30 May 2016

The Beauty of BondiBand

Disclosure: I am a BondiBand Ambassador and have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own.

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know that I lurve me some BondiBand. I first discovered them at the Expo when I ran the Cleveland 10K back in 2013 and have been hooked ever since. So when they announced they were accepting applications for ambassadors I, of course, had to apply!

I mean. Hello. On the cover of my book I'm wearing both a BondiBand headband and an armband.

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you also know that I don't do many sponsored posts or reviews or brand affiliations or anything like that. If I'm going to come to you with a product I think you should buy I want to make sure that you know it's something I firmly support and believe in. Ambassadorships work the same way.

BondiBand Social Media Ambassador

Being an Ambassador means I also get some fun swag, starting with compression socks!

Of course, because of my ankle I'm unable to wear both socks right now but I'm definitely digging the leopard print pattern.

Currently they have their Grab Bag promotion going on which I highly recommend you check out if you're a regular BondiBand wearer. It's a great way to get a good mix plus, since it's a Grab Bag, you won't know what you get until it arrives so not only is it fun to get a package but it's a surprise, too! 

Even better, use code PHOENIX2016 to save 10% on your order! 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

26 May 2016

One Week Down #Anklegate

Yesterday was my one week follow up with the Bone Doc.

Him: How are you doing?


(I didn't really say that. He asked about the cast. I said I hate it. WHICH I DO WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING.)

I had a whole plan, too. I was committed. I was actually looking forward to training, unlike last time when I was actually dreading half-marathon training. I had all of my first few weeks runs in my Passion Planner (thank you washi tape, totally removable) and I was following a new training plan that I was super excited about. I had also contacted the local school district to find out the rules regarding residents using the track and now......I still don't know.

That said, my appointment went better than I anticipated. Apparently, when he quoted me 4-6 weeks, he was counting that whole "Oh hey, I think I have a sprained ankle and I'm walking around on it." Originally, last week, he told me he wanted to see me this week and next. My x-rays look so good, we're skipping next week. I'll return in two weeks at which point he'll take this cast off, take some better x-rays, then put another cast on. With any luck it will be a walking cast. Not a boot, mind you. I specifically asked about that. This would be a fiberglass cast like I have now, but I'd at least be able to put weight on it.

Oh man, if I can put weight on it, I might still be able to manage the Akron Half in September. Right now, if everything goes according to plan I'll probably be out of the cast by late June. My previous training plan would have me starting in early July, so I'd have about two weeks of cast freedom.

It would be cutting it close and I don't know if it would be better to forgo Akron this year, give my foot the full recovery period, and run it in 2017 instead. Thing is, I didn't buy the insurance when I registered (BUT YOU BET I'LL START DOING IT NOW WITH EVERY SINGLE RACE GOING FORWARD) and they don't allow deferments, transfers, or refunds.

Which is pretty dumb. I get refunds and deferments because that 2016 money should go for the 2016 race and all but if you had someone who paid and they can't run, why can't you just have someone else run? But I don't want to Black Market sell my bib and have someone run under my name, that's the kind of shit that gets you in trouble. Luckily I registered under Early Bird pricing so I am okay with not getting that money back if it comes to that.

And it's one of those things where I won't know until I know. Which means I won't know for, like a month or so when the cast officially comes off and I'm in the clear. So, really, it's no use worrying or stressing or wondering about it right now because there's nothing to be done.

(Also, how did it take me so long to start using .gifs in my posts?!)

I will say, I'm actually a damn lucky runner in that in the 4+ years I've been running, this is the first time I've been sidelined. And I didn't even injure myself while running, this was some stupid freak accident thing.

Also, check out this totally awesome article I am quoted in!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

18 May 2016

Anklegate 2016

Before the ankle drama, I had already requested to work from home on Monday because I had planned to be racing all weekend. After the ankle drama, it just made sense to keep that WFH request in so that's what I did.

So, I've had lots of sprained and twisted ankles in my life. I know how to deal with them which is why I didn't go to the ER last Tuesday. Instead, I RICEd -- Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. Over the past week, it had gotten better. To the point that I was able to walk around. I had a limp, sure, but I was mobile and maneuvering up and down the stairs at the house.

Only, because I have had lots of sprained and twisted ankles in my life, I know what they are supposed to look like. This...this was bad. Like, really bad. Like most of my left foot black and blue bad. 

I am a pessimist. I also have anxiety. I am also about a day away from my period starting. So when BC came home Monday night and casually mentioned that his manager told him her sister had been walking around on a "sprained" ankle for a month that turned out to be broken, I freaked the fuck out.


He pretty much just confirmed all my fears. Five minutes after he walked in the door, our discussion turned from deciding what to have for dinner into me having a bit of a melt down.

For my own sense of sanity and paranoia, I decided we should go to the ER so I could have X-Rays taken. 

This actually happened a few years ago: I decided to randomly take up rollerblading and ended up with what I thought was just a sprained elbow or something. I called work, said I was going to the ER, then decided I probably should go to the ER since I told them that. Turned out, that elbow was broken.

I was more optimistic this time, though. After all, I was walking on it and mobile and it was feeling better, I had very little pain. Still, that paranoid voice was there so we headed over to the nearby ER.

Got checked in and got into a room. All told we were there for about three hours, although only about 20 or 30 minutes of that was actual patient doctor time. But BC and I are both librarians, so we came prepared.

About half an hour or so after my X-Rays, the doctor came back in.

So, it's broken. Probably looking at six to eight weeks.


Oh. Did you have something planned? 

I'm a runner. I'm registered to run the Akron Half in September.


Turns out, ol' Doctor Andy is a runner as well. And because he's a doctor his math skills are probably better than mine. Which means he knows how training plans work and knows when a runner would have to start training to be able to run a September half. He also knows that those 6-8 weeks he quoted me don't count rehab and recovery time.

The hospital near us don't have an ortho department, so he sent me home in a splint and a list of doctors to call. After getting home I had to figure out how to navigate this two floor house with crutches and was just exhausted. I also spoke to my manager (after debating calling her at 9:30 pm. BC assured me this was an exception to the rule) then just went to bed.

Tuesday morning I made an appointment with one of the suggested bone doctors and that afternoon headed over. BC was working and I already felt like he'd been doing way too much to take care of me, so I called my dad (who I also figured had a far more flexible schedule so a last minute thing wouldn't be a big deal).

Doctor was impressed I'd been walking on it for a week and that even with all of that and very little stability, there had been no more damage. My x-rays looked good. If such a thing as a beautiful break exists, I think I have it. He quoted only 4 - 6 weeks which, y'know, sucks but is better than the 6-8.

Oh, but wait: Since your break is looking so good despite mobility and lack of support, let's see what happens with immobility and full support. That means putting you in a full on, up-to-your knee, no weight bearing allowed cast complete with a set of crutches.

Thankfully I have a job that allows for working from home, so this is pretty much me for the next few days:

Not going to lie -- I'm suddenly regretting all those recent weeks of binge watching episodes of My 600 Pound Life. Was a great idea, keeping me motivated and all, up until I suddenly feel like one of those patients before their surgery.

And I'm being perfectly honest, one of the things I'm most worried about is that I can't really weigh myself for the next few weeks. It's just not feasible with the cast. It makes me so nervous because I use that as a tool to monitor myself. Just last week I made a plan, an actual concrete plan, to get my shit together in that regard and now.... I just have to kind of go on faith that my plan is working. I have to have trust in myself and my food choices.

If nothing else, at least I can't use exercise as an excuse to over indulge.

Also, at this point I can't even think about Akron and my half-marathon. After not running the 5K/10K Challenge Series last weekend, Akron was supposed to be my comeback and now I don't know. I don't know how this ankle will go. I don't know how rehab will go. Obviously that new training plan of mine -- which was scheduled to start in exactly one week -- isn't happening. But I don't know where I'll be in mid-July when my usual training plan would start. I just don't know.

And, because I don't know and because I can't spend the next several months worrying, I'm just not even going to think about it. I am going to try and force myself to take it one day at a time. This is not something I'm good at (I'm terrible at living in the present) so this is going to be a real challenge.

I am just going to keep up the mantra that this will make for a good chapter in my book. Which you should totally go pre-order just because you feel sorry for me.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

17 May 2016

Race Weekend As an Injured Runner

So despite that whole ankle bullshit, I still had to be active and involved in the Cleveland Marathon Race Weekend -- which is actually probably a good thing. Otherwise, I would have sat around being all sad and mopey about not running. (Granted, I was still kind of sad and mopey but I still got to experience some of the fun stuff that comes with race weekend so it was okay).

Because Sissy was running the 10K on Sunday I still had to get to the Expo downtown to pick up her race packet. I was sort of in a tricky situation because, like an idiot, I had forgotten to bring quarters and I was driving down there while metered parking was still in effect. 

After my fourth drive around I spotted an opening right in front of the Convention Center, behind the crosswalk. I pulled in and moved ahead a bit -- into the cross walk -- to adjust and just as I started to reverse into the spot A MOTHERFUCKING SUV PULLED INTO THE SPOT RIGHT BEHIND ME. 

My options now are 1) illegally park over a crosswalk or 2) keep looking for a spot. 

You guys. I am not one to exhibit road rage on a regular basis but OH. MY. GOD. If not for the fact that I can't really walk -- hence wanting a spot near the entrance -- I would have gotten out of my car and it would not have been pretty. 

I did the only thing I could do, I did another lap around the building, this time in tears. THANKFULLY when I pulled up in front again I found a spot that was even better, right out front. I am not the best parallel parker but I managed to maneuver my car in and headed inside. 

I haven't made any big official announcement yet on the blog, but I'm now a Bondi Band Ambassador which, if you read this, you know I am a huge Bondi Band fan, so this is pretty awesome. So, of course, one of the first places I stopped was their booth to pick up some more. 


Normally I'd take my time walking around the Expo, but this was very much a get in and get out situation. I did manage to run into some of my fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors so that made me happy. Not all of us were there at the same time but that's okay because Friday night was the fancy VIP Reception at the Hyatt.


Saturday afternoon, my dad brought Sissy to the house and we just had a low-key evening. We all went to bed early because BC had offered to play chauffeur for us in the morning, which meant we all had a ridiculous wake up time. (He also went out and got us Barrio tacos for dinner. He really is amazing. Like, for real.)

Sunday morning we were all up a little after 5 am and BC drove Amy and I downtown. It was cold, grey, and very overcast. Oh yeah, AND THERE WAS HAIL. IN MAY. The plan was for me to go to the VIP Brunch while she was running and then I'd be at the finish line in time to see her. Originally I was going to hang out with Sissy at the start line, but because she didn't want to make me walk more than necessary she offered to just go by herself and BC could drop me off somewhere along the course.

With road closures it was a little tricky, but he found a spot that would make it easy for me to get where I needed to go. After losing $20 at the casino, I parked myself near Public Square to watch the race. I was hoping to see Sissy as she passed by, but there were just so many people. I did spot a couple of my Ambassadors though!

Once all the runners passed me -- had to watch those with the police escort, yo! -- it was about 7:15 and I walked the block or two to the Marriott, where the brunch was being hosted. With the foot and the slick sidewalks I was walking super slow, terrified of slipping. I knew she'd be finishing a little after 8 am and wanted to give myself plenty of time to get to the finish line and find a spot so I ate pretty quick but it was tasty all the same.

As an Ambassador last year, I had to miss the brunch because it ended while I was still running my half. My friend Jamie has said she usually RSVPs and sends her family, giving them somewhere to go while she's running her marathon. I may have to steal that idea if I ever run the half as an Ambassador again. They changed the course this year which is far more favorable --ie. way less time on the Shoreway for the half, which I always found to be the absolute worst four miles of the entire course. It's one reason I didn't register for it this year so I'm not discounting it for the future.

After breakfast I hobbled on over to the finish line to see Sissy. I got there a little early but that meant I managed to get a good spot, although it took some work to get around the construction and messed up sidewalks.

The 10K runners were, at this point, the only ones coming in but it was still a good chunk of people and I was trying to keep a careful eye out. Luckily, she dressed with some pretty wild running tights so I knew what to look for. We spotted each other at the same time and waved.

She finished her first 10K in 1:04:14 and I am so proud of her!

As for the ankle situations, welllllll it's a little bit different than what I thought last week (and if you follow me on social media you know what I am talking about). I hope to have an updated post tomorrow.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

12 May 2016

Sooooo about those races I'm supposed to be running this weekend.....

I had a completely different post planned for today but then life took a rather nasty turn.


Tuesday night, come home, start dinner, then go upstairs to put on comfy clothes. BC is in our bedroom and asking all about the agenda for this weekend's big races. After going through all of that, I realize the time and head downstairs to check on dinner. Right at the bottom of the stairs I slip and fall and it happens so quickly I'm unable to catch myself and land right on my ankle.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

I immediately burst into tears, because it's Tuesday night and I have a 5K and a 10K to run in less than a week. As it happens, I already had an annual exam scheduled for Wednesday afternoon so I contacted my manager and explained the situation and said I'd be taking a full sick day instead of just a couple of hours.

I spent the evening RICE-ing: Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.

In fact, after dinner, while cleaning up, BC asked me, "What flavor of Mitchell's do you want?" Because he's amazing and awesome like that. I opted for chocolate peanut butter. I called it RICE cream. He also picked up an ankle brace and an air cast. BECAUSE HE IS AMAZING AND AWESOME LIKE THAT.

I pretty much spent the evening doing ridiculous amounts of crying. And hobbling, on those rare situations where I needed to move. Like going upstairs to use the bathroom which was, like, the worst thing ever. GODDAMN CENTURY HOME I JUST MOVED INTO.

It was all super sexy, let me tell you.

The next day, my appointment was scheduled for 2:40 but thankfully my doctor had an opening at 11, which I happily took as I'd rather get in and out and spend the remainder of the day resting.

My first question was, of course, about my races. She didn't say I couldn't, it was more of a very, very cautious "wait and see how your ankle feels" with a side of, "If you feel strong enough, I can't really stop you." Which, y'know, fair response.

Obviously that's all I've been thinking about for the past couple of days and here's where I'm at:

Sunday's 10K? Out. For one thing, those 6.2 miles pose a greater risk for re-injury plus, even assuming my foot feels better, it'll probably make this slow runner even slower. Sissy is coming into town this weekend to run the 10K, too, and we have family plans after. Time constraints are already a concern with my normal pace so, yeah, no. She'll still be running, of course: just because I'm a clumsy fool doesn't mean she has to miss her first 10K.

The 5K.....I'm leaning towards no. Of course, I'm also still not 100% and I can't predict the future so who knows once Saturday morning rolls around. But based on how I feel today, Thursday, and looking ahead to Saturday, it seems unlikely I'll be in a condition I'll feel confident even walking 3.1 miles, let alone running.

My main concern is that I'm supposed to start training for the Akron Half Marathon in about two weeks. I've been wanting to run that race since doing the Relay Marathon last year. Normally, I wouldn't start training until July but I've been looking at a different training plan this year.

My first half was in 2013 and I've been trying to beat that 3:37:53 time ever since. Neither my 2014 nor 2015 half got me there and it's one reason why I chose to not run the Cleveland Half this year. That said, at the halfway point at last year's half I was right on target so I know I can do it.

I really, really, really want that fucking PR you guys and since signing up a couple of months ago, Akron has been my big race for the year. This is the race I've had my eyes on, the one I've been working towards. I want to run my best half that I can and I know I have it in me...

...but only if I start my training in the best possible place. And that means skipping the 5K and 10K and letting my ankle heal. 

Sure, I could maybe hobble through the 5K but at what cost? Keep in mind, too, I'm not a 125 lb runner with minimal body fat. My body has to carry more weight around, which puts more weight on the healing foot. To that end, my doctor told me they now have a nutritionist on staff. She didn't say this in any sort of judgmental way regarding my weight, it was more of a casual, "Soooo we have a nutritionist on staff now" (said while feeling me up/doing a breast exam. Awkward.) Clearly she was presenting the idea in a way that would let me make the decision for myself and I said yes. Not only because I need some nutritional guidance but I especially need it for my running. I never know how to balance wanting to lose weight with needing to eat to perform well. So I have to look at my calendar and make an appointment but here's hoping I can meet with her right around the time my half training starts.

So that's what's going on here. SO MUCH FUN. I'm still planning on attending the fancy Ambassador Reception tomorrow night so I can see my running family and I need to go to the Expo to pick up Sissy's stuff, but yeah.

If nothing else, at least I have an interesting Last Chapter for my book.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 May 2016

5K/10K Training Tuesday: Week Fifteen

Monday: 2 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Speedwork
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Rest

I have no idea where the past couple of weeks have gone but ZOMG my races are this weekend! Saturday morning is the 5K and Sunday is the 10K. Friday night is also the fancy VIP party downtown that all of us Ambassadors are invited to -- I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to see my running family again.

Needless to say, it's going to be a very busy weekend: I'm hoping to leave work a little early on Friday so I can get to the Convention Center to pick up my race packet and Sissy's. She won't need hers until Sunday but since I have to pick up my Friday for the 5K I figured I might as well get hers, too, just in case we don't have time to get to the Expo on Saturday. After the Expo I'll be at the VIP party, then wake up early Saturday to run the 5K. My sister will be coming to Cleveland on Saturday, we'll run early Sunday morning, then head to Youngstown for a family bridal shower.


As such, I'm trying to work really hard this week to stay up on all of my writing, even trying to get ahead as much as I can. My manuscript is due to my editor in just over a month and I tend to get a lot of writing done on the weekends but that won't be much of an option this time particular weekend so I'm forging ahead during the weeknights and will probably be skipping a lot of the lunch time fitness classes at work to use my lunch hour, too.

(Once again, I am so fucking glad I opted to not run the half-marathon this year.)

I'm sure I've said it before, but this really is like Mile 10 of a half-marathon, where I'm just feeling exhausted and ready to be done, but I just have to push myself a little bit further.

I'm at that point where the self-doubt is once again creeping in with my writing and I have to try really hard to turn that part of my brain off. To mute the voice telling me this is horrible and everyone will hate it and anyone who says they love it are just doing that to be polite because they are family and friends because, really, who else would bother reading this?

The next five weeks are going to be a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (well, okay, hopefully not actual blood unless it's from a paper cut or something). But, like crossing the finish line of any race, it's going to be so worth it in the end.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 May 2016

5K/10K Training Tuesday: Week Fourteen

Another week of training is done! Two weeks until race day!

Monday: 1 mile
Tuesday: Zumba
Wednesday: 2 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: 2 miles
Saturday: 5 miles
Sunday: Rest

My plan on Monday was to run 2 miles but I was dealing with some seriously tight calves that were so not feeling it. I was running on my lunch break so I cut the run short and, instead, took advantage of the foam rollers in the warehouse at our facility.

(Yes, my job is awesome.)

This was admittedly the first time I have ever used a foam roller but I found it very, very helpful so I definitely need to work it into my routine more often.

Tuesday was Zumba and then Wednesday morning before work I went for a 2 mile run to make up some of the mileage I missed on Monday. Thursday was yoga and Friday was another pre-work two mile run.

Saturday morning I was up early for this week's long run. Once again, I ran from my house to a nearby park, ran at the park, then ran home.

Since I'm doing the 5K/10K Challenge, I have a race on Saturday and then again on Sunday. I usually try and spread training runs out to purposely not tire my legs out but this time around I need to get used to running on tired legs.

My endurance was fine because, thankfully, I've broken through the running wall, but my pace was a little slower than I would have liked but I think that's to be expected with the whole running back to back days.

Sunday was a rest day and I took full advantage: after grocery shopping in the morning, I took a shower and was in my PJs by 2 pm. Sorry not sorry.

The weekend was also spent writing -- the manuscript for Running with a Police Escort: Tales From the Back of the Pack is due to my editor in about six weeks! The past six months have flown by and now it's crunch time. I keep comparing it to a race where I'm starting to close in on the last 5K of a half-marathon. I'm almost to the finish line, but I still have to put some work in for another couple of miles.

I told friends and family that if they manage to see me between now and June 15th to count themselves very, very lucky because I'm going to be spending most of my free time holed up in my office with my computer. If BC and I hadn't moved in together a month ago, I don't even think he'd be seeing me between now and my due date!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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