"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Monday, January 30, 2017

New Eyes

"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts."
Eleanor Roosevelt

A new day, a new start, a new beginning and New Eyes to look unto my day.

I LOVE new Beginnings. Even for a Monday I was ready to dance. I was smiling, I was excited to move on and move forward.

I was so excited I totally forgot to eat breakfast AGAIN before my run.

I sent out a text to Danielle last Wednesday to see if she might want to join me for a run out at Kensington.
She responded with exclamation marks and smiley faces.
Bruno Rd Barn

We were meeting at 8:25.
My driving went on autopilot. I should have gotten on Hickory Ridge Rd. But I didn't. I was smiling all the way to Fenton. I do not remember driving to Tim Hortons! True Story. I sat in the parking lot confused and wanting coffee! I had to backtrack 8 miles. I was still smiling, I LOVE TIM HORTON'S coffee and it really showed this morning!

I actually arrived at 8:35.
It was so nice to see Danielle. My calves were still sore from yesterdays run. I was hoping they would loosen up once we started.
The first couple miles we ran moderate. But then I don't know what happened. The more we chatted the faster we got. By mile 5, I was not so chatty. The hills were kicking my butt. Danielle was pummeling through them. I was out of breath, and could hear my heavy breathing. I thought to myself "This is training you big baby, suck it up."
That didn't make the pain go away. But for a brief second it did take the edge off.
My right calf kept tightening up on me. I have NO idea why. Then it went into my booty. Then my hamstring started hurting.
"Crap, this is training, run you big baby."
I looked at Danielle, the BACK of Danielle and stayed close.
It is such a LOVE/HATE relationship. You love the pain, because it is progress, But you hate the pain because it HURTS.
My fingertips were frozen but my legs were still moving. That last mile my legs joined my fingers, they were numb. Numb from fatigue not the cold.
We discussed walking up the last incline to Farmstead, where we parked. But nope, we didn't even slow down, we sped UP running in the last mile at a 8:25min/mi.
This goat was getting friendly with Danielle and I.

Distance: 9 miles
Pace: 8:44/mi
I was shocked with our pace considering we took 3- 20second walk breaks to stretch my stupid calves out.
This evening I will stretch, roll, a jillion crunches, planks  and some squats.

Other than forgetting breakfast,  I did eat well from that point.
Breakfast: 1/2 a bran muffin Tim Hortons, I went back on my way home.
Lunch: smoked salmon, cheese and pears
Dinner: Pulled pork, banana bread with fresh fruit.
( I put my apron on this afternoon. I boiled a dozen eggs. I made Banana bread, Pulled pork, and a Quiche.) Meal prepping for a busy week.

Tea Time: Stash Lemon Ginger, with honey.

I love MUSIC, This weeks running downloads:

I wish I could claim the idea of "New Eyes". But I stole it from a friend. Sometimes it is the simplest mantra that has the most impact.
Its changing your paradigm of thinking, but it has to start with being willing to look at things differently. It doesn't dismiss the circumstances, it just gives you a different outlook on them and who you are in the midst of life.


Sunday, January 29, 2017


Last week, at one of my sons basketball games I got distracted. We usually sit in the middle upper bleachers. These are good seats to see the entire gym area.
A man was facing in our direction with a black and bright yellow shirt. It appeared to be a tech shirt. The black shirt was colored in yellow swirls. The yellow design with the contrast against the black was shocking, even mesmerizing.  Mom pointed to the shirt and said "His shirt is making me dizzy."
It did.
I couldn't stop staring at it. I was so distracted, confused, almost ensnared by the pattern on his shirt.
Even though it left me dizzy, I couldn't stop gazing into it.

This week I got some upsetting news I am not going to discuss. But it reminded me of this shirt.
Saturday I tried to work, but I was so distracted. I was upset, baffled, completely thrown off balance.
I had a client I asked 3 times what she was doing over the weekend. I couldn't tell you what she said. The third time, I knew she knew I wasn't with the program.

I was ensnared by the news I had received. I couldn't get it out of my mind. Even though it made me sick, even though I was holding back the tears,  it had a hold on me. I was distracted and dizzy with confusion.

I was so looking forward to seeing Lacey today. I needed her for more than running. I needed a friend to help remove this spell from me.
She is such a good friend. She is very good at illustrating all sides of the spectrum. It almost makes me dizzier. SO much more to think about. We ran for more about 2 hours, I can't say I felt a lot better. I even apologized for not being much for energy. Ultimately, I did feel better, I felt better than how really terrible I felt. I still felt terrible, just not AS terrible.
Barn outside of Indian Springs

"He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increase in strength."
Isaiah 40:29
Indian Springs Metropark
Week 5 Glass City Marathon
Distance: 13.1m
Time: 1:58
Pace: 9:04
I forgot to shut off my watch after 13M. But I was STOKED at how good our Splits were, within 17 seconds!

27' degrees out. I always over dress. I HATE being cold. Lacey did NOT want to run the back loop multiple times. It literally angered her the thought of going around and around. We ran every road through the park, she even had us running through the parking lot and playground.
I didn't want to run today. If it wasn't for Lacey, I wouldn't have. I was exhausted, I slept terrible and was haunted by a never ending nightmare.
We knocked out the first 5 miles without hardly realizing it. But the next 8 miles were a battle for me. My calves were tight and each mile, they were getting angrier. Just one mile at a time. I made it my job to try and focus on our pace. 9-9:15.
It didn't take the suck factor away. It was just one of those runs, But I couldn't have done it without Lacey. I wouldn't have.
Week 5 Training Selfie

A little piece of me
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

At times when I am hurt, confused or overwhelmed, I think of my mom in her addiction.
I want the hurt to go away in a instant. I don't want to feel the weight consuming me. I feel betrayed. I can't control my thoughts, my heart, my mind is complete chaos, all I want to do is be numb.
It is times like this I wish I could hold my mom and tell her how sorry I am for her suffering. I wish I could wrap my arms around her and tell her she is amazing, she is beautiful, she is forgiven, she is LOVED. She is not the mistakes she made, she is not her yesterdays, she is not her pain.
I want what she took, what she was enslaved to BUT I know I can't. Peace does not come in a bottle or a Zig Zag wrapper, in a pill or in another person, Peace comes from The Lord, I have to feel every prick of pain. The only way to get through it is to get through it.
It hurts to hurt.
If you add confusion to the mix it is a horrible cocktail.

So I will do the little things, go for a run, PRAY, heat the kettle and make a warm cup of orange tea and honey.
Always remembering God has a plan for everything. I need to trust in HIM.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Running Field Trip.

Clover Beach. A+K+K =Anita, Kris and Ken. Ken is such a softy!
Trail running today was not for the runner wanting to enjoy some miles, a decent pace or a run with without ton of mud.

I asked who wanted to run double digits last night when we all touched base.
Ken, Kris, Rachel and I decided we were not going to even attempt to run on trails. While mud slinging at one another on Monday was amusing, our run was a lot of work.
Today we opted for back roads closer to Kris and Ken in Linden.
Rachel hurt her back and played it safe at home and was not able to join this morning.

We met at Clover Beach in Fenton.
A mile into our run Kris asked Ken how far he wanted to go.
Ken responded "I dont't know, like 2 hours or whatever you guys like...."
I swallowed hard. I was thinking like 10, 11 miles...He was talking  more like 13, 14 miles.
I tried not to show my concern. I didn't bring water, any chews and I forgot to eat breakfast.
To kick it up a notch, Kris picked one of her favorite "HILLY ROUTES"
Yep, I was doomed. Dead MEAT!

"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?" Psalm 121:1        

HIlls were NO JOKE. I thought of Lacey. She keeps reminding me I have work hard.
Marathon training you RUN THE HILLS.
Ultra Training you WALK THE HILLS.

You know the hills you are running are beasts when they are named.
We named the massive incline on Whittaker Rd "The WIDOW MAKER" a couple years ago. There is a light at the top of the hill. I never take my eyes off it. The closer I get, the stronger I get. I find myself determined to get to the light. My hands are clutched in little fists as I stubbornly drive into the hill.

I had no idea where Kris was taking us. I knew we were in Linden, somewhere. Then the hills started attacking us one at a time. They never ended.
Ken for an old guy is solid. He has ran more Ultras than I have had birthdays. I was determined to stay on his heels. I would get behind him when he barreled down the downhills. I would focus on his bare legs and try to plant my feet every where he was. I never looked at my watch, and I never let him get too far ahead of me. It hurt, my quads were burning but I wasn't going to let him get the best of me.

The scenery for a dreary day was overloaded with potential. I found beauty in the potential, stopping to enjoy a creek cut in the middle of a field. Ken hushed me at one point. "Funny Ken, I haven't seen any deer in weeks..." He replied.."AHH,,GEE I wonder why..." teasing me about how loud I am. But it was not to far from that point, we came unto about 30 turkeys. SOO cool!
Ore Creek Farm
Group  HUG!

We stumbled on some incredible historic barns. Ken was giving us architecture lessons on some of the Centennial Farm homes.
Lyonheart Farms

Time was moving fast. We did a loop, somewhere, in Linden and we were heading back in. I realized where we were real fast when we were hitting the hills for the second time.
"Maintain Anita.." No matter what I was not going to stop. Lacey was in my head. "GET UP THE HILL, HEAD Up, Stay stong." I was screaming at myself.
It hurt, everything hurt. I was so thirsty, My gum was no longer minty, and my stomach was growling. I was praying, asking God to give me any pain but please don't let my sugar drop.

Kris is very consistent. She never shows pain. Ken, he was trying to bury me. He was hitting the pavement turning his feet over like a stinking Ethiopian.
He was warmed up and taking the lead.
I wondered how long he was going to hold his pace. I wondered how long I was going to be able to stay with him. Till I collapse.
Ken shared his Gatorade with me, this really perked me up.

By about 11 miles, Ken was slowing up but I was holding on. The ball was rolling.
"MAINTAIN Anita". I would swing back around and pick them up but I was keeping my momentum.

I honestly felt like crying. I was humbled by the strength God had given me to get through all this elevation. The hills kept coming. My back was still straight, My eyes were focused, My legs were sore but moving in perfect form. I was out of breath, everything in me was screaming, And so was total gratitude.

I recognized where we were at, only I was shocked when I saw the parking lot where our vehicles were parked.
WE were DONE! My distance was off by almost a mile. I paused my Garmin to look at something and forgot to restart it. This is a typical AIRHEAD Anita move.

Distance: 14.7
13.7 we ran, then we walked a cool down around the Beach.
Time: 2:32:
Pace: 10:20/mi

My pace had us at 9:33/mi because I turned my Garmin off at the cool down. The above time and distance if from Kris's Garmin.
Our Elevation!

Such a great run. The three of us are all running Hennepin in October. Todays run exemplified  what great dynamics the 3 of us have. I am so excited.

Lacey announced to me last week she is going on vacation with her husband that week. They are going to Chicago. And on her way there she is going to take a little pit stop to PACE ME!!!!
YES! She shocked me, surprised me, and BLESSED me.
Could this get ANY BETTER? 100 miles with my TRIBE!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Heathen. Mental Mess

I was sitting at the kitchen table making ham and cheese sandwiches when my phone went off. "Who is texting me at 6:10 in the morning." I thought.
It is never a good thing to have messages or phone calls that early.
It was Jeff, bailing on me.

I was up and at it, my clothes were laid out and my gym bag was by the front door, but I had no motivation to go, I had no motivation to anything. I suddenly wanted to go back to bed.

Before the thought turned to action I quickly sent out a distress call to Ken asking if he would meet me.
But he wasn't biting either.

Just when I was about to give up and succumb to the idea I was going solo, Claudia invited me to run with her!

I met Claudia and MaryAnn at 11AM at Indian Springs for 8 miles.

It was great. After we finished I looked at the time. I had to pick up my nephew to babysit at 1pm. I had a little extra time. I looked at the bare sledding hill. "HEY girls, wanna run up the hill?"
After a slight pause, we were all running up together. MaryAnn somehow convinced us to run down the other side and back up again.
Before our lungs realized they were burning we all were smiling.


I was asked to attend the young ladies small group at church. The leader thought I would have some wisdom to share with the young ladies. They were studying Titus 2:3-5. It discusses the older woman in the church teaching the younger ones.
I was definitely the older woman this evening.

I showed up modestly dressed, more modest than usual.  I studied the verses. I struggled in my mid January emotional mess. I felt unequipped.
Before I left I sent this selFie to Andy to ask his opinion of my attire. I like to get his thoughts. Simple. I did add lip gloss. A girl cant go out without lips gloss unless your RUNNING!

Then my emotions were confirmed when I turned on my truck and the song "HEATHENS" was on the radio. Seriously, I know the song is overplayed but what were the odds.
And I was convicted even more with this secular music coming out of my speakers. I needed some Casting Crowns, some Jeremy Camp, or my favorite, David Crowder.

Too many dreary days. It is messing with me. The chatter in my head is louder. My mind is a battlefield. My focus is off, I am really struggling with me.

The group was great. The girls were very sweet. It was exactly what I needed.

Something else I Need...I need some sunshine. I am a MESS.
A few things that make me smile in Gloomy Weather:
  • My boys smiling at me right before they ask me for something.
  • Chocolate, preferable dark chocolate..and a delicate truffle, I am puddy.
  • Hot tea, I have a cup almost every afternoon or evening, it relaxes me.
  • Fuzzy Blankets.
My computer is dying...Nite


Monday, January 23, 2017

Mud Boggin

The trails this morning were a thick slippery sludge of a mess. It was a so much fun.
I found myself giggling every time I slipped or tripped. I even squealed when I found myself on all fours in the mud. I have no idea how I even ended up staring into the mud, but I did and it was funny. I bounced up quick, I accessed my body and thanked the mud for softening my fall.  The mud was splashing and sticking to the bottoms of our shoes.

We ran the Wilderness trail 2 times. The moisture in the air was heavy. Rain started trickling in. My pony tail by the end of the 2nd loop was a massive rats nest. My hair had swollen 5 times its size bulging out of the pony tail holder.
My gloves were soaking wet and my hat was useless. The brim on my hat was messing with my vision of the trail.  So when we finished the second loop I ditched my hat and my sopping wet gloves.

I had about 12 miles in from that point. In between loops we came back to our vehicles. This added more mileage.

Then we headed over to the Lakeshore Loop for another 2.5 miles. This is my favorite loop.
The mud around the lake was not as deep or sloppy. It was still slick but more of a clay texture.
Every time I run this loop I see something new. Unfortunately, I put my phone in my truck with concern the drizzle and moisture would hurt it. The snow had all melted leaving almost everything brown. Bright green, almost neon moss glowed on the logs. The contrast in color was stunning.
But you will have to take my word for it, because I have no pics!

Distance: 14.5ish..I forgot to start my Garmin when we started. Then I forgot to unpause it when we hit one of the loops. AIRHEAD. 

A great run and a better recovery snack. Normally, I will enjoy a apple, peppers or a clementine. But this afternoon, I enjoyed a Truffle. Dark chocolate. Just talking about it makes me want another.

Enjoy the little things when you finish doing the Big things.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Can you say your ABC'S?

Sunday RUNDAY!
WEEK 4 of Glass City Marathon Training.
Lacey had the brilliant idea to run at Indian Springs and dodge the mudfest on the back roads.
This was an even better idea when I had to put my truck in 4wheel drive to get to her house. My truck looks like a massive TURD.

Indian Springs was busy busy. I purchased my yearly pass, 35$ to add to my State park pass. I will get my moneys worth between the two. All the trails make running way more exciting then the backroads and sidewalks.

I was not feeling good all day. My belly felt like I was 6 months pregnant and my head was throbbing. The long run is not the run to skip. No matter what you just pull up your big girl pants and get your groove on.

Because Lacey and I are trying to qualify for Boston, together we are very serious about out longs runs.
Todays long run was 14 miles. That is 3 loops at the back of the park compared to 2.
We wanted to maintain a 9:15-9:30 pace.

THE RUN: Longs runs require you to run LSD..LONG SLOW DISTANCE.
Both of us have Garmins that help to manage our pace.
One of the ways you will know if you are running at a good pace is being able to carry on a conversation.
Lacey and I really don't have a problem talking.
UNTIL, Lacey started talking about BOSTON. She reminded me what we needed to be doing. Lacey started spitting with excitement. Saying words like faster runs, intentional runs, pacing, leg work, Lacey even reminded me of my race times at Bayshore, Boston and Cleveland.
Next thing I knew, I was picking up the pace, my heart was racing and my belly was hurting more.
We had to keep each other in check with our pace. As we chatted about our goals our legs were turning over faster.

It was a eerie run. All the snow had melted. The fog hung throughout the woods. The trees were naked but hardly afraid. They stood looming over the swamp. You could see all the trees that had fallen down, strong beastly trunks upside down with roots heavy and thick.
The moisture was so heavy both Lacey and I had beads of dew in our hair and eyebrows.

Running in capris and light layers was a refreshing gift for mid January.

When Lacey and I finished our Garmins were not matching. As meticulous as we were, I knew mine was more accurate.

We really NAILED our goal today. I was very happy to see the results when we finished. This really is the result of intentional training and holding each other accountable.
The last mile was uphill. We were getting quiet. Finishing up that last mile uphill I suggested we say our ABC'S and make sure we were still at a conversational pace in the middle of dread.

 This afternoon was my second run in my new shoes:
New Balance 880. They did great.

Distance: 12 miles
Avg Pace: 9:01

Splits were a little fast. But we were very consistent. Finishing with a negative split. PERFECT.

Whatever you are training. If you are truly TRAINING, it is very important to not willy nilly your training. If you never push yourself you never know what you are capable of.
Being disciplined  and intentional will bear fruit.
Runner accountability is a added bonus. Having that running partner that believes in you, encourages you and shares similar goals helps to keep you motivated and inspired.

I am very blessed in this department. I look forward to my partners calling during the week to keep me on track.
If you want to be great, surround yourself with greatness. You are what you hang with. Be inspired!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Suffer in Silence

As a runner for a little over 14 years, I rarely go out for a run without a few aches and pains. Most of the time they go away, however many runs you just suck it up.
Often times, I don't share my aches simply because they are more of a nuisance than anything. Also, if I shared all these little "issues" people would begin to wonder "WHY" I run or even worse they would never want to pick up running.

So often I just "Suffer in Silence."

Wednesdays have now become a routine for me. I have made it to GAC 7 weeks in a row.
Jeff is usually waiting for me as I come in like a crazy wild woman.
Wednesdays have become STRENGTH Day.
Jeff pushes me with numbers and a lot of running wisdom. He makes sure I land somewhere in the land of SUCK. Then like a swirly (your head in a flushing toilet)  he holds my head there, occasionally letting me come up for air. When the suffering is finished he smiles and says something like "That wasn't enough to hurt to bad, it was just enough..." I stare at him thinking he is like Satan incarnate.
Yesterday was just like all the others but a little different, worse.
Worse, HOW?
Wednesday I had to start the TM a little faster then previous weeks. We do a progressive run every Wednesday. I always start out easy peasy conversational pace then continue to increase my pace. The last 2 miles I increase my pace every lap. The last LAP I increase my pace faster than my brain is moving in hopes that my body will not know what is happening.
The TM workout was a smidge faster than last week and I felt it ALL.
TM Distance 6miles. 
Last 2 miles, Jeff whispers "Nitagirl, you might wanna put your music in NOW." I knew that meant he expected me to be working hard enough I couldn't chat. So if any of you want to know how to get me to shut up, RUN THE H*!! out of me, I get real quiet!
We finished up and headed to the TRACK for our strides, 6 total, this week we added one more.
Before we reached our straight way to start our first stride Jeff took off. "OH SHOOT!" I screamed trying to catch up.
Jeff did this for the next 4 strides. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was making me come catch him. He wanted me to run harder.  
The 5th stride I was tuckering out. My quads were burning but Jeff had this evil grin. I knew he was enjoying this torture.
I  wanted to whine and complain. Each time we came to the straight away I started out strong but within seconds I could feel my body figuring out what was going on. My muscles were aching, I was trying so hard to put the distance Jeff expected me to, between him and I. I was suffering. I had to bear it and take it like a champ. No whining, no complaining, this was all part of the process. Suffer in Silence.

Wednesday Total miles-7.25

Today I met Kris, Rachel and Ken out at Holly Rec to run the trails. We all came prepared for the icy trails. I was excited to use my Kahtoolas again. The first loop Ken was leading, he had us running at a pretty good clip. As we came to the second loop, we all decided to bring it down a notch. Each of us have our strong suits. Ken blasts the down hills. Rachel pummels the uphills, Kris is the steadiest person I know, that girl can run forever and me, I just try to smile the whole time so know one knows I am Suffering!
Thursday follows WEDNESDAY, STRENGTH day. I am counting miles, hills, turns, knocking off the amount of suffering I still have to do off. I remind myself this is good, good training, like a 100 times. I try to chat so I don't hear my body cursing at me. I try to suffer in silence and not burden anyone with my wimpiness.  
My Kahtoolas. LOVE~

Somewhere on the second loop, I mentioned being sore from Wednesday. Like clockwork each of my posse all added their empathetic suffering from their Wednesdays work out too.
Together, we all were Suffering in Silence. When we shared our stories we all felt like rock stars toughing it out.
Distance 11 miles.

Collision, Suffering in Silence.

"Bear Ye One Anothers Burdens and So Fulfill the Law of Christ." Gal 6:2

Often times we keep our suffering to ourselves. We play it safe. We think no one will understand. No one will care. No one wants to hear it.
When you find that right person, or persons that really do care, really do understand or really love you in your suffering it is like magic.
I am not one to complain. Life is really too short and has too much to be happy about. But today when I headed home after our run I thought about my crew. The ones around me. I am so blessed with friendships that do not just LISTEN to you but really HEAR you. Friendships that are positive, encouraging and at the same time Real. I can be ME, crazy, obnoxious, goofy and still be loved. We are all sharing, laughing, edifying and listening to one another. It is nice to know when things are NOT always rainbows and butterflies though that we do not have to Suffer in Silence.

BTW...I can't wait to tell you something super exciting Lacey shared with me....

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cracks in the Ice.

Running with Matt and Ken on Mondays requires me to pull up my big girl pants. I try not to whine, I try to keep up, suck it up and buck up.
When they go down a hill, they float like a butterfly. I, on the other hand am trailing in the back strategically planting my feet on the safest ground. I try to run like a gazelle but I really look like a underfed big foot clod hopping to catch up.

Part of the fun of trail running is the adventure. Every run, even on the same trail is different. Each run holds something unique to only that run.
Last week, we were climbing over fallen trees and overflowing rivers.

Today, was all together different.

The trail was a solid sheet of ice. We didn't make it a mile and Matt took a really big fall, making the deciding factor to turn back for our Kahtoola Microspikes.

It is really scary running on ice.  I had one eye on Ken and Matt and one eye in front of me.
We were not running fast, we were way more conservative on our way back to the car.

This was the first time that I pulled these out of the box since I received them for Christmas.

It took a couple minutes to get used the medal necklace around my shoe. After the first patch of ice, I quickly fell in love. The grip into the ice was sharp and bold. I had total control. The farther we ran the less fearful I was. By the time we had finished up two loops I was ready to go again.

ICE IS NOT my FRIEND, Even with spikes.
We headed to the Lakeshore loop. I LOVE this loop. It's only about 2.5 miles but it is my favorite for scenery. It is a little more technical, however; enticing. It is surrounded with lakes, water, massive trees, bare and vulnerable to the winter elements. The trees are mysterious, tangled between each other. The trail leads down to the  daunting waters in multiple locations. They lakes are open, flat and quietly whispering for you to come play.
Ice is not my friend.
  1. I fell on the ice and knocked my teeth out when I was about 14.
  2. I am not a good swimmer.
  3. I hate being cold and wet.
I am a sucker for an adventure. Or I am a sucker for peer pressure. I found myself on the ice heading towards this island. I thought I was such a big girl, until I heard BOOM!
The ICE thundered below me, I turned around like I was possessed and booked it back to shore.
Nope, no frozen lake adventure for me.

CRACKS in the ICE.

When we were on the ice I got down on my knees to investigate what was below me. There were cracks everywhere. Scattered across the lake you saw dark frozen holes in the ice resembling snowflakes in the frozen lake. I remembered something Lacey had told me just the day before.
"Anita, there are layers in the ice. Every time we have gotten warm weather it melts then refreezes. There are some layers in the ice that are not frozen, but the ice is stronger than you think."

I looked at the ice, recollecting what Lacey had said but still found myself untrusting. I saw all the cracks in the ice and that couldn't convince me to be fearless.

Today after my run I thought about that frozen lake. The one with all the cracks, with all the layers.
I thought of myself. I felt like that lake.
So many cracks, so imperfect. I feel so strong, I want to be strong, I want to BELEIVE that I am STRONG..But I have all these LAYERS. These layers that confuse me.
My base layer, my foundation is in CHRIST, but I have this layer of hurt, and a layer of disappointment. God tries to heals me and I find I have another layer of strength only to be sabotaged by this crack. This daunting, deep crack that constantly reminds me of my yesterdays. And another crack that demonizes me, holds me back. I can hear the Lord whispering for me to trust in HIM. Believe in who HE created me to be, but I am scared, scared of my cracks.
I once had someone tell me "ANITA, I know you, I know what kind of a person you are." Initially, I was impressed, "FINALLY someone can tell me WHO I am, I have been trying to figure it out for 40 something years."
And they told me. Leaving cracks and layers to add to the rest.
Again, God healed me, freezing over that brokenness.

Today those  "Cracks in the Ice" reminded me to have TRUST. To trust in God in all my brokenness and in all the layers life has created in me.
To Remember I am STRONG, in Christ. I am NOT perfect, But I need to TRUST the process that God has created in me and not let FEAR dictate my tomorrows.
It reminded me that though I can not see Eternity like a movie on netflix, God is not tangible, But our Faith and Trust is eternal. Like that lake, I can not see all the way down to believe it could carry me, Even though I can not see God carrying me, HE IS.
"So we fix our eyes NOT on what is seen, but what is UNSEEN. For what is SEEN is temporary, But what is UNSEEN is ETERNAL."


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Seven Lakes Shenanigans

I have never slept with an alarm clock, mostly because from the time I was a teenager I just didn't sleep well. I usually get up and get going on my own, however this morning was different.
My cell phone started going off at 6:15. School was cancelled. No biggie, but that phone call got the momentum going.
I am on a group text with my Thursday running crew, there are 4 of us total. With the ice fest outside, schools now closing, we had concerns for driving conditions.
I just wanted to stay under the covers a little longer.
For a brief second, I thought the whole run was going to get cancelled. I quickly chimed in replying that I REALLY needed to get these miles in, I work Friday and Saturday and those are no run days for me.
We adjusted the time and the meeting place and we were now all pumped to go run in the rain and sleet!

None of us really made a plan on how many miles we were going to do. Thursdays we usually do double digits. We all took off in the sleet towards the trail at Seven Lakes.
Kris and Rachel know this trail better than Ken and I. I am not the leader anyone should have. I can barely remember where I park my truck, let alone what turn to make, or what mile marker to head to.

I was able to dress in a couple less layers this morning, this made my body feel more agile. One layer I didn't even think to bring was a windbreaker or rain jacket.
Luckily it wasn't raining, just sleeting ice pellets in our face. So welcoming.

It took me  a few minutes to figure out what my position was against the icy trail. I had to run, slip, then back up to run more and discover that the whole run was going to be an adventure.
Within the first mile the fun really commissioned us.
Due to all the rain, the lakes had really risen, this then opened up the streams. We came to a very large part of the trail head that was all under water.
I got super excited. Like a wild animal being let go into their natural habitat.
I started giggling as I trailed behind the four of them.
Ken led and directed us girls. There was a lot of squealing, I was not squealing, I was ready to dive in. I was completely amused by the scene in front of me.
"KENNN, what way do we go..OH OH NOO"
Ken 15 feet ahead, "Go LEFT, JUST GO through it."
"Do we climb over or cut over, Oh no, OUCH, It's all ICE!"
I couldn't stop laughing, the water was moving under the ice, all the stumps were a sheet of ice and tocut through off the path you had to go into sharp thickets.
I  was having so much fun.

By the time we made it over this icy wet obstacle we were ready to conquer anything!

Throughout the next 10 miles, we had a few more water crossings, sleet and rain but no falls! We still had to stop and look at the trail markers and at one point I could have swore we went in one big circle. Even Ken looked confused but we just laughed it off and kept going.
Ken was leading us and keeping us girls moving enough that it got a little quiet.
We also all got warm.

The thing I love about running at 7 Lakes is the trail is so different from one mile to the next. It gives you something to look forward to. The change in scenery is magnificent. I could run and explore for hours out there.

In just the short time we were out there I discovered a little Teepee I had never seen. We ran across the beach, through the campsites and even discovered another barn on a dirt road I had never seen. I didn't want to get shot, so no barn picture!

Great RUN, So fun. When it gets warmer I am going to be out there more!

If you know me,you know that the way to my heart is this little delicacy. I couldn't shut my chocolate drawer today so I took inventory:
  • 1box of Godiva Dark Chocolate assortmanets
  • 1 empty box of Dark chocolate Truffles...I don't remember eating the last one of those.
  • 1 bag of Dove Mocha Latte&Dark chocolate swirl..SOOO GOOD!
  • 1 bag of Ghirardelli Cherry Tango
  • 1 bag of Ghirardelli Dark&Caramel
  • 1 bag Whole blueberries in smooth dark chocolate
  • 1Dove dark chocolate bar
  • 3 bars of Lindt 90% dark Chocloate
  • 1 bar of peppermint bark
  • I bar Of Lindt Pomegranate
  • 1 bar of Ghirardelli Cherry tango
  • 1 bar of Ghirardelli cocoa nibs
  • 1 bar of Ghirardelli Sea Salt soiree...amazing.
  • 1 bar of Ghirardelli Hazelnut Heaven.
  • 1 bag of Sweedish Fish
  • 1 bag of coffee candy
I love my Chocolate!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It IS OFFICIAL...New Adventure.

My stomach just turned inside out and upside down!

I have officially registered for my first 100 Miler. "DEAR GOD.. It's Anita, Please remember me over the next 9 months."

Hennepin Hundred
  • Saturday,October 7th -Good temps.
  • Sterling, Illinois to Colona, Illinois on the Hennepin Canal State Trail- Great Scenery.
  • Point to point ultra-marathon- No crazy loops to make me loopy, loopier.
  • Flat and fast, NO MOUNTAINS...I know, I'm such a wuss.
  • NO BEARS! Or killer animals, Just the running beasts I will be along side.
  • 30 hour cut-off. -Plenty of time to Torture ONESELF.

This is the better question.
I have great trail partners. My trail crew are so inspiring. They raise the bar, challenge your thinking, and honestly have you BELEIVING you can do it. They scare me into believing I can do things I wouldn't think NO human could or SHOULD ever do, Like RUN A 100MILE Ultra Marathon.
The experience that my running partners have is very intimidating, and I am at the bottom of the batch, but they keep you coming back for more.

SO, Here we go Again, Another little adventure.

My schedule:
From now to April 22, it is Marathon TRAINING. This requires very INTENTIONAL running. I am focused on my miles, my pace and my diet. Marathon training requires more muscle fatigue; hills, speedwork, strength training. All the elements I have not done in MONTHS.

AFTER MARATHON...Dive right into Ultra training. Picking up my miles. Enjoying the trails.

Distance: 8 miles: 7 miles on TM-Progressive Run. 1 mile track
Pace: 7miles TM @8:15 pace TRACK for 5 strides at a 90% on the straights, walk the curves. cool down.
~I met JEFF at GAC at 7am.  I was excited to have him helping me train and pushing me along. We both got on our favorite TM and off we went. The last mile I had my music and Jeff had the rythym of his footsteps and me barking at him. Every lap, we punch the TM up a notch, today I was ahead of him. Loud and proud I say every lap "OH yeah, Thatta BOY!" or "Come ON NOW, there ya GO."
Jeff smirked the first couple, but I didn't see much out of him as I cheered him on  with sweat pouring down me "WeLLcomeee to SUCK, Get After it JEFF!"

Don't LET another year GO and you don't step out of the box. DO what you have dreamed, Conquer something amazing. Swallow your FEAR and quit wishing you "HAD"!

This is NOT edited...can you tell!

Monday, January 9, 2017

You are worth it!

Due to frigid temps my run this morning with Danielle got postponed. I entertained the idea of running at GAC.
Ken and Matt were meeting earlier than normal at Holly rec. I wanted to join them but they were only doing 1 loop. It takes me that long to just get all my layers on.
"Running in the cold is good TRAINING...." I could hear Ken in my ears.

I decided I would just meet them at Holly Rec and surprise them.

We headed down the trail all chatty like we had not seen each other in weeks.
The trail was mostly frozen leaves and very hard ground covering. Even though the temperature
was barely double digits, my multiple layers were doing the trick. I warmed up quick.
Seriously, 2 pairs of running pants, 1 long sports bra, 2 running shirts, 1 vest, 1 coat, 2 buffs, a hat and Kens super warm gloves.
I looked like the good year blimp, but I sure was warm!

We made it through the 6 mile loop pretty easy. But I wanted MORE. Ken is a sucker. Matt was willing to do another 6 mile loop.
I really wanted to see the other side, the Lakeshore loop. It was so gloomy out, I wanted to see something pretty. That is one of the reasons I run. I wanted to drool on the path in adoration of the landscape  around me.
"I am going to run Lakeshore...Come on ...Run it with me..." I whined. I barely had to finish my sentence. They were both in!

It was everything I expected. There were so many lakes, all covered with a crisp sheet of white. The lakes looked like someone had spread frosting evenly over it. I really wanted to hike it, explore it and search through it.  I wanted to take my time and just breath it all in. I think the next time we run out there, afterwards I may do that.
The trail and the woods look so unfamiliar without any greenery. I saw trees and landmarks I had never seen before.

We finished up with about 9 miles.
This made me happy.
Glass City:
14 weeks away.
I stopped over Laceys house to check on her. We were going to run this afternoon but I totally forgot I had a work meeting!
She was just finishing up her run. Lacey made me a cup of coffee and we talked about out training plans. She picked a half marathon for us to do as a training run. Lacey also reminded me what our training was going to look like over the next several weeks.

We both take our training very serious. It is great to have accountability.
A few things we take serious:
  • Our diets
  • Our miles
  • Our training runs, we are married to our watches.
  • Our plan, preparing for race, lodging, work schedule, driving ect..Details of race
What I Don't take serious:
  • Other peoples plan.
  • I don't look at others peoples training, I am not competitive that way. You DO YOU Boo.
I know my goal, my plan, my training and where I have got to go. I put the work in for ME.
It is so important to stay in your own lane. Some will be faster than you and some will be slower than you, but it is important to be happy with YOURSELF. Run your own RACE.

Work hard for you.
Sacrifice for you.
Be committed for you.
Discipline your body and mind for you.
Because baby, YOU are Worth it.

Bison and black bean Enchiladas.
Cilantro and avocado salad.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Forgiveness and Mercy

Last Weeks Mileage: 41 miles.
Trail Miles: 17 miles
Glass City: 104 days, 14 weeks. minus a day.

Distance: 13.1 miles
Pace: 9:43
Plan: Meet up the MaryAnn, Jama, Claudia, Erin Andy and Ken. I was gonna get some extra miles in and run to them, doing their 8 miles with them. I was hoping for an very easy 13-14 mile run.
According to the text thread I  should be meeting up with them around Quick road and Seven Lakes. I planned my time and my pace perfectly, so I thought. I passed Seven Lakes, then I crossed over Grange Hall. I texted them and told them of my wear about, they should be coming.
It was so cold. I had multiple layers on and hand warmers in my gloves. My chin was half covered from my buff, however my chin still felt like it was frozen SOLID. I lubed my face up to prevent chapping but it all felt raw. Snot was dripping like a faucet. I picked up the pace in fear I was not gonna find them. With my right hand, I plugged my nostril to blow out the perfect snot rocket. In one swift motion snot blasted out and I suddenly was warmed with another explosion. At first the warm liquid was very inviting until I realized I just emptied my bladder down my leg! I had to keep running because if this froze it was not going to be pretty.
I headed up a big hill right before Academy rd. "It sure would be great if they came down the hill NOW so I didn't have to run up this." I winced. But instead I got to the top and rather than seeing the crew I saw Jeff! Jeff was waiting there for me. We chatted for a few minutes. I told him the plan and made a little joke, "I think they LEFT me, I should have already come unto them."
He is so sweet "Well, if you need a ride home, just come on over to the house."
I waved goodbye and told him I would see him Wednesday.
I headed towards Academy road still with no signs of the crew. As I made the right hand turn, I saw a BIG group of runners turn RIGHT unto Academy. They should have been turning LEFT.
"Where are they going?" I thought. They were about a half a mile ahead of me. I picked up the pace only to get more frusterated when they made another right hand turn into the downtown area. I couldn't close the gap enough to see which side roads they were taking.
I was getting so upset. I was running as hard as I could with 5 miles already in and they were no where near the meeting spot.
Desperately, trying to figure out where they were going and what my plan was. I just kept running towards where I thought they were. I did a couple loops and turn arounds. I then just decided to run my own thing. I was sweating, exhausted and not having any fun.
It was about then I saw a big colorful group through the trees crossing Grange hall road. I knew exactly where they were heading. I had no energy to pick it up. But I did anyway.
"Slow and Steady Anita, if you catch up, you catch up and if you don't, you don't. BUT if you DO...FORGIVE me for what I am going to say!"
I caught up.
They turned around about a quarter of a mile in a subdivision, seeing me they waved and headed towards me. My Irish Mexican temper was burning.
"HI ANITA!! We saw you waving at us....."
Out of breath and feisty I replied "You were waving, I was NOT waving at you I was flipping you all off!"
In frustration, exhaustion, aggravation, confusion and probably a little PMS I LOST my TESTAMONY.
It took about a good mile to chill out and start laughing about the miscommunication in our route. It was really fun to run with the gang. We were quite the crew running in 14' degree weather.
When we arrived back at Jamas, I asked the girls to forgive me. They too apologized for the unclear route. It was no ones fault just miscommunication. It was a great run, I ran harder than I planned but that too was good. And I ran too hard to ever get cold. I was actually sweating.

Ken, Andy, MaryAnn, Erin, Jama, Claudia

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Mathew 6:14
Kens wife declared that 2017 was going to be the year of FORGIVENESS and MERCY.

These words get mentioned at least once a week by Ken.
But honestly, these words have resonated with me.

So when I woke up this morning sobbing in my dream, I instantly thought of FORGIVENESS and MERCY.

My Uncle Danny was sharing some of his journals with me. Together, we sat on the cluttered floor in his bedroom. The floor was cold and hard but I barely noticed due to the unusual character of my uncle. He was sober, kind, quiet, peaceful and vulnerable. It was just him and I. He handed me a hard covered journal. "Anita, this is my running log..." I opened it up and discovered a very meticulous running log filled with notes, miles, paces and races. It was written in pencil, the lines and the numbers were precise. As I looked at it I discovered what talent my uncle had had. I discovered he had a passion and a gift.
"Uncle Danny...." I was now crying. I didn't know how to say it, I was scared to say it. I knew what he was capable of. But I said it anyway.
"Uncle Danny, you RAN?? You were so talented. You were amazing what happened?"
I don't know if he ever responded. I was afraid he might raise his voice at me, cuss at me or even hurt me, I backed away in fear.
My mind was spinning. HOW?? WHY? How could this man with all this passion let it go for addiction. He had the world in his hands. He was happy, he had passion, zeal..WHY GOD?? I wanted him to know how amazing he was. I wanted him to FORGIVE himself. I wanted him to know I FORGAVE HIM. I BELIEVED in him. I didn't hold a grudge for all the hurt he caused in my life. I wanted so bad to LOVE on him. I wanted him to know I LOVED HIM.
Then out of the corner of my eye I saw an Angel. The most amazing lady of my life. She was standing in the mirror with those hazel eyes and that flirty grin looking at me, grandma.
I knew it was all a dream but I couldn't figure anything out. I wanted to touch my grandma, laugh with her. I cried and cried. I couldn't breathe, my chest was so heavy and tight. I wanted this dream to be real, it felt real but it was too good to be true. Deep down beneath the realms of reality I knew it was just a dream. I cried harder.

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:26

I awoke to Andy rubbing my back. "Did he know I had been sobbing?" 7:24 am.

I got up and made coffee. I walked into the family room with my coffee and a throw. Curled up on the recliner I was overcome with peace. I knew that it was GOD that had softened my heart years ago against my uncle. My dream was affirmation that I did LOVE him and I had FORGIVEN him years ago.
My uncle did some terrible terrible things to us growing up. His Irish temper had no gauge. I witnessed things no child should ever have seen. And many would NEVER forgive. It is honestly God who has softened my heart and opened my eyes to see a man not an addict.
This dream was a GIFT from God. I was reminded that Addiction hijacks passions, talents, dreams, relationships. But my uncle sat there with me, transparent, emptied, broken and I LOVED HIM. Truly LOVED HIM. He looked at me seeking MERCY. I wanted him to know I gave it to him a long time ago.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A good Attitude.

8 hours sleep, the first nights sleep I have gotten in 5 days! I have been averaging 4 hours a night, that is NO BUENO!
Today was that day that required my full attention, full throttle. My good nights sleep was the gift that kept on giving.

I was up and rolling at 6am. Kids are back to school, routines are not missing a beat and life doesn't wait for you to catch your breath.

Jeff was meeting me at Genesys at 7am. Only he was going to be waiting. Austin's car broke down and I had to drive him to school. The earliest I was able to drop him off was 7:05.

I spotted Jeff on the gym floor at 7:35am. He gave me a lot of grace. Without many words he pointed to the bar for me to start doing my hanging abs pulls.

Jeff has been laying out his plan and I have attached to it like it's my own.
Today was TM miles, progressive run. Then hit the track for strides.
The TM was not giving me as much grace as Old Jeffrey did. It was a very agonizing run. I enjoyed listening to the rhythm of our feet turning over on the TM. Even though we were running different paces it appeared that we were planting our feet in sync.
Jeff did his number punching thing, slowly picking up the pace. I couldn't let him have all the fun, I went tit for tat picking up the pace along with him.
I turned to my right at Jeff. "LEFT, LEFT, LEFT..." He knew I was listening to our feet.
"Jeff, No music for you?" I added. I had my ear buds wrapped inside my shorts but was not listening to any music at that moment.
With a smirk Jeff responded " No, I don't listen to music, I listen to the rhythm of my feet."
Not surprised by his answer I respond "UGH, that would suck."
"So I am sure those trail runners of your don't listen to music either, aren't they purists?"
Laughing I respond, "No, no they don't either, WHATEVER, and they don't wear TUTU'S at races either!"
At that point, I was rather comfortable, easy peasy conversational pace. But the closer I approached mile 5 the faster Jeff was increasing the pace. Jeff was a mile behind me, he increases his speed every lap.
I was running a sub 8min/mi. I was sweating, breathing heavy, and still had at least a mile to go. Looking at how much farther I had to go is what really made me sweat. But then looking over at Jeff reminded me to SUCK IT UP and PICK IT UP.
Jeff said something to me, I responded but I really didn't want the conversation to move farther than my feet were.
"JEFF! Forget that PURIST crap, I gotta put my music in my ears, I am dying!"
We both finished around the same time. He had 4 miles and I had 5.85 miles.
BUT we were not done yet.

Strides are about 100m accelerations where you run about 95% of your max speed, and then gradually slow to a stop.
We headed through the big double glass doors to the track.
We were going to run strides on the straight ways, roughly 100m.
Strides are great for turn leg turn over. The last time I ran them with Jeff, he threw his back out. I did not want him to get injured on my watch.
We came around the curve and without warning Jeff took off.
I ran next to him and quickly decided I had to run my own strides.
I LOVE strides. They are quick, fast, and give you just a quick taste of torture without leaving the taste of vomit in your mouth.
You feel exhilarated when you are finished. It is a manageable torment.

  • They are quick and can be done within just a few minutes after a workout.
  • Strides help improve your training.
  • If done after a long run they help loosen you up.
  • Strides are a great transition to increasing your speed training
As Jeff and I finished our 4th stride he reminds me that "You should still be able to talk...." I was laughing and responded "Does laugh count?" He said that counted!
As we finished on the opposite side of the track, we were chatting with ease I suggested we do 1 MORE... I jumped in front of him kicking my legs in the air. I danced around him "COME on Jeff, COME on, Can we, Can we PLEASE..One more...."
That last stride would give me 7 miles, he rolled his eyes laughing at my ridiculousness.  But as we made that last turn Jeff  picked it up and took off on me. ONE MORE BABY! He is was easy. Glutton for punishment. Pain in more fun with company.

My thoughts.
As the days move forward, without our consent, so do the struggles and hardships of this broken world.
I had a few curve balls thrown at me today. I found myself a little mouthy to a cashier just doing her job. It wasn't her fault my license was expired and she couldn't take my money. It was my fault.
Have you ever heard yourself outside of yourself? I sure did today. God really gave me grace and mercy with MY mistakes today. I didn't deserve it. But I decided after hearing myself I was not going to behave like that anymore.
So I was tested once again...over 2 hours at the Secretary of State. Then the computers literally ALL froze as I was at the counter getting ready to write my check.
I smiled and laughed with the worker. Then I found myself laughing and joking with random strangers. All the workers were then smiling and making jokes with all of us patiently waiting. My cashier kindly says "If you want to go sit back down and wait I will call you by name when the computers come back up." She was probably trying to get rid of me!
I sat down chatting with those around me. "This reminds me of a roller coaster ride, just when you get to the front of the line the whole ride shuts down." I chuckled. Then one of the workers responded smiling "Or more like it breaks down when you are upside down already on the ride!"
About 20 minutes, very loud I hear "ANITA!!"
Laughing, those waiting start clapping. Playing into it all I  say "ANITA! Come ON DOWN YOUR THE NEXT CONTESTANT at the Secretary of State!"  I am now giggling even louder. My casheir was  struggling to cash me out she was having so much fun as well.

A good ATTITUDE makes all the difference. My day was scattered with unfortunate events. But until I decided I was going to grin and bear it, it really didn't seem so bad at all!

A good attitude changes your perspective on situations, it also encourages others that might be struggling in the Happy Dept.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Somewhere between Reflections and Resolutions

Reflection 2016.
"For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” — T.S. Eliot

Cloudsplitter 100k
  • Ran my first 100k, Cloudsplitter. One of the hardest things I have ever accomplished.
  • Started running with new people, Ken, Matt, Kris and Rachel. All trail runners. This crew is very encouraging and supportive, constantly raising the bar.
  • I ran the most trail miles ever. This allowed me to get more comfortable on the trails by myself. I was always too scared to run on them alone. Such a wuss. Guilty of jumping from my own shadow.
  • 2016 invited a new me, a more independent me. The older my children have gotten the less they want to hang out with me. I put myself on hold for my family, and wouldn't change a thing. But it has been a bit heartbreaking not being needed as much. My boys are independent and don't want mommy coddling them anymore. I have embraced my friendships this past year. I did a lot more adulting.
  • I had a couple interpersonal epiphanies. 1. I am done entertaining relationships that are never going to work. 2. Learning to love myself. I don't love everything about myself because I am still a hot mess, but I give myself a little more grace. 3. I have learned to let people go. You can  not convince people to love you, like you or accept you, if you are working that hard then you need to ask yourself WHY?. 4. I am done trying to have people fill a void in me that was never meant for them to fill. It is not fair to them or me. Only God can fill that void. (EXPECTATIONS ARE PREMATURE RESENTMENTS.)
Resolution 2017.

"And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been."
Rainer Maria Rilke

This is a tough one. I have not really thought much about this.
  • Run my first 100M without dying or getting eaten by bears.
  • Try and qualify for Boston with Lacey for 2018.
  • Enjoy more sunsets and sunrises.
  • Read more scripture and do my devotional more religiously.
Lets get up to Date:
December Miles: 144
Total Miles for 2016: 2
Ran a lot of miles this past year with Lacey.

December 31: New Years Resolution 5K. 

I picked Lacey up at 23 and Hill rd. I was cracking up as she jumped in my car with all this New Year paraphernalia. I put the silver  NEW YEAR head band on instantly over my pink hat. We were both wired and ridiculous.
We met so many people up in Flint. Ken H. was waiting for us and had picked my bib up for me. I was especially looking for Jeff. I was stoked when he actually committed to racing this. Lacey was looking for Melissa and her husband. And we kept seeing people we knew in between.
My plan was to run moderately, have fun and not throw up.
Lacey was bandit running it. She was gonna stay with me. Minutes before the start we were chatting with Ken and I realized I was overdressed. Like lightning Ken took my pullover and ran it to his car right by the stating line. But we lost him. When the gun went off or whatever they did to commission us to go we went. Lacey and I were looking for Ken. Ken crushed me the last time we ran this together. I was hoping I could stay with him a bit. Lacey spotted him abut 50 feet ahead of us. We slowly caught up to him. Lacey was really pulling me along. I felt great. Surprising good considering I had just taken off high heels less than an hour before the race. I had worked the last 2 days in heels and overbooked. But my legs were forgiving. We stayed with Ken for 2 miles, I wanted to go. So we went.
Lacey kept looking at our pace. "Anita, what are you doing? Hold back." I let Lacey keep an eye on my pace. I decided I wanted to run a sub 8 minute mile.
At mile 3, "Nita, I thought this was a fun run, if you want to go, let me know." Breathing heavy I replied "NO, I am dying, I just gotta stay under 8..." I still felt good but held back enjoying breathing.
I passed one of my XC kids and we actually stayed with her for a couple minutes in hopes we could pace her. When it was evident she was struggling we picked it up. "Keep your Eye ON ME..." I yelled back as we moved on.
I think Lacey was surprised I was moving at the pace I was running. I think even I had surprised myself. But it really felt good. The last mile I started to pick it up more until I saw a big stinking hill.
"Anita, you are running a 7:30min/mi, you can drop it back a bit up the hill and you will be fine." Lacey encouraged me.
Up the hill, I caught my breath and picked it back up. I could see the finish line, downhill. Lacey was falling behind, "Anita, you gotta turn them over, NOW." I was scared it was too soon. She screamed at me from behind "NOW! GOOO TURN IT OVER, Go GOOOO" I looked at the two runners in front of me and did everything to close the gap. I could still hear Lacey "GO NITA, GOOO!" I love that girl.
I also love a downhill finish.
Time: 39:04
Pace 7:52
Division: 1st place in my age group.

No one to run with. I decided since it was 2017 I needed to start the new year off with 17 miles.
It made perfect sense.
This was going to be quite the bump from my last long run that consisted of 14 miles.
This is how I did it:
I added walk breaks to bring my pace down. I made sure I was drinking my water and chomping on the sports beans that Kris gave me. The walk breaks give me something to run towards and stretches out my legs. Interval training is good injury prevention. I needed to play it safe and not let my ego interrupt intelligence.
I wanted to hold a 10 min/mi. However, even with walk breaks I still ended up with a 9:30pace. I am not sure where that came from but I was pleased and exhausted the rest of the day.

Holly Rec Trails.
Today, I had no idea how my legs were going to feel. But they were still in working order.
I met Ken and Matt for 6 miles on some icy trails. Not enough snow for my new Kahtoola's and my Yak Trax were more of a hassle than anything.
But it was fun. Matt took a spill in front of me. But he was up and at it without blinking an eye. The weather was beautiful. 43' degrees when we finished. We were all sweating.
Glad we ran when we did, the day got gloomier and gloomier.
Between falling asleep somewhere after 2am and all that running, I accidently nodded off today. It was a welcomed nap.

My oldest son got a new Canon Rebel T6 for Christmas, He snapped this. Weird to see your profile pic.I  am seeing all 43 years sneaking on me.

Closing. Another year, another opportunity to try to get it together a little more. I have gotten better in many ways but I am slacking in other ways. Some times I wonder if I have the energy to keep working at it. But I know, I NEED to keep pressing on. There are things in my life I know I don't have the energy to work on, and most of those things the time has expired long ago to LET IT GO. Time to put some things to bed for 2017.
And right now, I am that thing that needs to go to bed!