"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, March 30, 2016

Discouragement, RUN Your OWN RACE.

Monday: Long RUN. 16 miles.
This was longer than I was actually scheduled. If we maintained our pace and ran it smart we wouldn't have had any issues.
ISSUE NUMBER 1. Lacey invited her running partner to join us for 12 of our 16 miles. THIS WAS NOT AN ISSUE, I love running with new people. And Lacey speaks very highly of her other running partner. I was excited. Her running partner is a great runner.
So what was the issue? She was trying to pull us to her Half Marathon pace. About 25 seconds faster. This was a slow pace for her, she was training at a much faster pace than we were.
This might not have been an issue, HOWEVER; this leads us to..
ISSUE NUMBER 2: ELEVATION. Over 500 ft of elevation, MAX El. 1129.
You put the 2 of them together and you have a tough run.

SO TOUGH that Lacey got discouraged. The coach in me always comes out when I see a discouraged runner. I quickly came to her trying to encourage her, calm her down. She was beating herself up.

Lacey, in frustration threw her water bottle. She only weighs 100lbs but thought it might make her feel lighter. I think it only made her frustrations lighter.

Hebrews 12:1
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"

DISCOURAGEMENT: Discouragement is birthed many ways. For us runners here is 2 ways.
  1. Looking behind you
  2. Looking in front of you.  
Whether it is age or it is injury, looking BEHIND you at your greatest accomplishments in your running career can really cause you to stumble.  If we camp out here too long we can find ourselves in a pit. Wishing, wondering, and wanting to be what we once were.

LOOKING IN FRONT OF YOU: This is when we look at that person running like a rock star. You want to be running with them, or running like them. You wonder why they are not out of breath, or look tired. You wonder what you are doing wrong, or what you should be doing. It the dreaded comparison.

RUN YOUR OWN RACE: Our running careers will have many different seasons. Some seasons we will have no control over, like injures and some seasons we will be able to train like a champ.
If my running career was a novel, my chapters would have injuries, victories, discouragements, and disappointments.
But as I get older, I am discovering that I need to RUN MY OWN RACE. Being HUMBLE in every mile because GOD has given each one to me.
He Giveth and HE Taketh.
It has been more about being a positive influence to other runners. Being an encouragement to others. I want to run for LIFE. This means I am going to have many chapters, good, bad and indifferent. But I need to run MY RACE. And Run it Honoring God Every Step.

Monday: 16 Miles
Monday Afternoon: 1 mile with my XC kids
Tuesday Afternoon: 1 mile with my XC kids
Wednesday: 4 miles easy at Sorenson Park, 2 miles intervals 4:1 with XC kids.

Running in a tank top at Sorenson today.

(Follow UP: after finishing our long run, I showed Lacey our overall pace, It was spot on! Exactly where it was supposed to be. It just didn't feel like it because she wasn't focusing on herself anymore. She got distracted. She ran great,
especially considering the elevation and she was recovering from the flu)
Stay Focused. And Remember, Running isn't a destination, it is a journey, Enjoy the process.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Confessions of a Little Crazy.

"For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Job 3:35

"Mom, is that all you think about is when you are going to run?"

Today, it was at the forefront of my mind.

I have days I really struggle, Holidays are rough. Even at 42 years old, over 20 years with out a mother and I just have bad days. Days I just miss that comfort of my mom. Days when you are so broken you just want that touch, that comfort, that look, that unconditional love.

I knew I needed to run.
We got home about 6:30pm. Not the ideal time to run. Over fed, over stuffed, and in a food coma but CRAZY was surfacing faster than I could get a grip on.
Even Andy could tell I was inverting. I was crawling inside myself. Afraid to say anything, afraid I would hurt someone with my words, or hurt myself with more damaging thoughts.

I took off down E. Holly Rd in a tank top and capris. The warm March day was helping. Tapering for my Marathon I decided I would only run 5-7 miles.

It was horrible. I couldn't think. My words haunted me. My actions disgusted me. I was sad, no mad..I couldn't put a finger on what was burning inside me. I could feel my heart racing with anxiety. I felt ashamed I couldn't control myself, I was embarrassed I couldn't understand myself, I was angry I couldn't fix myself. I FEARED MYSELF, my thoughts were daunting.

By mile 2, I couldn't breath, I was crying. I didn't see that coming. It hurt so bad to cry. My legs instantly felt like all the blood had drained out of them. "Breath" "Just Breath Anita"
I want to put a bullet to my emotions.

It hurts to hurt.

Then my earbuds died.

I had nothing to muffle the crazy out of my head. I instantly turned around, quickly heading home. I couldn't stand listening to all my thoughts. I couldn't stand myself.

I wish 5 miles fixed everything.
But it didn't.

I grabbed Sheba and headed to Sorenson park for a couple more miles.
I found a smile through the tears.
I could hear the lullaby of the woods. The stillness hidden away from the pollution of society. I could feel God, I could hear God, I needed him so bad. I needed him to reassure me that I didn't actually need my mothers hand, touch, love or security,  I NEEDED HIS.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Warming up? Or battling Cold FEET?

The older I get the more I need to Warm Up.
The older I get the longer I need my Warm Up.
I think I am just finally Warming Up to the idea I am not getting any younger.

I have learned to embrace the Warm Up.

The Warm Up is a great training tool because:
  1. It increases your Cardio Performance: leads to increased cardiac output and a higher respiratory minute volume, which are needed for higher oxygen uptake.
  2. Enhances Muscle Performance: The increased muscle temperature lovers muscular resistance. This allows your muscles to contract faster and stronger which is important if you want to race well!
  3. Increased Body Temperature: By completing an active warm up before you begin the important part of your running (the race or workout itself), your body raises the temperature of your muscles, thus causing your body temperature to rise.
  4. Better Joint Load Distribution: Another positive factor is that even short-term loads cause the cartilage layer in your  joints to thicken, thereby widening the bearing surface and thus achieving a better distribution  of loads.
  5. Injury Prevention: A number of research studies have shown that a proper warm-up can reduce the risk of injury. Warmed up body tissue has been shown to be more resilient.
(info from Runtastic)

The LAST thing I wanted to do this morning was go running outside. It was bad enough I didn't sleep last night but to add injury to insult it was 35' and raining.
I saw a post on FB from a runner friend of mine at 7:30am. She was going to the track.
I knew this is something I NEEDED to do. I asked if I could join her.

I headed to the track reluctantly, Carl Richer is less than 1 mile from my house. The skies looked like they were going to open up and spew cold icicles all over me. I tightened up my hood and kept my keys on the hook.

Rachel was already running on the track when I arrived. 
We were doing 6X800m repeats.

My body was NOT Warmed Up enough for the torture of that first interval. I didn't even make it to the curve and my lungs were firing profanities at me.
Its 3 minutes and 30 seconds of Evil, pure unadulterated wickedness. It is the longest 3 minutes of my life. Every inch of my body is screaming, its confused, its hurting, it can't breath, it can't think, for that matter I can't think. I literally wanted to quit 200m into it. EVERY TIME.
Lacey and I on Wednesday had a strong 8 mile progressive run, I was feeling it all over again.

We did it. Together one interval at a time. The last 2 intervals I pushed behind Rachel, pacing her and pushing her. She did them both in 3:48. Solid.

I smiled that mile back home. I finally felt Warmed Up.

We can Warm Up to the IDEA of a lot of things, but until we take action we are really struggling with "COLD FEET".
I was so glad that I got out there. The weather conditions gave way to many excuses to stay home. But having a partner to hold you accountable and encourage you really makes the GRIT more tolerable.
Intentions are great but they are not action. They don't get the job done. Warming up is great but we can't stay there. Eventually we need to grit it out and Get it DONE. That's when the real Magic happens.

SIDE NOTE: I was going to sign up for a trail run in April. After talking to Lacey, I came to the conclusion that would be one of my more ridiculous ideas. 2 marathons and a 50K in 6 weeks. Not so wise.
Thank God I have Running partners who are smart too!


Monday, March 21, 2016

37 miles and 2 days

How do you run Back to back long runs? What makes it possible?
  1. Raising Teenagers. I DON'T drink. I RUN. If I drank like I run, I wouldn't be leading an addiction program, I would be going to one. This has been a REALLY rough week. My oldest son, who is brilliant, 3.8 GPA, Varsity Basketball but the driving skills of a squirrel. He hit a school bus on Wednesday, totaling his car. This is the second vehicle he has totaled in 6 months. I can finally talk about it without crying. I even chuckle a little bit. Of course when I get the letter that our insurance has been cancelled I will start crying again.
  2. Get good running partners to hold you accountable. Sunday, I ran 21 miles. Lacey ran 14.5 miles with me. Today, I ran with Claudia. It was her last long run before her race, 16 miles at Indian Springs.
  3. Run Smart. Sunday, I was struggling with a sore hamstring. My first mile was slow but Lacey was very kind, laughing she said "Yeah, I noticed, but that's OK, we need to run smart, I have an injury and you have another long run tomorrow."
  4. Run Intentional. I don't just look at each run as an individual run. They all make up my training. So to get the most from all my runs I need to run each one preparing for the next. Today was my second long run, 16 miles. Claudia and I ran 9:20 min/mi but took walk breaks every mile. I don't normally do this, however being it was my second long run and I have a sore hamstring this was good for my legs. I need my hamstring to heal so I can have a stronger faster run Wednesday.
  5. Run with MUSIC. One of my favorite running partners is my Ipod. After dropping Lacey off at her car on Sunday, I still had 3.5 miles home. I was tired, sore and ready to be done. As I was saying "Good Bye" to Lacey I was putting my ear buds in my ears to the beat of "Chainsmokers". The beat instantly put a smile across my face and a pep in my step. I hollered with enthusiasm at Lacey as I danced back onto the road. I found my second wind.
  6. Stretch and Roll Baby! It hurts so good. In the evening I stretch, roll for the second time and do my abs. I usually take a Epson Salt bath with Lavender to relax. It is soothing.
  7. Garbage in Garbage out. EAT right. Take in extra calories, protein, water, fruits and vegetables. I do a protein shake, Juice Plus and  Green Tea to release the toxins. Don't think of your long run as an invitation to eat anything you like. Yes, you can eat more, but still think of your food as healing, a means of recovery.
So Many Deer this morning at Indian Springs. They were not shy.

I need to pick a spring Ultra. I am thinking a 50K. That is on my agenda for Wednesday. Race Hunting.
Check back in and see what I find.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pot O Gold Review 2016

When you are training for a LONG distance race and sign up for a 4 mile race, don't be surprised by the results.

POT O GOLD 4 Mile Race,
March 17th, Flint Mi.
Evening Race, Flat course, runs through the University of Michigan and the cultural district of Flint, finishing downtown.

The proceeds go to The Crim Foundation
Sponsored by Complete Runner

I have done this race 6 times. Andy was showing me my Time Hop on Facebook. It was fun to look at all my running partners, crazy outfits and different weather scenes I with.

I ran an easy 8 that morning with Rachel and Erin at Indian Springs.

This year, I traveled with Lacey and Melissa. The two of them would be running together, leaving me in misery alone. I took it easy in the morning and tried to rest my legs in the afternoon. But I knew IT WAS GOING TO HURT and I wasn't prepared for the pace I ran last year. I reminded myself I didn't do the work to get the results I got last year, so LET IT GO and have a respectable and FUN race.

After parking my truck, I was thrilled to see one of my CC athletes stretching with her father. I chatted with them for only a minute because Lacey and Melissa were running to register. The start was in 15 minutes.

We were in and out in 5 minutes. You register in the Masonic Temple. The lines were short and the process was fast. In all my times running this race, I have NEVER gotten a SMALL shirt. They always run out. I smiled, took my XL shirt and we rushed back to the truck to put on our bibs, drops off our stuff and figure out where we could hide to pee. The line was crazy long, they only have 2 bathrooms, but lots of bushes in the parking lot!

I believe they started the race a couple minutes late, they had to of, for as much as we did, they still hadn't started the race by the time we got in the corral.

We started in the middle. I wanted to start in the back. I am so glad I didn't because I forgot it was a gun start! I never even realized it (even though I knew it from previous years) until I couldn't figure out why my Garmin was not matching their results at the end of the race.

The temperatures  were perfect at 45' and sunny. The winds, "Jenkies"! I thought I was going to go up with ToTo several times.
This race is always windy.

The First Mile is uphill. But it is also downhill, what goes up must come down.
Mile 1: 7:34

The Second Mile, I was pacing behind two guys. I saw a gal I knew, Robin H. and said "HI" to her as I slowly passed her. She is a local race girl, I see at more than half the races I run.
They had water stations as the Campus but I passed them up.
Mile 2: 7:37

The Third Mile the guys slowed way down and I wasn't paying attention. I looked at my watch and knew I had to pick it up. About 200 feet away I could see Michelle running. I caught up to Michelle just a little bit before the 3rd mile marker.
Mile 3: 7:54

The Fourth Mile, I asked Michelle "How are you feeling?"  Smiling she responded "GOOD!" I had a feeling she was going to say that. I just don't think she was prepared for what I was going to say back. "Well, then you need to PICK IT UP, this isn't the mile you should feel GOOD!"
And we slowly picked it up. I stayed next to her. My legs were sore and I was tired. I felt my morning run and even more I felt Wednesdays strides and hills on my hamstrings. I was grateful for the flatness of the route but I remembered the last half mile was uphill and very windy.
I coached Michelle on, encouraging her and reminding her to finish strong. She was out of breath but holding a great pace. "Michelle, Just MAINTAIN." I told her. I shared with her the hill was coming up, trying to keep her at a sub 8min/mi.
It was more than just a hill, the wind just about knocked us both backwards. "Look at the tops of the hill, at the second light."
In what seemed forever we reached the top. I knew she was strong enough to pick it up and move ahead of me. I believe I could have stayed with her but I think it is really cool to make it to the FINISH Line before your coach.
"Michelle, we are going to make this turn, then you will see the Finish Line 2 lights down. Slowly pick it up before the first set of lights." I coached her. I added "Meet me at the Finish LINE."

The Finish is DOWNHILL! We both picked it up but I barked at her from behind. "GOOO Michelle, NOW!" I wanted to go faster but I felt my Hamstring screaming at me. I finished about 10 second behind Michelle. It was the perfect finish between her big smile and the volunteers putting my  medal on.

Curtis who runs Complete Runner is always right at the Finish on his Bike. He is very organized and active in making this race successful. He has photographers and videographers capturing every moment.

I waited for Melissa and Lacey to cross the Finish Line, they were about 10 minutes behind me. After laughing, doing some Irish dancing with Robin H. and taking pictures we headed into the Masonic Temple for our results.

I love races that have the mini computers you can put your bib number in and instantly see your results. Our bibs also had the sku that we could use our smart phones to retrieve our results instantly as well.
The process was so easy. I was 2nd in my AG. By the time I got my winning mug Lacey and Melissa had already made it though the food line!

They have about 6 tables with pizza, apples, bananas, chips, water and beer.

It was NOT a PR. I was very confused after looking at my Garmin and seeing my race results. They were about 50 seconds different. It took a hot Epson salt bath at 10pm to remember it was a gun start finish.


Monday, March 14, 2016

LOOKING Over your Shoulder

  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Romans 12:3

I have been asked to speak this Wednesday for a group of ladies. Talking seems to be something I can do quite well. If I ran like I talk I would totally be sponsored!
God has given me the gift of encouragement. That is one of the reasons that I started blogging. I wanted to be an encouragement to others. I love people. I get so excited to love ON people. Especially people that don't always feel loved.

But in order to be an encouragement I am reminded that I need to be HUMBLE.

I have had many circumstances that have humbled me. Little reminders that my S&*!! does stink.
Situations that have not been trophy moments. In Running and in LIFE.

This is another reason why running is so great. In the grand scheme of life most people shun when you mention you just peed your pants.
They would choke on their air if you whispered, "OOPS, sorry I had oatmeal for breakfast." Toot Toot.
Today, I was cracking up at myself when I spit and ran right into it.
I love the time I called Andy begging him to bring me toilet paper as I hid behind a bush about to poo my pants.

The older I get the more humbled I am. Especially, because the older I get the harder I need to work  to just maintain my athleticism.

Looking Over Your Shoulder.
With another dreary day, I struggled to lace up my shoes. 10 miles of hills was on the schedule. After yesterdays 19 miler, I just wanted to take it easy, REALLY easy.
I headed down E. Holly RD. Not real sure what route my legs were going to take me.
The chatter between my ears was deafening. The voices were arguing about pace, distance and direction. And the painful voice of yesterdays run was overpowering all the other voices. It was chaos.
My legs turned off of the main road and I found myself hidden in the comforts of the backroads. A place I was once scared of. I could hardly run forward because I was always looking over my shoulder.

There is not a lot of traffic on the backroads. This is one of the reasons that I enjoy them so much. It is also a reason I get leery when running on them.
With my music in my ears, I do not always hear cars coming. Running on the side of the road towards oncoming traffic is proper etiquette.
But with yesterdays showers, a rough winter and heavy mud, running in the middle of the road was the easiest path.
The road narrowed, barely allowing for 1 car to get through. It winded, curved and declined restricting my view of any oncoming cars.
Multiple times I turned my HEAD OVER MY SHOULDER to look behind me.
It got me thinking. You think a lot running for 10 miles.

Sometimes Life is like running the Backroads. There are times you can hardly see what is in front of you. You don't know what is coming at you. But you are moving forward, trying to be alert and prepared.
But even more alarming is not seeing what is coming BEHIND you. We don't have eyes in the back of our head.
There are some things we just NEVER see coming no matter how many times we look over our shoulder.
No matter how many times I looked behind me, today I NEVER heard or saw that truck coming. I was so startled that I jumped. He came within inches of me. I had gotten to comfortable and was closer to the center than I should have been. He was kind and waved at me.
No matter how you prepare, or think you are prepared, sometimes we just get caught from behind.
Sometimes our past catches up with us, or bad decisions, or unfortunate circumstances catch us off guard. Sometimes we just NEVER see them coming.
It can be heartbreaking and it can be humbling.
For me it was another reminder that God SEE'S everything. No matter how many times I look over my shoulder, how prepared I think I am, I am humbled to know that there is way more I will never know.
And I am grateful he DOES.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Vassar Rd RAIN RUN

Last week, I was at Sam's Club in Grand Blanc in my running clothes. The Cashier was very friendly and was asking me where do I like to run, backroads or main roads?
I responded backroads and trails. She then recommended running down Vassar Rd, mentioning it was beautiful. She said a KEY word that sparked interest, BARNS.
If you follow me on Instagram you will see I love to post the BARNS I see on my runs.

Sadly, Lacey got the flu and couldn't run. However, not by chance did Joan call earlier in the week wanting to see if we could meet up to run. It was her long run,19 miles, It is actually my long run too considering I will be running alongside Joan for her first Marathon, the Martian Marathon in April.

I made a training schedule for Joan a couple months ago. She is a full time student in Ann Arbor, planning a wedding for June and training for her first marathon. I am so proud of her. She has managed to follow the training plan with such discipline.

Even knowing it was going to be raining on us for all 19 miles, Joan arrived at Krogers eager to run!
Our Route: Out and Back.
Saginaw to Perry St. Perry Rd to Vassar Rd. Vassar Rd to Groveland Rd and back.

Distance: 19.07
Pace: 9:05min/mi
Time: 2:53
Calories: 1,553
Elevation Max: 951

** We had more elevation than I was expecting. Surprisingly, we tackled all our hills for vigor. I really tried to keep our pace down the first 9 miles. Looking at our splits we averaged a 9:20 min/mi. The second half I knew Joan had a lot more gas in the tank. She looked great, she was full of energy and conversation, I thought we could do a negative split.
The temperature was 41' but with the rain it was way colder. It never stopped raining. The rain at one point was coming at us sideways, but then would settle down and just spit at us. We were completely drenched by mile 6, making that second half of our run colder and wetter. I was grateful I remembered a hat, especially when I looked at Joan. She had mascara down her cheek, black and heavy like a Rock, Star. But in this weather and with these miles, she WAS a ROCKSTAR! This was the farthest she had EVER ran. And she was making it look easy.
The last 5 miles were all rolling hills. We were drenched. We were also having to keep bridling back from 8:30 min.miles.
Seeing these digits I knew we had no problem with a negative split.
Todays run was great, rain and all. I can hardly wait to run Martian with her. I am also looking forward to see Fritz rock out the Marathon as well. He has been training hard and has a tight goal as well.

Really sad for Michelle B. She could use some prayers. She usually runs this race but is struggling with Plantar Fascia.

Happy Running

Thursday, March 10, 2016

New Heights

Do you remember as a kid switching the TV on and something you were not supposed to be watching was on?
What do you do?
Sneak and just watch a minute of it? Or be obedient and turn on Scooby Doo?
I watched it. Then I felt terrible.

The scenario is different but the emotions feels similar.
Against my better judgment, I opened up my training journal from last year.
I knew it was going to be a mistake.
WOW, that felt terrible.
I was doing a whole lot more in the speed department than I am currently doing.

I looked at what I was running my Thursdays at. I didn't seem that much slower.

Meeting Danielle at Clover Beach this morning, made me try and duplicate last years runs this time of year.

The weather was gloomy.
The temperatures were ideal. 50'.
No Wind.
A little soupy out but other than that it, it was great running weather.

"He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to stand on the heights." Psalm 18:33
We ran a hilly route. Most of my runs these days are centered around elevation. It is a LOVE/HATE relationship. I HATE hills but I LOVE the training(when its over). I will HATE myself later when I have to race with elevation so I need to learn to LOVE the elevation now.

The Rundown:
Pace:8:46 min/mi
1.9:34-this mile was through a path with 5 trees down we had to cross over
8.9:31-Our way back, took some pictures of a barn and on the path with the downed trees.
9. .53 mile- 4.30 (time)
Overall, my Thursdays are still pretty darn close.
Cross Country season is starting up. Coaching will run 5 days of week.
I have been reading more books, journals and articles than I have read all year the last couple months.
My coaching position is a volunteer position.
It is pure LOVE for me.

I don't have any titles, I have no certifications, I am honestly probably not even qualified. I never ran XC in high school or even college. I'm not a rock star runner with my name engraved in time.
Other than this being my 7th year, I have only the experience of being an assistant coach and the experience of my personal running and working with youth kids for the last 15 years.
I am a NOBODY.
But somebody thought I was enough to coach their kids and it is truly an honor. I love those kids. I look forward to bringing out their passion for running. I get choked up just thinking about the excitement they share when they cross the finish line.
There is something MAGICAL when that kid is coming down to the finish line, empty, exhausted, disoriented.  They see you screaming their name and you get to watch them turn over ONE more GEAR.  Then crossing that finish line they collapse into your arms.
It is so amazing.

RUNNING TIPS: CHI Running, Danny Dreyer
  1. Posture: Tempo runs, hills runs, long runs, fun runs/recovery runs
  2. Cadence: Tempo runs, hill runs, long runs, fun runs/recovery runs
  3. Core Strength: Tempo runs, hill runs, interval runs,
  4. Aerobic Capacity: Long run, fun runs/recovery runs
  5. Cardiovascular: Hill runs, interval runs
  6. Arms swinging: Tempo run, hill run, interval run
  7. Lean: Tempo run, interval run, long run

I am grateful for my run today. Most of my family is under the weather. The hills were not my undertaker and the tea was my saving grace.
I may not be running the speed I was but I am content on the path that I am on. God sets me on new heights, this nobody he thinks is a somebody.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Up to Speed

I read a GREAT article last week on recovery weeks. I not only read it, I applied it.
I brought my miles down by a 22%, running 37 miles.  I also brought my crunches and belly exercises down. That was mainly because I forgot to do them. I only did 300 crunches for the week.

Februarys month miles looked like this:  
Total Miles: 203.66
Over 2500 crunches. Results are showing. "It works, if you work it!"
One Race; Leap Year 4 miler

Bringing you up to speed!
I was looking forward to my run with Lacey. The weather all week said it was going to be in the 50's. I had my outfit picked out for the whole week. You get so bored with the same old clothes. It is exciting to put something fresh on. Capris and a bright colored shirt.
We were so disappointed.
It was 35'! I picked through my drab winter wardrobe with anger. Layers, gloves, hats, I was grumbling the whole time. I felt like Mother Nature was a liar and I believed her!

Sunday was a 18 miler.
The plan: Run to Laceys.2.3 miles.  Drive to Indian Springs and run the path 2 times.
Try to maintain a pace between 9-9:15.
Mother Nature might have played a cruel joke on us but my body was not complaining.
Lacey and I had to keep tabs on each other. Our pace kept creeping up. I was sharing a intense story and I heard Lacey "ANITA, SLOW those Emotions DOWN!" Running my mouth, my legs followed at a 8:20 pace.
It wasn't just me though.
Every time I called Lacey out she had a very GOOD EXCUSE!
  • "I gotta pee, I was hurrying up to get to the bathroom"
  • "I was gaining momentum to get up that hill."
  • "I know, I just feel so good!"
  • "We were coming down that hill, I was still at that pace."
  • "I saw that guy up there, It is like he has a TARGET on his back!"
Indian Springs was packed with bikers. They were the friendliest, everyone of them were laughing and cutting up with us.  They were riding the loops multiple times. On our 2 loop, they yelled "WOOT! SECOND LOOP! NICE!!"
We were laughing and joking back and forth, we again found our pace at 8:20min/m!
So it was no surprise our 16 mile run was a 8:58 min/m.

My Second LONG RUN is always a BIG ?.
I woke up and felt amazing. I actually slept equally as good. Getting adequate sleep is huge on these long run days. Melatonin has become my best friend.

My Monday was a hot mess. Over 2 hours at Belle Tire and almost 200$ later for a huge screw in my tire.
My morning run was sabotaged by Monday Morning mishaps.
I didn't even get to start my run until 3:45.
Andy kept running his unexperienced mouth. "YOUR crazy, Look at these road, there is NO way you are going to be able to run.
He actually had to drive me to the trails. He needed my truck. He was going to drop me off and come back when I called him. The WHOLE way he wouldn't stop giving me his wise words of defeat.
"Hey, Since when did YOU know so much about what the trails would look like?"
YEAH, I HATE eating my words with ANDY. He is MR. No it All and it sucks when he is RIGHT!
Andy dropped me off at Grange Hall and Holdridge rd and I ran from there.
10 MILES of HILL repeats.
The Holly XC team passed me, that was humbling. I tried to quickly make myself look like a rock star but when I saw them, I knew I looked more like a "TRY HARD"!
The Backroads were muddy but stunning. The sun danced off the snow making the trees sparkle. The ice and snow was cut out in the lakes by the current and streams flowing into them. It was so pretty I had to stop. Plus I was so hot I had to remove my jacket. Running in atank top was HEAVENLY. The warm sun was delightful to feel. Even in my painful hill repeats I was smiling inside.

The last couple days my 28 miles really went were great. I could have actually ran a couple more today but I was out of time.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Leap Year 4 mile Race

Saturday:3.5 miles Easy
Sunday: 14 miles Painful ...I struggled
Monday 10 miles; Great Run, did 10:1 intervals and it felt great.
MONDAY NIGHT: 4 Mile Leap Year Race.

Leap Year Race: New Boston Michigan. 6:30 pm.
I signed up for this race several weeks ago. Maximum participants 2000.
Lacey had me meeting her and Melissa at her house at 4:45.
As soon as I pulled in Lacey jumped in solo.
Melissa was going to be a good trooper and try to run with us but due to a recent injury she bowed out.

Lacey and I had made a early morning plan.
It was her 6 day straight running.
It was my second long run after a very painful run on Sunday. We both decided we would try to take a nap and have rested legs before we raced.
I actually took a great nap. I was rested and ready to run again!

Lacey was fresh and ready to roll. She had printed out the directions and had a bag full of goodies. It was a Monday night Girls Nite. A new race and dinner after, we were giddy.
In pure excitement, I made a bad decision. Tim Hortons was a very emotional choice, I HAD TO HAVE just one cup. We hit the Tim Hortons in Milford. I felt like a junkie my craving was so bad.

New Boston is located near metro Airport. The planes were coming out of the tree lines making my heart skip a beat. They looked like they were going to land on your head.
In the middle of chaos and expressways rests' this Metro Park called WILLOW PARK. This was where our race was.
The parking lot was filling up. The sun was setting and it was a magnificent bright pink color. Other than having to pee I was feeling really excited. We jumped out of my truck to get our bibs and check out the bathroom situation. It was 6:11.
WOW! It was warm. It was 44'.  Way warmer than Holly was.
The race was very organized, it took minutes to get our bib, our pins and our sweatshirts.
The bathroom was going to take 10 times longer. We headed to the truck. "I shouldn't have drank that coffee...." I wasn't going to make it a mile and I would have dropped my bladder.

Nothing is shocking to runners. We do the craziest things and don't think twice about it. So when I dumped the last couple sips of my coffee out of my truck Lacey laughed but really wasn't shocked. My truck is big enough I could hunker down and no one would see me. YES, I peed in the cup like I was 6 years old. Don't judge, would you rather I peed my pants?!

We were shedding our gloves and layers and hustling to the starting line.
The sun was setting making the race really cool looking.

GOAL: To go on Effort Level. Have a respectable race but be conscious of how our body felt. NOT CHECKING OUR PACE.

We never heard the National Anthem or a Gun Shot. We were in the back of over 1000 runners. With big smiles and a chill attitude we followed the crowd across the starting mat. Race Start about 6:40pm.

Sweatshirts were cheesy, but the medals GLOWED! Very cool!

By Mile 2 it was dark. REALLY DARK. Dancing in the blackness of the night were HUNDREDS of glow in the dark necklaces, shoes, head lamps and accessories. It was pretty groovy looking.
Lacey and I were heated up and running really good. You actually never ran on the trails, they had you running on the road throughout the park. IT was SOO flat that Lacey and I found it comical, waiting for the dreaded hill to arise in the dark to torture us. It never DID! The total elevation of the race was 6 FEET!
Lacey and I never quit passing people. My watch lined up perfectly with the first mile. But mile 2 seemed to be the LONGEST mile. And Mile 3, My watch beeped a quarter of a mile a we reached the 3 MILE sign.
Lacey and I picked it up the last mile and she made some gutsy moves to pass runners as we were heading into the wind. We had a gravy 3 miles with the wind at our back. But now the wind was smacking us with no remorse.
"Really Lacey, did you have to pass those people?"
"Yup, I had to get around them."
My concern was this race was going to be longer than we expected and I was nervous we would empty the tank.
Then I hear Lacey "WOW, really!?"
I looked up and tried to focus in the dark. It was the FINISH LINE! I wasn't going to argue, I felt good and together we picked it up and finished it out laughing.
They were right there putting our GLOW in the DARK medals around our neck.
Catching our breath we came to the conclusion that because this race is EVERY 4 YEARS they just forgot where the mile markers went!
Random runner!

If the Lord Blesses me with another 4 years of running I will BE BACK! If you are looking for a race to PR, This is the one, even in the dark. Granted I wasn't in the front, being in the back I always had someone's light to follow. Mine was useless because I didn't angle it properly, Typical Airhead Anita move.
My Garmin was quite a bit different then their time. It was in my favor.
My Garmin had me at a 8:08 pace.
Their Results:
Time: 32:59

We went into the clubhouse to get our results and our goodies. The goodies were great! Cookies, Pop Tarts, Fig Bars, protein bars, bananas and boxes of snack foods.
We sat down looking at the runners coming in and munching on our food. We just chilled and soaked up the atmosphere. "Lacey, I cant believe I didn't see anyone I know."
As we were heading to get out results I SAW KIRT! A local runner I see at a lot of runs, and he gets his hair cut once in a while at my salon.

The DINNER: Milford Smoke Street
The best part of running, is EATING!! We found a great little Barbeque restaurant in Milford. It was the Icing on the Cake. Why is food SOO good after running?

February is officially OVER. And March came in with a BANG, Another snow storm. I TOOK A SNOW DAY TODAY TOO! I stayed home ALL day! I decided this week was would be a good week to bring my miles down. Next week I will ramp them back up. I am giving my body some recovery.

Anyone Else Run a Leap Year RACE??