30 September 2016

Spin Cycle

This week I set one goal for myself:

That was it. That was my only goal. Well, not my only goal, I always have little ones I try to meet on a daily basis, but it was the really big goal.

Now that I've been cleared for (most) exercise, I have to challenge myself to get back into a routine. A routine that includes very early morning spin classes at least once a week. In fact, the YMCA changed the times -- what used to be a 6 am class is now a 5:45 am class.

Thankfully I live ridiculously close and there's no traffic that early and I tend to be an early riser anyway so waking up and getting ready was easy enough. (Granted, ask me again once it starts snowing.)

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Bonus: Thanks to the very short drive and the early morning hour, I was able to go back to the house and get ready for work there!

I haven't been on a spin bike in about six months, back when my favorite spinning instructor went on maternity leave back in March. Then, of course, like two months later I broke my fibula and have been out of commission ever since.

Needless to say I eased back into it. My core needs work so I couldn't do most of the standing rides and sometimes the angle made a little noise in my still recovering ankle so I didn't push it too much.

But man oh mangoberry you guys it felt so good to work out again!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

28 September 2016

What I Love Wednesday: CowCow

When I say "CowCow" you probably imagine something like this:

Unless you're already in the know, what you don't imagine is something like this:

Why yes. Yes that is a dress with Carousel Horses all over it.

Orrrrr how about Unicorns?

So CowCow is this amazing dress company with fabulous frocks at super affordable prices (I recommend going through Amazon where everything is $20 or below. It's more expensive on their direct website).

My friend Terri has posted pictures of hers and when I decided I was in need of a wardrobe reboot I asked here where the dresses came from and she told me. I bought the carousel horse one just to try it out and as soon as it came and I tried it on I, no joke, went back online and ordered five more that night including the Gradient Unicorn dress, Popcorn dress, and, just in time for Halloween, this Spiderweb dress.

I also may or may not have another five waiting in my cart that I'm trying to show some restraint with purchasing. One would make an awesome Miss Frizzle dress if I ever decided to go as her for Halloween. Considering I have red hair and work at a book company, this is not a horrible idea.

Actually. I feel like any of these dresses would make awesome Miss Frizzle dresses....

Anywho. CowCow. Go. Buy. Enjoy.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

26 September 2016

When Opportunity Knocks

So I can't run for six more weeks. My Bone Doc said November 1st. I broke my ankle in mid-May. Which means when I do start running again it will have been almost six months.

Math is not my strong suit but, um, like, that's half the year.

Make no mistake here: Come November, I will be starting from scratch.

As challenging as it's going to be to continue to not run for the next several weeks, I'm trying to see the silver lining. And, if I really think about it, there is a silver lining. Because starting from scratch doesn't have to be a bad thing. I've been given a new day. A fresh start.

See, when I started running 4 1/2 years ago I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I was just kind of making up everything as I went along. Most days, even now, I am still making up everything as I go along. I didn't start following any training plans until I was getting ready to run my very first 10K. I signed up for races if and when I wanted to run them, maybe only a couple of weeks in advance. Hell, even now I still don't really pay attention to nutrition that much.

But now, I have a chance to try again. It's like someone pushed a bit bright red RESTART button. I can work on nutrition and have cross-training a part of my schedule from the very beginning. And not just spinning or yoga but strength training, too, which is something I'm really bad about doing. In fact, because of the six week delay, I'm going to have those routines in place before I start running.

Because I have goals. Big goals. This past weekend was the Akron Half which I couldn't run because of my ankle, but I am already looking ahead to next year's Akron Half-Marathon and that lovely blue line and that amazing finish in Canal Park.

I won't get there, though, unless I start putting one foot in front of the other now, a full year in advance. I'm also an Ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon races again and I have my eye on that 10K. But I won't get there unless I start putting one foot in front of the other now.

So while I may not be able to run right now, that doesn't mean I have to just sit on my ass. In fact, if I do decide to sit on my ass it's going to make that comeback and recovery even harder when I do start running again.

To help me out with these goals -- to follow through on this passion of mine -- I bought myself a second Passion Planner. This one is just going to be for fitness and running and all of that, nothing else. Once I've really started to use it I'll give you all a peek inside but I'm really excited. I already set my first goal, which is to be able to run a 5K before the end of the year. I don't know if that means an actual race or just running 3.1 on the treadmill at the Y (because, hi, winter in Northeast Ohio), but once November 1st hits, that's the direction I'm headed.

If you buy your own Passion Planner, use my email
jillgrunenwald [at] gmail [dot] com as a referral!

Honestly, I think the hardest part is just going to be getting back into the habit of working out again. Because, hi, I am lazy. So on those mornings when it's early and dark and cold, I just have to keep these goals in my head and remember what I want to do.

Luckily, now that I've moved the YMCA is much closer -- less than a mile -- but I was using some of our free weights down in our basement yesterday and looking around and realized there's more than enough room for a treadmill. We could even park it right in front of the TV that's all set up.

Who saw THAT one coming, amirite?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 September 2016

Summer Meltdown #Anklegate


Holy shit, you guys.


Right, so yesterday I had my final follow-up appointment with the Bone Doc. It was the most anti-climactic appointment ever. I go in, I have x-rays taken. He comes in and is basically like "Yeah, we're all done here. Call if you have any issues down the road."

It was a little more nuanced than that but not really. I saw him for a grand total of, like, five minutes. He suggested maybe wearing the air cast every once in awhile for the next two months -- like if I'm walking on really uneven ground or in a situation where there's a big crowd ("Like a Brown's game" LOLOLOLOLOL) but other than that I'm good without it.

Naturally I asked about exercise. He said I can resume low impact stuff like my spinning and yoga. But running I have to hold off for six more weeks.

But, okay, whatever. I have a date. I have a plan. I can walk for exercise which, as he pointed out, will help to start build up my base over the next six weeks.

In other news, let's talk about tomorrow, shall we?

Tomorrow. Oh, tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the day I was supposed to run the Akron Half-Marathon.

Tomorrow is the day I was supposed to get a half-marathon Personal Record (PR).

I registered for this back in January as soon as registration opened. I was all ready. I had a new training plan and was ready to put the work in.

Then, of course, there was #Anklegate. Not only did that fuck up my Cleveland Marathon weekend races, it fucked up my Akron Half, too. Because I apparently have the slowest healing bone ever.

Okay. No biggie, because, see, the National Book Fest in D.C. in this weekend, too, and Stephen King is a headliner (anyone reading an advanced ready copy of my book Running with a Police Escort knows I'm a huge Stephen King fan). So, BC and I made plans to drive to D.C. for that.

Only, then, about a month ago, BC tore his patella tendon and had to have surgery and is now homebound for the next couple of months.

No traveling to Washington, D.C. for us.


Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

21 September 2016

Giveaway! Win a Passion Planner

If you follow me on Instagram you know I love my Passion Planner. Love love love love love it. I love it so much, I am constantly telling other people about it. Passion Planner, as a company, loves when people refer new members to join the #PashFam -- so much so that they have a referral program: refer three people and you get a free Passion Planner!

Way back when I was a Kickstarter backer for the Passion Planner, although at the $1 level so I got the .pdf version. I'll admit, I didn't totally get it when it first came out. I mean, I got it. I understood what it was supposed to do but it wasn't fitting my lifestyle.

Then back in May I was looking for something to help kickstart some new changes in my life and wanted a new planner that would be more than just an organizational tool and ordered a Passion Planner.


Holy shit. For real. It's magical. I can use it for work, and my book, and goal setting, and my writing, and (eventually) my running, and did I mention the goal setting? That's one of my favorite things. That and it's so incredibly customizable. I buy stickers from a whole bunch of Etsy sellers to make it all fun and fancy along with making some of my own.

I even set up a corner of my home office to use as my planner place, complete with stickers, markers, colored pencils, etc.

Recently I received a free Passion Planner from referrals but since I already pre-ordered the 2017 Blush Birds & Bees Limited Edition planner for next year I don't need the free one, so I decided to give it away to one of YOU!

This is a Classic sized undated Sunday Start Passion Planner, so even if you don't need a planner right now, you can keep it and start using it January 1, 2017!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
If this particular Passion Planner isn't for you, they have an entire shop worth of other ones. Be sure to use my email address as a referral -- jillgrunenwald [at] gmail [dot] com -- and there may be future giveaways like this!

Giveaway ends Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 11:59 pm. Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

19 September 2016

Coffee & Contemplation, #3

1) I have an appointment with my Bone Doc this Thursday. When I saw him a month ago he said there's a chance that at this follow-up I'll be pretty much done AND he hopefully will be able to clear me for exercise.

1a) With friends, family, and co-workers I keep having to specify if a doctor appointment is for my "ankle issue" or my "leg issue." After my follow-up with Dr. Stanley a couple of people asked how my ankle was and I just shrugged and said I won't know until this week.

1b) I am trying to not get my hopes up about the exercise portion but holy shit, y'all. I haven't been on a run in 4 1/2 months and I only got to start walking maybe two months ago. Because of the air cast I can't even, like, walk for exercise really. It's more walking for everyday purposes and just trying to get more steps in where I can.

1c) Assuming everything goes okay on Thursday, I hopefully shouldn't have another doctor's appointment of either ankle or leg for quite awhile. So, this is pretty much me going into this particular appointment:

2) I have a spider living in my driver's side sideview mirror. He spins webs overnight. I have nightmares he's actually a female and that one day I'll be driving along and look over and see a gazillion baby spiders pouring out of my mirror, like that one story from Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark. 

3) Turned in the final edits of Running with a Police Escort to my editor yesterday. Eek! Last week I sent over a bunch of pictures for the photo spread to be included in the book and I should be getting a preview of those soon. Only 3 1/2 months to go!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

16 September 2016

Doctor In the House

Yesterday, I had a follow-up with my surgeon Dr. Stanley.

This is the same Dr. Stanley who performed the trans catheter on my DVT and who advocated for a medication change when he found out how much I was spending on the Lovenox shots. He's just so nice and I basically love him.

Last week I had an ultrasound on my leg so this was a follow-up to that. Everything looks okay and I don't have to go back until December. My leg still does get a little swollen -- mostly at the end of the day after work -- and I, admittedly, have not been propping it up as much as I probably could (or should) so I'm going to start doing that again. They also gave me a list of places where I can buy compression stockings so that's my goal for this weekend.

Oh! Also there was Dr. Nicole: she was the resident at the hospital who I had the most interaction with so that was a very pleasant surprise. She walked in and said, "You look like you're feeling much better compared to the last time I saw you."

Yeahhhhhh I was a hot mess that last time, considering I'd spent the past five nights in the hospital and just wanted to get the fuck out of there.

I also asked about travelling because in one month I get to head to Boston for work. We'll be there Sunday through Thursday and the first couple of days we will be at a conference just a couple of miles from Salem. That's right. Salem, Massachusetts. Two weeks before Halloween.

It's a short flight, thankfully, and he gave me some tips for that so I should be good to go!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

07 September 2016

the future you have tomorrow won't be the same future you had yesterday

As summer begins to sundown into autumn, I've been thinking about this Chuck Palahniuk quote frequently as of late, with good reason. Way, way back in May -- before #anklegate -- I was preparing my training plan for the Akron Half Marathon. Then, of course, I broke my ankle and that put that particular race out of the running (pun intended).

But that's okay, because that same weekend is the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. and this year, Stephen King is the headliner. If you know me, you know I lurve me some Stephen King so while I couldn't travel to Akron to run that particular weekend in September, BC and I started making plans to travel to our nation's capitol to share in some book love and to visit my sis and BIL. Because of Clotapocolypse it was going to require a slight adjustment to our travel plans -- like instead of being able to drive straight there we'd have to stop every hour or so because I need to get out and walk around -- but that's okay, just part of the new normal.

But then a couple of weeks ago BC tore his patella tendon and had to have surgery. He's housebound for the next six weeks, at least, and with the National Book Festival only two weeks away that means our D.C. trip is going to have to be rescheduled.

It kills me, really, the timing of this. Just as I'm starting to reach the end of my own injury, we have this happen. He's looking at six weeks of this followed by three to four months of physical therapy. At breakfast the other day we were doing the math and we're pretty sure our first year of living together is going to be comprised of ten months of at least one of us dealing with an injury, with only the first and last month being injury free.

Naturally, all of this is making me super anxious which is making me eat and I'm having a bit of an existential crisis inside my head.

Two months ago I ditched dieting and in the beginning was doing okay with intuitive eating and choosing healthy, nutritious options but then I had the blood clot and they put me on a blood thinner with dietary restrictions, which meant I couldn't eat greens for several weeks while we waited for my INR levels to raise. My diet was pretty bad those couple of weeks and because of various doctor's appointments, I know my weight was up slightly which I wasn't crazy about.

Now I can eat greens again without worrying about their effect on my medication and I finally finally feel like I'm in a place where I can really focus on listening to my body again and to let it guide me. But with everything going on, all of these things outside of my control, my anxiety is heightened and I find myself wanting to weigh myself just to know. Not that it will make much difference either way and I know myself well enough to know that if I do step on that scale and see a number I don't like, it will only increase my anxiety and bad feelings and I definitely don't want to do that because then I won't eat intuitively, I'll eat emotionally.

But my weight is something, maybe the only thing, within my control during all of this craziness. But starting that cycle over of dieting and restriction and daily weigh-ins and all of it -- that's super damaging for my mentally and emotionally, I know that now.

I just, I feel kind of stuck.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

05 September 2016

Mondays Are For Coffee & Contemplation, #2

1) As of this past Saturday, my book Running with a Police Escort is a mere four months away from publication! EEK! Advanced Reader's Copies are out in the wild and one of my friends told me he had to stop reading my book right before bed because it kept making him want to run only it would be, y'know, like 11:00 at night.

I'm knee deep in edits, working with my editor and publishing team to polish the book and make it as fabulous as possible. I used to judge books I deemed poorly edited, feeling some weird sense of triumph when I'd find mistakes but now that I'm in the middle of this I totally understand how it's possible things get missed.

2) We had some .... excitement over the past week or so, although my use of the word "excitement" is perhaps pushing it: about a week and a half ago, BC was out of town visiting friends and while outside tripped and fell, tearing his patella tendon.

I was able to leave work a little early on Thursday so I could be there when he got out of surgery and worked from home on Friday (and his mom was around to help, too). Thanks to the long weekend we've slowly started to adapt and find a new routine.

What a pair we make, amirite? It was a long summer for me, now it's a long autumn for him.

2a) When he was being discharged, the nurse was going over the medicine requirements and said he was advised to take two aspirin a day to help block against blood clots. All of us -- me, BC, and his parents -- gave a little laugh and the nurse just kind of gave us all a WTF look, at which point we explained about my own experience in that arena. BC's leg is far more immobile than mine ever was and after seeing me go through that, he's all about making sure he's taking that aspirin as recommended.

3) Before I went on The Pill a decade ago, I'd been suffering from chronic tension headaches. I had shitty insurance and the doctor I was temporarily seeing and I never found the source and I just stopped going because it was expensive as hell. They stopped once I started taking birth control which suggests -- to me, at least -- that they were hormone related. Because of Clotapocolypse, the doctors took me off the pill. Which means my headaches have returned. And because of the blood thinners, I am really limited to what pain relievers I am allowed to take and Tylenol just ain't the same as my Excedrin Migraine.

3a) I've been meaning to call my doctor's office for weeks now to set up an appointment to get an IUD, I've just been lazy about doing it. (They have to be ordered in; my physician is in full support of me switching and probably would have put one in the day after I was discharged from the hospital and I saw her if she'd been able to.) I also have to call and ask which IUD I can get, especially now that my headaches have returned. The copper one I know is safe but it's hormone free and I think the hormones in the hormone IUD are not the same hormones that cause blood clots to be a risk factor while on the pill but that's one of those things I have to ask when I finally get around to making that call.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

02 September 2016

walking the fitbit walk

Back in November my parents bought me a new FitBit Charge for my birthday, which was a nice upgrade from the Zip I bought several years ago. I loved having a wrist device which showed me the number of steps that didn't require me trying to awkwardly look down my shirt since I'd wear my Zip on my bra.

All was well and good until a couple of months ago when, right before FitBloggin, the band on my Charge started to, like, peel off.

I emailed FitBit from Indianapolis while at the conference and they put in an order to send me a replacement. But then, of course, there was my week long hospital visit thanks to Clotapocalypse. The Charge arrived while I was there although it still took another couple of days after arriving home before I cared enough to start trying to set it up.

Only the stupid thing wouldn't work. I couldn't get it to hold a charge for longer than an hour or two and it wouldn't sync with my account or anything.

So then I had to email FitBit again and this time I was, ahem, very frustrated. I was also starting to walk and move around and wanted to be able to track my steps. It's actually medically necessary for me to get up and walk around because of the clot. Luckily I still had my Zip around so at least I could use that in the meantime.

FitBit HQ was out of Charges soooooo they upgraded me to an Alta!

I feel fancy and really like this new one. It's much slimmer than the Charge so it's not quite as obtrusive but I really like that the bands are removable. Which means not only can I change them out if I want, but if I start having issues like with the Charge, I can just buy a new one while still keeping the actual tracking device.

That said, while I'd been wearing the Zip for a week or so I realized that there are times when I liked having something I could easily put in a pocket or wear under clothes. Like if I wanted to wear a normal watch or bracelets or something. Turns out, people much smarter than me have designed and sell little devices that essentially turn the Alta into a Zip or Flex. So I bought a specially designed clip that I've only used a couple of times but I like having the option.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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