28 February 2015

review: cordskinz

If you're like me, there is nothing more annoying than when your ear bud cords get tangled. This is especially true when it's super early in the morning and all you want to do is get your workout on but you are barely awake and haven't had any coffee yet and so your brain hasn't quite caught up and the tangle of cords getting in the way of you and your music is suddenly akin to taking a Mensa exam.

So when Cordskinz contacted me and said they had a solution to the tangled ear bud conundrum and offered a set to try in exchange for a review, I was more than happy to take them up on their offer.

Like the name implies, Cordskinz are, well, these skins or sleeves that you put over your ear bud cords. They are made of a thick plastic and come in multiple colors, allowing for customization. As it happens, they sent me two Cordskinz that by sheer luck perfectly match two of my ear bud sets.

The sleeves get put on using this little tool and while I admit it took me a minute to figure out how the whole thing worked, once I got the first one on, the second one was a snap. You can also customize the length, so while the Cordskinz are fairly long, you can just snip it off wherever you want.

I have to say, for such a simple little device I'm pleasantly surprised with how well they work. I can put them in my pocket or in a drawer and not worry about having to deal with a tangled mess the next time I pull them out to use.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

25 February 2015

here we go again

I know I've talked about being an Ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon, for which I'll be running the half. The race isn't until May 17th and I always follow a twelve week training program, which means all this time I haven't actually started training yet.

All of that changed on Monday.

I am once again using a Hal Higdon training program which I really like because it's flexible enough that I can make it work around my schedule. I'll be spinning at Harness Cycle at least once a week for cross training and I left the other cross training days open so I can kind of decide each week if I want to go to yoga or maybe do another spinning class or take advantage of one of the many workout DVDs I have at home.

Two races are on the schedule: the St. Malachi 5 Miler which is my March race and the Hermes 10 Miler which will be April's race. Technically the week of Hermes is supposed to be, I think, a 10K race so I'll be running the 10 miles a couple weeks early but so it goes. Maybe doing it at a race will make those 10 miles a bit easier.

I am going to be completely honest: I have been dreading this. When I ran the Cleveland Half last year it did not go well. Then I started training for the RnRCLE half and my training was going poorly and then the event was cancelled and so, well, I haven't been feeling very confident about tackling another 13.1 miles. That's one reason I applied to be an Ambassador, to give myself a little more oomph to work towards.

Part of it, I think, is knowing the early mornings and hard work ahead. Take my run yesterday: I know that 3 miles isn't a long distance, but when you are a slow runner, having to fit in 3 miles before work means having to get up super early. And in this weather and it still being dark out, that means having to do it on the treadmill which is, like, my least favorite thing ever. And because I haven't been running as much, I'm not conditioned enough right now to run those 3 full miles, I have to walk some of them which makes each mile take just a little bit longer which means the whole thing takes even longer.

A couple weeks ago, the #wycwyc podcast talked about focusing on the process of something and not just the end result. So that's what I'm trying to do: focus on the process of training for the half and not just the goal of crossing the finish line. Focusing on making my body stronger and getting back into running mode and fueling my body with healthy foods and on and on. I know I can do this. I have done this. Twice. And I will do it again.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 February 2015

race recap: SnoBall 5K

I admittedly haven't done that much running since the Commitment Day 5K, but as I had used that race to commit to running one race a month, I knew I needed to at least get out there for my February race. For that I selected the SnoBall 5K out in Bay Village, Ohio. It had been so ridiculously cold all week, so I kept my eyes on the temperature and was excited to see it was going to be, well, not quite warm but warmer than it had been as of late. That being said, the snow part of the race certainly lived up to its name.

This was a tough 3. 1 miles for no other reason than the weather. The roads weren't plowed so not only was the drive in a bit rough but then to try and run on it. In the end I had to walk more than I would have liked and it was a struggle for no other reason than it utilized completely different muscles than I'm used to. I was cold, I was tired, and by around Mile 2 I was ready to turn around to the cop trailing us and ask him to drive me back to the school.

Which, obviously, would have been super stupid considering at that point I only had 1.1 miles left. So I sucked it up and finished in 51:15. Not fabulous, but whatever. If nothing else, the snow seemed to slow lots of people down so at least I wasn't the only one in the back of the pack. In fact, being in the back of the pack and having lots of time to think gave me a great opportunity to start to work through my FitBloggin Ignite Presentation which, as it would happen, is based on being a slow runner.

They did have a pancake breakfast waiting for us at the school which was a nice change from the usual banana situation. In fact, I'm thinking most races should jump on the post-race pancake breakfast wagon.

After the race I came home and took a nice looooooong shower then spent the afternoon in bed rewatching Mad Men (I hope to finish before the final season starts in April) and putting together my racing scrapbook page.

My next race is St. Malachi -- this will be the third year in a row I've run it and this year comes with a finisher's medal!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

16 February 2015

last week I broke the cardinal weight loss rule

Don't drink your calories. 

Generally speaking, the rule makes sense. But when you aren't feeling well and have zero appetite, sometimes consuming your calories in the form of Gatorade and/or ginger ale is the only way to go.

I left work early on Tuesday thanks to a migraine and still felt sluggish all week but because of work priorities was unable to call off. Friday was literally the only day I had to sleep in and rest. It meant skipping my Weight Watchers meeting, which is ironic considering I'd probably be way down seeing as how I'd averaged about 800 calories per day between Tuesday and Thursday.

Even though I'm feeling much, much better, I still don't have much of an appetite which is -- to be honest -- kinda weird. So much so that I didn't bother tracking that much over the weekend because I knew I was far below where I needed to be (which was inevitably confirmed when I did track). It felt like the first time I've ever really practiced intuitive eating, albeit unintentionally. But, I mean, after basically not eating for four days I decided I wasn't going to overthink it. I'd eat when I was hungry and I'd eat what I was hungry for. So on Sunday that meant Chicken and Waffles when we went out for brunch and I didn't feel bad or guilty or put a lot of thought into it. And it ended up being enough to keep me full until about 7 pm when I had a pretty small dinner.

Valentine's Day was very quiet around here. BC came over Friday night with pizza and we woke up to a very snowy Saturday so decided to stay in. As I'd been sick for the past few days and not eating, I hadn't made it to the grocery store so I had to make a quick run and then came back and whipped up some blueberry pancakes from scratch. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out, watching movies.

Of course, lest you think we binge watched rom-coms or something, let it be known our movie selections included Silence of the Lambs, There Will Be Blood, Swedish version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and Girl Who Played With Fire. Because that's how we roll, yo.

Dinner was leftover pizza and I had one piece and some pretzels and that plus two small pancakes and some bacon at breakfast were all I had all day long. Of course, maybe that's not so terrible considering how lazy I was that day.

I realize for a first Valentine's Day together this probably sounds about as un-romantic as one could imagine, but on the contrary, it was absolutely without a doubt the most perfect day I could have imagined.

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway to win a free race entry to any of the Cleveland Marathon events!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

12 February 2015

win a race entry to the Cleveland Marathon!

Is there anything better than when you're bundling up to go out into the snow and the cold for a workout and realize your athletic jacket has thumb holes?

I think not.

Sunday morning was actually almost balmy at 40 degrees so I took myself over to Edgewater Park which looked like a frozen tundra.

Because it had started to warm up, some of the snow and ice had begun to melt and there were huge puddles along the path. Some you could easily navigate around but for others, well, at some point I just gave up and accepted my fate of wet socks and shoes.

It's that time of year where people are starting their training for the upcoming Cleveland Marathon races and as an Official Ambassador this year, I get to provide one of my readers with a free race entry! It's good for any of the distances -- 5K, 10K, Half and Full -- and some of you may remember I actually won my entry into last year's half so I'm super excited at being able to pay it forward, as it were, this year.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 February 2015

giving myself permission to eat

Last week I mentioned I was trying something a little different in terms of food. After being lost in losing limbo for the past few months and going back and forth about what I wanted to do, this was the first week I actively decided to try and maintain my FitBloggin Weight (as I have come to know it).

Before I'd sort of half heartedly attempt to maintain or could never decide, but this past week I set out with this as my goal. I can't seem to be able to manually change my Weight Watchers to maintenance, but I can change the amount of daily points I get, so last week I upped them by 2 and managed to eat all my dailies and my weeklies and ended up losing 0.8 pounds.

Not quite what I was going for, but when it comes to maintenance it's not like anyone actually stays literally the same weight. There are natural fluctuations and WW allows for a change of 2 pounds in either direction so 237 is now my new scary red number where if I get back up to that I'm in danger danger mode and need to scale back.

The interesting thing is, now that I made this choice to try and stay where I am, now that I have the flexibility to eat more food, I found myself not wanting to take advantage of it.

I've found this with other foods. Once I really and truly give myself permission to eat certain "taboo" foods, the desire to eat (or overeat) said foods dissipated and I found myself making healthier choices instead.

Take peanut butter. Peanut Butter used to be a trigger food, hardcore, zomg. So much so that I couldn't even keep it in the house and if I did have it around I kept telling myself I couldn't eat it and I think it knew I told myself that because then it kept calling to me from the cupboard (no, seriously. It did).

But then I slowly started to reintroduce it and started to eat it. I measure it out on my food scale so I know exactly what I'm eating but as of right now I have, oh, like three different kinds of peanut butter in my cupboard and I feel perfectly safe having it around. Because I know that if I wanted to make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or if I wanted to put it on my toast in the morning or stir it into my oatmeal, I can. I've given myself permission to eat peanut butter if and when I want to and in doing so, the anxiety regarding it as a food choice has been lifted.

Or, for instance, on Saturday night BC was coming over after picking up dinner and we were trying to decide what to get. He mentioned Melt Bar & Grilled, which is one of our favorites, but not exactly the most waist-line friendly so I'm starting to mentally get a little anxious when he suggested sharing a sandwich.

I swear to goddess, I have no idea why it took us this long to do that but it was genius. The sandwich we selected ended up coming cut into three segments and I only ate a third and didn't even eat all of my half of the fries and I felt completely satisfied.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

04 February 2015


As y'all know, a few weeks ago I submitted a Spark for the FitBloggin Keynote Event. They announced the speakers in two rounds and when the first round was announced last week and my name wasn't on it I was a little bummed. But yesterday the second round was announced and OHMYGOD IS THAT MY NAME ON THE LIST?! 

I made myself a promise that if my Spark was picked, I would present dressed as my little superhero character. 

The cape belongs to a Wonder Woman outfit type thing I bought at the same time I bought the Batman costume I wore at the Running the Bridges which was the race which inspired my Spark title of It's Not Last Place, It's Running With Police Escort.....

Full circle, people. FULL FUCKING CIRCLE.

(Clearly I'm very excited about this.)

If you are looking to attend this amazingly awesomely fabulous conference but are worried about the financial part, they do offer assistantships in the form of being a Live Blogger. Applications are open now, so definitely consider applying! 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

02 February 2015

happy february!

A new month is upon us and I for one am super excited for what this month has in store. For one thing, my training for the Cleveland Half Marathon starts this month. I also used some of my tax refund to buy a series to Harness Cycle -- I haven't been spinning lately, mostly for financial reasons and I was saving what classes I had left to use during half training. But now I can get a jump on getting back to a weekly spinning routine.

After skipping the scale a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure what to expect this past Friday so when I ended up being up 3.8 I wasn't too surprised. To be honest, I think even though I was up from two weeks ago I'm pretty sure I was down if I had weighed in last week since when I stepped on my home scale that morning I was way way up. Guess we'll never know.

But even being up that much, I'm still back to what I call my FitBloggin weight which seems to be the right weight for me, at least for now. So I'm trying something just a little different this week in terms of food so we'll see how that turns out.

I did, however, get a new charm for my ring at the meeting.

Yes indeed, I've been attending meetings for four months now! Man that time went fast. I mean really. I've lost 10 lbs in that time which, granted, doesn't seem like a whole lot but I no longer weigh the 245 I weighed when I walked in the door which was my ultimate goal so as far as I'm concerned I'm counting these four months as successful.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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