30 March 2015

(half) marathon monday: week five

After being ridiculously lazy last week, I knew I had to get back on the training wagon again. Luckily, my body agreed with me: last week I could barely get myself up by 7 am. This past week, my body was awake at 5:30 am pretty much every day, entirely on it's own.

So here's the weekly break down:

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: Spinning at Harness Cycle
Thursday: 6 miles
Friday: Spinning at Harness Cycle
Saturday: Free Weights + Dance Party (lol)
Sunday: REST

This week was a little different, owing mostly to the Cleveland International Film Festival. Normally I reserve Fridays for my long run but with six miles scheduled and not wanting to sacrifice any screen time (especially since Friday was a full film fest day for both myself and BC), I decided to shift my schedule around a bit.

My body apparently agreed with this plan because originally I was scheduled for a 6:30 am spin class on Monday but when I woke up at 5:30 I decided instead of going back to sleep for half an hour or hanging around my apartment for an hour, I'd just go down to the little mini gym in my building and knock those 4 miles right out.

Then, on Thursday, I planned on waking up at 5:00 to get six miles in and I woke up at 4:45 am. Whatever, it allowed me to get down there a little early and boom, done before 7 am.

The Friday morning spinning class was very last minute. I was on the Harness website Thursday evening around 6 or 7 and noticed that Katie D's class the next morning had openings which is very unusual as there's usually a waitlist.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

27 March 2015

get your read on

This weekend is a full of film festival fun! I'll be spending today, tomorrow, and Sunday hanging out at Tower City Cinemas for the Cleveland International Film Festival (say hi if you see me!) so while I'm indulging in my love of independent film, I thought I'd pass along some reading recommendations!

First up, the book I wrote!

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you probably know that I've been working on a book behind the scenes. It's not related to this blog in any way (which is why I only really ever mention it in passing) but it is about my hometown. It's being published through Arcadia Publishing and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. The official release date is July 20, 2015 and there is already a fancy debut reception party type thing being planned in conjunction with the Hudson Library & Historical Society and the Learned Owl Book Shop.

This isn't my first publication. I've had poetry published in Potomac Review and an essay on librarianship in C&RL News. But, like, this is, y'know, a book. Like, an actual physical book that will be sold in stores with my name on the cover.

The second book is the short story collection I Will Love You For the Rest of My Life, written by Michael Czyzniejewski.

Mike was my college mentor: along with interning under him at the literary journal Mid-American Review, he was also my thesis advisor. He's hysterical and his stories are hysterical and I highly recommend you read it.

Finally, Tim Gunn's The Natty Professor which comes with a somewhat silly story.

So, like, a year ago or something I filled out some online survey thing about my favorite teacher or something and then promptly forgot all about it. No, seriously. I forgot all about it. So much so that when I got an email from Simon & Schuster asking for my address to mail me a signed copy of the book I had no idea what they were talking about.

Even then, when the book showed up this week and it was a personalized signed copy I was still so confused. Until I started flipping through and suddenly it all came flooding back.

Needless to say, Tim Gunn and I are, like, totally BFFs now.

Have you read anything good recently? Share it here!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

25 March 2015

Running With Police Escort

Recently there have been two very different news stories floating around about two women's very different experiences being slow runners. Obviously, as someone who has come in last place at multiple races, this is a topic very near and dear to my heart. Like I always say, it's not last place -- it's running with police escort. 

I really should trademark that shit.


The first story comes from across the pond and a woman who says she was pulled out of a 20 mile race after only 1.5 miles because she was going too slow and told the race wasn't for people like her. She says she was pacing 12 minute mile while the race director claims it was over 15 minutes. He went on to say that he told Ms. Edwards that most people finish in 4 hours and he wanted to relieve the crew within that time and was concerned she was going to take more than 5 hours to finish. She says she was pulled from the race, he says she withdrew on her own and was given her entry fee back. Either way, she didn't finish. (Ironically, the person who did finish last did it in five hours).

I think this is a situation where there are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in between.

The main issue with this story is that the 4 hour cut off time wasn't advertised anywhere. Even the director admits that. As a slow runner I always look for course time limits. I also look to see if they welcome walkers, as that usually indicates they welcome slower runners as well. My April race says people may walk the race, although they may be moved to the sidewalk so they can open the roads back up (which is, of course, entirely understandable).

I understand the need for course time limits but if a race has those, they have to actually let the runners know. That way the runners can make an informed decision about signing up. Holding runners to an unpublished course time isn't right.

It can be tough being a slow runner. Often for smaller races I don't get any official race photos because the photographer has left before I even got to the finish line. Likewise, the post-race tents are usually packing up their stuff. Some have even left already. Basically, depending on the race, the support -- especially near the very end -- can be non-existent for slower runners.

Which brings me to the second story that recently went viral. Asia Ford was participating in a Louisville 10K and around mile 5, one of the officers noticed she was struggling and decided to assist by walking with her, arm in arm, the rest of the way to the finish line.



Luckily, most of my experiences have been more like Asia's -- at Running the Bridges, my friend Gina got off her bike and walked with me and at SnoBall 5K, the office in the police car gave me a thumbs up when I made the final turn to the finish line.

For awhile now (at least six months), I've had an idea in my head to write a book about this topic. Being a slow runner, that is. It's what my FitBloggin Ignite Spark covers but I only get five minutes for that. This would be an opportunity to really dig in deep on the subject. Not just with my experiences but the experiences of others, too. I don't know, maybe I should see these two stories happening so closely together as a sign from the universe that I really should plow ahead with this plan.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 March 2015

(half) marathon monday: week four

Right, so I'm not even going to pretend this week wasn't anything other than me being completely and totally lazy.

After going to see the doctor on Monday and even after her telling me it was okay to keep exercising and all that, I also took heed of her warning that doing so might prolong my stupid cold or whatever this is. So I, instead, took advantage of the idea that rest is training too and basically did nothing.

I know. Terrible.

But, I do feel so much better and it's still early enough in the training plan that I'm not at all worried. Plus, my long run for this past week was supposed to be 5 miles, which is what I did at St. Malachi so it's not even like I missed mileage or anything.

Woke up this morning and did 4 miles and got back on the training horse and off we go! Only downside is being physically lazy made me nutritionally lazy so I have to be more careful and aware that.

One unusual thing that did happen is I needed to go downtown on Friday for jury duty. I was super bummed because I hadn't needed to go in all week and so, naturally, thought I was off the hook and then got called in on the last day and I planned on spending that day at the Cleveland International Film Festival which -- if you've been reading this blog long enough you know -- is my most favorite time of year in the Land of Cleves.

But, I decided to take advantage of the situation as best I could. Not knowing how long I'd be at the Justice Center, but also knowing I'd head to the CIFF after, I decided to park at the film festival and walk the few blocks. Not only did I get my steps in, it was going to be way cheaper than had I parked at the Justice Center.

Terminal Tower lit up with this year's CIFF colors

Of course, I ended up downtown earlier than I needed, mostly because there was a weird time confusion for the jury duty, so I spent a good 30-45 minutes just walking around the city which was fun because it took me to parts I don't see very often.

So this week I'm re-arranging my training schedule just a bit so I can get my long run in earlier so I don't have to worry about it because I have a very busy weekend up ahead with another set of film festival fun and a Cavs game!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

20 March 2015

mini banana peanut butter muffins with goji berries

So, it turns out that March is National Peanut Month. How fun is that?

To celebrate, Peanut Butter & Co. asked those of us on its Yum Squad to come up with a recipe utilizing peanut butter and one mystery ingredient that we wouldn't know the identity of until it showed up at our house. Naturally I was super excited when I came home and saw the box waiting for me.

My mystery ingredient? Dried Goji Berries!

For peanut butter I was given a couple different varieties including The Bees Knees, which is one of my favorites since it has honey in it. I also looked around my kitchen and realized I had some over ripe bananas and a mini muffin tin that had yet to be used. That could only mean one thing.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup Bees Knees peanut butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
3⁄4 cup milk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup dried goji berries

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat the peanut butter, oil, eggs, milk and bananas.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold the goji berries into the batter.

Spoon the batter into 36 lined mini muffin tins (or, do it in two batches if you only have one tin). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I love the mini muffin size, I can just pop them into my mouth when I need a quick little bite. The goji berries also pair nicely with the peanut butter for a nice flavor.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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