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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Moms Turn!

I have needed new shoes for a while. But then it seems like everyone in my house have needed new shoes. We all run, then there are also basketball shoes, and play shoes and just shoes like stupid. Even though I have boys they LOVE shoes. Austin is very meticulous about his shoes, keeping them organized, neat and leaving room for another pair in his closet.

I went to Complete runner hoping they would have the Mizuno Sayonara. This was the shoe they recommended in this months Runners World. I have never ran in Mizuno's. But the last 2 pair of Brooks have given me blisters start to finish. So we shall see!

Why I chose the Mizuno:
  • recommended for over 32 miles a week.
  • neutral running shoe
  • light weight, 8.5 oz
The real popular shoe for Ultra runners is called Hoka. I let the guy come around and bring me a pair. I had just ran with someone who was talking about this shoe. It looks like one of the goofiest shoes ever. I tried the shoe on and it was amazing. My kids were with me and having a great time laughing at me. They look like moon shoes and feel like it also.
Why didn't I buy it????
I could not justify 170$$ for running shoes when I was taking the boys back to school shopping. "Sorry boys, you can't get binders and notebooks cause mom got new running shoes!"

Every one left shopping with a couple bags. I actually had a 20$ rewards card to Finish Line and I USED IT! We buy so many shoes there that we get money back quite often and usually I give it to the boys...NOT THIS TIME!  Guilt Free!
Shirt and socks were FREE! Needed a Med. size water bottle...little splurge!

Monday was my stupid long run.
"Even if you stumble You are still moving forward."
Mondays RUNDOWN:
Distance: 28.2
Time: 4:51
This was so hard. And it hurt. And I was so thankful Andy showed up on his bike to keep me company for an hour of the ALMOST 5 hours!!!
And it was sooo LONG...
But I finished!!YA Who Bubaloo!..couldn't walk all day without whining but I FINISHED!

Wednesdays RUNDOWN:
Distance: 8 miles
Everyone bailed on this run but Ken H. It was super soupy out. 100% humidity seemed to have scared everyone off only it didn't scare the deer or deer flys off. We saw a 3 deer the side of the trail hardly startled by us. We came within 5 feet of the larger one and she let us run right past her.
I killed 8 deer flies trying to attach to me. As soon as I commented how the bugs were not out they came a running and biting!

Are there any Ultra runners that read this?? If so what shoes do you recommend??

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Double Cap: CRIM and Merrell Down and Dirty

It was a bit of a crazy weekend. The problem with races are you sleep like a zombie and you wake up like a rooster. I already do not sleep well therefore adding 2 races to the equation took a toll on me.

The CRIM: Saturday August 24th 8am
  • I got up on time because I kept getting up every 30 minutes from 3:30 am!
  • The hubby was in a bit of a sour mood...we will chalk it up to pre-race jitters...
  • Mom and dad were at the house at 6:15..The TIME we were SUPOSED to leave!
The RECAP: Saturday morning was a perfect 60 degree sunny morning. This was my 8th CRIM and my first CRIM that I would not be racing it rather running it with Austin. I was more thrilled to have the opportunity to run with my 14 year old then race it as I had in the previous years. Andy was also running the 10 miler.
I had a few emotional battles that I was working out.
  1. I wanted to race this, run hard, barely be able to breath, pass people, and leave it all out there.

  1. I haven't been training for speed the past SEVERAL weeks. I have been training for my Ultra and training long slow distance.
  2. I have taken the summer every Wednesday to train "Lauren" for her first Crim and promised her I would pace her the first 3 miles at a 8 min. pace and then let her fly.
  3. I wanted so badly to be excited to run with Austin ONLY he wouldn't let me train him at ALL. He had a coach and I was no longer it. Therefore he NEVER trained past 7 MILES!!!
  4. How was I going to pace "Lauren" and not bottom Austin out?? How was Austin going to run a decent race only going to 7 miles?
  5. Austin and I were on a team for Snap Fitness.  "Jeff" was our captain who was rather excited for us to score big and I didn't want to let him down. However, I knew I was not going to be carrying the team well this year.
  6. I had to give it to God and just go one mile at a time praying for the best.

Andy, Lauren, Austin and I were gathered in the "B" corral. Lauren looked so nervous. I had no doubts that she was going to take 1st in her age. Every week we trained she was like a little cheetah out there. Her last 10 mile training run she ran a sub 8 minute pace. That is amazing for a 13 year old.
Lauren won her age division by 15 MINUTES!

The crowd began to run at the sound of "GO". Andy was quickly separated from us wishing us luck.
As the 3 of us took off I tried to lighten the mood with some fun conversation. We actually caught up to "Jeff" during the 1st mile and I laughed at him yelling "WOW, look at those Chicken Legs! MMM those are as smooth as mine, what do you shave with Jeff." People were turning their heads towards us and laughing all around.
Jeff was now behind us as we came unto mile 2. "Lauren" was itching to take off. Only I had trained with her long enough to know that if she blew out to fast the "Bradly Hills" were going to give her a hurting. "Come on down Lauren."
Almost to mile 3 "Lauren" began to disconnect from us. I yelled to her some words of encouragement and looked forward to seeing her at the finish.
"Austin, How ya doin?" I would ask every mile. I was trying to keep him at a sub 8 minute pace. We actually passed the 8 minute pacers but I could see Austin looking over his shoulder trying to stay in front of them.  I could hear him breathing and could see the sweat beading across his forehead. "Your doing great Austin, I am so proud of you, you are almost to the hills."
We took on the infamous Bradlys one by one. As we came down the 3rd and final one I could see Austin was getting tired. We were at mile 6 and he quickly regained his composure. I cheered and laughed with runners and the crowds. I saw a few runners out there I knew, one was "Mike", the guy I just met on the trail last Sunday. As I laughed it up Austin says "Mom, your Crazy."
As we ran through mile 7 I reminded Austin that we had just ran farther than he had EVER ran. He gave a grin over that thought. With mile 8 approaching I could hear Austins breathing getting heavy. His legs were beginning to hurt. We were by a very large cheering section. I lifted my hands in the air motioning them to get rowdy. At first they didn't know what to do and I saw a few of them pointing. Within seconds of me flaring my hands and smiling the crowd started to cheer us on. I reached out my hand and started giving everyone high fives.
"Mom, Your Crazy." I replied with a larger than life smile, "Austin, if you can't have fun then your doing it all wrong!" Then I followed up with "Besides, do you feel the excitement, can you feel how that gave you a kick start?" He smiled.
His legs were hurting. We had a mile and a half to go. "Mom, I just want to finish." He cried. "You got this Austin. I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST...there is nothing in you that has the ability to finish this but with HIM it is already finished." I continued to talk God's strength into him. "Austin, I am praying for you." I started giving him landmarks to make it to one by one. As we came to mile 9 Austin mumbles "I think I am going to puke, I just want to finish." And again I showered him with Gods promises, "With his POWER, Austin, God already gave you VICTORY today, He has you already finished, You are done in less than 8 minutes, I am so very very proud of you.
We heard this loud music thumping and I began to dance down Miller rd. "Hip, Hop, Hippity... I gotta bang Bang... And all the ladies started laughing and yelling "Yeah Girl, That's it Baby.." And my shoulders were moving and "Rocking to the beat" and next thing I knew I did some crazing smooth turn at a 7:45 minute pace not missing a beat. That really had them all shouting. "YEAH Baby, WOO HOO, Come on Girl, That's it!!!!"
"Mom, your Crazy!" He was smiling through the sweat and pain.
"Last turn Austin, The BRICKS are right around the corner, You got this!"
As our legs landed on the uneven bricks with the finish just a few lights ahead I could feel Austin accelerating.
"Hey now, You better not leave your mom! I paced you this far don't leave me!"
"We have AUSTIN HARLESS finishing!!!" They recited his name across the speaker system!

He never vomited. He was so overcome with joy. We didn't even make it back fast enough to see Andy cross the finish line. Andy had a PR and had an incredible race also.

It was so much fun. I so many friends and other runners I know or have gotten to know.

Big Congrats to first time CRIM-ers JOAN, Jessica, Ken H, Lauren
To those who had PR's- Hiedi, Andy J, Bill K, Andy J, Matt A,
And to all those I knew that had a great race, Maryann J.,Ken K.,Kenneth H., Sara M., Paula G., Amber A,.Justin D, Lacey, Melissa, Ellen H., Anthony T. and Jeff B.

Distance:10 miles

Merrell Down and Dirty.
Sunday August 25, 2013 7:30am
10K Obstacles

I love this race. And I love that I got to run this with "DANIELLE"!
Another beautiful day. "Anthony T" found me about me 20 minutes before we started. We were all reunited from last years race with Shosh, and Jackie. It was fun to run this with them again. "Danielle" and I took off together with the rest of the group close by. We had about 3 obstacles every mile. We ran at Kensington on the trails. My knee was a bit achy so I was whispering to myself  "Light as a feather Anita."
Close by one another "Danielle" and I carried sand bags, climbed walls, did balance beams, climbed through tires, crawled through mud, waded through water, jumped over walls and seriously laughed and had so much fun together.

SUCH A Great TIME!! We even mustered 4 more miles afterwards!
ICE ICE Baby!!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Red Robin. Yum..

Ok. I am feeling like a big lazy sloth. We had our annual CRIM celebratory dinner at Red Robin..YUM..
I totally had eyes bigger than my stomach when I ordered the Guacamole Bacon Burger! As if that wasn't enough I looked over at Andy with a pouty look and whispered across the table "Um, what about the onion rings?? We always get the onion rings.."

I SO DID NOT NEED the ONION RINGS! Dinner was 2 hours ago and I still have a food baby!
The Grande Nonfat White Chocolate Mocha threw me completely over the edge right into the land of gluttony.

So Crim Race Cap tomorrow as well as the Merrell Down and Dirty. I am pretty stoked to see Danielle tomorrow for this race!

Till then I am going to bed feeling like Lardo Eguardo.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Different kind of Breed.

What did you do today?
Did you feel Passion..?? Pain??
Did You dig Deep???
Fight all of Hell??
Were your hands clenched? Digging Deep with a guttural passion flowing threw your veins??

Or did you say "To hell with it?"
Did you throw in the towel? Drop your head down and walk away?

Sometimes there are just no "Do Overs"! Sometimes there are no "Second Chances".
You are either going to make your destiny, striving for greatness in all you do, gritting your teeth, crying out to God for the tools for success
Your gonna go day by day by day living a life of mediocrity. Walking one step in front of the other with out adventure, fear, excitement...

Who says that a 39 year old mother has to be boring? No, I refuse to believe that God does not want me to experience life to it fullest degree.

Some of us wait for opportunities to come to us and some us even let those pass by.
While others make opportunities happen. We create, we build, we discover not only ourselves and what we are made of but we discover all this world has to offer.
And YES..sometimes it HURTS..It HURTS like Hell.

Monday on my long run I had a very scary situation happen to me. I was at mile 20. My legs were tapped out and my ankle was throbbing. I still had 5 miles towards home. I was on the dirt roads with no homes around. Nothing even remotely close. All the property is owned by Great Lakes Cemetery. I came up a hill and saw a parked car right in the middle of the road. The silver Ford Escape was just parked in the center of the path. He was about 200 feet ahead of me and I was slowly coming up to him. Why was he just sitting out here alone? What was he doing? "TRUST nobody Anita."
I quickly thought about my plan.
"Do I turn around and go back?" NO.
I needed to think more and I was running out of time so I took my running pace to a brisk walk. My wheels were spinning thinking this car was driving some pervert. I thought of my strategy. I looked around noticing gravel and large rocks. I estimated the closest house. I planned for an attack. I could feel the adrenaline rushing through my blood. I switched my water bottle to my left hand and as I came closer to the drivers side door I picked up my pace and clenched my fists. "God Give me Strength."
There he sat in a business suit on his cell phone looking over the beautiful fields.
And there I went right past him, unscathed and heart pounding.

Do I quit running? NO.
Do I quit running on back roads where the breeze brushes your skin and the trees shield you from the baking hot sun? The back roads that surround you with nature and silence preventing the worldly distractions from poisoning a peaceful run.

There is so much we miss out on because we live in fear. Or because we are lazy. We have excuses, explanations and justifications.

Quit whining and waiting about this life of mediocrity. Do something about it. Clench your fists and embrace your demons. Get off the couch. Ask yourself what is something you have always wanted to do and just DO IT!

One anniversary about 7 years ago Andy surprised me and took me on a secret date. He wouldn't tell me where we were going. He told me what to wear and that it was a bit of a drive. I tried to guess a dozen things I thought it would be. "It is something you said YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DO."
I racked my brain. We pulled up to the big open field and as I looked around I just about crapped my pants! "SKYDIVING!!!"
Now we talk a big talk but can we walk it. I was instantly overcome with fear. But there was NO way I was backing out. This was one of the most amazing experienced I have had.

Quit backing out of your dreams. Believe in great things and start making them happen.

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call unto me and seek me and I will show you great and mighty things which thou knowest NOT."

Distance: 7 miles Easy
Tough run. I didn't want to run but I knew I HAD to run. The satisfaction came at the end. I was still running with trashed legs. I have a million reasons WHY I didn't need to run this run. But there is no victory in excuses. It takes a special breed to grit your teeth, pull up your boot straps, fight all of Hell, and go out there kicking and screaming.
Are You that Special Breed???


Monday, August 19, 2013

Bear in Cadillac

My son just got back from cross country camp in CADILLAC. If you have been watching the news you will see that there was a girl who was attacked the same week JOGGING in CADILLAC!
Well they saw a few deer but thankfully no bear. The trails attacked one boy on a bike ride and was injured pretty bad breaking his elbow and wrist.
This really sucked my thoughts today on my 25 mile run. My ultra :Hungerfold  is in six weeks at the end of September in Big Rapids. Big Rapids is 45 minutes south of Cadillac. I have always heard the fall is when the bears gorge themselves in preparation for the winter. I was thinking of maybe running with bells on. I was wondering if I should wear a certain scent to detour them from me. I am really hoping that my small size will not look appetizing to them.
I looked at the size of runners for the Ultra and it looks like total is only about 400! I thought it was closer to 1000. WRONG!! Maybe they will have a bunch of volunteers!! Or maybe I will make a friend and run with them the whole time. There is power in numbers right?? I will definitely be bringing my mace which I am sure if confronted my Yogi the bear will completely forget how to use it!

As I let my feet hit the floor this morning I instantly felt the soreness in my quads. "Ouch..Ouch Ouch" I whined with each step forward. Crazy that as much as it hurt I didn't know real pain until I started the descent downstairs for coffee. WOWZA!

I was out of the house by 7:30am. There are 3 elements that make up my running.
  1. My head
  2. My lungs
  3. My legs
My legs even though they were sore I knew I could run through, even my lungs I knew were going to be fine. But that stupid ankle I twisted yesterday on the trail really caused me grief out there. It was nagging for the first 18 miles but then it started to get nasty with me.
I was very thankful to finish my run. I had to walk quite a bit the last few miles but I had a lot of time banked.

I took the boys with me to the gym. They were excited to go swimming and I was looking forward to the cold plunge. Too bad when we checked in there was a large sign that read "POOL CLOSED FOR CLEANING" I felt bad for a second towards the boys but I knew they would have fun playing basketball.

I am glad those runs are done. 46 miles in 2 days. I am tuckered and in the hurt locker. I knew that running today in pain was going to be an asset towards my training. However,  I was going to hurt throughout my run this was pain that I had to embrace.

I doubled up on my juice plus, I also had a juice plus complete smoothie. I did this a bit to late. My sugar dropped at VG's. I felt my body going down quickly. We had just left the gym and I could feel myself getting funky. I got some sushi and the boys got a sandwich but by the time we made it to the register Austin could see my condition. "Mom, your shaking." I tried to talk calmly but I was struggling. I had not yet paid for our food when Austin ripped the package open and picked me out a California roll.
We sat in the car eating our lunch. I rested my head on the steering wheel trying to relax and wait for my body to recover.

Well heading off to bed and praying for a good sleep.

Anybody ever ran in Manistee National Forest?? Anything I need to know about BEARS???

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Go East towards CRAZY.

"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"
- Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

Could it have seriously have been a more beautiful day in Michigan?? I got into my car feeling a bit nervous as I was stepping out into a new experience.
I was meeting a bunch of runners for my 1st trail run experience. Pontiac Lake at 7am for 2 loops which equaled out to almost 21 miles. I accepted the invitation to run with this group of trail runners that I didn't know because it was a good opportunity. With my Ultra coming up in 6 weeks knew I needed to test my body on this terrain.
I was not surprised when I got lost less than a mile from the meeting place. I called one of the numbers to get back on track and laughed when they said "Go East ....." Ba Ha .."Go East.." Yeah right, I need landmarks, this guy has no idea how directionally challenged I am.
I was stoked to see a large number of runners show up, there were 11 of us at the start but 2 backed out. I was 1 of 3 girls out there.
I was praying my body was going to mesh with the trail. I ran in the middle of the pack and tried to soak up the conversations around me. I wanted to learn as much as I could from the group. This crew all knew each other and were very skilled in ultras and trail running.
Pontiac Lake is a technical mountain biking trail. Running outside the box today made me have to swallow some fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of new runners. Fear of really fast and skilled runners. Fear of being able to accomplish 20 miles on a trail. Fear of not getting injured. It is that fear that actually Fuels me. Fear can be a great tool to success. Or it can be a tool to defeat you. Failure is Not an option. I had to eat fear for breakfast this morning before heading out!

I am used to running with my head up and looking my route in the eyes. But out there the Trail owns you. You had better have a love affair with it and respect the path before you. She cuts herself deep in the ground and changes her look quite frequently. There were moments she was gentle on you but just as you got comfortable with her she would cough up large rocks, sand and roots turning herself into the Antichrist. She would wind you down and around like a wicked twisted roller coaster. The group walked over her when she displayed her nasty side.

On the second loop runners were starting to get tangled in her claws and tripping over her. One guy took a hard fall. I was getting nervous because it was always the guy in front of me.  As soon as I let my guard down she got a hold of me as well. I did my fair share of tripping and even twisted my ankle real good at about mile 17.

I finished my 2 loops. I Loved it! I felt pretty good but don't think I could have done another 2 blocks in Her grips. The down hills put a hurting on my knees. I didn't feel physically tired rather just knew my knees were getting weak. I knew that if I went much farther I may not have the power to defend myself from her wrath.

The group was awesome. I met, Veronica, Matt, Mike, Keith, Fritz, Hong, Paul..and I can't remember the rest! But I will say they all were very friendly and supportive. "No Runner Left Behind."!

Distance: 21 miles
Pace: 11:24
Hit the Gym for 15 minutes in the Cold Plunge. I couldn't get there fast enough. It was a devine appointment!
Back at it tomorrow!!! Another 20 something run! Prayers Please!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

A little piece of me.. Character Defects

A good friend of mine asked me about a week ago to help keep her accountable. She was feeling weak in some areas and needed prayers and accountability. I was honored she asked me. She is also one of my running partners.
Today we were running together and she was sharing some victories in her life. They were victories that were immeasurable. Miraculous. I really enjoyed listening to her. I enjoyed hearing her laughter when just a week ago she was in the Pit. But today her Joy was infectious, her eyes were bright and her smile was illuminating . She was full of passion
"Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity." Eph 4:26-27 

I am still not quite sure how we got talking about me. I think it had to do with how character defects are often brought on from our childhood. I agreed I discussed my anger issues.
We were running around the track in the gym. I thought it would be better for us to run on a flat surface due to a injury she has been battling. When the conversation was directed at me I began to loose track of how many times we were circling the track.
"Anita, Where do you think your Anger came from?"
"It's the Irish in me I believe." I responded. I went on to tell her as a child very very young I witness my moms side of the family drinking and fighting all the time. They were always full of pride when it came to the family name "MURDOCK". They also took great pride in their strength.
The men would get drinking and want to arm wrestle and somewhere after that someone was getting punched, beaten, bruised or bloodied. I remember as a child looking at my uncles who could barely able to walk and yet had enough strength to beat up their wives in front of us kids. I would think "You are so drunk I could just knock you over." I was as young as 11 thinking about how I would beat them the way they did my mother. As I told her this I could feel my blood boil, my blood pressure rise and the pain surfacing. I know exactly where that anger came from. I wanted to hurt them the way they hurt my childhood and the way they hurt my mother. I do not know what was scarier, thinking the demonic thoughts as a child or believing I could actually do them. The whole thing was pretty sick and twisted.
As she listened to me rather than judging me she comforted me with Gods words. "Anita, I believe God gives us Righteous Anger, What God gave you to glorify Him Satan wants to use to destroy YOU. Satan is the great Deceiver."
Accountability is beautiful when it is worked in Love. Words amongst one another are so powerful. They cam bring Life and Death. As we circled the track for a little over an hour we encouraged one another.
I am reminded of how Anger can hurt and I am reminded of how Anger can HELP. You see living that life ANGERED me so much I CHOSE to NEVER live that life.  Yet I did not allow that ANGER to dictate my future and destroy me as it had so many others in my family. I was actually ANGRY enough that I was able to forgive them all and even love and pray for them. I hurt for them. It was not up to them to heal me from what they had done to me as a child. It was up to ME to seek HIM for healing. God is the Great Healer.

Today I can still be a hot head. I have to take it to the cross. I am far far from perfect. But I can see the work that God has done in me and continue to march on.

Distance: 7miles.
Genesys Health club Track

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Going the Distance.

Monday was supposed to be my long run. I run back to back long runs to get me acclimated to sore legs and fatigue. It sounds awful but it really isn't too bad. I asked for prayer on Sunday and I was wondering what people must have prayed when I woke up.
I woke up to thunder and showers. I grieved for my run and within minutes went through every stage of Mary Kubler Ross's grieving process:
  1. Denial: I thought maybe it wasn't really raining that hard.
  2. Anger: I was Angry that my day was all turned upside down.
  3. Bargaining: I looked at the radar and tried to negotiate a better time to run
  4. Depression: I had bouts of depression scattered through out my day kinda like the rain!
  5. Acceptance: Grieve and Get Over It. I just had to let it go and know I was going to be fine.
I didn't even run a MILE! However, I was running like a chicken with her head cut off all day long. When me feet hit the ground I was going full speed until 10pm. I was so exhausted I thought I would fall right to sleep. But I found myself counting sleep each time I looked at the clock. It was after 1am and I begging God for closure. I knew my mind was full and I even tried to convince myself that I was giving it all over. Finally I walked downstairs looking for something to help me sleep. I found a bottle of Motrin pm with 2 pills at the bottom. I can not say they worked right away but the last time I read the clock it was not yet 2am.

So Today was my Make-up Run! Tuesday was a hot mess, or maybe I was the hot mess on Tuesday, regardless I was looking forward to this run.
THE PLAN was to run for time, 4hours and to be out of the house by 7:30am.
That was the ONLY plan that I had. I thought I would run loops back home so I left the house empty handed. 4 miles into my run I decided to run to Dixie Hwy. 6 miles into my run I decided to run to Moms doing a loop and heading back home. 8 miles into my run I changed my mind and decided to run to Andy's Maw Maws house on Holcomb and Davisburg rd. 11 miles to her house and the curtains were closed. Maw Maw was robbed a few weeks ago so I didn't want to startle her and knock on the door. I was seriously about to pee my pants but decided to head to moms and look for a place in the woods on the way.
By the time I had gotten to 15 miles I knew I needed to get to moms soon. I was parched and starting to feel a little shaky.
I opened the garage door and mom was in her robe with eyes as big as saucers! I startled her! I went right for the fridge sucking down a half opened can of  "MT Don't" and a half a bottle of water! I NEVER drink Mt. Dew but it went down so easy!
After a little over 5 minutes and my watch still ticking I headed out the door and back towards home.
At mile 21 my battery on my Garmin 10 read LOW. This newer Garmin is great except that it only has a 4 hour battery life.
I still had battery when I turned down my street. My watch read:
Distance: 24.25

As I sit here in bed I am Thanking God for safety, endurance, stamina and PRAYERS. I feel amazing. I haven't taken any Mortin. I felt so good out there today. I wanted to run faster, harder and with less walk breaks. But I held off. It is so hard doing what you do not want to do. And so easy doing what you shouldn't! 
I am trying to train smart. Even Monday I wanted to run and thought "a little rain won't hurt ya." But It could. The temperatures have been less than desirable and many people have been getting sick.
I have worked so so hard in my training to screw up now. Running to fast and running in 50 degrees with  rain showers are 2 things for me that do not seem like good running strategies. I have never ran an ultra before so I do not claim to be an expert. But maybe that is why I am taking extra precautions.

I love any advice and appreciate tips on running this crazy distance. Nothing goes void that has been shared with me. Thank You .
What is the LONGEST TIME You have ran????


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Good Grief

I could hardly breath. My chest felt like there were rocks in it. My bottom lips began to quiver so I bit it to try to prevent myself from crying.  Only it didn't work. The clouds protected me from the heat of the sun but it could not protect me from a broken heart.  I saw those big brown eyes looking at me as I ran up N. Holly Rd. And the lyrics to Phillip Phillips "Home" sang in my ears. The catchy little beat sang words of heaven in my ears. Although the song reflected hope it still brought heartache. . I tried to swallow my tears but finally I just let it come out naturally. I let them fall down my cheeks. I lost all my running etiquette letting my arms just flap in the wind, my shoulders dropped and my legs shuffled  in effort to move forward. I didn't want the song to end and as it came closer I accepted it as I had the tears. "Ok Nita, its good to grieve, allow yourself the tears but now lets get going again." I wasn't telling myself to forget or to stuff it down,  I was telling myself to not let the sadness overwhelm me. I can still grieve with a smile but sometimes I need to grieve with tears, with sadness. These days are fewer but they are still there, they are mostly moments not days.
Photo: Our Charlie Brown is as handsome as his name sake and as STUBBORN  as his Auntie AR󾌬
Andy's mom and dad got a puppy this week. They tried to figure out what to name him. They thought and thought about it. Initially they wanted a girl puppy and name her "Rosie". But after returning from a weekend getaway mom fell in love with a Be-Bull (a Beagle and a Bull Dog mix). She still could not come up with a name to represent Ariel. Mom thought about what Ariel loved so much.....
"Charlie" her boyfriend..
And mom always called "Charlie" Charlie Brown. So there we have it.
There were a few things that sparked my tears today, the new puppy was one of them but there have been many others.
My niece "Sarah" and I were talking about Ariel the other night and "Sarah" said something that described my heart perfectly. "I just don't understand why God would take someone who LOVES ME so much."
That's what I always think. She Loved Me. And I miss that Love so VERY much.

"Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated in life is optional."
I finished my 20 mile run and even planned out tomorrows long run. The Plan....rather that run over 20 miles I am going for TIME not DISTANCE.
I am going to attempt to run the longest I have ever ran and see how far it takes me. I am going 4 hours tomorrow. I could really use some prayers. I am going to run into Clarkston. So if you see me HONK! I could really use the encouragement.

Distance: 20:10
Pace: 9:52
Time: 3:28

What is the longest you have ever run??? Any tips??


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

High Places

I wish I could say that MONDAY was only one day out of the week. However, it appears that we are on our 3rd Monday of the week and it is disguised as Wednesday!

It has been a tough week. But like anything in life the more we are entrenched in it, the more we feel it, the less painful it is.

It's a hard knock life but as I always say the "The only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world!"

From minor mishaps to my husbands vehicle breaking down, and today I noticed someone side swiped my Outlook. Well as anyone knows looking for vehicles might seem like fun but the car payments are never fun.

We are at a place in our life that it seems like more is going out then coming in and yet we are still good. Every time I turn around one of the boys "NEED" something!
"Dude, Mom, I NEED these shoes, they are so sweet."
"Mom. I need to go shopping I need these jeans from Tillys."
"I need money mom because I need these new socks."
And now we all run and race. So we have races, camps and shoes, and clothes and and and ! We are so fortunate to have all that we have. We have no credit card debt which is something to be very thankful for. The boys do not have a need in the world.

So today with all the financial issues bouncing around in my head I reminded myself that you just have to let it go. God always provides or at least helps differentiate between NEED and WANT. He helps put things into perspective.

My morning need was to run with "Lauren". Only the sky was black and angry. I sent her a message saying I was going to cancel. I hated to cancel but the thunder was shaking the house. As I sat there disappointed that I was not going to get my training run in with "Lauren" I tried to figure out my day. I sipped on my coffee looking at the radar trying to fix the rest of my week as well. The more I tried to fix things and orchestrate everything I realized even more I just needed to run and all life would fall into place after a good run.
As God heard my thoughts the clouds dissipated and the rain rested. I quickly texted "Lauren"s mom and messaged her  "It stopped raining here..I can come pick her up now if you like?." Yes, thank you so much" she responded.

We had 10 miles to run this morning at Indian Springs and the sky was confused on what is was going to do. We were not confused, we were determined to finish before we got rained out. We both needed this run for our own reasons.
Together we finished the run winded and tired. We ran hard the last mile leaving nothing in the tank. It was wonderful to run strong feeling the weight of the world fall off my shoulders.

Rather than doing what I have been doing the last few weeks I decided I was going to let the paint brush finish drying out. No painting for me.

"He makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me upon my high places" Psalms 18:33
I just love watching deer jump and run. The muscles in their body are all engaged and they lift off with such finesse. Their eyes are large and deep when they look at you and without hesitation they gracefully exit from your sight. Today while running a deer stared at us as we ran towards him on the trail. He was not startled by us rather curious of us.
I know the Lord directs my steps and gives me my strength. I moved forward in my day with His strength. Despite all the rough terrain of the day I found myself on HIGH PLACES.
I enjoyed my family and friendships. I found so much pleasure in my relationships with my nephews and my niece "Sarah" who is currently living with us.
Distance: 10 miles
I enjoyed my conversations at the dinner table as well as my conversations with  "Jessica D", "Paula" and "Sarah". So Thankful to be encircled around beautiful hearts.
There is much encouragement out there. Just by giving encouragement we are encouraged.
Have You Found Yourself on High Places lately?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tough Monday.

The plan was to run at 7am this morning. I had my bags packed and was planning on driving to the gym and running from there so I could ice directly after.

It was not planned that poor Alec would be throwing up all night. I was already struggling with sleep from achy legs. I was quite restless and heard Alec's distress call very easy. Alec wasn't that far away, he pulls his mattress at the foot of our bed almost every night to sleep.

With spotty sleep getting up to Andy kissing me goodnight was all I remembered. I mumbled something about asking him to wake me up when he got to work. It took everything in me to drag myself out of bed.
I stumbled into the kitchen about 8am to get some coffee and eat. Because I was in such a hurry I grabbed a banana, and a bagel with cream cheese and took off.

Monday Mishaps:
  • At mile 3 my Garmin reads "LOW BATTERY".  I was planning on running loops back home to check on Alec but now was hoping my Garmin would make it the following 4 miles.....
  • Garmin made it with battery so when I checked on Alec I swapped out my Garmin 10 for my 305. However I only made it 2 miles and my Garmin 305 reads "LOW BATTERY"!
  • I cut that 8 mile loop down to 5 miles heading back home to swap it back to my Garmin 10. Hoping it would be charged.
  • After finishing my 21 mile run I fed the boys lunch and headed to the gym to ice. ONLY I didn't make it when my phone rang. It was Andy. "Anita, I am going to need you to pick me up." Andy's truck broke down up in Flint. No Cold plunge or errands for me.
It was a Monday from the bad place today. It took everything I had to run this morning. I was hurting the entire run. Not the kind of pain that does damage. The kind of pain that torments your mind. That begs you to throw in the towel. The kind that makes you question why you are doing this. The kind that drags the miles by ever so slowly. The kind of run you are begging God for strength or to just put you out of your misery.

Even though the miles came at a turtle pace the time seemed to stand still. The time was never noticed. With my eyes forward scanning the scenery I just looked for landmark after landmark.
So Thankful for God's power with in me.

The mind can be our biggest handicap. It is important to exercise it. GI :GO} Garbage IN : Garbage OUT!

What do you use to help fight off Mind Handicaps??


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ultra training mishaps and mindsets.

Today was my 20 mile long run which is followed by another 20 long run tomorrow.  Yup, that is 40 miles of leg work in 2 days.

In my experience over the last few weeks of my training I have noticed the slower I take my first long run the more tolerable my 2nd long run is.
It took me a few weeks to figure this out. The one thing that I still have a hard time with is sleeping. I really struggle sleeping after my long runs. My legs are restless and sore. They are almost foreign to my body. My legs feel like they are enemies of my body.

Today Andy and I ran a 10 m/m with walk breaks every 5 minutes. This helps keep the pace down, take a drink, stretch and grasp a minute of sanity.

I am not sure if it is from having kids, being almost 40 years old or just the dynamics of the female body that makes me have to go to the bathroom to the point of peeing my pants.
But at mile 6 I had reached the point of no control. I was looking in every grass field for the perfect bathroom. Andy was making fun of me. "Anita, I can not watch you in the weeds. I see you as a woman not like that, that is disgusting." Laughing I kept looking and then found a little spot. But just as I was finishing Andy yells "A CAR IS COMING!" in a panic on the side of the road I could not move fast enough. I frantically start grabbing the tall grass to cover myself up and tip over on my side in squatting position. All I could do was laugh. Andy tried to stand there just a couple feet from the road to cover me up. "Anita, that is so revolting." All I could do was laugh.  I have recently been told that if I got caught peeing in the bushes it would put me on the Sex Offenders List. Can someone confirm if that is true or not??

I finished 19 miles with Andy and still had 1 more mile to go. Andy started to have a hard time about mile 14. He knew that his mind was playing tricks on him.. He asked how I do it in my head. "I know I have to do this again tomorrow so I can not allow myself to get defeated today." And after 19 I dropped him off and headed back out for another mile to make 20.
I took it easy and came home to hit the gyms cold plunge.
20 minutes in the cold plunge.
10 minutes in the hot tub.
Noosa yogurt and chocolate milk to recover.
Subways for dinner, 6 inch buffalo chicken sub.
A bed time protein smoothie and extra water.
And back at it tomorrow!


Friday, August 2, 2013

When doing the right thing does not always FEEL good.

I am absolutely empty. I really HAD to get a few miles in after work tonight. After 9 hours of high heals my legs were achy and tired. And yet I knew that I had to throw my feelings out the door and do what had to be done..RUN.
After work I went home to check on the boys, change and run a few miles at the gym. And keeping to all that I found myself in the gym only I forgot my shoes! UGH. I had them in my hand , I thought, well I thought I did but then when I REALLY thought about it..I didn't!

Driving back home I talked Andy into running 3 miles with me before dinner. I am ever so grateful he excepted the invitation because I don't think I would have done it without him. The voices in my head were battling back and forth about running and putting my pajamas on was the voice that was winning.

We were not running fast but it took every ounce of energy to put one foot in front of the other. I felt like I was at a turtle crawl or cry because I was so miserable. I wasn't much for conversation which is unlike me all together. This probably made Andys run better not having to listen to me for 3 miles.

Doing what has to be done it not always fun and even when you do it you do not always feel great about it you just feel responsible. Or accomplished.
Seriously, I am glad I ran but not even that glad..

Gal 6:9
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up"

As I think about todays run and this verse I am reminded of relationships. I don't go on Facebook to often and when I do I just scroll through it like a People Magazine. (I stole that line from "Melissa T" a client and friend of mine.)
But I recently discovered that someone I know that I have tried very hard to get along with blocked me or defriended me or something from Facebook. I am not all up on the privacy stuff with Facebook So I do not get it real well but I understand it enough. I was quite shocked by it because it seems so adolescent. And for a couple days I even let it rent space in my head. Sometimes you can try and try to take the high road. You can "Kill em with kindness", "Turn the other Cheek", Forgive them 70x7 and still not win them over. At the end of the day you are exhausted from trying. But you just pick up your head and without being a total butt kisser continue to do what is right. Doing the right thing does not always FEEL right and doing the wrong thing often does FEELS right but they are just feelings and they are not TRUTH.
Relationships are difficult. This is the first time I have ever had to deal with someone that flat out does not like me. "Deal" with is the key word. I don't want you to think that I am like by everyone that just sounds as crazy as being defriended! But it is crazy to have heard some of the things this person has said behind my back but they are only words and "vain babblings". Even knowing the things I know I continue to try. When I am tired and sore from ineffective effort I try not to retaliate.

So in exhaustion, weakness, and feeling beat down we have to keep going and do what has to be done.
Maybe you have given up on a relationship, Or maybe you have been damaged by the actions of others and find yourself backing away. Can I just encourage you to keep going. Even if it does not FEEL good : doing the right thing is still GOOD.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Enough is never enough

I am simply EXHAUSTED. And I am not sure if I am exhausted from going non stop today or if I am exhausted from all that I still have to do.
I guess I could get up earlier. But even if I got up at 5 rather than 6am I know that I would still find more to do.
The easiest part of the day was running with Danielle. This was also one of my highlights of the day as well. It has been almost 4 weeks since I have been able to run with her. We met in Fenton for our traditional 8 mile run. All I can say was I missed that girl so much!

And from there it was..To the gym for 15 minutes in the cold plunge, coffee to go at Tim Hortons, McDonalds for Maw Maw and head on over to her house to help mom clean. As I finished cleaning Maw Maws house I was reminded that I had to clean my own. I quickly headed out when we were done to hit Sams Club and Krogers for groceries. I was running out of time as I looked at my watch reminding myself  to keep my focus and hustle back home.
Even as I walked in the door with all the bags my head was spinning.  I looked around and saw my groceries and dishes in the sink, floors that needed swept, cupboards that had to be organized for the groceries and PAINT. UGH. PAINT.
After getting the kitchen put away and sparkling I asked Alec if I could pay him to help me. He was eager to make money and without hesitation agreed. We went from one room to the next with dusting polish and Windex. After 2 hours more of cleaning my house I had to call it quits. However, I was not done my any means.
We are replacing most of the doors in our house and doing several home projects. It seems once you start with one project you see 3 more that need to be done. I painted for another 2 hours and knew I had to get dinner in the oven. By this time my legs were beginning to throb and I was getting frustrated because I had so much still to do.
My niece Sarah moved in with us about 2 weeks ago and I love the company. I also love that she helps me. She was a big help with the kitchen when everyone left the dinner table. Discouraged I noticed it was already 7 pm and I still had another coat of paint to put on 1 of the doors and also hadn't  even got a shower yet!!
I was supposed to go with Andy for a 7pm meeting with our financial planner but I had to bow out due to being over my head in paint.  With Andy not home yet I tried to get everything finished up.  Even though it didn't happen as I thought Andy came home and helped me finish it up so I could get a shower. I was so thankful for his energy to help me. I wish we had not only more hours in the day but a endless supply of energy!

I made a power smoothie with Juice Plus Complete, blueberries, yogurt, grape juice and raspberries to help me recover from a tough day.
But I am tuckered out. I like to go into my "nothing box" playing Word with Friends and Hearts. It shuts my mind down and helps decompress me.

So good night all.

How do You Decompress?