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Food, Faith, Fitness(?), Photography, Fun

5 Oct

My blog has been lacking something in a big way lately.

Heyyyy, remember when I use to run on a regular basis?

(Five miles in the pouring rain – epic.)

(Aww, all those pictures were taken in my old apartment in Atlanta …)

Anyway, the point is that I have fallen off of the bandwagon out of my running shoes in a bad way lately.  After I crossed the finish line last November, I threw myself headfirst into the world of search & call, which lead to a call, which lead to ordination, which lead to the first six months of ordained ministry (whoaaa, six months already), which led to me sitting in my office with a parishioner today having the following conversation:

Parishioner: You still running?
Me: Welllllll …
Parishioner: No!
Me: I’ve been terrible lately, I have completely fallen out of the habit – I feel like I don’t have the time!
Parishioner: Come on, Sarah – you can’t do that!  The longer you wait the harder it will be for you to get back into it!

Never mind the fact that this particular person is in his late 70’s (I think) and could probably still run circles around me.  And also never mind the fact that the only “fitness” routine I have these days is forcing myself into a few yoga poses before I go to bed.

Okay, point taken.  I went for a run today.

Sort of.  I know I haven’t really run any significant distance since I moved here, so I am going to start small and creep myself up again.  Today I ran one mile (10:40) and walked one mile (17:06).  It wasn’t as painful as I thought it was going to be, though I could tell I hadn’t eaten enough in the morning and had zero energy.

I am currently trying not to remind myself of the fact that a little less than a year ago I ran 13.1 miles.


Okay, consider this my public declaration to put the “Fitness” back into “Food, Faith Fitness, Photography, Fun”.  Wish me luck!

Finding Balance In My Life Part III (Running)

15 Jul

Ahhh, let’s see.  Where did we leave off?

When I wrote the first post back in June, I had no idea that it would turn into any sort of series on my blog.  But the response and the outpouring of love and support was incredible – so I wanted to hold myself accountable on here and follow up with ways I am making positive changes in my life.

And with that, we are on to today’s subject – RUNNING!

When I was in college I used to run every day.  Back then we didn’t have fancy shmansy garmin devices, so I’m not sure how far I actually ran – but I wore a watch and usually ran between 40 minutes to an hour a day at least five days a week.  Eventually my knee fell apart (well, the cartilage in my knee), I went to an orthopedic surgeon and he told me to stop running.  I complained a lot.

Can you imagine that?

Over the past two years, I have gotten sucked into the world of Healthy Living Blogs.  I came across several bloggers who have come back from knee injuries similar to mine and it gave me hope that I could too!

So last summer, as I was preparing to finish my stint as a Level 1 Trauma Chaplain, I had a thought.  And that thought had me reaching for my credit card and lacing up my running sneakers for the first time in three years.  I signed up for the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon – and then I ran it!

Then I moved to Connecticut, defended my ordination papers, started my Search & Call process, was offered a job two months later, was officially called a month after that and had four weeks to pack everything up and move again.

And then I started my first full time position in ministry.

Right before Easter.

There were days when I was unclear of what my name was.

But here we are, in July, six months after I crossed the finish line in Atlanta Thanksgiving morning.  I have gotten quite a few good runs in during that time, but nothing really that consistent.  And I can tell.  I am not as flexible as I used to be, my body doesn’t crave healthy foods as much as it did when I was training and my energy level isn’t as high.  I was thinking about my training the other day and realized how much fun it was to race!  The whole process – the training, the preparing, the racing.

I started googling fall races in my area and came across this race.  It is in Plymouth, MA in September and you can sign up for the 5K, 10K or half marathon.  I will definitely not be signing up for the half (as much fun as training was, it was very time consuming and I was only working a little over 20 hours a week at the time), but maybe the 10K?  I think 10K would be a great distance to work myself back up to.

I haven’t signed up yet, but have been trying to get some miles in.  Last night I headed out and covered 3.12 miles in 34:11, averaging a 10:56 pace.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Mile 1 – 10:11
  • Mile 2 – 10:41
  • Mile 3 – 12:10
  • Mile 3.0 – 3.12 – 1:08 (9:10/mile pace)

The third mile I really needed a lot of walking breaks (obviously), which was completely fine.  It might have been helpful to bring some gatorade along with me for some extra calories and a boost of energy, but I really just wanted to enjoy the run.  And I did!

I’m going to wait until we do some short-term planning at church before I decide if I can actually run the race in September, but it’s fun to think about!  I’m not a hard-core racer, but it’s fun a couple of times a year.

Plus, you have beautiful views while you train. 🙂

I’m off from church today, so I had time for a sit down breakfast outside this morning!

Pancakes + Applesauce (with cinnamon).  Yum!

I’ve got several things I want to get done today, but I’m taking a very low-key approach to them.  One of them includes a walk + stretching, because I am a little sore from yesterday’s run!

Have a great Friday!


p.s. Does anyone want to run that race with me?

p.p.s. Does anyone else find balance in their life through running?  What are the other ways?

Momma Hawk Down

30 Jun

Hey, remember that time I was out for a walk and got dive bombed by a hawk?

It’s a long story.  Here’s the dumb thing – I know that the hawk is there AND I know that she’s protective of her babies.  My neighbors have warned me (she’s gone after several of them and one of them needed stitches on his head!), she’s gone after Bruce on his bike and we’ve seen her from the car.  She has a nest in a tree right on the road and we all know where it is, but there is not much anyone can do about it. 

Bruce realized that he and I had only seen her at dusk so we thought we would avoid walks or bike rides near the nest at that point in the day.

Apparently I forgot.

Oh – but do you remember last winter when I posted this facebook status?

I suppose I can add to my repertoire of bizarre running partners.  I’m just glad my reflexes were on tonight and I ducked in time.

Never a dull moment, friends.

Oh!  But it was lovely walk – 5.19 miles in 1:17:27, averaging a 14:54 pace.  I did a little bit of run/walk, but mostly a quick paced walk.

Guess who grilled herself tonight?

I’m so handy.

Burgers + Garden Salad –> The grill and the garden have made house living so much fun over apartment living!

Always have a little faith nearby!

Afternoon Walks

25 May

One of the best parts of my job is the fact that I end up with meetings in the morning and at night. Afternoons are free for long walks!

It was a beautiful day for a run/walk!  Unfortunately, at one point I looked down at my Garmin and it looked like this …

Dear Sarah,
Learn to charge your electronics.

Oh well – it was probably 4.00-ish miles.  Maybe 1.50 – 2.00 of that was run?  The rest was a brisk walk.

Pre-walk I ate a veggie sandwich on multi-grain bread for a late lunch.

I learned from yesterday’s sandwich that fell apart that you need to slice your veggies for sandwiches like this and not dice them.

Much better!

I have a meeting tonight so I’m going to shower and head out – hasta!

3 Miles Of Sunshine

18 Feb

I needed this.

A beautiful run on the Cobble.  The sun was shining, the temperature was in the high 50s and there was a slight breeze!

I definitely have lost a little bit of my running mojo, but it felt great to do a short run like this.  I gave myself a 0.10 mile walking break at the one and two mile markers.

Where I parked to the end of the road is about 1.5 miles.  I ran to the end, stopped and did a few standing forward bends to stretch my back and legs and ran back.  It was a good way to ease myself back into things after not running since January 1st.

I hope the weather stays like this!  I don’t mind the cold, but the snow and ice had taken over the roads and made it impossible to run safely.  Things have melted and there are roads to run on again!

I ran 3.0 miles in 29.42, averaging a 9:53 pace.  It felt great!  Here were my individual break downs:
Mile 1 – 10:07
Mile 2 – 9:53
Mile 3 – 9:39

I came home and made myself a PB&J and a glass of gatorade.  We buy powdered gatorade by the canister so we can mix as strong or as weak as we want.  It’s cheaper that way too!

I think everyone in the northeast needed the little hint of spring that we are experiencing right now.  I know it won’t stay like this forever, but I fully intend to enjoy it while it lasts!

2011 Resolutions

2 Jan

Kari and I set out for a 3 mile run this morning, but an off-course-kick-your-bootay hill and and unexpected closed gate changed our course.  It ended up actually being a pretty pleasant run.  We ran down to the river, stopped to stretch on the bridge for a bit and ran home.

Holy tired eyes, batman!  In the end, we ran 2.75 miles in 26:14, averaging a 9:32 pace.  Here’s our breakdown …

Mile 1: 9:27
Mile 2: 9:36
2.00 – 2.75: 7:10 (9:35 pace)

Not bad, considering I was awake until 2 and ate pancakes with zero protein for breakfast.  I’ll take it.

Oh – and look at what we were wearing!   I set out in 3/4-length tights, a tank top and a zip-up hoodie, but shed the hoodie when we stopped to stretch on the bridge.  It was warm out today!

After we got back from our run, we showered and Kari packed up for the next leg of her road trip.  Before she left, however, she and I made a quick trip to our local Goodwill.  I was out and about with the Hungarians yesterday and saw some kitchen table chairs that looked like they had potential, but I didn’t get them and was having serious not-buyers-remorse.  Luckily they were still there!  I also scored some great deals on serving ware, which I will show you all tomorrow when I have some light and energy to photograph.

We headed up to my parent’s house, where Bruce had already brought up the New Year’s Pork & Sauerkraut, for a late lunch.

The only time this tastes good to me in on New Years Day.  Any other time of the year it doesn’t sound appetizing at all.

The sauerkraut makes the meat so tender and flavorful.

Channel the inner-Dutch in you and try it next year. 🙂 Everyone could use a little extra luck, right?

My dad asked if he could make anything since we were bringing the main dish.  I had one request – “Keck Potatoes”.  These are my dad’s specialty.

And reallllly simple to make, too.  As my dad was explaining it to Bruce, my sister said, “Be careful, it might end up on the blog!”

It might …

Some ambience.

Will you judge my mom if I told you that she took the leftover candles off of the Advent wreath and lit them around the house?  She didn’t want them to go to waste!

My plate.  I dipped the potatoes in ketchup, which may be a culinary travesty, but I love ketchup!

So … I’ve been dodging the big “New Year’s Resolution” topic and at this point it’s now or never.  I’ve never really been good at keeping resolutions (here’s last year’s post on why I always set myself up to fail), but last year I actually did well!  I resolved to look at how Bruce and I were spending money and find ways to cut back.  I realized very quickly that we were spending a LOT of money eating out – so my resolution was to cook more, plan our meals, shop more mindfully of sales at the grocery store and pack my lunches whenever possible.

And what do you know? … I kept my resolution!  In fact, I made so much progress in the kitchen that this blog of mine has morphed into a full-on food blog over the past five months and I love it!  Who would have thought 12 months ago that I would have found some confidence in the kitchen, that I would have gotten into running again (umm, I ran a half marathon!) and that I would have converted something that I started on a whim to a food-focused blog?  Resolutions rock.

This year I’m going to (gasp!) make more than one resolution.  Again, I am going to be reasonable about my expectations of myself, but still try to push myself to be a better and stronger version of myself.  Here we go!

1. Ordination – I’m sorry I’ve been zip-lipped about my job search and ordination on here since I passed my Ecclesiastical Council, but honestly there isn’t much to tell at this point.  I’ve been told the search process can take 6-9 months (someone else told me 18 months – 2 years!), but I am being cautiously hopeful and trying to stay on top of my own search.  It is my hope that this year I will kneel down at the front of my church and – through the laying on of hands – be ordained into the United Church of Christ.

2. Finances – Last year I touched on this (and in many ways we had a ton of successes through cooking bulk meals and dabbling in couponing) but I want to take it a step further this year.  I want to make a budget – a REAL budget.  My previous budgets have pretty much included me saying, “Things are tight,  but we’ll make it and just can’t spend any extra money.”  I want Bruce to be involved in this as well, so we’re thinking of having weekly or monthly “Finance Meetings” – is that weird?

3. Health & Fitness – Who would have thought that I would have run a half marathon in 2010?  Not me, that’s for sure.  I love that I got back into running, but I’m hoping that in 2011 I focus on whole-body healthfulness.  I want to focus more on stretching, possibly dabble in yoga and push myself more with my pilates DVDs.  I want to strengthen my core and maybe get back into cycling?  I love running, but it is really hard on your body and I don’t want it to be my only exercise option.

4. Organization – Here’s a question for me:  If I’m sitting at my computer when an email comes through and I read it, why can’t I respond right away?  Same thing with blog comments and facebook messages.  There is no need for them to sit for a day or two.  I think if I try to keep things more organized around the house and my office, as well, it will be easier for me to keep my email (etc.) life more organized as well.

5. Blogging & Freelancing – I cannot believe how much The Strength of Faith has grown over the past year.  I want to continue to grow and polish the blog, as well as put myself out there and try to find some freelancing opportunities.  When I was in college I was a corresponding writer for a local newspaper and absolutely loved it.  Now that there is time, I want to try to get myself published again.

6. Technology & Life – A friend of mine posted on facebook the other day that she wanted to stop facebooking/emailing from bed in 2011.  I believe her exact words were, “Read a book, woman!”  I have a horrible tendency to bring my laptop up into our bedroom, pop in a disc of Friends or NCIS and have that as background noise while I read blogs and twitter and wait to get tired.  Not good for my REM cycle OR my marriage.  I also think I spend too much mindless time on my computer too.  I need some focus so I can afford to unplug sometimes.

7. Sanity – There’s a lot going on right now.  We’re in an in-between-time.  I’m getting ready to started full-time vocational church ministry.  I’m still adjusting to life without school.  Bruce wants a dog.  There is no Chick fil A in Connecticut.  I need to learn to take a deep breath, relax and keep my perspective.

There you have it!  My (lucky #) 7 resolutions for 2011.  One of my units this past summer was on the 7th floor and I adored that unit (lots of patients that loved to talk and no one died) so I’m hoping my 7 resolutions are a sign of good things to come.

I hope you all had a happy new year!  Anyone making resolutions?