"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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Life Camp

Austin and I

Austin and I left for Rose City Sunday afternoon heading to New Life Camp, he took the bus and I drove up.
We came home Thursday night about 11pm.
My body feels like it has been put in a blender and turned on to "puree" and I sound like I am a 3 pack a day smoker.
This week I was a counselor for junior high girls. I had 14 girls and was so thankful to have "Maria" there as another leader in our cabin to not only help me but also to be there for me.

I remember my youth camp days. Actually it was this very camp that I met my husband, 22 years ago. I was 15 years old and we were cleaning the camp up from the summer sessions. I can still remember what he was wearing...
It was a sunny fall day. We were all equipped with rakes and bags. We were raking up the leaves and cleaning it up for the winter. He stood tall and confident up on the hill. He was working feverishly..almost snobbishly in his snow white sweat suit. He never looked up away from his task. All the girls I was with noticed "Andy Harless". How could you not. I mean who comes to clean up a camp  in WHITE?? I was just going into the 10th grade. I was short and awkwardly skinny. I had kitchen haircuts and clothes compliments of Kmart. But somehow he noticed me on that hill when I thought no one especially HIM noticed me.
That is where I met the man that I have now been married to for 16 years!

I didn't see any relationships that looked long lasting coming out of New Life Camp this past week!

It was a great week. I loved crawling into my own bed without spiders or 3 inch mattresses. The comforts of air conditioning in 90 degree weather is priceless.

BUT...Life is so much more fulfilling when you fill it with others. I love those kids. I wish I could save them. I wish so much for them. So many tears and heart aches this week.
But also so much bonding, laughing, sharing and loving.
I reverted to 13 years old again. If the kids were playing it I WAS PLAYING IT.
From Octoball, Volleyball, Wiffleball, Army Basketball, Paintball, every ball used every way to the basic camp swimming and zip-lining, I participated in them all. I am beat up, bruised, battered, wiped out and thankful for every sore and blunderer up body part.
This picture does the hills NO justice!! The hills were so steep the buses were only able to do about 30 MPH up them!

Aside from playing hard I continued to run every morning. As the week went on I struggled getting up before 6 am.
Day ONE..I ran 6.5 miles. I ran this alone. Dad had me a quite nervous about a bear coming after me. The first mile of my run was covered in trees down a thin dirt road. This is where I expected the bear to attack me. I ran with caution but the only wild animals I saw were 2 rabbits, and a barking hound dog. The most ferocious thing I encounter was the elevation of the hills at mile 2 and 3. I think getting attacked by a bear would  have been less painful then running up and down these inclines.
Day 2. Ran a warm up mile ALONE..Then I actually had 3 others join me!! Camp Counselor fun RUN!
Scott, Sarah, and Jeff met me at 6:40 and we ran 4 miles together. Ran 5 miles all together.
Day 3. "Sarah" is the only one who joined me this morning. It was another beautiful morning for a run. It was really hard to get up. We ran walked 3 miles. "Sarah" and I actually found a stray kitten and we brought it back to camp! So cute..Camp Kitty now!
"Sarah" My Camp Running Partner!

Day 4 Finally getting used to the 3 inch mattress...Final run. great run, definitely beat up and worn out..but being with all those kids was worth it!! Ran 1 mile warm up alone. I met back at the camp to see if I had any joiners. And "Sarah" came out to join me. She was a trooper. I loved having her company. She is quite the Brick house. She is a tough cookie and as I found out she is also very disciplined. We were all running on about 5 hours sleep a night and she came out to run 3 of those days. I dropped her off after 3 miles and ran another mile alone totaling 6 miles total.

I got to know a lot of the leaders more closely. I was nervous going in the beginning because I didn't know the other leaders very well. We all go to the same church but I am about 10 years older then most of them. I reminded myself I was going for the kids. It was not about me or my comfort. I had to get over my insecurities and fears. When we get over OURSELVES it is amazing what we are capable of. When we DIE to ourselves, our hurts, our hang ups, our mindsets, traditions and whatever we let Run the Show for us we are more fulfilled then anything this WORLD had to OFFER. To put my arms around that 15 year old girl with a sister who tried to commit suicide, a alcoholic mother and a deadbeat dad was more impact full then living my life in the same old routine in the comforts of the world I create.
To cry with that 6 foot teenager who is a tough as an ox on the outside but soft as a baby on the inside will sit with me forever.
I can not save them. I wish I could. I wish I could protect them and tell them everything is going to be OK. But the reality is my little 5 days is just a blink in their life. But even that Blink, that Breath can plant a seed. And that is life Worth Living. To share their tears, to hold their hands, to listen to thier heartbreak and confusion, to have my heart cry out for them will always be worth it.
Beth and I ..Firepower!
Life is Bigger than just YOU...So get OVER yourself and be something to someone else..if only for just a Blink or a Breath~~


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sometimes there just isnt a Easier Route.

“All winged insects that go on all fours are detestable to you. Lev:11:20
I Thought I would run on the dirt roads today to get out of the blazing sun. By 7 am it was already 78 degrees out. 
Every part of that idea sounded inviting. The quietness of the dirt roads, the minimal traffic from cars, the shade covering the road and even the cooler temps were without question the route I wanted.
Only the first 10 minutes of Rood Rd was enjoyable. I was just embracing my brilliant plan when I slowly felt like I had just walked into a trap. 
I pictured my self as "Katniss" from The Hunger Games. I had just discovered this strategic plan to finish my last 5 miles and from the outside looking in it appeared perfect. It happened slowly...and suddenly it all went wrong.terribly wrong.
I found myself being bit and attacked by what felt like "Katniss's" TRACKER JACKERS! Bugs swarmed me. They were buzzing from all directions, running into me, getting caught in my hair, biting me and really irritating me. There was no way to get away from them. I even tried to out run them, but that only lasted a minute and I knew it was futile.

James 1:3 "..because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."
Sometimes there is no easy route. There is no trap door, short cut ect.. No matter which direction we run there are obstacles that challenge us no matter what direction we go.  There is pain in every direction..it is inevitable. It going to hurt no matter what, But we have to remember that the only way we are going to get though it is to GO through it. I wanted to quit several times on that 3 mile stretch of dirt road. The Black flies were fierce. The pain from their bites left seering pain across my shoulders and back. My swatting was futile.  I knew it wouldn't last forever but at that direct moment it seemed like it was never going to end. 
This picture doesn't do it justice..the welts were everywhere.

As I was writing this at 8:30am I was thinking about Persevering. I was thinking about digging deep and getting through it. Never give up, and know that getting through our pain is so difficult but we are going to come out OK. 
But what I wasn't thinking about was my poor cousin "Kristin" who lost her Grandma today. I got the text a little while after I had closed down my laptop. My heart goes out to her and the Gaard family during their time of loss. Death is never easy. It hurts. So bad. 
They were just here visiting from Iowa. "Kristin" was sharing beautiful memories of her Grandma. These are memories she will treasure forever. Prayers go out to the family.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).

Anita.."Katniss" want to be!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You know its HOT when....

 "Out of the silver heat mirage he ran.  The sky burned, and under him the paving was a black mirror reflecting sun-fire.  Sweat sprayed his skin with each foot strike so that he ran in a hot mist of his own creation.  With each slap on the softened asphalt, his soles absorbed heat that rose through his arches and ankles and the stems of his shins.  It was a
carnival of pain, but he loved each stride because running distilled him to his essence and the heat hastened this distillation."

          - James Tabor, from "The Runner," a short story

You know its hot when:
  • You get into a argument with your spouse because he is begging you to not run.
  • You pull every stitch of hair off your head and even wet it down hoping it will cool you down.
  • You fill a water container up with 75% ice on a little 3 miler!
  • You take your 9 year old out on his bike with you in case you keel over he can drag you home.
  • You pee your pants....
  • Your sweat starts sweating!
  • You forget how to get home and know you are only a mile from home.
  • You look like a underwear runner you have so little clothes on. 
  • Your watch is like a slip and slide on your wrist.
  • The sweat is dripping like a sprinkler off every peak on your body.
  • You don't see any other runners out there.
  • People look at you like you have lost your marbles.
  • You ask strangers for a drink of their water or to be hosed down as they are out watering their flowers!
  • You think to yourself...Why didn't I go to the GYM?? 

I didn't experience all of these today on my little 3 miler but the majority I did. 
I DID take Alec with me bribing him with Dairy Queen. I did NOT pee my pants...this time!

But it was 93 degrees and my sweat was sweating!!
Unfortunately Andy and I did get into a argument about me running outside today. He gets very concerned. I think he forgets that I have been running long enough to be careful. On HOT days you have to play it safe. I am not foreign to hot weather. I know how to recognize when my body is going into distress. I HAVE BEEN here too! And it is not pleasant. 
Be safe runners. Prepare for the heat if you are going to run in it. Hydrate, sunscreen, take walk breaks, bring a phone and be careful out there.

How Do YOU Know its HOT???!! What Have I left out?!

  Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.  ~Russel 


Monday, June 18, 2012

Family on the RUN~

"When you teach your son, you teach your son's son."

It is officially summertime for the Harless Family!! Austin said it best today "This is the first full week of vacation."
A morning 10k to start the summer off sounded pretty good! We had big plans to get up and out of the house by 8am to run our 6 miles at Indian Springs.
We showed up at 10am, better later than never.
Alec looked awkward on my adult size mountain bike and  Austin was prepared to tackle his farthest distance yet.
I think Austin knew I was fibbing about the hills at Indian springs. They are more like rollers..but not to a 12 year old.
We took the first Mile at a very steady pace averaging 9:51. "Austin had made the comment several times "Mom, I do not want to go fast, I just want to see if I can run 6 miles."
The first mile of the Run is always the most difficult. It takes time to get into your GROOVE!

I thought mile 2 was never going to come. My Garmin beeped right as we were running over the 2 mile marker. We somehow managed to slow down on our 2nd mile running it at a 9:52 minute mile. I think Austin was nervous he wouldn't finish if he went out to fast. He actually got into a king baby temper tantrum on mile 2. I actually considered leaving him for a half of a second.

By Mile 3 we were sweating and getting attacked by bugs. Alec was riding ahead of us about 10 feet and seemed to be getting attacked the worst. His little arms kept flaring in the air as he attempted to fight them off. Several times I thought he was going to biff it on the bike because he would get so out of so of control swatting bugs away. Somewhere between bug fighting Austin says "Mom, I feel like I am into it now."
This was pleasing to my ears. He has his GROOVE on at a steady 9:53 pace.

We were consistently getting slower, I was going to slowly increase our pace as we turned around at the 3 mile mark. Emotionally I knew "Austin" was in a good place. He knew he was heading back in, and this alone gave him more confidence.

By mile 4 Austin had removed his tank top. He was sweating through it. We both were sweating pretty bad. It seemed like a trade sweat for bugs! But hey, maybe that sweat was the perfect payoff for a 9:36 mile!! He was speeding up and didn't even know it!

As we approached mile 5 we were moving pretty fast. It was fun to see Austin holding his own and now moving at a 9:11 minute mile. He was still talking and even laughing.

There was no doubt in my mind at mile 6 that Austin was going to not only finish his farthest distance but he was also going to rock The Solstice run next weekend. He not only was running his farthest distance he was also blowing his 6 mile at a 8:28 minute mile!!!
We had that enormous hill at the end. I had been telling Austin, "Whatever you do, do not be afraid of the hills, own them, conquer them and they will be your best defense in a race."
So as we were scaling our way up I was shouting forward "GO, GO , GO .." Only Alec thought i was talking to him so Austin actually yelled at his brother to move. But I said to Austin, "No Austin, I am talking to you, Go come on, get up the hill!"

We finished out 6 miles at 56:55. Right before the skies opened up. As we walked it off we couldn't help but notice the deep gray blue sky overtaking us. The skies looked angry and Alec looked petrified!
Yeah...He is taller than me and only 12...But I can still out run him!!

SUMMER Running with the Family:

"How do you spell Love to your children? T..I..M..E " (Source Unknown)
  • Take the family to the track and do Indian runs with them. Make a game with the track getting the whole family involved. Ice cream is a good prize!
  • Find a park, bring a bike for the family member that might not be able to keep up and a picnic for after. 
  • Vacation..Run on the beach together..Little runs make Big memories!
  • Sign up for a family 5k and train together a couple times a week. It gives everyone incentive to play together~
  • Family fun game of Capture the Flag.
 "The mark of a good parent is that he can have fun while being one."
-- Marcelene Cox

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day Run...Dear Dads

Happy Fathers Day~
All of Andy's siblings sat around honoring their father on this special day with love, laughs and gifts. "Deb" in love posts a question "I want every one to gather around and say a special memory about their father." ..
That is where is started for me. I didnt want to participate. She even was kind enough to say "Well Anita you can say something about dad, or someone influential in your life." Yeah, that sounded good to open ears, but not to my broken heart. I plastered a smile across my face but wanted nothing more then to be home in my safe place. This day was bigger than me and I didn't want to be self centered or selfish but for some reason or another this year it really hit me.
Yesterday Andy bought a new shirt and the collar didn't seem right and my comment was "Well, I am not sure how it should go, I never had a dad that showed me."
I have been without a father for over 25 years. It is all I know. As I sat there listening to the others tell stories about their father I looked across from me and (my other sister in law..married into the family also) had a perfect grin across her face as her father was absent from this Fathers Day event too. She caught my eye as if to say "Its gonna be OK."
But it sucked. I didn't have a amazing story. Not even hardly a story, Like a handful of memories, not enough to even fill a chapter in my life. I didn't have a legacy. What if I said "Yeah, Here's a story, I remember when I was 11 and it was a hot summer and my dad came to stay with us after many many years. See he knew he was gonna die and wanted to have my mom take care of him in his last days." GREAT STORY!
Or how bout "I remember it was that same summer and I went outside in my  robe and my dad got mad at me because I didn't have any clothes on and I thought "Huh, Why do you care now...you have not been around for years." Yeah, that's a epic Fathers Day Story, one that will just set the mood.

****The Run
 The sun was settling down and the temperatures were cooling off. I wanted to run in the dark. I didn't want anyone to see me or see anyone for that matter. I even left my Garmin at home. It wasn't 2 miles as I made that turn unto Elliot road it all hit me. Maybe it was the way the sun was setting across the sky. Or maybe it was the tree covering across that dirt road. It was quiet, secluded and without the presence of anyone. I felt my body heave forward in tears. Even as I write this I feel the heaviness in my chest. I recounted the question.."Even someone of influence.." SOMEONE of influence!!! There were NO men in my family that made a Loving and lasting influence in my life. They all loved the bottle, the pills, the pot, and the World and the things of it. Everyone of the men thought of their selves first. I was not a SELFLESS decision for them. It was right here on Elliot road I sobbed. The tears running down my cheeks as I grieved the memories everyone else had. I wanted to share those memories. I wanted a father who went to everything for me. I wanted a father who sacrificed for me. I wanted a father who just put his arms around me. Just one memory to share. I wanted one memory of a man in my family even who put their arm around me and said I love you, You are special, I believe in you..anything. I cried out loud away from everyone. No one could hear me, no one could see me. As I came out to the paved road I saw a father with his daughter on a golf cart. My throat filled up with another knot and the tears came streaming down my cheeks again. I wanted to say  "Love that little girl, spend time with her, let her know you love her and you will always be there for her, Give her beautiful memories that will stay with her forever so that she isn't sobbing alone down some dirt road crying over something she never had and should have had."

Dear Dads,
You stretch and roll and prepare for the next Race. You run repeats, hills and long distances in the blazing sun. You eat foods that you wouldn't feed your infants, take supplements that your belch up for hours and have every running trinket there is.
Do you put that much time into being a father???
Do you work and train that hard to be the best dad you can be???

I just want to remind you what legacy you leave behind..Your medals collect dust, get lost and carry a value greatest to you. 
Take your role as a father as the most influential race you could ever run.  Leave a legacy of love, honor and time with your children. 


I am thankful to have gotten out of the generational mess of addiction. I am thankful for Andy for being such an incredible father to our children. It is awesome to see how Andy performs as a father to not only our kids but also to my nieces and nephew.   I am thankful for the fathers that did influence me. 
Andy's dad has been very good to me. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Double UP!

Double Take: Double Trouble: or just plain DOUBLE UP!!

Between my Niece "Sarah" and my son "Austin" they both were wanting or needed to run today.

I was excited to see "Sarah" enjoying a cup of hazelnut coffee on the couch when I returned from dropping the boys off from school.
I love our Wednesdays together. She stays the night on Tuesdays and we have started running together on Wednesday.
After she finished her coffee we both got ready, grabbed Sheba and headed out into the sun for a run!
About 5 years ago we spray painted this to show 1 Mile from our House!!

We passed time in deep conversation. Our run had pleasant walk breaks scattered throughout. These walk breaks enabled us to filter the conversation that we were both engrossed in. I was sharing some things with "Sarah" that I have only told only a couple people. I was scared to share my deepest demons. When giving my demons away it is bittersweet. Those demons are not only damaging to me they are also protecting and guarding of my secrets. Put I purged. I am relatively transparent. My niece is 19. She just wants to be understood or at least someone to be sympathetic to her hurts, emotions and experiences.  We discussed the difference between being JUDGMENTAL and ACCOUNTABLE.

" I can't judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in."

Sarah didn't need anyone to judge her but she want to be a better person and seeks accountability in a loving way. So often people drop the "Don't Judge me." line of crap. It is an easy self DEFLECTING statement. A statement that often keeps that person from taking any responsibly for their choices.

  "It is well, when judging a friend, to remember that he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality."

 "Sarah" finished what she thought to be a 3 mile run with color in her cheeks and looking more alive than last week. She came even more to LIFE when I told her we actually did 4 miles!! I snuck an extra one in there!

Today was "Austins" 3 mile training run for the Solstice Run in two weeks. Andy was supposed to run it with us but when he came home at 11pm from a double header he was wincing and limping. He tore something in his quad. That guy spends more time in the hurt locker than on the pavement.
"Austin" brought his friend "Devon" along for the run. "Devon" did not seem sold on the idea. He ran home to get shoes. When he arrived he was embarrassed of his old beat up white NIKE shoes. They were his grandpas. They were not only his grandpas they were NOT Running shoes. Poor "Devon" didn't make it a mile when he twisted his ankle. He was miserable. He quit before mile 2. He separated and headed home.
It was actually at that point we were able to get into our groove finishing strong at our designated 3 mile.

Break up your runs. It is nice to have a day when you do a easy run and maybe a hill run. Or maybe you just want to get some "Junk" miles in. This is a great way to get with a friend who may be a bit slower than you or even a few miles with someone that is faster than you. On hot days this is also a safe way to get your miles in without getting discouraged or injured.

My favorite Snack, I love ice cream but this is a lot healthier.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Another Close call..Road Running

I run the roads. When I started out running I started running the roads so I could take my vehicle  back around my route to know  how many miles I ran.  I had to run routes that my truck could drive through.

I have gotten very familiar with running along side of roads. Sometimes there is no shoulder to run on and sometimes the speed limit is 60 mph and people pass you at 70!  I have ran when there is road construction, car accidents, movies being filmed and police stopping to ask me if I have seen certain people!
It is second nature to me. I have been chased unto 4 lane highways by a pack of dogs, I have jumped 10 feet into the air then road by bathing snakes, I have even stopped traffic to save ungrateful snapping turtles. I have BEEN HIT...and been part of an accident all while RUNNING!

But here it is. It is DANGEROUS. I don't have enough fingers or toes to tell you how many times I have almost been hit. When I go out for a run on the road I always Pray to the Lord to put a hedge of protection around me. I ask God to send his Angels in full armor to protect me and keep me safe.

Today was another day I almost got hit.
When running you ALWAYS run INTO oncoming traffic. This allows you to see your driver come towards you. After years of running you can actually HEAR the cars coming from behind you.

As I was running there was a garbage truck stopping to get his load. Because his industrial size truck took up the entire lane I could tell there was something big coming up behind me.
It was not only BIG it was also driving exceedingly FAST.  It came up unto the passing lane pummeling in between the garbage truck and me like a bull in a china shop. It scared me to death. I felt the air swoosh past me taking the truck just inches from my right arm.

It startled me..No, it scared me to stinking death. I was glad I made a pit stop at McDonalds to empty my bladder 2 miles back. I instantly thanked God. He is my Protector. I would have been lines in the pavement had that Semi Truck hit me. YES..It was a Semi truck passing a dump truck on a two lane road!!

Be Careful Out there Runners on the Road.
Be safe, smart and Remember to say a Prayer!!
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Pace: 8:12
Time: 58 min
Many drivers are so kind and courteous. As drivers are coming at me I am always thankful to them for moving over. I am all the way on the shoulder but some drivers move over out of kindness. I always try to give them a thumbs up or a wave.  I had a higher number of drivers show me this courtesy today making up for Mario Andretti driver in the Semi Truck.

 Calling all road runners...
Whats your crazy running story?? Please share..


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Running the course: Influence

Getting ready for a HOT RUN!!

I have not had a lot of miles in the last few weeks. Starting tomorrow I am going to start adding some miles. My body is still in recovery mode. I think I am going to take it nice and easy but start adding miles. I would like to get at least 30 miles in this week. We will see.
It has been a tough week. We have had something going on every night and day for the last 9 days. It starts to wear on you. I feel so vulnerable to bad behavior when I am being pulled in every direction...

Last night we had a birthday party for my niece. We were going to be around a lot of family. I prayed hard that I would be on my best behavior. After a long week you never know what will come out of your mouth. I never know what will come out of my mouth!
Families have so many personalities. My personality is hyper, loud, and often irritating to others. So I always try to be the opposite so that I will not unnerve people. I try to be meek, quiet, and to myself. Key Word: TRY! If you know me you will know that I fail miserably at this.
I got a good laugh as I was filling up a plate of food. "Matt" my sister in laws brother says to me "I want to get a hold of NIKE or something and give them your story." He said it twice before I realized he was talking to me. I stammered around in response trying to figure out WHY?? This was so sweet to hear him say this.  Then "Matt: says "I read your blog..." I am slightly embarrassed and reply chuckling "Ha ha, You read that....." And he said "Yes, sometimes you NEVER KNOW WHO IS READING....."

"Matt" is right. he is right on so many levels.
You never know who is WATCHING.
You never know who is LISTENING.
You never know who is being INFLUENCED by your behavior
"For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate." Romans 7:15
I am not perfect. But I try really hard. I do not always follow my own advice about running or life. I guess that could make me a hypocrite. But it is not malicious or intentionally hurtful to others. It is scary knowing that someone reads this stuff. I would never want to be a stumbling block to people.

You are influencing people whether you Know it, Like it or Believe it!
As you go through your course of life there are constant bystanders watching, cheering or waiting to see how you are running your course.
Some will feed off your energy and want to grow with you, others may be hurt by your actions or confused and there are others that are just trying to figure you out.

Who knows who reads this...I don't. I hope I have never caused you to stumble. I pray that my blog has been encouraging and a building block. That is my intention. My heart is to be an encouragement to others no matter WHAT Race you are RUNNING.  Whether you are lacing up or living life I hope you learn how to Dig deep, Persevere, Stay Strong, Have Faith, Cry a little, Laugh a lot and continue to Move forward being the best YOU you can be~

Speaking of STUMBLING: Calling ALL prayer WARRIORS. "Danielle" my running partner fell. She injured her hamstring pretty bad. She is nervous. Please Please lift her up in prayer. For peace, healing, patience and strength. I have watched Danielle grow in Christ and see her as such an angel, I am so Blessed that God put her in my path. God is good All the Time.
All Done with our 5 mile run! Thank God!!

Time: 46 min
Distance: 5:04
Pace: 9:09
Soo HOT(my husband is sooooo HOT---yes he hacked this blog:). But got the Whole Family out there!! Alec rode his Bike and Austin, Andy and I ran. I was very proud of Austins discipline at staying with us and not speeding ahead. His discipline proved to show him finish and finish strong in 90 degrees.

HA HA>>>I left my computer up...Can U find out WHOO got into it??!!!!

"Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future." Ulysses S. Grant 

 "Every life is a profession of faith, and exercises an inevitable and silent influence"


Friday, June 8, 2012

Why so Serious...enjoy those walk breaks.

This past Thursday my oldest son had a field trip out to Kensington Metro park. It just so happened that my running partner "Danielle" child ALSO had a field trip THE SAME DAY!!.. Soo coincidental!
But the really funny part was that my son did NOT want me to be a chaperon. Surprise surprise.
Austin actually didn't bring the permission slip & chaperon slip home because he didn't want me to go..But because he is still in that airhead preteen stage he forgot that HE had to GET ME to sign it for HIM to go!! Lol
"Mom, I don't want you to go.." I responded very sweetly, "Austin, you don't get it..I am ALREADY going to be there buddy, you are coming to visit me!"

"Danielle" and I met there early to get our 8 miles in. Kensington has a 8 mile loop we do that is congested with rolling hills. Together we both questioned if this was a good idea after our half marathon race just 4 days prior. But it is so hard for the two of us to be capable of running and yet not run together. We enjoy this day of the week so much running together. We are the perfect match for running partners and we really compliment each others strengths and weaknesses well.
We quickly got our feet unto the path and got moving. We knew we had to take it easy. By mile 3 I was already feeling the soreness in my hips and legs. "Danielle, you think we can walk a minute?" She agreed.
We had 3 total walk breaks that lasted about 1 minute. On that last mile there was not much chatting from either one of us except the occasional."UGH...Wow, do I feel this." We finished our 8 mile loop with concrete legs and exhaustion.
What we discovered on our run:
As we analyzed our pace on the Garmin we discovered that with each walking break our mile following it was over 40 seconds faster. This is yet proof that there is nothing wrong with throwing in some walk breaks.
1. Walk breaks are good for a mental pause in the middle of exhausting.
2. Walk Breaks help prevent injury
3. Walk breaks help recover your muscles.
4. Walk breaks proved to us that we run FASTER with them following it!

Will I train a walk break. No not necessarily..But will I welcome them in a recovery run or a  "Blah Running Day"...FOR SURE.

Danielle and I have been exchanging text messages crying the blues..We are both sore. We probably should have waited a little longer to run our 8 miles. Not to mention even with walk breaks in there the path at Kensington is not flat. Today we were both feeling IT! 
Running is fun but there are seasons that my running has gotten to serious. Times when I am so focused on my times and speed. Times when I am focused on the goal so serious that I am not even enjoying the run rather the finish. 

When Running and Life COLLIDE:

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."Psalm 37:4
Life works the same. We get so caught up in life we take it so serious we loose our passion. We loose our zeal. We run so hard we run often on a empty tank not taking any time to refuel. 
I refuel with the Lord.
We run the course of life with deadlines and dates just connecting the dots. 
Enjoy life. Create your own happiness even in the seriousness of life we can take time to relax. Run the course of life a little different, add a walk break in there. Take a few minutes to catch your breath and laugh before you head back into it again~


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Runners Day!!

 "Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

Did you get your run on?? 
I had a very busy day and was determined to find some time to honor the day with a few miles of my own! 
My niece "Sarah"  spent the night. This morning we enjoyed a cup of coffee and made a fruit salad for breakfast.
I had to stay home till the garage door repair man came at 9am. He was prompt and fast at servicing the broken garage door. So as soon as he left "Sarah" and I were changing into our running clothes and getting out the door too!

We leashed Sheba up and the 4 of us went out for a run. It was the perfect day for a runners holiday!! Like having fluffy white snow on Christmas. It was sunny and 60 degrees, the perfect weather to celebrate Running!. 
You FELT the run.
The festivities started with the ritual of picking out your running clothes to feeling your soles hit the pavement and everything in between!!

We ran 3 miles. We did a 5 and 1. 5 minutes run, 1 minute walk.. It was really enjoyable. It was such a blessing to enjoy the company of my 19 year old niece doing one of my favorite things. It was a very special time.

I didn't need to go far.
I didnt need to go fast.
The Run was about my passion for The RUN.
The Run was about being thankful to GOD for The RUN and the ability to do it.
The Run was about sharing my Love with someone else.

Who did you RUN with today??
How Far did you RUN today??? 

PLEASE Share..Who Else Honored the day with a RUN???


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Racing with Danielle at DXA2!!

This is my 3rd year I have ran the Dexter Ann Arbor Half Marathon: DXA2 is how they like it.
This is a very challenging course. I would describe it as scenic, with rolling hills but very picturesque as you run along the Huron river. The race doesn't start until 8:30am though so it gets hot!.

2 days before the run I got a text from "Danielle" letting me know she was signed up for it and running it with me!
Danielle and I before we got unto the bus to take us to Dexter.

I was ultimately excited but I did have a couple concerns.
1. I just ran my marathon a week ago...What if I was super slow??
2. What if I held "Danielle" back??
3. What if this is the dumbest thing I could do and end up injured!??

We picked "Danielle" up at the Park and Ride on Old 23. It was so nice to see her smiles at 6:30am. There was so much pressure removed knowing we were NOT going to race this....we were going to run the course well but have fun along the way.

The Difference to me from Running Fast and Racing is usually when racing I have a specific timed goal in mind that results in wanting to puke and die.
Running fast means I unite with my surroundings, embrace all the elements, struggle breathing, feel pain but it does not make me want to say bad words!

My Garmin was not staying on. It would power up but then quickly turn off. "Danielle" was standing beside me in the 8:24 corral. This year they actually had Pacers. I had nothing to help pace me. I had to rely on "Danielle". Danielle I COULD TRUST! We had the Pacers for a guide, but if you remember my Detroit Half Marathon.."Epic Fail." you will remember that I shouldn't rely on them rather rely on myself and my training.
We had a plan going into the race. The plan was to run under 8:30's. I was confident this could be achieved together. We decided we would stay together.
We both had handicaps.
Mine: Running a PR at last weekends Marathon and being still sore.
"Danielles"- Her longest run so far was an 11 miler.
This seemed pretty balanced.

The sun was out and it could not have been a more perfect 60 degree day.day.
We heard the clapping as it migrated closer down towards us in our corral. We must be starting.
It was so congested and bottle-necked we were lucky to maintain our planned pace. But without any pressures of timing we just rolled with the crowd.
We chatted back and forth lightly. There were moments of silence between us to remind us that we were running this race. But when a guy says to us "How are you able to run and talk?" it kinda made me chuckle. I thought to myself  "Yeah, sorry buddy you are racing this, that is pain and with pain the slightest annoyance becomes the biggest bother."..And that was what we were to him! I get it. I have been there.
As we quietly passed him we continued to check each others inventory making sure we still were both feeling good and at a maintainable pace.
We both agreed to walk through the water stations. And with each water station we walked though it was fun to see how we always found ourselves right back by the people were were previously running next to!
SOO Pumped...Love Running with this GIRL!!!

I knew I was going to see my family around mile 7. I was so excited to see them. I was getting a lot of energy off the clusters of spectators cheering us on but I really wanted to see my family.
I barley recognized Andy's usual cheering spot this year because they turned it into a water station with a large crowd of spectators. It was awesome. I high fived my family and smiled for the camera. But where was "Danielle's" family? They said they might coincidentally be in the same spot. Just a block past my boys on the other side of the road stood her husband with a camera and her 2 kids all dressed for church! They were decorated with full smiles and encouragement to their momma. I wish you could have seen "Danielle's" face. Her eyes were sparkling and as her smile broadened to showed off her  "Gina Davis" strong cheekbones and pearly whites.
TEAM HARLESS...The best support ever!!

I was very encouraged by this also.
It is a blessing and a cursing streaming on others emeotions. I take so much emotion from others. Both good and bad. Right now I was feeling good really GOOD!!.

Double digits. I love getting to the 10 mile mark. And as I expressed this out loud I discovered I was not the only one-- another runner agreed with us! 3 more miles. I kept asking "Danielle" how she was and I always got the same answer "Good". But now we were both doing good..but not feeling good!  "Just a 5k left" she shared.
The sun was hot. I had already removed my shirt and gave it to Andy at the 7th mile. We both took our nutrition, Chomps are my pick and Sport Beans are hers. It was so fun having a partner to run with. She continued to share our pace and each time she spoke the numbers it seemed unbelievable. How were we both maintaining this sub 8 minute mile? It is amazing how well we run together. We are two of the same.

But as we approached mile 12 I could tell Danielle was digging deep. "Just maintain Danielle" I calmly spoke to her as we were coming into direct sun AND also starting our slight incline towards the finish.
I was finishing this race alongside of her. We were going to finish together. Wondering where the finish line is I say to "Danielle", "Steady, relax and get ready for a hill." There is a ridiculous devilish hill that the FINISH sits on top of. It is a cruel punishment to finish in this fashion. I was trying to mentally prepare her.
And there it sat..3 traffic lights hovered over the finish line at the peak of punishment! "You got this Danielle, steady..just maintain.." There were people 3 deep on both sides of the road. Downtown Ann Arbor was looking lively. I heard my family yelling on the right but I couldn't see them. "Just get up this stupid freaking hill and to the finish!!!"
ON top of the WORLD, Great Finish "Danielle"

We were literally on top of the world at the finish!!! It felt so good. Well more like it felt so good to be done!! "Danielle" Rocked the Race!! She was still catching her breath when we finished but I was trying to do the math in my mind. I was thinking she might have just gotten a PR.
As she caught her breath and we both started thinking clearly Andy and the boys showed up. We both had towering plates with grapes, oranges, bread, and pizza! We giggled and felt life again. As she looked at her time "Danielle" discovered she just had a PR!!! She just had the best half marathon she has ever had!! And I was so tickled..I got to be a part of it!!!

I run for this FEELING. Comrade-re...I love everyone together, with one common Goal ~Finishing. Finishing empty, depleted, yet fulfilled, and strengthened.
 Its sometimes 2 words "Good Job", "That's It" ,"Keep Going" Or "Almost there" But those couple words are the very words that might be someone elses fuel.
I don't know. Maybe I run for 2 words. Maybe I run to be someones fuel. It is that same fuel that drives me.
CONGRATS To "Danielle"! I Thank God He put you with in feet of me last year at Boston. I Thank God You had the courage to call out my name on that 26 mile journey. And I thank God for your friendship, I am so blessed to have you.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Letting People Rent space in your head.

What do I do when I am upset...I write. I have done this for years. I have kept journals since I was 15 years old. It has always been my way of venting. I find it very therapeutic.
Family. We all have one.
I have always described my family as "The Adams Family." and My Husbands Family as "The Waltons"
On the outside looking in my family was clearly riding a bus labeled "Dysfunction Junction".
My husbands family always seem to have it together. I love them ..But Family is family. There is NO perfect family. Most families have drama..it is how we cope with it that makes us.

I do not have much family left. Very sad to say I really have no one left that keep in contact in Michigan. My brother and sister both live in Florida.
I have been with my husbands family since I was 15. I love them.
I have always wanted to be close to them.
But the reality is I am not liked so much. I think I am loved...I want to think that. But I am an extrovert and that can drive people nuts. I am also very close to my husbands Mom and Dad and that has called controversy for the last 16 years.But those of us that are parents know that Parents Have Unlimited Love.
Jealousy... is a mental cancer.  ~B.C. Forbes

We have had to set up some boundaries as of the last few years. Boundaries do not mean you do not love someone-they mean that you love them but you have to protect yourself. You lovingly detach. Not from them but from the chaos that surrounds them.
 I hate chaos. I grew up with knots in my stomach and constant panic attacks. I cried almost every tear duct dry till I was sick in the bathroom. It sucks. All I ever wanted was to be loved. And unfortunately as a ACOA-(Adult child of an alcoholic I still carry this character defect.

Well in this family if you set up boundaries you may be considered judgmental and self righteous ... Hmm .How do I know that....GUESS! I am not perfect.
"My righteousness is of filthy rags" 
I am FAR from perfect. 
But today was the icing on the cake.  I found out that a family member not only De-friend-ed us from Facebook..they also hid themselves so we could never find them. That takes conscious effort.
It is renting a bit of space in my head. I hate that it hurts.
It is not that I care what they put on Facebook I am not even on that much. But this gestures defines to me.."I want nothing to do with you."
 I mean I already knew this, I have emails and messages that have been none to kind.
I am just amazed at the anger and bitterness of people.
"Hurting people Hurt People"
I have never went to a counselor before and I actually went to our pastor for counseling to make sure I was not in the wrong by setting up boundaries. Don't get me wrong..I am not Perfect and the Pastor checked me for some of my actions but also said it was still loving to set up boundaries. 
"Don't get in the Sand Box Anita" That was the advice I received.

Why does this bother me? Why does it hurt? This person during functions acts like everything is good, pushed all under the rug...
I know they despise me...I have always been the conversational piece with them.

What do you do when someone has hurt you and said lies about you for so long and make YOU out to be so bad?
Why Do I let it bother me?
Why does it hurt?
Why are people so manipulative and hurtful?
I even continue to pray for them...And not that a Flock of birds would  fly by with the Hershey Squirts!
I Think I am more mad at myself that I can not control my emotions.
I need to run but I am too stinking sore..

We all are on a journey..We have our own paths to travel. I have to seek God to check my heart. Even as I write this I am checking it.
Friends are God's apology for relations.  ~Hugh Kingsmill

As I started writing this "Danielle" text me. She signed up to race with me this Sunday. I am reminded that I can not pick my family but God had encircled me with friends that are so incredible. I can Be Anita. I can be crazy, absentminded, wordy, confused, opinionated, airheaded, quick tempered and they still love me.
 I can be me. 
All imperfect ME. 
And they still accept me.  

God Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change.
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Dear Lord. Please give me peace and security. Remove this hurt and confusion from me. I pray you strengthen me to pick myself up and do my own personal inventory.  I pray for this person and how bitter they are. I have been so blessed. Thank you for supplying me with a awesome Husband and Family. Forgive me for my sins. Create in me a clean heart.