"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

Monday, August 3, 2015

Motivation for my Monday

My foot is killing me. 26.2 miles for a Monday. Not too shabby. But it was a killer. Just getting out of bed was a challenge. I got up late, stiff and whiny.
My body was already compromised from a 10 mile trail run Sunday. In three days I ran 42 miles. That is a lot for this pipsqueak.

I had to chuckle as I ran solo. I was running a marathon as part of my training for my ultra and I was all alone. No spectators, no partners, nobody even knew I was running 26.2 miles. No cowbells, no signs, no water stations, just alone with myself. That was the scariest part.

Early on in my run my phone chimed. It was Andy. "Thinking about you. Praying."
My heart was all gooey. Just those few words encouraged me and comforted me.

How do you get through over 4 hours of running without calling for a ride, falling apart or going coo coo for Cocoa Puffs?
  1. Break your run up, by time, by distance or both, even landmarks
  2. Don't make it so serious 
  3. Create your own mini moments. I take pictures.
I had plenty to complain about. Don't we all.
  • The rain left it humid and muggy
  • The back roads were a mudfest
  • The black flies were feasting on me.
  • My body already felt like it went through a meat grinder
  • I was alone, left to the  monsters in my head.
Now, Here is how I got through:
  1. Prayers, Asking God to give me strength and perseverance.
  2. Seeing God in the beauty that encircled me.
  3. Taking the time to snap pictures and enjoy the adventure.
  4. Walk breaks and adequate water and nutrition.
  1. I ran to my gym, 11 miles away.I filled my water and saw PAULA. Paula unknowingly motivated me with her big smile. She was outside walking the track. She had a hip replacement and was getting it done! "Hey Girl, Getting that 50 miler in?!"
    MILE 11, ERIN would LOVE this!
  2. At mile 14, it was getting hot. Rather than look at how far I had come, I looked at how far I had to go. This is a bad idea, it is defeating. With the sun baking my sweaty skin I heard my phone ring. I pulled it out and saw it was LACEY! I had to take the call. It was so great to hear her voice. I probably walked half a mile before realizing I could put my ear buds in my phone to talk and run! Lacey was my running partner for about 2 miles. Hearing from her motivated mean extra couple miles beyond our conversation.
    Mile 14, Chatting with Lacey and entertaining cows!
  3. I hit a wall about mile 19. The whole wall fell on me! I made a post on FB asking for prayer.Within minutes I was getting text messages! I had inspirational messages from a lady I barely knew. And they kept coming. Just amazing.
    MILE 18: MICHIGAN Barns, LOVE!
  4. But it was Lacey that brought me in those last couple miles. Lacey hasn't been able to run for weeks. In all my pain, fatique, bug bites, aching foot I KNEW Lacey would take all of it to RUN! So I ran those last miles for her.
  5. Thankful for those who encouraged me, Tina, Martha,Terri, and Michelle E. AND MAGGIE!
The Corn made a really good secret restroom! Potty break!

QUESTION! Ultra Runners, What is your milage for running an Ultra?


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

When the bed is holding you hostage.

5am, I curled up tighter in the covers. 6am I argued with myself to get up, only to find myself turn over, reposition the body pillow and return to the back of my eye lids. My body was lethargic. My mind fell asleep with many interruptions from guilt trying to get me out of bed. The bed was holding me hostage, only I was a willing victim.

7am and the last one in bed, even Austin my 16 year old already left to work out. Tripping over my sloppy legs I made my way to the dresser.
I didn't even lay my clothes out, my brain was barely firing.

Some days, we just want to crawl back under the sheets. Our bed is warm, our body is tired and we have earned it.
There are just not enough hours in the day.
Not enough cool temperatures in the day.
Not enough days in Summer.

I wish I could say I felt better after I stretched and rolled. I wish I could say I was refreshed after a recovery day. I wish I could say I felt like I was foot loose and fancy.

But the hard reality was it SUCKED. My pace felt WAY slower than it was. I might as well  have been running in sludge as slow as I was. I was sweating after a measly mile. Because I was running solo I didn't even bother to put deodorant on. "Great, sweaty and stinky" I thought.

I waited for that "Sweet spot" where your body catches up with your mind and you feel like a ROCKSTAR. That experience totally escaped me. With sweat drenching my shirt, I decided to drop it off in hopes that I would be cooler and maybe feel better.

I couldn't stomach the thought of running 8 miles and seeing my depressing pace. 8 miles of hard effort only for a mediocre result. Ugh, that's a blow, I should have just stayed in bed.

Last minute brain fart: After 3 pathetic miles, I turned into a sub.

I did 2 miles of Hill repeats. The sun was resting perfect to give me a running partner, my shadow.
I was having fun checking my body out going up the hill. My arms were pumping like a sprinter, my knees were coming up, and my posture was poised. From my angle, I was looking good! It gave me accountability being able to see myself. To add a little more dynamics, I began to chant "Go, get up, get up, go!"

Heading back home, I was a little insecure. It wasn't enough to be half naked, I was completely drenched in sweat. I had tore my hair out of the pretty pony tail and gave myself a knotty Buddha bun on the top of my head. Sweat still managed to drip off my neck and hairline.

2 miles from home, I saw Austin on my bike coming back from the gym.
I really wanted to walk home, my legs were torqued. But I found myself trying to catch up to him.
I lost site of him. I thought "Maybe I will just walk now, I am almost home."
Right after that thought, Austin pops out of a side road. I sped up the 30 feet to catch him.
It was a great half a mile home. He hung out next to me, gave me some water and a little company!

It was such a great run. My average pace with hill repeats and walk breaks: 9:09/m. I was pretty stoked. 8 miles of no regrets.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Woodstock Training Day

Training day. A long run on a Monday in 87 degree weather? You would have to be a little "ULTRA Crazy" to do something like that.

This is what my ultra training day looked like:
LOVE the barns on my runs!

  • 5am wake-up- snoozed 2 times.
  • Left house at 5:48 with a couple bites of a tortilla wrapped with peanut butter.
  • Ran towards meeting place, where Claudia would be waiting for me.
  • Carried Iphone, Ipod in my pouch. 2 Garmins (One for Claudia) a Garmin Charger, a KIND bar, My water carrier and a frozen bottle of water to drop on route. Oh and chap stick and 2 pieces of gum!
  • I love taking pictures of the people that I run with. I also like to take pictures of scenery. When I arrived to meet Claudia she had a present for me..a selphie stick!
  • The sun was just coming up by the time that we headed out. The temps were mild, still in the high 60's. 
  •  The black flies were so bad on our routine route we took a different back road route.
  • I actually look like I got Botox. I got bit on my forehead yesterday. This morning my eye was swollen and I had no wrinkles on my forehead! However, I think I looked like a character from Star Trek.  
    Talk about getting HIT with the UGLY stick! UGH!
  • We walked the hills, did intervals, unplanned. I wore my sons Garmin, it was not set for intervals.
  • Ran by feel NOT pace. I let Claudia set the pace. She was rocking it.
  • Claudia ran 14.5 mile with me when I dropped her off back at her car.
  • My goal was 22.
  • I filled my water for the second time before saying "Goodbye" to my partner.
  • My body felt pretty good.
  • I had been taking Sport beans with my water. The fruit punch has a little kick for flavor.
  • As I ran in the opposite direction of home, I began to analyze my training. I realized I was STILL BEHIND! I needed more than 22 miles.
  • 24 miles, if I had to walk back home, I was getting my miles in. I said another prayer.
  • Bathroom break at Mcdonald and MORE water!
  • At 23 miles I was applesauce. That last mile I probably walked a quarter of it. BUT I did IT!

  • Finished my KIND bar, 2 eggs, 2 waffles, COFFEE.
  • More water
  • Stretch, put my feet up. I chatted with my son trying to recover and enjoy his conversation.
  • Epson salt bath
  • LUNCH: Half Turkey sandwhich with Muenster cheese.
  • DINNER: Swiss Chard Chicken burger with Gouda, corn on the cob, cottage cheese and strawberries.
  • Pina Colada smoothie (Pina Colada mix, yogurt, berries, Pineapple coconut juice, coconut milk and ice ice baby!)
  • Roll and stretch.
  • Give GOD the GLORY!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Smells Like FUNK

My morning was emotional. Today, was my son's 16th birthday. I had a few breakdowns before we even pulled into church.

I tallied up last weeks miles and was quite pleased. 60.5.
Longest run; 21 miles.

I did a first this week. I ran 6 miles BEFORE work on Saturday with Claudia and Jama. And I survived to tell about it!

My only days off from running last week were Tuesday and Friday. They were hardly rest days. They were work days and I was very busy.

I met Jama after church for a very HOT run. 87 degrees. But on a good note there was a slight breeze.
After an hour of catching up, deep conversations and some moderate miles I dropped Jama off to finish my 11 miles.
It was at that moment we both got a sniff. UGH...the sweat was stanky!

Tomorrow is the dreaded LONG RUN..Prayers WELCOMED. It is going to be another HOT one!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Training Plan?

Training plan? Mary Ann asked me if I use a training plan during our morning run.
The most serious part of a training plan I use, the only part of a training plan that I take serious, is being very meticulous about my long run.
Yes, do speedwork, hills, intervals, threshold run, but not scheduled.

I don't love training plans for myself. I love running and training. I love the adventure, I love being carefree and
I love the feeling of being free from the responsibility of that partnership.

So todays training was unplanned. MaryAnn and I met at 7 Lakes State park. This is a bit of a creeper park.

I was thinking 10-12 miles.
We ran 7 miles, walked almost another mile.
My watch was still set on 6:1. Therefore we went with it. We picked up the pace during those 6 miles. Mary Ann thought I was setting the pace and I thought I was taking her lead, as we both were huffing it. Together, we kept waiting for the watch to beep. We were running sub 8 minute miles.
MaryAnn pushed me today. It felt great.

Coming home I made breakfast. Steak bites and egg white omelet with feta, garbanzo beans and spinach.
Having a good breakfast really sets the mood for my day. Good food makes the heart happy!

What is your favorite training plan? Do You follow one?


Monday, July 20, 2015

Compromising with Myself

Running the Numbers:
Last weeks Milage: 53 miles. I am over the 50 mile hump!
Longs runs back to back: 20m on Sunday, 10m on Monday
Shortest run: 3 miles

The days have been hot and humid. We can not be waiting around for the weather to cool off when most of us have been waiting for the temps to heat up!

It is important make the most of our training. Try not to stay up so late and you will able to get up easier and earlier.

I don't normally set an alarm. I woke up at 5:01 this morning. I was meeting Claudia at the Highschool to run the backroads.
It was awful. The bed was warm, my body was stiff, and the pillows were so cuddly. I looked at my phone for the time, I convinced myself a few more minutes wouldn't hurt.
I laid there and did the math:
  • 5 minutes to get dressed
  • 5 minutes to get ready
  • 10 minutes to stretch and roll
  • 5 minutes to get to the school
  •  Therefore, 5 more minutes to lay here and make sure I have done the math right!
  • 30 minutes total...."Just don't close your eyes whatever you do Anita!"
Originally, I planned on running 22 miles. I juggled back and forth with this number and 20. My body felt capable but I opted out. I chose 21instead. It sounded like a perfect compromise with myself.

Last week, I jumped up 5 miles. I knew I had to be careful with my pace and distance for a couple weeks to continue to let my body catch up.


  • Intervals 6:1
  • Average pace including walk breaks 10.01/mi
  • We walked hills
  • We took pictures
  • Counted the deer that crossed directly in front of us..about 10. Little babies with her spots melted my heart.
All miles considered, I had enough energy to take the family to the beach. It was a great day!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

High Heat and a little Hell.

"I think I need to run outside today.." I responded to dad as we were heading into Panera's for lunch.

My thought pattern went like this:
  1. "Ugh..Its so hot out." (82' and humid)
  2. "You only have to run 10 miles and it isn't a fast pace."
  3. "You need to be running in the heat, you need to get used to it."
  4. "You would get a more comfortable run if you hit the gym."
  5. "Count the suffering a blessing, it will make you stronger."

I was less than 3 miles in and the sweat was dripping. My legs felt like they were chugging through mud. They were sloppy and thick feeling.
I decided not to focus on my pace, not to even look at my Garmin. Rather than focusing on my pace I let my body talk to me. I knew I didn't want to get my heart rate up to high that I expended too much energy. I also knew I didn't want to sweat to bad and get dehydrated, dizzy or ditch my running plan all together.

Like we have thought of our suffering as a blessing?!
With 5 miles in, I was heading back towards home. Different thoughts circulated in my mind. Little concerns surfaced, making me question myself and what I am capable of. I was miserable.
It was at the peak of this miserable state that I had an epiphany!

I knew I needed this miserable run to make me stronger. I knew I had to "embrace the suck" as I say.
I have to be aware of the elements that want to defeat me. The heat, the humidity, the sweat, the voices, the warm water left in my container, my eyes stinging, my calf wanting to cramp and the many other facets that created this elevated suffering I had to endure.

I began to think of how this thought interacts with LIFE. Embrace suffering? Invite suffering? We are not masochists.
However, life as we know it is well decorated in trials that cause us much pain. Ask yourself "How do you get through it?
"Do you avoid it?"
"Do you find an easy route out?"

Today, Austin asked me what the "DT's" are. 
"Well son, it is when your mom drinks a case of beer every day. Then one day runs out of money, out of help and out of options, she then goes through withdrawals. This is where you watch your mother  talking to people that are not there, this is where she is screaming at you and throwing up at the same time. This is where she is shaking uncontrollably and having seizures. I watched my mother have convulsions so bad she would have blood coming out of both her ears and nose... This is suffering.
I learned suffering very young.

I am at the age now where my friends are losing grandparents and even parents. I am broken for them. I feel their pain, I hurt for them.

This suffering at a young age sharpened me and prepared me for others. Like running in the heat, it is miserable, but it gets a little better the more I go through it.
I know roughly what it will be feel like, how bad it will hurt, how long...I know I will get through it even though I will want to give up. I know enough to even help others in their suffering.
But one thing is for sure, You have to go through it. And sometimes it hurts like HELL.