Tag Archives: Recovery

A Happy Place

Sometimes, I go days and weeks without blogging. Sometimes, I check out for days or weeks or months. That’s just a reality of who I am. That’s the reality of living with a mental illness. Even when you’re managing it, sometimes you’re just not “managing.”

This time, I wasn’t particularly sad. It wasn’t a dark-dark-dark time. No, it was just…nothingness. I couldn’t get a grip on my day-to-day operations, and it made blogging seem like a mountain I just didn’t have the energy or equipment to climb. Insurmountable. So I took it easy on myself, and I worked to forgive myself for this and several other things I sacrificed for a few weeks. I celebrated lots of days without pressuring myself to do more than I was capable of.

IMG_8818[1]

Today, I feel a little better. There’s that little spark of warmth in my gut telling me that brighter and stronger times are coming. Which is good. Because the days are soaring past, and I’m watching the calendar get closer to my two big races (1 & 2) of fall. I have a solid training plan set before me. I will move forward.

This morning’s run was humid, but that’s not atypical for this time of year. Still, it leaves me feeling pretty sweaty and gucky afterward. Even after a shower to cool off, I still sweat. And by the time I quit sweating, it’s time to go outside so I can climb in my stuffy car and start sweating again and go to work. Vicious cycle.

IMG_9187[1]

Sweaty selfie. This iPhone camera was kind to me. I swear, I was drenched. 

This past weekend was spent in Duluth, which I have officially deemed my “happy place.” It’s a city I adore on a big ol’ lake I can’t ever stop staring at. Again this year, I failed to get a shoreline run in, but relaxation and sleeping in trumped it. No regrets. (Not many, at least.)

Other than that, life has been filled with the day-to-day minutia of summer. Two weeks from now, we will be with family on a houseboating trip. And then it’s August already. I know a lot of people ask the question, “Where does the time go?” But srsly.

I don’t have much of substance to leave you with. For my bookclub, though, we did read one of my favorite books in the history of the universe. And although I love it for the big, soul-warming laughs it gives me, I also have many quotes about mental health and mental illness underlined, starred, and dog-eared in my copy. I’ll leave you with one that stands out to me every time I read or listen to it (yes, I own the digital audiobook, too).

“Without the dark there isn’t light. Without the pain there is no relief. And I remind myself that I’m lucky to be able to feel such great sorrow, and also such great happiness. I can grab on to each moment of joy and live in those moments because I have seen the bright contrast from dark to light and back again. I am privileged to be able to recognize that the sound of laughter is a blessing and a song, and to realize that the bright hours spent with my family and friends are extraordinary treasures to be saved, because those same moments are a medicine, a balm. Those moments are a promise that life is worth fighting for, and that promise is what pulls me through when depression distorts reality and tries to convince me otherwise.”

-Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Wishing you light.

SHOP

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WCT

I am slightly early for WCW, but I’ve been meaning to share this article for a while now. No time like the present! I’ve written about Mirna before, and I will likely be writing about her again. (She has a book coming out this fall, and you can be darn sure I already pre-ordered that puppy.) She just has such fabulous perspective and beautiful thoughts that I need to hear most every day. I need some sort of app on my phone where I press a button, and Mirna gives me some sort of sage advice or cheery pick-me-up. Can someone work on that?

But I say that, if you run and it is an important part of your life or fitness regime, be proud and share your success with others. You never know who is watching. Your child, your relatives, your coworkers…they might be the ones that need to witness that strength, focus and energy emanating from you so that, maybe one day, they can try running themselves.

This is something I need to keep in mind when I’m at my lowest. Because if I can’t muster the gumption to get moving for myself, I can certainly picture my kiddo playing dress-up with my running shoes so she can “be like Mommy.” I can remember that others in my life struggle, too, and I want them to believe there’s a reason to get up and get going, whether they are running or participating in another activity that makes them happy.

Speaking of getting going, yesterday officially kicked off my TLAM 13.1 Run/Walk plan!

IMG_8543[1]

Trying to get more comfortable with this “sweaty selfie” thang

Although I’ve done these plans in the past and had to bow out (due to no fault of the plans, might I add…it was always injury or illness causing me to de-rail), I’m feeling really good at the start of this one. I feel like I’ve had time to recover, wallow, re-group, fall apart again, and heal. I feel organized and stronger mentally than I did at the start of my last attempt. This is going to be good.

The flowers are a bloomin’ in our yard as of late. And they provide a lovely “welcome home” to me when I finish a run.

I have no green thumb of which to speak, but the former occupants did a beautiful job of landscaping. Lucky us.

Also. I think you already know this, but I find my bear-dog adorable, albeit stinky. And I think she’s hilarious when she gets a treat. So I tried to capture the magical moment. I hope you appreciate it as much as I do. (Maybe not that much. Maybe it won’t be your phone background and maybe you won’t giggle every time you turn on your phone. But you could do that if you wanted.)

This week has also provided a slight reprieve from the usual morning hustle and bustle. Our wonderful daycare provider is taking a well-deserved family vacation. We easily found care for LJ between hubby, me, and my step-mother (AKA LJ’s favorite person in the world!). Her nina (a nickname LJ began calling her at a young age) is bearing the bulk of the days, and they are having fabulous adventures together. Me? I don’t have to worry about corralling LJ and getting her out the door for a few days. It doesn’t sound like a luxury, but oh, it is fantastic.

AND! They came to visit me at the library and brought me some treats. They enjoyed storytime together, and it was nice to see my baby mid-day.

IMG_8552[1]

And now? I have some PiYo workouts to catch up on, a house to clean (psh…probably not happening), and some sleep to get (psh to this, too).

SHOP

Tagged , , , ,

Grumpy Snow Owl

It’s April 27th, and I saw tiny snowflakes falling from the sky as I let the dog out this morning. She frolicked with happiness. I turned grumpy.

giphy1

Re-enactment. We share a stunning resemblance, though, don’t we?

I also have a case of the grumps, though, because I haven’t run in a while. I’m rather run down instead. I’ve had a cold for two weeks now, and I just really wish I could breathe out of my nose and that my eyes weren’t itchy and that my head didn’t feel so gummed up. I also feel like sleeping for days.

I’m being hard on myself for not running, but at the same time, it’s kind of a relief to allow myself some time to recuperate. Usually, I push through my illnesses and train anyway. This time, though? I’m stepping back. Perhaps it’s something to do with the lousy nature of my last long run. Perhaps it’s something bigger. I have some decisions to make, though, and they will have an effect on the future of my running “career.” (Career? Hobby? Lifestyle? I am not sure how to address it.)

I’m considering starting at level 1, if that makes any sense. And I’ll see where that takes me. My ankle injury is reverberating longer than I had expected, and I just don’t feel ready for going too long-distance at this time. After my last run, my heart isn’t in it. I’m trying to re-vamp too many other things in my life right now: eating, self-reflection, meditation/yoga. All things that will give me more peace before I begin rigorously training again. Don’t get me wrong. I love running, and I don’t want to quit it. I still have my big goals to achieve, and I want to get there soon!

But I have to help the other “pieces” of my life fall in place first. I can’t train and lose weight at the same time. I can’t incorporate as much meditation and yoga as I want when I’m trying to keep my mileage high. Maybe other people have a propensity for these things. I just don’t right now.

I don’t know where all this rambling leaves me, and kudos to you if you’ve made it this far. I do know I want to continue blogging with a focus on running and health and mamahood. I like getting my thoughts out on virtual paper, and I hope I’ve been able to give something good to the wonderful people who read this as well.

For today, though…I’m going to focus on each day as it comes. I’m going to try to do things that bring me joy at that very moment in time. I hope find the time and effort to do the same.

SHOP

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

yzophfgsavld2

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

Tagged , , , , , ,

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.

    img_6407

    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!)
    img_6421

    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

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

1/23/17: Manic Monday

giphy

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.

img_58761

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.

img_58631

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,