29 June 2015

FitBloggin: Finding My Authentic Self in Mile High(drate) City

Even before I got on the plane Thursday morning for Denver, I knew this year's FitBloggin was going to be different than last year. Part of it, I think, was that my own personal attitude was different. That is, I think I was going with a different plan of action. A different agenda. Maybe agenda is the wrong word. It's more that my priorities this year with regard to what I wanted to get out of the conference were different.

View from the Westin Denver pool. I KNOW, RIGHT?

This time last year I was blogging far more consistently and had a higher following. I felt, y'know, like a real blogger. Lately, I've been so busy living my life I haven't had the time or motivation to write about my life. As such, the blog has maybe suffered a bit and until I went to Denver for the conference, I hadn't realized that I've been trying to figure out what to do with the blog.

Not that it's going anywhere. I just think, when I went to Savannah last year I was very much in the mind set of doing whatever I could do to build my blog. I networked, I talked to brands, I handed out business cards. I did everything I thought I, as a blogger at a blogging conference, was supposed to do. I think I got so focused on the idea of making the blog bigger I didn't consider if that would necessarily make the blog better.

We had some phenomenal sponsors this year, like General Mills who had this awesome Make Your Own Cereal Mix station that offered sweet and savory mix ins to use with some classic cereal bases like Chex, Cheerios, and (my favorite) Lucky Charms.

Courtesy of Carrie D. Photography

I briefly spoke with almost all of the brands, but I was quite more selective and deliberate about the ones I really connected with in regards to my blog and, really, what is starting to become a brand (which is so weird to think about). But with the blog and now the podcast, my little corner of the internet is growing slowly but surely and I want to make sure I stay true and authentic to my voice as both a blogger and an individual. I don't want to work with a brand just for the sake of exposure and free shit.

Like, one of the sponsors was a food related company I use all the time. I went total fangirl when I realized they would be there and I immediately signed up for a 1:1 session with them. We have access to all of the sponsors at the expo, but the 1:1 are a chance to sit down and really talk to the brands in a more personal way. This means that while I talked with the other sponsors that offer similar products (and, of course, took full advantage of the free samples), I didn't discuss anything real in depth with them because I don't really use their products in my every day life. I had my eyes on the one I do use and while working with them maybe won't be as exciting or influential as working with a big name brand, I feel far more comfortable as a blogger knowing I'm coming to this relationship from an authentic place.

Unsurprisingly, being selective and leading with my authentic voice really allowed me to connect with the people, not the brand they represent. But it also let my light shine in a way that attracted the brands. After my Ignite Fitness presentation on Friday, one of the fitness sponsors came to me, said she was really moved by my message, and asked if I'd be interested in working with them.

I guess this year, FitBloggin just really gave me a chance to think and process and focus in on what being the blogger behind The Year of the Phoenix means to me and what direction I'm headed in. I'm still not entirely sure on all of that -- still focusing, still processing -- but I feel good about the direction nonetheless.

I know all of you really want to know how my Ignite Fitness presentation went, so be sure to come back on Wednesday for full recap of that!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 June 2015


Ah! Day after tomorrow, BC and I will be headed to Denver for FitBloggin and a much needed vacation. This will be our first time traveling together as a couple so this will be an adventure in more ways than one but I'm excited.

With so much to do in anticipation of the trip it would be easy to get overwhelmed. My one way of combating that is keeping myself organized. For me, that means not only deciding on a schedule of events and sessions but making my own calendar and color-coding it.

I have issues, I know.

There is SO MUCH to look forward to. So many awesome sessions and I can't wait speaking to all of the sponsors. I scored a 1 on 1 brand meeting with ALDI and ohmygod it's a little embarrasing how excited I am about it.

Of course, packing for the trip has completely taken over my life and it's possible my organization gene has kicked in to the point that I've made a list of what outfits I'll be wearing each day. In my defense, the way the conference is set up, outfit changes might be necessary if I do the morning workouts. So, my plan is to wake up, change into work out clothes, grab breakfast, do a workout, attend a session, then go back to the hotel room to shower and change for my rest of the day outfit. My list just helps me keep track and make sure I neither overpacked nor underpacked since we're going to be there Thursday through Tuesday.

I am also planning on taking advantage of the roof top pool and while packing was having a hard time deciding if I wanted to take my one piece or my two piece. As much as I love my high waisted bikini and as confident as I feel in it, there is still that voice that says you are a fat girl in a two piece. Luckily I was able to smack myself upside the head and realize that if there is any one group of people who will not judge me for rocking a two piece, it's the people I'm going to be seeing in Denver. So two piece it is!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

19 June 2015


Oh. Em. Gee.

One week from yesterday, BC and I will be headed to Denver for FitBloggin! I had an absolute blast last year and one of the sessions in particular really allowed me to come to terms with my body as is. This year, not only is the boyfriend coming with me and we're taking some extra days as a vacation, but I'm actually presenting at the event Friday night about being a slow runner!

I realize this pile looks like a big ol' mess, but it's where I'm temporarily putting throwing things until I need to officially start packing. This weekend I'll be making a list, although, let's be honest: I'm going to be spending most of the weekend in yoga pants and tanks or t-shirts. The hotel does have a rooftop pool so I am planning on packing a swimsuit, too!

One of the best parts about FitBloggin is connecting with the brands sponsoring the conference and this year the brands are amazeballs. There are also some fantastic sessions I'm really looking forward to. And, of course, seeing all of my friends again! In some ways, FitBloggin really is like summer camp or a family reunion and you get so excited about reconnecting with those people you only ever see but once a year.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

15 June 2015

race recap: Nature's Bin 5K

Several weeks ago, I asked BC if he was interested in running a race together. He runs a little bit and very early into our relationship he asked about running together but we never got around to it. Then I noticed the race I was eyeing for June -- to fulfill my commitment to running one race a month -- fit around his work schedule.

So Saturday morning we headed over to Lakewood Park for the Nature's Bin 5K. I was admittedly a little worried, knowing that he's slightly faster than me but as soon as we started we just each did our own thing. That meant he was always a little ahead of me, but it was honestly kind of fun looking up ahead and seeing him turn the corner and then knowing the whole time that he'd be waiting for me at the finish line.

If you've listened to the first episode of my new slow runner podcast, you'll know that my guest Liz mentioned how sometimes during races she talks to other people in the back of the pack and I said that's something I've never done before. This time, though, I decided to listen to Liz's advice and when one of the other women in the back caught up with me during one of my walking intervals I decided to match her pace for about half a mile and chat. I'm glad I did, too, so I may have to do it at future races.

I haven't seen anything close to a 15:02 pace since last summer when I ran the Copper River Salmon 5K and had a 14:38 pace. Had I not walked that half mile or so I probably would have gotten a sub-15 minute mile, which is good because now I have a new running goal to work towards!

One of my favorite things about this particular race is they have a really nice post-race breakfast spread, including yogurt, granola, fruit, bagels, etc.

So often, races start packing up so early, those of us in the back of the pack miss all the festivities that happen after the race is done so I always appreciate races that wait until all participants have crossed the finish line.

BC is one of my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to my running, but it was so much fun getting to run it with him and sharing the race experience. I have a feeling this will be the first of many races we do together.

That afternoon we headed to the Cleveland Flea where I found this little fella from Little White Barn Company.

Of course, this three time half-marathoner needed to buy it.

My next race is the Shawshank Hustle, which I'm running at the end of July with my dad. It's 4 miles, which is a bit longer than I have run in awhile. I admittedly did this past weekend's race pretty much completely untrained, but for four miles I should really focus on getting out there more over the next few weeks. Especially if I want to work on getting a faster pace!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

12 June 2015

podcast launch day is here!

I'm sure it seems like I've fallen off the grid as of late, but I promise it's with good reason. I've just been SO busy these days and the next few months are gonna be cray-cray. I have FitBloggin in two weeks, then a month later my book is released, followed by book signings, and a trip to Florida.

Along with all of that, I've been keeping busy with my podcast which officially launches today! You can listen by visiting the website or following this link and if you like what you hear, please subscribe!

My very first guest is Liz from Prior Fat Girl and I am so happy with the final product and hope you are, too. This has been my main focus for the past two months and I'm so excited about all of the guests I have lined up for future episodes. But I'm most excited about finally getting to share this with all of you!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 June 2015

Happy National Running Day 2015

Today is National Running Day and once again I am so glad I get to call myself a runner. Running has truly allowed me to become a better version of myself.

When I first started running a little over three years ago, I never ever imagined that one day I would be able to call myself a three time half-marathoner. The idea of conquering 13.1 miles was nowhere on my list of things to achieve, let alone to do it three times.

I might be slow, but I put just as much heart and soul into each and every mile. I also worked damn hard for every single one of my finisher's medals.

Forrest Gump medal rack from Running on the Wall
Cleveland Runner Girl medal rack from Detroit Metal Works

In a little over three weeks, I'll be in Denver presenting at the FitBloggin Ignite Fitness event on being a slow runner and I cannot wait. I'm also so very glad I decided to start my podcast because it's given me an opportunity to connect and talk with other runners from the back of the pack. It hasn't launched yet, but I've got two episodes recorded so far and you guys are gonna love it. For realz.

I'm getting closer to deciding on an official launch date and I'm so excited. This was a big project for me in a lot of ways -- I get nervous talking to people I don't know very well but I've had so much fun so far and can't wait to share it with all of you soon.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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