"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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Eyes to see the Little Things.

I woke up anxiously awaiting a miracle. As I stepped out of bed, I gently landed on my right leg. I knew that miracle hadn't came yet. My calf was screaming profanities at me.

No Running For Anita.

The morning was dusted with white billowy clouds and a warm sunshine perfectly centered. I might not be able to run but walking I could do.

I drove out to Holly Rec to meet new runner, Tracey and also Kris. Kris was waiting for me when I arrived. I had hoped I could run with the two of them but instead I introduced them and sadly turned in the opposite direction towards Lakeshore loop for a solo walk. BUT...Before I turned away Kris wrapped her hands around me and lifted me up in prayer. She had me covered in heartfelt prayer for healing. I am so Thankful for Godly friendships.

With a broken body, a busy schedule and some quiet time, I knew this was exactly what I needed.

I headed down the wide path towards the trail. It seemed like overnight that the trees had come alive with vibrant colors.
It was so quiet that I actually made little noises in fear that I would come across a snake bathing in the sun.
Every so often I would pick it up, lifting my feet, lightly but swiftly run over roots and around the crooked trees until my calf started to burn.

Enjoying the little things.
I am only 4 days out post marathon.
THE RULE OF THUMB is when is comes to recovery. You should allow your body to  recover  HALF the distance you ran.
4 days with a injury is not enough time to jump on the saddle again.

I embraced wearing shorts.
I welcomed the warm sun against my bare skin.
I listened to the birds singing and enjoyed watching them dancing between the trees.
I even laughed at myself each time a bullfrog jumped in the water because they were not the only thing that got startled.
Pure beauty and peace, not bought, not ordered, not given to me by anyone but the Good Lord.

This and That.
I was spoiled today. The calm before the storm. A nice 2.5 mile walk followed by a massage made a great beginning to an afternoon of "adulting"

My Dr. wouldn't fill my prescription for synthroid until I made a check up. I HATE going to the DR.s because I always end up with multiple appointments.
  • Weight, sucked. 100.4 lbs with my flip flops on!
  • Blood pressure was whatever. A bit high for me but healthy, 120/82.
  • He upped my synthroid because my numbers were worrisome.
  • Schedules me for more blood work, a physical, a mammogram and a girly check.
A mammogram...So funny. I am pretty sure that if something was different I would notice. When you are as small as I am a soft breeze changes things dramatically!

I even had to take a Depression Questionnaire. He asked me a dozen times "Anita, why don't you sleep? What is bothering you? What's on your mind? What are you worried about....??
AHHH!! Good Grief. NOT sleeping is on my MIND!

The day ended enjoying coaching XC. I love the smiles, the silliness and of course watching them run.

It's the Little Things. I love the little things. I am grateful I have eyes to see hope, to see love, to see joy, encouragement, and happiness.
Its the LITTLE THINGS, the birds singing hymns, the butterflies fluttering, the smell of spring blooms and the trickling of the creek..


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Glass City Marathon 2017 Recap.

When it comes to running I typically set 3 goals:
  1. My best case, Dream Goal
  2. My goal I trained for. Realistic.
  3. The goal I would settle for.
The Night Before:
As soon as I got out of work at 1:30pm, I hustled to pick up Lacey. The sun was shinning and we were busting out of the seams with excitement.
Lacey booked our hotel months ago. We decided to drive to the expo first.
When Lacey and I run races together I typically drive and she is my co-pilot, directing and planning our routes. Lacey even answers my phone and responds to my text messages. We are a great team, we get lost, we get turned around but ultimately we get back on track laughing at ourselves and not ever breaking a sweat. Always an adventure.

We were driving about 45 minutes behind the rest of our gang. MaryAnn, Andy, Jama, Erin, Claudia and Justin. We were all running on Sunday Glass City Marathon or Half in Toledo Ohio.  
By the time we arrived into the expo Lacey and I were "caffeined UP". I was off the charts hyper. I was talking to random strangers, asking people to get pics with me or take them for me but overall having a blast.  
We found our gang, took a quick picture with them and made plans to meet for dinner later that night.

After we made friends with the rest of the people working the expo we headed to our hotel.

WOW! Lacey booked us a GEM! We were at the Hampton Inn in a suite. It was a newer hotel. Our room was amazing.
I bounced on the bed and like a little kid peaked in all the corners before our text came through with dinner plans.
We met the gang for Mediterranean. Funny thing! One of the kids I coach was there with their family having dinner!! I chatted with them laughing at the coincidence! This happens to me all the time!

I wish I could tell you I was tired when we returned with a full belly back to our diva suite. I was so wired I actually took 1 1/2 Motrin PM's.

RACE Re-Cap.
The conditions for Glass City Marathon were as if Mother Nature had favor with Toledo, Ohio.
Even though it was 35' at 7am it was full sun!
Lacey and I got up, got rolling and headed out. We struggled with parking, this put us a bit behind, throwing my nerves into a tail spin. Mostly, because I knew I didn't have time to pee that one last time. This meant I was pretty much going to end up peeing my pants on the course!
The gang were waiting, everyone was stoked and full of smiles. I had already cried 2 times and I found myself crying all over again. Erin looked at me and said "Oh no girl, your gonna get me crying again."

It was just minutes later we watched the helicopter cross of the starting line, we listened to the national anthem and we closed our eyes in a brief prayer.

7:05 we took off!
I watched Lacey slowly move ahead and never saw the gang again.
Lacey had got with a 3:35 pace group. I wanted a 3:40 pacer, however, they not only didn't have pacer bands for that time, they didn't have any pacers for that time either.
I knew I had to be about a half a mile behind Lacey.

The First 13...BAD bad Bad...
My GPS on my watch was bouncing around different paces making it really hard to pace myself. I decided to just try and gauge my pace off of Laceys pacer.
Every mile my watch beeped it shared a pace that I knew was going to bury me. Even though I felt great, when I reached 13 miles I had over 2 minutes banked....BAD BAD BAD.
I do not bank time, I knew it was gonna be bad.
My right calf was aching, I decided I would walk the water stations briefly in hopes I could recover my body.
The course was stunning. Everything was green and lush. We ran through a paved park and along a railroad track out of the city. And the spectators were loud and proud. I didn't expect to see so many cheering us on.
I took my music out of my ears hoping the crowds would rejuvenate me.
Running to my left were two girls about my age. I overheard them talking about their pace.
"HI, watcha guys running?" I inquired.
"We are on pace for a 3:40 marathon..."
I knew I wanted to stay with them. They were my only chance at even coming close to my goal, a 3:40. The Dream Goal was out of the question at this point and honestly, I was entertaining the goal I would settle with, a 3:45..Still a BQ-ing time but not a time that would get you in to run Boston.

The Second Half of UGLY.
The 3 of us chatted and it appeared we were all following behind that pacer. We all were pretty upset we had ran soo hard. I was not the only one in the Hurt Locker.  
It was just a few miles when our threesome became a twosome. Me and Kelly. Kelly from Tennessee.
Kelly and I encouraged one another. Every once in a while, I would hear Kelly whisper "SH@%" followed with "I'm sorry".
It was hard not to smile through the pain. The sun was hugging you with warmth. Everything was bright and full of color. We ran along the road for a couple miles bringing us up a hill, I had been warned about. It was not as bad as I anticipated.
Kelly reminded me we would be going back through the park and we would get to enjoy some nice down hills. The time we had banked was diminishing faster than my goals. I was hot, so hot. My calves were burning like they were running through hell.
We came into the park and I wanted to stop and take pictures it was so beautiful. On my right, a canal was cut through trees and foliage. On my left, trees loomed overhead. We were running on a covered bridge that was very large and stunning. I wanted to come back to enjoy it because at that time I wasn't enjoying very much other than the fact we were going downhill! And even than was making my quads throb.
Kelli must have memorized the route. "We are going to turn left right up here."
When we made that left it was like full sun and my legs felt as though they were in a bucket of clay. Nothing wanted to move. The course was as flat as a pancake, my motivation to move felt the same way. Kelli and I were walking though water stations together.
I looked at my watch with less than 3 miles to go and told her to GO. My legs were cramping and I found myself walking with another group.
"3 miles to go and your walking Anita" I prayed harder. "God just get me to the finish line upright and smiling."
I knew my 3 goals were shot. I decided to make a 4th Goal.
To run with everything I had. Finish in pain, Finish sweating. Finish dizzy, Finish this Damn Race with all I had.
My body was shutting down. I had peed my pants with every drink. I couldn't keep anything in my bladder. I literally had no control as it dripped down my legs. My stomach was wanting to retch. I turned on my music to get me out of my head the last two miles.
Don't PEEk to closely....!
I thought about Lacey. Lacey was waiting for me at the Finish. I so badly wanted to run Boston with her. I knew she had finished. I knew she had qualified. I just knew. Trying to hold back the tears and keep my legs moving I turned my music up louder.
My watch had me finished and yet the volunteers were yelling "2 tenths of a mile to go"!!
Walking in was an option I wanted so badly to entertain. But it was NOT an option.
"Pick it up and turn it over Anita."
I reached the stadium and felt my legs pick it up. It felt so good to see the timing mat. I found myself thanking God for just getting me across that mat running!

I was thankful for everything.
Lacey was there. I was so happy for her.
Andy J came across the finish line not to far after.
It was great having so many friends running it.
It was a great reminder that joy comes from other people victories as well.

Lacey and I hauled butt the best we could, all beat up and crooked to the rec center to get showers and make it back to see the girls finish.

Heading back after our showers Lacey spotted the girls coming down the course. Shouting and panicking we tried to run but it was more like a hobble. We were screaming from the top of the hill and trying to get our cameras.

Everyone had finished.

“A failure is not a loss. It’s a gain. You learn. You change. You grow.”
Disappointed, sad and emotional. Yes, I would have loved to run Boston with Lacey.
I didn't make my time.
But God has given me that victory many times. It was time for someone else to enjoy the Glory. I may not have been able to reach my goals but the end result isn't the end. The end result isn't even the main moment for me. It was all the moments that came together to make this Epic Victory for Lacey. It was 16 weeks of training and bonding together as friends.
It was being there to watch others make their goals, to watch THIER dreams come true. I have been in the lime light, it was time embrace the emotions of my dear friends and their dreams coming true.
My tears could saturate my cheeks in defeat but I found more joy in others.
I was painfully reminded to DIE to SELF.
I was also reminded that God still gave me a great race. A great day. I great finish and Great Friends.

Glass City Marathon: 3:46:20
Course: So scenic. A park like setting with all this lush foliage, bridge and railroad was so lovely.
The Medal and shirt. The shirt, not much to be desired. The medal totally made up for it. The medal was so big and bingy everyone commented on it. Very COOL!

“It is better to make a thousand failures than to be too cowardly to ever undertake anything.” Clovis G. Chappell


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jump IN!

"They waited for me as for the rain, And opened their mouth as for the spring rain."
Job 29:23

The rain came on and off all day. A sunless day, a day that you want to sleep in, wear fuzzy jammies, drink coffee and cuddle on the couch.
Or for me, another day to taper. I was able  meet Lacey to find ridiculous matching running outfits, have a fun lunch date with her and Melissa at Honchos, get a massage and still make it home to coach.

The rain really picked up for XC. It wasn't looking like we were going to get to run.
The thunder was rolling in the distance.
If I was running on my own I would run outside with bells on.

Rain Runs are MY FAVORITE!

I kept looking at the radar hoping I could take the kids out.
Then I saw a window.

I grabbed my group of 7 and together we headed out into the rain with pure joy.

The rain was coming down so hard we could hardly see. I couldn't stop laughing as the rain saturated my face and hair.
The smell and taste of the fresh rain water was very invigorating.
Initially, it chilled me as the cold damp water touched my warm skin. I knew the best way to get acclimated to the rain was to be completely sopped, drenched in wetness.
Hence, when I saw the biggest water puddle I could find, I lead the way right through it, jumping in the middle! Water splashed in all directions, my shoes were heavy with puddle juice and my running pants were now dripping. The kids were startled at my childlike behavior but all followed my lead giggling and laughing.

40 kids were running around the campus, all within about 15 minutes from the school. This made it easy to return if it should start thundering or lightning.
We were a minute farther out when we heard what sounded like a distant BOOM. It was hard to tell if it was thunder.
We were at mile 2, "Hey guys, I think that was thunder, we better head back in."
My group all started complaining. They did NOT want to come in. We headed into the coverage of the woods to see if it cleared up. The other kids began to thin out around campus as my group begged to go farther.
We snuck another mile in with no thunder and this allowed us to try and go for 4 miles.
One of my athletes says "Coach, can I head in? I got vaccines today and my legs are sore."
Being that there were no other athletes still running other than my group I replied "Yes, great job."
However, he wasn't gone a minute when he returned! " I don't want to go in, I want to keep running with you guys."
I wish you could have seen the smiles on the kids.
I was so proud of them. When everyone else headed in they wanted more.
We looked like drowned rats. Very happy and smiling drowned rats.

Rain RUNS. These are my favorite runs. Jama and I had a trail run a couple years ago. We got caught in the rain, in the woods and all we could do was run. The fear was quite a adrenaline rush.
Lacey and I got didn't just get caught in the rain last year, Andy actually came around to drive us home. The radar showed heavy downpour and storm. We waved him off and kept running. Oh Lordy! It thundered something fierce. We couldn't even see it was raining so bad. We laughed, tripped in potholes 10 inches deep, waved at people who sat on their porches shocked we were running and giddy in it.

When is the last time you ran in the rain? GO PLAY!

BIG SHOUT OUT TO ALEXIS N. She rocked out her 9th Boston Marathon!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

T-4 Days Glass City Marathon

Proverbs 23:7"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."

The thought of running a 8:21min/mi for 26.2 miles makes my stomach turn inside out. Glass City Marathon this Sunday.  I have done the training to accomplish this but I am still overwhelmed with fear. This is the pace I would like to achieve to get into Boston. The qualifying standard for my age group is 3:45.
Its gonna HURT soo bad.

I never planned on running the Boston Marathon again, until Lacey. Lacey wants it, and I want it for Lacey. There would be nothing GREATER than running Boston Marathon with her for 2018.

Great things happen in Boston. This is where I met Danielle at in 2011. Danielle and I went to HS together,even graduated together but never hung out. I heard someone call my name as I was running the marathon, it was DANIELLE! We have been running together ever since.
I would be so stoked to share Boston with Lacey. It is one the greatest marathons.

We have trained many miles together. Almost every Sunday, Sunday Runday.
The Hotel is booked.
The driving instructions printed.
The expo directions printed.
Our goals verbalized.
There is NOTHING more we can do. Our training is DONE.

Many many miles in the snow, rain, sleet. Around a track, on a treadmill, sweat, fear and soreness.

It is time to remind myself to accept the pain and run on. My mind will program my body. My body is trained. It is very mental. Such is life.

You are what you think you are.

I am going to have to control my thoughts.

My thoughts right now...."Oh Lord...PLEASE keep me strong."

Sunday. NO run, but I missed Lacey and met her for a sunset walk down the dirt roads for 3 miles.

Monday. This was a FUN RUN. Erin is running her first Marathon at Glass City. Lacey and I wanted to run her last long with her. Then I invited Claudia and Matt invited himself! We ended up with a really fun group run. 10 miles at Indian Springs.
The hardest part of this run was not getting to hear from everyone. There were so many conversations going on in all different directions. My mind was spinning.

TODAY: I met Jeff at GAC. He is so goofy. I was on time and looking all over for him. My phone was in my hand when I got a test message. "Hey dummie! Turn around" I was spinning around looking for him when I spotted him laughing at me. "HEY! Its not very nice to call someone a dummy so early in the morning!" I yelled at him from about 30 feet away. But I could tell he was thinking he was the next standup comedian so let him laugh it up!
We skipped the TM's and ran on the track together.
3 miles, easy peasy lemon squeeze me.
I had CC today so I had another easy peasy 2 miles to add to that.

My day was booked from 7am all the way to 5pm. Every 2 hours I had a appointment. No rest, no excuses. I had to get things done.
I am blessed with amazing friends. As busy as my day was, I was encouraged, motivated and even blessed with lunch.

I heard the voices of those that have helped me with this marathon. Jeff has been such a coach to me. He has been where I am. His experience and knowledge speaks volumes.
I have the greatest cheerleaders. I hear the words, read them and love all of them.

I see the faces of those who support me, encourage me and believe in me. I am so blessed.
I have the greatest tribe.

Glory is GOD'S. He is my strength and provider. I give him such gratitude for keeping me injury free, strong and healthy the last 16 weeks.
I am thankful for every mile, for every run, every person he provided me with. I deserve nothing and appreciate everything in humility and gratitude.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Let it Begin.

Coaching is a profession of love.
You can't coach people unless you love them.
-Eddie Robinson

Coaching has begun this week. I went back and forth on whether or not I should do it. I love kids, I love coaching and I love mentoring the kids.

I really use the term "Coaching" lightly.
I have no degree.
I have no special classes, documentation or certifications.
I really have no coaching resume that anyone would look at twice.

I have been coaching for 7 years with nothing other than my personal running experience, books, journals, tips from local coaches and my experience as a youth leader for the past 15 years.

If high energy, passion for running, the love of our youth, the voice of encouragement and acting like a 13 year old were qualifications for coaching I would totally be qualified!

Tuesday was the first day of CC. However,my first day was Wednesday. I walked into the gym with my signature bucket hat and pink whistle. I was greeted with high fives and smiles that quickly reminded me why I was coaching.

Coaching 5th-8th grade CC isn't about running them like Kara Goucher or Meb. It is about teaching them to LOVE to run. To want to run.
It is mentoring them. Teaching them about perseverance, about grit. It is helping them to learn where life and running intersect. There is nothing more that I love then to watch my atheletes do what they never thought they could do. Just teaching them to DREAM,  then to WORK for that dream and I get to be there when they watch those Dreams come true.

As a coach, we have the opportunity to BUILD these kids up or tear them down. I have seen both.
We have a lot of power.
Everyone has a story. Every Kid. Every Adult.
Some kids come in strong and arrogant.
Some kids come in weak and shy.
Some kids come in talented, broken, and some kids come in following others.
My job isn't to judge, condemn, confuse or criticize.
My job is to meet them where they are at and believe in them and all the possibilities they are capable of.

If you do all the above then the end result will be they love running and want to run. You will see numbers drop, smiles galore, sweat, tears and dreams come true.

We ALL have the opportunity to coach. It is merely speaking in someone's life.
This morning I met Kris and Rachel out in Swartz Creek to run backroads.
This was actually part of our conversation.
We have gifts and talents.
How are you using them?
It is such a shame, a loss to have gifts and never share them for good.
We have opportunities to speak life into one another but often times we compare ourselves, we get judgmental, we gossip, and we never step out of our box.
We allow insecurities, fear and complacent to keep us from doing something great...
Building one another up.

I got a couple messages from past XC athletes today. I love hearing from my former athletes.

"hey!! Heard cc season started and just wanted to say how much I miss u and I wish I was still there to run:( .......I love and miss you soo much. You always inspire me and I'll always be grateful for how hard you pushed me. you never let me give up and it has taught me a lot about life in general."

A good coach will make his players see what they can be
rather than what they are.
-Ara Parasheghian

Distance: 10.4
Pace: 9:08

Kris took me to2 awesome barns today!

TEA TIME: Gypsy Green Tea and Honey


Monday, April 10, 2017

Millington Half Marathon Review

Running a half marathon at marathon pace is part of my marathon training. I was supposed to do it at the end of March but we canceled due to busy schedules. We did a mock training run a few weeks ago and nailed it, but it was on the track and not the same. And honestly we needed to run a little harder.

Holly, Laceys other running partner found this race put on by Run Michigan Cheap.
I didn't register, well to be honest, I forgot all about it until Lacey reminded me when I returned home from vacation. I had it in my brain, I didn't totally loose the thought, it was tucked back in my brain underneath a lot of clutter.
Even though registration didn't close out until midnight the night before I decided to just register the morning of.

Millington Half Marathon
Date: Sunday April 9th, 8:30am
Distances:  5k, 10k and Half Marathon running events.
Weather: 60'.
Attire: Funny Story...Saturday Lacey invited me to run after work since it was so beautiful out. About 2 miles in I see my buddy Jeff turning off a side street unto Saginaw street in downtown Holly. Directly in front of us we catch up to him and start chatting. Jeff makes me laugh without even trying. Lacey was telling him our Sunday race plans. Jeff says in response to the warm racing weather "So, what are you going to wear?" Lacey chuckled, "Funny you should ask, we were just talking about that before we ran into you." Jeff never misses an opportunity to tease me, he pipes in "If I know Anita, she will be wearing a snow suit..."
I wasn't going down that easy "Jeff, You will be happy to know I was planning on wearing shorts!"
And I did! I even wore a tank top! Those stinking hormones this week have me feeling like a hot box.
Course: "Beautiful course along the Southern Links Trailway". The trail is all paved, flat, part of the rail system.

Goal: 8:20min/mi.
Before we even parked the car I saw this tall slender gal running. Or maybe I saw her leggings first, as they were a psychedelic mixture of oranges and yellows. They were eye catching. "Hey, That's..ahhh..ohh whats her name?" After we parked the car, registered and were walking in her direction it came to me,  "DONNA" I yelled as I remembered her name at the perfect time.
I was an hour from home, doing this little race and still ran into someone I know. I couldn't get away with anything if I tried!
Donna and I

We all lined up, all three distances started together. I was one of about 50 runners. The course was marked where to turn around for each distance.
Out and Back Course.
It felt so good to be racing in shorts and a tank top.
We took off. I put my music in my ears and tuned out. I had my plan, my goal and I just needed to stay in MY HEAD. I didn't need to run to death although the first 3 miles felt like it.

The course had 3 places that I remember with the small sized water bottles set out for the runners. The course was marked perfectly.I couldn't get a proper pace due to the  overcast skies. Every time I looked at my watch it had me going over a 10min/mi. When each mile beeped I was running faster than I was supposed to. This concerned me because I didn't want to burn myself out.
I ran behind this little guy with a full head of perfect white hair. I decided I would just stay behind him. One thing I noticed was he was not wearing a watch.
Marvin, my New Buddy!

I grabbed a little bottle of water, taking sips of it to bring my temp down. I think I dripped more of down my face than I got in my mouth.
By mile 5, this little guy and I had passed one another 2 times. I really didn't want the lead but I knew I had to take it and be a big girl because his pace was getting inconsistent. I thought that he might just be getting mad at me for breathing all down his back, but once I passed him that final time I never saw him again on the course.
For that matter, I hardly saw anyone until this guy blazed pass my at mile 11. I had Lacey and Holly about a half a mile ahead of me and I considered surging ahead to catch them. Even though I felt like a rockstar, I knew I couldn't catch them and I didn't want to die trying. The idea only lasted about 3 minutes before I dismissed it.
I could see the finish. After all..it was flat and forward. And Holly was waiting on the sidelines for me. Feeling good, probably better than I should have I picked it up, smiled and crossed over the finish.
They did it cross country style. No mat. We had numbers pinned to our shirts and they shouted our time off as we finished. Everything was recorded but you had to wait until they posted the times up on their website.
I really enjoyed running this race.
After I ran, I did a mile cool down and came back to see who finished. "You, you had a target on your back!" This guys says to me around the picnic table with granola bars and water. "WHO me?" I giggled. Lacey and Holly headed back to the car as I chatted it up with my new friends. Marvin, this was the guy I was following says "Once you passed me, the distance got farther and farther from you..."
Funny, this was a slow half for me. But a disciplined one. There was part of me that was down on myself for not running it harder, for Not staying with Lacey and Holly.
RUN YOUR OWN RACE. These guys made me feel better about myself and my race. It was fun knowing I was someone else's challenge. Especially when my mind was my biggest challenge.

I will definitely be doing more of these races this summer. They are perfect races for training and keeping my speed up. And...THEY ARE CHEAP!!

TIME: 1:47:54
PACE: 8:14/mi

One should not be so happy crossing the finish line..
This water tower was right outside the race. How could you NOT smile when you see this. I love it!

SMILE!! Anita~

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Running on Vacation

My son graduates this June. It was just yesterday I was reading books to him on my lap and on my knees praying with him.

We took him and a friend on a cruise to Jamaica and Grand Caymen.  
Glass City marathon is in 2 weeks. I am not tapering enough to NOT run.

We flew into Miami Friday the 31st.
But dang did we see a lot of bootie in Miami. My boys were cultured real quick on South Beach!

Saturday April 1st.
4miles: TM progressive run.
I got up before the boys woke and headed to the gym. I wanted to run in the city, however, our hotel was right smack in the middle of highway madness.
Cruise ship deported this evening.
Cruise ship, 1st night.

Sunday April 2nd.
7 miles
Cruise Ship Track. It was bad enough that it is "approximately" 11 laps to make 1 MILE! But to make the circular event even more gruesome lets add a head wind from the bad place!

Monday April 3rd
Cruise Ship Track. I met "Smiley", Ronald. He smiled at me every lap I saw him, that would be 33 times if you are struggling with the math. It appeared he had symptoms of a stroke. He was a 6 foot African American gentlemen with the warmest smile. He walked with a limp, he had thicker glasses on and his left hand was paralyzed but he was there before me and he was still walking after me!

Tuesday April 4th

Cruise Ship Track. My body was wanting to move at 5 every morning. Even though I slept like a baby once I was up, I was UP. It was darker than a starless night on the top of the cruise ship. And hotter than Haiti's. Every morning it was over 80' starting out on my runs. I ran in a sports bra with sweat dripping within the first few laps. This was a beautiful run. Every mile I took a snapshot to see the sunrise. One of the biggest reasons I ran so early was to catch the sunrise every morning.

Wednesday April 5th
4.5 miles
Cruise Ship Track. Day at Sea. My GPS was useless on the track. I can not run, count and add, therefore I ran by time and estimated my runs. I did a conservative estimate on my runs.

Thursday April 6th
4 miles
Back in Miami. This was a really cool run. As the sun was slowly coming up I could see the lights in Miami gradually getting larger and brighter. It was sad to know I would be getting off the ship shortly, nevertheless, it was a perfect way to end my trip. Just as I was finishing up this Wind picked up out of NO WHERE. It was so strong I literally took a step backwards. The flags on the pole were going crazy. I started giggling. It was hilarious. Then I got tickled watching people come up the stairs to walk/run and almost get knocked back down.

TOTAL Vacation Miles:
27.5 miles.
Good enough for a tapering week.
Sand in my toes!

As far as DIET. I ate food I wouldn't normally eat but I never over ate or over indulged. I take my training serious when it comes to eating. You are what you eat. If you can't be disciplined in your diet, how are you going to be disciplined in your training? Yes, I enjoyed dessert, but not 3 pieces. Yes, I enjoyed thin crust pizza, but just a slice, or two..It was thin crust! Breakfast, I always started out with fruit and coffee then I would eat some eggs, a little potato's, or a slice of bacon, yogurt or banana bread.
Frog Legs, Escargot, Popcorn bread pudding...ect..

Add Saturdays run with Lacey another 4 miles and smiles!

Back to reality. 2 weeks out for Glass City.

Evening Tea: Tazo Wild Sweet Orange.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Dowtown Holly: I Run this Town~

"Good energy come follow me....
Ooh feels so alive, ooh thats what I like....
Yeah we're all about a good life....."

I may have replayed this song 3 times on my 7 mile run.
Music is mostly about the beat for me. So please do not judge me from my secular music selection!
This song plastered a smile on my face and motivated my legs to move with momentum.

Todays run was SOLO. Except for the party in my head, where all the good music was entering from my ear buds.
With this marathon coming just weeks AWAY, one of the many things I have NOT been training is PAVEMENT POUNDING.

I changed my routine a bit..I ran at 3:30pm.
And it was so hard to even get started. I was on the struggle bus today. Every hour I kept wondering if I was going to "FEEL" like running.
Pretty sure even when I headed down E. Holly rd. I still was not "Feeling" it.
That's training. You can't go on "FEELING".  You have to go on "Doing".

I have lived in Holly for over 17 years. It is a small community. And even though I am a small person I am a BIG personality.
I love people. I am LOUD, some might even say obnoxious at times. A little bit nutty and a little bit out of the box for a 43 year old conservative mom.

This being said, I know a lot of people. Running through Holly in the afternoon was a blast.
My first mile, Erin and her daughter slowed their pretty white truck to share smiles and encouragement my way. I heard honks and waves from parents I have coached, I even ran into my favorite old neighbor, Amy. I had to stop my watch so I could rub my sweaty body all over her...In LOVE! I think I even wrapped my leg around her I was so excited, like a DOG!
With all that excitement I was so proud of myself, I remembered to start my watch back up.

It was hard to crank my legs over again, lucky me I had Erin Bowman blasting in my ears to put some pep in my step.

I made it about a mile, when Marie stopped her truck to chat with me for a few minutes.
She greeted me with smiles but I left with tears. She shared a burden with me that really pulled on my heart strings. I took that mile in prayer then cranked my music back up trying to maintain my pace. And this time...I forgot to start my watch back up! I lost about 2/10 of a mile before I noticed my routine airhead move.

I forgot how much I love running through town. Thank you for the smiles, the waves and the honks!
Thank you for making room for this pipsqueak on the road. Everyone was courteous and very kind. It was such a fun run. Don't get me wrong, I was still breathing heavy and my lungs were burning, but even that felt good in a weird way.

Distance: 7.2

"Someone got a goody in the mail today!! I ordered this sports bra on Poshmark, NWT.
It could probably fit a Barbie doll it is so small, that is why I think I great such a great deal on it. $17 dollars on a 49$ sportbra!
LOVE it!

In Closing: The weather is getting warmer, its getting less intentional to find a smile and share on. I encourage you to SMILE more. Running today I smiled a lot. I was pleased to see so many people outside. As I ran I made my way through 3 little boys on the sidewalk. They looked at me with curiosity. I brought my hands down and got little "High Fives" from them. They were smiling and laughing as I passed.
Smile, it can really make someone's day! It made Mine!



This tea actually has a bit of honey and milk in it. But I added some more honey and sweet cream. It was SOO amazing tonight.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

One Thing at a Time

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. you will be a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail"--Isaiah 58:11

A busy week. A week of deadlines, disciplines and  decisions. I don't know about you but when I am pulled in a million different directions I make really poor choices. I get flustered and Satan takes reeks havoc on me.

As I finish out my week, I am comforted by the amount of peace I am carrying. I had several opportunities to really flub things up.
But I tackled each event, idea, each situation separately and individually.
One thing at a time.
I tried not to entangle my circumstances into one cluster. I prayed independently from one matter to the next.
I have several weakness. However, by the grace of God they were strengthened into the areas I really need something bigger than myself.

RUNDOWN: Collision
My long run was shortened this week due to a interrupted schedule.
THE PLAN: Half Marathon @ marathon pace. 
Lacey and I were going to run from my house. Unfortunately, the rain had me quickly altering our plans. With just minutes to spare before Lacey showed up, I sent her a text telling her to change her clothes, I was taking her to Genesys. Running in 42' and rain was NOT something I wanted to do. I was still recovering from all the mud slinging the week before.

Running in shorts, Lacey and I had to get rolling. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest...Not at all the case for me. I had back to back events. And running got squeezed in.

The track was busy with walkers, runners, tennis players and people in between. Lacey had a solid 7 miler on Saturday and I could hear her breathing in our first couple miles.
We were running in our 5th mile and Lacey mentioned something about me being perky. I told her our pace and reminded her what we were supposed to be running.
We never slowed up again. Lacey is a tough cookie. She apologized and made a intention switch to pick it up and bring it in.

We ran strong. We counted our laps together. Because it takes 2 of us to count laps! I felt great, we actually were hitting our laps faster than our marathon pace.
The only watch I was keeping an eye on was my little purple Timex. And the only thing I could see was our splits.
At mile 10, I happened to look up at the large overhead clock. 1:12pm. I panicked. There was no time to get in 13 miles. I was pushing it to get in 12 miles.
We held our own. Ran hard to 12 miles then used mile 12 as a recovery mile.
2. 9:00
3. 8:38
4. 8:43
5. 8:45
6. 8:25
7. 8:26
8. 8:20
9. 8:08
10. 8:01
11. 8:11
Average pace: 8.29: This is MARATHON PACE! We picked it up enough to average us out!
Mile 12...Recovery and I forgot to stop my watch! It was almost 25 minutes after we stretched, rolled and chatted in the locker when I realized I never hit STOP!

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. you will be a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail"--Isaiah 58:11

I was pretty stoked at how God had taken care of this run. He knows my frame and strengthen me.
Just hitting it one mile at a time~


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

When the endorphins KICK in.

"...the only time I should see you is when you are passing me...." Jeff said with a very serious smirk.
It was 800m repeat day.
My Dread.

Sunday, I was so discouraged after our long run. So many thoughts of doubt and discouragement replayed over and over in my head. The song just wouldn't end. I questioned my abilities for running this upcoming marathon.
It started out just a little crack. But Sunday all my thoughts on this marathon broke into a million pieces.

Jeff left me at the track as he dropped off his phone back in the locker room. I went back and forth. I knew what my training had me doing.
1 mile w/u
8X800m @ 3.35
400m c/d
1 mile recovery.

I didn't want to do it.
I didn't want to fail.
I didn't want to hurt.
I didn't want to work so hard.

What if I couldn't run them?
What if I I didn't run them?
What if I just do half of them?
What if I just run them fast but not fast enough?
What it....A hundred more.

"I hate this, I hate that I can't breath, I hate that it hurts, I hate speed work ...." Desperately trying to catch my breath and cry to Jeff.
He gave me NO sympathy.

Jeff left me with 2 repeats left. I hit my numbers, I hit 6 repeats...
"I can do this..."
"Can I do this?"
"2 More...if you can do 6 you can do 8.."

I was blown away every time I looked at my little purple Timex.

I wanted to cry, I knew it was God. He loved me enough to heal my 50 mile running week. He loved me enough to strengthen me, empower me..

I came unto my last 400 meters. My lips were dry, my lungs were burning. I tried to breath and I had no strength to even gasp for air. I was so thirst. My legs felt like lead weights.
I thought I would just run this last one easy. I didn't have to hit my time.

AND there he was..JEFF. He came back. He stood against the rail. He raised his finger "1". He came back to hold me accountable. To check on me.
I couldn't call it in.
He was counting on me. He knew I could do it. I had to quit being a baby and Run IT.
My last repeat; 3:30.

I tried not to cry. I wanted to scream "BAM! I did it!" BUT I couldn't even breath. I decided breathing was the first thing I needed to do.

The ENDORPHINS were raging. I took off my socks, my shoes and headed to the heavy bag. Bare foot and stoked I twisted my hips, pivoted my left leg, raised my right leg and WHACK! I planted the top of my foot perfectly across the bag.
The vinyl felt so cold and refreshing.
I came back into stance and went to repeat the roundhouse.
ONLY this time the sweat from my bare feet slipped against the cold cement floor and I came up 3 feet off the ground and all 103 lbs came down on my right butt cheek.
I was back up, quickly! My knees back in position as I swung my hips and slapped the bag again.
I am sure I gave some people a few good laughs. I was cracking up inside. I was feeling like Rocky hitting the bag but looking more like Dumb and Dumber.

The super cool thing about running last Fridays Pot o Gold ( One of the only cool things for me) was I got to meet the race director of Hennipen100 that I am running in October!
"Michelle" was inside the Masonic Temple manning a shoe table for the shoe brand 360'.
Lacey happened to see her flyers on the table advertising HENNIPEN in October.
Lacey introduced herself and LO and BEHOLD..she was our LADY! She was so excited to meet us she trusted me to guard her table as she went to car to bring Lacey and I goodies!

In Closing...Hours later, I am still so humbled that I was able to NOT just nail 1 repeat..BUT I hit all 8 of them.
I wanted to quit, I wanted to cry, I wanted to breath, I wanted to cheat..
But I didn't.
I believed. I worked hard, I prayed harder. I sweat, I never gave up even when ever fiber in me wanted to.
Believe in yourself. Never quit. Whatever you are battling, whatever you are fighting, whatever you desire, don't quit. Dig in, don't listen to the voices of defeat...You are what you believe.
The easy route is easy...and comes with little satisfaction. AIM HIGH. WORK HARD, BELEIVE.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Race Recap, so much Crap!

POT O GOLD Race Report;
Have you ever ordered a meal and after a couple bites knew it was not what you should have ordered. Maybe you were not as hungry as you thought.
Maybe it was not what you expected.
Maybe it started off good but then it was no longer appetizing after a few bites.
HOWEVER, for what every reason you felt you needed to finish your plate. And as you finished those last few bites you think "OH, what have I done, that was awful!"

Pretty much sums up my 4mile Pot O Gold race experience!

  • It was the accumulation of a 50 mile run week.
  • I worked Friday and Saturday, booked, on my feet for 9 hours in heels.
  • Ran in a white out with snow flakes as large as Satan. Pretty sure Satan spewed defeat all over me.
  • My stupid watch was on the wrong data screen and I couldn't see my pace, not that it was anything to look at.
  • I took off too fast the first mile. And it wasn't really that fast...
  • No stretching or warming up, we were a little late
  • Gun start time, you would think I would remember this as I place myself in the middle of the pack.
  • My kilt felt hot and heavy, it sure was cute though.
  • My hamstrings were tight and irritable from 2 separate leg days.
  • The voices in my head sang "You suck, just walk!"
Kirt runs in all the local races. He is always a gem to see.

This may have been the first time I ever wanted to DNF. But it was a 4 miler and they had a walking group.. WHO DNF's a 4 mile Fun RUN? Totally CRAP!

Distance: 4mile
Time: Gun Time: 33.05
Place female 40-44: 1st of 31
Female Masters: 2nd of 118
YES...You are reading that correct! My slowest Pot O Gold and I placed!
ME, Jeff, Lacey, Melissa and Holly

I love seeing so many of my favorite people! I got to see Robin, Kirt and my lil buddy Jeff ( I may have pressured him into the suffering on Wednesday)  on top of going with Melissa, Lacey and Holly. The Finish and seeing everyone was way more fun!

Glass City LONG RUN:

Lacey and I struggle with attention deficit as much in life as we do running. Neither of us can run a route more than a couple times.
We changed it up and ran the PAINT CREEK TRAIL adding on the CLINTON RIVER TRAIL.
Paint Creek Trail, if you catch it in the beginning is 8.9 miles. We picked it up on Atwater Rd in Lk Orion, running it until it ended in Rochester near University Dr.
We had to do a little jog through downtown Rochester to pick up the Clinton River Trail. Both trails are very flat. They run along the water. The trees are still bland without buds or greenery but the blue skies were reflecting off the flowing river. I am really looking forward to training this a lot more for Hennepin100. It should be beautiful in another couple weeks.
Nonetheless....Both trails were a complete sucky mucky mess. A little birdie warned me, But Lacey and I both didn't want to run the back roads.

The trails were being enjoyed by walkers, runners, romantics, bikers and although we didn't see any for ourselves, horseback riders. We did see a WHOLE LOT of gigantic horse poo. "Anita, if dog owners are supposed to clean up there dogs poo, I think the horse owners need to clean up this POO!"
We saw so much horse crap on the trail.

We did pretty good at keeping our pace. I had to work a little harder than Lacey. The last 6 miles I was over it. My shoes weighed as much as that horse poop with all the mud in them and they pretty much look like it too. Lacey tried to get me to chat but I didn't even feel like whining out loud.
It was a beautiful day out there. As we finished up, I was beginning to realize why I was struggling. The path is so flat that it just never ends. There is nothing to break  it up that you can see. This was messing with me. I convinced Lacey to walk each mile for a few seconds. This helped me stretch out and give me something to run towards. You could hardly run through the mud,so it was a bit of a reprieve for me.

Distance 20.01
Pace: 9:24
Time: 3:03

It's so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to. ~Annie Gottlier
We had to bump our miles by 2 on our long run today.
 Then I somehow lost a mile at mile 15.
Todays run was a mixture of want to and have to. Its fun until its just not fun anymore.
The first 15 miles was all easy, I wanted it.
I cant say the same for the last 5 though!
I just put my head towards Lacey and had her run me in like a dog!
So thankful for the sun, the path and my partner!

Crap race or running around crap, between these two runs, so MUCH CRAP!


WAIT WAIT...I'm pooped out, done writing..BUT something really COOL happened at Pot O Gold. I will share it tomorrow!