Weekly Training: 4/21-4/27

Can you believe that it’s almost May already? That’s crazy to me. School is out in three weeks. Three. And seniors are done in just two. 2014 is f-l-y-i-n-g.

This week, in particular, seemed to go really fast. It was busy, as J and I were both sitting on interview committees in addition to our usual stuff. But I still managed to get in a pretty solid week of training. I started one of the four-week programs from the Nike Training Club app, and so several days were double workout days.

photo (31)

I also logged more treadmill time than I’d really like to this time of year. I didn’t know how late the interview evenings would go, and if I ended up having to skip a workout, I’d rather have it be a Nike strength workout than a running one, which meant lots of a.m. runs this week. Treadmill running is better than no running!

That was a large paragraph. I threw a random recycled picture in the middle of it because I did not take one single picture this week, but no one likes a post without pictures.

Anyway… here’s how the week went down:

Monday: AM: Nike total body workout
PM: 7-mile easy run

Tuesday: AM: Treadmill hill intervals for 6 miles. They were hard and I didn’t like them.
PM: 45-minute Nike yoga workout. One thing I like about this program is that it schedules in yoga and stretching, and we all know how often I do those if left to my own devices.

Wednesday: AM: 8 miles easy
PM: Nike total body workout

Thursday: AM: I called this my ADD workout because I couldn’t decide what to do. I did some hard and fast hills, some flat and fast intervals, and some long, steady climbs until I hit 8 miles
PM: Nike legs and back workout.

Friday: After three days in a row of treadmilling, I was more than ready to get outside. And it was 72 degrees and sunny. And I wasn’t sure if I would have time to do my long run Saturday (turns out, I would have). So I left work uncharacteristically early and ran 14 miles. It was blissful. A little slow and painful due the combination of Thursday’s hard workouts and the fact that I haven’t run 14 miles in MONTHS, but blissful nonetheless.

Saturday: I don’t usually run the day after a long run, but Saturday’s weather was nice and today’s was nasty, so I went out for 5 easy miles. I planned to do 7 to get me to 50 for the week, but my legs and guts were both complaining by mile 2.5, so I called it a day (but still had to run home, hence the 5). Then I did a 30-minute Nike workout which, no surprise, was really hard since my legs were super tired.

Sunday: Rest.  Much-appreciated.

Totals: 48 miles, 45 minutes yoga, 2.5ish hours strength

The upcoming week is pretty busy, too. I’m not sure what my interview schedule looks like (the only candidate we felt was a good fit turned the job down, so my boss is scrambling to find more applicants), and we’ve got a couple of evening commitments, too. I want to make sure to stay on top of workouts and clean eating, though, because we’re going to Myrtle Beach in a month and I am vain. At least I’m also honest?

In other news, I decided not to do the Run to the Shrine, so no poop medal for me this year. The calendar was just too busy, and race day is pretty much our only chance to get in our garden before it’s too late (and even then, it’s pretty late). Having a summer of homegrown veggies > winning a poo medal. Maybe next year!

And now, I need to go hang out with the world’s cutest nephew for his first birthday party. Adios!

Anybody race this weekend? Now that I don’t have one on the calendar for a while, I want to live vicariously through you. 

What was the best part of your weekend?

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Liebsters and Such

In case you’ve been living under a virtual rock, you’ve seen the Leibster award floating around the blog world. And now, it’s made its way to little ol’ me, thanks to two stellar bloggers, Kristen and Heather. I think these posts are so fun, and I appreciate the nominations from these two lovely ladies!

If you have, in fact, been living under a virtual rock, here’s what the Liebster is (borrowed from Heather’s blog, because heaven forbid I take the time to write my own description): “If you haven’t heard of this award, it’s an award for bloggers given by bloggers. When you are nominated for the award, you answer a set of questions asked by the blogger who nominated you and then nominate 11 other bloggers, and give those bloggers a set of questions to answer.”

liebster

So, here we go. I’m answering both sets of questions. Try not to get too bored. I’ll start with Kristen’s, since she nominated me first.

1. How did you choose your blog name?
Yay, starting easy! I live in the sticks (rural). I run. I am a redhead. And I’m a super nerdy English teacher who loves alliteration.

 2. Why did you start blogging? I have a whole page telling this story. I’m not sure why I thought it warranted a whole page, but there it is. Basically, I need to write more (back to the English teacher thing), and I really like to talk about running but not all my friends and family love to listen to me talk about running. And also, I wanted free stuff. That hasn’t panned out so well, because as it turns out, you have to have readers to get free stuff.

3. What is something that you love about yourself? My ability to laugh at just about anything. 

4. If you could pick your dream career, and money wasn’t an issue, what would you do? Is “professional do whatever I want-er” a career? But seriously, I’d be a writer. One who travels a lot. And still teaches on the side, but can afford to do it. Ha. 

5. What motivates you? Chocolate.


6. What are two goals you have for 2014?
1. PR in the marathon
2. Screw my courage up to submit a piece of writing to a scholarly journal (a nerdy English teacher one)

7. If you could give your 16-year old self a piece of advice, what would it be? This question inspired this post, which is much more than one piece of advice.

8. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be? My apologies if this is TMI, but I’d definitely choose the ability to digest food like a normal human with no issues.

9. Where is one place you have never been that you have always wanted to go? So. Many. Places. One of them is Ireland.

10. What would constitute a perfect day for you? Wake up in the mountains. Go for a trail run. Eat breakfast and have coffee on the porch of my cabin (that has electricity and indoor plumbing so is really a house). Go hiking with the husband. Read a book on the porch of said “cabin.” Have dinner and a glass of wine around a campfire. Go to bed.

11 Are you going to pass the torch and nominate 11 other bloggers? I’m not, because I’m a loser. And also, I don’t think I know any bloggers who haven’t already been nominated. 

And now, for Heather’s questions (I thought it was funny that the pictures were different on each blog):

{1} What state do you live in? Another easy one! Colorado.

{2} You won a free entry for ANY marathon in the world, which would you choose? Ooooh, is this really happening?! At first, I thought I’d pick an international one, but I wouldn’t want to plan an international trip around a race, because I want to eat and drink whatever and walk all around. So I’d say New York, because that puppy’s expensive, and I’ll never be able to run it otherwise.

{3} Will you run a marathon? Have and will again, yes.

{4} What does training look like for you, when you are in training for a race? For a PR-goal marathon, I like to peak at 70 miles/week. I do one or two quality days (tempo and speed) and a long run, and the other days are easy. I also try to strength train twice a week, even if it’s just bodyweight work in my basement.

{5} What is your favorite course to run? The Estes Park Marathon has been my favorite race course thus far. So beautiful.

{6} How many hours of sleep do you get?6-8. I really try to get at least seven, but it doesn’t always happen. But I function very poorly on fewer than six.

{7} What is your favorite spring/summer activity? I’m guessing you mean besides running… so hiking or gardening.

{8} What is something on your bucket list? Go to Europe!

{9} What is your favorite food? Depends on the day. But one of my all-time favorites is angel food cake with strawberries. Yum.

{10}What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Call me crazy, but I don’t eat ice cream. If I have more than a couple of bites, it hurts my stomach. Not sure why, but it always has.

{11} What is your favorite quote? This classic from A League of Their Own: 

Thanks for the nomination, ladies!

If you’re a blogger and haven’t gotten the Liebster yet, I nominate you! Answer all those questions.

Choose one (or more) of those questions and answer it in the comments!

Weekly Recap: 4/14-4/20

Happy Easter, everyone!

We spent the weekend in Keystone with my parents and brother to celebrate my mom’s birthday. It was a really nice weekend. Naturally, I took one photo on my phone. Winning.

On the original training plan I made, this was a cutback week. Since I took an extra rest day last week, though, I decided that it was a cutback week, so I could keep building this week. I have no idea if that is smart. I’m just a chick with a running blog, not an expert.

Anyway, this is how it looked:

Monday: AM: Six miles of hill intervals
PM: Nike Training Club workout

Tuesday: 7 miles easy plus core

Wednesday: 40 minute steady hill climb (on the treadmill, of course). I kind of hate how slowly hills make me run… I only managed to get in five miles, including the 10-minute warm-up. Followed by another Nike workout.

Thursday:  Twins with Tuesday

Friday: We had the day off for Good Friday, so I decided to do my long run before we left for the weekend. 13 miles.

Saturday: Rest. Usually Sundays are rest days, but I didn’t know what the roads/trails would be like in Keystone, so I decided to make Saturday rest and didn’t pack my running stuff. Turns out, there was a beautiful little path right outside our condo that was mostly clear. Oh well. Got in several walks with the family, anyway.
photo (4)

Sunday: 5 miles of fartleks plus core work.

Totals: 43 miles, 2ish hours of strength work. Next week, I should be close to 50 again. Yay!

Confession: After all my talk about the Run to the Shrine race and the poop medal I want to win (and all the hill work I’ve been doing for it), I’m really starting to waver on whether or not I want to do it. By that time, we will have had nine straight weekends of going out of town at least one day. And that’s the day before graduation, and the week before our vacation. The race is sounding less and less appealing all the time. I just don’t know. I haven’t registered yet, so I guess I can change my mind at any time.

Anyway, sorry for the blah post, but I’ve gotta go do things. Like that specificity? Have a great week!

How was your Easter?

 

Thinking Out Loud… Randomly

Hey friends! Happy Thursday! And thanks so much for all the sweet comments on my Boston post. I love this community.

I have so many stupid little things to tell you, so I’m linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons today to Think Out Loud with all my randomness.

  • Best news: J and I booked a vacation last week! We’re headed to Myrtle Beach in May, after school gets out. We haven’t had a lot of time to look at things to do there, but we’ll be there for a week. Any suggestions?
  • As I was updating my calendar with all the end-of-year school stuff today, I realized that we will NEED that vacation. There are four days in May with nothing scheduled (yet). At least not all those things are work-related, and some of the work-related ones are fun, too.
  • One of those things is graduation, which I rather randomly got put in charge of this year, along with the counselor. The last counselor didn’t leave any notes, timelines, etc., so we’re just kind of flying by the seat of our pants. Let’s hope there is a graduation….
  • I get to be on an interview committee for another teaching position at my school. I’ve never been on this side of an interview. Should be interesting. I’m excited.
  • Thinking about that interview committee, I asked my seniors today what they want in a teacher. They had some interesting answers, to be sure. My favorite was “young and attractive.” Oh, kids.
  • They also have horrible senioritis. It’s driving me crazy.
  • Every time I see the Amtrak go by, I kind of wish I was back here with my girls:
    photo (3)Trains are fun. But train people are a little weird. On the way home, the man in front of Sam was singing and dancing… when he wasn’t snoring at 95 decibels.
  • Microsoft ended the support for Windows XP. Old computers won’t run the new Windows. Know what their “solution” is? Buy a new PC.  If I could afford a new computer, do you really think I’d be using this dinosaur? Thanks for nothing, Microsoft.
  • This weekend, my girlfriends and I realized that we are old.  Both nights, we went to bed at the time we used to be getting ready to go out.
  • I am doing this race with Logan and Amy (team name: Cereal Killers). It’s a 12-hour relay… from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. I am ridiculously excited and also a little terrified.  But mostly excited.

So anyway, that’s what’s happening in my brain lately. What’s up in your world?

A Year Ago Today: My Boston Story

The Internet is inundated with stories like this today, but since all day I’ve been thinking about all that went on a year ago today, I decided to go ahead and post my story, too. I don’t have any pictures in the post; none of Jordan’s turned out great, and I didn’t pay for the official course photos. The words will just have to speak for themselves.

The Boston Marathon is the most historic and iconic marathon in the U.S. Some runners train for years and years before they make it to Boston.  Others qualify on the first try. But regardless of how they got there, all the runners are proud to be in Boston. On April 15, 2013, I was one of them. Like the other 20,000 people in Hopkinton that morning, I had trained hard to qualify, then trained for 18 weeks in preparation for this day.

As all the other runners and I milled around the fields behind Hopkinton High School, bodies wrapped in trash bags, old space blankets, and ratty sweatpants, nervous energy filled the air. We made small talk– Where are you from? This your first Boston? Your family here to watch? – as we waited anxiously for the storied marathon to begin. Little did we know that this year’s race would end like no Boston had before: in tragedy.

After a couple of long, chilly hours, the call for Wave 1 runners came over the loudspeakers. I shoved my jacket in my gear-check bag, tossed the bag to the volunteers in the baggage-transport school bus, made one last porta-john stop, and walk-jogged the three-quarters of a mile to the starting line. I was late – that last bathroom stop cost me – so I frantically peeled off my throwaway sweatshirt and pants, running to the start line in time to cross with the tail end of my wave. I’d missed the National Anthem, the starting pistol, and the elite start, but now I was here, running the famous Boston course with 26 miles to go.

I came to Boston with only one goal: to soak up the experience. I didn’t care if I set a new personal record; I didn’t want to push myself that hard and miss the one-of-a-kind experience that is the Boston Marathon. Starting the moment I crossed that starting line timing mat in Hopkinton, I ran with a big, goofy grin on my face. Everything started ideally. The weather was perfect – low 50s, mostly cloudy with occasional sun peeking through.  I saw more spectators than I’d seen at any other race – they stood three deep in places. I chuckled at the signs they held (“If a marathon was easy, it’d be called your mom!”), high-fived hundreds of little kids, laughed and refused when a group of college boys offered me a Dixie cup of beer. I went out too fast thanks to all that  energy, but I didn’t care. I had come to have fun, and I was having it.

At the half-way point, I hit the infamous “scream tunnel,” where  the women of Wellesley College line the street, yelling, cheering, getting kisses from every male runner (and some females) who passes. I high-fived a girl holding a “Kiss Me, I’m a Ginger” sign who shouted, “Gingers unite!” when she spotted me. Then, before long, I was at mile 20, where the notorious “Hills of Newton”  were said to begin. I turned to a runner next to me and asked, “When do the Newton Hills start?” He laughed and said, “You’re in ‘em!” My Colorado-trained legs and lungs didn’t even consider most of them hills…until I hit Heartbreak Hill at mile 21. It’s named Heartbreak for a reason: it’s hard. But  screaming spectators packed the sides of the road, and their voices carried me up and over the hill. I hit a few more small-but-painful hills, and then started a glorious downhill stretch toward the finish line on Boylston.

I heard Boylston Street before I saw it, but I still wasn’t prepared for what I saw there. Spectators lined the street five deep, waving signs, cheering, blowing air horns. News cameras hovered over the finish line, projecting images of the finishers on a giant screen for all the spectators to see. I crossed the finish line in 3:24 and change, at about 1:30 p.m., with that same big grin still on my face. Helpful volunteers immediately greeted me. One draped a medal around my neck. One stopped me to make sure that my limp was just the typical post-marathon gimp and I didn’t need medical attention. Another shoved water and Gatorade in my hands, while still another wrapped my shivering shoulders in a space blanket. Along with a few hundred other runners, I shuffled along through the long finishing chute, gathering Clif bars and bananas. I heard my name and turned to see my husband and in-laws, waving and cheering. They’d struggled to get my attention, so the twenty or so people around them joined in the shouting until I finally heard. I waved, indicating that I’d meet them in the Family Reunion Area soon.

The finisher’s area was enormous, far larger than any other I’d seen. Of course, this race was far larger than any I’d run. I eventually found the school bus in which I’d checked my gear in Hopkinton and gratefully yanked out my jacket. Now that I wasn’t running, I was freezing, and the warm fleece was exactly what I needed. Then, I kept moving forward into the alphabetized Family Reunion Area, silently cursing myself for marrying a man whose last name started with “S.” I finally found the “S” sign and began scanning the crowd for Jordan and his family. I searched and searched but didn’t see them, and I wished desperately that I had checked my cell phone in my gear bag. Eventually, I hoisted myself up on a flowerbed (no painless feat, given my post-race soreness) and waited for them to find me. Finally, they did, and after a round of sweaty, shivery hugs, we headed off to catch a train and find some lunch.

At the subway station, I sponged down with WetWipes and changed clothes in the bathroom. Then, we caught a train to another part of town, where a burger and French fries awaited my growling belly. We decided to eat at Cheers, as it was close to where we got off the train and the wait was fairly short. As we waited in the lobby, I exchanged weary nods and smiles with the other Boston Marathon jacket-wearing patrons. Though those runners and I had never met before, we were now part of an exclusive club – a tired, sweaty, but accomplished club.

Finally, the hostess came out and told us we could be seated. She placed us at a table between two big-screen T.V.s, and what we saw on those screens made us drop our menus and stare. “Breaking News: Explosions at Marathon Finish Line” screamed the headline. Flashing lights and sprinting people filled the screen. We could barely hear the commentators, but we gathered that explosions had occurred just minutes earlier – probably while we were on the subway. The reporters weren’t sure yet what the source of the explosions was, nor did they know the extent of the injuries.

We stared at the T.V. in shock. We were just there.

We ordered our burgers, barely taking our eyes off the televisions. I suddenly realized that I needed to call my parents – I wanted them to hear from me that I was okay before they saw the explosions on the news. My phone had no signal in the restaurant, so I stepped outside. Reception there was not much better – practically every phone  in Boston was in use, and the cell towers jammed. After several tries, I managed to get through to my mom. The connection was poor, but before I lost service again, I told her that there had been explosions and that I didn’t know any details, but Jordan, his parents, and I were  safe.

I headed back into the restaurant, where my cheeseburger was waiting, and we all ate as quickly as possible, gazing apprehensively at the televisions all the while. As it turned out, we should have just taken our time: getting a cab back to the hotel was well-nigh impossible. We took refuge in the lobby of a Marriott, where there were clean bathrooms and a Starbuck’s, and the kind concierge there managed to get us a taxi, even though we weren’t her guests and she certainly didn’t have to help us. Finally, hours after I’d finished the race, we arrived back at the hotel. I took a much-needed shower, and Jordan and I spent the next few hours watching the news unfold, clinging to each other, answering the numerous phone calls and text messages that rolled in once the cell towers’ burdens lessened, worrying about whether or not our flight the next morning would be able to leave.

The flight did leave – on time, even – and before long, we were back in Denver, avoiding the vulture-like news crews hovering around the baggage claim.  For the next several days, I watched the news in utter horror, seeing again and again the faces of those killed and the severed limbs of those who survived. My brain played the “what if” game, even though I tried to stop it: What if I’d run slower? What if my limp had been an injury, and I’d spent an hour in the medical tent at the finish line? What if I hadn’t been so cold and hungry, and we had stayed to watch more people finish?  If any of those things had happened, we would have at the very least witnessed the bombings, and my family or I could have been among the dead and maimed.

But we weren’t there. We were safe in the subway, far from the finish, when the bombs went off. And someday, I will go back. Not this year, and maybe not next year, either. But someday, I will once again toe the line in Hopkinton. I’ll once again high-five through Wellesley and dig deep at Heartbreak Hill. And next time, when I make the turn onto Boylston, it will be with mixed emotions. I will mourn those who lost lives and limbs. I will mourn the loss of life – and running–as we knew it. I might even feel some fear. But all those emotions will be overpowered by thankfulness. I’ll be grateful to be there, to be running, to be among people who truly understand. And I will know then, as I know now, that we are stronger than terror.  As runners, as spectators, and as Americans, we will always come back. And nothing will stop us.

Weekly Training Recap: 4/7-4/13

Hello, Internet world! I was doing really well there for a while about posting three times a week. And then last week/weekend, I went out and had a lot of fun and didn’t write my usual(ish) Thursday and Sunday posts. I am not sorry.

So it’s a day late, but here’s a recap of last week:

Monday: 8.5 miles of treadmill hill intervals. I had planned this workout for Tuesday, but I moved it. Since my hill workouts have to be on the treadmill, and the weather Monday was nasty and Tuesday gorgeous, it was a no-brainer. I also finally joined the cool club and downloaded the Nike Training Club app and did a strength workout from it.

Tuesday: 7 miles easy plus core. Spring break was awesome because the weather was mostly good and I could run at random times of day.

Wednesday: 5 miles of steady hill climbing (again on the treadmill). This was not fun. Later in the day, I did another Nike workout.

Thursday: Since I was leaving town for the weekend and the weather was so nice Thursday, I decided to do my long run of 11 miles. It was tougher than it should have been due to the previous day’s hills and strength, but still fun. That afternoon, I met my BFF Hallie at her gym in Denver. I sent her this picture and said I was ready to work out, but she was unimpressed by my sweet headband.
photo (1)I have no idea where that thing even came from. We did a little stairclimber, a little weight lifting, and a whole lot of talking.

Friday: Rest day. We took the train over to Grand Junction for the weekend, and it was leaving too early to get in a workout. Too bad we had to look at this ugly scenery the whole time.
photo 1

Saturday: 7.2-mile run in Palisade. It was gorgeous out. Hallie and I ran the first two together, then I kept going along a pretty trail by the river. More horrible views:
photo 3 photo 4 (1)Palisade is pretty. We spent the rest of the day in a horse-drawn wagon, tasting wine and meeting new friends. It was tons of fun, and I’ll write a post about it sometime soon (once my girlfriends and I have exchanged pictures).

Sunday: Well, I intended to run six miles. Sundays are usually my rest days, but I planned to swap it with Friday this week. But then, we woke up to a torrential downpour.
photo 5At least there was a double rainbow. And yes, I took that photo through the hotel window because it was still pouring out, though you can’t really tell it from the picture.
I hadn’t packed anything waterproof, and I really didn’t want to cram sopping wet shoes and clothes into my bag for the 8-hour train ride home. The hotel didn’t have a treadmill. So I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes of some bodyweight strength and cardio stuff and called it better than nothing. I thought I’d be home around 8 that night and could maybe squeeze in a quick run, but that west-slope rain had turned to snow and ice by the time it hit Denver and the plains. I ended up driving 40 mph from Denver all the way home, and I didn’t get here until almost 10:00. At that point, unpacking and going to sleep were WAY more enticing (and important) than a run, so I hit the hay.

Totals: 38.7 miles running, about two hours strength training, and a little bit of stairclimber. I’m okay with that, since the unexpected rest day threw me off. Time with good friends > workout sometimes.

 

How was your weekend?

What’s your favorite (non-home) place to run?

 

 

A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self

A few days ago, Kristen nominated me for the Liebster award (which i’ll get to eventually…). One of the questions she wrote for the nominees to answer was, “If you could give your 16-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?” As I thought about the question, I realized that I would tell myself a lot of things…. a whole post’s worth of things, in fact. There are so many things I wish 16-year-old me would have known…

(Sorry for the lack of photos. All the pictures from my teenage life live at my parents’ house.)

Dear 16-year-old Cassie,

Hi, it’s you from the future. Twelve years in the future, in fact. Don’t freak out. I have lots of things to tell you.

First of all, you’re not fat. And you waste a LOT of time obsessing about being fat, trying to hide your imaginary fatness, doing stupid things like eating only carrots for lunch. Your body size is normal, and your fatness obsession is keeping you from noticing things, enjoying things… doing things that are so much more important. Eat well. Exercise. But do those things because they make you feel good and keep you healthy, not because you want to achieve some arbitrary “ideal” that exists only in your mind.

On that exercise note: Start running. Not because you’re fat (we’ve just established that you’re not, remember?) but because you’re actually kind of good at it, and running will be the best thing you’ve ever done. But if you don’t start now, you won’t find out about this hidden talent and joy until you’re 23. So do it now. Go get a sports physical, have Mom get you some shoes, and join the cross country team this fall.

Enough about the physical stuff. There’s a lot more to you… and a lot more you need to work on, beginning with your relationships.

I know you’ve never had a boyfriend — or a real date, for that matter. Knowing that all your friends are practically engaged makes you feel even more awkward. But it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with you. Use this time to get to know yourself, to decide who you are and who you want to be. When you get to college in a couple of years, the dating scene will be entirely different — and you’ll have plenty of options. But the dates or lack thereof do not define you. You define you — and when you meet the right man (man, not boy), he’ll be absolutely crazy about every little thing that makes you you. (And by the way — those right-after-high-school marriages don’t last.They’re all divorced by your ten-year reunion).

In the meantime, focus on developing the relationships you do have. Learn to be a good friend. Spend as much time as possible with Grandma and Papa. Hike with Dad. And for goodness’ sake, be nicer to your mom. She loves you and your brother more than anything in this world and only wants what’s best for you (and knows better than you what “best” is). So stop rolling your eyes and arguing.

Stop doing that. (source) 

The most important relationship you need to work on is the one with yourself. Learn to accept yourself, flaws and all, even as you strive for improvement.

Speaking of improvement… open your mind. Like most 16-year-olds, you’ve got a limited view of the world right now, so stop judging others. Be willing to learn about other lifestyles, beliefs, values, religions. Learning about them doesn’t mean adopting them, but it will mean being more accepting of other people, especially those who don’t share your beliefs, values, lifestyle. All that knowledge — and the open mind that gets it for you– will make you a much better person all around.

Also, don’t be afraid to take risks — little risks, like joining the cross country team, and bigger risks, like applying to out-of-state colleges or competitive programs. You’re smarter than you think. You’re stronger than you think. And you’re cooler than you think. Have confidence in yourself; you can do more and achieve more than you think you can.

(source)

Just a few more things:

Please learn to study. I know you don’t have to study right now to get good grades, but if you learn to do it now, you’ll be saved a lot of confusion, stress, and agony your junior year of college. Trust me.

In a few years, you’ll join something called “The Facebook.” It will seem super cool and totally secure, and you’ll be tempted to post all sorts of things. Don’t. Turns out, people can see it. Forever.

It’s okay if people think you’re weird. You are. Embrace it. People like weirdos (quirky weird, not creepy weird).

I think that’s it, 16-year-old me. If you remember nothing else from this letter, remember this: Stay true to yourself, no matter what. You have to live with you forever, so you’d better like yourself — regardless of who you are now or whom you become.

Sincerely,

28-year-old Cassie

 

What advice would you give your teenage self?

 

 

Weekly Recap 3/31-4/6 And I’m The Worst at Blogging

Hey friends! Another Sunday night has rolled around, but it doesn’t really feel like it to me because next week is my spring break! I’m looking forward to not setting any early alarms this week… especially since I just remembered I forgot to put the sheets in the dryer. Shoot. We also have super fun things to do on spring break, like pay taxes. Sarcastic woot.

Anyway, let’s talk about this training week, because it was fun.

Monday: 4.6 easy miles. I intended to do five, butmy intestines had other ideas (sorry if that’s TMI). Let’s just say that I was quite grateful to get home at 4.6. I also did some core work. (This was not the fun day, FYI).

Tuesday: AM: 6 miles of short treadmill hills… I did 1 minute at 8% at marathon pace, 1 minute recovery, 1 minute at 9%, 1 minute recovery, 1 minute at 10%, recovery, repeat repeat repeat.
I also starting watching the show About a Boy. I like it.
PM: About an hour of strength training. I also easily ran to and from the gym for a grand total of 2.4 miles. I’m never sure if I should count those toward my weekly mileage.

Wednesday: 7 miles easy. This more than made up for Monday’s run… even though it was chilly and windy, it was one of those “I love running and never want to stop!” types of runs. And then I did some core work, including planks, which were super boring and inspired this ridiculous picture:
photo 4Can’t un-see that, can you?

Thursday: AM: 6 miles of treadmill hills: warm-up, 2 x 20 minutes between 5% and 11% with 5 minutes in between, tiny cool-down
PM: More strength training. No awkward pictures. You’re welcome.

Friday: 5 recovery miles plus core. Recovery runs on the treadmill are the worst, but I had to do it in the morning. J was leading a conference in Denver Friday night/Saturday (he’s kind of a big deal), which meant free hotel room, which meant I was going to Denver. Obviously.

Saturday: One of my favorite running days so far this year. Since I was in Denver, I decided to cross running the bleachers at Red Rocks off my 30 before 30 list. That gave me a little over 5 miles, and then I met up with Amy for 4.something on the trails near the amphitheater.  The trails and weather were beautiful. Meeting Amy was terrific; she’s really nice and easy to talk to. We learned that although neither of us is a great map reader, we’re also not serial killers, so we feel pretty good now about doing this crazy race with Logan.

But somehow two bloggers went running together in a gorgeous locale and didn’t take a single photo. Fail. But here’s an elevation chart via my Garmin.
elevation
After the run, as I was driving back, I realized I was starving and wanting a cup of not-crappy-hotel coffee. So I pulled into a Whole Foods, got an almond milk latte and some sushi (because that’s totally normal food for 10:30 a.m.) and ate it from my lap on the way home. I am so classy.
photo 2 (1)Yup. Took a picture of lap sushi but not beautiful trails. If there were a blogging Pulitzer, I’d probably win it.

Sunday: 60 minutes of yoga, which felt good but also kind of awful since I hadn’t done yoga in months and months.

Totals: 41 miles, 2ish hours strength (plus core time), one hour yoga, almost two hours of failing as a blogger.

This should be a pretty solid week of training and fun… next weekend, two of my best girlfriends and I are taking the train over to Palisade (in Western Colorado) for wine tasting and some much-needed girl time. I can’t wait!

How was your week? 

Would you count the to-the-gym miles as part of your weekly mileage?

 

Spring Things I’m Looking Forward To

Yes, I know that title ends with a preposition, but “Spring Things to Which I’m Looking Forward” sounded pretty awkward. I think that preposition rule is a dumb one, anyway.

Oh, wait, this is supposed to be a running blog, not a grammar blog. My bad.

Today is April 1 (duh). I know the first day of spring was a couple of weeks ago, but April is when I really start getting spring fever. I’ve been thinking about the things I want to do as the weather warms up, including:

  • Run first thing in the morning without bundling up. I like to do my long runs first thing Saturday morning, but in the winter, I do them midday, when it’s warmest. Unless, of course, we have mid-day plans, in which case I have to put on 87 layers, even though it will be 50 later in the day.

    Ear warmer and turtleneck, be gone!
    Ear warmer and turtleneck, be gone!
  • Getting our yard started.  We bought our house two years ago, and the backyard is still empty…aside from millions of goathead thistles. My brother (a landscape architect) is working on a design for us, so we’re getting started this spring. I can’t wait!
  • Stretching/doing abs/lying down post-run in that new grass. Yeah. That’ll be nice. And we’re doing sod, so it won’t even take that long to be lie-on-able once it’s installed.
  • Planting flower pots in addition to the yard stuff. I absolutely love planting and taking care of my flowers in the summer. Every year, I end up having to buy more pots because I bought too many bedding plants. I have a problem.
    Picture2 269
  • Having class outside. In school, I was always that annoying kid who asked if we could have class outside every time it was nice out. Now I’m the teacher. If I want class outside, we have class outside.
  • The start of the farmer’s market. Last year was the first year our little town had a farmer’s market. It was small, but it was great to be able to buy local produce from local people.
  • Evening walks/bike rides with the hubster. Those are some of our favorite things in summer.
    bikes
  • Crossing a few things off my “30 Before 30” listlike running Red Rocks and visiting Pawnee Buttes.
  • Going to the mountains. Because I love them long time, and I don’t ski or snowboard, so winter is mountainless for me (except for driving over them at Christmas…the one time I don’t love them so much).
    More fun when not snowy.
    More fun when not snowy.

    Clearly there is a lot to look forward to in the coming months, and more, I’m sure, that I didn’t think to post. Bring on warmer weather! (After Thursday’s predicted snow. Please.)

What spring things are you most excited about?