"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Looking Again: a New Perspective

All Saints Episcopal Church, EST. 1837.

You hear people all the time say "You need to look forward."
I have always thought the past can change the future.
Yesterday is a great teacher with the proper Perspective.

Training for my first 100 miler has me looking at my yesterdays often. I pull out my old running logs. I compare my mileage for not just the week but the months. Yesterdays are a good gauge.
I have had a lot injuries in my yesterdays.
  • 2 ACL surgeries in a year.These injuries put me out for WEEKS. 12 weeks NO weight bearing.
  • One meniscus.
  • I have had two ITB injuries, these also put me out for weeks, requiring PT.
In 5 years, I had a significant injury EVERY year. They were not all running related but left me out of commission and confused.  
I have spent a lot of time in what I called my "Prayer Chair" spending "Be Still and know.." time with God.

I would sit in that glider rocker with my immobilizer crying "God, please, please give me peace if you do not want me to run."

I Never Got Peace.

I always heard God say "BE STILL..."

I wanted God to fix things. I wanted him to give me miraculous healing. Rather "I'm sorry Anita, I want you to go another 2 weeks with  crutches."
I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up. But I knew this was not the time for complacency, the time to get defeated, this was the time for FAITH.
I knew that I needed to look again to know how to look ahead, but I also needed to see my future from a new Perspective. Not as defeated. Not as discouraged, not as depressed. But as Perseverant. With Wisdom and Faith that God would take care of me. 
I had to use my yesterdays to make good tomorrows.

Pain is a great teacher. However, many of us don't want to recall pain. We don't want to feel pain.
My injuries were never the painful part. It was listening to a voice BIGGER than myself telling me to BE STILL and have FAITH in the process.

I learned GOD wanted to use me in my weakness. Every time I came off an injury I got stronger and faster. Every time I listened and let my body heal I was blessed with victories I could not have imagined.
I didn't fight the process, I accepted with trust and FAITH.
~~~~~~~~~
My grandparents, my uncle and I am not sure who is in the middle.

This week my son took me to see my father. My dad  died when I was 11 and I knew very little about where he was buried or IF he was even buried. We went on a adventure to find where my father was buried.
This is my grandmother whom I never met. Both my grandparents died in their 60's. My dad died at 48.
We never found my father, We later found out he was cremated. But we were also told he didn't have a headstone.
I looked again at my yesterdays.
My yesterdays hold a lot of pain. But its a beautiful reminder God isn't there to always FIX our problems, sometimes I believe he wants us to FIX our PERSPECTIVE.
I look at my yesterdays and they are not so rosey, not so kind, God didn't miraculously take my problems away, but he DID take CARE of ME in them.
Sometimes we think God is supposed to just make everything better. But what are we learning there?
It is FAITH not SIGHT.
There is so much beauty in our pain. With the right Perspective your heart will show you. After pulling out of MT HOPE cemetery, Austin drove me about 2 miles away to WILLIAMS STREET.
 All Saints Episcopal church has rested on that corner for over 150 years. I would go to this church with my grandmother on Sundays. My Grandmother was very stoic. She was as tough as nails but as soft as a kitten. I carry great joy and happiness reminiscing of our Sundays going to church together.
The Rose Kneale Room. We would have coffee,tea and cookies here after service. It is EXACTLY the same. I used to sit on that red bench in the sun by myself while my grandmother visited. Very Special Memory
Looking back may hold pain, but it can also hold beauty with the right Perspective.  
It can be a teacher if you trust in the process. If you have Faith.


RUNDOWN:
Distance: 16miles
Time:2h:53min
Location: Holdridge Grubers Grinder. I was so stoked after finishing this trail run. It wasn't because I was sweating like a stuck pig that I was happy. It wasn't because I would no longer have to contend with bugs and flies gnawing at me. It wasn't because I didn't have to smell myself and the funk I carried, or that I wouldn't be hopping over anymore snakes thinking they own the trail. NO, I was giddy because we ran our fastest time out on the trails! OH and that I could still walk, breath and live to talk about it!



Rather than ask God to change your circumstances, ask God to change your Perspective.  I challenge you to look AGAIN. Do you have a teachable hear? Are you allowing God to heal you or are you taking the reigns? You cant Heal if You never quit moving. Be still. Have Faith.
Anita




Monday, July 17, 2017

You are my Sunshine..

My Monday was kittywampus right out of the gate. The Mondayest of Mondays.

I had a salon meeting at 8am, that I was late for because I forgot my purse. I was glad that is all I forget because I had a lot more than normal to remember.
I had to not just get to my staff meeting but I had to "Somewhat" do myself up.
I also had to pack my running clothes, watch, shoes, socks, Hydration pack, change of clothes...SOO much to remember for a Monday. So much to remember for ME!

Of course, my meeting ran late.

Our 9 am run didn't start till 10am.
We were running the Polly Ann Trail and some loop Matt knows to make 20 miles.
You are My SUNSHINE...

It was the perfect weather. Mid sixties and sunny. This weather was our friend for about an hour.
It wasn't until we stopped to chat with this lady with a big smile and a big shovel on the trail that I felt how warm it really was.
The lady with the shovel was Linda Moran, the new trail manager. Linda was working on the Polly Ann Trail with a donor, "Gunn". He was on some heavy equipment moving dirt to prepare a place on the trail for the Boy Scouts to come in and finish the project. This little piece of donated property will have picnic tables and I believe she even said a water fountain!

We were all running strong, Paula was running stronger and a hitting the back road hills on Drahner Rd like a Kenyan. I was walking them with a smile!

We were all chatty and laughing. This was good considering we were running faster than we all expected. Matt was making me take longer breaks than I was used to but it worked.

At about mile 18, I asked Matt what his distance was on his Garmin. He was over a half a mile ahead of my Garmin distance.
At 19 miles, I heard Matt say something about 3 and a half more miles to go.
"WHAT?" I turned to Paula and she laughed and replied "Matts Miles"!
This is NOT my first rodeo where he had exaggerated the distance.
I thought he was joking because he was laughing. He was laughing because I am a SUCKER!

Over 23 miles. It was a beautiful run down the Polly Ann Trail. The wild flowers were delightful to look at. The trail is really not that far of a drive from Holly, and worth the training. It was flat, peaceful and so much fun.
My calves were feeling the run the last few miles, however, they were strong and turning over without much complaint.
We took several walk breaks, we enjoyed taking time to look for turtles, Paula even found a snake, looking at flowers and walking the most ridiculous hill on Drahner Rd.
The cherry on top was the BARN! It was the most Perfect RUN after spotting the Crossroads Village Barn.


After finishing the run we all headed to Bigsby Coffee for a 23 mile treat!

Such a good Monday. Such a good Run.
ALL GOOD.

RUNDOWN:
Distance: 23.3
Pace: 9:46/mi
Time: 3:47:50


Check out Polly Ann Trails GoFUNDME page. 

"You are my Sunshine. My Only Sunshine.
You make me Happy When Skies are Grey.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine AWAY."
Anita

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Midnight Trail Training Run

Hennipen 100 in October will be my first 100 mile race. Funny story, one of my running partners that encouraged me to sign up for this even bailed!
Often times I think,"What have I gotten myself into?"

70 mile run weeks.
Sore legs.
Fatigue.
Crazy midnight cravings.
Double Digit, back to back runs.

and..

MIDNIGHT TRAIL RUNS?!
THE PURPOSE: To run tired, to be familiar with running in the dark, to get acquainted with your night time running gear.

MIDNIGHT Trail Running Rules, your NOT supposed to "NAP" before you run. This sounded like a dumb rule, my body was exhausted after working on my feet for 2 days with no breaks and no lunch.
I laid down, I begged my body to sleep but it was too wired. I was able to close my eyes and rest for a couple hours.

I headed to Holdridge about 11:30pm.
A couple of the girls were already there, well their cars were anyway. They apparently met early and did loops solo. Pretty close to midnight everyone either came in from the trails or drove into the trails.

The night was perfect. The sky was dark with bright starry lights. The tempertures were a welcoming 70'. It could not have been more perfect.
The 5 of us all headed into the west loop.
I was slap happy and ridiculously goofy. We all were laughing so hard the first loop.
The second loop we decided to run backwards.

Backwards. This is what makes running in the dark such an adventure. You can run the same trail 100 times and running it in the dark makes the trail look all together different. Running the trail less than an hour later BAKWARDS makes the trail look completely foreign.

We were all still in good spirits. Late night laughing might have scared the animals away but not the DNR!
Finishing up our 2 loop, we were met by the DNR on the trail. It was startling have flashlights in our faces. I felt like a teenager getting busted but for RUNNING?!
The DNR were actually really cool. They heard a bunch of laughing and thought we were a group of kids up to no good. They informed us politely that the park was actually closed at 10pm but we were fine, it was very obvious we were all running.
They had seen all the vehicles in the parking lot, especially Kris's 12 person conversion van. They thought they hit the mother load when they saw her van. Claudia informed them that the van definitely was the party van, "the owner of the van has 7 kids!" We all were rolling, tired, slightly delirious everything was exaggerated. It wasn't just funny, it was SOOOO funny!

The gang began to disperse. One more loop. We headed back out.
The moon was hanging above us tucked above the trees. Every once in a while it would  creep out between the foliage and I had to stop to see it. This loop was a bit slower. I was getting tired, after all, it was almost 4am.

Distance: 13 miles.

I couldn't get my body to sleep when I got home. My legs were twitchy and tired. I got up about 10am to go out with my family for breakfast. I came home and tried to sleep. I woke up to about 25 messages, 3 separate group texts. I was supposed to run with Lacey and Claudia for a shake out easy run.
I showed up at Laceys with a cup of coffee in hand and left over giggles. I think the 3 of us laughed the entire 5 miles. I found myself laughing so hard I was sitting in the middle of Rattalee Lake road trying not to pee myself at one point.


Weekly Miles: 73.2 miles

Anita


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dreams..

My favorite spot, its a Tunnel.


I can't imagine running 44 miles in December for my birthday. But that is exactly what Tyler wanted to do. He wanted to run 16 miles with me for his 16th birthday on July 4th.
Tyler was one of my XC runners 2 years ago.

He was all smiles and ready to roll at 8am when his mom dropped him off at my house.

We headed to Holdridge to meet Claudia and knock out some birthday miles.
I knew right out of the gate something was wrong when she wasn't there before us.
She went to Highland Rec. Opps.

Tyler and I started running while she headed our way.

We had 2 miles banked when Claudia arrived. We headed to the East loop.

It was hot and humid. The bugs were gnawing on us. whapping us in the face, buzzing in our ears and downright annoying us.

Tyler ran out of water about mile 5. I opened up my pack and leaked some water into his water bottle. I dropped his large water bottle at the road but I was concerned when we got lost. Eh, not lost, just confused!
Tyler was out of water again and I didn't have much left in my pack. I had been conserving my water for him. I was really hoping we were heading in the right direction.
I put out a distress call to Kris and Matt, hoping for a little insight.
Tree DOWN!

We found our path, we found our water, we were going to be just fine...Tyler had another 5 miles to run and he was feeling it.
The farthest he had ever ran was 11 miles. This was another 5 miles.
We made it through!

Playing it smart.
  • We kept our pace down from the beginning.
  • We added several walk breaks
  • Intentional eating and drinking
  • SMILES..Laughter..Is always a great interruption to suffering.

We played some "MARCO POLO" when the trails were getting silent. Everyone was still ON!

We finished up the East loop still standing and headed over to the West loop for our final 4 miles. Tyler wasn't throwing in the towel. He was going to finish and I was really proud of him. Claudia was wonderful adding great conversation and being such an encourager. I am blessed with some awesome running partners.

The West Loop, the bugs were playing nasty. I was eating them, swapping them, slapping them and totally irratated by them. I wanted to run all the way through but I knew I just had to get Tyler to the 16 mile mark standing, a 4 mile piggy back ride was not an option!

Claudia went ahead about the last half a mile. As Tyler and I came out of the trail Claudia stood there with her camera capturing Tylers final 16 miles!

"So Tyler rather than ME tell you what you should do for recovery, YOU tell me...."
"Well Coach, I am going to stretch for hours! Then chocolate mile, ALOT of chocolate milk, then rest, get off my feet...."
Claudia added to put his feet up in the air and roll to release the lactic acid.
And I added "TAKE A NAP, You earned it." Plus that is what I really wanted but knew I wouldn't get.

We were on the trails till after 12! We all high fived, trying to keep our sweat to ourselves and headed in home.

I had errands to do in Fenton so I offered to take Tyler home, he lives in Fenton.
I made a pit stop at Tim Hortons for COFFEE and I got Tyler his chocolate milk and chocolate chip cookies, he earned them all!


My thoughts. There is a season for everything. A season to run fast, and a season to run fun. If you could look at my running as a resume', I am very blessed. God opened doors for me, growing me in strength, stamina and speed.
Jeremiah 3:33 "Call unto me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that though knowest not."
I claimed this verse asking God to for little things and he gave me BIG THINGS. Things I had no desire to do..He did for me. With me, through me.
DREAM. NEVER QUIT DREAMING.
I never thought I would hear "Coach, Coach..." And then get the privledge to be part of his Birthday Dream. What an honor.

I am beyond blessed. Being part of someone's happiness is where its at.

It's NOT about YOU.
You want happiness...Quit making it about you. Give. Love. Forgive. Smile.

Anita~

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A little piece of me..My first kiss

My calves were sore. I chuckled to myself how a flat, easy run could put me in the hurt locker. It was another reminder that I am going to put more miles in on flat surfaces.
Less trails.
8am I was out the door to run as FLAT as I could.

Before my watch hit the 1 mile mark, the rain started spitting at me.
I was running wide open heading towards downtown Holly.

At the 2 mile marker, my eyes were stinging. I wondered how polluted the rain was to make my eyes burn so bad. It felt like liquid fertilizer was poisoning me.

Other than my eyes burning everything else seemed to be in working order. My tight calves loosened up, my lungs opened up and my mind was in a good place. The voices were at a minimal this morning.

I had to create some flat miles. I turned right by the McDonalds and headed towards the Trailer Park.

My old stomping grounds. A different park, but same idea.

I looked around at the double-wides, the single-wides, the beautifully manicured lawn tucked in the middle of overgrown lawns and broken cars.
This was me.
I could see my bedroom. We had a single wide trailer, my room was in the front. I had a big bay window that had a ledge that I set my stereo on. Music was my therapy.
I lived in that bedroom.
I slept on a daybed that faced the window. I had a pretty white vanity with gold trim and a matching slender dresser.
I used to sneak out of my bedroom window. I had a lock on my room. Nothing was sacred in my room. Everyone stole from me.
Often times when chaos was so bad I would jump out my bedroom window and run to my girlfriend, Tina's house.
My mom usually never knew I left.

One night, my friends were all sneaking out. My mom was two sheets to the wind, bless her heart. We all got together to play a game. I had never heard of the game.
"Hide and Go Get SOME."
I was 14 and was very much a prude. I was a good girl. I might have talked a lot but I had never kissed a boy.
It was a hot summer night.  Someone yelled "GO" and we all scattered. Those trailer park boys were NOT good boys. They were nothing shy of little horn dogs. Knowing this I ran as fast as I could. I discovered to late that part of the fun was getting caught. That was NOT going to happen to me, that did NOT sound like fun. I ran faster and I hid really good.
A couple of the boys ganged up on me, the one trapped me. They had packed together and I was caught. Before I even knew what was happening this hot, clammy boy put his arms around me and about choked me with his tongue in my mouth. I ALMOST GAGGED. It was horrible.  His mouth was wet with sweatiness and a floppy tongue that I was not prepared for. I couldn't break his grip right away, but when I did, they NEVER caught me again! And I never played again.

I smiled as I ran down Apollo Circle. This was me. It will always be part of me. NO SHAME. There was a lot of riff raff growing up in that trailer park. But by the Grace of God go I.

RUNDOWN
Distance: 10.5 miles
Trailer park Run: 7 miles
Afternoon run with Lacey: 3.5 miles
Lacey came over my house about 4pm. Full of piss and vinegar Lacey was in rare form.
She really wasn't in the mood for ANYTHING. This attitude always makes me laugh.
We ran to the track, where I forgot to turn on my watch. Typical Anita.
Lacey wanted to do "Whatever".
I had already ran. "Lacey, Run the flats hard, take the turns to recover." And that what she did. I grabbed her water for her and chased her around.

A grownup is a child with layers on.  ~Woody Harrelson

Tonights Tea Time

Do you remember your first kiss? I would love to read your story!
ANITA~

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rain, shine, thunder, lightning?!

"Running is a four-weathered sport."

"Anita, it's going to thunderstorm, do you have a back up plan?"
Even at 6:30am I was awake enough to respond to Andy with a very serious chuckle.
Back up plan?!
NOT RUNNINING wasn't an option. Training for Hennipen doesn't give much mercy.
"Running trails is my back up plan."

We had planned to run the Polly Ann trail for a couple weeks. Lacey even was able to come out and join us.
We had strategized this training run to train as if we were running Hennipen.
Flat, wearing our packs, eating, drinking, walk breaks, and 18 miles of it.
We didn't plan the thunderstorm.
The trails we normally run (Holdridge, Holly Rec, Highland Rec) are deep in the woods protecting us from the elements.
Polly Ann trail is very scenic with ponds, deer, wild life and beautiful homes tucked in a park like setting.  It is part of the rails to trails. The trail surface is crushed aggregate making running on it pleasant. This trail is not as canopied, leaving you a little more vulnerable to the elements.

We met as scheduled at 8:30am at the Oxford Library. It was NOT raining.

It took 3 miles for the skies to open up and the thunder to roll. Lighting lit the sky up, "Here IT COMES" I would giggle as I waited for the rumble to shake the earth.
It didn't take long for the rain to saturate every stitch of our clothing. We didn't see another runner or biker. I began to think we were a bit to
adventurous.
But I was quickly reminded "Hey, it could rain like this the whole time at Hennipen."
It's good training.

We planned to take intentional walk breaks. The first 10 miles we were doing pretty good. I think they were more like pee breaks but they were breaks that had us walking, drinking and eating. Unfortunately, this skin flinn was shivering pretty bad. We ran from Oxford to Leonard. On our way back I couldn't get warm. I picked the pace up a little bit and kept an eye on how long we stopped to walk.
No one said anything until about mile 15. Then I got busted. I was just so darn cold and the bugs were attacking us, mostly Matt. They liked him the most, and I was happy for that. If ever there is a time I didn't need another companion, it was then. At one time, Matt had more than a half dozen black flies catching a ride on his back. Lacey was taking great pleasure in beating them off his back and neck. SMACK! I was cracking up. WHAP! SLAP!

We finished with 18 miles of puddle jumping, bug slapping, thunder booming miles. And we all had a blast. We normally hang out, chat and eat after. We all had to get back to adulting. We did spare about 15 minutes and met at Starbucks to quickly warm up, recap and plan out our next run....Saturday...
If this wasn't adventurous enough..Saturday, Midnight Run!! Its all good training they said.

RUNDOWN
Distance: 18.10
Time: 3h:02min
Pace: 10:06
My mother in law gets a bit worried for me, so I waited till after we ran to text her back!
She loves me.


Anita~

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Oddity.

"What you are thinking about, you are becoming."
Mahammad Ali

Not every day is a good day. And not every RUN is a good RUN.
And what exactly is "GOOD"?
Is that where the stars align up just perfect? A land where everything is peachy keen and Jim Dandy?
My bad might be your greatest day and my greatest day could sound like a complete nightmare to you!

Sometimes we can pin point the things that are "Off" and sometimes we have no idea why things are "ODD".

This week I have ran 5 days straight. This is "ODD" for me.

Sundays Run-I ran with Lacey. We ran FULL sun, roads and as flat as we could. I got 20 miles in.
Other than being completely WIPED out the rest of the day I felt GOOD. It was GOOD.
Mondays Run-I was beat up and feeling the residual damage from Sundays run. I managed 9 miles. It was good.
Tuesday Run- I should have made it a REST DAY. But I felt "ODD". It was the Fourth of July. I just never felt right all day. I decided to run that afternoon before we went out for fireworks. Feeling nostalgic, I  thought it would be fun to do 4 miles. My mind was racing. I just wanted to run the voices out. I ran into my street and didn't even remember running over the 4 hills to get home. It was a off day. Odd.
Wednedays Run-I ran with Jeff. I met at his house. Together we ran roads, a 5 mile loop. Jeff did 1 loop with me. After the first loop I decided to try and run each one a little bit faster.
Loop one: 48 min
Loops two: 46 min
Loops three: 44 min.
15 miles total time: 2h:18min
It was good.
Thursdays Run, today! Todays run is a great reminder why I DON'T run 5 days in a row. I was beat UP. Tired, slow and sore. TO be very honest...it was actually my 6th day in a row running. I did speedwork on Saturday morning. 17 miles at Holly Rec. with Claudia, Rachel, and Kris. It was tough. It was good, but I was off. Odd.

Bad Nita. Bad.
It was Tuesdays fault. I was so deranged. Emotionally sabotaged. I knew I shouldn't have ran. But I couldn't control anything in my head.
I enjoy running with Jeff. He is older and wiser. He shared these thoughts on Tuesday with me.
"Nita, you can tell me if I am wrong but it seems like a lot of women run because it is the only thing they can control.... Their families, their children, their marriages aren't as easy to control..." Jeff shares his deep thoughts on our run.
Yes, yes. I couldn't control anything on Tuesday. I laughed, I smiled, I loved but I couldn't control what other people did with it or thought of it. The things I wanted I couldn't get. I kept trying and still felt like I left empty handed.
The only thing I could control was my running. I could run away from everything and everyone and for that little bit of time I was in control.
And as ODD as I felt, as bad as I knew I shouldn't run...I knew it was the only thing I could do.

Doing what I love.
"Do what you love, Go where you're admired, not where you're tolerated. Be what you want to be not what others want you to be."
Anita.