Thursday, September 23, 2010

Living Like a Runner

Very tired the day after running 36 miles in the High Sierras

I feel like I am really living the life of a runner right now. I sleep a lot, I run, I eat a lot, I nap, I do core/gym work, I run some more I eat some more. Oh yeah and in between, I job search. Being unemployed has been interesting in a lot of ways, it has had its very low moments where I wonder how the heck I am going to be able to make ends meet on an unemployment check that is barely half of what I was making before. It also has its upside, mainly the space to dream about what I want to do and the pressure enough to go after it (pressure from needing a paycheck).

But really, it has shown me just how easily I could shape my days and life around the act of running. Getting ready for, recovering from, fueling for, or actually running takes up a lot of my energy these days. I am peaking training right now for Tussey and therefore blasting out high mileage, but I also know that the real work is just beginning. I say that because I am going to make a go at the marathon qualifying time for the olympic trials. Not just that, but I want to be well under it. I know that is going to take a lot of tough, hard work. Work that can't legitimately be done with a 40 hour work week. I like my lifestyle, even before being laid off, I worked from home and was able to balance my schedule to suit my life. I don't really think I will ever feel that comfortable in a 9-5 job. I may work well work 40 hours a week, but it will probably be through multiple things cobbled together. A friend of mine called me a professional "cobbler" the other day: I am a certified personal chef and cooking instructor  (which reminds me, anyone in the bay area want me to chef for them email me at devon (at) fastfoodiecooks.com), I do accounting, I am a librarian, a writer and a social media expert. Oh yes, and once upon a time I folded a mean towel too. That is just to say that I have a lot of skills, why not use them all to make my way?

At this point in my life, running pretty much is my biggest passion. It dictates a great deal in my life though it does not consume it. I also know that this will not always be the case, there are other things I want to do and accomplish.

I just find it interesting. I feel a lot less anxious about how I spend my days than I have in a long time. I have finally managed to get rid of a good deal of guilt. I sleep so soundly in my mid-day nap, it's incredible. Right now, I really really love being a runner and despite the fact that my goals and workout mentality have gotten more intense, I feel the most free and unstressed as I ever have about running. I have a healthy balance I think. I am enjoying where I am at in life, even if it is not the most ideal position. I think sometimes it is just about rolling with what comes your way, enjoying that time for what it is and knowing it will all change again.

Speaking of changes, my favorite season is upon us. Happy Fall! A few fall recipes to get you excited for the season!


Signs of Fall Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted butternut squash ( I roasted an entire butternut squash after peeling & chopping it, tossed with peanut oil & salt at 400 degrees for 35 minutes)
1 cup kale chips (torn into large pieces then tossed on top of the butternut squash in the last 5 minutes of roasting)
few cups of mixed greens
sauerkraut
goat cheese
sprouted beans
udo's oil

Directions:
In a giant bowl, put your massive amount of greens on the bottom, toss with Udo's Oil and a little salt. Top greens with Sauerkraut, sprouted beans and goat cheese. Top that with butternut squash and kale chips. Toss all together and enjoy!


Risotto Stuffed Tomatoes with Arugula and Basil

I am not going to do a step by step on this but more of a narrative because really, it is easy and also because I didn't measure anything!

First things first. I took 4 tomatoes and hollowed them out. I used beefsteak tomatoes, very hearty ones that hold together well. Meanwhile, I cook 1/2 cup of risotto rice in 1 cup vegetable stock (bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for 25-30 minutes-no peeking!). While rice is cooking, roast carrots, zucchini, onion and whatever other vegetables need to be used from the fridge. When the rice is done, mix in grated goat cheese (I used goat gouda). Mix roast vegetables into rice mixture to incorporate. Fill hollowed tomatoes with vegetable/rice mixture, top with more cheese. Cook until heated through, then crank up the broiler until cheese is nice and brown. Plate roasted tomatoes on a bed of basil and arugula, lightly drizzle with good olive oil.

11 comments:

  1. Way to make use of the spare time! Know how it is - slow business has given me lots more time to train, reciver, refuel...as well! You'll be ready for whatever comes next :)

    http://twitter.com/EnviroSafeOne

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  2. You're making the most of your life. Dare I say that I'm envious of your situation?

    Very little doubt you'll get that OT spot. Keep it going Devon.

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  3. Mmmm...both recipes sound really good. Lots of my favorite ingredients. Good to hear you're finding the upside of being unemployed.

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  4. This is a very inspiring story to read, thanks for sharing more good thoughts. Nice blog too.



    zbsports

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  5. Sometimes I wonder whether working as a barrista or in a book store or gear shop (cool retail) wouldn't be the way to go. So maybe you can be the guinea pig for me and let me know whether letting go of "career" and job as central to life is better or not :-) I bet your living life as a runner will pay off in racing. If you run out of things to do you can always come play in the snow in MT (once we have snow).

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  6. The stuffed tomatoes, arugula look fantastic! Need to have my Greek wife try them. Sorry to hear about the job situation but your running sounds great. What are targeting job wise and companies, maybe incan help through my network, never know.

    Wayne

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  7. You're living the life of a pro- not bad!

    Awesome looking food and unique ingredients (wouldn't have thought to put sauerkraut on salad).

    Cynthia

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  8. Delicious looking recipes - can't wait to try them. Hang in there, some one will recognize soon how much they need you to work for them. Sounds like you are truly making the most of it and appreciating the extra time while you have it.

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  9. Thanks for posting this! Sometimes I dream about working at a running store ~20 hrs a week and training seriously the rest of the time. Between running, napping, fueling, core work, and massage - running can take up a LOT of time.

    I'm getting some kale and beefsteak tomatoes in my CSA share this week and might have to try your recipes!

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  10. tired after only 36 miles .. imagine that. Food looks great

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  11. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog...
    We're in very similar situations and it was nice to read about someone else dealing with the same thing.
    I'm a registered dietitian, celiac sufferer, distance runner and recently forced to live on unemployment checks. I've been filling the void with running and training for my fist 50 miler. Lately I've been bored and slightly depressed with the situation, but thanks for giving me a better point of view on it all.

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