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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

10 Things I didn't tell You

10 Things I didn't tell you about Bayshore Marathon:

Grand Traverse City Pie Company
  1. Friday, the day before the Marathon, I thought I was going into the ER. I was rushing from the parking lot to the gym for CC. In a hurry, I was talking on the phone to my mom, and holding donuts for the kids that PR-ed. Not paying attention, typical, and in extreme speed I didn't see the dumpster door open. My face blasted into it! I hit it so hard it knocked me in the air and flat on my back! My phone flew out of my hand flying through the air and the donuts went in the other direction. I thought I needed stitches or broke my nose. This guy came from nowhere "Are YOU ALRIGHT"?  I quickly hopped up, giggled and pretended I was a rock star.
  2. I Forgot my MAKE UP! With a gash across my nose, I really needed some paint. Kay came to my rescue. Sharing the same hotel, she happened to have an extra tube. I was so grateful.
  3. The morning of the marathon, my Garmin wouldn't charge. I later found why. It wasn't getting any charge in the hotel because you had to FLIP THE SWITCH to give power to the outlets!
  4. Claudia, selflessly gave me hers. One of the kindest things ever done. Right up there with giving me her kidney.
  5. Andy was supposed to run the Half. He gave his bib to Claudia and became my biggest fan.
  6. I didn't know my pace. I had NO idea I had to run at that pace until Jeff had sent me my splits at 9:40 the night before. I peed my pants a little. It was 13 seconds faster than I thought.
  7. I slept like a baby the night before the race.
  9. Danielle had her hardest Marathon.   She didn't get the time or experience she had trained for or dreamed of. BUT...She was looking on line for another marathon to conquer. I am so proud of her. She is so incredible. She didn't let her disappointment defeat her.
  10. It was my Anniversary Weekend. 19 years. Andy bought me a new Mountain bike. Pretty Awesome. Lets see if this bike lasts as long as my next 19 years does!
I wanted to go to 2 PLACES in TC: Cherry Republic and Grand Traverse Pie company . PIE!!! I just really wanted CHERRY PIE.

In closing, I am so blessed to be surrounded around some amazing people.
Today was the last day of CC. Our head coach congratulated me in front of all the kids on my marathon saying this: "Guys, Coach Harless doesn't just coach you things that she doesn't do herself. We as coaches walk the same walk we teach you by. I looked her splits up, she ran each of her splits faster, I watched her ranking and saw as she picked people off. Her ranking started out....and she finished ...."
The kids cheered me on. It was weird knowing one of the other coaches was checking out my race.
In Closing, People will listen to you sometimes, But they are always watching. Actions speak louder than words.
Do you practice what you preach? People don't want to hear you running your mouth, They want to see if you can put your money where your mouth is.
The best leaders are the ones that lead by example.

WTG to KRIS T! She guesses what I forgot in Traverse City! I had a mini contest on my Running against the Odds FB page. I brought her home a PRIZE!!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Bayshore Marathon 2015: Run my own Race

Make no mistake, running 26.2 miles is not something to be underestimated. I could train just about anyone physically to run a marathon, but I can not train what is between your ears.

When you set your feet before that start line you had better be prepared.
You have 2 options:
1. You can RUN it.
2. You can RACE it.
Both are usually going to hurt, The Marathon is not going to let you finish without taking a piece of you.

I chose to RACE it.
Team Harless, The Best Support system one could ask for.

This was not my first rodeo. This is marathon #10.

I am like David up against Goliath when lining up to conquer 26.2 miles. I am humbled by the battle I am going into. I have been in enough marathons now to see the strong turn weak. The brave coward under the distance, the elite fail and the healthy become expired to never cross another finish.

I still get choked up before I ever start. I look sheepishly at the distance, blushing timidly at the thought of little ole me thinking yet again I can take this on.

Like a soldier going into battle, I have trained for 16 weeks. I have prepared and I have asked God to equip me with the necessary tools to Finish the Course, to Conquer yet again another 26.2 miles.
HUMILITY...I have to know my place.

Bayshore Marathon Goals:
  1. 3:35
  2. 3:40
  3. 3:45
I did not make a goal to PR, I just didn't train hard enough too, coming off my injury last summer.
I had really been thinking 3:40 was a great goal, it was in the middle and seemed attainable. However, When Jeff heard my goals the Wednesday before he told me "Why are you not going after 3:35, if that is your dream time, then go for that." He continued to go over my training and believed I was capable.
The seed was planted.

Running 26.2-Running MY OWN RACE
Lacey and I stayed in same hotel, before race.

The morning went smooth. Lacey and I found Danielle and Jama. The 4 of us headed to the start together.  All of our Goals were very close. But I had to run MY OWN RACE.
Danielle, me, Lacey,Jama

I knew what I had to do. I love these girls, we trained together for this moment, but at this point I had to run my own race and pace.
I asked the girls if I could give a quick prayer for them before we started.
It was shortly after we were all running towards the finish.

Danielle stayed with me for about 5 miles. Danielle had gotten a respiratory infection the past week, she graciously said "Nita, you run your race....don't hold back for me.." I hated leaving her but Lacey was with her.
Ole Jeff had sent me my splits the night before,  I had to nail these order to reach my goal. I wrote them on my arm. At mile 5, I had to be at 41 minutes. A few feet ahead of Lacey and Danielle, I lifted my arm and gave a thumbs up, WE DID IT!

The morning was quickly heating up. I took my "shell" off and threw it to a some guy, he was a great sport, laughing and catching it.

It was incredible the energy on the course. I was loud and proud. The water was magnificent to my right. The sun was heating up my running sleeves quickly. I knew my family was at mile 7, I could toss them there.

Jama stayed in front of me about 10-15 feet. I was very concerned because she was running my pace and that was not her goal.  She looked great. She would be next to me here and there and I would ask her how she was and she said "Good."

Coming up to mile 7, I saw "TEAM HARLESS". They looked awesome. "WOW, am I lucky to have my family there for me." I smiled running towards them. My tank was full!
My Splits Jeff sent me the night before.

"DRINK water ANITA!" I knew I had to hit every water station. It was heating up faster than I had expected. I couldn't get behind the gun. I could see Jama had already broke through her tank top in front of me.

Coming up on mile 8, Jama was next to me, "Hey, how you feeling Jama?" Jama was sweating pretty bad, "I am hurting already."
I didn't know what to say back, She is a tough cookie and very competitive, I had to trust she knew what she was doing.  I encouraged her but looked at my pace to discover I was going to fast, I let her move ahead again.
At mile 10, I looked at my splits and Nailed it again!

The half Marathoners were now passing us. I was powered up. "YEAH, YOU ROCK!" I yelled. I was giving out high fives to anyone that engaged. I knew a lot of runners running this distance. "NITA!!!" It was Kay running towards me. She looked awesome.
Minutes later, I heard my name again "ANITA!!" it was Claudia full spirited and smiles. I barely caught my breath from all the excitement when I saw another huge smile and blonde hair coming towards me. "ANITA!!" It was Erin.
One by one I saw, Jessica, Mike, Sandy and many others.

This woman came from nowhere at mile 11. Peppy, she starts chatting with me.  She just hung out next to me. I asked her "What is your goal?"  I had noticed I was running faster than I should. Laughing she says  "Goal, I don't have a goal, I am just running as hard as I can to see how far I can get!"
My mind when spastic. "WHAT, is this chick NUTS, my pace was at a 7:45 talking to her, this was NOT part of my plan!"
Politely she replies "So what is your goal?"
"I am hoping to hit 3:35."
Without a breath "OH! I would be happy with that, I will stay with you!"
I grabbed my mantra, "RUN YOUR OWN RACE ANITA." Then I repied, "Well then, you are going to have to slow it down!"
I picked up a new partner. I had to really stay focused.

At mile 13, you turn around. This lets you see where everyone is. I was concerned about Lacey and Danielle. Jama, was still in front of me.
Lacey, was about a minute behind me. She looked great. I couldn't find Danielle. I was getting nervous. I saw other running friends but no Danielle.  Then I saw her, my heart broke. She was struggling.

I found myself in the 3:35 pacing group. It was a fun group. I was cutting up with the runners. The group had 2 girls in matching outfits. They both had bibs on their back that read "Help us get to Boston 3:35." I found myself laughing and cheering the runners on. I felt great. I was in my element. Jama joined into the group. One of the girls was struggling at mile 15. "Boston Strong!" I encouraged her and shared my best coaching mantra I had to help her.
But it was Jama. She didn't look so good. "Anita, I am hurting." I replied "Jama, you have plenty of time banked, bring it down." I couldn't convince her. So I just said "..make it to 19, my family will be there to cheer for you."

About mile 17, I noticed the group was slowing down. "Run your Own Race Anita."
I slowly moved pass them. I still had my new partner next to me. She too was struggling. Jama fell back.

At mile 19, I saw my family. I got so excited. My body felt strong, my mind even stronger. I was ready for the next 7 miles.

Mile 20, My world changed. All the positivity in the world was not working. I decided to pray. 20 miles, 20 people. "Danielle, Lacey, Jama, my enemies, my family.....Judy from my addiction group,all those running...ahhh." I couldn't focus. My prayers kept getting interrupted by my misery. My quads were burning. My chest was tight and "God, help me, I am soo hot."
I quickly and selfishly hijacked my prayers for others with more prayers for me.

Mile to mile girl. Just get to the next mile. Look at the guy in front of you in the Blue. Keep your eyes on him. Stay with him. He is pacing you.

I felt like someone shot my calf with a bullet. "WHAT was THAT?" I did a quick hop in hopes it was nothing.
It didn't take long for me to discover my calves were cramping. I have never had this during a race. I have seen some of the strongest men drop like infants over cramping. Fear over took me.

The dynamics of this race really changed. My body was failing me. I was hitting every water station, taking my nutrition and still I was NOT in control. I had to change how I planted and lifted my feet, in hopes I could prevent the cramps from completely disabling me. My chest was tight. My heart was beating double time, I knew I had to calm down.
I was running scared.

I could still see the guy in blue. He was about 30 feet in front of me. 2 miles, 1 mile. My paced slowed to what felt like a halt. I had to finish. My calves and quads were screaming. I tried to distract myself with a great power song, but I couldn't even find that.
I looked behind to see if Lacey or Jama had caught up. No one was behind me. My feet hit the track for the last couple hundred meters. I heard my family shouting in the stands.
I crossed the Finish line still upright.
A running friend of mine Alexis, was at the Finish.  I was puking so bad she was rubbing my back. "Its OK, let it out, you will feel better." I couldn't stop, it hurt so bad. I was embarrassed and again out of control with my body. She was so compassionate. "I'm Sorry.." I cried. "It's Ok, Let it out, it means you gave everything."
This is BEFORE the marathon we Ran into each other.
 Then there she was again at the end to take care of me like and Angel.

I DID. No regrets. I RAN my Own Race. I stayed focused. Throughout all the distractions I stayed on target.

Me, Danielle, Lacey

Claudia,Lacey and Me

NET Time: 3:33:54
Overall 339/2039
Gender 89/971
Catag 8/151

Grateful!! Wednesday I will share 10 things I didn't ADD.
You will want to check it out!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

My goals for Bayshore.

God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them. ~Author Unknown

16 weeks ago I made goal. To run another Bayshore Marathon. This will be my 10th marathon and my second Bayshore.

I have always been a goal setter. I like beginnings and endings. I love to see progress. I enjoy the commitment and dedication. Its seeing how far you have come. Its looking at the obstacles that you have overcome. It is failing and getting backup, and trying gain. Some of my greatest failures have only inspired me to greater things.

Well, it has been 14 weeks of training, now coming to an end. I love the running, not so much the track work, intervals, the constant knowledge of pace and distance or the poor sleeping.

2 days LEFT! Saturday Morning. Ugh,I think I just threw up in my mouth. NERVES.

I am coming out with IT!
Here is the reason my stomach  has butterflies in it. Its my GOALS I have for my time.

My PR is 3:28:10. That was GLORIOUS!
2015 Bayshore Marathon Goals
1. 3:35
2. 3:40
3. 3:45

Last year, after I ran Boston I got injured. I was still coaching CC and over did it. This cost me most of my summer. I had to put away the running shoes for bike pedals. I was able to run the CRIM and even by the Grace of God able to run Detroit Freep Marathon. I even managed a half marathon in October. It was not pretty, but I was grateful. My spring and summer consisted of tears running down my face more than my legs.

Bayshore will be my first major race that I will be pushing myself to the end of myself.

Sharing my last year with you has a purpose. I am encouraging you to take a leap of FAITH and set a GOAL.
Dedication, hard work, set backs, pain, overcoming, commitment, VICTORY.

Share your Goal with ME. Let me encourage you along the way!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Do You use Your Power?

There is POWER in a Smile.
There is POWER in your Words.
There is POWER in Touch.

 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue.." Psalms 18:21
As each person stepped out of their car, I could see a smile. Some had a nervous smile, while others had a shy smile or a excited smile. We organized a "Fun Run before the Gun.".  I love catchy names. (We are all in a running club that was birthed from the school our kids attend.)
We all are running Bayshore this weekend. Some of us are running the marathon and some of us are running the half marathon but we are all running.

We did an easy 2 miler, then followed it up with a fun breakfast at a local café. I asked every one to bring 8-10 things to create a  Bayshore Goody Bag.

The day went off perfect.
It was a great recovery to a really bad morning. Really bad.

We all have The Power to change someone's moment, day, outlook, or thoughts.
We gathered around one another, in so many ways different from each other. And in 1 way the same: We are all running the same race.

I listened, I heard them encouraging one another. Inquiring, listening laughing, speaking LIFE into one another.
Edifying one another.

"Mary Ann" looked at me with these beautiful blue eyes. "..I would like to do a 3:58...."
I get so excited to inquire about her training. As I listen, I get more excited to speak confidence into her. To teach her to believe in her training, to teach her she has to now train her mind, follow through with her mind and her legs will listen.

Claudia and her French accent. She is so deep. We discussed her last run. "Claudia, get in your own head, no music, nothing but your own thoughts. Meditation Run. Strategize, organize, and prepare your thoughts for the race." Its not the words I say, it is the way she looks at me, she is listening, really listening.
It is at that point I quickly review my words.
If everyone listened to my words, was I Encouraging? Edifying? Loving?

Could my words actually make a difference?

It was at that place that I looked at each person sitting around me and thought of how they have made a difference in my life.
Sometimes it has nothing to do with words at all. It is a hug, a glowing smile, it is ears that listen. It is time, a gift, or even something as simple as eye contact.

YOU have lots of material to practice this POWER. Everyday we encounter people. We have family,friends, coworkers, neighbors, and numerous random people.
Make THAT difference.
Speak Life into people and I promise you will feel a life fulfilled.

I have gotten so many text messages form the group on how much fun they had. We gave gifts, hugs, laughs and encouragement. I watched each one receiving as much as they gave.

I was beyond spoiled, Overwhelmed and highly blessed.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Fear reminds me of who I am NOT.

Growing up we all have so many FEARS.
I will never forget that look Alec had during the Boston bombings. He was shaking and pale. His little body was helpless to the fear that overtook him. His voice wasn't even recognizable. Tears saturated his innocent cheeks.  It is the worst feeling in the world to not just be overcome by fear but to not be able to tame your child's fear.
My heart was beating outside my chest as people screamed and ran. The unknown gave birth to not just fear but paralyzing dread.

Growing up, my family was decorated in addiction. So many days, FEAR came unwelcomed. It hurt. My stomach turned, my hands shook, I would cry till even that hurt. It was the unknown that disabled you. It was the lack of control that terrorized you.

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your GOD. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
Living life safe prevents you from having unnecessary FEAR and anxiety.

"We Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Cor.10:5

With 5 days out from my marathon I have been reunited with FEAR.
When I just think about lining up for 26.2 miles my heart skips a beat. I can feel butterflies in my belly and my hands start to sweat.
I think "What have I gotten myself into."
"Can you do this Nita?"
"Will my body stay strong and healthy?"
"Will my mind stay strong, can I overcome the voices that want to discourage me?"
"Is God listening to my prayers?" "Will he show me 'Great and Mighty things'?"

"I will Instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8
I am trained. I am prepared, I am ready...I think. That little whisper rests there.

Its more that just running 26.2 miles. Yes, that is ALOT but there is more.
It is running hard. I am going to push my body and mind beyond its limits. As I type these words, I can feel the tears falling down my cheeks. FEAR comes in waves.  
It is going to hurt, so bad. And yet it is going to feel so good. It is humbling to know that I will be overcoming FEAR and truly resting on GOD to bring me into the Finish.

I am trying, again, to be grateful in my FEAR. My Fear has brought me to GREAT and MIGHTY things.
My Fear has Humbled me. Reminded me that I am NOT...
  • Overconfident
  • Prideful
  • Content

Fear is a tool to bring me to my knees. FEAR reminds me of who I AM NOT and who HE is.

Asking you to remember me in prayer. Thank you, Giving God all the Glory.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

3 Simple Lessons.

I am called coach, however, I have NO credentials. The only document I have is my background check and fingerprints!
Just about anyone can learn how to train middle schoolers to run 2 miles.
Repeats, Intervals, Hills, stretching, Run, run and run..
Mixed in with teaching them self discipline, commitment, dedication, and hard work.
But the cherry on top is Encouragement.
Not Every Coach is good at this.

I may not be skilled as a coach in many ways but one way I have been gifted is ENCOURAGEMENT.
I can pump sunshine up just about anyone's  hiney and mean it.

Tuesday night, our XC kids had a meet in Brighton. Our team had got wind of their new course, with more hills.
I had tried to prepare then for the challenge they were going to have. As we drove out, Alec casually says "Well mom, if I don't make Varsity time on this race I still have 2 races."
I knew where his mind was going. He was already throwing in the towel because it was a hard course.
I smiled and replied "Alec, never count on a second chance. You do your best like it is the only chance that you have....What if the other meet gets canceled or you get sick..."
He didn't reply.

Tuesday was cold and windy. As we walked the course before the meet I prayed.
It was a beautiful course through the woods, However, Holy Hills!

The GO screamed through the air. The 1 milers took off. I did too. I ran as fast as I could to get to the 1/2 mile mark right before 2 very large back to back hills.
"UP UP, Look at the TOP of THE HILL." I screamed.
My voice cracked as I continued to cheer on the runners.
I looked at my watch and had 3 minutes to get back to the Finish line to guide them in.
I could hear myself breathing, I was winded running through the tall grass trying to beat our 7 minute 5th grader.

"GO GO, Pick it UP, Right HERE, Right NOW!" I continued to shout. "Turn Em over, Look at the clock, RUN!"
They came in beat up, winded, dry heaving and empty.
I was stoked, excited, and charged!

Alec runs the 2 mile. This was going to be really difficult. They took off. So did I, again. I ran to my same spot. This time I climbed the first hill.
I was overcome with adrenaline. "Where are they?" I looked down at my watch."
I was nervous for them, who was going to be the first to come out of the woods?

One of OURS! "YES! There you go, Get up this hill!"
I needed to find Alec. I kept looking at my watch and squinting towards the woods.
There he was!!!
He looked pretty good. "That's it ALEC!"  I continued to scream. "PASS HER, make your move, Kill it, UP UP!"

As soon as he passed, I ran into the woods and waited for them to come through.
A course like that changes the dynamics of your fastest runners. It becomes a mental game. Who can tolerate the most physical pain and move through it.

As each of the kids came through they were surprised to see me. "Keep your eyes on the person in front."  "Stay with THEM."
Don't let up, YOU got this."

I had 3 minutes to make it to the Finish line. I ran out on the trail screaming at each of the kids. "That's it, GO, Don't let up!"
Running backwards and sideways out of trails I found myself winded too.
I saw our first runner. My voice cracked as I ran towards him, up and down I shouted his name.
Then they came in, one after another.
I was jumping and hollering at each kid as they came towards the chute.
I could see how bad some of them looked.

Lil Kaitlyn, at about 65 pounds soaking wet, came down the chute pale. She didn't slow down, I could see she was going to fall apart.
I ran to her as fast as I could to catch her. Her eyes filled with tears. I wrapped my arms around her and told her how proud I was. She cried harder. Then started to puke.
"WOE, sister!" I jumped.

I found myself picking up several kids. Hugging them, sharing high fives, and listening to people whispering about me.
"Coach Harless, we love watching you with the kids."

This is what I LOVE.
I love watching them see me at the end and run harder than they thought they could.
I love when they wrap their arms around me sharing their PR.
I love seeing them exhausted, sore and tired.
I love that final KICK at the end."
I love the gleam in their eyes as they discover they can run through pain, exhausting and
I love hearing them say "I passed 6 kids!"
I LOVE hearing "Coach Harless"

As for Alec. He hit his Varsity time!  "Mom, I just kept thinking how you made me run on Monday through the trails and how much they helped. I thought about what you said about something happening to one of the other meets. I looked at my watch at the 1/2 mile mark and knew I had to run harder."

Lesson #1 - Go like there are no second chances.
Lesson #2 -It's just puke, wipe your face and smile for the camera!
Lesson #3- Always listen to your mama!

Damielle and I found some great trails in Fenton. We had 10 miles to run. We ran about 4 miles through the woods. It was beautiful, green, lush and quiet.

"Whether you turn to the tight or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21


Monday, May 11, 2015

Fighting our Giants

Faith allows things to happen.  It is the power that comes from
     a fearless heart.  And when a fearless heart believes, miracles

Mondays always beat me up. I can really mess a good Monday up. I was telling my niece some of my Monday mistakes and she responded, "Wow, you are having a bad day." I laughed, "No, really I am not, its been a good day." All of my days are inside up out!

I took off to run a tad bit too late. I was taking my tank top off before I had even made it up the hill outside of my street.
"It's HOT"
"Just RUN"
"I'm already out of breath."
"Then BREATH Anita."

The dialogue that runs through my head.

I quickly thought of Kay. I was at Austin's basketball tournament this weekend texting backand forth with Kay.
She was talking about how bored she gets running.
The dialogue in my mind interrupts each other, it fights for air to speak. I am like a dog "Squirrel" and find myself totally sidetracked from one thought to the other.

Fighting Our Giants. Who does not LOVE the story of David and Goliath.
Our greatest giants are the ones that torture our mind.
Many of my running friends are struggling with mental handicaps that can be conquered with sheer FAITH.
Faith is believing what is unseen.
You have to believe in your tomorrow.
Do the work in your Today.
And let go of your Yesterday.

You have to be so DETERMINED that you don't just believe in your dreams and goals you claim them as a package on its way.

Your determination then MOTIVATES you to do whatever it takes to make it happen. This is the ACTION. You still have to work for it. You may have to work really hard, blood sweat and tears.
The harder you work the more you will appreciate it.
I ran the trails today. Once with just myself, then again with Alec for another 2 miles.


Andy and Austin were not with me on Mothers Day. They made me an Inspirational video. It was my running story. It was beautiful. Many of my running friends and family were stars in it!
I went out to brunch with the family,with out him and Austin. It was a first for me, I was struggling emotionally but tried to be a big girl.
My brother in law Bruce had to come to my rescue while poring myself a innocent cup of coffee.
Being over the 40year mark has really shown itself. Not just in my running but my physique changed quite a bit too. I have been married 19 years at the end of May. Andy has always been very complimentary to me. I always feel beautiful to him.
I am not the girl that ever got flirted with or hit on. I never was the girl that put myself in those positions either. It is awkward for me.
Not paying attention to anything but my coffee. I didn't see this man come up behind me. It came up real close and slipped his arm around my waist. At first I thought I must know him. Then he leaned in and quietly whispered in my ear "I just had to come and tell you, you have really nice calves."
AHHH! My Brother in Law Bruce was right next to me and saved me.

When I told Andy about it..Well he won't be leaving me at the brunch table alone anymore!
I am going to share some of my favorite products I purchase at the grocery store.
Tart Cherry Juice is good for inflammation. I always have a jar in the fridge. Tart cherries are a rich source of antioxidants that can help maintain heart health, joint health and blood circulation.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Imperfections of a Mother.

“Gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect.” – Chinese Proverb
Imperfection #153,844, When your child posts on his Twitter acct "mommy and daddy are fighting"

I grew up with "Anita, what happens under our roof stays under our roof."
"You don't put your business out on the street."

I grew up with secrets that haunt me today. "You are as sick as your secrets." has become my motto.

I do not need a designated day to recollect memories of my mother. I use my memories to heal and to encourage others.
My mother had so many imperfections. We really did hide everything. We were afraid to talk about the dysfunction let alone even think about it.
Then the older I got the more dysfunctional I got, the more I had to hide. I was collecting my own secrets.

God, I loved that woman. She was so diseased, she did horrible things, she hurt all three of us children the way no mother should. The bottle was her master. The bottle of pills and the bottle of booze.
God always gave me compassion. I never quit forgiving her. She was beautiful and broken. I had to learn to look at her heart. Her heart just wanted LOVE. Isn't that what we all really want?
She taught me so much.
Often times we get so buried in bitterness and resentments that we are controlled by it. We allow our canvas to be painted by unforgivness and lose the sight of the rest of the picure.

10 Things my Mom taught me:
  1. Always give 2nd chances, and third and fourth......She would go to the moon and back for her enemies. They would hurt her over and over only to return their phone calls.
  2. Don't do what I do. She hurt herself, she knew she was in bondage and didn't want us kids to fall into the same mistakes. She begged me not to drink. It hurts me so bad remembering her face when I picked up that 40oz, guzzling it in front of her trying to hurt her. And it did.
  3. "You can be anything you want."  She really wanted the best for us, she wanted us to have dreams.
  4. Conviction. She always knew how to make you feel convicted. She reminded you that someone was always WATCHING, my father or God knew everything. They were watching down on me. They were either proud of me or....
  5. To FIGHT. She was a scrapper. She could come off that chair and knock you across the room without blinking. 5'1, 110 she could hold her own. The fight was the internal desire to let no one intimidate her.
  6. Independence. I can take care of myself. This is a double edged sword. She was a single mom who made a lot of bad choices, I found myself determined to survive. I learned to take care of all of us. I have unfortunately also learned to not depend on others.
  7. PRAY. My mother taught me how to pray. She always prayed with us. On our hands and knees we bowed our heads and prayed even as teenagers.  
  8. Cook, I am not a Master Chef but I can cook. My mom didn't use a recipe box, this is how I have learned.
  9. To never grow up. I remember my mom doing cart wheels around the yard well into her 40's. She was crazy, She once jumped in the pool at one of the houses that she cleaned. She cleaned out their liquor cabinet first! My grandma had to get her out of the pool,  my mom was doing laps showing off.  We were not laughing at the time.
  10. "Do as I say not as I do."  This is pretty hypocritical. But I got it. She loved me more than she loved herself.
As I think about my son posting our business on social media, I think,"Whatever."
It is REAL. I am not perfect. It takes so much work trying to be something you are not.
You may look at our family pictures and think we have it all together, Sorry, We don't .

Just because you Fail does not mean you are a failure.
My imperfections as a mother, a wife and everything else for that matter is endless.

I learned something that my mom never learned. To forgive yourself. To love yourself. To accept who you are and not who you wish you were. To not worry about what others think., Its between you and God.
“There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.” – Conrad Hall -

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Satans Spawn

My girls, Bayshore 2015 Training partners

It is almost 9pm and I have yet to get a shower. I have a cocktail of 12 miles of Indian Springs sweat, massage oil, 2 miles of middle schools XC stink and yard dirt fuming off me. NASTY.
All I want to do at this point is get a shower, and crawl into bed, then dive into my nothing box, a place that contains mindless games of Trivia Crack and Words With Friends.

It was a Productive Day.
  • Awesome run that started out to be a 15 mile LSD run, only we all changed the game plan to our scheduled run of 12 miles. No reason to be an overachiever this close to our marathon.
  • As I took Lacey back home, we discovered a big old turtle heading into the road. That thing was Satans spawn! Seriously, he turned Exorcist on me. That evil creature spun his head like he was possessed trying to EAT MINE. I tried to have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with him, But some things just cant be reformed. Hope he made it!

  • I had to hustle to my 12 massage appt. Hard life, I know. I am spoiled. It was amazing, I think I was drooling. The power of TOUCH. I only have females massage me. Today, was another reason why. Sometimes the sheets get all tangled and it gets a little "airy". "Holly" noticed and giggled afraid I might be upset. I laughed back, "Sister, we have the same parts, just shaped a little different, this is why I see female massage therapists!
  • 80 degrees and hill repeats for XC. Those kids rocked it in the heat. I bought a case of water, that didn't go beggin.
  • Dinner and yard work. I am drained, sticky and smelly.
I did make a decision today. Pretty big one. I am not going to get into it tonight. I am at peace with it. Actually, pretty excited about it, IF it works out.
It has to do with a bridge, a tunnel and trails.......

Night Night, time to get rid of the slime,

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My BIG Fall

My mind says I am a rockstar, my heart says I am carefree and a bit crazy (for over 40) however, my catlike reflexes and older body is struggling to keep up.
I really biffed it at work yesterday. In my usual hyper speed, I came bebopping into the back room to mix my color for my client. Being vertical challenged, I am used to jumping on counters and climbing on washing machines. I do my usual tap tap hop unto the washing machine to grab my developer.
I saw my body before my eyes. My mind twirled "SAVE YOUR KNEES"!
"Twirl your body and land like a feather."
 BA ha...Not so graceful. What goes up; must come down and down I went, slipping on the laundry detergent. My legs did moves I haven't done since rocking out the clubs in my 20's.
I had an audience of a half dozen girls eating their lunch. Their food hanging out of there mouths they didn't know whether to laugh or cry for me.

I saw Megan, she looked mortified, "ANITA!!" She was so stunned by my stunt that she accidently took a picture of HERSELF watching me!
As quickly as I came down, I popped back up. "I'm good!" In my mind, I was trying to secretly assess the damage. Everything felt "OK" except my pride, I killed it!

I tried to put the visual of my slip and fall behind me. When I woke up today, I couldn't figure out why my knee was hurting so bad. I thought I saved the knees. They are even uglier than they were before I fell. My poor knobby knees are all purple.

As ugly as my legs are they worked just fine today on my run.

I headed to Genesys to meet Joan. Joan is the gal that I ran Clarkston Backroads with the last 2 years. Joan is my little piece of Ariel. She was Ariels sorority sister. They were very close.
Out of one of the worst tragedies of my life God blessed me with the opportunity to love on Ariels closest friends. This was very healing for me as well.

I have days that I want to hide in the darkness of my grief. My heart is overflowing in misery. As I drove to meet Joan, I could feel the tears welling up. I wanted to embrace my grief, I wanted to curl up into myself, sink deep into the darkness that was so inviting. I wanted to hold myself, cuddled in memories, wrapped in my favorite blanket and paralyzed from the weight of the world.
Wipe Your Face and breathe.

I had a great run with Joan. She is like my Ariel, she has this larger than life smile. Such a breath of fresh air. Until she had me running so hard I couldn't get air!

It was a good day. I watched my Uncle at almost 80 get a phone number from a woman at Wendys!  All flustered he couldn't figure out where he parked!
Then Mom got in the wrong car and peed her pants laughing at her mistake.

As I finish this post, I am reminded Laughing is what I do best. As much as I may want to cry, I want to laugh more.
Sometimes you have to laugh through the tears.
Good Grief!

Big Congrats to Michelle B. She made it into the Chicago Marathon through the lottery! And a KILLER PR at The Flying Pig marathon this past weekend!

Went from Alecs XC to Austins Track Meet. I love running after these boys of mine.


Monday, May 4, 2015


We are in a society that never closes shop. We go a million miles a minute, pack twice as much into a day than can ever be accomplished and always wish there were "more hours in a day."
Once when I was cashing out at Krogers, the cashier asked "Did you find everything you were looking for?"
I replied "No, I couldn't find what isle "More Time" was in!"

It reminds me of those figurine toys that you wind up in the back and they move real fast, then it falls over when the mechanics are no longer winding.

That's what we do. Go and go and go until we drop. We find ourselves burnt out, tired, sick and/or crabby.

So why would most of our training be any different?


Last week I ran 60 miles, Thursday I ran 22 miles. Sunday I ran another 20.
Today, I RESTED.
I got up at 6am, after a REALLY good nights sleep, and I tackled my morning. Kids, laundry, breakfast, lunches and transporting them to both of their schools.
I as dragging. I finished cleaning up the house and crawled back in bed for an hour.
I didn't try to be a super hero and bang out the day.
Sheba loves to lick the sweat off you..EWE!

Yesterday, after running I was very responsible about icing, rolling, elevating, stretching and eating well. Until, I smelled the families Pizza. I may have cheated a bit there.
But my recovery carried on.
My long run I ran easy, but it still sucked the life out of me.
I embraced crawling back under the sheets, my body loved me. I didn't feel guilty, ok, maybe a little.

It didn't disturb my day. I was able to get everything on my list done and with energy.
I even took Sheba out for 2 miles and ran another mile at X C with the team.

   Blessing, Nita
I love this Girl, 2 Miles was about all the girl could tolerate in the heat.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

When Good things come to an End

All Good Things Must Come To And END. That is exactly what happened at mile 14.
My little "Pep in my Step" had expired.

If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill
I pass this bench on this route.
Today Plan: 20 miler, in the heat, 78 degrees. Try and get acclimated to the beating sun, the hot air, sweat, thirst, and total discomfort.
Not running to break any records or incur bragging rights, running to see how miserable I can be. Building mental stamina more than miles.

At fourteen miles, I was no longer running a 8:30 pace, I quit looking at my pace a while back, my lack of water was occupying my mind.
I was beginning to believe everyone who calls me "CRAZY". This may have been a bad idea. It seemed brilliant when I created it.
  • I was sweaty
  • I was hot
  • I was burnt..Its hard to tell a Mexican to put Sunscreen on...The Irish makes me stubburn!
  • My stomach was angry at me for eating so much at Panera's.
  • I was out of water
I thought Andy was going to bring me water.
I text him "Seriously, I thought you were bringing me water..."
He responded very quick "Where r u?"
I gave him my location, and he replied a few minutes later "Your almost home now, McDonalds?"
HE KNEW BETTER...It was just  a couple minutes till I saw him coming down Holly rd.
Andy had ice cold water and a bottle of water both for me.
"Nita,you wanna get in??" It was soo tempting. I wanted to jump in and curl up and die.
The cemetery is breathtaking.

As he pulled away, I started to cry in my head. My skin smelled like burning flesh mixed with apocalyptic sweat.

I had to just Grit it out. Not even my Playlist was going to save me now.
I finished, my last couple miles were UGLY. But I didn't QUIT.

I am not a masochist. Pain is important though. You will learn more about what you are made of if you can get through pain.
Pain will teach you, Pain will train you and you will thank her later.
You will discover characteristic traits you never knew you had when you decide to make friends with what you think is the ENEMY.
You will discover how much more you have, how much more you can take and how much more you can Give.

Who out there is training for a Spring Marathon?


Friday, May 1, 2015

Its not just a SMILE.

In the last month my father in law and a dear friend from church, Steve have both had knee replacements.
I have been so encouraged by both of them in their journey to recovery. To me a smile speaks volumes.
Steve came in my salon today for me to cut his hair. Let me tell you, he has A HEAD of HAIR.
But he came in with this contagious smile. He has this soft spoken voice with a little southern accent.
Between his kind voice and blue eyes, you feel so comfortable you could share your deepest secrets. It is like a truth serum. The kind of attention that after you have "vomit of the mouth"  you are left thinking "OH my goodness, I can't believe I confessed that!"
Steve is a very Godly man, non judgmental and kind. Not your average Christian. No, Steve and his wife Gay, are definitely above average.
After he left, I had a few minutes to think. To think about who I am.

I am far from perfect, as a mother, as a wife and as a Christian.
I let you down and I let myself down.
But I get back up, wipe it off and try again.
I will forgive you and I forgive myself.

I smile, it hides my confusion, my hurts and my broken heart.
I look to you for a smile, your smile delights me, encourages me, edifies me, reassures me and heals me.
Don't mistake my goofy, giggly, flighty and flirty character for naïve, dumb or being clueless.
I am very very aware.
I process every look, every word, and every body movement, I just don't give you the satisfaction of knowing you are hurting me.

But that smile, those kind words, that look that shows love, it is the veil that covers all.
It is that smile that says, I am not dissecting your candor, I love you..for YOU.

Husky Road Runners, great group to encourage running I am part of.

Running the Numbers:
April total miles Ran: 266
This weeks total miles: 60
Long Run: Thursday, 22 miles with Danielle, Jama, and Lacey. These girls were incredible. Our route Lacey and Danielle chose, Huron Valley Trail.
Our average pace: 9:14
LONG RUN Ladies!
Thursday was our 1st XC meet I help coach. I had no idea how I was going to feel running around the course after them. As soon as the GO sounded, I was running. Like a lunatic, I chased those kids screaming "YOU RUN, Turn them OVER, GO GO!"
"NO Regrets, Dig in, Strong mind, Strong BODY!" I ran from the hills to the woods screaming, I raced down Husky Hwy right next to them shouting till my voice cracked. Tears welled in my eyes watching the kids see the FINISH and dig just a little bit deeper to the finish.
I ran like I was floating on air to the finish, to pick them up as they fell, to hold them as they cried, and to congratulate them on their victories.
There is nothing like watching others be victorious, to see others work hard and be champions in their challenges.
Alec, Ran great, Proud mama Proud coach.

Whether you are healing from knee surgery, or crossing the Finish line in your own goals, you just never quit, keep smiling and know...You never know who you are inspiring, who you are encouraging or who you are motivating.