"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, June 22, 2016

"Its Good Training" they said.

16 miles, 92' degrees, water bottles emptied, sweating like a stuck pig, eating alive by bugs,

Not gonna lie, it was nothing shy of awesomeness.
It was a total mental game.

Before we even started running the trails I voiced my concern.
"Ahh, I think I have a problem...I don't think I have enough water."

I only had my handheld. I knew it wasn't going to be enough.
I was embarrassed when I saw the other runner only running with his handheld, the same size of mine.
He actually offered me his extra small handheld. Not shyly at all, I TOOK IT!
I filled it with an electrolyte tab and filled my larger one with water. I ran with both.
I didn't have a swallow left in either one. I would have licked the inside of both if I knew there was anything left.

There is no pride in a 16 mile trail run in mid day high heat.
We all were soaked in sweat, red faced and walking the hills like a life line.
My freshly shaven legs were dripping in sweat, which after a few miles turned into filth. I felt the sweat drip off my elbows and sting my eyes.

Around mile 12, they wanted me to take a picture of the trail. I couldn't even get my phone out due to my fingers sweating so bad. My pony tail was dripping sweat down my back.
It sounds gross...and normally I would be gagging.
Oddly enough..I didn't care.
It was "Good Training!"

Me: "Really, run at 10am?"
Them: "It's good training."

Me: "It's 92' degrees out"
Them: "It's good training."

Me: "....Yeah, I ran 10 yesterday...."
Them: "OH yeah, and 16 today, that's good training."

Me: "..you outta water? I am almost out..." (Slight concern because we were one at mile 11!)
Them: "... Ahh, it's good training...."

"This is good training for Cloudsplitter..."

The last few miles we ran smart. We slowed our pace down, added more walk breaks and dug in for the final stretch. Like an old cows tail, I trailed behind them.
"Anita, you can go ahead..."
I seriously laughed to myself.
As tired as I was, I would never have gotten out of the woods. I would still be running around lost.

I was secretly happy to hear them breathing heavy and taking extra long walk breaks. I felt guilty seeing them sweat so bad and happy about it.
I thought these runners were a strange breed of elite running machines. Fueled by some crazy secret ingredient I was not pleasured with.
They sweat like me.
They stunk like me.
They are still more beastly then me, but they are HUMAN!

My Final Saving Grace: Prayer. Waterless, exhausted, hot and tired, I prayed. I asked God to give me the strength to finish it out. I reminded myself there just wasn't any option. Only to suck it up and finish.
I would do it again, It was good training. One to go down in the books.

"I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me." Phil: 4:13. HE strengthened ME to run this. I was already prepared to finish before I started.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Excessive Sweating

Holy Stinking Heat WAVE!
The weather for Michigan has been in the 90's. The last week is a sure fire way of getting acclimated to the heat. Normally it takes at 3 least weeks for our bodies to adjust to the temperatures. I would say I am there.
I ran in 93' temps today and was barely sweating. NOT that I wasn't hot, fatigued and feeling wimpy.
I was able to run 10 miles right smack in the middle of the day. Not too brilliant.

My Precautions running in the heat:
  1. Took walk breaks every mile: this allowed my temperature to come down, preventing me from overheating.
  2. Brought my pace down. I was NOT running record speed by any means today.
  3. Water and electrolytes: I kept my body hydrated prior to running and I was very intentional about drinking. I brought some electrolyte tabs with me and added them to my last 5 miles. 
  4. Route: I picked a route that would be out of the blazing sun. However, it was a toss up with as many bugs that attacked me on the backroads. My route also had a place I could refill my water.
Distance: 10miles
Pace: 9:46/mi
Time: 1:34:54
The route was rather hilly. But I know I needed the elevation. I did run 2 miles in the scorching heat. Surprisingly, I handled it OK. I will say, running at 12:30 in the afternoon is not a real brilliant idea. I am not sure I could have ran too many more miles before I found myself hitchhiking.

The worst part of the heat is how you sweat and stink. Being a girl I think it is just plain NASTY that we are capable of smelling like a man.
Lacey and I ran one day at Holly Rec. After our 9 mile run on trails and backroads we were both making fun of each other. I have NEVER "NOTICED" getting sweaty shorts. I have seen this phenomenon happen to many men, and even several woman...BUT NOT ME.
WEll..... There is a First for EVERYTHING!   We both "Broke through"!

REMINDER: Make sure you drink Gatorade or Chocolate milk after a hard run. It is important to replace what you have lost within 30 minutes of you run. I like to make a smoothie. I also have an apple, watermelon or a popscicle handy just to feel refreshed.
If you want to recover properly after a hard run in the heat remember to HYDRATE throughout the rest of the day.

What is the Hottest you have ran this year??


Monday, June 13, 2016

Grubers Grinder

Grubers Grinder, also known as Holdridge East loop.

Totally unplanned spontaneous run.
Met a couple ultra runners this morning at 10am to run the 16 mile loop.

I was nervous on how my body would keep up after yesterdays 14 miler.

I hung with the big dogs. Other than forgetting to start my Garmin for 4 miles, I had no issues. My body held strong for a very windy trail run.

The pace picked up the last 2 miles. Not knowing where we were exactly, I started to get a little nervous as to whether or not I could hold the pace.

Then just like that the trail ended and we were back in the parking lot. I hung just fine.

Distance: 16 Miles
Time: 2:49
Pace: 12:29

Now lets see how I do walking tomorrow!

  • stretch
  • roll
  • fluids/water, Gatorade
  • Motrin
  • TEA. Ahhhh

I was reminded again that I need to be running the trails more. I Seriously NEED to pick my training up. I have been running trails at least once a week. I will start running them twice a week.

We talked about a night run. That sounds like a blast. One of my concerns is running in the dark for my ultra.
It would be fun to get a group of us out there. It will be a late night. Thank God it is SUMMER!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

"I Can do THIS."

12 miles. I dropped Lacey off at home and was secretly hoping to end my run there. I was tired. I didn't want to trudge back home. It is all hills back. And ONE very terrible hill.
My ankle was still sore from my 16 miler on Thursday, I rolled it pretty bad at mile 6. I had several more excuses to have Lacey just drive me home.
But I had ONE BIG reason I needed to RUN...my 100K.
I had to be stronger than my excuses.

I came down E. Holly rd 30 seconds too fast. I thought maybe I could hold this pace until I hit that last hill to my house.
There she was a half-a-mile ahead of me.
"I can do this." I tried to convince myself. The sun was so warm on my skin. Without a cloud in the sky, the gentle breeze kept my temperature down. Everything really was ideal.
It was daunting looking up at her.
The music was loud in my ears, as I replayed America's Sweetheart by Elle King. The song is tough. The lyrics were raging. I felt my hands clenched.
"I CAN DO THIS, I CAN FREAKING do this." I said out loud."
Everything worth anything was laid out before me. "I GOT THIS" I screamed louder.
I licked my lips, swallowed hard and dug in heading right for that beast at the end of a 14 mile run.
It burned, my heart was beating out of my chest.
The more it hurt, the more I picked my legs up and moved my arm. I looked at the top of the hill with vengeance. I wanted nothing more than to beat the hell out of the hill. I was not going to have it the other way around.
My whole body turned cold. I had goosebumps from head to toe.
"EVERYTHING, COME ON, GET IT." I screamed not caring who heard me.
I started to laugh, that crazy Jack Nicholson laugh, as I approached the top.

I flung my arm in the air as I conquered the top. "YES!!!" Smiling with victory, I felt the strongest I had the entire 14 mile run.

Distance: 14:11mi
Time: 2:19
Pace: 9:54/mi

My Ultra training has you running back to back long runs. SO tomorrow I will be back at it.

One of the great things about running is there is always an adventure. I do not like to be married to my watch on long runs. If I see something worthy of a second glance, I want to stop and enjoy it. My running partners know this is something I do.
Today, was one of those days. Lacey and I ran Rattalee Lk Rd. From rustic barns to acres and acres of wet lands. We stumbled on a small park and decided to run through it. It was more of a Hike/horse kind of a trail. But it was fun running that mile through it. It was also our slowest mile!

Life is fragile. Time is not as endless as we think. Everyday is a gift. There is so much life to live. So much to see, feel, smell, experience.
When I run, I love taking a deep breath of the fresh air. Unconsciously, I reach my hands out to touch the grass. My eyes bounce off one scene and look for another.  I get giddy like a toddler, when I see a wild turkey, a stoic sand crane or graceful deer dancing across the field.
I feel every breeze, and embrace the warmth of the sun on my bare skin.
It is LIFE. It is living. It is going out not knowing what each run will hold. Running in Faith.
Embracing Each day God has given you. And not taking a single moment for granted.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sorenson Park Review

Sorenson Park is a 93 acre park with 2 baseball fields, a nature center and a 5K running route.

This picture was taken about 4 weeks ago. Notice the only greenery is that little patch of moss.
I didn't take this picture today. I swiped it off the Facebook page!

This is what Sorenson Park looks like now!

I barely recognized the trail with the trees full of greenery. Vines were growing wild across the path, making you concerned of pickers.
I couldn't see the large boulders that run along side the trail due to all the foliage.
Again, this was 4 weeks ago. Today, I never located the boulders as they were tucked away from a canopy of greenery.
The trail was much more narrow, the 93 acre park was thick and lush with vegetation overtaking the path.
It was lovely. I have never seen anything suspicious in the park. A lot of people walk their dogs, me included. The Holly XC team runs there in the summer once a week. I have always felt safe there.

I rarely run through the trails without taking a picture. Even though I ran with my phone, I did NOT stop.
The GOAL: to run the 5K 2 times= a 10K!
I wanted to run the second half faster than the first half, but NOT wanting to go hard.

Sorenson Trails

The trail is well maintained. Parts of it is mowed. You have to do a loop 2 times. I had to do the loop 4 times because I ran it twice.
As you come out of the trails you could easily loose the trail that connects near a  the mulch pile. The trail is relatively flat except for the last half mile that goes behind the softball diamond just beyond the mulch. Then it is UP Up UP!
You finish the last 2/10th running along side the baseball fields.

Distance: 6.22
Pace: 9:21
Calories: 485
Elev Gain: 78
I DID IT. Without running out of breath, running tired or sore. I finished mile 4 faster than mile 1 and mile 5 faster than mile 2 BUT that last mile was going to be a doozy. I had to run back up that hill and hold my pace.
I know I could run it faster, but I wanted to run it just a few seconds faster, I wanted to run it with breath, with energy.
And truth be told...I need to get a long run in tomorrow, I needed to run it SMART.
Nailed it~

I took that last stretch back home. Flat and easy. I did my mental checklist.
How was my posture?
How was my breathing?
How was my foot strike?
Where were my hips resting? My arms landing?

It felt wonderful. Life was good, exceptionally good for those 58 minutes.

In other news: DAD is OUT of ICU!! Almost 2 weeks in there. It was a great morning seeing dad finally make it to a stepdown room. He actually smiled, did some exercises, and drank some coffee. It was also so nice to see mom smiling. She was in the best spirits I have seen her in as well.
Thank you for you prayers.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Will Run for Cheesecake

I decided this week I was going to get back in the saddle again. I eat intentional MOST of the time. But the last few weeks my schedule has been helter skelter. With an unpredictable and chaotic schedule, my eating seemed to follow the same pattern.
Fast food isn't my downfall.
Portion sizes don't really effect me, I am not a big eater.

Its TAKING the time to eat. I skip meals, forget to eat, then eat things I normally don't eat, like Kettle potato chips, Pepperoncino to be specific.

I know I need to EAT. And eat intentionally. I buy my boys such healthy food but I just don't take time to eat it myself.
I went to the grocery store today. 230$ later. I always try to buy some new items.
This week I purchased:
  • Ugly fruit
  • Grapples..They really do taste like a grape!
Tommorrow breakfast/lunch for work: KIND bar, I like coconut flavor, Noosa Yogurt, w/granola and Chia. 2 slices Boars Head Chicken breast, RAW Oatmeal. Carrots, Strawberries and a Pear.

ONE Step Forward 2 steps back..

That sounds great for tomorrow, HOWEVER..Today..CHEESECAKE!
Danielle and I actually planned a running date at Kensington and lunch at Cheesecake Factory over 3 weeks ago.

We had the perfect run. The temps were kind to us at 70', we were even spoiled with a cool breeze coming off the lake. It was divine. The sky was a magnificent blue with fluffy white clouds resting above us.
We were hardly alone, the park was filled with runners, bikers and walkers. I love seeing so many people active and engaged.

Distance: 9mi
I need to play with my Garmin. The auto pause isn't set. Our running pace was actually 8:45/mi.

After our run, we cleaned up in the public bathrooms. After changing, we headed to Cheesecake Factory.
I ate a very intentiaonally healthy salad...Then cheesecake. We had such a nice lunch. For the record, I only ate about 4 bites, 3 of mine and 1 of Danielle's!
I brought the rest home along with a Raspberry Lemon cheesecake slice for my boys.

"Don't ruin a good today by thinking about a bad yesterday."

Each day is a new day. With Hope, promises and opportunities to try again. I was reminded of this today. I don't need to chase negativity with more negativity.
Let it GO.

Yesterdays Peacock we saw on our run, one of 4!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Scaring the Thunder Away

"Don't Count the Days, Make the Days Count." Muhammad Ali

It has been a crazy emotional week. A week of little running and a lot of running around.
My father in law is still in the ICU trying to recover from open heart surgery.

Cross country finished up, Friday was our banquet. I am very sad it is over. I fall in love with the kids. We are wrapping up when I feel like I am really connecting to the kids and they are connecting with me.
One day, we were running repeats and I asked the kids to run their last interval dedicated to someone. I overheard one of the kids say. "Who did you run for?"
"I ran for Coach Harless." she responded.
I swallowed deep and choked back the tears.

With so little running I think my bootie is healing. I, of course rub my snake oil over it, stretch and roll it. (Snake oil: Young Living Deep Relief and Panway). It numbs it, almost like peppermint. I rub it on my sore muscles really deep and it almost burns, like icy hot.

Today is Ariel's birthday. She would be 25. I picked the scab off again today. I bled tears.
In my silence my heart screams.

Anger was present more this week than normal for me. I had crazy moments of RAGE. I found my arms gripped in fury. Images flashed in front of me. Punching the bag, hearing the snap of my foot hitting the heavy bag, screaming loudly in frustration and hurt. I found myself getting in my truck to drive and praying no cops pulled my over as my foot irresponsibly hit the gas peddle. I was just not in control emotionally. Words vomited from my mouth. I was foreign to myself. Trapped in a crazy persons body. I hated who I was. I begged God to intervene. I begged God for forgiveness, embarrassed by my action.

I Needed to RUN.

Today, was my only opportunity to get a solid run in.
Only Mother Nature had other plans. Like rain and storms all day.
I didn't care. I was going to run NO MATTER what the conditions were.

Lacey and I met in between our houses. It wasn't raining yet.

At first, it was just a little sprinkle. Then the Thunder erupted. I tried to ignore it but Lacey verbalized it.
We kept running. Both of us really needed to get some miles in.
We kept running.
It kept thundering.
It started raining, no more sprinkling.
Andy showed  up in my truck to bring us home.
Wet, but not drenched we told him we were going to keep running.
"OK, now is your chance, I am NOT coming back!" he yelled between the crack in the window.
"BYE!" we laughed

We didn't get a mile down the dirt road when Lacey screamed "DID YOU SEE THAT?"
I thought it was a deer.
With her eyes as big as saucers she describes the lightning that stretched across the sky.
We turned around. Not to go home but to be closer to home.

We thought we were running in rain. Then the skies REALLY opened up.
The dirt roads were being washed out,. We couldn't stop laughing as the thunder rolled and the rain pummeled us.
We were drenched. Our shoes were heavy and soggy. We were running through mud puddles because the road was saturated and we couldn't find any dry space. People were on their decks watching the storm come in. One guy actually laughed with us and we ran by him like drowned rats.
By mile 8, the skies cleared and the sun came out. And so did the humidity and heat. We both enjoyed the rain.
The biggest problem with the weather was that I couldn't get a proper read on our pace. We wanted to go slow, but my legs after not running almost all week wanted to go fast. Lacey kept bringing me down.

Distance: 12.03
Pace: 9:13

It was one of my favorite runs. I enjoyed the adventure of running through torrential rain showers, thunder and lightning.

I have really enjoyed listening to all the quotes that Muhammad Ali had said in his career.  In honor of him I told Lacey "We ran so tough that we scared the storm back home."

I finally get to run with Danielle tomorrow! I haven't seen her in 3 weeks. I miss her.

Muhammad Ali Quotes
  • "If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it--then I can achieve it."
  • "A man who has no imagination has no wings"
  • "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."