01 September 2014

yogi's choice

So. It's September. And I have no idea how that happened. This year has been flying by and before you know it October will be here. (Which is okay, because October means Halloween which means MY MOST FAVORITEST HOLIDAY EVER.)

That being said, I do love the first day of a new month. There's just such an overwhelming sense of fresh starts, especially since when that first day falls on a Monday (and a holiday, here in the States!). This month in particular allows for lots of new beginnings: I started my 10K training this morning and wrote up a new Goal Digger sheet (a free printable courtesy of my friend Brooke). It's a great way to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals with a reward to keep you motivated (mine is this fabulous running tank).

One goal I'm really, really working hard on is drinking enough water. I mean, I know the importance of staying hydrated but sometimes getting enough water is hard. I'm a big fan of reusable water bottles and such and I've found that the less refills I have to make, the easier it is mentally to get enough water. So when I saw this 32 oz fake mason jar thing at Tarjay I, of course, had to have it.

Drink two of these and I'm already at 64 ounces! On either Wednesday or Thursday of last week I managed over 100 without even really trying or thinking about it. Good buy, Jill. Good buy.

Despite today being a holiday and not having to work (aka, being allowed to sleep in), I woke up bright and early to get my butt over to Vision Yoga for the 6:30 am Open Flow class. Being that today is a holiday I was super grateful they were still having class but even with people being off I was still very surprised when I ended up being the only person in class. At first I was really nervous about that but it ended up being great because the instructor Geoff was really focused on helping me with alignment and poses. It also allowed him to make the practice a little more personalized: we hold poses for a long time in the class, in particular Shoulder Stand for, like, five minutes. I wish I was kidding. It's intense and I can't hold it for that long but today he only made me hold it for two minutes and it was a challenge but I pushed through. I'm also pretty sure he saw the 13.1 tattoo I got at FitBloggin and was all OH LET'S STRETCH OUT HER HAMSTRINGS LOLOLOL

I have a good feeling about September and forsee lots of fun and new adventures happening, both this month and over the course of the last remaining months of 2014. Who is ready to rock it out with me?!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

27 August 2014

lifting a 13.1 pound weight from my shoulders

So I'm roughly halfway through training for the Cleveland Rock 'n' Roll Half, and, not gonna lie, I'm kinda feeling eh about the whole thing. I started training for the Cleveland Half Marathon back in February so aside from about a two month period between mid-May and mid-July, I've been essentially in training mode for, like, six months now. I spend all week dreading the upcoming long runs and then have to force myself to go complete them and even then I usually quit halfway through or walk the majority of it. Usually I'm able to make it to the gym for one of the weekday runs but even then I opt to walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical. Cross-training -- in the form of spinning or yoga -- proves easier to maintain, mostly because it's far more fun.

And once I figured that out I was able to figure out what was really going on here:

Running isn't fun anymore.

Somewhere along the way, running stopped being fun and started being tedious. I tried changing music, tried running without music, tried changing locations...it didn't matter. Training for this half-marathon has stopped being fun and exciting and instead has turned into a really obnoxious part-time soul-sucking job. When I trained for the Cleveland Half I was energetic and pumped. Now, every run feels like waking up with a case of the Mondays.

My FitBloggin friend and fellow Clevelander Jen posted this list of 10 Signs You Need a Running Break and I kept nodding my head while reading it. That's so where I am right now.

Luckily, RnRCLE offers other options. Specifically a 10K and a 5K. The 10K is new this year and so originally I planned on just dropping to the 5K but then I was looking around for information on the website about how to change races and was reminded of the 10K.

I like 6.2 miles. It's a solid distance that is still a challenge and still requires working towards and training. But, unlike training for a half-marathon, it's far more reasonable to fit it into a busy life. That's the other thing -- life is busy these days. For the first time in a really long time I'm juggling, like, a million things at once and trying to fit 8 or 9 miles in just ain't happening.

Apparently I made this decision at a good time because beginning Monday I can start the same six week Boston Athletic Association beginner training plan I used when I ran my first 10K (I switched some of the days, specifically Thurs and Wed to stick with my Wednesday morning spinning class). Sure, at this point I could probably bump myself up to the intermediate program but the mileage schedule looks pretty similar to half-training (going up to 10 miles), so, yeah, no.

The runs are short and based on time instead of distance, essentially building up endurance. I think the longest is an hour which, for me, is about four miles. I can definitely handle that and even then, it's, like, 50-60 minutes so in theory if I'm not feeling those extra ten minutes that day I don't have to run them.

As soon as I made this decision and talked it over with my mom and sister I felt so much better. Literally, it was like this 13.1 behemoth that had been weighing me down was lifted. Yes, it's a little embarrassing having to downgrade my race option, but I'd rather do that and finish a 10K than attempt a half-marathon and end up with a Did Not Finish, if I even attempted to run it at all.

I think I just need a bit of a Running Reboot. A chance to take a step back and remember why I love running. Because right now I don't and I just keep thinking back to after not finishing the Cleveland Half well and feeling kinda meh about running and then I ran the Copper River Salmon 5K and after I felt strong and powerful and that's the feeling I want to recapture and shorter distances seems to be the key. Over the weekend I ran one mile outside before the humidity forced me to stop and that was a good mile. I want more of those.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

25 August 2014

sunday funday and the suite life

I don't know about y'all, but my Sunday was absolutely fabulous. It started with me sleeping in for a bit (which is unusual, given that I have two adorably aggressive cats) then I made myself an oatmeal pancake for breakfast.

It's been months and months since I made one of these and it was just as tasty as I remembered. A few months ago, thanks to FitBloggin, I was given an opportunity to try out a NutriNinja and that's what I used to mix up the batter and it was just perfect. I can't wait to give you guys a full review of the gadget soon!

After breakfast I headed over to Tremont's Lincoln Park for another session of Yoga Rocks the Park Cleveland.

Since my half-marathon training started about a month ago, I've been working really hard to get back into a weekly yoga practice and I do love practicing outdoors (although I always inevitably forget to put on sunscreen and end up with a bit of a burn on my face).

Not gonna lie, my plans for the rest of the day consisted of hanging out with the cats watching Teen Mom 2 online. (WHATEVER. DON'T JUDGE.) Luckily, BC saved me from myself and asked if I wanted to go to the Indians game.

The Indians call Progressive Field home, but those of us who were around when the stadium was first built remember when it was called Jacob's Field. As such, I dressed for the game by showing some CLE Clothing Company love.

What I didn't know until he picked me up was that we were actually headed to the Indians Social Suite, which is for fancy folks out in the Twittersphere.

Day drinking FTW.

BC did make fun of me for putting yellow mustard on my hot dog instead of stadium mustard but I STAND BY MY CHOICE.

Day started out sunny for yoga then was overcast when we arrived to the game. But eventually the sun came out and the Tribe won and I got to spend a weekend afternoon hanging out with a man who makes me super happy. Happy in CLE, indeed.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

22 August 2014

eating local at locavore

A few weeks ago I won two tickets to Locavore from Jen over at Why CLE? Benefiting the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Locavore is an event that showcases the local culinary wonders since a locavore is someone who makes an effort to eat food that is locally grown, raised, or produced, usually within 100 miles. The event was last night, so after work BC and I headed over to Windows on the River.

Most of the businesses offering food and wine were from right here in Cleveland, but a few were from a bit further out but still within that radius, like MS Cupcakes for a Cure which are made by 16 year old Madi Cano from Toledo, Ohio. (Her cupcakes were absolutely adorable and so yummy, I can't believe I didn't take a picture.) There was a good mix of sweet and savory foods available and just the right sized small portions so we were able to get our dinner and dessert, too! Between the two of us, I'm pretty sure BC and I sampled and shared options from just about every station, and there were plenty to choose from!

(True story, as I was arranging these on the table, BC added some that he had picked up that I hadn't and it made me laugh since he clearly knew exactly what I was doing. This is one of those moments where it helps dating another blogger, LOL)

One of the best parts about the event was getting an opportunity to try food from restaurants I'd always wanted to visit but hadn't had a chance yet, like Jack Flaps and Momocho. We also got to try wine from a variety of local vineyards (I think my personal favorite was the cranberry from Maize Valley. I'm going to have to track that sucker down). BC and I left with a list of restaurants we are definitely going to go try now.

There were also plenty of restaurants there that I had tried before and loved, like Lilly Handmade Chocolates.

The truffles at Lilly's are super delicious and while totally worth the price, not always in my budget. It's entirely possible I took full advantage of the situation and this plate came home with me. (Whatever, she kept telling me to take two of each if I wanted so I could have totally exploited that but I didn't.)

They also sold raffled tickets for some pretty awesome prize packages so hopefully my name will get pulled from one of those!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

20 August 2014

grilled maple bacon peanut butter and jelly sammich

Two recipes in one week? Before you know it, this will be a food blog!

LOL. Just kidding. Mama ain't got that kinda time.

Today's post is thanks to the awesome folks over at Peanut Butter & Co. who sent me two complimentary jars of their Mighty Maple Peanut Butter and two jars of their Rip Roaring Raspberry Preserves. Take those two and what do you get?

A peanut butter and jelly sammich, of course!

Except. See. Well. That's kind of boring, amirite?

Don't get me wrong. I lurve me a good ol' fashioned pb&j. But, y'know, we're all adults here so I decided to go a little bit crazy.

That's right.


True story, growing up we never really ate bacon. We were more sausage people, at least as far as I can recall. Over the past few months, however, I've rediscovered bacon and ohmygod. Like. I can't even. Keep in mind I was vegetarian for almost seven years. I missed the whole Bacon Movement that happened with, well, basically bacon everything. And, not having really been a big bacon eater, I never quite got it.

I get it now.

(I partly blame BC. We were at brunch once at this restaurant with seriously bad ass bacon and he ordered it and offered me a piece. I don't think it's something I would have decided to seek on my own.)

So now we have peanut butter + jelly + bacon.

But then, well, I decided to get even crazier.


Just look at those beautiful, beautiful grill marks and that melted peanut butter and jelly. The maple flavor paired perfectly with the bacon and I actually made this for breakfast one day and it with the carbs and protein combination it made a fantastic start to my day.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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