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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Giving Gifts..My Thank You

I did my annual Black Friday shopping. I don't get any deals that are anything to write about, however:t I enjoy my special time with my high school friends.  Holly and I have been doing this for about 15 years. We have a lot of fun together.
With Black Friday I was able to get a  fun coupon code from GONE for a RUN .  This sale is going on for 1 WEEK!!
When you check out use the coupon code ANITA10.
If you have not been on this site they have some really fun goodies on here.  MY favorites:
1. Our sleek BibDISPLAY frame is made from high quality acrylic and is specifically designed to draw your eyes attention to just the race bib and not the frame. Each BibDISPLAY frame features a wood backer with both an easel back and a wall hanger option.2. Our exclusive wall hanger featuring our Personalized Rustic Run Name Run design is made from hand-forged steel and features a customized printed wood insert.
3. Ability Motivation Attitude Medal Hook - This GoneForaRUN exclusive Wall Medal Display is made from hand-forged steel and features a customized printed tile.  Showcase one special medal, or stack multiple medals on the hook for easy access. 4. Our runners key fob is made out of lightweight and durable nylon and is accented with a leather embellishment and brass hardware. The nylons flexible webbing allows the key fob to fit comfortably in a pocket.
Send this link to your friends so they can go shopping for you. Or Go shopping for YOURSELF!


1. indoor track,..If there is SNOW. But I gave this one to everyone!
2. Speedwork..It all hurts so bad.
3. Marathon..After running my UIltra I realized I loved this distance.
4. 80 is so nice!
5. Dirt roads. Minus dogs and bears!
6. Others, I love the shadow.
7. Music..Unless with others and that's kinda rude~
8. Pee my pants totally! I have never been in a Port a John racing. Now I have hit the tall grass!
9. Gas..BA ha ha
10. Morning ..Best part of waking up!

Danielle my running partner knows almost all of them but she didn't want me to add her! SO the winner goes to..
Danielle,  Carrie Busy Bee and Rebecca Jo!!
I want to send everyone a little goody for just playing along. As readers to my blog and taking the time to post I want to send out a gift to you. More as a THANK YOU~ Merry Christmas.
Please email me you address : Nitagirl@comcast.net


Friday, November 29, 2013

Shopping for your favorite runner!! Check out HERE!

Please use coupon code ANITA10 .
Happy Shopping!!!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2014

"True thanksgiving means that we need to thank God for what He has done for us,
and not to tell Him what we have done for Him."
[George R. Hendrick]
Today as I ran around the track I thanked God for the soreness of my legs. I praised God for the lost breath and I was deeply appreciative of just one more run.
Today is not a day to remember what we have lost but give thanks for what we have. To appreciate what we once had but may not any longer.
It is the simple things that we take for granted that bring fruit to the bigger blessings.
If we can not give thanks for just the breath we breathe then how will we be able to use that breath to give action to greatness.
If we can not give thanks for the tears we cry how can we see compassion, love, forgiveness and the beauty of the heart.
If we can not give thanks for the time we shared with deceased loved ones how can we embrace those that want to be loved?
I could go on and on. Oh, the tears shed as I grieve those I love that are gone. But I Thank God for my relationship with HIM. He is the great counselor. He comforts me and fills my empty tank. I am overwhelmed with blessings. From the touch of a childs hand to the wink of my husbands eyes as I catch him staring at me from afar.
From the laughter of Ariels voice and the crooked smile of my mothers face I am grateful for moments gone and the moments that will never leave my heart.
As we pause to thank Him for the blessings of the past year, we must not forget to thank Him for the lessons  we have learned through our difficult times.

We are not to be thankful for just the pleasant, easy things, but ALL things." Millie Stamm
I love my family. We are all made so very different.  I am missing my family terribly in Florida. My husbands family separated for the first time in the 25 years that  I have been with them.  This saddened me but it was a choice they felt they had to make and I respect that.  One thing I have tried to learn is that you do not have to agree with peoples choices but you do have to try accept them.
Thanksgiving is a reminder to live without regrets. In a blink of an eye special moments and special people can exit from our lives. I know this from losing both my parents and Ariel. No Redos. So be confident for the choices your make. Keep a clean heart. Be grateful all the time.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Contest, Coupon Codes and HOKAS!.

Making the Pie Crust.
What a great day today!
I knew it was going to be a good day last night when I came to bed and my 14 year old wanted to snuggle with me. THIS NEVER HAPPENS!
I get a lot of eye roller and back talking all the while I am wishing he was 4 years old again thinking I am the greatest thing.
"Just a couple more minutes I am cuddling with mom..." Austin replied to his dad half sleeping. I gave that look to Andy that reads "Please...."
He slept in our bed till almost midnight. I was in hog heaven.
Putting the pie in!

9AM Dentist apt for Austin.
10:30 AM over Maw Maws to bake.
We had a lot of fun. My husbands favorite pie is Buttermilk Pie. This recipe has been his Maw Maws. I have learned how to make it exept I can not make the crust as well as her. Today we made the crust and 2 pies. Even though I made the crust SHE still made it so easy walking me through it.

Time:56:46 min
Distance: 7miles
Pace: 8:07

The wind was brutal out there. The temps were frigid. The air was crisp almost taking my breath away. Within minutes my eyes began to tear up from the chilly air. It was not to long after that that I was looking through icicles on my eyelashes.

I was feeling good. I got a new goody in the mail today!!! I was running in my HOKAS that Kristy gave me. Even though I wear a size 8 in every running shoe I have owned, hers are just bit to big. I can tighten the laces and wear thicker socks to make them work. But my foot is not real snug in them.
I had beem emailing "Chris" about how I really liked his shoes. He SENT me a brand new pair of MY size HOKAS!
They are the Absolutely Amazing. Now to be very honest I have had them for a couple days but thought the package sitting by the front door was my Juice Plus. I opened them right before I went for my run. Therefore I HAVE not ran in them.
They are a very different shoe. I will give a review of them tomorrow. I am stoked to get to try them out.  Thank YOU CHRIS for your Generosity!

CONTEST: Don't forget you have until FRIDAY for the contest! It is easy and fun.
Rebecca Jo and Carrie have both placed their answers. I have had so much fun reading what they THINK about me as well as what they "WOULD RATHER DO".

Also for BLACK FRIDAY...I have a  coupon code with Discounts to share with you!! Great shopping for your runner!! Also you can send your loved ones the LINK with your WISH LIST and they can order for YOU!!!
So don't forget to check in on FRIDAY!!

Have a Great Thanksgiving! Remember to give THANKS. Sometimes we just have to get over ourselves and find Gratitude. My family is in Florida and I MISS them terribly. But I am Thankful for the family God has given me here.
WHAT Are YOU Thankful FOR?

  •  1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 deep dish pie shell                                                   


  1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2.  Beat the butter and sugar together until light.
  3.  Add the eggs and beat; then beat in vanilla.
  4.  Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the batter alternatively with the buttermilk; beat until smooth.
  5. Pour into a deep dish pie shell and bake at 400F for 8 minutes, reduce heat to 350F and bake for 50-60 additional minutes.
  6. Pie should turn a nice golden brown and a knife inserted should come out clean.
  7. Andy like his pie warm, I personally like mine cold or cooled

I always thought this was Maw Maws recipe..But it is on ALL recipes!
If you want the crust recipe let me know, We made our own crust.

Ju Ju, Maw Maw Smith, Aunt Lois and I


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Would You Rather?!"

My kids and I always play the game "Would your rather?" The questions are goofy but always thought provoking:
  1. Would you rather have a Zombie Apocalypse or live like Revolution with no power?
  2. Would you rather  sneeze all day or fart all day?
We all laugh at one another's questions and answers. I am such a daydreamer I put great thought into my answers as if they could come true.

Yesterday I was running around the  track over and over again...And I was thinking what I would rather be doing. This simple thought sparked todays fun post idea.

WOULD YOU RATHER???? Fun Running Ramblings!
  1. Would you rather RUN outside in 20 degree weather or RUN around an indoor track or Treadmill? (Yesterday I chose Indoor track!)
  2. Would your RUN hills or Speedwork?
  3. Would you rather Run a 5k or a Half Marathon (racing)?
  4. Would you rather Run in 30 degree weather or 80 degree weather?
  5. Would you rather Run on trails/dirt roads or run on the roads/sidewalk?
  6. Would you rather run with others or run solo?
  7. Would you rather run with music or no music?
  8. Would you rather Pee your pants running or stop and wait for a Port a John?
  9. Would you rather run with a Side Stitch or Gas?
  10. Would you rather run in the morning or in the evening??
I will post my Answers on FRIDAY!!! Whoever gets the most RIGHT I will send a Black Friday Prize too!!! I gave you ONE answer!!! BUT I want to see your Answers too!!
MUST be a Subscriber to Blog.
Tuesday 26-Friday 29th.
Cut paste below:

MINE: Yours:

Distance: 7 Miles Progressive run finishing last mile at 7:09.
Time:56 min
1 mile walk cool down.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holdridge Lakes

"Most men take the straight and narrow. A few take the road less traveled. I chose to cut through the woods."
- Unknown

It was a crazy 19 degrees this morning on our way to church.

I was planning to meet Jama at Holdridge Metropark for a trail run.
She sent out a couple text messages giving me an invitation to back out.
It seemed crazy to run in weather this cold, However; there was NO SNOW.
I had been looking forward to this long run with her all week knowing it was going to be colder than cold. Or as mom says "Colder that a witches tit in a cast iron bra."

I love having someone to keep me accountable. Lets be real..How many of YOU ran out there today???
The cold weather scared me off earlier this week as I ran in circles at the gym all warm and cozy.

Jama and I had a great run. We got lost 3 times in 3 miles! How does that happen? By me navigating!
I am so busy looking down that I am not really paying attention. But then if I was paying attention we still would have most likely gotten lost just not that bad.
At mile 8 I tripped over some apples but recovered pretty good to knock out another 2 miles. Jama stepped on a thorn that went through her shoe into her foot..Crazy fun though!
We did the North loop 2 times and the west loop once and somewhere go lost 3 times that we know of.

The map didn't help a whole lot, we carried one with us!

I am going to bed. I ate like crap tonight and I am feeling it! UGH.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Molly Maid.

Mom and I

I got the kids off to school and came back home to tidy up before I back headed out. I have a couple Thursday routines. One is run with Danielle and the other is I help clean Andys Maw Maw's house with mom.
Maw Maw is Kentucky for grandma!

Danielle has not had power for over 4 days. Danielle had to cancel to take care of the generator and freezer issues she was having. I felt so bad for her that she still was without power.
I quickly called mom and told her I could meet her earlier to clean.

I always stop at McDonald's to get maw maw a egg Mcmuffin with decaf coffee, mom a Large Diet Coke and ME a egg white delight with a coffee.

It usually takes about 1 1/2 hours to knock it all out. I brought my apron and grabbed the dusting polish.
I really enjoy seeing maw maw every week. It reminds me of going to see my grandma every week when she was alive.
It feels so good making someone else's day.

I brought my running clothes to change into after we finished cleaning. I was a bit embarrassed to change knowing maw maws wheels would be turning when she saw me in my running clothes.
I was stepping out of sweat pants and an apron into Spandex running capris and skin tight running shirts. She must have looked at me twice.
I couldn't get out of there fast enough in my hot pants!

I left bummed out due to the fact when I was coming in with my hands full I noticed my bag was leaking. My cell phone got water damage and was not working.
I was supposed to run at Indian Springs metro park. but could see the concern in moms face. Mom did not like the idea of me running with no phone in the park.

I hate the thought of mom worrying about me. I love mom like my own. (She is Andys mom) It pains me to see her hurt. It pains me even more if I hurt her. I decided to run at home so she would not worry.
Due to the fact I am an airhead, I forget that there was no way to let her know that I was going to run at home therefore she still was most likely worrying!

Andy was home this afternoon. We were both so busy that the only time we shared was the lunch I made him after my run.
He spent 5 hours raking leaves. I felt guilty going for a run while he had a rake in his hand.

Distance: 7 Miles
Pace: 54. min

It was a great run. Felt good to run the old route.
I LOVE avocados.
Alec helped me make dessert tonight. We made:

Chocolate Avocado Mousse


  • 1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, halved, peeled and seeded
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  •  1 Tbsp. vanilla
  •  ½ cup agave syrup
  • ¼ cup  coconut milk                                                              
  •  ¼ cup Raspberries


  1. Chop the avocado into a few medium-sized pieces and put it in a food processor.
  2. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, agave syrup and coconut milk to the food processor and blend on high for about thirty seconds, or until mousse reaches desired consistency.
  3. Serve it chilled with fresh sliced strawberries.


Whats your favorite Avocado recipe?
I have a soup I want to try next week!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Strength..The Only Choice.

"You never know how Strong you are UNTIL being Strong is the ONLY choice."    
This quote speaks volumes in my life. This life we live is hard. No matter how you cut it.
"Aunt Nita, when does it stop being hard? When does it stop hurting?" Sarah cried.
"Sarah, I love you, and I am so sorry but it will NEVER stop being hard."
Sarah continued to talk about how if we are Christians why does God allow bad things to happen to us.
The million dollar question.
We can do everything right or close to it. We can be honest, upright, loving and obedient and this life with KICK YOUR TEETH in.
But the difference in living a hard life for Christ and living a hard life is we were never designed to go through this life separate from God.
He gives us the tools to get through.
"Aunt Nita, what tools does HE give us?" Sarah continued to weep.
He gives us our Strength: "I can do all things Through Christ who Strengthen me." Phil 4:13
He gives us Wisdom: "Trust in the Lord with all thine Heart and lean not unto thine own understanding." Proverbs 3:5
He gives us Stamina; "For those that wait on the Lord will have new Strength, They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not be weary." Isaiah 40:31
He gives us Comfort: "For I reckon that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
These are just a few tools.
I grew up watching my mom never getting stronger. "Mary Lou" self medicated on pill, drugs and alcohol. She never allowed herself to feel the pain. As soon as it started to hurt or when life began kicking she went back to self medicating.
Today I thought I would take the easy route. I decided that I would do 7 miles easy around the track. After a half hour of running I felt to comfortable. In the back of my head I knew that the only way to get faster is to run faster.
This meant SWEAT more. BREATH heavier. Feel more PAIN.
I argued these thought in my head until a guy came out of nowhere and passed me!
Then  it was ON AND POPPING!
As I sped up doing fartleks every 100 meters I felt my cool down was averaging faster than my initial easy run pace.
I was getting through it. I was breathing heavy and not allowing mediocrity to settle in.
I finished my 7 miles strong and confident.
It felt good to push myself just a little bit harder.
Yes, it hurts but the outcome out weighs everything else. Somewhere down the road I am going to need if not the Physical tools of running in pain but also the MENTAL tools that I have earned on these hard runs.
Make being STRONG the only choice. Allow yourself to FEEL the pain. Pain HURTS. But in this life we are going to have hurts, hang-ups and hardships till our last days.
I am not sure if I was able to help my niece, Sarah. Her tears pull on my heart strings.
I am not a masochist. I do not like Pain. But I know that life requires up to endure it.
Looking back in time I wish I had been able to be a support to my mother. She had no support to help her in her journey.  
Pain can be endured a little better with love and support.
Distance:7.1 miles
CONGRATS to Michelle B! She won the contest with the most miles on a TREADMILL: 17!!
I will be sending her out a fun NYC care package!
 What tool has helped you the most? Please share.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Kona Chocolate Race 10K

Kona Chocolate Run was not looking so good in the beginning of the week when they were calling for severe weather conditions. I woke up at 5 am to rain tapping the window. "UGH" I thought as I rolled over reaching for my phone to check the weather.
It looked like it was going to clear up so then it was time to get up and get rolling.
The boys are used to getting up early for races. This does not mean that they like it, it just means they know the routine.
Alec came around the corner in his kilt asking what matched it. "Your black Under Armor long sleeve would look good." I replied. He smiled and headed back to his bedroom to finishing dressing. I was looking for a shirt to match my kilt also.
The race was in Plymouth Michigan which would take almost an hour to drive.

The closer and closer we get to the race location the more I begin to look at all the early traffic. I always think that everyone MUST be going to the race. What else would people be doing in Plymouth Michigan at 6am??

Between a 16oz cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito from Tim Hortons I had to use the bathroom.
We parked the car at the school to get our registration and I mentioned to Andy I had to hit the bathroom.
While picking up our registration we came across so many people we knew. We first saw "Patty" who is the manager at our Rochester location.
Patty and I
Then within minutes we bumped into Dave and Karen whom we go to church with.
There is someone I have been wanting to meet forever. I only knew what she looked like from her blog. I did know she was going to be wearing a Tutu from a message she left on one of my posts.
As we were walking out of the school I looked at this gal at the same time as she looked at me. We both knew who one another were! It was Michelle B! I have been wanting to meet her for quite a long time. I wanted to chat with her a little bit longer but both of our guys were gone.
Michelle and I

I quickly ran after Andy who was almost at the car. I needed to find a bathroom and we only had 30 minutes until start.
Austin was going to bandit run the race pacing his little brother in the 5K.
Andy and I were running the 10k.
I planned to race this 10K. And I was nervous. I REALLY needed a bathroom!

I separated from Andy and the boys to find a port a john.
When I found the line I started to panic. I knew I was going to be cutting it really close.
It took almost 20 minutes to get to the front of the line. I actually ran into Amber and Leanne in line.
I wanted to laugh but I also wanted to cry with only 5 minutes until start. I was counting people down as I listened to the National Anthem being sung.
2 minutes to go and I quickly entered the Port a John.
I had less than a minute to get to Andy as I ran I yelled his name they announced the start. I still had my coat on and my cell phone in hand.
Somehow I found Andy as I was complaining about my coat that I tied around my waist. I had no idea how I was going to run with my kilt, my heavy coat and my phone.
I was a clustered mess. We crossed over the starting mats and I saw the boys. I saw the boys on my right so I  tried to untie my jacket as fast as I could. All thumbs it felt like it took forever and as I left them I realized I forgot to give them my cell phone.
I could not believe how many runners were out there. I knew we were in the back of the pack but I was surprised at how congested it was.
I love to see all the people out there running. It was really hard maneuvering between everyone. I came up to a 8:48 pacer. I knew I had to get in front of him and several more like him.
The first 2 miles I felt so good. My Body wanted to go faster than my Head. I held back trying to keep a 7:25 pace.
At mile 3 my stupid Garmin lost satellite, it started raining and I was just passing the 8-something pace group.
The course was very flat through a nearby neighborhood. With it being in a neighborhood there were a lot of turns. One guy laughed and said "Geesh, this is like a shalom".
I couldn't get my Garmin to work so I just asked a couple people along the way what our pace was. With each response I knew I had to kindly pull pass them. I would focus on someone in front of me then pick them off. One by one I passed people.
At the 4 mile mark I noticed a guy without a watch. I stayed on his heels. He passed a few runners and so did I. There were a couple runners who tried to keep up. I actually felt bad when I passed them and said "Great job!, Your doing good!, Almost there!"
At mile 5 the guy noticed I was running in his shadow. I commented "Are we almost there? I am trying to keep up with you!"
He effortlessly laughed saying "Oh no don't put that pressure on me."
The course was marked very well. At mile 6 you had 2 turns to make therefore I still couldn't see the finish.
On that last turn I saw the blue Finish Arch. I opened up my gate, dug deep and passed 3 people across the Finish line!
A little Soggy!

I was out of breath as I noticed Anthony T from Michigan Runner. I could barely talk or breath as I tried to communicate with him. We chatted for a few minutes before I took off to find Andy crossing the finish line too.

I was thrilled to see Andy not limping. He has had a calf injury for 2 weeks. He looked great.
We found the boys in just enough time to get them to the 5K starting line.
The skies opened up with rain as they were taking off. Alec as cute as he was looked miserable and hadn't even started running!

Alec crossed the finishing line a little over 29 minutes. He was trying to beat his Uncle Bobs time in Florida. Austin separated from him and we lost Alec. It was terrible. My heart was beating faster than it had during the race. Andy found him after about 15 minutes.
We got in line for our chocolates. It was fast moving and worth it. I LOVE Chocolate.
Fun Family Day.

THE Rundown:
10K:Pace 7:22 Time:45:44
Overall: 5th place out of 352 in my A.G.
Over 5900 participants!

Congrats to :Jessica D, Ken K, Michelle B, Larissa, Amber A, Leanne K, Dave and Karen H, Brian from DM, Patty G and all those I am forgetting!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

ER visit.

So I had an Emergency room visit yesterday during work. I probably shouldn't share this because it is kind of personal; However, it is another typical "Anita Story"!

Couple things you may not know about me:
  1. I do not drink water. I drink water to make my coffee. I order water with my meals. I drink water at bedtime but only because I am so parched due from NOT drinking H20 all day. Water makes me cold and I HATE being cold.
  2. I am not on any med except for my stupid thyroid medicine which I don't take properly either. It really urks me that I take my health so serious and yet STILL end up having to take a stupid pill the rest of my life.
  3. I ran with Danielle on Thursday for 5 miles. I did not drink any water after this run unless of course you count my coffee!

On Thursday I made a comfort food dinner. I baked and stuffed a chicken serveing it with, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and I made homemade sweet beets. I actually made that beets Wednesday but we had them for dinner Thursday as well.
I had gone to the bathroom several times and noticed my urine was very dark. I knew I had not drank any water and just dismissed this as I have done before. But Thursday night I got home late from my sons CC banquet and noticed my urine was still dark and I had drank 16oz of water. Concerned I made Andy get out of bed and come look.
Andy being the nurse he is began asking me a million questions and asked me to please give the DR. a call in the morning. Andy asked if I had any pain because there was definitely blood in my urine. "No, I feel fine I think." I responded.
Friday I go into work and my schedule is a typical Friday day; booked solid from 8am-5pm.
Now my stomach was cramping a bit and I felt bloated. I cancelled part of my day out and asked my manager if I could run to the 24hour clinic to get checked. Even she looked worried as she replied "Yes"

I was very happy to get right in. Within 30 minutes I had signed in, peed in a cup and was waiting for the results.
NEGATIVE! I heard the DR talking outside my curtain. "Are you sure? She is negative, Really?"
My urine was still dark, my belly was bloated and I had no answers.
When the Dr. came back in my little curtain cubby he handed me my discharge papers.
"You really should drink more water."
I suddenly had a brain fart!
"Dr, I made beets for dinner and have eaten quite a lot of them...."
He started laughing and said "Yes, the beats most likely cause this and because you don't drink any water your urine would look like it has blood in it!"
As for the cramping I think I just got myself all worked up!
NOTE TO SELF...DRINK more WATER eat less beats!

Tomorrow is KONA Chocolate Run! And tomorrow is RAIN!!!

Remember the contest....Whats the farthest you have ran on the Treadmill??!

I gotta go get some water, Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Treadmill doesnt have to be Dreadville!

Even though the sun was shining out it still was a brutal 22 degrees. I have ran a lot of miles in conditions like this. Today was not one of those days.
I just didn't feel like it.
I packed up the gym bag and headed to Genysis.

I really didn't even feel like running at all.
I argued with myself on the perfect number of miles to run.
Then I argued with myself about where I should run the run that I didn't really want to run.
I even considered ditching the whole idea of running and doing a spin class.
As I pulled into the parking lot there still was not a plan.
As I walked into the women's locker room I decided "NO" to the spin class.
As I walked out of the locker room I decided to hit the Dreadmill for 3 miles. (I was having so much fun 3 miles turned into over 5!)

I am still sore but mostly from my workout on Monday. I have decide to put a sleeping bag in the hurt locker and try to push myself a little more for Boston next year.

I know many of you may think that the TM is a form of self punishment. Well part of that is right. It was originally created as a form of punishment!
An English civil engineer, Sir William Cubitt, designed the first treadmill in 1818 with a dual purpose: it was designed as a way to discipline prisoners while at the same time generating power for grinding corn and pumping water.
 It wasn't for over 100 years later in the 1960s the treadmill was transformed into the hamster wheel some of us love and some of us hate!

The most I have ever ran on the treadmill was 16 miles. We had a terrible ice storm making running outside not a healthy option. But thankfully there was a marathon of Walking Dead that lasted my entire run!
We always have options. I love running outside but I am not a snob about "ONLY RUNNING OUTSIDE".  Good for you if you want to run in 20 degree weather with 30 MPH wind gusts slipping on ice and running through 10 feet of snow.  After 2 knee surgeries, I don't challenge mother nature in her elements.

The treadmill offers other ways to get a great run, good miles and a killer sweat without flirting with injury.

My Favorite Treadmill Workout:

Here is the basic version:
  • Warm Up: 8-12 minutes at 1.5 to 2 percent grade, starting off with a slow jog. In the last 3-5 minutes of the warm-up, gradually increase to your standard aerobic speed (outside pace). This gives your heart rate time to catch up. (Note: HR is not a good indicator until you've been running for about 15-20 minutes.) Once at aerobic speed, you're ready to go into the first set
  • First Set: 6x2 minutes on a hill with 1-minute rest intervals; effort should be moderately hard at the offset

    • 45 seconds at 5 percent grade (don't change speed)
    • 45 seconds at 6 percent grade (don't change speed)
    • 30 seconds at 7 percent grade (don't change speed)
    • 1 minute rest interval at 2 percent grade (remain at your aerobic pace; don't go down to a softer speed)
    • Repeat 5-8 more times
  • Second Set (leg turnover): 8-12x20 seconds at 0-.5 percent grade; you should be working at a sub-threshold pace. Segments are short to avoid unnecessary stress.

    • Run for 20 seconds with good balance, symmetry and control; it's not a flat out sprint.
    • Jump off belt and straddle the treadmill for 20 seconds
    • Jump back on for 20 seconds
    • Repeat this sequence 8-12 times
  • Third Set (if time permits): Run steady at aerobic pace for 12-20 minutes (1.5-2 percent grade).
  • Extra Credit: Repeat sets 1 (with slight modification) and 2.

    • Set 1 (modification): 6x1 minute on hills from 5- to 7-percent grades. Effort should be moderately hard to hard at the end. Include a rest interval of 1 minute between each round.
    • Set 2: Same leg turnover set at 8x20 seconds
  • Cool Down

    The above picture is part of my run routine I like to use for balance and strength. I call it "4 Corners"
    I usually go for about 20-30 minutes starting out with an easy walk/light jog for 5-10 minutes.
    • 2% incline unless you are comfortable to go more. ( I gradually increase mine up to 4%)
    • Speed: at a fast walk/easy jog (I do 4-4.5)
    • 1 minute forward.
    • 1 minute Right Side almost like squats.
    • 1 minute Backwards
    • 1 minute Left Side
    • REPEAT!
    • Hold rails till you get comfortable.
    To add a little extra to this TM routine I will pick up the speed and do 4 corners for 5 SECONDS  on each side. After about 5 minutes of turning clockwise I will do 4 Corners counterclockwise for another 5 minutes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The treadmill offers a lot of options to prevent yourself from feeling like a hamster.
    • Do an interval workout
    • Grab your favorite magazine, preferable a running magazine to keep you motivated. Or maybe a picture of you in your bathing suit to REALLY motivate you!
    • Compete with the person next to you on the TM! (I have had this happen to me more than once!)
    • Add TM to a circuit work out. EX. ABS for 5 minutes, Jump rope for 5 minutes, Weights,  High intensity TM for 5 minutes. Repeat.
    • Squats and lunges are great on the TM. Keep your speed very low. 1-1.5.
    What is the farthest you have ran on a TM?? I have a prize I will mail to the winner. Some goodies I brought back from NYC!
    1. MUST BE A Subscriber.
    2. Leave your Answer.
    3. Contest Goes Through Sunday!

    Monday, November 11, 2013

    Walking in someone else's shoes.

    I have been blessed to have been given some "hand me downs".
    I grew up on items like these. I am always thankful.
    Kristy gave me a amazing pair of Hokas.
    And just recently Kelli from my work gave me a pair of Merrell's.

    Kelli's shoes were more broke in. They had signs of wear on them. I love shoes like these to knock around in.
    On my day off I slipped my feet into them to go to the gym and run errands.
    As I walked around the track at Genysis I looked down at my new pair of shoes. I thought about Kelli. I wondered where these shoes had taken her. If these shoes could tell her story.

    Everyone has a story. It does not matter how much the shoes cost, how fancy or worn out they are. There is still a story.

    Are you good at walking in someone else's' shoes?

    What does it even mean to walk in someone else's shoes?

    Sometimes it means "GET OVER YOURSELF!"
    Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Rom. 12:15)
    The Beaver Cleaver days are coming to an end. Say goodnight John boy! Yeah, there are still some cookie cutter families out there with white picket fences but not many. And don't be quick to judge those either.
    Pain and suffering hurts.
    We try to avoid it at all cost and sometimes we also find that we even avoid others' pain and suffering because we don't want to feel that either. OUCH!
    As I walked around the track I wondered how many hard days  Kelli had in these shoes.
    A few years ago my grandma was in the hospital dying. It was terribly gut wrenching to see her dying. She was 99 years old and like a mother to me. She weighed about 60lbs and  hardly recognized me when I would visit her.
    A few days later in the middle of conversation someone brought up my grandma.
    Someone in the group conversation responded to me saying "Yeah, I cant really think about that, I am sorry but I have my own problems to deal with."
    I was just conversing, not looking for sympathy; however, I was totally shocked by the response.
    I have heard those words more than once come out of that persons mouth and it crushes me. Because we all have problems. We all have pain and we have something we are trying to endure.
    Walking in others peoples struggles can be a struggle for us as well but the impact we can have out weighs the burden we will often endure with that person.

    Looking beyond Face Value:
    Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:39)
    These old shoes of Kellis had her story branded in them. Kelli was thoughtful enough to give something she loved to me. They no longer fit her. With my feet all cozied up in them I saw the marks and wear on them. The were not new. They were not sparkling.
    They were used but not useless.
    We often look at one another with judgment. In the first 10 seconds we meet someone we have usually already judged them just by what they look like!
    They fit perfectly. Not everyone looks or acts like us. But there is a story they have that might need your compassion and love.
    Looks are deceiving. Beauty is inward, look beyond.
    Funny, Kristi gave me these 170$ HOKAS. To look at them they are the nuttiest shoe you have ever seen. They look like a corrective shoe. If you were offered this shoe to wear and did not know the brand name many of you would pass on this shoe. You wouldn't even know that it was the one of the best shoes out there. But we too quickly judge things by the way they look.

    Some of my crazy ramblings.
    I challenge you to take a minute to text that person that could use some encouragement. Smile at that person that doesn't look like you. Listen to that person that drives you crazy. Be that person that someone else needs. Walk in someone elses' shoes. Hear their story.

    The Rundown:
    Walk ran 1 mile.
    I did a circuit. sits-up- Bosu with weights and a trampoline- 5lb weights shadow boxing-
    It felt so good. I was sore this morning from yesterdays hills although I could still work through it.
    Cold Plunge 12 min.
    Every Tuesday I make Kelli and I lunch. We do potlucks together for lunch.
    Last week I made Garlic White Bean and Kale Soup.


    4 slice smoked bacon
    1 1/2 cups chopped onion
    1 cup chopped carrot
    3 garlic cloves, chopped
    2 cans (15 oz each) navy beans (I also like Butterbeans and white kidney beans)
    2 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
    2 cups water
    4 cup coarsely chopped kale

    Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; set aside.

    Add onion, carrot, and garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 10 minutes.

    Add beans, broth, and water; and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add kale; simmer 10 minutes, or until kale is tender.

    Stir in crumbled bacon just before serving.


    Sunday, November 10, 2013

    Clarkston Backroads 13.1 : Pacing Joan

    Me, Javon, Joan, and Heidi

    I was not sure how the legs would do come 9:30 am today. Just running NYC Marathon last week my legs have been in recovery for almost a week. Today was Clarkstons 1st Half Marathon: Backroads Half and 10K.
    I signed up and planned to run it with Joan. Joan is one of Ariel's Sorority sisters. Knowing I was going to be in the hurt locker weeks ago I decided to pace Joan on her 1ST half Marathon.

    On my way down to Clarkston this morning I got all stinking emotional. I just felt so thankful. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. The tears welled up in my eyes as I thought of Ariel. I knew God took her and I was not mad for it.  I found myself overjoyed with the friends of hers that have reached out to me. I was on my way into Clarkston to run this race with 2 of Ariels good friends. I was so grateful that God has encircled me with little pieces of her.  I have no idea why they have loved on me I know it is of God.

    Even though the temperature was in the 40's the wind was blowing like a banchee. I found Joan and Javon right away at the school where the shuttles were. After parking my car I also ran into Heidi, one of my running partners. She looked a bit tense. I know that look...She was racing this. She has the best smile ever. But even behind that inviting smile I could see her nerves shining through. As she fumbled between bags and keys I said "Your racing aren't you?"
    She confirmed it to be true.
    Bill and Amy. 2 of my favorite clients,

    There is a total different look one has when preparing to race. You try to maintain a perm-a-grin. But it is a nervous smile. Your insides are a melting pot of emotions. The simplest thing staggers you. You have the ability to loose your watch which is often on your wrist, you forget where you are going even though there are signs everywhere  and you have plenty of time to get there.  Not to mention you question whether you should hit the bathroom 1 more time and what you are doing this for again!
    Angie and I

    I was not racing. I was going to have fun, encourage others and watch Joan have a victorious race!
    I just love encouraging others. I get more out of the camaraderie of the race than I often do when I get a PR.
    Ken and Andy

    The race was very well organized. The shuttle service they offered was a blessing. Even though it was only about a mile to Depot Park the busses were convenient and warm.
    When we got off the busses we headed to the registration tent for Javon.  I have worked in Clarkston for almost 20 years and lived there for 5. I was excited to see familiar faces.
    I brought my phone to take pictures because this race was going to be fun.

    Joans mom and dad came out to support her. Her mom reminded me of my mom (Andys mom). She was so helpful and encouraging.
    With about 10 minutes until the start I saw Heidi again. She looked nervous. This was a great reminder we needed a moment of prayer.
    Mustering up courage in my little self I said  "Would you guys like to say a quick prayer before we start?"
    It was the most beautiful response one could have asked for. Joan, Javon, her mom and dad, Larissa and her friends, Heidi, and even this man I didn't know asked if he could join us as we gathered hands and prayed.
    If I ran today just for this prayer alone it was worth it.
    As we let our light shine,
    we unconsciously give other people
    permission to do the same.
    As we are liberated from our own fear,
    our presence actually liberates others.
    - Marianne Williamson

    The National Anthem was beautiful. I always love listening to this before the start.
    Michelle's Awesome sign!

    Did you eat your bowl of Hills for breakfast? Because if you didn't they were eating you in this race!
    I knew the hills were going to be brutal from a race I did with "Bill" a couple years ago : The Angels Place 10K had not escaped my mind today.
    Joan started out all smiles.  Of course everyone started out all smiles in the beginning. Many of the runners were laughing and cutting up with one another. I even made the comment "lets all see if we are having this much fun at mile 11!"

    The first few miles were on pavement. I asked Joan how she was feeling for those miles and energetically she responded "GOOD!"
    I felt good until a whopping mile 2. Then my calves introduced their selves to me. When I saw the pavement coming to an end I wanted to jump for JOY!
    I was running in my Hokas and my feet not only felt like I was running on a cloud, they were warm also.
    I love running on backroads. It was a little pot holey however the impact was lessened making it more comfortable on my sore muscles.
    It was like a running rollercoaster from this point forward! I was loud and proud and Joan was slowly getting quieter and quieter.

    My Garmin lost satellite at mile 4. It took 2 miles to get satellite again. Joan was running a sub 10 minute mile and hanging on.

    By the time we got to mile 8 I was the only one talking. Joans goal was to run 10min miles. I knew she could run faster than that based on her Crim Race time and her training runs.
    The wind blasted us. The run got real serious with 30 mph gusts and hills .
    I started passing Joan my stinger chomps. I made sure after we missed our water station at mile 6 we hit every one from there on out. We walked through them finishing our water then back at it running again.
    "Your Doing Great JOAN!"
    "Today is YOUR Day Joan!"
    "I am so Proud of you!! "
     As the wind blew I said "That is God just blowing us kisses."

    Joan was not buying that! Have you ever got so tired that everything is annoying..or everyone...
    As we approached mile 10 I could tell Joan was over the hills, the wind and I think even me!

    The supporters were fun. They enjoyed the high fives and smiles. Even the volunteers at the water station were having fun with the runners.

    The last stretch of the race is in a subdivision which is made up of hills designed by Satan.
    As you came down one hill another hill peaked making you feel like you had a rubber band around your waist.

    We added some walk breaks on the hills along with a lot more prayers!
    "A mile and a half" someone yelled.

    "Come On JOAN, Dig DEEP your almost done!"

    It was the best gift to see the smile on Joans face when the FINISH sign appeared!
    Javon, and Joan! Love these two! Javon makes wearing TIGHTS Manly!

    Clarkston Backroads was a well organized race. It was not a gravy race. Even for me not racing it I endured a calf muscle flirting with going Charlie Horse for several miles.
    Ken K and I

    The bling and shirts both aligned up with awesome-ness. The food and goodies at the end were worth the hills. Chili both vegetarian  and  white chicken chili with hot cocoa was a great way to finish and warm up!

    Great opportunities to help others seldom come,
    but small ones surround us every day.
    - Sally Koch

    Distance: 13.1
    Pace: 9:41
    Time: 2:06:43



    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    Ing NYC Marathon.

    New York City is Big- so why would the Marathon be any different?

    Before almost all my races I have a goal or two. For NYC Marathon I had a double goal: I wanted to finish at 3:35 and still have FUN!

    Training for a marathon usually includes a taper as well as taking it easy the couple days before the big day.

    There was no taking it easy in New York! The Marathon was a whole New York experience. I wanted to make the most out of it with caution.

    On Saturday Andy and I ran 5 miles and rode "CitiBikes" another 10 miles. I would pay for this little adventure in my marathon.

    4:30AM alarm goes off
    5Am out of the hotel into a taxi.
    I was a ball of nerves. Andy was worse than I was trying to navigate me to the ferry. Together we were so wrapped up in our own anxiety we couldn't even enjoy the moment or one another.
    We hardly spoke a word as we drove through the city to the South Ferry.
    Once we arrived at the ferry we found coffee and food we both settled down. I was trying not to be a big baby but I just wanted to cry. I was nervous, excited, overwhelmed and a hodge podge of indescribable emotions. Many runners were filing into the ferry station. My hands were full with coffee, a banana, some banana bread and some trail mix. I needed enough fuel to equip me for the next several hours. I had forgotten my pace band and my sharpie. The sharpie was to write my scripture on me. These two items wouldn't sabotage my race but did bum me out a bit.
    Before Andy left we came together through prayer. I needed God to calm me down.


    Normally I am chatting it up. The language barrier was an obstacle when it came to communication. Even if runners did speak English it didn't mean you could understand them.  50% of the participants are international runners. There were 3 guys next to me on the Ferry that had all ran before. They gave me advice and tips.

    THE BUS:
    Shosh and I on bus!

    Transportations didn't end there. After arriving on Staten Island at 6am we were shuttled on a bus to our color coded corrals about 30 minutes away. This whole shuttling experience felt like you were being corralled into a secret bunker because of the lack of verbal communication. I felt  like I was going into a secret Nazi camp and was being told I was running a marathon.

    While trying to get on a bus I had made a new friend. He was a little guy. Very friendly and full of help. He was an older man who came equipped with everything. The buses were filling up quicker then we could get on them. I was getting nervous as we hopped towards the next one that was already full. We waited in the front of the line as a empty bus approached. We were the first to get on. I headed to the back of the bus.
    The bus was packed within minutes. I sat inside of the seat and my new friend sat on the outside. I was asking people if they had a sharpie. I just couldn't let it go that I didn't have my scripture on my body.  With my head up on one knee looking around I heard my name "ANITA?!"
    I turned my head and couldn't believe it was "SHOSH". I met her at the Merrell Down and Dirty. 50,000 runners, Several busses, different ferry times and I am sitting directly in front of "SHOSH"?!
    We chatted it up a bit but we were in different Corrals. I was in the Green Corral and she was in the Orange Corral.


    Talk about having to be a big girl. I was alone again amounst hundreds of people I didn't know. It was 6:30 in the morning with winds ripping your skin off. I was freezing trying to figure out how I was going to last 3 more hours in the elements. As I cautiously approached my corral I looked around for coffee or a warming tent. The corral was as large as a football field. I saw people with Dunkin Donuts coffee and fleece hats. I needed to find Dunkin Donuts! I left my corral and headed to the Orange corral. I spotted them handing out the hats. Taking the hat I decide this was good enough so I headed back to where I was supposed to be. I am not a rule breaker.

    After walking aimlessly around for 15 minutes I stuck my head in this tent. It was a warming tent. I just struck it rich. It looked like a concentration camp. It was eerie. Dozens of runners were huddled up together. There was not an inch of grass to be seen. With just my body barely in the tent I felt so much more warm. But I knew there was no way I could be on my feet for 3 hours. After 10 minutes I made my move walking through the center. I bootie bumped someone in the head, as I apologized I discovered a small patch of grass to sit on.
    I chatted with the runners around me. Buenos Aries, Puerto Vallarta, Texas, S. Africa and NYC. Some of them had to have translators but it was incredible to be surrounded by so many different people.
    Inside the tent.
    After about an hour and a half I had to go to the bathroom and I still wanted a sharpie. I poked my head outside of the tent. There were hundreds of people out there now. I spotted someone with a sharpie. I asked my new friends to save my spot as I ventured outside the tent.
    "PHIL 4:13"  "I Can do ALL Things Through Christ who Strengthen ME."  I was complete.

    My Wave closed at 8:55. You had to be in it on time or you were not going to be starting at your starting time. My starting time was 9:40am. 
    This is where it got CRAZY. Trying to find my proper wave was a nightmare. Although I had 15 minutes and it was within the Green Corral I was running all over trying to find my proper entrance based on my bib number! Time was ticking by and people were all confused. You didn't dare ask anyone because most of them couldn't understand you anyway.
    I finally discovered my Wave entrance only the security closed it! I was standing outside the gates with about 100 other people. They're were officers inside wanding people and not letting us go in.
    Suddenly, this man started yelling and cursing. "Open the F****** Gates."  They closed the gates 10 minutes early and now I was in the middle of chaos. People were screaming and swearing at the officers. I was getting really nervous with the hostility building up all around me. "You F****** A**H****, OPEN THE F****** GATES!!"  I am so small that I just tried to make myself even smaller in the middle.  A guy next to me who was with another girl saw that I was nervous and he calmed me and his friend down.
    I finally made it through the gate with some pushing and shoving.  It reminded me of the riots you sometimes hear about on Black Friday, INSANE!
    Starting line for Green Start. I started on bottom of bridge. Other runners started on top of Bridge. We all meet at mile 8.

    As I headed to one of the many part-a-johns I saw a familiar face. It was "Alexis"!! I recognized her from BOSTON! I met her in Boston this year. She is from Ann Arbor. She didn't recognize me until I sparked her memory. Again I find someone I know. Crazy Odds.
    Alexis mapped the course out for me as we walked to the starting line.

    I closed my eyes as they sang the National Anthem. It was just minutes after we were all crossing the starting mats. I started out running with Alexis. I knew she would not be running my pace due to the fact she just ran Chicago 3 weeks prior. But I thought I would see how long I could have her.
    I saw the Queensboro  Bridge. This is a 2 mile bridge. The wind was blasting. But I was completely enamored by the helicopters that were hovering parallel to the runners on the bridge. They were so close I could see through the windows. The half dozen helicopters lined up and down the bridge. I have never experienced anything like this. It was very surreal being that close to such a large moving object.
    I couldn't feel my fingers as the cold was beating me up across the bridge.
    As we began to see the exit from the bridge I couldn't help but laugh at all the men peeing off the bridge. I had heard NOT to run on the sides of the bridge unless you wanted to get peed on and this confirmed that as TRUTH!
    I wanted to stay with Alexis but I had already lost time on the bridge. About 3 minutes and I didn't know how I was going to make that up. I stayed with her until about the 4th mile and I sadly pulled away.
    This Marathon was like no other. Most of my races I chat it up. But this is the first race I have ever ran that the runners really didn't chat with one another. I think the reason why is
    1. The spectators are so LOUD
    2. The Language Barrier.
    The only time it is quiet it when you are on a bridge. However, you are still hearing plenty of huffing and puffing even if you are not hearing chanting and cow bells.
    I had pinned my name on my shirt "NITA". I loved hearing my name shouted a million times. The energy shot through your veins making you feel like a ROCKSTAR!
    "NEEETTA!!!" "VAMONOS NEEETTA". My name sounded Mexican to the Mexicans and Italian to the Italians. It was said with passion that made me give thumbs up and high fives.
    "I am going" I thought "I am going!"

    Andy said he was going to be at mile 8. I was really hoping he was going to be on my right hand side. I typically run on the right. Because I am right handed it is easier to get my water on this side. The were so many people that if Andy was not on my right I would not be able to see him.
    The 8 mile marker came and went.
    I was running without my headphones but it was still so loud.
    "ANITA!!ANITA!" There he was. I couldn't believe he found me.
    "How are You??" Andy yelled and ran along side me.
    Smiling I replied "GOOD!" I was tongue tied with excitement. Andy continued to run next to me as I passed him my coat and my hat.
    "Do you need anything?" He yelled still running along side me.
    "No, Thank YOU!" I LOVE YOU!!"
    Yelling between people Andy held up his fingers "14, mile 14!!"
    I was so excited he was going to try to see me in 5 more miles.

    I felt pretty good. I was warming up and trying to find someone to pace off of. There were just so many people that it was hard to stay with one.
    I saw a man running and dribbling a basketball.
    I saw another man running with sandals.
    But I didn't see anyone for very long.

    I crossed over another bridge. The bridges were so cold and windy. This marathon was not a flat course at all.
    Now I really looked forward to seeing Andy.
    I came up to mile 14 and began looking for Andy. It was even louder than ever. People were 2 and 3 people deep on both side. They had police officers everywhere. These police officers were much more serious than the ones in Detroit. They left me hanging when I tried to get a high five.
    Oh well, I recovered quickly with a half dozen little kids smiling and begging for a high five.
    I heard my name loud and proud on my left hand side. It was Andy. How in the world he found me I will never know but I was so thankful. H looked like he was even having fun!
    I knew it was a lot of work to navigate through the city to even see you once and now I had just seen Andy twice and hope to see him at the 20 mile mark.

    I dedicated mile 15 to Devon. This is Austins very good friend. I took the entire mile and prayed for him. I prayed for his leadership as he turned 15. I prayed for him to have courage to make good decisions. I just prayed and prayed for him.
    As I ran past the 16th mile I was excited to have only 10 miles to go. I was already feeling the fatigue in my legs. Nothing was hurting yet but I was getting tired. I was trying to keep a 8:15 pace. I was trying to make up some of that time I lost on the bridges. I had already ran over 3 bridges and they hurt so bad.
    I dedicated mile 18 to my nephew BRIAN. He is in the Marines and this mile was for Strength. I thought if the scripture down my leg. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  I prayed strength and perseverance over my nephew. I prayed he would have the Strength to never give up. And always seek God.
    As I came to mile 19 I began to question "WHY" I enjoyed this so much.
    My legs were numb, the wind was chilly and I knew that I was not in a area I was getting peed on so it must be raining out too.
    I Needed mile 20. I needed Ariel.
    As mile 20 approached I clung to my beautiful nieces smile. I saw those big eyes sparkling at me. I held tight to her. LOVE. That is what I needed to get me to HER mile 21.
    She represented LOVE. "Love Bears all." It was at that point I had a song that was on her playlist come through my ear buds. It came like a wave crashing down on me. The air had been taking right out from me. My gut seized with the words of her song. My welled up and my lips began to quiver. . It was then that I called not on my Ariel but rather on GOD. She was with Him. And I needed HIM to give me life again. It is crazy how grief can rip the wind right out of your sail. Love. Love. I repeated. Love Conquers All. "Breath Anita"
    As I caught my breath I saw Andy at mile 21. I was so happy to see him. I felt like I was falling apart. I didn't want Andy to see me weak. I knew he would worry. I plastered a pretty convincing smile. But when he asked how I was doing I couldn't lie. "Ok" I replied.
    "Your doing good, Your almost there" Andy said with a smile.
    "I love you." was the best I had as I ran past him. I had wanted to get a hug but he was to far away. I needed a hug.
    I was just trying so hard to maintain my pace in the midst of pain. Everything was hurting and I still had over 4 miles to go.
    If I never saw another bridge again I would be happy. Mentally I was falling apart. I had been pacing off "DARRIN" for the last 3 miles. He had no idea that I was 10 feet behind him.
    "Don't let him out of your sight" I told myself over and over again.
    It seemed like he was going faster and I was hurting more.
    He slowly moved farther and farther away. By the time we entered Central Park I could no longer see him. The crowds were full of enthusiasm as they shouted my name. I listened trying to gain a little more energy to get me to the finish. The park was a beautiful nightmare with all the rolling hills.
    They seemed like they were just chewing me up.
    With one mile to go I tried to count. 1,2,3,4,5, I continued to count trying to take my mind off the pain. 30,31,32,33..I tried to drown of the demons in my mind coaxing me to slow down.
    My watch said 3:33. There was no way I was going to make a half a mile in 2 minutes.
    I looked down at my watch and saw I was running 7:40. "Just hold it Nita" I attempted to convince myself.
    "Run through the pain, No regrets, Finish Strong."
    1,2,3,4,5, I found myself counting until I saw the "Finish" banner.
    Uphill Finish.
    "Oh God, Please give me strength to Finish in under 3:37."
    I picked my arms up and looked at the top of the final hill. I stared at the clock desperately trying to beat the time.
    I crossed the finish mats with great pleasure.
    I couldn't look at my watch.
    They placed my medal around my neck with kindness.
    I wasn't done yet. I still had a 2 mile walk to Andy at the family reunion area. The first mile was no biggie.
    Everyone looks the same.
    The second mile I wanted to curl up and die. It was freezing and it was windy out. My mylar NYC blanket was hardly keeping me from convulsing. My body shook.
    I finally made it to Andy. I saw him looking for me. He was searching everywhere. We all look the same with our blankets but when he saw me I noticed that big smile and felt refreshed all over again. I needed a hug.

    I finished 3:36:59!
    I didn't make my goal time.
    But it was an Incredible race.
    I am so Thankful for the opportunity to be able to run this. I feel spoiled. In 3 years I have ran 3 of the 6 majors. Chicago, Boston twice and Now NYC. (they just added Tokyo).

    I get so choked up thinking how spoiled I am. How does a girl like me coming from Nothing. Being a Nobody. Not standing a chance in life. Having no Hope...
    Have Dreams she could never have imagined come true??
    GOD IS SOO SO GOOD. I Give him ALL the Glory.
    He Never quits believing in me. He never quits supplying me. He never quits Coaching me.

    Thank you to all those Encouraging words. I read every person that comments, hits "Like" and posts. It means so much. Small gestures make Large impacts. Thank You for the prayers and love.