17 February 2017

Fitness Friday: 10K Training, Week two

Thank you all for your kind words related to Monday's post and for those that reached out privately to share your own experiences and struggles. I had my first appointment with my new therapist yesterday and I meet my psychiatrist in two weeks.

This is a healthy living blog and, of course, that includes mental health so I'll definitely be updating as necessary.

On to other things!

Saturday: 1 mile
Sunday: Rest
Monday: 0.68 mile
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Yoga
Today: FitStar workout

One of the things that always comes up with counseling is the "Have you lost interest in things you have loved in the past?" and the answer is yes. I was telling my therapist I'm training now and it's such a struggle because the first mile is a liar -- when I am running such short distances I have to slough through. And I'm slow. And I'm fat. And I haven't been running that much in almost a year thanks to my broken ankle last May.

Plus, as much as I love my treadmill it's also a love hate relationship because I haaaaate the treadmill. I love having it as it makes it super convenient when it's 5am and dark and cold outside but, still. It's the treadmill. But, when it's early Saturday morning and when you know that if you don't run right.that.moment, you won't get your run in, it certainly comes in handy.

Luckily it's supposed to be nice tomorrow so I'm hoping I can get a run in outside.

Love form the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

13 February 2017

Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again

I have spent weeks trying to write this post. Weeks. But no matter how hard I tried, I could never get the words to come out right and even now I don't think they will but I'm going to just go with it and see what happens.

I'm someone who also prides herself on full transparency, especially when it comes to my struggles with anxiety and depression. Go back far enough in my blog history and you can find posts about seeing counselors when things got to a point where I needed an outside sounding board.

But through all of that, I've never sought help beyond a couple of appointments with counselors through my current job's Employee Assistance Program (that said, I am always eternally grateful for EAPs. They've helped me through multiple jobs). I've also never felt that my mental health issues, whatever they are, felt "bad enough" to warrant calling them by name, let alone seeking professional help.

Things have gotten bad enough.

It really started back in the summer, post hospital. Oh, don't get me wrong, I suffered from pretty severe depression through the first few months of Anklegate, but after Clotocalypse, things have felt different. Remarkably different. To the point I had to take a blogging break back in the fall. 

The best way to describe it is that before, my anxiety came in waves and usually in reaction to things that would make most people anxious. I just got more anxious than most people. 

Now, though, it's all the fucking time. It doesn't stop. It doesn't take a break. It doesn't pause. It wakes me up in the middle of the night and keeps me up for hours. Unlike before, I have nothing to be anxious about. My job can be stressful but its normal job levels of stress. My relationship has me happy and healthy. I have a book out and it's gotten good reviews. 

But still, through all of that, I feel anxious and on edge every single minute of every single day. Instead of all of being in peaks or cycles or waves, it's as if I've finally discovered my baseline for the first time. 

Which brings me back to Clotocalypse. (Well, it will in a minute. Just go with me.) 

When I was in my early 20s I got chronic tension headaches. Several times a week I had this debilitating headaches that had no known trigger that would last for hours at a time. I was broke and had shitty insurance so I stopped going to the doctor before we found a cause, determined to just suck it up. 

Shortly after I went on the birth control pill and the headaches magically vanished. 

I was on the pill for the next ten years, right up until that fateful day in late July when my immobilization due to injury + road trip + hormones combined into the blood clot causing trifecta. Along with putting me on blood thinner medication, my doctors took me off of the pill.

Since hormonal birth control is no longer an option, I went for the copper IUD back in the fall. With the clot happening end of July / beginning of August, I have now, so to speak, been hormone free for over six months. And in all that time, my anxiety has increased. Or, well, reset itself to normal levels maybe? 

If the pill managed to make my headaches disappear for ten years, what else did it hide or mask for all that time? I know this anxiety isn't new -- even back in college I had some of the same behaviors and thought patterns I have now. When I was on the pill, my anxiety did tend to roar the loudest during my week of placebo pills. I don't think that's a coincidence. 

So, a couple of weeks ago I called the Behavioral Health Department at the Cleveland Clinic. They connected me with a social worker who I met last week. (So many phone calls. OMG.) She was super friendly and we went over the usual conversations about what brought me in, my history, etc. She also asked the very important question: Am I okay with medication? 

Yes. Yes, wholeheartedly yes. I've done what I can to try and cope. My eating psychology coach offered some coping mechanisms which help. Temporarily. Yoga helps. Temporarily. It's all temporary. It's not enough. I need a stronger antidote. 

Based on our conversation, she recommend a psychiatrist and a therapist. I did talk about how going to those counselors over the years was helpful and even talking to her -- a completely impartial third party -- was beneficial. But we both seemed to understand that talking wasn't going to be enough.

I have an appointment with the psychiatrist three weeks from now. The social worker stressed he's not a pill pusher, but he will prescribe something if necessary and he's also very particular about what he prescribes so no benzos, which made me more comfortable. (I'm still waiting for a call back from the therapist, but I was warned she has a very busy schedule.) Thankfully both are here on the west side which means no having to drive downtown to the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic. That is a deal breaker for me and my anxiety. 

And, you know what? Instead of feeling anxious or nervous about it, I feel relief. Relief at knowing that this all might fully stop or, at the very least, reach more manageable levels. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 February 2017

Fitness Friday: Training Edition, Week One

Well hello Lovelies!

The good news is, I'm in training mode again! WOO HOO. I would like to pretend I'm the type who can keep up a regular fitness routine with an end goal like a race but I have quickly learned that is not the case.

Training started Sunday, so that's where I'm starting. Today's workout will go on next week's weekly run down.

Sunday: Yoga
Monday: .58 mile
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: .5 mile
Thursday: Yoga

I follow a training plain that has runs based on time and in the beginning they are really short, 10-15 minutes. Of course, if you're like me and slow you can't run very far in that time and if you're also like me and recovering from an injury you can't run very far in that time either.


With my new treadmill, I can run fast. Well, faster than I would outdoors. With the treadmill I can make myself run fast. So, I'm using these short runs as an opportunity to work on speed if not distance.

I have my training program in my Passion Planner, but I'm trying to remain flexible. Literally and figuratively.

I miss yoga, you guys. Like really miss it. Five years ago I had an amazing weekly practice doing all sorts of shit like standing on my head. But then I discovered spinning and kind of broke up with yoga but now, I want yoga back. Like, I really want yoga back. If this was a relationship, I'd be standing outside Yoga's door with a boombox over my head.

Thankfully I work at a job that offers yoga during lunches, usually on Thursdays. So when I put together my training plan I put that down as my Thursday thing plus a Sunday home practice. Then work added a Tuesday yoga class to the schedule and omg. It's also now 45 minutes instead of 30 and I am so, so happy to have a regular practice again.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

26 January 2017

Real Runners Virtual Summit

This post contains affiliate links

A couple of months ago, my friend Katie Heddleston asked if I'd be interested in participating in her Real Runners Virtual Summit I, of course, said yes.

What is the Real Runners Virtual Summit? From the website: 

  • A place to grow as a runner while receiving expert advice, tips, and inspiration. 
  • A place to connect with fellow runners, run coaches, an exercise physiologist, a dietitian, book authors, and more.
  • A place to feel comfortable asking questions to the speakers on their expert topic. 
  • We are experts with passion, bringing a community of real runners together for this first virtual summit.
Starting February 20th, for 10 days all participants will receive links to a total of 26 master class sessions led by leading experts in the running community including yours truly and even Rachel, one of my fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors! It's really two weeks -- you'll take a break from classes and are encouraged to do a virtual run with the other participants. How cool is that?

My session is, naturally, all about being a slow runner and there are lots of other really great sessions happening over the course of the summit. 

There will also be a Facebook group where you'll get to interact with me and all of the other session leaders! 

Early Bird registration opens on February 1st so if you want to join the party, I highly recommend you do it before the price increase on February 6th. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 January 2017

the limelight

This past weekend I gathered with friends and family to celebrate the official book launch of my memoir Running With a Police Escort! The party was held at Mahall's and it was magical.

Thanks Gwynnie Bee for the dress!

When I started planning the party back in October, I had zero idea how many people to expect. Later I found out it was the same weekend as the American Library Association's Midwinter conference, which meant lots of my professional colleagues and co-workers wouldn't be able to attend, and then, of course, Trump won the election and it was inauguration weekend and so many of my fierce feminist friends were marching.

But we still ended up with a good turnout: both BC and Sissy told me they counted about 50 people. I also expected many people to have pre-ordered the book but, nope, I ended up selling (and signing!) a whole bunch.

I also gave a reading from the book and then spent the rest of the time just mingling.

It was such a surreal experience because it really was this gigantic intersection of so many different people in my life: family, friends, co-workers, and peers. Some people I hadn't seen in years, like my college roommate Megan (oh, yes, the same one in the book) but the absolute biggest surprise was seeing my old yoga instructor Jessica. Y'all remember Jessica? Oh man, it was so good seeing her and, honestly, when I looked up from the table I didn't recognize her at first -- or, well, I guess my brain didn't immediately process that it was her because it had been so long.

(It also reminded me how much I miss having a weekly yoga practice. I still get yoga in sometimes but I'm nowhere near as dedicated as I was when I first started five years ago.)

If you'd like to come see me at a signing, I keep an events page on my website. Right now, my next scheduled event isn't until May but I have lots of things in the works so be sure to check back on a regular basis.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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