"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, August 31, 2015

New Miles, New Smiles

"In an Ultra you should eat like a horse, drink like a fish, and run like a turtle."
I have a good friend who is honest and forthright with me. Qualities I LOVE. After reading my post yesterday she sent this question to me today.

"Why are you running an Ultra? Don't assume you know why I am asking. But, ask yourself deep down, why?"
I had a busy morning and afternoon. I had plenty of time to think about it and eventually respond.

I woke up at 5:30am to run 16 miles with Mary Ann. The temps were perfect, I  just needed my attitude to be in the same alignment.
We ran for about 45 minutes in the dark. It was exhilarating. It was also our slowest miles! The branches cracked, the bushes whispered and the dew made you feel like you were in an Alfred Hitchcock film. Every so often you would hear a crow release a creepy noise that made you want to run faster and look behind you.
It was hard to tell if I was struggling, Mary Ann and I were working hard at solving the worlds problems and inhaling a lot of air.

My miles were not where they should have been the last couple days. Sunday 18 and today 16. I should have been in the 20 digits. I am not fretting too much about it. I whined enough yesterday, today is a new day.

Every second I was inside myself, the question ruminated in my mind. I had some obvious answers and I had some questions for myself.
When I had some free time to respond my fingers flowed with words to her question.
"You know like days in the week, some runs are better than others. Most of my runs are fulfilling and enjoyable. The people I run with are a big love for me. Even when I twisted my ankle and stubbed my toes the outcome is usually positive. But..its so mental. Last week I had a lot of emotions, my body was sore, my heart was broken from our sudden loss, and my mind began to turn. I wasn't sleeping, I stepped back from running and just that quick, voices began turning like a bad record.
I had a couple snotty comments made tongue and cheek last week in regards to my running and that didn't help.
Haters hate.
But today was a new day. Temps were down, my frown was upside down and I decided I needed to get a good attitude. I didn't like the old one!
I finished 16 miles today with Mary Ann. We ran slower, did walk breaks and even walked the hills. Yes, I felt the accumulation of back to back runs, but it was the way I was supposed to feel. I like the ultra running because of days like today. I can stop and take a picture, I can walk, I can enjoy the turkeys crossing the road, I am not just running, I am soaking up the adventure in it."
We chatted a bit more, she encouraged me and reminded me to "forget the rest of the worlds opinion."
I was reminded today how grateful I am for the friends I am encircled around. They are truly like family to me. My running friends are such a blessing to me. You see when running an Ultra you are running a lot more miles, that means you get to run ALOT more with them!
Andy and I went to the funeral today of my good friend Lisa's mother in law. Andy grew up with so many of the people that attended. From teachers, to pastors, to students, it was like a reunion.
We sat back in the overflow room. I could barely walk. I left the comfort of my Hokas only to squeeze my blistered toes in 3 inch heels.
As we sat down this slender man about our age, bent down and spoke to us. As he whispered I strained my ear to hear. "...I run Ironmans...I follow you on Facebook and read your blog....I have always wanted to run Western states...Don't quit writing it inspires ...." Billy Hampton, Andy said his name was.
I was shocked that I could inspire a Triathlete. Or my writing, I always wonder who reads my writing with a multitude of errors.
We are in a society we don't give compliments or edify very much. But Billy went out of his way to edify me. It was so sweet.
Granted Andy made fun of me all day. But I can handle Andy.
Less than 2 WEEKS!! Woodstock 50m is fast approaching. I am gonna try and get a 30 miler in on Wednesday. Prayers Welcomed!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rid me of Myself

"My grace is sufficient for you, for MY POWER is made perfect in Weakness."
I have days when I feel so inadequate. Days when insecurity takes root in my mind. The ball begins to roll, growing into a monster of emotions. From inadequacy to insecurity, then I feel fear rise and turn into anxiety. The monster grows, clouding out my hope and faith not just in myself but in God.
My 50 mile race is fast approaching. I ran 73 miles the week of the Crim. I raced the Crim, a very challenging 10 mile course only to add on the 8K after.  I ran 20 miles with a group of beastly trail runners, making that a 30 miles run.  
My body got trashed. My mind felt confident, until my body wasn't recovering from the abusive week of running.
I did everything I could think of, trying to recover my broken body. I iced, rolled, stretched, took Epson salt baths, watched my diet closely and prayed.
Maybe I didn't pray hard enough.
Maybe I didn't pray right.
Maybe I didn't ask others to pray for me.
No one is going to want to pray for me. There are bigger things out there then Anita running 50 miles. No one cares.
Insecurity. Heart ache. Confusion.
I needed to run to RID ME OF MYSELF.
The voices are so loud. "But God, You care, You love me, You have great and mighty things for me...Right?"
"God, I know running isn't going to solve the worlds problems, or it isn't going to feed the hungry, its not going to impact anyone in a life changing way...but its special to me...And God I JUST can't do it with out YOU, and I just do not WANT to do it without you next to me."
That terrible insecure moment when you wonder if God is listening or if he has bigger things to move on to.
I mean RUNNING? Does he really care? Are you out there Lord?
My ankle got beat up in the trails, I tripped on this root that I beleive came up from Hell and tried to bring me down with it. I lost a toenail and my toe is black. Every muscle screamed for days at me. And sleep?! I didn't sleep for 4 days.
I brought my weakened body to rest. I took my miles down and 2 days off this week.
WEAK. My body and my mind felt confused and WEAK.
20 miles was my training run for the today. I had circumstances that took precedence over my run. I didnt know how I was going to pull any miles off in the heat anyway.
And my body? How was it going to feel? Did it recover?
I never quit today, but I wanted to quit a thousand times. The sweat was stinging my eyes, the heat was scorching my skin. And I was tired.  The voices in my head were arguing with each other, I felt like I was losing. Losing the battle.
With 4 miles in we were totally drenched in sweat, How was I going to make it another 14-16 miles. I felt so defeated.
Jama, my running partner shared my misery. Together, we just put one foot in front of each other.
I don't know what was more work, trying to drown out the chatter in my head or continue to run.

Sometimes we look at our circumstances and think;
 "How am I going to get through this?"
"I am so broken, I am so beat up, I just cant see the end of it all."
"Does it matter? What's the point?"
"HELLO?? God Are YOU out There, This is Anita...Remember me?"

Being WEAK isn't so bad. It is a reminder that I am HUMAN. I am not some super hero. It is the perfect reminder of who I am NOT and who HE is.
After I ran, I had to attend a showing. A dear friend of mine, Lisa lost her mother in law at 65. So young.
As I was leaving Coats Funeral home, a woman caught my eye. I barely know her but I stopped, turned and gave her a hug. We shared a few words and she finished our brief conversation with "...You inspire me.."

She had no idea how uninspiring I felt this week. I felt weak, insecure, inadequate... But then God showed up again in a great and mighty way. His POWER, gave me the strength to NOT quit. His POWER gave me confidence, gave me comfort and gave me security through her words. He spoke through someone else to remind me of His Power.
Weakness is not just a physical condition, Mental weakness breeds and reigns havoc.
Her words put a lump in my throat. Even in my Weakness HIS power is PERFECT.

Rid me of myself
Because I Belong to YOU.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Suck It Up Buttercup: Crim 2015

I took the day off work, to RUN. Makes perfect sense, right?
Not just any run, THE CRIM. It is a very popular race in Flint and it is my favorite.

The Plan: To Pace Joan at a sub 8. I was trying to get her between a 7:45-8/mi.
The Conflict:
  •  NOT to INJURE MYSELF for training. I still have a 32 mile run in a couple days. Trying so hard to not be stupid. Marry myself to the watch, pay close attention to my body and LISTEN to it. And again, don't be STUPID. I am really good at that.
  • This summer I did a weekly running club prepping the kids to run the 8K at the Crim. I really wanted to be there with them. I not only wanted to see their victory but I also felt responsible to make sure they all found their parents afterward.
Mom and dad showed up like clockwork, 6:30am. We had a couple extra kids with us. My car seats 7, we fit 8!

Cloud cover and 65' degrees gave a very welcoming Crim Day.
Austin brought his friend Nick and Alec brought his friend Gauge. Gauge was now a 51 year old man! My friend Claudia gave me her hubbies bib because he couldn't run.

We parked by the YMCA, this was closer for my parents to walk. It was great, We must remember this for next year.
My coffee kicked in and I had to hit the bathrooms. The bus station had public restrooms with low lines. Only I didn't see the 15 ladies INSIDE the bathroom.
By the time I did my business, gagged down the smell of someone elses's business and found Andy, he looked irritated. I just do what I do best, put on my big smile, say "Sorry, I had no idea" and move along!
We located Joan and her family about 20 minutes before the starting line. We gathered together to pray. I love this part. Knowing God is hearing us and with us gives me so much comfort. Running one step without seeking him just doesn't make sense. It is like trying to start your car with no keys. I work better seeking him.

Joan and I squeezed our 5' frames in between the bars to our B Corral.
I didn't feel nervous, I was anxious, Lets get this  show on the road.

At 8:05 we crossed the starting line. I noticed the 8/mi pacer, "Joan, we need to be in front of them."
I didn't think closing that 75 foot gap was going to be as difficult as it was. It took over 3 miles to catch up to them. They were clearly NOT running on pace. I knew how wiped  out I was, I wondered how they must be feeling.
We were running next to this Mexican looking guy with bright yellow high socks. He was laughing and cutting up with us. I nicknamed him "Smiley". He smiley, I want to see that smile through the Bradleys!"

I was still trying to catch my breath as we hit the Bradley hills at mile 4/5. Desperately trying to locate some energy, I coaxed the guy next to me to not let me pass him.  Well, he hung on and after that 3rd hill, he never looked back!
I did hear a voice to my right, It was Ken H. He spewed a couple jokes then dropped back.

And Smiley, he too was no where to find.

It took 6 miles to come into myself. I could breath, think and enjoy the Crim for all it was.
I had been letting Joan take the lead. A few times I had to remind her to bring it down.
It was at the 6 mile mark she was starting to feel it. She was reminding me to bring it down. We were walking the water stations. I kept reminding Joan how great she was doing. She was bound to have a Personal Record for the Crim (PR).

As mile 7 approached, I saw a  familiar pair of socks, It was SMILEY. "SMILEY! Come on, stay with us!"
He did. I could tell he was toast. He was probably mad at me for making him pick it back up. "Smiley, are you are boxer?" He had a boxer body. "NO, I'm a RUNNER." He replied winded. I loved the way he said that, "NO, I'm a RUNNER." Right on!
He stayed with us. There was a girl to Joans right who was struggling. She was beautiful, she was black, tall and strong. I drew her in trying to encourage her as well.

At mile 8, I saw Kris K. She is a local runner. Running up to her I said "HI Kris". She passed me a smile, but you could see the strain in it. I actually felt bad passing her. I wanted to string her along with us, but I also didn't want her to beat me. She beat me at the last race, Wings of Mercy 5K. So opted to encourage her instead of invite her.

We were all still hanging on at mile 9. All Joan and I had to do was maintain. Joan was killing it.
"Two more lights, then turn and your on the bricks to the FINISH!" one of the volunteers cheered.
I looked up and started counting them.
I assessed my body and began making my plan for the FINISH.

The final turn was behind us. The girl picked it up and headed in. Smiley followed suit in the excitement. Joan too began to turn it over. "Joan, it is a lot farther down there than it looks, settle here a bit more."
There is something magical when your shoes hit the bricks. You can not be tamed. Joan and I went after it.
Smiley should have stayed back with us. He slowed up, using too much energy too fast. I picked it up one more gear and passed him right before the FINISH.
My 10th Crim, My first CRIM I ran a 9:09

I was able to plant a smile right before I thought I was going to PUKE. I swallowed it down and turned around to get Joan. Joan hugged me and I could tell I was holding her up. She ROCKED it.
Joan knocked 6 minutes off her time.
And the guy that passed us up the Bradleys..he was there at the FINISH line holding up his hand for a fist pump!
Laughing in Joans victory we filled our arms up with post race food and beverages, apples, bananas, popsicles, chocolate milk and whatever else they were offering.
Javon, her fiancé was on the sidelines. "Andy is at the starting line for Alecs race."
OH CRAP. I took off, I had to get to the starting line.

This summer I did a running club and trained the kids all summer to run the 8K at the Crim,I had to be there.
I could hear the speaker doing the count down. He was moving the runners forward. "1 minute until start!"
Where was Andy? I was looking everywhere. I spotted Austin, there was Andy taking pictures of Alec with his friends. I came up behind Andy. I startled him. I dropped all my food at Andys feet and started ripping off my timing tag off the back of my bib. "I am going to run with them."
Andy gave me that half crazed face "What, Your going to do what?"

With my popscicle still in my hands, I was squeezing myself between the bars again!
Then I got the SAME look from Alec!
It was too late to think about turning back, we were running across the starting mats.

A grave MISTAKE. At mile 1.2, I was barely hanging with the kids. "Anita, TURN back NOW!"
"NO, You have got to run with the kids."
"You can NOT maintain this 8/mi pace, you will surely die."
"NO, I know that a couple of the kids will drop back, I can't loose them, they shouldn't  be out here alone with all these people."
I argued this for over 2 miles. At that point I had to stick it out.
So I waited for a couple of the kids to drop back and they DID!

"I have a side stitch.."
I gently replied,"Oh, do you need to walk!" Say YES,SAY YES...
A few minutes later, "Can we have a walk break, my stomach hurts?" For SURE!
It went like that all the way to the FINISH. My legs were JELLO, my body was fatigued and the sun showed up blazing on me.
BUT I FINISHED! And I had the kids in check up against thousands of runners.
Even though I was hurting really bad, it was WORTH it to be able to locate and find the kids. Being part of their victory was like part of mine as well.

THIS year was my 10th CRIM. And it was perfect. Victory is not just a pace, or a place in a race. Victory is sharing someone else's victory, helping others in their successes. I love helping others achieve their Victory. It is undeniably full of AWESOMENESS.
Tim Hortons at the FINISH line, Simply the BEST!

  • 16 miles on Saturday.
  • 3 miles on Sunday to try and "Shake it out".
  • 2 nights of complete crap for sleep and I had to get up to meet Ken H for my long run this morning.
  • My legs have been restless, my body feels overheated, I am kicking the covers off, tossing and turning. Andy is very patient. I wish I was.
  • I ran 10 with Ken H.
  • I Met Claudia at 8:50 and headed to Holdridge trails to meet a group of runners.
  • My legs were so sore. I had NO idea how I going to pullout 20 miles on trails. I was RUNNING on a prayer. LITERALLY.
  • I have a lot of people praying for me.
Me, Paula, Matt and Ken, Missing is Claudia

I just ran one mile at a time. Prepared to bail at any mile. I stayed back. Listened more than I spoke. I know, hard to believe. I was conserving as much energy as I could. Besides, I was afraid if I spoke it would be about all the pain I was in. I thought I better just keep my mouth shut.
I twisted my ankle, like a hundred times. Hardly graceful like Paula in front of me. She just danced around the roots, rocks and pickers. I was behind getting slapped in the face with tree branches, falling over roots, tripping in crevices and trying so hard to hang with the big dogs!

But I finished, as UGLY as it was, I Finished. The only thing cute were my New Hokas. There is NO returning them, they are totally BROKE IN! But even after 30 miles in them they looked better than I did!

Less than 3 weeks. Please keep me in prayer. I need to stay healthy. Running on prayers. Asking God to protect me and keep my strong.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The WINNER is...

I thought I was typing for the last 2 minutes and looked up only to see a BLANK screen!
I am getting tired but not sleepy if that makes sense. I worked on my CRIM RECAP for an hour and LOST EVERYTHING!
So before I turn into UGLY and say words that I try very hard to not say I am pulling the cord!

BUT BEFORE I DO, I want to CONGRATULATE SAMANTHA for winning the CONTEST! She Guessed 1:16 for my CRIM time and I RAN 1:17 and some change.  Check out her running blog, I run these towns.

I am running my LONG run in the morning, Wish me LUCK! I am still super sore!
Could seriously use some prayers!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Crim Contest!

One of my favorite races.

My knee is aggravated. I am not sure why it wouldn't be. I mean like 3 weeks in a row that I have ran a marathon plus. Almost 70 mile run weeks. I need a prayer!

Seriously, PRAYER. I brought my miles WAY down the last 2 days. I have brought my pace down as well.
So I guess we shall see.

So here's the game. CLOSEST to the hole for the CRIM. If you can guess closest to my race time I will send you out a fun care package!
Share in my comments below or share on my Facebook page. Running Against the ODds.

I am heading to the Expo to pick up my bib tomorrow night. So I am going to get some goodies for the WINNER!

To help you guess:
  • I am NOT racing. I am way to nervous to injure myself more.
  • I would be the biggest loser if I raced. I am NOT in Race Place!
Again, Asking for prayers. Less than 4 weeks out from my Ultra. I believe God can heal. But I also am desperately seeking prayer.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Catch a train ride

Is it gonna rain or not going to rain. That is the question!
If you are going to run you just need to get out there and run. You can not take the weather at its word or you may never get your laces tied.
I ran in the afternoon. One thing is a certain, it was HOT.
There are runs that I just go out for the love of running.

I managed to get my son to run a mile with me! A whole whopping mile. I secretly thought I may be able to talk him into more. He didn't run even a step more than a mile.
I defined my run a FUN RUN. Another easy peasey run. It was scorching out, the heat alone was going to be challenging enough to get my 5 miles in.
Running doesn't have to always be so serious. Married to your watch, beating your self up over your pace, struggling to maintain your  training miles is fine, but can lead to burn out.
When training for a specific race discipline and commitment is vital. But every once in a while you have got to smile, wave and daydream.

Todays goal was 5 miles. No pace, no race. It was 91 degrees. The goal was to be that nerdy local. One with a big cheesy smile on her face. I was that, I even made it a point to WAVE to at least 10 people. The town I live in is pretty small, making my goals more achievable than a sub 8 pace! And less painful.
My run was enjoyable until about mile 3! The permagrin was making me sweat! I got stopped my a train and seriously questioned jumping on it. It is a good thing no one was with me, I think I would have convinced them to try it with me. The train was actually going about my run pace! NO LIE. It wouldn't have taken much coaxing. I actually am disappointed I didn't do it. I was concerned I would be breaking the law and end up in jail. Can you only imagine?! Is there a LAW for train jumping?

Here is my Running Partner for the week...Jessica!
  • Jessica and I know each other from both church and we used to work together.
  • I enjoyed running last year with her. She ran the Crim and will be out there again.
  • Jessica is a incredible mommy.
  • Longest Run-30 miles
  • Hardest run-17miler
  • Total miles:68
My left knee is being a bit bothersome. I think I will be keeping my miles down. The Crim is Saturday. I WILL NOT BE RACING IT. I will be running it though! Stay tuned. Tomorrow I will Post a contest.
Im going to finish off the rest of the chocolate Kay gave me from Vienna. It is AMAZING!

Monday, August 17, 2015

From Strength to Strength

As I read my devotional, then opened my bible, the word STRENGTH kept appearing.
6AM Buckhorn Lk Rd.

Today, I didn't feel very strong. I ran 30 miles yesterday and walked another 2 miles with mom last night.  My training schedule had me running another 16 miles today. When you are training for an ultra, the training has you running back to back long runs. It is brutal. However, I got a message from Jama to see if I would like to join her and Mary Ann for their long run.
At least I didn't have to run it alone!

I didn't sleep real good, not too bad but not good. I was anxious to get out of bed at 5:15am to meet the girls at 6am.
I had all my stuff laid out.
My body was a little confused when I laced up my shoes. I rolled and stretched only to discover my legs were not too forgiving.

Jama and Mary Ann picked the route. It was as awful as it was magnificent.
AWEFUL: Infested with blood sucking, flesh eating black flies. I killed 12 that I counted. SMACK, GRAB, ROLL, FLICK!
And the HILLS, NEVER ending, it was like we just kept revisiting them. SO many ruthless, painstaking, quad burning hills.
MAGNIFICENT: GODS Masterpiece. The landscape was designed to perfection. Greenery everywhere, Swamps and ponds on both sides sprinkled with wild flowers in purple, yellow and white.  Weeping willows looming over the roads with pussy willows and tall grasses everywhere. The sun came up over the trees and it was breath taking. The sky was painted in bright pink and purples.

With only 3 miles on my Garmin I questioned how I was going to finish the next 13 miles. I felt so weak. I trailed behind Jama and Maryann. I wondered if they would notice if I disappeared and went back home.

As we ran, the beauty of Gods workmanship was like a canopy covering us. We were in the shadows of the trees. We were protected from the suns brilliance. We could see her power yet we were able to escape her fiery rays.

There was STRENGTH in the thought of knowing God was taking care of me. Protecting me.

PSALM 84:5 "How blessed is the man whose Strength is in You.."
PSALM 84:7 "They go from STRENGTH to STRENGTH.."
Mary ANN and Jama jumped in...I was a tad more cautious


At the ending miles of our run we noticed another crazy runner on the opposite side of the street. I recognized her, it was Jennifer. I just met her a couple weeks ago. She joined us. The more miles we incurred the hotter it was getting. We hit the local lake at mile 15 and jumped in. It was so refreshing. Running that last mile back wasn't too bad. Even though we were wet, it didn't feel too terrible. After all, I had a lot more complaints. Like every muscle in my body was complaining, individually.
Best part of Michigan, there is a lake almost anywhere you can jump into on a 17 mile run!

The Last Mile, my body revolted against me. My sugar dropped, I got dizzy and I started dry heaving, I was so embarrassed. The girls stayed by me and we walked the last mile in. We actually over calculated our 16 miler into 17.
Jama, Jennifer, Mary Ann and I...If you can tell me WHO the GUY is with the dog, I will SEND you a CARE PACKAGE!

My last verse from my reading today really wrapped everything together for me.

Psalm 84:11 "For the Lord God is a Sun and a Shield: The Lords gives grace and glory: No good thing does he withhold form those who walk uprightly."
Sun and Shield, Today it was HOT. It was full sun this morning when we ran. But God no only provided provisions he also provided protection. I am reminded today that he gives me STRENGTH to STRENGTH and takes care of me every mile I go.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

30 miles of thoughts, ideas and issues

After stretching,rolling, icing, Epson salt bath, trying to nap, praying, eating, hydrating and walking I feel pretty good to run another 16 miles tomorrow. I think.
My brain is still a little sore from hanging out with myself so long.

I thought it would be fun to go through a  few thoughts I had run through my mind over 30 miles.
Its crazy the things you think about. Lacey and I laughed at how crazy our thoughts are and how we converse back and forth with them, like a third party, or a split personality, or two. sometimes I think there is a party of personalities in my head. Its like a debate club, or a insane asylum even better.
Ken added 5 miles, walk breaks and easy does it.

  1. Dear God.....
  2. "Lets get this show on the road, I have over 5 hours of running."
  3. "Its 6AM, why is it so stinking hot, this is not a good sign, think positive, think positive."
  4. "Where are we at? Don't look at your watch, just run."
  5. "DEER! There is another Deer! AWE! OH and another!"
  6. "Should I walk the hills, Nah, get over it, just take it slow."
  7. "UGH,Maybe I shouldn't have ate that last night.."
  8. "Nasty, is that a sweat stash? Yep, great"
  9. "Andys Garmin rocks, Hmm, I wonder is he would notice if it came up missing?"
  10. "Slow down sister, you have a long way to go."
  11. "WALK, there's a HILL, I am walking that beast."
  12. "My foots hurting, and my knee, or is that my quad, or maybe my quad and my knee!"
  13. "Crap, I am running out of water, I gotta pee, Mcdonalds, just sneak in, they wont notice."
  14. "YUP, that's FOR SURE my FOOT, these shoes have got to GO."
  15. "Say goodbye to your running partner, turn up the music and suck it up."
  16. "I hope my water I stashed melted, OH YEAH, ice cold water. Thank YOU Lord."
  17. "Heading home with my jacked up foot and sweatfest body. I have soaked through everything."
  18. "Andys HOME! YEAH! He hasn't left for church yet. Andy looked frightened when I started him, do I look that bad?"
  19. "6 minutes, I only lost 6 minutes changing shoes and eating the peanut butter roll up Andy made me. AWE, he Loves me." Smiling
  20. I hope no one sees me half naked from church, especially because I am playing hookie. Anita, you never play hookie, its Ok, Is it OK? I am sure it'll just give people something to talk about, Like 'There's Anita, with her Idol worship of running, putting her running before God.' Oh well, God knows my heart and thoughts."  I thought about this too long.
  21. "Where is Lacey? I am running pretty good, my ailments went away and I feel pretty good."
  22. Phone ringing. "Its MEGAN, She LOVES me, she is checking on me. AWE! Love tank is full again."
  23. "Its so hot, I think I am withering away, Where is Lacey? She should be here any minute."
  24. "BEEP BEEP! ITS LACEY! I want to run into her arms but I smelled so BAD." I chose to pee behind her van, she brought me toilet paper! I was cracking up!
  25. "Lacey, its so HOT." She came with a cooler with ice and cold cloths. And ice water and a banana. Seriously, this girl is the best, so thoughtful.
  26. It was Aunt Lois's birthday, I told Lacey, I was trying to think of her in that last few miles of total SUCK. She is a Cancer survivor. Inspiration.
  27. "I'm falling apart, total sun, another hill, Im walking, I don't care, I may never run again."
  28. "2 miles, I cant feel my legs, legit, they are numb, but my whole body hurts, how is that possible?"
  29. "Last Mile." Lacey was coaxing me to keep going, The last quarter mile I saw the end. "Go ANITA, come on, pick it up and turn it over."
  30. "DONE, Thank YOU LORD, thank YOU for giving me this victory."
I ran the first 15 with Ken. He was running like a beast. I had to keep asking him to bring it down. We finished a little after 8am. I had some encouraging messages. Andy was incredible making me food and he even found me on Fish Lake road and brought me water.  He has really been awesome the last few weeks supporting me. I take back everything I have ever said!
Andy brought me home my favorite salad from Paneras.
The smile for Lacey.

Now, I am anxious to see how my body does for another 16 miles tomorrow. Prayers!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fear keeps you just comfortable.

Injury gives place to FEAR.
Fear keeps you in a safe place, a comfortable pace.

With the Woodstock Ultra just a few weeks away I would say that I have done very good at getting my long runs in.

Even though I have ran another ultra the only plan I use is the same one I use for everything.
The "I needa Anita run"

I was asked today "How do you feel about your training?"
It made me think.
Well, I am sore, tired and crabby, therefore I think I am right on track.

But I replied also " I think I am where I want to be, I just want to make sure WHERE I WANT to be is WHERE I SHOULD BE!"

So I am going to try something a bit different on my next long run. I am going to try and run 15 miles with no walking.
Last week, when I ran my back to back long run I had an average pace of 10:45. Then my 14 miler that proceeded the 28 miler I tried to maintain a 9m/m with no walking. And I did.

But speed work, none for over 12 weeks! I have been afraid that I would hurt myself, get injured or have a crappy run.
With NO runs under a sub 8 minute pace I thought I might try to pick it up a little bit. Thursdays I have running club with the kids at 8:30am. We run between 5-6 miles. But I get up at 6am to try to get some extra miles in solo.

I had a full plate of SUCK and no coffee to wash it down. I was trying to run 5 miles with an average pace of sub 8.
I thought I was going to DIE at mile 2. Every 3 or 4 minutes I tried to think of another plan to get out of hurting to bad. My body was in absolute SHOCK. I have trained so long for endurance not speed that I had forgot how bad it felt.
Mile 1 9:14
Mile 2 7:44
Mile 3 7:21
Mile 4 7:23
Mile 5 7:23
Average 7:49
As I approached mile 4, I continued to think of an exit plan. My home stretch is up hill. I knew it was going to hurt worse that even running 28 miles.
The pain circulated from my lungs to my legs. My abs were even hurting. I thought I might slip on the loose gravel and fall on my face. I tried to break it down into minutes. Like you would do it you were in a spin class. The instructor barks "UP UP turn up your gears, 4 minutes,UP!"
Anita barks "DEEP BREATH, UP UP, come on, 4 minutes, up!"

As I finished my 5 miler, I thought for sure I was going to PUKE. My legs were shaking, my stomach was hurting and I was STOKED. I did it. As much as it hurt, it was worth it.

We can add to todays gut wrenching, lung sucking run another 5 miles of recovery with the running club. I  enjoyed the trails with the kids laughing at a much slower pace.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What Piece of WISDOM would you share?

I posted this question on my FB page Running against the OdDs. I was so thankful to those that took the time and shared their answers. I enjoyed reading these little nuggets of wisdom. People always like to go to the COMMENT section. So do I.


I know each of these runners. Some not so well, but there is a connection to each.

Kris Taubitz Stay balanced (running, strength training and cross training with other aerobic activities)~signed an injured runner making her come back...the smart way (and smart is NOT always easy for runners)
  • Kris is a running partner of a lady I go to church with. Rachel Dahlin. I have never actually ran with Kris but we have a love for Christ and running. With these 2 commonalities I almost feel like we know each other more than we do. I have Ran into Kris once running and once at Target!
    Kris and Rachel

Erin Atkins Find good running partners! My favorite quote: "if you want to fast, run alone, if you want to go far, run together"!
Erin is in the middle!

  • Met her a couple years ago in a running club. Our kids go to the same school. Great smile, great gal. She is always trying to get her miles in!

Rachel Karwoski Dahlin ^^^^ditto that! ~signed previously injured runner
  • Knew her parents before her. Her parents are greeters at our church. They were always sharing Rachels and Kris's running adventures with me. I have now had the privilege of running with her a few times.
Sue Barnes Don't quit.

  • Sue is a rocking cheerleader, runner, coach and motivator amongst many other titles. I met and worked with Sue when I direct "Run for a Remedy 5K". She worked for the CRIM at that time and now works with the Brooksie Way. She is AWESOME! 
Sarah Petzold Fox Don't compare yourself to other runners, your on your own journey!
  • Sarah is a newer runner making great strides. I get so excited seeing her training and working so hard at her goals. I know Sarah from church. She has been working really hard and this year will be her first CRIM!!
What Wisdom do you have? I could use some ULTRA Wisdom tips!
1.What kind of trail shoes do you wear and why? Do you wear trail shoes or just use your road shoes?
2. Do you run with a Camelback? What do you do on runs over 25 miles?
3. What Nutrition do you take on those 4+ hour runs?
That's off the top of my head!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Use your time Wisely

"Nita, you know for the last few nights I keep having the same dream."
Laying next to Andy with his back to me I ask "Yeah, what is that?"
I was not prepared for his soft answer.
It was almost a whisper, mumbled, it instantly tore my heart wide open.
"I see Ariel, she is sitting on a chair, it is summer, she is combing her hair..."
He gurgles, and stutters.
Even lower, I can barley make out his words..."This is why...
Holding my tears from bursting I swallow hard and reply.
"Andy, don't you think of her.."
"No, this is why." he rolled tighter in a ball, inverted, hidden into himself.
There was nothing left to keep my emotions chained down.
I rolled over, crawled inside myself and wept silently. It hurt. "GOD, life isn't any better. Things haven't moved forward. The deep hole hasn't filled in. God, help me. I miss her so bad. I am so incomplete with out her. I type these words and am overcome. My throat is closing up. My cheeks are flooded.
In the shadow lands I grieve, It hurts everyday. Every moment. Secluded. Alone in my sadness.
Andy lays next to me and even grieves alone, afraid to feel the power of loss. Afraid to feel the pain.
Because it HURTS SO DAMN bad, so bad.

Back to Back long runs. OUCH.
I woke up and my legs were still in working order. "YES!

I was supposed to meet Claudia for our run. It was raining off and on. So much so that I cancelled, afraid that I was not going to get my full 14 miles in.
I couldn't afford to not get this long run in. The whole thing.

I headed to Genesys, the athletic club I am a member of. I should have froze my membership but on a day like this, it was worth every penny lost.
THE PLAN: 5 miles on the track, 5 miles on the TM, then follow it up with 5 back on the track.
It didn't go that way.
I found myself making secret running partners with everyone. But one by one they kept chipping off. I was trying to maintain a 9/m. My body was sore, but I felt good. I thought I would be walking after that 28 miler yesterday.
I was running SOME of my miles in the 8's. I just couldn't figure out how my body was doing it. I thought I would be crawling, crying and complaining. especially over 50 times around the stuffy hot track.

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16

This was my morning scripture. Today, I was reminded how little time we really have. How valuable it is. Even in my running. I had to be wise in the way I arranged my runs knowing that the weather had potential to hijack my miles.
Its about being flexible and having a good attitude to accept change. You have to be an overcomer. Overcoming your thoughts that want to hold you back. Stay focused. Keep your head up and remember you can't get time back. Use it wisely.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

When you Run out of Juice.

The big question before starting my 5 hour run WASN'T if I was going to finish. NO, it was to see if my Garmin would hold charge.

At mile 5, I felt confident that I was going to finish. It might take me all night but what was the hurry?

I was on my way to Rachel's house. She was going to refill my water and run part of my journey with me.
I loved the idea that I had something to break up my run. I would be running 8 miles solo by the time that I arrived at her house.

Due to the heat I was half naked. I was grateful for the slight breeze and cloud cover. It was not enough to prevent me from sweating and smelling.
I was embarrassed by my appearance when I arrived at Rachel's house. Her husband was outside mowing the lawn and her kids were hanging out in the front yard. I was dripping in sweat and barely clothed.
Rachel was ready to roll. I noticed that she had a Camelback on. Camelbacks were our topic of conversation at breakfast after church.
"Rachel, could I try and run a few miles carrying your Camelback?" I wanted to see if it was something that I could run with.

Almost 4 miles into our run I had to pee. I was trying to be conscious about drinking water. If I felt like peeing this was a GOOD thing.
We found an abandoned house, NO I didn't go in, I did however water their landscape. Rachel pointed out that I was starting to chafe front the Camelback. I gave it a valiant effort. Removing the weight from my frame made me feel foot loose and fancy.

We saw a couple runners out there. We both agreed you would have to be pretty serious to be running in the high heat. Coach Ejack from Holly High was running by Addis Rd. As I smiled and said "HI" to him I noticed a vary familiar car coming in my direction. It was MINE!
It was ANDY! He used "FIND my PHONE" on our Iphones and brought me out water. COLD water and ICE!
I noticed a "Brooks" running shoe box sitting on the front seat. "Hmm" I thought.
I dropped Rachel off back home at my mile 18. Her mile 10.

I headed just up the road to the Veterans Cemetery to meet LACEY! Lacey came out on her bike. I laughed so much with her I had to hold myself. She got me so tickled I choked. I think I was just so hot and tired I couldn't swallow. I choked on my water with Rachel too.

Jeesh, my sweat collected the dust from the dirt roads. My skin was all gritty and nasty. I smelled like butt. The sprinklers were on at the cemetery. "Lacey, I think I am going to run through them. And just after I said that, they turned OFF! But another zone turned on and we quickly headed there before it too turned off.
The sun was beating on us. I felt like a vampire. The sun just sucked the life right out of me. I noticed a little wave from a red jeep coming by us, it was my sweet friend Paula. A smile is so pleasant. I looked like vomit and smelled like it too, however, had enough energy to smile and wave back.
BEEP BEEP.. We both turned around at this lunatic honking at us. I saw this hand fist pumping in the air and knew it was my family. "Those Crazy Harless's." I giggled to Lacey. They came my way to bring us more to drink and check on us. I gotta say, Andy got major brownie points, especially after I had JUST told Lacey how Andy hasn't been real supportive. I was CHOKING on my words!
I was so overcome with love.

A few miles later, I received a text from ALEC. "Lacey, Lacey, You gotta see this!"

Those Running shoes...He DID it, SO proud of the Hubby!

It was hard to believe that I was at almost 26 miles. It was my best training run yet for my Ultra training. The support and motivation fueled me. The encouragement filled my tank. Between my running partner, biking partner and messages, it really made running easy. Easier.

With a half a mile left, my Garmin died. Lacey and I walked the last quarter mile back to her van. I saw that familiar red Jeep heading our way. It was PAULA! She found us and brought me cold water and crushed ice. I was so emotional. I grabbed my phone to get a picture of her. She not only looked good she SMELLED good too!
My phone died too.
I was exhausted, I hoped Paula knew how much it meant to me.

Lacey drove me home. I was holding the tears back. There are so many people that loved on me today. I chomped on Paula's ice and with each crunch I was feeling refreshed. It was the thoughtfulness of others.
We have all gotten so busy that we hardly have time for others. I mean, It's just Anita running again, no big deal.
IT WAS A BIG deal. 28 miles, over 5 hours and I don't think I would have finished it the same without the LOVE.
This week it is MY goal to PLAY it forward. To be someones smile, someones encouragement, someones partner.

Like Fritz said on my FB "One step at a time! The tough runs are the best, even though they feel the worst when your doing them."
Its one step at a time.
Prayer. Faith. Believe. Gratitude
28 Miles!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How I met my partner, RUNNING!

Total miles: 243.5
Last weeks Miles: 66
Issues: Extra tired, no time for a siesta. Extra sore, Mild plantar fasciitis pain.

Regardless of me running only 1 other ultra, I am such a beginner. I lack the knowledge, the skill and the experience but I am in love with the running. I am going into this believing that my love for running can trump all the rest.
That may be a total bonehead move, however, I never claimed to be a rockstar Ultra runner.
Trails are an area that I am lacking once again in my training.
But the reality is I am a chicken. I am forever thinking that there is something going to POP out behind a tree or a bush and get me. Or that there is some pervert out there going to bet this little Mexican. Even my family are always teasing me, "Mom, Be careful, You are such an easy victim..."
They plant these seeds and I play out these ridiculous scenarios of me defending myself against God know what. Of course, I win every time and the bag guy takes a fierce beating from the underdog! I am one bad A$$ in my dreams! Considering I am 5'1 and 101 LBs soaking wet. I have been given the body of a 12 year old boy in desperate need of Botox and a root touch up!
Not so intimidating. As much as I can talk, I would probably be a better negotiator.
Slight "rabbit Trail"..no pun intended!
Ultra training this week has left me sore. I could barely walk at work Tuesday. I put heels on in hopes it would help stretch my foot out. But it was beyond the foot. It was the booty and the quads. BURN. I think it was Sundays trail run with Ken, Claudia and Jama. As much as I loved the 10 miles in the trails, it seriously abused me. A welcomed abuse! There is something wonderful about being sore. As painful as it is, it is like a trophy.
I was still in the hurt locker this morning. I met MARYANN at 7 Lakes. We both agreed to a easy run. It was delightful!  

How I met Mary Ann: I was shopping at the local grocery store: As I walked in I noticed a Girl Scout cookie stand. If you know me, you know I LOVE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! Mary ANN was there with her daughter selling cookies. With a very soft voice and big smile she said "Are you Anita, the runner?" The story and conversation went something like that. This all happened about 3 years ago. My Memory is not one of my better assets.
Our children go to the same school and she joined a running club I was leading. The rest is history!
Mary Ann has ran 3 Marathons, Chicago, Detroit and Bayshore.
And multiple half marathons.
She is an adventurer, camping, kayaking, running and biking.
Once a week or so I will put up a profile of one my running partners. I thought this would be fun!