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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Training Tip: Pacing off Others.

FulPacing Off others.
Today I was a little concerned that I was P*$$ing off the guy in front of me as I secretly Paced Off him!
When I stepped on the track I really wanted someone to run with. I like running with others when I am on the track so I do NOT have to keep track of my pace. I let them do all the work!
I saw this guy about 200m in front of me. He looked like a good target and a good target pace that I could possibly maintain.
As I counted my laps the gap between us slowly began to close. He was running in the middle lane where I was running in the outer lane. This meant that I was running longer and a hair faster then him. Within a couple miles I found myself running ear distance from him. Most likely he could hear my breathing or my shoes turning over on the track. He never looked back or altered his pace.
My goal was not to out run him. I had no intentions of pounding my chest and letting an ego get in the way of my run. I just wanted a running partner.
After 15 laps he slowed down enough that I had to continue onward. I took my music out of my ears as I came back to him walking. Smiling at him I quickly yelled "Hey, Thanks, Great Pace." He looked up at me as I passed and replied out of breath "Thank you."
I was bummed out that I lost my secret running partner. Now I had to work. I looked at the overhead clock and started to keep track of my pace.

 "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches
but to reveal to him his own."
 - Benjamin Disraeli

On my final lap around the track I saw this older gentleman kicking it up. Keeping my eyes fixed on the back of his shirt I tailed him in that last lap around the track. My lungs were burning as I gasped for air. He stopped right in front of me almost at the same time I stopped. He turned around and yelled something. I took my music out while he repeated himself. "WOW, YOU didn't  LOOK like you were going that FAST!!" I laughed and answered "I was trying to keep up WITH YOU!!"
This older man waited for me to walk up to him as he too desperately tried to catch his breath. With his hands over his head he says  "I saw you coming and wanted to try to keep up with you only you were going faster than I realized."
We chatted about how it is nice to pace off others. It helps you to get motivated to push yourself.

As I walked off the track I found it so circular how I paced off this man earlier for almost 4 miles and  here this man used me to pace off of as well.

Tips on Pacing off others:
  1. Run your own Race: Be careful not to get too competitive and end up injured.
  2. Have a Plan BEFORE you pace off others and stick close to it.  
  3. If someone helped you run better, stronger, or faster take a minute and let them know. Most likely they knew you were pacing off them anyhow. You could end up with a new running partner!
  4. When pacing off others try and concentrate on your form. If you see them slouching remind yourself to run strong and upright. By watching others' form you can hold your running form accountable.  
  5. Try not to be a nuisance. If you think you are annoying the person in front of you then be courteous and back off a few feet. No one wants to hear heavy breathing in their ears unless it is their own. And most of us don't like to even hear our own breathing!

Full Circle:
Pacing off others outside of running is equally as important. Unless you have "Arrived" most of us are always striving to be a better person.
I have my eyes on several people that I Pace Off:
  1. With Finances: My Girlfirend Lisa. She did the Dave Ramsey course and I really respect how well she and her husband manage their money.
  2.  Godly Woman: My Girlfriend Kimberly P.  She  is soft spoken and yet a sweet firecracker. She lives life with honesty. She is not afraid to proclaim Christ and lives to honor HIM in ALL she says and does. This takes great courage in todays world. She is not Wishy Washy in her walk. I have watched her grow so much the last few years. I love pacing off her.
  3.  Encourager and Motivator: My running friend "Heidi" She has a smile that never leaves her face. She is transparent as a person even in her struggles she finds joy. She is always cheering someone on.
  4. Hard worker and disciplined: Danielle, my running partner. She is like clock work when it comes to getting up every morning and doing her work out routine. She works hard at all she does and maintains a very good attitude. Danielle balances me when I get to excited about issues.
  5. Support and Love. Hands down Andy's mom and dad. They actually are so supportive and loving it is almost to a fault. I am reminded daily how much they support not just Andy and I but many others. They give love unconditionally. They would rather show you love and get hurt by the choices they don't agree with then not give love and feel like they shut the door on you. They are trying to work on this. They are just the most loving people I know.
There are many many others that I Pace Off of in Life. People that do not know that I am watching them and taking notes.
  • Sometimes we have to back off when we can see that we are no longer running with the same agenda.
  •  Sometimes they are moving at hyperspeeds that we are just capable of.
  • Sometimes they are moving slower that we thought and we have to move pass them.
Overall we have to keep in mind they we need to RUN our OWN RACE. God set others around us to build and grow from. To edify and encourage one another along the way.

Remember too that most likely some one is Pacing Off of YOU.  Be the best You "you" can be.

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:03:38
Pace: 7:57

WHO do You Pace off OF???


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A little Piece of me. HOMEless-

A house is made
of brick and mortar,
but home is made
by the people who
live there."
M. K. Soni

Home is where the Heart it:
As I looked at Alec I questioned what I had done. For ten weeks we had a For Sale sign on our home. And for months I  had been preparing the house to put it on the market.
We had to be out of our house in 2 days and we had no home purchased in its place.
Together Andy and I had raised both our boys in this house. Alec came home from the hospital here.
Alec knew no other.
With almost everything off the walls and out of the house except the junk and dirt left to clean I saw Alec.
Alec was hunkered down sitting on the bottom of the steps. His little body looked so lonely while I just cleaned around him.
I stopped and just stared at him. He felt my attention and looked up at me. His eyes were glossed over with his lips quivering. My throat got a big knot in it. I slowly walked towards him. I reached my arms around him only to feel his head bury itself into my chest.
"Mommm, I don't want to leave." He cried. "We have so many memories here." He whimpered.
I held him tighter as I found myself tearing up alongside him. His little body shook in my arms.
I searched for the perfect words in vain. I wanted words of comfort and wisdom. "Alec, this house will give someone else great memories and we will make more memories in our next house."
It sounded so cliché.
We lived here for 12 years. Some of the most instrumental years of my life were in this house.
"What if I made a mistake?" I silently questioned.
Just that morning Andy was walking out the door to go to work. He was very agitated. The last few days had really taken a toll on him. Right before Andy walked out the door for work he snapped at me. He wanted me to hang  pictures on the wall where we would be renting. I didn't want to put pictures up in hopes we would not be there too long.
"Andy, I don't want to hang pictures we are not going to be there that long." I said sternly.
As I got a closer look at Andy I could see his face reddened and flush. "Nita, I just want to come to that house and have it feel like my home."
I instantly felt sick as I saw his eyes begin to well up.
"Andy, Home is Where the Heart is." I said with all sincerity.
"I understand that but I want it to feel like my home."  Not wanting me to see him in this vulnerable state he quickly left out the door for work.

We all had our moments leaving that house on Weller Ct. I came there after work on Saturday. Noone was there and all the furniture had been removed. As the garage opened I was shocked to find it empty. My stomach came up to my chest. Salty tears rolled down my cheeks as I looked at the spray painted lines across the garage floor. Alec not knowing any better when he was 9 years old took a can of black spray paint and made 3 lines across the floor. He labeled each of them very large 1, 2, 3. These lines were innocently painted as his starter points for shooting ninja stars. I remember coming home and seeing this black spray paint all over my garage floor and wanted to have someone's head. "WHO did this?" I charged into the house for answers.
Little Alec fearfully admitted it. I burst out laughing at his sweet innocence. I didn't have the heart to scold him.
I loved coming home to that spray painted floor. Now I sobbed as I looked at it for the last time. So many memories.

Andy lived in the same house all his life growing up.
I lived in over a dozen homes by the time I was 15!
The ones I remember:
  1. N.Johnson-Pontiac
  2. E. Colgate- Pontiac
  3. A couple foster homes
  4. Somewhere in Lansing in a trailer park with a woman I never really knew. She had a beautiful trailer and was very clean. I think this is where we lived when my mom got back on her feet.
  5. Some nasty apartments on E. Holly Rd and Dixie Hwy. Those got burned down by a neighbor while my mom was off the wagon and on a terrible binge.
  6. Parkway Motel in Dixie Hwy in Holly. We lived her for about 9 months.
  7. We moved into a school house on Oakhill road. We lived in the top apartment that was about 600 square feet!
  8. The bottom apartment opened up and we moved downstairs of the schoolhouse!
  9. When I was 15 my mom bought a trailer at Sashabaw Meadows trailer park in Brandon.
  10. My mom burned that down with a case of beer and a cigarette. We moved into another trailer on the same park! I moved out when I was 18.
These are the homes I remember. I remember more but they are sketchy.
Moving is just something that I am used to. I don't mind moving. Or so I thought.

Comedy of Errors!
Sometimes you just have to laugh through the tears. The closing date was given to us 5 days prior!
  1.  We had to scramble to find a UHAUL truck.  Apparently everyone was moving on the same blizzardy weekend!
  2. I got home late from work on Friday. Andy was on the cusp of a nervous breakdown when he called me from Flint. The person he thought was going to go to Flint with him and me to get the UHAUL cancelled. Andy was so upset. I was desperately trying to calm him down. "Anita, you are going to have to in meet me up here and leave your car here." He directed. I argued with him that I did not feel comfortable leaving my car in Flint. "NITA, Are you Listening to me?  We do not have a choice." I hung up the phone with him feeling helpless. I couldn't believe no one could help us just drive up to Flint and back. Out of pure desperation I called my neighbor. "Amy... Would you, Could you PLEASE PLEASE  go with me to Flint...I will buy you Starbucks! ANYTHING you want, PLEASE.." I begged.  She put on her Wonder Woman cape and saved my day. This meant so much to not just me but Andy as well. "Nita, You are going to miss me when you are gone." Amy laughed. Yes, I will miss her terribly. She was an incredible neighbor.
  3. OH...BUT it just starts to get good here!!...It was a stinking BLIZZARD going to Flint. We saw 3 cars in ditches and had not even made it 5 miles from home!
  4. Amy drove my car home and I took Andy's truck. We lived on a hill. This makes driving up my driveway VERY difficult. Amy had to park my car in HER driveway because she knew she couldn't get up. She couldn't even get up her driveway in my car!
  5. OH...And the UHAUL...It was NOT going up the driveway. Andy is a very good driver. He used to drive trucks bigger than this when he was younger working for a tent company. As he attempted to back it up and up our driveway it slipped and came all the way back down.
  6. It got caught in the crest of the driveway and the sidewalk. The UHAUL was hung up on a patch of ice and snow. After Andy attempted to rock it out he came in more frustrated to ask for my help.
  7. "Nita, I need you to get in my truck and PULL me out." He explained. I thought, "You have got to be kidding me." Andy Drives a Ford F150. It looks big but not next to this UHAUL. He then added "BUT, You have to make sure you pay attention, you only have about 8 feet to work with." OH Great.  It took about 5 minutes and sure enough I pulled him out. I felt hair growing on my chest. Without gloating too much I headed into the house.
  8. I was not in there more than 5 minutes when I saw Andy stuck AGAIN! This time the 26 foot truck was perpendicular with the road. This meant no one was able to come or go. We are right smack in the middle of the road. It was almost 9pm. I got dressed back again to help him. He was already getting the tow strap on. "OK, Now I need you to get up in the UHAUL and I am going to pull you out." Andy tells me. "WHAT?! I have to get into that THING?" I replied. This time Andy's truck was in the neighbors driveway. He had even less footage to pull me out with. If he went to far forward he would either hit their cars or go through their window. I was sick.
  9. Back and forth we laid the gas pedal down. The smell of burning rubber turned my stomach, When I let off the gas all the fumes and smoke wafted through the air. You couldn't see anything. It seemed futile. 10 minutes we worked to get the UHAUL out of the snow embankment. Finally Andy told me to go into the house. He reached for the shovel in a last ditch effort to dig his way out. I looked out the window after him a few minutes later to discover he was no longer blocking the street!
  10. Saturday I worked and Andy moved. We had a snow storm. My brother in law and his family of 8 kids all came out to help. Mom, dad and my brother in law Bruce all put their sweat and muscle into moving us. We didn't hire movers because we are going to be doing this again in the next several weeks.
  11. On Sunday when we were unpacking and finishing up at the Weller Ct house I made the mistake of mentioning my long run. Andy looked at me like I had 2 heads. Mom, well she just laughed at me. I knew better than touch that one. No run on Sunday!
  12. In the days to pass I have lost my purse a half dozen times, my keys a dozen times, my cell phone more times than I can count and my mind has yet to be found!
Home is Where the Heart is. We are settle in. I pray God gives us a house soon. I am very thankful for the house we are renting. It is over a 150 years old!  God Is Good All the Time. The last 2 weeks I have spared you with the details of stress. I have put on my game face making the best of very tough times. Emotions are sifting. There are pictures on the wall. Andy found some holes and nails.
It feels like home.

"If Home is where the heart is then may your Home be blessed . . ." 
1mile w/u
8x800m repeats 3:20 (6.40pace) .05% incline
1.25mile  c/d
Total miles 7.25

Friday, January 24, 2014

Say "HELLO" to my little friend!

Yesterday I just didn't have a minute to post. I am the slowest at typing anyhow. And as you ALL have noticed I am NOT a writer so I usually have to edit everything a half dozen times. Even after editing I still have mistakes. I AM SO A WRITER...I AM A RUNNER!
The point is I just didn't have the time for all that.

I did have time to RUN.

The truth is I wanted someone to run with me. Thursdays are Danielle and my running day. Danielle went on a cruise. HOW DARE she leave me behind in this God Forsaken Freezing Tundra!

So I have a friend whom I admire a lot. He is an "OLD Warrior".  "Jeff" is going to be 61 in March. Jeff qualified for Boston!! This has been a DREAM of his for years. He has been running since high school...That was probably his means of transportation! (OLD JOKE)
Jeff is stitched together by running. He knows the fasted kids in the country. He follows all runners. He remembers the runners and their times from 20 years ago. He gets antsy when he talks about them. He can calculate your marathon pace within seconds of knowing your 800m splits. He can review your training and project the times of your future races within seconds! Jeff goes to the high school meets and just enjoys watching the runners. He stands there all jittery predicting their times and always spot on! He is not a coach no matter how much I have tried to convince him to be one.
Jeff got injured last fall. He struggled with the Crim in August with his feet. Plantar Fasciitis. A nasty nagging injury.
He took some time off in hopes that it would heal. Jeff got a membership at the club in January and started to slowly train.
THE TRACK: I texted him to see if he was going to be running yesterday and see if I could join him. I wanted a partner. I knew that everyday that Jeff was at the gym was a TRAINING day.
I was happy to see he said I could join him.
I did his training.
800m w/u
800m c/d
I didn't want to mess his training up. I asked if I could just run at his heals. Jeff is a very consistent runner. He did his 800m very well. He was gassed at the end of them. A couple times I had to remind him to run strong and get his posture back up. I didn't want him to get mad at me though.
By the time he did his last 800 he kicked it in. He remained strong with me talking to him from behind.
"You HAVE to do this Jeff."
"That's it, that's it, FINISH Strong."
When he could catch his breath he repeatedly thanked me for pushing him and helping him.

No, yesterday wasn't about Anita. Sure I could have run my routine 8 miles. But it was more fun to run with Jeff and see him reach his goals. I still did a couple miles after he left making my total miles 7.
I found it interesting that Jeff's mantra was the same as mine earlier this week. "You just Have to do it."
"You do not have another option."

It is that mind set that gets it done. You have to control your thoughts. Our Mind is more powerful than our legs.
My son had a basketball game out at Swartz Creek. They beat us a few weeks ago by almost 20!
Austin my 14 year old is a great basketball player but he lets failure hold him hostage. If he shoots and misses a basket he just won't shoot anymore. The crowd always encourages him to shoot because they know he can do it.
Last nights game was no exception. He was having a great game but he missed a lay up. You could instantly see the discouragement steal his joy. Very soon he had the ball again. The crowd coaxed him into shooting a 3 pointer. It was very intense. He shot and made it! Again and again he made 3 pointers.
He score 18 points and played very well. His team ended up winning the very good team of Swartz Creek. Yes, he still had some mistakes in there but he conqueror himself!

Yesterday was about being on the sidelines for someone else. It is equally as important to be on the sidelines for others as it is to run your own race. It is a good reminder that life is not always about YOU. Sure we can make it all about us. But it feels so good to put your own training, your own issues aside and encourage someone else.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Coaching Strength.

When it comes to running there is always going to be someone that runs faster, stronger or harder.

I looked to my right and saw "Bill K" blazing around the track.
"WHAT the "H" have I got myself into?"  I heard my voices screaming in agony as I ran on the TM.
My legs were already burning and I had not even ran a mile yet. My breathing was labored and my quads were so tight. I began to get scared. Afraid I was going to fail at my goal. Afraid that maybe I was just getting too old. Afraid that I would hurt more.

Mathew 19:14 " But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”   
"God Please,PLEASE help me." I was begging him. I am always pleading with God. I often wonder if God thinks I am a needy. "Oh, that's Needy Nita again, what does she need now?"  I am constantly asking things from him. Like a young child unable to care for themselves I continue to seek him. I go to him without Fear but in Faith. Faith of a Child.

I put the towel over the TM so I did not have to see the numbers. I thought of those that are fast. "Melanie P" doesn't even know I exist but I know her. She is a speed demon. Melanie runs ultras. I ran a run out at Pontiac Lake last summer with her only she was injured and had to turn around. She allowed herself to heal and came back as strong as ever. I thought of how she knows Strength.

"Anita, You HAVE to be STRONG. There is no other OPTION." I heard myself being coached.
That was it. We NEED to BE STRONG. Even when our Mind is weak there is a still small voice that is screaming "BE STRONG." We have to DIG in. There is NO Other Option. There is no place for WEAKNESS.
No one ever says "I want to be like them, Weak!"

I could hear these words coaching me. I could actually feel my legs going faster than the belt. I had to be Strong enough to be disciplined in the pace I was.

I thought of times when I wanted to cave into Weakness and give up. But I quickly coached myself out of that. I reminded myself of how Strong I have been over the last 16 months. I have been emotionally pummeled by hurt both physically and emotionally. People are mean. You have to be strong enough to love them anyway.
I have begged God to give me STRENGTH. I am so thankful He has an endless supply of STRENGTH  that He continues to bottle feed me.

We have to get to the place we accept it. We have to see that PAIN will make us Stronger if we LET it. Sure we can have a plate of hurts and disappointments and let it dissolve us into the person we were never meant to be.
Or we can accept that Pain as part of our diet, much like vegetables that are GOOD for us!
It will help us to grow if we choose to do the work and allow it to.

I was scared to look at my distance as I felt the sweat creep down my temples.
"What if I look and it says I have only ran 3 miles?"
"Oh, God Please, Please, Keep me STRONG to finish this out."

As I removed the towel the distance read 3.99!!!
"I got this, I got this."  I cheered myself on as I punched the numbers in to pick up the pace to Finish the last mile Strong.

Tempo RUN:
 1 Mile w/u
5 Miles 7:19 pace
1 mile c/d

YOU GOT THIS!! Whatever you are going through. Maybe it is your running. Maybe you are struggling with work, or choices that you have to make. Maybe you have been doing things that you shouldn't be doing because you think you have no the strength to stop. YOU GOT THIS!
Maybe you have had a recent loss or are struggling with family or friends. DO Not GIVE UP. Do the right thing always. Stay STONG. Dig In, Brace yourself and Seek God for the STRENGTH to Keep going when you want to quit.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Tips for training around the Track.

I went to the gym after dropping Austin and his friends off at basketball practice.

After yesterdays long brutal run I felt like I got into a fight with Mother Nature and SHE WON.
I was in the hurt locker. Everything was so sore.
I had a blank slate for a plan as I pulled into the packed gym.

Here is what I knew:
  1. I was sore.
  2. I didn't want to run on the Dreadmill.
  3. I wanted to run at least 5 miles.
  4. I wanted to stretch, do abs and hit the Cold Plunge.
Leave the watch at home. There are many runs that your watch will be glued to your wrist. There are few where you remove it and this is usually because the batteries are dead! We often so get caught up in the madness of time, pace and distance that we forget to just LOVE the RUN.

Let the Pace plan your RUN. Today that is what I did. I knew I was sore. I ran a long run yesterday where the distance didn't beat me up as bad at the elements. Because I ran over 13 miles yesterday I knew that I needed to be gentle to my body. I needed to feel my run. Let my run come to me rather than me pushing towards my run. By doing this I have allowed my body to come into its own. I took it slow and finished strong.

Try something new: Normally when I run around the track I bring my watch to program my mile splits. This is how I keep track. Today I had no watch. My counting is terrible. I forget to count as I calculate pace or I start daydreaming and lose track. As I took my first mile slow I began to feel a plan unfolding. 7 miles easy. I decided to count how many times I went around the track instead of counting every 4 times and marking my miles from there.
FUN TIMES with TIP Number 3!

You are probably wondering how I could count to 28 without losing track. I did WORD ASSOCIATION!
4: "Made the first MILE!
8: "Only 20 more times around!"
10: "Double Digits"
12: "12 months in a year, we run all year long!" 
13: "Bad number, Bad MOJO" 
14: "Half way there." 
17: "I have been married 17 years."
21: "My Sweet Ariel"
24: "1 Mile left to GO!!"
28: "DONE..heavy breathing ..DONE!"

The plan worked out.
Distance:7 miles
Pace: 8:42
Time: 1:01
ABS, rolled, stretched and COLD PLUNGE, BRR!

Just Because I ran a long run yesterday was not my exit from running today. Just because my body was tender and raw was not even an excuse for skipping my run. My training has me run Sunday and Monday. NO MATTER what. My training is not at a place I can dodge runs.

I found this and wanted to share it:
A Guy who has run 20 Boston Marathons was asked "Don't you feel like skipping a day when its raining?"
The old warrior replied, "If you start skipping runs because the weather is too lousy, pretty soon you start missing runs because the weather is too nice!"
~Florence Griffeth Joyner and Jon Hanc  Running for Dummies



Sunday, January 19, 2014

Spring Marathon training STINKS! BAHH!

Spring Marathon training in Michigan is a bunch of CRAP. Yup, I said it and I will say it again. Crap, Crap, a toilet full of great big stinky turds.

I had a long run today in the miserable Michigan canopy of CRAP.
It was 21 degrees out with beastly winds knocking me sideways. I had Heidi to run my long run with me. We could see the winds before they threw up snow and ice at us. There was no place to take refuge. We would turn our backs from the whirlwind and attempt  to protect ourselves from the inevitable injury.
The snow came off the drifts like glass in our face.
I felt like I was running in place. I desperately tried to lift my legs and tackle the blasts. I was going no where fast.
I went somewhere...I went into the path of anger.
This was stupid. I tried to reason with God. I prayed the sweetest little prayer. I think I even tilted my head and battered my eyes towards Heaven.

Heidi and I ran close. She had no where near the layers I had on. However, she had this perfect smile the entire time. I believe the cold weather just froze her face like that! Because I wasn't smiling except for the few times I thought "THIS must be a cruel JOKE".

13.5 MILES of being dressed like the abominable snowman. I had so many layers on my arms couldn't rest on my sides! I ran in 2 layers of britches.
A hat, a hood, a hoodie and a windbreaker hat connected to my jacket.
My head was hot and my face was frozen. I was fatigued after 5 miles from fighting winds and all the weight in layers. I fought a good fight but I was tapped.

I am discouraged on my training for Boston. There has got to be a break from these torture.
I am however excited to have Heidi training with me. Heidi asked me if we could train together. She is training for Bayshore Marathon in May.
This will  help with these CRAPPY winter runs!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

When Drinking and Drivng collides with Running. MEGS MILES

On January 13 "Meg" went out for a morning run. I can just imagine what she was thinking as she was lacing up her shoes.
"Hmm, how far should I go today?"  
I am envisioning her quickly lacing up her shoes and programming her watch before she headed outside.
To honor a fallen runner you hang running shoes in a tree. This is Alec and my shoes.

I did not know  "Meg" personally. My heart is broken for her and her family.  As an adult child of an alcoholic I am grief stricken even for the drunk driver.

As I set out to run in honor of Meg this evening I reminded myself that some of our best runs are for others.
Today is a reminder of how runners from all over the WORLD can come together to honor, pray, pay respects, give condolences and support a fallen runner.
In our little town of Holly Michigan we have a Roadrunners Facebook page. Post after post runners logged their runs they dedicated to "Meg".

It is a reminder to live life to the fullest.
To live life with Love, Honor and Integrity.
To live Life with no Regrets.
To live life not just for ourselves, that is easy, rather to live life for others as well.

This accident is tragic. I pray for the family. May God give them peace and healing. I pray that they feel the love and support from all of us.
Meg was very active in her church. I do believe I will see her again running in Heaven.

I think this is a reminder to all of us to do what we love in life and live it to the fullest each and every day. I did not personally know Meg, but we share mutual friends in RVA. Whenever I don't know what to do, I turn to my artwork. As I sat down last night and painted this watercolor of Meg doing what she loved, so many thoughts were going through my mind. Like so many other mothers of young children, I can relate to this tragedy and my heart breaks for her family.

I wanted to share how I envision her and hope that some of you will also on your run today. I would like to dedicate this painting and another one of Meg that I am working on to the family so that they and her children can remember the beautiful soul that she obviously was. Make it count and God Bless the Menzies <3
This is a watercolor the Anna painted to honor Meg. Anna never met her but was moved to paint this and dedicate it to her.

 Almost 90,000  people committed to Run in honor of Meg today!! We all put  in miles to honor a fallen runner and to help bring awareness to driving under the influence. 

It brought back a lot of memories for me with my mother and father. Both my parents died from Alcoholism. I had been in the car many many times as they drove drunk. The addiction owned them. They were beautiful and loving people but they were controlled by the bottle and the drugs.

My heart is heavy for the family. Their life has been devastated. Everything has been stripped from them in just a blink. A husband lost his soul mate. Children lost their mother. The family has been crippled.
Losing my Ariel just over a year ago to a tragic accident I can empathize. This hurts me even more as I look at how difficult it has been to heal.

Todays run was not just about honoring a fallen runner. Todays run was also about holding the family in prayer and in love.
It was finding gratitude for another run. It was not just any run.
It was a Honorable Run.
A Run that meant Something Beautiful.
A run that held Meaning.


Post your Miles IF You Ran for Meg TODAY.

5 Michigan MILES for MEG.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Those Bragging RUNNERS! UGH!

"The WIN is WITHIN" Gatorade
At what point do non-runners think us runners are braggadocios or pretentious?
Are WE?
Are YOU?
Oh sure, we have overheard that person at the local 5K race going on and on about the sub 7 minute mile he was going to run while not once asking about anyone else. Or perhaps, you have watched the half naked runner doing strides right before a cold winter race.
We have made the mistake of sparking up a conversation with a runner only to find ourselves listening to his training, pace and PR's.
We go on FACEBOOK and see people posting their runs and work outs every other day.
And some of you even see people posting their BLOGS all the time like we REALLY want to see all that!  
Andy and I used to actually post our runs on Facebook with our NIKE+ app, but then a family member made fun of us so we quit. It gets a little awkward when you find out people think your bragging.
Most of the time people that are bragging do not really care if you think that they are. They wouldn't notice if you said something.
There was a guy who posted this on Facebook last week:
 "anyone else silently competitive in the gym?
"Oh I see you, 45 year old treadmill man, running sub 9 minute miles. I shall now run 8 1/2s and feel silently superior."
I had to comment....My comment went something like this.. "Watch who you are calling an OLD MAN...I just finished my run in sub 7's."
(Turning 40 last year I am a little hyper sensitive to the "OLD" word being tagged to 40's.)
BUT...I got caught up in the competition of his post so much that I found myself boasting. I left my comment up for about an hour until it ate away at me. Finally, I felt like such a punk that I deleted it. "Jeff" is actually a very gifted runner. He is fast and has always been fast. He is however very competitive like most of us runners.
We are Runners. We are Competitive. We Work Hard for PR"S, medals and bragging rights.
Yes, I am competitive. I do challenge myself up against the person next to me on the TM. On the track I use the runner in front of me as a tool to go faster trying desperately to pass them.
Ultimately the WIN is from WITHIN.
Ultimately TRUE discipline is in verbally not competing rather keeping your victories off billboards.
Some of my favorite people are those that sneak out their successes.
Over the summer I ran with a group out at Pontiac lake. I was scared to death to run with these ultra runners. They didn't just run absurd distances they ran them fast and on trails.
And yet deep within the woods they encouraged one another. They waited for one another. No one went on and on about their pace or distance. I actually heard them talk more about their failures then their victories. They even laughed about them.  It was one of my favorite training runs.
Runners are a unique bunch. We are really a gang of our own. Most will not understand us. They will even think we are bragging when we are not.
It is our LOVE for running. Running is like an addiction. We think about it all the time. We want everyone to run with us. Most runners are very deep and spiritual. Not necessarily Godly but spiritual. 
We Think too much therefore we RUN.
We Eat too much therefore we RUN.
We are too Emotional therefore we RUN.
We RUN that is what we do.
We believe the RUN makes us healthier.
We believe the RUN makes us athletes.
We believe the RUN makes us brilliant.
We believe the RUN makes us NICE.
We Believe the RUN makes us__________________.
Now I BELEIVE all that only to add that I KNOW that GOD gets ALL the GLORY. It is nothing in me or that I can do that HE has not ALLOWED me to do.
This is the key element to the WIN IS WITHIN. God Gets the Glory All Day LONG. I have NOTHING. I came from NOTHING and I will LEAVE this earth with NOTHING. There will be a day no one will know my name much less my fastest marathon time. But maybe just maybe someone will remember that I loved the LORD with all my heart and HE gave me the legs to lead others to HIM.
That keeps me Humble.
I am really good at compartmentalizing my stresses. But as of late it is peaked. I have been in the RED ZONE.
I met Danielle for 8 miles at INDIAN SPRINGS Metropark. When we arrived the weather was cold but the trail was clear. Within a couple miles the winds clobbered us. My ear started to hurt from the snowy blasts out of the woods.
Danielle gave me my birthday present before we headed into the trail. She bought me running socks, my favorite HONEY Stingers waffles, a running neck scarf and she sprinkled chocolates in the bag.
Had it not been for the neck/head scarf I just might have curled up and died. Maybe that's a bit extreme. It was just so cold. I was sore from yesterdays speed work so it felt like I was running at a turtles crawl. The snow was beautiful to look at as it came at us sideways slapping the side of our face about off!
Yeah, we were really pretty. We had snot dripping down our noses. Our eyelashes had ice literally hanging from them. The more my eyes teared up from the wind the more they froze together. We would look at each other and laugh.
I don't know how we made the whole 8 miles. Probably because by the time we could have turned around we were past the loop so we had no short cuts or cheater trail.
I would not have finished had Danielle not been with me. The POWER of a GREAT running partner.
Distance: 8miles
Time 1hour 12 minutes 
What a WEIRDO!! Loved that scarf neck thing!


Do you have a favorite story about Bragging?
How do You define A Bragger??

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Inflicting Pain? Thats just Plain CRAZY!

This is the Track at Genesys Athletic Club.  The track has three full lanes with cushioned Mondo surface. It is labeled for walkers, joggers and runners as a place to train all year long. At nearly ¼ mile, this track is the largest indoor track in Michigan and has an overhead timer so you can keep your time or set your pace. The track is also labeled with mile markers all the way to 10 miles for both the fast lane and the slow lane.

I was running low on time this morning. Running fast was the only option. Get in, get out and get going!
I decided to run till it hurts. I decided to feel it  then continue to run. Repeats sounded like a plan.

1 mile warm up
800M repeats with 200M C/D
1 mile C/D
Recovery run
Total miles 6.5.

Builds Strength.
I am going to need strength to get up Heartbreak Hill.

"Difficulties are things that show a person what they are."
Speed Works SUCKS. Yep I said it. SUCKS. It hurts so bad. I was breathing so heavy the persons in front of me turned around because they heard me coming!

How often do we PURPOSELY inflict pain upon ourselves over and over and over again?

As I felt my stomach turn inside out I questioned myself. "This is insanity, most people do not deliberately hurt themselves."
But rather then turn it down a notch I found myself running for more pain. I could hear other voices screaming "GO ANITA, Go, It has to hurt, it has to burn, GOOO."

The winter softens us up a bit. Pain is part of the plan for running stronger. Lets not get all soft.
Accept it. Plan for it. It is time to just suck it up buttercup.
We all have different levels of pain.
RUN HARD. Breath Harder. Feel the Burn. It is the greatest feeling when you have accomplished a tough training run. My endorphins were going off like the Forth of July. I felt like a crack head, I just couldn't get enough. Even after finishing I found myself in front of the punching bag throwing roundhouses. I had no anger just stoked my endorphins.  I want MORE MORE MORE!! (I love that commercial!)

"Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn!"

I finished up stretching and icing in the Cold Plunge.

DID You Feel the BURN today? How do you mentally get through Speed work?


Monday, January 13, 2014

Preparing For Boston 2014

BOSTON Marathon 2014 is Monday April 21st.
That is 14 WEEKS from TODAY!

I have my registration paid for. I have my hotel for 3 nights booked. But I still do not have the go ahead from the husband.

We have a lot of big changes taking place for 2014. These changes are interrupting running Boston.

Andy and I got into a financial discussion regarding how we need to spend our monies for 2014.
The Financial Fitness conversation is way more scary to me than any physical training I could do.
The conversation really puts a wrench in my running plans. Not to mention that even after 17 years of marriage it is still awkward.

When it was finished the last words that actually put closure on the discussion went like this. "Anita, I love you but we have to scale back and that means on runs like Boston."

Because I did not like where the conversation was leading I decided to RUN away from it.

Boston Marathon 2014 is EPIC. I just have to be there. Last years Boston was tragic. I think about it so often. This was the first time I have ever felt death. I felt terror like you see only in the movies. My children's faces still haunt me from that day. A mother should never have to see her children overcome with fear and terror. Shaken and hysterical. So many faces still weigh heavy on my heart.

Most of us RUNNERS were and are angry over the disgusting events to sabotage our sport. But we have used that anger to grow into strength to overcome. We have used it to fuel us to train harder and with more passion than ever. The memories of those taken from us on the day last April will be embedded in our hearts. We want to Honor them this year and let the world know we are STRONG. Boston Strong.

If I never run another Boston Marathon after this that is fine with me.

My kids are still frightened to go back to Boston. Last week I discovered to hurt my case even more the marathon falls on EASTER WEEKEND!

The Marathon got brought up again over the weekend. I did it. I had to do it. I PULLED OUT THE TEARS.
There was no other choice. I changed my voice and allowed my emotions to
break through! I think it may have worked.

For my official Boston training run I decided to run 7 miles of HILLS.

The Boston Marathon has 4 hills called the NEWTON Hills. You guessed it in Newton not Boston. These hills fall right between mile 20 and 21.
The last of the Newton hills is Heartbreak Hill. This is the mother of all Hills. Just the thought of running up her at mile 21 makes me want to bring out the water works again!

Training tips for Running Boston 2014:
  1. Train hills. Invite the Pain, Better now than later!
  2. Get your nutrition down. Start eating like an Athlete.
  3. ICE Ice Baby! Take care of your body if you want it to take care of you! Proper Recovery.
I will just focus on those 3 for now. I will go more into depth on them individually later.

Distance: 7.07
Pace: 8:37

  • 1/4 cup onions chopped
  • 2 cups carrots sliced
  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • I do not measure but also add Oregano and more basil
Sautee above ingredients over medium heat with 2 TBPS Olive oil for 10 minutes.
1- 8 oz jar of Basil Pesto
1 can Garbanzo beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 box of chicken broth
1 roasted chicken. (I buy chicken already roasted at grocery store. They have Organic ones.
Tear amount of chicken you want and place it with above ingredients.
Let simmer for about 1 hour.
I put mine in the crock pot for about 4 hours on medium.
Salt and pepper to taste.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

"Shake The Salt Off...."

It was 38 degrees and sunny. It was like a heat wave in Michigan. I have not ran outside in over a week. I really missed running like a wild animal. Running without a plan. Feeling the cold air against my skin. Having no plan but to play outside with my legs leading me sounded so romantic.

There has been a lot going on in the home front. I have been more stressed than I would like to admit. I am so thankful for my runs. With all that is going on being able to run is the best way for me to decompress. When I am running I can actually hear myself think. There are no interruptions other than aching legs and heavy breathing.

I took off leaving Andy behind with all the burdens. I felt bad that Andy was not going for a run. He looked so weighed down.

I decided to go for a 2 hour run. I laced up my HOKAS with my music in my ears  and I headed out the door.

The first few miles were tough. My knee was hurting. My body felt fatigued. I could hear my thoughts complaining. I was whiny. Really whiny.

As I came up to mile 8 my sore knee went away as did all other complaints. I finally felt good. I had added a few walk breaks in my run that really made a difference.

As I came home Andy was pulling into the driveway next to me. Together we walked through the garage. As I began to walk into the house Andy said "Hey Nita, Leave your shoes out here."

This brought today's sermon back into my ears. It was such a great sermon for me to hear this morning.
But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. Acts 13:51
Before I left for my run we all took an hour and cleaned the house up from the weekend. It looked spotless. The floors sparkled with the scent of Murphy's Oil soap wafting throughout.
So as I returned my shoes were filthy. The tread was filled with salt and mud. Of course we did not want to track that back into our tidy home.

 In Acts we learn that the Jews would:
  1. They would Kick the dust off their feet when they went into The Holy City. As to not bring their habits etc back with them...
  2. They would Kick the dust off their feet when leaving a Gentile city as to not bring any bad habits or hangup with them. 
REJECTION STILL HURTS: This was title of the sermon. This is exactly how I have felt especially  the last couple years. This is why I have decided this is the Year of Overcoming. Letting things GO. Moving ON. Going Forward. In ACTS you see how Peter was REJECTED. The more good he did the more the people rejected him.
I have loved ones that do not like me. Oh I believe that they love me.  This thought helps me sleep a little better at night anyway. But despite how much good and love I have shown- they REJECT ME.  I do not fit in with them. And I do not want to fit in. We are not meant to fit in. God wants us to Stand out.
But Rejection still HURTS. It is Intentional.
Today I learned to SHAKE THE DUST OFF MY FEET.
This does NOT MEAN I quit Loving. This does not mean I quit Caring, Believing, Hoping or Praying. It just means that I SHAKE THE dust of HURT and DISAPPOINTMENTS that I AM CARRYING.
Similar to tracking all that salt and mud into the house. I leave it at the door as to not get the rest of the house dirty. I love my Runs. I just do not love the mess that sometimes comes with them. The dirt that gets tracked in from them.  I leave it at the door. I do not QUIT running because I got a little dirty..I just do not bring the mess in with me to track through everything else.
If I tracked my dirt through the house it would effect EVERYONE including myself.
This is what happens when we live with the hurts others have done to us. We get hurt and we hurt others.
Remember that shaking the dust off your feet does not mean we turn our backs on people that have hurt or rejected us. Rather we remove the hurt that we have. We take responsibility for OUR feelings.
We Let Go of the emotions that make a mess of us.  
As you go for your next run think about what you are Tracking In. Do you need to shake the dust off your feet? Do you need to remove feelings of  hurt, disappointments, anger or expectations? What are you tracking through your home or life that you need to shake off?
12 miles


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Self Image..

Song of Solomon 4:7                    
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

It doesn't matter if you are 14 or like me 40. Us woman are always insecure about our looks.
We see ourselves the way most do not. And we think people are looking when often they are not. We worry about the things no one else cares about and we care about the things that we shouldn't.


Today with the slow go at dropping the boys off at school I had a limited time at the gym to run. It was like social hour to boot. I saw everyone this morning. Paula, Heather, Jeff, and Beth. Most of them wanted to catch up and chat but I needed to run my legs more than my mouth.
I jumped on the TM in hopes to burning lungs and turning over legs. But I didn't see the insecurity of body image in the picture.

I was wearing my Brooks Running shorts. These are a 3 inch inseam. They are a little short, however they are my most comfortable shorts for running fast. They do not gather or make me hot.

The problem is I was never born with beautiful sculptured legs. The faster I ran the faster insecurity seeped out my pores. I could feel my legs moving fast but I could also feel these ridiculous self image issues burning with my lungs.
As I pounded on the TM I could see (in my mind) the back of my legs gathering together. We are all born with cellulite except it isn't as cute as adults. I knew that with my blood pumping my varicose vein was most likely pulsing like a pipe down my quad.
One of the trainers walked in front of me preparing for her Incline class. She was about my age. She had beautiful solid legs. Perfectly smooth.
The woman on the elliptical was probably 7-10 years older than me with my build only she had rock solid sculpted legs.
Then I began to worry about if people were looking at my legs..."Oh NO".. I thought. I decided to run faster to hurry up and get out of there.
Why do we worry about this stuff?
Why do I even care what people think?
I wasn't looking at anyone else's' body in a negative matter so why did I look at mine this way?
So what if I have cellulite.
So what if I have varicose veins.
So what....
I heard this scripture:
"You are fearfully and Wonderfully Made."
I heard Gods words speak to my heart. He Made Me. I do not take this body for granted. I take care of the body He gave me in every way to honor and bring glory to him. I do not take ANY part of my body for granted giving God constant thanks. He loaned me it and one day I will have a new Body but for now I live in the skin He gave me.
I am NOT defined by my body. I am defined by my heart.

As I drove Austin to school this morning there was a woman smoking a cigarette in her car. Austin said "Ugh, mom she is puffing on the cigarette."  I have never smoked. But I had a mother who smoked 3 packs a day. Nicotine is very addictive. I am thankful I could never inhale without coughing up a lung.
I did reply "Austin isn't it funny how we will take better care of THINGS that collect dust but most of us take our bodies for granted and not take care of them."

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  Psalms 139:14 

We are made in HIS image. Love the body He gave you. Thank him for the imperfections that you see that HE saw in you as Perfect.
Take the time to Train Your Heart. Find Confidence in His love for YOU and the way He sees you.

Knobby knees, varicose veins and cellulite. Fearfully and wonderfully made.
So Michigan is beginning to warm up a bit. But I had to laugh at a picture my wonderful sister in law sent me. "Leeanne" sent me a picture of herself in the new long sleeve running shirt I bought her for Christmas. It wasn't the picture that made me chuckle it was the caption that had me laughing.
"Thanks for the long sleeves 54 degrees out and windy!
 Felt like 40! But great running weather! Miss Ya"
Leeanne lives in Florida with my brother. I would be in shorts running if it was 54 degrees in Michigan!
I have never ran with my sister in law! I would love to now only in Florida not Michigan!
Distance: 5.25
Is it only woman that suffer from Body Image Issues? I would love to hear a mans thought here..
I know that as soon as we loose our focus we start comparing ourselves to others...It is always down hill from here.
Just keeping it real here. I hope you have been following me long enough to know my heart. As woman I believe we need to love one another and hold each other up. We need to stop comparing ourselves to one another. Rather compliment and edify each other.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Contact Buzz of Excitement

Back at the gym with the BOYS! As I walked into Genisys Athletic Club I said to Austin "UGH, these snow days are eating all my free passes up." I winked at him as I swiped my card.
Janice was working the front desk and returned the wink and waved us through.

I feel like such a queen when I go the club. My little ragamuffin self feels out of place when walking in to the very nice athletic club.
There still was NO heat on the track. The belts were turning on the treadmills though.
We are such creatures of habit I thought as I head to the TM that I always go to.

Without a plan I start punching in numbers. The more the wheels spin under my feet the more I can hear them spinning in my head with a plan;
"800M Repeats." I tapped the number 7.0 and watched to see what my warm up pace would be.
"8:30 is a good pace in between repeats, I think I can do that for 400M" I coached myself.
My calf was hurting on Monday so I didn't want to go crazy.
As my lap warming up was coming to a close I decided to go up to 8.0 on my repeats and see how that felt for the first couple.

Between the music jamming in my ears and the sweaty guy on the elliptical looking back at me I felt motivated to kick it up a notch.
He was red faced and huffing. I can not say I looked much different. "Hurts So Good" I thought to myself. I actually loved the pain in my legs. The side stitch was my medal of honor.
"Go faster Nita." I told myself as I was running a sub 7 minute mile. I could feel my face piping hot. The young guy looked back at me out of breath himself. I looked right at him smiling. I wanted him to read my painful cherry red faced smile "It hurts..Keep Going, I know your pain, It is Good!"

As the treadmill stopped my legs wanted more. I decided to walk to the track about 25 feet away for a mile cool down. WOW! It was chilly. It felt like I was running outside. It didn't take long for my red cheeks to pale out.
I checked on the boys and took them to the pool. I do NOT like being wet unless it is 90 degrees out. I HATE being cold. So I went back to the gym to stretch, do arms, abs and hit the cold plunge. It makes NO SENSE to hit the cold plunge when I hate being cold. I KNOW! But it is part of the addiction of running. Making sense from senselessness is only found in the mid of an addict!

Distance: 7 miles total
6miles @ 47:35 1 mile c/d
30 min: Rolled, stretched, abs & arms
12 min Cold Plunge

I have been getting messages about getting started again. I get really excited to see people out there running. "Javon" and I had a long conversation about his spring half marathon plan. It is like a contact buzz reading his excitement. I get all jittery hearing words like "commitment, hard work and he even called me his Hero...He was surely pumping sunshine my way.
Javon, Me..with my eyes closed! and Joan } I just love these two!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Shoveling myself out of CRAZY!

Two days being shut in I am beginning to feel like Jack Nicholson in The SHINING. I have a family all riddled with hyperactivity going stir crazy right along with me. I am beginning to go COO COO for CoCo Puffs.
I HAD to get out despite Andy asking me to stay in. He snow plowed yesterday but it was all blown over.  My driveway was plowed in and the snow bank was about 15 inches high.
As I came out of the garage I heard my neighbor Amy yell "Anita, your not going running in this are you?"
I could hear her but couldn't see her. She is a little thing and the snow between our homes was as high as she is tall!  I came out of the garage laughing and holding up my shovel. "No! I am trying to shovel myself out of here to go to the gym." I laughed.

An hour later and frozen we made it down the driveway.
It was a slow go heading to the gym. It was NEGATIVE  18 degrees out with the wind chill.
I think that Hell is actually not hot rather Sub Zero temps.

The boys brought their basketball shoes and swim trunks. We were making the most out of this trip. I headed directly to the treadmill. I considered splitting my run with the track except they had no heat on the track. No Heat No RUN!

All in all it was a good run. 10 miles on the TM. Progressive run. Finished somewhere in the 7's.
I still think that I had a harder work out shoveling the stupid driveway.
Distance: 11.23
Pace: 10 miles @8:18
1 .23 miles cool down.

The Treadmill is very convenient these days. I just read a blog entitled "Treadmills are People Too."
I love the artistic way Mark writes. I responded with ".... It is a love Hate relationship. Like all good relationships I suppose. I Love that it is like a dog always looking for attention and ever so forgiving when you pay no attention to her during the summer months. And yet she wags her tail when you touch rubber to rubber and beat her up with sudden miles. She really is a Best friend; especially in the winter months here in Michigan!"
DARK CHOCOLATE: I got this gift from Gina at work for my birthday. The best gift ever! I LOVE both of these items...Dark Chocolate I go ape over. ZUM bars are my favorite soaps. They have them at Whole foods where you can cut your own. The scents are earthy and very fragrant. 
Dark Chocolate is this runners dream
Benefits of Dark Chocolate:.
  1. Helps your Heart!  Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, flavanols.  Dark chocolate can help prevent the activation of platelets in the blood, which contribute to heart disease
  2. Makes You Smarter – Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids) is a major source of magnesium, a mineral essential for brain health. There is evidence that chocolate boosts memory, attention span, and increase our reaction time.
  3. Reduces Stress – Eating about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate every day may help to reduce your stress level, particularly those with moderate to high anxiety.
  4. Boosts Our Immune System – A 2009  study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that dark chocolate has immunity boosting power, possibly helping us fight off infection.
  5. MAKES Me Think Happy and Be Happy!!

BTW....Can Anyone Guess WHAT this IS????

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Getting Started AGAIN! Or just getting Started! Running 2014

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
- Anonymous

For most Michiganders if the CRIM didn't put closure to your running the Detroit Free Press races nailed the coffin shut!

This year in Michigan it has been said we are having the COLDEST winter in over 30 years!
And over the last two days we have gotten up to 10 inches of snow.

We are getting fat and sassy on turkey and potatoes. Comfort food is accumulating in our pant sizes. The lack of sunshine and daylight invites us to put our flannel pants on with hot cocoa when we should be out there running.  It seems like a fair trade until until December 31 when we were secretly begging the New Year to begin so we could start fresh all over again!

WHERE do we begin??

Getting Back On Track!
The starting point of all achievement is desire.
- Napoleon Hill
This is for those of us that took a little hiatus the last few weeks.
Tips for getting your groove back on:
  • Start Slow: doing to much too fast puts you at risk for injury.
  • Add some walk breaks in there, Easy does it.
  • Call up your running partner or FIND one!
  • Cross train, if your don't feel like running take up a class at the local gym.
  • Build gradually. Remember the 10% rule.
  • Set Goals. Keep them attainable. Little victories are better than none at all.
  • Get your running journal back out! Track your runs.
  • Mix It UP: Add variety to your runs with a change in scenery and surfaces.
  • Change is good. "If you always do what you have always done then you will always get what you always HAD"! Change route, playlist, shoes, clothes, days you run...ect.
  • Find your MANTRA! Find your Purpose in running. Give meaning to your runs.
  • Master your running demons! Running is very Mental.
  • 3 is the charm : Short, Long, Speedy runs
  • Don't forget the LONG run. This is made up of 20% of your weekly miles.
Newbie Runners!

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- Lao Tzu
Tips for those just starting out and wanting to know which foot to put forward!
  • Start out with a warm up and end with a cool down.
  • Start out walking
  • Find a Couch 2 5K program if you like the organization of planned runs.
  • Slowly incorporate running in there.
  • Build gradually.
  • Find a Mentor. Someone to encourage you and be there to answer any questions you may have.
  • Sign up for a RACE! This is the best motivator!
  • Make it a habit! Don't worry about distance or speed just focus on discipline and routine.
  • Listen to your BODY!
  • Involve family and friends. Having a good support system is motivating to any new endeavor.
  • Purchase New RUNNING shoes. Asics, Nike, Mizuno, Brooks are some of the popular brands.

This and That for all RUNNERS:
"If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it."
-Priscilla Welch
  • Winter shoe guide from Runners World click HERE
  • Overcoming the COLD by switching up the Treadmill with Short, long and speedy intervals Do tempo runs on the treadmill or find a work out on it.
  • Reward yourself. Enjoy running by giving yourself  a little gift after a goal has been achieved, New socks, new clothes, a new running book or even a sweet treat or massage.
  • You are what you EAT. Be mindful of what you eat and drink before and after runs.
  • Be Flexable! Try to have a backup plan when life happens!
  • Training plans are NOT one size fits all.
  • Use Music as a Motivator. Proven to help athletes work harder!
  • Stop comparing yourself to other runners. There will always (always) be someone who is faster.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
- C. S. Lewis

Remember that running is not a Journey rather a destination as they say. It just takes One Step Forward.
I Hope you found something that could help you, Encourage you or even Motivate you to lace up.

For 2013 what would you like to read more? Or less? Please share~


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Running into 2014: Finding Purpose

What does 2014 look to me. As I close the door to 2013 I remind myself how faithful God was to me. I can not move into the next year without humbly thanking God for the victories and successes I achieved.
2013 was a year of HEALING for me. God allowed my running to bring me to a place of great comfort. With every mile I ran it was the remedy I needed to mend my broken heart. I wish I could have just licked my wounds with instant healing.
God used my legs as a bridge towards him. I cried many miles. I sought God for Strength both Physically and Emotionally. Having a broken heart is hard enough but having to deal with hurtful people is like salt on a wound. There were many miles I did not want to come back to life rather run forever.

I ran more miles in 2013 than I have ever ran. In my Weakness He gave me Strength. He found Purpose in me in my broken state. I am amazed not in running over 2000 miles last year as I am amazed that God used ME. In my MESS he found Meaning. That is a Miracle in its own.
3 Reasons we go through Heartache or Pain:
  1. So God can do something Amazing in your LIFE.
  2.  Pain brings Humility.
  3. We go through hardships so others can be Blessed.
Finding your Purpose:
Every year I evaluate the previous year trying to define it.
2013 was the YEAR or MILES! Long slow MILES!

2014 is going to be the year of Overcoming. I am going to Overcome my Fear of being 40! I am going to push my body to the element of pain doing more speed work and hills. I am going to exert this old body to its limits seeking God for every breath along the way.
When I am depleted I have NOTHING in myself to conquer my fears; I am in constant need of HIM.

We all need a Purpose. Without Purpose we are just wandering. Stuck in a Rut. "Kelly" a client of mine said to me a couple months ago "Anita, I wish I had something like you have, I want a Purpose."
Setting Goals and Having Vision sets the foundation for a Purpose. 
Purpose is best displayed in Helping, Loving, Encouraging and being there for OTHERS.

LIVING For God is My Purpose.
Using RUNNING is my Tool.
Having Goals allows me to use the Tools He gave me to execute my Purpose.

Running Goals for 2014:
  1. Not get ANY slower like the statistics say!
  2. Stay injury Free
  3. Run more Trails
  4. Run a Marathon with Andy
  5. Run a new Race out of State.
  6. Reach 100,000 views on my blog
Life Goals for 2014:
  1. Closing Doors. Detachment: It has been a hurtful last year. It is time to "Let Go". 
  2. I am thankful for yet another year to try and be a BETTER me.
  3. Being More Positive. Trading Negative thoughts for Power thoughts. Thoughts of Love, Kindness, Forgiveness...
  4. Shutting My Mouth More and Using my Ears More!

 Ariel used a lot of my note pads to write down notes from church. I found these and thought they were GREAT Verses to go into 2014 with.
The First one is MY FAVORITE. It Brings PURPOSE for Everyone.

Which One Speaks to YOU?

Thank You for reading my ramblings in 2013. I look forward to another year.