"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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Consulting with Myself"

This morning I had both boys dropped off at school on time at 7:35am.
I had my bag packed, Garmin charged and I was ready to run.

I was looking forward to getting back into my routine. I pulled into the gym with a plan.
It was the "Anita I Need a Plan!" Basically, my plan was a flexible 3 miler. The plan was to see how I felt at the 3 mile mark and then negotiate the plan from that point.

They have a 5k trail marked at Geneysis that I had planned to run. With no rain, I headed out to the trails. I saw so much wildlife. Deer, squirrels, birds and several runners. (they are wild too!)

My routine outside of running is mass chaos. Both kids are in multiple sports. I am coaching cross country 4-5 days a week on top of working part time and running my household.

Running is still a Priority.
My only time to hear myself think is during my runs. The voices in my head are so loud that I struggle organizing my thoughts.
But, while I am running it is quiet. It is me and God.

I thought a lot about Ariel today. Yesterday, I  took her some flowers with my niece Sarah at the cemetery.  
Sarah and I took Ariel some beautiful Purple flowers. Her favorite color.
October 2012, I was registered to run the Detroit Marathon. This was the first time I had ever the  Marathon. I trained very hard to run this. 2 weeks before the starting line, my Ariel was tragically killed in a accident.
I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep and I couldn't think. The only thing I knew was to run.
Even running was foreign to me. I had no idea just a couple days before the race, how I was going to run it.
That marathon was emotionally the hardest marathon I have ever ran. I ran that in Honor of Ariel. I cried a lot. Surprisingly, the weaker I felt the stronger I ran. Those miles through Detroit were all ran with HEART. I remember running at mile 20-21. I cried and cried missing her. 3 hours of running with the feeling of someone inhaling all your air.
I finished that Marathon for Ariel. I dedicated that marathon to Ariel. She was a tough cookie. I held close to her strength that she always carried.  I ran that in both emotional agony and physical turmoil. I started that race depleted.
But I finished that race with the sure knowledge that I honored her.

On my run today, I thought about how Sarah and  I had visited her yesterday. I was so upset when I left the cemetery. The medal I received from my marathon was GONE. Everything everyone else was there. There are several things around her, bears, bunny, Easter eggs, notes, pennies, medal flowers but not MY MEDAL. It had been there over a year and a half with most of the other stuff.
And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
Then I consulted with myself,
Neh. 5:5-6
During my run this morning I reminded myself "Anita, it doesn't matter." They are just things.
Emotions can really dismember reason.
With sweat trickling down my eyebrow I could hear God reasoning with me. I took that time running to "Counsel with myself".
I needed to put things in perspective. Oh well, if someone took it. Who knows what happened to it. Build a bridge and get over it.
I hate the feeling of angst. It is not worth it to go through life constantly upset with people, places or things.
When we let drama and chaos control us we are really no longer in control.

I have my moments of sadness. The grief that is hard to disguise or control. But I can control most of my negative emotions.
Running has really helped me compartmentalize those. Often running helps me defuse them all together.
Negative thoughts = negative responses.
LET IT GO.

RUNDOWN:
DISTANCE: 5.52
PACE:7:59
TIME:44.09
RAN 2+ MORE MILES WITH XCountry kids.
Biked 2 miles easy at gym to shake it out.
Total miles-7.82

A couple Running Reminders:
  1. Ice Ice Ice! Not just for injury, preventative it equally as important. I put my legs in liquid torture for 20 minutes today. I felt great..After I figured out how to walk on numb legs!
  2. You are what you eat! If you are like me and have a busy schedule sometimes it is hard to take the time to sit down and eat. It took me 4 minutes to make a smoothie. Liquid Lunch. Protein powder, Greek yogurt, fruit, vegetables, flax seed..You can do it up.
These are my thoughts..I would love to hear YOURS.
If you have a hard time subscribing check out my Facebook page Running Against the OdDs. I post all blogs and Daily inspiration on there.

Anita

Monday, April 28, 2014

Being the Best YOU!

"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going"
 
We have been hearing this old proverb for years.
Strong people do not give up when they are faced with challenges. We just work harder.
 
Life is full of challenges. Are you the kind of person that plays it safe? The person who stays comfortably numb.
Are you the person who quits when things do not go as scheduled?
Are you the person who can not handle pain or heartache and find yourself crushed beneath it?
 
There is this life outside of our imagination that really does exist. I am so blessed to experience it. It is not a cake walk. It is difficult. It comes with disappointments. It comes with heartache. It comes with failure.
 
But the positive out weight the negative. I am proof of that. What if I lived the very life I grew up?
A life of self centered-ness. I life of not giving back. A life of being overcome and not overcoming.
 
I have learned to dig deep in this life. That you have to tough things out. Sometimes you have to wipe off the tears and just suck it up. There is a time and a place for everything but you can not get stuck on stupid. You cant camp out in the land of "ME".
 
Some of my biggest battles have not been with others. The battles have been with myself.
 
Today,  I was running to my running club that I mentor, my wheels were turning. And my legs were doing a good job of turning over too! I felt great.
 
I was shocked at how well my legs were responding to my run. I felt good, so I ran harder. Why waste my time on mediocrity. "Push the limits"  I told myself. Feel the burn, I challenged myself. It felt so good to run. Why stop at good, when you can have GREAT.
 
I thought of ways I could be a better "Anita".
How could I be the best me?
Maybe it was going to hurt to be the best me.
Maybe I was going to be a little uncomfortable to be the best me.
Maybe the best me was going to grow in the worst situation.
Maybe the challenge to be the best me was to be good towards something that was bad.
 
I was willing to accept the challenge. I started my challenge off with my RUN. I needed to give my best even in the most reliable circumstances.
Being the Best you is a character habit. You have to perform your best in ALL situations. Then you know - no other means.
 
You become tougher by overcoming all things, all the time. You accept everything as a challenge. You look for the challenge to be a better you as part of your constant character.
 
"Do not be Overcome by Evil but Overcome Evil with Good." Romans 12:21
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RUNDOWN:
Distance: 7.5 miles
Ran solo sub 8 minute to school. Ran with roadrunners. Ran back home at a sub 8 pace. Felt awesome!
 
Challenge yourself to being the best YOU. 5 ways to be the BEST YOU:
  1. Forgive someone
  2. Build a bridge and GET over it
  3. Step out of the box and do something daring
  4. Go visit someone that may need more love than you do
  5. Intentionally encourage people for a entire day!
Anita
 
 
 
 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Recovery Mode

Running a marathon is like giving birth to me. You forget how bad it beats you up. While you are running most of us think "Why am I doing this again?"  Almost directly after the volunteers place the medal around our neck we are thinking of what our next marathon will be. This is very similar to giving birth. As we are delivering that miracle of a child we think " OH Dear God, I am never doing this again." However, most of us find ourselves with multiple children.

The pain does not end at 26.2 miles. It was 2 days of agony trying to sleep with legs cramps and soreness. Being on vacation, we used a lot of public bathrooms. I do "The Hoover" when I go into a bathroom. I had to grab the handle many times as my legs failed me. I think I peed all over myself more than I made it into the toilets!

Thursday, I tried to run with Danielle. I made it a mile and knew I had to walk. It was more than just my legs that were struggling. My body felt like it had gone through a blender. I had no energy, I felt sick and my legs were not accepting of my body.
Danielle and I ran 5 miles, with walk breaks.

I have been going through the motions the last week. Bone tired and exhausted I can not even find the energy to get through the day more or less consider running.

We had to get up a 6AM to go to Alec's basketball tournament. I thought I was going to DIE.

The tournament was in Lansing, an hour and 1/2 away. I had no argument with myself about taking a nap.
Alec is number 12
 


Today was the day! Running is like brushing your teeth. It is habitual.
Sunday is always "RUN DAY".
When I woke up it was sunny and 50 degrees out. RUN RUN RUN. That is all I could think about.
I assessed my body physically. I counted the days from my marathon. Then I prepared Alec that we would be leaving to run.

I am Alecs training coach for cross country at school. Alec got himself in some grade trouble and was ineligible to run last week. He is in the clear to run and so I decided I would run him!



I let him pick the route. He loves running trails. We headed to Sorenson Park.
Running in Gods country without the pollution of noise, cars or even people was delightful.
I again let Alec lead. I could watch him jump over branches and dodge logs all day long. He had the biggest grin on his face during our 3 mile run. Alec and I go "head to head" all day long. On the trails running we become one. We both find ourselves embedding into our surroundings. Breathing in the smells of earth, that crisp air against your bare skin, the sounds of branches snapping under your feet, is priceless. There is no place I would rather be.
 
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
This AND That:
Congrats to Anthony T and for winning "CLOSEST TO THE HOLE".
 
I am still recovering from a SUNBURN on my right side of my body from the Marathon!
 
I wanted to give a shout out to one of my new followers.. KRISTY H. It is great to have you following.
 
AND I would love to hear from LIZ..I hope I have her name right. I spoke to her and met her at the marathon. Where is LIZ???
 
Anita

 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Missed Moments: Boston

We had a lot of fun in Boston. I really love the city. The city is full of life. I love the historical buildings, the cobblestone roads and the live entertainment in Fenhiel hall.
Growing up is optional!


I will share some of our fun moments with you through pictures.


The Red Sox Game: My client Debbie, has a uncle who works the Box office. She put in a call to him asking if he could come up with 4 tickets the game! I have never sat that close in my life! It was amazing. There were pop up balls all around us. I looked up at one coming down near me and was taking cover!
Alec Being Goofy

Austin
This was at one of the booths at the Expo.
I love my Signs the boys made me.

 
You see everything on the course!

After the Marathon the Fireman were outside the course. I asked Andy if I could get a pick. Notice the name on their shirts!
 
After we left the fireman we walked about a block and this stunning woman was standing there. She looked at me and said "Awe, Congratulations, you just ran the marathon?.." Her voice was like an angel. She walked over in my direction. I asked her if I could have a picture with her. She responded of course. She smelled as beautiful as she looked. I felt terrible because I was all nasty. So I told her "Oh, You smell so good, you don't have to get to close to me." She was so sweet, "No, No, Come here, I do not mind at all." She reached around and put her arm around me for a picture. She made my day even better than it already was!

Say Hello to my little friend. Turns out that Jeff and his wife were in the hotel room ACROSS the hall from us! I was so stinking worried about Jeff and his finish. When he said they were on their way back to the hotel after the marathon I went to the lobby to meet him and his wife. Their story was like a comedy of errors. I never quit laughing at Jeff as he shared one bad thing after another! But it Finished! I was so proud of him. He was never able to train pass 16 miles. He had injury after injury.

OUR CRAZY HARLESS CLAN!
 
ANITA

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Covered in Prayers:BOSTON Marathon 2014

Only 1% of runners will ever make it to run The Boston Marathon.
To many running the Boston Marathon is not a desire. But to many others it is a DREAM.

This years Boston Marathon was more than a DREAM it was an HONOR.

With the family all sleeping, I woke up in darkness the night before the race. As I laid awake, I sought God to close my eyes and give me peace.

5:25AM comes quick. I awoke briskly.I grabbed each item I had neatly set out the night before. My Prayer Pants. My eyes fixed on all those praying for me. I felt "covered in prayers" as I slipped them on over my running shorts. I felt very calm.

Leaving the boys sleeping in the hotel, Andy drove me to the train station.
Andy was more nervous than I was. I considered giving Andy my prayer pants!

I got on the "T" at Riverside, destination Park Street. Sitting across from me was an older man. He was a teacher from Buffalo running the marathon. This guy reminded me of myself. He was so nervous. This year was his 1st year running the marathon, officially. Several years ago he had bandit ran it. He was very kind. We discussed our breakfast. I told him I normally eat a banana but we forgot to purchase one. He pulled out a banana out of his bag and insisted I have it.
Bandit Boston guy who gave me a Banana from Buffalo!



When the train stopped at our destination, we separated.
The Boston busses were lined up and down the street to transport us to Hopkinton. This is where the race begins.

The busses filled up quickly. A guy from the Carolina's sat next to me. He chatted about his running adventures all the way to our destination.
Sitting on my lil red blanket
Coming in from Busses

Surprisingly calm, I found my way to Athletes village, where all the runners wait until it was their time to start.
It was about 8:30am. I took my favorite lil red down blanket to keep warm and sat down by myself in the sun. Runners quickly filled every empty patch of grass.
I was trying to plan my hydration, fuel and port-a-john trip perfectly. I headed to the port-a-johns hoping I was not going to early. I heard people whispering about my prayer pants. Then runners were asking to take pictures of them. Several runners wanted to know about all the names.

 I sent a text out to a runner I knew would be running the marathon.
She responded and I found her in the thousands of people. I met Melissa C a few years back at the Detroit Marathon. We follow each others blog. It was her Birthday!

Christine, Melissa and I
She introduced me to her friend, Christine. We quickly snapped some pictures, as time was getting away from us.
It was already 10am!
They were calling my bib color and wave to line up and head to the start. I hated to take my prayer pants off. I could feel the prayers were covering me. I have never had so much peace before a race.
I put my address on my pants as I handed the volunteer collecting clothing both my pants and my favorite red blanket for donation.
The Starting line.

We headed to the starting line. I ditched my last shirt as I felt the sun beating down on me. It was surprisingly warm out for this time in the morning.
Next thing I knew I was at the starting line hitting my Garmin to "Start".

The first part of my run I ran with my HEAD. I had to get my head in the game. I needed to maintain a 7:55 pace to have a PR.
I was really struggling nailing my pace. I kept running 7:45, 7:50, and everything in between. The Boston Marathon is not for the weak at heart. It is a very challenging course. You have to run it with more than your legs. Even though it is a downward course it has several hills scattered throughout. The downhill route makes it difficult to stay on pace.

At mile 9, I told myself to just get to mile 10.

At mile 10, the heat was baking my skin. I was wearing 2 tank tops. I tried to wiggle my arms out of the tank that was closest to my skin.  Feeling like an escape artist, I twisted and wiggled. I  pulling it through the neck holes of the tank top I wanted to wear. Once I had it, I tossed it to the side of the road. Catching my breath, I looked at the names on my arm and prayed for them at their dedicated mile.

At mile 12, I began running with my LEGS. I thought of my niece, Heather. She sent me a card that she wrote  " right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot!".
The crowds were amazing. There was not a spot void of spectators. "Go Anita GO!" the crowd rallied. Sign after sign "BOSTON STRONG". People were waving those same words on flags. And the cow bells and noise makers will have my head buzzing for days!
Families came out to support the runners with water and orange slices.
The kids were my favorite. These little hands  were eager for you to notice them. They think you are a "rock star". They just want a smile. When  you slap their hands you would hear them, "Mama Mama, she slapped my hand!"

If you were a spectator, it was the perfect day to cheer runners on. 67 degrees and sunny.

However, if  you were a runner, the temperatures were not as welcoming.

As I approached mile 13, my legs were getting heavy. I was taking fluids at every station. Both Gatorade and water. Dehydration will kick your teeth in. And it is almost impossible to come out of that. This course was going to leave its  mark on me already.

At mile 13, I told myself  "Just get to 16".

Some where between 13 and 16, a runner called my name. I turned towards the voice on my right. There was a woman with a beautiful smile who seemed to know me. "Anita, I follow your blog, I admire your faith." I was stunned. How did she know it was  me? "Liz" said she read my name on my arm. I was speechless and exhausted. I am not sure my response back to her, I was trying to be positive but I think I said something really stupid. I do remember her words of personal injury. She was recovering from a fractured hip. As I ran on, I asked God to give her comfort over that hip and strength to finish the course.

I was praying tears at mile 16. I had held my pace up until this point. I was seriously scanning the crowds for my family. "Please God, let my family be close."

At Mile 17, I could see Andy towering over the viewers. He was a sight for sore eyes and sore everything!  His eyes caught mine. I dug deep for a disguising smile. I didn't want him to see how bad I was feeling. I just needed to touch him. I really wanted to fall into his arms. The boys were smiling and cheering me on. I love that feeling "Team Harless." gives.


Within seconds they were gone. The joy of seeing my family lasted about a mile! I was hoping it would carry me a little bit longer!

"Please God, Hear the prayers of those praying for me." I searched my mind for who was praying for me at that time.  "ANTHONY". Anthony knew where the hills were and where I would need prayer. He had ran the Marathon last year.
I managed to hold my pace for the first hill. The second hill came like the devil. My pace began to slow. The sun was hot and my legs were numb.

Just make it to mile 20. Get to Heartbreak Hill. Last year, I cried all the way up that hill as I thought of losing my Ariel.
There she was, the looming never ending hill. She took my breath away. I wanted to fall on my knees. I remembered Mesha. I dedicated Heartbreak Hill for her and her recent heartbreak. "You run this hill for Mesha, DON"T you DARE stop Anita." I yelled at myself. People were slowing down and many were walking up. "Dig DEEP" I cried to myself. My body wanted to quit, I could feel myself hugging her as I climbed up the hill. I could hear myself coaxing her to have Faith. To have Hope and to never Give UP. I accepted the agony for her, wishing I could take hers away. But ultimately, trying to point her to Christ for her broken heart. God gave me the strength to get up that hill for her. There was nothing left in me.

At mile 22, I thought I was dying. The crowds were amazing. Cheers were surrounding me, only I could barely respond to tell them.  "Thank you". "Anita, your almost there!"
"Anita you are doing Great!!" With all my energy I would try and lift my thumb up or smile to say "Thanks".  Runners began to drop all around me. Many runners were in tears with cramping. The medical tents were full. The water and Gatorade stations were even having a hard time keeping up. Many runners were walking. I saw several runners fall over and one girl being assisted with seizures.
"DRINK, DRINK Anita"
The visions scared me to drink more. I had been having dizzy spells since mile 20. My ears were ringing and I kept trying to "Shake it off".
I started to walk the water stations in fear I would be needing assistance myself.
No matter what I couldn't stop. I knew that people were tracking me. Andy and mom would be so worried if I was not close to my projected time. I had so many praying for me and supporting me. I couldn't quit running. I had to give everything and I had a beg for more.

At mile 23, I think I was pretty much dying. I took advantage of the decline of the course to get me back on pace.
The crowds were unimaginable. Thousands of people line both sides of the streets. My legs felt like they had gone through a meet tenderizer. I had no feeling from my knees to my ankles. There were moments I couldn't see or hear the crowd, it was like a mirage. I could hear them but I had no sound.

At mile 24,  I had no idea how I was going to finish the last 2.2 miles. I didn't even have enough energy to cry.
"Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot."
I told myself it was just pain. I can run through it. I needed to get control of my mind. "It's just pain, Anita, Run through it, but don't stop!"
This was taken a couple days before the marathon as we were site seeing.

I saw the BIG Old CITGO sign to my left. 1 mile to go. I couldn't get my legs to move any faster. "Strong Finish" I told myself. I felt like I was going nowhere fast. "GO Anita GO" the crowds cheered. They were out there supporting the runners. I cried to myself  "I am, I am going".

As I made that final left hand turn, I looked up and saw a familiar face. It was Bart Yasso. Like we were best buddies I screamed "BART!" He had this huge smile on his face as he screamed back "GO Anita GO!"


I kept my eyes peeled on the finish line. I could hardly see it, I could hardly see anything. But one thing I did see was Victory. I was not going to stop. I was actually able to pass some runners as I focused on the finish line.
I made it!!  Dear Sweet Jesus, I made it! I pulled my hands in the air and smiled for the cameras, as I crossed the finish line!

Volunteers were everywhere. I couldn't speak. I was still standing. "Are You OK?" they to ask me. I just bobbed my head. A few feet later another volunteer came to me with a very concerned look, "Are you Ok?, do you need assistance?"  I mumbled "No, Water." She pointed down a little further.

I just wanted water and my Medal. I wanted my prize. I couldn't wait for them to put that big beautiful blue and yellow medal around my neck.


It was as amazing as I thought it would be as they placed the medal over my head. I smiled with Victory.
MY OFFICIAL TIME 3:30:49
8:02 PACE



It was pretty easy to find my family this year. The family area is very organized. I actually walked by my section 2 times! My legs were not the only thing that was struggling to work, apparently my brain was too.
I loved to see Andy and the boys. Andy, was trying not to bring up that I didn't reach my goal. But my oldest son is a teaser. He took the jab. Andy was sweet as he took to my defense. I really didn't mind though. I knew I was covered in prayers. I knew I had given everything I had and more. I also knew that to run this years Boston was more than just running with your LEGS it was running with all your HEART.
I gave the Boston marathon everything I had. I did not have a PR. But I did give my "Boston Strongest."
I gave my Heart to Boston. I gave my blood sweat, tears and toe nails!

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;"
 2 Timothy 4:7
 
This will be the last time I run The Boston Marathon. But the Boston Marathon will never leave my Heart. It is not a easy journey to get there physically or financially. My family made a lot of sacrifices for me to have this last Boston experience and I am very grateful. I am grateful for all those that supported me and believed in me.

BOSTON STRONG.



Anita



Monday, April 21, 2014

Thank YOU.


If you follow my blog it comes down to 3 main things:
  1. Giving God the Glory, being a witness to him in all I do trying to point others to HIM.
  2. RUNNING
  3. Overcoming
Therefore, I just want to take a minute and say THANK YOU.

I have taken the last 2 hours relaxing and responding to over 100 messages on my personal and Running Against the ODds Facebook.

I have been moved to tears. Running The Boston Marathon was much more than running 26.2 miles. I left Michigan a little frazzled with nerves. The tragic events from last year taunted me.

I Believe that GOD has given me this ability to run. I also Believe that God gets all the Glory, all the time.
That something like running can be used to bring people to CHRIST. That something like running can bring people together in love and support. That something like running can bring people to pray.

I was awestruck by the united hearts.

It was more than ME running. It was God doing a work in through my running.

GLORY to God. Thank YOU for all the Love, Support and dozens of Prayers that were posted and prayed.


I will give a rundown either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Anita

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Day in Pictures.

I LOVE BOSTON. I have always loved this city.

Today was the Boston Marathon Expo. This is where you pick up your bib and do a little shopping!

Here is BART YASSO. The man who gives me so much pain every week. He came up with the Yasso 800's. I bought his book and had him sign my book and magazine.

 
 
 


Picking up my BIB! 15339

This is where the finish line will be!!

 

Have a Great NIGHT, Thank YOU for all the Prayers, from Team Harless.
I have a lot of fun stuff that I have collected for the CONTEST!! Make SURE you are Following me on my Blog and check out Contest Rules!.

Gotta Hit the Hay. 5Am comes Early.
Anita

CONTEST!!



I have tried to come up with something fun for a contest. Due to my runners brain it appears that my brain is not working properly.
 
 
We will do the standard:
 "CLOSEST TO THE HOLE!"
 
Contest Rules:
Guess my predicted time, closest to my finishing time wins!
You will win a Boston Marathon Care Package. It will include items that represent my Marathon Weekend.
 
 
 
You can track my run by:
 
TEXT - Simply text the athlete's Bib Number to 345678 using your US mobile phone. You will then receive an sms text response with instructions on how to submit a runner’s bib number. You will receive up to 6 texts per bib number. Message & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Text HELP for help.
MY BIB # 15339
 
 


Anita


Saturday, April 19, 2014

35 hours to go: Boston Marathon

I am keeping this short and sweet.


  1. I enjoyed sleeping in until 8:30 this morning.
  2. The people in Massachusetts are coffee lovers, there is a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks on almost every street corner!
  3. Took the "T" into Boston. I LOVE the "T"
  4. My client Debbie had Boston Red Sox tickets waiting for us at the ticket counter. We had killer seats! We arrived to the game early enough that we were able to meet and take pictures with some of the players. I posted a picture of Alec and I with a Red Sox player. I challenged my followers to guess who was in the pick. No one GUESSED! Check our picture out at Running Against the ODds. Place a guess and if you guess it I will send you a Red Sox prize!
  5. We won the Red Sox game!
  6. We did some browsing around Faneuil Hall. Watched a street performer. Andy got brought unto the stage with him. This is the second year in a row they have pulled Andy in!  
 
Check on My Facebook page at Running Against the ODds or Follow in on Twitter for Boston Marathon Weekend activities.
 
*So Easy I could teach my mom to do it over the phone!
TEXT - Simply text the athlete's Bib Number to 345678 using your US mobile phone. You will then receive an sms text response with instructions on how to submit a runner’s bib number. You will receive up to 6 texts per bib number. Message & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Text HELP for help.
MY BIB # 15339
 
 
Tomorrow: The EXPO!!!
 
Anita

Friday, April 18, 2014

FEAR: Walking on Water

I received a text message from Karen M. a couple days ago. "You have to be nervous, I know your FAITH is helping with any FEAR but people are NOT God Fearing."
TROTTON PARK WALTHAM MA.


Karen is right, People do things that I can not control. I can be as God fearing and faithful as I can be but have to make responsible choices and trust God in it all. I can not control or predict what others will do who are not God fearing.
Earlier this week there was an incident with a "Hoax device" at the Boston marathon finish line. This rattled me pretty bad.
Then today Hal Higdon posted on Twitter "Just evacuated #Boston Marathon at expo over. False alarm?"
Nervous, concerned...quite honestly, Yes. For me, for my family and for the ones I love that would worry when they read the news. Alec, is so worried. Last night at Wonderworks there were big booms in the building. This completely drained the color from his face. His fear overcame him as he looked for the exits. "Mom, what is that noise? MOM, what is THAT?"
To see your son so fearful hurts you.

I believe that the Lord is calling me to walk on water. I believe that he calls you to walk on water as well. I believe that he's leading me across the finish line of this among many things. The Boston Marathon is one of those. I hear his spirit asking me to step into his glory in Faith.
I look across the waters and feel fear first. My heart skips a beat, my palms begin to sweat, my eyes fill with tears, I am overcome by the emotion of fear. I struggle trying to balance it with faith.

It is more than 26.2 miles. It is the unknown of others. It is fear of the uncontrollable circumstances.

I see myself sinking in fear, and I even see others I love sinking along side of me.

I hear myself saying "What if God..."
I look out across the waters as they crash into me. I hear God whispering, "Anita, you have come this far with me..Take my hand."

Turning around I see the boat too far to go back. I see my losses, losing Ariel, last years tragic Boston Marathon, I see painful training runs, sleepless nights and how God kept me above the waves.

I hear him in my fear calling me forward.
In my human brokenness, I still feel fear. But I go out in Faith that God will carry me through my fears.
It isn't denying my fear that keeps me afloat.
It is Faith in God to overcome those fears.

It is knowing God is beckoning us to Greatness. He has "Great and Mighty Things" for us. He wants to show us things that will take a little FEAR to overcome. But it is dying to ourselves and looking across the waters in his direction. Sometimes it is walking out unto calm waters and sometimes it is walking out into the crashing waves.

The Boston Marathon is more than just an event. It is a special piece of me. Last year this marathon engraved itself into my heart. The Boston Marathon has my Heart. Yes, It even has my fears. So many will run this marathon and leave all their fears at the starting line with me. We will all step across that starting line in Faith of our own desires. In Faith of something beautiful, full of love, peace and hope.



I haven't ran in 3 days. I asked Austin if he would run a couple miles with me. We found a park about a quarter mile up the road. It was a evil beastly incline! The path literally went straight up! We only ran 2 miles. It was a scenic run with cut out trails off the road. It was also a exhausting run!

Summer made a Picture Poster for me!! She even put me in in Green my favorite color!

Matthew 14:25-31And in the fourth watch of the night he [Jesus] came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."

Anita




Syrucuse..Day 1:

Stephanie gave me a beautiful card and some of my favorite chocolates as a good luck gift. It was more than a card though. She filled the inside of the card with her heart and her words. It was so thoughtful. She took her time, her heart and wrote it all down. I was very moved.
The Hoffmans sent me another awesome card. This is my sister in Florida. Love this.
 

We made great time, with little damage getting out of the house yesterday morning. Mornings of vacation in my house usually result in uncontrolled chaos.

Things are forgotten, helping hands are not helping, kids are fighting, parents are yelling and neighbors are waving us off!

We made it to Syracuse about 4pm.We only passed our exit on the toll road by 7 miles, with 1 unauthorized turn and no tickets!

We went to the Destiny Mall. It was massive.
We went to Wonderworks for the boys. There was something we all could do. I personally liked the bubbles the most!

We had a great dinner at Cheesecake Factory. I laugh at how spoiled my kids are. As an adult, I feel so spoiled to have dinner here. These kids have no idea.

Alec was my sleeping buddy. I woke up cuddled up against and in hog heaven!

We are heading out, Boston Bound!

I will update later, if I have time.

I have updated my Prayer sheet.

Anita

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Running with your Brain

Smart People learn from their mistakes, Brilliant people learn from others.
 
 
I have made plenty of mistakes. I have learned that most mistakes cause pain. And I lot of it.
I have always been that person who wants to absorbs all the information I can. Probably because I know 50% of it I will forget within 5 minutes of me carrying on. And the other 45% I will mess all up. If I get 5% of the most important stuff down it is a good day!
 
In March of 2011, My IT band bared its ugliness. He became I unwanted running partner. I went out to Clint Verrans office for physical therapy. He is considered the "Run Guru". He himself has ran Boston, coming 10th overall a few years back and also running the Olympic trials. This one of the best experiences I have had with physical therapy.
Because my injury was so close to my first Boston Marathon, I knew I had to run with more than my legs.
 
You do not have to have a brain to run. Even the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz could run a Marathon. If you have the Heart of a Lion you can run wherever your legs take you.
However, if you want to run with a purpose and effectively...Make it to OZ for a Brain.
 
Knowledge is Power.
I took that time with Clint not only to have him help rehabilitate me but also to absorb his knowledge of the course.
 
I knew that my Heart way the driving force. I also knew that there was a chance that my legs might fail me. I needed the Knowledge of the course and how to run with the best use of my legs.
 
"Clint I need all the info I can get on the Boston Marathon..." With out hesitation he says "OK..I will help you with everything I can".  Here are the main points...
  1. The First 16  miles is all slow decline
  2. Don't let the decline make you loose your pace..steady & smooth..Like your running on EGGSHELLS.
  3. At 16 there are a set of 4 hills called the Newton Hills..The fourth is the well know Heartbreak Hill.
  4. These 4 hills go on about 4 miles and are about a half a mile long a piece.
  5. This is why you do not want to blaze out of the gate because the hills will kill your quads and hamstrings and you will need all you energy here. ( you will feel good but DON'T.)
  6. From mile 22 to the finish is goes back into a steady decline all the way in.
  7. There are no pacers at the Boston..Try very hard to keep your pace so you don't bottom out!
  8. The race doesn't start till 10am so be careful how you eat.
  9. Clint got a PR at Boston. He came in 10th place OVERALL in 2006!
  10. You will go around a curve and then the HILLS start! This is one of the only curves in the race because it is a straight course.
Here is a Great Link sharing the MILE by Mile Rundown of the Course. Boston Mile by Mile.

When you see the Chevron SIGN you are on the homeward stretch!!!


Anita


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Waiting for Anderson Cooper!

Over the last 4 weeks I have had 2 interviews, online links, front page articles and a snippet on the news.
Today, I came into work like a normal day. I was booked solid all day. I had no room for error.

The girls at work gave me copies of the newspaper article from the Oakland Press on Sunday. Heidi, went so far as to have the article laminated. It was beautiful.

Andy had made a post about me being a "Rock Star" which gave the girls at the salon ammunition to tease me.

About 10am Ashley came back to my chair. She had this quirky look on her face as she interrupted my client and I. "Anita, some guy from NBC is on the phone for you."
Thinking she was teasing me I respond "You are real funny!"
"No, seriously his name is Walter from NBC."
I look around at the other girls and everyone is laughing. I am laughing because I know the girls are messing with me.
I excuse myself from my client and head to the front.
Still laughing at their little prank I answer the phone. "Hello, this is Anita."
"Hello Anita, this is Walter from NBC 25. I was calling because I am doing a special on the Boston Marathon and was hoping that I could interview you."
It wasn't a prank!

Walter came out from Flint. He showed up in the middle of my clients color. Good timing really.
He was a taller man. Very friendly and kind. All the girls warmed right up to him. He had us laughing and very comfortable.

Walter did some investigating before arrived. I asked Walter how he found me. He said that he GOOGLED me and my Blog came up. He then read my blog. Walter only chose 2 people to interview today. Me and a 87 year old. Something in my Blog directed him to me.

He did the interview right there in the salon. One of the things that Walter asked me was about my Prayer Sheet. I was filled with joy that I had the opportunity to share my Faith.

HERE is That Part of the VIDEO. I am so Thankful to Katie for Videoing Him interviewing me.


After my interview, Walter wanted to catch some footage of me working. My client at the time had color and highlights on her head. Rhonda would have killed me. So I grabbed Kelli and pretended!
Kelli, wanted to kill me more for not giving her lip gloss for the camera!

And just when the fun was almost over, He asked to interview one of the girls about me!
I grabbed Katie. Katie and I directed a 5K race together. I am usually the pun of most of Katie's jokes. I probably should have thought this through better!
Walter asked Katie what she thought about me and my running.
"Anita is Crazy, anyone that can run that much and not have anyone chasing them is Crazy!"
It was fun to listen to Katie's comments. They all were witty and fun like that.

As Walter gathered his gear I invited him to stay with us. I think he may have taken us up on it had he not been on the clock!
Here is the Link to the interview..this is not a live video. I can not find the live one.

The rest of the day the salon was in a buzz. We were all laughing about one another's comments and description of the interview.

A couple hours later the phone rang again. I laughed at the girls and said "OH NO, There is Anderson Cooper!"
In my dreams!
"So Anita, You are going back to Boston this year. Tell me your thoughts on this years Boston Marathon"


Anita


Monday, April 14, 2014

Tapering the Brain.


It’s always too early to quit. – Norman Vincent Peale

It seems like with this tapering for my marathon, my legs are not the only thing resting, apparently it is also my brain!
I totally forgot I had the Running group I lead on Monday morning. I took the boys to school in my red Christmas flannel pajama pants without the intention of changing when I arrived back home.

Thank goodness some wire sparked in my head. I normally run up to the school. Not today, I was running late!

I was excited to see so many waiting for me to run. As we headed out the door a massive gust of wind came after us. It was mixed with rain and a ugly sky. We lost 3 runners right there!

Running with those who stuck around, we ended up running 3.1 miles. The weather was mostly smoke and mirrors. I was so glad that we didn't let mother nature scare us off!

You have to want it so bad, that you let nothing stand in your way. Not even a little wind and rain. Sometimes you have to change the plan but never let QUITTING be part of the plan.

When the odds are against you, realign your thinking. Try not to entertain thoughts of throwing in the towel.
This is in ANYTHING you do, not just running. Maybe the initial goal seems so far out of reach. Maybe you see the odds are stacking against you.
Just do not let your FIRST option be QUITTING!

The weather cleared up. The wind even died down. I reminded the girls we ran in far worse conditions. After all, it was 50 degrees out, without any snow.

Our run was great. Everyone felt accomplished and challenged. Not to mention the camaraderie of just running together in a group. There is something magical in the sound of laughter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I haven't really mentioned it in my blog. But I made the front page of the Oakland press yesterday. It was a nice article. A couple things were wrong and the good stuff was left out, (My faith) but overall very nice.
As if Andy didn't have enough to make fun of me about, today gave him more.
I forgot to buy Alec his CC shoes. You would think as one of his coaches I might remember that! But then I already explained my brain is also tapering!
So, as I was paying for Alecs' shoes at Baumans I saw a camera man. I ignored it. I didn't want to glance remotely in that direction, I looked terrible! I know that sounds vain, but I keep it real!
They were doing a segment on Boston. I almost made it out of the shoe store until "Bill K" the cashier pointed them to me. I had no makeup on and my hair looked like I stuck my finger in a light socket!
Yep, I ended up on ABC12 at 5:30. It is so embarrassing to see yourself out of the box. "Ugh, do I sound like that?" I said out loud. My boys were around the TV cracking up at me. Each one laughing and saying something that I even found myself laughing at, even though it was about me!
Andy decided to add more by posting "....I married a Rock Star!!"
I told him I was going to take it down. I do this a lot. But then he got really mad.
Well, I guess it was all in good fun.
Something to look back at and laugh!


"Do not take life to serious. You will never get out alive!"
 

 
 
Anita
P.s Thank YOU, for all the prayers and loving support. I am so grateful.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Boston Marathon Prayers List


I am less than a week out. I am so ThankFULL for those that are going to pray for me. I am circled around so many friends. And Thank You to my Family, Mom, Sarah, and Leeanne for your prayers love and Support.

I still have some miles opened. I am not SHY about asking for prayer. I know that I alone can not do this. I NEED God in SO many ways. I know God hears our prayers. I want to Glorify HIM in this Race. I want to Point People to HIM.

Some Ways you can pray:
  • Pray for safe travels
  • Pray for Safety
  • Pray for health
  • Pray that I can be a witness to HIM
  • Pray for strength, stamina and endurance.
  • Pray for the good WEATHER..God is the weatherman! 60% showers currently!
  • Pray for my family to have a good attitude!
  • Pray For Boston and all those running, spectating and volunteering.




There is POWER in PRAYER. There is Power in Numbers. God can use ALL things for his GLORY...Even 26.2 Miles!
*****************************************************************************************

1. Sarah Fox (new runner and great encourager)
    Terri Williams (dear friend)
2. Terri Williams
3. Stephanie Lookebill (Kids school mom & Road Runner)
    Linda Haberman (the date of her 1/2 marathon, attended church together)
4. Christine P. (Friend from high school)
5. Maria R. (our dear friends from church.."New family of 5" they just had a new blessing)
6.  Lesa B. (In thoughts of Burgess clan of 6!)
     Linda K. (THIS IS HER ANNIVERSERY DATE!)
     DEDICATION: Christine(Battling cancer)
7. Lori Stoi (old neighbor, 7 years, she has been with her hubby) 
8. Steve F. (attend church together, He is praying for me and "Team Harless"
9.  Leah P.( attend same church, Great woman's leader)
10. Cara F. (voice of an angel, sings at church)
      DEDICATION Kathy ( new runner I met, we ran 10 miles together, Boston Runner too)
11. Ashley D. (attend church together)
12. Michelle and Ali R. (SISTERS! They both picked the same number just minutes from
       one another!)
13. Carri  (fellow Blogger, Christ Follower and Runner)
      Brooke D. (Fellow Christian, beautiful leader)
      DEDICATION: Justin W.  (Terri's Youngest son)
      DEDICATION; Gina D, Daddy Roy
14. Danielle M. ( My dear friend and Running Partner that I MET after 18 years at the
      Boston Marathon in 2011!)
      DEDICATION: Peggy, Miranda
15. Devon W. (Austin's best friend) Also this mile is a DEDICATION to
      Kathy M. ( the new runner I just met! She is praying for me where the HILLS start!)
16. Aunt Pat and Uncle Darryl (Andys Aunt and Uncle in Minnesota)
      Linda P. (a dear client of mine and sweet lady from church)
17. Steve Everett (Andys High School Friend, Such a Blessing that he is praying for me)
      Georgette A (XC mother)
18. Minnie C. (Dear friend from Church, amazing Godly woman, Prayer warrior)
19. Rachel D. (Fellow Runner, that I hope to have the opportunity to run with one day!)
      Jama P (Running Friend)
20. Jess D. (Running friend, Christian woman, dear friend)
      Anthony T. (Runner Friend, ran Boston last year and writer for running magazine)
21. Debbie C. ( Long Client from work, Beautiful Godly woman)
22. Jessica L (An angel in my eyes, we have been through a lot together)
       DEDICATION; Larry, battling Lymphoma.
23. Michelle B (Fellow Marathoner, Fellow Blogger Rock Star Marathon runner.)
      Amanda E. (Steves Wife, beautiful woman, and family)
      Georgette A
24. Brittany B. ( One of our youth group girls, now a beautiful young lady)
      Heather B. (Christian leader, Blogger)
25. Kristy S. (Fellow runner and high school classmate)
       DEDICATION: (Colleen, My best friends friend battling cancer)
26.  Alexis N. (Ran Boston last year, and I ran into her at NYC Mara!
       Minnie C.
26.2 Debbie C. (Dear Client of mine, Godly woman, beautiful inside and out)
        Tamela Riggs. (Pastors wife, Loving lady)
Praying throughout:
MOM- Andys mom, MY mom. She prays with out ceasing.
Sarah- MY NIECE, So thankful to have her be part of my run by praying for me. Love this girl!
Maureen A - This is one of the Cross Country girls. She made me smile reading her post that she would be praying for me the whole time! So sweet.
Leeanne Cook- My sweet sister in law. Man did my brother make out good getting her! She text me today and said that her WHOLE office, 2 offices combined would be with me! I saw this picture of a virtual poster board with her work cheering me on and it made me so excited to know they were rooting me on!
Kirsten H.-Kirsten is our old neighbors. She was such a great support to me last year. She will be praying for me through out the race again this year!
Erin S- School Mother
Karen M. Dear Client and friend, Very special Lady!
The Charles Family- Great family My kids go to same school and we go to church together.
Amy Sergio- very special Client of mine. She is going to be a MOMMY!


*  note: There have many many others that have said that they will be praying for me throughout. I have listed the ones that have messaged me, left comments on my blog or on Facebook. Thank YOU for all the Prayers!!!
Anita