"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, March 31, 2014

The Loss of anothers Dream. Boston

Over the course of the last few weeks, I have been deeply burdened for a few friends of mine. A lot of my running friends have been battling injuries.
  1. Jama: is training for Bayshore and has been struggling with her It band. Just as Jama gets back in the saddle again she twists her ankle on the edge of the pavement. Then to add one more injury, her grandpa just passed away.
    Jama is in all black on the right.
  2. Heidi: is training for Bayshore as well. She is a tough cookie. Heidi not only was ahead of schedule in her training she is also a Personal Trainer and teaches several classes. She has not been able to run for over 2 weeks due to shin splints.

Heidi is in the middle.

3. Then there is Jeff. I am broken hearted over poor Jeff. Today Jeff called me as said "Nita, I am not going to make it." I honestly pretended I had no idea what he was talking about. Denial is NOT a river in Egypt. Jeff has been dealing with Plantar fasciitis since last summer. Just as he begins to see his training improve he tears his abdomen muscles. Over the course of 3 weeks he has had one injury or another. However, He was able to run a 16 mile run last week and felt great. The very next day he felt a shooting pain in his foot and it was over from that point.
Jeff has waited his whole life to run Boston. He has qualified several times in his early years. The stars were just not aligned for him to go for one reason or another. Now, he is in his 60's and this was a dream come true.
Jeff is in the center in a white sweatshirt. He was our captain for our Crim group
I have ran repeats and long runs this winter with Jeff. I have prayed for healing and faith for Jeff. I have never wanted someone's dreams to come true as much as they have like Jeff.  I could see the passion and the pain in his eyes when we would train together. He is an incredible coach and mentor. I am so brokenhearted for him. He has trained for this race harder than most 20 year olds. He has trained committed and disciplined to his program. One day we were running and he was so down on himself. I tried to encourage him. "Jeff, you are not in your 20.s any more. You are having to work TWICE as hard for results that are not equal to the work you are putting in." He laughed and said "Anita, you said it exactly right, I couldn't say it any better." I was trying to show him that he is an incredible runner for his age. But if he was not careful he would end up discouraged trying to chase the "Once was".  He needed to see himself as a great runner in the season of life he is presently in. Because I see that runner, I am just devastated for his loss.
It is funny how we can want something so bad for someone else that is is like our own loss. As if I have lost my dreams. My Dream for him to accomplish his Dream is now my loss too.

Before I got off the phone I begged him to not give up yet. I told him I was going to fervently Pray for him. I asked him to give it a week. I asked him to not cancel his room yet. He agreed.
Please remember Jeff in your Prayers.

8 Miles total.
4 miles of hills with running group. I really love this running group.

I pray for all my running friends. I am broken for Jeff.  Do you ever feel so burdened for someone elses' loss, you almost feel like it is yours? How do you pray?


Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Think Myself Happy!

"...I Think Myself Happy....." Acts 26:2

Waking up with sunshine was a total bonus today. Like most runners I am compulsive about checking the weather almost everyday. Mother Nature in Michigan is very temperamental. But this week the forecast she laid out never wavered all week!
50 degrees and Sunny!
As I drove to church this morning, I began to get more and more excited to run my 20 miler.
At church my Pastor asked us to open our bibles to Acts 26.
The sermon was on HAPPINESS.
"...I Think Myself Happy....." Acts 26:2
The apostle Paul was speaking this as he was being tried. Right before he would go to prison.
I just stared at the 26:2} 26.2 is what it looked like to me!
A Marathon is 26.2...Acts 26.2-"I THINK MYSELF HAPPY".
Application: Paul still CHOSE to be happy in a bad situation.
Running is not easy. Running 20 miles is FAR from easy. Today, I had no running partners. But I had Mantra, "I think myself Happy."
As I headed out for almost 3 hours of running I found myself thankful for the ability to just run.
I knew I was going to get lonely.
I knew I was going to be more zoned in on my pain.
I knew I was going to be my biggest cheerleader and try to motivate myself.
I knew that without support of others I had to stay inspired and encouraged to make it to my goal.
I was Happy. No matter what the circumstance was I had to make the choice to BE HAPPY.
As I train for my 26.2 miles I am Happy.
As I walked out of church "Sarah" stopped me. She is doing the C25K program. I am so proud of her. She is struggling with It band issues and the beginners aches and pains of running. I have been trying to encourage her in her new adventure.
She approached me with a card. When I got into the car, I opened the small envelope. I pulled out a beautiful hand made card with a gift inside. I pair of turquoise earrings with a necklace. I just stared in awe at the necklace. I fell in love instantly to it.
HEBREWS 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us"
The Rundown:
Distance: 20 miles
Time: 2:52
Pace: 8:36
IN THE NEXT 2 DAYS EVERY PERSON THAT "Joins this site", Follows my blog AND "Likes" my Facebook page, I will send them out a care package with some of my favorites!
If you have already "Liked" my FB page that is already done.
  1. FOLLOW My BLOG. Go to "Follow this Site" Set up a google account makes it easy.
  2. For an extra Bonus, let me know YOU JOINED on either FB or leave me a message on one of my posts!
Hope you Chose Happiness today.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Be Happy with Your SELFIE.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:" Ecc. 3:1

At this point in my life age is beginning to settle in. My skin is beginning to show signs of age. My hair is turning grey. Fine lines are finding friends and I have aches and pains that have no meaning.

As I read magazines or blogs I notice there are not to many in their 40's out running. One day I was blog surfing and almost all the running blogs I discovered were beautiful girls in their 20's.

One day I even checked out some products. I looked at the ambassadors for several of the products and discovered they were mostly in their 20's, early thirties and at the top of the chain. They were very attractive, buff and all rock stars!

I was a bit discouraged. I felt washed up.

There was a day that was me, or even you. A day you felt like you were invincible. Strong, powerful and the King/Queen of the mountain.

I am in a different season. I had my turn. I had my years of being young, carefree and everyday pretty.
I had my days of being wild and ridiculous .
I had my days of careless mistakes and arrogance.
I had my days of being strong, solid and sassy.
And I admit, I enjoyed them.

But those days are gone. And I am so glad. They were exhausting!

They were fun for a moment.

I had my turn. And made the most of it.

It is someone else's turn now. And I can appreciate that. I can accept that person is no longer me.

I like who I am now more than ever. I am far from proper, put together or perfect. But I am good with that. I can accept myself now more than ever for my imperfections. Especially now that my physical ones are getting more noticeable!
I have more wisdom and courage to change the things I can and let go of the things I can not control.

I no longer have the incessant need to please everyone.  I am more comfortable in my own skin. I can admit my failures and even laugh at them.
I no longer have to have everyone LOVE me. While it is nice, it is not a fairytale world. I can be comfortable now with people that DO NOT LIKE ME.
That is a far cry from the "Anita" in her 30's.

I am happy with myself. I still have bonehead moves that really tick me off. But I get back up again and try to recover. I recognize second chances and take them.
The Definition of INSANITY: Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
If it hurt the first time why would you try it again?

Be Happy with Your SELFIE.
There is a season for everything under the sun. Just because one season ends does not mean the next season is going to be your undertaker. Be the BEST YOU in all seasons.
This winter was REALLY a hard season for many of us. Me included. But I couldn't wait around for the sun to come out or the snow to melt to have a productive training season. I had to make opportunities.
In life you have to MAKE your own Happiness. You have to work for success. You have to give back in life to receive ultimate Joy.
There are seasons in life you just have to build a bridge and GET OVER IT. Move on. Let go of the Old you and embrace the New you.
Love who God Made. You are Fearfully and Wonderfully made.
Love those who are enjoying their season of youth and beauty. Love and encourage them but try not to compete with them.


Most people take SELFIES of themselves beautiful. I took a Selfie without makeup or anything done to me. The only thing my face is painted with is a SMILE.



Distance: 8 MILES with Danielle. Birthday GIRL!! She had a Great Birthday RUN! I was so proud of her!
*Ran another 2 miles to mark the course for out 5th grade tryouts tomorrow for CC.
Both Runs in RAIN and SLEET.

People often say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.
Salma Hayek


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yasso 800's: Predicting and Preparing for Boston Marathon

"I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner."
-Bart Yasso
The first time I prepared to qualify for Boston, I had not ran on a track since high school.
20 miles for "the fun of it" was the only experience I had to ignite me into the Boston endeavor.

Andy coached me to the track. He introduced me, not only to Yasso 800's but to a degree of pain I had not felt before.
Running distance is exhausting, all consuming. It is a mental strength that I had slowly developed and fell in love with. My long runs consisted of being outside, basking in the sun and whistling "Dixie".

Running around the flat, unprotected track blindside me. I felt like I had been sucker punched by a degree of agony I knew nothing about.
It was almost 80' degrees outside and there was not a cloud in the sky. The torture was almost unbearable. I could hardly understand the process of what I was running. All the numbers, 800meters, 400 meters, meters, miles, it was so confusing to me.
What happened to just lacing up your shoes and running out into the street until you couldn't go any more. That was brainless. I just ran until my body said to quit. There was no rocket science in that. I was born to do that.
Now, Andy  had to get all nerdy about the running. I had numbers and times. I had someone screaming at me to "Pick IT UP, NITA" or "COME on, GO!".  No one EVER yelled at me when I ran but ME. I had a stop watch ticking and the sun baking the sweat of nerves off my face and skin.
I ran 2 laps around a track and thought I was going to puke and DIE. I had never felt like that even after running double digits in the blazing sun.

"Anita, This is going to work." Andy coached me. He explained the idea behind the Yasso 800's but I was to afflicted to calculate the science behind it.

It worked. I qualified for Boston on my first marathon. When we went to Chicago to qualify for the Boston Marathon I actually had the opportunity to meet Bart Yasso at the expo. He  signed my bib and encouraged me to try and convinced me to try and run what my 800's were. That time was 5 minutes faster than my qualifying time. I did it. Running Chicago was the HARDEST marathon I have ever competed in and my most fulfilling. It is like your first born child. It holds a special place in your heart.

Yasso 800's.
Bart Yasso is the Chief Running Officer for Runners World magazine.
As a young runner, Bart ran these repeats around the track. It wasn't until later as he was browsing through his running logs he discovered the the correlation with his 800's and his marathon time.
Heres how it works:
  • Take your marathon goal time in hours/minutes and convert this to minutes/seconds.  Example:  If your marathon goal is 3 hours and 30 minutes then convert that to 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Try to run 800 meters (approximately 1/2 mile) in your converted time (3:10 in this example).
  • Recover after each 800 by jogging or walking for the same amount of time (again, 3:10 in this example).
  • Start with three or four repetitions in the first week.
  • Continue with Yasso 800 workouts once a week and try to add one more repetition each week until you reach ten repetitions. As you get closer to your desired  amount of repeats you will feel more fatigued and sore.

The Yasso 800's actually was more of a mental training tool for me. The pain and suffering of the workout gave me the faith that I could do what it was telling me I would do. I became emotionally involved in a goal time. I trained that goal time with the Yasso 800's and then I mentally believed the "proof was in the pudding". I told my body based on the results of my 800's what it was capable of performing. I had to trust in my training and believe in my body to carry it through.
*Note...I am a stronger believer in Christ but I believe HE believed in ME first. Ultimately, I had to trust in HIM. And in 85 degree weather even your training can not stand up against conditions like I had that day in Chicago. But with Christ, ALL things are Possible.

Distance:8 miles
2 mile w/u
6x800M repeats
400M recovery, easy jog
Best 800: 3:15
Slowest 800: 3:18
1 1/2 mile c/d
*I should have ran 8 of these not 6. Next week I will do 8. My time was better than I expected. I was beginning to feel like I was going to fall on my face!

Have You ever ran Yasso 800's? What was your experience like??


Monday, March 24, 2014

Balancing the RUNS.

I am going to have to take one day at a time when it comes to fitting the pieces of my days together.

My training schedule has me running 4 days a week for Boston. I will begin to add another day in this week.
I am currently coaching a group of runners one day a week.
Starting up now, is cross country for my sons school. I am one of the assistant coaches for his team. I will be coaching the varsity 4-5 days a week.
I couldn't think of anything else that I would want to be more busy doing.
Running is part of who I am.
But mentoring and coaching others to run is something I love doing, just as equally.

Tonight was the opening meeting for the X country students. As I looked out into the auditorium at the students, I saw them all in running shorts and running shoes. I visualized them running hills, repeats and laughing through their longs runs.
This is what I love to do.

I love building relationships. I love people. Not every person loves me and that is OK.

Even at 40 years old I still have the need to be loved and supported. It may seem adolescent and childish but that is who I am.
Maybe it is because I never had any support at home.
My mom never came to one of my track meets.
She never came to one parent teacher conference.
She never came to my plays, watched me walk down the field when I was Homecoming Queen, or even gave me a graduation party.
I don't hold a grudge on her. Honestly, I think she was so lonely in her own world she didn't know how to encourage or support me.
So here I am a big grown up still looking for support and love.
Andy's mom..My Mom.

In the last week, I have been given a beautiful care package with a new running skirt and make-up, I had flowers sent to me from one of Andy's co-workers, Alec was sponsored by a dear friend of mine to play basketball, my running partner bought me my favorite chocolates and Mom came over today with my favorite cookies.

I feel so blessed and humbled by so much love. Mom (actually Andy's mom) is so good to me that there are days I have a panic attack thinking what I would ever do with out her. I know God gave her to me as a second chance mother. I was not a good daughter. I had no idea how to deal with a alcoholic mother growing up. I didn't know what to do until she was gone.
Mom believes in me like I am a big kid. Probably because I am.
I love that feeling of people loving and supporting you.
I guess that is why I do it to others. I know how good it feels to me.

Distance: 9 .1
Great run with the Husky Road runners. 4 with them and the rest with myself and Jama.

Not sure how we are going to work, be a basketball mom of two boys, a track mom, a XC mom, train, coach, and be the best wife, mom and person I can be. I will pray and seek God for direction and strength to get it all done.

"The Coaches main job is 20% technical and 80% inspirational." Franz Stampfl
I WOULD REALLY love to hear your story about a COACH that inspired YOU. What did they do that left a mark in your story. What was something they did to inspire you?

Please "like" my new Facebook "Running against the Odds"!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weapon of Choice: 22 miles done!

I have a quirky sense of "likes".
But today, I got to indulge in a few all at the same time.
  1. Running
  2. Dancing
  3. Christopher Walken

At mile 5 of 22 I found myself alone in the woods. As the music sang through my ears, I felt my frozen cheeks open into a smile. I could see Christopher Walken dancing across that hotel in the video. As frozen as my body was I had enough warmth to swing my shoulders back and forth. I found a little skip in my step as I tried to duplicate how Christopher was dancing in the video, Weapon of Choice.
I peeked around my shoulder to confirm no one was looking. When the coast was cleared I busted out my Weapon of Choice!

Weapons Of Choice for a 22 mile Long RUN!

  1. Shoes: Hokas- No blisters.
  2. Nutrition: Honey Stinkers and Reese Peanut Butter Cup!
  3. Prayer, an Attitude of Gratitude
  4. Great Company. I ran with Andy, Maryann, and Ken.
How I got through a 22 mile run:
If you train your mind before you prepare your legs, you can convince your legs to do what the mind is coaching them.
You CAN NOT let any negative thoughts invade the training space in your head. I claimed the victory of my success before I ever laced my shoes.
I saw myself finished before I ever started.
Yes, I saw myself in pain.
Yes, I saw myself struggling in the cold.
Yes, I saw myself counting the miles to be done.
I Also saw myself OVERCOME the difficulties through Christ.

Tips for Running a Long Run:
  1. Proper nutrition taken at proper times
  2. Hydrate
  3. I add some walk breaks in my run towards the last 10 miles
  4. Be mindful of your pace. The long run is designed to be 45seconds -1 1/2 minutes slower
  5. Running partners to encourage you and keep you motivated
One of the runners' water bottle..Made me laugh!

Distance: 22.10 miles
Average Pace: 9:11
Enjoyed seeing so many deer this afternoon. Also was very proud of MaryAnn. From the start of our run MaryAnn stated she was most likely NOT going to finish the entire 15 miles she was on track for. (I got there an hour before our meeting time and ran 7 miles)
Mary Ann not only finished but finished really well!

What Gets You Through the LONG RUN??


Thursday, March 20, 2014

5 Ways to put a little Spring in Your Step!

We are all chugging along in this crazy story called LIFE.
Up here in Michigan we have been begging for a break.

The days seem to be shortened. I wake up in dark, all the while moving so fast from one errand to the next only to find it dark yet again.
There are days that my schedule is so tight that a simple train can throw my MOJO off.

I sit here for a few minutes at the keyboard trying to just relax.

Today was the first day of Spring. It had me thinking. I can do better. I can be better. It is a day of newness. Spring brings forth growth. It blooms beauty. It offers hope to those of us that have been pummeled by almost 20 weeks of snow. Most of us here in Michigan are discouraged and depressed. We have forgotten what the color of grass looks like.

How I started my First Day of Spring.
It had been weeks since I have been able to run with my running partner, Danielle.
It was the perfect run to start off this new season. The wind blew, the air was still chilly, the is snow scattered all across Michigan, however, I never felt any of it.
All I felt was happiness. I was enjoying the company of my dear friend so much it could have been a blizzard out and I wouldn't have noticed.

For a little more than 1 hour of 8 miles, the whole world stopped. I had no anxiety, no appointments, no deadlines, no emails and so on and so forth.

I felt the Hope of Spring. I was Inspired to Smile and stay positive. I reminded myself that motivation is everywhere you just have to know where to look.

5 Ways to put a Little Spring in Your Step!
  1. FIND A RACE And Register!  If you are a new runner this will get your feet moving! Check out this website for Michigan Races.
  2. Find a Training Plan! There are several good training plans out there. For BEGINNERS there is C25K. Also Runners World, Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway all have great 1/2 marathon and marathon plans.
  3. Shoe Shopping! Good shoes are cheaper than a visit to the Doctors!
  4. Find a Friend! Don't be shy..ASK! Most people have this little flame burning to run. Our legs came before our cars, we were created to use them!
  5. Get your Playlist ready to RUN.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I am just as human as you. I have good days and I have bad days. For the last few weeks I have gone to bed almost every night beat up and sore. My muscles ache so bad some nights that I am up throughout the night.
There are mornings I struggle to find motivation in all the achy muscles. Over time you develop habits that even in pain are hard to break. The Habit of Commitment.  So I just get up and do what has to be done, despite how bad my muscles are screaming at me. You have to stay committed to the plan THEN find Motivation to carry it out.
Motivation is all around you, you just have to know where to LOOK.
Sometimes it isn't even about where you are looking it, is about taking your focus off YOURSELF and looking in another direction.

I know the Lord has great plans for me. But I know His training plan for my life will require pain. Some days will be harder than others. We live in a crazy broken world. But He will equip me and give me hope.
I have to wake up looking outside myself and my circumstance and seek Him to provide me with what I need to carry out HIS Plan for my Life.

If you are struggling right now, I am so sorry. Do not give up hope. Open your heart to His Plan. It is a broken world. It is so tough out there. There are days that are overwhelming. Seek the Lord with all Your heart and all your Soul.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Dreadful Treadmill Cry.

My divine appointment with Mr.Treadmill.
We have really bonded our relationship this winter.
I hate to share my distaste for him because I need him so bad. I am quite dependent on him, after all he never lets me down. Regardless, I will have no guilt come a little bit of warm, dry weather. Then I will trade him in for fresh air and green grass. That is just something he can not offer me.
Today, He was more than a coach for me. My heart was very weighty this morning.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the
afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalms
I have not blogged much about my grief of losing my Ariel. I try to swallow down the tears. I try to stay strong and deny my sadness. Over the last year and a half from losing Ariel there has been much pain added unto my grief from her loss.
 Unnecessary pain. "Hurting People Hurt People." In the process of just trying to "pull it together" I have had to learn to deny my heartache.
I don't talk much about it. I cry alone. I bury it deep. I isolate.
I have not blogged a lot of my heartache because some of my words written have been used against me. I don't get angry over other peoples hurtfulness towards me anymore.  It just adds more hurt to me. I hurt for those that are confused in their pain of losing Ariel and not knowing how to deal with it. I don't understand people that intentionally hurt others. Even growing up in it I still never figured it out. I guess I just make a good punching bag.
Ariel loved me and no one can take that away.
I miss Her love so terribly bad.
As I paced myself through my first mile, I felt the thick lump in my throat. My skin began to get hot. I could feel myself losing my breath. I calmly tried to swallow my emotions down. It was too late. In front of me, one of the TV screens showed this beautiful brunette little girl. She was about 7 years old with her Easter bonnet on. Her head was tilted showing her long tendrils coming down her shoulders. Her big brown eyes glowed with joy. She knew she was beautiful. And she was. And she looked like Ariel. I couldn't catch my breath and my feet started to stumble. "OH, No God, Not here. Please, please."  I tried to reason with my heartache.
I could hardly breath, how could I reason. With both hands I wiped my eyes hoping no one could tell I was losing it.
"Get it together Anita." I yelled at myself. "Swallow it down." I scolded myself.
So I ran Harder. I had to make the physical pain out weigh the emotional pain.
And I ran and I ran and I ran away from it all.
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:17

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pot O Gold 2014

I am sitting here with the keys below my fingers stoked. That is what 40 year olds say for excited!

My RACE Recap:
I will keep  it simple.


The best thing about turning 40 is a new age group! And for me this year it was not just a new age group it was also a new division..MASTERS!

Andy got home from work and drove me and Alec up to the race. I get so nervous that it often times triggers my forgetfulness. So having Andy driving Miss Nita was a blessing. An Irish Blessing?

This year I was praying for a lot of Irish blessings. With this being my first race of the season, it would be a gateway to see where the last 16 weeks of indoor training had taken me.

The crowds were smaller than normal. The extreme temps defined the runners who battled out the weather this season and who did not.

I was dressed to the max in my Irish best and worst! My Sport Kilt was by far my best but the bowtie was as goofy as could be!

The weather was better than I had expected with the temperature in the 30's. The sun was warm, reaching its heat around me.

We reached the start line about 25 minutes early. Andy said "Ok Nita, go do some strides and stretch out your legs."
I took off down Kearsley into some easy strides and was totally exhausted as I headed out.
"Oh my, Is this going to define my race?" I began to worry.
I did the straight way 2 more times in hopes that I would feel better. No such luck. I was not feeling the Luck of the Irish.

We lined up at the start of the race. My stomach was in knots. I had no idea what this race would show me.
Andy was shouting out times he wanted me to run. That made me even more nervous. I didn't want to disappoint him, and his time he wanted me to run seemed outrageous.
"What if I am too old?"
"What if I am washed up and it was time to just except it."
There were so many voices in my head I lost track of time.
"Anita, get up to the line." Andy pushed me to the taped line across the road. I am not a show boat so I really just wanted to hide in the middle.
"Nita, it is a shot gun time, don't be shy, GET UP THERE." he yelled at me.
Sheepishly, I went to the front, convincing myself that every second counted.

And the gun went off!
Ran into some Friends!
The first half mile is all UP HILL. It HURT so bad. Adrenaline was driving me.
The first mile I always try to find where I belong. I look at who is around me, trying to find someone I can pace off of. This year with the numbers being down there were not as many people around me.

There was a young boy about 100 feet ahead of me. I just kept me eyes on the back of his blue coat.

After the 1st mile at a 6:45 pace, I decided there was a good possibility I took off too fast.
But I couldn't take my eyes off "the boy".

As I came up on mile 2, "the boy" was losing his steam.
"Come on, stay strong." I yelled at him from behind.
I tried to encourage him, but I had no other choice but to pass him.
I found that my passing him was more of a motivation for him. So I coached him from the front.
"That's it, You got this." I yelled louder as I heard his foot steps behind me.
"Your doing GREAT, Keep it UP!" I cheered. He sounded farther and farther away.

I was searching in desperation for mile 3. I knew it had to be close, as close as death was to me at that point. This part of the race was a bit more flat. It was a welcomed death sentence. My legs just went into auto pilot. I bit down on pain and fatigue. I didn't need LUCK at this point, I NEEDED a Miracle!
There were so many cameras. It felt like the Pot O Gold Paparazzi. I am sure there are going to be some really ugly photos of me.

I heard heavy breathing behind me. As I passed mile three I got nervous with the presence of another runner so close to me. It is the worst feeling in the world to have someone pass you on the home stretch. I repeatedly told myself to "HOLD IT" and "STAY STRONG".  Everything in me fought my mantra.
The last mile was right out of a horror film. I remembered it was tough but I forgot all the hills. It quickly went from the "Pot O Gold"to the "Pot O Cold" as the wind blasted you going up another hill. My body felt like it had a rubber band around it. I could hardly will it to go up another incline.
"It is just a HILL get over it." I tried to make myself laugh. But I could still hear HIS foot steps so close.
"Stay Up Nita, Look for the Finish LINE."
I made that final turn scanning the road for the finish. I could see Andys bright yellow coat.
I did not want to disappoint him. With everything I didn't have in me I picked up my pace. I let the fear of disappointment and fear of being passed drive me to the finish.

I LOVE the sounds of people cheering you on at a finish line. I love the voice of my family there for me.
"You were 3rd FEMALE overall MOM!!" Alec shouted.
I couldn't breath to respond. I wanted to collapse.
Grasping for air to speak, I sadly said, "I didn't PR, did I?"
Andy smiled and said, "No hunny, not this year."
I wasn't to upset over it.

We went inside the Masonic Temple to see the results.

It was really nice how the race had the results presented. They had small computers set up. All you had to do with put in your bib number and your results came up.

I almost died when I saw my results. Died Laughing! 1st place Masters! This was a first!

It was a great race. One of my favorites. Very well organized as usual.

I left  the race with a smile of success. Reminding myself "I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me."
I looked up last years times at home and discovered IT WAS A Personal Record for this RACE!!
"Nerdy Alert"!

That I am "More Than a Conqueror."
I am so grateful for His Love for me. Humbled and Undeserving.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Making snotrockets look good!

I am sure tomorrows race will be handicapped by today's long run.
No Regrets.

It was a Snot Rocket kinda run today. There is nothing ladylike about blowing snot rockets into the wind. I believe that if you are out running a 20 miler  in 21 degree weather you can make a snot rocket look GOOD!
It is not gross or nasty..It is Beast. YOU can pretty much poop your pants on a 20 miler in the frigid cold and make that look good in my book! (I just don't want to see It)
My nose was running faster than my legs on today's run.
After 7 miles of running solo I met some friends. I ran almost 10 miles with Maryann, Ken and Andy. During that time I refrained from Plugging my nostril and blowing. Instead I did something just as attractive: I blew my nose in my gloves!
There is no shame. We were all in the same boat as the wind blasted us from one turn to the next.

Directly after separating from the group I began blowing again! I didn't blow in front of them because my aim is so bad!
I was running with my frozen water bottle in hand and had no other choice but to put my freezing fingers into my snotty gloves.
I wasn't planning on that when I soaked my gloves with nose juice.
Oh, just another joy of the running!
Distance:20 miles

As we light a path for others,
we naturally light our own way.
- Mary Anne Radmacher
I was so encouraged today. A dear friend of mine, Ragan stopped over to visit me. She reads some of my crazy writings.
I never really know who reads this. I always hope that I can encourage someone either in life or in running. 
I try to be transparent and real to be an encouragement to someone.
She came over and brought me a bag of gifts.
It is just a gift alone to have a friend come over to visit you.
She brought me a cute bag filled with make up and a Nike Running skirt. I was shocked and overwhelmed by her generosity and thoughtfulness. I was also really excited to try out the new lip gloss. I wanted to drop my drawers right there and try on the skirt but didn't want to scare her off!
It is people like this that encourage me to be a better person. I see the love and kindness of her heart and want to share that with someone else. It moves me out of ME and directs me to someone else. I know how it made me feel. I had a tough week this week and she wanted to brighten my skies.
Have You Brightened some ones skies lately? You can be an encouragement to someone just by your words alone. Ragan also sent me a beautiful message earlier in the week. Her words alone were the greatest gift I could have asked for.
If you are reading this there is someone in your heart who u are thinking of. Tell that person something beautiful, something kind, something loving.
Brighten someone's world.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Race time..Pot OGold

MONDAY I  will be doing my first race of the season.

This year the weather will be very similar to last year. COLD.
I ran this race in 2011 and 2012 and it was in the 80''s.

The only thing in the 80's last year was ME and MY Outfit!!

28:19 was last years time and PR.
I am excited to wear my kilt this year.
Not so excited for the 31 degrees predicted. This years race is a lot different then last years Pot O Gold.
It is crazy how different things can change within 1 year.
Well Lets see What 2014 has to offer after a 20 mile run!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Boston Marathon Official Jacket!

We are one. We are strong. We are Boston. We are Boston strong," the announcer said to an eruption of cheers
I often think that God put me together and left my brain out. I think of that verse that says "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." I find myself laughing hysterically when I recite that.
Because I don't feel so wonderful, most of the time I feel like the biggest airhead. I am constantly mad at myself and getting down on myself for bonehead moves that happen on a daily basis.
In 1 week:
  1. Forgot my blow dryer at home (I am a hair stylist and it is my main tool.)
  2. Misplaced my keys 1/2 dozen times.
  3. Misplaced my purse another 1/2 dozen times. I actually left it in my husbands truck on Monday and went to work without it.
  4. Stinking can't run and count..every time I run! All those numbers!!
  5. And today was the topper of my week..Topper of my MONTH.....

So today was "NEW SHOE DAY"! I headed up to "Baumans" in Flint to get my new shoes. I have been debating on trying a new shoe. I decided to stick with the rule of thumb "If it is not broke DON'T fix it."  I purchased my Mizuno Sayonaras  in the diva princess pink. That is all they had for color.
In the process, the clerk asked me if I had signed up for the "BOSTON BUS".  My heart plummeted to the floor. I quickly searched my mind frantically trying to find that little memory of  affirmation. I think I threw up in my mouth as he added "Yeah, it is filled." I desperately fished deeper trying to locate even a thought of  that memory- knowing  it was NOT there!
I wanted to reach around myself and beat the lights on in my brain. I swear I was born with mixed wiring.
He put me on a waiting list 8 people deep.
I have resigned to the fact that I am going to have to put my big girl pants on and figure the whole thing out.

As I was paying, However; I did notice the Official BOSTON MARATHON jacket on the rack.
 "Hey, you have rode the bus before, we are offering 20% off the jackets for participants who are riding the bus, if you want it I will give you the discount." The sales clerk says without taking a breath.
There was only 1 size small.

Well I purchased the jacket. I can't say I felt a whole lot better even with the discount.  It was another 90$ I wasn't planning on spending but it was a good deal. And the more I look at it the more I am getting over the bus and happy I bought the jacket.
The official jacket is a MUST purchase. When you go to Boston you will see everyone wearing their jackets. Marathoners wear their jackets for the year that they ran. The town is painted in Boston Jackets from every year.
NOTE: Runners are very superstitious. And this RUNNER WILL NOT WEAR HER JACKET UNTIL SHE HAS RAN IT!
I never wear running shirts until I have ran the race. I just don't feel like I have earned it. It gives me something to look forward to. Andy will be waiting at the Family Area with my Jacket in hand for me when I finish!

"Our culture tends to label everybody and everything either a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. I often wonder how the one winner and 58,000 losers in the Boston Marathon feel about that I can't imagine even one of those runners thinking of himself as a loser. I believe that for every one of them, to run the race well is to succeed."
Robert White)

Distance: 7 miles on TM @7:42 pace 3.5 miles on Track at a 9 min pace
**I ran on tired legs. I was trying to maintain a sub 8 minute pace. Jeff popped his head over the treadmill to check out my digits. He was running on the track so I told him I would join him for a few miles. It was only supposed to be 3 miles...BUT I LOST TRACK!!

WHAT Do You think of the Jacket? It is called the Celebration Jacket!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Little Friendly Competition

Snowed IN again. Although it didn't come as a shocker the angst was still high.

I threw in the towel without putting up a fight.

With the boys home from another snow day and my car looking like MT. Holly, I decided to just stay home.

By the time Andy got home the house smelled like Pine Sol and Murphys Oil soap. All the cleaning I did could not release my desire to just RUN. I couldn't clean the addiction out of me.

I took his truck and headed to the gym.
As I pulled into my parking spot I struggled to get out of the truck. I have managed to tweek my back causing my breath to catch with just the right turn. It happened earlier but as the day went on it was getting worse.

I headed to the track wondering if my "kink" was going to interrupt my run.
The track was full of high school track kids.
I jumped into my lane and was quickly passed. One after another they blew by me.
As this boy and girl passed me they turned around to look at me.
"Oh, HECK NO" my competitive spirit kicked in.
Come H*$$ or high water it was on and POPPING now.

About 20 feet behind them, I never took my eyes off the back of their shirts.

By Mile 3 I thought "Oh Good Grief, WHAT Was I thinking?!"
By Mile 4 I thought "Are they DONE YET?"
By Mile 5 They left! I thought "I just gotta HOLD this pace a little longer."
By Mile 6 I thought "Or maybe NOT!"
By Mile 7 I thought  " OH DEAR Sweet Jesus, Is this what 40 years old feels like?!"
AND by Mile 8 I thought "Bring it down sista, you are DONE!

As I grabbed my things I saw the two kids gathering their things as well. I took my ear buds out, smiling, I said "Hey thanks for the great pace today, Nice job!"
They looked at me like I was CRAZY. I know what that looks like, this is not my first time seeing that expression!

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 59 minutes
Pace: 7:27
*As bad as my back hurt, Running it felt the BEST!
My fastes mile was mile 4 @ 7:15. followed by mile 5 @ 7:18.
Crazy how good it feels to want to puke after a hard run!
  • Jacuzzi soak to help loosen back. Rolled it and stretch back out.
  • SMOOTHIE: Vanilla organic yogurt, Mango, Blueberries, Tart Cherry juice, Juice Plus protein mix and Flax seed.

"Competition is a complex thing. It brings out the best and the worst in all participants. It refines the technique and sharpens the mind, body and spirit."
Herb Perez
I am competive in many ways. But the person I compete with the most is myself. Even after the kids finished running, I had 3 miles to go. I was bound and determined to finish with that burn and sweat. Even though I fought with myself I never gave up like I so badly wanted.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Motivational Monday!

It is literally true that you can succeed best and
quickest by helping others to succeed.
- Napoleon Hill

SUNNY and 52' degrees today. I had a big ole cheesy grin pasted across my face for the majority of the day.
I was meeting the group I run with at 8 am. Because it was so nice out I decided to run up to the school. It is a little over a mile.
I get so excited to see all the runners.

Today we ran over 4 miles with hills and intervals.
These are not all seasoned runners. Some are beginners, some are newbies and some just love the idea of having accountability.
We had a new runner today. A very furry runner! One of the runners brought her Pomeranian.
This little furball, "Duke" took off like a champ but fizzled out after a little more than a mile!
This was a first for me...I ran down Academy road carrying this little varmint! I had to be a site for sore eyes carrying him like he was King TUT!

When the run was all over it was music to my ears to hear the group catching their breath.
They were tired but fulfilled.
They were out of breath but encouraged.
They were sore but stoked.
"I told you she would encourage you...." I overheard one of the runners say.
I too was fulfilled.

We are all created to be part of something. We have this vessel within ourselves that needs to be filled. Just a kind word or a smile of friendliness can fill someone else's' vessel.

I encourage you to be that person. Don't wait for the opportunity to come to you.

Distance: 6:68
Ran up to school to meet group and ran back home solo.
 I made some Minestrone soup today.
I used this recipe: Minestrone Soup


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Be Still ..

I Don't Know.

Maybe it is turning 40.
Maybe it is my years running.
Maybe it is my injuries.
Maybe I just never noticed.

Most runs I feel a tweak, a cramp, a annoyance of one sort of another within my body.
I do not run pain free.

Some days it is the pain in my knees that are unavoidable.
Some days it is the pains in my heart that is uncontrollable.
Some days it is the pain in my head that is unmanageable.

Most days there is some degree of hurt.

But I run. I laugh when I hear people say "I can Not Run.." Because of some pain or another.

I wouldn't trade any of those pains in .
I am grateful for all of them.
With each pain has come a blessing. God has used my pain to provide encouragement to some one else.

I remember sitting in the glider rocker with the bible on my lap crying and begging God for answers.
Day after day after day. Week after week after week.
How could I tear my ACL 2 times in less than 1 year?
Did He not want me to run?  Why wouldn't He just answer me?
And then He did.
"BE STILL" is what I heard. I also tried to ignore.
I sat there for the 2nd time waiting for God to do a miracle in my body. I prayed and waited.
My phone hardly rang. Very few people came to visit me. I was so alone. I could hear them whispering "Well, maybe it is time to give up running..."
Was God whispering this too and I was ignoring him?
Depression saturated me as the days turned to weeks. I was immobile and alone.

SINCE THEN: I have ran Boston 2 times, Chicago, Detroit, Bayshore and last year my first Ultra. Where I surprised myself crossing the finish line 1st female overall. God was NOT surprised.

I believe if it is something that you are passionate about you should not give up. I had NO idea God would take me to those races I have ran.
As I sat rocking myself out of a pit I never saw Gods plans for my passion. Satan wanted to use my injury and keep me mentally  handicapped.

I am So Thankful for that "Still" time. In that quiet place I realized I am nothing without HIM. I Need Him to make me whole. I need Him to help me recover. In my nothing state I was reminded HE is My Everything.

Distance: 18 miles
Great Group Run at Indian Spring.
Feeling Grateful.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Don't Judge Me!

If we judge others, it is because we are judging something in ourselves of which we are unaware.
John A. Sandford
Whether I am on the treadmill or I am stretching out my legs there are people all around me. We watch one another and we check each other out.
I have been on the treadmill running my heart out only to discover the person next to me is leaning my way checking out my digits. I can feel myself getting insecure wondering what they are thinking.
I too have checked out that person and hear myself saying things like:
"Get your arms up, pull your shoulders back..."
Last week there was a woman on the treadmill who was doing some sort of interval training. She would pick her pace up so fast that the treadmill started clunking and clanking. I saw her out of the corner of my eyes looking like she was drowning only she was not swimming. I couldn't help but look it her. She grabbed the handrail without slowing down and her legs were almost 2 feet behind her body. I seriously was concerned she was going to fly off. I thought "Oh Gosh, just slow down a spell, your going to fly off and end up in the weight area."
Was this judgmental?
Or even today. A young woman got on a treadmill in front of me. It was hardly even 8am and she looked like a rock star. Her blond hair was hanging perfectly past her shoulders and her make up looked like something out of a CoverGirl ad. Trying not to judge her I gave her secret compliments.  But her pants! I couldn't help but wince in pain for her. They were so tight they went all the way up her..Crack. OUCH. ...Was this judging??
About that time I thought of myself. I could see my reflection in the tv screen attached to my TM. I looked underweight and gaunt. My skin is the palest it has ever been and I broke out with red pimples in the middle of my 40 year old wrinkles. My hair was sticking up about 3 inches in the air like a peacock. I was something to look at myself. Are we allowed to judge ourselves?
This is one of the biggest over used statement I know of.
Yesterday I heard this statement 3 TIMES.
I was at lunch with "Katie". She was telling a story and used it with a giggle and a smile.
I think it is trending in the context she used it in.
I have heard it jokingly as of late.  But every so often it is used in seriousness.
I have noticed that often times when people use this statement they are judging the person they are accusing of judging THEM.
People get ACCOUNTABLITY and JUDGMENT mixed up. We don't like to be held accountable anymore. We want to do what we want to do without explaining ourselves to anyone.
EVERYTHING we do affects someone else.
The reality is we ALL judge one another when it really comes down to it.
It is the manner we do it in that hurts people.
When I wanted to qualify for Boston, Andy pulled me aside and told me some of the things I was doing wrong. He shared with me some things I needed to incorporate be better. It was hard to hear coming from someone that was not running a lot. But I knew he loved me and wanted to see me successful.

  • I didn't get a chip on my shoulder.
  • I didn't make excuses.
  • I didn't blame shift it.
  • He was right. It was something I needed to work on.
Someone I love dearly shared some very deep issues she was dealing with. She knows that I don't agree with the choices she is making, however, she knows I love her. She knows I am not going to agree with her but I do not judge her. She loves me enough to know that I love her enough to communicate to her in Love.
I have to look at myself in the mirror every day. Everyday I have the opportunity to be a better person than I was yesterday.
But like running, being the best person I can be is full of set backs, heartache, confusion and WORK. Being better means there are things I am going to have to sacrifice and give up (like brownie brittle)!
It also means I accept that I am NOT perfect and He is NOT finished with me yet. Some days I really fall short. As I look at my imperfections I do not look at them as an end all. I just pick myself back up and try again.
I appreciate that person in my life that has the courage to hold me accountable. I know that they love me and want to see the best in me.
 I don't want a friend in my life that is going tell me what I WANT to hear. I need a Friend in my life that is going to tell me what I need to hear.
One of Andys first races! 2009
Distance: 10 miles
Pace: 7:41
This run HURT. I was still sore from yesterday. I had moments of numbness but then the fatigue and soreness came back. I was so numb the last mile I shocked myself and finished it at a 7:10 pace. Happy Happy Happy!
Have you ever been called Judgmental? How did that make you feel? Have you ever said to someone "Don't Judge me"?  What made you think they were judging you?