Thursday, August 29, 2013

Recipe: Grapefruit Sangria! (Paleo-ish)

I have not solved the mysterious failure-to-run bug. In fact, I spent the last two days laying on my couch with some sort of head cold. Which obviously doesn't help the situation at all. 

Ah well, let's focus on fun stuff. Monday night was girls' night. We hopped on, updated a friend's profile, and sent lots of winks on her behalf. Yes, we are wild.  The food for the evening? Well, as host, I can tell you it wasn't wild, but it was delicious! We enjoyed my Paleo Sausage Mushroom balls (recipe here), a yummy tomato, mozzarella, basil, red onion and balsamic salad (am I the only person who can NEVER spell mozzarella properly??), and, my new creation, Grapefruit Sangria! (promptly pronounced delicious and blogable by my friends).

I call it Paleo-ish because of course, alcohol goes in the grey area. And it contains vodka, which is grey as well... but! you can find vodka that is not grain-distilled, AND, you have to enjoy life, right?? What is good about this... NO simple syrup, NO sugar. So whatevs... leave out the vodka. I don't care if  you miss out. 

Grapefruit Sangria


  • 3 Cups grapefruit juice 
  • 1 Cup vodka
  • 1 bottle Riesling (use one that isn't super-sweet)
  • 1/2 Grapefruit
  • 1 orange
  • 1 peach
Mix liquid ingredients together. Chop fruits to desired size and add to pitcher. Let rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours so the flavors blend together. Enjoy!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Running On Empty...

"Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels...
Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I'm running behind...
You know I don't even know what I'm hoping to find
Running into the sun but I'm running behind"

Running on empty. In life. On the road. 3 weeks until Lansing. Yikes.

Road running. I don't know what is wrong lately. I'm tired, I'm slow, I don't want to go run. I feel dissatisfied with my New Balance Minimus Zero shoes, but nothing else tops them. Some things straight up fail miserably. A little over a week ago, I knocked out a 9 miler. It was slowed, and I was spent, but it got done. Since then, every run has been torture. In fact, I've quit. I've cut every one short.

Is it the heat? The new pair of shoes, bought the day after the 9 miler? I'm not sure. I hope it's the shoes. I'll be trying my Zeroes again and hopefully can complete my next training run.

As for the shoes I tried... I don't like to bash equipment. I believe that every product is the ideal product for someone. After experiencing my old friend, pain in the balls of my feet, I thought maybe I need a bit more cushioning. I visited a local sports store (which I will not visit again) and purchased a pair of Altra Intuition 1.5s. By the way, if anyone wants them, I'd be happy to sell them. The pros to Altras: they are true zero drop, the toe box is awesome...  SO much room! It's big and boxy without feeling like a saucer (how I felt when I tried Brooks Pure Grit). Your toes can spread naturally with no problems. The cons: way too much shoe for me. After several runs, I haven't adjusted. The cushion is too much, the outer portion is too much, the tongue is too much. My feet were roasty hot and my toes kept going numb. I believe the shoes altered my form as well..  after an aborted 4 mile run, I was SORE the next day. I haven't been that sore after a run in ages... even my hilly half marathon. After today's aborted 6 miles... I ran 4 miles and walked 2.. I was in pain. I hurt from the hips down.

I hope it's the shoes, the heat, and maybe a need for more healthy fats in my diet (my husband's answer), but I am grumpy, discouraged, worried about my next half marathon. The fun is draining out of running, and that scares me. I need the escape.

My life is running on empty. I look back sometimes and wonder how the heck I got to 29 like this. I feel like I was supposed to accomplish so much more. Be established and advancing. Not laid off. Again. Job hunting. Again. Feeling like I'm unqualified. Again.

I know I sell myself short. I know the scattered resume isn't my fault. I was laid off, knew my husband had orders to move, got sent to a state with a depressed economy, got laid off again. Despite what anyone says, this recession is NOT over. I know this. But living the results of it still hurts.

I started this latest job hunt feeling positive. Knowing that God has a plan for me, and His plan is good, so I shouldn't worry. But worry and doubt is creeping in. I'm starting to glance around at the storm, down at the waves, instead of trusting God and keeping my eyes on him. I know that I have plenty to offer the right company. I know I will be highly successful in the right role. I just need to find that role. I just have to trust that the job is out there and keep trying to find it.

A Facebook friend posted this verse today:  "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That's why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."  -2 Corinthians 12:9-10

So perhaps it isn't bad to tell you that I'm running on empty. To admit that I am weak. To know that my strength comes from God. My strength to run. To find a job. To stay positive. To focus on Him in the storm. I am weak Lord, but your grace is enough.

So today, I will do what I can. Clean my house. Host a couple friends. Hopefully develop an awesome grapefruit sangria recipe to share with you. Job hunt. And tomorrow, I will try to find what works on the road. Because I can do all of this. Because if I am running on empty, I know two things. His grace is sufficient; He loves me regardless. And if I am empty, if I am weak, there is room for his perfect power to work in me.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Have a Problem...

I have a motivation problem.

There, I said it. If admitting a problem is the first step toward the solution, it should get all better now, right?

I doubt it.

I'm 5 weeks from my next half marathon, and I feel like I have to force myself into every run, every workout. Once I get going, some are decent, but most leave me with no runner's high, cajoling myself into every step, falling short fairly often.

I think (I hope) every runner has funks, but this has lasted at least 3 weeks already.

I'd love to point to external causes...   like, oh, guess what? I got laid off. Again. Yup.   Oh, and 6 days after becoming unemployed, we found out my father-in-law, who I love and who is my husband's hero, has Parkinson's. Yeah. F*ck you, Parkinson's.

But these things occurred after I started feeling so unmotivated and fatigued. The layoff may have overlapped a bit, but when I first got that news, I felt remarkably positive about it. For at least a week, I wasn't worried, fully trusting that God had a plan for me, and I'm just not supposed to be at that job.

I still believe that. My life is in God's hands, and he has promised us both suffering and wonderful things. It's rough though. When my most recent boss hired me, he gave me the honest assessment of my resume that, at first glance, he would question my loyalty. (Sorry. I really DID want to get laid off and then move to Detroit. I planned it, I swear.)  And now, he was forced to lay me off after 6 months. THAT should make my resume look very appealing. I just hope people will understand, given the economy and job market.

But I digress. Fatigue. No motivation. Struggling through 4 milers. Going to lift weights and feeling that I am simply... not strong. No strength.  I can see how the stress in my life could make this worse, but how did it start?  How do I fix it in time for my next Half?  Seems like I don't have enough time off to just take a break. Which doesn't seem smart anyway. How do I de-funk?

I'm going to try baking Paleo Blueberry Muffins from Elena's Pantry (recipe). And then I'm going to slather them in grassfed butter.

But, I have to run 5 miles today, and I don't wanna.

I have a problem...