180s Quantum Cool Training Visor Winners

We have winners!  I drew one ladies name and one men’s name from the list of entrants who “liked” 180s on Facebook.  Even if you didn’t enter today, you might want to go now and like 180s on Facebook because they give away cool stuff all the time!  If you are REALLY, REALLY interested in winning 180s gear, then I would recommend also going HERE to fill out the form to be on their mailing list and you, like me, may just get an email that you won a free visor too!  Super cool, right? 


Ladies – #5 – April Weber

Men’s – #6 – Brian Parker


April & Brian – please email your addresses to me at amanda@tootallfritz.com.

If you didn’t win, don’t forget that you can get 25% off the training visors between now and September 7th by using the coupon code:  TOOTALL

Men’s 180s Quantum Cool Training Visor

Women’s 180s Quantum Cool Training Visor

** Stay Cool ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Still Trying to Keep Cool…..180s Quantum Cool Giveaway

I wish I had a new story to tell but it’s the same thing over and over again, the runners in Chicago, and throughout the Midwest, are melting!  I’m still in shock over how hot and sticky this summer has been and I haven’t ran near the miles as most of you. 

As your may remember in this post HERE, Aby has found a few innovative ways to keep cool while running this summer, one of which was using a 180s Quantum Cool headband.

Days after Aby made me buy got this headband, I received an email from the company that I had won a FREE QuantumCool Training Visor in their weekly Facebook drawing.  I was super psyched and anxious for it to arrive.  I’m not sure I even had the visor for 24 hours before it hit the trail with me for a run.

me_8-11-12_180s Visor I only own one other visor and to be honest, I have never worn it.  I normally only wear “hats” when it rains and a visor is what, half of a hat?  I prefer to run in the woods or shaded areas and haven’t found a real pull toward visors for the purpose of keep the sun out of my eyes.  However, I get hot.  Like really hot.  I melt.  I get headaches in the sun and the idea of a cooling visor, well now THAT appeals to me in a really big way.


The visor is adjustable but holds tightly to the head.  The cooling element is located in the sweatband and the technology is activated with sweat or water.  According to the 180s.com website: 

QuantumCool moisture activated cooling technology begins to work as soon as sweating occurs.  Cooling your skin is 180s answer to overheating, overexposure to the sun and decreased performance.  Experience the active cooling and increased comfort of QuantumCool and stay out there longer.

I usually just get it wet myself because by the time my body starts sweating, I’m near death, so I just skip ahead and get it wet for my own safety and it is like holding a cool cloth to my forehead.  I don’t notice it being “cold” when I run but I notice it not working when I take it off.  I even used it on the boat one day when it was coolish (mid 80s) and I had to take it off because I was chilled between the breeze and the visor. 

The specific details on the visor:

QuantumCool is located in the sweatband and actively cools as soon as you begin to sweat, cooling skin.  The stretch waffle knit fabric quickly absorbs sweat, naturally increasing the cooling effect. Designed to solve many weather-related challenges that outdoor athletes encounter, the QuantumCool Training Visor offers these additional features:

  • Hook and Loop Elastic Back Closure: Allows for one-handed adjustment to keep the hat comfortable and in place during activity.
  • Lightweight: Protection without impacting performance.
  • Pulse Point Cooling: The cooling element in the sweatband is located on pulse points at the temples, increasing the cooling rate of the body.
  • Technical Stretch: Increases comfort and improves fit.
  • QuantumCool Technology: Moisture Activated Cooling Technology
  • UPF 30+ Protection: Provides added protection from the harmful rays of the sun.

I don’t pretend to be scientific but I like having it when its hot and I keep pulling it out again and again to fight the heat.Me_8-23-12_180s Visor

The QuantumCool Training Visor made its rounds thru the city with me last week and the temps were in the high 80s. 

me_millenium park fountain_8-23-12

Although, I still thought I would pass out before I returned to the office, my forehead and pulse points were cool when I took the visor off.  If you run in sunny areas or get hot and then feel crappy like me, then this might become a new favorite for you as well.  180s Quantum Cooling has generously agreed to give away a QuantumCool Training Visor, a $25 value, to one female and one male reader!  The catch?  Go like them on Facebook HERE.  After you like them on Facebook, then leave a comment below telling me that you did so and I will enter you in the drawing.  I will draw one female and one male winner on Thursday, August 30th so that you have a chance to get a hold of this before the weekend’s long run!  Good luck!

For those of you who do not win and want one of these babies, order the ladies visor HERE or the men’s visor HERE before September 7, 2012 using the 25% off coupon code:  TOOTALL   

Please note that although they have a lot of awesome products on the website, the coupon code is only good for the training visors, which are available in white or black and are gender specific:

image     image

** Stay Cool ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Big Girl Decisions…..

I had to put on my big girl panties over the last couple days and make some tough decisions.  As most of you know, my entire summer has been formulated around the Great Illini 70.3 which will occur this Saturday, September 1st.  


Things became much more difficult when I tore the tendon in my foot on June 2nd but we pushed forward in rehab with the only goal being that I complete the 70.3 on September 1st.  In order to make this happen, the plan was to run the first loop of the run portion (6.55 miles) and then run/walk the second loop at whatever pace I could manage.  No time goal, just a quest to finish.  This focus to finish, to not let anymore bibs die, to not add another DNF to the roster, to not give up and just go sit on the couch and gain weight has propelled me forward this summer when honestly, I was pretty empty and upset inside.  I remained positive overall but I was bummed out!

I also spent a lot of time on the trainer inside due to mechanical issues and not being able to run scheduling issues and that didn’t help my attitude mood!


So week after week, I rode, swam, did rehab exercises and then at the beginning of this month we brought back the run.  The run, the glorious run, that is so freeing to the soul and puts a smile on my face even in the most trying times.  Things were good again.

devil dash 2012_me2

But not really.  Although the foot is “better” as in better than it was, it is a long way from normal.  Even further from being pain free.  So last Friday, during rehab/therapy, it was laid open like this,  “Well, you do what you want and I’ll fix whatever damage comes from it…… but this is probably not a good idea”.  Awesome. 

The bottom line is that I “could” finish the 70.3 on Saturday but why risk causing further damage?  Why chance making this rehab process even one day longer?  Or worse yet, re-tear the tendon which is in healing mode and have to start completely over.   Or rupture the stupid Plantar Fascia which screams at me daily.   There isn’t a reason in my opinion.  I have nothing to prove.  This process for me has always been about my health and gaining a higher level of fitness and it would be counter productive to move forward with the 70.3 on Saturday due to the fact that I am not properly trained or healed up for the 13.1 mile run.

I am, however, perfectly able to participate in the Olympic distance event (.94 mile swim, 24.9 mile bike & 6.2 mile run) without causing further damage.  I’m certainly not running fast at this point but I can cover the distance and that’s what I plan to do in order to get a FINISH and be proud of the fact that I didn’t just give up when it would have been the easy thing to do. 

I saw a TRI necklace on CafePress and it was titled TRIumph


I really feel like this is what 2012 is to me, learning to TRIumph when the cards aren’t stacked in my favor.  Learning that being tough, or a BAMR, isn’t about pushing thru the pain but rather taking a minute to listen to the body and focus on myself so that I can heal and be better in the future.  So Great Illini, I’m still coming, just downgrade me to the Olympic distance, please!  I mean, if it’s good enough for the Olympians, it’s good enough for me!

I’m so happy to put a close on this season Saturday and start fresh again.  New strategies and goals are on the horizon.  It’s a new dawn, a new day……

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

Changing Things Up…..

Yesterday, I went out to grab a salad at lunch and just couldn’t force myself to go back inside.  It was a beautiful day in Chicago and I couldn’t remember the last time, I had been out just wandering around the city.  I was longing for my running shoes so I could cover more ground faster! 

Being downtown on a daily basis, I tend to be constantly rushing around, back and forth to the train or my car, or running errands for work.  I rarely even leave the building for lunch so yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to see some small changes like new store fronts and brightly painted sidewalks which had not been present in the spring.   Yes, the spring.  That was the last time, I was out running and/or wandering during lunch.  I remember specifically going out for that springtime lunch run so I could see the spring colors (March 27, 2012) and I haven’t been back out for fun or running since.  Kinda sad.

Millenium Park__3-27-12

Yesterday, I spent some time on Michigan Avenue around the Art Museum. 

Art Institute_8-22-12

And strolled thru the Art Museum Gardens:

Art Institute Gardens_8-22-12

I also was pleasantly surprised to see an increase in healthy lunch options and stopped into Kramer’s Health Foods on Wabash for a Supreme Veggie Salad and Faux Chicken Salad.  Really tasty, I’ll definitely go back! 

Today will be another beautiful day in the city and I plan to change things up from the norm and head out to “see what I can see”.  I hope you get a moment today to stop and enjoy the day.   I think we work too hard, are too busy in general and miss a lot of the beauty around us.  I’m going to get out and enjoy some of that beauty and I wish the same for you.

Do you ever have the opportunity to break up your work day by relaxing in a beautiful park or strolling around town?

** Enjoy the Beauty ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfrtiz.com

Positive Community Development…….

Sometimes that little “extra” that you need in your life is not sitting right next to you.  Some of us need motivation to get off the couch workout, run and give life a TRI!  It’s just too easy to be lazy!


This is why I started the TTF blog, to meet other people who were as crazy motivated as myself and to hold myself accountable.  I am a decent self motivator but it’s always good to think that “we are in it together” and that was what I was missing, a group of like minded people with whom to share my insanity passion.  I did know a lot of people in the running community, and ran on and off with various groups but due to my hubby’s work schedule I was mostly on my own.  I got thru all of those “solo” years with on and off, training partners (Lisa E, Abby S, Kerry C & Shelly O) and the mantra, “If it’s easy, it’s not worth it”.   I pushed forward, not for any reward but solely because the desire burned inside of me to be stronger, faster and better than ever.  I raced a lot to keep from being lazy focused on the end goal:  Staying Fit!

I am certainly no longer alone in my quest.  It seems the last year or so has brought an onslaught of positive community development on various levels.  I credit social media in helping to increase the awareness of fitness groups and new area running clubs, like the Frankfort New Lenox Running Club (aka:  The F’N Runners – photo below).   Plus, the creation of websites like Chicago Running Bloggers brings together like minded people who may or may not have ever come together otherwise. 

So now, as I hit the trial, I see more and more people out there giving it their all on a Saturday morning before the sun rises.  Last week, I saw the F’N Runners, the Park Forest Running & Pancake Club, Tinley Track & Trail, Tri Smart and I knew the Looney Chics were out there somewhere too.  We continue to increase awareness of our groups and develop a massive community to support and motivate each other in life, training, & racing.  We know that regardless of where we go, there will always be a “friendly” in the crowd and for that reason we keep pushing our limits to better ourselves and each other. 

Thanks to all my virtual, real life, and on the run/trail training partners who continue to push me when I’d rather be sitting on the couch. 

Have you noticed the growth and how much more visible the fitness/running groups have become as of late both online and in real life?  Do you credit the internet and social media for getting the word out and helping our community grow?  Does the growth of our community push you to be better?

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

Taking Back My Favorite Rural Route…

For those of you who have lived in the middle of nowhere country forever, you may remember the time before we had house numbers like the city folk.  Instead of a house number, we had a Rural Route number that was somewhat vague.  Basically the only person who knew how to find us was the mail lady carrier who we knew by name.  Once 911 was invented became more prevalent and people were calling on authorities rather than their neighbors for help, then things had to get more official and we were issued a house number.  I remember the day, it was a major event and I also remember asking “why, our address was going to change?”.  I was told, “so the fire department can find us if we need help”. 

Prior to the change, the local fire department, which was staffed by volunteers, was having trouble finding our homes when a call came thru for assistance.  This was before GPS, smart phones, internet and well, apparently the mail lady wasn’t a volunteer fire fighter.   All our roads looked barren and untraveled like these:


Not much has changed for me other than my location.  I now live on a different rural route but still have “the same” barren country roads and a number to go on my mail box.  It may not be for everyone but I like it.  However, one thing that I do not like is that not everyone is a responsible pet owner and I have, in the past, had frequent problems with mean dog encounters.  After getting bit 3 times within less than 4 months, I altered my running route, a lot. 

         11/24/10                               12/24/10                      3/26/11     

Over the last 18 months, I have just been circling between my house and my friend Nicki’s house in case I have a problem.  I also now carry my cell phone when I run, which sucks doesn’t leave me as “unplugged” as I would like and I carry a Wrist Saver Pepper Spray.  Today, I was determined to take back my favorite rural run route so I strapped on the Wrist Saver because I was nervous to be safe.


I also like that it is reflective, which is good since I frequently run in the dark.


As you may have guessed, I had abandoned my favorite route because one of the roads in route is where all three biting dogs lived.  Amazing that with the distances I run, all three dogs just happened to live on the same road within a mile of my home.  Awesome.  So I eliminated the road in question from my running routes, which was inconvenient to say the least.  I felt as if I had been warned and I felt the need to heed the warning but now, I’m taking my rural run route back!

I actually think that all three dogs are now “gone” but that didn’t make me feel better as I headed out the door this morning.  What did make me feel good is that I was back on familiar territory, just planning to run around “the section” and it is a perfect 4 mile loop with varied terrain.  I love that I get a few small hills/inclines in the run and they are hardly even noticeable in the dark!

I made it without anything exciting to report and that’s GOOD news!  A rooster crowed and scared took me off guard, the coyotes were howling, and a blanket of thin fog hung in the air to make it a particularly dark run.  The temps were 48 degrees and I was in my glory.  Perfect running weather on my perfect rural run route.  I’m a happy gal today!

4.11 miles – 9:05 pace

Do you have any running routes, which you love, that you had to give up for a period of time?  Why?

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

Matthiessen State Park…..

Each year, the month of August marks our most hectic month of the year as we  squeeze in lots of last minute activities before school starts, we celebrate our anniversary, Aby’s birthday, the start of Cross Country season, the fall festivals begin and we attempt to remain somewhat sane even though the chaos moves at full throttle.

One of my favorite places locally is Matthiessen State Park in Utica, Illinois.  A friend and I just made a short day trip there with our kids on Friday.  I must say it took some guts resolve to go on an adventure like this with 6 kids but they did great!   The first photo starting on the left is:  Kate, Nora, Tommy, Quinn, Michael & Aby.

Mattessien State Park_kids_Aug 2012   Mattessien State Park_kids on rock_Aug 2012

The last time Aby and I were at Matthiessen was right before I became pregnant with Michael in November of 2008.  It’s been a long time, and Aby looks so young in the photos, plus there was water then and in each previous trip but none this time around.

November 2008

Mattessien State Park_Aby & Libby_Nov 2008

August 2012

Mattessien State Park_5_Aug 2012

This trip was quite different than those in the past for many reasons, first we went with another family, second, we didn’t take Libby the Weimaraner and third, the Midwest is experiencing a drought. The normally cool running waters were non-existent.  So while I stupidly hyped the kids for waterfalls and amazing water play, we instead were hiking dry creek beds and able to stand in places were the water is normally deep and flowing fast.  Here is our crew, standing at the top of a dry waterfall which normally would be slippery and non-traversable.

Mattessien State Park_2_Aug 2012

               Here is how it might look on a normal different day.

I do think it was much safer easier for us with less water because it was hard to keep the kids close.  They kept running off without much regard to Amy and I yelling at asking them to stay with us.  So we saw a lot of them from behind but at least we didn’t have to worry about them slipping and drowning falling.

      Mattessien State Park_kids on trail_Aug 2012  Mattessien State Park_6_Aug 2012

Kids on top of the bridge “waiting” for us.  Mattessien State Park_kids on bridge_Aug 2012

Overall, it was an amazing trip and I’m so glad that we went.  I like just getting out to let the kids run somewhat free and connect with nature.  I also think that when we return, we will have a greater appreciation for the beauty of the free flowing water which we greatly missed this time around.

This was my favorite photo of the trip.   I love the intricacy of the natural stone work combined with the start of the bridge.

Mattessien State Park_4_Aug 2012

Huge shout out to Amy C. for being brave enough to make the trip to us!

Where is your favorite place to hike?

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

Right Vs “Could Have Been Better” on Refocusing….

We all admit to having good days and bad days when it comes to food intake and workout plans.  Since I specifically called myself out yesterday and promised to refocus my efforts to “do better”, I figured it would be good to review yesterday and acknowledge what went well and what could have gone better.  This is all about accountability, right Lisa E?

Today the scale read 165 but it had to think about it.  I don’t have the tenths position on the scale so it wavered a little bit flipping between 166 and 165 but it finally settled on 165!  Whooooop, I’ll take it!  One step at a time, right?

Right Vs “Could Have Been Better”



4 mile run before work 2 shortbread cookies with Michael while packing his breakfast
ProBiotic from my Cleanse kit before work Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha after a chilly walk to work
Banana & Greek yogurt for breakfast Cheese curds (non-breaded) as a snack while “warming up” dinner
Baby Shortcut Carrots for AM snack Leftovers for dinner, which were from a restaurant, did not include any fresh “green”  ingredients
Salad with fresh veggies & 2 low fat cheese sticks for lunch Late dinner – 8:30pm since I worked late
Protein Drink for PM snack since I worked late No PM workout since I worked late
Tons of water throughout the day More time between dinner & bed
Herbal caplets from my Cleanse kit before bed  

I’ll never have a prefect day and that’s certainly not my goal but it would be better for the columns to be imbalanced, in favor of the good.  As a general rule, I focus on drinking my water,

water Eating fresh fruits and veggies,

Consuming lean proteins,


Focus on whole grains and avoiding processed (canned, packaged foods).  I do my best to use fresh ingredients, even for cooking.  I also change up recipes that call for “frozen” veggies and use fresh and I normally steam fresh veggies to serve as a side dish for dinner (thank you Ziploc Steamer Bags!) rather than using canned or frozen options.

I do need help in identifying more lean proteins.  I don’t eat a lot of meat, mostly just chicken and pork and I rely heavily on dairy to pull in the protein that I need.  Do you have any suggestions for good lean proteins?

Do you try to avoid the “inner” section of the grocery where the processed foods are located?  I know it is difficult to eliminate all of that stuff with kids and a husband in the house but I personally TRY to keep from eating the processed in favor of fresh.

Please share any tips you have for eating fresh and/or let us know of those non-traditional lean protein options which you incorporate into your diet.

** Happy HEALTHY Eating ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com


Summer is hard for everyone but this summer has been particularly rough on me since I’m not marathon training running my “normal” amount of miles.  The torn tendon injury was a blow to me both physically and mentally.  I kept moving and tried to have a good attitude but biking and swimming is not the same for the body or the mind.  As a result, I’ve noticed the scale creep up higher than ever before during non-pregnancy fitness stages.  I was 168 a couple weeks ago and am 166 this week.  Not cool.  I tend to normally float between 158 and 162.  I know you are might be thinking, “that’s not that bad” but it is that bad because it doesn’t want to go away!  As a maturing mother, those extra few pounds creep up and keep piling on and it is harder each and every year to fight it.  This is why I haul my ass self out of bed in the middle of the night early morning to run/workout before Michael wakes up the day gets started.  Today was a rough one.  I didn’t want to get up…..but at least I had my BAMR shirt waiting for me!  I’m totally loving this shirt and have worn it several times without even washing it.  It’s a prefect fit & feel (SportTek brand).

Me_BAMR shirt

So I  hauled it up and out for 4.22 miles this morning.  The pace was somewhere in the 9:20s range which is decent for “in the dark” running.  I’m happy.  Now to just refocus and knock out those few extra pounds.

I started Kelly’s DietBet Challenge at the beginning of August and to be honest, I thought that it would be piece of cake.  I’m an AdvoCare distributor and immediately ordered a 24 Day Challenge bundle and I was ready to get started. However, I apparently didn’t “submit” the order, a mistake I have never made since I began my distributorship circa 2006, and the bundle never came.  I have now received it after “reordering” last week so I’m a little late to the game, in addition to the fact that August is one of my worst months with lots of travel, celebrations and the start of school.  Super overwhelming but fun month, each and every year!

Instead of busting my butt in the fitness and clean eating areas, I have instead been spending time with friends & family, drinking and eating out.

Olympic Marathon Brunch with champagne and lots of yummy food  Kate, Maggie, Me, Amanda, Susan;  Bottom:  Sara, Kelly, & Nicole.

Boating and drinking hanging out on the water with friends:  Me, Hillary & Nicki.

me hillary nicki

Amusement Parks and drinking more beer travel:

Cedar Point_Mick & Aby_8-10-12


       Cedar Point_beer_8-10-12

Indiana Dunes, beach play, hiking & fun with the kiddos:

Dunes_view of Chicago_8-11-12

   Dunes_Aby & michael_8-11-12


 Dunes_stairs_8-11-12  Dunes_stairs down_8-11-12  Dunes_me & michael_8-11-12 Dunes_stairs down lake_8-11-12 Dunes_Succession Trail_8-11-12

So while I refuse to miss an opportunity to put my toes in the sand with the kids,

toes in the sand

I can probably cut a few alcohol related calories, refocus on drinking my water instead of Corona Light and clean up my at home eating.  While I do well eating at work where I take my fruits, veggies, lean proteins & drink lots of water, I fail miserably in the evenings.  There is no need to eat a cookie, just because I give one to Michael.  There is no need to eat 30 potato chips just because I give some to the kids.  There is no reason to drink a beer just because it’s fun everyone else is doing it.   I will do better.

I’m refocusing NOW!  How about you?  Summer is hard but now is the time to get back at it.  I heard on the radio yesterday that 20% of American’s in EVERY state are obese.  I certainly don’t believe in perfection but also know that we all  need to work at it in order to be healthy, productive, positive examples for our family and children.  Refocus now and tell me what you will be changing immediately in order to get back on the healthy eating train. 

** Eat Well ** Amanda – TooTallFritz.com ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Mission AthleteCare Giveaway Winners

Winner, Winner, Winner!   Did you win?  I let the random number generator choose 7 winners for the Mission AthleteCare goodies!

Mission Care Package

We started with the care package above, gave the EnduraCool Towel & an Anti-Chafe Stick away a couple of weeks ago and are still left with 7 items.

The Random Number Generator picked #23, #5, #49, #44, #47, #17 & #59.  I distributed the items according to your preferences in the comment section, in the order you were selected.  I hope all of you love the Mission products as much as me and my family!

#23 – Yo Momma Runs – Foot Rehab Cream

#5 – Lynn Starr – Sun Defeated SPF 30

#49 – GingerFoxxx – 5 Hour AntiChafe Stick

#44 – Frogger – Foot Rehab Cream

#47 – Amanda Wesson – Sun Defeated SPF 30

#17 – Melissa Chronicles – Kids Continuous Play SPF 70

#59 – Judy Fishbaugh – 5 Hour AntiChafe Stick

Please email me at amanda@tootallfritz.com with your mailing address and I will mail your goodies immediately!  Enjoy!

Don’t forget the 20% discount code expires on August 30th!  I know I’ll be using it to get more of that 5 Hour AntiChafe Stick, the Muscle Rehab (which I gave away with my Favorite Training Items Giveaway) and a lot more sunscreen.  Go to  Mission AthleteCare and enter the code:  TooTallFritz20

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com