30 December 2013

jilly does jolly old england

True story: While I was across the pond, not only did I not count a single Weight Watchers point I didn't even think about them. I ate what I wanted when I wanted without ever worrying about calories or points or any of it. Most of the time I made pretty good choices but, c'mon, it was the holiday season and I was on vacation in England. Y'know, the land of shortbread and mince pies.

So, even though we were doing a ton of walking I was still a little worried about what I would see when I finally got home to my scale. But apparently all of that walking paid off because when I weighed myself this morning I had lost 1 pound!

Like I said, we did a bunch of walking and of course I wore my handy dandy FitBit the entire trip. We left Sunday December 22nd and arrived back in Cleveland late last night. In that week I walked just over 77,500 steps and roughly 33 miles! Not too shabby, eh?

My family (minus Sissy and BIL -- long story) arrived in London Monday morning. Yay for overnight flights, seriously. We had rooms at this super sweet extended stay type hotel. Mine was basically like a studio apartment, small kitchenette included so we stocked up at the local grocery store and were all able to just make our own breakfasts each morning. The hotel was a block away from my aunt and uncle's flat and there was a Tube stop right around the corner so it was ridiculously convenient.

Monday and Tuesday were spent walking around doing some shopping at Harrods and Fortnum and Mason, two of London's most well-known shops. Both are also known for their window displays and they went all out for the holidays.

Then, as I mentioned, our Christmas started by attending a service at Westminster Abbey.

Not gonna lie, I spent the entire service staring up at the ceiling, studying the architecture just imagining what it took to build the entire thing. It really is awe-inspiring.

After doing a bit more sightseeing while in that part of the city we headed back to the hotel for a bit of downtime before we went to my aunt and uncle's for Christmas dinner.

Well, my parents did. I went on a super-secret mission.

It wasn't until this trip that I realized that pretty much all of my fandoms are British. Don't really know how that happened, but so be it. One of these is, of course, Doctor Who and I knew there were a small handful of blue police boxes still standing in the city, one of them even being on Google Maps. That would be the Earls Court Police Box and when, out of curiosity, I looked it up online I realized it was a mere half mile away from our hotel.

I'm sure you can guess what happened next.

Obviously a TARDIS selfie was required.

One little walk later, I made it back just in timey wimey to meet my parents for a lovely Christmas dinner.

Thursday was Boxing Day and while my dad, uncle and cousin attended a soccer football match, my mom, aunt and I went on one of London's famous Walking Tours. The tours are a great way to see London and learn about some of its history (when my family came ten years ago we went on a Jack the Ripper tour). You basically just show up at the appointed time, pay, and off you go. They all meet at a particular Tube stop and this one was the stop right by the Tower of London.

This was a special seasonal walk inspired by Charles Dickens, Christmas traditions and the novel Christmas Carol. One of the places we stopped was this adorable shopping arcade that was used as a filming location in the first Harry Potter film for the street Harry and Hagrid are walking down right before they enter Diagon Alley.

I may or may not have watched the movie while writing this blog post just to see if I recognized it (I did).

Now, okay. So obviously London is fabulous and up until this point I had been having a fantastic time and a great trip. But Friday was, without a doubt, my MOST FAVORITE DAY EVER. Because Friday was the day Papa G. and I took the train out to Hampton Court Palace.

I feel pretty confident saying that roughly half the pictures I took on this trip were at Hampton. Because I am a complete nerd when it comes to the Tudors and have been for nearly a decade (I mean, hello, I quoted Elizabeth I in my MOH speech at Sissy's wedding).

(Shhhh. Don't tell anyone, but for years I've contemplated getting a Tudor Rose tattooed on the back of my neck. True story.)

Just to walk those halls and see and imagine all of the history that took place within the walls. A painting of Henry VIII's family that I've seen a million times in books, just hanging out in a gallery. They also had reenactors on staff, walking around the grounds, which was pretty cool.

Saturday we had one final lunch at my aunt and uncle's before packing up and going to Heathrow. We had changed some travel plans so that instead of having a two hour layover in DC, we actually spent Saturday night there so we could visit Sissy and BIL who, again, long story, were unable to join us on the trip at the last minute. It was nice getting to see them and having that sort of "buffer" day between London and home helped get me back on schedule for the most part.

Overall I had a wonderful time, ate lots of yummy yummy food, got to see family, bought some fabulous souvenirs for myself and friends, and spent time in a gorgeous city. But for everything we did get to do there is still plenty that we didn't have time for so, gosh, looks like I'm just going to have to go back sometime soon! (I've also decided I'm going to have to marry some older rich man who owns a flat in London so I can just go back and visit whenever I want.)

Don't forget! Today is the last day to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean so be sure to enter!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

25 December 2013

Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël! Frohe Weihnachten!

Happy Christmas from Merrie Olde England!

My holiday is going to include service at Westminster Abbey and I'm totally geeking out because, hi, Westminster Abbey but also because Queen Elizabeth I is buried there and if there is one thing you need to know about me it's that I am completely obsessed with the Tudors. When we started planning this trip I told my family the only thing I cared about was making sure I get to Hampton Court Palace, even if I have to go alone.

Of course, tonight is the Doctor Who Christmas special where we Matt Smith fans say goodbye to Eleven and hello to Twelve and I also may or may not be planning on stalking hanging around the Barbican Theatre this week in the hopes of magically running into David Tennant as he is here performing in Richard II.

Just sayin'.

Hope all of those of you that celebrate Christmas have a lovely holiday and enjoy the time off!

Have you entered the giveaway to win a copy of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 December 2013

no case of the mondays here

Right. Soooooooo. By the time this gets posted I'll have been in London for several hours. Happy Monday indeed.

I know it's not even Christmas yet, but one of my goals for the new year is to attend FitBloggin '14 and finally get an opportunity to meet some of the wonderful people I've gotten to know through social media over the past year or two.

In anticipation of the conference (and because I've been wanting to do it for awhile now) I decided to take advantage of a VistaPrint Cyber Monday sale and update my old business cards with my new branding.

Aren't they just devoon? If one of your 2014 goals is to give you or your blog a new look I highly recommend hiring Meghan Murphy to design a mascot like my lil superhero there.

Since starting my blog and really getting out there on Twitter and such I've met so many amazing people from so many different fields and communities and I hate keeping all of their fabulousness to myself. So, given that I'll be out of the country for the next week and will only be able to update my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as often as international internet access will allow, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to introduce my dear readers to some new people to follow and get to know in my absence.

So! In no particular order (okay, alphabetical) I offer some of my favorite bloggers slash awesome online personalities. Most of these fabulous people also have the usual other social media profiles like Instagram, Facebook fan pages, etc., but for the sake of simplicity I've just listed their blogs and Twitter 'cause that's how I tend to connect with them the most.

Alan from Sweating Until Happy

Alicia from Poise in Parma

Brin from The B Word

Brooke from Brooke: Not On a Diet

Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders

Emily from Fit and Free With Emily

Emmie from Authentically Emmie

Kelly from Curvy Fit Girl

Linz from Itz Linz

Maureen from Organically Mo 

Susan from {not so} Suddenly Susan

Seriously, it would have taken me a week's worth of posts to mention everyone I love following on Twitter and getting to know through their blogs and hopefully someday I'll get around to putting together a proper blog roll (I do have next week off from work as well, so who knows!).

It's also impossible to tell you why I love them and everyone else I read and follow because there really are no words for the sheer awesomeness that all of these, and others, embody. Just know that since I'm so cool than the people I follow must be even cooler than me. Haha.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

19 December 2013

Review & Giveaway: Happy Herbivore Light & Lean

With the new year right around the corner (I mean, seriously, 2014 is less than two weeks away), now is the time when people start thinking about their resolutions and plans for the coming twelve months which makes it the perfect time for a fun and healthy giveaway!

I have had previous opportunities to review Happy Herbivore books and I especially love this one because of the Light and Lean focus. Because everything is plant-based, generally speaking, all of the recipes in Lindsay's other cookbooks as well as on her Happy Herbivore webpage are already very healthy but not only does this have that as the actual focus of the cookbook and recipes but the book is organized by calorie count, too, which I think is fantastic. I don't know about you, but when looking through cookbooks trying to find something to make it's important to know what you're getting yourself into, calorie wise and that's near impossible to do without logging into a website that will allow you to build a recipe and then break it down by servings. Cutting that part of the process out makes it so much easier to pick a recipe that will fit my current needs.

Not only that, but Lindsay has also included the Weight Watchers points for her recipes as well! That was a big surprise and one I greatly appreciated as a Weight Watchers user. Also, while Lindsay's recipes are all plant-based and, therefore, don't include meat or dairy, etc., I promise any omnivore will still love her recipes. It's one reason I use her recipes as often as I do because they appeal to a wide range of diets.

One of the first recipes I tried was the cobbler and it's a little ridiculous how easy it was to make (ridiculous in a good way, of course!) I mean, I already had all the ingredients for this awesome dessert in my kitchen. That never happens to me plus it was super quick to whip together and bake. That's my kind of recipe, let me tell ya. In the book it's a blueberry cobbler but I'm fairly certain just about any kind of fruit could work and she also has a peach cobbler-in-a-mug recipe, too!

As part of this giveaway I was allowed to ask Lindsay Nixon some questions about her book and there were only two questions I was really curious about.

1) On average, how long is her trial and error process while working on a new recipe before she considers it perfect? I write recipes then send them to my big team of testers. From there it’s pass or fail.

I love that she has food testers. I wonder if there's maybe room for one more, haha.

2) I noticed you included the Weight Watchers points for each recipe -- which is awesome -- but I was curious what motivated that decision. Fans requested it.

Now it's your turn! Who doesn't want a brand new healthy cookbook as a way to start the brand new year? There are a few different ways to enter, all using Rafflecopter (so after you do any one of these things make sure you come back and log into the Rafflecopter system to make sure your task is recognized!) The giveaway will last until December 30th and I'll pick a winner after I return from my trip to Merrie Olde England.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fine Print: Open to US and Canadian residents only. Giveaway ends Monday December 30th, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST. At the completion of the giveaway winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

17 December 2013

2013 Race Year Review

With the end of the year comes the end of my 2013 races, so like I did last year I've put together a handy dandy quick recap! This year alone I managed to race nearly 50 miles which, granted, might not seem like a lot but for someone who has been running less than two full years I'm rather proud of myself. Plus, that's not counting all of the training miles and regular runs I put in over the course of twelve months.

Recap: Conoco Phillips Rodeo Run 10K
My 2013 racing season started with not only my first out of town race (Houston, TX) but also my first 10K! I stayed at the home of my aunt and uncle and was able to see my mom's side of the family while I was in town plus my uncle ran the race with me. It was a HUGE race with 15,000 participants for both the 10K and 5K. I wanted to finish in under 90 minutes so was very happy with my time of 1:26:13.

Recap: St. Malachi 5 Miler
Rocking my green and white striped St. Patrick's Day themed knee-high socks, I was bundled up against the Cleveland elements for what is one of the city's biggest races. I mean, this race has been around longer than I've been alive. It's always held around St. Patrick's Day which means that you never know what the weather will be like. For 2013 we had lots of fog and lots of snow and slush: by the time I got to the water station the cups all had water crystals from sitting outside for so long! But after finishing in 1:08:58 I walked away knowing that if I could race in that weather I can race in just about anything.

Recap: Cleveland Marathon 10K
This was a tough race for no other reason than the first mile was almost all up hill which always slows me down so I knew early on that I wouldn't be beating my time from the Rodeo Run and then around mile 5 I got an awful stitch in my right side, but I still finished in ninety minutes.

Recap: Running With a Mission 5K
This was a very important race for me. When I ran this race in 2012 it was my very first race ever and I ended up coming in last place. Always loving a personal challenge, I was excited to once again conquer those stupid hills at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to see how far I had come as a runner and when I once again crossed that finish line I had shaved 5 minutes off my previous time, finishing in 43:03! I was also interviewed by The City Mission about my experience for their PR video, which can be viewed here (I can be seen about two minutes in). And, oh hey, as you can see in the above photo I got my picture taken with the Cleveland Indians mascot Slider!

Recap: Bay Days 5 Miler
Honestly, all I really remember from this race was how ridiculously hot and humid it was. Well that and, because of the heat, many many Bay Village residents had their sprinklers out for us runners which was amazing and so very thoughtful. When I finished after 1:09:50 I was one big ball of sweat (seriously, it was really gross how drenched my shirt was).

Recap: Rock 'n' Roll Cleveland Half Marathon
That's right, ladies and gents: I am a half-marathoner! Believe me, never in a million gazillion google-plex years would I have ever imagined I would one day get to say that. I had an awesome cheering section throughout the course, some accidental like running into two friends who were randomly spectators, while two of my other friends knew I'd be running by their apartments so they left me fun little messages and banners. When my mom sent me photos from the race so I could put them in my racing scrapbook, she had a note saying she couldn't believe how big my smile was after just completing 13.1 miles and when I put the picture on Facebook I had another runner friend say the exact same thing. Sometimes you are just so in awe of yourself you can't help but grin like a fool. I had hoped to finish in 3 hours and 30 minutes but I was just so happy to finish that I wear my final time of 3:37:53 with pride.

Recap: Turkey Trot
After running a half marathon, something like a five mile race seems ridiculously short and easy. Of course, because it was the first running I had done since the half-marathon my legs weren't really up to snuff and I finished in 1:19:03, which I'm not crazy about, but it's my own fault for not keeping up with the running. But it's okay, because minutes after crossing the finish line I ran into a friend from high-school I hadn't seen since graduating!

Recap: A Christmas Story House 10K
This was, without a doubt, one of my absolute favorite races to run. It was the first race where I donned a costume (a pink bunny, in the spirit of the pajama set Ralphie got from his Aunt Clara) and there was just so much Cleveland pride with this race. (It also came with the best racing bib and medal I've seen. I mean, how can any other race hope to compete with running leg lamps?!) My time of 1:37:53 isn't my best but I had so much fun it's okay. The race was created as part of the film's 30th Anniversary festivities but I so, so hope they make it an annual thing.

One of my running goals for 2014 is to do more speed work. When I run or race I just kind of go out there with the goal of running the distance and not really thinking about time or pace but now that I've got this arsenal of past races I want to start focusing on PRs and upping my game. I slacked off the second half of the year and it showed in my times from my last few races. I know I can run the distances, so now my focus should shift from just completing the races to completing with a time goal.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

13 December 2013

5ks and 10ks and halfsies, oh my!

Yesterday, registration for the 2014 Rock n Roll Cleveland Half Marathon opened with special discount pricing and I must be out of my ever loving mind because I signed up.

When I completed the 2013 half a few months ago I did say I would be willingly to run another half and now that's obviously true as I just registered for another, but the more I think about it the more I think my two most recent races -- the Turkey Trot and A Christmas Story House Run -- have taught me that my favorite distance is the 10K and it's closely related cousin, the 5 Miler. They are long enough to be a good decent running distance but not so long that they require months of prep work. At this point, 5Ks seem ridiculously short but never know, my time may have vastly improved for no other reason than the fact that they are so short. When running one I wouldn't have to be pacing myself for the many many miles ahead. Instead, three point one and done.

Shortly after registering for the RnRCLE I was looking for other upcoming races, including the annual St. Malachi 5 Miler and even the Cleveland Marathon. I briefly considered registering for the Cleveland Half but then I thought about training in Cleveland winters and, really, I don't know if I want to run two half marathons in a year. Could I? Sure. But do I actually want to? I ran the 10K this past year and had a great time so I may register for that one again instead.

I love that I can say I'm a half-marathoner but the training was long and time-consuming and, frankly, kind of annoying so why do I want to put myself through that again if I don't actually have to? Kudos to those people who run multiple half and full marathons in a given year but right now I don't think that's for me. Running is supposed to be fun and I'm not at a place where training that much is fun for me. I like the idea of running RnRCLE again for no other reason than to try and beat my previous time but beyond that I may stick with the smaller races.

In terms of my weigh in I went up a bit this week but I totally anticipated that. Thanks to stupid PMS I ate my way through nearly all of my extra weekly points last weekend and I was doing well during the week but Wednesday night I met up with some friends to celebrate someone's divorce being finalized and between all the beer and pizza so close to my weigh-in, a gain was inevitable.

But, honestly, I had so much fun with them and this was one of those situations where there were way more important things to focus on than what I was eating. It's one day, one week, not the end of the world.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

11 December 2013

2013 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

Sooooooo Christmas is two weeks away.

Say wha?!

Don't be jelly, but my family is actually going to London (as in England) for the holiday.

I know, I know. You are indeed allowed to hate me.

But with the holiday season coming up you may be looking for gifts for friends or even items to add to your own fitness wish list.

Blogger Disclosure: I'm not getting compensated to promote these items, I just really really love them. That being said, I am part of the Amazon Affiliate program so if you purchase any of these items through my Amazon Store I will receive a small advertising fee.


My FitBit Zip is, of course, is my new favorite shiny toy and I can't believe it took me so long to buy one! I sit so much at my job and don't walk nearly as much as I should but having the Zip really does help motivate me to move more. Mine is the more basic model, tracking steps and calories, and it's just what I need. Super discrete I wear it clipped to my bra and nobody knows it's there. Truthfully, I can't wait to see how many miles I rack up while walking around Merry Olde England in a few weeks!

If you also have a FitBit, be sure to friend me!

Heart Rate Monitor

My Polar FT4 is my best friend while I'm running or, really, doing any kind of exercise. I love keeping track of my heart rate and knowing when it's okay to push myself a bit more and during races the clock feature helps me see how I'm doing pace-wise. And, of course, I love seeing how many calories I've burned during a certain activity!

Food Scale

Honestly, I don't know what I would do without my digital food scale. Measuring cups and spoons are great but to be really accurate it's best to use a food scale. Mine measure in both grams and ounces and I really appreciate the feature that allows me to put a plate or bowl on top and zero the weight out. It's also super sensitive, which is awesome so I can measure all manner of foods from stuff that's really dense to really light options like Cool Whip.

Workout DVDs

Sometimes getting to the gym to exercise is just too much work, especially when it's winter and cold outside. This is where workout DVDs are a great option to have since you can just pop it into your TV and exercise from the comfort of your home. Obviously y'all know I love my Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 as well as her Shred It With Weights and would recommend either one.

Gift Cards

I know some people are polorized on the topic of gift cards, thinking them too impersonal. I love gift cards and at work Christmas parties they are always the first thing to get snatched up. Who doesn't love being able to buy exactly what you want? This is especially true for fitness people as we can be pretty particular about our gear and clothes. I love my New Balance shoes and Moving Comfort bra, but I wouldn't necessarily expect someone to know which style and size I would need. Plus, that shit can be expensive but something as simple as a gift card would help offset the purchase of either of those items in a way that would be greatly appreciated.

Likewise, if you know where they workout see about purchasing part of their gym membership or a set of passes to their local yoga or spinning studio (wink wink).


When running, especially during the summer when I'm not wearing a jacket with pockets, I never leave home without my small personal item belt or SPIbelt. It still amazes me how much stuff I can fit in there -- keys, iPhone, identification, and during my half-marathon training even food and snacks.

What is on your fitness wish list this year?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

09 December 2013

recap: a christmas story house 10K

So, for those that don't know, part of the holiday classic film A Christmas Story was filmed here in Cleveland. The most recognizable icons are the house which can be found in the Tremont neighborhood of the city and downtown at what was then Higbee's department store.

The history of the house is actually pretty interesting -- back in 2004 a fan of the film bought it off of eBay at a time when it looked absolutely nothing like it did in the film. He then spent nearly twice as much as what he purchased it for making renovations to revert it back as much as he could. Only the exterior was seen in the movie -- the interior of the home was shot on a sound stage so it's not quite exact but he's done a pretty good job with it. It's tucked back in this little neighborhood off the main streets and as a longtime fan of the film it's so much fun just driving along, turning a corner, and boom, there's the house. Other homes in the nearby vicinity act as museum and gift shop.

As a city, Cleveland is very proud of our Hollywood claim to fame and at Christmas time there is no such thing as too many leg lamps. The film was released in 1983 and as part of the city wide 30th Anniversary celebrations there was the 5K & 10K race that I just had to sign up for.

Not only that, but I decided to dress up. I'm usually not one to opt for costumes but for this one I absolutely had to. Especially once I realized how much pink running gear I owned. Throw on a pair of bunny ears (thanks mom!) and I was set. Hopefully Aunt Clara would approve.

Why yes, as a matter of fact, I do own a set of mini leg lamp string lights.

As you can imagine, this race encouraged a huge variety of costumes: pink bunnies and bandits and leg lamps. I even saw one woman dressed like the mom carrying the Christmas turkey and at least two guys carried flag poles to mimic the Triple Dog Dare scene. It was absolutely beautiful.

The race route started downtown at Public Square, right in front of the very same department store windows were Ralphie first spied his beloved Red Ryder BB Gun. The space has since been turned into the Horseshoe Casino but one of the things I love best about the Horseshoe is that the designers kept much of the original interior. Growing up, I loved going to Higbees (those wooden escalators were the best) so as an adult I love walking in and still getting to see all the beautiful architecture from my childhood.

Both the 5K and 10K started at the same time and from downtown we turned onto the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge which took us into the Tremont neighborhood. Once there, the 5K ended at the actual A Christmas Story House while the 10K looped around and headed back towards the other finish line downtown.

Lemme tell ya: you don't realize how long the Lorain-Carnegie bridge is until you have to run over it. Twice.

Along the course were awesome bits of film trivia.

My overall running was...okay. I started out really strong and was on target to have a time close to my time from the Rodeo Run 10K but around the halfway mark my right ankle started to bother me and I had to walk parts and then around mile 5 had to use the restroom so that added time (all of the restrooms at Tower City had ridiculously long wait times so I didn't get a chance to go before the race. I also totally forgot to bring my ID otherwise I would have just used the restrooms in the casino.) In the end I finished at 1:37:23 which I'm not thrilled about but, c'est la vie. I haven't been running as much so my endurance is not going to be where it was at the beginning of the year.

Of course, my oh-so-awesome parents were waiting there at the finish line for me and after crossing it I picked up my bad ass racing medal.

It actually says It's a major award! Tell me that's not the coolest thing ever. I mean, seriously.

While this race was designed around the 30th Anniversary movie celebrations I do hope they make it an annual event. Despite the crowds, it was so much fun seeing everyone in costume celebrating the movie and our city.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

06 December 2013

back on the wagon again

We all know the scale doesn't define us (or at least shouldn't) and I've said many, many times that I'm very happy with where I am in terms of sense of self and who I am and all that fabulous jazz. Even so, right now I'm not happy with The Number I see on the scale and I know I've been making poor food choices that even all my exercising can't off-set. I've tried going at it alone, using MyFitnessPal but couldn't find my footing with it.

So that can mean only one thing.

I tried meetings and while my overall experience this time around was better than when I first did Weight Watchers back in college, I feel like I can safely say that meetings are just not for me. I tried, I really did, but I'm an online girl. Online works for me and so that's what I've signed up for again.

Right now I'm counting points and actually really like it. After months of doing Simply Filling, the structure that Points provides is just what I needed but of course also comes with its own level of flexibility. But because I really do like how Simply Filling works I'd like to figure out a way to balance both, either by alternating weeks or doing Points on the weekend (when I need the most structure) and doing SF during the week.

Honestly, I'm more than a little mortified to list my weight right now because of how much I've regained this past year. It's not that much more than when I started meetings back in the fall, but the overall amount is rather embarrassing. So until I get comfortable with that, I will say that my first week back on Weight Watchers I lost 4 pounds! Not a bad start if I do say so myself.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

02 December 2013

Recap: 32nd Annual Cleveland Turkey Trot

Thursday morning, before heading to Stars Hollow for Thanksgiving dinner, I bundled up against the snow and cold to race in Cleveland's Turkey Trot!

The race course started and ended downtown near Public Hall which was super convenient for me as I live downtown so I didn't have to worry about having to leave early to get to the race on time. With a 9:30 start I still was able to sleep in just a bit.

I learned two things during this race. The first is that after surviving the sleety mess that was the St. Malachi race back in March I can survive just about any weather. The second was that after completing a half marathon, a 5 mile race seems so ridiculously short. This really surprised me, for no other reason than when I first started running less than two years ago I couldn't even finish a full mile and now I'm all "Pssh. What's 5 after 13.1?"

Of course, I haven't done much running since the half-marathon two months ago and it showed in my time as I completed in 1 hour and 19 minutes, a far cry from the 1:09 I had completed before. But that's okay, as my legs have still been getting lots of work done on them thanks to all of my spinning classes. Just goes to show you can't take several weeks off and expect to be at your top performance. Truthfully this was more like a "test run" to get back out there before this Saturday's Christmas Story House 10K! Because I haven't been running I wanted to get a general idea of where I am pace-wise and while I clearly haven't been motivated enough to go out and run 5 miles on my own, give me a finish line and a t-shirt and I'm there.

Moments after crossing the finish line, I rounded the corner of the food tables and happened to look over and see my friend Kitty, who I haven't seen since we graduated from high-school thirteen years ago.

So random. So unexpected. And so the reason I love Cleveland as much as I do.

After the race I got home, took a nice loooooooong shower, then got ready and headed to my parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner! On Friday I did some Black Friday shopping at JoAnn Fabrics since I needed scrapbooking materials.

I know I look all sexy and sassy on the outside, but I'm really a big ol' nerd at heart who has to buy themed stickers for her racing scrapbook.

This Saturday is looking to be another cold one so this week I'm on the hunt for hand warmers. Once you start running the rest of your body heats up pretty quickly but I only have regular old gloves and after an hour and a half of being out in the cold my hands were practically numb. I'd rather avoid having to repeat a drive home where I have my hands pressed up against the car heaters.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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