"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, June 29, 2017

Junes Ultra Training

"Don't announce your vulnerabilities to your competition. Superman didn't pin a note to his cape saying 'kryptonite weakens me'." Coach Cane Twitter

I am NOT that competitive. And my training is NOT that special. No one in their right mind would follow my training because its not by the books, makes sense to no one but me and is kinda ridiculous.
Not many people have any desire to run over 200 miles a month.

I am SOOO eating my words. I have not logged my miles this month..or  even last month. This makes NO sense when training for ANY length of a race, but that's how I roll.
"Typical Anita" fashion.

This evening I decided I would "add" them up. I was shocked at my miles the last 2 weeks.

This week I had 65.9 miles. I have no idea how that happened. Well..I have an idea, duh. I was just very surprised. I had almost 70 miles last week too.
My mindset is in "ULTRA TRAINING", I just didn't realize I had actually put it into action. The 6am  runs have allowed me to be home more with my boys and take care of my house better. I have more time to take care of my responsibilities. I am still exhausted at night..it all adds up. This explains todays run a little more.

We met at Holly Rec. We parked in a lot off McGinnis Rd and ran into the park. As soon as I tried to windup my legs...nothing wanted to move, except my lungs. I was out of breath before I even started!
Granted it was already 68' degrees out and so humid you could cut the air. Claudia was with me as we headed to find Rachel.
When the 3 of us met we were all riding the struggle bus as Rachel puts it. We were not going anywhere fast.
We did come up with several reasons to explain our fatique though...

Reasons for Riding the Struggle Bus:
  1. Accumulated weekly miles
  2. It was only 6am
  3. SOO humid
  4. The BUGS...Good grief they were blood sucking demons
  5. Didn't eat enough
  6. Wasn't drinking enough
  7. Didn't sleep enough
  8. So sweaty #Sosalty
  9. I am a WUSS
  10. IT WAS IN MY HEAD...Mental.

Now...knowing I had increased my miles some what,  I have done a few things to keep me from falling apart.
  1. Going to bed earlier
  2. Eating more
  3. Drinking more water, ugh.
  4. Eating more whole foods, protein
  5. Probiotics
  7. Rolling and stretching.
  8. Naps..Even if I put my legs up and close my eyes for 15 minutes, it makes such a difference.
Sheba My Nap Partner.

I ran the last loop at Holly Rec solo. Knowing I was stuggling I reminded myself how "MENTAL" it is. My body felt good, I wasn't sore, just tired. I decided to try and pick it up if just a little bit. The last 5.5 miles of a 18 mile run. I knew I just had to shut down my mind and RUN.

Before I started my last loop I reparked my truck to my familiar parking spot. Funny, the things you notice when your alone. We stop at this marker a  gazzilion times as a fuel spot. But today was the first time I ever noticed it. I loved it. I wondered what stories it could tell laying there weathered and beaten. The same way I felt!

I was home to pick Alec up from Football practice. I let him bring a friend home.
I made steak and eggs for breakfast.
Took a nap..after I took care of my chores.
And because it was still early, I took the boys to Rose Oaks and I went to the beach with Lacey. Now this is SUMMER FUN and a 18 mile run!

  • Probiotics
  • Noosa Greek Yogurt, (high fat and higher protein)
  • Juice plus vanilla protein. Protein shakes, Pina colada flavor, yum
  • Trail mix and Honey Stinger Waffles on long runs.
  • Juice Plus chews, fruit and veggie

I decided today I am going to run Woodstock 50miler. It will be 4 weeks before Hennipen 100 and make a significant training run.
We are in Full Ultra Swing Baby! Praying for a strong body & strong mind. 
God has been so good to me. I am very grateful he is keeping me upright and healthy. It is my job to listen to him when he speaks to me. To glorify him in every mile. Because each mile is truly a GIFT.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Never Eat Soggy Wheaties

"I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it."
Rosalia de Castro

Back to back long runs. Planning and navigating my legs to run twice the distance in 2 days, almost half my accumulative miles for the week takes a little thoughtfulness.

Thankfully this is not my first rodeo. I like to go with the plan "If its not broken, don't fix it."
Now, I have never ran 100 miles..But I have ran a few ultras. One thing remains.

One of the things that I WILL BE DOING different for Hennepin 100 is on my long runs I will be running 1 long run trails and 1 long run flats, backroads, rails to trails..something along that concept.

So Saturday night Lacey and I ran a 5k, Wings of Mercy in Linden.
Sunday I convinced Lacey to ramp up her miles. I had 20 miles to run and Lacey agreed to run a easy 15 miles with me. However..my 15 miles was not navigated well, her miles turned into 16 miles, oops.
My miles were overshot as well. I ran the last 2 miles solo in order to add miles. The skies OPENED UP and I finished my last 2 miles of 20 at a sub 9min/mi. revived and giddy.
We ran slow and easy. We walked a lot of the hills and enjoyed the perfect running day together. I didn't want to go into todays run sore.

Todays run: Highland Rec. 17 miles.
I have ran Highland Rec now plenty of times, but today we parked at a new location and ran new trails.
It was soo pretty and so confusing. I was not the person to read the maps. We did ask this guy who was really friendly but he may as well have been speaking a foreign language because I had NO idea what he was saying! "...turn  here, go west...turn at the second crossing blah blah blah...." I had trailed off looking at him but not listening to a word he said after he mentioned multiple turns.

Being it was our first time running this part of the trail, we decided to just have fun. We stopped a lot to read maps, we back tracked, got turned around but kept on running. It was a slow go. I had a moment of intelligence at one lost intersection. I thought we had to so West...I was informed that my WEST was NOT WEST. I pointed my fingers "But Never Eat Soggy Wheaties...North East South West..." I think I got an eye roll.
I was so turned around I didn't even realize we were on the "D LOOP". This is a loop I am very familiar with but had no idea we had been running it.
We came back to our vehicles to fuel and plan the last few miles. I removed my hydration pack and left everything in my truck but my chews.
I was soo bummed. The next part of the trail was beautiful. Stunning, breath taking. We crossed massive trees, several bridges, creeks and even stopped to notice a very large deer staring us down.
but I had NO PHONE.

37 miles in two days. My legs should probably hurt more. I will kick it up this Wednesday/ Thursday.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Old Trail, New Perspective

The morning started out good, my alarm went off at 5am to run the Wilderness Trail at Holly Rec. and my legs hit the hardwood running. Not to bad for 5 hours of sleep. I was able to get a half a cup of coffee down, however, the idea of eating that early was not appealing.
  • NOTE....this is one of the things I am going to need to improve in my training for Hennipen  100. I know if I am running more than 2 hours I NEED to eat. Quite realistically...I should be eating anyway!
Without giving my 6am trail run a thought I headed to Holly Rec. I was meeting Rachel, Claudia and Kayla was joining us for the first time on the trails.
Driving unto McGinnis, Rachel called to warn me. The gate was closed to the park, the park doesn't open until 8am! Rachel directed me to another parking lot on the other side, where the other girls followed.

We parked and headed into the trails from another trail head. I get so giddy trying new things, Even if it was the same OLD THING, it was a New Perspective.

We let Kayla lead because she was the first one that had to get out of the trails. She was in for 1 loop.
OK...Note to self, be prepared to sweat, huff and puff when you let a young whipper snapper lead who is trying to qualify for Boston in the fall.

Kayla was power housing it up all the hills that we normally WALK. She wasn't even sweating. She had to swing back around to connect back with us. I ran in the gap, in-between Kayla and the girls.
There was still quite the distance between Kayla and I. We were NOT in conversation range. This was actually really awesome, not just because I was not capable of complete sentences and thinking. I had no pressure to talk, respond, all I had to do was run. I was loving running at this challenging a pace. My body responded rather well, I enjoyed pushing harder than normal. The key was we were not conversing a whole lot. I was able to focus and grit it out better.

Kayla shared 1 loop, we brought her pack to the parking lot.
THIS little doohickie was hanging from a tree.

A park Ranger stopped us and asked us "Do you know who's truck that is?" It was mine.
He was not welcoming us like Mr. Rogers. He proceeded to tell us that we were NOT supposed to be in the park until opening hours at 8am and that he could give me a ticket because I was not parked properly AND we were parking in the campers lot.

I took Kaylas parking spot and off the three of us went. We were rather warmed up from trying to keep up with Seabisquit. We did slow up a bit and walk a few more hills.
  • NOTE: I discovered I was MORE out of breath walking the hills then just slowly and consistently running them.
After the second loop, I lost all my partners. I headed back out for a solo loop. I felt good. The bugs were dancing all around me and the temps were heating up. The trail gave had a nice breeze that cooled me down and allowed me to smell the woodsy funk I was sporting.
Its a HEART! I found a heart in the woods!

I got to thinking. It is funny how I have ran this trail for over a year but running a different trail head made this loop look all together different. I actually enjoyed the loop BETTER from this end. The draw back was this loop is a little shorter. I ran the last loop strong, running most of the hills. I even ran up the wicked steep hill I am usually wincing all the way up and gasping for air at the top. But running it made me feel better. I shortened my stride, pumped my little arms, looked at the top and got to the top in half the distance with twice as much air left in my lungs!

"If you always do, what you have always done, you will always get, what you always had."

That being said. Todays change made a HUGE impact on my training.
  • It reminded me I am stronger on the trails than I have been training.
  • God gave me 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason...It is good to just LISTEN. I didn't chat it up today. I didn't really think my words were really missed much anyway. I just enjoyed listening and adhering to what others had to say. You can learn a lot when you truly LISTEN. Listen WITHOUT RESPONDING...try that out this week. Enjoy someone else's words. Enjoy THIER story. And don't share yours...Try it, I bet you learn something new.
  • I am going to start running the hills at a slower more steady pace.
  • I need to start leading more on the trails. I am never going to get good at navigating if I am always following.
  • That I CAN run alone on the trails. It is good to listen to your inner coach. The quietness allows me to be inside my body, be aware of what I am doing, where I am at, how I am feeling and coach myself.

Distance: 16miles
Time: 2h:53min
Pace: 10:48

*NUTRITION on my long runs. I prefer whole foods. I have used Honey Stingers for about 5 years. They are organic and clean. But I still get a belly ache after about 20 miles. I eat trail mix, Honey Stinger waffles and take Juice Plus gummies.  These are WHOLE foods, not a supplement. I never get a belly ache.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pounding the Pavement..it has BEGUN

I am trying to remember the last time I ran SOLO. But being I can not remember to turn my watch off "Pause" most of my runs, trying to remember my last run with myself is baffling and pointless.

I embraced the Solo Run.
I also embraced pounding the pavement, this too is another run I can not remember the last time I did. I love running with people as much as I enjoy trail running and backroad running. I have not put many miles on the road, the paved road.

Since I am on a kick of "LOVES"...I LOVE listening to music. I am very motivated by music. I had all the elements to a good Solo Run.
  • 75' and sunny
  • A great running playlist
I had one thing missing...GUM. I gave my gum away and forgot to replace it. I was getting frantic looking in every pocket in my hydration vest. In my purse, my lunch bag, my gym bag, my truck, coat pockets and then I found a folded, dismantled piece of Trident. This little piece of gum didn't look salvageable. Dirty, mangled, melted, I slowly tried to make the best of it. Curiosity, got the best of me as I scraped it off the paper popping and it in my mouth, "Hmm, not bad at all".

It took me a couple miles to get moving. In less than 2 miles, I was sweating, whining, stripping my clothes off down E. Holly Rd and not paying attention to restarting my watch. I lost more than a half a mile. Typical Anita.

I love the "Out and Back" route down E.Holly. I prefer running loops but running an "Out and Back" allows me to TURN AROUND and know my mileage.
Navigation is not one of my strong suits. I still ask my running partners "Where are we going?" after running the same routes for seasons.

The route is hilly. Some great elevation. Slow climbs and long descents. It is challenging. It hurts, takes my breath away and motivates me to push through.

There lies what I call the "Three Step Sisters", 3 hills back to back. One is long slow fade, one is short and the last one is a bypass that makes my sweat bleed. The kicker is they are actually placed along in incine on E. Holly Rd. The beauty in these comes on the way back. This route reminds me of running the Boston Marathon. Even the hills beat your quads up, however, the elevation goes DOWN on the way back home.

I was on my last hill as I saw a familiar Ford. It was confirmed when I heard the BEEP, it was Lacey.
I chucked to myself. "Even on a solo run I still see my running partner..." It made me smile. Or maybe I was smiling because I was hauling butt on the downside of that last hill.
It felt soo good. I glanced at my watch,  holding my grin at a 7:20 min/mi.

Nothing lasts forever, I balanced my pace back grinding out the last few miles.
I thought I was going fast until I heard another BEEP. It was my son, speeding in his friends manual turbo sports car. UGH. I waved because I couldn't yell at him to SLOW DOWN. All I could do was pray for those two knuckleheads.

With less than a mile back home, I chased that last stupid hill. I really wanted to maintain my pace but I was going to need to pick it up and move hard up that steep hill.
I could see her.
I started talking to myself. You can do this when your are running solo and nobody will judge you.
"Pick it UP, go, go."
"Ohh crap, its starting to hurt..."
"Go! to the mailbox, the SECOND mailbox..."
"No, the third mailbox...."
"NO, to the END of the hill, Pick IT UP.."

I ran past the "8" mile BEEP on my Garmin. You can't quit on a downhill.

Distance: 8.2 miles
Pace: 8:31min/mi.
Time: 1:09:53

HENNIPEN 100 TRAINING has begun.
Time to embrace the long runs.
The back to back LONG runs.
The hot runs.
The hours on my feet.
The extra calories.
More intentional eating and drinking.
Early runs, evening runs, night runs...

Its time to get serious. Time to get fall in love with suffering. I am so excited!

On account that it is NATIONAL SELFIE DAY...a picture of the greatest brother and I from this weekend at Rose Oaks.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Turtle and the Hare.

How do you manage to run in 90' weather?
Lacey suggested we run a half marathon a few weeks ago. This is one way to suffer through your miles with likeminded company.
  • It got us out there early.
  • It made us kick it up a notch.
  • We were able to use our competitive spirits to dig a little deeper.
  • Running with others suffering was rather encouraging! Birds of a feather flock together.
Everyone lined up, gun start..not really, more like a "GO!".
We ran another Run Michigan Cheap race. 30$ for a half marathon. No frills.  No timing mat. They do have medals, teeshirts for preregistered runners, water bottles throughout, some peanut butter crackers at the end and free pictures.

These races are typically on rails to trails. They are a great way to get some training in without spending your child's college fund.

Today's race was in Lake Orion.
Polly Ann Trail
13.1 miles
Starting time 8am.
RD giving us all a few reminders.

This was another fun race. I like some of these smaller races. Everyone hangs out waiting and cheering one another on.
Lacey and I took off together. It was already 78' when we started. Most of the route was in shade making us comfortable inside a safety net.

The course was very flat until you ran along Indianwood golf course. This hilly and cantered section of the route only lasted a little over a mile. We were about 3 miles in and the shade was still friendly.
Laughing it up...This only lasted a couple more miles!

I felt pretty good until I realized you had to run up this bridge in Oxford, then run down, turn around at the bottom only to run BACK UP. This was a evil placement for the out and back turn around. The sun was over top of us adding injury to insult.

It was not to long after I encouraged Lacey to "Go and catch the girl in the pink tank top".  

Funny, in 45 minutes how totally different the course now felt. We had a lot more sun torturing us.
My lungs felt like they were completely oxygen deprived. I slowed down to catch my breath and my thoughts on this suffering. I was grateful I had brought my hand held water bottle. This saved me a lot of energy, it was one more thought I didn't have to manage.

I remembered the turtle I had seen last week. I decided to just run steady Eddy like the turtle. This was a confirmed thought I will share with you in a minute....
Everyone began to slow down.
Bringing it down to a breathing pace, a thinking pace, I discovered I was not the only one who changed plans on this half of the race.
I was shocked when runners were walking. But I was happy when I passed them. It was crazy to think I was passing runners that had blazed ahead of me.
At mile 10, I slowly passed a guy walking. I tried to get him up and moving with me, afterall he had been moving really fast in the beginning, but he was not biting. He was smiling, even laughing but he was NOT running.
Several runners were struggling with cramping, It was a gentle reminder to DRINK, I still had 3 miles to go and it was hot.

The last 2 miles were hot but not unpleasant. I was still running a sub 9 but honestly had no one around me to get my wheels turning faster. I knew I should be running faster. But it was a training run....this little turtle just plugged on.

My watch hit the 13 mile marker, only I couldn't see the finish line. I was afraid to pick up my pace in case I was way off. This would be a "Typical Anita" move. Miscalculate my miles, the distance, take a wrong turn..anything is really possible.
I made a slight turn and suddenly EVERYONE appeared. I barely had time to pick it up. The finish line was packed with runners, they were cheering me on. Being cheered on by other runners is really a fun finish.
I finished smiling and still strong.
I was chasing behind a guy who was cheering runners on at the finish. He asked if I had see this certain guy. I said "Yeah, I saw him about mile 10, he was walking..." He responded 'Yeah, he took off really fast, I just decided when I saw him slowing down to run like a TURTLE, to just run steady all the way in, and looked who finished ahead...."
I was not the only one using that storybook wisdom!

Distance: 13.1
Time: 1:54:57
3rd female to cross...out of 24.
1st in my age group...out of 5.

In Closing:
Lacey never caught the gal in pink. However, we did meet her and her family. Her family were the best cheerleaders, so good I thought they were part of the race crew.
"Jordan" rocked out there today. She is running Disney in January. We enjoyed chatting with her as we headed back to the car.
Lacey and Jordan! These girls rocked it out in 90' weather!

Heading to Disney next January!

So, In closing, I finished upright, ran a half marathon in a sub 9min/mi. I had fun, smiled a lot. Whined a bit, but enjoyed knowing I pushed myself on a hot day. It was a great training run.


Monday, June 5, 2017


I have half written a post on my running today. But my mind keeps wandering to you.

I miss you so much Ariel.
I sit on your comforter wishing you were next to me.
I read your text messages for the millionth time crying in the bath.
Life never feels the same.
Your words, you loved me so much.
You believed in me when everyone else was against me.
You brought me my favorites always "Making me smile."

Even now people discount your love for me. They don't want me to talk about you, they don't want me to grieve. They hate me for loving you.

But I will never stop loving you. You never stopped loving me.
I miss your love. You were my girl.

When does it quit hurting. God it hurts so bad.

I miss you. I hate that you left me.
I hate death.
I never get used to it.


my baby girl, i love you.
Happy birthday.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Not so Picture Perfect.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Isaiah 64:6

Not a cloud in the sky. The temperatures were ideal for running. The birds were singing to us. The sun was warming our skin. Everything was Picture Perfect

But it was funny...we were all a bit off. 

With ideal running conditions we headed into the woods. 

You couldn't help but fall in love. The trees were closer than I remembered them from a week ago. Vegetation was growing in all directions. The grasses and low covering greenery was moving with all kinds of hidden critters. The woods were alive.
In the distance, you heard a woodpecker echoing around you. It was like a song. All the woods worked together to make perfect hymns.

But there was a hollow in some of our hearts.

We crossed a section of the trail that was cut down towards the lake. We all stopped our watches and in sync went down to see this Picture Perfect scene.
Every step closer, it got more beautiful. More detailed. I was in awe. Almost breathless at the placement of each element.


The closer I got, I saw the water wasn't as BLUE as it appeared. I stared deeper into the water and noticed it was actually mucky. The water was thick with leaves and even dead insects. This water was really a reflection to the perfect sky..yet a very imperfect lake...more of a swamp.

This was ME. At first glance you might think:
"OH that Anita, she is always so happy...."
"Oh that Anita....."
But things are not always so Picture Perfect. I shared this with the girls without sharing my personal burdens.
People judge us at a quick glance. At a Facebook post. From a distance. And we do the same.
But most people don't get in there close enough to really know what we are made of.

We are all deeper. All more detailed. We all have our burdens, our struggles, out handicaps, our ugly.
Its hidden, its covered, its there though.
None of us are so Picture Perfect.
"All have sinned and come short the Glory of God." Romans 3:23

If you thought that my smile, laughter or silliness is the makings of a gal that has it all together, than I will apologize now.
I will fail you. I will hurt you. I will disappoint you. My picture  like that lake tries to reflect God. But deep in the grooves you will notice a mess. 
And I fail everyday. 

We get back up, Smile, Love, Encourage one another, Forgive each other and try to look deeper into others before we judge them...

Because none of us are so Picture Perfect.