"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I AM IN!!! I am IN!!!

Seriously I am beyond excited. I have surpassed the normal level of pure JOY!!
I was excited today when I got to run with Jennifer and Jeff for 12 of my 20 miles.
I was excited when I finished my 20 mile run.
I was excited to meet Jennifer at the gym and do the Cold plunge with her for 20 minutes…an ALL time RECORD in the cold bath.
Today was a go go go day…but in the back of my mind sat 1 thing.
One thing that shadowed over me.
One thing that rested in the back of my mind nagging me..pestering me…
One thing that I wanted more than anything…
I put my registration in 4 weeks ago for ING NYC.
This is one of the hardest races to get into. It is a Lottery. You can qualify to run it but the times are even harder than Boston.
And today was the Lottery drawing. 
And with the hurricane last year it made this years lottery even tighter.
I checked my email a couple times throughout the day..Nothing.
I told myself it was fine. There is always next year. No worries.
I was sitting here after the kids went to bed chatting with Andy.
“Yeah, doesn’t look like I got into ING….” I said pouting.
Andy replied, “How do you know?”
“Well, I checked my email about 4pm and had nothing.” I responded as I was pulling up my email again.
And right there on top of all other emails “New York Road Runners” was at the top.How strange it was my first email as we were talking about i.
I opened the email with the thought of “It is fine, it is all in Gods hands.”
BUT..The first sentence said it all…..

You are “in”! Welcome to the 2013 ING New York City Marathon.

And that is all I still have read! I was running through out  the house at 10pm screaming and laughing. I ran upstairs to Austin and woke him up to tell him. He sleepishly turned around and tried to process it. “Austin I AM IN!! I AM IN FOR ING NYC!!!” Coming off his bed he picked me up and hugged me. Coming out of my skin I skipped steps searching for the phone to call mom. I knew it was late but I was about to explode with emotion. Mom is so encouraging. She doesn't get all this running stuff but she gets me. When I am happy she is happy. It is crazy how good she is at supporting and encouraging.

I am stoked..
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which though knowest not.”

I am deeply humbled that God has given me this gift.  I  know the HE gave it to me.
I am so so Thankful. Grateful. I am so blessed…
TIME: 3:05:40


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grosse Ile Memorial Day 8k

I tried to keep a secret from Andy and make our anniversary a surprise but Andy always manages to figure it out!
It would have probably helped had I hid the registration form for the race rather than leaving it on the microwave.
None the less Andy picked up the registration and looked at me puzzled and I knew that look..His wires connected...We were running a race for our anniversary!
But he still did not know where we where staying.

Andy's mom and dad took the boys for us overnight and we headed towards Detroit Sunday after church.

Andy packed the bikes and thought it would be fun to ride around the river in Detroit.
As we were pulling into the parking structure we knew we were coming into something eye opening.
There were a lot of young people parking their cars along side of us. The girls were half dressed and the guys looked like they were half baked. It was nice out but not warm enough to wear a rainbow tutu and a sports bra.
As we walked our bikes out of the parking structure the techno music was bumping. It was only 1pm and you could feel the party starting. I love to people watch but I am not very balanced on a bike so I had to really focus on my biking skills so that I would not run anyone over.
We road our bikes all across the River Walk. It was so pleasant with the warm sun coming down on us and the cool breeze brushing our skin. The city of Detroit have done a beautiful job with restoration and conservation of the area along the water. There were several others that had the same idea as us.
We road our bikes over 6 miles to Belle Isle. There were a couple places that the path ended and we had to pick it back up in some shady areas. We pedaled much faster in those places!

After biking, site seeing, picture taking we headed back to where we started.
WOW!! In just a couple hours the area got very colorful.  The music was louder and young people were filling the streets, getting in line for this techno concert. The smell of Wacky Tabaccy wafted through the air, many of them were drinking and stoned. Andy's head was spinning off and my heart was broken. Girls with guys, guys with guys and girls with girls. Many I could not tell if they were a girl or a guy. The clothing was scarce and left nothing to the imagination. They were all dancing and yelling: it was a big party.
I was young once. I tried to bring myself back there...but I still just didn't get it.
But I knew this much. They were someones daughter, someones son, someones grandchild, cousin, sister or brother. 
I thought of how this must hurt God. It hurt me. I have no hate. It just hurt to see. I thought of how I am just seeing a glimpse of this..But God sees so much more of it.

I felt safe back in my Saturn Outlook. I was burdened after all that I saw. I ready to leave.

I had to let Andy know where we were going at that point.
The Grosse Ile Pilot House.
It was nothing fancy but it was historical and the only place on the island to stay.
I was happy to hear Andy say he thought it was very cool. Neither one of us need to stay at a 5star hotel. It just has to be in a decent neighborhood, clean and smell clean!

We woke up early in the morning to have a cup of coffee and stretch before our race.
We headed towards the High school for registration about 7:45am.
This race was very organized with a lot of volunteers.
I saw several runners stretching and chatting with pre-race excitement.

I love the emotion that sifts through the air before a race. It is contagious. As you walk towards the starting line your heart double skips and your eyes circulate your competition. I find myself reading shirts and identifying shoes. I scope out the serious runners looking for PR's and placement medals. I secretly giggle at the conversations that are spoke out of competition and pride. One person speaks of a time while another responds of a race with a better time. Or one says their goal and then another says their goal never really listening to what each other has even spoken.

There was a guy I couldn't help but stare at. He had his bright blue singlet from this years Boston Marathon on with matching bootie shorts. He had a inch thick gold necklace on with a matching gold bracelet. His hair was shoulder length, thick and he looked like a short stocky version of Don Johnson. I am very proud of being able to run the Boston Marathon and especially this year. But I am always afraid I might be pretentious wearing all my Boston garb. I never want people to define me as braggadocios or prideful.

"READY SET GO!!" is all it took for us runners to take flight. I ran ahead of Andy upon his request.
There were almost 800 runners between the fun mile, the 5K and the 8K. The 8K seemed less congested. My first mile I ran at a 7 minute pace and was feeling pretty good. I was running next to a girl in her 20's and I stayed close enough to her that she could hear my breathing. I was able to pass her at mile 2 where I saw another girl just up ahead of me another 20 feet. Keeping my eyes on her I started to close the gap. Again once I caught up to her I stayed on her heels so she could feel my breathing down her back. I wanted her to know I was there. I could tell she was not wanting me to pass her and that she was pushing it through her own pride. I just stayed there behind her. I knew I didn't need to speed up to pass her ..She was going to drop back and let me pass her. I could just tell, I can tell by their breathing, their pace, and their posture. Just before we hit the trail she dropped down and I entered the trail before her.
I wanted to try and be the 1st female to cross the finish line and I thought I had it.
I lost a mile in my run. I thought I had another mile when I made that turn towards the high school. I usually kick it into gear before then but I got confused and had to make the best of it. "Go Go Go Nita" I told myself.
And just like that I was done!

Well I wasn't the first girl to cross the finish line but I was the SECOND! But like the saying goes "Nobody remembers 2nd place!"
Although. I did get 1st place in my division. That helped me recover and Andy ran amazing which really made the race perfect.

It was a great race and a great anniversary.
I have a lot to be thankful for.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Anniversery Run.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
 Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

May 25th 1996. Today was 17 years of marriage. We are probably one of the weirdest couples you will ever meet. Andy and I are polar opposites in so may ways.
  • Andy is an introvert -I am a extrovert 
  • Andy is 6'2 -I am 5'2
  • Andy is seriously, very serious- I am a goof ball
  • Andy is the "cup is half empty"- I am the "cup is half full"
  • Andy is not good at saving money- I am a money hoarder
  • Andy is a perfectionist- Yeah...I am not!
  • Andy is very organized and- I am a scatterbrain no matter how hard I try.
I can go on and on. But the great part is..WE WORK. 

The last year has been tough. But over the course of 17 years we are not blind to having a difficult marriage.
Due to the challenges we have overcome not only in our marriage but also within ourselves we have developed tools to help with the obstacles we would face. We exercised strength to overcome and wisdom to properly strategize those challenges throughout our 17 years of marriage.
On my way home from work today I discovered a card on my windshield from Andy. I wanted to go straight home to see him and in the same breath I wanted to go see Ariel. Ariels headstone was placed yesterday. FRIDAY. Exactly 32 weeks from her accident.
My car headed downtown toward the cemetery in Clarkston.
It was beautiful. I could have sat there all evening.
How did my marriage survive losing Ariel?
We had so many bad moments. Yelling in confusion at one another. Andy begging me to come back and me begging him to be patient with me.
Unaware of the depression and discouragement my heart was consumed with I seriously did not know who I was and did not want to move forward. 
I needed Andy so bad and in the same breath I wanted to be left alone.
Regardless, Andy couldn't be there for me. He had his own pain he was struggling with.

Then just 6 months later we survive the Boston Bombings.

As I look over the last year, I have had some incredible achievements; Bayshore Marathon, The Detroit Marathon and The Boston Marathon. I have had my heart broken in grief, I have struggled as a parent with a teenage son and through out it all...Andy and I have made it through.
With all the greatness of the last year the distress of losing Ariel trumped everything and yet...I saw not only my marriage grow from the hurt, I also saw God do miracles in Our Life, Our Marriage and Ourselves. 

"Anita, I was thinking we could go for an anniversary run together..." Andy said over the phone on my way home from visiting Ariel at the cemetery.
"Uh...How far?" I responded without enthusiasm. I felt bad that I couldn't muster up a little excitement but I had worked 2 days on my feet and booked solid at the salon.
Andy wanted me to run his long run with him, 9 miles.
It sounded great and it sounded awful all together.
"I thought it would be romantic, a Anniversary run together." Andy winked

Next I knew we were running down Grange Hall rd. Only I was only doing 4 of his 9!

It was a good day. I have a amazing Husband. I have so much to be thankful for. God is good...All the time. He is good in the good and he is good in the bad.

It has been a tough year on my marriage and like running my marriage has withstood some tough obstacles but together we have made it through. We have hit some walls, we have cried, we have had to dig deep and we have prayed. We could not have made it without Christ.

"I can do all things through Christ whom strengthens me." Phil 4:13


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Running with others~

Coach Craven and Austin

I love running. I love running with others. I have found myself running multiple times in 1 day because it is so hard to say no. I seriously get jealous when I see people out running and I am not. I want to be out there even after I have ran already.
After dropping the kids off at school I was so excited to see who was going to join me from our Runners club. I had posted that I would be running our new 5k course that the school was putting together. It was raining out but the temperature was perfect.

4 people showed up to run with me. I don't normally run my group on Wednesday morning but there are a few that can not make my Monday night run so I thought I would add another time in there.
After running our 5k route most of us still had a lot of energy to keep going. So we ended up with over 7 miles from 3.1!

This was more than enough for me. I had just run Monday night almost 12 miles and then todays run consisted of another 8 therefore running Repeats with Coach Cravens group this evening was a big fat NO!
But I did drop off Austin! He has been very inspired the last few weeks. And the last week since he has been reading my book "Running the Edge" he has even committed to wanted to run the 10 mile CRIM!
I came up early to watch him and try to encourage him as he was running along side of Coach Craven. Austin looked good. And Austin was keeping up.
There is something inside me that gets so excited when I see the drive others display in their passions. It is nice to go through life easy, with out pain, without sweat, staying within your limits. But it is inspiring to to watch people with passion go through life pushing the limits, running through obstacles, driven to not just being good..rather Being Great.
I saw pain in Austins face. I saw sweat dripping down his temples. I could hear his breathing labored and could hear the angst in his voice. But I also saw passion, I saw commitment and discipline.

"Never are my senses more engaged then when the pain sets in."
 Dean Karnazes

You get out of it what you put in. Like anything in life.
Husky Road Runners!

The Rundown:
Run with the Husky Road Runners

Distance: 7.6 miles
Time: 1:06
Pace: 8:41

Here are a few thoughts on being better not just at running but in life.
  • "You are known by the company you keep."
  • "If you want to run faster than run with those who are faster."
  • "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor." Ecc 4:9

Monday, May 20, 2013

Double Trouble

 "Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?’ Psalm 106:2

The sweat began to drip in my eyes and the burning was equal to the heat I was feeling from the sun. There was no way that I could complain. I love the sun. I even run pretty good in the heat. That Mexican blood has a pretty good tolerance of what the summer can throw at me.
I enjoy how the warmth hugs my skin but the stinging in my eyes was another reminder of the annoyances that also come with the elevating temperatures.

"Weather bug" said that it was supposed to thunderstorm after 1pm. "Well then Nita, Go hard and Go Long because you are not going to get your run in this evening with the runners club."

Yeah...I was soo wrong. It didn't even rain for Cross Country. I didn't run with the kids but they ran 2 miles easy. I called out "MARCO" several times. This is a drill that I learned from my pacers when I ran Chicago in 2010. They sounded good after the 1st mile but the second mile even with a break and hydration they were pooping out.  There was a breeze that helped with the 87 degree weather but it was still hot and humid.

It was 6pm and I was counting on the rain to come ANY Minute..but instead I found myself adding ice cubes to my water bottle and geared up for another 3 mile trail run with my running group.

I was not sure how I was going to pull this one out but I knew I didn't have a choice. I am their coach and I totally am honored to have the opportunity to run with them.
So Off I Went!

Passions will bring you to amazing places. Passions will introduce you to amazing people. I Believe with all my heart that you do everything with ZEAL, Push the limits, and see what God has to offer you. I am amazed at the places God has taken me. The Places God has Taken me FROM. I am a miracle in so many ways. When I didn't stand a chance a fire burned inside of me. I stoked that fire and passion has erupted from it..I am so Thankful God has given me more than I ever thought I was able to do.

I have no idea how I pulled out another hot run today..But HE knew I was going to..And He provided me with the strength to do it!

Run 1: 8.01 Pace 7:55
Run 2: 3.5 Ran with Road Runners. 

‘Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.’
  Psalm 103:2

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Running on E!


I seriously have no idea where the days have gone.

Austin and I came home from his 8th grade Washington DC trip this morning.
In the days that we were in Washington DC we slept little, walked a lot and packed in so much I lost track of days.

I was really proud of the XC kids that went. One morning 5 boys showed up to meet me down in the lobby of our hotel for a 5k run into the Pentagon.
This was one of the highlights of my trip.

As for running, I only got 2 runs in, however I was so sore from walking that it felt like I had ran a marathon.

We left last night from DC to drive again through the night and arrive back home around 8 am this morning.
We had very nice coach buses for the trip and I was fortunate to have 2 seats to sleep in. Unfortunately, I have restless legs and ended up sleeping on the floor with the kids coming home. It was surprising comfortable in comparison to traveling to DC on the seats. Even getting kicked in the head and smelling stinky feet was better then my legs convulsing for 8 hours.

So the plan is I want to do another spring marathon. I think.
"Michelle B" has been a big part of wanting to do more than one Marathon in a season.
In order to decide if this was a possibility I had to keep my miles up. CHECK.
And I needed a long run.
I have been so busy the last 4 weeks that I have not hardly even had time to blog let alone get a long run in.

But today..this morning getting off the bus I planned on getting my long run in. The original plan was to get off the bus and come home and catch on my sleep.
Sleep..could be postponed. I needed to run MORE. I needed to see if I could do it. I needed to confirm if my body could handle a 16 mile run.

"Paula" and I were on the same bus together and before I fell asleep I looked at her and said "So Paula, I think I am going to keep on moving when we get home. I am going to get my long run in..You want to join me?"
It didn't take much more than that to finalize the  details for our run when the bus stopped back in Michigan.

We arrived in Michigan at 7:25am and by 8am I was heading to "Paula's" for my first long run in 6 weeks.
Long Run - more me this is anything over 15 miles when training for a marathon.
We needed to be running quick to prevent getting scorched my the heat. The first 12 miles were relatively cool but the last 4 miles I was more than hot, I was also sore. My quads were burning but I knew that even soreness would go away. 

After accomplishing my long run I resigned to the early endorphin thoughts of painting and washing windows and decided to head for the bed.

I was sawing logs sleeping within 5 minutes. Austin had crawled into my bed when I left to go running and he was dead to the world when I crawled in next to him. I was so exhausted I fell asleep with the ice Velcro-ed around my knee, my Garmin still on my wrist, no shower and my running belt on my waist!

I think I am going to sign up for Ann Arbor Marathon tomorrow. I feel pretty good for now.....
Distance: 16.04
Pace: 9:11
Time: 2:27

“We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible.”
 - Francois Duc De la Rochefoucauld

Heading back to bed!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day 2013


I woke up at 6am this morning. The first thoughts that came to my mind was Ariel.
  • I thought of how I spent Mothers Day last year. Ariel made me a picture with photos of her and I for Mothers day. 
  • I then thought of my own mother. I was sad to think I could not recall a Mothers day with her. I am sure I celebrated it with her but I could not bring one to my mind.
  • I really wanted to stay positive so I traded all sad thoughts for something joyous. I thought of Andys Mom and how good she has been to me over the last 20 years. I have actually know Andys mom longer than I had know my own mother.
  • Then I thought of all the other mothers that were having a special day or that needed special prayer. 
I laid there in bed playing cell phone games and thinking. I wanted to get up and get coffee but I did not want to take that away from Andy.

Andy got up much earlier that normal realizing that I was awake. With his eyes half closed he went down and made me my favorite coffee. Guatemalan French Press.
It was DIVINE.

I didn't want to wake the boys up so we just sat in bed together drinking our coffee.

We really didn't have time to open gifts before church but we did take the time to pray as a family.  This was so special to me. I love hearing my boys say their own individual prayers. 

If I just left it like that Mothers Day would seen perfect. But boys will be boys. Even in great circumstances and special days they still argue, bicker and instigate one another. But we all tried a little bit harder.
Desperately trying to ignore them we made it through church and headed to brunch.

We went and visited Ariel today. It has been 7 months now. It seems like yesterday.

Most of the time I eat fairly well. But there are times when you just gotta live a little! And holidays are one of those times! Times to get seconds on desserts and lick the grease off your fingers.  It is times like this that you eat for the pure enjoyment of taste and worry about how you will recover later!

Not able to move after lunch we sat in the parking lot and opened gifts. Each of my boys wrote me letters. Austins letter was a half a page long typed. It was beautiful. He writes like his father. In so many ways Austin and I go head to head but as I read his letter comparing himself to me I was reminded of how much we are alike. I am as hard on Austin as I am myself. I am so thankful for his kind heart.
"I like that feeling when I know you are proud of me, when you look at me and smile I get the feeling in my stomach that tells me that you love me."
That is when I started looking for Kleenex.

And Alec's card, "The last 6-7 months you have been through alot. But through everything that happened you have not lost your faith in Jesus."

Children watch more than just our actions. They watch our faith, our fears, and even our inaction.

"So HE put us on that hill together the HE planned, He molded you, He shaped you, He prepared you to be the mommy, aunt, and wife that today he looks at and says.."I knew all along, I don't ever make mistakes.""
Andy's words are always so perfect and poetic.
After reading my letters I opened my gifts. Andy got me the GARMIN 10!!!!!
And the boys bought me a sweet pair of Under Armor slides! Because I always borrow theirs!

My Mothers Days letters and cards were still my favorite.
We had a great visit with my sister-in-law Deb after all brunch. Mom was there and so was my other sister-in-law Becky and her family.
We had a great time but I was going into carb shock.

As we were driving home I resigned to the fact that I needed a nap. Austin even said he would join me for my Mothers Day run when we got home. But I would be a zombie if I tried to keep moving.

I was out cold in a food coma when Austin came in quietly to see if I was awake to run.  It had only been an hour but I was struggling to revive myself.

It meant so much to me that he wanted to run with me that I dragged my lifeless body out of bed. I knew it was for the greater good to get moving because I wouldn't sleep if I didn't get going.

Austin running with me was the Icing on my CAKE! Even though he was running a sub 8 minute run it felt so good to have him next to me. The wind was crisp and bold as it blew at us. I was out of breath and cold. With a bloated belly and lethargic limbs I was determined to keep pace with Austin. He asked deep questions and ran without a struggle. It was almost comically to watch him carry on his pace and want to have a full conversation. And his questions and topics were ones that needed thought. The only thoughts I had was "Oh My Goodness do I feel OLD!"

It was a great Day. I am so thankful and grateful for everything. I have more than I could ask for.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Over and Out

There is like not a window of relaxation in sight. I wake up at 6am and as soon as my feet hit the ground we are running. And by running I mean appointments, meetings, committees, work, and life.
The easiesst part of my day is actually RUNNING.
It is during my run that I feel the most relaxed. There is no phone on the run, therefore no messages, missed calls, voice-mail, email or anyway to be located.

I do a lot of volunteering. I really enjoy trying to help. I volunteer in all facets of my life. I strongly believe that there is so much to receive but you have to give first.
The things you recieve do not have monetary value. They have sentimental value.
And you have to give with a right heart. You can not GIVE something thinking you should be getting something in return.
There is a popular acronym in the addiction world.
WIIFM= Whats In It For Me.
This seems to be the mind set these day. There is often an angle someone is shooting from.

You have to give from the purest part of your heart without wanting anything in return but the satisfaction of knowing your did something for someone else.
The greatest reward is a smile and that is not guaranteed. Not even a "Thank You" is guaranteed nor Owed!

I had a great run this evening. I ran with the running club. They did 10 miles. I met them at their 1 mile marker therefore I only ended up running 8 miles with them. It was a great night for a run.

Pooped out. Tomorrow I meet "Danielle" and I look forward to meeting her. But I really look forward to my Mother/Son tea tomorrow afternoon with Alec.

I will post some of my new running purchases and some pics of Alec and I tomorrow.
Hitting the Hay~
Over and Out.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ariels Moment..

The morning was beautiful. The sun was shining with clouds giving the bright blue sky perfect contrast.
As we drove to church I had a smile resting on my lips.

Even the sermon as church was good.

After church I looked for "Jama". She is a gal in our running club that also goes to church with me. We made a running date after church to meet and go for a run together.

She and her family followed me to Andy's mom and dads house just a few miles down the street. Once there we changed and still smiling we headed outside to run.

Running 9 miles we were approaching a very large hill that we had been watching for over a mile. There was no avoiding it.

"Jama" was verbally dreading this hill. I said to her "Jama, I like to look at these hills like they are the toughest challenge of my day. I see My challenge, person, idea, struggle at the very top of the hill and I am determined to run it down."

That hill was nothing but a speed bump in comparison to what would lie ahead for me.

At 3Pm almost all our family were seated in the arena to watch Ariels graduation from U of M Flint.
The arena was decorated with maize and blue flowers everywhere. People were laughing and taking snapshots. The band was playing it is was a perfect day for a celebration.
Here I was all dressed up to see my Ariel walk only she was not going to be here today. Her diploma would be waiting to be received her name would be called out but she would be far far from the presence of this ceremony.
She was suposed to be here. I was suposed to do her hair and take pictures of her. I was filled with pride and honor that I should be showing her. I was so proud of her. She worked so hard for this moment. From flashcards to working 2 and 3 jobs to late night studying and pictures and props she created. I could see her smile, Her long dark hair. Several times I thought I saw her out of the corner of my eye, but it was not her, I wanted it to be her. I wanted so much more from this day. I had no smile in me.
Andy sat next to me as I shook throught out the service in tears. I looked up at him and his eyes were glazed over and he was trying so hard to remain composed.
"This is a depressing day." Andy said as we left.
As I looked at her Diploma I burst into tears. This was all wrong. This was not the way it was supposed to be.

It was a tough day. I miss my baby girl. Soo terribly much,
I am so proud of her..She was amazing.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What warm weather brings.

The sun shines with warmth we feel from the inside out but with that sun shine also come allergies that I also feel from the outside in!
It is like having a big piece of chocolate cake and biting into it and it tastes like brussel sprouts. NOT FARE!
I have been sneezing all day.
I ran 8 miles this morning with Danielle and did not sneeze once. But as soon as I quit running my sneezing came back and it brought friends, runny nose, sore throat and headache.

I met mom at her house after running to clean and I think the dust made it even worse. I could hardly catch my breath before another sneezing attack took a hold of me.

Crying does not help allergies. It just progresses the runny nose and swollen eye thing. Mom and I went to Bordines to buy some flowers for Ariel. I wanted to buy Ariel a Shepherds hook and hanger. I remember the days when I wanted to buy her dresses, handbags and lunch. I loved buying her makeup and trinkets and anything she wanted. And now I am buying her flowers stands for her grave site. I am making payments on her headstone and buying her accessories to adorn it with.
As mom and I walked up to her at the cemetery I walked with caution. Each step was felt heavy and burdened. As we approached we saw "Mary", one of Ariels friends. I tried so hard not to cry in front of her. I wanted to be strong and cheerful. I wanted to be an encouragement to her but I had nothing. I just wanted to be alone. I wanted to lay down next to her, feel her hair and smell her skin.
I just cried.
Even when mom and I left I couldn't stop crying.

We both loved the sunshine and the heat of the day. We loved being outside with the sun beaming on our skin and here I was with spring blooming warm weather and I felt so alone.
And I cried even more.

Mom sat next to me and I couldn't shake the tears. I felt bad that I could not control my emotions better.
But I just couldn't.

As I pulled in my house mom was right behind me in the driveway. She knew I was coming home to clean my house. I had cleaned Mamas house and my time got away from me at the cemetary.  Mom knew I had only an hour and a half to get my house deep cleaned. I begged her to go home but she refused.
In 45 minutes we got the floors swept, downstairs all dusted, bathroom cleaned, dishes put away, everything wiped down and floors mopped on hands and knees.
And after she left I got upstairs bathrooms cleaned, mirrors and windows Windexed and vacuum ran.
That left me 20 minutes to get ready and back up to school.
My eyes were still burning from crying and my sneezing was not any better but I was on schedule.

I had a couple meetings, one was planned and one was not. A few things I learned from communicating in these meetings are:
  • Always Be Honest. Lovingly though.
  • You do not have to go to every argument you are invited to.
  • Good communication requires both listening and HEARING...There is a difference
  • There is a difference between facts and emotions. We have to be careful that we do not let our emotions steer our ship. Funny I said this statement and this statement was said to me in the same meeting by someone different.  I find that sometimes our emotions are so real to us that if we are not careful we can turn them into facts. I have done this and have created an entire scenario based on no proof, no facts just my feelings.
  • Die to Self. Life is not about Anita. In the big picture I have to learn to Let Go. I need to learn how to conquer myself. How discipline my insecurities, how exchange my fears for freedom, how to be secure with myself. And how to have a teachable heart. We always need to be growing but sometimes we need to Die to Self to Grow in Christ.
  • Validate other peoples feelings. Even if you do not agree with them they are real to them. You do not have to accept them but you should not discount them either. 
  • Accountability..Iron Sharpens Iron. I can be a real bone head. But some of my greatest relationships come from those who love me enough to call me out...Lovingly. I am far far from perfect but I can appreciate when good friends hold me accountable. 
 He is NOT finished with me yet. I am in the Quarry. I know that I am not going to win everyone over. And not everyone is going to be in my fan club. No matter how hard I try. Jesus was perfect in every way and even those closest to him betrayed him.
I have to let it go. It is Right to do RIGHT.  Just do the best you can to be the best you can.

The Rundown:
Run 1: Danielle and I ran in Fenton; 8:3miles. Time:1:13
Run 2: Husky Roadrunners 5k 9:45 Pace

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Being Used in a Mighty way!

My kids school asked me and 3 other people to start a running club. The running club would be designed to prep people to a 5K that the school would direct in June.
I am a coach for the intermediate runners. I do not really think of myself as a coach..More like a cheerleader, or a mentor.

Tonight I ran with the advanced group. The Coach for this group is pretty fast. I was on my way there when my son asked me to pick him up at the gym. He was working out with his dad and wanted to get some extra miles in for cross country. This meant he was going with me to do mile repeats!

I was so happy Austin was taking the inititive to run more. I think I was cheesing all the way to the school.

But that smile quickly turned into a UGLY FACE the first mile repeat at 7 Lakes with the other 3 in our group.

It was 82 degrees with a strong head wind and I was DYING.

When we finished our first mile repeat we all took a minute to catch our breath then "Coach Craven" said "Ok, Lets GO!"

This was my second run of the day and I was hearing myself pulling out all the excuses in the midst of my agony.
Austin was complaining to me his first mile and then the second mile he left me still catching my breath!

I ran with "Jama". And she is fast. She is a newer runner and a natural.

After we finished the second run "Jama" shared that she had some tests done and asked us to pray for her. We laid our hands on her right there and called out to Jesus. We prayed miracles over her body and wellness to consume her. It was Incredible. I was so blessed to be part of this. To call out to Him with others, I was so thankful God used me. I was impressed by "Jamas" running but more impressed by her COURAGE to ask for prayer.

This was not the first time today I was used in a mighty way with my running. I had lunch with "Kerri" and "Father Daniel". He wanted to share his Boston experience with us.
When he shared where he fell apart during the Boston Marathon I nervously asked him "Father Daniel...Did you pray to God for STRENGTH and Endurance at that time?"  He sadly and honestly answered..."No".
I shared Gods miracles in my running when I called out to HIM. I shared the miracle of healing and endurance that HE has given me. UNDENIABLE Miracles...Just by me CALLING out to HIM.


It was a fulfilling night. We finished our club run with 4 repeats. The last repeat was a slow jog for me.
Austin threw up his 3rd repeat but finished it out!

A son after my own heart. I promised him Dairy Queen if he could keep up with "Coach Craven".
Peanut butter shake was his order of choice!

Run 1: Genysis: 4:66 Nice and Easy, COLD PLUNGE, roll, stretch and Core.
Run 2: 7 Lakes: 4:78 miles. 3x 1 mile repeats