"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

Sunday, March 18, 2018

My Sidekick. Fear.

Glass City, 5 weeks. The next couple weeks are peak weeks. 

My longs runs are consistent. 
But my speed work is flat. 

Mentally, I am not feeling confident that I will qualify for Boston. Fear has become an annoying sidekick that I can't shake. 

I ran over 50 miles this week. My mileage is where is should be.
But FEAR keeps tapping me on the shoulder, "Hi, Hi, HI... remember me? Remember how you failed last year..yeah,, remember how hard you bonked? Remember how bad that overpass was? You know, the one you Walked! SUCKA!" 

Today, we had the ideal conditions for a perfect long run. 45', not a cloud in the sky, Lacey mapped out a new route, we had water, Gatorade and plenty of nutrition. 

The first 4 miles my legs were just winding up. Between my legs and my lungs burning from all the backroad hills I found myself questioning the next 16 miles.

Hill after hill. I pierced my eyes at the top, shut my mouth, took my infamous deep breath and dug in. We nailed those hills. Oh how I wanted to walk them. The trail runner in me loves walking those hills. 
Lacey and I laughed how trail running has made me love walking the hills. I'm getting soft in my age. 
4 miles of dirty hilly roads were a great warm up for the next 11 miles down Dixie Hwy. We ran from Rattalee Lake Rd and Dixie Hwy to Lahring Rd. We passed Mt Holly laughing at how far down Dixie Hwy we were running. 
As soon as my feet hit the pavement my legs began to smile. 
When we turned onto Lahring Rd I was beginning to feel the last 15 miles. We had picked up the pace and Lacey informed me that I had been pushing the pace, no wonder I was getting tired. I just wanted to go but I knew my flame was burning. 

Its nice to have a good friend that gets you and understands you with out you having to describe yourself. 
As we were coming up to the overpass on Lahring Rd I was beginning to whine. "UGH, Oh my gosh, another freaking HILLLL." 
But again, we both dug in and crushed another hill at a sub 9min/mi. 
"ANITA, you are going to rock Glass City...." Lacey interrupted the voices of my side kick. It was like she knew Fear would not stop bickering at me. 
I was getting tired. I had no body aches, no twinges but I was pooping out. 
I was over the hills. My abdominal muscles were twinging from trying to run properly.  Lacey was encouraging me, but she knew I was starting to BONK.

The feeling of bonking sucks. Your legs are heavy, you are fatigued, your head is spinning with so much negativity that your entire body wants to shut down.  
BUT...you cant STOP. It usually only lasts about a mile or two. You have got to KEEP going. 
I asked Lacey to take the lead and pace us in. 
The last 3 miles we were back to running hills again. "Lacey, I'm WALKING!" I gave myself about 5 to 10 seconds and back up again. I picked up the pace on the down hills trying to balancing the pace a little better. 
I was AFRAID to see our pace. 
The last mile to Lacey is relatively flat. Lacey picked up the pace and I stayed close behind. I spoke to myself. 
"SUCK it up Anita." 
"Go, pick it up, breath and bring it in" 
"5 minutes, your done in 5, GOOO hard." 
The last half mile we had one more hill. I will be damned, Lacey RAN it hard. "I HATE YOU LACEY!" I screamed as I stayed close to her. 
"COME on NITA...." 

I LOVE this girl. Everything was burning, but I was running it to the top, I made that last turn to her house, a quarter mile down hill. 
"Run it to my mailbox, Run it to my Mailbox." 
As soon as I turned,  I was determined to finish it out strong. I embraced the sun, the temperatures, my friendship, the decline, the sweat dripping down my back, I embraced my burning lungs and my tired legs. And I just RAN. I ran and ran all the way to her mailbox. 

To tired to do anything but walk, Lacey shared our run. We nailed it. 

Distance: 20 miles. 
Pace: 9:26
We stopped at the gas station for Gatorade. I forgot to turn my watch back on for a half a mile, Typical Anita!

Today was a reminder that you can work through suffering. But it sure is a lot easier with company. My lil SIDEKICK wasn't bashful. He reared his ugly head even with Lacey today. Fear SUCKS. Its causes me anxiety, but I am going to keep ON. That little Devil isn't letting go. Therefore I am gong to have to keep training with him tagging along. But I refuse to let him own me. 
Do it afraid...But do it. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

my Excuses, my Failure, my Fear.

"Alec, Lets go, I want to get to the gym before I feel any worse."
"Mom,why would you go the gym if you didn't feel good?"

I questioned this all the way into Grand Blanc.
My Tylenol hadn't alleviated my pounding headache. I rarely get headaches and this one decided it was going to camp out like the antichrist. My shoulders were tense and my tummy was nauseas.

My body was slowing turning against me. I was working really hard at convincing myself that I had no other option.
I needed to run repeats. I needed to run hard and run fast. I needed to put myself in a lung burning, leg turning, heavy breathing suckfest.
I NEEDED to remember what pain and suffering felt like. Pushing myself to the point of wanting to quit was EXACTLY where I needed to be and then some.

I yawned 5 times before I made it out of the locker room. Fear was setting in. I questioned everything for the 10th time with more excuses then I originally had.

"Maybe I will just run a few miles easy, or moderate."
"What if I just run 4 repeats?"
"What if I run 6 repeats but not at my target pace, bring it down?"
"UGH...What if ..."

My mind tuned out in a conference of weakness. The conversation was deafening. I could hear myself responding to each idea, "NO", Just do it."

I HAD TO TRY. I stepped on the TM, my favorite. I felt my skin tingle, I was actually scared. Afraid of the pain, afraid of failure, afraid.

The fear heightened and turned to adrenaline. I was ready. I took a deep breath, shook my hands out, turned my IPOD on as loud as it could go so I could tune all the demons out.

1 mile W/U. 6 miles on the TM using the Track setting. 800m repeats with a 400m shuffle jog in between. 

The first 30 seconds I feel strong, light on my feet and almost giddy.
As I close in on the end of my first lap, 400M I start questioning my pace, My legs begin to feel tired, my mind gets confused and I start praying to hold on for another 400m.
After 2 minutes, I start counting down my time, "HANG on Nita, hang on another minute and a half."
I see the end of the last curve, maybe a tenth of a mile to go, my stomach muscles are so tight, I take that last deep breath, check my posture, relax my mind and focus on running with my core.
Ahhh..5 more times!

Even though I was running my 800's at 3:37, an average pace of 7:13, the TM is a cheater way, I am going to need to run that outside without a machine turning my legs over, with wind in my face and making those angry curves on the track.
Today was more mental for me. Honestly, I picked my last repeat up and even added another 3 strides after I finished. for a total of 7 miles.
My mind almost convinced me to call it in.
I had some GREAT EXCUSES. No one would have judged me.
HOWEVER, at the end of the day...they were MY EXCUSES, its my training, If I never tried, it was ultimately MY FAILURE.

I am sharing this because the voices in my head get loud...As I am sure yours do too.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Isaiah 41:10

Do something amazing. Do it scared. TRY...just TRY.
Quit making excuses.
GOD KNOWS I am soo scared to FAIL again trying to qualify for Boston. It is going to hurt so bad.
My stomach literally turns every time I think about  running another marathon this April. Its not running 26.2 miles that scares me, I run that distance for training runs for my ultras, its running it fast and having the clock TICK that makes me want to throw up in my mouth.

Deep breath.
Shake out your fears.
Do it afraid.
My left toe is all bloody...Oh the joys. I finished my last mile on the track, easy recovery mile followed with stretching and rolling my IT band. 


Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Prayerful runner.

I have prayed for life, I have prayed for death
I have prayed for forgiveness, understanding and wisdom.
I have prayed for circumstances, relationships, and open doors.
I have prayed selfishly, humbly and irresponsibly.
I have prayed for my yesterdays, my todays and my tomorrows.

And the reality is most of them have probably not been answered the way I wanted.

But...I never quit praying.

Praying gives me hope, it opens up my communication with God. He gives me peace in my pain, in my disappointments and protects me from a hardened heart.

My first 18 years of life, I was dealt a pretty crappy set of cards. Just as many others have been dealt as well.
It is only through my prayers that I am where I am today. God healed my broken heart, constantly mending it, reminding me that I am a overcomer. For each door he shut, he opened another. I only saw those opened doors through my prayers, he directed me down a path He equipped me to go.

Many times I believed God hated me.
Why? Why? Why? What have I done that is so bad that you keep hurting me?

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11

AND many times, God has answered my prayers abundantly.

When it comes to running I seek him in prayer there as well.
I pray for safetly, for recovery, for strength and many other details that might seem ridiculous.
Prayer is part of my communication.

Today,I took off thanking God for an amazing afternoon to run. Gratitude.
I prayed for safety and for strength.
And I smiled. For 7 miles I smiled. I waved as cars graciously moved over to let me run on the road. I waved at cars that waited for me to cross the intersection. And even the two cars that didn't see me and almost ran me over, I smiled and gave them a thumbs up when they apologized for not seeing me.
I felt amazing. My breathing was easy and I kept waiting for the bottom to fall out on my run. I waited to bonk..I waited to get a side stitch but it never came. My pace was so consistent it seemed to good to be true.

7 miles @ a 8:33min/mi. I wasn't winded until the last half a mile uphill towards home. I had no pain, no issues, and no problems.
However, on my run, in my solitude I kept hearing this: You need to run more solo runs if you are going to train harder.

Prayer is my quiet time. It is in this time I hear Him. I really didn't want to hear this, but I know it to be true.
Less than 6 weeks to train.
I am going to embrace some solo runs. Do the work, and continue to pray for His will.

DISTANCE: 19 miles
MISC. LSD w/ Lacey, overshot our miles, last mile walked it in. pavement/backraods

DISTANCE; 7 miles
MISC. Holly Rec. Ran a loop w/ the girls and an extra mile-ish. I lost my phone, it was in my car the whole time! trails

DISTANCE; 13.25miles
MISC. Team Squishy Toes fun run. Holly Rec. 2 loops. Solid run. trails

DISTANCE: 6 miles
MISC. 7am run. 5 miles solid, last mile recovery, run/walk.  pavement

DISTANCE: 7 miles
MISC. Solid run. windy. pavement.

Total weekly miles: 52.25

An evening of green tea and smiles.


Thursday, March 1, 2018


"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am..'
Philippians 4:11     

Sometimes, we get ahead of ourselves. We bite off more than we can chew. We jump the gun on making decisions, or we get caught up in the fast lane of trying to keep up with what others "appear" to be doing. 
I have been guilty of it all. On multiple accounts. 

Most of us runners are overachievers. 
When it comes to training, we read the books, we order our subscription to "Runners World", we map out our training guide and make sure we have all the proper gear to succeed. 
And there are still yet a few of us that even exceed that list and go above and beyond. 
I am guilty of that as well. 

Why do 2- 20 mile runs for marathon training when you can add 1-22 miler in there too? 
Back to back long runs for a 50 mile ultra adding up to over 50  miles in 2 days? I mean why not? It seems reasonable, and I am sure that is on one of my training manuals....somewhere. 

But this year, so far, I have my miles down compared to last year. 
Last January:197.05
This January:164
Last Febuary:148.85
This Febuary: 150
And I am not fretting over the miles. 
Last week, I had a whopping 33 miles. OH well. 
This week I came out of the trails with a odd number, rather than run the parking lot to get to the next mile, today I hit STOP and was good  at 13.22. 

Last Sunday, I had an epiphany. I took out to run 10 miles. My legs felt so good, I took off speedier than I realized, before I got to 1 mile I had a head check. 
  1. Why am I running so fast? I have 18 miles to run with Lacey tomorrow, I can not damage our long run together. 
  2. Why am I running 10 miles anyway? I am training for a marathon, not an ultra.
I chewed on these thoughts for a couple miles. I found myself actually smiling with contentment at my thought process. I don't need to log a ton of miles. I need to run smarter not harder. 

Finding contentment in my training is not a destination. It is a journey. Letting go of yesterdays, being free of competing with myself is a lovely feeling. 
Learning to do my best, give myself grace and keep my eyes in my own lane is contentment. 

We had a amazing run this morning. 
We started out with a little drizzle as we hit the roads at Holly rec for 3 miles. Our tribe all arrived a little while later to run 2 loops on the trails together. 
I took the lead which is something I do not normally do. I wanted to be up front to pay attention to my body and have a little control over my pace. I really wanted to run a very steady pace and attempt to run more of the hills.
"Steady Eddy"
By the time we finished up with the first loop, I had a little over 8 miles in. I felt great. Even though I had ran Wednesday I kept my miles down so I could have a strong run on the trails. This strategy proved to be a success. 
I asked how everyone was feeling and how the pace was. Everyone continued to talk and chat and replied "good" so I maintained that same pace through the 2nd loop. 
The second loop, the weather had changed to a steady wet snow and the temperatures dropped. At this point, walking was not good. Because we were so cold and wet, walking made it worse. It was better to suck it up and keep running. As we were finishing our last mile,  I started to walk and I hear "WHY are you walking! Keep running!" I giggled, "Opps." and up I went. 

I loved this quote. Being content doesn't mean I am settled where I am, it just means for now I am where I need to be and I am good with it!


Monday, February 26, 2018


This past week I was in a bit of a slumber. I had big plans. I was on top of my game. I was excited about some of the changes I was going to make in my training.
It went to hell in a handbasket.

I let things rent space in my head that didn't belong there.

One of the problems with being an ACAO (adult child of an alcoholic) is all the insecurity/ people pleasing baggage I carry.

I loose sleep, I suffer from horrible dialogue in my head.
I will bury myself to unbury someone else. Someone who doesn't give to nickels for me.
I have done it for years.

As a child, I thought love was my mother quitting drinking for me. I did EVERYTHING I could think to do for her to quit drinking. I got good grades, I tried to play sports, I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I never got in trouble, which was pretty good for living in the trailer park I lived in. I could get in trouble any day of the week. But I didn't. I hardly even swore. I went to church 3 times a week. I begged her to love me.
But she couldn't quit drinking, pill popping, or pot smoking.
"MOM, if you LOVE me you would just stop, Please STOP, please..."
She just couldn't stop. It had a hold on her.
BUT...she did LOVE me. She loved all of us kids. SHE just had so many demons, she hurt more than I had any clue.

Today, I still try so hard.
Andy always teases me. He tries to help me learn to let things go.
And I will for a little bit...but then slowly, painfully, words, dialogue, conversations, images resurface. Its so distorted. Like a wolf in sheeps clothing. The thoughts seem innocent but then they circulate over and over. Hurtful reminders of another failure I am.
Lies. Daunting hurtfulness.
Restless nights.
Hindered thoughts.

My slumber, a week of 4 hours of sleep, cloudy days. gloomy spirits and a black hole of misdirection.
And a grand total of, drum role please...33 miles for the week.

Sunday was my day of redemption. A solo run, beaten up by the wind. I had the negativity knocked out of me.
Each mile, I reminded myself of who I AM.
What I have Conquered.
The Hell I fought through to get where I am today.
The Odds I beat.
It was time to let the voices go. I know WHO I AM. And I know the path I have journeyed. 
"Let him who would move the world first move himself." Socrates

The sun warmed my skin, the road was my best friend welcoming me with open arms.
It was time to move on.
Time to let things GO, for now.

18 backroad miles with Lacey today. We picked up our miles by 2, last week 16, this week 18. So we added 10 second intervals at the top of each mile to keep our pace down and keep ourselves out of injury.
It was such a BEAUTIFUL day. I love listening to Lacey. She just chats away breathlessly. I just tag behind her, beside her and occasionally in front of her.
We laugh at our overshot miles and together hope our brains will work to get us home without too much damage.
Not to bad, 19 miles instead of 18. A few new turns, a couple different roads and always a great adventure!


Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Change in Plans

"Second chances are only for those who are not afraid to try again."

I started my morning thinking I was running solo. I would go to church, enjoy breakfast with my family then come home and run 14 miles outside.

Things changed.
Things changed in so many ways.

At mile 9, I was looking up at another looming hill.
My last hill. I just left Lacey. I was still smiling from our unplanned run. We ran a good pace, we had good conversation and dear Lord, we ran a lot of hills.

Here I was heading into my finish, 11 miles sounded like a good number to run for the day.

I looked at my watch, checked my pace and reminded myself, if this is the hardest thing I do all day I better do it RIGHT.
I just needed to maintain my pace coming up that hill. I fixed my eyes at the top, took my infamous heavy breath and little whimper before I dug in my heals.
"All the way up"
I thought of how easy it would be to slow down. How easy it would be to keep whining, make excuses or sell myself short.
All those thoughts did was make me run stronger.

My stomach tightened as I reached the top. I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest. I gasped for breath begging my body to relax and coaxing my legs to keep going strong the half a mile home.
I counted, 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 20, 30...seconds waiting patiently for my body to calm down.
I glanced at my watch, I did it. I maintained my pace.
I knew I could do it.
I just had to do it.

With my change in plans...I am going to have to do this a whole LOT more.

My weekly Rundown:

Distance: 16 miles
Where: Indian Springs
Pace: 9:45 min/mi

Distance: 8 miles
Where: GAC
Misc: Met Jeff @ the gym. 7 miles on the TM @ 8:15min/mi then 1 mile walk on the track. Abs

Distance: 10 miles
Where: met at Seven Lakes, ran backroads
Misc: We had a group run filled with snow ball fights, ridiculous miles, goofy jokes and a lot of mud slinging. We somehow ended up with a 10:45min/mi pace. I have no idea how with all the silliness we rocked out. It was a good fun run that I think we all enjoyed.

Distance: 11 miles
Where: Backroads
Pace: 9:08 min/mi
Misc: Lacey reaffirmed my new change in my training. Today, I made the official decision.

I have gone back and forth on this for a couple weeks. Then Andy got a phone call to go to Africa, sealing the deal.
This little phone call made my decision for me with out any hesitation.
I am NOT going to run Three Sisters in April.
Without tears or grief I was surprised at how easy it was for me to let this 50 miler in Tennessee go.

As it was, I was struggling to get my miles up.
The timing of this race was a crap shoot. I really wanted to run a spring marathon and try to qualify for Boston but Three Sisters nestled in the best time frame for a spring marathon.
I looked for spring Marathons from Michigan to Indiana to Illinois back to Ohio and kept lucking out because of Three Sisters.
So I decided to scratch it and run GLASS CITY.
I am going to try AGAIN to qualify for Boston. God Help me. Last year, I didn't qualify in the BEST conditions EVER.
But this year I am given 10 extra minutes.
Time to get my HEAD IN THE GAME. I am just not a natural quitter.

As I came to the end of my 11 mile run, I heard the beep beep beep of my Garmin and chuckled at my last mile. 8:35min/mi.
Time to get serious. Time to adjust my training. Time to invite pain and suffering back to the table.
Time to let go of the fear of failing again.
Deep Breath.

My Serious Side!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Febuarys Miserable Miles

I haven't seen the sun in 4 days.
I have seen enough snow that I think Michigan would need an arc if it melted.
My skin is pale and itchy, begging to be set free from layers and layers of tight itchy clothing.
And my running clothes are beginning to enjoy the sweaty outdoorsy smell not wanting to embrace my fabric softner. I am going to be throwing a lot of clothes away if I cant get the funk out of them.

The "Its so pretty" has worn off.
The "It's good training" is nothing but lies.
The "Smile" is blasphemy.

I AM over it.
My miles are down and my attitude sucks.

Where: Seven Lakes/backroads
Misc. Nice shake out after our race. 
Distance: 7 miles. 

Where: GAC
Distance: 5 miles
Misc: Mile repeats with a lap recovery shuffle jog. 

Where: Holdridge- West Loop w/ Technical loop and Lake loop add on. 
Distance: 9 miles

Where: GAC/ Track 
Distance: 8 miles run, 1 mile walk. 9 miles 

WEEKLY MILES: 30 miles

I live on backroads. They have not been plowed or cleared. Running outside was not an option for me. I work very hard for my membership at GAC. I needed a solid run.
I brought Lacey with me.

I have had a couple things on my radar that have potential to changing my running schedule.

Todays run was more about Lacey than me.
I am blessed to have a good running partner. Lacey and I over the last few years have alternated running injuries. We have both taken care of each other and adjusted our training to support one another.
Todays run was one of those. It was a great reminder of how many times we have never bailed on one another in times of injury. Whether we had to take off the running shoes for bike tires or we added walk breaks more often. Sometimes we had to slow our pace down or even cut our miles short. But we have always had each others back.
We laughed as we ran around the track discussing the many races we have ran. Some I beat her, but currently she beats me mostly. We may run 10% of a marathon or a race together or we may run 80% of a race together but no matter what we always encourage each other to finish it strong.
We are not competitive with one another in a malicious way.
The key to a good running partner is LOVE. You have to truly want the best for them. If it means sometimes altering your training for their greater good then that is what happens. Because the reality is "What goes around comes around."

Many many times, Lacey has been there through IT band issues, Piriformis issues or me being irresponsible with my nutrition and I love to be there for her when she needs me. You are more likely to be successful with support and encouragement then being alone. So pick your tribe well.
And if you feel like you do not have great support maybe look inward.