"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, May 21, 2015

My goals for Bayshore.

God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them. ~Author Unknown

16 weeks ago I made goal. To run another Bayshore Marathon. This will be my 10th marathon and my second Bayshore.

I have always been a goal setter. I like beginnings and endings. I love to see progress. I enjoy the commitment and dedication. Its seeing how far you have come. Its looking at the obstacles that you have overcome. It is failing and getting backup, and trying gain. Some of my greatest failures have only inspired me to greater things.

Well, it has been 14 weeks of training, now coming to an end. I love the running, not so much the track work, intervals, the constant knowledge of pace and distance or the poor sleeping.

2 days LEFT! Saturday Morning. Ugh,I think I just threw up in my mouth. NERVES.

I am coming out with IT!
Here is the reason my stomach  has butterflies in it. Its my GOALS I have for my time.

My PR is 3:28:10. That was GLORIOUS!
2015 Bayshore Marathon Goals
1. 3:35
2. 3:40
3. 3:45

Last year, after I ran Boston I got injured. I was still coaching CC and over did it. This cost me most of my summer. I had to put away the running shoes for bike pedals. I was able to run the CRIM and even by the Grace of God able to run Detroit Freep Marathon. I even managed a half marathon in October. It was not pretty, but I was grateful. My spring and summer consisted of tears running down my face more than my legs.

Bayshore will be my first major race that I will be pushing myself to the end of myself.

Sharing my last year with you has a purpose. I am encouraging you to take a leap of FAITH and set a GOAL.
Dedication, hard work, set backs, pain, overcoming, commitment, VICTORY.

Share your Goal with ME. Let me encourage you along the way!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Do You use Your Power?

There is POWER in a Smile.
There is POWER in your Words.
There is POWER in Touch.

 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue.." Psalms 18:21
As each person stepped out of their car, I could see a smile. Some had a nervous smile, while others had a shy smile or a excited smile. We organized a "Fun Run before the Gun.".  I love catchy names. (We are all in a running club that was birthed from the school our kids attend.)
We all are running Bayshore this weekend. Some of us are running the marathon and some of us are running the half marathon but we are all running.

We did an easy 2 miler, then followed it up with a fun breakfast at a local cafĂ©. I asked every one to bring 8-10 things to create a  Bayshore Goody Bag.

The day went off perfect.
It was a great recovery to a really bad morning. Really bad.

We all have The Power to change someone's moment, day, outlook, or thoughts.
We gathered around one another, in so many ways different from each other. And in 1 way the same: We are all running the same race.

I listened, I heard them encouraging one another. Inquiring, listening laughing, speaking LIFE into one another.
Edifying one another.

"Mary Ann" looked at me with these beautiful blue eyes. "..I would like to do a 3:58...."
I get so excited to inquire about her training. As I listen, I get more excited to speak confidence into her. To teach her to believe in her training, to teach her she has to now train her mind, follow through with her mind and her legs will listen.

Claudia and her French accent. She is so deep. We discussed her last run. "Claudia, get in your own head, no music, nothing but your own thoughts. Meditation Run. Strategize, organize, and prepare your thoughts for the race." Its not the words I say, it is the way she looks at me, she is listening, really listening.
It is at that point I quickly review my words.
If everyone listened to my words, was I Encouraging? Edifying? Loving?

Could my words actually make a difference?

It was at that place that I looked at each person sitting around me and thought of how they have made a difference in my life.
Sometimes it has nothing to do with words at all. It is a hug, a glowing smile, it is ears that listen. It is time, a gift, or even something as simple as eye contact.

YOU have lots of material to practice this POWER. Everyday we encounter people. We have family,friends, coworkers, neighbors, and numerous random people.
Make THAT difference.
Speak Life into people and I promise you will feel a life fulfilled.

I have gotten so many text messages form the group on how much fun they had. We gave gifts, hugs, laughs and encouragement. I watched each one receiving as much as they gave.

I was beyond spoiled, Overwhelmed and highly blessed.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Fear reminds me of who I am NOT.

Growing up we all have so many FEARS.
I will never forget that look Alec had during the Boston bombings. He was shaking and pale. His little body was helpless to the fear that overtook him. His voice wasn't even recognizable. Tears saturated his innocent cheeks.  It is the worst feeling in the world to not just be overcome by fear but to not be able to tame your child's fear.
My heart was beating outside my chest as people screamed and ran. The unknown gave birth to not just fear but paralyzing dread.

Growing up, my family was decorated in addiction. So many days, FEAR came unwelcomed. It hurt. My stomach turned, my hands shook, I would cry till even that hurt. It was the unknown that disabled you. It was the lack of control that terrorized you.

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your GOD. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
Living life safe prevents you from having unnecessary FEAR and anxiety.

"We Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Cor.10:5

With 5 days out from my marathon I have been reunited with FEAR.
When I just think about lining up for 26.2 miles my heart skips a beat. I can feel butterflies in my belly and my hands start to sweat.
I think "What have I gotten myself into."
"Can you do this Nita?"
"Will my body stay strong and healthy?"
"Will my mind stay strong, can I overcome the voices that want to discourage me?"
"Is God listening to my prayers?" "Will he show me 'Great and Mighty things'?"

"I will Instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8
I am trained. I am prepared, I am ready...I think. That little whisper rests there.

Its more that just running 26.2 miles. Yes, that is ALOT but there is more.
It is running hard. I am going to push my body and mind beyond its limits. As I type these words, I can feel the tears falling down my cheeks. FEAR comes in waves.  
It is going to hurt, so bad. And yet it is going to feel so good. It is humbling to know that I will be overcoming FEAR and truly resting on GOD to bring me into the Finish.

I am trying, again, to be grateful in my FEAR. My Fear has brought me to GREAT and MIGHTY things.
My Fear has Humbled me. Reminded me that I am NOT...
  • Overconfident
  • Prideful
  • Content

Fear is a tool to bring me to my knees. FEAR reminds me of who I AM NOT and who HE is.

Asking you to remember me in prayer. Thank you, Giving God all the Glory.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

3 Simple Lessons.

I am called coach, however, I have NO credentials. The only document I have is my background check and fingerprints!
Just about anyone can learn how to train middle schoolers to run 2 miles.
Repeats, Intervals, Hills, stretching, Run, run and run..
Mixed in with teaching them self discipline, commitment, dedication, and hard work.
But the cherry on top is Encouragement.
Not Every Coach is good at this.

I may not be skilled as a coach in many ways but one way I have been gifted is ENCOURAGEMENT.
I can pump sunshine up just about anyone's  hiney and mean it.

Tuesday night, our XC kids had a meet in Brighton. Our team had got wind of their new course, with more hills.
I had tried to prepare then for the challenge they were going to have. As we drove out, Alec casually says "Well mom, if I don't make Varsity time on this race I still have 2 races."
I knew where his mind was going. He was already throwing in the towel because it was a hard course.
I smiled and replied "Alec, never count on a second chance. You do your best like it is the only chance that you have....What if the other meet gets canceled or you get sick..."
He didn't reply.

Tuesday was cold and windy. As we walked the course before the meet I prayed.
It was a beautiful course through the woods, However, Holy Hills!

The GO screamed through the air. The 1 milers took off. I did too. I ran as fast as I could to get to the 1/2 mile mark right before 2 very large back to back hills.
"UP UP, Look at the TOP of THE HILL." I screamed.
My voice cracked as I continued to cheer on the runners.
I looked at my watch and had 3 minutes to get back to the Finish line to guide them in.
I could hear myself breathing, I was winded running through the tall grass trying to beat our 7 minute 5th grader.

"GO GO, Pick it UP, Right HERE, Right NOW!" I continued to shout. "Turn Em over, Look at the clock, RUN!"
They came in beat up, winded, dry heaving and empty.
I was stoked, excited, and charged!

Alec runs the 2 mile. This was going to be really difficult. They took off. So did I, again. I ran to my same spot. This time I climbed the first hill.
I was overcome with adrenaline. "Where are they?" I looked down at my watch."
I was nervous for them, who was going to be the first to come out of the woods?

One of OURS! "YES! There you go, Get up this hill!"
I needed to find Alec. I kept looking at my watch and squinting towards the woods.
There he was!!!
He looked pretty good. "That's it ALEC!"  I continued to scream. "PASS HER, make your move, Kill it, UP UP!"

As soon as he passed, I ran into the woods and waited for them to come through.
A course like that changes the dynamics of your fastest runners. It becomes a mental game. Who can tolerate the most physical pain and move through it.

As each of the kids came through they were surprised to see me. "Keep your eyes on the person in front."  "Stay with THEM."
Don't let up, YOU got this."

I had 3 minutes to make it to the Finish line. I ran out on the trail screaming at each of the kids. "That's it, GO, Don't let up!"
Running backwards and sideways out of trails I found myself winded too.
I saw our first runner. My voice cracked as I ran towards him, up and down I shouted his name.
Then they came in, one after another.
I was jumping and hollering at each kid as they came towards the chute.
I could see how bad some of them looked.

Lil Kaitlyn, at about 65 pounds soaking wet, came down the chute pale. She didn't slow down, I could see she was going to fall apart.
I ran to her as fast as I could to catch her. Her eyes filled with tears. I wrapped my arms around her and told her how proud I was. She cried harder. Then started to puke.
"WOE, sister!" I jumped.

I found myself picking up several kids. Hugging them, sharing high fives, and listening to people whispering about me.
"Coach Harless, we love watching you with the kids."

This is what I LOVE.
I love watching them see me at the end and run harder than they thought they could.
I love when they wrap their arms around me sharing their PR.
I love seeing them exhausted, sore and tired.
I love that final KICK at the end."
I love the gleam in their eyes as they discover they can run through pain, exhausting and
I love hearing them say "I passed 6 kids!"
I LOVE hearing "Coach Harless"

As for Alec. He hit his Varsity time!  "Mom, I just kept thinking how you made me run on Monday through the trails and how much they helped. I thought about what you said about something happening to one of the other meets. I looked at my watch at the 1/2 mile mark and knew I had to run harder."

Lesson #1 - Go like there are no second chances.
Lesson #2 -It's just puke, wipe your face and smile for the camera!
Lesson #3- Always listen to your mama!

Damielle and I found some great trails in Fenton. We had 10 miles to run. We ran about 4 miles through the woods. It was beautiful, green, lush and quiet.

"Whether you turn to the tight or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21


Monday, May 11, 2015

Fighting our Giants

Faith allows things to happen.  It is the power that comes from
     a fearless heart.  And when a fearless heart believes, miracles

Mondays always beat me up. I can really mess a good Monday up. I was telling my niece some of my Monday mistakes and she responded, "Wow, you are having a bad day." I laughed, "No, really I am not, its been a good day." All of my days are inside up out!

I took off to run a tad bit too late. I was taking my tank top off before I had even made it up the hill outside of my street.
"It's HOT"
"Just RUN"
"I'm already out of breath."
"Then BREATH Anita."

The dialogue that runs through my head.

I quickly thought of Kay. I was at Austin's basketball tournament this weekend texting backand forth with Kay.
She was talking about how bored she gets running.
The dialogue in my mind interrupts each other, it fights for air to speak. I am like a dog "Squirrel" and find myself totally sidetracked from one thought to the other.

Fighting Our Giants. Who does not LOVE the story of David and Goliath.
Our greatest giants are the ones that torture our mind.
Many of my running friends are struggling with mental handicaps that can be conquered with sheer FAITH.
Faith is believing what is unseen.
You have to believe in your tomorrow.
Do the work in your Today.
And let go of your Yesterday.

You have to be so DETERMINED that you don't just believe in your dreams and goals you claim them as a package on its way.

Your determination then MOTIVATES you to do whatever it takes to make it happen. This is the ACTION. You still have to work for it. You may have to work really hard, blood sweat and tears.
The harder you work the more you will appreciate it.
I ran the trails today. Once with just myself, then again with Alec for another 2 miles.


Andy and Austin were not with me on Mothers Day. They made me an Inspirational video. It was my running story. It was beautiful. Many of my running friends and family were stars in it!
I went out to brunch with the family,with out him and Austin. It was a first for me, I was struggling emotionally but tried to be a big girl.
My brother in law Bruce had to come to my rescue while poring myself a innocent cup of coffee.
Being over the 40year mark has really shown itself. Not just in my running but my physique changed quite a bit too. I have been married 19 years at the end of May. Andy has always been very complimentary to me. I always feel beautiful to him.
I am not the girl that ever got flirted with or hit on. I never was the girl that put myself in those positions either. It is awkward for me.
Not paying attention to anything but my coffee. I didn't see this man come up behind me. It came up real close and slipped his arm around my waist. At first I thought I must know him. Then he leaned in and quietly whispered in my ear "I just had to come and tell you, you have really nice calves."
AHHH! My Brother in Law Bruce was right next to me and saved me.

When I told Andy about it..Well he won't be leaving me at the brunch table alone anymore!
I am going to share some of my favorite products I purchase at the grocery store.
Tart Cherry Juice is good for inflammation. I always have a jar in the fridge. Tart cherries are a rich source of antioxidants that can help maintain heart health, joint health and blood circulation.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Imperfections of a Mother.

“Gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect.” – Chinese Proverb
Imperfection #153,844, When your child posts on his Twitter acct "mommy and daddy are fighting"

I grew up with "Anita, what happens under our roof stays under our roof."
"You don't put your business out on the street."

I grew up with secrets that haunt me today. "You are as sick as your secrets." has become my motto.

I do not need a designated day to recollect memories of my mother. I use my memories to heal and to encourage others.
My mother had so many imperfections. We really did hide everything. We were afraid to talk about the dysfunction let alone even think about it.
Then the older I got the more dysfunctional I got, the more I had to hide. I was collecting my own secrets.

God, I loved that woman. She was so diseased, she did horrible things, she hurt all three of us children the way no mother should. The bottle was her master. The bottle of pills and the bottle of booze.
God always gave me compassion. I never quit forgiving her. She was beautiful and broken. I had to learn to look at her heart. Her heart just wanted LOVE. Isn't that what we all really want?
She taught me so much.
Often times we get so buried in bitterness and resentments that we are controlled by it. We allow our canvas to be painted by unforgivness and lose the sight of the rest of the picure.

10 Things my Mom taught me:
  1. Always give 2nd chances, and third and fourth......She would go to the moon and back for her enemies. They would hurt her over and over only to return their phone calls.
  2. Don't do what I do. She hurt herself, she knew she was in bondage and didn't want us kids to fall into the same mistakes. She begged me not to drink. It hurts me so bad remembering her face when I picked up that 40oz, guzzling it in front of her trying to hurt her. And it did.
  3. "You can be anything you want."  She really wanted the best for us, she wanted us to have dreams.
  4. Conviction. She always knew how to make you feel convicted. She reminded you that someone was always WATCHING, my father or God knew everything. They were watching down on me. They were either proud of me or....
  5. To FIGHT. She was a scrapper. She could come off that chair and knock you across the room without blinking. 5'1, 110 she could hold her own. The fight was the internal desire to let no one intimidate her.
  6. Independence. I can take care of myself. This is a double edged sword. She was a single mom who made a lot of bad choices, I found myself determined to survive. I learned to take care of all of us. I have unfortunately also learned to not depend on others.
  7. PRAY. My mother taught me how to pray. She always prayed with us. On our hands and knees we bowed our heads and prayed even as teenagers.  
  8. Cook, I am not a Master Chef but I can cook. My mom didn't use a recipe box, this is how I have learned.
  9. To never grow up. I remember my mom doing cart wheels around the yard well into her 40's. She was crazy, She once jumped in the pool at one of the houses that she cleaned. She cleaned out their liquor cabinet first! My grandma had to get her out of the pool,  my mom was doing laps showing off.  We were not laughing at the time.
  10. "Do as I say not as I do."  This is pretty hypocritical. But I got it. She loved me more than she loved herself.
As I think about my son posting our business on social media, I think,"Whatever."
It is REAL. I am not perfect. It takes so much work trying to be something you are not.
You may look at our family pictures and think we have it all together, Sorry, We don't .

Just because you Fail does not mean you are a failure.
My imperfections as a mother, a wife and everything else for that matter is endless.

I learned something that my mom never learned. To forgive yourself. To love yourself. To accept who you are and not who you wish you were. To not worry about what others think., Its between you and God.
“There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.” – Conrad Hall -

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Satans Spawn

My girls, Bayshore 2015 Training partners

It is almost 9pm and I have yet to get a shower. I have a cocktail of 12 miles of Indian Springs sweat, massage oil, 2 miles of middle schools XC stink and yard dirt fuming off me. NASTY.
All I want to do at this point is get a shower, and crawl into bed, then dive into my nothing box, a place that contains mindless games of Trivia Crack and Words With Friends.

It was a Productive Day.
  • Awesome run that started out to be a 15 mile LSD run, only we all changed the game plan to our scheduled run of 12 miles. No reason to be an overachiever this close to our marathon.
  • As I took Lacey back home, we discovered a big old turtle heading into the road. That thing was Satans spawn! Seriously, he turned Exorcist on me. That evil creature spun his head like he was possessed trying to EAT MINE. I tried to have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with him, But some things just cant be reformed. Hope he made it!

  • I had to hustle to my 12 massage appt. Hard life, I know. I am spoiled. It was amazing, I think I was drooling. The power of TOUCH. I only have females massage me. Today, was another reason why. Sometimes the sheets get all tangled and it gets a little "airy". "Holly" noticed and giggled afraid I might be upset. I laughed back, "Sister, we have the same parts, just shaped a little different, this is why I see female massage therapists!
  • 80 degrees and hill repeats for XC. Those kids rocked it in the heat. I bought a case of water, that didn't go beggin.
  • Dinner and yard work. I am drained, sticky and smelly.
I did make a decision today. Pretty big one. I am not going to get into it tonight. I am at peace with it. Actually, pretty excited about it, IF it works out.
It has to do with a bridge, a tunnel and trails.......

Night Night, time to get rid of the slime,