"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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

LOST at 10.

 "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."
Psalms 91:11

I swallowed a bitter pill when I got into my truck after work and read my text message from Andy.  He left for a run with out me. I was looking forward all day to a run with him. At least I had a 15 minute drive home to dispose of my  disappointment. 

For dinner we made, grilled steaks, baked potato, cottage cheese and fresh tomatoes from the garden. 
Even though our bellies were stuffed Austin was ready to go on a bike ride.

With a little bit of money in my Amphipod and my cell phone we took off for a 10 mile bike ride. 
Seven Lakes

The Chain fell off on the back roads. Creepy!
Too bad we got lost on a dirt road I have never been on. My running partner "Heidi" runs on it so I knew roughly where it came out. When my Garmin beeped 10 miles and I was not sure when the road was coming to a head I started to get concerned. Austin was getting tired and it was also getting dark out. I tried to act like everything was cool but Austin was tired of my same response, "Austin the road is right over the hill, relax."

We made it out of the wooded back roads with a little light to get us home the  mile and a half we still had. My legs were burning and I was very parched. Relief was my new passenger all the way home. 

Psalms 91:11
 "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."

I found this verse to represent my bike ride and getting lost. As I studied it I noticed something very interesting that depicted my anxious heart while I was lost. 
It is a verse that can help in an emergency!!!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Warrior Dash 2012

All the elements were perfect for a stinky smelly muddy 5k obstacle course. We could smell the swamp as we entered into our destination. But the sunny skies and warm temperatures made this event more enjoyable to work myself into.
This was my first obstacle course race. The Warrior dash is one of the "fun runs" that I have put on my race schedule to do.

We went out in the 12pm corral. Each corral holds about 100 people. I appeared to mesh well in my bright green tutu, argyle socks and warrior face paint as I looked at the other costumes. We had super heroes, rainbow tutus, kilts, men in compression shorts and a team with hot dogs on their heads! We had young kids, old people and people of every shape and size in that corral with us also. It was like going to a People zoo!

"5-4-3-2-1 GOO!!" And we were off. The first mile has no  obstacles in order to separate the pack.  Andy lead this most of the way. Austin was struggling a few feet behind us. He got embarrassed when I asked how he was doing and decided he wasn't going to run with us because his pride was hurt.
I loved the trail running. It felt so good to be running on grass and dirt. Your feet mold into the earth and you feel such oneness as the trees buzz pass you and the heat of the sun warms your skin.

The first obstacle was 5 walls you had to jump unto and climb over. I was flying over these like a monkey. The trail opened up to a small lake..Oh crap I have to swim! I am not a strong swimmer. I can make it look pretty enough to fool you but eventually your gonna notice when I flip around to do the back stroke!
Andy took off..He left Austin and I in the dust here. You had to swim to a thin dock and then from there to the shore. By the time I got to the dock I was half drowned by my tutu and annoyed by the guy kicking me trying to get on the dock. I looked out for Austin and noticed he let his tutu sink to the bottom and he was looking pleased to have gotten rid of that thing! His head was back in the game as he had mud and smiles painted across his face.

As my feet hit the shore Austin and I were trying to catch up to Andy. I was trailing. I felt like a drowned rat. I hate swimming but it was quite refreshing. My shoes weighed 5 lbs a piece and water was draining out of my skirt.

There were many more obstacles. I loved the ropes, the tires, the walls but not the thick black murky mud. It was as black as the ace of spades and you had to wade through it. You felt like a pig trudging through their pen. The smell reminded me of the scent from the local dairy farm. NASTY.  The girl in front of me slipped and went into it with the side of her face, as thick as pudding. Only it didn't look like pudding and it Definitely didn't SMELL like pudding either!

We ran through trenches, over motto hills, and finished jumping through about 3 feet of fire....Real Fire...Hot Fire...Fire that I was scared was gonna catch hold of my TUTU and turn my Tootsie on FIRE!
But it didn't and when I saw the final watering hole before the finish I knew I would have been OK.

As we finished and found mom and dad I had to laugh. It was at this moment I realized how muddy and disgusting we were simply by the expression in moms face. She looked repulsed! And she is such a lady. She had a chiffon peach blouse on with WHITE perfectly pressed capris. She was not getting very close to us!

 We removed our shoes and donated them to the pile of donated shoes as we head to the showers.

We finished up with a outside sprinkler system that was 20 feet in the air, about 30feet long and shared by all the runners. The filth just continued to drip down my body. Eventually you just had to give up and call it good enough.

I would totally do it again. It was a great family event.

Last weeks miles-46 miles
Monday:  Tough run. I saw a girl running about a block ahead of me and decide to try and catch up to her to give me a little UMPH! I caught up to her mostly because quit running and started walking! 
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Time:40 min
  • Pace:8:00

Friday, July 27, 2012

Preparing For Warrrior Dash: Obstacles

Muddy, stinky, hot and sweaty obstacle run...The Warrior Dash. 
I was signed up to run it last year with Austin and I won a trip to California the same weekend. Andy took my place and they had the best time...with out me.
Austins shirt "Like FATHER" : Andy's Shirt "Like SON"

There was no way I was missing out this year!! For Christmas the registrations made the perfect gift and I received  the biggest smiles!!

Austin and I have purchased our Green Tutus and Andy is "Odd man Out"...He was a party pooper and refused the brightly colored tulle!

This Years Obstacles:
  • Barricade Breakdown: Series of platforms intertwined with mini barb wired fences that runners must go over and under.
  •  Capsize Catamaran: Shallow body of water where they will need to climb over a series of floating docks.
  • Chaotic Crossover:Runners climb onto a platform of netting work their way across, about 10 feet to the other side.
  • Hard Rain: Runners enter a shallow water pit...(Mud) with water pouring from pipes.
  • Mud Mound: Runners enter to a mud trench leading to a wall, climb the wall and trudge through the mud pit on the other side.
  • Road Rage: Runners stomp over a series of tires and junkyard cars.
  • Great Warrior Rage: A 12 foot wall where ropes are "expected" to help aid in the climb.
  • Mortimer's Crossing: Runners will manage their way across a wobbly rope course.
  • Trenches: ...Trenches Duh!
  • Storming Normandy: Runners do a belly crawl through the mud, over rocky and rough terrain with barbed wire and cargo nets hanging from above.
  • Cargo Climb: 20 foot A-frame structure covered in netting that runners must scale up and down before the final sprint to the finish.
  • Warrior Roast: A path of flaming logs that runners must hurdle.
  • Muddy Mayhem: The Final mud bath requiring runners to crawl through a shallow pit of mud and under strings of more barbed wire before reaching the finish line!
This Info came from the Flint Journal~
A Little Extra Info!
  1. The Warrior Dash is a 3.2 mile course. 
  2. The Weather expected for Sunday is 80 degrees mostly sunny
  3. Location :E. A. Cummings Center
    6130 E. Mt. Morris Road
    Mt. Morris, MI 48458 
  4. Bring 20$$ for Parking!!
  5. Awards for Best Warrior Beard and most ridiculous Costume!
  6. Donate your old sneakers tied by their laces to the GreenSneakers tent at the race.
  7. The Warrior Dash Is TIMED. 
  8. This event last for 2 days and is SOLD OUT!
"Required: A Great Warrior Attitude."


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Keep it Simple Thursday.

Blind Run...I waited for the thunderstorms to stop. I love Thunderstorms so I did not mind waiting. I sat outside on the porch reading and enjoying the rain. I was actually having a hard time talking myself into running all together this morning. My body is tired and sore, the weather puts a little extra hurten on me.
But then I got this little burst of energy and motivation, and that mixed with the rain letting up set up the window of opportunity to run. I decide to take the Garmin but NOT look at it! Not looking at my watch took the most discipline but it was forgotten in deep thoughts...
"Thinking is the greatest torture in the world for most people." Voltaire
I had some things that were roomanating in my head. Stinking Thinking. And rather than disposing of it like I knew I should..I fed it. I fed it so much that I forgot to pick up my Amphipod water container. At mile 3 I dropped my container in the grass, planning to pick it up on my way back in. I mean it was 80 degrees and humid I was going to get thirsty.
Too bad I ran right past it never to take a drink totally forgetting it.  I got so engrossed in my thoughts that when I arrived downtown Holly I couldn't even remember how I got there. I have to conquer a very large hill to get to the place I was at and I did not even recall the gruesome crawl up it. I was so withdrawn from my run that I couldn't even bring to mind the last 3 miles!
Happy Birthday Austin Dow!!

At 3:38pm, 13 years ago I gave birth to a 8 lb 2 ounce beautiful baby boy, Austin Dow. His skin was olive and his hair was dark and silky. He was perfect. I had 11 people in the room!! Andy's mom was my coach she was amazing. I have never looked at someones eyes that long in my life. She never left my side telling me to focus on her. I had terrible back labor and refused to get an epidural. She was like an angel. Between mom coaching me and Aunt Lois rubbing my back I was able to maintain my sanity. Everything was perfect..He Was Perfect.

There are some days I practice positive thinking and other days I'm not positive I am thinking and then days like today I think I shouldn't have been thinking soo hard...Or at all!

I was shocked at my pace because I was taking it easy. Great RUN


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A little CHEESEY...

I got a resonse from "Michelle" on You know your a runner when: and just have to post it!! I love that she came up with more, and that I saw that I could relate to so many as well!!

* You're on a first name basis with Hal Higdon and everyone in your life knows who you mean.
* You plan Christmas dinner late enough so you can run in the daylight.
* You regularly step in the shower fully clothed after running on hot days.
* You go through copious amounts of Vaseline to prevent chafing.
* You buy running shoes 6 pairs at a time when the price is good.
* You mend your SmartWool socks because they're too expensive to replace because of a little hole.
* You've said no to dates because it would interfere with scheduled long runs.
* You complain about not being able to get enough calories before a long run.
Thanks "Michelle"!!

Tuesday is always a off day for running. I work on Tuesday and I am on my feet pretty much all day so by the time I get home my feet and legs have enough energy to make dinner and that's about it. I am a creature of habit.. I like routine, regimen and I am very habitual in almost all I do. I can change my plans up but I do better with a little notice. 
But I like almost every opportunity to go for a run. When I got home about 5:20 from work I knew Andy was going to go running. We both were coming home at the same time so we touched base and shared our evening plans. Andy had softball at 8:30 so he wanted to go for a run before.
I made it home before him and quickly made dinner: BLT's and still had time to lace up my shoes and run with him!
As we arrived from our 4.75 mile run the boys were waiting for me to go for a bike ride with them.
I couldn't say no to that so I changed my running shoes and we had a great 9 mile bike ride. I knew Austin could do it but Alec being "10" I was not sure. Alec complained the first 4 miles but then he decided complaining was not getting him home faster. About mile 7 I asked if he was having fun and he responded shyly "Yes mom, this is kinda fun."!
When I got home I knew I was going to meet "Heidi" for a 6 am tempo run so I needed some recovery.
1. 1 cup JUICE PLUS French Vanilla protein drink
2. 1 bottle water
3. 4 JUICE PLUS capsules
4. 2 Ibuprofen
5. 1 cup yellow and red peppers...live food and a slice of bacon...Because its Good!!

5:30am: I got up after having a good night sleep and got ready. Without looking at my cell phone I took off out the door to run too our 6 am meeting place.
No "Heidi"
This was very out of character for her. "Heidi" is always on time and rarely cancels. I was looking forward to running with her because we haven't ran together in weeks.
I decided to run back home and check my phone. It is only a half a mile back home.
When I arrived I was glad to see Andy was still there. He looked at me confused. I grabbed my cell phone a saw a 3am text from "Heidi" that I clearly missed! She was up all night with a bad belly.
Poor thing. I said a prayer for her, kissed the hubby goodbye and headed back out the door.

 I had 8 miles in before 8 am. It was a beautiful morning. The air was crisp and the sun hid low behind the trees. The air was fresh not yet tainted with the worldly pollutants. I could smell the grass and the breeze blew the smell of wildflowers towards me. Gratitude encompassed me.

I thanked God, I praised God. I felt the Lord running right next to me. I felt the Lord running through me.
What does that feel like you may ask??
It is the feeling of Peace. Nothing else matters as much as being with Him. He comforts me and removes my anxiousness. He trades his security and comfort in for the stress, hurts, disappointments that this world puts on me...That I can put on me.
As I run down the road I inhale His Glory that surrounds me. I see God Everywhere. He quickens my steps without me realizing it. He Encourages me with strengthen and perseverance.
There is No Greater Feeling then Knowing God is beside you.
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us." Romans 8:31

Nutrition: Kinda CHEESY!! 
Most everyone loves cheese. I know my family does. Here is a summary of soe cheeses. If you are wise with your selection and serving of Cheese it can be healing and healthy to your diet.
  • Nonfat yogurt cheese-1oz:0 fat:17 calories
  • Sapsago-1tbsp: .4 fat: 12 calories
  • Parmesan-1Tbsp: 1.9 fat:29 calories
  • Monterey Jack Processed: 1oz:2.0 fat: 50 calories
  • Cheddar Processed: 1oz: 2.0-4.0 fat: 50-70 calories
  • Swiss Processed: 1 oz: 2.0-4.0 fat:50-70 calories
  • Muenster Processed: 1oz:2.0-5.0fat:50-85 calories
  • Mozzarella,part ski: 1oz:4.5 fat:72 calories
  •  Feta: 1oz: 6.0 fat: 75 calories
  • Neufchatel: 1oz: 6.5 fat: 74 calories
 You can find all these in lower fat versions. When you go low fat or no fat remember they do not melt well and often do not have the same flavor, The higher the fat and calories try to substitute or use in moderation. 
"If I had to give up cheese or chocolate, I'd give up chocolate in a heartbeat." Amanda Peet


Monday, July 23, 2012

Family..The invaluable time.

The view after my run.

I started Monday off on a good foot. As I got up at 6 am with Andy I put my Caribou Kcup in the KEURIG.  I was going to go run before coffee but I decided it wasn't too hot out so I was in no hurry to skip my routine.
I put my earbuds in and headed out of the street about 7 am. It was pretty clammy out. It was an easy equation which way to run this morning. Towards the West the sky was a deep stormy blue but towards the East the sun was shining through the clouds. I chose East!
The temperature at 7am was about 70 degrees. About 2 miles into my run I felt the clouds start to spit at me. I turned around to see how dark it was now behind me and like last week...I started to pray! The dark cloud of doom was invading my space.
It turned out to be a crowning run. The rain didn't come down hard enough to damage my Ipod and it didnt come down with a lightening fest.
The Rain came down Glorious like a Gift from God,  enough rain to wash away my tears of gratitude.

Running Tip: "Instead of over training, cut back a bit on the running and the little things to stay healthy: stretching, hydrating, eating well, etc."  Mark Coogan- 1996 Olympic marathoner

Khloe and Alec Teetering!

Indian Springs Spray park with my great Niece Khloe
Maybe it was the way I grew up. Or maybe it was all I knew. But whether I liked my family, I respected my family, I was embarrassed of my family or whatever the case they were still my family.  I made it a point every week to visit my grandmother after my mother died. It was the greatest treasure she ever gave me. I never asked for anything from her. Of course she didn't have anything to give but herself. And that is all I wanted. I would go see her and roller set her hair every Monday. We would get out the picture albums and talk about the days on the farm. My grandma was born in 1906. She could remember more 50 year old stories then she could remember just the previous week.
Becca and Khloe

Family is so important. Grandma Murdock was the most valuable gem to me. But I had to harvest it. There were times I didnt feel like going there. There were times I didn't have a good visit. There were times we laughed and cried together. Every moment invested was invaluable as a whole. I was often the only ray of sunshine she saw all day. I loved seeing those old hazel eyes as they gleamed at me when she opened the door.

I appreciate the time I have with the family I have. Andys Mother loves me through it all. We laugh, we cry and we are honest and open with one another. She never makes me feel like less than her daughter...A daughter in law.
Today my Niece "Becca" called to spend time with me. It was such a blessing. I love that she just wanted to hang out with me.
Take time to be with family. Just stop over. Ask for nothing but a conversation.
It takes a lot of maturity to do something you do not want to do but you know you may be the only sunshine in someone else's day~
You are my sunshine...

I am dedicating this post to Aunt Lois who Lost her Dear Mother in law very recently. Whom she spent many hours with harvesting a beautiful relationship with. RIP Grandma Gaard.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

You know your a runner when:

"I want to run until I can't run no more." Bill Rodgers

I can not believe it..I ran 49 miles.  Where did that come from?? I was logging my run today with Andy and 49 miles came up in the right hand corner of DAILYMILE. My eyes popped. I wasn't trying, I didn't even pay attention to my miles this week. WOW! That is the Love of Running. 
This is what 2 miles looks like..Now heading to Indian Springs for another 9!

  • You know Your a Runner WHEN:
  • You Run in 90 degree heat to get your "Long Run" in...(Andy)
  • You get a massage but it is not for pleasure.
  • You have a "Running Playlist" on your Ipod.
  • You use "Easy Run" and 5 miles in the same sentence.
  • You give up Running for Lent.
  • You are green with envy as you pass runners in the car and you are stuck driving.
  • You correct people that a marathon really is 26.2 miles
  • Your running clothes out number your work clothes
  • You ask for race registrations for birthdays and Christmas
  • You have more race jewelry than costume jewelry 
Hiding water on our 9 mile run!

BACK HOME and a Little Personal:
This weeks Obstacle:
My little love of my life, Austin. He turns thirteen this coming week. Can I just say raising preteens is not for the weak. He is so much like me. We bump heads so bad. He is a firecracker. So between the two of us we can really get the sparks rolling. When it is good it is very very good but when it is bad it is painful. I always pray for God to "Take this stoney heart and give me a Heart of Flesh." because i get so hard and tough skinned. Today He did. I tried to control my temper. And I did but let the water works flow. Rather than yelling I cried.
As a mother I am so burdened for my boys. I pray over that boy, both my boys. As parents you:as many of you know you fight all of hell for your children. You want them to be good, loving, respectful and so many other upstanding characteristic traits. And then you have these moments...You look at your kids and think "I am failing" or "What am I doing wrong". 
You get back in the ring and go "One More Round".

This is HUMBLING..This is a 11 mile run and 90 degrees
After run, water, and now heading home!!

Tomorrow is a new day. For both of us. A day to recover, reflect and redo. As for today, It was a hurtful day, a tough day, but God is not finished with either one of us yet. 


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Keeping it simple Thursday!

Double run...
but the first one..
Not as much fun!!

Indian Springs:
 8.01 mi
 01:12 time
09:02 pace

 It was so funny as "Katie" and I were running that first mile at Indian Springs.  We were making the curve into the woods when these 2 familiar faces emerge. They look like they are coming out of a bees nest. They are both swatting and yelping. The shorter guy yells "Hope you brought your bug spray, the bugs are HORRIBLE!" and the other guy about a foot taller looks at us cross eyed  and mouth gaping in agreement non verbally!
It was like a battle scene. "Katie" looked mortified. With out a second to let this vision sift another runner appears from the woods. This woman came out with a full out BUG MASK!! She wasn't messing around!! This scene threw "Katie" into a tail spin and a panic attack. You didn't know whether to laugh or cry. this woman looked like she was going into quarantine or something!
BUG RUN...Couldn't keep proper pace, between my stinking sugar dropping at mile 2 and beating off killer bugs, I was happy to reach the end. Good news: even though the bugs were at a high, the bug spray worked. Only 1 bite from the beasts!

 Independence Oaks: 4.3 mi
  00:39 Time
  08:59 pace
Run #2 of the morning, Ran with Katie at 7"30 then met Sarah at 10am. No BUGS at Independence Oaks!! Just RAIN. Refreshing!! "Sarah" and I had the perfect conditions for our run :Cooler temps, no bugs and a misty rain. Not to mention we didn't get lost one time!! Which is an improvement from last week! We took the "River Loop" all the way, twice!

Today's Food Log:
7am: 1/2 banana cup of coffee
9:30am: Half a PBJ on Oatnut bread
11:00am: small lite caramel latte
12pm: Babybel lite cheese, cherries, pbj on a ww English muffin
1:45pm: 1 cup of coffee, 1slice BBQ chicken pizza..AMAZING..(Red Knapps)
4pm: strawberries, tomatoes and mozzarella balls, slice of Boars Head oven roasted turkey
6:20pm: Southwestern burritos : WW tortillas, ground sirloin, corn, black beans, lite cheese, rice, tomatoes,lettuce, onions and Lots of RED HOT!!
Another cup of COFFEE!!

Bed time snack: half chocolate chip cookie, Lemon bisque mom made


Well not sure Iam going to sleep with all that coffee in me but I am going to give it a try!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just Singing in the Rain.

Ezekiel 34:26 "... and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing."
As winter slowly comes upon us  Michiganders, we try to hold off all our complaints till after Christmas. Most of us would be happy if winter ended by January. We get tired of the poor driving conditions, the poor drivers, the wind, the snow, the ice and the fact that it takes so long to warm up after being in the chilly elements.
But we have had a beast of a summer. It is nation wide. The heat has affected everyone and we are all being baked together. So it is funny we go all winter long waiting for warmth only now we are all complaining about the heat!
 Hot Outside?
I was up at 6 with Andy making Austin his lunch for basketball camp and preparing for the day. My morning was also shared with Weather Bug. I kept looking at the radar hoping it was going to clear up. The skies were dark and angry. It did not look good. I so badly did not want to run my 7 miler in the confinement of the gym. 

I decided to give myself to 8:30am to make a decisions. With my cell phone glued to my hand I made a cup of coffee and grabbed my bible to sit on the porch for some quite time. As I finished reading Deuteronomy Chapter 28 I looked up to investigate the sky. In that 20 minutes it had rained, thundered, sprinkled and paused. I didn't jump up and take off because the radar had red dots all around Holly. I instead grabbed my computer and emailed my bible partner "Kelli"

I had to make my move. The temperature was cooler at 72 degrees but the forecast said 85 degrees for the high.
Do I go? When do I make my move?? It's  only rain...for now...

RAIN RUN..there was no way you could slice it, You were gonna get wet! I would rather feel like a drowned rat than a dying dog in the heat! But to be on the safe side I packed my gym bag and drove to the gym. That way if it got to worse out I could finish my run at the gym.

I made it to the 3 mile mark with mist and drizzle but as I made that turn to head back in I realized I was running INTO the rain, this was no drizzle. 
It was coming down but I was loving it. I was smiling and running. I picked up my speed as I heard the thunder over my ear buds. I was drenched, the water was ripping off my chin and my shorts were stuck to my legs like cellophane. But I was loving it. I looked out of the corner of my eye and suddenly I added a little kick to my run with the black cloud of doom just a blink away! Ahh.. I prayed quickly asking God to put a hedge of protection around me. 
And with that I finished the entire run, all 7 miles, water logged, dripping, drenched and feeling blessed! The dark cloud of doom dissipated and just added more rain to my run.

Michigan weather is fickle. We sometimes have to make "Our Move." Rain Runs are invigorating and refreshing. They make you feel like a kid again outside playing in it. It puts a child like smile on your face, dance in your step and a song in your mouth.
"Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you."


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Whats your Plan?? Being prepared

These boys came together for the FIFE camp..all going to elementary school together yet different JH schools. Reunited!!BTW..They all stayed the night too!!

My oldest son turns 13 this month. We signed him up for his first basketball camp. FIFE camp. He has wanted to do this camp for a couple years and this year it worked out that we could send him. We have kept it from him for weeks. Sunday we snuck out and bought him these Jordan Basketball shorts that he wanted and placed them on the couch with a note. The note read  "Austin here are some shorts to wear for your first day at FIFE CAMP Monday!!!! Have Fun, we love you, Dad and Mom~"
I wish I had videoed his response. He was jumping and screaming and shaking with excitement.
But boy did that put a curve ball in my running plan on Monday. No 6am running for me. I had to get Austin to camp at 7:35..It didn't start till 8am but he likes to be early!
By the time I got back home it was 8 am and 82 degrees out. I had to plead with Alec to ride his bike while I ran. At that point I was even trying to convince myself to go running! The air was soupy and my skin didn't take any time at all to get clammy and sweaty. I felt like I was running in a swamp the air was so thick. The first couple miles I was chatting with Alec but that took too much effort as we were being challenged by hills and humidity at mile 3. He was such a good partner. Alec would ask ME how I was doing and offered me sips of water.  Such a sweet soul. I tried to remain positive but this was not fun. I was trying to find gratitude and realized "Hey there are no bugs." Now that is something to be thankful for on our leg through Seven Lakes Park.

When you run in this heat you have to question your quality of work out.
Are you just getting miles in with 100% effort and yet the results are less than extraordinary??
That is what can happen when it gets to over 90 degrees. You spend so much time trying to catch your breath, take a drink or find yourself walking and wonder "Why and I doing this."
I was glad I got 5 miles in with Alec but they were just junk miles.

I decided I was going to go for a second run..A recovery run at the gym.
Andy got home early and together we were gong to partner up on the treadmills doing REPEATS. 
I felt redeemed as I punched in 8.8 a pace that invigorated me.
We did 6 -800 meter repeats.
The sweat was dripping off my brows and chin yet my skin was chilled from the AC. I would look at Andy and wink at him as I increased my pace. Then he would do the same to his treadmill. We challenged ourselves, each other and the treadmill!

Running in the heat is great to challenge yourself and learn what kind of endurance and stamina you have.
But running in the heat can also be dangerous.
There is a certain point you have to ask yourself:
"Could I get a better work out at the gym?"
"Could I be more productive inside or outside?"

We have had a heat spell. It is good to know your elements and getting acclimated to the heat is important for racing. But too many runs in over 90 degrees and humidity may not be helping you increase your speed or distance. You are not getting that quality run a lot of times and it takes your body often times a lot longer to recover from the draining temperatures.

I am running with "Sarah" after work today at Clintonville park where Andy has a baseball game. I am a bit concerned because it should be 98 degrees. This is my off day from running so I am not putting too much effort into it. I am going into the run with No Expectations, No Strict Plan and allowing myself to be Bendable, Adjustable and Willing to Change if the heat becomes over whelming.

Run Smart...But Run...Make no excuses. If you are training do not cheat your training making the heat your exit plan...GET UP EARLIER!!
The weather is not a surprise so PREPARE for it!
 ~If you have a plan you are more likely to follow through with it.
~Set your clothes out. This to helps you stick to the plan.
~You are worth it. so make it happen!!

Has everyone been safe in the heat?
What tips do you have for running in the Heat??? Whats Your PLAN?


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Inspiring Woman of my week...

My running schedule goes from Sunday to Sunday. Most people do Monday to Monday.
I haven't ran since Thursday. And Thursday was Double up day! This is my recap!

1 Thessalonians 5:11 
 "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing."

"Katie" and I finally got together for our first run since before Memorial Weekend. I was so excited to catch up with "Katie" and get all the details of her first Marathon experience. I trained her for 16 weeks watching her run, designing her weekly plans, giving her training tips from nutrition to physical therapy when she got injured to helping her pick out her marathon outfit! She did incredible.
While we both ran the same marathon but we had totally different experiences which is not uncommon at all. Bayshore Marathon was my 3rd marathon and her 1st.
I loved listening to the excitement in her voice as she gave me the recap. I had a perma-grin for our entire 8 mile run. I was even laughing while we were fighting off our bug attack. The deer flies were at a all time high!
DORK!..yeah..thats me!

Directly after running though I had to hustle and meet "Sarah" (from camp)at 10! I was really late and she was really sweet for being so patient. I was very excited to get to run with her. I was curious on how my body was going to respond to running another 4 miles especially with the temperatures rising fast. We met at Independence Oaks, a place I have never ran before. It took a while to get our groove on because we discovered very fast neither of us are navigational wizards! We got lost or confused more than once. Stopping, turning around and in the beginning even leaving the North entrance because we couldn't figure out where the path went! We ended up running farther than 4 miles because it was so cut up and we kept getting lost. We laughed at one another when we came to a fork in the road both of us guessing which way to go. "Stay to the left," Sarah kept saying. It sounded good to me! The trails were beautiful. They had a rough terrain with jagged pebbles but we ran on some of the paved paths also. We even ran on the road on our way back to he car because we got slightly turned around and didnt want to get so lost we turned a 4 miler into a 10k!
Independence Oaks is very scenic. It has more wetlands but the bugs yet the were not as bad a Indian Springs with "Katie".  Independence Oaks has more than 10 miles of of hiking trails available.
There are 6 loops and 1 trail.
The RIVER Loop: 2.2 miles Paved and flat
Lakeshore Loop: 2.4 miles Packed dirt/ moderate elevation changes
Springlake Loop: 3.2 miles Packed dirt. challenging, steep elevation changes
Rockridge Loop: 1.6 miles Packed dirt moderate to difficult elevation changes
Ted Gray Loop: 1 mile Paved flat
Habitat Trail: .8 miles teaching trail
"SARAH"..we were probably lost here!!

It has been a great week since Thursday. My double partners in running were both one of the highlights of my day. I am so blessed to have people in my life that are passionate, encouraging, and a asset to myself. We have such an opportunity to help build others up. People are like jigsaw puzzles sometimes we have a piece missing and others supply the piece that can help build you and encourage you.
"Lori" a dear friend of mine that I do not get to see very often was also one of the incredible people God blessed me with this weekend. She came into the salon to have me cut her beautiful Terra cotta red hair. She was a huge encouragement to me. She too has a strong faith. "Lori" laughed at me when I said something like "Woman scare me." She responded " Anita, I know, woman should build each other up more than they do..."  Proverbs 12:18 "Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing."

Here were 3 woman, Katie, Sarah, and Lori who God placed in my presence who were such a blessing to me this week!

“Do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you can.” – D.L. Moody


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finding the courage to Climb.

 Isaish40:29 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak"

This morning I was feeling weak. My legs were sore from Sunday and Mondays run. There were no excuses that were going to keep me from not doing what I had to do but it went with out saying..It was going to hurt really really bad.
The very things that make you stronger are often so painful.
They say "What doesn't kill you makes your stronger."
The pain is usually temporary but it is also the most memorable. We try to avoid it at all cost.
When running if you want to excel there is always PAIN involved.
Harder, Faster. Stronger.
Today was HILLs.
I decide very early I was going to run 5 miles of pure pain doing hills then run 2 miles at a easy pace later in the evening. 1 day-2 runs.
I am not a fan of running hills. They hurt. My buns and legs burn. My lungs feel like they are being compressed. And the sweat burns my eyes. Oh, I can think of a hundred more reasons why I am not a fan of Hills.
But they work. They make you stronger. They make you better. That is all good when you are on top of your game but when you are already weak it takes a lot to get you moving into the Hurt Locker.

This is the look of pain...Ohh the agony.
I finished my 5 miles of hills this morning. It was every bit as bad as I thought it was going to be. There was no denying what had to be done to condition my body for the races coming up.

This is what it looks like when you reach the TOP!

When running and life collide:
ACCEPTANCE: "I accept the things I cannot change and have the courage to change the things I can."
It takes a lot of courage to accept the pain the is woven in our lives.Sometimes we want to throw in the towel with out even making a step. We see the Pain and Run in the other direction!
We get so worn out by life and the circumstances involved. We get tired and weighed down putting things aside that need to be taken care of or just flat out ignoring the reality of our lives because we know it is going to cause pain.

There are mountains we all must climb in life. We get tired just thinking about the climb. But the hills of life are like the hills of running. They will challenge you. They will see what you are made of. They will make you stronger, more prepared for the other obstacles that may challenge us in the future..And there will be MORE!
Find the courage to do what has to be done for you to be the person you were meant to be.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some of my new Favorites!!!I

I thought I would share some of my new favorites.
I Look Like a Bobble Head!!

My first favorite has been my longest. I got them as a gift from Andy when we were in Traverse City running Bayshore. I have always wanted a pair but thought the only ones you could wear would cost you your first born child!
 At Running Fit in Traverse City they had a sale on their running sunglasses. Andy Surprised me and bought my a pair. They were under 40$! I absolutely love them! They are light weight, clear, and flexible. They are a perfect fit for my smurf size head and Andy's big old noggin!

"Danielle" my running partner gave me a gift bag with goodies in it. One of the goodies have since become another favorite of mine. The Luna Bar.

My favorite flavor is the Peanut Honey Pretzel. But recently I was at "Krogers" and found these new "Luna Minis". The "Minis" come assorted with Smores and Nutz over Chocolate flavors. The minis are the perfect snack before a early morning run and easy to grab and go for a little snack in the middle of a busy day. I like the Luna bars because of their texture. The Peanut Honey Pretzel has a crunchy texture that does not taste pasty.

I could have done a size smaller but they work!
I got a surprise gift this week. My third favorite!!Andy came home from shopping with Austin and bought  Lil Mama a Lil something something!!
I haven't bout a pair of Nike running shorts in a while. But for 17$ at the outlet I am in love!!!

My Latest favorite Power Song T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)
I Love when this song comes on. I feel like a SUPER HERO. There is so much power in Music!! Seriously I feel like that dude in the Terminator who runs like a beast. Except I don't turn into melting medal--until the song ends anyway and that's just cause I am wiped out from the adrenaline rush!! 

The Black Cloud:
Mondays Run: The cooler temps were such a motivation to lace up my shoes. . I felt light without the extra weight of carrying any water or my Amphipod pouch. Not totally familiar with what my running route was going to be I took off into the sun.
As I was running I went back and forth on my distance I was going to run. "7 miles?? Hmm..maybe 8 miles..I feel pretty good." I argued with myself. 
I started running in a direction I have not ran in a while. As I added distance I decided I would try out a new dirt road. I had a loop in my mind that should equal out about 8 miles, maybe a little more and get me out of the beating sun.
I had to laugh as I turned into this unfamiliar road. The scenery was magnificent. There were no houses and greenery every where. The trees placed a canopy across the gravel road and the only noise you heard were the birds and the crickets. It was nature to its finest. As the sun shone over the trees my shadow came into focus to my right. I was running with gratitude and a great big grin when I looked over at my shadow running next to me. I was in shear panic by what I saw.....There was a huge black cloud looming over me....BUGS!!!! AHHHH!! 
It was 2 miles of blood thirsty  vampire offspring! I just Ran to get out of the dirt road and away from the bugs!!
I was horrified and laughing all at once. The Black Cloud..I thought "Ha, the Black Cloud that seems like it follows us." Such is life. I have had those seasons in my life I feel like there is a big Black Cloud that is hoovering over me. A season of doom and gloom. A time when every bad thing is happening to you. I was really chuckling now. God has a sense of humor. I love how he placed this analogy in my head. 
Just RUN.!! It is just a leg of your journey, a season you are going through. You will get through it. Yes, it is often painful, irritating, annoying and discouraging but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. As I ran I knew that I had to get out of the shade and into the light. Once I got out of the covering of the trees on the dirt road I knew I would be fine. There are battle wounds from my experience but they will heal and the Black Cloud will go away. 

Just know those of you who feel like there is a Black Cloud hoovering over you it will go away. Seek  the Light..Seek God. 

 Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."

 Isaiah 60:19 "The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory."


Friday, July 6, 2012

Running through my head. Ramblings..

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."Phil 2:3-4

Sometimes I feel like my mind runs faster than my legs. It is hard to always keep myself in check when my mind or emotions are spinning. 
I was born a spit fire. Hot head. Stubborn.
I am constantly doing self inventory. 
But I am also sensitive, heavy hearted, and anguished.
I would never intentionally hurt anyone. It would do more damage to me than the damage my words might have on another.
But communicating is so much more than words. 

Non Verbal communication is just as affective at getting your point across than the words that come out of your mouth. You can say so much by not saying ANYTHING at ALL. 

Growing up I learned to read people very early. I learned facial features, hand movements, rolling of the eyes, and many many others. I was very sensitive to non verbal communication. Too me the non verbal often described the emotion of my house. 

"The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart;" Proverbs 15:30
Today as an adults I recognize these means of communication still. 
A Smile is worth a thousand words. A Smile can heal a bad day and a hug can bring you out of a Slumber.
As a kid growing up you never saw me with out a smile. It was what I wanted to be, it was what I wanted everyone to see. But even though the Smile was often a stained glass window into the pain I was carrying...I felt the joy. If only for that moment. And others felt my smile also.
"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." 
1 Thessalonians 5:11 

When Non verbal communication does damage. 
I notice people may not say anything at all but a picture is worth a thousand words. Their facial features are describing what they are feeling or thinking. Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves, our fears, our insecurities, our jealousies, or the way we do things that no matter what you DON'T SAY it still SHOWS!
The heart of your response shows itself and can come shining through like a dagger. 

"My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry."  James 1:19
Sometimes I feel like I bring the worst out in certain people. They are good people, loving people but when I am around they disregard me, debate me or roll their eyes at me. 
I spoke to Andy about it recently. Andy responded to my question "Am I really that bad?" by saying "Anita, you are You. Some people just do not like who You are, but You have to get over it."
 I want to get Angry. I want to talk myself into being the person others want me to be. But that is not who God made me. 

" I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful.."Psalm 139:14
This is where I find my security again. I let this run my head. God truths. Gods Promises. Gods Wisdom. No matter how people communicate with me I am who I am. I am GODS. 
I will continue to do right because it is right. 
I will continue to love you even when I know you do not like whatever I did, I said, I wore, I listen to, I watch ect ect.
I respect you even when I do not agree with you.
I accept you for who YOU ARE not for WHO I want YOU TO BE.
And I want you to know I am working on me every day.  So worry about yourself because I am not the only one who needs grace and mercy!
Does this sound like you? Are you a good communicator?
Have you been hurt by anothers non verbal communication?
Or are your that person that has facial features that can be read like a book?
Heart Check. Self inventory is a daily chore. Take it to the cross. Ask God to clean out your heart.
 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekeil 36:26.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

What are you made of?

Yesterday "Laura" on "Daily Mile" posted how she ran in the crazy heat but said "Runs like this show what you are made of."
That got me thinking....
What am I made of? Am I strong enough? Or can I be too strong and be my biggest enemy allowing pride to dictate my actions?
Yup..thats our clan!! Cousins!
Austin & me~12 years old &that tall!
By the time we experienced the annual Clarkston parade, had an afternoon cook out at Andy's sister "Debs", it was already 5 pm when we arrived home.

The heat had taken its toll on us. The parade was over an hour long and my poor sister in laws house has no AIR!! Even my little bit of Mexican blood was having a hard time in the heat. 96 degrees is hot no matter what nationality you are!
It wasn't even an option to run outside. As soon as the hot July air touched my skin coming into the house I knew I was going to the gym. I was pretty drained but all I could think about was getting a few miles in. I knew it wasn't smart to run outside at this time of the day, so for me it was about being wise and running safe. 4 miles on the 4th! "Rebecca" from Daily mile described my run like that.
That's what I did. The treadmill almost felt foreign under my legs. But it didn't take long till I got reunited with it and felt strong and excited to be partnered up with Mr. Treadmill again.
Even though I felt that good I stuck to the 4 mile plan. I finished my time at Snap Fitness with abs. Oh my aching abs!

Be Strong. Strong Body, Strong MIND. What are you Made OF??? 
 "He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength."
Isaiah 40:29
There was evidence of the storms that came last night all over the back roads I was running. There were branches and leaves scattered across the yards and dirt roads. The air was thick and humid. The heat was illuminating a haze that left you feeling eerie. As I kicked mud up the back of my calves I felt pretty good. Yes, I was hot but I kept thinking..."Anita, what are you made of?" "Anita, you can handle a little heat, you got this, you came prepared, you came equipped, you GOT this."
And I did...Till mile 9. Then the game plan changed. Strong body Strong MIND!! I was on the straightway. Straight into the sun and thickness of the air. I began panting like a dog. I took my last Chomp and a sip of water and told myself. "This is what YOUR MADE OF!!" You Finish, you Finish, do not cheat your run or cheat yourself."
I reminded myself when I am weak HE is strong. So I called onto GOD. That is what I am made of. His strength, His power, It was all God. I just ran 9 miles because HE let me..But now I was running this last mile because he was carrying me. "Anita, you are stronger than this heat, God prepared you for this, call unto him and FINISH STRONG." This last mile I hit a wall but knew that when in battle you must train your mind. This is the environment that I had to train my mind. In my pain, in my heaviness, in my weakness, In MYSELF..

"But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:39

Stay Strong in all you do. Stay strong in who you are. What Are You Made of?? Never give up. Call out to God. We were never created to do this Alone...Jer 33:3

Monday, July 2, 2012


I was talking to my client "Rose" a few weeks before Fathers day about gifts to get "Bill" her husband who is a runner and also my client. "Bill" is the gentlemen who I ran the Angels Place Race  with. He wants to run a marathon. It is on the bucket list. Well there was this new book coming out that "Runners World" put together I thought would be a great gift.
Well guess who got the book?? Now guess who was jealous?
If you Answered "Bill" got the book and I was jealous you are a Genius!! I wasn't completely jealous until He came  in talking all about it. Then I was really green with envy!!

So I had a little package mailed to me last week while I was at camp. I would have liked to have opened my own package but Andy got to my mail first and opened it....
None the less...there it is..isn't it pretty!!! I have been so busy that I have only gotten through part of the introduction. And I love it. Runners World is offering a 21 day trial offer for the book
Runners World Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon training.

There is something for everyone at every stage of the game in running. It was a reminder to me there are No Excuses. If you want something bad enough you can do it. You have to first see yourself there and believe yourself to get there. You have to grab every tool that there is available to you. This is one of those tools.
I have seen runners or all shapes and sizes with all kinds of ailments and reasons to never even put one foot forward. For that matter I have seen runners with out feet to put forward! 
Running a half marathon or a marathon takes hard work and determination. It takes inner strength and as this book puts it.." It takes GRIT".

I knew that it was going to be over 90 degrees. But that was not going to be my excuse. I got my 7 miles in at 8 am this morning. No it wasn't easy. Alec got sick last night and I didn't get to bed till after midnight. It was hot and sunny which meant I was going to be sweating like a stuck pig.
I could run taking it easy during those 7 miles but I just signed up the CRIM!!
I not only signed up for my traditional 10 miler, I signed up with a team which is something I have never done before. Now I have people depending on me. There is no slacking on training, I am going to be in the hurt locker a lot in the next 7 weeks. If the weather stays like this it is going to be gruesome.

To those Michiganders if you have never ran The Crim I encourage you to check it out. This year is like my 7 or 8th year running it. I really enjoy the support and the crowds that come out. And the Kenyans come out to run it every year and that alone is something to watch. There is a race for everyone. This was my very first race that I ever trained for.

Anyone out there running the Crim?? If so what do you like about it??
Also has anyone purchased The Book I just received? Any other reviews??
Also when looking for tools to put in your running toolbox my greatest tool is Gods Word.

"Be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart..."Psalm 31:24

"My flesh and my heart faileth but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" Psalm 73:26

"A man's heart deviseth his way but the Lord directeth his steps." Proverbs 16:9


Sunday, July 1, 2012

So Sweet..

After church than breakfast at Panera we headed home. With a full belly and hanging on the tail skirts of camp I talked myself into a nap with out much hesitation.

Even though the nap sounded good and was going to feel amazing I knew that there would be consequences to pay.
I knew I had to run and I knew it was going to be a painfully hot run.
Mom and dad wanted to see a movie but there was not much out so we decided to go over there and go swimming. Even though I have seen a lot of family in the month of June I have not spent a lot of time with mom. I wanted to be with her. Enjoy her and feel comfortable in our relationship. Mom doesn't mean to be different around others but she gets really nervous around all her family because she wants everyone to get along. She knows I don't get mad at her for her small change in personality.  I am very secure in our relationship even when she sometimes takes that nervous energy out on me. I usually lay back away from her and let her do her thing. I love mom and know she loves me no matter what the circumstances are.
Getting off on a rabbit trail there the whole point was I wanted some quiet time with her. So I decided I would run over to moms and meet Andy there.
Austin out of the blue offered to ride his bike with me while I ran. This was so sweet because it was so miserably hot out. I knew he just wanted to hurry and get to moms and was hoping we would get there first so he could jump in the pool.
Andy came down the road to check on us!!

As we got to mile 2 I asked Austin "What would you do if I passed out right here on this dirt road?" Austin replied "Well I would probably not do anything for a millisecond trying to figure out what just happened! But then I would pour cold water on you and run to a house and call dad."
I thought it sounded like a pretty good plan. Especially because I was not feeling so good. I didn't feel like I was going to pass out but I did feel like I was running in a inferno. Just having him near me, talking to me, encouraging me and telling me goofy things was such a life line. I looked over at that 13 year old boy who is ahead of his time and just fell in love with him all over. "Austin I am so thankful you came out to be with me while I ran, I don't think I could have done it without you." I said to him. I didn't see a little boy next me with training wheels and a over-sized bike helmet asking me "Are we there yet?" No I saw I young man, strong and tall, thoughtful and concerned for his mother in the heat. Where does the time go? BLINK...." Come on mom, shorten your stride and get up the hill." Here he was sharing his running advice and asking me if I was ok.
I wanted time to stand still. I was physically miserable in the heat. I wanted to get to the end as fast as I could. My legs were tired from the hills and the temperatures and I was having a hard time controlling my breathing. But every agonizing feeling  during my 5 mile run was trumped by the love I was receiving from my son. He made my pain not only bearable he made it embraceable.
I wish I could bottle those moments up.
As I finished with several rolling hills I kept repeating "Focus and Finish" "God give me Strength"

Well I finished. I am plum tuckered. There is so much more I want to share.
I got a package in the mail this week.......
I signed up for a race......
Well I will save that news for tomorrow!
Sweet dreams, God Bless.