22 April 2014

rounding the final stretch with one month to go

Soooooo looking at the calendar, it turns out that my second half marathon, which will be the Cleveland Half, is four weeks away!

I, admittedly, have not kept up with my training as much as I would have liked this last week or two. Like last weekend, when I was suppose to run 7 miles and only managed about 4 1/2 before calling it quits (multiple beers and uber greasy pizza the night before a long run do not mix well). As such, I was a wee bit nervous about this past Friday's 8 miles. I mean, I hadn't really run anything close to that since, well, since my first half marathon back in October.

Turned out, however, I didn't need to worry about anything as I totally rocked those 8 miles in just over two hours. I know that doesn't sound very fast, and comparatively speaking it's not, but it's faster than I ran the Rock 'n' Roll Half back in October plus I saw a friend over at Edgewater Park while I was there and talked to her for about 7 or 8 minutes so ultimately I actually probably ran faster than I think.


Incorporating walking into my training run has been one of the best decisions. I run for 10-12 minutes, walk for 3, then repeat. It allows me to keep a steady pace, has increased my endurance, and the mental shift is incredible. Instead of telling myself I have to run for 8 or 9 or however many miles, which sounds daunting, I tell myself I just have to run for about 10 minutes. Please. I can totally do that.

One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to beat my RnRCLE time. If I'm able to keep doing what I've been doing, I should have no trouble at all doing just that!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

16 April 2014

single in the city

Because The Year of the Phoenix is primarily a healthy living blog, I try not to talk too much about what goes on in the rest of my life unless it somehow relates to this particular chapter in my life. (Admittedly that can be a bit of a vague stretch to make it work, but whatever.)

One area of my life I definitely don't talk about very often is my dating life. It's something I often want to talk about but don't because it doesn't specifically fit into this particular medium and content of the blog. Aside from the differences between dating at 311 pounds and dating at my current weight or discussing why I opted to stop mentioning the weight loss in my online dating profiles, there's really not much to talk about that would fit here.

But as a blogger, of course, I have options. Like, y'know, starting another blog called Cleveland Is My Boyfriend.



And, yes, I totally was inspired by the Sex & the City episode where Carrie calls New York her boyfriend.

Seeing as how I often joke I'm the Cleveland version of Carrie Bradshaw, just with a less expensive shoe collection, it makes sense. Plus, as my first post over there indicates, I'm not really looking for a boyfriend in that "let's be boyfriend and girlfriend" kind of way. I'm 32. I've got my shit together. I'm past cutesy labels.

But I am looking for someone in it for the long haul, regardless of what we call each other, and as a woman on multiple dating websites, well, I have lots to blog about. So for those who want to hear about my dating (and potentially my sex) life, feel free to mosey on over there!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

14 April 2014

what a most perfect weekend in cleveland looks like

Ever have one of those weekends that was just absofuckinglutely perfect from start to finish? That was me and this past weekend. Because of my work schedule, I actually had three full days of absofuckinglutely perfectness, starting with a 6:30 am spin class at Harness Cycle Friday morning. That was followed by a few hours of volunteering at the Western Reserve Historical Society library and topped off with some patio drinking with friends at Edison's Pub.

I probably should have skipped at least one of the beers and possibly the greasy piece of pizza I had Friday night, because I knew I had to get up and run 7 miles Saturday morning as part of my half-marathon training. Needless to say, those were some rough miles, but the weather at Edgewater Park was gorgeous and I am so happy happy to see spring here in Cleveland (although I refuse to address the weather forecast for tomorrow. I'm still in denial about the stupid snowflake they keep showing).


If nothing else, while those miles weren't the easiest, they probably helped burn off that pizza I had the night before because when I stepped on the scale Sunday morning I was actually down a bit.

That afternoon I headed over to The Cleveland Flea, which is this huge outdoor market here in the city with a ton of local vendors selling everything from vintage, to handmade, to even fabulous food. Basically think of it as a CLE pop-up Etsy festival. Not only did I run into my cousin Claudine, but I picked up this lovely vintage tray and typewriter print.


The tray perfectly matches the colors in my kitchen and the print is already framed and hanging out in my home office. The Flea is held once a month between now and October and I'm already looking forward to the next one and all the fabulous new things I'll find.

Saturday night I babysat my friends David and Erin's daughters. Well, technically I babysat both, although the one-year-old was asleep the whole time. The three-year-old and I watched Frozen and read Highlights magazine. Erin pretty much knew she had me at the mention of Frozen.

The next morning I drove out to Eton for brunch with the always fabulous Wine Librarian. We picked Paladar, which pretty much had us sold on the whole bottomless mimosa thing (I mean, really. How can anyone be expected to say no to that?). The rest of the day was spent enjoying this beeyootiful weather!

Today I was up early and at the gym before 6 and now I'm rocking one of my most favoritest Joan Holloway-esque dresses. So bring it on, Monday!

How was your weekend? Any other Clevelanders attend The Flea?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

08 April 2014

hello houston!

Over the weekend, I traveled with Sissy and our mom to Houston, Texas, for a long weekend visit with family. I, of course, had to show some Cleveland love while in town with a shirt from Cleveland Clothing Company.

Follow me on Instagram! @Jill_Grun

My maternal grandmother has recently been moved to an assisted living facility, so part of our reason for going to Houston was to help my aunt and uncle clean out her house and decide what we wanted to take home with us. Sissy and I both have contemporary Fiesta as our everyday dishes so we split up my grandma's vintage Fiesta.


My grandmother owns some pretty bad ass vintage kitchen fabulousness. My own kitchen has a vintage vibe and I love knowing that years and years and years from now I'll still be cooking and baking with items originally purchased by my grandmother.

Of course, we also spent a lot of time going through old photo albums.


Yes, that is me. No, I'm not sure what's going on with the look on my face. I am sorta looking at the McDonald's lunch with a bit of skepticism, like I'm not so sure about this whole fast-food thing. OH IF ONLY MY FIVE YEAR OLD SELF HAD TAKEN THAT AS A SIGN TO STAY FAR FAR AWAY LOLOL.

Anywho.

I will also say that we ate and drank really, really well. My uncle has quite an impressive wine collection and my aunt is a wonderful cook. She makes cooking a community experience, where guests are always given tasks to help in the preparation of the meal which I love.

On Saturday, my cousin, sister, and I went out for lunch at Local Foods where I had a fabulous veggie sammich and vegan chili. And, yes, beer.


Day drinking FTW.

I continue to find it thought-provoking that if I go on vacation and don't really track what I'm eating, I actually tend to do really well and make good decisions and don't snack all the time. Same thing happened a few months ago when we were in England. It's as if intuitive eating just sort of happens naturally when I'm not really thinking about food all the time. The key now is to figure out how to incorporate intuitive eating into my every day life.

One of the 14 goals I set for 2014 was to travel more so this was a nice first step in that direction!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 April 2014

the prodigal yogi returns

Since October, when I first started spinning at Harness Cycle, my yoga practice has been, well, pretty much non-existent. What can I say? I fell for the shiny that is pulsing music beneath the machine of a bike and dripping with sweat.

My half marathon training calls for "Strength & Stretch" on Tuesdays and I, admittedly, kind of half ass that one. I have yoga and strength training DVDs so those usually work if, y'know, I get up the motivation to actually, y'know, do any kind of strength or stretching on Tuesdays which, in most cases, I don't.

I knew my instructor Jessica teaches an Ashtanga class Tuesday mornings at 6 am, but even knowing that I couldn't get myself up that early. Not, that is, until I started to see the benefit to early morning workouts and knew that yoga would be a wonderful addition to my half training schedule. When it comes to my practice, my body is very good about letting me know when it's ready for certain things, like specific poses and I've learned to listen to it. I knew it would let me know and all day Monday the steady rhythm of It's Time, It's Time coursed through my veins. So I registered for the next day's 6 am Ashtanga class.

Walking in, I knew this was gonna hurt and I knew that I had lost some of my flexibility. Naturally there were times during the class were I thought that if I had been more consistent with my practice over the past few months then certain poses would be less challenging than they were that morning. But that's not what I wanted the focus of my practice to be. I wanted to harness positive energy, not negative.


So, instead, I tried to focus more on the flexibility that was still there and the poses that came to my body with ease. Or, at least, came easier than I had anticipated. I was still able to pop up into Wheel and while I required the wall, my headstand was lovely and I was able to hold it for just under twenty breaths.

I also was reminded why I first fell in love with yoga to begin with because in many ways it did feel like my very first class. During the practice I felt heavy and cumbersome and for the first time in almost two years, yet again nearly suffocated under the darlins.

Because, to be honest, I weigh what I did just about two years ago. Today I'm headed to Houston for some time with family and after Sissy reminded me that my aunt and uncle have a pool, I went looking for my swimsuit. The one I bought last year fits in the sense that, sure, yes, I can get into it, but not in a way that is at all comfortable. Luckily, however, I still have my swimsuit from two years ago so that is the one going to Texas with me.

This, folks, is the reality of this chapter in my story. But I keep reminding myself that all it is is a single chapter and I'm thinking long term. I will also say this: while the number on the scale is the same as it was two years ago, I can see a huge difference in the shape of my body so consistent exercise and muscle mass can and does make a difference.

Like many bloggers, I keep track of stats and traffic sources and such. Yesterday I noticed multiple hits from some random forum so I did a bit of investigating and it turned out to be from a blog post where someone was asking about links to any good Weight Watchers blogs. Someone responded with MY blog saying they really liked it, adding that I had lost a bunch of weight in the last year through WW, but is honest about gaining back some of it and getting back on track.

That made my entire day. Not the recommendation part but in that it's difficult admitting that I did indeed regain some of the weight but it's satisfying knowing that someone out there found value in the fact that I don't try to hide that chapter in my story.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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