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
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