"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, November 30, 2016

Its the little Things

I stopped, turned around. I walked closer to the edge of the dirt road. My heart was pounding, sweat was trickling down my back and my hands started to shake.
I felt the quiver of emotions gently rising. The sun hugged my back, warming me with comfort and peace.
Jeremiah 15:18
Why has my pain been perpetual And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable?

Tears softly rolled down my cheeks as I gazed across the rustic pasture. A small stream, almost hidden made its way towards where I stood. The trickling of the brisk November water made a heavenly hum as it danced through the high grasses and rocks. It seemed as if it appeared from no more. A mystery.

"For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;…"PSALMS 139:13-15

Emotions were so tangled within me, I felt each one slowly unravel. I was no longer standing, I kneeled down in humility, giving God thanks, asking for forgiveness in my brokenness.

I stared out at the calmness that was encompassing me. Questioning what had happened to me, what was this turmoil that had twisted me, I felt more tears warm my cheeks.

Running always helps to unwind me. I looked through my morning and wondered if it was one particular thing or if it was everything added together.

My sleep was restless and broken. The dogs whimpered at 5am to go out. Begrudgingly, I stepped out of the warm bed to let them out.
Was this the culprit of my emotional breakdown?

Coffee is always a soothing morning routine. However, my Keurig was spewing coffee grounds at me like the exorcist.
Was it my lack of coffee and my new broken appliance that bound me up?

I wanted so bad to have it all together. I thought back, or was it the hubby?
Was it Andy throwing things around this morning because he too was having a bad morning?
But even Andy recovered with a heartfelt apology, calling himself a "Douche". I smirked at his apology text, it really was endearing.

I thought back a couple miles before I rested at this place.
I saw a tree.
Its silhouette was perfectly cut against the vast blue sky. It towered full of strength and age.  Its branches were mangled and all twisted together. The heavy branches grew awkwardly outside of a thick strong trunk. Nothing made sense as the tree looked tangled within itself.
I couldn't remember seeing this old beaten tree. I had ran this route so many times and couldn't remember seeing this beautiful mess.
This was me. I felt like this tree. Most people would never recognize me if they could see me naked of my protecting covering. They may think I was ugly, broken, even disturbed. All the things I am.
I am all knotted up, I am woven together like madness. Nothing makes sense...
But God covers me, protects me from even myself. The turmoil is real to me. But most of you see someone who looks like they have it together. Some might even think I have it made.

Isn't this all of us. Or most of us, the honest ones.
We try so hard to have it all together. We look so pretty from the outside. But when the leaves fall...

I was reminded today, that I am "Fearfully and Wonderfully made." I knelt along that stream emotionally twisted and tangled.
I quit trying to "Figure myself out."
I thought of the "Little Things".
The crisp air cooling off my hot cheeks. The smell of grasses surviving the chilly November weather.
The trickle of the stream as it made it way below the backroad where I stood.
And these were just "The Little Things."
I LOVE old barns. This was still a working farm. History is Beautiful. Isn't she lovely?

You ask "Why do You Run?"
"The Little Things"
It grounds me to a place of Gratitude.
It reminds me of A God that perfectly placed each branch, who weaved every offshoot creating a individual masterpiece.
In his perfection, everything is created. His design gets the Glory. It is a few miles of running outside of myself to see a bigger picture.
I am reminded no matter how my day unfolds, HE is always in control. Give Thanks even in the hard times.

Smile. Find Gratitude. Give Thanks. Stay Humble.

"Oh give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever." Psalms 136:1


Sunday, November 27, 2016

One Thanksfull kinda weekend

Gray Skies, sneaking blue
Breathing heavy over the hill.
Startled turkeys fly.

Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, I stuffed my body full.
Thanksgiving Day was great till it wasn't any more. That would be the point my body hated me, my belly looked like I was in my 2nd trimester and I was tuckered out like a 2 year old.

I LOVE being around family during the holidays. Yes, it can be stressful. I am a lot to handle so I always pray that I will practice self control and THINK before I speak. I am loud, ridiculous and can be irritating to the average person.
Most people can only handle me in small doses.

I told someone this past week "HEY, as much as I might drive you crazy, I have to live with myself, think about how I FEEL!"

On Wednesday night, Lacey and I  made 6 costume's for a Turkey Trot at Mott Park.

Andy and I met Ken, Melissa, Lacey, Bob, Rachel and Megan Thursday morning. Bob and Andy were NOT dressing up. They were too "Chicken"!
The race was more of a fun run, untimed. Originally, we were going to run it all together, however; within seconds of the gunshot that plan was gobbled up.
Lacey took off with Andy. Megan stayed with her mom and Bob, her husband, I think was with Melissa.
I looked at poor Ken. He was such a trooper. He has been sick for 3 weeks but came out and put that ridiculous costume on for me. I had to run with him.
The golf course was soaking wet. But we just trudged through it laughing. The bridge was slicker than snot but I even made that fun. I threw my hands out and got as many "HIGH FIVES" as I could from the runners coming across on the other side.
Ken rocked that race, with unknown at the time- pneumonia. I actually thought at one point that he was going to leave me. The last 10th of a mile he slowed up. I saw Andy and Lacey smiling on the side cheering us on.  My eyes were more fixed on a group of 4 runners that all had passed us, I picked it up and passed all of them at the finish. So fun. Ken gave me that smile, the "Way to go smile".
This guy ran over to Ken and I a couple minutes later laughing "OH my gosh, I was watching you pass all the guys at the end, that was great!"   

No amount of running was going to balance the amount of calories I would eat just a few hours later. And I had no guilt. There was a day I couldn't even enjoy Thanksgiving dinner because the food was so rich and heavy. But I work too hard to let that burden me anymore.

Thanksgiving is about FAMILY, Food and Fun. Being Thankful for Family. Embracing one another, loving each other for our differences and our similarities. I can be alone all year, but the holidays only come a few times a year.
I made corn soufflé, mashed potatoes and buttermilk pie. The potatoes were a hit and I made them the night before only to place them in a crockpot on Thanksgiving.

My miles have been down this week. I was really looking forward to running with Lacey today.
It was just her and I today.
We took turns pushing each other. I picked the route. I wanted to run in a different direction. Silly Nita, I picked a hill fest for a route.
Lacey and I chatted for about 6 miles, then we began to get quieter and quieter. So quiet that the last 2 miles all you could really hear was the both of us breathing.
The problem was it was HER last 2 miles. I had to hold the pace over 2 MORE miles and 5 more hills, ALONE back to my house.
My stupid ankle was angry at me and my BUTT was raging at me for all those hills. I felt like Cyclops running all discombobulated.
All I could hear was my breath that last 2 miles home. Trying to keep my mind clear of discouragement I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I jumped at the same time IT jumped. It was a huge turkey. He couldn't get his big old fat body off the ground as he tripped over himself. He was not alone, still laughing, two more turkeys were flopping around in the bushes. They were trying to get a takeoff. Mud and dirt was flinging everywhere as they clumsily flapped their wings into the air directly in front of me. That distraction really didn't last long enough.
I made it home, then I got a fleeting idea, RUN TO 12 miles, its just another half a mile.
My house blurred to my left as I ran pass it. Every step my bright idea dimmed more. My right side (The butt side) was numb and my left side (My ankle) was not longer friends with me.
And just like that I STOPPED and walked home at 11.51 miles.

Distance: 11.51
Time: 1:41

"Anything worth doing is going to be difficult."
Fauja Singa:100 years old after finishing the 2011 Toronto Marathon in 8:25

Play time is coming to a close. Its getting to be that time I am going to have to get my head in the game. It frightens me.
My body is struggling.
When we set goals we have to really focus on them. It is sacrifice, sweat and pain.
I can do the sacrifice, even the sweat, but ultra running really has kept me from the pain locker. Its more of a slow death. I am going to need to be more intentional with my pace, focused on my miles and training.
We train to get better. In anything we do, we are going to need to not give up. I think this winter I am going to REALLY need to train. I know how to train easy, but I am only getting older and I am going to need to train hard.

Glass City Marathon
April 22.
Let's get Lacey to Boston!


Monday, November 21, 2016

My Poor lil ankle.

The sun was shining but I didn't let that fool me. The temperatures were still in the 20's.
Even as I am writing at 8pm I am not thawed out. I am nursing a warm cup of tea wondering how I am going to get through another winter without whining everyday.. multiple times.

I met Paula and Matt out at Holly Rec with a little reservation. The hunters really own the woods right now. I tried to get Rachel to come play with us and even she bailed with concerns of hunters.

In a hurry, I forgot a pony tail holder. I put my pink beanie on with my hair tussled beneath it. I could smell the soft aroma of my hair as the breeze blew.  My clothes came right out of the dryer with the fresh scents of fabric softener. And as a added bonus, I snuck Andy's buff and sprinkled essential oils on it. I was comfortable and surrounded with sweet aromas.  

The trail was camouflaged beneath the fallen leaves. The trees were bare, opening up the woods as never seen before. I could see throughout the forest. It was lovely.  Even in the depths of the woods the trees didn't protect you from the wind that whipped through the hardwood.
Unprotected and vulnerable to the chill that left you stunned, wondering how much more was to come.

With less than 2 miles in, running as delicately as I could, the crisp leaves disguised a hidden rock. My ankle, the weak one, twisted like a bad movie, popping in multiple places.
I winced, I tried so hard to toughen it out but had to walk it out, take a deep breath and mentally accessing myself.
Matt and Paula were very kind. We walked until embarrassment was overwhelming and I decided we should get running again. It was actually great timing, we were heading up a incline.

I have always been in the tale end, I asked Paula to jump in front of me.

We hit the first loop and headed back out for our second loop. We all were in agreement that we had warmed up. We would get an occasional gust of wind but we all feeling comfortable.

As God is my witness, we came to the place I twisted my ankle and wouldn't you know it..I hit the SAME stinking ROCK.
I want to know that stats on how that happens TWICE.

This time a word came out of my mouth that was not very Christ Like. It wasn't the throw your cards in "F-Word", but it blurted out.
"D@*# IT!"  I cried in frustration.

I was the weak link. Again we had to stop because of me. I was mortified. Paula wants to run and I was stealing all the fun.
My ankle was angry, we walked up the hill and we prematurely started running. I pulled up my big girl pants and sucked it up.
Matt was leading with Paula directly behind. That second loop was a lot quieter. The rustling of leaves on the trail was racketing enough. The quietness of our voices was actually welcomed. My mind was exploding with plenty of dialogue.
"How does Matt keep looking back here to talk to us and hasn't tripped once?!"
"Where are all the hunters, or deer?"
"I'm good, I don't want to see any deer, I'm afraid I will see a bullet right behind it."

We finished up 11 miles. Matt and Paula brought hot water and cocoa. I brought marshmallows.
My ankle felt momentarily better.
I pulled on a big hoodie and my oversized sweatpants covering up my hooker tights.
Matt prepared our cocoas.
It was nice to have a few extra minutes to chit chat and warm up with gooey hot cocoa. YUM.  

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a familiar golden retriever behind us. The owner had her on a leash. I squatted down to pet the hyper pooch. The owner, came over to apologize to us for her dog running after us on the trail without her leash.
Having a dog myself, it really didn't bother me. Its a golden retriever, not a pit bull. I didn't get bothered by it and her dog didn't bother me any more that that stupid rock did.
Oh, if I had someone to yell at for that stupid rock I would have!

I was so worried about my tooshy giving me issues I never thought it would have been my ANKLE!

I snuck in a race..
It should be fun! Wednesday I will tell you about it.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Breaking in Winter

Three wide, into the Winds
Gray skies, shivering forward
Wintertime Running

After church we always have breakfast. I usually have our plan from Lacey by this time but my phone was vacant from any running plan from her. I waited until after breakfast and when I still didn't hear from her I thought I better touch base. The weather was gloomy, dark and windy. I was secretly hoping that she was bailing on me. I was beginning to see myself in shorts running around the track at GAC all footloose and fancy. The sauna was looking real good too.  Before I continued daydreaming I thought I better touch base.

ME: Was up
ME: Its 17' degrees with wind chill.
Lacey: So sad so cold
ME: U want to run? Or bail? I know you  have an early soccer game.
Lacey: Run run fun
ME: Ok..time
Lacey: No one's bailing. Are you kidding me SUCK IT UP
ME: Ahh!! Ok!!

Lacey was ready to roll. She was knocking on my door 25 minutes later.
Andy was finishing getting dressed to run with us.

We got our butts KICKED out there. We took off into the wind and it seemed like the wind just hit us from every direction.
It was piercing. We just laughed the more we got blasted by the brisk winds. We laughed until even our cheeks hurt. Our words slurred like drunken runners. But our face muscles were not working properly.
Lacey and I were talking way more, so our symptoms were not as serious as Andy's. When Andy did get a word in edge wise we laughed at his blubbering sentences.
I tried to run behind Andy to block the wind but he was running too slow. Somehow, Andy found a sweet spot behind Lacey and I, letting us take the brunt of the wintery weather.

We knocked out 10 miles. And maintained a decent pace.
ATTIRE: NB Running tights, 1 thermal running shirt and 1 jacket. Buff, light weight hat and gloves. Smart wool socks
I wore tights because I was afraid, deeply afraid the wind would cut through baggier pants. AND ugh, they were so stinking tight. I think that is why Andy was actually running behind me. Double UGH!

Its time to SUCK it up I guess. Winter has shown up.



Friday, November 18, 2016

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

Today, I found a little surprise that Joan posted on my FB wall.
Pictures from Clarkston Backroads Half Marathon.

Please let me Share with some internal thoughts...
"Smile For the Camera, I'm so Glad that the camera is here while we still look half way decent."
"Hey Look, there's a camera guy, Look natural, shoulders back, smile, look ahead...Natural like I don't see him."

"Ahhh, I could run with butterflies and unicorns, this is the best thing there ever was, I wish this moment never ENDED. It sure is Pretty....."

"Get those Hands UP!! Are we having Fun YET?!!"

"Ohhh Joan, That took all so much energy, I cant feel my arms now!"

"A Camera, here..Oh Lordy, I am dying."

"Don't PUKE in front of the camera..You passed the girl in the striped socks! Don't PUKE! Mac and cheese,where is the mac and cheese?"

Just a little fun with Pics~

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Calming the Seas for Me

"What sort of man is this that even the winds and seas obey?"

I have read this passage a hundred times. But suddenly it was as if a light went on for me.

Another reminder of how much I am not.

I am just a piece of sand swept up from the sea.
A star unseen.
A blink in time.
A single tear from a grieving heart.

I live each day planned out with intention and entitlements. Never looking at tomorrow like it will never come.

I walk the walk. I say my prayers at night. I put my Sunday best on. I quote scripture and know how to church myself up.

But it becomes routine, traditional if your not careful.
Yes, I believe GOD created the heavens and the Earth.
I believe that He gave HIS son so we could have eternal life.
I believe HE parted the sea and calmed the storms.

But am I living that way. Humbled, broken, modest.

I hear my words echo behind me with no way to detach from them.
My thoughts trail off into darkness with raging conviction and confusion.
I respond without thinking unrecognizable to even myself.

Andy playfully put his cold hands on my back a couple days ago. Without a breath I shrieked "DO IT AGAIN AND I WILL PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE!"

I saw my countenance in the bathroom mirror. I was horrified.
Andy laughed but cautiously stepped aside "Anita! Seriously what is wrong with you?! Why is that your first response? What happened in your childhood?"

I stare in the mirror and that person looking back at me is so foreign from the person I want to be.

I am so far from perfect, I am a perfect mess however.

I will fail you.
I will disappoint you.
I will confuse you.
I will hurt you.

I know because I do it to myself.

"What sort of MAN is this that even the WINDS and SEAS OBEY"

Tuesday Nights is our Addiction night at our church. I am surrounded by about 300 addicts, alcoholics, family and friends and people struggling.
They are tattooed, tainted, troubled and turned away from society.
They are there marked and transparent. Everyone knows their sins.

WHAT if we walked out with our sins tattooed across our skin for the world to judge.

All our thoughts, our words, our actions blunt and apparent to all.

It makes me want to curl up like a baby.

BUT there is a GOD, Someone BIGGER than you and I and the heaven HE created.

And HE DOES LOVE this beautiful mess when many others may not. He sees me on the other side of the sea HE has parted just for me.
He RAISES ME from death and DEFEAT.
He didn't just FEED 5000, He fed me with Life Everlasting.
He walked on water just for this Broken Mess.

"Why are you afraid? Oh ye of little FAITH?"

Why are you afraid? Why am I afraid? I am church, rehearsed and versed.
I am honest to you, Judge me if you may.
He is My GOD. I know He LOVES me. He accepts me when I wonder why others do not.

I am NOT.  
Let go of being your own God. Let it all go.
Let HIM Calm the Storms in Your Life.
Even in your imperfections You are amazing.

READ Mathew 8:23-27

Sending sweet prayers and love to JUDY~

Monday, November 14, 2016

I miss..

The problem with routine is when you no longer have it you struggle.
All summer Ken and Matt and I ran.
We ran 16 miles. It was like clockwork.
In the beginning, I was shy and quiet just trying to figure out what my place was, where I fit in.
I didn't know these guys from Adam.
I took to the tail end as we ran through Holdridge.
Many Mondays it was 90 degrees by 9am. I am pretty tolerant to the heat, that was my saving grace.

I was able to keep up. Or maybe they were just slowing down.
Slowly, I started sharing "Me". I allowed "Anita" to start coming out.

We had a great summer. We would run and after our runs I would have peppers cut up and Ken would have Watermelon to share. Matt, he could barely remember to take the garbage out.

The summer is over. All that summer training lead us all to our races. Races, recovery, tapering, our Mondays have fell apart.

Today, poor Ken got sick, I am sore from Backroads half Marathon and Matt was pouting because we bailed on him and his wife Paula.
I could have ran with the two of them, but it would have been turtle slow. Paula is stallion fast.

I bailed and hit the gym.
I was so excited to see Jeff. Jeff is a retired male version of me. He is one of my favorite people. I laugh practically the whole time I am with him. He is so goofy.
"Hey Nitagirl, what are you doing today?"
I replied, "I don't know, whatever you are doing!"
He started off with abs using the wheel. My belly is sore already. Its funny, you get all done and feel like you have a body builder 6 pack..then you sneak at peak...yeah no.

Ken was doing a 2 mile time trial. I got my paybacks. I stayed on his heals coaxing him alone like a royal PITA.

Our 8:24 min/mi felt great. Glad it was only for 2 miles! I did however run 4 miles on the track total.
We finished up and stretched. I saw dad in the PT area on a bike. We went over and chatted for a minute.

Jeff headed out.

I headed back for more. I jumped on the TM for a mile of strides.

5 miles.

My routine has changed a lot. I miss running with Danielle on Thursdays. I miss our summer Mondays.
I miss not having a tooshy that's not sore everyday.
I miss the 90 degrees.
I even miss training for something.

But I Have Glass City in April to look forward too. I think! Oh training in the winter. I DON'T Miss THAT!


Clarkston Backroads Half Marathon Recap

I like routine.
I like traditions.

I am a very sentimental girl.

I could cling to a dog turd if it was shaped like a heart and make it special.

Joan and I have been running this race from the beginning. This was the 4th year.

Joan is 27.
I am 43.
Joan is a whipper snapper.
I am getting whipped.

Other than the Disney Half Marathon in January, this is my only Half marathon this year.
And it showed.

I picked up Joan and her husband Javon on the way to Independence Oaks, where the race was being held.

Weather Conditions:
40' and Sunny. We really had beautiful weather.

The Course:
Brown is the half marathon course.
We arrived in the park at 8am. They do a really nice job parking everyone. Being over an hour early we were fortunate to get a great parking spot.

Neither Joan or I were able to pick up our bibs on Saturday. Being there so early also made it easy breezy grabbing those.
This year they upgraded the shirts and it was quite a difference.
I am a procrastinator. My registration was over 90$ this year.

We hung out in my truck until I got a text from Erin.
"You at the start?'
I replied "I am heading there now."
Erin and I

Erin is a little wild child like me. I may have jumped in her arms and groped her and she may have responded with full acceptance.
She has the greatest smile. People like Erin bring out the crazy in me. I forget and half to reign it in.
Erin was running the 10k with a girlfriend. They had about 15 minutes, we were starting.

Joan gave us a goal of 1:47. This goal would beat our time from last year. This goal was way more kind then the goal Andy gave me, 1:35. He's crazy.
Both of us were still a little apprehensive as we tucked ourselves behind the 1:50 pacer.

Start to 3.
These may have been the quietest 3 miles we have ever ran together. We were sucking wind. We both kept looking at our Garmin thinking the pacer was running us at a sub 8 min mile.
Nope, our first mile he was almost spot on at 8:11.
Second mile, 8:14.
We were still holding on, gripping tightly. The third mile started getting a little hilly, breathless we fell back a bit at 8:27.
"Joan, this is so painful!"
Breathing heavy Joan replied, "Ya, lets get to mile 6,, then we will reevlaualte things!"
"Yeah, yeah, sound great.
It usually takes me about 6 miles to get warmed up. This sounded like a great idea.
We ran those 3 miles through Independence Oak. The trails were wide with light gravel topping them. Crooked Lake shared as a beautiful backdrop with a matching baby blue sky. The scenery was lovely even though I could hardly breath, in that case it is safe to say it was "Breathtaking!"

"You know Anita, maybe one of these years we should actually train for this."
I felt bad. This race is a traditional race that Joan and I do every year.  This is one of my last races in the year.
I am beat up, tore up and this race gets all my left overs.
"Lets just get to 6."

Mile 4, we were maintaining our pace and we were shocked.
Mile 5, we even shaved some time off pulling out a 8:02.
And finally huffing and puffing we still nailed a 8:16 min/mi. at mile 6.  "Joan, I feel like I normally feel at mile10, this may be a problem.
It wasn't a problem for Joan, she was in total agreement.

Together, we reevaluated our plan and decided that our side stitches, burning lungs and utter physical defeat was not much fun. Neither one of us felt warmed up. We definitely felt warm though. We were roasting, both over dressed with our vests on.

Our Re-evaluation to 10 miles.
We decided to settle back a bit. Get a respectable time without throwing up, or falling apart.
Running through the park is scenic but very challenging. The trails are well maintained and cleared from leaves and debris (Large rocks and roots). Part of running through the park is a small section on the grass. This doesn't last long and the change in the trail confuses you a bit. But eventually you are spit out on the dirt road.
"Anita, this is your kind of running." Joan was able to say clearly because we dropped our pace. I was still in recovery mode from the last 6 miles so my brain was not firing fast enough to know what she was getting at. My initial thought was that "My kind of running." was not gut wrenching, heart pounding puke in my esophagus. But Joan quickly clarified that it was in fact "running on the back roads."
"YES! I love running on the backroads."  With a little more energy I recognized a song coming out of a car that was cheering us on. Mary J.Blige "No more Drama." I wanted to turn back around and dance, forget this running, lets get a dance party going.
Mile 7, we slowed way down! 8:42.
We maintained that pace for the next 3 miles. Perry lake road is an out and back.
The backroads as flat as they are to run on, the hills were killer. The best thing about the hills are "What goes up must come down." We just had to tackle them going up.
We were not the only one driving hard. The 1:50 pacer was about 2 minutes ahead of us. We had the stragglers around us. We had been going back and forth with two girls. I could tell that Joan was keeping her eye on them.
As we headed up the hill to the turn around at mile 9, we lost one of the girls. Never to see her again.
I saw "Bill" from Baumans Running store, at the 9 mile turn around. This is a HORRIBLE place to see someone you know. " HI ANITA! How are you?"
ARE you KIDDING me, I have been climbing a hill for a half a mile, I cant even talk to you to reply. That is what I wanted to say, It came out more like "It HURTS SO BAD!"
"Just get to mile 10." Joan was my little coach.
Mile 10, was a lot easier to get to because we had that half a mile down . We shaved some time with a 8:26min/mi.

That competitive FINISH.
I was truly ok with the girl in the black and white high sock being in front of us. But Joan was not. Joan was passing her and the girl was not giving in to easy.
Miles 11 and 12 you are back in the park. These are the 2 hardest miles. You run 3 pretty nasty hills along the water. They are curvy and not in a sexy manner at all.
By the time we hit that 2nd hill "striped socks girl had passed us 2 times. We blew by her on the down hills. That last hill is like a double hill, just when you think you are at the top it dips and heads up again. "To that tree, I'm walking." I grumbled knowing "Striped socks girl" was close on our heals. She passed us running effortlessly. That was discouraging.
We hit mile 11 at 8:50min/mi
Mile 12 was a real struggle, 9:40min/mi.

I wish you could have seen Joan face. "OH H#!! NO!"
When I saw that fire in Joan's eyes I knew I was in trouble.
"Joan, Maintain." I was trying to tell Joan to let the girl do the work. Stay close behind and wear her down.
We hit that last aid station at mile 12. The girl was ahead of us and grabbed a drink. Joan, never letting her eyes off the girl "Nita, do you want a drink?"
"NO, Lets take it in."  We couldn't afford to loose even a second if we had a chance of catching the girl.
I couldn't slow Joan down, She passed the girl in "Striped Socks".
This panicked me a bit. I could hear the girl breathing, this let me know she was pushing it.

You come out of the trails unto the paved path the last half a mile. Together we picked it up but not enough, the girl PASSED US!
Joan and I stayed close by her. We were about 5 yards behind her. Far enough she couldn't hear us and couldn't see us.
"Last 3 tenths of a mile." Joan kept sharing our count down.
Joan pointed to the finishing tent.
We had to make our move. "Last TENTH..."
The finish was downhill. Joan and I had been nailing our down hills. In sync, we just knew it was time. I picked it up and Joan followed suit. That poor girl never saw us coming. We bolted so fast pass her she couldn't pick it up fast enough to catch up.
Mile 13. 8:28min/mi

"Anita Harless with a  time of 1:51...." I heard the speaker say as I was swallowing back the vomit in my mouth.

Finishing Details.
Working  in Clarkston I see a lot of people I know. My old neighbor was at the finish line waiting for me. That was pretty cool. Chris has always been a big road biker but is now transitioning over to running. And he  is great at it.
Chris from Weller Ct.

Joan had to work still, so we headed to the Mac and cheese sponsored by The Union. I gave my beer ticket away but was so happy to have the warm mac and cheese.
We found Erin and her girlfriend at a picnic table next to the band. I am EASILY triggered by loud music. Next thing I knew, I was dancing and clapping on the picnic table. It was like I was overtaken.  Erin was cracking up "Yeah, Anita isn't even drinking."
It was so fun.
Javon discovered that Joan and I had both placed in our age groups. 3rd place.
We won a really cool engraved mason jar.

It was a great Race, well organized. They stepped up their game this year. The shirts and the medals were both AWESOME!

Bib: 3159
Finishing time: 1:51:54
Overall: 68th of 361
Female: 20th of 220
F40-49: 3rd of 58


Thursday, November 10, 2016

One tripped up day.

My day got royally messed up last night when Andy called to tell me that he was having issues with his truck.

That meant that he was going to need my truck for today.

I was going to be shut in.
No running with the girls.
And no massage.

I was desperately trying to breath and be calm.

Andy headed out the door at 7am.

I was in no hurry to do anything, considering I had all day.
But I did manage to be rather productive.

Everything came to a screeching halt at 9:30am.

I got a phone call.
I can not discuss it but I can tell you my day changed drastically again.

I had less than a hour to get dressed and get my run in. My 7 mile run, was looking more like a 5 miler.
At this point I knew I had better take whatever I could.

I took off without even thinking about what direction I was going to run in. As I was running up by Holly High School I quickly turned unto the school property.
One of the teachers at the school created a little more than 3 miles of trails on the campus.

I was excited to check them out.

The trail was covered in leaves.

The lake loop was beautiful.
It went around the lake perfectly.

It was a very nice run. About 3 miles. Perfect weather and I never tripped once except having one tripped up day!

I was able to reschedule my massage. 6pm. It was wonderful.
I could get a massage every other day. My love language is touch.
I love touch, not in a weird way...

Well. Its been a REALLY long and hard day. A day that I was not prepared for.

But to wrap up my day I have a couple quotes.

"If nothing ever changes what will you do?"
"If you always do, what you have always done, you will always get -what you have always gotten."
"You can't be someone's elses Happiness."


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pounding the Pavement

Romans 5:3-4 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."

The last several weeks have been a bit defeating. Between struggling with recovery of my body from Cloudsplitter and just feeling like a slug on all my runs, I have been slightly emotional.

A little pouty.
A little concerned.
A little whiny.

I needed a break from being beat up from the chatter in my head.

My morning didn't start out real well. My sugar dropped about 8am and it took me almost 45 minutes to rid myself of the sweats and shakes.  I grabbed a hand full of honey roasted nuts, while I was making a bagel. I tossed another handful of homemade granola over my Noosa Greek yogurt. I wanted to throw up but I forced all the food down waiting for my body to love me again. I had no juice in the house. I hate to buy it because my kids go through it so fast.
I got so nervous, I just planted myself in the chair afraid to move. My heart was pounding out of every fiber of my body. I couldn't sift through my thoughts, everything was raging.
This episode really put me in a slow mode. I could have curled up in bed and wrote the day off.

I ran solo on Monday and I was running solo again today.
Running alone allows me to be more intentional about running.
More focused and deliberate.

The sun came out right before I headed out of the house to run. Initially, I wanted to run 10 miles.
However, before I even started my Garmin I changed my mind to 8 miles.
My race is Sunday and I need fresh legs and a healed booty.

It was like the stars were lined up just for me, only there were no stars out at 12 in the afternoon.

I have no idea when I decided to turn left down E.Holly rd, heading towards 5 miles of hills.
There was no turning around.
I was wearing shorts yet again. It was only 48 degrees out but the sun warmed me up quickly. I had a long sleeve shirt on and a buff around my neck and was very comfortable.

My legs were on the move. I was fully engaged. It was like I had brand new legs.
There was apprehension though, could I maintain this magic? I had a lot of hills to hit.

My first mile, was like old times. I nailed a 8:17min/mi. and was still breathing! That mile included a nice rolling hill or two.

But I had to maintain it. The temperatures were cool on my skin, allowing me to run more intensely.
I kept hearing people honk their horns and wave at me. Kevin, a girlfriend of mines husband actually slowed way down and shouted out of the window at me. Each holler and horn honking kept me high spirited.
It was like God parted the red sea for me. Cars moved way over, garbage trucks waved as they boldly changed lanes completely, motioning "thumbs up" in my direction. I gave my biggest smile and "thumbs up" to innumerable vehicles in thanks.

I kept hitting each mile, trying to stay relaxed and as close to an 8min/mi as I could. I heard the "Beep" on my Garmin and eagerly looked down to see if I was on track. My original goal was 8:20min/mi. My body felt like it was floating on the pavement.
I questioned if I should bring it down a bit due to the elevation and the head wind that I was encountering on my way back in.  I really wasn't forcing my body to go harder than it wanted to.
Mind over matter.
I decided with 2 miles left I was going to work hard at sustaining the pace.

I saw that last hill. I gained as much momentum as I could before I headed up. "7:50...I can do this, all the way up...Pump those arm, breath..pick up those legs, shoulders back..."
I got up on my toes "Go Anita, go...Up up up...all the way through."
At the top of the hill, I wanted to collapse. You never quit on the downside of a hill. It was downhill home. Maintain. My entire upper body was tingling. Numb. I convinced myself to breath, "It won't last long, run through it, go Nita."
Slowly my body accepted the punishment and picked up the speed. "Faster, You are breathing, Go FASTER Nita."
I finished my last mile 7:42min/mi with a big sh*#  eating grin on my face.

Distance: 8 miles
Pace: 8min/mi
Time 1:04

Running hard makes for a hungry runner.
Dinner was a HUGE hit with the entire family. No Leftovers but one scrawny chicken thigh.
Both boys asked for seconds of everything and paid me big compliments. My mommy heart and belly was full.
Wildtree. Asian Chicken, homemade fried rice, sautéed veggies, eggroll, and salad.

I am stuck in all day tomorrow, I am excited to see what I make tomorrow. Dessert...

Tomorrow is massage day! I almost had to cancel. Andy's transmission is acting up and I am without a vehicle all day tomorrow. I was able to move it later, I wanted 2 hours, beggars can't be choosers.

Romans 5: 3-4 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."

I was reminded today that suffering; mentally, physically, emotionally or even financially is all part of life.
There is such a battlefield in our minds.
Giving up is not an option. Nothing good comes out of quitting.
We persevere through our suffering. We don't quit. Maybe we have to change our outlook. Maybe we have to change the game plan. Maybe we even have to change direction all together. But don't GIVE UP.
With every breath dig in. You will grow stronger, you will grow from the inside out.
There is always HOPE.
Just when I thought I was always going to be running in pain, sore, tired, fatigued..God gave me a perfect run.
I believe if he cares about the details of my running he cares about all the of our life.
Give Glory.
Have Hope.
Stay Humble.


Monday, November 7, 2016

This and That

Blue skies, crimson trees
Shh, leaves rustling, twigs snapping
Lost in the romance.

Todays haiku.

I think I had my headphones in my ears for half the day. And when I didn't, I was in the car listening to music.
I grew up listening to music. It helps me focus, calms me down, gets my going and tunes the chatter out in between my ears.
Why am I telling you this...My headphones are misbehaving. They are cutting in and out and sounding like the music is coming out of a tunnel.

This little annoyance brings me to some of my PET PEEVES.
  1. When my headphones come up "Missing"...
  2. When people park their shopping cart in front of their car and leave it. UGH! Especially when the cart station is just 20 feet away. I went to Target a few days ago and about 3 times I went to pull in a parking spot but a shopping cart was parked there. SERIOUSLY people, its been 60' degrees out, WALK you CART!
  3. When you grab a box of cereal, breakfast bars, chips, carton of milk and it is EMPTY!
  4. When you go to bed and the kitchen is spotless, no dishes in the sink and in the morning it looks like WW111. And NOBODY knows how it happened. When I find "NOBODY" they are in BIG trouble.
  5. Getting pimples at 42. What they heck? Wrinkles, gray hair and pimples? That's a terrible combination.

Nobody likes a Debbie Downer: Here area Few Fun things.
  1. I love Sharpies. All colors, shapes, sizes.
  2. I love the smell of candles, cilantro lime. Ahh. Anything clean. Not sweet.
  3. I drive by the old apartments we used to live in on Dixie Hwy and E. Holly Rd almost everyday and always look. Our apartment was burnt down. We lived in a Motel for almost a year afterwards. 
  4. I don't like a dark house. I like the house opened up.
  5. I can't sleep on my back. I am a side sleeper, pillow in between my legs.

I was solo today. I went to check out the trails at Independence Oaks. Sunday I am running a half marathon out there.
I was going to run 10 miles and try to keep it as close to a 9min/mi. as I could.  At mile 4, I was looking up a stinking hill and already in the hurt locker. I was breathing so heavy I was glad I was alone.
I was so frustrated. I decided I would cut my run down to 8 miles and then hike another 2 miles. It was so pretty out I wanted to enjoy it without scaring everything with my breathing.

I wanted to stay there all day. I just ran. I had no idea where I was going. I didn't look at a map, I figured best case scenario, I get lost, worst case scenario, I get lost. I really didn't mind getting lost.
The thing I minded the most was that I was such a wimp. I couldn't get my legs moving or prevent my lungs from burning. I secretly kept waiting for my lungs to just explode out of my chest.
They never did. It was a slow fade.

I was still lost as I headed to my car, which was located somewhere in the park.
An Adventure.
I found a map. It was really quite easy back to my truck. I was hoping it would have been more difficult. I was impressed with my map reading skills. Such a big girl!

Distance: 8 miles
Pace: 9:18
Hiked another 2 miles.

Finishing out Monday:
I was starving when I got back to the truck. But I somehow managed to forget to eat. I had brought 2 clementine's and a protein bar.
All I could think about was COFFEE. Austin was blowing my phone up with his list he needed at the grocery store. Without showering I headed to Grand Blanc, Krogers and Tim Hortons.
The music distracted my hungry belly.
Then the warm coffee in my belly postponed my hunger.
Heading home from the grocery store about 2pm my belly was growling.

I really didn't have time to eat. I had floors to sweep, mop, laundry to put away, groceries to put away, dinner to start and I NEEDED a SHOWER before Andy came home.

And I got it all done. Lines in the carpet, smelling like Lysol.
And I didn't smell half bad either- after I bathed off the woods. That woodsy smell is nice in a bottle purchased at a counter, but not the same in its element.

Cilantro rice with sautéed peppers and onions, and marinated and grilled steak. Topped with white corn, avocado, green onions, spicy black beans, fresh cilantro and tortilla strips.

Dinner was worth the wait. And the whole family was raving about the steak. I grilled it on high, flipped it about 8 minutes in, then 8 minutes later I went to check on it and pull it...The propane was empty!  The grill was still very hot thankfully.  I pulled the Flank Steak off and placed tinfoil over it for about 5 minutes. It was perfect.

Totally forgot tomorrow is the ELECTION! Should be an interesting day to say the least.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Shorts in November

sun rays on my skin
dancing between autumn leaves
Kissing me gently

My haiku. We watched a great movie Saturday night, The Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Great movie!
It inspired me to write a haiku. I think I will be playing around with more of these!

Problems in Paradise.
You know one of the reasons that I love to run? It is to get away. Running is such great therapy.
You know the problem with having your husband run? You can't run away from him, he wants to run with you.

Over 20 years of marriage doesn't make perfection.
Being transparent, we have been on the struggle bus the last couple days. Nit picking, passive aggressive comments, emotions, so many emotions and bad attitudes. And I hate arguing almost as bad as I dislike bad attitudes. And sometimes they go hand in hand, like today.
The sun was shining in November, it was 61 degrees and I couldn't change from my church clothes fast enough.
From my skirt and heels to my shorts and New Balance. Somehow we got in a scuff over running socks, I left Andy at home and headed in the direction of Lacey's house.
Lacey met me half way. I quickly gave Lacey the heads up on what my marital status looked like. She is always very good calming me down and moving forward. As we headed back towards my house to pick up Andy I was over it.
"Anita, is that Andy?" Lacey asked.
I squinted looking down N.Holly rd. "WHAT? He left us? Oh! We will catch him." Andy was about 3 blocks ahead of us. He took off with out us.
"Oh, its like that" I thought, "Ok, OK, I got you.." I thought right before I responded to Lacey "Slowly, we will catch him slowly!"

I think every time I have ran with Lacey I have said "WOW! Can you believe we are in shorts? This is gonna be our last time, we better take advantage of it."

And here we are November 6th in shorts again! Delightful.

We caught up to Andy mostly because he got caught by a train! He told on me to Lacey "Yeah, Anita Left ME!"
I just rolled my eyes. I acted like I was going to leave him again.

The 3 of us picked a route and awkwardly headed down the road together.
It took a few miles, a bunch of hills, and a little elevation whining and we were all in sync.

Lacey picked the route, running in shorts made the hilly route more tolerable. "There goes Anita, showing off." Andy whispered loud enough for me to hear.
"Hey, I am just trying to get over this thing."
I liked Andys response, "You know, these hills are easier to get over when you know they are only making you better."
"YES, Exactly!" I thought, and that's why I wanted to get over it with everything I had.

I hated to drop off Lacey, but all good things come to an end.
I had to chuckle as I heard Andy murmur to Lacey "Well, its gonna be a quiet run home."

This past Tuesday was Andy's birthday and he wanted me to run with him. He was running faster than I normally run on the trails and I twisted my ankle 3 times.
Friday, I got out of work early and I was able to lace up and go running with Andy again. Andy is a natural on the trails. He runs them hard. I think he has discovered a way to run with me and not have to listen to me, just run hard enough that I cant talk!

I got my revenge.

We were back on N.Holly Rd. I had 10 miles in me. I was warmed up and ready to go. Andy was breathing pretty heavy. I waited for it to come...
"Anita, are you going to slow down? If you want to run that pace just go without me." And there it was.
I was ahead of him so he couldn't see my smirk. I think I may have secretly giggled. "OK Nita, Be nice." I challenged myself. I can be such a brat.
I slowed down, asking Andy to take the lead to set the pace. And the funny thing is, he barely slowed down.
Andy has gotten so much stronger and faster. I am really proud of him.

Distance:12 miles

My miles were down due to recovering from Cloudsplitter. That's the thing about races, when you are racing it cuts your miles back.
I was surprised at how many miles I ended up with considering I didn't do a lot of running for two weeks.

Total October Miles:177.7
Trail miles: 106.9
Road miles:44
Treadmill/Track..Remaining miles

It took me almost the entire month of October to put my weight back on. I worked hard at it.
I have been call scrawny, too skinny and even today when I was getting dressed Andy boldy says "NITA, your so skinny."
I have weighed 102-105 for 10 years now. I am skinny. I am a twerp, I am small boned, flat chested and boney. And so was my mother and my mothers mother, my grandma. I have a thyroid problem, I am anemic and sometimes you cant fight genetics.
Its not attractive, but its who I am. I am fine with it so everyone else needs to get over it too. BAM! How ya like me now!
I have my sassy pants on tonight.
Poor Andy~

Austin had his Senior pictures done in October. Like most of us mothers, I was with him. It was a busy day up until the photographer arrived. I spent most of my day in sweat pants and a pony tail. I quickly slapped on a 5 minute make up job, brushed out my hair and changed my clothes to look presentable for the photographer.
Finishing up with taking the pictures the photographer called me over. "Anita, come here, can you sit down there?" I was not planning on having my photo taken. But after seeing it developed this week, I fell in love. Nichole did a beautiful job capturing me and Boy Wonder. It is natural. Some of the best pictures are those you do hardly anything to yourself. It tears me up to see my baby all grown up.