"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

Friday, August 18, 2017

Emptying the Tank

"Hey, I learned a new fact today, it is a little discouraging....Did you know that when you turn 60 years old you loose 5% of muscle every year?"
Dad shared this little fact with us yesterday evening, and Andy was QUICK to reply. "WOW, there you go Nita, you will be done running by 60!"
UGH.... I will be done running until the good Lord whispers that in my ear. I am not always a good listener, he will probably have to SCREAM it.

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs16:9
Setting Goals.
Wednesday night I set a goal for Thursdays run. A goal I knew would take work. A goal that made my palms sweaty.
I wanted to run Grubers Grinder the best I have ever ran. That's 16miles of trails at Holdridge. I had to beat 2hours and 53minutes.
In order to accomplish this I would need to run more of the hills, walk less, walk while I ate and not take any pictures!

The RUNDOWN:
Have ever set a goal and felt like everything or everyone was out to sabotage it?
That's how I felt on yesterdays run.

I took off with music as my only running partner. I chose music to help me focus and not get distracted by noises. When I run solo on the trails I tend to be a little paranoid. I needed to shut down any noises that might make my pulse race more.

A signifigant issue I had in the beginning of my run had to do with my hydration pack.
I broke my water nozzle on my hydration pack a last week. This forced me to use the water pouch that I have not trained with. They are carried in the front of my vest. This started out a early annoyance. It bobbed around, making my hydration vest jiggly.


I really encountered a barrage of annoyances.
The humidity was so thick, my entire body was saturated within the first 3 miles. My skin was like a slip and slide. My hair was dripping.
There was a fog throughtout the trail, giving the woods a eerie feel.

I ended up placing the bouncing water pouch in the back of my hydration pack. This meant that in order to get a sip of water I was going to need to take off my vest or become Stretch Armstrong to retrieve it.
This method of getting water messed my time up.

The many phone calls I got, did not help with maintaining my pace. When you have kids at home you need to remember you are MOM first.

Around mile 8, I felt a SHARP burning sting in my left ankle. "UGH!" I yelped loudly. I knew that the instant burning was the damage of a bee/wasp sting. I hobbled a bit, assessed the damage but quickly got going again.

I counted each mile, checking my time to try and stay consistent. I found myself slowing down. I didn't drink much at all, it was such a inconvenience. Even eating was a pain the  bump.

I had a couple miles I was trying to do the math to see where about I would be coming in at. I got a lil discouraged when my energy level was not matching up with my pace.

I began entertaining the idea of changing my goal.
"Maybe it is just not meant to be."
"All these interruptions might be a sign..."

Only something else whispered. "TRY harder, work harder, don't give up."
I realized it was better to give my all and fail then to quit trying and fail.
An honest effort was more commendable than wussing out.

I kept in eye on my watch. I ran the flat areas as strong as I could. I ran the hills the best I could. I did my best to pick up my pace on the down hills.
The bugs discovered my flesh the last few miles. My arms were covered in sweat and webs. The bill of my hat was dripping with dew from the trees. But I kept moving trying to beat the clock.

I could see the light at the end of the trail. I was so anxious to see my time.
2:43:27.
I did it!!
BUT I WASNT DONE....

RUNNING EMPTY.

I wanted to be done. My body was done. I was trying to catch my breath while being pained my a stupid side stitch.

I had only drank 12OZ of water and ate a mini bag of trail mix.
BUT...I needed to run EMPTY.
I headed to the West loop for another 4 miles. There was nothing left in me.
My body was actually locking up.
My only plan was to make it through 4 miles, run, walk or crawl.
At mile 1, I was MISERABLE. I felt like I had been attacked by vampires I was so drained.
I needed to run BONKED. I needed to feel miserable, exhausted, sore, and weak. It is good training for your mental self.
Running a 100 miles is going to birth a lot of emotions. If I don't learn how to feel them now, what will I do when I feel them there?
I needed to run in my worst self.

ONE mile at a time. I finished. It was 4 miles of UGLY. But it was also a big victory for me.

20 hard training miles. Each run unique in its own way. Difficult in its own way. Both equally as hard but in different ways.
One was more Physically and one was more Mentally.

LAST thoughts.

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

Somewhere in that running, I reminded myself how blessed I was to get to feel all this. Each mile God kept me upright. He continued to add miles to my run. This  was a run I planned through my little mind...BUT HE directed my steps.
I reminded myself HE sets the stars, HE sets the sun...HE directs my steps.


ANITA~



Monday, August 14, 2017

50k Training run. LOOPY

"How many more times do we have to go up this stupid hill?" I cried from the back of the pack.
I looked up to see distance growing between me and the pack.

It was great to have so many of my friends come out to support one another. Some needed emotional support, some needed running wisdom, as for me it was encouraging  having such a great group come out to help me run 32 miles, a 50k training run.

These miles in the heat are a beast. You need a voice bigger than your own.

Preparation for this training run:
  • IBC root beer, bottles baby.
  • Cream Soda, vitamin water, Starbucks Espresso Salted Caramel, bottled water
  • Mandarin oranges, navel oranges, granola bar, grain bar, apples, strawberries & blueberries
  • change of clothes
  • wipes, ones that smell good.
  • Extra shoes and socks
  • gum, mints and life savers

The above list may look a little goofy but each item has a purpose.
When I run I crave certain foods and some foods make my belly turn. The sodas are refreshing for when you are all done. I purchased them for all that showed up, a little treat. The vitamin water was a substitute for water when water wasn't quenching my thirst any longer. The espresso was for when I needed some extra energy.
Our plan was to run loops of 5.5 mile, coming back to the car to drop runners off and pick up more. I packed several foods for myself and others. I practice running more with whole foods than Gu's or chomps. They settle better in my tummy.
I am a scent gal. I can only smell sweat and dirt soo long before it grosses me out. Each loop I use wipes to wash the dirt and sweat off me. This gives me a boost, cooling me down and making me feel fresh again.
The gum and mints help my belly and keep my mouth moist...YUCK, I had to write that nasty word.

I started out with Chris and Matt. We headed into the trail about 7:30am to meet up with Rachel and Claudia. 
It didn't take long before we ran into the girls with big smiles, welcoming us.


This was how our run went, run a loop, pick up a runner or drop off a runner. Eat a little, drink a little. Text my boys and hubby to let them know I was not buried on the trail. Chat a little and back into the trails, HI HO HI HO!

We picked up Justin and Kris the last couple full loops.
Those last couple loops I was glad I had brought that espresso. It gave me a second wind.
We had slowed our pace a little bit, making the conversation easy between us all.
Hanging in the back I tried to attach to my surroundings. As I get tired I get sensitive. This trail run was no different. I try to breath in gratitude. Gratitude comes in the form of the trees dancing against the soft breeze hidden in the forest. Or the midnight blue butterfly, that appeared on the same section of the trail. I love listening to the laughter of my friends all so happy. Or sharing my random grape Lifesaver, making someone else giddy.
Usually I am one of 3 girls and Matt is the only guy. This time I was the only girl!

I had to crawl up that barbaric hill 5 times. Each time I got slower and slower. But on the other side is DELIGHT. A half mile decline of giggling and joy. I like to throw my arms out and let my body just unfold. PURE happiness. TAP TAP TAP my feet bounce off the rocks and the roots. I can feel the wind against me and the grimace is gone, replaced with a big smile.
The BEAST. 5 Times of SUCK

We came out of the Wilderness Trail at 29 miles.

That's NOT a 50K!

One more loop. The Lakeside loop for 3 more miles. I was having a really hard time winding back up. My ITBand was acting up. Claudia had worked on it the second loop, elbowing it and deeply massaging it, trying to release it. I was clenching the car in pain but it made a significant difference in finishing up the run.
The last loop, The Lakeside Loop is more narly than the Wilderness loop. My legs and energy levels were not in firing happy thoughts.
This loop is so beautiful. I was running on grace. I was charmed by the backdrop of the lake and delicate lily pads. I just wanted to stop and sit by the water mesmerized by Gods Artistry.
The morning had turned quickly to afternoon and the evening was creeping up.
It sadly was time to stay focused and knock out this 50K training run.

32 miles. I was fascinated at how good I felt. I was still smiling. I had so much to smile about.
A lot of Love on those trails. You become so intimate, overcome with a barrage of emotions. You feel like you are being spun around. I have moments out there I am enamored to the point I loose all direction. It is a wonderful feeling.
Even at the tail end of a very very long run I still feel enchanted.

Thankful for my tribe today, Chris, Matt, Claudia, Rachel, Kris and Justin. You Guys are the best. Thanks for the support, the fresh veggies and the carrot cake!
#willrunforcarrotcake
#imalifesaver
#libitmore
#fragilebutterfly
#Woodstockcomesfirst
#mytribeofcrazy


So dirty.
5 WEEKS until WOODSTOCK 50M.
Anita



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer Suffering. Hennipen 100

Training for my first 100 mile race surfaces so many emotions.
Some weeks I am confident.
But then I have training days that I am discouraged and fearful.
100 miles is no joke. I am often afraid that no matter what I will not be prepared.

“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26

One of the things I have noticed with my training this time around is the emotional fluctuations. It is more grief.
I miss yesterdays.
I miss my old running partners. All of them.
I attach to easy and others seem to detach just as easy. Such is life.
But as I run I think of them often. I have learned so much about not just myself but about running, training and even life through others.

Sunday was my 15 mile tempo run with Lacey.
We met at Indian Springs. 3 mile w/u at a 9:30 pace, 10 miles @ 8:30-9min/mi then a 2 mile cool down.
I was concerned I wasn't going to be able to do it. The park was full of families. It was the craziest thing running out there. We literally ended up with a cheering squad. Families were cheering for us, the workers were encouraging us, making each mile more tolerable and even exciting.
Shockingly, Lacey messed up our miles but we gritted it out together. "LACEY, I HATE YOU!" I cried thinking we only had one more mile, NOPE, 2 more miles and we had just picked our pace up.
We nailed it. We agonized together and we celebrated together with Starbucks!

Monday I bailed on Matt and Paula. The Lightning McQueen Team. I didn't know how my legs would do. Suffering is such a vulnerable feeling. I did not want to fall apart in front of the speed team.
I decided to run solo. One of the ways I have been training is I run back to back long runs, one flats and one trails.
Monday was trails.
I woke up in a slumber. I was out of sorts with myself. I couldn't pinpoint the basis for my emotional rollercoaster. I just figured it would be better with music and trails.
As I pulled into Holdridge I noticed Claudia and Rachel's vehicles.
I wanted to run solo, I was hoping maybe I could make sense from senselessness. Without realizing what I was doing I had Rachel on the phone "HEY! where are you guys?"
I wasn't meant to be alone.

I ran down Hess Rd into the 9 mile short cut and backwards to find the girls. My legs were moving freely, forgiving.
I actually felt a little smile sneaking out. I moved through the trails light on my feet. My body was agile, taking the turns smoothly and tapping my toes across the roots and the rocks.
My music was playing The Revivalists, "Wish I Knew You".
Even in my slumber I was able to disquise it all with a smile, greeting the girls with laughter.
Together the girls and I ran 10 miles together. The were running 20 miles and I was as well. They had 9 miles on me.
We parted ways after finishing up the West loop.
I headed back into the East loop for another 9.5 miles.
It didn't take long before the voices got louder. I turned my music up louder blocking everything out. Fearless I ran through the trails never really looking over my shoulder.

My yesterdays were colliding with my tomorrows. My failures with beating down my victories. I questioned myself on many levels. My Slumber was returning.
NOOO. NO. My legs were moving, I was encompassed by raw nature. The pollution of the world was so far from me.
I cried to God. "Whatcha Whatcha running from?" the lyrics singing to me.
I turned up the music even louder. I even sang out loud. "You shine like a star...."
I was no longer fighting to finish this 20 mile trail run, I was fighting for freedom from the confusion that was seeping through me.

I came out of the trail with a mile back to my truck on Hess Rd.
21 miles. Grateful for good friendships. Friends that never quit on me. Never walked away on me. I was so blessed to have 'Ran" into Claudia and Rachel.

Tuesday I recovered. No running.
But today, back at it. Hard core today.
I needed to run 18-20 miles between today and tomorrow. But Tomorrow I am signed up for a God forsaken 5K. UGH. I run them for fun. They hurt like HELL. I am terrible at them as well. It takes me 3 miles to just warm up. I have ran faster after a 10 mile run then I have ran some 5k's! Running 18 miles tomorrow and a 5k in the evening was not a good idea.
Today was going to have to be my long run.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8
My day was busy, giving so many opportunities to BAIL.
I took off solo in 80' weather. In a sports bra, paper thin socks and ridiculously short shorts, I didn't care what I looked like. I knew I was gonna be roasting.
With 4 miles in Alec was texting me. "DONE."
Football practice was over early. I had 2 miles to get home still.
After dropping him off I headed back into the sun down E.Holly Rd for another 12 miles.

At mile 10, I had a major brain fart. I was in such a hurry I forgot to grab nutrition. All I had eating were some of my homemade beans and chips.
I was almost out of water and I was getting shaky.
I thought about calling Austin. Then I thought maybe I should call Andy, he might me closer.
I couldn't make it back home. I was beginning to panic. There was no way I could make it another 8 miles.
THEN...
My phone started vibrating...a group text from Claudia, Rachel and Kris about running.
DUH! Rachel was just 2 miles down E.Holly rd. 
I texted her I was on my way.
Half naked I was a sight for sore eyes as I walked into a young girls Bible study by the poolside!
I wanted to grab the towel and cover myself up but I saw the tortilla chips and dove in.
Rachel was grabbing me water and even went into the house and brought me some Honey Stinger chews.
The girls were so beautiful. I felt like a freak show act interrupting their beautiful time together. Rachel was such a blessing. She made me feel welcomed and was such a blessing to me.

I headed home with a genuine smile. For a couple miles I even forgot how hot and tired I was. I made it home with so much encouragement.
I ran into Reagan, a friend of mine and got a big hug from her. I had so many people wave at me, pull over to let me run the roads, back up to let me cross intersections and just smile at me. I think they felt sorry for me, I looked pretty ragged.

Distance:18 miles.
Pace: 9:33- 30 second walk breaks at the top of every mile.
Time: 2:52:10

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Monday night, I went Kayaking. Rachel loaned me her kayaks to test them out before I purchase one.
Monday morning I was in a slumber. Happiness was out there but only surface deep. It was a fragile feeling.
Andy and Alec went fishing at Holly Rec as I paddle across the lake in the kayak. It took everything for me not to let my heart shed tears of Gratitude the first few minutes I was out there.
I was overcome by happiness. It was in the silence. The stillness of the world around me. I was the only thing moving as I paddle gently across the lake. I felt it, it touched me, it held me, it circled me. I didn't have to go looking for it. I just had to be OPEN to it. I had to receive it.
Happiness is everywhere.

Anita~


Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Difference a few hours.

Some days are days you wonder why you didn't just stay under the covers in your safe place.
That's how running is.
Wednesdays run sucked from the beginning to the end. I took off optimistic and ready to roll.
The sky was dark and the thunder was grumbling off in the distance. These conditions actually put a giddy smile on my face. I love thunderstorms, running in them makes my adrenaline pump.
I was scheduled to run 10 miles and run them faster.
FASTER...BA HAAA.
I thought I was going to die the first mile.
Everything was pumping BUT adrenaline!
I was so glad I was alone. I could whine out loud and no one could hear me. I could hear my breathing, it wasn't healthy sounding!
But more than that, I could hear the battle raging between my ears.
For 10 miles I fought the voices in my head. I wanted to quit. I wanted to go slower. I wanted to walk. I wanted to puke. It was awful. Everything hurt.
The wind picked up from the storm and that ticked me off. The rain began spitting on me, that would normally make me whistle Dixie, but I was irritated  by the sprinkles. The damp air just made the humidity worse. This made the sweat double. The air was thick and hot.
It never got any better. Just when I was getting calmed down I had a hill to hit. I looked down at my watch and tried not to flip out. I could hear my running partners "ANITA, you need to run this run FAST."
"MAINTAIN, Maintain, just keep moving." EVERYTHING Sucked.

BUT then...I put my run on halt. I took a few minutes to enjoy the full downpour on me. I walked down by the river and embraced the moment. I gave thanks and felt tears welling in my eyes. It was beautiful. Everything at that moment was perfect. I stepped closer to the river. The water danced around the rocks all the while the rain gently landed and bounced. The music it made could have put me to sleep.

It was time to grind it out. Time to deal with the misery that lied ahead, another 4 miles of SUCK.

And it did.

Such as life. Some days we just got to grind out the suck. Take a moment to pause and smell the roses then get back in the saddle again.
Not every run is Jim Dandy and Peachy Keen. The battle isn't in your lungs or in your legs, it is in your head. It was a 10 mile war. I fought the voices more than I fought trying to maintain my sub 9min pace.

THANK GOD for new days!
My original plan for todays run was a solid Solo 16 miler at Holdridge. I didn't put out any calls. I wanted to just get in my head and get it done.
But Matt and Rachel almost at the same time sent out texts to meet for a trail run. I was so excited to see them. I haven't ran with Rachel in weeks. I was eager to see her and catch up.

Grubers Grinder: Holdridge. 16.5 miles
3h:05min
We got started a little after nine. I picked my favorite place in the back of the pack. We ran steady and smooth. The bugs were kind to us this morning. The temperatures in the woods were actually very pleasant. A cool breeze would sneak through the trees every few minutes bringing our temperatures down. It was delightful.
We took most of the hills and even continued to move during our water and nutrition breaks.
The berries were ripening up along the trail at about mile 10ish, together we all took a moment to try them and catch our breath.
Before and After
My body felt good, and my spirits were even better. I was hot but we all were. We all were sweating and dripping. I had my pack on and as the miles increased so did my annoyance for the pack. But we kept moving, we kept the conversation light and encouraging.
We finished our run strong, strong smelling, and smiling. It was such a good run. I had packed a lemon cookie and some oranges. We were all smacking our lips and feeling the energy coming back. My boys were hunting me down, Play time was OVER!
Rachel and I

The best recovery run lunch. I took the boys out to lunch at the Davisburg Bread Company.
A vietenese sandwhich, sweet and spicy. SOOO Yummy.



I finished my night out with a Cup of Tazo English Breakfast Black tea w/Vanilla creamer and sugar cubes. Lovely other than the fact I will probably be up all night!


"Let your running lead you to your diet." Bill Rodgers