"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, September 17, 2017

Midnight 50k Training Run.

I am a cheater on these night runs. I like to try and sneak in a little nap before we run.

Last nights group run was no different when it came to the WANTING factor, however, the DOING factor was not in the cards.

Austin my college kid came home to surpirise me...AHHH SURPRISE!
Not only did I work all day Saturday, I rushed to the grocery store, came home to the boys wanting me to take the to the mall.
And if going like a banshee was not enough to mess up my mojo, Austin wanted CHINESE BUFFET for dinner.
I wanted to curl up and DIE.
8 hours on my feet working all day, 3 more hours of shopping and then eat Chinese before a 31 mile night right...The night was not looking in my favor.

Kris, Lacey and I are all busy moms. I was not a lone island. I was actually very encouraged to know that we were all starting our midnight right with our tail between our knees.

This run has been in the books for about 6 weeks. I was mostly concerned because Woodstock 50m was last week. I was really hoping my body would be forgiving from the havoc I reaped in it.

We met at Paula and Matts house.
Before we headed out to run, we left early to drop off my truck as a aid station. The location of the truck was important because Lacey would NOT be running 31 miles with us. She wanted between 23-25 miles. She would then drive back to Paula's, get cleaned up and take a snoozer until Kris, Matt and I arrived around 7am.

The 4 of us took off together heading towards the Polly Ann trail for about 7 hours of running.
We could not have asked for better temperatures. It was 71' when we started.

We ran most of the first 5 miles.  From that point we took walk breaks about every mile and a half-ish.
These walk breaks were a pleasant way to break up the monotony of flat boring running.
They were also great to remind us to drink and eat.

The Polly Ann is a lovely trail. We needed these miles in the dark and flat.
We all had headlamps but one of the things I learned was I like to run in the back and use the light from those in front of me. I also learned that wearing a hat gives you a funky shadow below your eyes. This shadow was making me get dizzy and disoriented. I quickly found my place behind their lights canceling out the shadowed issues I was having.

We had miles we were not feeling well. I personally discovered that all the food I had brought was mostly sweets, granola bar, Honey Stingers, trail mix.  This DID not favor well with my belly.
I forced myself to eat, looking forward to the potatoes Kris had boiled in veggie broth.

To get to the next mile and buy time, I began singing "99bottles of beer on the wall." This was my way of making sure I was still with it. Afterall, it was almost 4 am.
I thought they were gonna throw me in the nearest trash can between my singing being awful and the content being equally as bad. I waited and waited, only to discover that it was actually entertaining to them and helped get us through 4miles!

We had moments of silence but overall we were all enjoying one another's company.
We discussed our goals for Hennipen, held each other accountable to eat and drink and took multiple potty breaks in the woods.

We dropped Lacey back off at the truck, she got in a little over 23.5 miles.
She was DONE.
Before she headed out we ate Kris's potatos, drank, stretched, tinkled and headed back out there.

This last few miles were a bit quieter than the rest.
My plantar fascia was getting fussy along with my right quad. I did however have plenty of energy and strength.

The sun coming up over the gold course at Indianwood was breathtaking.
It was little moments of beauty that broke up the last 6 miles.
Each mile the sky slowly awakened. And like sunshine lights the day it also lightened our spirits. I felt my sore legs turning over faster, Horses to the Barn. I was ready to finish it up.

When we reached Paula and Matts condo, Matt had hit 31 miles but I had just barely hit 30. I was happy to be done.
I was looking forward to hot coffee and buttered pecan rolls Paula was going to treat us too.

It was a perfect run.
We all gained a little more confidence when we finished. Everyone did very well.

I ended up going to church at 9am, then breakfast and a very interrupted 2 hour nap.

A BIG thank you to the gang. Everyone that came out and those who did not were so instrumental in making this last long run so successful.
I am once again warm and fuzzy with gratitude for such a great tribe.



WHICH ...We drank a coffee drink at about 5 am..we rocked the last two hours home.
That Starbucks, kept me rolling!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Woodstock 2017: 50 Groovy Miles & Smiles

Since when does a 50 mile trail race become a "training run?"
When you are signed up for a 100mile ultra 4 weeks later. Hennipen100.

Woodstock was by no means accidently put into my running schedule. It was quite deliberate.
My training for Hennipen might not make since to anyone but me, but I do have a method to the madness.

RunWoodstock is an entire weekend of all distance races ranging from 5K's to 100 mile ultras. With the theme being PEACE, LOVE and RUN you can not help but have a groovy time.
The run weekend is on the Hell Creek Ranch in Pinckney, Michigan. It is set up commune style. Most runners are camping and hanging out all weekend.
This is what I did, camped with hundreds of others!

You're probably  wondering "WHY would you do that?" "How did you sleep?"
Ha ha..well. I didn't really, but who really sleeps before a race event anyway?!
It is just part of the experience. It is the whole groovy package.

My client Paula is moving and set me up with a tent, a table and an air mattress.

Matt and Paula helped me set everything up Friday afternoon. I was so thankful to have their help, I would have given up and ended up sleeping in my truck if not for them.
Claudia, my camping partner arrived with goodies and smiles a lil later.

We were all rather chill considering we would be running between 6-10 hours the following day.

Race Morning.
5AM came real fast and REAL COLD!
Rachel and Matt met at our camp site ready to roll. I was struggling in the dark with my body shivering and my brain not turning over.

We barely made the start! I left my frigid brains in the tent but thankfully had my legs.

I had the girls, Rachel and Claudia and Jeremy from Highland Loops met up with us for his first 50miler!
One of the things I love about running ultras is that the community is very circular. You get to know so many runners, often planning your next ultra together.

Chatting, we were all caught off guard when runners took off across the start line.
The 50mile is 3 loops of approximately 17 miles.
The three of us took off together in the dark, full of energy, and the introduction to MARCO POLO!

You run around the camp about a half a mile before entering the trail head.
The first few miles are slow and tight. You cant really see to beyound anyone even with head lamps. And you are not passing a couple people, if you want to pass, its like double digits. The trail is literally grid lock.

My sleepy head was unrecognizable. I was a functioning lunatic on the trails going from one extreme, tired to the other...Fired Up. My endorphins kicked in like a crackhead and I was busting at the seams, animated with ridiculousness.

I liked the idea that I could be outrageous and no one had a face with a voice.

The first loop, the three of us were running steady, full of energy and laughter.
The sun comes out about mile 5. We were coming to my favorite spot on this trail. I LOVE crossing this bridge as the sun is coming up. This is my 3rd time running Woodstock. I am always in awe at this exact spot. The dew from the tall grasses glistens through the fog. It is breathtaking.

The other thing that was breathtaking was the crisp 40' degree chill in the air. I didn't wear a jacket, I didn't want to have it for 3 hours. Rather, I wore arm sleeves that would be much easier to remove and put in my pack or pull down.
Jeremy and I parted ways with the girls at the 50m and 50k divide, this would be the last time we saw them on the course.

The first loop, Jeremy and I separated  but planned to meet heading back into the trail.
I grabbed some food from the aid station, tore off my arm bands and looked for my bag to drop them in.
I made my way to the trail head, giving high fives and whooping up the crowd on my way out.
Jeremy never came, I began to think he might have left without me, I headed into the trail alone.
First Loop Average: 3h:20

The Gracie aid station is about 4 miles out. Roughly, 3 miles in I got a text from Jeremy.
He was a little more than a mile behind me. I told him I would wait for him at the Gracie Aid Station.
This was a TRAINING RUN. I was not to bent on time. This was also Jeremy's first 50miler. I didn't want to put any pressure on him.

"MARCO!!!!" I yelled as I came back into the Gracie Aid Station. SMILING when I heard the aid station respond "POLO!"
I cut up with the volunteers, buying time waiting for Jeremy.

Jeremy arrived with his own smiles and we were off again!

The morning was heating up, it really was a perfect day to run 50 miles.
We slowed our pace down a bit keeping it steady.
We broke the run up into aid stations, mile markers and farthest trained miles.
Jeremy was stoked when we reached 28 miles, his MOST ran training miles.
We saw Matt somewhere around there running like a beast. I knew I was in trouble as I laughed carefree and he responded "SLACKER".
I knew my plan.
Run a solid first loop with the girls.
The second loop get Jeremy through.
Third loop, Kick it into gear.
A well balanced 50 mile training run!

Jeremy was getting quieter. I tried to encourage him. He NEVER quit smiling.
"How ya doin Jeremy?"
With a great attitude and a smooth answer he replied "Everything is happy from the waist up!"
I LOVED that response.

 Distance slowly separated us  a couple miles before the loop ended.

2nd Loop Finish: average 3h:51

I felt great. I had skated through the last 7 hours of aid stations. I snacked on potatoes, grilled cheese, Swedish fish, veggie broth and trail mix. I alternated Gatorade with soda, for energy and electrolytes but drank water from my hydration pack the whole time. This was a TRAINING RUN. I needed to eat, drink and stay on top of it. I wanted to try a couple new things to see how my body responded, the grilled cheese and broth were both new for me. They were so wonderful. I thanked the aid station multiple times for the BEST Grill CHEESE squares EVER!.

I came out of the trail into the Ranch. I could hear the campers cheering and the music getting louder as I ran through the camp towards my final loop. I tossed my hands out collecting high fives and cheers. The spectators remembered me from my previous loops and got hyped with me.
"HEY!! THERE she IS!"
I lost myself in all the hoopla.
Directly in front of me, I see this larger than life smile and firey red hair. It was PAULA! I practically jumped into her arms as we spun around. "GOO GOOO GET BACK OUT THERE!" she gave me a quick coaching reality check.
YES, It was time to pick it up.
Play times over.
17 more miles.

My body felt good. I knew because I had played the first 34 miles so safe I needed to dance with pain.
I picked it up. Easy up. With no running partners, no music I was alone with my thoughts. I had so many thoughts running through my head.
I tried to stay focused.
As each aid station came, I quickly grabbed what I needed, and headed out, briskly walking, eating and drinking.
Grill Cheese and broth
"Back Up, Nita" I would whisper out loud. I ran about a half a mile behind several runners. I was on a straight way. They never saw me coming. I slowly made my way past them.
Most of them. The one girl, about my age, she was not letting go. She looked at me, startled and came close behind me.
I couldn't shake her.
I knew she was in my age group. I really wanted the age group award.
I thought how I would strategize my next couple hours to shake her. Several times I thought I lost her, then I would see her coming into the aid station as I was heading out.
"CRAP...Doesn't she have any GI issues?"
"Doesn't she need to stretch out, eat more, blow up the bathroom?"
I knew I just needed to continue to move forward. Run my own race, hit the downhills, climb the uphills more than normal and remember the tortoise...

With a little less than 8 miles to go, I was coming out of a aid station and saw a younger girl. She looked at me, then at my bib and I knew she was going to take off.
And she did.
She was gone like Donkey Kong. I was able to stay with her for about 4 miles. I giggled every time I saw her look over her shoulder.
This actually helped me pick up my pace to loose the lady I had been trying to shake for 2 and a half hours.

I was getting tired. I had passed several runners. Runners I couldn't believe I had caught up to and passed. I was excited to see some of my friends, Rich Marr and some others that yelled "MARCO!".
They recognized and associated me with my game but I had no clue who they were. I played along, 'WOOT WOOT,POLO!"

The last couple miles were lonely and sad. I saw several 100milers making their way to the finish. I saw tears, sweats, the 100m shuffle from many. Their pacers were enthusiastic. I saw one poor soul wrapped up like a cocoon laying down, shivering with his eyes closed and 2 people taking care of him on the side of the trail.
It rattled me. "DEAR GOD, is this going to be me for Hennipen?"

JUST get to the finish.
I could hear the camp. Smiling, I got excited to see my friends. My legs were numb but not in pain. My tush was sore and I just wanted to wash the trail dirt off.

I came out of the trail for the 3rd time. I had a quarter mile to the finish.
So many people are cheering you on. It is a downhill finish, your legs just GOO. This incredible second wind kicks in and I found myself not just turning over that last gear but smiling at the same time!
Last Loop: 3H:15

Overall: 28
1st in my age group
8th Female Overall.

I am pleased with my time, I was about 18 minutes slower than my last 50miler at Woodstock.
That time was easy to recover hanging out at aid stations too long the first couple loops.
I had a great run, a smart run and even a FUN run.

Jeremy finished under his goal time and was still smiling!

It was a great weekend, with great friends doing what we all love to do.
I am thankful for no injuries, God keeping me upright and safe. I am beyond blessed.


Monday, September 4, 2017

I can do this..

I am such a SUCKER!

Woodstock 50M= 5 days, Saturday.
Hennipen 100M=32 days

Todays RUN:
Who: Lacey, Paula and Matt
Where: Holdridge
What: Two loops, East, 9.5, 1 North loop 2m
Total Miles: 21...A mile more than I was expecting...A mile more I had to convince my whiny body to keep moving.

My legs were sore starting out this morning. I knew that I was going to be running on sore legs and that it would be good training for me.
It was just going to hurt.

It is very comforting having people to run with when you know you really need the motivation and encouragement.
Today was one of those days.
I was encouraged knowing:
A) Lacey was coming to play on the trails with me, She is NOT a fan of trails.
B) Matt would be doing the same thing, with his back to back tomorrow.
C) Paula was rocking out 26 miles compared to our 21 today.

I made it through the first loop like a brick house.
It was the second loop I was a mess.
With fatigue really settling in, my legs were struggling to pick up. I had energy in the tank just no juice in the legs.

I flipped dipped and tripped. I had 2- four point falls...That's what I call a fall you land on your knees and hands!
I bounced up rather fast, trying to hide the mouthful of dirt and pretend I never fell. This is why I like running in the back. Each fall I actually landed rather gracefully, for what its worth, when it comes to dancing with dirt.
My left shin was a dirty mess. It was filthy from the sweat and sand I landed in. I actually tried to wipe it off so I wouldn't look like such a hot mess when we finished.

Each trip, each fall, the sweat dripping down my back, the snot drooling out of my nose (Gross), the fatigue I gathered with each mile I reminded myself was all good training.
I tried to remain positive in my head.
I tried to train my mind to find a happy spin on the negativity that wanted to surface.

I enjoyed listening to Paula and Matt. Paula was singing some song about a Labrador I had never heard, and even though I had never heard this song I actually found comfort in Paula's soft toned voice.

We made great timing as we came out of the 2nd loop. Paula headed to the West loop, we finished on the North loop for our final 2 miles. This loop was actually quiet friendly. Much flatter and hardly no switchbacks. But I was so delighted when I saw the opening to the parking lot. I was DONE!

I hung around and waited for Paula to finish.

It was nice to hang out for a few minutes eating apples and oranges gabbing.

It was a good run today. I enjoy running Holdridge. It is like my baby.
I ran all last year almost every Monday here.
I still laugh how I was talked  into running this 100mile race and they bailed on me. I must be the biggest sucker in the world. Who in their RIGHT mind signs up for a 100 mile race??
I am going to run this race. I really debated it back in March. I almost bailed too.

But I am grateful for my running partners who have stuck with me and encouraged me the last few months of training. My body is tore up, My legs are throbbing, my booty is whining but I had friends helping me every mile, reminding me what I have to do.
Teaching me.
Training with me.
Coaching me.

32 days...I can do this.


Sunday, September 3, 2017


"It is a sublime thing to suffer and be stronger."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There are 5 Love Languages: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Gifts.
I have mentioned before that I am split almost perfectly across the board. (Here is the Link to discover what your love language is. Love Language Quiz.)

When it comes to gifts this past week I have been so blessed. Every day I have gone to work, I have had clients bring me in gifts, From a sweetheart bracelet, to garden veggies, cookies and this incredible sentiment bag.
My client Amy, brought me in this gift bag with individual goodies that represented posts that I have blogged. I always joke about how "NO ONE reads this nonsense..." But Amy, wanted me to know she does. This was seriously one of the most special gifts I have received. These were treats for Hennipen. Thank YOU AMY.

At the bottom of todays post, I am going to post a little contest. In honor of Amy.

Sunday Runday.
Running trails or even back roads are NOT like training for Hennipen. Hennipen is going to be flat as a pancake, like Paint Creek Trail or the Polly Ann Trail.

Lacey was along for the ride today, letting me pick the location. We ended up in Lk Orion on the Paint Creek trail for a 20 mile run.
Off the trail unto another trail for a squat in the woods...

"Walk Breaks let you control the amount of fatigue on your legs and body."
Jeff Galloway

The weather was perfect, 62'.
I LOVE this trail. It is gorgeous. The river runs along side of you. As the sun came out, it slowly heated up. However, we were tucked away underneath a canopy of trees. A gentle breeze chased us our entire run making our run much more enjoyable then running in the baking sun.

The last time I ran this trail, Lacey and I were training for Glass City. It was a 20 miler in the spring. We ran in slush, ice, mud and I was MISERABLE. A whiny baby. We were running harder than we ran today. Lacey was very patient with me in the spring.

Funny how things turn. Today, Lacey was riding the struggle bus. She was not feeling good.

We actually had a lot of fun the first 15 miles.
The trail was tight with runners and bikers. Everyone was so friendly. We saw a group of bikers who cheered us on and several people smiling and greeting us.

It takes about 9 miles to get to the Clinton River trail. The two trails connect.
Even the river was being used by kayakers and people fishing or just enjoying the park.

Our way back the temps did warm up. Lacey and I giggled at the fact that back in the spring we got lost. Unlike today, we stayed on the trail with ease and bewilderment at how we got so turned around last time.
Typical Anita and Lacey.

Downtown Rochester we utilized the park to refill out water and use the bathrooms.
I LOVE deer. And right next to the trail walking around like they owned the place were 4 deer!
I was soo stoked. This was right after feeding a dozen ducks that hijacked the trail as well.
I am cracking up, we fed them my trail mix, they liked it as much as Lacey did, they just about took off her finger. I was cracking up! Yes, I am that friend.

My watch Died. According to Laceys:
Distance: 20 miles
Pace: 9:55
Time: 3:18
We ran 5 miles out, then did walk breaks at the top of every mile to the finish.

The Harsh Reality...RUNNING THIS FLAT IS HARD! My legs are sore and I need to run 20 again tomorrow.
Because I am using Woodstock as a training run this Saturday,  I am not doing a proper taper. I will taper after my long run tomorrow. But I still need to get my miles in, as well as my back to backs.
Hennipen is the BIG PICTURE.  And I need to keep that in mind, even with Woodstock.

AMYS Blue Bag Goodies....
First PERSON TO LEAVE their response BELOW...IN the BLOG COMMENTS what EACH of the ITEMS represent from my Blog posts, I will send you the same goodie BAG!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August, my Miles, my Smiles and my Heartaches.

"The only way to define your limits is to go beyond them." Arthur Clarke
My favorite Tree at Holdridge. It breathtaking. Its enormous, strong yet weak. Alive but dead...Its fabulous. Deep, full of stories, years of thriving and years of dying.

The count down appears to be going fast. My nerves are beginning to get antsy. I have fears. I have concerns. I have disappointments. I question myself and my abilities to run 100 miles in October. In order to calm myself down I try to focus on special training runs designed specifically for my 100 miles. I break my training up the way I break up a long run.
Next up....Woodstock 50 miler.
I have a 50k night run on the 16th of September.
Then the Taper.

August was a good month.
1 50K training run
1 night run
2 races, the Crim and the Great Pizza Challenge.
Multiple back to back long runs.
Monthly Miles: 295.1
My lil cabin in the woods

This past week was a little challenging for keeping my miles up. I rented a cabin at Holly Rec. Matt and Paula camped and even stayed one night with me.
Claudia, Melissa, Rachel and Lacey also came out to play, kayaking, bomb fires and running with me.
I gave my kayak to Laceys kiddos.
It was a nice getaway. Full of adventure. The quietness of the woods was the perfect canvas for deep thoughts, peaceful mornings and laughter with friends.

Over the last two days I managed to get my back to back long runs in.
How we all "shoed" up to run!!

Yesterday, after cleaning the cabin I headed home. Between practices and life I had a small window to get my run on. It was in the highest of heat. It was wonderful.
The warm sun felt like I was being hugged for 16.5 miles. And I really needed that hug. My legs were moving faster than they should have been. After 5 miles, I decided to add walk breaks at the top of every mile to slow my pace down. My heart was skipping beats, my palms were in fists and I was trying to hold back emotional girly tears. I would look at my pace, 8:40....! SLOW down ANITA, breath, relax.
Its like a broken record in my head. . I replay scenes, conversations, scenarios from yesterdays to yesteryears. Then I find myself transferring emotions of victory into defeat and discouragement. I cant stop, I regurgitate it until I make myself sick.
It took 14 miles  to detach from the chatter that was screaming at me. It didn't shut down, I was just able to turn down the volume.

 "Run into Peace." Meister Eckhart
Rachel, Claudia and I : JOY

Thank GOD for new days, fresh eyes and good friends.
Today was my back to back long run. Yesterday roads, today trails. 20 miles at Holdridge.
I met Claudia and Rachel for my first 4 miles in the West loop. They were such a breath of fresh air. I needed their smiles, their words, their hugs.
The last 16, Grubers Grinder Solo. My head was dilated with joy. A new spirit. I was determined to move forward. Stay in a good place. Not dance with the devil that wanted to sabotage my run and me in general.
I sole focus was going to be on running. My running form, my running pace. Breathing, eating, drinking.
It was a great plan but I kept tripping. The rain has really washed the trails out. Roots and rocks covered the trail. This was actually good training. It reminded me to pick up my feet. To run upright. To be aware of the trail, keeping my eyes out about 8 feet at all times. As I came down the hills, I relaxed my body, trying not to put on the breaks but run free and strong. Fear will scare you into a stumble if your not careful. When you run scared you tighten your muscles, relax and control your muscles. Don't let them control you. I ran a lot of the hills. I slowed down, pumped my midget arms and got on my toes picking my knees up. If you keep your posture up, you keep your chest cavity open, this allows you to get better oxygen and be more effective.
Trust me, I was STILL out of breath and literally counting till my heart rate came back down.
AND I still tripped a half dozen times. Once I tripped so low I swear my chin scraped the trail. I had my hands out ready save my face but I never fell, I just started laughing and talking out loud, "OH, OH, OHHH YEAH, BABY! I'm UP , Yeah buddy, BAM! How do you LIKE THAT! I'M STILL UP!"
The trails were so quiet. I was all alone for 16 miles. Bike tracks and deer prints is all I had to follow. Occasionally, I would see the trees rustle from my peripheral vision.  I jumped about 10 feet in the air when I startled a squirrel, we both actually jumped about 10 feet in the air!
But I didn't see any bugs, very few spider webs and no snakes!
I ran the trails steady, slower, more intentional.

Distance: 20miles
Time: 3:45
Nutrition: Honey Stingers and a half a banana
Shoes: Hokas Cliftons: I bought these at the Crim Expo. I wore them both yesterday and today. NO Blisters. They are a great transition shoe for both trails and backroads.

Woodstock 50m: Saturday, September 9th.
Hennipin 100: Saturday October 7th.

"PLAY not only keeps us young but also maintains out perspective about the relative seriousness of things. Running is play, for even if we try hard to do well at it, it is a relief from everyday cares."  Jim Fox

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Crim 2017 The Painful recap.

Crim  2017 Recap.
 If this years CRIM was to only be described in HASHTAGS this is what it would look like:



Lacey and I planned our outfits weeks ago. We had Lululemon Pacerskirts on. Lacey found them on Poshmark for half the price! They have the cutest ruffles on the bum. These skirts were perfect for running in. And rather comfortable.  Now if only Lacey had told me to run a comb through my hair..That hair...not nearly as cute as the skirt!

Joan and I planned to run together. I was using the Crim as a training run. The goal was to run a good race, but not to overdue it. I have an all night run Sunday that I need to be up for.
Joan and I were planning on running a 8:15-8:30 pace.
We took off great. Amazing weather, beautiful sunshine all the elements for a GREAT RUN. Only within minutes my right calf tightened up. I waited a couple minutes to see if it would loosen up. into mile 2,  I knew this was going to be the death of me. I let Joan know after we had 2 good miles that I was in the hurt locker.
She never left me.
I have seen those runners on the sidewalks rubbing their calves out. They have the look of defeat on their face. I was that runner! At mile 4, before the dreaded Bradleys, Joan was on the sidewalk rubbing my calf out. I winced, as I told her to just dig it. It hurt so bad, I tightened my eyes and gritted me teeth. "Just do it." I cried to Joan.
We headed up the Bradleys. I thought I was going to have to walk. We took them slow and steady. I made it up all 5 hills without walking. I discovered it wasn't the up hill that hurt, it was the downhill. The pain was so bad, I questioned if I should stop. We took the pace down, so I thought. Each mile Joan kept informing me we were still on pace. I couldn't figure it out.  I was able to barrel up the hills, it was coming down that was hurting.

I prayed and prayed. For seven miles, I asked God to relieve this muscle of its curse on me.
In between mile 7 and 8, is another set of hills many bonk at.  I was really concerned what my calf was going to do. I had told Joan she could leave me. She said NO... I love this girl.
Up the first hill. I felt strong. coming down I waited for the sting in my calf.
It never came.
The second hill.
I knew it was going to sucker punch me.
It never came.
For that matter, It never CAME BACK. God loosened it up for me.
Because we had brought our pace down, I felt sooo good.
But now Joan was struggling. At mile 8, Joan could tell I was foot loose and fancy. "Anita, you can go...."
"AH, NO! We started together we finish together!"

We made that turn unto the bricks. We could see the FINISH sign overhead. I knew we needed to hold out. Other runners were getting excited and taking off. "Maintain Joan, not yet, its farther than you think." Even after our feet hit the bricks we didn't shift it into the next gear right away.
The crowd was cheering. I kept waiting for my name, "GO, NITA!" YEAH! MOM!"
But I never heard any of that.
There was no one at the FINISH LINE for me.
Tearing up, I shouted to Joan, "Come on Joan!"
We crossed the finish line together. Another Crim together. The tears poured out. I wrapped my arms around little JOAN, "I love you, I LOVE YOU so MUCH."
She wasn't just my friend, she was my family. She was my piece of Ariel, she was my family. She was there for me. She never left me. I couldn't stop crying. When the man put my medal around my neck he so sweetly said "Honey, Don't cry, you are finished!"
I am so Blessed to have Joan.

Lacey, Kayla, me and Melissa

I got to see so many of my running friends.
Jeff and I

Joan, and Lacey

A BIG congrats to Lacey, Matt, Claudia,Melissa and Paula. They had EPIC races and had several PR's!
The Rockstar Crew: Paula, Matt, Lacey, me, Erin and Claudia
It was great seeing my highschool classmate Dan H and his wife Adrianne out there. They both rocked it out there too!
I even ran into one of the coaches at Holly, The baseball coach, Benny. I have never officially met him until today.
Isabelle and McKenna

Tyler and I
I was overloaded on SMILES from many of the kids I have coached. I was one very proud coach.
I shared my favorite scripture with them. Jeremiah 33:3. Its Gods phone number. Check it out and see if you can figure out why.

Before the race I gave my keys to Javon along with my phone. Of course, I remembered to get my phone but NEVER remembered to get my keys. I got a text from them when they got back to Ann Arbor an HOUR AWAY they had my keys!
Melissa drove Lacey and I home. Thankfully, she was going to Laceys house anyway. And Thankfully, I had put my other set where they belonged....I didn't have much faith in myself!
Lacey, Claudia, Maryann and I

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:24:04
Pace: 8:25
I am still blown away by this time. We stopped more than a couple times to work my calf out. We also walked through the water stations.
I reminded myself this race isn't worth injuring myself over. I took each mile on an individual basis. I reminded myself the importance of running smart. It was not easy to dial it back when I felt good. But I am so glad I did.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Emptying the Tank

"Hey, I learned a new fact today, it is a little discouraging....Did you know that when you turn 60 years old you loose 5% of muscle every year?"
Dad shared this little fact with us yesterday evening, and Andy was QUICK to reply. "WOW, there you go Nita, you will be done running by 60!"
UGH.... I will be done running until the good Lord whispers that in my ear. I am not always a good listener, he will probably have to SCREAM it.

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs16:9
Setting Goals.
Wednesday night I set a goal for Thursdays run. A goal I knew would take work. A goal that made my palms sweaty.
I wanted to run Grubers Grinder the best I have ever ran. That's 16miles of trails at Holdridge. I had to beat 2hours and 53minutes.
In order to accomplish this I would need to run more of the hills, walk less, walk while I ate and not take any pictures!

Have ever set a goal and felt like everything or everyone was out to sabotage it?
That's how I felt on yesterdays run.

I took off with music as my only running partner. I chose music to help me focus and not get distracted by noises. When I run solo on the trails I tend to be a little paranoid. I needed to shut down any noises that might make my pulse race more.

A signifigant issue I had in the beginning of my run had to do with my hydration pack.
I broke my water nozzle on my hydration pack a last week. This forced me to use the water pouch that I have not trained with. They are carried in the front of my vest. This started out a early annoyance. It bobbed around, making my hydration vest jiggly.

I really encountered a barrage of annoyances.
The humidity was so thick, my entire body was saturated within the first 3 miles. My skin was like a slip and slide. My hair was dripping.
There was a fog throughtout the trail, giving the woods a eerie feel.

I ended up placing the bouncing water pouch in the back of my hydration pack. This meant that in order to get a sip of water I was going to need to take off my vest or become Stretch Armstrong to retrieve it.
This method of getting water messed my time up.

The many phone calls I got, did not help with maintaining my pace. When you have kids at home you need to remember you are MOM first.

Around mile 8, I felt a SHARP burning sting in my left ankle. "UGH!" I yelped loudly. I knew that the instant burning was the damage of a bee/wasp sting. I hobbled a bit, assessed the damage but quickly got going again.

I counted each mile, checking my time to try and stay consistent. I found myself slowing down. I didn't drink much at all, it was such a inconvenience. Even eating was a pain the  bump.

I had a couple miles I was trying to do the math to see where about I would be coming in at. I got a lil discouraged when my energy level was not matching up with my pace.

I began entertaining the idea of changing my goal.
"Maybe it is just not meant to be."
"All these interruptions might be a sign..."

Only something else whispered. "TRY harder, work harder, don't give up."
I realized it was better to give my all and fail then to quit trying and fail.
An honest effort was more commendable than wussing out.

I kept in eye on my watch. I ran the flat areas as strong as I could. I ran the hills the best I could. I did my best to pick up my pace on the down hills.
The bugs discovered my flesh the last few miles. My arms were covered in sweat and webs. The bill of my hat was dripping with dew from the trees. But I kept moving trying to beat the clock.

I could see the light at the end of the trail. I was so anxious to see my time.
I did it!!


I wanted to be done. My body was done. I was trying to catch my breath while being pained my a stupid side stitch.

I had only drank 12OZ of water and ate a mini bag of trail mix.
BUT...I needed to run EMPTY.
I headed to the West loop for another 4 miles. There was nothing left in me.
My body was actually locking up.
My only plan was to make it through 4 miles, run, walk or crawl.
At mile 1, I was MISERABLE. I felt like I had been attacked by vampires I was so drained.
I needed to run BONKED. I needed to feel miserable, exhausted, sore, and weak. It is good training for your mental self.
Running a 100 miles is going to birth a lot of emotions. If I don't learn how to feel them now, what will I do when I feel them there?
I needed to run in my worst self.

ONE mile at a time. I finished. It was 4 miles of UGLY. But it was also a big victory for me.

20 hard training miles. Each run unique in its own way. Difficult in its own way. Both equally as hard but in different ways.
One was more Physically and one was more Mentally.

LAST thoughts.

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

Somewhere in that running, I reminded myself how blessed I was to get to feel all this. Each mile God kept me upright. He continued to add miles to my run. This  was a run I planned through my little mind...BUT HE directed my steps.
I reminded myself HE sets the stars, HE sets the sun...HE directs my steps.