30 December 2014

guaranteed way to stay on track at the holiday party

Have your Weight Watchers leader be the mother of one of your friends and have her show up at her son's Christmas soiree. 

True story. 

In all the years I have attended this annual event, this friend's mom has never been there. But this year, she was not only there, she was the first person I saw when I walked in the door. I, obviously, recognized her and she clearly knew she knew me but couldn't quite place me. It wasn't until she talked to her son that it all clicked. When I went down to reintroduce myself after everything was figured out, I'm standing there with my beer in hand and all I wanted to do was say "I promise I tracked this already!" 

I will say, though, (and I plan on telling her this at this week's upcoming meeting), that while it was a big surprise seeing her there in the end I think it was the best thing ever. Usually at this party I hover around the food table, which is covered with the usual party food of chips, dips, and lots and lots and lots of Christmas cookies. I will seriously spend all night grazing, not paying any attention to portions or even what I'm eating, really. Even when I did Weight Watchers in the past I'd go to that holiday party and kind of give myself permission to just say fuck it and eat whatever.

This year, though, I stayed far far away from the food table because all I could think was OMG what if my WW leader sees me mindlessly eating. When I finally did get some food I went for the raw veggies first, had some of the chips and dip, one very small dessert piece and tracked everything. Man on mangoberry was I surprised how quickly those points added up. Which then, of course, made me think about how much I must have been consuming in the past.

I have not done as well this holiday season as I would have hoped, being up both last week and the week prior. Womp womp. Whatever. It's my own fault. So this past weekend I tried to focus a lot more on making better food choices with that Christmas party being the first test. Saturday night, BC and I met Sissy and BIL for dinner at Barrio which is a fancy build your own taco joint and it's really really easy to get in to trouble because they have all sorts of crazy taco shells. Like, way more advanced than just hard or soft. Think hard + soft + guac + queso + whatever fillings you actually put inside. 

BUT I WAS NOT GOING TO FALL INTO THAT TRAP THIS TIME. Oh, no. THIS time I went for a bowl, so the fillings minus the shells. It was the first time I'd tried the bowl option and it was actually really good (and made me feel way less guilty about the two beers I drank that night). Definitely something to consider next time we go. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

22 December 2014

will the real slim jilly please stand up

I'm not sure about you all, but I'm kinda floored that it's already Christmas. Well, y'know, in three days but you catch my drift. I'm still not entirely sure where 2014 went, the past six months or so have just flown by. Today and tomorrow are my only days of work this week and, really, the last two days working in 2014. After tomorrow I don't have to return to work until January 5th! 

Being so close to the end of the year means getting down to the wire with the book I've been working on since August. A completed rough draft is due January 6th with the full materials due January 20th. I'm going to be done early no doubt, but with the deadlines looming I've been working on getting all my ducks in a row and plan on spending the week after Christmas working both on finishing up the book and making some changes to my Etsy shop (which hit 200 sales last week!)

This means that I'm going to be spending the next few weeks at the computer. This, of course, would normally mean lots of sitting but I decided that was unacceptable so I decided to get a little creative. 

Originally the monitor was much much lower but as my sister pointed out it's necessary for the back to have the screen more at eye level, a fact I quickly figured out after standing for only about 15 minutes with my eyes cast down. So yesterday afternoon I headed to Target and picked up the six cube organizer. Not only does it get the monitor at a more manageable level but adds extra storage space, too! 

I'm honestly surprised it took me this long to get a standing desk, but I just spend so much time in front of the computer on weekends, working on various projects and it's only recently that I realized how much sitting I do because of it. Hopefully this will help me get just some extra steps in at random. Bonus, now I can also dance in place while working!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

15 December 2014

mama's still got it

I admittedly have not been running at all since mid-October and the Running the Bridges  race. I completed the Bernie Shuffle 5K a couple weeks later, but that I walked so I've been a little out of practice in the actual running arena.

But then I was announced as a CLEmarathon Ambassador and decided I'm running the half and then I registered for the St. Malachi 5 mile race which is held every March and then I started to get a little nervous.

My awesome sister has started doing Couch to 5K and is totally rocking it. I know this for a fact because she was in town over the weekend and Saturday morning we went to with our dad to his gym and she and I were on side-by-side treadmills and I got to watch her. For someone who has never run before she's killer and runs at a really nice pace.

A couple weeks ago I mentioned to her that I was considering doing C25K over again as a means of getting back into my running groove. That's how I started running way back in the beginning, about two years ago, and it clearly worked and it seemed like a good way to get back to basics in a way. But while we were at the gym I decided to just see where I am in terms of running after taking so much time off.

When I trained for the Cleveland Half back at the beginning of the year, I built a playlist that included walking breaks. Utilizing armed forces marching chants for the walking segments, I would walk about 3 minutes, run 12-13, rinse and repeat. It worked really well and I'm planning doing the same thing when I train for the 2015 half.

So the playlist is still on my Spotify app and so on Saturday while at the gym I decided to try it out, again, just to kind of gauge where my body is at this point. Turns out, I'm still in pretty good shape! I did two miles on the treadmill with the run/walk alternating and while I was my usual slow self, considering I haven't been running at all I was quite happy with my ability to keep running for those 12 or 13 minute segments.

Obviously being able to run 2 miles is still a long way off from being able to run 13.1 but luckily I'm not training yet and I'm still planning on starting C25K over again as a means of starting to train for St. Malachi and to build up my legs a bit more to conquer those 5 miles.

Even better, though, I got done with those two miles and felt amazing. Part of my recent retreat from running was from having lost my mojo but those miles were one of those runs were I was reminded of why I love running so much. Hopefully I can jump on that motivation train and keep it going.

Love from the ashes
Lady Lazarus

06 December 2014

writing and racing and blogging, oh my!

So, suffice it to say things have been a wee bit busy over here in my corner of the Land of Cleves, but all in really awesome ways. For starters, I know I've mentioned I've been working on a book. It's non-fiction, about my hometown, and the rough draft of the text is due to my editor exactly one month from today. So, y'know, if you don't see me out and about in the ol' social media sphere over the next four weeks, that's why.

(BC is going out of town for New Years to attend a concert with his friends and last night I told him to not take it the wrong way but I'm actually glad he won't be here because I'm gonna be holed up in my apartment writing that final week of 2014 and this way I won't feel bad about abandoning him.)

Second, thank you to everyone who donated or registered for my Virtual #Birfday5K! Medals arrived and I'm so pleased with them, like I can't even. Hosting the 5K made a huge dent in my progress and your generosity means so much to me and my favorite non-profit the Cleveland International Film Festival so THANK YOU.

I'll be mailing them out this weekend and because I had to buy in bulk I have a few leftover if anyone would like to register at a reduced price and help me get a little closer to that sponsorship goal....... (*wink wink*)

Third, I've had two awesome opportunities come my way. The first was finding out I was chosen to be an Ambassador for the 2015 Cleveland Marathon! Among other things this means I get a free race entry to any of the marathon weekend events and I'm going to use this as a chance to tackle my third half-marathon. After the rough 2014 half and then the RnRCLE getting cancelled I just need to run at least one more to know that my first half marathon wasn't a fluke.

Next, I'm now part of the oh-so-awesome FitBloggin Social Media Team! I'll be manning the Twitter feed Monday mornings so be sure to say hi. For awhile now I was worried I financially wouldn't be able to attend FitBloggin in June for financial reasons but after looking things over again I think I'll be okay after all.

Finally, of course, my weight loss. I fully earned the 3.4 pounds I gained after Thanksgiving although, to be honest, I did okay the day of. The majority of that weight came from the prior six days. I lost .8 at my meeting yesterday which I was a little disappointed by, hoping for more. (Luckily Kelly snapped me out of that way of thinking!)

Our meeting focused on the whys of weight loss. Why did we walk through that door to our very first meeting? Why do we want to lose weight? The interesting thing is that I participate in a weekly Weight Watchers chat on Twitter each Wednesday and we had already done this so when we were writing our lists in my meeting I had already had my answers. But then something my leader said gave me pause and I had to confront another why that I had been trying really really hard to ignore. And before I knew it I was in the middle of my meeting crying like an idiot. Luckily I don't think anyone noticed -- except, of course, for my leader who gave me a hug after the meeting -- and I'm fairly confident that I'm far from the first person to cry in a meeting.

The reason itself is, well, maybe not unimportant but not something I really want to talk about at this particular moment in time. But I do know that I  can use it as momentum to keep moving forward because it honestly makes me question everything I said in my last post about not losing weight. I think there's a part of me that uses that as an excuse to not do the work, to not put forth the effort, to not have to address the whys.

If nothing else, this moment confirms it's important for me to continue to go to Weight Watchers meetings regardless of how I want to proceed with the number on the scale.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

24 November 2014

lost in losing limbo

I find myself in this weird state when it comes to my weight loss.

This past Friday I was down another .6, bringing my total weight loss to 10.6 since October 3rd. (And, just to point out, while I haven't been blogging as much lately, I'm still updating my progress page so even if there aren't posts, you can always check there to see how my week went.)

So here's where things get tricky because I find myself weighing what I weighed at FitBloggin back in June, which is great, but, again, this is the weight where I was able to really take a step back and say I'm totally okay weighing this and I really am okay weighing this and now I don't know what to do.

Over the weekend I had what I call Normal People Days -- those days where I eat like a "normal" person. That is, someone who doesn't constantly have to think about food all the time. I didn't make any really terrible decisions and I tracked everything I ate, but I fully anticipate a small gain at my next weigh in. But then I have to ask myself if that's really that big of a deal.

I love my Friday morning Weight Watchers meeting in a way I hadn't really anticipated. It's not just the leader (who I love) or the other members (who I also love). Everything just kind of clicks. When I went to meetings a year ago, I just don't think I was mentally in the right space to be there. But this time I find myself really looking forward to each meeting and I know, without a doubt, right now is the right time for me to be there.

I just am not sure if it's the right time for me to be trying to lose weight.

So, I suppose, the question is if it's weird to be going to meetings, paying the money, just to work on maintaining 235 for the foreseeable future? I mean, I tried maintaining on my own but didn't, which is why I ended up at WW just a couple months after FitBloggin. But, again, I get so much out of my meetings that go far beyond those few minutes at the beginning when I step on the scale.

I am fairly confident that I will not get back down to 175 ever again. I don't know if I'll ever get down to onederland ever again. But I also don't think I need to. Life is pretty damn good right now at 235 and I have to weigh (pun intended) the options of continually living a life spent chasing something I may not achieve or just saying Fuck It and rock what I got.

Maybe for right now I'll just try and maintain through the holidays which, as we all know, are full of danger days and then in January reevaluate.

Running a Turkey Trot on Thursday? There's still time to sign up for my Virtual #Birfday5K to score yourself another medal for the same race!

Love from the ashes
Lady Lazarus

15 November 2014

birfday shenanigans & weigh in

Hello and Happy Saturday!! Right now I'm nestled up in a big ol' cozy house in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park because it's gladsome time once again!

I had an absolutely lovely birthday that started by treating myself to a long overdue hair cut and a new set of knives! These are from Aldi and the set I have been using is, like, 10 years old (or close to it) so it was definitely time for an upgrade.

I love me my cooking so having a decent set of knives is essential.

 The rest of my day was just perfect, thanks in no small part thanks to the wonderful BC. We went to 16 Bit Bar for drinks -- it's a barcade which is exactly what it sounds like. As long as you're drinking (and it's all craft beer) you can play classic arcade games for free. (They do have pinball but that costs quarters.) We've been wanting to check it out since it opened but it's always so busy on the weekends so my birthday being on a Wednesday was the perfect opportunity.

Note: do not drink and play driving video games. It doesn't end well. LOL.

Drinking was followed by dinner at Jammy Buggers, which is another local favorite of ours.

I felt confident going into this week's weigh in and I was right to feel that way as I lost 2.6 pounds this week! That brings my total to exactly 10 pounds! My 5% is 12, so hopefully I'll be hitting that in the next few weeks.

I did do one new thing this week which was count points on the weekend and do Simply Filling during the work week. SF is super easy for me during the week because I will just make up some casseroles or soups or whatever that I know are SF on Sunday and eat those for lunch and dinner and I know what go to snacks and breakfast foods are SF as well. Weekends, however, are trickier because that's when I'm eating out more and it's not as structured or as easy to plan.

My first two weeks back on Weight Watchers, I was doing Simple Start/Simply Filling all the time and because of the weekends just eating all 49 points over the weekend and just eat Power Foods the week. That worked for awhile but then I had gains last week and the week before so it was time for a new plan. After looking at my food choices Friday and Saturday and realizing they weren't that bad, I decided to count points those days and then Monday through Thursday (even my birthday) it was Simply Filling and clearly that worked.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

12 November 2014

three three

Over the weekend, BC and I went to see "Interstellar" or, as he likes to call it, "McConaughey In Space." Not to give too much away (after all, River Song is my spirit animal so "Spoilers!" is my mantra), the film deals with space travel of such extreme distances that relativity not only comes into play but is actually a major plot point. I mention this only because, well, today is mah birfday so growing older is on my mind and usually this time of year I get a little bit nostalgic.

Truthfully, though, as I inch closer to my mid-thirties, I find myself less interested in looking back and more interested in looking forward.

The magic of PicMonkey

I spent most of my twenties, well, not exactly floundering but feeling a little lost. Like I had no idea what the fuck I was doing while all of my friends and family had all their shit together. Like the lovely Margaret Atwood once wrote, Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.

(Of course, now I realize pretty much everyone feels that way, they all just managed to hide it really, really well.)

My thirties started in Las Vegas on a family trip and started out pretty well, although thirty-one was a rough year but as I rounded the corner of thirty-two, things began to pick up steam and lots of really awesome things happened this past year, including the fact that I started dating BC and got a book contract, which I've been working on over the past couple of months (subject is not related to this blog). Both of these things are moving in a very positive direction that makes me excited and happy for the upcoming year and all the others coming after it.

So, I guess that's the difference this year. In the past I maybe never felt like I had anything concrete to look forward to as I got older and while, obviously, I have no idea what actually will happen in the future, I have a really, really good feeling about the direction my life is headed. Not just in a vague sort of semi-optimistic way, but in a life-affirming, positive, I have proof life is awesome kind of way.

Since today is mah birfday that means it's the LAST DAY to get the Early Bird pricing on my Virtual #Birfday5K. For more information on the 5K and why I'm choosing the Cleveland International Film Festival as my non-profit of choice, see this post.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

08 November 2014

weigh in & danger days

No video post today because my Friday was, yet again, comprised of me running around doing errands. Luckily I was up early enough to get it all done. And by early enough, I mean 5 am. Why? I have absofuckinglutely no idea but I decided to just roll with it and since I was up, decided to head to the gym.

I'm weird about wearing race shirts and usually will only wear tech ones, which luckily the Bernie Shuffle shirt is. Plus, hi, it has Bernie Kosar's face on it. LOL. What's not to love?

Then, of course, I headed to my Weight Watchers meeting. I will preface this by saying I once again had some struggles this week so I was not surprised with my .4 gain. I think there are two things going on: First, I think there's a weird mental game going on in my head related to losing weight. This is not new and the fact that I was so close to ten pounds last week was what I think made something go a little wonky. So I have to address that. The second thing is sugar. I was doing so so so well when I drastically reduced my sugar intake. But then, of course, Halloween hit and I let it back in and at the time it only seemed like a little bit here and there, but obviously not. So focusing on sugar is my goal for this week.

At the meeting, one of the things we talked about was identifying the high-risk days that will be coming up in the next few weeks as the holidays roll around. These would be days that will prove to be more of a challenge than just a normal day, like work parties and family gatherings and the like. In an effort to set myself up for success, as soon as I got home I sat down and made myself a calendar.

These are hanging in my kitchen, right above my coffee maker so I will be forced to look at them every morning. Right now I don't have too many Danger Days (as I'm calling them only 'cause it sounds better LOL) but as the months progress and more events pop up I'm sure I'll have more to keep an eye on. The one next week is actually mah birfday and I know I'll be going out with BC that night so I can plan in advance by working out that morning and racking up APs over the next couple of days. (Having my FitBit synced to my e-Tools is amazing, but that's for another post!)

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

05 November 2014

drink NOOMA! Review & Giveaway

So today I'm going to talk to you guys about NOOMA, an electrolyte hydration drink without acids or preservatives. Bonus: it's a local Cleveland company! I first sampled NOOMA after a Yoga Rocks the Park Cleveland event and have also seen it sold at Harness Cycle, so when they reached out and asked if I'd be interested in talking about the product on my blog I said yes. They sent me a package of cartons of NOOMA to try out and they are also going to let one of you fabulous readers receive a package, too!

NOOMA comes in four flavors: Cherry Lime, Mangosteen, Blueberry Peach, and Chocolate Mint. One fun thing included in my package was a book of recipes to use with NOOMA and the morning before the Running the Brides race I hydrated with a drink made from cold coffee, greek yogurt, and Chocolate Mint. Other recipes in the book include a Skinny Pina Colada using the Mangosteen NOOMA and Banana-Apple Bliss smoothie with Cherry-Lime!

One of the goals the guys behind NOOMA had in creating their product was to create a drink that replenished electrolytes without acids or preservatives or any of that sometimes icky stuff that shows up in other sports hydration drinks. Not only did they achieve that goal, NOOMA is also gluten free, vegan and only 10 calories with 2 grams of natural cane sugar. By using NOOMA after a workout you can be sure you're filling your body with quality ingredients without having to worry that you're gulping down a sugary drink (thus undoing all the work you just did).

So now is YOUR opportunity to try NOOMA as one lucky winner will get one case of any flavor of NOOMA they want.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway closes on Sunday, November 9th at 11:59 pm. Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize, which is a case of one flavor of NOOMA. US Residents only.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 November 2014

race recap: Bernie Shuffle 5K

So, the Bernie Shuffle was a 5K named in honor of former Cleveland Browns player Bernie Kosar, who left the Browns in 1993 but the city still has a huge soft spot for him. I admittedly am not much of a football fan (of course, that didn't stop me from accepting free tickets for yesterday's game and I even wore my shirt from this race. Truthfully I had way more fun at the game than I anticipated) but there was a sweet finisher's medal that totally won me over so soon after the RnRCLE Race Weekend was cancelled and I had a refund coming my way, I registered.

Of course, the 8 am start time did not win me over and as I indicated in Friday's video, I was still very much on the fence about racing. In fact, I didn't decide for sure until getting back from the bar and into bed around 2:30 am, at which point I set my alarm for 6:30 am.

The race started downtown at Voinovich Park and not only was it super early but super cold, windy, and sleety. I had previously completed a race with similar conditions and was so not looking forward to it and after parking my car a couple blocks away and heading towards the Park I decided I was just going to walk the full 3.1 miles. I haven't been running as much but I have been walking and enjoying it. Lately running kind of stresses me out in that it's not fun anymore way but walking does not so if I was going to be out there in crappy weather I was going to do what I could to make it less miserable.

It was still raining and overcast when the race started and soon after we crossed the start line I noticed a big group of people had stopped off to one side and were yelling and cheering.

Ohhh. Hey there, Bernie.

Admittedly that's pretty cool that he was there (although equally unsurprising) but I just snapped a photo and went along my merry way instead of hanging around trying to get closer. (He also did individual fan photos at the end of the race, too.)

I actually had the best time walking. For one thing this was a huge race. Like probably close to 1000 huge and most were not runners but were, in fact, just Cleveland Browns fans. This meant that I'd guess at least half, if not the majority, were walking. So instead of feeling like a slow straggler I was actually walking with a big pack of people the entire route.

Plus, by not being worried about pace or anything I could just focus on walking and having fun. I haven't been running as much so I knew I'd be hurting and struggling but by just walking I felt strong and motivated. I may have to seriously consider walking more races.

This was self-timed, so no chips or even any clocks. Basically it was a fun run but I set my watch as I crossed the start line and finished in 57:18. That's a 18:29 minute mile which I'm pretty happy with.

Like I said, this was a run for bling situation and after crossing the finish line and getting my medal I realized the rain and cold and lack of sleep was well-worth it.

Once I got back home I took a ridiculously hot shower then got back into bed and slept for a few more hours. Then BC and I went out for a late lunch at Great Lakes Brewery.

Between Friday and Saturday alone I had 30,000 steps and earned 21 Activity Points, which to put it in perspective, is how many APs I earned all of last week. I could have used that as an opportunity to really eat off plan, but instead I ordered the grilled chicken sandwich and instead of fries got the seasonal vegetable, which were these really good seasoned green beans. BC ordered some soft pretzels as an appetizer to share and I, obviously, ordered a beer but I tracked everything and with my weekly points and then those earned APs I feel really good about my eating out choices.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

01 November 2014

Weight Watchers Weigh In Week Four

Okay, so I gained a little bit but I totally anticipated it because I know I didn't make the best choices this week. BUT I'm taking it as feedback for what better choices I can make this upcoming week to have a better weigh-in next Friday. The fact that I gained 10 APs from all the running around yesterday is also extra motivation to stay on track.

BUT here is the rest of my costume, all put together!

Soooooo my friends and I did a group costume of Carnival Freaks and I'm the Torso Lady. This is a tricky costume because you have to create a costume with no legs and I was looking up actual Torso Ladies from the side show circuit way back when and came across an ad for a woman and she was being carried on, like, a pillow by this guy. Prior to that I had been contemplating looking like I was sitting on a table but after that I was obsessed with the idea of a guy carrying me (hence Rahoul) and started researching illusion costumes.

Rahoul himself is kind of creepy and I got all sorts of comments related to that. Not, just, comments from people trying to figure it out but just comments about Rahoul in general. Of course, I can't see that but after my friend Lauren took this pic I finally understood.

This is by far my most favorite costume I've ever done and I have no doubt I'll be saving this costume and recycling it in the future.

Also, I did run my race! But you'll have to wait and here more about that on Monday or Tuesday.

Also also! It's November! That means my Virtual Birfday 5K is officially open. Have you registered yet? Check out this post for more information.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

29 October 2014

Virtual #Birfday5K to sponsor a film at #CIFF39!

Birfday5K from Jill Grun on Vimeo.

Of course, let's be honest. This is a Run For Bling situation, amirite, so here is the awesome medal all Virtual 5K participants will receive:

Not a runner/walker? That's okay! You can still donate to my Birfday 5K, although be aware this option does not include the medal or the race bib.

Sooooo how much is this virtual race going to cost? Between now and November 12th (my birthday), the Early Bird race entry fee is $26.00. After that it goes up to $33.00, with registration closing on November 23rd. (Don't worry, even if you register on the last day, you'll still have the entire rest of the month to finish your run.) Once registration closes, I'll order the finisher's medals and mail them out as soon as they arrive!

If you're interested in seeing what sorts of films have been at CIFF in the past, here's a list of some of the ones currently available on Netflix (may also be able to rent through Amazon). This is by no means a complete list, it's just a handful of the ones that have really resonated with me.
  • Elephant in the Living Room 
  • The Invisible War 
  • G-Dog 
  • Brooklyn Castle
  • TiMER
  • 17 Girls
  • Dear Zachary 
Like I said, I watch a lot of documentaries LOL. Also, while it's not on Netflix, I saw Memento at the 25th CIFF. Yes, that Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan way way back before he did Inception, Batman, or The Prestige.

Having an opportunity to sponsor a film at the Cleveland International Film Festival really would be a birfday wish come true, so I appreciate you all taking the time to watch my little video and hopefully register and sign up for my #Birfday5K!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

25 October 2014

Weight Watchers Weigh In Week Three {video post}

Happy Saturday and helloooooooo new video post! I've also created a Progress Page with links to all previous videos if you ever want to easily go back and rewatch them.

WeekThreeWW from Jill Grun on Vimeo.

So how did I do this week? Well, I lost another 2.4 pounds, for a total of 9.4 total. When I first signed up for Weight Watchers at the beginning of the month, I felt too embarrassed to give you my number. But, I can now say I'm back to what I weighed when I returned from FitBloggin. Part of that embarrassment was after proclaiming I was going to accept the weight that was a result of my lifestyle, I continued to gain close to 10 pounds more. But now that it seems like things are finally clicking, I'm happy to let the momentum continue!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

20 October 2014

Recap: Running the Bridges 3.5 Miler

I honestly had absolutely no idea how this race was going to go. Like, no clue. My last race was back in May, then I started training for a half-marathon, then switched to the 10K, then both events got cancelled and my running has been somewhat non-existent. I've been walking a lot so at 3.5 miles I wasn't worried about finishing but I was a little worried about pace.

So I decided I needed a little incentive to help me remember to follow my blog tagline of being my own hero.

Did you guys know Bat Girl was a librarian?

I don't usually do costumes but some previous races, like St. Malachi and Christmas Story House 10K have convinced me otherwise. A few weeks ago I was at one of those pop-up Halloween stores looking for items for my costume and realized they had a whole bunch of superhero costumes available. Many of them, this one included I think, are actually pajamas but that only means it's super comfy. My favorite part is that it's long sleeve with thumbholes and has a detachable cape! It's actually a bodysuit so I'm just wearing long black pants under. I bought this one for fall/winter races and a different character for summer races but you'll have to wait until, well, summer to see that one. LOL. Luckily the socks work for both.

Are you following me on Instagram?

If nothing else, it made it easy to tell people who were going to be there that I'd be the red head dressed as Batman.

So, this race was special because it was celebrating the one year anniversary of Harness Cycle! A year ago I went to one of the opening weekend rides and since then have been attending pretty much weekly. I was at the party for their permanent studio and even got certified as an indoor cycling instructor there! Considering the big impact owner Annie and the whole team has had on my life over the past year I, of course, had to show my support by running in their race.

This was the Running the Bridges race so, naturally, Cleveland's many, many bridges came into play. There were actually two races: the 1.7 mile ran over the Detroit-Superior Bridge and turned around while the 3.5 mile ran over the Detroit-Superior and the Lorain-Carnegie. It essentially made for a big loop that ended back near the spin studio.

Lorain Carnegie Bridge, with two of the Guardians of Traffic ahead

I opted for the 3.5 mile run and started out strong but it was a small race with some fierce runners and by mile one I knew I was totally in last place but I was having fun and feeling strong so, whatevs.

(I actually have an Ignite Fitness Keynote idea I plan on pitching for next year's FitBloggin related to this subject and I think I finally have a title: It's Not Last Place, It's Running With Police Escort!)

Long time readers will know this is not the first time this has happened to me and that I came in last place at my very first race. But, I fully embraced last place then and I embrace it this time, too. Somebody has to come in last place, it's the nature of the beast. I mean, hello. I was out there in a fucking Batman costume. This is not the time to start getting self-conscious, this is the time to just fucking own it all.

Here's the thing: I wasn't even really running that slow, like a 15:30 mile and that includes some walking. Sure, it's not exactly fast but I've finished plenty of races with a slower pace without being last so really, coming in last place doesn't necessarily mean you are slow, it just means on that day, in that race, you were the slowest person.

Right after the Mile 3 marker I ran into my friend Gina who was actually volunteering at the event and she walked with me for about  a quarter of a mile. Then, right near the end, I looked up ahead and saw Papa G. and BC waiting and seeing them gave me the push I needed to pick up my pace and cross that finish line strong.

After, BC and Papa G. and I headed to Town Hall for brunch and I spent the rest of the day running errands then being lazy. I also, of course, had to make sure to get my FitBit synced up now that I have it connected to my Weight Watchers account. I love love love that it calculates Activity Points automatically and I earned 8 with this race! Hopefully that will go towards having another great weigh-in this Friday.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

18 October 2014

Weight Watchers Week Two {video post}

Hello hello and HAPPY SATURDAY!! Since it is Saturday that means it's time for another video post!

WeekTwoWW from Jill Grun on Vimeo.

This week was another loss which, to be perfectly honest, I was not expecting, at least not as much as I did lose just because I lost so much last week. But apparently what I've been doing is working so I'm going to stick with it! 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

15 October 2014

what i love wednesday: my health hero

Did you guys know that October is Health Literacy Month? Me either, until Oscar Insurance -- an insurance company that serves the NJ and NY areas -- sent me an email asking if I'd be interested in writing about my Health Hero. I was already planning on writing a somewhat related post so it was perfect timing! (I'm also not being compensated for this, you know, full blogger discretion and all.)

In many ways, this is actually a throwback post because I actually wrote about this person a little over two years ago. She was the one who inspired me to sign up for Weight Watchers the first time around back in January 2011 and she's also part of the reason I signed up this time around. That, of course, would be my younger sister, Amy.

So, a couple weeks ago, on a Thursday, I sent my sister an email letting her know I was unhappy with my current weight and lack of physical activity and thinking of joining Weight Watchers. She said she was feeling the same and asked if I wanted to recommit together. Before I even had a chance to respond she emailed me back letting me know she'd signed up to attend a meeting that night after work.


Really, though, knowing she'd already signed up, already committed, was enough to get me to take the plunge, too, and so the next morning I headed to my first meeting. As it turns out, the meeting theme that first week was "Better Together." Talk about a fitting subject.

When I did Weight Watchers the first time around back in 2011, I did it 1) online and 2) all by myself. That is, I didn't have a community, either at a meeting or the fabulous people I've met on Twitter over the years. This time, not only do I have all those blends (blogger + friends), but I have my sister and that, more than anything, is what keeps me going. Throughout the day we exchange food ideas and recipes and motivate each other. I have no doubt that our frequent check-ins are why we both had such a successful first week (I lost 5.2, she lost 4.2!)

Because of where she lives she does a ton of walking and on Monday she sent me a text that her mantra for the day was Why walk 10000 steps when I can walk 15000? I mean, if that kind of attitude doesn't define a health hero, I don't know what does.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

11 October 2014

Weight Watchers Week One {video post}

It's been a week since signing up for Weight Watchers meetings, which means time to find out how I did! And because y'all loved my video from last week I've decide that this Saturday morning recap is going to be my new thing.

Weight Watchers Week One from Jill Grun on Vimeo

So how did I do? Awesome. Like, multiple pounds awesome. In fact, so awesome that I lost more this week than I did in the entire time I was doing Weight Watchers last year. But part of that is because last time I was admittedly kind of just going through the motions but this time I am totes committed to this. I know big number weeks like this are very unusual and to not get used to them but it was a nice start to say the least, especially after months and months of struggling on my own.

And mucho thanks again to my fabulous friend Alexis for her awesome advice regarding lighting for my videos!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

07 October 2014

hello and happy tuesday

So apparently you weirdos liked seeing "Unfiltered Jill" in Friday's video post.

Based on some of the comments from you fabulous folks, it was the honesty you all appreciated the most. Like I said, sometimes it's easy to...maybe not filter necessarily but when writing I tend to edit and tweak and in the process possibly lose the authenticity because, well, I'm a writer and I want things to read well. With videos it's all out there in real time, as it were.

Actually, though, all of your comments in support of that video meant a whole lot to me, so thank you for everyone who said anything on Twitter, Facebook, Emailed me, etc. But, yes, that gives you an idea of what BC deals with on a regular basis lolol.

I equally liked seeing Unfiltered Jill so I will probably do more video posts but since I know not all of you can easily watch them at work or whatever, I'll make a point to 1) include a written portion to sum up what is in the video if you can't watch it and 2) try not to make it as long. 'Cause who has 15 minutes to spare to watch a blog video, amirite? Of course, I also had a friend say she prefers videos over written posts so I'll try and strike a happy balance. That same friend is a photographer and she offered some advice regarding lighting (her exact words were that the lighting made "...[her] skeleton want to crawl out of [her] body") so hopefully I'll have that fixed next time!

So my Weight Watchers meeting on Friday went well. The number that showed up was what I anticipated so that wasn't a surprise. I chose this particular meeting for several reasons, one of which just the simple fact it works best with my work schedule (yay for having Fridays off!) It's not in Cleveland exactly, but over in Parma which was maybe only 15 minutes away so for 9:30 am totally doable. Being at 9:30 also means I'll be able to fit in a "last chance" workout with my usual 6:30 am spin class beforehand and still have time to get home to shower and have breakfast and all that jazz.

The other reason I picked this meeting is because the leader is the same one from when I did this a year ago and I really, really liked her. Of course, she actually had a sub this past week but that's okay.

One new thing is the two week Simple Start plan for new members, which is basically Simply Filling, which I looooooooove. Of course, last time I did SF I was a vegetarian so now it's like a whole new world of protein has opened up! It's kind of exciting, actually. Sissy also signed up (she was partially responsible for pushing me from "I'm thinking about signing up" to "I am definitely signing up") and while I know lots of people also doing WW, it's nice having someone who is at the same place as I am right now with the program, so we've been exchanging daily texts and emails about the simply start foods we've been eating.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 October 2014

the one with the big decision

Sooooooooo hello and Happy Friday!

Something a little bit different today, as you'll notice. After Wednesday's post about not blogging as much, something happened that seemed like it needed to be mentioned but I didn't want to write about it. Talking about it, however, seemed far more appealing. So, y'know, that's what I did. For like fifteen minutes. LOL.

The one with the big decision from Jill Grun on Vimeo.

So what's this big decision? Well, you'll have to watch the video to find out but this picture, which I took yesterday morning, is the reason for said decision.

Shit just go real, folks, and a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

01 October 2014

it is with utter and complete mortification

That I realize my last three posts have all been sponsored. Someone roll up a newspaper and tap me on the nose because bad blogger.

As a blogger, I don't just write blog posts, I read them, too, and if there's one thing I hate it's bloggers who blog just for the sake of blogging. That is, bloggers who feel like they have to blog on a regular and consistent basis and so kind of phone posts in (as it were) to keep that schedule going. Since I hate when other bloggers do that, I try very very hard to not do that. In the case of sponsored posts, these are commitments I've made and so they have to be done but if you've noticed the lack of blog posts around here as of late, that's why.

Also? It's October. Where the hell did 2014 go?

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Autumn is my most favoritest time of year, but still.

I dunno. It's like, after years of living my quiet little world where I go to work and come home and binge watch shit on Netflix and blog, I suddenly have, y'know, a life. And I don't just mean a social life, although things with BC are going amazingly well, like I can't even and I'll spare you all my disgustingly happy romantical side, but I'm working on a book, my Etsy shop had its best month ever, I've been going out with friends and doing stuff after work.... Suddenly, blogging about life has been replaced by actually living my life.

Not that I'm apologizing, I'm just letting you all know what's going on and if you continue to see a lack of posts around the olde blog you'll at least know why. It's not just my blog, either. Even Twitter and Facebook are feeling neglected but, again, I'm at that point where my off-line life is taking priority, which, to be perfectly honest, is probably the way it should be.

That being said, I am working on some blog related stuff as well. I'm hoping to submit a speaker idea for FitBloggin 2015 and last week applied to be an official ambassador for the 2015 Cleveland Marathon (not that I plan on running the actual Cleveland marathon but one of the other distances instead) and I'm working out the details to host a Virtual 5K in November in honor of my birthday!

I don't know if an "official" blogging break is in the future or not, but that's what's going on with me. What's going on with you guys?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

29 September 2014

it started with hello

This post is sponsored by Lindt HELLO

At this point, BC and I have been dating for 5 1/2 months and whenever anyone asks how we met, there is usually a small pause before either of us answers because there's actually two parts to that story.

See, BC and I went to high-school together. Not only did we go to high-school, we actually also briefly worked together at the public library in our hometown and eventually both went on to become librarians (cue collective awwww). Of course, while we went to high-school together and worked together and had mutual friends, we ourselves weren't really friends back then. I mean, I knew who he was but mostly 'cause his friend A was dating my friend A, and we were in marching band together (although different instruments) and, of course, every once in awhile we worked the same shift at the library after school.

So it really wasn't until maybe two years ago through the magic of social media that we reconnected but even then it still took time for us to get to the lovely place where we are now as a #librarianpowercouple. You know, the kind that spends a Saturday night hanging out reading.

(Well, okay, I was reading, he was half-reading/half-watching the OSU game. Suffice it to say, I finished my book first. NOT THAT IT'S A COMPETITION OR ANYTHING LOLOL)

I tell you this not only because it's a charming story but because it shows the importance of the connections that can be brought on by a simple "hello," whether it's saying hi to a kid you pass by in the hallway at school every day or saying howdy to a Facebook friend request from someone you haven't seen or spoken to in, like, ten years.

Lindt HELLO, the hip, trendy brand in premium chocolate, is a new collection from Lindt of sinfully delicious premium chocolate. Aiming to create connections and conversations wherever it goes, Lindt HELLO is inspired by classic American treats like Strawberry Cheesecake, Cookies & Cream, Caramel Brownie, and a white chocolate pineapple coconut that tastes like a fancy pina colada. Not only does the new Lindt HELLO come in such amazing flavors, you can also enjoy them in three different forms: Bars, Sticks, and Mini Stick Bags. My favorite are the mini-sticks because they are just the right size for when you want just a little bit of chocolate without going crazy. But the regular sized sticks and bars are also perfect for sharing (I plan on taking mine to work to share with co-workers).

As part of the launch, Lindt Chocolate is partnering with Ashley Tisdale to co-produce It Started with HELLO -- a fun, new romantic comedy digital series capturing couples as they make their first connections -- premiering on September 12th on the It Started with HELLO YouTube page. Lindt is also hosting a Sweet Connections Sweepstakes, allowing you to win a sweet experience from Lindt.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 September 2014

nutri ninja review

One of the perks of going to FitBloggin back in June was getting to connect and network with some really awesome companies. One of these companies was Ninja Kitchen who make phenomenal kitchen products. I won one of their blenders at a work Christmas party a few years ago and love it so when I saw they were sampling the Nutri Ninja at FitBloggin, I appreciated an opportunity to speak with them and sample some of the smoothies they offered us during break times.

Not only that, a few weeks later they sent me my very own Nutri Ninja to use and review. So full disclosure on that part, but as always, being the opinionated gal that I am, this review is all my own thoughts on the product.

It's taken me this long to post this review because I wanted an opportunity to try the Nutri Ninja out in a variety of ways, just to see all that it can do. And, seriously, this thing can do a lot. When I made my honey roasted chipotle almond crusted tilapia a few weeks ago, I used the Nutri Ninja to grind the almonds. With a different flavor and a few more pulses, I was also able to make honey roasted vanilla almond butter. The other day I made a pumpkie smoothie and notice the ice in the picture above? Yeah, the Nutri Ninja can totally handle ice like it was, uh, y'know, water. Or something like that.

Over the weekend I decided to make the peanut butter hummus recipe that Budget Bytes posted and it was so ridiculous easy making it in the Nutri Ninja, like I can't even.

The product comes with two cups, an 18 oz and a 24 oz, and sip cup style lids which make them super easy to transport (which is good, because the pumpkin smoothie I made ended up making a lot so I was able to drink it in the car on the way to work). Everything, including the blade, is dishwasher safe so clean-up is easy and they even included a little recipe book with some recipes to try. There are no buttons to push or different speeds to choose from. You just put the cup in and push down on the top to spin the blades. When you're done, take the cup out and either scoop the hummus or peanut butter or whatever into a different container or if it's a smoothie of some sort, just switch the blades for a sip cup lid.

With most standard blenders, the lid is the removable part and it's always a serious pain to blend something and try and dig it out from around the blade without slicing your own fingers. Not so with the Nutri Ninja, because the blade is the removable part so then you can just use a spoon or spatula to scrape out the insides without hitting the blades.

That being said, there are ridges on the inside of the cup that make it a little tricky. Like, normally I would just stick a spatula in there and do a kind of circle motion to cleanly scrape the interior in one movement. With the Nutri Ninja the side of the spatula keeps getting hit and stopped by the ridges so it's not as fluid as I'd like but after using it several times over the past couple months that really is my only complaint.

Thanks again to Ninja Kitchen for giving me an opportunity to try the Nutri Ninja out!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

17 September 2014

Feel Mighty and Motivated with Mighty Petunia!

A couple of weeks ago I was given an opportunity to try out some Mighty Petunia workout tanks, courtesy of Mighty Petunia owner Cathy (and my friend Tricia who first put me in contact with Cathy!). Being someone who loves having a wide variety of workout clothes to choose from, I jumped at the opportunity.

Mighty Petunia offers a wide selection of both tanks tees, and sweatshirts, and each offers a great motivational message to keep you inspired while working out. I'm kind of picky about what I wear when doing any sort of fitness activity and prefer tanks and it honestly took me forever to decide which two I wanted because they were all so awesome. In the end, I went for the You Only Live Once and the Stop Wishing in coral.

I've worn both while working out and I love how uber comfortable they are. There is nothing worse than working out in something that's heavy and itchy but these are both made with super lightweight soft fabrics. I also have to say the You Only Live Once, Might As Well Be A Badass is by far my most favorite workout top ever. No matter what kind of mood I'm in when I wake up, as soon as I put that tank on I honestly do start to feel like a badass.

The items also go up to a 2XL which is amazing because there's nothing worse than being a plus size gal and not being able to find cute workout clothes. Cathy was a great help in assisting me in deciding on which size would be best, and I got them both in an XL.

One thing I love about Mighty Petunia is that Cathy runs the whole thing all by herself. She built the website, took all the photos, manages the various social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter, I love being able to support women entrepreneurs and so can you, because now through the 19th, use coupon code Mighty for 15% off! And, as a bonus, Mighty Petunia always offers free shipping.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

15 September 2014

white girl likes her pumpkin spice

Over the weekend the weather here in Northeast Ohio dropped significantly, causing this gal to go all OHMYGOD IS IT FALL YET?!

Autumn is, without a doubt, my most favorite season ever and, naturally, one of my favorite things about fall is pumpkin flavored, well, pretty much everything. This is no Jilly Come Lately pumpkin thing either -- when I was a kid, my mom took me to the local pie shop in town and I was allowed to pick out any pie I wanted and I picked out pumpkin. I was, like, five years old.

As such, while grocery shopping over the past few days my items started to take on a particular theme.

Let's see, we have Pumpkin Ice Cream and Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal (I first tried this about a year ago when I was visiting Sissy and my BIL and they had it. As soon as I saw it at Trader Joe's yesterday I snapped up not one but two boxes), Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer, Pumpkin Pie yogurt, and Pumpkin Spice English Muffins.

I will also confess to spending much of the weekend attempting to track down the new limited edition Pumpkin Spice Oreos. One store (yes, I checked multiple shops. I MAKE NO APOLOGIES FOR THIS) had the spot on the shelf reserved for said cookies but didn't actually have them in stock yet.

I may need a Pumpkin Spice Intervention.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

09 September 2014

cuyahoga river running

Even though all of the RnRCLE events were cancelled, I've still decided to continue with my 10K training because there are some upcoming fall and winter races I plan on running. I'm already registered for the Running of the Bridges on October 19th and since I'll be getting a refund from the cancelled race, I went ahead and registered for the Bernie Shuffle, which is November 1st (the refund won't come until after a price increase, so that's why I didn't wait).

So, yesterday morning I got myself up and out of bed and went out for a quick run before work. Since the training plan I'm using has short runs I decided to change things up and stay closer to home than I usually do. That meant running along Cleveland's Cuyahoga River.

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There are seriously not enough words in the English language or any other to adequately explain to you how much I lurve this city. I feel like Woody Allen in Annie Hall: "Love is too weak a word for what I feel."


One day I'll convince FitBloggin's fearless leader Roni that Cleveland would make the most perfect location for one of our conferences. (BECAUSE IT SERIOUSLY WOULD MAKE THE MOST PERFECT LOCATION)

Then again, it's entirely possible that I'm just really biased on the subject. LOL.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

05 September 2014

how rock 'n' roll marathon series managed to piss off the home of rock 'n' roll

I don't know about you guys but over in my corner of the world yesterday was a weird, weird, weird day. First, I was up at 4 am and by "up" I mean wide wide awake. On the upside I used it as a chance to do some stuff around the house that had been on my To Do list for awhile. I managed to fall back asleep around 5:30 or so and slept till about 7:15 which is late for me during the weekday but I still managed to squeeze a run in before work.

Second, I then learned about information related to a particular professional thing through Facebook which, to be perfectly honest, is the worst way to find out about that kind of information. Then I'm at work and get this email.

Well then.

If I was still training for the half-marathon I'd be relieved, to be perfectly honest. But since I decided to switch to the 10K I'm super bummed. Especially since I've had some great short runs this past week that have started to give me my mojo back. Last year, this event was my very first half-marathon and I loved the course and organization, so it's disappointing that I couldn't be involved again.

According to some of the comments on the RNRCLE FB page, less than 4K runners were registered and that number was down something like 36% from last year. (I would try and do the math to figure out how many people ran last year except, y'know, that would involve math.)

I am trying to see the silver lining here. Like my fabulous friend Kelly said, this might be an opportunity to try a new fitness route. I'll also get a refund and there are some shorter races I've been eyeing but been hesitant to sign up for because of cost (like The Bernie Shuffle which is ridiculously overpriced for a 5K but I got my eye on that racing bling, especially since now I won't have any RnRCLE swag) so having already budgeted that money from the half out, I may put it towards a race or two. I know they offer a transfer but I wouldn't even know where to begin in deciding which race to run, especially since I'm not in a half zen right now so putting that moola to smaller, local races makes way more sense to me.

Some of the runners registered to run seem to have taken the attitude of swearing off Rock 'n' Roll Marathons forever. I don't know if I'd go that far. The series and races seem to do well in other cities, I think it's just a matter of bad timing with other long-established local half-marathons around that same weekend. Getting a Heavy Medal is on my racing bucket list and I can't do that if I boycott all of their events. But, at the same time, I can appreciate why others feel differently and see this as a bit of a slap in the face.

Any other RnRCLE runners out there? What have you decided to do about the cancellation?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

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
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