24 April 2017

Is This Thing On?

Ahhhhhh!

Last Friday I talked about how I was feeling much better as of late and it's only continuing which is a nice change of pace.

Speaking of, I went for a three mile run on Friday and it was delightful. I was just running around the neighborhood and discovered this adorable little ball park tucked behind the main street in my city that I drive past all the time. I've only ever noticed the ball park part and never noticed there's a walking/running path there, too!


It's a little less than .25 mile around so not quite track distance but pretty close. Now that I know it's super close, I'll definitely be adding it into my routine. The baseball diamond has bleachers, too, so if I ever felt super ambitious I could add in bleacher workouts as well.

So, as you can all tell, I'm feeling so much better zomg. The past month has been rough but it hasn't all been bad. For instance, this happened:


OH YEAH BABY! BC AND I ARE GETTING MARRIED.

It happened a couple of weeks ago at the Cleveland International Film Festival (hence the filmstrip Jamberry wraps!).

For my Ohio readers, my author event calendar is booking up so be sure to check it out to see if I'll be stopping by a place near you soon!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

21 April 2017

here comes the sun

Waking up Tuesday morning was a bit like this:


Coming out of a depressive episode is just like leaving a dull, sepia toned state to a new world of technicolor.

I got out of bed without needing any extra marbles which meant I had time for a quick 1 mile run and, thankfully, there was already daylight peeking through even at 6:15 am. The day before, on Monday, my therapist suggested looking into adjusting my schedule at work to allow myself to wake up with daylight so I can get that run in but with the sun entering the hemisphere earlier and earlier, I may not need to for the time being.

Man, y'all. It's been fucking rough as hell and I'm still not entirely out of the fog but I'm making progress. I went for a 2 mile run last Friday and then the 1 mile run on Monday and that was, literally, the first exercise I had done in about two weeks. The Cleveland 10K is four weeks away and I am just maintaining my goal of finishing. So I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazuars

07 April 2017

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart....



I am here.
I am alive.
I am . . . well, I'm surviving.

I've been running out of marbles a lot lately and that includes the energy that goes into this blog, unfortunately. This is one of those things that now requires more marbles than it did before so I have to budget appropriately and that means putting other things at a higher priority. Like, y'know, work and putting myself in a position where I can function at a level to show up at my job and do what needs to be done.

Many, if not most, days it's a fake it til you make it mentality which requires a whole lot of energy.

I haven't been on a run in like a week and a half which, when written out, doesn't sound nearly as bad as it does in my head when I think about it so that makes me feel a little bit better. The Cleveland 10K is about six weeks away and my only goal is to finish. that's it.  don't care if I run, walk, skip, or fucking drag myself across that finish line. I know I can do it, partly because of that whole "I've done it before" thing but I ran 3 miles two weeks ago and if I can run 3 miles I can run 6 miles. I just have to budget my marbles and make sure I find time in the next six weeks to actually get some runs in.

So I am here. I am around, on Twitter and Instagram. I am promoting my book with lots of fun local events happening. I am slowly, slowly writing my next project. I am busy with work and busy with life and busy with therapy and . . .

I am, I am, I am.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

15 March 2017

Running Out of Marbles

Five years ago was my friend Lisa’s bachelorette party.

Now, to be fair, calling it a bachelorette party is a bit of a misnomer since we're more the Girls Gone Mild variety. The plan was dinner and drinks, so it was more like a ladies night out and one of us just happened to be getting married in the coming weeks.

The five of us went to dinner and after went to a swanky bar here in Cleveland for drinks. Swanky bars charge swanky prices so we only intended to stay for one drink and then move to a less swanky, more familiar bar after.


But as the group was getting ready to relocate to the second bar, I said I was going to head out and go home.

This was not unusual for me: we are, by and large, a group of introverts and I was always the friend who hit her social wall first. Tonight, the evening we were sending our unmarried friend over the martial threshold, it was about 10:00 pm.

“Why?” the group asked.

“Because I’m tired."

What they said was: “But you didn’t do anything today!”

What they meant was: “But you didn’t work today!”

Which is true. Fridays were my day off but that also meant that Fridays were the day I did all that stuff I couldn’t do because of work the other days in the week. So, while, they saw Fridays as the day I didn’t do anything, I saw Fridays as the day I went for my long run and I volunteered and I went to the grocery store and the bank and all those other places people go when they run errands. I had to deal with people. Lots of people. And not just people: strangers. I had to drive all around the city and then I had to come home and take a shower and make myself pretty and then I had to, once again, go out and drive around the city and deal with people. This time it was my friends, but still: more people. And, because I’m an introvert, all that dealing with people -- friends and strangers alike -- exhausts me.

At the time, I was the sole librarian at a very tiny library at a very tiny career college. A very tiny and very underutilized library. I could go a full day without seeing students in there and the students that were in there were mostly there to work on the computer so they didn’t need me and, when they did, it was a brief five minute interaction where I’d show them how to open Microsoft Word or attach a file to an outgoing email. I only saw my co-workers at lunch and when I arrived and left for the day.

In other words, despite having what most people would consider a customer facing position, I didn’t really have to provide much customer service and, therefore, inevitably dealt with people more often on my days off than I did my work days, which meant that my days off exhausted this introvert far more than my work days ever did.

So, by 10 pm the night of Lisa’s bachelorette party, I was done. Finished. Work or no work that day, I was going home and going to bed.

Firm words were spoken as my friends tried to convince me to rally. I may have snapped at them. I think when they started to see the tears start to well up at the thought of staying out any longer they let me go without a fight. I apologized to Lisa the next day and all was fine.

I didn’t know how to explain what I was feeling then. I usually keep it under my “introvert” umbrella, knowing most people would understand that or I talk about hitting my wall and, again, most people understand that.

But this is more. Because I know other introverts and either they fake it very well or I’m dealing with something beyond just introvertism.

I’m familiar with the concept of spoons for those with chronic pain but I don’t want to co-opt their terminology, so I’m going to adapt it slightly for my own purposes into phrasing that makes better sense for me.


Let’s say, each morning you wake up with a jar of marbles that represents your finite amount of energy for the entire day and every single thing you do, every single thought that passes across your brain, has a cost.

Getting out of bed: 1 marble.
Taking a shower: 1 marble.
Getting dressed: 1 marble.
Doing my hair: 1 marble.
Putting on makeup: 1 marble.
Deciding on jewelry: 1 marble.

I haven’t even gone downstairs yet and I’ve already spent 6 marbles.

All day, every day, this is what it’s like.

Feeding the cats: 1 marble.
Deciding what to have for breakfast: 1 marble.
Making breakfast: 1 marble.
Cream or no cream in my coffee: 1 marble

…… See where I’m going with this?

And, again, this is just basic daily tasks that happen in the first, oh, 30 minutes of my morning. I haven’t even left for work yet, let alone get to work yet and all that entails.

Over the decades I’ve figured out some tricks I need to employ to make the most efficient use of my marbles every morning. I set clothes out the night before so I don’t have to think about them in the morning. Same with my lunch, that gets packed each evening. But, hands down, the best day was when I realized the coffee maker at the house is programmable, which means I can set everything up the night before and not have to grind the beans (1 marble), measure the water (1 marble), pour the water (1 marble), put the grounds in the coffee pot (1 marble) and turn the coffee maker on (1 marble) in between all the other stuff I’m doing doing during that first 30 minutes.

I know that once I pay the price to get out of bed, things will usually be okay, things seem a little less exhausting as the day goes on. I have since learned, thanks to my psychiatrist, that this is known as Diurnal Mood Variation.

The hitch is that some mornings, inextricably, without rhyme or reason, I’ll wake up and the “cost” of getting out of bed has changed.


Sometimes I get lucky and getting out of bed is a freebie. I wake up, ready to attack the day and these are the mornings I go out for a run without needing to drag myself from bed. After that, well … that whole speech Elle Woods gives about endorphins making you happy and happy people don’t kill their husbands? That’s not bullshit. To some extent, endorphins can replenish my marble supply.  So now I have a marble surplus so I’ll do my hair, and my makeup, and I may even decide to wear a different out than the one I had planned and put on jewelry and have a fabulous, fabulous day.

But other times, the cost of getting out of bed has increased. Suddenly, instead of it costing only 1 marble, it costs 3 or 4 and now I need to budget appropriately and am now faced with the decision of what can I sacrifice to make sure I get to work in one piece. Maybe I don’t take a shower that day or I don’t put on makeup or I figure out some magical second day hair style that still looks reasonably professional or some combination of all three.

Sometimes, though, the cost of getting out bed requires all of my marbles for the entire day and so I don’t. Get out of bed, that is. If it’s the weekend it doesn’t disrupt anything but if it’s during the week I will call in sick and take a mental health day and just stay in bed and sleep and binge watch my latest television show obsession.


Thankfully this kind of day only happens maybe 2 or 3 times a year but still, it happens.

On the days where getting out of bed costs more, it seems like everything costs more and I’m spending twice as many marbles to do half the number of things. So even though I know exercising will make me feel better, the math doesn’t work out in my favor so I skip my workout and sleep instead.

On average, I know what things cost and I budget my marbles very carefully. Activities outside of my normal routine tend to require more marbles and so I will spend several hours or even entire days hording my marbles for an event in the evening. If I’m very, very careful and have enough advanced notice, I can take some of today’s leftover marbles and carry them over to tomorrow if I think the event will require it.

Because of all of this, I don’t do spontaneity very well. My day has a plan, my day has a budget, and I will spread my marbles out as necessary throughout the course of the day to make it to the end of the day without running out of marbles so anything outside of that routine throws everything into chaos.

Years ago, I noticed my friends stopped asking me to hang out randomly during the week after work. At first I was, naturally, hurt, but then I realized I would have done the same thing. If you continually try to invite a person out for something and they continually decline the invitation, at some point you’re just going to stop asking. It’s not that I didn’t want to hang out with my friends but I didn’t have any marbles left.

This is what it’s been like my entire life only in the past it seems like I had more marbles. Somehow, everything going on lately has either made my daily marble budget decrease or prices themselves as increased. Then add in the mental energy that comes with worrying about health issues and trying to get all of this figured out and I’m just tired all the fucking time.

I am basically running out of marbles nearly every day.

Exercise and endorphins can sometimes replenish my marble supply. The other thing that can help replenish my marble supply?

Food.

It’s such a cliche, I know, but food helps. Food is fuel, as us runners like to say, but I use it for other energy restorative reasons as well.

Food makes me feel better and, of course, it’s not nutritious food like carrots and shit. When I look at pictures of myself now, I can just see what the anxiety and depression has done to my food choices which then does something to me. Compared to when I was losing weight and doing really well -- back then, I had a job where I was in that underutilized library and didn’t have a life that required a whole bunch of marbles every day so I was always dealing with a surplus.

The question is always “What happened in your past that caused you to get this big?” And the thing is, nothing happened. This is just how things are for me. The difference is that for a sold 2 year period I was in a position where I had an overabundance of marbles and didn’t need to rely on food to replenish my daily stock and I have always been able to point to the exact moment in time when that situation changed and I started running out of marbles again.

My psychiatrist and vascular surgeon have been working together to see if they can find an antidepressent / antianxiety medication that will not interact poorly with my blood thinners and, unfortunately, there isn't one. After speaking with the psychiatrist on Monday, we decided to discontinue my treatment with him and, instead, I'll continue to work with my therapist.

I know that medication in this instance isn't a magic bullet and I was planning on continuing talk therapy all along, but it would have helped. Life is hard and it shouldn't be this hard. But it is and has been for my entire life. For as long as I can remember, life has been hard and it's only harder now and I don't know why.

But because I don't have the options of antidepressents and anti-anxiety medication, I need to find other ways of coping and that includes being open and honest with myself about what is happening instead of my brain all the fucking time. It means being transparent with other people about what I'm feeling and it means acknowledging and honoring it all.

And that means telling people about my marbles and, more importantly, telling them when I've run out.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

13 March 2017

St. Malachi Race Recap + Cleveland Marathon Giveaway!

Saturday was the annual St. Malachi race, one of my absolute favorite races in Cleveland. This was my fifth time running it and while it wasn't nearly as snowy and icy as the first time, it was super cold and windy.

BC: 27 degree race today, huh?
Me: That's just the high for the day. It's 19 degrees now.
BC: ..... Oh babe.
Me: IT'S GONNA BE A COLD ONE LOLOLOL

Thankfully I have those compression socks to help the circulation in my legs and keep them warm, although they also made me look very underdressed.


I ran the two mile distance again which, not gonna lie, I really like, if only because the staggered start between that and the 5 mile means the after party is still in full swing by the time I'm done and the 5 mile race hasn't even started yet.

That's always one of my pet peeves as a slow runner, when the finisher's village or what have you packs up all their shit early so that it's a ghost town by the time I arrive to the finish line.

This is also a race with a lot of walkers so there's always a big group of people surrounding me which is always really nice, too!


I was really nervous about this race. I haven't raced in, literally, a year and I haven't run a distance over 1.5 miles in 10 months. I was hoping that the excitement of race day would help motivate me and, thankfully, it did! It also pushed me to run a little faster than I have been in my training: for weeks now I've been hovering around 19 minute miles but my average at St. Malachi was 18:09. Still slow, but you know me: that's kind of my thing.

SPEAKING OF ....... it's my weekend to give away a free entry to any single distance at the Cleveland Marathon races! AND AS A BONUS I'm going to throw in a signed copy of my book Running With A Police Escort. Keep it for yourself, give it to a friend or family member or fellow slow runner in your life, but you'll get the book and the race entry and ZOMG SO MUCH RUNNING FABULOUSNESS IN ONE GIVEAWAY.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be emailed at the conclusion of the giveaway and have 48 hours to respond. Cleveland Marathon prize is good for single distances only and not valid for the Challenge Series. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 March 2017

Friday Fitness: 10K Training, Week Five


Friday: .85 mile
Saturday: -
Sunday: -
Monday: 1 mile
Tuesday: -
Wednesday: -
Thursday: 1 mile

I'm struggling, y'all. Like, I'm not even going to pretend otherwise. It's one of those really fucked up cycles where I have anxiety and depression and dealing with my anxiety and depression is causing more anxiety.

Case in point: On Monday, I had my first appointment with the psychiatrist. He prescribed some meds for me, but said before taking them I should check with my vascular surgeon to make sure there aren't any bad interactions with my blood thinners (THANKS BLOOD CLOT).

Okay, so, talking on the phone stresses me out so I message the Surgeon through the Cleveland Clinic's messaging system Monday afternoon. One of his nurses calls me back Tuesday afternoon and says "Surgeon says you can't take that medication." The Psychiatrist isn't available through the messaging system so I have to call (sigh) and leave a message, saying Surgeon says no. Psychiatrist calls me back on Wednesday asking if they suggested anything else, I explain I talked to a nurse who had talked to Surgeon and he didn't pass along any other meds but here's Surgeon's phone number, talk to him.

Psychiatrist calls back, he says neither Surgeon nor his nurse practitioner are available, he'll have to call back the next day but he spoke with the pharmacist and looks all of the meds have an increased bleeding risk, which is a note of caution for normal people but, like, worst.thing.ever. for someone already on blood thinners.


So all of this is making me super anxious which is having physical effects: I'm tired. My body hurts. I just want to sleep and cry and, needless to say, I've been practicing A LOT of self care this week which mostly comes in the form of binge-watching Great British Baking Show.


The thought of doing yoga at lunch with my co-workers was stressing me out (I could unpack the reasons why, but I won't) so lunches were spent eating at my desk and catching up on blogs. So while I didn't get any cross-training in, I did get some runs which, really, is more important since I have that 6.2 mile race in May.

My anxiety has gotten to the point where, yes, I want to try medication in combination with talk therapy but as of right now, all the medication that my psychiatrist feels comfortable prescribing I can't take because of the blood clot medication. Correlation isn't causation, but I can trace the increase in anxiety back to going off birth control in August, which the hospital did because of the blood clot.

But, see, it's not the blood clot's fault. Not really. The blood clot came out because of my broken ankle, which came out because I tripped on the bottom two steps of our staircase ten months ago.

Seriously, y'all. How bananas is this whole thing? Literally, all I did was miss the bottom step on a staircase one random Tuesday in May of 2016 and now THIS IS MY LIFE AND OMG.


The good news is, St. Malachi Church Run is tomorrow, which is one of my favorite Cleveland races. I'm doing the 2 mile this year which -- while we're on the subject -- was the only race I ran in 2016. So. Yeah. I'm a little nervous, I haven't run more than 1.5 miles since my fall last May. I've had some weird mental block about that distance but I'm hoping the excitement of race day will help push me over the finish line.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

07 March 2017

March is Blood Clot Awareness Month

So, as it turns out, March is Blood Clot Awareness Month.


As you all know, back in July I was hospitalized thanks to an extensive deep vein thrombosis that had developed in my left leg. That was the same leg where I broke my ankle last May and that injury was probably the main catalyst to this whole situation, combined with some other risk factors.


Eight months later, I'm still dealing with the ramifications of what that means. I've been on blood thinners since August and will continue to be on them through this August, possibly longer. On the one hand, I understand that my vascular surgeon is keeping me on blood thinners as a preventative measure because getting a second blood clot could be fatal. On the other hand, being on blood thinners can effect so many other areas of life. Thankfully, my medication doesn't have the food restrictions as Coumadin, but there are still things I have to consider and think about because I'm on blood thinners.


Over on my Instagram page, I'm using the month to highlight some of my daily experiences as a blood clot survivor currently on blood thinners so be sure to check it out!

Did you hear? I'm selling signed copies of my book! Get yours today!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 March 2017

Fitness Friday: 10K Training, Week Four


Saturday: FitStar workout
Sunday: Rest
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 1 mile
Wednesday: 1 mile
Thursday: Rest
Friday: ?

Wonky Cleveland weather is killing my sinuses this week. I ended up working from home on Monday because I just could not deal with putting on clothes and going to the office, although I was perfectly capable of doing my job from the comfort of my home. (Once again, so grateful WFH is an option.)

No joke, last Friday it was in the 70s and on Saturday we had snow. SNOW.

This t-shirt from GV Art & Design is 10000% on point.

Tuesday I made it to the office and while yoga was cancelled, I planned ahead and brought my workout gear and went for a run on my lunch break. Also love that that's an option.

Then on Wednesday it was all rainy and lightning and stormy, which, not super conducive to outdoor running but, HEY I HAVE A TREADMILL NOW.



I was a little worried that after running outdoors I'd loathe getting on the machine but it wasn't so bad. I watched some Mad Men and survived.

I'm still recovering from all this sinus bullshit so I'm kind of taking it easy. I was hoping to go outside for my run this weekend but based on the forecast I don't think that will be an option but we'll see. I'm taking a half day today so I might get the run in after work this afternoon (hence the question mark above) or I may run tomorrow. TIME WILL TELL.

Want a signed copy of my book? YOU'RE IN LUCK! I have set up a shop and am selling copies and bonus: I'll sign it to you! When you check out, just put the name of the person to sign the book to in the Notes box. So check out my shop and happy reading and running!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

24 February 2017

Fitness Friday: 10K Training, Week Three


What is it with holiday weeks feeling so much longer than a normal one? I was off Monday for President's Day and then the next few days were so. freaking. long.

Saturday: 1 mile
Sunday: Rest
Monday: 1 mile
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 1 mile
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 1.5 mile

I GOT TO RUN OUTSIDE ALL WEEK.


Oh man oh mangoberry it was great. I even shifted my workout schedule a little to get this week's "long" run (in this case, 1.5 miles) in today because it was 50 degrees at 6 am. No way in hell was I missing out on THAT.

I've been listening to Zadie Smith's Swing Time, which I have on audiobook from my library thanks to OverDrive, and it made my run so much better. I don't know why it had never occurred to me before to listen to audiobooks on my runs but I am definitely going to be doing it more often now.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

17 February 2017

Fitness Friday: 10K Training, Week two

Thank you all for your kind words related to Monday's post and for those that reached out privately to share your own experiences and struggles. I had my first appointment with my new therapist yesterday and I meet my psychiatrist in two weeks.

This is a healthy living blog and, of course, that includes mental health so I'll definitely be updating as necessary.

On to other things!



Saturday: 1 mile
Sunday: Rest
Monday: 0.68 mile
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Yoga
Today: FitStar workout

One of the things that always comes up with counseling is the "Have you lost interest in things you have loved in the past?" and the answer is yes. I was telling my therapist I'm training now and it's such a struggle because the first mile is a liar -- when I am running such short distances I have to slough through. And I'm slow. And I'm fat. And I haven't been running that much in almost a year thanks to my broken ankle last May.

Plus, as much as I love my treadmill it's also a love hate relationship because I haaaaate the treadmill. I love having it as it makes it super convenient when it's 5am and dark and cold outside but, still. It's the treadmill. But, when it's early Saturday morning and when you know that if you don't run right.that.moment, you won't get your run in, it certainly comes in handy.


Luckily it's supposed to be nice tomorrow so I'm hoping I can get a run in outside.

Love form the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

13 February 2017

Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again

I have spent weeks trying to write this post. Weeks. But no matter how hard I tried, I could never get the words to come out right and even now I don't think they will but I'm going to just go with it and see what happens.

I'm someone who also prides herself on full transparency, especially when it comes to my struggles with anxiety and depression. Go back far enough in my blog history and you can find posts about seeing counselors when things got to a point where I needed an outside sounding board.


But through all of that, I've never sought help beyond a couple of appointments with counselors through my current job's Employee Assistance Program (that said, I am always eternally grateful for EAPs. They've helped me through multiple jobs). I've also never felt that my mental health issues, whatever they are, felt "bad enough" to warrant calling them by name, let alone seeking professional help.

Things have gotten bad enough.


It really started back in the summer, post hospital. Oh, don't get me wrong, I suffered from pretty severe depression through the first few months of Anklegate, but after Clotocalypse, things have felt different. Remarkably different. To the point I had to take a blogging break back in the fall. 

The best way to describe it is that before, my anxiety came in waves and usually in reaction to things that would make most people anxious. I just got more anxious than most people. 

Now, though, it's all the fucking time. It doesn't stop. It doesn't take a break. It doesn't pause. It wakes me up in the middle of the night and keeps me up for hours. Unlike before, I have nothing to be anxious about. My job can be stressful but its normal job levels of stress. My relationship has me happy and healthy. I have a book out and it's gotten good reviews. 

But still, through all of that, I feel anxious and on edge every single minute of every single day. Instead of all of being in peaks or cycles or waves, it's as if I've finally discovered my baseline for the first time. 

Which brings me back to Clotocalypse. (Well, it will in a minute. Just go with me.) 

When I was in my early 20s I got chronic tension headaches. Several times a week I had this debilitating headaches that had no known trigger that would last for hours at a time. I was broke and had shitty insurance so I stopped going to the doctor before we found a cause, determined to just suck it up. 

Shortly after I went on the birth control pill and the headaches magically vanished. 



I was on the pill for the next ten years, right up until that fateful day in late July when my immobilization due to injury + road trip + hormones combined into the blood clot causing trifecta. Along with putting me on blood thinner medication, my doctors took me off of the pill.

Since hormonal birth control is no longer an option, I went for the copper IUD back in the fall. With the clot happening end of July / beginning of August, I have now, so to speak, been hormone free for over six months. And in all that time, my anxiety has increased. Or, well, reset itself to normal levels maybe? 

If the pill managed to make my headaches disappear for ten years, what else did it hide or mask for all that time? I know this anxiety isn't new -- even back in college I had some of the same behaviors and thought patterns I have now. When I was on the pill, my anxiety did tend to roar the loudest during my week of placebo pills. I don't think that's a coincidence. 

So, a couple of weeks ago I called the Behavioral Health Department at the Cleveland Clinic. They connected me with a social worker who I met last week. (So many phone calls. OMG.) She was super friendly and we went over the usual conversations about what brought me in, my history, etc. She also asked the very important question: Am I okay with medication? 

Yes. Yes, wholeheartedly yes. I've done what I can to try and cope. My eating psychology coach offered some coping mechanisms which help. Temporarily. Yoga helps. Temporarily. It's all temporary. It's not enough. I need a stronger antidote. 


Based on our conversation, she recommend a psychiatrist and a therapist. I did talk about how going to those counselors over the years was helpful and even talking to her -- a completely impartial third party -- was beneficial. But we both seemed to understand that talking wasn't going to be enough.

I have an appointment with the psychiatrist three weeks from now. The social worker stressed he's not a pill pusher, but he will prescribe something if necessary and he's also very particular about what he prescribes so no benzos, which made me more comfortable. (I'm still waiting for a call back from the therapist, but I was warned she has a very busy schedule.) Thankfully both are here on the west side which means no having to drive downtown to the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic. That is a deal breaker for me and my anxiety. 

And, you know what? Instead of feeling anxious or nervous about it, I feel relief. Relief at knowing that this all might fully stop or, at the very least, reach more manageable levels. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 February 2017

Fitness Friday: Training Edition, Week One

Well hello Lovelies!


The good news is, I'm in training mode again! WOO HOO. I would like to pretend I'm the type who can keep up a regular fitness routine with an end goal like a race but I have quickly learned that is not the case.

Training started Sunday, so that's where I'm starting. Today's workout will go on next week's weekly run down.

Sunday: Yoga
Monday: .58 mile
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: .5 mile
Thursday: Yoga

I follow a training plain that has runs based on time and in the beginning they are really short, 10-15 minutes. Of course, if you're like me and slow you can't run very far in that time and if you're also like me and recovering from an injury you can't run very far in that time either.

HOWEVER.

With my new treadmill, I can run fast. Well, faster than I would outdoors. With the treadmill I can make myself run fast. So, I'm using these short runs as an opportunity to work on speed if not distance.

I have my training program in my Passion Planner, but I'm trying to remain flexible. Literally and figuratively.

I miss yoga, you guys. Like really miss it. Five years ago I had an amazing weekly practice doing all sorts of shit like standing on my head. But then I discovered spinning and kind of broke up with yoga but now, I want yoga back. Like, I really want yoga back. If this was a relationship, I'd be standing outside Yoga's door with a boombox over my head.

Thankfully I work at a job that offers yoga during lunches, usually on Thursdays. So when I put together my training plan I put that down as my Thursday thing plus a Sunday home practice. Then work added a Tuesday yoga class to the schedule and omg. It's also now 45 minutes instead of 30 and I am so, so happy to have a regular practice again.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

26 January 2017

Real Runners Virtual Summit

This post contains affiliate links

A couple of months ago, my friend Katie Heddleston asked if I'd be interested in participating in her Real Runners Virtual Summit I, of course, said yes.

What is the Real Runners Virtual Summit? From the website: 

  • A place to grow as a runner while receiving expert advice, tips, and inspiration. 
  • A place to connect with fellow runners, run coaches, an exercise physiologist, a dietitian, book authors, and more.
  • A place to feel comfortable asking questions to the speakers on their expert topic. 
  • We are experts with passion, bringing a community of real runners together for this first virtual summit.
Starting February 20th, for 10 days all participants will receive links to a total of 26 master class sessions led by leading experts in the running community including yours truly and even Rachel, one of my fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors! It's really two weeks -- you'll take a break from classes and are encouraged to do a virtual run with the other participants. How cool is that?

My session is, naturally, all about being a slow runner and there are lots of other really great sessions happening over the course of the summit. 


There will also be a Facebook group where you'll get to interact with me and all of the other session leaders! 

Early Bird registration opens on February 1st so if you want to join the party, I highly recommend you do it before the price increase on February 6th. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 January 2017

the limelight

This past weekend I gathered with friends and family to celebrate the official book launch of my memoir Running With a Police Escort! The party was held at Mahall's and it was magical.

Thanks Gwynnie Bee for the dress!

When I started planning the party back in October, I had zero idea how many people to expect. Later I found out it was the same weekend as the American Library Association's Midwinter conference, which meant lots of my professional colleagues and co-workers wouldn't be able to attend, and then, of course, Trump won the election and it was inauguration weekend and so many of my fierce feminist friends were marching.


But we still ended up with a good turnout: both BC and Sissy told me they counted about 50 people. I also expected many people to have pre-ordered the book but, nope, I ended up selling (and signing!) a whole bunch.

I also gave a reading from the book and then spent the rest of the time just mingling.


It was such a surreal experience because it really was this gigantic intersection of so many different people in my life: family, friends, co-workers, and peers. Some people I hadn't seen in years, like my college roommate Megan (oh, yes, the same one in the book) but the absolute biggest surprise was seeing my old yoga instructor Jessica. Y'all remember Jessica? Oh man, it was so good seeing her and, honestly, when I looked up from the table I didn't recognize her at first -- or, well, I guess my brain didn't immediately process that it was her because it had been so long.

(It also reminded me how much I miss having a weekly yoga practice. I still get yoga in sometimes but I'm nowhere near as dedicated as I was when I first started five years ago.)


If you'd like to come see me at a signing, I keep an events page on my website. Right now, my next scheduled event isn't until May but I have lots of things in the works so be sure to check back on a regular basis.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

20 January 2017

Fitness Friday: Week Three


The struggle is real, y'all.

For whatever reason -- or, well, perhaps for multiple reasons -- my depression and anxiety have been at peak levels all week. I haven't exercised since Monday and on Tuesday I had a complete freak out over something completely stupid and I'm like crying and texting BC and thankfully he was perfectly chill and took it in stride.

That said, he did point out that today is the inauguration of President Trump and tomorrow I have my book release party and so, y'know, perfectly reasonable things to stress me out. And then I had a check in call with my Eating Psychology Coach on Wednesday and she asked if it could be hormone stuff. I've had my IUD for about two months now and my cycle is all fucked up but, yes, definitely some hormone shit happening right now, too.


So, right. Fitness Friday.

I walked for about 20 minutes on my treadmill on Monday and then did a FitStar workout.

And, um, yeah. That was it.

I also didn't read, like, at all this past week and while that might not seem like much, for me, that's almost always the one indicator I have that my depression is in full swing: my inability to read. But over the past couple of days I've been reading a little bit before bed (and one morning when I first woke up) so there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

13 January 2017

Fitness Friday: Week Two

HELLO FRIDAY!

I don't know about you, but this has been the longest week EVER.


Friday: 1.25 mile run
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: FitStar Yoga
Monday: 1 mile run + FitStar Workout
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 1 Mile Run + FitStar Workout
Thursday: Yoga

I usually hate paying for apps, especially ones that are on the pricey side or have a monthly fee but I AM SO HAPPY I signed up for FitStar (I have the free version of their yoga app for now, I'm undecided on upgrading but if I keep to a weekly schedule it might be worth it).

Admittedly I am horrible about doing any kind of strength training -- my workouts are mostly cardio but I also know that getting some strength training in is super important and I love how easy FitStar makes it. Especially when I work it into my running routine.

The "program" I'm on is supposed to be done 4x a week but I'm just doing it at my own pace, usually after my Monday and Wednesday morning runs, which are, for right now, on the short side while I work on building up speed and then I reserve Friday mornings for working more on endurance and building up distance.

(Ha, look at me, sounding like I know what I'm talking about LOL)

Also, I'm sure I've mentioned this before but if not: I've been asked to come back as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador!



This is my third year representing the back of the pack for the city that I love and, as always, I'm so excited to be a returning Ambassador, especially for the 40th race!

Last weekend I was at my book signing (I so fancy) and the store employee asked when my last race was.

"Almost a year ago. LULZ."

Soooooo here's hoping another injury doesn't sideline me before the Cleveland 10K again this time around.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

09 January 2017

Mondays are for Coffee & Contemplation

It's Monday and another week is upon us! Also means it's time for another edition of Mondays are for coffee and contemplation, which is a round up on quick things I want to talk about but don't want to dedicate an entire post to.


1) On Saturday I had my first book signing! It was at the Learned Owl in my hometown of Hudson, Ohio and it was so much fun. A bunch of people showed up, including complete strangers which is always nice as a writer because there's always that fear that only your family and friends will be interested in your book.


Seriously, y'all. I look so fancy and professional, amirite?

2) Multiple times over the past week I have found myself saying "I am so happy I bought myself a treadmill."

Trust me. I'm as surprised as all of you but really, I am so happy I bought myself a treadmill. I'm still working on building up my endurance and distance post-injury and having the treadmill gives me that controlled environment that the streets of Cleveland in January (ie: snow and ice) do not. I'm using the early weeks of C25K as intervals but right now I really am just working on getting my distance up since I'm basically starting from scratch. But 10K training starts in less than a month so I want to have some base built up before I begin that.

3) Speaking of, while I'm not officially in training mode yet, I so love having a plan week-to-week to follow and I bought this fantastic printable grid for my Passion Planner.


I love sitting down and planning a run down of my plan for the week and getting to see it at a glance. Plus, since it's a printable file I can print the pages out as often as needed for future planners and if I ever decide I want to have a weekly checklist type thing for other things during my week.

4) My friend Nicole's daughter Audra is on the Kids Baking Championship this season and YOU SHOULD TOTALLY WATCH. New episodes air Monday nights on the Food Network and all the kids are adorable and way more talented in the baking kitchen than I am.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

06 January 2017

Fitness Friday: Week One

It's been quite a week, amirite? Or maybe it's just me, what with that whole book coming out thing.


#Humblebrag 

This year, I really want to focus on getting back into a fitness routine. I was doing really well this time last year, but that silly broken ankle kinda fucked that all up and since getting cleared to exercise I've been struggling to find my groove again. 

During my season of self-care, I seriously considered quitting blogging altogether. The only thing that kept me around was looking forward to blogging about my training for the Cleveland 10K (the distance I'm 99% sure I'm going to run in May). I love the routine of training mode and sharing my weekly workouts with all of you. 

But I won't start training for another month or so but I'm still trying to get back into a routine and working out on a regular basis, so why not just start a weekly working blogging series that I can use to transition into training mode in a few weeks?


The really big news is that I BOUGHT A TREADMILL.

I know, right? 

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you know that I pretty much hate the treadmill. In fact, in my book I describe a rather traumatic experience I had on one many years ago that left me scarred. Literally. My old building had a treadmill that I used only in dire circumstances but since moving I've discovered I really took that thing for granted and actually kind of missed it.

Yeah, I wasn't expecting that either. But there were multiple mornings when it was cold and dark and snowy outside where I'd wake up and think "Man I wish I had a treadmill downstairs."

Seriously. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

So, I bought a treadmill that was delivered last Friday and, I gotta say, it's really nice to have because while I have a YMCA membership and it's maybe 5 minutes away (especially really early before rush hour), that's just another obstacle to get me working out and now I can just throw on my shoes and head downstairs to the basement.

Here is this week's weekly rundown: 

Friday: Rest
Saturday: Walked on mah new treadmill
Sunday: Tried out several fitness apps (before buying an annual subscription to FitStar)
Monday: BC was at work, I rearranged one of our guest rooms so unintentional body weight strength workout LOL
Tuesday: Spin class at YMCA
Wednesday: 1 mile run + FitStar workout
Thursday: Rest

I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the back to back run + workout but turns out I really liked it! Getting strength training is hard for me -- it's one reason I was trying different apps, to find out that would fit my vibe -- but I am hoping this is a routine I can stick with. When my runs start getting longer it's going to mean waking up earlier but, hey, that's the beauty of having a treadmill in the basement!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

02 January 2017

New Year New You Giveaway: Win a signed copy of Running with a Police Escort + Bondi Band Headbands

2016 was rough, amirite? We lost Alan Rickman and David Bowie, among others, and then there was the election and then during all of that I had to deal with anklegate and clotapocalypse and then BC tore his patella and oof. We are only now really just starting to recover from everything.


But luckily it's a BRAND NEW YEAR. That means a clean slate and fresh start and setting new goals and looking ahead to all the magical wonderful things you want to accomplish in 2017 and beyond.

Best part is that tomorrow is the official publication date of Running with a Police Escort


(I say official because Amazon was being Amazon and sending some copies out early so the book has been out in the world unofficially for a couple of weeks now.)

This has been a labor of love for over a year and I am so happy to share the book with you and all the world and in celebration, I'm giving away a SIGNED COPY!!

Not only will you get a copy signed to you (or anyone else, if you'd like to give it as a gift to someone) but I'm also giving away a full set of Bondi Band's winter collection so that you'll be stylish while achieving your goals over the coming months. I'm a Bondi Band Ambassador and love their products (I'm even wearing one of the headbands on the cover!) so I'm so excited to spread the love.


Fun fact: I helped name the Sweater Weather one up in the top right! They had a contest and my suggestion was chosen.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy running!!

Winner will be contacted by email at the completion of the giveaway and have 24 hours to respond.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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