Friday, June 22, 2012

30 before 30: Run a Half Marathon

I'm attempting to complete a list of 30 things before I turn 30 in September, and I've got my hands full!  I don't recommend allowing just five months to complete 30 things!  But there is no time to waste because there is fun to be had.  You can read the rest of my 30 things here.
I began to consider myself a "runner" after I had Asher, and after I ran my first Shamrock Run, three years ago or so--note the after.  Husband loves to tell his side of the story that day, as it goes something like, "Cassie and her friend didn't think I could do a 5k, so I signed up, showed up and ran the race and beat her--without any training."  Duh.  When I came to the finish line, damp and sweaty and feeling those extra pounds, I wasn't excited.  On top of my Husband rubbing his non-exercise-regimen-fitness into my face, there stood the seasoned athletes, lined up at the start line for the 15k, with their sculpted legs and tiny tanks.  Those are the real athletes, I thought.  And I wanted to be one.

I know it sounds demoralizing to be so hard on one's self, but I think that way sometimes, and believe me, Husband wasn't happy with my attitude.  I'm not sure where it exactly derives from, but in a way--a big way, having that attitude with myself, helps me to do more, get better, run farther and get quicker.  I just have to be careful to be nice to myself in the process, and allow growing pains to occur.

That summer, I ran my first half-marathon and finished at 10 min. miles.  The next year, I ran the Shamrock 15k, and I was quite pleased with my time.  I finished 9.3 mi. at an 8:59 min. pace (a PR).  The next month I ran the Portland Race for the Roses half marathon and finished at exactly 9 min. mi.
Shortly after the Roses, in the spring of 2010, I got injured.  I dealt with an on-off again back injury for almost a year and a half, and it was truly depressing.  Running had become such a love of mine, and I could hardly wait to push myself again. 

Finally, this last Spring, I was able to get back into the game.  I ran the Shamrock Run in March and Rock n' Roll Portland half marathon in May, and had a blast!  Besides some technical difficulties with my Map My Run app not lining up with the course (should have known) and telling me I had completed more in a shorter amount of time than I really had, it was a good race.  My family was there, and drove to different points in the course to cheer me on, and it was so neat to see my growing kids excited to see me run by in the swarm of runners.  My goal was this: beat my half marathon PR pace, which was exactly 9 min./mi.  Guess what I finished with?  Exactly 9 min. miles.  But I'll take it.
Don't you just wish you were there spectating and cheering? 
It's going on my list of things to do!
There I am in the green.
Just kidding.  That is Kara Goucher, world champion and Olympic runner.
I was just a few steps behind.

Portland, Oregon is such a run-friendly city.  People just grab their coffee and sit on their porch to watch the spectacle, while others tote their little ones and hold up signs that read,
"GET KARA!" and
while clapping and yelling words of encouragement to complete strangers.   

My kind of city.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

thoughts this morning :: in no particular order

i feel like watching a Robert Redford movie
going to the farmers market
and walking around New York City.
i'd like to learn to play the guitar fabulously, today, too.
there are Jewel songs that i need to sing.

i want to lay in the sun
read a trillion books, then stack them up and pull the palm of my hands across them.
i told husband my brilliant bookshelf idea as we lay in bed this morning...maybe he can draw it for me and i'll show you.

i don't like heights,
especially over water.
this morning, i've decided that this summer i'll jump.
i'm done kicking myself for be stagnant, with cracked confidence and the crippling fear of growth.

take me to the water--

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Spontaneous Marshmallow Roast

A couple of weekends ago, we made a visit to Husband's parents home on the Washington coast.
Short into our stay, we were roasting marshmallows over a bonfire,
while the sun drenched us in her beams.
The lighting was so beautiful that I couldn't help but grab my camera.
Now I am craving another golden hour for more photography.

We're heading back to the beach this weekend.
Looking forward to more sunshine and sand!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Lovers Bridge

One more reason I want to visit Paris...
Lovers from around the globe attach a padlock to the Pont de l'ArchevĂȘchĂ© bridge and throw the key into the water to symbolize their love.

I love it.

Now, I'm encouraged to seek out romantic spots in my city...
Do you know of any romantic spots in yours?

image via twistedsifter tumbler

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our Doe Friends

The other night, as I was putting the kids down for bed, I heard footsteps on the porch.  I looked out front and there wasn't anyone.  Then I looked out the kids' window, and there, four feet away from me, staring into our window, was one of the year-old does that have been frequenting our property.  They were here the night before, too, and don't seem frightened of me, the children or my camera.  We're pretty sure they were born in the upper portion of our property last year, and must still call our place home.  I haven't seen their mama recently, so I'm not sure if she's still around.  Husband and I saw saw them again this afternoon, bedded down in the upper property, with all ears toward us. 

Hey, you!  Come back here!

I think we should name them.

Brooklynn's name ideas--Scaredy and Likey.
Asher's ideas--Chooka and Tika.......
and I'm still thinking.

Cupcakes and Crossfit

Today, was an interesting sort of day.  i'd been having a rough 10+ days, and finally, today, with the help of some sunshine, I was off to the races. 

the turn around included:

a brief morning sun-soak, out the side patio, upon waking.
a 3 mile run at the gym.
a banana chocolate cupcake*
bloggin' catch up.
talked to my sister.
talked to my brother.
my first Crossfit workout.  what?!  I did 175 full sit-ups tonight.  'nuff said.

*did you notice how I fit the cupcake between the workouts?  who does that?

clean house.
no-hassle dinner.
an overall change in mood.

i told you it had been a rough 10+ days?
that is an understatement.

i'm glad to feel myself again.

hope you're off to a great week--

Monday, June 11, 2012

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

It all started with ripe bananas on the counter.  When I'm feeling like being good, I throw said bananas in the freezer for smoothies.  When I'm craving a treat, they end up in my kitchen Aid, being used to make some flour-filled treat that I most often regret. 
And that's what happened.

Oh yeah, and we have a friend in town who had a birthday--
so I sorta blame these cupcakes on him.

Banana Cupcakes

3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/8 cups oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2.  In a large bowl, mash bananas.
3.  Add in eggs, oil, vanilla, milk and mix together.
4.  Add dry ingredients and mix together gently.
5.  Fill muffin liners a little fuller than 3/4 full.  When I did this I got taller cupcakes.
BUT variances in oven heat, altitude, baking powder etc. may be factors. 
To be safe you could start out to 3/4 full.
6.  Bake for 20-24 minutes; until a toothpick comes out clean.
7.  Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter--cool
8 oz. cream cheese cold
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoon heavy cream

1. Blend together butter and cream cheese in large mixing bowl.
2.  Add vanilla and cocoa powder and mix together until the cream and cocoa combine.
3.  Add powder sugar and mix on low, gradually increasing to medium
until mixture is fluffy.
4.  Add in 1-2 tablespoons of cream and mix till even more fluffy.  Keep in mind the consistency that you would like if you are planning to frost cupcakes.  When the beaters in the frosting form peaks and stay there, is my rule of thumb for a good consistency for frosting cupcakes.
5.  Frost your cakes.
6.  Devour.

cupcake recipe adapted from here.
frosting recipe adapted from glorious treats.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury: August 20, 1920 - June 5, 2012

This morning, my mother told me that she had read
Ray Bradbury had passed away. 

What a talent.

Now, I can't help but want to climb into bed with his books--and get out my ballpoint
and journal.

I never did pull out "Dandelion Wine," during the month of May, as it was suggested,
and I now I really wish I had.  June ought to be a good month, too.

What's your favorite Bradbury read?

"Don't talk about it; write."

"Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things."

"I've often been accused of being too emotional and sentimental, but I believe in honest sentiment, and the need to purge ourselves at certain times, which is ancient. Men would live at least five or six more years and not have ulcers if they could cry better."

"I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it."

"There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel."

image via huffington post

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Useful Words

I often rifle through quotes, in search of something...I usually can't pin-point what I'm looking for, but when I look, I usually find words that touch or inspire. Thank God for people who can comfort others through words.  
I found this on Pinterest and saw that it was via SF Girl by Bay.  She had readers send in their most inspiring quotes and you bet, she got plenty!

Do you have a favorite quote that you've come across lately?
This one is still my mantra.

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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