Tag Archives: Community

2/21/17: Tasty Tuesday

Greetings! I think I maybe have some nifty new readers, and that is awesome. (Shoutout to #thebloggesstribe!) Even if I have some nifty consistent readers, though, that’s just as awesome. I’m really glad you’re here. Even if my dad is the only person who reads this, that’s totally just as awesome. (Hi, Dad!)

So let’s get it out there. I had a super-lazy-super-bad-eating-DGAF kind of a day yesterday. It took all day for me to get even half way out of my funk and “turn that frown upside down” if you’re looking for the professional terminology.

Once I did, though, I was unstoppable for a good 18 minutes! Even just washing up a few batches of fruits and veggies for the week was enough to give me a little power boost.

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I also made a late-evening trip to the grocery store, which wasn’t even interrupted until I was in the checkout line and hubby called to tell me that LJ had shoved a pea up her nose and it was stuck and what should he do now. (Sidenote: flat-nosed[NOT POINTY] tweezers work as long as you can get your kid to stop screaming/flailing long enough to let you actually get near them with said flat-nosed tweezers. Probably not the safest method, but c’mon, that pea was RIGHT there. Hubby was looking for ye olde handy Nose Frida, though. Would have resorted to that if she hadn’t calmed down and sat still. Don’t judge me. We’re fine and she and I have discussed the fact that this has happened more than once. I think we’re at a good place.)

First up on the meal train this week: black bean and sweet potato chili! Actually pulled it from a Weight Watchers meal planning guide. Very enjoyable and 7 SP for 1 1/2 cups of chili with a tablespoons of light sour cream, and a couple tablespoons of avocado.

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LJ mostly tolerated it, which really is a solid B+ in preschooler life. I added some extra full-fat plain Greek yogurt to hers to take the chili edge off of it and give her a little nutrient boost.

Both LJ and hubby said they like this better than our usual slow-cooker chili, so I think it’ll be making a comeback.

In unrelated news, our weekend was rather eventful. A party Friday night, dance pictures Saturday morning, and a Stephen Kellogg concert Saturday evening along with our annual post-Valentine’s Valentine’s date. And some effing amazing vegetarian spring rolls at a Vietnamese restaurant we randomly picked. Baby shower Sunday. No-work, crash-and-burn kind of Monday. And here we are!

Most importantly (k, not really MOST), I have new running shoes! Getting a package with running shoes in it is like a little taste of Christmas in February. New ASICS, and I lurrrrrvvveee them. I don’t know why I stray from the Gel-Kayanos ever. My feet feel like they’re in a comfy, cozy, happy home when I put them on.

Well, that’s enough of a photo-dump for the evening. Hope you’re all doing well and enjoying life. If not, go do something fun. Or relaxing. Or sleep (which I find fun and relaxing). Right now! Go!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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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. 😉

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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1/6/17: Biblio-Friday

So I’m trying something new today. In celebrating the intended spirit of bookish-ness that I wanted this blog to have, I want to focus on books, libraries, or the literary world in general for at least one segment a week. Let’s see how it goes!

Books!

What are your reading goals this year? I’ve already mentioned I want to read 50 pages per day. (Day 6 of the year, and I’m going strong!) Hopefully that will end up being enough to read 50 books, as that’s what I’ve set for my GoodReads challenge.

Just finished up The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom for my monthly book club. I read it in just a few days, because it was intricate, captivating, and brilliantly written. The characters were written with honesty and believability, and you couldn’t help but love the lovable ones and hate the hateable ones. Highly recommended.

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My current TBR pile from the library…I might have a problem. And I also might not care too much if I have a problem.

These past few days, I’ve been working on If at Birth, You Don’t Succeed by Zach Anner. Have you seen Zach Anner before? You may remember him from his various shows/projects. If you don’t remember him, you should check him out. Hilarious and smart and well-spoken. I can hear his voice come through when I read the book, and it’s a nice light read about sometimes-kinda-heavy topics.

Libraries!

As someone who struggles with seasonal changes, I am highly interested to see that the Lawrence Public Library is offering light therapy for their patrons suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I kinda love it, and I wish I could try it out! I was surprised at the low-ish cost of the lamps, too.

More Bookish-ness!

Anyone a member of the Hogwarts Running Club? After being a lurker for awhile, I’ve really started to enjoy getting involved. Anywho, they announced their first virtual race of the year: the Mad Eye Moody 5k. Look at that medal! And what a great cause. #somuchgood

Aaaaannnnddd…I may have a SparkleSkirt on the way to me soon. Eeeee! When you mix running and reading, well, you know I’m gonna geek out.

Have a lovely weekend, my special snowflakes!

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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11/21/16: 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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10/17/16: Manic Monday

Hey, look! I’m actually updating my blog within a day of running a race! Can you believe it?

So Mankato, like the TC 10-mile, was fabulous. It was fabulous in a way entirely its own, though. To me, there’s something so charming about Mankato. Maybe it’s because I went to school there. Maybe it’s because it’s where I developed my relationship with my hubby or where we got engaged or where we lived when we got married. Maybe it’s because I made friends there and worked jobs I loved there and made so many memories. And maybe it’s just because it’s such a good mix of small-town with larger city amenities.

Expo was fun! Obviously it wasn’t as big as TC, but it still had many neat booths. And I wanted all the things. I was thrilled to talk to Alisha Perkins for a bit and hear her speak. I love how amazing and real she is, and she speaks with such raw honesty. She is so sweet, and I just admire what she does for the running community and Minnesota!

Thanks to my parents, we were able to go as a duo rather than trying to coordinate having Dino-Toddler with us. We were both running, so she wouldn’t have had a lot of fun waiting. I ran the 10K, and hubby ran the half-marathon. It was his first half (!!!), so we wanted to get there and settled on time.

IT WAS COLD when we arrived at the event. We both immediately regretted not having more layers as we tried to warm up next to the starting line.

It quickly got brighter out, and obviously we both warmed up after we crossed our respective start lines.

All I can say is…A+. Beautiful course. Great volunteers and support. I had a blast on this run. I felt SO good the whole time, and I maintained a 13:09/mile pace. If you have seen any of my previous paces, you’ll know this is tops for me. I felt strong, and I finished strong! And I had fun along the way. There was a pretty superb downhill stretch that just felt like a bonus.

The colors. The weather. Everything was just gorgeous. I got to the finish, changed in the car (free parking in a parking ramp, yo!), and meandered a bit before settling in at the finish line to wait for the husband.

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Dino-Toddler may have been at home, but she was cheering us on in spirit. Got this text from my dad and step-mom mid-race, and it brightened my heart. Sent it onto husband who received it at about mile 6.

I was so excited to see him coming down the finisher’s chute! I am so damn proud of this guy. Mostly because he didn’t train a lot for this round, but he still made it. He said miles 10-13.1 were the hardest thing he has ever done. He earned that medal and the beers and snacks that came afterward.

I think this is our last big race until MY half in January. Eeek. Hopefully I’ll add a few fun 5Ks in there, but we’re on the downhill stretch now for training. Time to re-group, buckle down, and get to business. This sport is so hard for me, but that is also what makes it incredibly rewarding.

Onward!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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10/15/16: Sorta Not-Silent Saturday

Whew. Every time I say, I’m not going to take any more breaks from blogging, then I take a big break. I don’t know what it is. I apparently am very rebellious against my own good intentions.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week since my 10-miler. I’m caught between being proud of what I accomplished and wishing I had done so much better. Hoping I can do better. Making plans to do better.

That, and Dino-Toddler got a cold. And there has been some chaos at the library. (More chaos than the usual chaos.) And I’ve felt a cold coming on the last few days.

Excuses aside, I promised a recap of the TC 10-Mile. I can honestly say it was a fabulous experience, beginning to end. I already wrote a bit about the expo, and packet pick-up at the expo was a dream. Very smooth process. Very short lines. In, out, done. I had so much fun looking at all the booths and yearning for ALL THE THINGS. I bought more than I should have, but there were so many neat things to be excited about if you’re into running stuff.

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Sunday morning, we took off from home bright and early. (5:15 AM? I think? I don’t know, I didn’t have my eyes open.) Smooth ride up, and we parked at Ramp B at Target Field. It was chilly, so I felt pretty guilty dragging my husband, mother-in-law, and almost-3-year-old outside so early in the morning. We walked to the light rail and rode the train to Government Plaza.

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We danced around for a few minutes trying to stay warm, but it was a well-organized crowd, and there were plenty of open porta-potties when we got there. Perfect.

Then, I  said my goodbyes, tried to focus on not throwing up, got in my corral (the last of all corrals, because I’m a turtle), and enjoyed the beginnings of the sunrise. It did take awhile to get to the start line, because there were a few waves of runners before me. But when I got going, I was immediately greeted by a gorgeous sunrise and lovely views. I felt so motivated, and I accidentally ran a 12:30 mile. That is way too fast for me, but I had so much adrenaline. Rookie mistake. Luckily, I don’t think it cost me too much later.

I cannot say enough about the on-course support for this run. The volunteers were amazing and motivating and ready with so many kind words. The traffic control and police were cheering us on, and many of them had high-fives waiting for us. The spectators had funny signs that made me smile when I needed it and so many encouraging words. I teared up several times, because I seemed to come across motivation at the exact times I needed it most. People are beautiful, and this sport proves that all the time.

When I got to the finish line, it was lined with so many people. I’m sure they were waiting there for the first marathon finishers (because I’m fairly far back in the pack, the first marathon finishers weren’t too far behind me), but they cheered for me and for other 10-milers coming in just the same. The medal is epic. My arms were filled with snacks and treats as I left the line. I met up with my supportive and amazing family soon after, and I celebrated/moved through the rest of the day in a bit of a haze.

If anyone is considering a 10-mile race, I would most certainly recommend this one. Phenomenal organization, views, and support. You won’t regret it.

And now, I go to bed so I can get some rest for the Mankato 10K tomorrow morning. My hubby is running his first half-marathon, and I’m excited to cheer for him as he crosses the finish line! I guess my next post will probably be a recap from this weekend, and I’m hoping it comes a little sooner than this one did.

I’ll be spending some time reflecting this next week on my goals, where I want to go, and how I will get there. It’s time to buckle down, and I want to be the best possible me I can.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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8/5/16: Friday Favorites

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Photo from fromfattofinishlinefilm.com

“12 STRANGERS, 1200 LBS LOST AND A 200 MILE RACE
THAT MAKES TESTING THEIR LIMITS A TEAM SPORT.”

Just looking at the tagline of the documentary From Fat to Finish Line, you can probably tell why I was instantly drawn to it. I couldn’t wait for this movie to be released to DVD, so I was extremely excited when it showed up in my box this week. On Wednesday night, I settled in with my hubby, pup, and kitties (and let’s be honest, a Skinny Cow ice cream pop because chocolate) and pressed ‘Play.’ For runners and non-runners alike who enjoy a down-to-earth motivational story, this film won’t disappoint.

This documentary tells the story of 12 people who have lost an average of 100 lbs. They have gone from being unable to climb a few stairs without being winded…to athletes. From being unable to tie their shoes without sucking in their stomachs…to participating in a grueling, overnight 200-mile relay run.

If you haven’t heard about the Ragnar relay races before, here’s a little primer. Summary: 12 people, 2 days/1 night, 200-ish miles, 2 vans, 11-24 miles run per person. It takes a lot of teamwork, support, motivation, and pure grit to get this done. Especially if you run it in Miami-to-Key West heat/humidity like these runners did.

The cinematography sometimes felt more like a reality show than a documentary film, but I don’t think that underscored the major themes of the documentary. Learning each person’s story as they ran their first leg was a nice touch; by their last leg of running, I felt like each one of them was a friend. They all have special stories to tell, and that culminates into this one awesome event.

I don’t know if a *SPOILER ALERT* is needed here or not…but the ending of the documentary was a little abrupt for my tastes. I enjoyed following this group through their Ragnar journey, and it was over very quickly as they crossed the finish line. I was hoping to see a little bit of post-race reflection and know if any of them had plans for future events/races. I suppose good movies leave you wanting more though, right?

Regardless, I really enjoyed watching this journey! I hope one day to have my own success story to tell, so it is always reassuring to see others who have been through it or are going through their journey now. Thumbs up recommendation to those looking for a nice boost and reminder of the power of the human body/spirit. Stream it on iTunes, or stream/purchase a DVD from Amazon today!

They also have an amazing community on Facebook and lots of good information on their website. Looks like an app and training plans are coming soon, too? Exciting! I think that is the marker of a truly successful film/movement: it is changing lives.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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