The Waiting Game …. Cuz I Can’t Fix This

The seasons are always changing.  Things are always happening.  We don’t have control over what happens but we do have control over our reaction.  

in charge

If you are like me, then maybe your reaction, isn’t always thought out.  It might be a bit harder to control the “reaction”.  I’m a fast thinker.  Fast talker.  I sometimes react before my thoughts have fully developed and that isn’t necessarily to my benefit.   I’m an Aries and the sign fits me well. 

Aries

Looking at those adjectives associated with the sign, a couple pop out at me.  Impatient.  Impulsive.  Blunt.  Detached.  I don’t like to wait.  I want to react now.  If something is broken, I want to fix it.  I want to fix things now.  Or yesterday if that’s an option.  It has to happen so let’s just do it.  Now.

ones who find happiness

Yet the older I get, the more I realize that so many things are out of my control.  Especially how others react to a situation.  As an Aries, to me, things are pretty cut and dry.  For others there is wiggle room.  Their reaction is subject to interpretation after I’ve already made my decision and have moved onto the next thing.  They move slower.  They think.  They speak cautiously as if the words they choose are a matter of life and death.  In fact, so slow and so cautiously that I want to pull their words out of their mouth or better yet, tell them what to say.  It’s almost painful for me to await their words and/or reactions.  Sounds dramatic?  It certainly feels that way.  And in so, it makes me …… Impatient.  Impulsive.  Blunt.  And sometimes …. Detached.

I’ve spoken previously about depression (Depression Hurts) and confidence (Strong Enough) issues.  It seems as if there is almost always someone very close to me who is struggling with mental demons of some sort.  I can’t say that I’m immune to those things but I frequently feel detached from them.  More as if I don’t have time for my own mental demons so it’s hard to understand how debilitating they can be for others.  I think God puts these people in my path to keep me humble and to slow me down.  To teach me things about savoring the moment.  To help me realize that some things can’t be fixed now, or yesterday.  To put my impatience on hold because this is something which I can’t control or fix.

I can't fix

I’m at one of these junctures now.  A place where I can’t fix what has gone wrong.  I can’t make someone happy.  I can’t take away their pain.  I can’t make them love themselves.  I can’t make them feel worthy.  Or strong.  Or beautiful.  Or smart.  Or amazing.  Or even normal.  And that sucks.  Miss Fix-It can’t fix this.  So I’ll wait.  And I’ll pull out a few of the better Aries characteristics.  I’ll be strong, optimistic ….. And loving. 

I know people go thru these things every day.  And it’s not fun.  If you’re the one struggling with mental demons that are leaving you feel worthless and alone, go get help.  Talk to someone.  You’re not alone.  If you are the friend, daughter, mother, wife or neighbor to the one struggling, just be there and try not to obsess over the fact that you can’t fix everything.  Don’t take it personally.  Dry those tears and be ready when they need you.  I’ll be waiting it out with you.  Smile

** The Waiting Game ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Adventures In Running ….

I’m am always thankful to be a runner.  Always.  Running has taken me places I would have never gone without it.  Running has introduced me to people I would have never otherwise met, both in person and virtually.   Running has made me realize that I can do things that I never thought possible.  Running is always an adventure, good, bad or indifferent. 

Today I ran a new area. Because I was afraid if I didn’t get my run in early, I wouldn’t get it in at all.  Yeah, it’s been a crazy week!  So I parked the car and ran right after I dropped Michael off at school.  I didn’t drive to familiar territory.  Didn’t want to waste anytime.  I just parked the car and ran.  Visor or no visor?  That was my only thought.  I grabbed the visor because it had been raining all night and more rain was predicted.  Now where am I?  Got my bearings and took off down a long sidewalk that Michael and I always talked about as we passed it every day.  The long sidewalk took me to a country road where I proceeded to run out of Small Town USA.  It was at that moment, less than a 1/2 mile from my car when I realized that I didn’t have my Personal Savers Pepper Spray.  I always take my Wrist Saver on new runs.  On most of my runs to be honest.  But I didn’t want to go back for it.

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When you run in the country, it’s inevitable there will be loose dogs.  It’s only a guess as to whether the loose dog will be friendly or not.  I’ve been bitten 3x by unfriendly dogs so I now assume if a dog is charging me and barking that it will be followed by a bite.  Beware, if your dog charges me, I will spray it with pepper spray.  Not because I want to hurt your dog but because I don’t want your dog to hurt me.  I love dogs.  Have 3 of my own.  But that doesn’t mean I’m stupid and want your dog to bite me.  So ……how long do you think it was before a loose dog saw me?  1.95 miles.  I was in a time crunch so I had planned to run 2 miles out from my car and flip to make the return trip.  Just enough mileage to shake out the tightness from my landscaping duties this week.  But alas I had a potentially crazy dog between me and my car.  UGH!  Said dog didn’t see me until I was almost past his house, then he had to run the long yard to the road to get to me.  By that time, I was far enough past that he didn’t give chase.  Thank goodness.  But he was laying in the yard, by the road, awaiting my return.  What a sweetie, right?  Yeah, probably not.  So I kept running forward to WhoKnowsWhere.  Scenery wasn’t too bad.

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I was immediately thankful that not only am I a runner but a MARATHON runner.  It doesn’t matter that I’m on a road to nowhere, I’ll eventually get back to my car.  I quickly calculated that I was a half marathon or so from my house.  I wasn’t really sure how to get home but I knew the general direction, like as a crow would fly.  Smile  I also knew that my car was just to the right of that creek (pictured above), no more than a mile away across that field.  Worse case scenario I could cross that wet, muddy field.  But let’s just bag that idea for now.  I’m not lost.  I just don’t know exactly where I am at the moment.  I’ll just keep running down this road and see where it takes me.  And that’s when the rain began.   I immediately gave thanks for my visor!  Running in the rain.  Refreshing.  I think.  If I knew how to get back to my car it would be a bit more refreshing.  But alas, I’m a marathon runner.  I’ll get back there eventually.

Fortunately, most country roads are set up in a grid like pattern.  Usually with each segment between intersections being a mile (or so) in length.  I tried to focus on the grid and hope that these roads followed the general rules of country road infrastructure.  I was assuming I could run a rectangle and be back to the car.  That’s why I wasn’t panicked and didn’t feel the need to tromp across that wet, muddy field.  I just didn’t know any of these roads and the north end of “the grid” was the key.  The road eventually curved away from the direction I needed to go but without a cross street/road I just followed along.  It eventually popped me out on a busy road that connects our town and the one where Michael goes to school.  It wasn’t a road that I would normally run (or bike), due to the heavy traffic volume, but at least I knew my location and the direction of my car.  I managed a mile down the busy street.  In the pouring rain.  Trying to look smooth and as if I were enjoying myself.  Ignoring all thoughts of what people must think of this crazy lady (me!) running along a busy road in the rain.  Turned back into town at the first opportunity, the rain eased, and I found my long sidewalk that was the start of this running adventure. 

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All runs are an adventure.  Some are just more interesting than others.  Keep running and keep making memories.  As I see it, I’m just banking stories for the grandkids! 

** Adventures In Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Fox Island …. Ft Wayne, IN

IFox Island Nature Perserve

7324 Yohne Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46809

As you  know, I like to explore new trails.  I particularly like ones where I can take the kids and a dog (or two) and get everyone out of the house just stroll along in the fresh air.  Fox Island County Park is one such place.  See excerpt from the Allen County Parks Department webpage below:

Fox Island is a 605 acre park located in southwest Allen County. Within this park, 270 acres are dedicated as State Nature Preserve, which protects areas having unique plants, animals or geographic features. Hundreds of species of animals and plants live at Fox Island because of the relatively natural condition of most of the area, with its habitats of marsh, seasonal ponds, wooded sand dunes, wetland forest, old fields and restored prairie. The park contains the largest contiguous forest in the county and a glacial sand dune

When I moved to Indiana, just north of Fort Wayne, many people suggested I visit Fox Island for running.  After reviewing the maps and website, I was thinking it would be a better place for a family excursion verses a running adventure for myself.  There are 7 miles of short trails winding thru the forest but they are flat and perfect for a family hike.

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The trails never venture too far from a road or intersection.  There are markers throughout the park identifying trails, trees, plants, flowers and even a bit of history.  Some trails are dirt, others grass.

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Wildlife is buzzing on and off the trail.  Perfect destination for the family and most trails are groomed well enough for a 3 wheeled jogging type stroller. 

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And there are bridges.  And a beach on Bowman Lake for playing and swimming (stock photo).  Plus fishing areas.

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Fox Island has a beautiful Nature Center with a classroom, which is available for rental.  We went on a Friday night and if I remember correctly, there was a scrapbooking event in the Nature Center.  I neglected to get a photo of this area because Michael was super excited and starting running toward the docks behind the Nature Center which have a great view of the pond, wildlife and the surrounding trails.  Even if you have a member in your group who isn’t able to walk the trails, you can always drive them to the Nature Center and have a look around in that area without doing much walking.  Very nice. Scenic.  Handicap accessible.  And peaceful unless you have a 5 year old screaming and yelling with excitement

There is an entry fee for Fox Island.  When we were there, nobody was at the gatehouse taking admission but we stopped and dropped our $2 per person fee into the drop box.  I did notice that most were just driving in without paying and while it’s easy to do that, I always try to support these types of forest preserves because I know that funding is hard to come by and I enjoy being able to explore new areas.  Without funds, places like Fox Island will close and be lost to the public.  If you drove in and forgot to leave your entry fee, you can join or make a donation to the Fox Island AllianceWinking smile

See you on the trail!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

Pittsburgh Marathon Review – #RunnerOfSteel

I’m not really sure how I became this “crazy” marathon runner who’s current goal is to run a marathon in each of the 50 states.  If someone had told me 2 years ago that I would be running more than one or two marathons a year, I wouldn’t have believed them.  In fact, I would have thought them to be the “crazy” one.  Somehow, something changed. Maybe it was the fact that I would train so hard for ONE marathon a year and then never get the desired result due to injury, training fatigue, life, stress or weather.  Maybe I woke up one day and decided there were so many great marathons and too little time to run them.  Maybe my kids were driving me crazy and I decided to run more and drink less to blow off steam.  Maybe and most probably, I decided that if I ran more marathons, I could run fewer of those unsupported, boring, long runs.  Yeah, that’s probably it. 

Regardless, I’m on a journey that is taking me places.  Some of those places weren’t exactly on my “must visit” list.  And that makes things interesting in a fun and adventurous way.  On that note, we picked the Pittsburgh Marathon the way that we pick most of our races.   Julie said, “Hey, I’d really like to run a marathon at the end of April or beginning of May.”  I said, “If you wait til the beginning of May, I’ll go with you”.  Then we looked at the marathon calendar and tossed out a couple options.  I saw that Pittsburg was on May 3rd, pulled up google maps and discovered that it’s only 4.5 hours from my new home.  We registered a month in advance because Pittsburgh is in PA and that’s a new state for us.  Done.  Pittsburgh, HERE WE COME!!

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Pittsburgh, we came to find out is the City of Bridges.  I love bridges.  There are varying reports as to the exact number but according to Popular Pittsburgh, there are almost 2,000 bridges in the area!  More bridges than Venice, Italy!  What?  Really?  Check out this article HERE to see some of those amazing bridges and the history behind them. 

Race weekend.  We enter the city and it’s a pleasant surprise.  Nice city.  Lots to see & do.  Great expo.  Bridges, bridges & more bridges.  And hills.  Hello hills!  Smile  Course map below.

PGH Course map

Elevation chart, showing elevation climbs up to 985 ft.  That’s a lot for us Midwestern flatlanders! 

PGH Course map

Regardless, we kinda laughed about the hills cuz what could we do?  Nothing.  No need to ruin the experience by stressing about the course.  We’ll run Pittsburgh the way we run every race, mile by mile with one goal in mind, the finish.

First some sightseeing:  The Strip District for shopping and walking around.   Market Square which we found a little too late, lots of bars, restaurants & shopping.  Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers & Steeler PRIDE everywhere.  University of Pittsburgh.  Carnegie Music Hall & Museum (pic 1 & 2).  The University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning (pic 3).  The Heinz Memorial Chapel (pic 4).

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Race day came and we were excited and ready to run!  Temps were warm and the sun was shining.  There were 4 corrals.  Staggered start with 5 minutes between corrals.  Start was crowded and we spent the first several miles running on the sidewalks to get around the walkers.

Julie & I_start       start

Then came the bridges and hills.  16th Street Bridge.  9th Street Bridge.  7th Street Bridge.  West End Bridge.  Birmingham Bridge – which isn’t yellow by the way!  It’s green.  Why isn’t the Birmingham Bridge yellow like all the rest? 

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The most difficult hill to climb was at mile 12.  I stopped running the climb about 1/2 way up.  Good decision on my part.  It was too much for my body so I took my time and ate a few of my Sour Patch Kids and watched everyone else struggle up the hill.  Smile  Best downhill was at mile 24.  One LONG downhill that I was thrilled to see, then it flattened out for the last 2 miles to the finish.

Great spectator support by all 13 communities!  I loved the music and bands.  The kids and volunteers.  So many great homeowners put out sprinklers and dug out water guns for the kiddos, fed us oranges, licorice, candy, pretzels, offered beer and handed out water in little dixie cups .  Many thanks to the firefighters who opened the fire hydrants for us!  Temps climbed to 78 degrees and it was full sun, all day long.  I was beyond thankful for the plethora of water stations, ice stations, cold rags, multiple fueling stations that offered either Carb Boom Energy Gel or Pure Protein bars.  This was a great race.  Not easy but a big city race, done right. 

There was never a dull moment.   Pittsburgh, you rocked this marathon and I thank you! 

Numbers: 

  • 14,635 Half Marathon finishers
  • 4,317 Marathon finishers
  • 2,316 5K finishers
  • 1,124 Relay Teams

Nice Shirt & Finishers Medal:

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Great race.  If you’ve been thinking about trying Pittsburgh, I’d highly recommend it.  Expect a big city race with great crowd support and plenty to see while you are pounding out the miles.  Try to take your time and enjoy the city and what it has to offer.  Lots of amazing buildings and homes with beautiful, old architecture.  Go run Pittsburgh!

** Enjoy the Race, No Matter the Terrain ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

A Matter of Healing Thru Rest, Strength Training & Healthy Eating ….

I’m in a lull between The Go! St. Louis Marathon and the Pittsburgh Marathon.  Three weeks between the two races.  The timing was a strategic calculation to allow my body to heal up a bit from St Louis.  It was a good call. But with this being Boston Marathon week, I’m just restless.  I want to run.  I want to run fast. But alas my chiro body says, NO! 

So I’ll just keep thinking about running fast and well, doing what I’ve been doing …. taking care of myself, eating well, stretching, strength training and running easy. 

Run Easy

But I can certainly think about running fast, right?  I’ve reset my Run Less Run Faster app and am ready to go with some targeted workouts once I get the green light.  I certainly don’t want to backslide and aggravate the Plantar Fasciitis DEVIL who is currently napping.  He certainly hasn’t left but I’m feeling better each and every day thanks to a lot of torture over the last 4 months from my new Chiro

So far, this year has consisted of rest, a lot of strength training and a little running.  There have been a lot of kettlebell swings, hand release push-ups, squats, lunges, weighted sit-ups, knees to chest, ab baskets, side to sides and short bursts of strength workouts both in and out of the gym.   All by myself.  I’m really missing my 5am CF crew in IL!   I also miss being able to swing a kettlebell and not have to worry about some unsuspecting gym patron rounding the corner right into my kettlebell improvised CF area.  I miss having certain equipment, like rings for ring rows, a box for box jumps, a wall ball, and a weighted ball for ball slams.  Yes, I actually miss those torturous things and so much more!  But I’ve improvised and been good about doing a minimum of 2 strength workouts each week.  Even if that means I have to skip a run to squeeze it into my day.  I know that a strong body is essential not only to a healthy life but also injury free running.  So strength training is a priority.  In and out of the gym.

CF at Home

I’ve also made a few changes on the food front.  I’ve always been decent about my food choices but things took a turn south last year.  While I normally favor fruits & veggies, my love of carbs took over and I was eating WAY too many cheese quesadillas & flavored Triscuits!    I tried to balance out my carb intake with exercise.  You know that never works but a carb lover can hope, right?  Then I tried to decrease my carbs and up my protein.  That helped temporarily but I quickly tired of protein powders/shakes/smoothies.  And my body didn’t love all that protein either.  Plus I was still craving those junky carbs!   Then one of the books I was listening to last month (Born to Run by Chris McDougall) mentioned a change he had made that helped him control appetite and lose weight.  Salads for breakfast.  What?  Yep, salads for breakfast.  I figured it was worth a try.  I bought some fresh produce, developed an obsession for kale, and started making a humongous salad every morning after I returned from the gym.  I filled my salads with nutritious items, healthy fats, plant proteins and tons of veggies.  Not a wimpy, “diet” salad but real food that would fill me up!  Every day.  Today’s salad below.  Kale, red onion, avocado, yellow pepper, northern beans, tomato, chia seeds, olive oil, balsamic vinegar & sea salt.

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I eat as much of my hearty salad as I want for breakfast and then put the rest in the fridge for lunch.  Guess what.  I’m on week 3 of salads for breakfast.  And I feel good.  Like really good.  I can’t tell you if I’ve lost weight cuz I “Threw Out the Scales” before I started my salad for breakfast regimen.  But I feel good.  And my tummy is happy.  And I’m full.  I’ve replaced most of the cheese quesadillas with healthy carbs like baked sweet potatoes.  Or in a pinch, I eat the Brown Rice Sweet Potato Triscuits.  Smile  Cuz my love of Triscuits goes beyond the scales!  But overall I’m pretty happy right now and feeling way better than I have in about a year.  So I’ll be buying ALL THE PRODUCE and eating lots of greens with a variety of veggies going forward.  I’m not a vegetarian but I’m certainly going to do some more research about food and specifically plant proteins.  And most importantly, I’m going to enjoy feeling good. 

Food You Eat_Ann Wigmore

The point of this post isn’t to start a movement where everyone should eat salads for breakfast but rather to suggest that if you’ve been doing what your doing for a long time and it’s not working  ……. maybe it’s time to try something new.   Be open to change.  If you are tired and run down, what type of food are you using for fuel?  Exercise will always help us feel and look better but the FOOD that goes into our mouth is the main source of our energy and health.   I’m trying to make sure that I’m eating what my body NEEDS rather than what it immediately wants.    As a result, I want less and less of the foods that are “not so good for me”.  I’m still not perfect.  Never will be perfect.  I mean, we have a standing order with the pizza guy for Monday nights but now we get a salad with that pizza too.  Winking smile

If you are struggling, don’t give up.  Cuz that will put you further back than where you are now.  Keep fighting the fight.  Change things up.  Don’t’ forget to Hide the Veggies from the family and yourself in some of your favorite meals.  And please, try to find a way to fall in love with good, clean foods.

eat like crap

** Eat Your Veggies ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Go! St Louis Marathon Review …..

The Go! St. Louis Marathon was my first marathon of 2015.  I had previously skipped the Mississippi Blues & First Light (Mobile, AL) marathons in January, plus a February marathon in Texas, all due to a nasty case of Plantar Fasciitis.  So I was looking forward to St Louis and the new course which guaranteed a “flatter, faster” course. 

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I signed up for this event last year on an early bird special.  Before Ferguson.  Before family friends began telling us about the gang issue(s) in St Louis.  Before my PF took control of my life running.  As the event neared, I ended a running hiatus and started the “Oh Shit” marathon training plan.  You probably haven’t heard of that one but it’s the plan that an experienced runner “may” use when they have been forced to take time off and a marathon “sneaks up” on them.  About the time I started this “plan”, other Go! St Louis marathoners were probably getting ready to taper.   The Plan in its 4 week entirety:

  • Week 1 – March 1   – 10 miles
  • Week 2 – March 8   – 12 miles
  • Week 3 – March 15 – 15 miles
  • Week 4 – March 22 – 20 miles

Yep, that was it, then I “tapered”, i.e. ran normal mileage until the April 12th event.  This is obviously a “do as I say, not as I do” moment.  That’s not a real training plan.  Don’t try it unless you want to cry struggle thru your marathon.  I knew that this wasn’t going to be an easy race for me, I was just planning to finish it and knock another state off my list.  And that I did.  Success.

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Expo – Good location in the Chaifetz Arena which was about 1-2 miles away from most of the host hotels.  Easy to get too.  Lots of metered street parking.  A $5 pay lot.  Small, crowded expo but lots of friendly people & volunteers.

Race Day – Brought us cool temps (55 degrees) and overcast skies.  Yes!  Great start location on Market Street down by the Opera House.  Plenty of space and well marked corrals.  The view wasn’t too bad either.  Smile

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Race started on time and weaved thru downtown St Louis before taking us over the first bridge, where we crossed the Mississippi River into East St. Louis, IL.   Short jaunt on the IL side of the river, then back over a different bridge to head back to MO. 

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The second bridge bounced.  Maybe a suspension type bridge of some sort?  Regardless, it was a very odd feeling and some people even shrieked from surprise.  However, as soon as we were over the bridge we were headed down by the St Louis River Front via Laclede’s Landing.  Ah, The Landing.  The place that I heard so much about before our trip.  We even had one friend warn us to just avoid it “at all costs”.  But on foot, in a marathon, it’s all good.  And it was a beautiful area.  Flowering trees, lots of parking and restaurants/bars galore.  Local rumor is that the gangs have taken over this area and I’m pretty sure that’s a true statement.  There were zero spectators in the area.  And there were several  “young men” walking around various streets dressed exactly the same, even though they weren’t visibly together.  So I’m glad I got to see The Landing in a safe environment and I hope that St Louis is able to reclaim The Landing for the residents and tourists because its worth the fight.

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The first half of the race was great and most of the participants called it a day with the half marathon.  Go! St Louis boasted a net downhill for the first half and it was a nice course with lots of historic sites.  I was particularly impressed with the Budweiser campus.  Neat, and clean.  They even had a Clydesdale out for pics!

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Although that first half had a net downhill, there was a continuous grade, either up or down.  I tried to stay relaxed and slow that first half because I knew the lack of mileage hills would eventually take a toll on my body.  And I was right.  A little “niggle” in my right knee because a major pain in my right hip.  Regardless, I kept powering on, past the half, up the inclines on Market Street, up and down ramps and mini bridges, around the endless turnarounds in the middle of roads, thru Forest Park, past the Forest Park mansions (that were spectacular), and eventually back to the finish.  It wasn’t pretty.  But I made it.  I didn’t hate it.  And my foot held up well.  So I’m happy.

Missouri – DONE!  It was a great race.  Well done.  Nice town that’s working on improvement & restoring old buildings and neighborhoods.  Yes, there are hills.  And bridges.  And ramps.  And lots of pinpoint turns around orange cones in the middle of random roads.  But overall, it’s a good race and one where you’ll see the peeps ahead and behind you so definitely a good one if you have friends who are also running!

** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Charleston, SC ….. I Ran That Town

Hubby and I don’t travel much together.  On the rare occasion when we do travel together, we do so quickly so as not to put to much burden on Grandma TooTall as she is always the one who helps with the kids & dogs in our absence.  Thanks, Mom!  As a result, it’s been years, probably 2 or 3, since we’ve taken a long weekend alone together.

Our long weekend destination this time was Charleston, SC.  Beautiful 13 hour drive (from Ft Wayne, IN).  Historic town.  Lovely people.  Fitness oriented community.  Clean.  Vagrant free.  Best road trip ever. 

I was also able to safely run both days we were in town so I was happy.  On Day 1, I  ran 8 miles.  4 miles out, then back.  This route ran over the Ashley River Bridge, along the Chesterton Bay Marina, and down Battery Row past the amazing historic mansions, toward the fountain & waterfront park. It was “slightly” dark on my way out.

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The sun was coming up on my way back to the hotel.  I grabbed a few more photos, including one of this mansion on Battery Row that caught my eye.

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Interestingly enough, that beautiful pink mansion is for sale.  And it can be yours.  For upwards of seven million or so $$.  If you buy this home, please let me come visit.  I didn’t bother calling for a showing.  Cuz we were short on time and $7,000,000.

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After retuning from my Day 1 run, I proceeded to take hubby on a driving tour of what I saw while running.  Then we spent the remainder of the day walking & touring Charleston.  We walked 10.5 miles and saw so many historic sites, parks, brick & cobblestone roads and just drank in all the beer beauty of this small town.  We even made a quick trip to Folly Beach to see the Atlantic Ocean.

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Folly Beach

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During Day 1, we saw lots of banners for the Cooper River Bridge Run.  We saw a constant stream of signs, coasters & pint glasses all advertising the run.  Plus the bridge was visible throughout the city and from the riverboats. 

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Knowing how races promote, I knew that the Bridge Run was either coming up or had just passed.  It was over.  March 28, 2015 was the day of the 38th Bridge Run.  We didn’t roll into town until April 1st at 9pm.  But I wasn’t leaving town without running that bridge.  The Cooper River Bridge Run has become iconic with runners in the US.  It’s currently the 3rd largest 10K in the US.  It starts in Mount Pleasant, runs across the bridge, up King Street & then finishes in downtown Charleston on Meeting Street in the heart of the historic district. 

Day 2 – THE bridge run!  2.5 miles each way.  Not so easy for this flatlander going up but going down was SWEET!  WhoooHoooo!

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You know there is a lot of foot traffic on a bridge when there are directional signs.  Yep.  Lots of foot & bike traffic.  

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The view was beautiful on my first trip over.  The sun was just starting to come up and it was bright enough for me to see and take photos.   However, I wasn’t prepared for how spectacular the view would be on my return trip.  The sun was moving higher in the sky and the visual result was amazing.  This was definitely a moment when I paused to give thanks for my ability and desire to run. This was one of those “priceless” moments.  I’m thankful to be a runner.  I’m thankful to be healthy enough to run “most” days.  I’m thankful that my will and desire to run actually gets me out of bed when I’d sometimes rather sleep a bit longer.

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After the bridge run, I took hubby on a drive to Mt Pleasant so he could experience the bridge too.  Then we spent the rest of the day in Charleston walking another 12.5 miles while sightseeing & touring.  Yeah, my legs & feet were almost tired after 2 days of fun. 

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Lots of old churches. Tons of old graveyards.  So much history between the various wars in the region, the Navel Station, the Charleston Port which is still one of the largest exporters in the US and the pirates drawn to the area thru the waterways.  I’m not going to tell you everything about Charleston but you might want to check it out for yourself.  Nice area.  Rich history.  Worth the trip. 

** Go Run Charleston ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Throwing The Scales OUT!

As women, we are so often defined by a number.  Weight.  Height.  Number of children.  Miles ran.  Hours in the gym.  Reps.  Life.  Work.  Money.

Enough already.  We are more than a number!

Defined by The Numbers

Last week I had a bit of a breakdown.  I had ordered something from one of my favorite retailers.  It was a special order thing.  We order in October.  It arrives after the new year.  I ordered the same size as last year, even tough I’m not the same size physically as last year.  Well, it arrived and it didn’t fit.  Cut was different.  Sizing was different.  Length was different.  I returned it for a size larger.  New larger size arrived last week and well, it still doesn’t fit.  Too small.  Too short.  Maybe if it were long enough it would work, but not now.

Same story with my entire closet.  I’ve packed on the pounds.  Over 20 to be exact.  Yes, I’ve said it before.  Yes, it’s still true.  Some of it attributed to the move, and the miles, and the length of time it took.  Some probably attributed to my new age group.  Regardless, I’ve been busting my butt and the scales isn’t moving.  And it’s emotionally draining. 

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On average, I’ve been running 35 miles a week.  Strength & CrossFit workouts 2x a week.  Plus a cycling workout or two.  I’m out of time and energy.  Plus the Plantar Fasciitis in my left foot still isn’t great so as I increase mileage, my foot gets worse. 

What to do?  I’m getting rid of the scales and just focusing on being fit, healthy and happy, at whatever size that may be right now.  I’ve put in time and energy and used lots of supplements to spur weight loss and well, very little helps.  No, I’m not perfect with my food but I’m pretty good.  Lots of fruits, veggies, lean proteins.  My downfalls:  busy schedules which leads to pizza or carryout at least 1x a week & my love of Corona Lt (realistically 1-4 per week).  

I personally can’t let the number on the scale determine how I feel about myself.  I’m strong.  I’m healthy.  I might be what some call a “fit fat” but it is what it is and I refuse to apologize.  Good bye, Scales!  Good riddance!  You’ve never helped me feel good about myself.  I’ve been a slave to you for longer than I will admit.  No more.  I’ve purged the majority of negativity from my life and for some stupid reason I let you stay.  No more.

I will run.  And bike.  And swim.  And lift.  And Circuit Train.  And CrossFit.  And probably buy new clothes for summer.  Cuz living with a wardrobe the doesn’t fit makes me feel bad.   Every.Single.Day.

I encourage you to start living your life and stop defining yourself by the numbers.  I know you do it.  Admit it.  Now stop.  With each new era and change in life, our bodies adapt in different ways.  While my girlfriend may not be able to gain a pound no matter how many Twinkies she eats even if she tries.  I personally can gain without much effort.  Apparently that’s my era.  I will embrace it and keep doing what I’m doing WITHOUT stepping on the scales and feeling bad about MY number.   Let’s all focus on being fit and healthy, regardless of how our clothes are “fitting” this amazing body that God gave us.  No more shame.  No more apologies. 

What You Body Can Do_winetoweightlifting

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** Go forth and be happy, free of the numbers ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

2015 Sunburst Races WINNER & Discount Code!!

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We now have a winner for a FREE entry into one of the 2015 Sunburst Races!   The free entry is good for the half or full marathon.  I am running the full so I’m hoping you pick that too!!

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The winner was selected via a random number generator.  Entry #1 was the first person who commented and entries were counted on a first come first served basis.  Just that easy!  So who won?!?

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#40 – You’re the winner!  Lisa!  And I know a lot of Lisa’s so please contact me if you are the winner.  Here is the comment and I will match it up with the recorded email address so don’t cheat, even if you are a really great friend of mine, cuz I won’t let you claim someone else’s free entry! 

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Lisa – Please email me at amanda@tootallfritz.com to claim your free entry to the Sunburst Races!

As for the rest of you, I hope to see you in South Bend on June 6th!  Go HERE to register now before you lose your nerve so that you have something solid to focus on since the snow may finally be melting.  Use Discount Code:  Sunburst2015 for $5 off at checkout!  That code works for every event.  Now go register and let me know to look for you on race day!

** Run South Bend ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Winter Blues ….

There is only one heartbeat in this house who still has any love for the cold, snow and winter in general.  And she has 4 legs. 

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I need to channel Miss Meadow’s love of the outdoors, embrace the cold knowing that it has to leave eventually and go outside and run.  I promised myself that I’d run outside this weekend and I’m already trying to figure out how to avoid it.  Normally, I’m all about the winter running.  NOT.THIS.YEAR.  I’ve turned into a total wimp.  A very soft & squishy wimp who hasn’t been running much at all.  I should be ashamed but the bottom line is that my foot needed a break anyhow.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Smile

But I’m going OUTSIDE to run this weekend.  I promise.  I need to get out of the house.  I need to run.  I need to get reacquainted with the winter weather because it feels like it will never leave.  So who’s going with me?

If You Wait For Perfect Conditions

Beware, if you live within a 50 mile radius of Auburn, IN then I may beg hit you up to go running with me.

As a reminder to myself, I’m going back and read a couple of my previous post about running in the winter.  It’s like research as I try to gain courage to suit up to go outdoors.  Here are a few links if you feel like YOU might also need some courage to get out the door.

Okay, I think I’m ready.  I’m going to try to run outside BOTH days this weekend.  Yep, Saturday & Sunday.  That’s the plan.  I’ll layer up and make it happen! 

If you need MORE motivation, sign up for a race.  I currently have a giveaway going for the Sunburst Races Marathon & Half HERE.  I still have a 30% off discount code for the Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes, code is:  MARION201515.  AND I have a 10% off discount code for any Spartan Race in the country, code is:  SPARTANBLOGGER. 

** I’m Going to Kick the Winter Blues ** Amanda – TooTallFritz