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

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Yankee Springs 50K Recap~

 "Respond to every call that excites your Spirit." Rumi


I missed competing, I missed running, I missed lacing up my shoes, the sound of my breath, the taste of salty sweat and the way my ponytail floated behind me. My body was disabled, my heart was broken, my mind was a tangled mess for a year after my last chemo treatment. 
Ringing the bell was not the end of my cancer journey, in many ways it was the beginning, the start of RECOVERY. Recovering from not just a damaged body but also an injured spirit. 
Desperate for a race I signed up for Yankee Springs only to have it postponed another year, this year. 
2021, God showered me with favor and continued to "WOW" me with my passion. So, when Yankee Springs came up this last weekend I was not as desperate to run, God had already abundantly blessed me. 
However, I was still excited to try something I had never tried before! 

Yankee Springs 50K
Where: Middleville, Mi 
When: Saturday January 8th, 8am,
Who: Austin and Alec came out to support me with their girlfriends, Andy stayed home sick, sadly. 

The morning of the race I had all my stuff laid out. We were all stuffed in one hotel room.  I got up early and quietly snuck out to get coffee and get ready in the bathroom, careful to not wake anyone. 
I can't say I was really nervous. I had no expectations. 
I had no idea what the trails would be like. 
I had no idea what the temperatures would be like other than butt cold! 
I had no idea how long it would take me. I looked at the average time for the runners and it was between 7-8 hours. 

Preparation: 
I ate my oatmeal in the bathroom, drank my coffee and layered up. Before I walked out of the bathroom to head to the starting line I prayed. 
"Dear Lord, God, thank you, thank you for the opportunity to run, thank you for health, thank you Lord. Please Father keep me safe, keep me upright and uninjured....". 
If I walk up to that starting line without prayer I am not prepared, I am not equipped. Like my watch, like my running shoes, like my winter hat, prayer is what moves mountains, prayer is what splits seas, prayer is what heals, what restores and what guides me back to the starting line of not just life but my passion, running. 

14' degrees as I headed out into the dark morning. As I arrived at the park the sun had opened up the woods with splendor. Thick snow rested heavily across everything. The snow glistened magically as the light danced across woods. If my feet never made it to the starting line, I was complete in Gods glorious design. 

The Start: 
Before I had even parked the car I got lost! Thankfully I was not the only one, Alex a running acquaintance of mine was "turned around" as well, I followed behind him to the correct parking lot.
We headed to get our bibs and that was when my next blunder happened. I lost my gloves! 
My Trail Angel Adam. 

With just a few minutes before the race I headed to the port-a johns trying to keep a good attitude about my mess up.  Standing in line I asked someone if they happened to see a pair of pink gloves, when the guy in front of me says "You need a pair of gloves? I have an extra pair...." 
I headed into the woods with a warm pair of gloves from Adam, my trail Angel. "We entertain angels unaware". When everything was frozen, when the winter chill cuts through you with a romantic evil that feels like a slow fade, when the sheer beauty of a winter morning feels trickery, you wonder.  But no, in full assurance I knew I was favored, with the generosity of a stranger.  


The First LOOP: 
I could hardly run it was so BEAUTIFUL. About 10 of us were all clustered together as we rounded the corner that opened up facing a icy shimmering lake. The sunrise was the backdrop of what could have been a Michigan postcard. In the silence of the runners, I bellowed " Check out the sunrise, isn't it beautiful, isn't this why we run?" 
I tucked in behind some of the runners with no plan but to get acquainted with the trail and the conditions ahead of me.
"On your left" a runner was passing. 
My wheels began to stir. I was only about 7 miles in. Then another runner passed. 
It was time. 


I followed those runners, gently picking up my pace.  
My body felt great, I was cozy under my 3 layers but my tubing on my hydration pack had frozen. The only way I was going to get water would be the aid stations every 2-4 miles. 
The trail was groomed making the conditions near perfect. The packed snow actually made the roots and rocks smooth allowing the trail to be kinder even with the extra foot of snow. 
I snacked on my trail mix, filling up on pretzels and clementine's at the aid stations.  
As I approached the final stretch of the first loop, I texted my boys what I would need and when I would be coming in. 


The second LOOP: 
Moving quick, changing from my coat to a vest and quickly getting my gear back on and back out there!

My legs were TRASHED coming out of the last 3 miles of the first 25K. Ungroomed with thick fluffy snow that felt like running in mashed potatoes I was exhausted. My hamstrings were tight and angry and my calves were burning with frustration and confusion.
I just wanted to see my family.
I was getting so frustrated I could hardly run, as I closed this loop out, the elevation alone had me questioning my ideas of "FUN". 
I tried to smile as I came into the finished loop, but I didn't see my family and my smile was hijacked by sadness. I quickly called them. "WHERE are YOU" I panicked.  My feet were blistering from my wet socks, I had heated up and wanted to change my coat for my vest and I really just needed some encouragement after the last 3 miles had broken my spirit. 
I saw my boys and their girlfriends in the middle of the road beckoning me. I was trying to stay calm as the clock was ticking with wasted time. Austin calmed me down and started grabbing everything I needed. The girls smiled, cheered me on and off I went. 
I didn't have time to change my socks. I was ready to drop a gear and get back out there. I had probably lost about 5 minutes looking for them. I didn't think I could make the time up but I would give it all I had. 
Alone in the woods I whispered to the Lord my gratitude. 
I found myself passing runners with surprise. Then I saw a runner coming up from behind me. He startled me and as I recognized him, I smiled "ADAM, my trail angel!" 
I showed him my warm hands and he smiled and passed me. I was determined to keep him in my eyesight. That was at mile 17. I committed to keeping him in my sight till at least mile 20. 
I kept him in my eyesight through multiple aid stations, through hills that I would normally fall back on and through the turns of the woods until mile 25! I could barely see him as I came into this aid station at the top of a hill. Trying to catch up I ran that entire hill, with all the energy I could muster I yelled "GATORADE". The volunteers had it in their hands by the time I reached the top, I guzzled it down, heard them ask me if I needed anything else as I was leaving and I yelled back, "THANK YOU!!" 
I heard them yell, "She isn't F%&^# around."  I smiled mischievously. 
This is what I ate during my run. I try to stay away from anything too sugary. I like to keep it as clean as I can. 2 packs of pretzels, 2 large clementines, I large Kars trail mix and Gatorade. 

I knew that last 3 miles wasn't groomed so I had to drop a gear to try and make up for the "hike through mashed potatoes"! 
With a mile to go I texted the boys so they would know my ETA. 
I felt great, probably too good as I saw the finish line. I picked up my pace, smiled, pointed at my family and raced it in. 

The warm smiles, the cheers, the view of my family filled every vacancy of my heart. Thankfulness was the overwhelming feeling at the finish. 
I did it and I didn't turn into an ice sculpture! 

The timing company was incredible, they were able to spit out your time and placement right there for you, preventing your body from going into shock!  
What was a pleasant shock was my 3 place overall female and 1st place in my age group! Glory to God!


Recovery
Our hotel had a jacuzzi, this was a miracle worker on my sore muscles. I was not only able to sleep through the night I was able to run another 11 miles at Holdridge on Monday!

THANK you FOR ALL THE PRAYERS, LOVE AND ENCOURAGMENT! 
Big shout out to all those that raced last weekend! 
Congrats to Alex M. for overall 50K at Yankee Springs! 
Congrats to Deanna Cheryl for her 25K finish at Yankee Springs. 
Big congrats to all that ran from CRU at IDARUN in Fenton. 
Alex M. and I. 


I LOVE the NO FEAR-NO FREEZE- Fun January Running! Let's remember to keep experiencing new things. Let's get out there and do it with curiosity, a little fear and a lot of faith!


"Fire and hail and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word!" Psalms 148:8
ANITA~

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Bright Side.

"Things that are equally bad are equally good. Try to look at the bright side of things, humbug, 
Norton Juster 

Yankee Springs was deferred due to covid like many things last year. Due to the fact most races had been deferred or canceled I signed up hoping for anything, even 31 miles in the middle of the winter on the west side of the state sounded like fun over a year ago. Unfortunately, soon after registering I received an email deferring me a year to this coming Saturday.  
I am not as needy for a race as I was last year and the idea of running in fresh, thick cold icy snow sounds like a really bad idea. Many of my ideas sound like bad ideas to most people, but I am really good at looking at the "Bright Side" 
To make a bad idea better I thought I would make a weekend of it getting a fun hotel and packing sleds with the family. 
That too bit me in the butt when Andy tested positive for Covid this week like half of Michigan! 
So, then I decided to hit the grocery store and pack up on calories and comfort food in hopes I could bribe the boys into going so I wasn't all by myself in a fancy hotel room for the weekend. 
I think it may have worked but I think this bribe is going to cost a lot more than my registration! 
There is no danger of developing eyestrain from looking at the bright side of things. — Joyce Meyer
Middleville, Michigan
Weather: they are currently under a winter advisory! Snow!
However, Race Day: sunny and 30'
Saturday 8am
50K 
The Course: 50k runners do the 25k loop twice consisting of 1388 ft of elevation per loop. 

The Plan
The bright side of it is," said Puddleglum, "that if we break our necks getting down the cliff, then we're safe from being drowned in the river. — C.S. Lewis
PLAN?! I have no plan other than to just finish and NOT get injured. The last couple weeks I have gotten soft. I have been running at the gym rather than outside. I have run in the winter long enough to know the conditions can go from BAD to WORSE in a blink and I am getting wussier the older I get. 
I come up with ridiculous mantra to keep myself convinced I am having so much fun. 
THE BRIGHT SIDE: 
  • It sure is pretty!
  • It's good training! 
  • The volunteers are suffering for YOU!
Then I make it up as I go! And usually by the time I finish I have brainwashed myself into truly believing it was awesome and sign up for another one. Similar to delivering babies, you forget a lot of the suffering when that baby is in your arms. 
But I love new experiences and new places.  


Training: 
"I always look on the bright side of everything. If you keep aiming for some goal, you usually get there if you don't give up."— Bart Cummings
I have tried to keep my miles up when everyone else has enjoyed recovering. I once told myself I would NEVER run a marathon in the winter again because the training is so difficult. 
But on the BRIGHT SIDE I got to eat more holiday treats longer than usual! 
I have gotten to know all the runners on the track at the gym I have gone so regularly. And if I don't know them, I say "HI" to everyone like I do. I love seeing so many people on the track, I chuckle at the ones that compete with me, I embrace the ones that let me compete with them and I just LOVE running in shorts! 
The BRIGHT side of going around and around and around in circles!
  • I get to wear shorts
  • I am not risking getting injured as much, slip, trip or flip on the ice.
  • I am never totally alone. 
  • I can run faster on the track then I would be running in the snow or ice. 
  • My water doesn't freeze! 
So less than 2 days out, not packed, but mentally prepared. Prepared to run from anywhere between 7-9 hours. Prepared for my face to be frozen in a smile, even an upside down smile!! 
I am grateful for the opportunity to run, for my body to be healthy when it seems like my family is falling apart at the seams around me. 
If you want to add me to your prayer list, I would LOVE that! I would love prayers for an INJURY free race! I want to have FUN and stay UPRIGHT, footloose and fancy! 
Thank YOU. 
Thank You to Nicole at Complete Runner for helping me with my new shoes and hat from Sprints, I LOVE it, because Pig Do Fly! 


"If you cannot see the Bright Side of life, then polish the dull side." 
Christina Dodd

ANITA~

Monday, December 27, 2021

Glory and Grace

Grace is but Glory begun, and Glory is but Grace perfected. 
~ Jonathan Edwards, Preacher


Let us open our hearts, let us open our eyes, let us open our ears to this beauty life has. 
Let's not miss out on the marvels for the mundane. 

At 48 years of living, that is 47 winters, summers, springs and falls, that a multitude of experiences that have been duplicated, but each one just a little different. 
"Andy, I have seen 48 winters and each one is as beautiful as the first one." I shared as I looked out the car window at a fresh snow. 
That joy of creation, the awe of magnificence. 

Today, I chased behind my running partners through the trails at Holdridge. 

For all the years I have been running it, every mile looked beautifully unfamiliar.  
A fresh snow spread across the forest like a thick cozy blanket. The snow was glorious so perfect and unmarked. 
However, in its beauty I knew what was hidden beneath its delicate overlay would be my demise. 
I was not safe from what was tucked just 3 inched below. 
I fell not once, but twice. I knew tripping and falling would most likely be part of my 16-mile wooded adventure but that wouldn't keep me from not experiencing such splendor. 



GRACE

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9


My name "Anita" actually means Grace. The funny part is I have no grace. I am a clumsy, awkward and sometimes unmanageable mess. 
I knew running outside I would be taking some chances, but it wouldn't trump the beauty I knew awaited. 
Life is meant to be lived. Life is meant to take chances. No regrets, I want to live this life fully in whatever capacity I am in. 
The Grace of God does all my heavy lifting. He doesn't promise perfection. 
But His Grace gives me the endurance to not give up.
His Grace gives me the power to stand back up, wipe myself off and get back out there. 
When I see God's Grace on me, I see so many opportunities waiting for me to live out that Grace.  

If we want to venture into this magnificent life God intended for us, we must learn how to live by His Grace to experience His Glory. 

RUNDOWN: 
Onesie Christmas Eve hike at Holly Rec.  


December13th-19th= 32 miles
Long Run 20 miler. I ran a loop from my house to Clarkston and back home in SHORTS! 
December 20-26= 44 miles.
Long run 19 birthday miles at Holdridge. 

 
Joe surprised me with birthday cake!

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see. ~ John Newton, Hymnist



In your hurt, in your pain, your sadness, your disappointments, there is Glory and there is Grace. 
Anita~ 
 





Sunday, December 12, 2021

Disguised

"Beauty is the shadow of imperfection."
 Simon Van Booy, ' Everything Beautiful Began After'.

Today it felt more like fall then winter driving out to the tree farm with no snow and 45'. We parked the truck, listened to the directions on where to cut down our tree and went in different directions to find the perfect tree. Being mom, I want it to be aesthetically flawless, Alec just wants to get it over with and Andy wants to be the hero! 
I shout, "Check this one out!" 
Andy responds "I like this one over here..." 
Alec says, "Come on, just get one!" 
I think we picked Andys tree that looked to be about 10 feet tall. Of course, being on the short side myself all the trees appeared to be twice my height!
They wrapped it up, we threw it in the bed of the truck and headed back home to unleash the beast. 

Truth be told "Big Betty" is larger than life, she was all kinds of discombobulated with random branches shooting up, down and out. She was pretty heavy at the bottom with a very large hole in the back or at least what was going to be the back! 

This would be our family Christmas tree, the one we put our families' yearly ornaments on, the sentimental ones, it is a traditional no theme kind of tree. 

My arms and hands were destroyed from cutting branches, trying to maneuver garland, hide holes, and create some kind of beauty from a hot mess. 

The more I tried to disguise the imperfections of the tree the more I laughed. 
Such is life. 





Altering appearances. 
This is what some of us do, especially this time of year. We want everything to look perfect, or at least to appear perfect. 
We snap a photo, look at it, and snap 4 more to get the perfect photo. 
I couldn't stop laughing at this photo we took last night as a family at Meadowbrook. This original had a funky purple hue to it, so I altered it to black and white. Upon doing this I realized it was a "live" photo, so when I examined it for a few seconds I noticed the picture was perfect until the last second when you see Andy teasingly push Austin. The truth is it was like pulling teeth to get the boys to take this photo and we were all getting frustrated with one another. The beauty of the lights, the music in the background, the magical emotions of the evening were unnoticed at that exact moment by the boys not wanting a picture. "Ok, everyone fake it!" Andy chuckled right before we took the picture. 

"I realized that I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect and beautiful journey of my life." Kerry Washington 

Perfectly Imperfect. 
I just couldn't stop laughing as I looked at the photo.  It really was perfect. I actually loved the live photo. This is us. This was our tree. 
We are a hot mess of imperfections. 
I can try my best to fit in, I can work really hard at making things look pretty, disguising imperfections but the truth is, I have a lot of them. 
I am flawed, faulty and forever trying to fix things. 
And that's OK. I can still laugh at myself and everyday try to find security in my imperfections. 

RUNDOWN: 
Monday: Trails 12m
Thursday: Trails/road 13m
Saturday: 21m
Sunday: 4m
Weekly Miles: 50.26
Favorite post drink Drink: Boathouse Coffee protein drink
Power Song: Survivor, Nathaniel Rateliff& the Night Sweats

Anita~

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." Anna Quindlen

Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Stumble or a Step?

 "I ran to be free; I ran to avoid pain; I ran to feel pain; I ran out of love and hate and anger and joy." Dagny Scott 

Angry, disappointed, hurt, many of us have clenched our fists and worked the limitless emotions out through sweat. 
I learned young, I could either pick up the bottle like those before me or I could take a different route. 
The bottle, the pills or the joint would have been the easiest route but that is where the fight first started. The fight to be the different. 
I took all that anger, all those bad memories and haunting prophesies and used it to fuel me. 
When I had cancer, I had comments said to me, about me and behind me. They hurt. But rather than get upset I used it to work harder, to get back up and get back out there. 
I didn't want to hold grudges, or get bitter so I decided to just try to be better. 

It was my way of being in control. I couldn't control what others said or thought about me but I could control my response. I couldn't control the hand I had been dealt with and at times I couldn't even control myself. When I laced my shoes, I was able to feel everything wholly, deeply, passionately and then leave it out there. I would run disappointed in myself, in others and in life but as each mile came my sensitivities fall aside.

"When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you end up figuring out how to excel." 
Deena Kastor
It's a mindset, exceling is not a destination it is a journey. We are all limited by our resources that is where our Faith comes in. My faith in God is limitless. And so are His Promises. 
Excelling is a process of consistently moving forward. 
It is not comparing. 
Someone else's success is NOT your failure. Be HAPPY for them but don't compare yourself to them. 

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."
Winston Churchill 
My good friend and coach Jeff always encouraged me every time I got injured "Nitagirl, you know you have worked hard if you have gotten injured, you put it all out there." 
I have made more mistakes in life and running than I care to admit. 
But many times, I found myself disappointed in myself stumbling again. But sometimes, what we think is a stumble is actually a STEP. We get tripped up when things don't go smooth. But the truth is often that stumble is a step forward, it just didn't look like we imagined it. 
"PICK UP your feet Anita". I will coach myself after I have stumbled, I have gotten lazy, I have gotten complacent, and I have gotten a little too comfortable not paying attention. "Get up Anita, stay strong." I try to encourage myself to keep moving forward and not give up. 
When you stumble what are you coaching yourself? 

"For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well."
 James 3:2
I have stumbled, we all have stumbled. I don't have to fall to stumble. It is a learning lesson, learning that even when I stumble it is a step forward to be better not a step backwards repeating the same thing. 
I stumble on "self". Not having control over my reactions, responses and my recovery from them. 

RUNDOWN: 
My long run-on Saturday started out in perfect weather conditions. Until I headed south.
 Andy had surprised me and showed up to run a few miles with me because I was running solo. But as soon as we turned south the wind reared its ugly little head. From mile 8 to 20 the weather conditions escalated to a full-on snow. The last 8 miles, I was running into the wind with snow and sleet pelting me but I just tucked my head down and didn't quit even when Andy text me asking if I wanted him to come get me! 


Milage: 51 miles
Long Run: 20 miles 
Normally I wouldn't be running this much going into December but I have a race that got deferred to this January, a 50K.  A 50K in January, not the brightest. It sounded like a great comeback when I signed up for it a year ago. I had planned on walk/ running, a fun run. 
A year later, I don't feel quite that ambitious! 
I guess I will just keep running when I can, however I can and the best I can! 

Anita~ 






Sunday, November 21, 2021

Chasing.

"When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you." Lolly Daskal
I quickly jumped unto the track after riding 15 miles on the bike. I had a pool of sweat dripping off my chin, I wiped my chin with the bottom of my tank top and hit "START" on my Timex watch Danielle bought me years ago. 
I actually started both my Garmin and my Timex to see the difference the GPS made in comparison to "Old Faithful". I barely settled in when a young guy passed me, at my age most guys are young! He didn't look like he was going too fast. I know the drill though, we always pick up the pace when we are coming up on another runner, so I stayed behind him hoping he wouldn't hold the pace he held to pass me
I stayed about 4 yards behind him, far enough back he couldn't hear my breathing, a safe distance I could chase him in hopes he could pace me. 
1 mile down, I figured we were holding a sub 9 minute mile. I just kept chasing him hoping he wouldn't see me or drop a gear and loose me. As mile 4 approached, I was so happy I was still holding on but I knew he was going to be done soon. Sure enough he saw his friends come out to the track, he picked it up, threw his hands in the air and shouted something out to his buddies. As I came up to this random stranger, I yell "YOUR not DONE YET? I need you to pace me another 3 miles!" He looked up laughing and responded something about being "jealous" and just like that I was on my own again. To add injury to insult my ear buds died and I had to run with only the demons in my ears. I chased my demons, left to my own thoughts as I suffered those last miles. 

You are one thought away....
I was just one thought away from quitting. One thought away from altering my run. One thought away from settling for less. 
Such is life. I knew when I chased that young kid I could hold the pace. I knew I needed the inspiration, the motivation. 
I have chased things in this life that have hurt me. I have chased things in this life that have cost me a lot of injury and pain. 
We are all just one thought away. But our thoughts are hard to filter when we are in over our head, trying to hold a pace we know we can't. 

There are 2 KINDS OF PAIN in this WORLD: 
  1. The Pain that Hurts
  2. The Pain that Alters
And I have had both. You cannot correct what you cannot confront. Pain is a great teacher and a even better undertaker if you don't confront it. 
Pain will disable you, destroy you and disarm you if you never confront it. 
I have chased and let this world pace me into the hurt locker.  It is with even more great pain that I have had to do this whole "self inventory" thing asking myself "WHY". 
I have found myself on the sidelines injured many times, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Life has a great way of beating you up and if your chasing the wrong things it will chew you up and spit you out. 
Healing can be tough. All the answers, wrong. All the things I was chasing left me a mess, confused, without understanding trying to heal from myself. 

3 Steps to Healing:
  1. Look in the Mirror: Self Awareness. (Don't play the Blame Game)
  2. Embrace the Pain of Change. Pick a different route. 
  3. Go one More Time. Don't Give up, Go back out different. 
This is my stick I found in the mountains CHASING behind my "David" to the finish line. We had met in highest point of the Cumberland mountains. He paced me to the finish, never leaving me. 


The purpose of our pain should be greater than our past or its all in vain. 
We let pain end with a period. It hurts to hurt. I get people ask me all the time "Why do you run?" Pain is part of that passion. I find that pain is so relevant to life. This life with love you and hate you all at  the same time. It will chase you and pace you. Running has taught me through pain how to endure, how to persevere, how to pace myself through every mile. 

"Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."
Proverbs 4:25-27

RUNDOWN:
Weekly Miles: 51 miles
Monday: 16 miles Holdridge East loop 
Thursday: 16 miles Island Lake
Saturday: 12 miles Holdridge East w/cut out
Sunday: 7 miles Gym 

Anita~

Monday, November 15, 2021

When things feel unfair.

"I don't have much, I don't have much but I have a heart that beats for you...." Mission House 

This is the anthem of my heart, mostly the last couple years. The Lord stripped me close to death, humbled me to my knees until all I had left was my beating heart. 
Life will make you bitter or life will make you better. 

Last week,  I saw a memory pop up of me and my sweet niece, Ariel. 
Within seconds my throat swelled up, my stomach turned sour and tears erupted out of my eyes. My mind went dark, my thoughts went deep, my reality went emotional. 
Without much thought I repost it. 
30 minutes later I remove it. 

Grief is a response to loss. It can be a loss of a loved one, a loss of a job, a loss of circumstances, a loss of of communication, a loss of normalcy, dreams, virtually a loss of anything. 
Everyone grieves differently, different isn't wrong. 
My post didn't feel wrong to me...but I was afraid it would be received wrong, deleting my post seemed the better idea. Sadly, we can not delete our grief as easy. 

Sometimes we feel like we can not take another blow. We question how much more we can handle or endure. The burden feels so heavy. 

Sometimes we feel like the world is just out to get us. Like we have a black cloud over our head.
I recently had a friend text me about her unanswered prayers and unmet expectations. Oh could I relate. 
I think many of us can relate. 

"I don't have much, I don't have much but I have a heart that beats for you...." Mission House 

On the flip side of grief is GRATITUDE.
49% of your choices are on autopilot- subconscious. Are my thoughts on thankfulness and gratitude or am I spending more times disappointed, depleted and discouraged? I have camped there many times. I am good at hiding in the darkness, I am good at isolating when I have been hurt.   
The best service I can give to others is based on my wholeness, my contentment, my hope, my trust to name a few. 
We can go without food and water for a bit but we all need hope. That hope is held in gratitude, being grateful for ALL things, seeing a purpose even in the pain, knowing God is preparing more than my days, he is preparing my heart. When I have come to the end of myself I know that I need nothing but HIM. I have gratitude knowing that I have nothing to offer, nothing to share, nothing to give but my beating heart. 
"O give thanks unto the Lord; for His mercy endureth forever." Psalm 136:1
Rundown: 
October Miles: 235 miles
November 1-7= 36.25 miles
November 8-14= 41.73 miles
I have no races in the books for the rest of the year. My body is still recovering, I have dropped my miles back considerably trying to find my groove. I am back to the gym to cross train. 
I have some big dreams and some crazy ideas for next year. 
Anita