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

Monday, June 30, 2014

40, Flabby and Falling Apart!

 Proverbs 4:25-27
 "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.  Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. " 
This morning I was anxious to see if Austin was going to join me for my bike ride. Yesterday evening, he said that he would probably go with me. As a mom what I heard was "Yeah mom, that sounds like fun, we can bond and enjoy some special time together!"
But what he probably meant was " Ugh, OK mom, yeah, yeah, wake me up in the morning and I will see how tired I am and how nagging you are when you wake me up."
I am not sure how our paths connected but without nagging and without him being a grumpy butt, he simple replied "Yeah mom, give me 5 minutes."
I was so excited, I was skipping steps downstairs to finish getting ready.
I had a 10 mile loop planned. It is my kind of planning though. My 10 mile loop really defines as a 14 mile loop. If I really said my loop was as long as I was planning Austin would have crawled back into bed.
We took a lot of back roads to get to the park.
I was ahead of Austin by about 500 feet when we entered Quick Rd. Austin was struggling with his water bottle. I was looking up a 1/4 mile incline with a lot of loose gravel. As I glanced back to check on Austin I noticed a white car pull onto the road. I instantly got nervous because Austin was in the middle of the road. Austin is almost 15. He is a head taller than me. I knew that he could see the car along with  get out of the path of the vehicle. In my concern,  I looked back at him again. This time my front wheel caught the sand, twisting my bike abruptly and with one swift move, down I went.  Due to the incline of the road I couldn't touch the ground to save myself. I landed in the soft gravel/sand mix. I couldn't get up fast due to the bike tangled on top of me.
"Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.  Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. "
What a picture of life for me this week. I needed this reminder. As soon as I looked back, my path turned into slipping sand. I knew Austin was going to be good. But I was caught up on fear and not focused. 
Sometimes we let our peripheral vision become our main vision. We are looking more out of the corners of our eyes than we are looking forward.  
We Major on the Minors and Minor on the Majors. 
We go along in our day "happy happy happy" until we turn on Facebook seeing something that trips us up. Or we get caught up in gossip, taking that phone call we knew better. Maybe we are not even looking sideways, maybe we are looking backwards and living with resentments and jealousy. Some of us hold unto so much unforgiveness we can hardly pedal forward at all.
A Face a mother could love!
I have not healed up from my last fall on my bike, when I have scraped myself up yet again. This is exactly what happens when we are not staying focused.  It is very difficult to recover when we fall. The thing I noticed most about my falls is that I am the one hurt the most. I am the one left damaged.
When I take my focus off the path God has for me, I hurt mostly myself. My wounds are noticeable to others, regardless of how I try to conceal them. They always show no matter how we try to hide them.
The BikeDown:
14 miles with Austin.
My knee was sore from yesterdays run. After we biked, I drove up to Genesys and iced my knee for 18 minutes. 
I got a massage today. I asked "Holly" if she could focus on my IT Band. 
Funny thing, "Holly"  my massage therapist was talking about my injury. I was telling her how I have to strengthen my glutes ect. She said "Yeah, your glutes are a bit FLABBY!"
Oh my gosh!!  Seriously?? FLABBY?? There goes her TIP!
Just kidding. I tipped her, A verbal tip!
Just kidding again. She was actually great. My buns of steal days are long gone! Reality check!
40, flabby and falling apart!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2 Weeks from Running, Feigning!

Hanging Behind ANDY

"The ONLY one that can tell you 'you CAN'T'  is you and YOU DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN"

I have not ran in 13 days. NOT that I have not tried, I just have not gotten farther than a couple hundred feet. My knee instantly feels heavy with a aching pain located around the knee.

Diagnosis: ITB Friction: Iliotibial band syndrome causes pain on the outside of the knee which is caused by friction of the iliotibial band on the side of the knee. It is also known as ITB syndrome or ITBFS and sometimes referred to as runners knee.  Def. from Sports Med injury.

I am sure running my 50 miler, NYC Marathon, Detroit Free Press half and then Boston in April without any significant time off was not real brilliant. It was fun for what it is worth. And has been worth ALOT.A appointment with a surgeon, a MRI, a X-ray and now Physical Therapy with Clint Verran.

I am so thankful for Andy. He has been very sympathetic, understanding and generous about letting me pursue all the means to get back out there and run. He reads my posts and genuinely feels terrible that I can not run. He even does my exercises with me too hold me accountable and support me. (probably scared to death it might happen to him as well!)

Funny how sometimes you just KNOW. You have that affirmation deep in your gut.
Today, I woke up and JUST knew. I knew today was a RUN DAY. I needed the run like a addict feigning for their next fix. I was desperate to run. Every cell within my body was thirsty for its drug of choice. All my thoughts circulated around running. I was itiching, planning, checking the weather, planning my route, my fuel and my prayers.

Come Hell or High Water I WAS RUNNING.
Smiling a Mile 4!!

And that is exactly what I did!!! I RAN. I RAN!!
7 MILES.  I ran 7 miles of Andys LONG RUN. Then I got on my bike and road another 7 miles to support him.
I couldn't complain about anything, not the black flies, the heat or the humidity. I was RUNNING.

I wasn't running fast.
I wasn't running hard, 5:1 intervals
I wasn't running pain free.

I feel so triumphant with my little 7 miler. Grateful to GOD. My heart is FULL.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dealing with Disappointment

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

DISAPPOINTMENT: This is LIFE. Unmet Expectations. Broken Promises. Unfortunate Circumstances. Heartbreak, hang-ups, and hardships. This is LIFE.

There is a reason for EVERYTHING. You may not know what it is and you may not even believe there is a reason for everything. But there IS. I have discovered that for me to get through the challenges of LIFE and believe that GOD has a Purpose for EVERYTHING I have to get over Myself.

There is a reason for everything, I just have to look deeper within myself to decipher Gods message for me to be who He wants me to be.

I am very challenged in this season of my life. Raising a 14, almost 15 year old presents constant obstacles.
Not owning my own home is disappointing.
Not being able to fix my body is terribly disappointing.
Today was a perfect day for a RUN...disappointed yet again.
These are the easy disappointments. Many disappointments have taken years to get over, while others I am still working on to this day.

Wanting to run burned hot within me today. Trying not to let it rent to much space in my head, I quickly headed out the door for my bike ride.
Stay Positive. "Hey, At least you can ride a bike!"
I heard Andy whispering in my ear from the night before, "Can you even get your heart rate up riding a bike?"
Stay Positive. "Come on Anita, peddle hard up the hill." I could feel my quads on fire, refusing to stop I tried to go harder.
Every time I felt a little grief I looked around. I could see more beauty on a bike than I could on foot. Twice as much more in the same time.
I see the problem and try to think of something positive to trump the negative.
I even found myself laughing in my disappointments today. My nose runs more than I do these days on my bike. The snot was clear but annoying. I was barely keeping it at bay. I knew it was time to blow it. Keeping my one hand on the handle bars, I used my other hand to pinch my nose and BLOW. With my head to the side I let it rip, none of it landed any other place except my shoulder. NASTY. Trying not to loose my balance, I was laughing at myself and all the nose juice on my shoulder.
Very far from ladylike. However, it did make me smile.

Here are a few other things that made me smile. Smiling and staying positive really helps me with disappointment. Knowing that God is using everything for Good gives me a little more peace.
I was glad I was there to take these 2 hens picture. A car came up behind me very fast. They would have hit the hens. The driver saw me as they rounded the corner before the hens. I motioned for them to slow down as I pointed to the hens. There are not speed limits on back roads anymore, you have to be very careful.
Took this picture on the trail head..But I was too big of a scaredy cat to go any farther into the woods alone!

The Damn at Seven Lakes. As I was taking the pic I saw something out of the corner of my eye. When I looked down it was a dog! She came over to sniff me.

Bike: 16 miles
ABS..Oh gosh it HURTS! 100 sec Plank, 170 crunches, 140 sit-ups, 60 leg raises
ITB exercise- More pain, but I can tell I am getting stronger. So sore.

"Be calm and strong and patient. Meet failure and disappointment with courage. Rise superior to the trials of life, and never give in to hopelessness or despair. In danger, in adversity, cling to your principles and ideals. Aequanimitas!"
Sir William Osler

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Keep It Simple

Let's see if I can knock the day out in 10 sentences or less!

SELFIE on todays Bike ride!

  1. Early morning bike ride: 10 miles of awesomeness.
  2. Went to stay with Andy's Maw Maw for her at Home Physical Therapy.
  3. Had my first session with Clint Verran for Physical Therapy
  4. Clint said that he would totally agree with Dr. Samani on his diagnosis.
  5. Clint was encouraging, he said I WOULD be able to run the DETROIT MARATHON that I registered for weeks ago! Ya Hoo Bubaloo!
  6. Closed out my night watching Austin play 2 games of basketball at The Cage, where they crushed both teams.
  7. Mom and Dad came out also to watch Austin play. Very thankful for their support.

 If you set a goal for yourself
and are able to achieve it,
you have won your race.
Your goal can be to come in first,
to improve your performance,
or just finish the race it's up to you.
-Dave Scott

My Goal is to Heal up with Patience and Run Again with Endurance.

Whats Your Goal?


Monday, June 23, 2014

"What does the FOX say?"

I went out early in the morning for my bike ride. I headed to the park, curious about what wildlife I would be seeing.
Pedaling as fast as my legs would take me through downtown, I saw a runner ahead of me. I live in a small town. As I looked at her from the back, I tried to recognize her. The closer I got, the more I confirmed my suspicion, it was Courtney. Courtney is a local runner I have ran with a couple times. She is spunky and full of energy. Together we both ended up catching the light at the inner section. I road my bike next her when the light allowed us to go. We chatted about 1/4 of a mile until she turned into her sub division. Living in a small town you always run (or Bike) into some one you know, I think this is one of the perks of a small community.

I headed to the park. As I entered the park I was swept off my feet by the intense beauty. I know it looked the same the day before, however, it always feels like the first time when I enter into the park.
It is just breath taking to me. The passage in the park is lush. It is more than just the forest surrounding you, it is the smells of grass, it is the breeze and the warm air against your skin. The lakes are glowing with the sun reflecting its rays. I saw a beaver dancing in the water. It was so quiet and peaceful. This was God to me. I rode my bike to the edge of the water. Filled with emotion, I could feel the tears of gratitude drip down my cheeks. If God could create such Beauty, Oh what else he can do. I was boldly reminded of His Power and my weakness. I stood by the edge of the water in prayer. Gratitude.

I headed back. I took my bike down a side road in the park that I had never taken before. I am a bit of a scaredy cat. A couple cars passed me. I always wonder "What IF.." Another lake stopped the road from going any farther. It was so pretty. I discovered a small path. I got a little creeped out by my lonesome curiosity. I booked it out of there!
In order to get back out I had to go up a steep hill that stretched about 1/4 of a mile. I was huffing it up the hill. My quads were burning with the company of my lungs. Just as I able to catch my breath I was startled by a animal that darted out in front of me. It was a FOX! I had a cheesy grin on my face all the way out of the park.

My family makes fun of me a lot. I am sure I have given them ammunition over the years but they are relentless.
Later that day,  I told Andy I saw a fox in the park. He of course said , "Are you sure it was a fox? I don't know about that one Nita." I looked at Andy like "Seriously? Like I don't know a FOX?!" I mean I was in the woods, it wasn't like I was telling him I saw a stinking grizzly bear or moose. To add a little more fun Andy thought he would be funny and said, "So, What did the Fox say?"
OH JEESH..And he makes fun of me?!

Bike: 15.15 miles
Cold Plunge: 17 minutes
Ab Challenge: 100 sit-ups, 150 crunches, 58 leg lifts, 90sec plank
ITB exercises.

They were only going to call if they saw something on the MRI disc. I was a mess listening to my message that I had missed.
It was a confirmation to Dr. Samani's original diagnosis! I felt so relieved. Thank YOU JESUS!

Thank YOU for all the messages and words of encouragement.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Coping without Running.

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
It is hard for me to count it all joy every time I see another runner cross the street in front of me.
Today, Andy was running 12 miles. I was green with envy. I would never show my jealousy to Andy but then after 18 years of marriage I am sure he could tell.
It's not the malicious jealousy, the Tonya Harding kind. I wouldn't trip a runner or anything like that. It is more like the "That looks like so much fun." Kinda jealousy.
My niece Sarah and her boyfriend stopped over for a couple hours.
After they left I hopped on my new friend, my Schwinn to look for Andy.
I thought of Amy, my client while I went looking for him. She softly reminded me that it is good to be on the sidelines some times. Sometimes it is just as important to be a cheerleader. Andy needed me to be his cheerleader.
It didn't take me long to locate that lengthy body coming at me from downtown. Andy had 3 miles to go.
Andy was exhausted. He was soaked in sweat, out of breath and beginning to fall apart. "Come on Andy, pull you back up and run with your core." I spoke to him from behind on my bike. I was shocked to see him do as I said.
For the next 3 miles I encouraged him. "That's it Andy, Strong as an Ox." 
I wanted to share in the personal torture he was putting himself through. The weakened state of running on empty looked like absolute fun. The numbness in your fingertips, the cotton mouth from a hot summer day mixed with mental voices challenging you to go a little bit farther had me almost in tears with lust.
 Rather turn myself into the green eyed monster I continued trying to motivate Andy, "That's it Andy, Shake it OUT, Deep Breath, finish STRONG."
I was encouraged by Andy as I watched him follow my words. He would drop his arms down, shaking them out, inhale deeply and straighten back out.
We have been looking for a house for over 6 months now. We want to stay close to the area we live in. If a house comes on the market I like to ride my bike to it. It seems more incognito. A new house came on the market this evening. I decided I would get a few more miles and check out the house.
I find myself giggling like a school kid as I get on my bike. Here I am a 40 year old woman all excited to ride my bike like a 14 year old. I love the warm summer air blowing against my skin as I jump the curbs. I pedal real fast and then lift my toosh and coast over cracks on the sidewalks.
As I came up to the railroad tracks I saw a police car coming to a stop in front of me. He caught my eyes and knew HE was BUSTED! I had a big ole grin on my face, laughing I  yelled "Ha ha, You are BUSTED!" He rolled down his window and confirmed his guiltiness. "YES, You caught me!" He laughed as he continued to put his SEAT BELT on!
I only road my bike 5 miles this evening. On the way home I could see this big beefy red truck coming up along side of me. This guy has his windows down and in a red neck voice barks out the window "Nice, is that a Huffy!" I couldn't help but laugh. I probably looked like a little kid toying through the neighborhood on my bike. The sun was coming down, my pony tail was bobbing and I was swaying back and forth as fast as I could on my bike.
It all comes down to a good attitude for me. This seems to be one of the only things I can control. Some days are easier than others when trying to cope with the disappointment of not running. I am trying to give it to God and trust Him over everything. Life is unfair and there is not always a explanation for things. Questioning God is normal. I struggle with not being able to control by body. I struggle with not knowing what I can and can not do. These are reminders to rely on God not Myself. To exercise my Faith in Him and Not myself.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dr. Samani's Diagnosis.

I sent my MRI disc out this morning to Dr. Samani. I am really hoping that it will continue to stay positive and I will NOT get a call back from their office.
He did give me a diagnosis. I did not share it yesterday until I had spoke to some of my family about it first.
On my way from one DR to the other Dr yesterday I called Andy to let him know what Dr. Samani had said. I was so overwhelmed with joy that my running career was not over that I started crying like a baby. I had not even got the words out of my mouth when Andy interrupted me and said...ITB.
"Yes, Yes Andy, it was ITB friction he diagnosed me with." I replied with my lips quivering and overcome with gratitude. I continued, "He wants me to have physical therapy."

To be very honest, I am still apprehensive about his interpretation of my MRI report. Until he sees the disc I am not all in.
To add injury to insult regarding that MRI,  I just got a letter that it was not covered by insurance!
That one went over like a fart in church!

Another one Bites the DUST.
I met Danielle for a bike ride in Fenton. We had so much to catch up on, we yapped more than we pedaled. I always like to look at people when I talk to them or listen to them. There are a couple places that you can not do that: 1. Riding a bike 2. Driving ( I am not a good driver with passengers!)
At about mile 4 Danielle was sharing a story with me. Rather than pay attention to my direction, I looked over at her. By the time I looked forward, a yellow angled wire covering, reached out and ripped me off my bike. Ok, more like my handle bars overlapped it and I went flying through the air, half on and half off my bike. I desperately tried to avoid knocking Danielle over, all the while hoping I could control my fall and not land on my knee. It is amazing how fast my brain can work when it is fully engaged. I wish it worked like that more. Danielle commented on what a "controlled fall" I had. I was scraped up pretty good. My pride was tore up mostly, being that we were downtown Fenton during high traffic.
I painted on my best smile, jumping back on my bike. I assessed the damage as the pain began to present its self. It could have been worse.

Wrapping it up:
1. Results for my thyroid: Non Cancerous, 1 year follow-up.
2.  Completed day 19 of the Ab Challenge (Thanks a lot Melissa W.)
3. Started some PT at home today with Andy. (lateral leg raises, 1 legged squats, pistol squats hip hikes)
4. Called Clint Verans office for PT. He is out of town.
5. Special thanks to:
Michelle B.- She always has the words of encouragement to give me. It is always simple and profound.
6. Special thank you to Erin, Stephanie and Jama from my running group, for all their kind words and prayers.
7. Much love to my family in Iowa, Aunt Lois.
8. I am so thankful that my running partner, Danielle still meets me. I can't run and my biking skills are nothing to write home about, but her companionship is worth more weight than gold.

Running Tip for the DAY: Acceptance. We have a little thing called intuition. We like to ignore Intuition when she bears the bad news of injury.
My love affair with running is so important to me that I and going to have to sacrifice a few weeks of running together so I can enjoy her in fullness later. I probably ran in pain more than I should have.
"Intuition" let me know I was injured. Pain presented itself with a bold invitation. I made my appointment as soon as I could. Now I have to let it go, accept it do what has to be done.

How would you describe Yourself?
Do you listen to INTUITION? Do you Listen to Pain? Do You Listen to the DR's?
How's that working out?


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Can You Read a MRI report??

It is very humbling to not be in control of your body.
I don't think of myself as arrogant. I have nothing to be boastful about. I came from humble beginnings and live very modestly.

A Little Piece of ME.
When I was about 10 years old I had to do the unthinkable.
We lived in a old school house on Oakhill road at the time. My mom was on a terrible binge. She would lock herself in the room and drink until you thought she was going to pass out, only then she seemed to be just getting started.
It was like she would try and drink everything she had as if she would never have another drink again. The problem with diving in that deep is when you come up you are not so well.
You have to slowly detox from alcohol or you will go through the DT's, convulsing, vomiting, and hallucinating. It is a horror film to watch. My mom was out of money and out of alcohol. All bridges were burnt, therefore, no one was coming to my mothers rescue. There was a older woman who my mother worked for. Eva or Ida, regardless she was a very Godly woman. I humbly had to call her and beg her to go buy and bring back some alcohol for my mother. It was awful. My mom was so sick. I was scared to call Eva but even more scared my mom was going to have a seizure she would not come out of.
She reluctantly went to the local party store for us. When Eva returned she was angry. She handed me a 6 pack and fiercely said "Do NOT ever call me to buy your mother alcohol again!"
I can not remember what I said. I do remember looking at the 6 pack and thinking, "Good Grief, this is a joke, where is the rest!"

I sat for almost an hour and 1/2 waiting for the results of my MRI for my knee. I needed help. I was begging for answers. Sitting for that long didn't matter if they could just give me answers to why I hurt when I ran. I had forgot my MRI disc in the midst of teenage chaos at home. I just wanted a diagnosis. I was fearful I was not going to get one because of my absentmindedness.

When I finally got a room, the Dr came in soon after. He spoke fast, focused and pointed. His words were deliberate. I laid on the table as he continued to ask questions and manipulated my knee in different angles. It felt firm in his hands. He ordered a ex-ray.
"Dr. I just want to RUN. This is what I do, I run, I coach, I train, I blog, Please tell me I can RUN again." I cried.
Within minutes I was getting more pictures of my knee.
I didn't have to wait long as they put the pictures on the screen. Dr. Samani didn't have me wait much longer to get the results of my X-ray.
"Anita, these X-rays are great, you have really good genes." He continued repeating himself, "Has anyone told you that you have great genes, for what you have had done to your knee you have healed remarkably."
He explained what he was looking at adding "You have no arthritis, no degenerative changes and  no gaps where you had the screws put in for you ACL cadaver.
I was so small feeling. I felt so helpless as I begged the Dr to tell me good news. I repeated myself again, "Can I run?, please tell me I can RUN."
He said I was not done Running. I would run again.

So, I have to send him my MRI for confirmation.
I have the MRI report but have NO idea what it means.

"The patient has had prior ACL repair. The ACL graft is intact. There is a small amount of fluid/cyst within the tibial tunnel. The posterior Cruciate ligament is intact. There appears to be a thin amount of residue cruciate ligament material anterior to the graft fibers. Negative for arthofibrosis or a Cyclops lesion."
"....There is a small amount of fissuring at the patellar apex. There is increased signal intensity at the midial patellofemoral retinacular complex fibers at their attachment on the medial patella with overlying soft tissue edema. Findings may be related to postsurgical change although a partial thickness tear cannot be completely excluded."
Increases signal intensity at the proximal attachment fibers of the medial patellofemoral retinacular complex on the medial margin of the patella. There is surrounding soft tissue edema. Findings could represent sequel from the prior ACL repair versus a partial-thickness tear. Please correlate with the surgical history.

When the DR explained this all to me, he was positive and encouraging. When I got home to Andy, he was doubtful and concerned. I am not left CONFUSED! 
CAN anyone out there explain this last paragragh??

I called Andy and told him my diagnosis. Before I told Andy, He actually guessed it!
As I told Andy that Dr. Samani said I would run again I found myself crying. I was so humbled. I don't deserve to run again, I don't deserve anything in the big picture and yet God believes I do.
I am trying to stay hopeful.

If you can shed some light on this I would LOVE IT.  I am humbly asking my readers if we missed something, could you explain!



Monday, June 16, 2014

"Anita, What if you could never run again."

1 Chronicles 29:11 “Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.”
Every day I wake up and wonder what my knee will be like. I am curious if it healed miraculously over night. I wonder if I could run on it, run fast on it, run long on it, if I will feel pain in it, if it will ever heal or if it is my running death sentence.
Some days it consumes my thoughts, some days I can manage my manic thoughts and some days I just have to feel it all, get mad and get over it.

A few days ago I was at a family event on Andy's side. (Really the only side of family that I have left). His Uncle Rod was here visiting from Iowa. Uncle Rod last week tragically lost his son. I walked into the living room where he was sitting on the couch along side of Uncle Darrell. Uncle Darrell got up and left making a great place for me to sit alongside Uncle Rod.
I had been praying for him all week. I have been so burdened for him. I spoke softly and quietly asking him how he was doing. We spoke for several minutes until he would try to switch the conversation back to me and my knee. I kindly tried to revert it back, only after the 3rd time it was obvious he was not going to let it go.
Sitting up with his legs crossed, direct eye contact and hands crossed on his lap Uncle Rod asked "Anita, What if you could never Run AGAIN?"

This thought is tragic to me. I can hear the whispers. He is not the only one who has wondered this same thought. I do believe he is genuine in his curiosity. He has a kind heart, I don't believe he would think no ill on me. Honestly, I had not been asked that to my face yet. I appreciated his interest in my answer. Now I just had to decipher my thoughts on the question and put it into words.

Wednesday I get the results to my MRI.

Quality VS Quanity
"Uncle Rod, I do not want to live until I am 90."
If I died tomorrow than that was the plan all along. If I died Running it would be the perfect plan. Now at 40 years old, I plan to live life with No Regrets. To live my life as full of character, energy and love that I am capable of.  I like physical activity. I would be devastated if I could not run. It would have to come to WHY I couldn't run.

I can not wrap my head around the notion of never running again especially when I have programmed myself into believing I will run until I die!

Old Jeff called me this week. He got wind that I was injured and sad. I haven't heard from his since we got back from Boston.
He shared words of encouragement and hope for me.
"Anita, if your running career was over would you say it was successful?" Jeff then added "..afterall you have ran Boston 3 times, Chicago, New York City, Detroit and a 50 mile ultra to name a few."
I knew the answer he was leading me towards. "Yes Jeff." To hear him say my accolades reminded me to be grateful. I have ran races that  many run their whole life to accomplish.
I had that spoiled brat in the back of my ear that wanted to shout out "BUT JEFF, I want MORE MORE MORE." I felt like a crack head,  it just wasn't enough.

Jeff is an old time runner. He reminded me that having to take a year off or 6 month off is not the end of the world. I have plenty of time to get back on the saddle. Sometimes it is good to take the time and heal up. He is full of runners wisdom and inspiration.
Jeff knows I am a believer. He reminded me that GOD is GOD. God doesn't have to give a reason, an explanation or an announcement for anything HE does or He allows to happen. He shared this video of the Hubble and outer space with me. The video was a reminder that this universe is so vast and so complex we can NEVER wrap our little minds around it. I was chilled by the 4 minute video. Such a reminder that I am just a nobody in a great big universe. God is in Control. I do not have the power to question God. He Has all the Power.
No matter what tragedy, heartache, loss, or hang up I am going through God did NOT intend it to crush me or destroy me. He created me to be MORE than a Conqueror. He believed in ME before anyone ever believed in me. He has a Plan for My Life. I believe that with all my heart and all my soul.

My Old Trusty Schwinn

More like a BIKEDOWN!
I planned to bike 10 miles. I messed up and calculated it wrong. I ended up with 13 miles, shortening my time.
I did however, LOVE my bike Ride out to Seven Lakes State Park.
I saw a deer, watched a snake slither out in front of me, saved 2 turtles and was in awe over the 2 sand cranes just feet in front of me on the way home.
When I am outside inhaling Gods beauty I feel overwhelmed with HIM. I could just envision God speaking to me through the rustling of the trees, through the chirping of the birds and the stillness of the water.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fathers Day 2014

Fathers Day 2014, Austin and Alec with Dad
The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!
~Author Unknown
Today was going to be a no brainer for me. I decided very early on I was going to be better than the best Anita I could be. I was going to try and be more patient, more loving, more organized and more prepared to create the best Fathers day I could for Andy.

I had a couple exciting things to help make the day special for Andy.
I can not control every detail of the day, like my children fighting, arguing, talking backing and all the typical preteen and teenage characteristics.
But I can give some great gifts that just might trump sibling rivalry. I can make some kicking ribs that just might disguise the boys wrestling physically and verbally. And I can make the house spotless in hopes it will trump me having to be that nagging mom with the high pitched voice that no one likes to hear.
1. I worked with the kids all week to make a canvas picture for their dad.
2. I bought him a new Garmin 220!

Fathers Day run  Selfie!
We opened gifts after church. Andy LOVED the canvas prints that the boys made, Austin's print made Andy cry.  I have always told the boys that tear effect lasts forever. Andy loved them both and can not wait to have our own home to display them.
The Garmin 220 was like the cherry on top. At first he was like "No, No, You shouldn't have..." That lasted about a half of a second, then the watch was out of the box! He was like a big kid, he couldn't get it out fast enough.

I knew Andy was going to want to play with his new toy. I couldn't run the distance  Andy was going to go. I stayed back and prepared the food and house for our family. Mom, Dad, Andy's brother Matt and his family were all coming over at 4:30. I really didn't plan anything because of all the chaos this week has brought.
Andy came back home after running 5 miles and I joined him for the last 4 miles. Monumental days are my favorite running days. Running with Andy on Fathers Day makes the day for both of us very fulfilling.
I would lie to you if I said I had no knee pain. It came on at mile 3, making mile 4 a perfect place to wrap it up.
Matt, Dad and Andy

Mom and Dad arrived shortly after we returned home. I was able to wash up good enough that I didn't offend.
Soon enough my brother in law and his 8 kids arrived.
We had the best time. We had so much food and fun.
I think we pulled off a GREAT Fathers Day, me and the Boys. The boys were even less bratty than normal which in turn helped me not have to unleash my annoying mom voice. That all said mixed with tear effect and a new running watch...I think it was near PERFECT!

Distance: 4 miles, Intervals, 5:1
After everyone left,  Austin and I went for a 6 mile bike ride. It really stirred a lot of memories for me.

It was a Great Day. I have a lot to be grateful for. Even in Loss there is still so much joy to be received. I lost my father at 11 years old. There are many out there who do not have a father or do not have a relationship with their father.
I pray you were able to have the strength and courage to conquer any thoughts that may have high jacked your day.
I pray that you could find some joy, some smiles, some tears that helped you heal.


Sheba enjoying Fathers Day too!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

Seriously, it has been the nuttiest week.

This morning I thought I would try to run in order to evaluate and describe my knee pain.
It felt so good to take off running. The pain in my knee started within minutes. I thought I would try and continue to run in hopes that it would just go away. It didn't.

As I finished my first mile, I decided that I would run no more than 3 miles. It was very humid out but the temperature was in the 60's. I did a lot of thinking today.
The discomfort in my knee became part of my run, I thought "..it feels so good to run, I could run with this amount of pain if it wasn't going to do any damage."
My thoughts trailed off when I went googley eyed over this beautiful LINCOLN MARK V11. She was a pearly white and very sophisticated looking. I drooled at her as I passed in front. I was startled as I passed because SHE was speaking to me! I quickly spun around and was quite surprised to see it was an old schoolmate, Jeff Potvin. He looked the same. We always got along good in school. It was great to see him. We chatted like old times, laughing and somehow talking about my running. Funny how so many people know more about you than you realize.

Taking that little break put some fire in my soles. I took off feeling light as a feather. The sweat even felt good dripping down my skin and you know I HATE sweat, even my own.
I was running a sub 8 minute pace. I was taking mental notes of the degree, location, and type of pain I was having. At mile 2 I decided it would be best to not push my limits and throw in the towel.

Only I didn't totally throw in the towel, I used it to wipe the sweat off and hop on my bike!

Was I discouraged? YES
Was I disappointed? YES
Was I in Pain? YES
Was I defeated? NO

I took everything I had, all the mental mess and decided FAILURE was not an OPTION. Just get back up and keep going Nita.
The first few miles I was emotionally numb.
I turned into Seven lakes State park with my quads burning. When I felt my legs getting tired and my lungs stinging I barked at myself  "Come On NITA, GO, Go, Get after it."
It had started to drizzle out. My body embraced the moisture and my eyes were in awe of the beauty in the park. The park was lush full of wildlife and greenery. It was breathtaking.
I wanted to punish myself. I wanted the physical pain to trump the emotional garbage I was feeling.
Then it happened. The Flood Gates opened. Everything I had been feeling, angry, disappointed, confused, sad, everything just exploded. It was more than my knee. It was EVERYTHING. It was people, places and things. It was expectations and selfishness. It was the past, the present and the future.  But my knee was the catalyst. I always had my legs that I could run everything down. Now the tears were coming down. I felt so broken.
I cried liked a baby for over a mile. I tried to speak to God but even my words were confusing me.
"Why, Why God?"
"Did I Not pray enough?"
"Did I Not Trust you Enough?"
"Your word says that you discipline those you LOVE, are You disciplining me?"
"Your words also say  'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
The more and more I recited scripture the more and more I got confused. Then I remember Gods word that says  Satan is the Author of Confusion.
"Let it Go, Anita, let it go."
God is GOD. "Trust in the Lord with all thine Heart, Lean NOT on your own understanding, in ALL ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct Your PATHS."
I let it go.

The Rundown:
14.53 miles on my mountain bike.
Time: 1hour 8 minutes
RUN: 2:36.
 Maw Maw Smith came home today. This was good news.
I had 3  DR appointments today. I knocked them out one at a time. 1pm, 3pm and 4pm in the same building. BAM BAM BAM, just like that!
My last appointment I was having a biopsy of my goiter done. I was sitting in the chair waiting for the DR when I received a text from Andy. "call ASAP, Dads in the ER."
As Maw Maw was leaving the hospital Dad was coming into the same hospital ER.
There was nothing I could do as I waited patiently for the Dr. to numb my throat so he could jab a needle repeatedly into my neck.
Turns out my ENT  Dr. is a big triathlete. We chatted about running and he confessed that he would really like to qualify for Boston. Maybe the needle to the neck was bad but I didn't notice because we were talking about running!

Dad, is going to stay overnight. His test results wont be in until the morning. Andy is off work tomorrow. This works out really good. We ill hear more tomorrow but for tonight dad is in good hands.

That's it for Dr. appointments this week. I think I had  6 appointments knocked out of the ballpark for me. I quit counting. Funny thing about "Thinking". During my MRI today I was asked repeatedly if I had any medal in me. Because I am such a airhead I really had to question myself. It would be just my luck that I did and FORGOT!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Medals we earn in our Hearts.

I ran MY First Run since LAST WEDNESDAY!!
I ran with the group today. And if it was not for running with the girls, my run would have stunk!
We did almost 4 and 1/2 miles this morning. We started off running in the rain. We finished running without rain and without half of our clothes. The humidity went into full effect as we approached Grange Hall rd. As we all stopped to cross, at the same time we started taking off our jackets and long sleeve shirts. I am sure it was a funny sight, 7 woman on the side of the road all sweaty and stripping down!

I knocked out 2 and added 2 more.
Last week, I went to see my primary doctor. I left with a handful more of appointments.
I have been poked, prodded, examined and today totally embarrassed.

Yesterday, I had a foot of tubing stuck down my nose. They had to numb my nasal cavity to make it more comfortable?! Really? I looked at the tubing then at the Dr. with the look of horror. "That is a cruel joke, Seriously? You are sticking all that through my nose?"
He replied with laughter.
I didn't really feel it too much, it was just awkward and a little creepy. It looked like a snake, it creeped me out knowing he could see everything through this little skinny alien. It felt like I was being invaded in a sense. No pun intended!
Even though I got that appointment knocked out, he set me up for another procedure.

Today, I had the follow up procedure done but again left with another appointment.  Directly after that appointment, I had another appointment in the same building.
Ok. So I will be as mature as I can about this one.
First: "I am Fearfully and Wonderfully made." But I do believe God has a sense of humor. I have never had a issue with the way God designed me. I am very comfortable in my own skin.
But to get a Mammogram as a size A is hilarious to me.
I tried not to giggle as the technician was trying to scoop, tug and pull. I turned into 15 again. The tech was really earning her pay with little ole me.
My mom had a tumor removed in her early 40's. I know that breast cancer is very serious. But I was really shocked that they found something abnormal and I have to go back. I am not concerned about it, just surprised.

Back for 3 more appointments tomorrow. I am looking forward to tomorrows the most. It is a double edged sword I suppose. My MRI on my knee is tomorrow. I am glad that I am getting it so fast, however, I am scared to death of what it is going to say.

Could use a lot of prayers right now.
I am feeling very broken, physically and if we keep the momentum going I will be financially too!


Yesterday was our Cross Country Banquet. I walked in about 5 minutes to 6pm. I was taken back by how incredible it looked. There was a parent group that headed up decorating and organizing the banquet. It was done with so much thought. This is my 4th year volunteering and the best banquet by far.
The kids had me in tears. I am 1 of 6 coaches. We have over 60 XC kids. With 6 coaches, we were really able to zone in more with kids and their personal needs.  Many of the parents commented on what a great experience it was this year for their children.

I was still receiving messages at 10pm at night from parents.
It was a great experience for me. When the kids walked by me after the Head Coach gave them their awards, many of them said "Thank You Coach."
I responded with the same words. I was so thankful to them.
I was thankful that they came out with dedication, commitment, hard work, and great times. Our team consistently took all the medals at the meets. It was the best gift a coach could ask for. I am truly the thankful one.

I felt bad for Alec. He is my 6th grader. On the way home Alec said "Mom, I am never going to get an award, am I?"
I replied, "Alec, I am so sorry, I know you are an incredible runner. You were our fastest 6th grader out there. But as your mother and your coach I could never nominate you."
Alec had his head down, "I know mom, it wouldn't be fair......"
I am not sure what the right thing to do is when you are in my position. Alec is a great runner. I see so much potential in him. The awards had his little head spinning with thoughts. I think it may be time to start setting some goals for himself. I feel bad because you want your parents to be your number one fan. And I am, only I can not show it.  In my case, even if he was Ryan Hall I wouldn't feel I could ever nominate him. This would be hard for me if I was in Alec's shoes. I feel bad for him. I look at it as an opportunity for him to push through and grow from it. I am glad he understood my position on it. For a little guy he has a lot of quiet wisdom.
It isn't always about getting the award. The awards don't make the person. The person makes the person. Awards and medals are what many of strive for in running. We work hard to earn them. But even if you never get an award or a medal you have to know that you are still incredible.
You have to look at the tools you learned along the way. Ultimately, the hard work and dedication is an award in itself. The heart and the grit is a great gift that you know more than anyone. Even conquering your defeats with a great attitude and cheering someone on to their victory is a medal winner. Even if you never get the bling around your neck, you humbly earned it in your heart.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Preaching to Myself.

I am proud of myself for the self discipline if anything I had today. I have not ran in 5 days.

I did a lot of running around without putting the wear on my legs.
Maw Maw is still in the hospital. She has been in as long as I have not ran.
Last night she took a turn for the worse, throwing us all into a tail spin.
This morning she was not much better. Mom went to the hospital to be with her.
I went over to Maw Maw's  house to clean it. Maw Maw is suppose to have her 90th birthday party this Saturday. Out of town family are beginning to arrive this evening, so a clean house was necessary.

I had to call my niece Ju Ju to help me. I had a meeting at 11:30am. I was not going to strip sheets, get laundry caught up, mop floors, dust, clean the bathroom, tidying up by myself and make it to the meeting on time. I needed help.

My meeting was nice. It was at the French Laundry, now called The Laundry. I am on a committee for our schools 5K. The meeting was a wrap up meeting from the race.

I headed to the hospital directly after my lunch meeting to see Maw Maw. It was nice to see her. She had color in her cheeks and was sitting up.
She had a room full of visitors. I think this helped her spirits.

What a day. It was good to be busy and not notice I had not run. Or at least try and ignore the thought of not running.

It is funny how so much of my days have running in them one way or another.
EX: Yesterday, even thought I didn't run, during my bike ride a got a call. It was from Austin's XC coach. He was asking me if I would be interested in running with one of the girls this year. It was a paid position. All I had to do was show up at every practice and run EVERY day with her.
She is blind.
My heart sank. What an honor.  I wanted to do this so bad. "Anita, you were the first person I thought of."
But I just couldn't commit.

Today, another NO run day. I still was at a meeting for running. They actually gave me a medal for the Best Coach. It was very informal and just for fun. It was very sweet though.

Today I got thinking. It is nice to have a coach. It is nice to have someone believe in you. To have someone cheer for you, encourage you, train you and come along side you.

But there are going to be days when there is no one there. Days that you are going to have to coach yourself. You are going to have to use the tools that someone has given you. Pull out the power words, collect your mantra and just be your biggest fan.
There are going to be days that you are discouraged and unmotivated. Days when you are dragging. You have to turn up the radio a little louder. You have to attach a megaphone to greatness so  all you hear is your strength, determination and courage.

I am preaching to myself. These are the words I need to write to help me get over this obstacle. I am desperately trying to coach myself right now. I think that if I write it I have to practice what I preach, right?



Sunday, June 8, 2014

The EEYORE Attitude

2 Timothy 1:7
  "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power,of love and
of self-discipline."
It is slow building. It comes on slow. But you feel it growing inside you. It comes unwelcomed.
It is the like you are being invaded from the inside out. It is a bunch of CRAP. That's what it is.
This jacked up knee of mine has put me through Mary Kubler-Rosses 4 of the 5 stages of GRIEF.
  • DENIAL: I just tried to ignore the pain in my knee. I thought I would take a couple days off and it would be better. Ice, rest, elevation...Blah Blah Blah. " Hey, maybe its not really that bad, Hey, maybe you are a bigger moron that you are letting on Anita."
  • ANGER: Angry. ANGRY.. Seriously I ran 26.2 miles and NEVER had a problem. I run a routine 8 miler and my knee jacks all up on me. Yeah, I am a little MEXICAN ANGRY to say the LEAST.
  • BARGAINING: I thought maybe I could reason with my knee. Maybe I could take enough Motrin to help my knee and trade in my kidneys. Maybe I could not run on my knee for a couple days or run extra slow or even run/walk. I thought I might even be able to speak power words over my knee, I thought I could even try and bargain with God. I spoke  many "Please, Please  God". Yeah, none of the above worked. Note..God does not bargain, at the point of thinking that was a possibility, I realized I was working myself into the next stage...
  • DEPRESSION: This is where I fell into myself today. I just sunk into a pit of depression. I am registered for The Crim, The Detroit Marathon and I wanted to run another Ultra this fall. I have made my MRI appointment and set an appointment up with a Knee Specialist. I considered a shrink. The more and more I thought about all the places my running takes me, all the people I have met, all the Joy I have from running, the more I found myself buried in the pit.
  • ACCEPTANCE. NOT HERE. NOPE. I don't throw the towel in that easy.
Without further ado I turned the switch on. I got off my poor whiny butt. I briskly marched to the bedroom to change. Running was not a wise option. SO with a swift back hand off the pity pot I got on my bike.
It was 75 degrees out.  The sun was shining with warm air wrapping around me.
I fumbled my feet into the pedal straps of my old Schwinn mountain  bike. "Turn Em' Over girl." I coached the old mantra back into my blackened spirit.
I just wanted to go fast. I wanted my lungs to burn. I wanted my heart to race. I pedaled harder. I didn't care what I looked like. Here I was riding my old bike like a 14 year old through the Village of Holly. The breeze blowing my bad attitude away with each mile.  The sweat began to bead up in my brows, my thighs began to burn. I felt love.
2 Timothy 1:7  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and
of self-discipline.

I wasn't sitting at home like Eeyore with my tail between my legs. I was feeling God power me up. It took everything I had to not lace my shoes up. Danielle had even texted me as I was getting ready to leave the house to be my verbal conscience.
I road my old bike with all I had. Powering up the hills with the burn of intensity. I road my bike to the state park where I saw 2 runners I knew out there. We chatted a few minutes before I headed out.
I could have road my bike till I couldn't sit on a seat for a week. It was so freeing to remove my baby pants full of my crappy attitude.
I ran 11 miles over my Eeyore attitude.
It stinks being injured. I am one day closer to knowing what the heck is going on. I even made it one more day without running or ending up in therapy.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Recover, Remember, Rejoice.

The beginning of my day I drifted through trying not to think to much. I got the tears out of the way early so I could try and recover in order to get through my very busy day.
Today was Ariel's Birthday.
During our morning devotion I could tell Austin was thinking. When I finished reading to him I asked if he would close in prayer. Without hesitation he bowed his head.
"Dear God, ......You had a plan for taking Ariel, ......I just ask that you bring us all together as a family for Ariel."
It was so tender hearted. He prayed for unity. For the family to come together. I thought this was full of wisdom and love.
There is another part of recovery I had to put in place this morning. My Knee. I met Danielle as scheduled for out regular 8 miles. Only we did almost 10! BIKING! The spring elements were teasing me to run. I even tried to run in the parking lot of Panera's before we took off. I made it about 30 feet. With my knee rehearsing the pain of yesterday I headed to the trunk to get my bike. I brought my bike and even Danielle surprised me bringing her bike also.

I finally went to the Dr.s today. I left with a half of a tree in paper for specialists that I need to see, images that I have to have done and prescriptions I have to fill. Please keep me in prayer. I have had some health issues I have not taken care of and they may haunt me now.

Maw Maw Smith ended up in the hospital today. I spent a couple hours with her this afternoon. They are going to keep her for observation over night.  More Prayers please.
It took over 10 hours for her to get a room out of the emergency and food!
This was one of Ariel's last blog posts. Charlie meant the world to her. He loved her dearly.
I wore my favorite Ariel shirt, Ariel bracelet and bracelet Charlie (Ariel's boyfriend) bought for me in remembrance of Ariel. I asked Charlie if he would like to meet me at the cemetery to see Ariel. We ended up meeting at a local florist/gift shop.
I bought some flowers along with a couple gifts to give in remembrance of her.
It was a good visit with Charlie and Ariel. Charlie talked about some of his favorite memories. Memories with Ariel and Austin. We laughed. I told Charlie I have a hard time going to see her because it is so hard to recover. Charlie eloquently replied " It is a wound that trying to heal and you keep picking the scab." He described it for me so well. As we left I felt peace. I was comfortable in my emotions remembering she was in heaven. It is not about honoring Ariel in my presence, it is about honoring Ariel in my actions.
REJOICE: At the end of a tough day you have to REJOICE.
I REJOICE knowing Ariel is Dancing and smiling down on me.
I REJOICE knowing Maw Maw Smith is going to be OK.
I REJOICE being able to see Charlie today and Ariel's Sorority sister, Katie on Ariel's Birthday. Katie actually gave me the greatest gift, Ariel's comforter. I can not wait to wrap myself up in it.
I REJOICE over the box of Godiva dark chocolate truffles next to my bed.
I gave Charlie a plant of mine from her funeral. Today I bought him a rock that said Rejoice. This is the picture he sent me. It was perfect.

What do You have in your hard day to Rejoice over?

Smiling at My Angel in Heaven.