Tag Archives: BAMR

Just because.

Well. I’ve been absent again. It has been a long week, and I honestly haven’t even known what to write about. So I didn’t.

Except that I kinda did. Thank you so very much to the Minneapolis Running folks again for publishing another article of mine. I was able to tackle a tough subject that comes up frequently on my blog: mental health. I hope you enjoy it and find some use from it, even if you don’t have issues with your mental health.

ALSO! The next day, they hosted a live video with none other than Sarah Bowen Shea, who is honestly one of my very favorite people ever. I constantly rave over Another Mother Runner, so if you haven’t checked them out by now…honestly, what are you waiting for?

So now: let’s have a conversation and catch up a little. How have you been? How’s the fam?

Fine, thanks. Whatcha been eating lately?

I’ve really been continuing the effort to meal plan and prepare ahead of time. It makes my life sooooo much less stressful. We’ve tried several new recipes these past few weeks, and there have been hits and misses.

Quinoa goes over well with my kiddo and husband. Especially in more Mexican-centric dishes. Or cheesy. Stuffed pepper soup was my favorite. The creamy avocado pesto pasta above? Big fail. And not even good for leftovers, because I am not a fan of  the color/flavor of avocado when it’s more than a few minutes old.

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I also jumped into the world of Shakeology. I’m sure most of you are familiar with it or have at least heard about it/read about it in your Facebook newsfeed. I’d been on the fence for quite sometime, because I try not to get too caught up in anything that is associated with MLM. But after forgetting to make breakfast for myself several days in a row, it seemed like something to at least try.

So far, I’m not disappointed one bit. It’s quick. I have a billion recipes to try, and I’ve loved the ones I’ve tried so far (including birthday cake, Kit Kat, sunshine creamsicle, and peanut butter cup). And it keeps me FULL. Fuller than I thought possible with a shake. I’ll continue to try this month and see how it goes, but it is a luxury that makes my mornings easier so far. Some days, I need all the help I can get.

Great. What have you been up to?

Not running. Oops, am I supposed to admit that? I ran a couple times last week. This week? Nada. Hubby is out of town for the whole week on a work trip, and I’ve been hopping. It is our last week of dance before summer, and it includes dance rehearsals and two recitals this weekend. Throw in an out-of-town work conference, two cats & one dog, and a kid with mood swings worse than a Sourpatch Kid? I’m fried. My house is a war-zone. I’m basically throwing kibble on the floor for all the critters to consume. I may have even bathed LJ with a few baby wipes at one point this week. (Don’t worry. She got a bath the next night.)

I literally found a plate of LJ’s dinner turned over on the living room floor last night. It had dried and crusted to the plate by the time it was flipped over, though, so the carpet was completely unscathed. An embarrassing sort of victory.

As for last weekend, Mother’s Day was…good. I am blessed to be a mom. I am blessed to have so many lovely women in my life and my daughter’s life. But it also is a day filled with inner-turmoil for me and for others, I know. For me, I have a fractured relationship with the person I most want to celebrate. I love her so very much, and I miss her. I hope things can be better some day, but that doesn’t make Mother’s Day less painful now.

The other person I want to celebrate with is my grandmother, whom I’ve written about in the past. She meant and still means so much to me, so LJ and I made a trip to visit her and Grandpa’s burial site. We talked with them, and LJ gave them many hugs and kisses. We brought flowers and thanked Grandma for being wonderful. We had conversations about life and death, and I was honest with LJ, even when it was painful for me and confusing for her. I won’t hide my grief, because I want her to know how amazing her great-grandma was.

Because hubby left the day before Mother’s Day, he and LJ both found ways to make me feel loved that weekend. They sent flowers to me at work on Saturday, and LJ slept in until 9:00 Sunday morning. What a darling.

What are you reading?

Oh, boy. I’ve got a gigantic TBR list, and I realized how far behind I am on my reading goal for the year. So I’ve been cruising through the chapters these last few days. I just finished a wonderful/tragic graphic novel called Last Things: A Graphic Memoir of Loss and Love by Marissa Moss. Highly recommended, but it will pull at your heart. This is a bleak one, but it captures the reality some people face when their loved one is faced with terminal illness.

I’m in the process of tackling Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a short read but I’m taking a little extra time to digest each “chapter.”

Also in line to finish up Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig soon.

Okay, great. Anything else?

I’m running the TC 10 Mile, thanks to the Mother Runner crew! I’m soooooo excited, because this was one of my favorite races ever. So I’m back in training-planning mode with a renewed energy. I’ll reach my goals someday, and this was a big boost.

Also, this is my workplace, and I love it. Especially when the sky is shiny happy:

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This post ended up being much longer than anticipated. Hopefully I learn to break it up a little bit in the future, but you know how I operate…silence and then surprise.

SHOP

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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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3/12/17: 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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3/2/17: 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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2/17/17: Friday Favorites

Happy post-Valentine’s Day, chickadees! Did you get your sugar fix? Or are you still all hopped up on the stuff? It has been a cuh-ray-zee few days in our world. I feel like I haven’t stopped going places and doing things for a few days now.

In the midst of a jam-packed Valentine’s Day, I did a thing. A scary thing. A “what have I done?” thing. I wasn’t really planning on sharing it quite yet, but there’s no time like the present to commit and blab all over social media (I guess?).

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That’s right. I registered for the Big Daddy of them all. The marathon. I have just under a year to train. And I’m nervous as all get-out. You may watch me crash and burn again, but you can bet I’m going to fight like hell for this one.

I’ll switch subjects now, because I’m sure you’ll hear plenty more about this coming up. I’m still processing the fact that I actually hit that “Register” button and all that it will mean for my life these next 11 months.

In slightly related news, we ran the Valentine’s Day 5k! As usual, Twin Cities in Motion put on a great event. I really enjoy their runs: the atmosphere, the organization, and the fun. They are definitely one of my Friday Favorites.

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Of course, we had to make our traditional post-Valentine’s Run Donut Run. To Glam Doll. Because they are Glam Doll. Donuts already give me googly eyes. Glam Doll donuts? They take it to an even higher level of hearts.

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Be still, my heart.

Above are the only two pictures I was able to take of our purchases. Because I ate my Matcha White Chocolate donut before I remembered to take a picture, so you’ll see it’s an empty bag. And I caught hubby in action as he ate his classic Starlet.

Early morning runs have been unseasonably warm this week. I won’t complain. I guess I did complain about my lunch run today, because it was TOO warm. In Minnesota. In February.

It’s just so much more soul-satisfying when I get my run done in the morning. Because I get some of my favorite views of this beautiful world we live in.

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All righty. A busy weekend awaits. I hope you all have a lovely one, whether you’re running trails or running errands or just relaxing (make sure to do some relaxing).

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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2/5/17: Sunday Runday

Mad Eye Moody Constant Vigilence 5k for Hogwarts Running Club: completed. Miles managed.

Then, post-run waffles with the kiddo’s Frozen waffle iron she got for Christmas.(She wasn’t amused that I dubbed them “Olaffles.” I thought I was clever. She insisted they’re “Anna & Elsa” waffles, which I think is kinda morbid.)

And post-waffle movies/snuggling.

Hope your weekend was dandy.

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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1/1/17: New

Tonight, I spent the evening playing board games with Mini-Me and hubby. And then after the Mini went to bed, hubby and I had a much needed Nerf gun fight. Although this may not sound like the most riveting New Year’s evening to some, I am content. As hubby and I watched some live broadcast of Time’s Square, I described it as a “living nightmare” in my world. (Bright lights. TOO MANY people. Stuck. Terrible.)

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RIP Chewbacca. Sorry you got caught in the middle.

I’m fine being in my own house, and I’m even impressed we made it past midnight. In fact, it’s 1:18 AM as I type this.  We are party animals.

As promised, I have some of my New Year focuses (foci?) ready to blog. I’m not committing to super-specific goals. Just things I want to keep in mind this year to make my life and the lives of those around me better.

There are seventeen, because 2017. So brace yourselves. This is going to be a long ride (and I totally won’t judge you if you skip all of this).

  1. Hydrate/Track – Keep on top of my water intake, and keep an honest food journal.
  2. Yoga/Meditation – This is something that has benefitted me in the past year, and I really need to enhance it.
  3. Read 50 pages per day – When I read, it means I’m not spending time on mindless activities, like scrolling through my cousin’s dentist’s mother-in-law’s photo album from 2008. And I also really like to read, and I want to read more. Duh.
  4. Blog more – I like this thing! I like documenting my journey. For me and maybe for anyone I might inspire even a little?
  5. Sleep 7+ hours per night – I mean…pretty self explanatory.
  6. Eat with intention – Because it’s too easy and dangerous to eat mindlessly or emotionally
  7. Run – 750+ miles. And complete my first half-marathon. I’m not letting this darn ankle get me down.
  8. Pay bills when they come in – Heard this tip from my step-mother-in-law (Hi, Polly, if you’re reading!). I love this idea, and I’ve already paid off both my credit cards BEFORE Christmas. So much less stress than waiting until the due date.
  9. Be on top of cleaning the damn house – Because it’s much easier to spend 10 minutes a day on this than hours during the weekend
  10. Stop eating by 8:00 P.M. – I’ve done this in the past, and it WORKS.
  11. Devices down when mini-me is awake – Another fairly self-explanatory one
  12. #RelationshipGoals – Monthly date night with the hubby? I think yes. It’s easy to forget about this when you have a screaming demon toddler highly enthusiastic and spunky child in the house.
  13. Stay in tune with friends/family – This should always be a priority, but I have a hard time getting outside of my own head some days.
  14. Make people feel special – Each Christmas, I’m reminded of how wonderful it feels to give gifts and let people know I think of them/value them/love them dearly. I want to find ways to do this all year long.
  15. Be a strong example – Because Mini-Me deserves it.
  16. Work hard and work well – I am SO blessed to have the job I have. And I want to be good at it and give back.
  17. Spend wisely – Again, something I should do all the time, but it’s easy to get carried away. I’d rather give more than I get.

So there you have it. No particular order. Unedited. Unfiltered. But that’s what I aim for on this lil’ blog. Honesty and openness.

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What are YOU going to focus on this year?

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

P.S. The following picture is Mini-Me yesterday. And probably me tomorrow.

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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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