"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, October 31, 2013

3 more DAYS..ING NYC

Bags are packed by the door. It is Halloween and I feel so rushed. My
kids are getting older and only 1 wants to celebreate.
I bought us both KILTS!
Alec and I will have fun. One day I will wish we could still be out there in the rainy cold weather trick or treating. Leave no Regrets.

Tomorrow we head out to New York.
This is such a BIG DREAM.
How does a girl like me get this chance> This is a once in a lifetime chance. How do I get this amazing dream?
There was a day I saw no future. And today I am so thankful for all the blessings God has given me. I am humbled beyond measure at his blessings he has poured out on me.

Thankful, Giving God all the Glory.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

4 Days ING NYC: Power in Pain

We are T minus 4 days.
I had my day planned by the hour today. Everything went as scheduled.
  1. woke up at 6am for coffee and prayer time
  2. Breakfast and lunches made. Gym bag packed.
  3. Out of the house at 7:15 to drive boys to school
  4. Gym
  5. 10am Dentist appt.
  6. Clean house
  7. Pick up Alec
  8. Drive to Austins CC meet
  9. Home to make dinner and a pecan pie.
I wish I was able to taper in life. The easiest part of my day was my work out! I did 1 1/2 miles around track. Rolled, stretched, abs for 30 min. Iced for 12 minutes. HOLY MOLEY the ICE was cold. I know that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out but it HURT, so so bad. I had to pull my legs out 4 times to get used to the frigid water.

Because I didn't have a very eventful run I want to share someone elses' run.

My son, Austin had his last CC meet today. I have been a little disappointed with his season. He has gotten faster but he also "Feels Good" after his runs. I never feel good after a 5k. THEY HURT.
They hurt starting the first mile. I HATE 5k's because they HURT SO bad!

Austin has had a really hard time breaking 20 minutes. I know he can do it. I have watched him run too long to not understand his running. He is AFRAID.
FEAR will dictate your actions. Fear will justify everything you think and do. It will hold you hostage. It will dissemble you piece by piece.
As soon as Pain surfaces Fear comes wagging its tail. Ready for you to give it attention. Then it OWNS you.
Running is so Mental.
Accept the Pain and drive through it.
I watched Austin with less than 1 mile in blasting pass me. I thought "Did he hear my words" Did he hear my prayers?"
I KNOW he can do it. I believe in him.
"Own the Pain" I thought to my self. The quicker you accept the pain the more you figure out HOW you are going to get through it and not let it GET you.
At mile 2 he was running ahead of a couple boys that continually race in front of him.
"COME ON HARLESS, GO Go Go." I scream till my voice cuts out.
His time was spot on for breaking 20. He just had to hold it. He had to run through it. He had to dig deep and fight the mental demons.
"Pain is temporary Quitting is FOREVER."
I saw him coming close to the finish. I glanced at the clock. I felt my eyes well up with deep joy. Overflowing Joy.
I ran as fast as I could to meet him at the finish. I bobbed in between people smiling and crying. This was such a huge obstacle he had to get over. He has tried for 4 weeks coming within seconds to breaking 20.
Today he not only broke 20 he CRUSHED it. 19:31! That is 6:16 minute mile.
I hugged him and told him how proud I was of him over and over.
I asked him about his race and he said.
"I am usually afraid. I just ran through the pain and as I ran farther I knew I could hold it."

Austin finished his last meet with a BANG.
No Regrets.
Most people quit on the first wind and don't even know they have another one right behind it. CONTROL your thoughts. Believe in yourself.

When we Persevere through our Pain we will see how truly strong we really are. We will experience victories we never thought were possible. In Life and on the Run. We are ALL going to experience Pain of some measure. But Never Never Give up. Never lose HOPE. And Always Believe through Christ ALL things are Possible.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

5 Days! ING NYC Fun Facts and Ramblings.

"No Matter where you go or what you do, you do you live your ENTIRE life within the confines of your OWN HEAD."  Terry Josephson
I found this quote late last night. I have thought about it over and over again in my own head! 
I can let the most absurd things rent space in my head. My mind is crazy. I really do not like to enter there alone.
I think about this broken world. I think about the poor woman standing outside Krogers with dark circles over her eyes begging for food. I can see the pain deep in her eyes. I scroll through Facebook and see the sickness and prayer requests. I read the drama. The garbage people post in their OWN hurt. I hear the cries of a broken heart. Tonight I have my addiction meeting where I will hear many people share their loss. Their loss of dreams, goals, marriage and  finances.
I have burdens in my own family. Burdens close to heart.
Last night Andy and I were talking before I fell asleep about a coworker he used to work with. He had to go down to the ER where he stopped and chatted with her for a minute. Andy asked her "How are you doing?" She responded "OH, you know, living the dream life!" She continued to say that she followed us on Facebook and said how we are living that life.  
Together in bed Andy and I laughed.
"Stained Glass Windows." I replied to Andy smirking.
I put my clothes on like everyone else in the morning but my head is like a messy closet. My legs do not run as fast as my head. Trust me, I keep running to catch up.
I may not have the same battles as some of you but I  put my Armor on just the same to fight my way through my crazy thoughts and personal struggles. 
I have been invited into some big battles. I often lose. 

"But I discipline my body and keep it under control...." 2Cor 9:27 
I wish I could control my mind and heart the way I can my legs. It is a workout that never ends. There are circumstances where I can see results from all that hard work and then there are late sleepless nights. Nights I have beaten myself up with a double dose of crazy.
"Join the FRUIT Basket" as my sister in law Deb puts it. We are all just a little Coo Coo for CoCoa Puffs at times. We have to gain control over those things we let control US.
 I Control my Mind. I Control My ACTION. 
In desperation I beg God to breath air into me. To send me a line that I may climb out of the tomb I have dug.    
"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."         
2Tim 1:7
The problem with tapering is there is a WHOLE LOT LESS running of the legs and to much running around UPSTAIRS!
My children are not going with me to ING NYC. Running the Boston Marathon this year really hurt my boys. Austin is like a M&M. Hard on the outside but soft on the inside. You wouldn't know it but he is so scared of big races now.  He refused to go with us. I don't blame him. I don't know why God spared me on that awful day in Boston. I cant hear a sound of a explosion without feeling my heart go into hyper speed.  I have never seen so many guns and chaos. It was more than just explosives that went off. It was Fear that exploded that day. Fear that branded my children. I HATE the poison that was left behind in my children. I will never get the images out of my mind of my boys.
I am Asking for PRAYER from you. For Safety and Peace. For Strength and Confidence. I am asking for security for my children.
I am trying to control my thoughts and rid all that poison from my mind. God has given me this opportunity and I want to Glorify HIM through it all.
NYC Marathon FUN FACT!
  1. The first NYC marathon was in 1970, with 127 competitors running several loops around the Park Drive of Central Park.
  2. Only about one-hundred spectators watched Gary Muhrcke win the race in 2:31:38.
  3.  A total of only 55 runners crossed the finish line.
"Rather than praying for a Change in Circumstance ask God for a Change of Character."
LOOKING FOR NYC places to eat!! ANY SUGGESTIONS??? If you give me a recommendation and we go I will bring you home a souvenir and a SHOUT out!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Manic Monday ING NYC T-6days

I am kinda Freaking OUT!!! ING NYC is 6 days away.

 47,000 runners and 12,000 volunteers will be surrounding me. This will be the LARGEST race I have ever ran. Chicago and Boston had right around 35,000 runners.
There were 1 million spectators cheering me on in Boston.
Over 2.5 million spectators line the course which goes through the city's five boroughs: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan.
I will begin my 26.2 miles on Staten Island and end in Central Park!!

Well as I write this I have noticed my anxiety has elevated along with my heart skipping beats.
I think I am going to try and chill out. Maybe I will have another piece of homemade Buttermilk Pie.

The poor little dog Lady: I took her flowers Saturday after work. Only a young guy holding a baby came to the door. It appeared he knew who I was. It was probably a give away with me holding the bouquet of flowers. SHE was the grandma that comes over a couple times a week to watch her grandchild. She brings her little dogs with her. He was very apologetic which gave the entire experience a awkwardness because I was so sorry for her as well. I was disappointed that she wasn't there but it was probably for the best.

Signed up for another race! "Call Me Crazy One more time!!"
Javon and Joan were 2 of Ariel's very good friends. They are coming to Clarkston to run the Clarkstons Back Road Half Marathon and 10K. This is the first year for the race.
I have gotten very close to them over the last year. I am not sure how well I am even going to be able to walk let alone RUN 1 week after my Marathon but to see Joan complete her 1st Half Marathon and Javons'  first 10k, I wouldn't miss it!
They are the darned cutest couple. Joan is smaller than me. She is close to smurf size. And JAVON, He is like the Jolly Green Giant. But he is a BIG buttercup and Joan is a little spit fire! I love that they both are running. So I just have to be out there!

TAPERING!! 30 minutes easy bike and 1 mile walk around the track. Rolled stretched and gave my donut to a homeless lady!

Who else is running the Clarkston Back Roads???

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Do all dogs go to Heaven?? I feel so very very bad.

I have ran this scene through my head a hundred times only it didn't go like this.....

On Facebook I saw the countdown for Ing NYC Marathon was 11 days away. I thought BEFORE seeing this post that I would be running 20 miles. My biggest problem of the day was changing my plan from 20 to 16 miles.

I was in good spirits when I left the house. The cooler temperatures didn't even steal my joy.

I was less than a mile when everything went south.
I know this section of Grange Hall Rd like the back of my hand. I know every house, car and pothole.
But I didn't know the lady a half a mile on the left who drives a Chevy Traverse owned 2 little pugs.
I have ran this strip of road for 10 years and have NEVER seen these little pups.
And now I will NEVER get them out of my mind.

It was 9am and the traffic was at its peak. There is about a 2 foot shoulder as you run down the road and the cars can get very close.
Minding my own business I was calculating my run. As I tried to figure out how far I was going to run and how fast I saw a older lady bringing her garbage bins in. I hardly noticed her as much as I noticed her little dogs coming after me. Normally I am very skittish however my initial instinct was THE TRAFFIC!
It all happened so fast as these 2 little pugs came yelping and barking after me. I had nowhere to run but forward because the traffic was so bad. One of the little dogs came around my legs while the other little guy ran around me yapping right into the road.
I heard tires squeak as I turned around horrified. Traffic had come to a STOP. Here lay this little dog in the middle of the road yelping with its tongue hanging out of it mouth. He laid there unable to move on its side looking right at his owner. I just screamed "OH NO, NO NO.." The man who hit him came out of his car followed by a young lady crossing the street. The owner was in hysterics. "My Baby, My Baby." she cried.
I was overcome with tears for this poor lady. She was holding her dog in her arms as it slipped into darkness. I thought he was still alive as I said "Is he OK?"
Sobbing holding this little pug in her arms she mumbles "He is gone, My baby is gone."
The young lady was there consoling her as she asked me to check on her car. I responded offering to drive it over and into the driveway. I felt so bad I just need to breathe for a second. She was grateful as she continued to comfort the older woman.
By the time I drove up and got out of her car the dog was laying lifeless on the back porch. The older  lady with tears streaming down her cheeks repeatedly cried "I should never have let them out, I should never have let them out, I knew better."
I wrapped my arms around her crying alongside, I whispered to her "It was an accident, I am so sorry."
The young lady was so gentle as she added "Please do not blame yourself, Do you have someone that can come over?"
About that time the other pug walked over to the one that was gone and sniffed it and walked around it."  That was incredibly sad. The older woman noticed and started wailing, "He knows his brother is gone, His brother is gone."
It was almost to much to take.
The poor man just stood there with a look of terror. He had no idea how to react. The only words I heard him speak were "I am sorry, I just have to get to work."
He was kind enough and felt bad but he was very uncomfortable.
I could hardly look at this poor lady as she sobbed and sobbed. It broke my heart.
We stayed with her a few more minutes trying to comfort her.
The young lady and I hugged her again. The older lady sweetly said "Thank you, Bless you."
As I walked down the driveway the younger lady offered me a ride home.
"No thanks, I need to run."

I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I ran as fast as I could to try to get away. I couldn't get the images out of my mind. The little old lady, The dog crying in the road. It all happened so fast. I reviewed it several times trying to figure out if I could have prevented it.
All I could do was RUN. And pray for this poor woman.

I ran entirely to fast. I just didn't know what else to do.
I have dogs come out after me often. I know where they live. I have played this scene in my mind:I have often thought how these dogs come after me and try to bite me. As they rush out to attack me they get hit by a car.
 I am so sad to say I have thought about this. It is often with that stupid Rottweiler down Fagan Rd. or that Pit Bull down E.Holly Rd. or those 3 German shepherd's on Dixie Hwy.
But never like this. I feel so bad for ever even thinking such things.
The crazy thing is I had 3 different houses with dogs come out after me today. It felt like they were coming to avenge that little doggies life.

As I finished my 16 mile run I stopped my watch and was shocked to see my time.


Do all Dogs go to Heaven:(


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Detroit Free Press Half Marathon: The Obnoxious Runner

We headed down to Detroit Saturday night. Team Harless style. 1 room at the Holiday Inn with mom, dad and the boys.

We got to The Expo around 5pm and the line was the longest I have ever stood in. Mom and dad took the boys while we chatted it up with other runners in line. When we arrived at the booth to get our bib the lady working said "You BOTH have been randomly selected by Customs. Please head over to Customs and they will give you your bib." I wondered if it had anything to do with running Boston but Andy said "No, it is RANDOM!"
"Random that we BOTH got pulled?!" I replied.

We ate at Pizza Pappalis like we often do before this race and then over stuffed headed across the street to Astoria Bakery. The entire experience is so wonderful. We were glutton's. We could hardily move from Chicago style pizza but manage to not only find the means to stagger over to the bakery but we also found a way to indulge in oversized desserts. We wait until we get back to the hotel room so we can get all comfy in our pjs and eat until we want to puke. Somewhere in the middle of our dessert we all decide it isn't as good as it looked however we still polish it off. We eat so bad that I know that my race is going to be 13 miles of gurgly belly.
None of us slept well. Dad snored through his C-pap machine and Andy had the room hotter than Haiti's.  I was wide awake at 4am. I just laid there until I realized I wasn't the only one awake.

It was a relatively easy morning. Our hotel was closer to the starting line therefore we were not crunched for time.

Even though it was only 42 degrees it didn't feel to cold walking to our corral. Andy was in Corral F and I was in Corral C. We prayed with the family and separated into the massive crowd of runners.

This year has been a big year for me with races. This race was Andys Race. He had trained all year for this ONE Race. Every year this race comes around Andy has been injured. This year he wasn't injured and was going to run hard enough that he wasn't going to feel bad if he got injured!

The crowds of people fill you with such emotion. It is contagious. As the announcer is giving the countdown we are scuffling our way in between the runners in our corral. Every breath you inhale is the air of nerves, excitement, anxiety and adrenaline. It is pumping through your veins with the sites, smells and sounds surrounding you.

I brought my camera with me in hopes of actually being able to photo journal some of the race.

Andys goal was to run 1H:55min for the Half.
My Goal was to Pace him there. To encourage him and kick him in the rear when he needed it.

The bullhorn went OFF!
Everyone hit their watches in our corral as we slowly made our way to the starting mats.

When running  Detroit Half Marathon I have it set up into 3 parts.
1: Start to the Bridge
2: Bridge to the Tunnel
3. Tunnel to the Finish.


The crowds were tight but not unmanageable. The first thing I noticed was the increase in spectators. I LOVE spectators.
The first mile always feels so foreign. There are so many runners it is hard to pace yourself properly. I stayed close to Andy . Being smaller than Andy I was able to weave easily through allowing him to follow my path. Andy was in good spirits despite his dread coming at mile 3: The Ambassador Bridge. Because it was so dark I couldn't see our pace and just wanted him to trust me. What I did see were flying clothes everywhere.
As we came up to the bridge the Border Patrol were out greeting the runners. I flung my hand up and yelled "Come on Don't leave me HANGING!"
Within seconds I was getting high fives from all the men in suits!

The sky was lighting up as we headed to the bridge. It was looming in front of us. I personally HATE driving over bridges but I LOVE running across them!
Slowing our pace down a bit I could hear a lot of heavy breathing. People were not laughing a lot as they scaled the bridge. I was so happy I was not racing this.
I had a little more wind in me to stop and take a couple pictures then catch back up to Andy.
Andy looked good. The great thing about the bridge is WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN! Although we lost a some time going up we regained it going down.

The Bridge was Andy BIGGEST concern but now he was thinking about the tunnel. I personally LOVE the tunnel.
The tunnel was about 4 miles away. I was going to try and get Andy back into a groove and maintain a steady pace with the hopes to bank some extra time in case he had a hard time in the tunnel.
The crowds were incredible this year. As we ran through Canada I flew both my hands in the air boasting the crowds to wake UP! "Wake UP Canada!!" I yelled. Andy actually encouraged me to get the crowds going. I was loving this. At first they looked at me like I was a nut job then they all caught on and starting laughing and cheering the runners on.
As we ran along the water over to the left I noticed HULK HOGAN!
Andy says "Nita, look at that it's Hulk Hogan!" Very loudly I screamed " Check it out, we are running with Hulk Hogan!" The runners alongside of us all saw him to only now they were engaging in the fun. "Oh Man I got to get a picture! I yelled. I increased my pace to get in front of him while Andy got close to him for the photo. Everyone was laughing as I ran ahead. I heard someone shout "HEY WHATCHA running so fast for this aint a RACE!!" It was fun to see all the runners having fun together.

At mile 7 we began to approach the tunnel. Andy was looking forward to coming out of the tunnel to be greeted by Team Harless.
Going into the tunnel I was feeling my lungs going. I love hollering in the tunnel. Everyone does it. I belted out a shout only the sound that came out sounded like a wounded dog. Feeling embarrassed I decided to try again only use my voice. "WOO HOO!!" I barked perfectly. It was joined with dozens of others barking and screaming.
Andy and I found ourselves behind the 8:47 pace group. Because you cant get satellite in the tunnel Andy suggested we stay close behind them to pace us out.
I love when you make that slight turn and see the light coming in from outside.
I just know what waits on the other side: The CROWD!
Andy was edging me on "Oh No Nita, DO Your thing!!" We came out and made a little turn and there they were, more spectators than I have EVER seen. Like a bull out of the pen I went crazy raising my hands and challenging the crowds. "COME ON DETROIT!!" , "LETS Go DETROIT!!" and so many hands came out that I could hardly keep up with the high fives.
I lost track of Andy in the excitement and heard him yelling at me from the left. As I looked over I saw him running towards our family. They were full of smiles and hugs, dad had the camera and Austin had a grin from ear to ear. I knew they were so proud of Andy. He was a couple minutes ahead of his time. I was so proud of him.

As we left them I asked Andy how he was doing. He replied "It is great that you are boasting the crowd that really helps the runners."
I knew it was really helping Andy. In real life Andy gets mortified when I speak to strangers.  He is such an introvert. Painfully shy.
The course is a little different this year. This year you run underneath a large overpass. People were lined up on both sides of the road and all across the over pass. It was nothing shy of awesome. I had a little voice left. I was hooting and hollering. I was raising the roof and throwing back some high fives. I loved the little kids. When you bend down to give them a high five they look at you like a superstar! It was like a wave. Once you got the first one energized everyone down the line got pumped!
Coming to mile 10 I checked in on Andy. "How ya doing Andy?" I glanced at my watch noticing we were still making really good time. Andy replied " I am starting to feel it."
"Well you can bring it down a little bit if you like, You have some time banked and you are running a 8:30 pace." I said with encouragement.
"NO, I think I can carry this, I think I can do this, Can YOU bring me in at a 8:35?"

Andy didn't give any more high fives. He got really quiet. I grabbed his water at the water stations and offered him chews.
At mile 11 I saw a pocket of spectators so I engaged in a little more fun hoping it would give Andy a  bit more adrenalin. A lady comes up to me and says "I love your energy, thank you."
I looked over at Andy to see he was digging deep. "Anita, it is gone, I can feel my back cramping up."
Seeing his seriousness I said, "Do you want to bring it down a little bit?"
With just enough energy to reply Andy responds "NO, I am going to race this!"
Playtime was OVER. "OK then ANDY, lets do this." I continued with "Give ARIEL mile 12. That is her MILE."

Approaching mile 12 Andys IT Band was toast. He was running well. I prayed over him and tried to coach him in.
"Come on Andy, You are almost there. DIG in." I coaxed.
With less than a half a mile, the brick road underneath our feet reminded me of the CRIM. This was such a great portion of the race as well. The Bricks were a reminder we were almost finished.
My last words to Andy were "DO NOT REGRET any STEPS. Do NOT GRIEVE over Lost time!"

Seeing the finish I could feel Andy increasing his pace. I looked down at my watch and saw a sub 8 minute pace.
"Come On Andy!"
They announced Andy over the sound system at the same time as we saw mom, dad and the boys. It was a perfect stretch to the finish.
We raised our hands in the air as we crossed the finish. It was perfect.

The volunteers put our medals on. I got an extra medal for Ariel. Andy saw this commenting "That's my medal for Ariel."
Last year I ran the Detroit Marathon for the first time. I had trained so hard. My niece was killed tragically less than 10 days before. My niece was like the daughter I never had. My entire world fell apart. I ran last year for HER. I still have no idea how I finished.
This year ANDY ran for HER.

Time: 1:52:58
"KEEP GOING, KEEP GOING, THATS WHAT SHE SAID"  (a bit inappropriate but so funny!"
"WTF...Where's the Finish!"
"You needed COURAGE to START, You Need STRENGTH to FINISH!"
Great Job Detroit! Thanks to the Awesome volunteers.
It was great to see KEN Volunteering at mile 9.
Awesome race to all those who ran it, Andy and Mary Ann J, Ken H, Hannah and Patty . Jama had a amazing race. Also great job to first time marathoner Rachael! And Dan B who also ran the marathon.
I wish I would have seen Dawn and Michelle B.
Congrats to everyone!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Detroit Freepress Talmer Bank Marathon; Facts and Tips

We are just a few days out from the Detroit Free Press Marathon. I thought it would be fun to share some little facts and tips.

  1. Because of the tunnel it has the only official underwater international mile in the world.
  2. Aside from the marathon there is also a half-marathon, a relay and a 5 km fun run.
  3. This will mark the 36th year, The Marathon originally started in Windsor and finished in Detroit.
  4. The race is a USATF-certified, Boston-qualifier course.

You can Track runners 2 different ways as shown here. Click on "here".

Here is My BIB NUMBER: 19156
Andys BIB NUMBER: 19155
5 TIPS FOR RUNNING THE Marathon/Half Marathon
  1. Most of the time blisters can be prevented by a good pair of RUNNING SOCKS. This is a little treat I purchase for myself at the runner expo.
  2. Prevent bloody nipples with Band-Aids (Men) I have seen men look like they just got piercings- their shirts are soaked in blood from the friction of nipples and sweaty shirts. OUCH!
  3. Don't try new stuff before a race such as Chomps, gels or shoes.
  4. The mornings are chilly for the Detroit. If you get cold before races wear something that you can ditch without grieving over.
  5. Get up Early! Take the time to relax and eat breakfast. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the start.
  6. When going over the bridge take a minute to enjoy the scenery. The bridge is usually breathtaking with the sun coming up.
  7. When going through the tunnel..RELAX. Scream in the tunnel, I do, it is so FUN to hear the echo's. There is a timing mat to record your underground mile. SMILE and get ready for the crowd waiting for you on the other side!
  8. Inexpensive gloves or arm bands are great with the cold morning. It can be as cold as 40 degrees on the morning of the races. They sell gloves for 5$ at the expo that you can ditch once you warm up on the course.
  9. If you begin to get fatigued take some walk breaks. Don't be discouraged. Walk through the water stations or go to intervals. You will be surprised how good you finish just being patient with your body.
  10. HAVE FUN! Races are fun to run fast and have goals but don't get so hung up on them that you forget to enjoy the scenery and all the people. Because there are some FUN people!  
My greatest tip is to ENCOURAGE as many runners as I can on the course. I find this the best way to fuel myself.
The Rundown:
Today I went to Genesys. The gym wasn't very busy. After finding out that no one returned my key faub I headed to the locker room to put my stuff away. Because it was raining I thought the track would be a great place to run and take it easy. Before I even started running I saw the hanging bag there looking all lonely. I brought my right leg up and twisting my hips. I threw my leg up and kicked the bag with all my strength. SNAP! I LOVE that sound. The leather smacked my shin as I brought my leg up again and again hitting the bag while feeling the air release from my lungs. "Through the bag ANITA." I switched legs. It felt so good but I knew I had better hit the track before I did some damage. After all I came out to the track to keep myself safe!
4 miles easy.
Fastest mile 7:11
Cold Plunge...But felt like Hell!
Do we Have ANY Runners going out to Detroit this Weekend??

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Attack Dogs!

Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.
- Karl Barth

I am something to laugh about. I often do goof ball moves that I find myself laughing about.  Often times I shoot moves that I want to cry over and make myself laugh at.

Today during my run was a laugh moment. I went up to the gym to run the back roads. It is really convenient to run the back roads by the gym because I can go right into the cold plunge when I am finished.
This morning was beautiful. Even thought it was 55 degrees I thought that a tank top and shorts would be good. The first mile it was chilly. But from that point on the temperature was ideal.

I like running with my music in my ears, however, I get nervous about loose dogs.
I am a bit of scaredy cat runner if you haven't noticed. From freaky looking pedophile vans to bears to wild dogs attacking me I am always looking over my shoulder.
Today I set out to run an easy 5. I was approaching mile 2 when I saw something moving a few hundred feet ahead of me. I turned down my music while squinting my eyes. I desperately tried to focus on the large animal up ahead of me. My eyes were not making sense of this dark figure so I slowed my pace down. My heart began to skip beats the closer I got to it. Still not being able to make my vision focus I nervously lifted my sun glasses off my face to see what was about to attack me.
It wasn't 1 animal..It was 4 animals that I counted!! All barking like lunatics and all about 20 lbs! They were not vicious attack dogs rather a handful of ankle biters!! I was cracking up at myself as I had fearfully moved to the opposite end of the street in sheer panic of the little rug rats!
They don't look so scary behind a invisible fence!

I had a great run this morning. After running I stretched, rolled, did some planks and hit the cold plunge.
I have not been in the cold plunge in over 3 weeks. And when you go that long it is like starting all over. It was Horrible. I thought my legs were being shredded with a potato peeler. "Paula" was at the gym and chatted with me to keep my mind off the torture. But I still was in tears and hadn't had my legs in for 30 seconds! I made it to 14 minutes only pulling my legs out once. The pain was unbearable or I just got wimpier.

“Blessed are the forgetful; for they get the better even of their blunders”

All said and done everything went pretty smooth until I lost my key faub at the gym. UGh. Typical airhead move. I knew I shouldn't have taken it off my key ring. I knew that I had a better chance of losing it then remembering where I put it.
Ave. Pace: 7:58
Time: 40:12
This week is the Detroit Half Marathon. Andy asked me to run it with HIM. I think that is a good idea to both support him and also keep myself injury free for the next couple weeks.

I got my BIB number for ING New York City!!!
Bib # 18010
I am getting so very excited about running this. Please pray for Safety. After Boston I am a bit nervous.. I guess we can add bombs to the list of my fears I have...running next to dogs, bears and weirdos in vans!

Runners what are YOU afraid of?
Please tell me something so I don't feel like a paranoid runner!!


Monday, October 14, 2013

From Discouragement to Dancing

"A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."
Ecclesiastes 3:4 (KJV)
"Call Me Crazy One More TIME." Hancock.
I just love that movie. That is one of my top favorite movies. And that line is spot on! I needed a RUN.
One more reason that I found myself running a 50 miler race was all the running I did over the last year. It was the best therapy a girl could ask for. I ran so much that I thought I might as well put some use to the miles. I just do not know what else to do when I get that stinking thinking. I can go and run. I can feel free from all the distractions that trip me up.
Today when I was running I thought of a scene out of Mel Gibson's "What Women Want." Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson are working on a run ad. A question is presented "What do you think SHE is thinking?"
I saw my shadow perfectly detailed on the dirt road. My pony tail was bobbing left and right and my arms were rotating mechanically by my sides. I heard myself thinking. I heard Craziness in my head. I had already ran 4 miles and the voices were still loud and confusing. I hated listening to such garbage. I hated that I let people rent space in my head. I hated that I cared. I hated that it all hurt. I hated that I still had 18 miles to go and I was running with this garbage in my head stinking up my whole run.
And then I thought. "Oh my Goodness, I read Gods word today but I never prayed." I never took all my struggles to the cross. I had fears and insecurities and hurt that I was still hanging on to. I had bitterness that was growing inside me because I enabled it to grow. I even fertilized it.
I looked around and saw the Lord. I saw him in the canopy of trees that welcomed me forward. I felt Him cool against my skin as I asked for forgiveness. I heard Him in the trees as they rustled the vibrant fall leaves. "Please Lord, Please Take this from me."
I wish I could tell you that as the birds flew over head the voices of discouragement flew away to. I was almost to 7 miles and I was in a emotional battle.
As I ran down Belford Rd I flipped through my Ipod for the perfect song to get me out of my slumber.
Then there it came...John Newman "Will you love me again"
I smiled and even felt my hips shake as I went down the dirt road. I felt so FREE. I started singing at the top of my lungs. I saw my shadow to my left as I threw my arms in the air shaking my shoulders back and forth. I skipped dancing and singing with complete JOY. "I NEED TO KNOW, KNOW NOW CAN you LOVE me AGAIN?" I sang at the top OF MY lungs. I shimmied my shoulders to the beat as I had my own dance party. I used to have dance offs' with Paula Abdul and a 5 foot mirror as a teenager. I love the feeling of dancing.
I never looked back to the distractions of life again.  It took almost 10 miles to sift all that crap out of my head.
FREE. Grateful. Full of happy thoughts and prayers.
Mo, Ariels best friend and I got inked on the 1 year. Mine is the HEART Ariel gave me in a note. I HAVE HER HEART WITH ME FOREVER.

Distance: 22.02
Pace: 9.00


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Commom Runners Lingo and Runners Short Hand

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
 -- Helen Keller
I very rarely say "no" to meeting up with people to run. Last spring I was a mentor/coach for my sons school, training for a marathon and also assistant coaching my sons CC team. I loved all the running.
Running is a way to escape for me. Running is a passion. I love running, coaching, and mentoring.

"Jessica" asked me a couple terms for training this week. I could have given her the easy route and just defined them but I thought it would be more fun to SHOW her!

Double TIME! 1 For me and  1 for Jessica
"Jessica" wanted to know the terms:
TEMPO RUN: These runs help to teach your body how to run faster before fatiguing.
Run a mile easy- 2-3 miles TEMPO- 1 mile cool down
Tempo runs should be comfortably difficult. The tempo pace should be about RACE PACE.

REPEATS: These are fast portions of  running with rest periods in between. They are often performed at the track. Common Repeats are 400meter: best used for training 5K's and 10K's and 800 meter repeats are commonly used for marathon training. Repeats are a well known form or speed work.

Today "Jessica" and I met at the Clarkston Junior High track at 9:25am.
I did 2 miles W/U  I got there early. She did 1 mile w/u
4X400m repeats w/ 400m brisk walk
2X800m repeats w/ 400mbrisk walk.
1mile c/d

Runner Terms and Short Hand
c/d: Cool Down
w/u: Warm up
LSD: Long Slow Distance
PR: Personal Record
XT: Cross Training
HMP: Half Marathon Pace
Negative Splits: Running the second half of a race faster than the first half.
Fartlek: SPEED Play, Swedish term, speed work format in which you run faster for however long(or short) you want.

When Jessica arrived at the track I was just finishing up my first mile. "So are you ready for the pain?!"
I walked a little bit with Jessica prepping her for the hurt locker. As I described how the next few miles looked for her, she was still smiling. Actually she looked excited. That look didn't last long. It didn't last even through the first repeat!
For either of us.
Have you ever gone to the gym and you hear the meat heads dropping the dumb bells making animalistic noises. They do everything but beat their chest like King Kong. I could have given them a run for their money today. Or any day I am doing speed work.
The 400 meter repeats are not so bad, they are over rather quickly. But the 800m repeats are as bad as putting your foot in a blender. At first I can just hear my breathing however, the second 400m I am grunting and grumbling. I can hear my voices screaming out. I think I even heard Jessica's screaming profanities at me.

 The first 400m I can hear myself say things like:
"Ugh, can I hold this pace?"
"Crap, it is already burning."  
"Oh Dear God put me out of my misery."
The second 400m sounds like this:
"Turn Em OVER, Turn em Over"

After it was all over I was shocked to see Jessica pull out another smile. She actually really enjoyed it. The girls is crazy!

Well the fun was not over yet. I was heading back home to meet "Jama" for a few more miles. The day was perfect, I couldn't say "No". I am thankful no one else called me though!
I managed to get 11 miles in total today. Jama was nice to me. We ran a sub 9 pace and I was glad the legs were still useful after the track work out.

"Jessica" texted me this evening. She said she was having to "Pick her legs up"!! Ice Ice Baby!!

The Devotional of Running.
"The World is full of Suffering, it is also full of Overcoming it." --Helen Keller
Speed work hurts. But if you want to get stronger,better and faster it is very helpful. I am reminded of life so much so when I want to quit in the middle of a 800 meter repeat. As I am turning the corner I just feel so defeated. My lungs are gasping for air and my legs are not sure why I am torturing them. I have to coach myself. I have to dig deep and convince my mind and body "I can DO all Things..." But the Pain wants to knock me over. The Pain wants to welcome in Defeat.
PAIN is the key element to not only being an Overcomer but also being QUITTER. '
ASK Yourself...WHICH one Are YOU?
PAIN no matter physical, spiritual or emotional well leave a print in your heart that will last forever.
Most of us can recall Pain within seconds of being asked. we can describe a moment we were overcome with it. Many will never invite Pain into their lives. But to those who know pain and have conquered it also know they can overcome it and be BETTER from it.

How would you describe Pain? What characteristics have you discovered within yourself that are a result from OVERCOMING Pain?


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Benifits of Running Partners

"Be Kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another." Romans 12:10
Today was my first official run from my ultra. I ran with Jama today. That girl doesn't know how to slow down. She is a little roadrunner. I was up for the challenge, however, I was hoping my body would be able to keep up with her cheetah legs.
It was a humid drizzly run. Jama took me on some back roads to enjoy the fall colors. It was hard to notice anything other than the hills that continued to roll out in front of me as we were running a sub 8minute pace. "JAMA, Your killing me!!"
We added a couple water breaks in there to catch our breath and back out we blasted.
We laughed and encouraged one another. This is the power of good running partners.
  1. They hold you accountable.
  2. They push you to be better.
  3. They encourage you when your just not feeling it.
  4. They share their experience and wisdom to help you be better.
  5. They meet you where YOU are at not necessary where they are at in order to motivate, encourage or just get you going.
I am always amazed at the encouragement of runners. RUNNERS are seriously some of the best cheerleaders out there too.
“If you don't have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain't getting them.”
Christopher McDougall.
Runners are passionate about running so much many think the whole world should run. They see not just the health benefits of running but the wisdom that comes with running. The camaraderie amongst one another.  They see laughter, goals, victories, challenges, defeats and even ailments. But they encourage one another in all of them. I have gotten more encouragement from runners I have met for the first time that you might think we were long time friends. Runners KNOW the power of words.
Many runners are spiritual and deep. They may not have religion but they do know the power of words.
On my run today as my physical tank depleted I could feel my mind strengthen. Jama like all my running partners is full of good words. Uplifting and inspiring. She shared scripture with me to hold me accountable and to be a better me.
Just like us runners do. We try to help others be the best them.

I got a 20$ gift certificate to Gazelle Sports for my Ultra. I will NEVER use it. I am not in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids or Holland Michigan. If you would like this HERE is how!
  1. Must be a follower of the blog
  2. I posted a question on todays post about running partners. Leave an answer on blog about running partners.
  3. email me your Address!
  4. First email I get!!

Power Balls (Stephanie's recipe that Kelli stole!)

Flax seed
Peanut butter (crunchy or regular)
Chocolate Chips
*Combine and roll into BALLS!!!
Kelli and I with Stephanie's Power balls!

Distance:10 miles
Time:1 :24:39
What Do YOU like about having a Running Partner??

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The True Battle.

Thursday is my run day with Danielle. Only running didn't seem like an options for me today. We decided to walk and maybe try a couple miles and see how the legs felt.
I got dressed, put on my compression socks and quickly rushed out the door. When I pulled into Panera to meet Danielle I quickly realized I rushed out the door in my SLIDES!! Running was really NOT an option at this point.  However, laughing at myself was!

I have had a really bad year. I have had a really bad last couple of months. But I have had a REALLY REALLY bad last couple of days.
There was a day I used to beg God to relieve me of my miserable existence. A day when I could not control my surroundings. A day when I had no one to trust. When the very people who loved you hurt you.
There was a time I saw terrible terrible things. A time terrible things happened to me. Things you don't talk about. Things you don't think about.
There was a time I did things I am not proud of. Things I don't talk about. Things I don't think about.

"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. "  Romans 12:17   
I have been in ugly battles. I have learned how to fight dirty and clean. I grew up in a trailer park with an alcoholic mom and every stereotype you can think of is a description of me.
I am Mexican and Irish. At 110 lbs I learned very quickly how to fight. I learned watching my uncles beat up on everyone. My brother mainly taught me to fight. He would constantly make me spar with him. And if you didn't... he beat you up till you had to fight back and fight back dirty. He knew I had an awful temper and he would push me to my limit. I once took a glass coke bottle across my sisters face when we were 15 out of anger.  I busted out her 2 bottom teeth. I am not proud of that, That was the old me.
I boxed for 3 years. And I loved it. I loved putting my hands in those gloves. The way the leather smelled soaked in sweat, the sound of my fists hitting the bag. I would come to the gym enraged at life, embittered and angry ready to go rounds. I would come home with bloody knuckles and fat lips.
And my mouth. I could tear you apart with my tongue.
 I used to work at a Coney. My boss sold me out. She was my friend first...so I thought. I happened to drive by work one day and noticed all the other employees were there when the place was closed.  I decided to just pulled up and went in. She came after me with her finger in my face. All I had said was "What is this??". She came back talking all white trash. Only she forgot we came from the same trailer park. I lost it. I took my arm across the bar and threw every barstool at her. She didn't have a word to say. I kept my job.
What she did was wrong. Even though I grew up in a trailer park did not mean I didn't have a moral compass. It just meant that I knew how to FIGHT. I will never forget something she said to a neighbor " You wanna fight like white trash, I know HOW to FIGHT like white TRASH."

I am almost 40 years old. Those days are gone. Don't think I can't still throw a round house or cut your heart out with my words. Don't mistake me walking away from an argument as WEAKNESS.

Strength does not come from defending YOURSELF. Strength Comes from Controlling Yourself.
Just because I do not get in the boxing ring to battle it out verbally does not mean I am a coward or I am weak. It means I am strong enough to walk away when I KNOW I could hurt you the way you are hurting me. I could tear you apart, I can unleash my old white trash self and give you a real reason to hate me.

I was driving home tonight with Austin next to me. I had taken him to basketball only it was cancelled and we were heading back home. I totally tuned out. Without realizing I was even speaking I blurted " I gotta go for a run. If I don't run I just might kill someone." Laughing Austin replied "You should kill someone!" We busted out laughing at how crazy we sounded.
But I knew I needed to run. As I thought about running it was like feigning for a drug. My heart rate sped up, my palms got all sweaty around the steering wheel and I could feel those race jitters. My mind was completely hijacked. I could see myself running down the road.
"Austin I have to go running."
"Mom, like when we get home."
"Yes, precisely."

GOD thank you. It felt so good. My hurt drove me down the road. My legs wouldn't stop. They just turned over faster and faster. Nothing hurt physically. So I went faster. My skin began to sweat as my heart pounded through my chest. I could hear myself breathing. I could feel my fists clenched. God I needed this. My arms swung rhythmically next to my sides. I could feel my eyes welling up. So I ran faster. I looked straight, zoned out and yet focused. It all felt so good.

I only did 2 miles in about 15 minutes. I don't want to get injured. But I really needed it.

The biggest battles we have to fight are often not with others rather with ourselves. When we fight OUR INSECURITIES, OUR EGOS, OUR DEMONS, OUR PRIDE we will find there are really very little battles left to fight.
The Battles that are left  are NOBLE, Honest, Pure and Loving.

I just want to say thank you for the countless messages and texts the last couple days. I am reminded yet again of so many that circle me with love and support. A very good friend of mine,Holly reminded of all the love I have. I sadly made the comment "It is so hard when you don't have a lot of family." Holly replied "Anita, have you not seen your Facebook? Have you not seen the dozens of messages and posts you have gotten? Anita, you forget that family is NOT always blood. You have an incredible family of people who love you and support you."
She is RIGHT. I just want to say Thank you. To all the hundreds of recent messages,, likes, and posts that I have gotten Thank you. I am so grateful.
Thank you for the love and support especially to Ariel's friends who text me and call me to meet for coffee. I love you Joan and Javon. My amazing running friends, Danielle and even Sara M. Flaming June. Michelle R, Ali R. My niece Sarah,  Melissa W. My sister in law Leeanne, I do not know what I would do with out mom and dad. Maria R and Jessica D . I have many many others. I was so encouraged today even by my niece Becca who called me today to say she was NOT part of the nasty stuff that was spread on FB about us.
Over the last couple days as some tried to destroy me many many others came to encourage and love me.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Vacant of Self.

WHY do we do what we do?

I could pay for my trip to New York if I had a dime for every person that wants to know "Why did you run 50 miles? or "Why would you want to run 50 miles?"

For over an entire summer of training I asked myself that. Every runner has a goal and each one is fueled differently.
For me it is chasing the next challenge.
For me it is being completely vacant of SELF.
To remove my emotions, my ego, pride and allow God to vacate the premises. To allow God to furnish my heart. I am so empty on a long run or a hard run that I want to quit. I want to cry, give up or give in. I am depleted of rational thinking. AND yet I have these visions, these dreams, these goals that I entertain.
Jeremiah 33:3 "Call unto me and seek me and I will shew you great and mighty things which thou knowest not."
So I call unto Him in my weakness. I call unto Him in my desperation, my pain, my agony. I need him to remind ME who I am NOT.

Running on empty is no different for me then running through life depleted. When I try to go through life doing things on my own I mess up almost every time. But when I DIE to self. Die to what I want or what FEELS good to me is when I honestly see God doing the work in me and my circumstances.

Running doesn't always feel good. The end result is often the best part of the entire process. Life collides in the same manner. If it FEELS to GOOD then you might question yourself or your intentions. The good stuff comes after the process. The process of hard work, heartache, discipline, commitment and so on...
It is like eating your vegetables before dessert. The veggies are the hardest to swallow but the prize comes at the end. We cant all live on cheesecake and starbursts (Unless your Amanda) but we can enjoy them as part of our diet.

I am still not running. For that matter I am just now walking without pain. It is so beautiful out and the most exercise I got today other that cleaning was picking raspberries at Spicers.  If you ever want therapy go RASPBERRY picking!
The sky was so blue that it looked like it went on forever. No clouds, no breeze just the buzzing of bees.
I did some self inventory over a recent issue. I took it  to the cross. I prayed over it. Gave it back to God and left it at the berry farm.

Well that was written before my afternoon went to hell in a hand basket. I read a really good quote earlier it said:
" Go ahead and be ANGRY, but don't be CRUEL."
Everyone hurts differently but it is just sad that people hurt others deliberately in their pain. People get so caught up in their pain, they get offended angry and self righteous thinking they are wiser than Solomon. I have always loved this quote
 "Hurting people Hurt people."
There is no gauge for someone grief. There is no right way or wrong way to grieve. You can not judge someone's heartache another unless you have walked in their shoes. And even then you shouldn't.
Well, You did it. To you that set out on a mission to hurt me..to you that thought it was fun and a games.
 I know your reading this. You Hurt me. Just like you wanted. Today was your big game. Today was like watching a bunch of kids around the school playground having one another's backs. Today I realized that those who say they love you don't always  . And that wolves really do wear sheep's clothing.
Grief is NOT a Game.
And I don't live in Drama Land.
You WIN. Game over. I Fold.