Tag Archives: Runner

Further clarity and subsequent extreme amounts of gratitude

I am grateful. After my last blog post, I received warm comments and messages from quite a few people. It validated the fact that this blog is a good, positive part of my life. It also validated something else for me. Almost everyone who reached out expressed sentiments of, “Me too!” whether they were agreeing with weight issues, mental health issues, or just dealing with a rocky road. I hear you all. I am thinking of you all (even those who didn’t comment but had one of those, “Me too!” moments). And I am thankful you are here with me.

As I find the days until WDW 2018 passing quickly, it reaffirms the fact that I need to be taking good care of myself and sticking to my training plan.

Sidenote: Disney released pics of the medals for WDW Marathon weekend, and they are beautiful. Oh, Lordy, I hope I finish so I can get that sweet piece of bling.

I need to stick to what I know works, and I know consistently taking care of myself works. I’ve taken on a new conquest: heart rate training. And I must say I am an absolute convert. I submitted a guest blog post to Minneapolis Running detailing my experiences with heart rate training so far, so I won’t bore you with too many details. And lucky me, they posted it! Please take a look at it if you get a chance, and leave some love. They’re a great group of runners, and I’m grateful they give me an opportunity to write on a bigger platform.

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I’m a planner, don’tcha know?

I will say I’m signed up through the Train Like A Mother club, and I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a training plan + community + general awesomeness. I am #coachedandloved. And you know I can never pass up an opportunity to give a shoutout to the AMR crew.

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#momlife

Other than that, you haven’t missed too terribly much of my life while I’ve been on my unplanned hiatus. Been preparing for a Star Wars bday party in October, getting super duper excited for SW VIII, and vacation preparations (I make a mean scheduling spreadsheet, y’all), which will undoubtedly include many Star Wars events…I’ve been proudly flying my geek flag lately.

Okay. I guess my kiddo had her first day of preschool. And she got a big kid bed. And my dog wore a cute hat. But only a few things other than that happened.

This seems like a good place to include this post from BookRiot. It spoke to me. Because Star Wars totally is and totally always has been a girl thing, too:

As a woman in her mid-30s, watching A New Hope and Princess Leia was very different than watching it as a kid. THIS—this was a princess I could support. This was a self-rescuing, take-no-shit princess who blasted Stormtroopers, sassed the guys who were sent to rescue her, and did it all in a dress, with those fantastic buns intact, not a hair out of place. Carrie Fisher the actress was no less amazing—a sharp-tongued, razor-wit individual who was unapologetic and open about her struggles and worked tirelessly to get rid of the stigma of bipolar disorder and drug abuse. 

Preach.

Alright. I’ll leave you with that. Hoping to get into some semblance of a schedule soon along with details of my actual running life and book life and all the things I actually made this blog to document.

Again. Thank you, and I’m sending light and love to YOU.

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Clarity Lost and Sorta Found

This post is a raw and humbling one that I’ve tried to write with honesty. I don’t write it for pity. I write it as both an explanation and for other people who may be experiencing similar struggles. Forgive me, though, if it is muddled; it was difficult to accurately convey some really big feelings through a keyboard.


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I’ve been in hiding as far as this blog goes. I can’t tell you why I continue to get these big ideas that I can train and run and blog and be a “with it” kind of human being. Clearly, that’s just not in the cards for me right now. It gets to a point where I don’t even know what to say here. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know if it’s worth it. I don’t know if I’m making a difference for others or for myself. And if I am making a difference for myself, is it negative?

It’s time to be transparent. I’ve fallen completely off the exercise wagon since mid-summer. I don’t feel my eating has been that terrible, but my exercise and training have been completely lacking. I am in a cycle of despising myself for not exercising and then not having the energy to get up in the morning because my mind has been filled with so much yuck.

I’ve gained 20 lbs in the last few months. That may sound like a lot to most people, but I’ve  fluctuated dramatically my whole life. I can have a 5 lb difference from one day to the next. So I hope this weight will come off as quickly as it came on.

I hate seeing pictures of myself or looking in the mirror. I know it is an image of my own doing, and again, it catches me up in that cycle of being mad at myself and feeling defeated.

I want to be transparent. I’ve been building myself back to a place where I’m documenting my nutrition and my training. I’m cleaning up, both literally and metaphorically…deep-cleaning my house (something else that I fall behind on when I’m in a funk) and sweeping the cobwebs from the nooks and crannies in my brain.

My goal is to have a completely documented log of what I ate and what I did and how I feel. I won’t bombard you with it every day, but I may do a weekly wrap-up to show my (hopefully) progress.

I’m so tired of feeling bad. I gave up on trying to feel good, but I think it’s just going to take a lot more pushing than I was able to give previously. Now, though? I’m feeling like I’m at that proverbial fork in the road. I want to head down a path to all-around health before it’s too late.

I will be transparent. And I hope you can be understanding and patient. I still expect to hit those big and little bumps in the road; I have to learn to be understanding and patient with myself, too.

If anyone else has found themselves in a place like I am, please feel free to get in touch. I think the best thing is knowing that we are not alone in our struggles, whether they be mental or physical, weight-related or otherwise. You are worth fighting for, through all the shit and “yuck” the world throws your way. And I’m going to try to believe I am, too.

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Mama Monday: 5 Picture Books for Belly Laughs

Oh, hello there! How was your weekend? Did you rest? Did you party? Did you have at least a little fun? I hope your answers are: yes, yes, and A LOT.

This past weekend was hubby’s and my 7th wedding anniversary. Has it really been 7 years already? Seems like yesterday and eons ago all at the same time. I don’t know how that works.

We celebrated by running the Fifteen’s 5k in Minneapolis. I highly recommend this race! It is so well-organized and for a great cause. The hills are a doozy at times, but I had a good guy encouraging me the whole way. I’ll write a more detailed review later this week, but for now…just get it on your calendar as soon as you can! (The date ranges from the last Sunday in July to the first Sunday in August from what I’ve seen so far.)

Onto today’s Mama Monday topic! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about quality time with my Lula. There’s nothing I wish for more than to spend MUCH more time with her than I do. Being a working mom presents its own challenges, and I struggle with so much mom guilt for being a full-time librarian. Lula has a wonderful daycare provider, and I know she needs the social interaction with kids. That doesn’t stop me from wishing I could be with her more often, though.

The time I spend with her is important to me. I have been working on certain things that interfere with my time with her, like aimlessly surfing or playing games on my phone. I am trying my hardest to enjoy the time we do have together. And what better way to spend our time together than laughing?

One way she and I connect is through books, and she LOVES a funny book. Here are five of our very favorites I recommend you check out from your local library.

  1. The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak

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    My BFF gave me this book for a Christmas gift a few years ago. The first time I read the title to Lula earlier this year, she immediately said, “I don’t want a book with no pictures!” It only took two pages before she was hooked and begging for it again and again and again. Because…every single thing the page says? The reader HAS to read it out loud. Even if it means you turn into a singing robot monkey. Or…BLORK.

    Be ready for lots of giggles with this one. Especially if you’ve already read it a few times and your kiddo knows what’s coming. Even if they don’t know how to read, they’ll barely be able to contain themselves as they wait for you to say the words, “A HIPPO NAMED BOO-BOO BUTT.”

  2. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

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    There’s something so charming about listening to your preschooler respond to a book as though they were actually talking with the characters in it. To know that you can help them travel into a world where they can actually talk to their silly pal, Pigeon? Too cute.

    In this book, the busdriver explicitly instructs you to NOT let the pigeon drive the bus. Pigeon has other ideas and is ready to do/say ANYTHING to get his way. Lula laughs but remains steadfast in saying, “NO, Pigeon! No way!” when he argues with her.

    Pigeon has lots more adventures after this first one, so I recommend any Pigeon books you can find. In fact, I recommend any Mo Willems title that exists. He is just excellent.

  3. Toot by Leslie Patricelli

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    By the age of 3, many preschoolers believe there aren’t many things funnier than a good ol’ fashioned fart. Leslie Patricelli realized this and made it into a whole board book starring her beloved character, the baby. All of the baby books are entertaining, but none of them elicit giggles quite like this one.

    There’s not much more I have to say for this one. Just be ready to make lots of different bodily function noises. And you might just get the giggles, too.

  4. Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

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    Sandra Boynton is another well-known name in our household. Her anthropomorphic critters are a little quirky and a whole lot of fun. With this particular book, Lula loves it because it gives her a chance to read to me.

    The premise is simple. Four critters wear variously colored pieces of clothing. Everything is fine until you get to turkey. Turkey doesn’t seem to know exactly how to wear clothing. For example, he wears his pants on his arms and his coat on his beak. Ooops!

    It’s easy for Lula to “read” to me by identifying the color and piece of clothing each animal is wearing. And she thinks it’s HILARIOUS to say “Ooops” each time she sees the turkey. She looks up at me to make sure I’m laughing, too. And I am, just from seeing her delight in reading to Mama. Simple text that still manages to be incredibly engaging for preschoolers.

  5. Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown

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    Our copy of this book is so well-worn and loved that I’m considering replacing it. Even though it is a board book, I can’t imagine not reading it frequently to Lula, even as she gets older. It has been a favorite of hers since she could form opinions.

    Although it isn’t intentionally super funny, it has an amazing beat to it as the title suggests. She loves the beat and the words and the dancing farm animals. And I actually have fun trying to rap the words. So it garnered some bonus mama points.

    There’s also the opportunity to read the words really fast toward the end, and that leaves Lula laughing long after the book is done.

It was SO hard to choose 5 books! Because we love a million more of them.

What are you favorite picture books to read with your kiddos?

SHOP

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3/7/17: Tasty Tuesday

It’s Tuesday! Which means it’s not Monday! It’s the 7th of March! Which means Jenny Lawson’s new book/coloring adventure is officially released.

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It arrived on my doorstep today, and the wait was worth it. (I pre-ordered that bad boy in September.) I’ve had a rough few days in my hurricane brain, and the first page I opened to said this:

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Lovelovelovelovelove

I can’t wait to get coloring and reading and thinking. And I’m hoping to have a review up in the next week or two.

We’re still going somewhat strong in our house with the healthy eating and meal planning. Tonight’s fare was something a little different, though! I received a recommendation from my friend, Dana, about some stellar BBQ jackfruit sandwiches with avocado slaw. I had no idea what jackfruit was (pictures told me it was some sort of Kakuna-like creature that grew on trees) before this whole endeavor, but she kindly gave two cans to me so I could try out the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

The resemblance is uncanny, right? It’s like for real, real-life PokémonGo.

I am glad to say, though, it does not taste like Kakuna. Though, I have never actually tasted a Kakuna to do any sort of comparison. I’ve never tasted any Pokémon if you want to know the truth. I’m vegetarian. You’re welcome, Pikachu.

We had mixed results with the recipe, but that was nothing to do with the jackfruit itself. The BBQ sauce I chose for the recipe was much spicier than I expected, and that doesn’t jive with hubby or the 3-year-old. I did smear some plain Greek yogurt on her sandwich to mellow out the flavor a bit. She took three bites at my coaxing (and with the promise of a PB&J if she took a few bites). She isn’t a picky eater, so I no problems with her deciding she doesn’t want something, as long as she tries it. (She eats quality foods, but we have problems getting her to eat enough of a quantity to sustain the level of energy she exudes every minute of every day.)

I enjoyed the recipe! The spice was a little overwhelming and distracted from the jackfruit itself, but I was amazed at the similarity in texture to pulled pork. What a strange little fruit. I hadn’t ever made a slaw before, and I thought that was pretty tasty, too!

Hubby doesn’t like slaw. Or spicy things. But he ate his whole sandwich. I will consider this a victory.

When we try this again (notice I said “when,” not “if”), I’ll get a sweeter BBQ sauce. I’ll also use lime juice in the slaw recipe. The lemon juice competed hard with the jackfruit. I wanted it to complement it a bit more. I think lime is a bit more subtle, so maybe that’ll help.

Anyone else ever tried jackfruit before? Dana said it’s hard to find, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for it!

Have a fabulous rest of your day, folks! You’re almost halfway through the week!

Read on. Run on.
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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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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