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

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Moving Forward.

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

This past weekend was my anniversary weekend. My husband has the habit of going back in time.
"Anita, I wish I could just go back and....."
"Nita, wouldn't you want to just change..."

You can would've and could've things to death. It isn't going to change the outcome of the present.
The only thing that is going to change the outcome of the present or the future is your reaction and response to the past.

I replied to Andy, "It is gone. All the heartache and all the mistakes are done. I can't change them from yesterday but I can change them from tomorrow."  I can actually grow more from the dirt I buried myself in if I choose. But I have to move forward.  Andy has moved forward himself. He has done many many things differently. I am very proud of the changes he has made.

I am moving forward these days but a lot different. With my knee angry, it leaves me confused and emotional.
I am moving forward slowly. I am looking back and fishing for past experience to use for future progress.
Quitting is mental. I am more determined than ever to stay strong and stay focused on getting healthy and being uninjured.
I have cut my miles back almost by half. No speed work. No hills. No KIDDING!
I have iced my knee in the cold plunge for 20 minutes. I have iced throughout the day. I have rolled and I have PRAYED.
Next week I see the DR.

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:15
*Danielle and I met this morning for our run. She was very kind and prompted me to slow down or walk if my knee hurt. We walked at every mile. We were both shocked at our time considering we added walk breaks every mile.
I am so blessed by our friendship. After running, Danielle took the time to assess my knee. (She is an occupational therapist) She had even taken the time to look up a couple diagnoses based on my symptoms. We headed into Panera before we separated and I made a makeshift ice bag to put on my knee as I drove out.

Moving forward does not mean you forget the past. Quite the opposite actually. For me it means making amends to my past failures and mistakes. It is having the humility to accept myself and my imperfections. It is using my past not as a stumbling block to my future, rather a building block to move forward on.
Sometimes I look back and just wish.. There are people and relationships I miss. I have to examine my actions with the closure of those. This is the hardest for me. It is hard to move forward with only memories of relationships that are no more.
Moving forward is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Keep your eyes up to see where you are going. Never forget yesterday. Use Yesterday as  a tool for a better Tomorrow. Just keep moving forward.

Are you like Andy, questioning your yesterday? Or have you come to terms with your yesterday and are working at a better tomorrow?


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

And It HITS you.

And it HITS you just like that. Its like you finally catch air. You discover a little life. You inhale a little breath. You move 2 steps forward. Not the same as before but you are moving. You are breathing again. You even find the corners of your mouth genuinely smiling. You feel that deep guttural laugh you thought you would never feel again escape you.
And it HITS you.
It is like a deer, by the time you see her it is too late.
It is grief. It is heart wrenching, gut pounding, hurtful, so hurtful. It is beauty and it is pain.
It is confusing and it is peaceful.

It is one of the moments. I smiled today. I laughed today. I was engaged and alive.
And it HIT me, It sideswiped me. I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I could have even avoided it. But I didn't.
I let it hit me. I invited the heartache. I felt her. I touched her for just a brief second. I smelled her hair. I ran my fingers through her hair. I looked at the big brown eyes. I heard her laughter. I could see every detail of her. I saw her mascara slightly smudgy with perfection. Her lips were glossy and soft. Her skin was bronze and glowing. I heard her, "Aunt Nita.." I heard her. I heard her.
But she was calling me from heaven. So far away....

Oh Glorious Heaven. The Angels Embrace her beauty. She shines from above. She Dances in the Sky.
My Angel

This video really touched me.

Missing my Ariel.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Still Running Together after 18 years

Andy and I got married very young, Memorial Weekend, 18 years ago.
We were 22 years old.  I am not that person who is going to tell you our marriage has been sweet, with all the bells and whistles. I am not going to act like my marriage is a stain glass window and it looks so good when the truth is we really made a lot of mistakes.
It has been hard. And it has been worth it.

We both like surprises. It was Andy's turn to surprise me this year. All he knew is I wanted to run a race.

Run Thru The Shores 5K
Race Start: 12 pm
Weather: 80 degrees
Number of participants: 300-400
Course: There and Back
This guy was cracking me up. I called him Captain America

The gun went off and we slowly headed to the starting line.
Andy was happy that I was running with him, however, he also really wanted me to race this.
I had studied the runners prior to running and knew that I had a good chance of medaling. "Be Smart Anita." The little competitive voice was quickly drowned out by reason. We are in peak running right now. I have to be smart with my knee. I lwant to be able to just GO. I want to run like my legs were created to do. I wanted to run out of breath and pained from giving everything I had. It was not that day. I could still have a great run, I would run with Andy and cheer him on.
As I ran alongside Andy I had to chuckle. 18 years ago, who would have thought we would celebrate our anniversary running! It was the perfect metaphor for our marriage. We are still RUNNING Strong. 

We had a fun race. I tried to pace Andy at a 8:15 pace. He did really good the first mile. The second mile he was asking to slow down. The 3 mile I was telling him to hold on a little bit longer.

We had a good finish. Andy used those long legs and finished strong.

After catching our breath we checked out the results. I was not even on the results pages. We went to the timer guy, who is a Hansons guy I know. He recognized me and shook my hand. "No problem I will take care of it."

And he did. I ended up getting 3rd place in my AGE group! That was pretty exciting for not racing.

Time: 25:13
Pace: 8:07
Place: 3rd Place in my 40 year old division!
We stayed in Windsor. I love present time!
Andy spoiled me with all my favorites!
Godiva CHOCOLATE, my first ALTHLETA tank in my favorite color! AND, He saw my pictures of all the running books on my twitter and bought me another book!!

My new shirt and book!!!

It was a great anniversary.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Out of Breath...

One of my favorite mantras is "Just Breath".

When I am out there on a run, the hard one, the run where you cant breathe, I have to coach myself between the ears.
I have to remind myself a few things:

  1. Calm Down AND BREATH. Not the shallow chesty breathing. The deep guttural breathing. I have to relax and consciously breathe through my gut. I often times say to myself "Breathe in Gods Power in your Weakness Anita." Air is so vital to your stamina and endurance. However, you can breathe and never absorb the power of air if you are not breathing correct. I relax and absorb all Gods air and feel it as it circulates throughout my body, giving me more energy and endurance. :Philippians 4:13 " I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
  2. Easy Does It. If you are a beginning runner ease your way into running. Don't worry about your speed. Get used to just perpetually moving forward. There is a lot going on with your mind and your body that you are trying to figure out. Use the "Talk Test" to see if you may be going to fast. If you can not talk through your run then SLOW DOWN. Add some walk breaks in there to manage your breathing. Ease into your pace. This allows your respiratory system time to gain endurance and strength.
  3. Running FORM. I scream from several feet away at the kids I coach "HEAD UP, Shoulders BACK!!" Today, I had one of the coaches laughing at me when I added "HEY, YOUR not running into the ground so put your HEAD up and LOOK where your running!" When you drop you head, you drop your shoulders. When you drop you shoulders it tightens the chest muscles making it more difficult to breathe while you run. And if you are not getting proper oxygen then you are going to fatigue earlier. When we get tired we tend to fall forward and fall apart. If you find this happening slow down or add a 10 second walk break in there to get it together. You do not want to compromise your form, this could lead to not only fatigue but also injuries.
  4. There are runs that I am so out of breath I feel like a dying animal. These are my hard runs. It pains me to hear myself huffing and puffing. So I...Turn my music up LOUDER! When I hear myself breathing I will mess myself up worrying to much about how bad I sound. These emotions lead me feel defeated because I think I am weak sauce. When I have some good POWER songs I will actually find myself running to the beat. This calms my breathing down and helps me not focus on the noises coming out of my mouth!
Yesterday, at X-country several of the girls had melt downs. Between the heat and the course the girls fell apart. By the time they had finished the 2 mile course in 80 degrees they were left with an empty tank and a full face of tears. "BREATHE, Relax and BREATHE" I coached the girls as they hyperventilated and gasped for air.
Today, I tried to teach them a little about breathing and the importance of proper breathing and posture. I touched on the emotional side of it briefly. I wanted them to be out of breath so they could start paying attention and learn how to start breathing.  I found this great article from Runners World. I did the exercise the kids.
Check it out: Lung Power.

Distance: 3 miles
1 mile C/D walk and try not to cry. I tried to stay disciplined when I wanted to run like a beast. I wanted to not just run miles I wanted to run till my body was empty. I have to play it smart. My knee began to hurt, as much as I knew I could run through it, I didn't. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Humbled yet again. I wanted to fall to my broken knees and beg God to his healing hand on my injured knee. I am reminded in my weakness that HE is in control.

This is dedicated to Lori P. She is a very special lady.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

5 EASY Tips to Remember when RUNNING

I remember things with association. This is probably why I really like mantra. These are quick, simple and easy fragments of words that encourage, inspire and motivate me.

I have 5 Fun Tips that are Easy to Remember for Running:

Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
(Andy asked when I was going to take some time off running for my knee. I responded, "I took 3 days off, and I have cut my miles down.."  He rolled his eyes. Resting is hard to do. Even harder when the sun comes out and mother nature is all so tempting. I have cut my miles back and ice very regularly.)

Danielle gave me this, she is an occupational therapist:
 3 "P's" for Patients
 Patience - healing takes time and we all heal at different speeds. Perseverance - keep trying , what was hard yesterday can be easier today. Prayers.
(I fell in love with this. Probably because I struggle with this. I am NOT patient. I want things yesterday. Perseverance, I am good at to a default. I will persevere myself into the hurt locker. And prayers, I feel like I am constantly needy, forever asking for prayers.)

My sister in law ran XCountry and track back in highschool. She still runs. Leeanne gave me this mantra from her coach. She Still remembers this from over 20 years ago:
The 5 P's of Running:
"Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance"
(Running, especially racing takes more than your legs to be successful. It takes planning and strategy. I always tell the kids I coach before a meet to take time before the race to organize your plan. I  run the course with them before the meet. At this time I coach them to take the time to know the course and plan their strategy to race it. When we create a plan we go into it with less anxiety and more success. Jeff, taught me something that I now teach my runners about planning before a race: Make 3 goals. 1. This is the best case scenario, this would be a dream come true. 2. A good goal that you would be happy with. 3. A goal that you would settle for.)

The 3 C's of Running:
Commitment, Consistency and Common Sense
(Commitment and Consistency are close relatives while Common Sense is of no relation. We do not all run with Common Sense. You may be a smarty pants runner, I wish I was. I have done a lot of dumb things on the run, before the run and after the run!)

The 3 R's of Running:
Recovery, Rest and Recharge
( We started out with RICE. This begins with REST. Rest is an important part of the process.
These 3 tips are all circled around rest.
In reality, a couple of weeks of rest will not have any long-term, irreversible effects. As a matter of fact, slowing down or stopping for a while will actually be good for your body and will most likely assist in preventing an injury. It allow your muscles and small tears time to recover.  Cross-training is a great alternative for active rest if your going stir crazy.
Rest means repair—give your muscles a chance to heal, grow and recover. Spend your rest phase planning out a new training schedule. Peruse the race calendars. Think about how excited and motivated you’ll be to get back out there!)

Distance: 7 miles
I ran 5.5 miles with Mary Ann and Jama. I am green with envy for the both of them. They are running Bayshore this weekend.
I also ran an easy 1 mile and 1/2 mile with the Xcountry  kids.

Any Running Tips you want to share?? I would love a few more!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

When things do not go as planned

"Oh great Nita, you haven't been injured in a long time." Andy replied to me as I told him my knee was still bothering me.

It has been 3 days since I have not ran on it. I have "Mortin-ed" it and iced it to death. I had all kinds of plans for the month of May.
  • I wanted to get a couple races in to work on my speed.
  • I wanted to do at least a half marathon and possibly a marathon at the end of the month
  • I had plans to run with Danielle, and others.
  • When the sun comes out and the air warms up all I can think about is playing outside, therefore a lot of plans are interrupted the last couple days!
Riding my bike to coach the kids for Cross Country was NOT at all in the plans. One day last week we were in a subdivision doing hills. This truck came up along side of me and I hear "HEY, isn't that CHEATING!" as the driver points to my bike.

I hate riding my bike while the kids are running.

Being injured enough in the past makes you hypersensitive to being injured again. You never forget what the pain of injury feels like. It hurts physically, mentally and emotionally. Pain is a stronghold that has a lot of power to steer us.
The pain in my knee is my bad knee. This is the knee that I have had 2 ACL surgeries on and 1 meniscus scraped.
I want to play it smart but then I wonder "WHAT is THAT". Being "Smart" seems so relative.
What I think is smart some of you would think is the stupidest thing ever. I am sure I would get a dozen ideas on what the "Smart" thing to do it.

"Smart people learn from their mistakes, BRILLIANT people learn from others!"

I am not sure what category I fall in..Smart or Brilliant...They both make me laugh.

Today, I was "Planning" to run with Jama. She had scheduled 12 miles. I was hoping I could do 10 with her.
I changed that plan this morning. Last night I was struggling with leg cramps. My calves tightened up, creeping up on me. I was able to twist myself out of a full blown calf cramp but in the process my knee was aching.
I knocked off the 4 of the 10 miles I was planning to run with Jama the following morning.

I met Jama with a good attitude. I decided kicking and screaming was not an ideal look for me. I gave up on getting 10 miles in, while feeling peaceful about option 2: trying to run 6.

It just stinks when everything falls into place and the plan just isn't going to work. I would have loved to have ran 10-15 miles today. The sun was out, the air was warm, there was a breeze that was blowing the smell of lilacs in the air, it was perfect. Just not perfect for my knees.

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."   1 Thess. 5:18
I have so much to be thankful for. When all else fails an attitude of gratitude really puts things into perspective.
Life throws you a curve ball all the time. It might take a minute, it might even take a few tears and a little pity party. But you just have to be flexible, be grateful and rearrange your thoughts, plans and expectations to roll with the punches.
I am bummed about my knee. I have asked for prayers and now I just have to believe that God will heal me and direct me.

I was dog sitting this weekend mom and dogs Beabull. (beagle and bulldog mix)

Sheba our Boxer
Distance: 6
Pace: 9.00

Take a few minutes and think of something that didn't go your way. How did you deal with not getting what you want? Could you find something good in something bad? Were you willing to be flexible? Do you have an attitude of Gratitude?

Still seeking prayers for a healthy recovery for my knee. Please here my prayer and see my heart to run.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Alternative Plan

Well I am in the Hurt Locker. I am so stinking frustrated.
I never cancel my Thursday runs with Danielle. When I woke up this morning my knee was still angry at me from Wednesdays run.
I was sick that I had to bail on a 10 mile run with Danielle.

I went to the gym. I thought I would try a mile on the track to see if my knee just needed to work itself out.
I made it 1 mile before I threw in the towel.
I headed upstairs with my magazine and phone.
Todays workout looked like this:
Stretch and Roll: 20 minutes
Abs: 10 minutes
Bike: 8 miles
Cold PLUNGE 20 minutes of brutal torture. I am pretty sure I was on the cusp of a verbal breakdown. I was sitting on the edge of the icy water rocking back and forth grumbling with foreign noises of torture escaping my lips. I didn't care who heard me it hurt so bad. I finally settled into a comfortable numbness after about 5 minutes. At that point I was able to withstand the bitterness with a few rounds or Words With Friends. (My Guilty Pleasure).

"Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees." Job 4:4
My knees are my best tools for running. I am really discouraged. I entertained the thought of just staying home all day. I knew better. SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP!
I had my alternative plan already laid out before I left the house. Let's not be so open minded that our brains fall out. My knee has been bugging me for a few days. Andy was home on Wednesday and witnessed me limping into the house. Later that afternoon he was asking me why I was putting my bike in the truck on my way to Cross Country.
I had a good idea I was not going to be able to run on it. So I needed to come up with a Plan B. And that did not include staying home having a pity party.

I am not sure what is going on with my knee. This much I know. I am going to take it easy for a couple days..NO RUNNING. And see how I feel on Sunday. I am hoping it feels better by then. I would really like to run Sunday.
I could use some Prayers if you remember me during your prayer time.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hope For the Hopeless.

On a little bit of a serious note.

Aside from running many of you know that I am an adult child of an alcoholic. Only, I am a survivor and my parents are not. Drugs and Alcohol hijacked my parents taking their life both at 52 years old.

Every Tuesday night I facilitate a group of parents, children, siblings, spouses and loved ones in a relationship with an addict/alcoholic.

When new people come into the meeting they are so overcome by a barrage of emotions. They often times can hardly say their name for fear they may have a breakdown.

I look out around the circle of loved ones and can see the heartbreak in their face.  Their eyes are glossy, ready to unleash a fountain of pain. Their face is cowered as they have been beat up by emotional abuse. They stir in their seats questioning why they have even come and pray that nobody makes them speak because they have no idea what they are even going to say.

It is heart breaking. And then all I have for them is "You Cannot make them quit."
Addiction Mantra sounds like this:
"Let Go and Let God"
"Learn how to lovingly Detach"
"Seek God for peace, understanding and discernment."
"Remember the 3 C's: You didn't Cause it, You cant Control it and You can't Cure it."
"Keep Coming Back"

I want to give them so much more. I want to offer them a magic solution. But if I had a solution I would still have my parents.

We get so wrapped up in our loved ones that we forget to take care of ourselves. We actually begin to feel guilty for even smiling. We begin to think we should be as miserable as they are. We learn to fake it, putting on a stain glass smile for everyone.
Addiction is miserable. For everyone. It is like cancer in the family,every is involved. It will effect people for years.
Even as loved ones we have certain triggers that can throw us into a tail spin and overtake a good looking day without a second glance.

There is Hope. The hope lies in you. It is learning how to live again. It is removing layers of hurt, disappointments, forgiveness, bitterness one layer at a time.
Removing expectations.
"Expectations are Premature Resentments"
It is making a conscious choice to start getting yourself healthy and quit putting all your energy into your loved one who has to make their own choices to get healthy.
Everyone has a program to do.
You can not do their recovery for them. They have to do it for themselves.
What you can do is step out of the ring and fight your own battle. Get healthy and you will be able to see a wider picture.
Healthy thinking produces Healthy Action.
But a heart filled with confusion, hurt, anger, resentment, will not produce healthy action.

My prayer for those struggling is that you will have hope in Christ. He give Hopes for a better tomorrow, he gives Peace during an endless night, He gives Wisdom in the midst of Confusion, He gives Light in the Darkness, He gives Healing to the Wounded. And he gives Freedom to those in Bondage to Themselves and others.
Distance: 8.14
Pace: 8:05
Well, I wish I could tell you that this was a great run and put a period on it. The truth is this was a great run until my knee began to ache. Then I took a route that ended up longer than I planned. By the time I got home I could hardly bend my knee. I iced it and took it easy the rest of the day. I actually brought my bike to XC.
I took a little side turn for Running stories in hopes that this may encourage someone. If It helps just one person.....

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Oh For the LOVE of Running! Reviews

Every Monday I lead a group of runners called the Husky RoadRunners. This is my second year "coaching" them. I use this term loosely. I am hardly a coach. I use my experience, my energy and the knowledge I have gained along the way to encourage and motivate them to love running. I train them every week to run a 5K.

This is where I come in. I want them to LOVE RUNNING.

For me running is not always about the time or the distance. It is the process. I love the journey. The people, the adventures, the smells, the surroundings, the elements. I LOVE IT ALL. I even LOVE the pain, the sweat and the gun going off. I LOVE the competition, the clothing, the Finish Line, the medals. I LOVE it ALL.

I am not a running snob. I will run with anyone. No matter their pace. If it works out in my schedule I will do it.
On Sunday I ran with Andy. He begged me not to run with him. "I run too slow, you don't want to run with me."
But I DO. As much as I LOVE running..I LOVE watching others run.

I am that crazy person who honks or gives a thumbs up when I see runners outside. I get a big green grin of envy across my face.

One of the ladies I "coach" saw me at pick up for our kids at the school. Laughing she loudly says in front of a couple ladies I was talking to "You see Anita and you are like she is so small and quiet, then you hear her screaming at you around the track, "SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP!". She finished laughing and adding "You wouldn't think she had that in her!

It is like an illness, I have it and LOVE it. I want to spread it. Only I can't cough on people and infect them, its just not that easy!

I share this with you because I meet some incredible people running.
On Monday, one of my runners brought us all an Verve Energy drink to try after our run.
 We tried the Verve Energy Drink. I am not usually a fan of Energy drinks because of the after taste. This Energy drink has a citrus taste. It was quite refreshing. It was lightly carbonated with hardly any aftertaste. It has organic green tea and organic Aloe Vera in it along with several vitamins and minerals.

FEATURES Ultra light No Tab  Show
These socks were part of my Mothers Day gifts. I wore them on a 8 mile run in 75 degree weather. I never had to worry about them sagging. These socks hugged my feet in all the right places. I have the thicker Feetures that I ran in the winter with but these thinner version were ideal for the temps. I especially like that they were pretty, as of right now nothing under those socks is remotely cute!

Nike Sports Bra
I do not spend a lot of money on sports bras. The fact is I have a 12 year old boy body. I would run in Band-Aids if I didn't sweat the adhesive off! I have never seen the point spending big dollars on a sports bra that really supports nothing. However, Andy took  into consideration  I don't spend money on these when he purchased my sports bra. He picked out a bright color, one that is reflective. And he chose a brand he knew. I LOVED IT. It is amazing the difference of a quality sports bra compared to what I was using. I am so small around that often the elastic doesn't fit me right. The sports bra stayed put. The fabric didn't cause me any chaffing or irritations. Now I am spoiled and am going to want more!

Cross Country was cancelled today. I was bummed. Of course the rain quit after I brought Alec home. We went out for a 2 mile easy run. The roads were a muddy mess. I have mud all up that back of me. I loved it. It makes you feel like a kid again. Or maybe I just always feel like that. Being an adult is such serious work!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

All the different Mothers.

Treated like a Princess. I love these boys.

At this stage of my life being a Mother, having a Mother, losing a Mother and recognizing Mothers makes this day multi dimensional.
I have learned to appreciate, love, forgive, accept, and embrace Mothers on different levels.

Losing a Mother: It has been over 20 years now, since I have lost my mother. I was 18 years old. My mom lived a hard life. As an alcoholic and addict she was not the best mom BUT..She was doing the best she could. Her disease killed her at 52 years old.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt she loved me, my brother and my sister. I miss the "Would of and the Could'ves." I find myself daydreaming about all the conversations I missed. I create scenarios that contain all the details and dialogue of events that never happened but should have.
As a Mother, myself I daydream about her seeing her grandchildren.
I never quit missing my mother. I will never get over the heartbreak of losing her.
For those who have lost a mother my heart deeply goes out to you.

Isnt She so beautiful. I love her so. Mom.

Having a Mother: I have been married for almost 18 years. Andy's Mother was not always fond of me. When my mother died, Andy's mother took a significant turn. Maybe I did too. This I know. Life is fragile. With no parents at 18 years old, I yearned to be loved. My grandma was very special to me. She was like a mother to me in many ways. But Andy's mother began to notice me and love me. I am like nothing she was used to. I talk back, I hold my ground, I am strong minded, I openly communicate. I discuss my hurts, disappointments and do not play "The Elephant in the Room".
Mom (Andy's Mom) found herself in many awkward conversations with me. I forced her to discuss uncomfortable conversations, I openly disagreed with her and told her why, I watched her feel, feel hurt, feel disappointment and feel acceptance in herself and others. I watched this woman grow to love me for me. She learned to not only accept me but also understand me. Mom didn't try to change me, but she changed to love me. This is so sacrificial. Most people want nothing to do with you if you do not fit in their box. If you make them a little bit uncomfortable they find an exit plan.
I do not take ONE BREATH of hers for granted. I know that God has given her to me. She is a GIFT. A beautiful and perfect GIFT. She is my Best Friend and my Mother.
I am the Queen Bee for the Day!

Alec and Me

Being a Mother: Many little girls play with dolls and play dress up. They pretend to be mothers, dreaming of having their own children and family.
This was not me. I had no role models to influence me in those dreams. When I got pregnant with Austin, Andy and I were working on our marriage. We had made a mess of our first 2 years of marriage. I cried and cried, telling Andy how sorry I was when I discovered I was pregnant.
When I brought Austin home from the hospital, I sat on the couch and had a nervous breakdown. I cried uncontrollably. I did not know the first thing about what to do with a baby. I had no one to teach me. All I knew was, what NOT to do. I looked down at this fragile, completely dependent infant and felt so unequipped.
14 years later, with Alec along side of him, I am still unequipped. Many days, I have no idea what to do. I am so thankful for the Godly influence of mom. I am Thankful for God giving me direction and wisdom.
Being a Mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. There are NO Time OUTS, No Breaks, and no "When is it my Turn".
You wake up a Mother, you Go to bed a Mother. It is getting hurt by their words, being disappointed by their actions, and being confused by their choices. It is loving them when they are unlovable, forgiving them when they can't say sorry, and believing in them when they let you down.
Being a Mother is not all roses and butterflies. I wouldn't trade any of it in. I have never fought so hard for anything in my life as I have for my children. And I will go to my grave fighting for them.
Shepherds Hollow Mothers Day Brunch. 3 very special Mothers.

Today, I think of many other Mothers. I also think of those who have loved me as a Mother.
My sister in law has 8 children. She is an incredible mother. The most sacrificing woman I know.
When I grew up there was a mother, Marie, who took my sister and I in. She had no children at the time but her and her husband took us almost every weekend, vacation, and summer.
Some Incredible Mothers; My sister Gina, Danielle, Holly, Kelli K, Katie, Karen M,, Kimberly P., There are many more, these are just a few.

The thoughtfulness of others has made my day even more special. I have gotten so may messages wishing me a Happy Mothers Day. This is a reminder that you influence more people than you realize.
Maw Maw Smith, Sarah and I. Grand Parents are special Mothers.

I think of my sister in law Leeanne. She always wanted children and could not have them. She is such a special person. My dearest client Paula, who also wanted children. She is a very loving and generous woman. My heart goes out to those special ladies who wanted children.

And lastly, remembering my dear Ariel. I miss her so. She always recognized me and loved me on this day.
My niece Sarah, blessed me today. She always makes me feel so special.
Sarah, She is so Special to Me.

Andy snapping photos from Behind!

Distance: 8.2 miles
Ran With ANDY! It was a great Mothers Day Run with my HUN!
I got hand made letters from the boys. I love letters from the heart.
My Mothers Day Goodies!!

Happy Mothers Day to All. I hope your Day was Special.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Another great reason to RUN.

  1. Running is cheaper than Therapy
  2. I love that I can go almost anywhere at anytime
  3. It is my special time with the Lord
  4. I love the outdoors and in the elements
  5. Running & doing races is always an adventure
  6. Running feeds my CRAZY.
  7. I love meeting other CRAZIES
  8. My way to be a witness to the Lord
  9. Love to feel so depleted. It is very humbling

So Danielle and I had been planning for a couple weeks to have a Mothers Day Lunch after our run.
We had planned this a couple weeks ago. The plan was to run our normal 8 miles then have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.
This is after running 8 miles-
I have a little more CRAZY still left!
What we didn't plan on was a beautiful running day at Kensington, which is what we had!
Other than running with a wedgy most of the run, our run was PERFECT.

Distance: 8 miles
Pace: 8.06
Time: 1:05

We found ourselves running a sub 8 minute mile. We kept trying to bring it back down. We were huffing and puffing and not talking much. The crazy thing, we were not slowing down. Our lungs were gasping for air but our legs were turning over the miles.

When we finished we did a spit bath in the bathrooms. Between body wipes and bathroom sinks we smelled a whole lot better than middle aged running funk.

When You ask why we RUN....


This is one of my most favorite pictures of the two of us. It was a candid. The waitress accidently snapped the photo when my cheesecake tipped over. I was putting it back upright. This photo really depicts our laughter together. I am so grateful for our friendship.
What Your Favorite Cheesecake???

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Whiny Wednsday

Tonight is yet another late night. I am running a whole lot more than my legs. I am running all over the place for these kids of mine. This is me Whining!

"Rest when you get to Heaven".   There is nothing better than watching your kids work hard. I love watching them play sports. The sweat, the red faces, and the look of perseverance. I am highly competitive, therefore I get a little excited on the sidelines. Not so excited driving in between counties to get them to practice, but excited to see the results from their hard work.

Even coaching the kids in XC I get stoked. I run from one end of the course to the other end, trying to see every kid twice during meets.
I am a screamer. I yell, rant, cheer, chant, you name it. My voice is all raspy, I sound like a weekend binger.

It is a high energy season of life, it is also a season of running all over the place. It is missed meals, bad meals, bad sleep, no sleep, it is schedules, emails, time frames and deadlines from just the top of my head.

But in all of that, I still have found time to RUN. I have also found time to do my devotional. This morning I did my reading with Austin. It was one of my favorite verses:

 Psalms 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
            I fear no evil, for You are with me;
            Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
I recited these words throughout my day. Today, I ran 9 miles outside. My heart continued to bring up these scriptures.
I had to ask myself, What do I FEAR?
What does Evil look like to me?
Was Evil the hill that loomed for a quarter mile in front of me?
Was Evil the sound of my breathing, as my heart and soul begged for me to quit and return back?
Evil comes in many different scenes for every person in their places of life.
On my run Evil is defeat.
Evil is my stupid knee hurting.
Evil is the creepy guy driving by me for the 3rd time.
Evil is the "BEWARE OF DOGS" sign.
Evil can even be my failures that I regurgitate on my run, beating myself up mile after mile.
When I rehearse HE is with me, I go out more boldly. I am more confident of my purpose and my position.
As I went up the never-ending hill I coached myself out loud. "Let's Go Anita, Up Up UP!" I chanted.
As I approached the top of the hill I reminded myself NOT TO THE TOP BUT OVER THE TOP". Out of breath, I dug in a little more, pumping my arms, while waiting for my legs to follow.
"Practice what you Preach" I told my self. I was haunted by my coaching mantras every time I came to another hill.
Distance: 9 miles
Pace: 8:06
Time: 1hour 13 minutes.
*In this season of life I am running all over the place. But no matter how busy I am, I have to remind myself that the REAL EVIL is not taking TIME to spend with the Lord. My runs allow me to really meditate and focus in my depletion on HIM. When I run I am empty. That Emptiness helps me to quit relying on MYSELF and Rely on HIM.
On the Lighter side: Katie at my work had me rolling this week. You never know what she is going to say. I had an Alzheimer's client come to me on Tuesday. She really pulled my heartstrings. When she left I said to Katie. "That would be so hard, I hope I do not live that long where I might have that disease." Then I added "Katie, would you take care of me?"
Katie replied without missing a beat "YEAH! I would just put you on the treadmill and run you, you wouldn't remember how far you were running anyway!"
Katie is next to me, then Kelli and Gina. Gals I work with.
 What Does EVIL Look Like to YOU? Do you have the courage to Share??


Monday, May 5, 2014

Did Anita WIN at the Boston Marathon??? & Other questions!

Todays Run...UGH..Poor dead deer.  The smell of horrific. Deer carcasses  everywhere.
My boys are RUNNING all week long, track and cross country. During the weekends we are doing BASKETBALL.
Both of the boys are in 2 sports right now. There is not a night that is vacant for us to just chill.
I am not the only one who is forgetting things anymore. Andy has had a few cases of the "Where are my...?"
The month of May is going to be a hot mess. The best girlfriend my boys can have is the sport they are playing.

I am the most focused when I run. Even running I have been known to get lost or give a random stranger the wrong directions, however, it still feels like it is controlled. Running is the only thing that feels controlled!

With spring underway I have noticed a lot more running going on!
I have seen a few questions people have posted on Facebook.

I thought I would share some of those questions and do my best to answer them. If you have a good answer PLEASE share your thoughts too!

  1. What is the best way to transition from the treadmill to the road?  I have been told to drop down your mileage. This allows your body to adapt to the harder surface that can beat you up. Expect that you will be running a slower pace. Do this for about 2 weeks, then begin to increase your miles slowly.
  2. DID YOU WIN? What place did you come in at the Boston Marathon? I came in at 9580 out of over 34,000 runners. I was a winner in my families eyes, my speed was not even in the shadows of Meb! He was back to his hotel, shi**, showered and shaved!
  3. Should I stretch before or after a run? This is more individual. Some like my husband stretch before. This is out of necessity. He has tightness that has to be rolled and stretched for him to stay more flexible and loose. If you do decide to stretch, it is best to wait until after your run. Most experts will say that stretching cold muscles is harmful, and can cause muscle strains or tears. It’s better to stretch after your muscles have had a chance to warm up.
  4. How long is a MARATHON? Always 26.2 miles. ALWAYS, ALL THE TIME AND FOREVER!
  5. What if you have to pee or poop while you are racing? I personally pee my pants! No way I am stopping. Pooping..Never had this problem. They have plenty of port-a- johns. Just be prepared. Those are usually used for THAT purpose. Those runners are in a hurry and it usually isn't so pretty!
Distance: 7.75
Distance: first 3 @ 14 minute pace, Run with Roadrunners on the trails. LAST 5, I ran with Jama @ at 7:51 pace. That girl was in Beast Mode.
Cross Country team: 2 easy miles

The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again!
- Erma Bombeck

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Coaching more than your Legs

When it comes to training or even coaching you will learn very quickly it is more than just training your legs: it is training your MIND.

When I look at my personal training plans I see work outs that include, Hills, Intervals, Tempo runs, Strength training and so on. I see a plan that consists of me pushing my body to it limits.

But what about pushing my mind to its limits.
Running is mostly MENTAL.
This means I have to coach myself between the ears. I have to override my own stinking thinking. I have to speak power into myself through Gods promises and truth.

There is a member of my body that I was reminded is one of the strongest, most powerful members of my body.
" From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so."
James 3:10
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits."   
Proverbs 18:21
Your words come from Your HEART:
"For out of the overflow of the heart the MOUTH speaks" Luke 6:45
Your training has to come from the heart. You have to have a heart that Speaks Life. Speaks Love. Speaks Edification.
"I do think there are a lot of kids out there that have a lot of potential to be great runners if only they have the right coach- someone who shows an interest and cares." Bill Rodgers 
Today, while coaching the cross country kids we went over several things. I can stand there with a stopwatch and a whistle shouting off numbers with ease. I can have them run time trials and teach them proper running form all day long. I can sit at home and prepare the training plan without thinking.
The kids absorb your words. They seek your direction. At the end of the day, when they have given you everything they have, when they are running through rain, exhausted and sore they need your words. The words of encouragement, the words that build up, the words that help them recover from the intensity of the training or the intensity of their minds.  
I needed to remind the kids that although we are all trying to run stronger faster better, we also have to exercise our tongues. It is our job to encourage one another and lift each other up.
"The Coaches main job is 20% technical and 80% inspirational." Franz Stampf
  1. Watch your Heart
  2. Coach your Mind
  3. Train your Tongue
When we were at the Boston Marathon Expo, we went by a vender I have seen at several expos. It is the Medal Wall Hanger booth. I always drool when I go by this vender. I have my medals all packed away right at this moment. But before we moved I had them hanging in my closet on a tie hanger.
A nice medal hanger runs about 60$-80$.  I have never been able to justify purchasing one. At the expo I was a few booths ahead of Andy. He surprised me and order me one!! At first I was upset because it cost so much with all the added expenses of our trip. But then Austin, standing next to me said "Mom, let dad buy it for you, he is trying to do something nice!"
It came in today!!! Isnt it PRETTY!! Pretty dang COOL!
The Rundown:
Distance:8 miles 
Danielle was just on fire today. The more she talked the more powerful her run unfolded. Thank God I was not feeling sore today! The last mile and a half is scattered with hills. Normally we are struggling at this point. Danielle ran them like a Girl on FIRE while my fire was burning out!
THURSDAY GUILTY PLEASURE: Tim Hortons egg white breakfast sandwich without cheese.
Every Thursday I clean Maw Maw's house. Maw Maw loves McDonald's. Not me. I bring her breakfast on my way over to her house. If I am going by McDonald's I will get an Egg White Delight, NO cheese. But I PREFER TIM HORTONS..I am embarrassed to say how I drink my coffee..But here goes..
1medium with 2 creams and 4 sugars. My mouth is watering thinking about!
What Your Guilty Pleasure??