"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

Monday, December 29, 2014


Strong Willed

Yeah, I would say I contain a portion of these. I have many ingredients for disaster in my make up. I am my own worst enemy. I think it is fair to say that when managed that these character traits are also great traits for perseverance. WHEN MANAGED!

I am a pistol, no question about it. I have a handful of haters. Most of us do. You would be surprised by those that are in the Hater Club. I have days that I care, too much. But for the most part God realigns my focus back to him. He usually always brings someone around me to remind me I am LOVED, I am not the Antichrist. That I am not then Enemy.

"It's PRIDE F**#%(@  with you." Andy, back in his heathen season would say this to me. I can still hear those words as foul as they were. Those characteristic traits were a product of PRIDE when unmanaged.

"Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight." Isaiah 5:21

After a while you have to just let go. Pride like to HANG ON.
Let them talk about you. Let them Defriend you, block you or send you a letter..
Bury your PRIDE and EXAMINE YOURSELF. QUIT examining everyone else and playing the victim. I have to do MY self Inventory.
I think NOT.
I don't need to gather a team together to support the injustice directed at me. If I have a problem I go to that brother or sister, most of the time. Sometimes, I have found that it just isn't a battle that is ever going to be won. In this case, I just let it go.

God has really beat me down. He gives me a sip or water, a minute to catch my breath and he comes back at me. But it is because I am Stubborn, Strong Willed and Headstrong. He is trying to beat that PRIDE out of me.

My Running is NO DIFFERENT.
Every Run I am so thankful. It feels like the first time I ran.
I missed the vibrant blue sky and perfect day to run. Then I reminded myself..I CAN RUN, it wasn't about the weather conditions, it was about the health of my legs. That made it Perfect.

I had 30 minutes. I changed knowing the sun was setting. The sky was still clear, the air was cold and crisp. It would be dark on my way back home. I grabbed my reflective vest and a light. Quickly running through the house gather my layers I found myself getting so pumped.  I suddenly didn't care that I was squeezing my run in, I was excited for the gift to run at that moment. And oddly enough,  the conditions seemed even more perfect.

RUNNING in the Dark. I started out with my headphones in to get me juiced. But the darker it got, the more crooked the road bent, the more creeped out I got. I needed to hear everything. I needed to hear if a dog was going to make kibbles and bits out of me. Or if a funky windowless van came up from behind me. I wanted to hear if a coyote decided to get frisky with me. Then I needed to hear myself think as I devised a plan for every scenario!

5 tips for running in the DARK.
  1. Turn off the Headphones.
  2. Wear Reflective wear.
  3. Take your phone with you, I get lost in the daylight, the nighttime gets really confusing!
  4. Run Against Traffic
Distance: 3 miles of awesomeness

At the end of the Day, I am the same as I was in the beginning..A nothing. My righteousness is of filthy rags. I have failed you, I have failed myself and I will do it again. Not because I want to, just because I have far far from arrived. But this stubburn, strong willed nothing will try to be better with each breath.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Running Backwards

Isaiah 43:18-19
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)

January:139 Miles
No races

February: 163 Miles
No races

March: 213 Miles
No Races

April: 128 Miles
Boston Marathon 3:30:49
May: 107 Miles
HA5K 23:27
Run Thru The Shores 25:13
Anniversary run.

No Races/Injured

No Races/Injured

The Crim 1:22:44
Quit Logging miles Injured

No Races/Didn't log miles/injured

Detroit Free Press Marathon 3:50:55
Didn't Log miles

Clarkston BackRoads Half Marathon 1:56:12


Favorite RACE: The Boston Marathon, DUH! I had to promise my family I would retire this race.
Prettiest Race: Detroit Free Press would have to be the most scenic. I didn't do any pretty runs.
Hardest Race: HA5K , I hate 5Ks, they never stop hurting.
Races I didn't run: DX2A, Merrel Down and Dirty

No PR"S for the year of 2014. I can hear Andy "Anita, you are over 40, your times are going to start dropping, your going to need to work twice as hard for the same results..."
Being injured for half the year, made 2014 less than epic. I spent a lot of my summer with a sore toosh from logging  miles on a BIKE! Looking back, I may not see any PR's but I do see a lot of miracles. I had 2 races that I should not have been able to run let alone race. I was in physical therapy for my IT Band and could not run more than 10 miles. By the GRACE of God and  excessive amounts of prayers I was able to run BOTH The Crim 10 miler and Detroit Free Press Marathon.
I am not a snobby runner, therefore, my time was not that important to me, I am a grateful runner. So grateful to watch God do a miracle in me.
"Nothing is impossible with GOD." I believe that with my whole heart. He sees my innermost being, my hearts desires..I am so humbled at the gifts he has given me.
* I have had so many injuries, I have beat my head against the wall wondering what my purpose with running is. But God keeps that flame burning, that passion that burns deep inside me. I get so excited to see what God is going to do next. Who I will meet, where He will take me and all the unknown adventures he gives me. Running is more than physical work, like anything that you are passionate for. You work hard. You pray harder, You never quit. No excuses.

Running Backwards: Collision  
We headed to the Gym, the boys and I, after church and breakfast. The lucky number 7 was in my head.
The boys went to the courts and I went to the track. I came up behind a guy and let him set my pace. As I closed in on my first mile, I was happy to see I was running a 8 minute pace.
I saw a guy running towards me on the track. In the wrong direction! The track is counter clockwise, except this older man was running clockwise. 1, 2, 3 and closing in on 4 miles he continued to pass me. We were close to the same pace as we passed one another at the same place over and over again. I wanted to high five him, or thumbs up him but he would look down and away as we passed. I wondered what he was thinking. He looked like he was running some demons out. He looked like his mind was trying to get rid of conversations and situations as he passed me over and over.
I made it my mission to look at him and try and get eye contact with him.
At the last two laps of my 4 mile run he LOOKED UP! I painted a big smile across my face and said "Great JOB." His eyes suddenly glowed. His countenance changed, he smiled back and whispered something back.

RUNDOWN: 4 miles track: 3 miles treadmill 7 total

RUNNING Backwards, 2014 was a year I ran backwards. I didn't run as many races. No epic PR's.  I barely made 1000 miles, but like this guy I saw on the track, even Backwards was still moving Forwards.


Many Miles on my bike to 7 Lakes

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Past, Present and Future

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

My hands are cracked and dry from excessive cooking and cleaning this week. Age is getting harder and harder to conceal.
I always take a glance back at my Christmas's growing up and chuckle. I never felt like I was shafted. I grew up with some special Christmas's and some unspeakable Christmas's.
I learned how to cook a turkey very early because my mom usually ended up stressed out, locking herself in her bedroom.
We had many Christmas's that we were the "Help a Family" kids. I remember one Christmas we had boxes filled to the ceiling, I had never seen anything like that. I was about 13 or 14. Shaking to see the contents, my sister and I began tearing into the boxes. The Salvation Army must have donated to families in need too. We had boxes and boxes of used clothing. I wasn't upset, although, a little confused, my mother had money, she just didn't manage it outside of the bottle. One year, mom was sober and it was sweet. She bought my sister and I both leather coats that year. I loved that coat.
This was my leather coat, I loved that coat. Check out the pegged jeans! We did it first in the 90's!
 I loved seeing my mother smile as we opened it even more. As hard as many Christmases were, as hard as life was growing up with an alcoholic, as dysfunctional as life may have even been had she lived, SHE was my mother. And I know she loved me, she loved all of us. She lived a hard life, but she loved me. And I miss her every day and every Christmas.
Blurry, But this was my mom all dressed up for Christmas, a good Christmas.

Christmas this year was sweet. My family lets me do some crazy shenanigans. My boys are now 15 and 12. This year I wanted to make homemade Christmas ornaments. Austin, my oldest and I butt heads often. But he is very perceptive to my heart. Austin started to argue about our "Family Time Project" but seeing my excitement changed his mind. He then became my biggest asset for getting the rest of the family on board.
Christmas Eve was very sweet. I hosted it like a crazy person. We had over 20 people eating, sharing and playing games.
Families are full of personalities. I am a handful for many people, I know because I am a handful for myself. I was grateful we all laughed and loved one another.
Christmas day was smooth. Andy always writes me a Christmas letter. And he has a year of material that is worded to the perfect CRY RESPONSE.
I love fine jewelry, but I never ask for it. I am just not in a season of life that I feel like we should spend that kind of money.
This year Andy bought me a beautiful pendant. It was purple. For Ariel. I try to stay strong, not talk about her, I hardly blog about her, afraid I am upsetting or offending people. But I am such a mess, I lost it at work this week in front of a client. One look at the sparkling purple gemstone,  I could feel the lump in my throat, my stomach turned and my eyes flooded with tears. It was just beautiful, like her.
Mom and Dad came over for breakfast and the tear fest started again. There are only a few people in this world other than my immediate family that truly know how much Ariel meant to me. She was my everything, my girl, a huge part of my world. Mom, is one of those people. Mom bought me a beautiful birthday card (My birthday was on the 20th, we didn't get to see them). She shared a very special story about the gift that she purchased me inside the card. The gift was a Alex and Ani bracelet that said "Aunt". The bracelet, with moms words were enough to put me back into tears.
It was a sweet day.
Christmas future. This was the first time I have ever had an emotional moment over Christmas. We sat together around the tree. My boys are getting older, the tree lights were flickering, pine needles were an inch thick everywhere, the boys were taking turns reading the Christmas story and life was moving forward. I wanted to yell, "STOP", "PAUSE" and "Slow Down". Where did all the time go?? I always want them around me, making my morning coffee and snuggled up on the couch to read about the birth of Jesus. I didn't want this moment to end.

Maybe next year my family will fill my stocking with Kleenex and antidepressants! I am not sure why it was such a weepy day. It was a perfect day with all the tears, all the laughs and all the Shenanigans.
I hope your Christmas was wonderful. In all the chaos of Christmas, take time to Pause. Take a moment to reflect, give thanks and remove any ill feelings that will sabotage the beauty of the birth of Christ.

Ephesians 4:2-3 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Gifts are a token we give one another to show our love. The wise men gave gifts to show honor an praise to Jesus. Gifts are nice, but the real gift is your presence in love to one another. To remove all bitterness, wrath, resentments and love one another.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bring It Aretha!

"Meaningless! Meaningless! says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is Meaningless."
Ecc 1:2
With the  holidays going and coming we are faced with many issues.  Most of us have swept them under the rug, danced around or all together avoided them over the last several months. I continue to hear statements like:
"The Holidays so stressful."
"I just wish it would come and go."
"I just want to stay home, or go away."
How do we find JOY in the midst of so many battles? We have expectations, we have hang-ups with others, we have bitterness that we have not worked on and in it all we get so confused on what we should or should not be doing.
December is not my favorite month, but in the tears, I have also found great laughter and JOY.
Some day's it is a lot of work, other days it comes easy.
Most of us do not like confrontation with others, let alone ourselves.  
Today, mom and I were cleaning Maw Maws house. Moms made the statement "Anita, what am I going to be like when I get older? I am getting so honest...."
I laughed because mom has. I love it. We get in so many snickeredy little debates. But again, I love that she does not agree with me, I love that she shares her own thoughts and ideas. "Anita, I think I got that from you." She continued with laughter.
I love that she feels she can be honest with me and know that I love her even if we do not see eye to eye.
We have learned that we don't have to share the same thoughts, ideas, or concerns. We have learned that by stuffing down our hurts or hang-ups that does not solve anything.
Pick Your Battle
If you are angry or bitter, most likely you have stuffed yourself with years of garbage and are fat on resentments.
It is really difficult to communicate properly in this condition.
We have to first conquer ourselves, fighting the battle that is raging within us.
At this point, we will discover what other battles we should fight, how to be victorious and what battles no longer need to be fought, that are MEANINGLESS.
It is all in the Approach.
Let Love Lead
When I step off the platform of The Anita Show, I can see how miniscule I am. How Meaningless many of my battles are.
When I see HIS purpose for me is greater than my purposes, many of my battles dissolve. When I let my LOVE for HIM become greater than my battles, I can find JOY.
Meaningless, that's what many things become. Love for Him reminds me to love like Him.
When LOVE leads I am reminded that "I" am even Meaningless. It's Not The Anita Show.

The last few days have gone like this:
Sunday- Played HOOKIE from Everything! Took the Boys to Frankenmuth

Lacey called and we ran a new loop, a perfect 7 mile loop. I ran half naked in shorts that morning! It was 45 degrees out!


Wednesday-TODAY! I hit the gym. 30 minutes of weights and stretching. The track was calling my name for an easy mile. But I saw a regular, an older guy running just a few feet in front of me. I quietly came in behind him. That mile turned into 3 fun miles. I found myself dancing on the track to Aretha Franklin.."Yeah Baby!" "I aint gonna do you wrong..." "Just a, Just a, Just a..."
I was running and pulling out the guns dancing on the track. I felt my shoulders shimmy and a big ole grin painted on my face as I was running in my own party.
I am sure I had a few giggling, but I was having so much fun I really didn't care!
"OHHH your kisses are sweeting than honey... RESPECT..."


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Find Your Fight.

This has been the week from the bad place. A week that has sucked the life out of me. A week of stomach aches and hypersensitive nerves. This has been the week of hurt, disappointment, confusion and pressure.
The week of sleepless nights, tear stained pillows and raw emotions.

I have had these break through moments that I actually told myself, "One Day you will Laugh at this."
I even found myself laughing over some of my secret issues.
The laughter is enough to soften the blow, however, reality sets in to remind me of how hard parenting is.

I see the faces of those who chatter in my ears, I read the words that create pressures even on this 40 year old. I feel confusion grow inside me, insecurity knocks at the door and even creeps through the cracks.

I know that I need to run. I need to sweat, I need to work it out of me.

I found myself shadow boxing in the corner of the gym. I tightened my grip on the weights in my hands watching the veins bulge across my shoulders.
Jab, jab, uppercut, dip, dive..

After 45 minutes I came down to the track. Red faced and sore, I did a mile cool down, walking.

I could still feel my body shaking from the inside out.
I headed to the treadmill.
I hit the incline and started running. The incline continued to increase. So did the sweat and my pulse. The chatter began slowing to a whisper...

Then I heard the voices of defeat..
"Slow down, your at a 9.0 incline, just walk."
"H@!#  NO!!" I shouted.
Ephesians 6:12
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Don't Quit...There is NO other OPTION. You Fight like hell. There is something out there you should be fighting for. And You better figure it out before its too late.
Maybe its your marriage, maybe its you children, maybe its your health.
We are in a CONSTANT battle just on a interpersonal level.
This world is broken and a mess. You better quit making excuses for it and your reaction to it. You better learn to fight to be set apart, fight to do the right thing in the wrong situations, fight to have integrity, honesty or just fight to stay true to yourself. Make NO MISTAKE if you are just chillin out eating Bon Bons you are a easy target for a life of apathy and regret.

"GOD help me, I cant QUIT". It truly is in my weakest state, my most vulnerable condition, that I am so humbled, on my knees in emptiness begging God to provide me of my inadequacies.

Psalm 31:24 "Be Strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!"

I felt the vomit churning in my belly, my chest was heaving as I tried to figure out when that last interval would be finished. It was the longest interval in the history of intervals.
Determined I dug in with everything I had and everything I begged for. I could see the situations I was struggling with being applied as I persevered.
Failure is NOT an Option.
I'm not gonna quit.
I will go to my grave fighting. I will fight clean and I will fight dirty...But I will Fight.. The Enemy doesn't play fair.

I will fight, I will fight for my children and I will NEVER quit.
Let them chatter, it doesn't matter what other people do or say.

Just when I thought I saw my life flash before me the treadmill began to decline. Relief. Air. Victory.
It was finished. I fought, I never quit, I never compromised.
I Thanked God.

It's Simple:
Find YOUR Fight.
And Never GIVE UP.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Dear Mother..

Every Day Its You I See
You nose, your chin or even the smile that I see,
Are just a couple of the similarities between you and me.
Whether it is the good or bad or the old or new,
Everyday goes by, when I do the things you would do.
I can not deny what has been done between you and I.
All my feelings and emotions I can not lie.
Your trip so far in heaven, but you could never leave me.
For everyday in the mirror it's my mother that I see.

Anita Cook
April 4th 93'
Today, is the 22nd year since my mother passed away. It sounds so simple put in those words. It was far from simple. It was agonizing and horrific. No 18 year old should ever have to make the choice to have their mother taken off life support.
I discovered my folder full of poems that I used to write. I have always used writing as an expression of my heart. It is my way of trying to make sense from senselessness.
So the Christmas tree is up, but I feel empty. The lights are sparking but it still feels dark. There is beauty but I feel broken.
It is just a day. Or maybe it is the month. I ran, it didn't help. I prayed, it comforted. You gotta just keep on keeping on.
Dear Mom..
Your so far away when I hold your hand,
Its not really you beside me I stand.
Dear Mother, where is it that you really lay?
Has God now taken my mother away?
Did you feel the pain that science had injected?
Or were you so far away that you were not affected?
Were those your eyes that sometimes opened when I spoke?
I asked for a miracle, I sign is what I hoped.
Can you hear the love I speak to you faithfully?
Can you feel my tears I cry to you gratefully?
Do you know I am there when I don't speak a word?
Or when I reminisce am I being heard?
Dear Mother, walk your children in the right direction,
Lead us to the roads of a mothers satisfaction.
Know that each step we take your love leads,
And all our dreams and goals must proceed.
Dear Mother, please hear us, touch us, please know we love you.
Dear Mother, forgive us, hold us, don't forget we love you.
Dear Mother, strengthen us, pick us up when we weaken,
And know that everyday its our Mothers Love that we are seeking.
Nov10-Dec 10th
I started this as my mother lay in a coma at St Joes Hospital. I finished this and read it at my mothers funeral with my sister and brother beside me.
Never Forget to Remember,

Runners Gift List Ideas 2014

Gifts for the RUNNER you LOVE!

25 Running Gifts with links for all Runners and those who Support their favorite Runner. 

All Runners

  1. Metro Park Pass (Car sticker)
  2. Subscription to Running Magazine (Runners World)
  3. Garmin or Running watch with GPS
  4. Apple Nano:8gb 149$
  5. Socks
  6. Running Journal/Devotional/Training book
  7. Order picks from a recent race
  8. Medal Holder/ Bib Holder (GoneForARun)
  9. Registration for a Race
  10. Road ID

Half Marathoners/Marathoners
  1. Fuel Belt/ Running belt with pouch
  2. Fan Faces (Spiritline)
  3. Armwarmers/ gloves
  4. Foam Roller (Trigger Point)
  5. H2O bottles, hand held

Stocking Stuffers
  1. Sunblock
  2. Epson Salt
  3. Chomps/Chews
  4. Shoe Pouch for keys/credit card
  5. Chapstick
Some great sites that have discounted running shoes, accessories and clothing.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Remember to Never Forget.

I had many great intentions today. No matter what store or what isle I have been shopping in, I can not seem to find "MORE Time", I have found Thyme, but it is useless to me.

I was able to get my run in. Danielle and I met Hillary out at Indian Springs this morning.  Hillary runs at Indian Springs almost every morning. She asked me if we could meet for a run out there.
We had so much fun.

The day was an emotional day. As high as I was from running,I struggled with some memories. I intentionally tried to do everything to stay positive and joyful.

As I drove down the back roads towards home I could feel the memories burn in my heart. The people that I miss so very much.
This time of year is the hardest time of year for me. My mother died this week and my grandma and I shared Christmas birthdays.

As dark as life was growing up, when my mother laughed, everyone laughed. She could fill a room with joy. I came to a deep thought today. As the tears gently warmed my cheeks, thinking about that amazing matriarch my grandma and almost hearing my mothers laugh,  I wondered why I was still so sad.
It was the dark times, the scary nights, the hard seasons of life that brings a simple smile into perspective. A light laugh, a glittering eye, a warm touch were all so precious. They were like a bright sunny sky in January in Michigan.
I miss them so very much.
I loved every little special moment. I miss those moments. I wish I could just visit my grandma and listen to her tell me stories of her dancing. Or wait for hours as my mother got ready to go for a simple walk. I wish I could hear my grandma tell me how we were both Christmas babies.

I wanted to write my Christmas favorites list. But I needed to remember to never forget.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A week in Review!

I haven't written in 1WEEK!
I am not thinking that anyone was out there chomping at the bit to read my daily ramblings.
Nothing like I was doing as I was trying to get my husband registered for the Bayshore Half marathon. My fingers were shaking as I tried to type and talk to Lacey sitting next to me. As fast as I loaded all the information into the computer my phone was beeping with notifications. I was receiving pictures and text messages from friends who had ALREADY gotten their confirmation back. I barely had Andy's shirt size loaded. I laughed as my fingers shook. Lacey was there to run after we registered and by the looks of my hands shaking I needed to let off some bent up energy!
Confirmation, confirmation, confirmation!
We were all IN! Danielle text me and was confirmed to run the full. And Kay from CC, text me that she was all confirmed to run the half too!
2015 has 2 races on it:

  1. Rock CF : Sunday March 29th
  2. Bayshore Marathon: May 23rd
As for the last week:
Good News: I can still fit into my britches!
Bad News I think I ate pie every night before bed.

Good news: Terri brought me my first Sweet Potato pie.
Bad news: I didn't want to share it!

Good News: My first Pie Day at the new house went off like clock work. We had such a riot!
Bad News: LAST minute location change for Thanksgiving moved to MY HOUSE.

Good News: Thanksgiving at my house holding almost 30 people went off without a HITCH.
Bad News...There wasn't any!
MORE good news, Thanksgiving was so easy I was able to meet Melissa and Lacey for a trail run before the overload of calories and characters!

Good News: Aunt Lois received word that she is CLINICALLY in REMISSION! Praise God!

Good News: Jeff quit being a wuss and came back to the gym! He hasn't done anything but eat Little Debbies cookies the last 7 months since Boston!
I let that knucklehead talk me into a spin class today. I felt like that rowdy kid in class that laughs at everything. The more I sweat, the more the instructor said to "UP your gears". I looked at Jeff as he just made fun of me. I considered crying because no one would notice from all the sweat dripping. I decided that would take up too much energy that I needed. I kept looking out the window to see if they're were any  EMT's on standby for the newbies.  I couldn't go all soft because the instructor kept calling out the newbies. I was only 1 of 3, and for some reason he ONLY remembered MY NAME. "Come On NITA, your a runner, Up on your bike and sprint." I could hear Old Jeff laughing at me.
I had several names I wanted to call him but I was laughing nervously. The mirror in front of me convicted me to be nice to Jeff..in public anyway!

Good News: Andy has not ran in months either. He did however, get very excited when I informed him that I was able to register him before the Half Marathon CLOSED.

A little Piece of ME:
I am keeping my miles down. Because November and December are so busy, I have found it almost easier to follow a very flexible plan. I am not taking myself or my schedule too serious.
The more ridged my expectations are on myself and on others the more disappointed I find myself. I find myself disappointed in myself when I can not make the expectations I had set forth on. I also find myself disappointed in others when they fall short of expectations that I have put on them. When I release the reigns of control and just show up with a good attitude any disturbance just becomes a small blip on the radar.
When I choose to put more effort on managing my attitude rather than my actions or others actions, that is when I find myself most effective! Having a Good attitude often brings good actions!

Don't take yourself so seriously. Life is FULL of unexpected circumstances. The only thing you can completely control is YOUR RESPONSE to it. If you harvest a good attitude you will always have an abundance of JOY, PEACE and LOVE.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Warm Fuzzies

The day had to be executed perfectly in order for me to check everything off my list of errands.
Drop off Austin at 7am, drop off Alec at 7:30 and point the wheels to the gym.

The temperature left me very confused. It was great weather to run outside. Back and forth I pondered, all the while driving towards Grand Blanc to the health club.

I walked into the gym to see a friend of mine holding her smoothie cup in a awkward position. Apparently, she had sprung a leak, leaving a trail of smoothie throughout the gym.
This was the beginning of my Monday. Laughing at some
one else's misfortune. I actually thanked "Beth" for the laugh and she even joined me in the morning giggles.

That must have left an impression on my jawline. From that moment on, I had a smile attached to my face all day. If I had a dollar for every double take I received from smiling at people, I would have my Christmas fund accounted for.

Smiles are so contagious. They even feel good when you don't feel good. My smile even widened when people noticed I was smiling at them. They probably thought I was a creeper, my grin was so cheesy.
I even winked at a couple people when they felt obligated to smile back.

Yes, traffic is getting bad.
Yes, people are a little on edge.
Parking lots are like a war zone, emotions are tense, people are hustling around, the weather is funky and the kids are coming home...
I loved it when people smiled back at me. Maybe they thought I was a weirdo, maybe they felt sorry for my unshowered pathetic looking self..whatever the case, I received A LOT of smiles today.

The Rundown:

At the gym I was chatty Kathy. I practiced eye contact, I chatted with ladies in the locker room and I encouraged some others working out.
"God Bless YOU" one woman told me. I just love that this woman has the courage to share those 3 words. She is Middle Eastern. She is always so kind, today she even offered me her lotion when I went into the dry sauna. I politely declined but was overcome with warm fuzzies.

*35 minutes of weights and stretching.
*25 minutes of biking
*15 minutes Cold Plunge
Rushing out the door unto the next thing on my list!

Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays steal your Joy. Be someone else's Joy, Share a smile!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Running Inventory

As I ran past her, she looked up at me. Her face was blotchy and tear stained. Her short dark hair was tussled as her eyes met mine. I shared a smile with her, we both knew she was crying.
I have had many of those runs. The runs you keep your head down and stain the cement for miles.

Today, was not that run. My thoughts on the run...

As I ran, I had a checklist that I was going through.
  1. Don't cross your arms
  2. Shoulders back
  3. Don't heal strike
  4. Run with your core
  5. Pick up your legs
  6. Look up
  7. Breath
  8. Relax
  9. On your toes up the hill
I would keep myself in check, going over my list multiple times.

As I trained my body for my run, I was to reminded to check my personal inventory as well.
I went through my actions, both that day and throughout the week. I reviewed my relationships and my responses to different circumstances.
The Check List started.

"My Righteousness is of Filthy Rags."
As I ran, I reminded myself I am nothing.  I don't DESERVE anything. Everything I have is a blessing from God that I don't deserve. How could I get mad at God for ANYTHING when he gave me more than I deserved which is really nothing.

Even in my inventory, my mind turned over. I have had a lot of circumstances that I have walked away from. I have had some nasty things said about me, as we all have. There has been times I want to defend myself. I want to give my side of the story. I know the things that are being said and done and it is terrible the ways things are reported.
But in my miles I had peace. I just let all that go. It is so peaceful.
You don't have to defend yourself. You don't have to share your side of the story. It is always good to be so confident in your actions or lack of action that you don't look back. And that confidence comes from PEACE, and that Peace comes from doing the right thing.
You don't have to go to every argument you are invited to.
If you don't get in the sand box then you never get dirty. Let others throw dirt at you, just walk away.

The next time you are doing a training run, or training at the gym,  do a little self inventory in your personal life as well.

  • Check Yourself (NOT OTHERS)
  • Review Your Actions
  • Remember to be Kind
  • Recover with Forgiveness
  • Let it go..

Distance: 7.01
Pace: 8.07
~ My knee felt great, I had about a mile that I  knew it was there. That means I had 6 miles that it felt great! EASY math.
I did 3 miles on sidewalks (more math) 4 miles of back roads. All this totaled to 1 MUD RUN full of FUN!

For Thanksgiving I am giving them away. You have to Subscribe to my blog and Like my Facebook Page for DETAILS. It is a EASY Thanksgiving Giveaway!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holding it back.

"Don't Cry, Don't Cry...Good Grief, blink, blink it back. Whatever you do, look down. Act like you are wiping sweat off your face. Breath, Blink....Hurry, Get to the lockers, Anita."

"My Wish For you.." I was just getting off the Dreadmill after a satisfying 6 mile interval run when this song melted my heart. Ariel. This song always reminded me of when she graduated. This song was very popular.
"I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow..." The music took my breath away.
"Oh God...Where is this coming from. It was such a good work out. I have the world in the palm of my hands. Why are you crushing the walls against me. Your crushing me with these emotions. Please God, Please, take this away."

 I wanted to feel strong. I wanted to feel in control. Its one thing to loose it in the shelter of your home. But whatever you do, You have to keep it together in public.

In hiding I write. Dear God I miss her, I miss her so much. Thanksgiving, like every day is just not the same with out her. I need her. I need her so bad. I need her beside me. I need that big smile. I would give anything for her long and detailed stories.

I am Thankful for every moment with her.

As the Holidays approach, many of you have lost someone that you love. This time of year, you feel the sting so much harder. It will be hard. Days will feel incomplete and unfinished.
But take each day and find something you are grateful for.
I am grateful for the lunch dates, the conversations, the tears, the movies and all the things that she did that made me a better person.
I am Grateful God gave me her. Every moment is such a treasure to me.
I am Grateful that I know she is in Heaven.

That's all I have. Its been an emotional day~

I got caught in some nasty weather, but I stayed out of the ditch!

Emotional days make me want to cook!

Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Recipe HERE
I made a couple changes: I added a 1/3 cup more Pumpkin puree, I added Flax seeds, and instead of chocolate chips I did raisins.
It would have stayed "Healthy" until I added Icing!

I Booked My first HOTEL for 2015 Bayshore in Traverse City. Now I have to get in!
I had my computer up and my phone up with different screen shots. I was trying to locate the closest hotel with the best price. If you are looking for a hotel, just ask me. I have spent hours researching. I have all the prices, locations and reviews!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Snow Stoned

Life has been crazy. "MOM" has been the most popular word my ears have endured the last few weeks.
"Mom, Can you..."
"Mom, Will you..."
"Mom, Did you..."
"Mom, Can I..."
Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom...
And in the end, it is my favorite word to hear. MOM.

Running as a whole is winding down. Alec started basketball a couple weeks ago.  Austin has been at basketball tryouts all week. Basketball is his true baby.
I had to wait all day to find out if he made the team.....
He tried to stay cool about it, HE MADE IT! I was stoked.

So I am this families solo runner. My miles are nothing to write home about. I am just keeping those legs familiar with the comfort of my Brooks.
I have ran a little here and a little there. Each time I run I want to Go!
Last Thursday, Danielle and I ran our traditional 8 miler. It was the perfect progressive run. We started out at 8:45 and ended at a sub 8 minute mile.
Sunday, Austin and I went to the gym. almost 4 hours later and I only ran 1 MILE! I did weights,the bike, cold plunge, hot tub, hot shower and a great blow dry! Blow drying my hair must have burned at least 1000 calories!
Monday, was a whole different kind of work out..I remodeled the bathroom. I pulled up my big girl pants. I secretly bought paint and took the afternoon to update the bathroom.
Layer 1: Procompression Socks

Winter decided it was coming at us like a machine. The more it snowed, the more I wrote off the idea of running. More wind, more accidents, the more it sounded better to NOT run.
I texted Lacy about 1:30. We were going to run in the morning, only I never heard from her.
~"No running this morning it's horrible out!!Did you venture outside for a run today?'
-"R u kidding me no way
~"Lol!! I'm going back and forth.Mostly back about it!"
Then there was a PAUSE......
-"I'm still debating for a quick little run before I get the kids in a bit"
~Call me
Lacey Showing off her new winter purchase...I WANT These!!! I considered running her down a back road and stealing them! Check them out here "The Nomad Pant"

Next thing I knew, I was hunting down all my winter running clothes!

Greatest Base Layer: Mizuno, moisture wicking and heats body

I think I laughed for the first 2 miles. We only ran 3.6! The snow was wet and cold. The wind blasted my face off. So, I just had to laugh even harder. I was snow stoned. Lacey had to yell at me, as I went back and forth on the road. "ANITA, Pick a side of the road you are going to run on!"
I was laughing so hard at how crazy it was I wasn't really paying attention.
I saw "Claudia" coming home with her little guy out there. She has the greatest accent. This made me laugh too. I believe she is French Canadian. She rolled down her window, I invited her to join us, She laughed at me.
Layer 2:Nike thermal
I was so afraid of slipping. School was letting out and the parents were driving their kids home at the same time we were trudging through the slushy snow. I think half of my laughter was visualizing my arms wailing through the air in front of one of Alec's classmates. He would be mortified if his friends told him at school the next day that they saw his mom wipe out in the snow.
As we were making a turn a car rolled down their windows. I was trying to make the curve on two feet when I looked up and saw "Ken". This made me laugh too. How did he recognize me? I was covered in black. literally from head to toe!
Sheba like to attack GLOVES...I look like a running ninja!

I don't know what was in that snow this afternoon. All I knew was, as cold as it was, as slow as we ran, it was so stinking fun.

ALSO. A big SHOUT OUT to Amber for Subscribing to my blog! Hope to hear more from you!

Who Else Ran in the Snow Today? How did you do?


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom..Yeah Right

I am wiped out. My brain is not capable of much thought this evening.  This is the first time I have sat down all day. 8 trips back and forth to the boys school.
I am looking forward to going into the "Nothing Box."
For me "The Nothing Box" is catching up on Word With Friends and a couple games of Hearts.

My wise words off the top of my head! Here is my Top 5 favorite Quotes.

  1. You Don't have to go to Every Argument Your Invited to.
  2. Don't Let it Rent Space in your Head.
  3. Less=More
  4. Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys
  5. Denial is not a River In EGYPT.


Here's a little laugh, my son was hiding and videoing me!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pulling in the Reigns

Psalm 34:19
         "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all."
2.5 Weeks until Thanksgiving
2.5 Weeks until Black Friday
6 weeks until Christmas
7 weeks until I do another race
This year did not go down in the books the way I had it written it. 2014 was going to be the year that I brought my speed up. God had different plans for me. It doesn't do any good to go kicking and screaming. And marinating in pity is pointless to.
I have been more than blessed with my running this year. I didn't "race" but only 2 races, The Pot-O-Gold and Boston. Running is more than racing for me, it is also running and sharing the love of running both on the course and in training. It makes my heart skip a beat to be able to run with the injury I battled with after Boston. My big hitters were The Crim, Detroit Freepress Marathon, and Clarkston Backroads.
My average went way down this year, if I really was a snob about that it would matter to me. But I am just grateful. So Grateful.
So for 7 weeks, I will reign it in. Funny thing I tell people I am not going to be running for the next few weeks and I get 2 responses:
  1. High Fives, "Yeah! Good for you." This response leads to 2 thoughts: 1. "Yeah, I am proud of you or 2. "YEAH, I hope you get slow and fat!"
  2. Apprehensive...Like I am lying, "Who are you fooling Nita...."
I know that 2015, I am going to need to Grit it OUT to get back into it. 41 years old, I am going to need to work harder than ever to just MAINTAIN!
God knows my physical afflictions. He hears my heart, he listens to my prayers, I have been so blessed to have him pour so many blessings on me.
 I hear him too.
"Anita, Be Still...Let me heal you, let me strengthen you body and your mind. Come to me in prayer, seek me, trust me, Glorify me in your afflictions. When you are weak, I am Strong."
AFFLICTIONS. This is such a hard time of year. This is the time of year the Crazy Train runs OVERTIME.
Stay OFF.
People get a little loopy. They hurt and they hurt you. We have these expectations that can not be met and we develop resentments. We create scenarios, we enable because we want the perfect holiday, we want everyone to get along.
We step in where we shouldn't and find ourselves that quick on the Crazy Train. All our good intentions flushed down the toilet.
The Elephant in the room becomes part of the family room d├ęcor. We react on Fear. Rehearsing every "Wouldve, Could've and Should've." Then top it off with "If Only, and "What If" and wonder why we can't sleep at night!
It Hurts. It hurts when we can't FIX everything. It Hurts more when we do all the work and nothing changes.
Don't take the ticket on the Crazy Train. Wave them through in LOVE and just the train go by.
Are You all done Racing for the Year?
Anyone else out there pulling the reigns on their running for a few weeks? If So, What are your thoughts????
Has Anyone had the Crazy Train stop at their residence yet??

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Clarkston Backroads Half 2014

This was the second year of this race. They changed the route from really, really hilly to just really hilly!
The weather was the same as last year,  drab, dreary and gray skied.

I love that the race started at 9:30am .

I had a car pool at my house at 8:15 for Joan, Javon and Jama..The J gang!
Joan was running, I was pacing her for a 1:55 half marathon.
Javon was our photographer and our support.
Jama was running with someone elses's bib. They asked Jama not to mess up their average, so she had to finish the half marathon at 1:50.
Holly Road Runners

I Love Clarkston. I have worked in Clarkston almost 20 years at Glitz Salon. I wanted to just have fun and try to get Joan a PR.

The runners this year were lined up inside Independence Oaks. Their appeared to be less runners than last year. I heard a lot of whispering about the cost of the race this year. However, the brutal course last year may have scared off  a lot of runners.

I loved the park setting. Even with the course being difficult it is so pretty.
Joan and Sue

Some Kind of CRAZY...
It was very difficult to pace the first few miles with all the hills, trails and terrain changes. When my body started getting into the groove I heard someone yell my name. I turned my head to see a gal I had noticed before the race. I had been trying to place her but couldn't. Now SHE was calling me!
"Susan Collins".
My head almost spun off its axis! "What! NO way!"
Susan told me she lives in Phoenix, Arizona and  here visiting her father for his 80th birthday!
I looked to my right at Joan , "Joan, I went to high school with her over 20 years ago!"
Then she even said she reads my blog! That really had me laughing. Oh, the readers that read my crazy ramblings with all my sloppy writing skills. One never knows!
It is always so fun to see how God is going to show up with some crazy twist to my runs and races.

The three of us ran together for a few miles. I am so loud and obnoxious. I shout, scream, high five, and cheer all the runners on.
I use mantra like
"That's It, GET UP IT!"
"You got this, COME on Joan, STAY with me!"
"GOOD Morning Clarkston!"
"No Regrets, that's it!"

We had a turn around point, at this place we could see all the runners in front of us and behind us.
Passing other runners in this way pumps me up. The extrovert in me explodes into "THE REALLY Obnoxious Runner."
I saw "Rebecca B" from Dailymile, Amy S. from church, Christina and Jama.
This was breathtaking, they were Arabian horses running back and forth against the fence line.

At mile 9, Joan was beginning to dance with the devil. Pain was presenting himself in a very real way. I knew I was going to really have to push her and encourage her. But what I didn't know was how many people I would be encouraging around me. I don't have a mute button, and my volume button doesn't work very good. Being shy isn't part of my character, neither is caring what people think. I don't get embarrassed that easy.
If I believe you can do something, If I believe you are not struggling with yourself rather the voices of defeat, you can better bet I am going to be loud, I am going to SCREAM louder than the voices in your head,  I want YOU to listen to ME, I want you to HEAR ME. I want you to BELIEVE in the words that I pour over you. I will fight with everything I have to help you and I will NOT be shy about it!

We ran near a guy doing the race with intervals. He was great. We were always within 50 feet of him. He left us and we never caught him, he was always in eyesight though.

"Just a 5K left JOAN, Stay with me" I would pull out the craziest techniques to get her to stay on pace. "10 seconds Joan, Get RIGHT HERE, 10 Seconds.." I would start counting down, pointing to the side of me, "5,4,3,2,1, That's it Great Job." And there she was back in the saddle again.
Up the hills, I would start to loose her. "Give me to the tree, Stay with me, then we will walk."
I knew it was better for her to walk for 5 seconds then to slow down and never catch back up. I could see it in her face, She was in the hurt locker.  A few feet in front of her I looked back  "Down the HILL,  turn em over, close this gap Joan, pick it up on the down hill."

The last mile and a half were all hills. I was getting so frustrated for Joan. I didn't want her to give up. I counted minutes back to her, distance left for her, I gave her everything I could think of.  As she was pulling deep physically, I was pulling all the punches and wishing I could just take her pain.

We made that last turn, there was the finish. I could hear her feet pick it up. She was all IN now! The spectators were awesome. They were full of energy, probably doing whatever it took to stay warm!

After I crossed the finish line I turned around to catch Joan. With the biggest smile of pride, I opened my arms up and just held her. I choked back the tears, but I was so proud of her. She pushed herself to her limits, she never gave up and I was just in love with her GRIT.
Sue C, From High school, I haven't seen in over 20 years!!

The Union served up some of their famous Mac and Cheese.  Coffee, hot cocoa and beer. The post race goodies were awesome, Muscle Milk, Kind bars, bananas, water, crackers and plenty more.
Joan,Jama, Erin and I

Javon and I

The volunteers were very friendly, They had to be because the course was so tough!
I liked the design of the shirtS and medal a lot. Bling is always important!

Another great Race, Grateful for all the runners I was with today. I met some amazing new people, blessed to see some old faces, and Thankful for all my running friends I was with today.

GREAT JOB to Erin, Jama, My sweet Joan, Christina R, Rebecca, Dawn M,. and Amy S!
Thankful to God for my Legs to run with and my Lungs to Cheer with!

Anyone out there run this race? What did I leave out?