"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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where I was 7 years ago..Gratitude.

The Strongest Man I know!

I was getting the boys ready like it seemed I was doing all the time. Alone. Here I was getting the boys ready to go to HIS sisters house to celebrate her birthday. This seemed unfair. He wasn't here for Christmas Eve, Christmas day, her birthday and he said he has to work New years Eve and New Years day. I may as well be a single parent I thought to myself.
I was going to have to answer the same questions. Where's Andy? Oh, He had to work again?
Constantly answering for him. I was thankful that he had a good job but all these hours were crazy and unfair to me. I wanted a husband and my kids needed a father. I did everything alone.

Somewhere in between going through the motions of the birthday party and returning home on that cold December day everything went horribly wrong. My life as I knew it was going to be ripped out from under me.
It was all in slow motion yet my mind could not catch up to understand what was being said. There was Andy on the basement floor on his knees with tears draining down his cheeks.
Andy pulled in the driveway when I did coming home and right behind him was his mom and dad. What was going on? why was everyone here at 10pm. Andy should still be at work and mom and dad should be at home......
Here I sat looking at this man I have been married to for over 7 years and I couldn't understand what he was saying or even recognize him.  His Dad was sitting next to me, Why? What?
Something about drugs, work, a Dr, Rehab.... WHAT? What was Andy saying? What was going on. He is a drug addict? WHAT?? NOO this can not be. How could he? Why would he? ...........7 years ago.

I have watched God work in Andrew for 7 years now. "Failure is not an option"  a motto Andrew reminds himself of in staying clean from drugs. It puts tears in my eyes to witness Gods grace and mercy in his life. To watch God mold Andrew into the man he had always intended him to be. Not just a husband or a father but a spiritual leader. 
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new

 "In sickness and in health, for better and for worse, From affliction and addiction to resurrection to restoration!! 
Hebrews 12:10-11
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
The road has not been easy. But Andy has discovered a healthy alternative for coping. RUNNING. He runs down the old man, He runs down the demons. He runs after Life, Love and Christ. Training not just his body but his mind. A man after my own heart! 
He has been clean, no breaks and no days off:7 years!!! He is the strongest man I know. I fall in love with him every day. 
The Rundown:
Snap Fitness: 20 minutes bike, 20 minutes elliptical, 26 minutes Dreadmill:Repeats. 3 miles..UGH!! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011~

We arrived at Church at 10:35am. A little late but we were all still smiling. The morning was falling into place which is more than I can say the snow did this Christmas! The sun was shining and the day was beautiful, we parked the car and headed into the service that had already started.
Dad, an usher, greeted me with a quirky smile, got real close and whispered in my ear " I Love You".
These simple three words represented so much.
For one Dad loves to see his children going to church. He is so proud. It is an honor to him.
For two, Not having a dad myself he is also so sympathetic to expressing his fatherly love for me that I may not feel alone.
And Keeping it Simple at THREE, this is where the quirkiness comes into play, "I Love YOU....Nita..." Which with the proper tone you really hear.."Thanks for making me laugh, I love you, you are one of a kind, Ohh Nita...."
YOU see what you're missing is the timeline BEFORE 10:30am..... It went like THIS:
Got up at scheduled time- awakened by Austin at 6:30am. Made COFFEE...makes everything MERRIER.
Grabbed hidden presents in my closet and stocking stuffers...Ahh..Stocking Stuffers..where were they at??
"Oh noo, where are they at"?" Where did I put them?" My mind went upside down and inside out.
"Its OK, I will just call mom and I am sure she will remember where I put them, after all she did help me wrap them." My mind was going frantic. I called mom and dad answered the phone. I thought to myself,remember the most important thing is Christ, not goofy stocking stuffers. "Hi mom, Merry Christmas......" Mom chuckled as I unfolded my story. She was calm and sweet. "No, Nita, I do not have them......"   "NO". One word, one syllable and the only word I didn't want to hear! And all the other words she said I didn't hear! JUST NO!
A family tradition, taking turns to read In Luke The Real Christmas story. The Birth of Jesus.
I was determined to remain merry and focused. I didn't advertise that I had lost them I just made adjustments exchanging and rearranging.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14).

Warrior Dash 2012!! Look Out team Harless is coming!
I looked calm as a cucumber by the time the family came down. And as we read the Christmas story in Luke there was nothing but peace and joy that filled the room.
We opened gifts, laughed and I even got a bigger chuckle when I watched Andy looking for gifts he lost. After we finished opening presents and cleaning a forest of wrapping paper I started making the stuffing. I lifted the turkey into the sink and took it out of  the brine it had been in for the past 36hours . As I finished the stuffing I had the biggest brain fart OHH MYLANTA! I forgot to buy a roasting pan for the turkey!!!! True STORY! What am I going to put this 21lb beast in?
Breath, remain calm. This is such a Anita move. Quick..call MOM.
2 distress calls from me in  2 hours.
Poor mom, she must think I am crazy. Her mind was twirling as her thoughts were being verbalized on the phone with me. My thoughts were being interrupted quickly with voices of desperation and embarrassment.
Within what felt like hours but were only seconds mom had it all figured out and once again came to my rescue like a super hero!
"I Love You... Nita..." This is what dad meant as he whispered in my ear!

Christmas was wonderful. I was having the family all over my house. Andy's family. There is really nothing left of mine. Alcoholism has disintegrated my family. My brother and sister both live down in Florida and phone calls are our only way of celebrating. My sister like most sisters is sentimental and soft. My brother is a guy. I stopped placing expectations on him because it always hurt when he wouldn't call.  Or when he wouldn't remember my birthday just 5 days earlier...
More than just Words~
But as I opened my card this Christmas morning from my brother and his wife there was an unfamiliar hand writing on the card. And it was signed Bobby. I could hardly read through the tears. I could not remember the last time I had seen his handwriting. This was the second most powerful words that I had read. Right behind  "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD" (Luke 2:11). Something has been stirring in my brother the past year. I am going to continue to pray over him. Never give up on loved ones. I have been blessed more by my brothers actions the last year than I have in years. And I know it is only the beginning....
Soon after that Andy has made it a tradition to write me a Christmas letter. This is different every year. It describes failures, achievements, love, goals, and whatever has stirred Andys heart. My letter this year was about accomplishments and the middle of adversity. It is my favorite gift. I keep them all. The gifts can come and go but his words and love are most valuable to me.
 Exhaustion. I crawled into bed somewhere around 10:30. We had served dinner  and dessert along with more gifts more laughs and more clean up! No matter what, I was sleeping in!!
8:30..YUP that's when got up, but not when I crawled out of my den. at 8:45 there was a cup of coffee in my hand and a smile painted across my face. It was so amazing. I was not going anywhere! That was the Plan...
My body needed detoxing. I knew this lingering cold was due to all the sugar my body had ingested the last week. Grandmas Oatmeal.( raisins, Irish cut oats, flax seed, wheat germ, cinnamon, almonds,salt &butter) 

Andy called to tell me he would be home some where around 2. 

Andy wanted to go to Indian Springs! I was so excited!! So much for not going anywhere! I could try some of my new presents out!!
Crazy runner in shorts!! Only one on trail in em'!

The Rundown 
Austin Bought me some winter running socks! They were awesome today!

"Love one another deeply, from the heart." 1Peter 1:22

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Running in Circles

I wasn't really into the run all that much but when I turned unto the same street twice I should have known it was going to be one of those days. As if running in circles was not bad enough my 7 mile run got trumped by 45 degrees and pouring rain. 5 miles seemed to be a better number, a warmer number, but by the time I arrived home I was shivering and soaked to the bone.

Hungry. Angry, Lonely. Tired
I over packed my day, ran on fumes, didn't eat properly, and SNAPPED!
It was 8:30 at night and I had already been to 2 places and called one trying to find a turkey that was larger than 20 LBS. Denied, Denied, Denied. 
I was on my way into Fenton for my last try at a turkey. Mom was at home making cookies and playing word with friends and I was still going, running in circles.  I had already been to Fenton today. Now I am going back to Fenton.Ugh. I must have put a 100 miles on the truck today. I wanted to pull my hair out. I wanted to be making cookies, I wanted to be laughing. Instead mom called in the middle of my breakdown and  I said a couple snotty things to her.I felt bad I had just barked at mom. This was not me. HALT. I had hardly eaten today, ran myself ragged, and now I am mad. 
I woke up this morning convicted and sad. I made my coffee and grabbed my bible and began praying. Mom was at the forefront. I asked for forgiveness and decided once it was a decent hour I would call and say sorry. Just then my Phone RANG! It was MOM!! How Weird! Perfect timing as I purged my Boneheadedness from the night before. Mom responded with "Nita, I am coming over to help you, we will get it all done, whatever you want I will do, make me a list." This made me feel even more guilty. Why is she being so good to me when I was such a turdface? But I took her up on it. She helps all her kids. She is a amazing mother. The most giving and generous mom I know. I always try to be so organized and strong but I clearly failed. I Needed Help. And she was such an Angel to hear my distress and heartache and not get mad a me instead. 
Mom and Sarah~

My niece Sarah spent the night and mom came over at 11am. I still can not believe how much we got done.I am so grateful to love and forgiveness. I am thankful for second chances. They come with humility. I knew I had done wrong. It didn't matter how little I ate or how much I did, I didn't HALT. I didn't recognize the signs that were being harvested that would lead to MY Bad Attitude. You can help prevent vomit of the mouth or bad action by remembering this simple acronym..HALT. HUNGRY. ANGRY. LONELY. TIRED. To keep yourself from running in circles, plan to prevent. Recognize the triggers.

2 Peter 1:5-7For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love

The Rundown:
My running partner traded me in for her boyfriend this morning. I didn't get my 8 miles in but I still got my sweat on!
5miles on Bike
5 miles on Dreadmill, intervals.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME~

Mom made me a Low fat Raspberry sorbet cake...soo wonderful

Lamb Chops not shown here...Because I ate them!!! lol
38 is the magic number. 
It really wasn't so bad this year getting older. A few more charlie horses, a little more tired, twice as much gray hair and yeah noticing wrinkles in new places. All in all I am more secure, confident, and acceptable of me and my new changes. I am Thankful for a husband that still looks twice at me, calls me beautiful and loves me for my good bad and ugly. He makes getting older easy. Thankful for my Husband the best Gift I have.

How I celebrated my Birthday in 10 sentences:
  1. Saturday Andys mom made me dinner!
  2. Andy bought me a Mizuno Running shirt...Soo awesome.
  3. Mom made me Mexican for dinner and a Ice cream cake with Raspberry Sorbet. YUM.
  4. Sunday Mom and Dad took the boys and I spent the day with Andy.
  5. Andy and I went on a birthday run, shopping and out to eat at my favorite restaurant.
  6. I had to work today on my actual Birthday but it was a great day.
  7. The girls at work bought me cookies and got me a Starbucks gift card, so sweet.
  8. Went out to eat with my girlfriends and had a great dinner.
  9. Stuffed myself on "Village Bakeshop cookies" and Peanut brittle my clients makes from scratch.
  10. Thinking as I sit in bed how thankful I am!!
New Mizuno shirt Andy bought me

 What I learned at 37.....
1. "No matter how hard you work for something it does not Guarantee you are going to get it!
2. "A good attitude is the best bandage for goals not achieved."
3. "If you choose to visit your past, and you choose to dance with your demons, remember others did not choose to go with you - so don't drag them into your journey."
4. "Stay calm..Breath...this too shall pass..."(When dealing with pubescent teens)!!

Holly, Sheila and I, Friends for over 20 years celebrated with Dinner

 My tip for GETTING OLDER..."The best way to disguise your birthday is to Act way younger than your Age!"  Never grow up. Take living life serious, but don.t take yourself so serious!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Danger of Refried Beans!

The weather forecast said sunny and 39 degrees. As I layered up I questioned where the sun was. It had not showed up like I had hoped. But regardless of running with the sun I still had to get out there today. I was pumped because Andy was gonna run 7 of my 9 miles with me.

I took off with Sheba while Andy was stretching to get 2 miles in. I felt good. For my birthday Andy had bought me a new Mizuno Running shirt. He said that all I had to wear was this shirt and a light jacket and I would be plenty warm. Not believing him I grabbed my vest to add to the couple layers.

Sure enough at mile 1 I was already toasty. The new Technology is supposed to absorb your sweat without you feeling wet. It actually warms up! I ditched my vest when I arrived home to pick up Andy and drop off Sheba.

I let Andy lead the way towards 7 miles. We were having a great run till about 5 miles when my stomach started squirming. "Oh Crap"...Moms re-fried beans...
Last night mom had us over for my birthday and made us dinner..Mexican.
I thought I would be ok...so I kept running. Then "OH CRAP"...I got suddenly hot. I yelled "ANDYY, I need a bathroom quick."
Andy responded "What, Are you kidding me? What is wrong with you, EWE!"
"Oh Shut UPP, I need a bathroom, NOW!"
This is not normal for me. I know this is for some people. I even had a running partner that "this" happened to often, BUT NOT ME!
I quickly assessed my location trying to find the quickest route to a restroom. The Donut shop. We headed the half a block in that direction. Almost in the parking lot we realized they had already closed. We turned around and Andy says through his laughter "The grocery store!". I am running and stopping. I can not believe this is happening. Andy can not believe I am going into the grocery store to ask for a restroom. "No, we do not have Public bathrooms" was the response.
"Oh CRAP" I am panicking. I am sweating and trying not to freak out. I can hardly think where my next stop is. Andy answers quick, still laughing, "The Gas station". Another block away..I think I can..I think I can...
As we approach the Gas station Andy says, "Are you seriously going to go in there and ask for the bathroom?" "YES!!"  I respond. I am beyond being embarrassed. I will be more embarrassed if something else was to happen....
GOOD Times...Running stories..Back to smiling as we safely headed home that last mile.
Mizuno Woman's Breath Thermo stretch

Product Review: Mizuno Breath Thermo Stretch.

  • Designed with Mizuno's "Virtual Body" technology
  • Breath Thermo® changes body moisture to heat for overall warmth
  • Two-way Stretch Breath Thermo for optimal fit
  • Superior moisture absorption
  • Front zip with zipper guard
  • Reflective logo and accent front and back
LOVED it. 5 Stars! Quite expensive at 70$.
It was great for running in 35 degree weather and not having all those layers on. This shirt will get a lot of use this winter! You can find coupons and find sales. This is what Andy did, getting it 20% off.


MILES 9:33
PACE: 8:37
Comments: Enjoyed the miles more when I was stuffing my face with Mediterranean food for my birthday dinner!!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

CHILL OUT!! Merging this concept with PEOPLE!

This is where Running and life just Merge.
It is that time to Chill OUT. Time to calm down. Time to not take your running so SERIOUS.

Here are some Tips on how to CHILL OUT With out Loosing IT!!..(That is what we think anyway, the voices that haunt us and try to convince us we will loose our strength, endurance and stamina.)
Katie and Danielle. Love our Lil Runner Club~

Chilling OUT with Running
1. Scale back those miles. According to RW Magazine " Your longest run should be 1/3 to 1/2 the distance of your Prebreak long run."
2. Cross train: Grab a class. Take the winter to do that class you have always wanted but never had time to do with your running regimen. Stronger, Faster Better...Strength train, yoga, speed work, REST
3. Grab lunch with those friends you have neglected during your training season.
4. Enjoy a brisk walk. "Danielle" was sharing with Katie today at Indian Springs some of her tips. "Danielle" said that after a long run (like we were doing) that she will follow it the next day with a nice walk on the treadmill. Your muscles get tiny tears in them and don't usually heal properly during our running season because of constant training, Let your muscles rest and love you again!
5. Find some Fun Runs...And Have fun. Winter races, Christmas runs, Evening races.....Out of the box!

"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." Proverbs 16:32
Chilling OUT with LIFE
Do you ever feel like some people loose their minds during the Holidays? I have had the unfortunate luck to often be on "These Peoples" Wrath around the holidays. As much as I love people I find that I "like" them a whole lot more from a distance. A nice Healthy Distance! It is like from Thanksgiving to New Years everyday is a full MOON! It is almost like people take the liberty as the end of the year draws near to vomit all their bitterness and resentments they have. To purge. And if you are their PUKE bucket...I feel sorry for ya...Been there! 
Here are some tips on how to avoid those arguments.

1. "You don't have to go to every Argument you are Invited to."
Everyone has an opinion. But we do not have to entertain a conversation we do not agree with. We can gently agree to disagree. Do not Bite. Get out before the fire burns to big and you get burnt. 

2. "Stay Out of the Sandbox"
Even if others can not control their words does not mean you do not have to. Recognize sentences that start off with "YOU..." This can be like a handful of sand in the eyes. As soon as we feel attacked we retaliate anger with anger.  Get out quick!! Stay calm and focused. Most arguments that start out accusatory are being represented from anger. Control your response.

3. "Hurting People Hurt People" 
Try to be compassionate to the underlining conversation. See if you can recognize where their tone and direction are going and also where their hurt was birthed. If you think you can effectively converse with them after this go for it. Just commit to yourself not to sucked in and cornered. 
Proverbs 15:1 " A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger."

4. "My Life CANNOT be what YOU figured OUT"!
There are always those who have an agenda and are waiting to pounce. Those who want to tell you what you have done wrong, what you should be doing or how you should be doing it. There is nothing wrong with this if it is done with a pure heart. There is a difference between ACCOUNTABILITY AND JUDGMENTAL. 

5. CHILL Out.
Colossians 3:15 " And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also we are called to one body, and be ye thankful."
Try not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Take time to breath, pray and enjoy the simple things. The more active we get, the more we bite off, the more we raise our expectations of ourselves, only makes us more vulnerable to tension and anxiety. In our exhaustion we will say and do things we might not normally do. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Squeezing 12 hours of agenda into a 10 hour day is only going to frustrate and disappoint you when you can not achieve it all. And this can spew out-uncontrolled and disastrous hurting yourself and others.

6. Don't try to make Sense from Senselessness because SOMETIMES it just does make sense Period!
I have gotten into the sandbox...a few times. I always end up pulling myself out too late.  I later try to figure it out. I THINK WAY to much. It saturates into every inch of my head. I used to always go in and apologize even if it wasn't my fault. This took the responsibility off them..enabling. You can not control what others say about you or think of you. You can only control YOURSELF and your actions.!
Katie..and I.She is "The Crazy Runner girl!

Danielle and I
Time: 1:10
Comments: All week long they have been calling for rain Wednesday and Thursday. Katie had confirmed our run for Thursday on Wednesday night. I had yet to hear from Danielle. I got a message from her about 6:30 in the morning.  "Sorry, I think its a dreadmill day :( rainy!! See you in a few Thursdays??" I knew she would be changing her mind....
8:08 am "ok so i finally got my weather map up. 15% chance of rain, your call" 
I was already dressed and off!!
It was the prettiest part of the day today. Our Run. 55 degrees and spotty sunshine. Danielle made me jealous showing up in shorts. Katie and I were dumping our sweatshirts and jackets on the path we got so toasty! I hope you were able to take full advantage of this day in December.  It was a gift!

I love the holidays, I see so much more beauty than I do chaos. I have to make a constant effort to not let the little bit of negative emotion not sabotage the beauty that is encircling me. There are different areas that I work on, right now I seem to be working mostly on Step 6.. I can not make sense of other people. And it just isn't my business too!! People can rationalize and justify their behavior all day long. That is theirs to do so. ..Easier to say then do..hence why I am working on it!! 
What one do you recognize?
Are you working on more than one?
How is your running going? Are you chilling out a bit?


Monday, December 12, 2011

Great books to inspire, motivate and educate the runner!

A new season is upon us runners. It is called WINTER. This is a time to cross train, recover, and pull the reigns of mileage in a bit.  I get pretty burnt out about this time.
Yesterday I was dertermined to get a run in. I love running on Sundays. For two Sundays I have not had my favorite date with my Brooks.
I looked at my "Daily Mile" and noticed I only needed 2 more miles to complete 1000 MILES in 2012! To be very honest with you I just was not in the mood to run. But I knew once I laced up everything would fall into place. I didn't do anything amazing or spectacular in terms of running. What I decided to do to get me to my 1000 miles was Farteks!
Fartlek, a Swedish term that means "speed play," is a form of interval or speed training that can be effective in improving your speed and endurance.
Off I went, I ran at an average pace then decided to go as hard as I could to the mailbox and then bring it back down. I huffed and puffed and waited for my heart rate to reach a comfortable thump only to do it all over again. Run, run fast, try and catch my breath and do it all over again. 4 miles. mailbox to mailbox and when there were no mailboxes close enough; sign to sign or car to car, I ran those farteks all the way to my Goal:1000 miles before 2012!! The best thing about Goals are ACHIEVING them!!
"You'll never achieve your dreams if they don't become goals."
TODAY: Busy, too busy and trying to put my wonder woman cape on and achieve it all! Problem is my cape is full of holes I am am feeling a bit overwhelmed. 
I did a gym work out. I did a little bit of a lot to try and change things up. I walked a little on a 1% incline, ran 4 miles at the same incline, elliptical, core and 200 crunches.  I got my sweat on but I still had potential to stronger faster harder...Just wasn't feeling it! That's the GREAT thing about winter..No guilt, no training, no races!! 

I wanted to share some books that I have read and some books that others have enjoyed:
These are good books to be encouraged by, inspired by , motivated and educated by!!

Great book, I have Read for Beginning Marathoners. Easy to read, running plans, tips and advice from sports experts. Also good information about nutrition and injury prevention.
I am currently reading this book. It is great, it has something for everyone. Packed with a little of this and that from testimonies, to quotes, facts, motivation and encouragement. "Long May you Run" is a book that makes Everyone feel Elite!

OK..I will be honest..I wanted to buy a pair of Vibram five fingers after reading this!! lol. My knee was acting up in February when I was reading this and I was sure it was because of my shoes!! I went to PT and it was my IT Band!! Clint Verran gave me Brooks Ghost...NOT Vibrams!! But the Books sure is Convincing, great little mystery, true story!

"Ryan Hall, Running with Joy is the only one I have read, I like it because you see that even the best have bad days, want to quit, endure/don't endure pain during a race, realize at that level its not just about them, could go on but you get the point!"

New year is right around the corner...What are some Goals that you have in mind? Are you one who likes to set Goals? Are you one that doesn't set Goals because you struggle keeping them?

2 Chronicles 15:7 "But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”