17 April 2015

spring clean your wardrobe courtesy of modcloth

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Spring has sprung and I for one am so very very happy to pack away my heavy sweaters and boots for lighter fun frocks. Luckily, one of my favorite online shopping destinations, ModCloth, has me covered in that area. Especially when it comes to dress.

So! This morning, while I'm out running 8 miles for this week's half-marathon training long run, I figured I'd turn this into a Fashion Friday post with some of my latest dress finds from ModCloth.

Good Enough To Eat dress, $69.99

My favorite part about this is...well, nope, okay, I have two favorite parts. First, the pop art style is to die for. Second, it goes up to a 4X. Seriously, ModCloth is so plus-size friendly, it's utterly amazing.

Myrtlewood and Many More Dress, $94.99

Polka dots! And the back of that dress is absolutely adorable, too. Looking at it from the front I never would expect twisted back straps like that, it's a nice little surprise.

Only thing I love more than polka dots? Cherries.

Pull Up a Cherry Dress in White, $64.99

True story.

Also, I seriously want the job of naming all of their dresses.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

15 April 2015

sweet & savory trail mix with bold honey dijon almonds

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

As a member of the Blue Diamond Almonds Tastemakers, I was recently sent a can of their Bold Honey Dijon variety and pretty much given free reign to do what I wanted with it.

Being that I'm currently in training mode, I'm constantly trying to balance my amped up activity level with my equally amped up hunger level. Food is fuel and it's important to feed your body with the right kind of fuel so, of course, my mind was instantly thinking about snacks to keep me feeling full and satisfied throughout the day. And when life hands you a can of nuts, what better use is there than trail mix?

Of course, I couldn't decide if I wanted a sweet or a savory trail mix. When you think about it, Honey Dijon is both sweet (honey) and savory (mustard) so I decided to go ahead and make a combined trail mix.

Walking through the store for other ingredients, I honestly just kind of winged it: raisins, mini chocolate chips, and dried apricots which I quartered. The apricots were a gamble since I wasn't sure how the flavors would pair with the honey dijon but something told me to trust my instincts and I'm glad I did. The chocolate I threw in 'cause, well, who doesn't love chocolate? I'm also glad I went for the mini chocolate chips, I think the regular sized ones would have been way too big.

I was a little worried about how everything would combine since this really is such a bold flavor but each bite is like a little party in my mouth!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

13 April 2015

(half) marathon monday: week seven

I still can't believe the Cleveland Half Marathon is only five weeks away at this point. Part of it, I imagine, is just that my training this time around is so much different than when I was training for my last half (which ended up being cancelled). I'm also absolutely loving the Jeff Galloway Run Walk Run method and while I'm somewhat upset it took me this long to start using it, better late than never, yes?

Monday: Spinning
Tuesday: 4.5 miles
Wednesday: Arms
Thursday: 3.5 miles
Friday: 7 miles
Saturday: Arms
Sunday: Rest

I've been trying to add more strength training into my routine on my non-spinning cross training days. I have some hand weights I bought years ago but haven't used in quite awhile, so I've been trying to add them back in. Usually I just stick to the 3 lb weights but I've noticed that on any of the arm exercises that target my biceps, the 3 lb weights seem kind of.....easy. So for those I've bumped up to the 5 lb weight.

The excess loose skin around my arms from all the weight loss makes it difficult to actually see any definition but the fact that I had to go up a weight speaks for itself.

Friday was my long run day and I was a little bummed when I woke up and it was overcast and cloudy, but knowing those seven miles weren't going to run themselves, I headed out to Edgewater Park. It rained for maybe the first couple of miles but cleared up after that and I had a rather lovely run and, to be perfectly honest, I didn't even really mind the rain all that much, it was just the wind causing the rain to kind of sting that I could have done without.

My 16:40 average pace lately has been just slightly slower than my 16:37 average from my first half marathon and I'd really love to PR so that's my focus. That being said, my splits were very interesting and informative:

The first couple and the last couple miles I was actually running at a much faster pace than my average, so then, of course, I was trying to figure out what I was doing around mile 5 to slow down so much and I realized it was the hill at Edgewater between the lower and upper levels. I had walked up it somewhere earlier in my run, maybe in the very beginning, then came back down, did a couple laps on the lower level then headed back up around mile 4 or 5. By then my legs were already tired and I really do hate that stupid hill so as I headed up the second time I remember asking myself why I thought this was a good idea.

But I do know that hill work is important plus my April race is at Edgewater so I'm going to have to tackle it coming up here in a few weeks so figured might as well get some pre-race work in. If anything, it's also good to know that I can't let hills slow me down quite so much, not if I want to PR at the half in May!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 April 2015

an open letter to the people who write open letters to fat girls

I get it. I do. You think you're being super encouraging with your "Open letter to the Fat Girl at the gym" and your "Open letter to the Fat Girl at the race" and your "Open letter to the Fat Girl at spin class." After all, we're fat girls doing a thing or being at a place you never would have expected a fat girl to be able to do or be seen.

On the surface it really does sound great and I acknowledge that you probably write these Open Letters with the best of intentions. That being said, as a fat girl, I have a request:

Please stop writing them. 

Here's the thing: Those letters of yours? They aren't really about us. They are about you. They are a way for you to let everyone else in the whole wide world know just how awesome and accepting and encouraging you are to the poor fat girl at your gym or in your spin class. I mean, if you sincerely wanted to let "the fat girl" know your thoughts, why wouldn't you, I don't know, go talk to her? Introduce yourself after class. Say hello. Learn her hobbies and interests. Get to know her as a person. Have a shared conversation about your mutual love for spinning or yoga or running or whatever.

But you don't do that. You write open letters and put them on social media in the hopes they'll be shared and liked. Readers will spread your word and congratulate you on being so benevolent and magnanimous. If you actually went and talked to the Fat Girl the only people who would know about it are you and her and then where would you be? It's not like you can RT a private conversation.

Plus, you can't really sincerely go into this actually thinking and believing I'm going to see that letter, right? Of all the social media sites in all the world....I mean, c'mon. So, really, the only person who truly benefits from said letter is, well, you.

I get it. You're a cheerleader. You want me to know to be proud of myself and excited for these positive changes I'm making and blah blah blah blah blah.

But, seriously. What makes you think I need to be told to be proud of myself? What makes you think I'm not already proud of myself? You look at me and all you see is 235 pounds. You don't see the 75 I've lost and have kept off for nearly a year. You see me slowly making my way to the finish line and all you see is my pace. You don't see the many many races I've already completed, including two half-marathons.

Why do you assume that just because we fat people are, y'know, fat, that means that we've a) never done this activity before and/or b) won't continue doing it? When you started running or spinning or practicing yoga or whatever it is that we're doing when you spotted me from afar, did you need the encouragement of some random stranger on the internet writing an open letter? No? Then why do you think we do? What makes us so different other than our individual relative relationships with gravity?

Let me ask you an honest question: why do you feel the need to write these open letters to fat girls and not thin girls? Why does the fat girl in your spinning class deserve your encouragement more than the thin girl? Hell, why does the fat girl in your yoga class deserve your support more than the fat guy? Is it possible you don't talk to the anonymous Fat Girl in person because you know it's, I dunno, a little weird? Like, you're recognizing us for doing something that millions of thin girls do on a daily basis but you take no notice of that because the thin girls don't challenge your socially ingrained ideals of athleticism. More to the point, we're doing something that millions of other fat girls do on a daily basis. Really, this isn't some crazy novelty here. Fat girls practice yoga. Fat girls run. Fat girls spin. Fat girls do CrossFit. Fat girls do the same things that you do and -- spoiler alert -- sometimes we even do them better than you.

Seriously. This isn't a big fucking deal so stop making it one.

I understand you don't mean it to, but these open letters often come across as less supportive and more patronizing. Less accepting and more self-congratulatory. A chance for you to give yourself a pat on the back for being so super open-minded. So next time you are considering writing such a letter on your blog or on FB or wherever, take a step back and consider your motives. Ask yourself why you feel it necessary to put this out there in such a big way rather than just walk up to the Fat Girl and say hi. Then, next time you see her, actually walk up to her and say hi.

At the very least, learn her fucking name so you can stop referring to her as "the fat girl."

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

08 April 2015

help kickstart the running with police escort podcast!

That's right you guys, I'm starting a podcast.

Not just any podcast, mind you. This is a podcast dedicated to my fellow runners in the back of the pack. Naturally I'm calling it the Running With Police Escort podcast.

There are some small start-up costs associated with this, like microphone and a website and hosting which is why I turned to Kickstarter and, believe it or not, I hit my goal within 24 hours of launching.

Hitting my goal means that 1) I will officially be able to launch the podcast in a couple months and 2) sustain the podcast for a year, aka financially sustain the website and a place of actually hosting each episode. Those two things combined take up the biggest chunk of my financial resources so I’m now doing more in depth research on technical equipment, such as microphones and headphones. Considering the bulk of your support is going towards the more behind the scenes aspects of the podcast, I’m looking at budget friendly options.

Even though I hit my goal, you can still jump on the backer bandwagon for as little as $1 and if you pledge at least $10 you'll actually be given advanced access to the first episode! Not only will going above my goal mean the podcast will be sustained for a longer period of time -- which means more episodes for you to listen to -- but I’ll be able to have more flexibility in buying higher quality equipment, hopefully making those podcasts more enjoyable for you to listen to as well.

So if you're in a position to become a backer, I hope you'll seriously consider it and also pass the message along to friends and family who may also be interested in becoming a backer!

Are you a slow runner or walker? Do you always find yourself in the back of the pack at a race? Then I want to talk to you! I'm building my list of potential guests and if you're interested or know someone else who might be interested in being interviewed, please email me and let me know!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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