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

25 August 2014

sunday funday and the suite life

I don't know about y'all, but my Sunday was absolutely fabulous. It started with me sleeping in for a bit (which is unusual, given that I have two adorably aggressive cats) then I made myself an oatmeal pancake for breakfast.


It's been months and months since I made one of these and it was just as tasty as I remembered. A few months ago, thanks to FitBloggin, I was given an opportunity to try out a NutriNinja and that's what I used to mix up the batter and it was just perfect. I can't wait to give you guys a full review of the gadget soon!

After breakfast I headed over to Tremont's Lincoln Park for another session of Yoga Rocks the Park Cleveland.


Since my half-marathon training started about a month ago, I've been working really hard to get back into a weekly yoga practice and I do love practicing outdoors (although I always inevitably forget to put on sunscreen and end up with a bit of a burn on my face).

Not gonna lie, my plans for the rest of the day consisted of hanging out with the cats watching Teen Mom 2 online. (WHATEVER. DON'T JUDGE.) Luckily, BC saved me from myself and asked if I wanted to go to the Indians game.


The Indians call Progressive Field home, but those of us who were around when the stadium was first built remember when it was called Jacob's Field. As such, I dressed for the game by showing some CLE Clothing Company love.


What I didn't know until he picked me up was that we were actually headed to the Indians Social Suite, which is for fancy folks out in the Twittersphere.


Day drinking FTW.

BC did make fun of me for putting yellow mustard on my hot dog instead of stadium mustard but I STAND BY MY CHOICE.

Day started out sunny for yoga then was overcast when we arrived to the game. But eventually the sun came out and the Tribe won and I got to spend a weekend afternoon hanging out with a man who makes me super happy. Happy in CLE, indeed.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

22 August 2014

eating local at locavore

A few weeks ago I won two tickets to Locavore from Jen over at Why CLE? Benefiting the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Locavore is an event that showcases the local culinary wonders since a locavore is someone who makes an effort to eat food that is locally grown, raised, or produced, usually within 100 miles. The event was last night, so after work BC and I headed over to Windows on the River.

Most of the businesses offering food and wine were from right here in Cleveland, but a few were from a bit further out but still within that radius, like MS Cupcakes for a Cure which are made by 16 year old Madi Cano from Toledo, Ohio. (Her cupcakes were absolutely adorable and so yummy, I can't believe I didn't take a picture.) There was a good mix of sweet and savory foods available and just the right sized small portions so we were able to get our dinner and dessert, too! Between the two of us, I'm pretty sure BC and I sampled and shared options from just about every station, and there were plenty to choose from!


(True story, as I was arranging these on the table, BC added some that he had picked up that I hadn't and it made me laugh since he clearly knew exactly what I was doing. This is one of those moments where it helps dating another blogger, LOL)

One of the best parts about the event was getting an opportunity to try food from restaurants I'd always wanted to visit but hadn't had a chance yet, like Jack Flaps and Momocho. We also got to try wine from a variety of local vineyards (I think my personal favorite was the cranberry from Maize Valley. I'm going to have to track that sucker down). BC and I left with a list of restaurants we are definitely going to go try now.

There were also plenty of restaurants there that I had tried before and loved, like Lilly Handmade Chocolates.


The truffles at Lilly's are super delicious and while totally worth the price, not always in my budget. It's entirely possible I took full advantage of the situation and this plate came home with me. (Whatever, she kept telling me to take two of each if I wanted so I could have totally exploited that but I didn't.)

They also sold raffled tickets for some pretty awesome prize packages so hopefully my name will get pulled from one of those!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

20 August 2014

grilled maple bacon peanut butter and jelly sammich

Two recipes in one week? Before you know it, this will be a food blog!

LOL. Just kidding. Mama ain't got that kinda time.

Today's post is thanks to the awesome folks over at Peanut Butter & Co. who sent me two complimentary jars of their Mighty Maple Peanut Butter and two jars of their Rip Roaring Raspberry Preserves. Take those two and what do you get?

A peanut butter and jelly sammich, of course!


Except. See. Well. That's kind of boring, amirite?

Don't get me wrong. I lurve me a good ol' fashioned pb&j. But, y'know, we're all adults here so I decided to go a little bit crazy.


That's right.

BACON.

True story, growing up we never really ate bacon. We were more sausage people, at least as far as I can recall. Over the past few months, however, I've rediscovered bacon and ohmygod. Like. I can't even. Keep in mind I was vegetarian for almost seven years. I missed the whole Bacon Movement that happened with, well, basically bacon everything. And, not having really been a big bacon eater, I never quite got it.

I get it now.

(I partly blame BC. We were at brunch once at this restaurant with seriously bad ass bacon and he ordered it and offered me a piece. I don't think it's something I would have decided to seek on my own.)

So now we have peanut butter + jelly + bacon.

But then, well, I decided to get even crazier.


GO BIG OR GO HOME, AMIRITE? LOL


Just look at those beautiful, beautiful grill marks and that melted peanut butter and jelly. The maple flavor paired perfectly with the bacon and I actually made this for breakfast one day and it with the carbs and protein combination it made a fantastic start to my day.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

18 August 2014

honey roasted chipotle almond crusted tilapia with blue diamond

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds 

So, okay, the first thing I have to tell you is that I sort of did this a little backwards in that I cooked the fish first. Now that I'm eating meat again I'm trying to expand my horizons and -- never having been a big sea food fan in the past -- took a chance and purchased a bag of tilapia fillets from the grocery store. I baked the fillets unseasoned or anything and only after I took them out of the oven did I realize that they were kinda, well, bland and needed a bit of flavor.

Now, I'm a Blue Diamond Tastemaker and just the other week they sent me samples of two of their flavors from their honey line of products.


The Honey Roasted Vanilla I immediately turned into nut butter but I wasn't quite sure what to do with the Honey Roasted Chipotle. But then, see, I had these tilapia fillets that needed just a bit of something and....

LIGHT BULB.

I went on the hunt for recipes and while most call for a whole host of seasonings, as long as you're using one of the many Blue Diamond flavored almond varieties you probably won't need anything else to add flavor. That means this is a ridiculously easy recipe and one that is also super yummy. I pan-fried them this time around but next time (and oh yes, there will be a next time. Probably sooner rather than later) I may try baking instead.


Honey Roasted Chipotle Almond Crusted Tilapia 

Ingredients: 
2 eggs
1 cup almonds
8 tilapia fillets 
1/4 cup flour (I was out of all purpose so just used whole wheat)
Butter

Directions:
Beat the eggs in a bowl. Set aside.

Use a blender or food processor to grind the almonds. Spread out in a shallow dish.

Dust the tilapia fillets with flour then shake off excess. Dip the tilapia in the egg, then press into the almond mixture.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook tilapia in melted butter until golden brown on both sides. Serve.

I paired mine with green beans and some corn on the cob and made for a delicious dinner for the rest of the week.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

12 August 2014

Welcome GG9!

Over the weekend, our fair city of Cleveland opened its arms to welcome those involved with the 2014 Gay Games! Friday night I took my half training long run downtown where I spotted this sign on the back of the main branch of the Cleveland Public Library.


You can't tell from the picture, but each letter has a different color around it, forming a rainbow. Because of the library's location and the layout of the city, the sign can be seen from the Festival Village a couple blocks away.

On Sunday, thanks to a friend's FB status, I discovered the rowing competition was being held at The Cleveland Metroparks newest location, Merwin's Wharf at Rivergate, which is within walking distance of my apartment.


It was right around lunch time, so I first went to a nearby market to get a sandwich and fruit before walking back over to the banks of the Cuyahoga, where I settled in and had a lovely lunch while watching the rowers!


It was a gorgeous day and I stayed and watched and cheered the rowers for about an hour before heading back home. The events and activities are lasting all week long and taking place in both Cleveland and Akron. I have to work, but hopefully I'll be able to check out some of the events next weekend.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

07 August 2014

all about all about that bass

I am officially obsessed with this song:
So I was super excited yesterday when Katie played it as our warm-up during spin class. Whenever I really connect with a song, I love being able to work out to it and this was no exception. I had a really strong ride and I think having that song set the tone was a big part of that. 
Speaking of spinning, a few days after getting my instructor certification I emailed Harness owner Annie and mentioned that while right now and for the next few months my schedule is cray-cray, I'd be interested in joining the team later in the year and she said that's actually good timing and will let me know when applications open up so hopefully in 2015 I'll be able to put that certification to use!

What songs have you been listening to a lot lately?
Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

04 August 2014

welcome august and walkabout

So, like, it's August. I have no idea how that happened, but there it is. This year is just moving too damn fast for me to keep up and offline I'm working on a big personal project with a January deadline and there's half-marathon training, so needless to say the second half of 2014 is going to be cray-cray.

It's also been one month since FitBloggin and one month since I decided to accept the body that is a result of my lifestyle and when I weighed myself this morning I was right where I needed to be. Technically I should have waited until this Wednesday, but I'm still working on how often I weigh in and I have a feeling I always will find that to be a challenge.

This was a super busy and full weekend, which is always fun but I was grateful for a calm relaxing Sunday yesterday. Friday night I met up with an old high-school friend for dinner at Peachtree Southern Kitchen and it was delish. I went for the fried green tomatoes and house salad and both were just right portions in a Goldilocks kind of way.

I ended up spending the night at my parents' and Saturday morning I was up bright and early to get a 4 mile run in around the neighborhood.


It was a gorgeous morning but while the weather was fine when I first set out, by the end it was ridiculously humid and just blah.

After my run I headed to the local public library for research purposes and I also ended up walking a bunch around my hometown before heading back to Cleveland for dinner and a movie with BC. By the end of the night I was exhausted.


Well. That certainly explains it.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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