Category Archives: Whatever Wednesday

1/11/17: Whatever Wednesday

As of 6:30 PM tonight, I am on vacation. Technically, I finished work at 5:00, but Dino-kid had dance class tonight. And going to dance class, although only a half hour long, is a feat in and of itself. It is work. Wonderful work, but work nonetheless.

I don’t know if I feel like I’m on vacation yet, but I think it is sorely needed. I love my job. I love my life. But it’s probably time for a breather. I’m still feeling pretty lousy about my ankle sprain, and I just.want.to.run. But I don’t run, and then I sabotage pretty much everything. It’s a vicious cycle, and I’ve got to change it.

For my Wednesday round-up of whatever, I’m focusing on being kind to myself. So I was pleased to see this article in my inbox from Minneapolis Running. (Lots of hearts for MPLS Running, btw.) How to overcome a setback. I think that verbiage is important. Get control, have a plan, gain perspective. And lots of good stuff in between.

This is a good reminder of why we should take care of ourselves.

Aaaand, I made some awesome purchases recently, and they all arrived in the mail today.

Two of them were apparel. A TeeTurtle shirt with my fave lady. And an amazingly comfortable SparkleSkirt. Can’t wait to get running and represent HRC.

Tough to get a good picture that didn’t include toddler elbows and such, but I tried. I’ll have better ones in the future.

Okay. Like I said. Vacation. Hoping to update the ol’ blog during California time, but if doesn’t, I’m sure you’ll understand. And you probably won’t even notice I’m gone. ūüėČ

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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12/21/16: Whatever Wednesday

Since my Monday post, I’ve had so much kindness and positivity sent my way. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and for letting me just be kinda sad for a few days. I can’t promise I won’t still have some sad moments, but I also am trying to channel my energy into planning for a badass 2017. Assuming my recovery goes well, I’ll be training for a half marathon in May. I’ll start off slow and easy, though, with a plan meant for beginners and shorter distance runners who want to run long. Bless the AMR crew, because these plans come with so much support and fun. I can’t imagine having a better virtual tribe to “run with.”

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Chewbarka photo. Because this post didn’t have enough cute.

So without further ado, here’s some “whatever” for your Wednesday.

  • You know I love me some mental health talk. And running talk. So when you combine both into one article, of course I’ve gotta include it. Running as therapy. I firmly believe in it.
  • Weekly oasis” is the nicest term I’ve ever heard to describe “me time.” I like it, and I think it’s important we remember to do this weekly (or more often as needed).
  • Anyone else stuck on the treadmill this time of year? I certainly think it has its good points. I mean, I love not having to bundle up, put on my Yak-Trax, apply Vaseline to exposed skin, pack up tissues, etc. before heading out the door at 5:30 AM. And I’ve seen several articles that give tips for enjoying the treadmill more. This one from Runner’s World seemed like a refreshing new spin on it, though.

Okay, kittens. I’m out for the evening. Got some more Christmas shopping to do, and Mother Hubbard’s cupboard isn’t exactly full.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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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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10/5/16: Whatever Wednesday

With the changing seasons (YES I KNOW I KEEP BRINGING THIS UP!), is anyone else getting excited for holiday themed races? If you’re a Minnesotan, maybe you’ll enjoy this post from Minneapolis Running on holiday themed races in the area. Is anyone planning on attending one of these or any others in the next few months? Let me know! I’m getting my race calendar going and would love to meet up with some folks.

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Not sure who made this (found it on a random forum), but I give credit to them and want to be their friend.

I am super nervous today…and yesterday and the day before, and I will be tomorrow and the rest of the week, too. The TC 10-Mile is coming up in 4 days. That’s four days. F-O-U-R. When I started running, I was fairly nervous for 5Ks. Now, those don’t seem like such a big deal. But now that I’ve been increasing my mileage for training and races, the nerves have been firing back up again. And this will be the longest race I’ve ever run, not to mention only the second time I’ve ever run 10 miles. The first time didn’t go great, and now my tummy is sloshy with lots of butterflies doing backflips¬†when I think of the obstacles ahead this Sunday.

Luckily, I have a lot of reading material with helpful suggestions and reminders that I should just enjoy myself.

  • Minneapolis Running has tips for boosting your TC Marathon weekend experience.
  • I am SO excited Dimity and SBS from Another Mother Runner will be at the expo and presenting! Can’t wait to get my hands on that merch. I apologize to my bank account in advance. This weekend is gonna hurt.
  • I’m not part of Moms on the Run, but I sure wish I were. Maybe a franchise will make its way here eventually. Still, I receive their updates, and lots of MOTR are getting ready for the weekend. More helpful hints here.

If you need me, I’ll be perusing my participant guide, highlighting the spectator guide for the hubby and Dino-Toddler, and popping Tums.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

P.S. If you’re looking for something not-really-running-related, I actually liked the simple advice from the NYT on how to be mindful with Facebook. I think many people could use this reminder from time to time, including me!

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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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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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8/10/16: 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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7/27/16: Whatever Wednesday

Whatever, indeed.

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Honestly, I’ve had little to say these past few days. Monday was a funeral, which is always hard. This one also involved quite a bit of travel, which drained us.

Tuesday morning, I FINALLY rolled out of bed and ran. It had been over a week! My stupid cold made it easy to say “no,” but I couldn’t keep using that as an excuse. I still have a tickle in my throat, but it was time to buck up.

And it was awful. Truly terrible. The humidity didn’t do me any favors. Even if the air hadn’t felt soupy, it still wouldn’t have been great. My limbs were lead. My head was foggy. I just wasn’t into it.

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I guess at least I had some decent views? Apparently I like trees on the skyline. Because there are many pics like this.

I did 45 minutes again this morning. I realized about 8 minutes in that the GPS on my Fitbit Surge had not picked up, and it seemed like the mileage was off by about .5 miles. That was even more discouraging, because it brought my “average pace” down a LOT. I already struggle to maintain a running pace that would be considered “walking pace” for others, and to be frank, it embarrasses me. I keep hoping it gets better, but it’s clearly something that will take time.

Regardless, I did FEEL better today. I got a very slight runner’s high around 25 minutes, and things started to feel a little easier. I also had my AMR podcast to keep me company. Usually, I have already burned¬†through it on my weekend long-run.

Tonight, my family took me out for a birthday dinner (tomorrow is the big…err…not-so-big day). It was nice, and I ate my weight in the complimentary chips and salsa. Good news is I have lots of leftovers for tomorrow, since I was full by the time my meal even arrived.

I got to spend it with some of my favorite people, though. So no guilt there. Ever.

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On our way to bday dinner. Yes, that’s a winter hat. Yes, it’s too small for her head. That’s enough questions.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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7/20/16: Whatever Wednesday

On my lunch break today, I was perusing the buildup of running news emails that plagues my inbox daily. I came across¬†this article from Women’s Running¬†and clicked on it. By the end, tears were nearly spilling into my already salty vegan ramen bowl (I’m still fighting this dang cold and all I want is sodium-laden noodle broth).

One of my greatest fears is something happening to my daughter, whether it be illness or accident. Of course, being the perfectionist I am, I tend to go above and beyond the normal level of anxiety that plagues parents over issues like this. It can keep me up at night for days in a row, imagining all the worst case scenarios. It can leave me breathless and curled up in a ball on the couch, wishing I could just hide under a blanket forever.

Of course, you probably see the irony in this. I’m not spending quality time with my daughter when my mind is overtaken by anxiety and sadness and fear.

Articles like this, although difficult to read, remind me of a couple of things.

  1. I need to enjoy the hell out of today. I need to spend time with my daughter without fear. I need to take in the sights and sounds around me rather than getting caught in my own brain.
  2. Running can heal. I’m finding this out in my own personal journey, and it is reaffirmed in someone who has traveled¬†a road infinitely more difficult than my own. I can’t imagine Liz’s heartache. But she runs. She puts one foot in front of the other, despite unimaginable obstacles. And it helps her.

Also, I love that Heart Strides and AMR are included in this article. I did not participate in the Stride through the Holidays challenge last year, but I am certainly planning on it this year. Gotta do something to get me through that lull until the Star Wars Half Marathon in January!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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7/13/16: Whatever Wednesday

**Whatever Wednesday is going to be exactly what it sounds like. Whatever.

Slow and “sloggy” run this morning. Tired day. Still had to go go go. Had dino-toddler to myself tonight, which is fun but obviously exhausting. And then she went to bed. I knew I had a lot to do. A LOT.

Sometimes, the house is a mess and you have so much laundry to fold and toys scattered in every room and a bathroom in sore need of cleaning and piles of papers everywhere. And instead of doing it right away, you sit down with a microwaved s’more instead. Because chocolate.

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I made it with dark chocolate, so it’s healthy, right?

After inhaling the s’more, I cleaned the house and had myself a nice foam rolling session as a reward. My plantar pain this morning was awful, and I nearly couldn’t walk this morning at work. So over my lunch break, I bought a new roller.

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Yeah, I know it looks a little…odd.

It’s the Gaiam Dual Foot Roller, and it’s my new best friend. Try not to be too jealous.

Okay, that might be jumping the gun a little. I’ll keep rolling as much as I can, and I’ll let you know if it keeps doing the trick for my poor little tootsies.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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