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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

From Boston to New York City! 2013 year iin review

How do you sum a year without  dragging on and on? You know those long blog posts that go into detail after detail as if you haven't heard it all over the year already.

I will do my best to keep it simple and share without being redundant.

2013 Races Ran:
  • Pot O Gold 4 mile run 3/17: 28:19
  • Boston Marathon 4/18: 3:28:11
  • Grosse Ill Memorial Day 5/27: 35:42
  • Run with your Pack HA5K 6/01: 19:27
  • Dexter Ann Arbor Half 6/02: 1:41:39
  • Ann Arbor Marathon 6/09: 3:37:36
  • Crim Festival of Races 10 mile 8/24: 1:18:58
  • Merrell Down and Dirty 10K 8/25: 1:05:39
  • The Hungerford Games 50Mile 9/28: 8:37:31
  • Detroit Free Press Half 10/20: 1:52:58
  • ING New York City Marathon 11/03: 3:36:59
  • Clarkston Back Roads half Marathon 11/ 10:  2:06:43
  • Kona Chocolate Run 10k 11/17: 45:39
MILES FOR 2013= 2067
A lot of healing miles for me.

This is a simple review for time sake!
As I was preparing to write this I realized I have NO idea where I put my BOSTON 2013 medal. The last time I remember seeing it the ladies at my sons school wanted to see it. I brought it all wrapped up like fine china inside my Boston Expo bag with my bib. I am so sick that I can not find it.  I am praying that it comes up. I tried so hard to take care if it only to have LOST it!

3 Greatest Accomplishments:
Boston Marathon
First 50 Mile Race
Ing NYC Marathon

 Well. Here is the basic easy recap! We are heading out. Not a lot of time to blog. I had a lot more but not a lot of time.
The New Year is tomorrow..Hoping 2014 brings my Boston Medal back to me!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Black Ice and Beeping cars!

Today I was just flat out LAZY.
 I got up early and took Austin to Basketball practice at 7:30am. I actually stayed busy all the way to 12:30. At that point I turned into applesauce.
Austin came home from practice throwing up. That is always fun!
Since he went upstairs to sleep it off it seemed like a good idea for me to do the same!
I fell asleep on the couch cuddling with Sheba. Then I got rudely awaken by a kink in my neck. It felt so good to do NOTHING.
I took my time waking up as the boys began to gather in the great room. I really wanted to get up and go running but found myself sucked into this really dumb movie: Rango. I love cartoons even the dumb ones!
I slowly headed towards the dryer to get my running clothes out. I decided to just keep it simple. I would run to the township offices and pay my water bill. I could kill 2 birds with 1 stone;
Get my run in and be responsible and pay my over due water bill!

One kind word can warm three winter months. ~Japanese Proverb
I thought I was dressed good enough. But it was 11 degrees with the wind chill. Today drivers were just NOT very nice at all. The sidewalks were as slick as an ice rink. And I do not skate.  The only option was to run on the road. People were not being nice and getting over. I was way to cold to plaster that ridiculous smile on my face. Not to mention my face hurt. It was frozen.
When I arrived at the offices to pay my water bill I could hardly talk. My eyes were almost frozen together. I must have looked really pathetic because the clerk not only handed me tissues she also offered me a ride home!
My cheeks warmed up enough to laugh and tell her it was just a little over a mile back home. "Thank You." I finished as I headed back out the door.
I almost had to do a double take as the snot was running faster down my nose than my legs were running. A wind gust came sideways and snot came flying out of my nose about 10 inches long. As gross as it was it was actually quite amusing!
I was glad it didn't end up across my face. Frozen snot across cheeks is gross.
My vision was also impaired. As soon as my eyes began to water my lashes quickly began to freeze. It was like trying to look through a kaleidoscope.
To add injury to insult I didn't wear gloves therefore my hands were painfully cold.

I couldn't have been happier to arrive home. The cars were ruthless coming inches from hitting me. I had no sidewalk  due to the black ice which seriously almost had me on my butt several times also.
I made it home Happy Happy Happy!

Distance: 3:34
Time: 34.

I am heading into Flint for "The New Years Resolution Race"  This race is a 8K and 5K. It is ran on part of the CRIM course.  I love this race. It reminds me of Ariel. Ariel came out and cheered me on the last time I ran it. Hope to see some of you out there!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

DOOM! Reviews

I could see the hill of doom almost a mile back. Before I had even left the house I could see that climb up Belford rd. It haunted me. This is about a half mile incline at mile 3 that I always dread.
I was already winded and looked at the hill that looked more like a mountain and wanted to cry. I questioned why I was even out running today. Yeah, it was a heat wave with almost 40 degrees out but I was having a hard time catching my breath and had no energy.
"Maybe I will just walk up it today." I thought.
 "I do not even think I can walk up it" I argued with myself.
"One step, Anita, Just One step at a time. See how you feel and just move forward." I told myself.

There were so many voices in my head. My body felt good. My knee pain even went away from the first mile. But I was so weak and whiny. I had no watch on today to pressure me or make me feel worse than I already did. There is nothing worse than a tough run  to look at your watch and realize that you are struggling and really slow.

I have to talk out loud to try and coach myself. "Let's Go, UP UP UP."
I looked at the top of Belford keeping my eyes on the blinking lights. My mind was rescued by some crazy thoughts that had nothing to do with running but fueled me unknowingly up to the top.
Laughing out loud I kept repeating "I DID IT! I DID IT!"
Somehow I made it to the top without stopping.

I have a 10 mile route I do but I do not like. It is relatively flat until you get to mile 3 where the rollers come in.

I do not think I am much different than most of you. I could have so easily allowing BELFORD RD to keep me home.
I couldn't see Belford from my house but I could see it from my experience. I remember the pain of that hill. It is the hill of DOOM.
Maybe for you the DOOM is Cold Weather.
Maybe for you the DOOM is ICE.
Only You know what your Doom is that prevents you from getting your run in.

I DID IT. And not only did I feel great about doing it (Not great about running it) but I felt so accomplished. I was very proud of myself for not quitting. It wasn't nearly as bad as I convinced myself..it was still bad though!
I didn't get as many running gifts as usual but what I did get were all very practical.
One of the things I really was hoping for that I didn't get was some race registrations. Those are always a fun surprise. I did renew my plates and got my park pass for 2014. This is the best gift I get for myself!


SmartWOOL socks: LOVE! I wore them in 22 degree weather and my feet never were cold. They come up higher on the ankle keeping that dreaded bare spot warm also. I had these on my wish list. Alec bought them for me!
Nike WINDBREAKER: Another LOVE! I got blasted with the wind for almost 4 miles of a run last week and my chest never felt the effects like my face did!

Love to hear some Goodies you received.
Happy Running

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A little piece of me. 9 years ago.

9 years ago I was celebrating my sister in laws birthday at her house. Our entire family was over. Andy was working yet another 12 hour shift at the hospital. I was used to always going to family events with the boys and no husband. It was my life. Andy worked 60-70 hours a week.
I didn't like it but it was all I knew. After all I was fortunate that I had a husband that worked hard and took care of his family.
"Nita, where is Andy?" everyone would ask.
"Oh, he is working." I would say robotic like.
I was beginning to get insecure with all the hours that he was putting in. I felt like everyone was looking at me like they knew something I didn't. I could see it in their eyes. The piercing eyes of judgment. Or maybe it was my insecurity just permeating my thoughts.

It was this day, this evening at almost this exact time Andy was home waiting for me to arrive from the birthday party.
He brought me down to the basement to speak to me without the kids. His mom and dad showed up upon his call.
Confused and scared I followed down to the finished basement.
With tears in his eyes he got on one knee and began to tell me of a man I did not know. A man that I was married to and was living a double life.
My world came crumbling down.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 COR 5:17
That was a long time ago. But to look back on that evening I am moved to tears.
I am simply amazed that God could take that Broken man, that God could take our Broken marriage and put it back together.
How God could turn my husband into the man he is.
I am so thankful God put my crumbled world back together better than I could have ever thought.

When I look at my husband today I see a Man that OVERCAME.
I Look in his heart and see his fears and see the strength he takes EVERY day to continue to overcome them.
I see a Man of Integrity and Honor.
I see a man of Faith and Love.
I see a man that would fight all of hell for his family and not himself.
He was once enslaved to addiction. It owned him. It controlled him. It hijacked him in everyway.
It stole his joy, his family, his job, his love, his emotions. It robbed him of life with no remorse. That is what addiction does. It does not feel guilty as it strips life from you slowing digging your grave.

The road has not been easy. It has quite honestly been very difficult. But it has been worth it. I believe in Andy MORE than anyone. I see his heart. I see his struggles. I watch him try and grit it out. He would not be alive had he continued down that path.
He is Alive..
I will never let myself forget that day.
I wish people knew how important a "Clean Date" was to a person in recovery.

It is more than just a DATE.

It is LIFE.

It is sad we do not Encourage one another the way we should. Take the time to Encourage someone you know that has OVERCOME. Words are powerful.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Turn around Point

It is always fun to try out our new running goods. For Christmas I received a handful of running gear. I could hear the items  begging to come out of their packages and go outside and play.

The sun was shining and making the ice glisten off the trees. It was almost mesmerizing  to look at. Throughout the night and early morning we had another 2 inches of snow fall. The snow was beautiful to look at as it rested over everything so delicately. The snow was much more gentle then the ice storm we received just days before.
As I began to run- the innocent looking snow disguised the slippery ice just below. I began running only quickly noticed I would have to share the roads with the cars because the shoulder was underneath layers of slush, snow and ice.
This is a chance I sometimes have to take. My line of defense is to smile really BIG as the cars are coming my way. I always wave "Hi" or nod at them to try and prevent them from getting mad at me.
I am not scared though. I have come very close to getting hit several times. I do not have a death wish, However; as responsible as I am some people are mean while others are careless.

This afternoon I had not made it a mile when 2 very large trucks were coming towards me. I had to jump into the snow embankment. When doing so I slipped on the hidden ice flying into the air. I barely landed as I felt my legs coming out from the road. I desperately tried to correct myself bouncing out of the muddy slush. Mortified that I was directly in front of the intersection I managed to paste that smile back on and act like it never happened. There was no denying my drenched gloves and muddy butt. I looked like I had a bathroom problem and used my gloves to clean up the mess!

I recovered well not letting my hurt pride steal my run. It was just so perfect that I found myself even smiling when there were no cars coming.
When I got to the high school I decided to turn around and head back home. Shockingly the wind slapped me square in the face. "What the heck?" I thought pondering over the origin of the nasty wind. The air was bitter and cold causing me to zip my fleece up to my chin. I tucked my hands into my sleeves because my gloves were now frozen. Within minutes my eyes began to water turning my eyelashes into icicles.

My run coming home was so much different then my run going out. It really got my mind going.
Crazy how we can run the course of life and know our route only just in a blink of an eye everything feels so foreign. Everything we thought we knew is gone. Life is skewed.
We make these turns in life where suddenly we don't know where we are going or how we are going to get there.

As the wind blasted me I decided I had to dig in. I knew I had almost 4 miles home and quitting was not option. I had bouts of entertaining the thought though. Somewhere in between almost getting hit a half dozen times and sludged even more. The route home was the same so I laughed at myself at how much different the other side of the rode was. "How can this side of the rode be so terrible?" I asked myself with soaked socks. I had to keep jumping in the ditch to avoid cars.
We all have these turning points in our lives. Sometimes for the good and sometimes not so good.
The path is laid out before us to travel. Even when the conditions are less than desirable do not give up. Even when you get confused and you wonder how much more of a beating you can take..Don't give up.

Andy got a call from one of our church kids who has gone stray. He is now 21 years old. He called on Christmas day. He wanted to know if you would still go to Heaven if you committed suicide. Andy went upstairs and convinced him to keep going. Not to give up. This young man was feeling beaten up. He later thanked Andy and told Andy he made his day!

This Christmas was a Turning Point for me. I travel down the road of grief and pain losing Ariel. I keep it buried most of days but the pain is still very raw. It has been a little over a year. But today I smiled. I smiled knowing I have the most amazing memories SHE gave me. I smile knowing she loved me beyond measure. I may never experience the LOVE she gave me again but I smile knowing I had it. If only for a little while I had it. I smile knowing she is in Heaven and that I was a part of influencing her. I smile knowing that one day I will See Her AGAIN! I smile knowing that I have the greatest gift that no one can ever take from me. Her LOVE and her Memories.  I am smiling even as I write this. This truly is a turning point.

Pace: 8:24

What is Your Turning Point??

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thank YOU~ Ba Ha Ha: and a lil laughter


Today I went to the mailbox and I got a letter. Not just any letter. It was a CARD and it was special  for 2 reasons.
  1. It was homemade
  2. It came from one of my followers, Carrie
I just loved it!!
I had a really good day today and this just made it even better.

My run with Danielle this morning was nothing short of fun. The sidewalks were a mess so we took it steady and careful. Today's run was not fast my any means, however; it was not easy. Together we tried to dodge cars, ice, slush and falling. The traffic was rather intense and in a couple places I was saying prayers. Our run this morning definitely got the heart pumping!

Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg.  ~Author Unknown

In other news I caught a bird today! This was a first for me! There was a bird that SOMEHOW got locked in my husbands Maw maws spare bedroom. Mom and Maw maw were all panicked when I got to the house. "LORD HUNNY, we got ourselves a problem.." By the look on their face I thought that the septic backed up and it was going to be my job to clean it!
They secretly took me back to the bedroom and opened the door. I about jumped clear out of my pants when this big black bird came at my flying all over the place. They started yelling "Shut the Door, OH Lordy, LOOK OUT!" I had to quickly grab myself from peeing my pants I was laughing so hard.
Next thing I knew I was jumping all over the little 10' by 10 bedroom trying to catch it.
It was so pretty. I had to catch it twice because it snuck out from my fingers. Mom thought she was funny with the camera, taking my picture bent over trying to get him from under the nightstand.
Aunt Lois made an early birthday comment on Facebook "Is that what the 40 year old spread looks like!" I had to laugh at it all.
But just when you think you couldn't laugh anymore I went out with my girlfriend "Lisa" to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. She is about as crazy as me so together we are NUTS. We had so much fun. Who says turning 40 doesn't have to be FUN!

I am so Thankful for good friends and family. I don't have a lot of either but those who invest their time in my life really are a blessing to me. They bring such Joy to my life. They make me a better person. They encourage me and support me in countless ways. They sharpen me with love and wisdom.
I had such a hard day on Tuesday at work So much so that I questioned why I even bother. I left feeling discouraged and disappointed in not only myself but in others. It embedded in my mind and left me feeling worn out.

 Proverbs 17:22             
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Funny how 1 day can really make a difference. We all have rough patches but persevering and moving forward can bring blessing beyond our imagination. Truly Laughter is the Best medicine!

Distance: 7.6


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Running and Balancing Life

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
Albert Einstein

Some days I get up and look at my list of "DO's" and instantly get discouraged. I run all over trying to make ends meet, knocking off my list and it appears that TIME gets knocked off more than things.
As a mother of 2, I work part time, volunteer in my kids school and lead an addiction group every week at church. I am always on the go especially with both boys in sports all year long.

You will NEVER come to my house and see me in the afternoon watching TV. I have never even taken the time to figure out how to turn it on. I just don't have time. I often feel guilty just sitting down for 5 minutes to eat.
There is NOTHING different from my life than most of yours. We lead very busy lives and always feel like we can not manage all we need to do.

People always ask me how I find the time.
Well you do not FIND time you Make time.

And it is not always that easy. Sometimes I get very discouraged because I feel like my Wonder Woman cape is worn out and lacking power.
I get really disappointed in myself when I look at what other mothers do. The fancy homemade Christmas gifts, the elaborate Birthday cup cakes for their kids, the spotless homes all seem like a fairytale to me.
I have a hard time keeping the laundry basket empty, I often run out of milk, makeup is a novel concept and those of you that vacuum every day surely are amazing.
I so badly want to be that mom but I fail miserably.
"Kelli" a friend of mine and co-worker was chatting for a minute with me at work on Tuesday. I asked her if she had any New Years Resolutions. Kelli replied "Guess, Guess what they are."
I knew the first one right away from conversations 1. "Work out more!" She laughed  and had me continue to guess the rest of them.
2. "Read your bible more?.."
"Yup, and guess the last one." Kelli urged.
Not able to figure it out Kelli replied "Save more Money!"

Kelli is a new mother and an incredible mother. Finding balance to be all that we can be and do all we can do is a novel concept but not always realistic. "There is a season for everything under the SUN."

Often times people think that I run 6 or 7 days a week. I laugh wishing I had a dollar for every time people are surprised by my answer of 4 days a week.
There are times I find myself green with envy at those who are able to run 5 or 6 days. But then I have to remind myself that like "Kelli" this is just not my season.

How do I find balance between being a mom, a wife, a runner and working??
  1. Being flexible. Today it was MORE important to get Christmas shopping done rather than run for an hour. I decided 3 miles was better that nothing.
  2. Schedule it in. I try to find out how I can make 1 hour for myself. It is not saying that I put running IN FRONT OF my husband and kids. This is where the balance comes in. It may be getting up and sacrificing sleep and that warm bed. When my kids were very little I put them in daycare 1 day a week for a half a day and used that time to run and do errands. Let me tell you I heard about that! There was whispering going on about how I could put my running in front of my kids. I also would run pulling Alec in a wagon and Austin riding a bike next to me. They were not always easy runs or even fun runs but I made it happen. They were done runs!
  3. Just because I FAIL does not mean I am a Failure. I fail all the time. I decide what is most important and try to do that first. Sometimes I may get my run in but I didn't get a load of laundry in. Sometimes I get my run in but didn't make it to the dry cleaners. I just do the best I can do with all that I do. But sometimes we fall, just remember to get back up again.
  4. Priorities. Figure out what is MOST important and then go from there. While running is important to me so is my family. The reality is a week consists of 168 hours. 6-8 hours for ourselves should still balance.
Maybe you have no desire to run but can not figure out the magic equation for balance.
Expectations. Letting go of expectations and perfectionism.
Just do the very best you can with the fullest of heart and NO excuses.
Believe in your God given abilities.  Remembering you are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.
Nothing is impossible with HIM.
You can do ALL things through Christ.
Do not look to the right or the left..

Distance: 3 miles
I ran outside in the slip and slide fest!

What tips do you have for finding the perfect balance?


Monday, December 16, 2013

Tough go at it.

A couple girls that I work with bake cookies every year for Christmas. Kelli and I planned this weeks ago. I had been looking forward to our baking party for a while.
In order for me to stay on track today to make our bake I needed to be at the gym as soon as I dropped off the boys.

Without pausing I went in, got a locker, changed and headed to the track.

I recently downloaded a few new songs.
I love this song Mi Mi Mi Mi. I considered sharing the video until I watched it and read the lyrics! I have always loved music. I am often moved my the tune or the beat.  It is funny on my part to actually read the lyrics with surprise.

It was this song that got me out of my 2 mile slump. It was closer to 3 miles to be honest.
Everything was so painful without actually feeling any physical pain. It was slow and exhausting going around and around the track. I looked for anything to take my mind off the fact that I had only been running for minutes. I tried to run with other people without them knowing it. I prayed until I repeated myself and then got sidetracked with even that. I looked at the decals on the walls but they are so boring after the 10th time looking at them. My thoughts just kept going back to ONE: "Stop and Walk."
It took everything in me to keep going ignoring the voices.

Then my song came on! When no one was around I would quickly make the turn around the track and start dancing down the lane. I was cracking myself up with my little secret dance. I would peek over my shoulder and for about 20 seconds, get my groove on then get back into proper running form. I was having so much fun I played the song twice!

Distance: 7 miles
Pace: 8:32

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?   Jeremiah 17:9

Collision: This morning running was hard for me to put one foot in front of the other. I was in a slumber. I knew just to make it ONE MORE MILE. Not to give up but to keep moving.
I love to play WORD WITH FRIENDS. I play with Anthony T. Anthony is really good. He smokes me every time leaving me NO chance to remotely catch up. But he always says this to me when I am getting stung by a 100pt word " It is not a sprint it is a marathon.". This is his way of saying "No hurries, take your time and be patient." Well that is how I define his words anyhow.
Some days we are like this. We feel behind the gun. We want to accept defeat without even trying to challenge ourselves into something GREATER.
We want to quit before we have hardly begun.
I wanted to quit. I didn't have a valid reason to quit other than just being tired, unmotivated, whiny, bored and a dozen other reasons that didn't amount to anything good.
There are a lot of things we need to do but we don't FEEL like doing. Sometimes the outcome isn't even that good. But it is honorable, or it is the RIGHT thing to do.
Running a few extra miles today wasn't the prize. The prize was beating down the voices of defeat. It was more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge. I needed to strengthen my mind and overcome discouraging thoughts.
Just keep going. Take hold of your thoughts. You always hear people say "Let Your Heart Lead you."
NOO!! The Heart is full of Emotions. The Mind is the engine that has the true Power to steer you to Success.
Take your thoughts Captive. Self Control is victorious.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

HOKA Kailua Tarmac Review

Michiganders  have now been hurled with about 6 inches of snow.  Running has now come to painful elements.
Now we run in snow, sleet and slush.
We run with layers, yak trax, gloves, headlamps, hats and reflectors.
We consider 35 degrees a warm front.
I run with the expectation of getting flipped off at least once if I am running on the roads.
I also expect more than one driver to purposely slosh me with wet snow as I just smile and take it all the time pretending I am tough enough to shrug it off.
The warm summer breeze has long since been replaced by frigid winds that rip your face off all the while leaving your eye lashes frozen together and snot dripping into your mouth..YUM.

YEAH to WINTER running.

There are some days that I turn into a pussy cat. Today was one of the days. I have been battling illness for almost a week. Struggling with a clean bill of health and a lack of time I chickened out and hit the gym.

Maybe I didn't grow hair on my chest with bragging rights to a challenging Michigan run but I was wasn't grieving over it either!

I was entertained by all my secret running partners on the treadmills next to me. The music selection in my ears had me smiling and slightly dancing on the TM. I loved feeling my arms and legs bare rather than hidden deep beneath layers and layers.

The Rundown:
Distance: 7:01
Pace: 8:17

HOKA Kailua Tarmac
I am long overdue with my Hoka Review.
I love them. They are much more lightweight compared to the trails shoes. The Kailua Tarmac are more for road running. They allow me to have a faster stride with great cushioning.
Hoka sent me out the Kailua Tarmac a few weeks ago and I have really enjoyed running in all conditions and surfaces.

The Treadmill: They are lightweight and less bulky for not just running on the treadmill but also doing intervals and hills. They didn't get tripped up on me. Just walking in them they feel a little stiff but as soon as you get into a running pace they fit comfortably and supportively.

Dirt Roads/Trails: I felt more balanced in the Kailua than the trail shoes. This may be due to the fact that I am so short. They still gave all the support of the trail shoe without the bulk and beefiness. I had great grip with the  dirt roads and never experienced any blisters after a 20 mile run! I had a lot of room in the toes box so after over 4 hours in the winter elements not only didn't I get blisters but my feet never got cold either.

The Track: The Kailua running around the track rocked yet again! They took the curves with ease all the while hugging my feet inviting speed. Confidently I did some pick ups and was quite surprised at how airy they were during sprints. I am prone to blisters on long runs and speed work. I have gotten NO blisters at all from these shoes!

  • July 31, HOKA ONE ONE was awarded the Outside Magazine Gear of the Show award
  • Gear Institute awarded Hokas the "Best New Gear"

Does anyone out there run in Hokas One One? Why do You Like Yours?


Thursday, December 12, 2013

What did you learn today?

Yesterday I got hit hard. I felt the illness entering my body Tuesday night. It came like a bull. Within hours I had a sore throat and aches and pains. Wednesday it typically a running day however I wrote it off somewhere in the middle of a sleepless night.
I made it out of bed Wednesday to make the boys lunches and drive them to school. When I arrived back home at 7:35am I went directly back to bed WITHOUT taking my 2 coats off!
Mom called me at 1:30pm and this was the first time I had opened my eyes.

When your body is down the best thing to do is listen to it. I was grateful that the sickness fell on my day off.
Wednesday night I took a shot of Nyquil to insure that I would sleep and that was the last thing I remember!

Andy was home today. This is rare but worked out good. Danielle hit the treadmill today so Andy was my running partner.
We are both in this running game.  (The running game that the worse the winter weather conditions the more points you get.)
It was 2 degrees out with the wind-chill: we knew this would be BIG points!

OH MY GOSH it was cold. But I was dressed for success. I ran Tuesday night in similar conditions. I basically wore the same clothes.
Other that feeling like marshmallow running I was relatively comfortable.

WHAT I WEAR IN Single Digit Weather:
Base Layer-Mizuno long sleeve
Nike Long Sleeve outdoor thermal shirt
Hooded fleece pullover
Nike Running jacket
Running tights
Running pants
bandana for face.
Thicker running socks

Distance: 5 miles
Pace: 8:45
Time: 44

This morning I was reading before Andy came home from dropping off the boys from school. When he walked in and saw me closing the bible he asked "HMM, did you Learn anything??"
"Well actually I did...."

Healing of the Water

19 The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.”
20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.
21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’” 22 And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.
 I learned that I am so thankful that God gave me a little salt. I am so thankful for second chances. I am so thankful that I am not still that person that is unproductive. I am still not good but I try every day. I try to be a producer. Producing something good. Giving and not just receiving. Maybe all I have to give for the day is a warm smile but even  smiles can be a valuable gift.

There was a day I produced nothing. I lived for myself.  I thought about myself. I didn't think about others unless I was part of the plan. I was young and in self destruct mode.

I am not pure or perfect. But HE is. And HE gave me a second chance.

That's what I learned today~


Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Little Piece of Me: Alcoholism.. A Murderer.

Alcoholism is NOT prejudice.
It turns beautiful into ugly. It robs children of mothers and fathers. He steals children from their parents. Alcohol turns peace into chaos. It destroys families and lives.
Alcohol took my mother and my father. They just flirted with the bottle until the bottle slowly moved in like a bad tenant.

My mother was Irish. Beautiful. Auburn hair and silky ivory skin. She was petite at 5'2 and 110 pounds. Her father was a proud Irish man who was tricked by the bottle and died before I was born. I have been told he was an incredible man; B.I. Murdock.
My mother was always looking for love. Being a child of an alcoholic herself she was always seeking. She looked for approval, she was like a child in so many ways. As a young girl she just wanted to be loved. She had 3 children from 3 different men. I am one of those children.
Growing up was hard knowing I was never enough for her. I could not bring her happiness. I could not make her put the bottle down.
Alcohol and drugs had a hold on my mother. She traded us in many times.

How can you Hate something so much and Love it all the same?
I remember coming home from school one day to my mother falling off the wagon (Relapsing for the hundredth time).  We lived in a trailer at the time. As I walked into the house I could instantly tell something was not right. The house reeked of Pine Sol. Mom was locked in her bedroom at the back of the trailer. I walked towards the kitchen that was next to her room with my heart racing. I wanted everything I knew to be true ...a lie. I was scared to take each step closer to her bedroom. I needed to confirm my suspensions only I was scared of discovering the truth. The anger began to burn as I tried to open my mothers door only it was locked. She was in there hiding in her bottle. She came out swinging. Her words were toxic and full of venom. I responded just as volatile. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to say to get her to see that I was good. That I should be ENOUGH to not drink. In absolute desperation I grabbed the bottle and began chugging. The warm beer tasted like vomit in my mouth. I had tears streaming down my eyes feeling so helpless and compromised. "If it is GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU THEN IT IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!!!" I screamed in defeat.
My mom sobbed as she reached for the bottle out of my mouth. She crumbled in front of me begging me to stop.

My mother was in bondage, She did not know how to get out from under it. But she knew it took away her pain all the while leaving more pain and destruction in her life. She did NOT want me to be in that bondage.
The one thing she knew was Alcoholism was PROGRESSIVE. It didn't rob you right away it just chipped away at you slowly. It slowly took your integrity, your passions, your bank accounts, your faith, your confidence, your friends, family and eventually Your Life.

I get many people question me about why I do not drink. WHAT GOOD comes out of it??
I have witnessed things that NO Child should ever see. I have lived things that No Child should ever have lived. There are things that I can not even talk about.  There are memories that I have from growing up with alcoholism that I have NEVER spoke of to ANYONE they are so despicable.

21 years is a long time to live without a mother. Her life was robbed from her. I have not had a drink of alcohol in over 8 years. I have no desire. I get many who think I am self righteous...I dare them to walk in my shoes...They wouldn't last. I promise you. I barely did myself.
I will fight all of HELL for my boys. 1 drink for me is not worth the risk of losing a child to our family disease.

I had to make the final decision to have my mothers life support turned off on this day 21 years ago.
Over 6 weeks she lay lifeless in that bed. I would sit next to her begging her to open her eyes. I would convince myself she squeezed my hand but she had not. She was less than 100 lbs curled up in that bed. Her skin was yellow and cold to touch. She was breathing only she was absent from the world.

Alcoholism stole a mother from her children. It steals, robs and manipulates.


Distance: 8 miles
Ran Outside..BRR.
I felt great, I thought of how I have honored my mother. I think she would be really proud of me.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

RUN Down.

I felt like I got hit by a semi truck and I had hardly gotten out of bed. This morning I was meeting Danielle at Indian Springs. I had been looking forward to running out there for a few weeks.
I was feigning the path cut through the woods isolated from people and the pollution of man.
The freedom of running alongside of the trees and tall grasses with no interruptions. I was just struggling in one department and that was energy. I was a little nauseous but I just chalked it up to being tired.

Even though the sun was out by the time I arrived to meet Danielle it was already getting colder. We headed out directly into the wind. The sound of my breath or lack of was sweet music to my ears. I was already tuckered out and had barely begun.

We had a great run, However; took everything in me to finish. My legs were numb and lifeless the last 3 miles. My belly was just not right.

By the time I made it to Maw Maws house to clean I was feeling more RUN down. But mom looked worse than me. I actually felt good in comparison.

I just wanted to take a nap. I never take naps and I planned on going home and curling up with Sheeba and resting.

Novel Concept!
Andy volunteered me to make chili for a dear friend of ours. Jeannies mother passed away from cancer this week.  Very sad. Her husband has always loved my chili therefore Andy thought it would be a good idea to make some and bring it to the funeral home.
I quickly thought of the verse "Be weary in Well Doing.."
As I was adding my seasonings I began to whine. I was tired and felt like a big baby. I just couldn't get it together. Christmas has always been hard on me. December was the month I lost my mom.
There is a lot of joy this time of year but there is also grief.
The doorbell rang in the middle of my pity party. As I opened the door to this strange man I could see he was holding flowers! I GOT FLOWERS?!
It was BEA. She is a coworker of Andys. She loves me like no other. She is my sister in Christ. I pray over her. And she prays for me. Yesterday I was praying for her and she actually asked me to pray for her not knowing that God had already laid her on my heart!
It was no minutes later my phone got a text. It was Tina. She sent me a really special text that continued to encourage me.

We have those days we are just exhausted. Days we can hardly get one foot in front of the other.
"Be Weary In Well Doing."
I didn't move fast today but I did move. I did see God blesss me in my lack of energy.
Can I just encourage you to do something for someone else. Be a blessing to someone else and you will be surprised what it will do for you.
The world calls it KARMA..I call It God. He took care of me through people.
When you give it is given back to you.

Now I do not measure anything so the best I can do is give you the ingredients.
Season to taste..
We all have our special ingredient for chili. Mine is refried beans.
What's your secret ingredient??

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:11:53


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Flipped Off!!

I hardly felt that last mile. What I felt was empowering. It was overcoming.
Proverbs 29:11  "A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back."

Distance:10 miles
Time:1  hour 20 minutes
Pace: 8.

Before you give someone a piece of your mind, make sure you can get by with what is left.  ~Author Unknown

Let me know if you want to play the winter running game. The site will close December 8th. I will send you the link.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Looking Forward when we are so easily Distracted.

"You cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them."
Holidays are tough on people. I checked my miles in Dailymile and was shocked to discover I was 1 mile short of 50 miles. That is a lot of miles for me at this time of the year.
I find running very therapeutic.
I am riddled with character defects. But one of my worst is that I am a people pleaser. I hate when people are upset with me. Being a ACOA (Adult child of an alcoholic) Co-dependency is a character defect that is very common.
I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everyone get along. Or maybe I could sprinkle some pixie dust and we could all LOVE one another.
Pigs do not fly and there are no daisy and butterflies around in Michigan this time of year.
So I go running. And I run and run and run. I pray, I beg, I confess, I cry, I reflect, I think...ALL WAY TO MUCH.
Then I throw my hands in the air and say.."It is what it is."
"Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil." Proverbs 4:25-27     
I looked forward to my run like sitting down with a good psychologist.  I knew I needed more than a usual appointment.  Like maybe 4 hours and 20 miles! 
I wanted to run forever and a little longer. I wanted to go until my legs fell off and then glue them back on and keep going.  I didn't care about speed or running a specific pace. I just wanted to go until I had no more roads to cover. 
It felt so good. I was chilled as the air entered my chest. As I ran farther I began to warm up. I felt the damp air refreshing. The sky was eerie. Overcast and foggy. It was ugly out, however it had its own unique beauty.  It welcomed and accepted me in my broken state.  My mind was overflowing with diseased thinking so much so that each thought interrupted another.
Have you ever had that happen to you?    Have you had the voices in your head battle one another for the podium to speak a different kind of CRAZY?!
I knew my legs worked if nothing else was making sense. So I just looked forward and continued to do what I knew how to do: RUN.   
I met Jama after running 6 miles and we ran together another 7 miles. This was very encouraging. It is nice to run with good friends. Her words and encouragement allowed me to see that I didn't have to commit myself. Seeking God on my run would be more than effective if done right.    
There are times that you are trying so hard to hear from the Lord only to feel forgotten. I felt like this today. As I ran I discovered it wasn't that God was not speaking to me it was that I was listening to the Crazy voices in my head more. I allowed them to drown out HIS words.  I needed a voice BIGGER than my own.
When I listen to garbage it detours me. It knocks me off my PATH. It offers these escape routes that lead to chaos and confusion. Today it took everything in me to stay focused. I needed to keep my eyes forward and let all distractions fall to the way side. I had these conversations with myself. You know the ones..Where you create a scenario and then act it out as if it was happening?! I then take it to the next level of insanity and add dialogue. I soon felt my feet swerving then I heard my mind getting lost in the disfunction of situations that I have no control over.
I had to bring myself back to God. I had to examine my actions. I can not control what others do or do not do. I can only control where my feet lead me. I have to be confident in the way I live my life. And though I am not perfect I am working so hard at looking FORWARD and pondering MY PATH.
Everyone has their own journey to travel. As I ran I let go of the path I see others taking. It is their PATH...Not mine.
Today I just needed to keep my focus. As I approached the 20 mile marker I knew I had reached my pivotal point of therapy. I was chilled all over hardly able to feel my fingers. As I looked around the whole world continued to move regardless of what I was doing. No one noticed me. No one knew that I had just traveled 19 miles and really no one cared. The trees were looming over me. The darkened December sky encircled me almost swallowing me up. I was invisible. Miniscule in comparison to everything going on. "Its Not about You Anita....You just do the right thing even in the wrong situations ..You just keep moving forward...Do not look to the left or right.." I heard His words all SO CLEAR.