"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, June 22, 2017

Old Trail, New Perspective

The morning started out good, my alarm went off at 5am to run the Wilderness Trail at Holly Rec. and my legs hit the hardwood running. Not to bad for 5 hours of sleep. I was able to get a half a cup of coffee down, however, the idea of eating that early was not appealing.
  • NOTE....this is one of the things I am going to need to improve in my training for Hennipen  100. I know if I am running more than 2 hours I NEED to eat. Quite realistically...I should be eating anyway!
Without giving my 6am trail run a thought I headed to Holly Rec. I was meeting Rachel, Claudia and Kayla was joining us for the first time on the trails.
Driving unto McGinnis, Rachel called to warn me. The gate was closed to the park, the park doesn't open until 8am! Rachel directed me to another parking lot on the other side, where the other girls followed.

We parked and headed into the trails from another trail head. I get so giddy trying new things, Even if it was the same OLD THING, it was a New Perspective.

We let Kayla lead because she was the first one that had to get out of the trails. She was in for 1 loop.
OK...Note to self, be prepared to sweat, huff and puff when you let a young whipper snapper lead who is trying to qualify for Boston in the fall.

Kayla was power housing it up all the hills that we normally WALK. She wasn't even sweating. She had to swing back around to connect back with us. I ran in the gap, in-between Kayla and the girls.
There was still quite the distance between Kayla and I. We were NOT in conversation range. This was actually really awesome, not just because I was not capable of complete sentences and thinking. I had no pressure to talk, respond, all I had to do was run. I was loving running at this challenging a pace. My body responded rather well, I enjoyed pushing harder than normal. The key was we were not conversing a whole lot. I was able to focus and grit it out better.

Kayla shared 1 loop, we brought her pack to the parking lot.
THIS little doohickie was hanging from a tree.

A park Ranger stopped us and asked us "Do you know who's truck that is?" It was mine.
He was not welcoming us like Mr. Rogers. He proceeded to tell us that we were NOT supposed to be in the park until opening hours at 8am and that he could give me a ticket because I was not parked properly AND we were parking in the campers lot.

I took Kaylas parking spot and off the three of us went. We were rather warmed up from trying to keep up with Seabisquit. We did slow up a bit and walk a few more hills.
  • NOTE: I discovered I was MORE out of breath walking the hills then just slowly and consistently running them.
After the second loop, I lost all my partners. I headed back out for a solo loop. I felt good. The bugs were dancing all around me and the temps were heating up. The trail gave had a nice breeze that cooled me down and allowed me to smell the woodsy funk I was sporting.
Its a HEART! I found a heart in the woods!

I got to thinking. It is funny how I have ran this trail for over a year but running a different trail head made this loop look all together different. I actually enjoyed the loop BETTER from this end. The draw back was this loop is a little shorter. I ran the last loop strong, running most of the hills. I even ran up the wicked steep hill I am usually wincing all the way up and gasping for air at the top. But running it made me feel better. I shortened my stride, pumped my little arms, looked at the top and got to the top in half the distance with twice as much air left in my lungs!

"If you always do, what you have always done, you will always get, what you always had."

That being said. Todays change made a HUGE impact on my training.
  • It reminded me I am stronger on the trails than I have been training.
  • God gave me 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason...It is good to just LISTEN. I didn't chat it up today. I didn't really think my words were really missed much anyway. I just enjoyed listening and adhering to what others had to say. You can learn a lot when you truly LISTEN. Listen WITHOUT RESPONDING...try that out this week. Enjoy someone else's words. Enjoy THIER story. And don't share yours...Try it, I bet you learn something new.
  • I am going to start running the hills at a slower more steady pace.
  • I need to start leading more on the trails. I am never going to get good at navigating if I am always following.
  • That I CAN run alone on the trails. It is good to listen to your inner coach. The quietness allows me to be inside my body, be aware of what I am doing, where I am at, how I am feeling and coach myself.

Distance: 16miles
Time: 2h:53min
Pace: 10:48

*NUTRITION on my long runs. I prefer whole foods. I have used Honey Stingers for about 5 years. They are organic and clean. But I still get a belly ache after about 20 miles. I eat trail mix, Honey Stinger waffles and take Juice Plus gummies.  These are WHOLE foods, not a supplement. I never get a belly ache.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pounding the Pavement..it has BEGUN

I am trying to remember the last time I ran SOLO. But being I can not remember to turn my watch off "Pause" most of my runs, trying to remember my last run with myself is baffling and pointless.

I embraced the Solo Run.
I also embraced pounding the pavement, this too is another run I can not remember the last time I did. I love running with people as much as I enjoy trail running and backroad running. I have not put many miles on the road, the paved road.

Since I am on a kick of "LOVES"...I LOVE listening to music. I am very motivated by music. I had all the elements to a good Solo Run.
  • 75' and sunny
  • A great running playlist
I had one thing missing...GUM. I gave my gum away and forgot to replace it. I was getting frantic looking in every pocket in my hydration vest. In my purse, my lunch bag, my gym bag, my truck, coat pockets and then I found a folded, dismantled piece of Trident. This little piece of gum didn't look salvageable. Dirty, mangled, melted, I slowly tried to make the best of it. Curiosity, got the best of me as I scraped it off the paper popping and it in my mouth, "Hmm, not bad at all".

It took me a couple miles to get moving. In less than 2 miles, I was sweating, whining, stripping my clothes off down E. Holly Rd and not paying attention to restarting my watch. I lost more than a half a mile. Typical Anita.

I love the "Out and Back" route down E.Holly. I prefer running loops but running an "Out and Back" allows me to TURN AROUND and know my mileage.
Navigation is not one of my strong suits. I still ask my running partners "Where are we going?" after running the same routes for seasons.

The route is hilly. Some great elevation. Slow climbs and long descents. It is challenging. It hurts, takes my breath away and motivates me to push through.

There lies what I call the "Three Step Sisters", 3 hills back to back. One is long slow fade, one is short and the last one is a bypass that makes my sweat bleed. The kicker is they are actually placed along in incine on E. Holly Rd. The beauty in these comes on the way back. This route reminds me of running the Boston Marathon. Even the hills beat your quads up, however, the elevation goes DOWN on the way back home.

I was on my last hill as I saw a familiar Ford. It was confirmed when I heard the BEEP, it was Lacey.
I chucked to myself. "Even on a solo run I still see my running partner..." It made me smile. Or maybe I was smiling because I was hauling butt on the downside of that last hill.
It felt soo good. I glanced at my watch,  holding my grin at a 7:20 min/mi.

Nothing lasts forever, I balanced my pace back grinding out the last few miles.
I thought I was going fast until I heard another BEEP. It was my son, speeding in his friends manual turbo sports car. UGH. I waved because I couldn't yell at him to SLOW DOWN. All I could do was pray for those two knuckleheads.

With less than a mile back home, I chased that last stupid hill. I really wanted to maintain my pace but I was going to need to pick it up and move hard up that steep hill.
I could see her.
I started talking to myself. You can do this when your are running solo and nobody will judge you.
"Pick it UP, go, go."
"Ohh crap, its starting to hurt..."
"Go! to the mailbox, the SECOND mailbox..."
"No, the third mailbox...."
"NO, to the END of the hill, Pick IT UP.."

I ran past the "8" mile BEEP on my Garmin. You can't quit on a downhill.

Distance: 8.2 miles
Pace: 8:31min/mi.
Time: 1:09:53

HENNIPEN 100 TRAINING has begun.
Time to embrace the long runs.
The back to back LONG runs.
The hot runs.
The hours on my feet.
The extra calories.
More intentional eating and drinking.
Early runs, evening runs, night runs...

Its time to get serious. Time to get fall in love with suffering. I am so excited!

On account that it is NATIONAL SELFIE DAY...a picture of the greatest brother and I from this weekend at Rose Oaks.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Turtle and the Hare.

How do you manage to run in 90' weather?
Lacey suggested we run a half marathon a few weeks ago. This is one way to suffer through your miles with likeminded company.
  • It got us out there early.
  • It made us kick it up a notch.
  • We were able to use our competitive spirits to dig a little deeper.
  • Running with others suffering was rather encouraging! Birds of a feather flock together.
Everyone lined up, gun start..not really, more like a "GO!".
We ran another Run Michigan Cheap race. 30$ for a half marathon. No frills.  No timing mat. They do have medals, teeshirts for preregistered runners, water bottles throughout, some peanut butter crackers at the end and free pictures.

These races are typically on rails to trails. They are a great way to get some training in without spending your child's college fund.

Today's race was in Lake Orion.
Polly Ann Trail
13.1 miles
Starting time 8am.
RD giving us all a few reminders.

This was another fun race. I like some of these smaller races. Everyone hangs out waiting and cheering one another on.
Lacey and I took off together. It was already 78' when we started. Most of the route was in shade making us comfortable inside a safety net.

The course was very flat until you ran along Indianwood golf course. This hilly and cantered section of the route only lasted a little over a mile. We were about 3 miles in and the shade was still friendly.
Laughing it up...This only lasted a couple more miles!

I felt pretty good until I realized you had to run up this bridge in Oxford, then run down, turn around at the bottom only to run BACK UP. This was a evil placement for the out and back turn around. The sun was over top of us adding injury to insult.

It was not to long after I encouraged Lacey to "Go and catch the girl in the pink tank top".  

Funny, in 45 minutes how totally different the course now felt. We had a lot more sun torturing us.
My lungs felt like they were completely oxygen deprived. I slowed down to catch my breath and my thoughts on this suffering. I was grateful I had brought my hand held water bottle. This saved me a lot of energy, it was one more thought I didn't have to manage.

I remembered the turtle I had seen last week. I decided to just run steady Eddy like the turtle. This was a confirmed thought I will share with you in a minute....
Everyone began to slow down.
Bringing it down to a breathing pace, a thinking pace, I discovered I was not the only one who changed plans on this half of the race.
I was shocked when runners were walking. But I was happy when I passed them. It was crazy to think I was passing runners that had blazed ahead of me.
At mile 10, I slowly passed a guy walking. I tried to get him up and moving with me, afterall he had been moving really fast in the beginning, but he was not biting. He was smiling, even laughing but he was NOT running.
Several runners were struggling with cramping, It was a gentle reminder to DRINK, I still had 3 miles to go and it was hot.

The last 2 miles were hot but not unpleasant. I was still running a sub 9 but honestly had no one around me to get my wheels turning faster. I knew I should be running faster. But it was a training run....this little turtle just plugged on.

My watch hit the 13 mile marker, only I couldn't see the finish line. I was afraid to pick up my pace in case I was way off. This would be a "Typical Anita" move. Miscalculate my miles, the distance, take a wrong turn..anything is really possible.
I made a slight turn and suddenly EVERYONE appeared. I barely had time to pick it up. The finish line was packed with runners, they were cheering me on. Being cheered on by other runners is really a fun finish.
I finished smiling and still strong.
I was chasing behind a guy who was cheering runners on at the finish. He asked if I had see this certain guy. I said "Yeah, I saw him about mile 10, he was walking..." He responded 'Yeah, he took off really fast, I just decided when I saw him slowing down to run like a TURTLE, to just run steady all the way in, and looked who finished ahead...."
I was not the only one using that storybook wisdom!

Distance: 13.1
Time: 1:54:57
3rd female to cross...out of 24.
1st in my age group...out of 5.

In Closing:
Lacey never caught the gal in pink. However, we did meet her and her family. Her family were the best cheerleaders, so good I thought they were part of the race crew.
"Jordan" rocked out there today. She is running Disney in January. We enjoyed chatting with her as we headed back to the car.
Lacey and Jordan! These girls rocked it out in 90' weather!

Heading to Disney next January!

So, In closing, I finished upright, ran a half marathon in a sub 9min/mi. I had fun, smiled a lot. Whined a bit, but enjoyed knowing I pushed myself on a hot day. It was a great training run.


Monday, June 5, 2017


I have half written a post on my running today. But my mind keeps wandering to you.

I miss you so much Ariel.
I sit on your comforter wishing you were next to me.
I read your text messages for the millionth time crying in the bath.
Life never feels the same.
Your words, you loved me so much.
You believed in me when everyone else was against me.
You brought me my favorites always "Making me smile."

Even now people discount your love for me. They don't want me to talk about you, they don't want me to grieve. They hate me for loving you.

But I will never stop loving you. You never stopped loving me.
I miss your love. You were my girl.

When does it quit hurting. God it hurts so bad.

I miss you. I hate that you left me.
I hate death.
I never get used to it.


my baby girl, i love you.
Happy birthday.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Not so Picture Perfect.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Isaiah 64:6

Not a cloud in the sky. The temperatures were ideal for running. The birds were singing to us. The sun was warming our skin. Everything was Picture Perfect

But it was funny...we were all a bit off. 

With ideal running conditions we headed into the woods. 

You couldn't help but fall in love. The trees were closer than I remembered them from a week ago. Vegetation was growing in all directions. The grasses and low covering greenery was moving with all kinds of hidden critters. The woods were alive.
In the distance, you heard a woodpecker echoing around you. It was like a song. All the woods worked together to make perfect hymns.

But there was a hollow in some of our hearts.

We crossed a section of the trail that was cut down towards the lake. We all stopped our watches and in sync went down to see this Picture Perfect scene.
Every step closer, it got more beautiful. More detailed. I was in awe. Almost breathless at the placement of each element.


The closer I got, I saw the water wasn't as BLUE as it appeared. I stared deeper into the water and noticed it was actually mucky. The water was thick with leaves and even dead insects. This water was really a reflection to the perfect sky..yet a very imperfect lake...more of a swamp.

This was ME. At first glance you might think:
"OH that Anita, she is always so happy...."
"Oh that Anita....."
But things are not always so Picture Perfect. I shared this with the girls without sharing my personal burdens.
People judge us at a quick glance. At a Facebook post. From a distance. And we do the same.
But most people don't get in there close enough to really know what we are made of.

We are all deeper. All more detailed. We all have our burdens, our struggles, out handicaps, our ugly.
Its hidden, its covered, its there though.
None of us are so Picture Perfect.
"All have sinned and come short the Glory of God." Romans 3:23

If you thought that my smile, laughter or silliness is the makings of a gal that has it all together, than I will apologize now.
I will fail you. I will hurt you. I will disappoint you. My picture  like that lake tries to reflect God. But deep in the grooves you will notice a mess. 
And I fail everyday. 

We get back up, Smile, Love, Encourage one another, Forgive each other and try to look deeper into others before we judge them...

Because none of us are so Picture Perfect.


Monday, May 29, 2017

3 Runs, 3 Parks.

    "Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy "
Psalms 96:11-12 

Thursday: Holly Rec.
I can barely remember yesterday but I do remember running with Kris and Rachel out at Holly Rec.
Poor lil guy....

I remember thinking "I hardly recognize this trail." Mind you I can get lost in my backyard, however, I thought I should know the trail so much better than I did. The trail was so green and thick with vegetation. Did you know that green is my favorite color? It was so pretty.
I remember going off the trail to discover this cool little fort. I hiked a little farther and discovered a very significant drop off. Just below rested a swamp I had no clue was tucked away from the trail.

The trail was soggy from the rain. As we headed back in from our 2nd loop, I witnessed Kris jump a mile high. A very very large frog planted his chubby butt in the middle of the trail.

Distance: 11 miles

Sunday: Holdridge.

A last minute invite to run with Matt and Paula. It ended up just Matt and I.
The day was beautiful. Originally, we were supposed to get storms. But instead we got blue skies and warm weather. My favorite.
My running partners have gotten used to me seeing my "friends" just about every where we go. Everyone is my friend! Even if I just meet you once, you are now MY FRIEND! We no sooner got out of our vehicles when I heard a familiar voice "HI Anita!". It was a guy on a bike.  Because forgetfulness is a standing quality of mine, I forgot "HIS" name. As politely and with as little awkwardness as possible I asked his name. I knew where he lived, who his beautiful wife was, I had have been praying for his wife, Reagan and even saw her last week.  I knew what he did for a living but I couldn't remember his name! Typical Anita. KEN!!! YES, KEN and Reagan. Duh.
We chatted with him for a while. I was about to ask if he wanted to run with us. I would have loved to catch up.
But its a good thing I didn't. Matt was "Chatty Kathy" on the trails. Matt would have had some competition. The temps warmed up making Matt a little fatigued. I liked this!
He and Paula did a 30 mile bike ride the day before. I was getting his leftovers. This is good for me because he is a Seabisquit when he's running fresh legs. I let him carry the conversation sandbagging my energy.
The trail was tight in several spots with pickery flesh eating vines trying to tear my already ugly legs apart. I jumped, dodged and ran through them but not without scrapes, scratches and blood loss. If the needles like vines didn't attack you the mosquitos were out with a vengeance. We always stop at the 9 mile marking to drink, eat and pee...I don't pee. The 5 minute break left me nervous I was going to get West Nile I had gotten bitten so much.
And AGAIN..this time it wasn't just me. Even Matt got turned around. There was a trail I wasn't familiar  with. Both stumped we took it and discovered it was not OUR trail.
Holdridge was so pretty I had to quit looking around, I tripped and landed on all fours TWICE!
To think "ANITA" actually means Grace.
We saw a lot of bikers out there. It is great to see so many people taking advantage of the trails.

Distance : 16 miles.

Today: Memorial Day: Orion Oaks

Another last minute RUN. Lacey and I went out to Orion and ran on Matt and Paula's stomping grounds.
The park is a hidden Gem. We jumped on the Polly Ann trail and took it to, I think, Clarkston Road to Baldwin road. We  picked it the trail at the Bark Park.
The trail is wide, lightly dusted in areas with gravel but otherwise grass and packed ground. We took several turns, I was beyond lost and confused. We went over a bridge that cut through a swamp, this area we all stopped and I took a few pics. I must have been really excited because they turned out all blurry. It was so lovely. Buggy but worth the bites.
Lacey had it in her head we were running 10 miles. When her Garmin went off at 11miles she looked at Matt and said "Ahh, I have 11 miles....."
Matt responded "Really, I have 7 something.."
I was running a step behind giggling because I knew this game..I have been victim to "Matts Mileage".
Great run, I cant wait to run out there by myself and soak it in a little more. If you haven't heard from me send a search party. I can totally see myself lost, a lot. I will make "It sure is pretty though" my anthem!

Distance: 12miles

   Isaiah 55:12
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." 

I am pretty sure I need to play in some new trails with summer, soo fun, adventuring. Any Suggestions?

Summer Critters:
Took this fun shot of this frog on my deck. He was totally an exhibitionist!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Guardian Angel

I know God has plans for me. Sometimes I wish I could just get the memo. A memo that describes my purpose. A plan that is more specific. One that let me know a little more direction.

Sometimes I wonder how HE can use a heathen like me.

This morning was a morning that God sent many angels to surround me, protect me.
Without even a scratch I can not comprehend why.
I should be laying in hospital bed. I am still shaken up.

Lacey and I left my house before 6am to run. Our eyes heavy and our spirits still half asleep.
We had over 2 miles covered by the time we reached Grange Hall and E. Holly Rd. This was plenty of time to wake up.
Together we stopped at the intersection. Cars were deep in all directions.
Rain was trickling down on us. The roads were wet, not overflowing but saturated by a damp  humid rain.
Lacey lead the way across the busy intersection. I followed without looking, I trailed about 10 feet behind her.
I heard a LOUD screech to my left. A car laid on his breaks. The car fish tailed desperately trying to stop from hitting some dumb runner, me.  I instantly turned dropping both my hands on the hood of the car. My legs went weak, all the blood drained from me. The light was GREEN. This car was in full speed trying to hit the light and keep moving to their destination.
Trying to catch my breath I quickly through my hands up and mouthed "SORRY, my fault,SORRY."
I took full blame in the middle of the busy intersection. Everyones eyes were on me. Now people rolled their windows down screaming "PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE YOUR GOING."
I replied again, "Your right, I'm sorry."
He was not letting me go that easy, as I ran towards Lacey this one very special gentleman continued giving me grief.
Lacey was on the other side of the curb, PALE. All the color left her.
I couldn't talk. I could barely run.
"Lacey, were you trying to trade me in?" I tried to joke but I am not sure she could even hear me.

We finished our run, making our way to the backroads.
We managed to get 6 miles in. Even though we wanted 7 miles I was happy to still be upright.

I was more than upright. I didn't even have a scratch on me. This could have ended soo bad.

Thankful for another day.
Thankful for another mile.
Thankful for another breath.

A great reminder to live life like it is your LAST.
Love, forgive, appreciate.

Give back, Give yourself. Don't live life for yourself, That's not living. I am not sure my purpose even after 43 years but I know this, it is not to live for myself.