff rope and took our places at the back of the pack.

Then…we were off! Lots of fanfare and cheering at the beginning, and the sun was just rising higher in the sky. The little breeze was welcome. I’m not used to running in sunlight after a long, dark winter!

The first couple of miles were nice. I kept a steady pace and enjoyed the scenery.

And then I hit the first hill. It wasn’t so bad, because I power-walked most of it. But I made the mistake of thinking, “Well, that must have been the bad one. Glad that’s done.”

It wasn’t done. There were several “rolling” hills that kept me huffing and puffing along. Once I hit a decent downhill in the middle, I ran far longer than my usual interval time, because I knew I was trying to make up for a lot of lost time.

I was definitely back of the pack. It gets lonely back there, though. I find the longer the distance, the more isolated I feel. There were intermittent runners on the trails, though (not participants in the race) who gave kind waves and smiles and “You got this! Way to go!”s. It helped immensely.

By the time I hit the last big hill at mile 8.5, I was just done. I threw a little pity party and allowed myself to walk most of the way. And by “allowed” myself, I mean I didn’t have a choice at times…if I ran too far, the talons reared their ugly claws.

Ending on the field in TCF Bank Stadium was a good pick-me-up, though. It is fun, and even though I was one of the final few 10 milers, I still felt energized by the crowd and atmosphere. And I was really excited to suck down a bottle of water (ended up being two!) just past the finish line.

To repeat myself, this is a fun race. I think it’s worth it if you prepare yourself. It’s well-organized and a very fun crowd! You should challenge yourself, and this is an awesome way to do it if you’re not used to hills.

Though I’m still feeling defeated, I am also motivated. To do better. To be better. I know I can. I will have to work my ass off (literally) to achieve, but I cannot let this stop me. Even though I felt like it was one of my worst runs, I still crossed that start line, and I crossed that finish line.

Onward.

Cassie

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3/27/17: Manic Monday (MIA Edition)

I fail to have a great reason why I took a week off from this ol’ blog. Last week was busy at work, and I have been keeping a cold at bay. But those things are par for the course in my life. Let’s blow the dust off the pages here and get started with a brand new week!
How was your weekend? Mine was average. I worked Saturday, so that often makes it feel disjointed and not so much like a weekend. I was successful at getting some cleaning/organizing done around the house. After my long, bleak, can’t-get-off-the-couch weeks, my house is finally starting to look like a place where people could survive. And maybe even thrive?

As I mentioned, I started feeling an inkling of a cold last Thursday. Friday morning, I hit the Vitamin C/power food train hard starting off with a delicious smoothie. I’m still stuffy and have a scratchy throat, but I’m pushing it off as long as I can.

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This morning’s run was a relief after my brain was on overdrive this weekend. I am getting more and more excited for the days when I won’t have to pull on gloves and a hat and long leggings and multiple layers. I can’t wait to just hop out of bed, lace up, and go.


Without further ado, here are a few short-ish reads for a manic Monday:

  • This article gives a perspective I hadn’t read before. And I can certainly relate. Sometimes, I have longer stretches of time where I don’t run, and I feel myself slipping. For me, it’s not the people around me telling me to go for a run. It’s my own conscience making me feel guilty and lazy and like I can’t even help myself. This is a reminder of what can happen if I slip too far and how hard it is to get back up again. I am so glad this author chose to write about this.
  • Podcasts are awesome. Need some running ones? Look here. Want some non-running recommendations? AMR has you covered. Do you have podcasts you like that aren’t on these lists? Because I’m always open for recommendations.
  • I could watch this video for hours. Also, I’m pretty sure these ducks run faster than me.
  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you libraries are important, and I’m glad mainstream media sources (if you can consider Cosmo one of those?) know it, too. The American Library Association can send out a million emails and articles with calls to action, but who usually reads those articles? Librarians and library support staff. Getting the word out to more people is critical at this point.

Well, that was more reading material than I had initially planned. I hope you have a lovely evening, and I plan on “chatting” with you again soon.

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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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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1/2/17: 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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12/19/16: Monday

I’m struggling for the right words. Words to express my disappointment. Hurt. Frustration. Anger.

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I fell Saturday night while carrying my kiddo down some stairs. I twisted my foot and then landed right on top of it. It was a dumb “ooops” on my part.

One ooops that is going to cost me 13.1 miles and months of training.

The doctor said no breaks show on the X-ray. But the sprain is severe, and my tendons and ligaments took a beating. The area near my ankle bone is swollen to the size of a golf ball.
And no running for at least several weeks. I don’t get to run the Star Wars Half at Disney. The words don’t seem real yet.

My heart is already aching to get back out on the pavement. I feel lost when I’m not following a training plan and trying to accomplish goals. This air cast is irritating. I hate my crutches, and they make even the most menial tasks like getting dressed last forever. I don’t like asking for help either.

But in the past day, I’ve already seen so much care and thoughtfulness from the people I’m blessed to call family and friends.

I am going to take this as a sign to slow down. To learn to ask for help. To be gentle with myself and let myself heal. (I don’t promise to be very good at those things, but I’ll try.) To remember that even though this seems rough, I am so lucky this is just a minor bump in my journey. Other people deal with so much more for so much longer.

Tonight, though, I am just hurting.

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Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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12/12/16: Manic Monday

Where did that weekend go? I feel like I did a lot…and still didn’t get a lot done.

The dreaded conjunctivitis is still in my eyeballs, and I’m fairly certain that is due to the fact that my cold is just sitting in my sinuses right now. I’m ready for it to be done, though. Dayquil takes the edge off, and I’m not barfy-gross like I was last week. So this is fine.

I still didn’t want to risk an outdoors run this morning, though, since it was -12 with windchill. So on ye ole treadmill I went. I was all prepared to bundle and head out the door, but it just…didn’t seem like a good idea. Ugh. Tried to get some “treadhill” work in and up the incline every now and again. I was over it by 3 miles, though. The rest of this week looks to be just as cold. Ugh.

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The frosty view from my porch this morning, where I was trying to cool off from my treadmill run.

I’m all about keeping on top of things during the holiday season. So I’ve been perusing lots of recipes and cookbooks to get ideas for healthy, nourishing meals along with a few indulgences.

I read Run Fast. Eat Slow. and fell in love with it. Seriously, do yourself a favor and check this one out from the library or purchase it from your local bookstore. So much goodness, and I can’t wait to try several of the recipes.

I also look for little ways to modify that help keep those extra holiday pounds at bay. Loving this round-up of healthier holiday cookie recipes, and hoping to try some over the next couple of weeks!

Other than that, we’re just taking everything day by day. And having lots of holiday adventures, including finding our elf on the shelf, Bernice. Even she has to resort to spending some time on the treadmill now and again.

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“Mom, look! I’m an elf on the treadmill, too!”

Keep at it, chickadees. Enjoy your day and make some memories.

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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