"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, November 30, 2015

I Think Myself Happy. Trails.

"I think myself happy..." Acts 26.2
It took me a couple times to lunge my body into this crack in the trees. I was determined!

I remember the first time I heard this verse. It was right after I had ran the Boston Marathon in 2014. I was still flying high on emotions. I had ran the Boston marathon in 2013 the year of the bombing, taking my family with me. Coming home from that marathon was devastating. My youngest, Alec was 11 at the time. He still struggles with residual damage from the bombing. Going back in 2014 seemed like a great idea to get my family to learn to turn their fear to faith.
We all came back from the marathon in 2014 safe and secure. I came home overdosed on happiness. When I heard the verse then correlated the 26.2 with it, I Felt like God was talking directly to me.
"Yes, I am Happy, 26.2 miles of happiness.

Today, I ran the Wilderness trail out at Holly Rec. I met Kris and Rachel. The two of them were more familiar with the trails. Kris will run the trails alone, I am a little apprehensive to run alone.
We would still be in there had I led and not Kris!
This is where we started and finish.

  1. I get lost even with a map.
  2. I have trust issues. TRUST No ONE especially when you are a twirp.
During our 2nd loop, 11 mile run, I must have complimented how awesome the run was, the trails were, the weather was and how beautiful the woods were.
I was SO happy.

I had some concerns going into our run. Was my body going to be strong after my long run the day before? Did I dress properly? Could I leave the woods injury free?

"For as he thinks within himself, so he is..." Proverbs 23:7
To be totally honest with you. When I touched base with Kris to see if we were still running the trails this morning there was a small voice of fear that wanted her to back out. Fear that my body was going to be too sore to run. Fear that I wouldn't be able to keep up.
I began to question myself. Question my training. Question my strength, stamina and abilities.
I loved seeing the Sun coming through the trees. You cant get that in the gym,

When Kris responded the details of our run my mind did a 180'. 
Determined to make the most out of my run I knew I had to change my stinking thinking.
I love running trails. I had my own personal chauffeur to direct me around them. My body felt great, I wasn't sore at all.
I had to get over myself. I was getting more and more stoked.
Happiness does not come from a circumstance or a situation. It doesn't just show up at the mouth of the trail. It has to be coaxed. As much as I love running the trails I had myself backed into a corner based on fear. Fear that would have dismissed an epic trail run with no remorse.


The things we think about permeate in our every fiber. If we allow negative thoughts, fearful thoughts, insecure thoughts or defeating thoughts to absorb our Faith, Love, Security, they will have victory over us preventing us from experiencing life in its fullness.

The first loop with the girls went very smooth...too smooth. The second loop we were all feeling it. It was the second loop that we all tripped. We never ate the dirt but our gazelle like prancing had a few blunders. I twisted my ankle, jumping up trying to recover. There was no making it look pretty, it was an ugly twist, like when that chicks head turns around on the Exorcist. However, even with twisted ankles,  heavy breathing, tired legs we were filled with gratitude. We had taken time to pray together, laugh with each other and soak in the beauty all around us. Not for one minute taking our run for granted.

What are you allowing to have Victory over YOU? Are you choosing fear, insecurity, envy etc. over Love, Peace, Joy, etc. ?

Kris, Rachel and ME!

Sunday, November 29, 2015


"If you under-train, you may not finish, but if you over-train, you may not start."
Stan Jenson Ultra Runner Extrordinaire

I am still battling this head cold thing. It feels like I have rocks in my head. When I tip my head upside down, you know when I am head banging to Motley Crue or Bon Jovi, my head feels like it is going to explode.
I am trying to cut back on my 90's big hair bands, they make me wanna thrash, however, until this head cold passes I gotta put my pleather pants and Aquanet away!
Actually, my new FAVORITE running song is My House by Flo rida, no head banging there.

I wish I would have had it downloaded for my 16 miler this afternoon.

"Experienced runners learn to respect the changing needs of their bodies. That's the wisdom that comes with time, and for good or bad-with age." Fred Lebow
Distance: 16.33
Pace: 8:53
It was amazing out there today. The high was only 36' but I was shedding clothes. I wore black clothes to attract the sun and heat me up.
3 layers: sports bras, doesn't count, short sleeve tee-shirt, long sleeve jacket, black vest. I wore gloves, and a light weight hat that covers my ears.
I was actually wearing 3 items that I purchased from "POSHMARK". This is a site that sells new and used clothing.
My Blue LUCY jacket I purchased practically brand new for 20$: brand new 80$
My HEAD gloves I purchased NWT for 9$: new at 20$
My Saucony running shoes with just a few miles on them 19$: Regular $100. The running shoes I asked several questions before purchasing them. The way I looked at it, if I didn't like them I was only out 19$ and could use them as walking shoes. However, I ran over 16 miles in them without a blister! They are very PINK but oh well.
I picked Lacey up at her house at my 6 mile marker. Together we knocked out 10 miles together. Everything about the run was great. We were aiming for sub 9min/mi with a 20-30 second walk break. I wanted to add the walk break in there to balance me adding 2 miles this week to my run.
With Lacey just a couple months from recovering she was holding a strong pace.
I was pumping sunshine up her butt. She struggles with compliments similar to me. It must be a ACOA thing.
"Well, Anita, your the strong one, your running 15.5 miles going up at hill at a 8:35 pace." Lacey forwarded the compliment my way.
It just felt so good.
We had 3 more rollers to tackle towards home.
"So Anita, does running faster make it go by faster?" Lacey had noticed I picked up the pace. I just wanted to get to the end. It really seemed like it made sense, RUN FASTER, GET DONE FASTER. Brilliant concept!
Our last mile we ran at a 7:45min/mi. Even though my watch displayed over 16 miles, Lacey still had a little more to go. I wanted to FINISH her distance out but it was up hill. Lacey pulled the plug on it. "No Nita, your not running up that hill, your DONE, run smart."
The voice of reason. 
I am so blessed with good running partners.

After I finish running outside in the cold, I really want a HOT Epson salt bath with Lavender. I crave it. The hot bath is a calorie free craving unlike every other craving I have had this Thanksgiving week!
I want to turn the jets on my sore muscles, go into the nothing box and try to warm up.

Funny the things you crave after a long run.

What Do YOU crave after a long run??


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Whats for Wednesday?!

WELL...its the day before Thanksgiving and I am JUST NOW sitting down at 9:55pm.

I made it to the gym to run a few easy miles with Jeff.  We ran 3 miles at a conversational pace. My conversation. Jeff kept asking me questions so I would do all the talking because he was struggling talking at our pace. Paula, a dear friend of mine was laughing at Jeff when he was stretching. He was whining about his body falling apart and I think I was making fun of him when she shared a great quote, "The older I get the better I thought I was." 

The day had to fall in place perfectly.

6:30am-7:30 Kids, breakfast school
8am-10am Gym, shower and get ready for day.
Grocery store for last minute items
10:30 am home, make White chicken chili for lunch
11:30-12:15 pick up Alec from school and bring him home, clean up and grab goods for PIE Day
12:15-5 PIE day at moms! Maw maw Smith and I taught my niece how to make homemade pie crust and buttermilk pie. We also made mini pumpkin pies.

From the time I came home I haven't stopped cleaning and cooking. I am hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow. I LOVE cooking but it is a lot of work. My boys do not like to cook. I would LOVE an extra hand in the kitchen.
I made Ham rolls.
The prep for Bread Pudding, I make a killer bread pudding with vanilla sauce.
2 buttermilk pies
A dozen mini pumpkin pies
Peeled 10lbs of potatoes
I did the prep work for the stuffing. Sautéing onions, parsley, sausage, carrots, garlic, apples and at the end I add a half cup of golden raisins. I love the sweet and savory thing. Tomorrow, I will add cornbread and whole wheat stuffing with eggs, heavy cream and broth.
Its not low fat but its portion control. I used to struggle so bad with eating issues, I am so grateful I have discovered I can enjoy rich foods, I just have to A: RUN MORE or B: EAT LESS!

I am getting up at the butt crack of dawn to get the bird in the oven so I can RUN! Its my Prozac!
Lacey and I attempted a group run in the morning but no one really bit. Looks like her and I will have our own little Turkey Trot!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. We all really have so much to be thankful for. Even on our worst days we are blessed.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Running on UGH.

If its in your Head,Get out of bed,
If its in your Chest, its best to rest.

A little rhyme that helps to remind me when to run, when to whine and when to just chill OUT!
I am going on a week of this nonsense. You know your sick when COFFEE doesn't even sound good.
I have removed sugar, processed food and have drank so much green tea I think I may turn green. I have gone through boxes of tissue, Chapstick, a bag of throat lozenges and think I may have to go to a 12 step program I have drank so much NyQuil.
I have gone from uncontrollable sneezing to coughing fits that trigger my gag reflex sending me grabbing myself and running to the toilet trying to not throw up bile. Unfortunately, I can hardly eat and really look emaciated.
Not feeling very feminine. There is just NOTHING cute about my overall sickly appearance. There isn't enough makeup to cover the dark circles or chapped nose. Not to mention, I cut my hair off and cant even style it pretty. I am winded trying to blow it dry.

To prepare for my long run this week, it seemed like a wise idea to rest yesterday. I was hoping I would be fresh and healthy when I woke up.
I woke up to Andy wanting to kick me out of bed I was coughing so bad.

I HAD to RUN 15 miles.   Come Hell or High water it had to get done.

Getting the boys ready for school and making breakfast, I started packing my bag for the gym.
Running outside WASN'T AN OPTION I was entertaining. We had just gotten out first snow and it came in like a lion, 12 inches.

I tried to eat some eggs and turkey sausage but struggled getting it down like I did my half a cup of coffee.
"Great, I'm running with no fuel, sick and long, this ought to be a complete disaster." I thought.

Dreadmill or Track?
I got to the gym without forgetting anything at 8am. I stretched and rolled. I brought the newest issue to Runnersworld to read on the treadmill. Over 2 hours on the dreadmill, then having to  turn it back on after it shuts down because you exceed the time limit sounded dreadful. Everything honestly sounded dreadful. I could literally HEAR myself whining about everything.
I ended up on the track.

GOAL: 15 miles between 9-9:15 min/mi
My first 2 miles I nailed , both at a 9:06. It felt awful. I could hardly breath and I felt drained.
Then I got distracted, I saw my favorite runner, JEFF! Jeff wasn't supposed to be back at the gym until December. I cheered up seeing the old timer and gave him a HIGH Five. I somehow found the energy to find out what he was running.
Jeff was running 3 miles at a 9:30min/mi. I came along side him, or maybe he came along side me because we were running MY PACE not his.
We didn't talk much, I could tell I was pushing him. Even with so few words shared I still managed to mess up my splits.
That 3 miles got me to 5 miles and I hated seeing him leave me. Alone to run in my own misery.
"Just make it to 10 miles."
Then I saw Bill Kahn. He was running faster than me, he usually does but it gave me a silent partner.
Bill didn't know it but he got me to my 10 miles then he too disappeared.
The last 5 miles were alone but not alone. The track was packed. I had plenty of people to run with. I tried to focus on runners ahead of me only they kept leaving. Maybe I was scaring them off. I was breathing like a zombie, my lips were dry and my throat was pasty. I had water and my Honeystinger chews but every time I took a drink I got a gut wrenching side stitch. I named my side stitch "Claudia" for comic relief.
I thought that if I ran maybe I could run my cold out of me. No such luck. I just had to finish. I was getting dizzy from my head hurting and I had a loogey stuck in my throat, disgusting. I decided to pick up the pace and just finish.
Counting my miles down, I discovered I was a numerical mess. Between the overhead clock, my splits, my pace, my clock on my old Timex I was so confused. I didn't want to run anymore than I wanted to think this hard.
I finished at what I thought was 15 miles....

When I got home and fussed with the history on my watch I realized I ran 14.25 miles. I didn't grieve to hard over that lost mile. I didn't have the energy too.
Distance: 14.25
Time: 2:07:47
Average pace: 8:56
Fastest mile: 8:39
Even sick I nailed my goal, sorta. I worked hard, it hurt and yes, It SUCKED.
I took a super hot shower hoping I could bake the sickness out of me. Then I sat in the sauna hoping I could sweat it out, only to discover I was actually chilled in there. I just needed to go home.

Being a mom and hosting Thanksgiving doesn't give you much time to recover. I am living on a prayer at this point.

What is the Sickest YOU have been and thought RUNNING would heal you?


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Stressing your Body.

Some days you have to just roll with it.
My day did not unfold in a way that was planned at all.

My routine Thursday run with Danielle was canceled, making me have to actually come up with a plan.

Last night, reality hit me that I will be running the Disney Goofy Challenge in 7 weeks. I have not ran more than a 13 mile long run since the Detroit Freep Marathon. Granted, the last 3 weeks I have had a 13 miler each week. But I need to step it up.
I shared this information this morning with Andy and he confidently replied "Anita, you are always Marathon ready, you will be fine."

"The purpose of training is to stress the body, so when you rest it will grow stronger and more tolerant of the demands of distance running."
David Costill professor of exercise science at Ball State University.

I didn't plan on running 13 miles today. Especially after yesterdays hill run and leg work out.
Wednesdays Rundown: 5 miles of rain, mud, backroad, trails and HILLS. My GOAL was to maintain an average pace until I approached the hills. At the base of the hills, I would run between a 7-7:30min/mi. up them.
When I run that hard it allows me to pick up the pace without it registering with my body. So my "Average" pace actually becomes better than average without realizing it due to the effort level I put in on the hill sprints.
That is a reason why intervals are so good for you, It allows you to program your body and mind for pain, it toughens you up. You think you are running easy because of your effort level, only to look down and see that you are running faster than you "FEEL".
Because I just wasn't hurting enough, when I came home I decide to beat myself up more. I started out just recovering with my foam roller and a yoga matt. Somehow, I ended up out of breath again doing squats, lunges and legs.
I wanted to do sit-ups and abs except I have a 2 inch scab on my tailbone from over doing it Sunday and Monday.
Thursdays Rundown: Unplanned and total last minute, Claudia text me to meet her at the Red Devil to run at 9am when she is out of yoga.  We were on for 8 miles.
I knew I needed to get in more than 8 miles. With the sun shining, I headed out to get 5 miles in beforehand.
I kept waiting for my body to loosen up. I thought maybe if the right song came on I would have more energy.
Or maybe I should have ate more than just a banana.
Maybe I should have rolled more..stretched more...PRAYED MORE...
My legs were screaming at me. I was grateful everything other than my pulverized muscles still loved me.
"Anita, sometimes you need to run on sore legs." I looked at my watch with only 4 miles on it and told myself  "You are what YOU THINK, I can do this, I can do this, 11 more to go.."
Meeting Claudia, was exactly what I needed. I slowed down a little more and enjoyed just listening to her stories. I quit managing my pace. The wind picked up and about knocked us back. It was all I had to barrel forward. There was no room to complain as I was running in November in SHORTS!
A FOX crossed in front of us, that was another highlight on our run. It gave me a few minutes of forgetting how bad my butt and legs hurt.

I am thinking next week I will have to have a 15 miler. Monday is looking like the only possible day. Maybe Sunday. I really wanted to get a run in on the trails. The trails scare me, my directionally challenged mind will  turn a 15 mile trail run into a 20 mile, 5 hour Amber Alert.

Anyone else out there signed up for a January Marathon???


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

When you want to come out swinging

I am this twirpy,100lb pipsqueak. A middle child. I have always been told that what I lack in height I make up for in volume.
Growing up was never a quiet adventure. When you grow up in the chaos of addiction you are always in the ring.
You fight to be heard.
You fight to be loved.
You fight to love.
You fight to have faith.
You fight to forgive.
You fight to understand.
You fight to accept.
You fight to survive.

For me it is natural to want to fight.
By that statement alone, you may think I am a scrapper or maybe think I have a chip on my shoulder.

But in content, it means I don't accept things I don't agree with. I'm not confrontation or argumental. I'm just not a victim or someone's mental, physical or verbal abuse.
Most of the time the fight is internal.
Its an emotional dialogue that is interceded with fact, truth, pain or disappointment.

That "fight" has to be fought between "self" before presented outwardly or I believe it is a lost battle.
"Hurting people hurt people"

Recently, I have been suffering a silent battle.
The fight from the beginning never felt natural.

The battle of accusation is an offensive play. Us fighters want to defend ourselves. We want to get in the ring and fight back. No one likes to stand there taking verbal blows. It hurts.

I researched old memories. I tried to locate all the words, situations, circumstances to retaliate. But it  just hurt me more.
My thoughts and internal dialogue felt so counterproductive.
I don't fight that way. If someone is out to hurt me and bring up all my garbage, and trust me, I have a lot, It hurts.
Our mistakes hurt others, but for most of us, they hurt us as well.

The battle doesn't need to be fought throwing hurtful mistakes, words, accusations or assumptions back.

Your best weapon is sharpened out of LOVE not bitterness, wrath, vengeance, jealousy, insecurity or anger.

1Peter 3:9 "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult..."
Psalms 34:14 "Depart from evil and do good."

So many of us will be seeing family members that we have avoided all year long. Over the next few weeks you may even find yourself in a battle. No one is perfect, Not me and not you. It can be difficult to listen to our loved ones share the things we have done wrong. But humble yourself. Seek forgiveness, and fight the battle with LOVE.
Remember to pray.
Rather than asking God to change the circumstance ask God to change your heart.
What wise nuggets could you add to this?


Monday, November 16, 2015

Ladders arent just for putting in light bulbs.

I am a undiagnosed victim of ADHD.  And I say victim because it haunts me.
I am easily distracted, sleep terrible, I struggle focusing and here's the cherry on top, I am so forgetful.
We had a meeting last night in Lake Orion for work. It started at 5 and ended at 8. I was in the chair, out of the chair, back in the chair, on my right leg, switched to the left leg, sitting on both legs, then my legs fell asleep, it was almost too much.

The great thing about running outside is there is always something to distract me. Between my crazy thoughts that are constantly interrupting each other, the ever changing scenery and the tweaks my body undergoes I am rarely bored.

Sometimes, I don't always have the options to run outside. I am not a die hard winter runner. A running friend of mine, Andy J creates a winter running game to keep us runners active in the winter months. I did it one year, the first year, I came out strong like a lion but when the temps not only got colder and the wind kicked in, I jumped out! I am a wuss when it comes to being cold.

One of my favorite RUNNING WORKOUTS is The LADDER. I like the ladder because you can't get bored. It is fast, ever changing and fulfilling because it uses different distances. You have to be good at one of them right?! Another reason I like them is they get mentally easier when you are on the downward repeats.

The LADDER: You start short, get longer, then come back down. You can create any combination that you like.

This is what mine look like:
  • 1 mile warm up
  • 2X400m
  • 2X800m
  • 2Xmile
  • 2X800m
  • 2X400m
  • 1 mile cool down
  • I do an easy shuffle jog/walk in between all repeats.
  • Total miles: App 9.
My ladder workout is longer because I train for longer distances. If you are training for a half Marathon you might want to change your repeats. That is the beauty of a Ladder Workout, you can put in whatever combinations you like.
And for us easily distracted runners, it is wonderful because the degree of distance not only is changing but so it the degree of PAIN!

This time of year, I make a lot of soups. It is difficult for me too share the specific ingredients and measurements because I am the "Eyeball type". I just add a little of this and a little of that.
It is usually a freezer/fridge flush.
I spend a lot of money on my fruits and vegetables. I typically buy organic and HATE wasting. Soup is a great way to finish off those vegetables your family didn't finish or wouldn't touch!

Todays Fridge FLUSH: Turkey Vegetable Soup:

  • 1 Tablespoon Wildtree European Garlic dipping oil
  • 1Teaspoon Trader Joes Garlic Garlic grinder
  • 1 Teaspoon Wildtree rancher steak rub
  • 1 Teaspoon pepper
  • Leeks
  • Parsnips
  • Celery
  • Ground Turkey
  • Organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup Vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup Pacific organic low sodium tomato soup
Slice Veg. Sauté vegetables in oil, substitute Grapeseed oil has a high flash point, just add some fresh garlic cloves and  parsley.  5-7 min.
Brown meat, add to veg, add seasonings, tomatoes, broth and soup.
Simmer on stove till vegetables are tender.
Serve with fresh Parmesan.

Give me some FEEDBACK: Has anyone tried the cookies??
What combination do YOU use for a LADDER WORKOUT??

Total Miles 7.5

  • 3.1 miles with Sheba, My boxer. I mentioned going to play outside with her but then couldn't find her collar. She is such a good girl. We ran the backroads and she stayed right beside me!
  • 4.4 miles with Lacey. We were running in shorts and tank tops! I think we may have even gotten TAN LINES!
We ran smart. Yesterday, Lacey ran 9 miles and I ran 11 miles. ALL HILLS. Todays run, was more of a recovery run. Or a FUN RUN!!!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

I DID it AGAIN...What it wrong with me?

This is just another AIRHEAD post, BUT the REAL treat is the Recipe I am sharing at the bottom. I get more raves about these chocolate chip cookie than ANYTHING I have made! You gotta try them!

Can You even GUESS what I did AGAIN this week? Seriously?

My phone chimed in notifying me I had a text. I had just finished getting dressed to run with Danielle before taking Alec to school.
7:19Am "Don't forget your running shoes :-D

And again I wore the same neon green slides right out the door forgetting my running shoes!

Because I have the most patient and loving running partner in the world she AGAIN waited for me getting 2.5 miles without me.
My adrenaline was pumping from trying to get to her as fast and careful as I could.
The weather forecast had excessive winds reaching 60mph. We started out in 50 degrees and hardly any wind. It was amazing we bragged for November.
Footloose and fancy we frolicked through Fenton. I even saw Mrs. Cox, one of the kids I coach, his mom waving at me.
We were all smiles.
Then mile 4 came like a bull. The wind practically stopped us in our tracks. Danielle was talking and I could hardly hear from the loudness of the wind. It was so crazy, all I could do was laugh and lunge my puney body forward. 
By mile 5, I couldn't even feel my bare legs.  Rain was spitting at us and the temps felt like they had dropped significantly. It is such a bizarre sensation to have complete numbness from the waist down. I told Danielle it literally felt like I was running naked. I had to look down a couple times to make sure my shorts were down and not up and in a embarrassing position.

By the time we finished mile 6, I threw in the towel. I had enough excitement for the day. Danielle was heading to work, The idea of  running another 2 miles in those conditions solo seemed pointless. Besides, my pipsqueak body was getting knocked all over. Sudden gusts just about pushed you right over and I wouldn't have Danielle to grab me if I got swept away.
Had I ran in these conditions a few days ago I would have been begging God to sweep me away.
But Here I AM!
I ran hard in the wind.
I came home working so hard cleaning and organizing I was sweating again. I worked so hard I decide I would keep the momentum going and make COOKIES! And if you were here I would share them with you, especially since they make over 6 dozen!
 Feeling really generous...Since I can't share them with you, I will share my RECIPE! If you try them PLEASE tell me what you think! If you take a picture and give me a review on my Facebook Page, Running against the Odds, I will send you some of my fall favorite treats!

MAW MAW'S Chocolate chip cookie recipe:

2cups butter (I use butter flavored crisco sticks)
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp soda
2 tsp WARM water
4 Tbsp vanilla
6 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 -12oz pkg chocolate chips


ENJOY and Don't forget your running shoes!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Im gonna be OK

I woke up dragging.
I couldn't find my happy place, coffee didn't even comfort me.
Day three of my slumber.

I left the house in a hurry from doing nothing of importance.
I don't even remember the drive to maw maws.

The Pit is a dark place. It welcomes you, even comforts you in your miserable state. It tricks you, making you never want to leave.

I should have took better care of myself before I arrived at maw maws. In her southern accent "Lord, well look at you..." I knew I felt bad I guess I advertised to as well.

It was a good thing I came directly back home after cleaning maw maws house. I just about burnt my house down. I left the Cream of Wheat pan soaking on the stove, on. The house was filled with a deep fog and the pan was covered in black tar. My favorite pan, ruined.

My emotional status was void of any reaction. I just didn't have the zeal to even get mad at myself.
I just had a BIG FAT WHATEVER circulating in my head.

I knew what I had to do. I knew the best thing for me would be to run. But I just didn't want to do anything. I crawled onto my perfectly made bed. I laid in the fetal position broken.
I got up to pray and read Gods word. I found myself distracted. The words were interrupted with my mental dialogue. I kept going back over them. "God, please.. what is wrong with me?" "Am I that person they say I am..."

I walked back to the bedroom only to find myself back in bed snuggled with Sheba. I closed my eyes. "I should take a nap, I haven't been sleeping...I don't need to RUN today.."
"I Therefore so I run, not as uncertainly, so fight I, not as one that beateth the air." 1Cor 9:26
If I told you that the best thing for you to do when struggling with unbalanced emotions would be to go for a run, WOULD YOU GO?"

"Anita, I see you are letting other people define you, I see that you have let it rent a lot of space in your head. You have eaten excessive calories, had little sleep, withheld countless smiles and are emotionally confused." 
"Yes, sir..."
"Well, if you have prayed, sought the Lord, I would recommend you to RUN. You need a strong 6-8 mile run. Purge your emotions through sweat and speed."

My eyes were closed as I reached for the throw blanket to cover up in. As I leaned forward, I jumped out of bed.
Within 20 minutes, I was changed, stretched, rolled and turning onto E. Holly road.
I knew that a certain amount of Serotonin is released but is always balanced perfectly with my running. But when struggling with sadness, depression or emotions that put you in the pit you release MORE..when you are struggling emotionally you NEED TO release that of it will make you never want to crawl out of bed.
RUNNING was what I needed.

Just a nice moderate run. 7 miles. My first mile was just over 9 minutes.  "Ok Seriously, you can go a little faster than that."

My mind began to spin. I took my layers off so I could feel the sun on my bare arms. My legs cooperated with my mind.
I knew I had so much garbage in my head. "Dear God..." I prayed. I took the hilliest route I knew. I dove up those hills. Make it hurt, its gotta hurt, I needed to be depleted, void of all comfort."
I knew the best way to hear God was in my depravity. I wanted to be so empty that only GOD himself could put me back together.

My miles kept getting faster, my weakened body actually felt stronger than it had a days.
Then I saw that last hill to my house. I looked at my watch 7:30min/mi. "Anita, Your going to sprint up that hill, your going to run that till you puke or die trying."
I looked at that hill and thought of this Hill in life that I am deeply struggling with. I whispered softly "You gotta get over it."
I couldn't let this hill in my life own me, define me, confine me, destroy me. I couldn't let it steal my joy, rob me of smiling, laughing or living life the way God created me. I HAD TO GET OVER IT.
And it was going to HURT.
My throat clogged up, my eyes began to sting, my breathing labored, I wasn't going to let go. The painful illustration of that hill reminded me I was not born for others to tell me WHO I AM. I was Born FOR GOD to tell me who I AM. 
People may think they "KNOW my real Heart." But I only know 1 GOD who knows my heart. He isn't human.

I laughed in sweet misery tackling that final incline.
"I'm gonna be OK, I'm gonna be OK.." I said to myself with full assurance.

I am going through some struggles right now. Life isn't full of butterflies and rainbows. I am working on it, Life is tough. Some days are better than others. Its a journey not a destination.

I try to be tough, swallow down the crybaby tears, puff up my chest, and pull up my bootstraps. I even try to take the GIRL out of it and just "MAN UP"! But the bottom line is some days are just a emotional cocktail. Do GUYS EVER struggle with this?? Is there any guys that could admit they struggle??


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Clarkston Backroads H.M. 2015: Roles Reversal

I begin to think this time of year all the many things I would do differently in life and in running. Keeping this focused on my running though, it comes to MORE SPEED WORK.

I was not nervous about running 13.1 miles at the Clarkston Backroads HM. I was nervous I was going lose parts along the course trying to keep up with Joan. This was Joan and my 3rd year running this race. We have officially made it out yearly tradition.

Joan is in her early 20's
I am coming up on a birthday in December making me 42.

Joan is getting stronger and faster
I am getting older and slower.

Joan is training speed.
I have been training distance.

Joan was a stoked.
I was panicked!

Clarkston Backroads is what I would consider a local race. It is the largest race held in Clarkston.
The COURSE: It runs through Independence Oaks and the backroads of Clarkston. The route through Independence Oaks is both dirt trails and pavement.
This course is not for the faint of heart.

I picked up Joan and Javon on the way to the race at 8am. I loved that the start time for this race wasn't until 9:30am. This time allowed me to enjoy a cup of coffee, eat a little breakfast (Hard boiled egg and a Honey Stinger waffle) and go to the bathroom multiple times! A little coffee goes a long way!

We arrived to a mini Zumba party at the pavilion created to get you warmed up. I grabbed Joan and we put out best moves out on the ground.

The morning was perfect to start running in. The sun was blazing making the 40 degrees warmer than it really was.

Joan and I saw "Fritz" with the 1:50 pace group. We picked a spot behind them. I really didn't think I could run THIS course at sub 8 half marathon.

When the race started we settle back. I made the joke, "If we see the guy in orange we are going TOO fast, do not pass him!" The Guy in Orange was Fritz.

The first 6 miles were easy breezy. That first part of the route consisted of a very gravelly terrain. I wished I had wore my HOKA'S because the gravel was really rough on the soles of my Sauconys. My toes were irritated from the rough route. By the time we arrived on the dirt roads I knew a blister had formed. We laughed, reminded ourselves to not get too excited and chatted about Joans wedding plans.

At mile 7, Joan laughs and says "We are more than half way done!"
At this point we had actually caught up to the guy in Orange! The pacer did not look like he was doing good at pacing but then it didn't look like he had anyone left to pace with either.

Mile 9 was fun because we saw the faster runners coming back in our direction. They had made the turn around.

Hitting the turn around was literally a turning point for me. I was able to embrace the down hill and smooth backroads before entering back into the park.

We had caught up with "Fritz" who was buddied up with a first time half Marathoner. She was doing awesome, of course "Fritz" was probably really encouraging her.

The park at mile 11 sucked. There are 2 hills with the power to sabotage my stamina. My legs were fine, I was just a mess. Joan was in the lead chatting with "Fritz" and I enjoyed trailing behind until we came to that second satanic hill. The two of them danced up it. Without much thought I found myself waving Joan on and walking it. I didn't walk the whole thing before I realized I was walking it. It was as if my body went into ultra mode and my legs just did what they do naturally when they see a hill on the trails..Walk.
I pulled it together and tried to catch up to Joan and Fritz. Joan turned around and waited for me. "This is our run, we finish it together." I loved that she waited for me. We hit a downhill about mile 11 and Fritz was gone.

Joan was encouraging my whiny butt all the way to the Finish. The last half a mile really isn't that bad. You have about a half a mile on pavement and the finish is on a trail. I was able to pull it together enough to look down at my watch and see that we picked up the pace to about a 7:45m/m.
Seeing my pace actually encouraged me. I felt great with my power finish.
Fritz was at the finish cheering us on. One the left stood Javon also cheering us on.

The Medals: They were wooden. They were engraved and very unique.
The Food: We received a water, banana and a KIND Bar. My Favorite. The best part was the Mac and Cheese from The Union.
With the warmer temps we were able to sit and enjoy out food.

Anita Harless: bib#1151
Time: 148:18
OVERALL: 64 of 389
OVERALL FEMALE: 20th Overall of 229
Age Group: 3rd of 56
Masters :4th of 87
At the 9 mile split we were at 8:17min/mi and Finished at a 8:17min/mi. Super happy with my split.
Mile 12 was fastest mile: 7:54

Those last few miles my mind ached with the constant jab of reality, You get what you put in. It wasn't a piercing pain of truth, more like a slow churning of the painful reality I needed to do more speed work mixed with the ideas of age. The thought of age was more like putting salt on the wound.
Another lesson learned, but not so much pain that I allowed it to steal the joy of another run with Joan. A run where this time I was encouraged and cheered on. I really like that.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Keep it Simple Thursday: 5 for 5

Keeping it simple:
5 subjects : 5 points

5 THINGS that made me SMH (Shake my Head)
  1. AIRHEAD MOVE #2638 Left my house to meet Danielle at Clover beach in Fenton..at Silver Lake Rd, I wiggled my toes and realized I was wearing my running socks with my sons slides on! I forgot my running shoes!
  2. My forgetfulness was due to a comic relief session with my friend JEFF. Apparently, I shouldn't drive, talk on the phone and laugh too much, one forgets their shoes.
  3. After bleaching down the bathrooms (BOYS pee EVERYWHERE and leave mystery hairs everywhere) SHEBA, my boxer, sat on me to cuddle and smelled like dookey. Pretty sure she rolled in poo outside.  I had to bath her and bleach the bathroom again!
  4. Danielle waited for me to arrive with my running shoes. She had a meeting, therefore she got a few miles in before I got there but could only run a few with me. I finished up my last 4 miles solo. It was like a moms day out on the Linden Trail. On my last mile I heard a lady say "HI ANITA!" I shook my head towards the voice, "HI, Do I know you?" It was Sandy H. I have never officially met her but we are friends on FB and she is an incredible runner.
  5. Had to SMH leaving my sons basketball game this evening. It was an ugly loss. One of the coaches told the kids he was going to coach them like HOCKEY because that is his favored sport. AHHHH!!!
5 Tips I thought of during my RUN:
  1. "Crap, I have no music...You don't need music, you NEED to listen to your running."
  2. "I am so glad I took my shirt off, its so hot, it so amazing."
  3. "8:24, you gotta pick it up, no excuses."
  4. "7:50..Oh come on Nita, Hold it, hold it, breath and relax, straight face, don't waste energy grimacing, whining, scowling..straight face, straight face..."
  5. "My knee loves me today, why didn't it hurt today, who cares, shut up and run, run faster its not hurting.."
5 Foods I ate:
  1. Breakfast : a KIND bar
  2. Snack: a Protein bite homemade
  3. Lunch: Tropical Smoothie fish taco, chipotle chicken taco and Get up and Gogi smoothie
  4. Snack: carrots, grapes, 2 clementine's
  5. Dinner: I BLEW IT..PIZZA!
5 Things that made me LAUGH this WEEK:
  1. A skunk came after Claudia and I on the trails Monday, I never saw Claudia run so fast!
  2. Getting Lost at Holdridge with Claudia, We ran with a MAP! We turned a simple 9 mile run in over 13!
  3. The cashier at the Green APPLE asked me if my nieces son was my baby! I still got it, or he needed glasses.. 
  4. Using my Halloween mask to scare the girls at work and home, Andy screams like a girl, its AWESOME!
  5. 6 moms running the trails and brown bagging lunch together...us moms after a run/hike all doped up on 74 degrees and endorphins are a WILD bunch!
  1. This is my 3rd year running it, its been running 3 years.
  2. I have ran it with Joan for the past 3 years. I paced her.
  3. This year initially Joan said she wanted to run and have FUN.. I LOVED that IDEA, ANOTHER Fun run!!
  4. SHE CHANGED HER MIND! Joan is getting faster, stronger and is way younger, I am going to have to work to get her a PR!
  5. 2013 Results: 2:06:43 2014: 1:56:12     10 MINUTES shaved OFF!
ANY GUESSES on this YEAR??????
GUESS and get a GOODIE!


Monday, November 2, 2015

A little piece of me: End of the Path

Life is funny. The older I get, the better I am with dealing chaos. Maybe I quit caring so much, maybe I realized that its "Not the end of the world" or maybe I just quit taking the blame for other people bad behavior.
Whatever the case, when I feel backed in the corner of chaos I may get stumped up for a little bit, confused on how the path of life directed me to this point but I usually find a way through.

This is what happened this morning on my trail run with Claudia. We went out for a very simple 9 mile run but some how turned it into over 13 miles.
The leaves left the trails very unfamiliar to me. Often times I could hardly see the path in front of us. At one point the path looked like it ended. At this point we were out of water, lost, confused, tired and not thinking clearly. The path was saturated in leaves, in front of us a wall that looked like the path ended at its base. We both stopped, bewildered on where the trail went. We looked all around with a big question mark above our heads.
Before we panicked, we realized that we had to run OVER THE wall of leaves, they were actually logs that had been covered. When we looked OUT of our direct focus we could see where the path picked up!

I could have stopped right there had I had a computer to type out my major "AH HA" moment.

So many times growing up in a very alcoholic home, I thought everything was the end of the world. Granted, I was just a young girl who was dependent on others, so I thought. I would worry "What if my mom really did throw my stuff out on the front porch like she said she was going to do?" What if I came home and she really did overdose?" "What are we going to do if the electricity got shut off." My stomach would be in knots. That 20 minute bus ride home my stomach was turned inside out. I wanted to throw up. I would pray all the way home after getting dropped off in the trailer park.
For years, this was life.

Like a light bulb finally went on, "JUST MOVE OUT."
It was like I finally saw that my path hadn't ended, I just had to look a little farther outside of my focal point. I had to change my perspective, change my paradigm of thinking.
Up until that point, I NEVER thought moving out was an option. I thought I needed to take care of my mother. Keep her safe, take care of my little sister, make sure the bills were paid and protect my mom from herself and others. I believed I was a terrible daughter like she said and that I had to take care of her so she would see that I loved her and wasn't that bad.

On the trails today I saw this scene like divine intervention. I thought of some of the circumstances that have circled me as of late. I had peace instantly knowing that the path doesn't end when the route looks deceiving and even bitter.
I used to get so wrapped up in the drama of believing what people said about me. It was a major obstacle in my life. I had made so many mistakes that I felt I had to take the abuse. I just wanted people to love me. I would compromise my thoughts, my ideas and myself to try to please those around me. It would always work...for a little bit. But the obstacles comes back on your path even bigger if you don't choose a different route.

What obstacle in your life have you feeling like you are at a dead end?
Sometimes you have to choose a different route that is going to be painful, it is out of your comfort zone, or unfamiliar territory, Have COURAGE my friend.