I Think I Can, I KNOW I CAN…..

I know you remember from your childhood, or possibly you still use this with your own kids, The Little Engine Who Could. “I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can……..”

Little Engine_I think I can

I know a lot of you are really stressed about the heat.   Running in the heat today, tomorrow, this weekend and basically for the rest of marathon training season summer.  Is it going to be fun?  Probably not.  Is it ideal?  Definitely not.  However, its part of the equation that will deliver you to race day in tip top shape.  The kind of tip top shape that will carry you thru 26.2 miles of whatever Mother Nature throws at you.

think you can

So wrap your head around the fact that it’s gonna be hot and sticky for a long time to come.  Wrap you head around the fact that you are going to run outside and sweat it out.  Wrap you head around the fact that you can NOT cop out and hit the dreadmill.  Running on the dreadmill in your air conditioned basement gym will not help you when its 80+ degrees on race day.  You’ve got to suck it up and run outside now, in the heat. 

Although, I’m sure you’ve scoured every article in the run mags on heat running, here are a few things to consider:

  • DRINK YOUR WATER, every day, all day long, not just while you are running. 
  • ADD SALT TO YOUR DIET.  When you are sweating it out on the trail, you need EXTRA salt in your body so that as you are drowning yourself in water for both internal cooling and hydration purposes you don’t get water poisoning because you have flushed all the salt out of your body and not replaced it.  Some people use salt tabs to help with this while they are running.  I’ve even carried disposable salt packets with me and eaten a salt packet a couple times during the marathon or long training run.
  • SLOW DOWN.  Do not expect your body to perform the way that it does in 50 or 60 degree weather.  It won’t happen.  There’s a lot of science behind that statement but just take my word for it.  Don’t be disappointed, just focus on getting in the miles at whatever pace you can SAFELY manage.
  • FOCUS ON GOAL.   As you are debating weather you should get your ass out of bed hit the trail with your training partners in the heat, or sleep in and hit the dreadmill in the AC later, remember why  you are doing this.  Remember what you need to do on October 7th.  Remember that failing is not an option.  Remember your goal.
  • PLAN AHEAD.  Where are you running?  Where do you need to drop water?  Can you carry water with you?  How will you fuel?  These are not things I can answer for you.  I normally carry water in a hydration belt on me and drop water for refills.  You will go thru way more water than you anticipate because you will probably be using some of it to cool yourself externally.  I dump water on my head or neck to help keep cool.  What is your MO?  Think about it and make a plan.
  • DRESS APPROPRIATELYThis is a good time to look at your wardrobe.  Do  you wear a hat, sunglasses or visor to help shield you from the sun?  Do you have lots of light colored tanks or sleeveless shirts to that wick to help keep you as dry and cool as possible?  Did you buy some shorts/skirts even though you think your legs are ugly?  You need to focus on staying cool and that might mean making a few adjustments to your wardrobe and stepping outside your comfort zone.
  • SAFETY IN NUMBERSIt’s really important to run with a group in this weather.  If you collapse from heat stroke, are vomiting from dehydration or water poisoning, get dizzy from the sun……you will need help.  Carry your phone or make sure that you are running with somebody who has one ON THEIR PERSON, not in their car,  not on the kitchen counter, ON THEIR PERSON

Running in the Heat Cartoon

You can do this.  I think you can.  I know you can!  Now you say it…..”I think I can, I Think I Can, I KNOW I CAN!”  Hit the trail for those group runs and get in your miles.  Just be smart. 

Do you have any hot weather training tips?

Sidenote:  Favorite Training Items Giveaway goes until Tuesday, have you entered to win?

** Happy Training ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

DeSkunking & Social Responsibility

Although, I’ve grown up with dogs and currently have 3 dogs residing in my home, I’ve never had one sprayed by a skunk.  Until Monday.  I didn’t know what to do about it.  It was 4am and I may not have been thinking quite clearly. 

skunks cartoon

I awoke to the smell of burning, almost like burnt rubber.  Hubby and I cruised the house looking for something which may have been melting/smoking.   Nothing.  The smell followed us from room to room, along with our weimaraner, Libby.

IMG_0111

Hubby says, “I think it’s the dog”.  It was then that I realized we were dealing with a skunk spray.  The smell was changing to more of a skunky smell verses the burning smell.  Plus she kept flopping down rubbing her face on the carpet, etc.  I took Libby outside at 4am and gave her a bath.  I thought the smell would pass.  15  hours later when I got home from work and a night with the kids at the local big top circus, the house smelled so badly I could hardly stand it.  Judy F was kind enough to give me the magic formula for deskunking.  I thought you might like to know, maybe you already have a deskunking kit on hand but in case you don’t, you will need:  one bottle of peroxide, half a box of baking soda & 1 TBS of Dawn dish soap.   Wearing rubber gloves, mix contents in a bucket, rub onto dog (avoiding eyes & mouth), let sit for 15 minutes, rinse & bathe dog.

DeSkunk Supplies

This eliminated about 95% of the smell and I was extremely pleased!  While we were at it, the other dogs got a bath too.  I was slightly irritated with them that they didn’t not attempt to stop Libby from getting into trouble with the skunk.  As a family, a pack ,or a group of friends, I believe you have a social responsibility to look out for one another and attempt to influence others in a positive manner and dissuade bad behavior.  Did you ever get in trouble because you didn’t stop a sibling from making a bad judgment call?  Yep, me too.  Libby’s canine siblings didn’t get off the hook either.  They should have attempted to stop Libby rather than egging her on and then laughing at the results.  Social responsibility, even in a pack.  That’s my theory and I’m sticking too it.   Baths all around!

Since everyone was nice and clean, I asked them to sit for a  photo.  This was their response, which I interpret as “you can make us sit but we don’t have to be happy about it.  And don’t even THINK that we are going to look at your stupid camera!”     Libby,  Goose & Dakota below, 8 years old. 

Dogs_6-26-12

Then the family came in to help.  Almost everyone was looking this time.  Libby is apparently still mad and Michael just thought this was all hilarious so he was just giggling away at the situation.  Libby, Mick, Dakota, Aby, Goose & Michael.

Libby-Mick_Dakota_Aby_Goose_Michael_6-26-12

We still had an issue with the smell inside the house.  It was bad enough to make my eyes water.  Of course, I couldn’t find anything at the store that Judy or others recommended to clear the indoor smell.  So this is what I used and it cleared the majority of the odor.  Citrus Magic solid upstairs and downstairs plus the entire house was heavily sprayed with the Renuzit Super Odor Neutralizer. 

DeSkunk Air Fresh So things are somewhat back to normal.  The dogs are somewhat clean.  The house smells somewhat “ok” and my eyes are no longer watering when I’m inside.

Thanks to everyone, particularly Judy F who I now have  on speed dial, for the suggestions on deskunking my dog and house.   For the record, several people told me that Skunk Off from the pet stores works really well too.   I hope you never have this problem but if you do hopefully this info will help you as well.

** Cheers ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Favorite Training Items Giveaway

This giveaway is from me to you as a way to say THANK YOU for your continued support.  Thank you for “liking” me on Facebook.  Thank you for “following” me on Twitter.  Thank you for following this blog.    If you aren’t a blogger then you may not understand how important it is to actually click on the follow button, or “like” me on Facebook but it is actually really important.  Each time I send out a request for a giveaway or a sponsor they come right here to look at my numbers to determine if it is worth their time to be part of this venture.  So thanks for helping!

Thank You

Since June kicks off training for the Chicago Marathon, I thought it would be a good time to concentrate on  a few of my favorite go to items for training.  Even if you are not a marathoner, you can still benefit from this goodie bag!  Promise!  Favorite Things GiveawayLet’s knock this out right now:  Yes, this goodie bag contains some AdvoCare products.  Yes, I’m an AdvoCare distributor.  Yes, I think AdvoCare has the best products for nutrition, energy & recovery.  Yes, if you click on one of these links and purchase something, I will profit. 

CONTENTS OF GOODIE BAG FOR GIVEAWAY ($75 Value):

  1. Personal Saver Pepper SpraySafety First, Second & Third…..right?!?!  I have several of these.  I prefer the Wrist Saverbut also have a Personal Saver like this to attach to my water belt or onto my skirt for immediate access while running.   I had a coupon code, not sure if it’s still active but if you purchase one, try the code:  TTF for $1.50 off.
  2. Toe Protectors (2 protectors) – I use these for EVERYrun.  I loose my toe nails regardless of the type or size of shoe I wear.  It’s just my thing and I’ve mentioned it previously.  Therefore, I always wear a gel toe protector on my second & third toe (right foot) and then use more if my other toe nails are sore.  These REALLY help!  You can find them at Walgreens or CVS in the foot care aisle.  
  3. AdvoCare Spark Energy Drink (3 packets) – I drink this before every long run.  I roll out of bed, drink this first, then go about my routine.  This not only helps me wake up but also gets the bodily functions moving BEFORE I hit the trail for my long run.   Sugar free, caffeine equivalent of 1 cup of coffee, 21 vitamins, minerals, nutrients.  45 calories.  My favorite flavor in the Mango Strawberry!
  4. AdvoCare Rehydrate Drink (3 packets) – I keep these packets in my purse, in my gym bag and Aby carries them in her track/cross country bag.  We dump this in a bottle of water for an on the go rehydrate product with a 1:1 ratio of sodium to potassium and only 40 calories.  My favorite flavor in the Mango Pineapple(Do you see a mango theme here?)
  5. AdvoCare  Rehydrate Gel (3 pouches) – I use these gels during long runs and long bike rides.  They are easy to carry and the gel is thinner than some of the leading brands.  The lemon flavor actually tastes good and I don’t cringe when it hits my mouth.  I must say that after years of using various products for refueling “on the run”, this is my favorite by far.  I’m VERY happy with this product!  Potassium, sodium & 21 grams carbs wrapped up in 80 calories.
  6. AdvoCare Post Workout Recovery Drink (3 packets) – I use this after every long run, long bike, and some random workouts that leave me zapped.  No exception.  I never use any other recovery product, ever.     This is the product that sold me on AdvoCare.  It works.  It takes the guess work out of recovery and what you need to eat to repair and recover.  I always knew that I needed a 4:1 carb to protein ratio for recovery but I’m not big on counting.  I just drink this on my ride home and then eat normal food the rest of the day.  I don’t need to worry about refrigerating it, just leave it in my shaker in the car and drink when I finish my run or bike.  It takes the thinking out of my recovery.
  7. AdvoCare Shaker/Blender Bottle – I mix everything in this.  If you use protein powders or any drink powders then you already know that chunks happen but this breaks up most of the chunks for a smoother drink content.  I keep one in my workout bag, one in my desk at work, one at the lake, two at home.  I almost always have one.
  8. Mission Athletecare Pomegranate Lip Balm with SPF +15 – This is by far my favorite lip balm for running, biking, workouts, life.  It’s the perfect consistency and stays on for a very long time.  It comes in lots of flavors but I prefer the pomegranate & mint.  It’s also Paraben Free and after reading Bridgett’s Beauty Blog, I’ve learned this a really big deal……although I can’t say I remember why.  :)  You can buy certain Mission Athletecare items at CVS (in Illinois) but they are usually stuck in a corner somewhere, so you may have to ask where they are located.
  9. Mission Athletecare Max Muscle Rehab– Roll on gel for muscle soreness.  Feels good but since the scent vanishes quickly, everyone else doesn’t have to know you trashed your quads on the hills. 
  10. Mission Athletecare AntiFriction Cream  (2 sample packs) – I have used several Mission products in the anti-friction & anti-chafing line.  I like them, particularly for my feet and where my shoes (sandals too!) rub.

I have a ton of favorite products but these are things I use on a regular basis.  The total of this Goodie Bag is $75.  If you would like to enter the giveaway, please do one or all of the following and make a comment below as to what you have done: Make a comment below as to which of these products you are most excited to try (+1), Follow this blog (+2), Follow TooTallFritz on Facebook (+2), Follow @TooTallFritz on Twitter (+2), Share the giveaway via FB, Twitter, your blog, etc. (+2 for each share). 

The giveaway runs from now until 9am CST on July 3rd.  One winner will be selected via a random number generator. Good luck and spread the word!

** Happy Winning ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

The Good & Bad…..

I’m going to back step a bit to Friday.  Normally I don’t go back to workouts that I don’t talk about because we are all adults and hey, I assume you are working out even when you don’t tell me, so I’d like to think you give me the same courtesy.  Right?  :)

Friday started with a pool swim after I wrangled my little man to daycare.  I normally knock out 1.2 miles, the half iron swim distance, in the pool before most people have breakfast on Friday mornings.  Here is a lovely pic of me in the locker room wishing my swim were already over.

me_swim_6-22-12 The pools have been overcrowded due to summertime maintenance and I swear the water temp has gone up 10 degrees since school has been let out.  Not ideal.  Somebody suggested the schools may have raised the water temps because of the younger kids & swim lessons, I’m not really sure but I couldn’t catch my breath on Friday.  I was short on time as it was and never really got my rhythm.  It was humid & hot.  I was miserable.  I only had a half hour to swim and only managed .71 miles.  Bummer.  I was slow.  I couldn’t breathe.  I let the million extra people in the pool bother me.  I wanted to leave way before my time was up.  What do I do after a bad swim?  Shake it off!  No big deal.  It’s like having a bad run or a poor workout.  I just let it go and know that its not a reflection on my swim ability but that it was just a bad day.  Swimming is just like any other workout, some days are great, others not so much.  Please DO NOT let a bad workout zap your confidence.  It happens to all of us, even people who get paid to run/TRI have bad days.  It happens.

The good news, I am a week ahead of the recovery/rehab schedule.  Possible reasons why:  1)  I’m lucky?  2)  I have been icing 8-10x each day?  3) God is concerned about my mental health?  4)  I have been taking it easy and NOT doing anything that is not previously “okayed” by Dr. Alexis?  4)  I have been making Aby do all the hard work at the house?  5)  I have a positive attitude?

I’m not sure why things are going well; I’m just thankful! 

believe-in-yourself

** Always Believe **  Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Race Around The World Duathlon – Tinley Park, IL

I’m so very excited about this race that I will try not to let my excitement get the better of my race review but it will be difficultThe Race Around The World Duathlon takes place in Tinley Park, IL each year on the third Sunday in June.  My theory as to the name is that we race around a music complex that used to be called the World Music Center but that is certainly my own speculation, please don’t take it as fact.  The duathlon consists of a 2 mile run, 11 mile bike and finishes up with a 2 mile run.  A duathlon is always a run, bike, run event for any of you who don’t want to get wet.  It’s possibly my favorite event of all times.  I’m normally a strong runner, and I’m always going to be a sprinter, so the 2 mile run is well suited to my run balls out fast mentality.  I’m an okay biker, not great but the bike section is short and then I’m quickly on my feet again to run balls out.  Win, Win, Win!

I believe this is my 3rd or 4th year of participating in this race.  Due to my torn tendon, things were a bit different this year.  Aby stepped up to be my runner and we created a relay.  MOST.FUN.EVER! 

Tinley DU_12_me & aby We also met up with a few FNRC ladies who were also entering the world of multisport today!  From left:  Jenny, Deb, Me, Aby, Betsy, Susan, Julie, & my Ragnar partner, Kate.

Tinley DU_12_FNRC We got to the race early  because I wanted to make sure to get a decent spot in transition and things lined up smoothly.  Then the racers were off at 8am exactly.  The duathlon had 4 waves, the young boys, the over 40 men, the young ladies and the over 40 ladies.  Aby was lined up with the over 40 ladies since we were a team.  That was perfect because I wanted her to stay relaxed in the run since she had to run 2 miles x2.  Susan in gold & Aby take off at the start. 

Tinley DU_12_Aby   Tinley DU_Aby

She cruised those first 2 miles with a 9:27 average and I was one proud momma taking off on the bike.  I must say that it was a seemingly long wait while she ran because I was so nervous she started in the last wave.  When she ran into transition, most people were already out on the bike. This is the first time I have started riding this far back, but I definitely was riding on the best bike I’ve ever ridden in this event and wow, did that help.  One or two years I did this on a mountain bike, one year I used a road bike, and this year I had my TRI bike.  Hello Road, and it was all “on your left” from there on out.  Fastest 10 miles I’ve ever ridden.  I finished the 10 miles in 30 minutes & change.  Yes, the course is normally 11 miles but we had a detour due to road construction this year.  No big deal in my opinion and the roads were nice, mostly smooth and the turns were wide enough to not be an issue.  Plus there were a lot of volunteer support to help with the bike course.

Has anyone ever told you that transition matters?  Well, listen up cuz it’s true.  Although, I’m a veteran triathlete, I’m not a veteran relayer.  I  messed up.  In my haste to move thru transition, weave thru those walking their bikes, I never pulled the timing chip off my ankle.  So I get back to the bike rack, Aby’s waiting and instead of pulling the chip, I tried to rack my bike, then I realized my error, yanked the chip and she was off.  Not sure how many seconds I wasted but every second truly does count.  Today, they have awards thru 3rd place, we were 5th, we were 13 seconds out of 3rd place.  If that isn’t crazy enough, the 4th place team was one tenth behind the 3rd place team.   The women’s team competition from 3rd place through 7th was separated by a total of 37 seconds.  Transition counts, always. 

Here is Aby in the home stretch chicking the dude in the orange, where she crushed the last 2 miles with a 9:32 average.  Now, that’s some consistent running for a 10 year old who has only been running a year.  Yes, I’m super proud!!!

Tinley DU_12_aby2 The run course had 2 water stop locations for each 2 mile segment.  Lots of port-o-potties.  Nicely organized race for people who are looking for a fitness challenge or those looking to crush some PRs.  I highly recommend you checking out the The Race Around The World Duathlon for 2013.

This year, if I had to complain about anything, which I don’t like to complain but in the sense of fairness need to address the fact that they did not let us pick up our shirts until after the race.  So when Aby and I went to grab the shirts, they only had L & XL left.   In men’s sizing.  Total fail in my opinion.  They shirts were great A-4 dry fit.  I love the brand in a ladies fit but now I have one more shirt that I can’t wear and Aby swims in hers.  It would have been nice to give this race some silent PR by hitting the trail with the shirts, or Aby wearing it to Cross Country camp, but that’;s not an option for us and I’m actually disappointed this time.  The shirts looked great though, here they are below with our bibs.  There was not a “goodie bag”, only the shirts.

Tinley DU_12_shirts

Great job to all the participants!   Hope to see you out there for 2013!  Who knows if Aby and I will return to do more damage as Team 2 Tough Chiks or if we will go individual next year……..stay tuned!

** Just DU It ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Beautiful Blogger Award……

I read a lot of blogs, I mean a lot.  One of the blogs I read is CultFit.  Early this week, CultFit awarded me with the Beautiful Blogger Award.  I’ve been seeing these go around but have not yet been chosen.  I’m honored; thank you, thank you, thank you!!

beautiful-blogger-award1

The idea behind the Beautiful Blogger Award is to recognize some of the blogger we read for their hard work and inspiration. 

**Obligatory Rules**

  1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  3. Tell 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment on their blogs to let them know.

Since I just posted my answers for the Spotlight Runner, I can’t really imagine you care want to know more about me so I’m going to pick some very random things, then pick 7 very random bloggers I follow who you might want to know.  My goal is to try to pick people you DO NOT know so I tried to stay away from the Team Tough Chik & Chicago Running Bloggers line-up (with 2 exceptions).

1)  I’m currently loving the Michelob Ultra Cactus Lime beer.  2)  My favorite person is currently my chiro, Alexis, who is going to make me better and as a result help me run faster.  3)  If Michael had been a daughter instead of a son, I wanted to name “her” Lydia but was out voted and we were going with Katherine Jean ( I think, can barely remember that long ago), call name:  Kati.  4)  If I have anymore pets after my brood passes, it will be one small dog named Sam I Am but only if it promises to not pee or poo or vomit on anything I own.  5)  Michael leaves for college in 5915 days, unless I can get him into school a year early since he is a genius and then we have 5549 days.  6)  I SWEAR I am NOT counting the days until Michael goes to college!  7) The first thing that I’m going to do when Michael goes to college is hike the Pacific Crest TrailPCT map

All of it.  From Canada to Mexico.  No, I’m not taking my cell phone so don’t even ask.

Seven bloggers I love, to whom I would like to award the Beautiful Blogger Award and simultaneously introduce to you. 

Tough Chik – Great way to learn about new tough chik teammates & blogger babes all over the world. 

Run GINGERFOXXX Run – This chick  makes me laugh even she is trying to be serious.   Not much makes me laugh.

Manage Better Now – Things you may or may not need to know about being in the office/business world.

Bridgett’s  Beauty Blog – I know nothing about beauty and she knows everything.

It’s Just One Foot In Front of the Other – Possibly the first blog I ever read and I’m still reading.  Amazing athlete on a looooooong running streak.

Angie Blogs – Another great runner and mother & she possibly owns the one and only Saucony Recovery Suit.

Swim.Bike.Run.3durance – Currently training for an Ironman.  Way more focused and better at following a training schedule than I. 

Congrats to the new award winners of the Beautiful Blogger Award!  Please go check  them out and hopefully you will find them as motivating, inspiring, funny or as helpful as I do on a daily basis!

** Happy Reading ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com **

Short Run Long Day 5K

Yesterday was the hottest longest day of the year.  Every year for the last 12 years, Frankfort, IL does a 5K in the evening of the “long day”.  According to the Frankfort Patch, this year drew more participants than any previous year with 403 individuals registered for this evening, weekday race.  Those are good numbers for a work/school night!

I’d like to think that the Frankfort New Lenox Running Club helped up those numbers.  :)  Here is a pic of our skeleton crew for the night.  Lots of our regular runners couldn’t make the run but we did our best to represent!

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Although I registered myself and Aby for the race, I did not run run because of the torn tendon in my foot.  Nor have I run in previous years because a night race when one has a baby/toddler, is a bit difficult but no worries, I fed everyone ice cream for dinner after the race so we could go right home and go to bed!

The packet pick up was smooth and moved quickly.  The only complaint I heard on the entire race that one of the volunteers in packet pick up was very rude less than friendly.  Please know that if you do not want to volunteer at a race or other event, please don’t let someone strong-arm you into doing it.  We have so much respect and love for the volunteers that come out to help, they add so much to our race experience that we don’t want one person to give any race a bad name.   Photo below from the Frankfort Park District Facebook Page.  That’s Susan D in the gold FNRC shirt.

Volunteers 

The goodie bag was sparse but we don’t run for the goodies, do we?

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The race was family/kid friendly with sprinklers & a bounce house.

bounce house

The race course was certified with chip timing and really good according to the comments of racers and members of the F’N Running Club.  The race started in front of Main Park on Locust, headed toward the bike path, thru Frankfort and busted ass back thru the streets to the finish. 

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I heard really good reports on the running aspect of the race.  There was one water stop at the halfway mark, no complaints of overcrowding and everyone was praising the shaded bike path and the mature trees throughout the neighborhood.  Apparently, one of the best aspects of the race was a homeowner who took his hose to the street and was spraying the runners!  Although the temps were high at 97 degrees as we were driving to the race, the winds kicked up and cooled things down quickly before the start.  Even so, temps were not ideal but everyone looked happy and seemed to have ran good times.  It’s always a good race when people finish with smiles on their face and plan to go back again for next year!  Here are a billion some pics, in random order, which I captured of the F’N Runners as the whizzed past me.  Thankfully their bright gold shirts gave me a good heads up that they were coming my way.  I didn’t get everyone as I was also trying to watch the little cheer squad (Michael & Jack below) and some photos were just too blurry to salvage.

Michael & Jack

Susan M zooms past on her way for a 3rd place finish in her age group!

Picture 059                   Picture 066

Nicole Fritz placed 2nd in her age group but was too fast for me to catch on film!

Kristin Kotara, snagged a first in a full out sprint as our fastest F’N Runner who raced the Short Run Long Day.  She may, or may not, have blistered the course in a 21:05 and my camera was barely fast enough to get her, thank goodness Susan did better in the first photo!  Last photo from the Frankfort Park District Facebook Page.

kristin_frankfort 5k   Picture 065   kristin2_frankfort 5k

Eve Jensen also took a first in her age group but I didn’t capture that either!

Aby was mid pack trying to trip Amanda W so I missed her “in action”.   She ran a 29:46 though and was super happy with the race and shaded course!  Great job, Aby!  Here she is coming back to give her brother a high-five after the finish.

Aby & Michael_Frankfort 5K

Sean & Meg testing their finishing kick with Barb & Jenny eating their dust close behind!  

Jake & Meg_Frankfort 5K                 Barb & Jeni_Frankfort 5K      

Kate S & Company:  Picture 078

Melissa, Lisa & Brian F who arrived late and didn’t get his gold shirt in time.

Picture 073  Picture 075   Picture 074

Nicole R is a blurrrrrrr running past with her two little men in the double jogger!

Picture 071 Jeni H is ALL smiles, just like always!!  And I spy, Kathy H &  Amanda W in the background of the first photo! 

Picture 062          Picture 069

Go Betsy!!!   Picture 068

All in all, it seemed to be the perfect day and the perfect place to spend time with our friends doing our favorite thing, RUNNING!  We will definitely be back next year to participate in the fun.  Look out were growing and we now have an official color that will “almost” glow in the dark.  You can’t miss us.  Honest!   Come out and celebrate with us for 2013!

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Spotlight Runner……

Last month, Mel from Running For Kicks asked me if I would be the next “Spotlight Runner” for the store.  I was, of course, honored to be chosen.  They just started choosing Spotlight Runners this year and I was excited to be part of it!  As we all know, I’m a huge fan of Running For Kicks “the store”, Mel the owner, and the employees who are always around when we need them. Hey, Gail!  No revolving door in this retail establishment but real people who know  YOUR name and actually care about YOUR feet and running performance!  Read more on my respect for Running For Kicks HERE.

Mel sent me a list of questions and asked me to answer them for the Spotlight board.  Of course, I wasn’t brief, just not my nature, and they had to cut my answers for the actual “board”.

RFK_spotlight runner_me

I would have posted this much sooner but had been hoping to get into the store for a photo with “the” board.  Due to my injury, I told Mel to put those Saucony Fastwitch 5s back on the shelf and I didn’t get in until this week when Aby needed shoes (she’s a Mizuno girl). 

Saucony Fastwitch 5:image

 

     Aby’s Mizuno Inspires:image

So Aby and I stood beside the board for a photo!

RFK_spotlight runner_aby & me Since I know that nobody probably had time to stop and read the question/answers, I’ll post them below.  It’s easy to see why editing was necessary!  :)

  1. What made you decide to take up running?   I have always been a runner. Initially I was a sprinter and high jumper through HS & College, then moved toward longer distances as I “aged”.
  2. Why do you run?   I run for so many reasons but there was one solid reason as to why I made my return to running. After college, I took a bit of a “break” from running. I was burnt out. I was working on my masters degree, had a full-time job, got married, had Aby and woke up from my honey/baby-moon and was “suddenly” 30 lbs overweight. Reality hit and I knew one solid way to get the weight off……I laced up the very next day to go for a run. I only made it 1.4 miles (had to measure it with my car!). That was on February 1, 2005 and I haven’t stopped running since. It took a lot of research/learning to figure out how to fuel my body properly to get out of it what I wanted on a daily basis. Once I figured that out, I was unstoppable. My mileage went from that initial 1.4 miles all the way up to 26.2 at the St Jude’s Marathon in 2007. Anything is possible if you allow yourself to dream!
  3. What are some of your goals or races for 2012?   I have two goals for 2012 – to run a 1:50 half marathon and to go under 6:30 in one or both of my half ironman races.
  4. Do you have a favorite race?   My favorite local race is the Shamrock Shuffle. I love the crowds, the atmosphere, the people and being able to run a killer pace thru the streets of Chicago. However, my all time (annual) favorite race is the Fort4Fitness Half in Ft Wayne, IN. I grew up near Ft Wayne, my family still lives there and we make it a family affair each year. Mom pushes Michael in the jogger and walks with my niece in the 4 mile, Aby and my brother-in-law run the 4 mile, and my sister and I run the half marathon. The fact that we all participate in some way makes this my favorite by far.
  5. Your favorite running shoe?    My favorite running shoe is the Saucony Guide, by default b/c its the only shoe that fits my foot. Sauc Guide 5a
  6. Do you have a favorite trail to run?   Currently, my favorite trail is Schubert Woods & “The Shoot” in Park Forest, IL. Its close to my house but I feel like I’ve gone somewhere special when I hit that trail.
  7. Do you have any advice to give to a new runner or someone that would like to start running?   My advice  – LACE UP…..GET YOUR BUM OUT THE DOOR….. Have the courage to make it happen for you! You will only do it if you really want it, so don’t talk about it, don’t ask anyone’s permission, just put your shoes on and run.
  8. What runner do you admire?   The runner I admire is Aby, my 10 year old daughter. She has been asking to run since she was 4 years old. I kept saying “no”. I didn’t want her to do it just because I did. I didn’t want her to get tired, hurt or burnt out. I didn’t think she was ready to run a “K5″ before she could say it properly as the rest of us know it: 5K! Thankfully, life intervened about the point in time at which I didn’t think I could hold her off any longer. I was fortunate enough to conceive Mr. Michael and the pregnancy/birth/recovery allowed me to hold her off running until she turned 8. I let her start run/walking with me at age 8, at age 9 she started racing some local 5Ks with a bit of success in her age group, at age 10 as a 5th grader she started running Cross Country & Track. This track season has been rough on her. She is a young 5th grader, constantly racing in the 8th grade races. She gets beat, she gets last, she keeps trying and getting faster (7:07 mile so far!). This is really what it’s all about, knowing you may never be the best, knowing somebody will always be faster, hoping that at least one person is slower and staying in the game for love of the run. She loves to run so she keeps on running and improving. Can’t wait to see how she progresses in the years to come. She inspires me to be better each and every day.
  9. Chicago White Sox’s or Cub’s?   BOTH!  I’m from Indiana so do not have a “home” team. I’m also admittedly not a “ball sport” person. The ball sports don’t interested me at all. However, I’m an athlete and I know how much each person puts into their sport and their game. Years ago, Hubby said to me during a Super Bowl game, “You root for whoever have the ball, don’t you?” Yep, I want everyone to have success at that which they have put in so much work and passion. This is why running is such a great sport, there are lots of winners and each person can win their own game by pushing their own personal limits.
  10. Won a million dollars in the lottery, what would you do?    If I won the lotto, I would make sure that Peotone had a first class athletic complex & track. They are still running on a gravel track due to lack of funds and lack of taxpayer support in the district.  :(
  11. Dream vacation location?  I’ve always wanted to go to Rio de Janeiro. Tropical jungles, expansive beaches, The Carnival, crazy Voodoo stories/practices and they “stole” the 2016 Olympics from Chicago so they must be “the bomb”, right?. Sign me up for a trip in August 2016, please.

This is quite possibly more than any of you wanted to know about me but there it is in black & white.  And if you haven’t stopped into Running For Kicks lately, go back and check them out.  They rock and they actually care about you.  Mel, even sent me a note asking how my injury was doing.  How many running store owners do you know who would do that?  Thanks, Mel for always being concerned about me and  Aby, how we feel and the way we run! 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Newbie Chronicles……Runner’s World

Each month I look forward to the arrival of my Runner’s World magazine. I am usually months behind on my reading but this month I skipped ahead (GASP) and grabbed the current edition. 

2012-06-19_10-20-15_685

Due to the fact that I’m so far behind in my reading, I do a lot of skimming.  I read the articles that I like or at least part of them and move on quickly.   I prefer stories which motivate and inspire but I don’t want those stories to be too long because I may not have time to finish them.  My favorite series in Runner’s World is the Newbie Chronicles (photo is from the Newbie Chronicles,  July 2012 Runners World) 

The articles make me laugh.  Not because I’m a new runner but because the author finds humor in the process of running and all the little strange things that go into it.  The character keeps developing each month and he isn’t so much a “newbie” anymore but still has running “issues”.  On occasion, there is a little inspiration mixed in too!  Inspiration + Humor = WIN

Yesterday I finished the July article as I was stepping off the train and these are the words closing out the July 2012 Newbie Chronicles:

I’ve never been in a ditch so low that a run wouldn’t pop me out of it. There are no shadings in this. Every run makes you fantastic. Once you stop, you’re on your own, so it’s a better bet to just keep it going. Some people say we should do no harm. Others tell us to be kind to one another. Why not take it a step further and attempt to inspire others? Running is not a private activity. People are watching. Show someone what it’s like to want something. Lace up and give them something to believe in.

I love that, “Lace up and give them something to believe in”!!  It won’t be easy, particularly when you first start running, but it will be worth it.  You will feel better as a result of the actual running and to think, you could inspire someone else just by getting your bum out the door!  I know I want to run when I see others running, don’t you? 

Inspiration is a funny thing and I would never have thought that the simple act of “just running” could possibly make a difference to others.  I know it makes a difference for me but how could it possibly effect anyone else?.  Running melts my stress away and allows me a few minutes to myself to think about whatever I want to think about.  I no longer even run close to the house because I just need to get away.  Sometimes the things we love the most creep in on us and create a smothering effect.   While that certainly isn’t the intent for your loved ones or your awesome job to smother you, everyone needs a little “me” time whether it be running, reading, walking, or just sitting quietly in meditation.  Take the time for yourself or you may soon start to feel the walls close in around you.  And to think, your “me” time, running or working out, may just inspire somebody else to lace up too?!?!   

Besides seeing someone else running, what inspires you?  What do you do for “me” time?  Do you run, workout, or have another outlet?

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Courthouse Classic 5K – LaGrange, IN

Each year on the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend, a small town close to where my parents live hosts a 5K to raise money for a local Cross Country team.  If you are near LaGrange, IN on Father’s Day weekend, I highly recommend you stopping by to run the Courthouse Classic.  The timing works out well for me as I like to go home for Father’s Day anyhow, plus any race I run by my parents is EASY because they are always happy to help with the kiddos while I’m running!  Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa Fritz for your enthusiasm and love for your grandchildren!

Although I did not run this year, for obvious reasons I have ran several years previous so feel qualified to review the race as both a runner and spectator.  Michael & I posed for a photo with Aby pre-race. 

Courthouse Classic Me-Michael-Aby_2012

We also met up with Adella and her hubby, Austin so I grabbed a photo of all three runners.

Courthouse Classic Aby_Adella_Austin_2012

This race starts and finishes at the courthouse in LaGrange.  It’s easy to find in the center of town, surrounded by red brick streets, located on the ONLY thru street.  You can’t miss it.  Registration is available online, via a mail in form or on race day.  The “early bird” fee is $14, with $17 being the cost of race day registration.  Very reasonable pricing to enable the whole family to participate by running or walking.  There is also a 1 mile fun run for the kiddos that is $9 as an early bird & $12 race day. 

Normally, I don’t mention much about sponsors unless I’m contracted to do so but this race is sponsored by the local supermarket, Millers SuperValu.  And let me say, if you can run a race where a supermarket is a key sponsor, do it.  Lots of loot!  Each year when I pick up my race packet, they hand me an envelope with my shirt, bib/timing chip, & safety pins plus a large brown grocery bag filled with…… GROCERIES!  Each year, they hand me the bag, I’m confident that my race fee has just been exchanged for food for the family. 

Courthouse Classic Loot_2012 My goodie bag items are on the left side of the shirt, Aby’s goodie bag is on the right side.  Last year was the first year I registered Aby.  Due to her age, and the popularity of their one mile “fun run”, the race director sent me an email and asked me if I had intended to register Aby (age 9 during the 2011 race) for the 5K or if I wanted to change her to the fun run.  I thanked them for the inquiry and giving a shit and responded that Aby would be running the 5K.  At packet pick-up, they had a special bag set aside with Aby’s name on it.  Rather than giving her groceries, they put together school supplies, candy, juice pouches, and a plethora of kid-friendly items.  Huge thumbs up!  They did the very same thing this year!   Thank you, Miller’s SuperValu!

This race also takes good care of the spectators and community members who come out for the event.  They are grilling dogs, brats & nitrate free meats before the race even takes off, in addition to having drinks, muffins, subway subs, cookies, cupcakes, local grown potato chips and a ton of other items for everyone present. 

Courthouse Classic food_2012

The race course, although not exciting, is an easy to follow out and back, USAT certified route.  They also offer chip timing but there isn’t a mat at the start line so it’s just a convenience for data gathering purposes.  And it’s guaranteed to be hot and steamy with a 9am EST start time.  This race is ALWAYS hot, don’t plan to run too fast cuz it’s probably not going to happen but they do have 1 water stop, which you can hit 2x if you are able to duck in on the return route, plus the finish is down hill.  Sweet race, really.

Last year, this was Aby’s 3rd race ever and she ran a 33:19.  She looks tiny standing next to me in the 2011 photo.

Aby & Me_Courthouse Classic_2011

This year, she looks like a freight train running to a 30:37 finish.  I love the little boy who really doesn’t want to be chicked but really can’t do anything about it.  :)

Courthouse Classic Aby_2012                Courthouse Classic Aby2_2012

And my girl, Adella took 2nd in her age group!  Goooooo, Adella!  Here is a pic of me & Adella from the archives.  This girl is not afraid to get out and run regardless of the weather.  That’s my kind of running partner!  Great job, Adella!

Me&Adella_Dec 2011

Overall, the Courthouse Classic is a great race.  I encourage you to take the family and give it a try.  Small town friendliness and hospitality with a pre/post race buffet of food that anyone would love.  Go run, then eat!  I’ll see you there for 2013! 

Oh, and don’t forget to stop at Foltz’s Bakery as you are leaving town, best chocolate cream filled subs you will EVER taste, promise!  And now you know why I run, cuz I LOVE to eat!  :)

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com