Reset to Happy Mode …..

Pretty much everyone I know is currently suffering some sort of Winter Depression.  Even those of us who normally manage to escape the seasonal disorder are just crabby and depressed.  I personally feel as if every day is a roller coaster and  I just can’t get my emotions stabilized.  I REALLY need some Vitamin D.  I really need to run outside.  I really need to be able to shove my kids out the backdoor and lock it to play.  I really need my hubby to start some sort of project outside the house to lift his own spirits.  I really need it to warm up and then, maybe, things will get back to some sort of normal.  Hopefully, because I just feel irrational.  For example, last week I got some news that really made me excited.  I felt like it was a big deal.  Now I’ve seen several other people got the same news.  Now I’m just depressed and somehow feel like I had no reason to be excited.  And that’s just stupid.

comparison

I’m also struggling with my own reality.  My schedule is packed with daycare drop offs/pick ups, a nasty commute back and forth to the city for work, the J.O.B. itself and family LIFE.  Nothing has really changed.  Okay, maybe a few things have changed but I’ve never been one to have much free time so I’m not sure why it’s bothering me now.  No I can’t do group runs anymore.  No I can’t go to any of the four computrainer classes where I’m being constantly invited (and even offered free sessions!).  No I can’t go to lunch cuz I’ll be at work.  No I can’t take that spin class.  No I can’t make the free swim clinic.  No I can’t go to that fundraiser.  No.  No.  No.  I honestly don’t have time and I’m not just saying that.  And I’m currently feeling a little sorry for myself, not because I feel as if I’m missing out but because my schedule just can’t accommodate all of the things that I want.  And that’s just stupid.

life is a gift

I think everything is kinda coming to a head this week because I’ve said NO to a lot of people over the last 5 days.  Plus I have gained weight and can’t fit into a lot of my clothes and I’m freaking out!  Plus it’s March and I’m ready to run fast and I’m too heavy to do that.  Or at least I WANT to run fast and the roads are covered with ice and snow.  My tune-up race for the Shamrock is tomorrow morning.  A local 5K.   The forecast is calling for cold and MORE SNOW.  Yes, I’m freaking out.  I’m afraid that I won’t be able to run fast and that the last couple months of speed and tempo training will be for nothing.  And I’m also scared to try to run fast if the roads are covered with snow and ice.  I don’t want to slip and fall.  I don’t want to be injured.  Dr. Alexis has been working super hard trying to keep my body up and running and injury free and I don’t want to ruin it by slipping on a patch of ice.  Yep, I’m a nervous wreck over the weather.  And that’s just stupid.

bad-weather-motivational-poster

So I’m taking a BIG DEEP BREATH.  I’m pushing the reset button. 

reset

I’m letting everything go.  I’m going to start focusing on the positive.  Like the fact that I’m healthy.  That my crazy amazing kids are healthy.  That I have a job.  That I actually have a few friends who want me to do things with them even if I can’t.  That the sun will eventually come out and melt this snow and ice.  Yes, I’m going to start focusing on the positive.

one small positive thought in the morn

Right now.  Join me.  Let’s all think about something positive and happy, RIGHT NOW.  And starting tomorrow morning, every day before I get out of bed, I’m going to take a moment to reflect and be positive and focus on the happy BEFORE I glance at the temperature gauge.  I can do this.  You can do this.  We can do this!

** Changing The Way WE Think ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

The Little Things …..

Another holiday season is in full swing.  While most are probably thinking about food and shopping, I encourage you to think smaller.   Look around you.  I mean really look.  What can you see right this minute that makes you thankful? 

always something to be thankful for

Are you at home with your screaming wonderful children?    Have you taken a minute lately to be thankful for their health, their craziness, their energy, their absolute LOVE of you and everything about you?

Boston Run To Remember_me-michael-aby

Are you at work, stressed out and busy?  Have you taken a minute to be thankful for that craziness which keeps you employed and able to feed/house/cloth those amazing children?  Are you at home and stressed out about the messy house?  Ever wonder why the piles of laundry and dishes seem to never end?  Have you taken a minute to be thankful for your home?

desk-mine  messy dishes

Are you at the grocery picking up last minute supplies for Thanksgiving Dinner?  Maybe a little stressed about dinner and your crazy family?  Have you taken a minute to be thankful for that family which drives you nuts?  I mean, think about it, without them, where would you be?  Without all of the above …. where you would be? 

Some people will be alone for the holidays, not because they want to but because they don’t have other options.  So be thankful.  Be thankful for the little things which may not seem like anything special to you.  Know that someone, somewhere would LOVE to have all of those crazy things that stress you (and me!) out.  Someone, somewhere would love to step right into YOUR life and start LIVING it.  So look around.  Right now.  And GIVE THANKS …. For everything.

thankful people are happy

** Happy Thanksgiving ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Favorite Things …… 2013 Edition

Every year as the holidays approach, readers start asking for a list of my favorite things.  This year I haven’t found a ton of NEW run things that I love but I do have a few favorites. 

image

My favorite lifestyle tees this year are the Whooha Gear, Regret Nothing tee ($24) & the Tough Chik, I Run Because tee ($22), which is actually on my wish list!  Both of these are inexpensive items that deliver a message.  The bold, neon orange Regret Nothing tee is one of my absolute favorites that I wear constantly (and you can still use the INSPIRE discount code for 10% off).  However the “Run Because” tee holds a special spot in my heart.  Shannon from Tough Chik sent out a poll asking ladies for the reason as to why they run.  All of the quotes in the heart of that tee are from MY friends, YOUR friends, and random Tough Chiks everywhere.  We may not all run for the same reason but we will run united as Tough Chiks FOREVER!

Whooha_regret nothing    image

My favorite running items this year?  The Asics Emma Racerback ($34) & the Athleta Relay Capris.  My “Emma” is always dirty.  As soon as it comes upstairs from the wash, I pull it for a treadmill run.  The butter soft, lightweight fabric makes this baby the BEST shirt I own for a hot, sweaty workout.  They have three colors, I only own the Energy Print but would definitely buy more if I didn’t feel guilty cuz my workout wardrobe is larger than what most people own for “everyday wear”.  My go to “bottoms” are always the Athleta Relay Capri pants ($69).  You can say what you want about how costly the Athleta items are but these capris stand the test of time.  I only add one pair of capri’s to my “collection” every year and well, I’m still wearing the original black ones that I bought 4-5 years ago.  I’ve since added navy, cobalt blue, asphalt and the new sandstone inkblot ($74) to my closet.  They come in tall and standard sizes, fit perfectly, don’t move when I run and they also have a zip pocket in the back that is large enough for my iPhone.  I don’t own any other capri pants cuz these are perfect and stylish.  Total win!

Emma Racerback   veterans_me & Kasey   me_after 20 miles (march 2013)_blue lock laces 

Something that’s been on my wish list for a LONG time, is a pair of aviator sunglasses.  Why?  Cuz all the cool kids wear them and well, lots of fast runners in my area do too.  Somehow my brain now equates aviator sunglasses with cool people who run fast.  Yeah, let’s just go with it.  Since it’s no secret that it’s hard to find a pair of sunglasses to fit this oblong, skinny face, I thought I was out of luck …… until I saw that Smith Pivloc was making a “slim” version of their Serpico style.  Enter into my world the Smith Pivloc Serpico Slims ($90-$119).  According to Aby, it doesn’t matter what sunglasses I wear, I’ll never be cool, or fun and she is NOT amused.  Sorry, Aby.  Actually, no, I’m not sorry.  I will continue to embarrass you for THE.REST.OF.YOUR.LIFE.  Love you, babe!

Smith Optics_SerpicoSlim  me & Aby_nov 2013_serpico slim

Last but not least, I have to cover the feet.  My feet take me EVERYWHERE and for that reason, I don’t wear cheap shoes (or socks!).   When I’m not running, or hanging with the kiddos, then I’m probably downtown in the Windy City for the J.O.B.  It gets cold downtown fast.  And stays cold forever.  I need a boot that is comfortable, stylish and can take me thru the snow & ice then directly into the office.   My boot of choice for the 2013-2014 winter season is the Keen Bern Baby Bern Boot ($170).  Love these bad boys!  They are light and comfy, keep my feet warm but also don’t cause my feet/legs to overheat either, which is super important if your day ends up as long as most of mine.  I’ve already worn them several times this season and they are the best boots I’ve owned to date.  One day last week I put them on at 5am and wasn’t able to take them off til 7pm.  Long day but my feet felt great, no rubbing, no fatigue, just happy feet!

image   Keen_bern baby bern boots

You’re next, what are you loving this year?  Tell me, I’d love to try something new!

** These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Just a Hobby ….

I’ve had a lot of words thrown around at me lately.  One “friend” called me a jogger and that hurt.  Not sure why.  It just seems like the effort I put into my running is worth more than the term “jogger”.

we don't jog we run

I admit that on occasion I do jog but honestly, if I’m running far enough to slow down to a jog, then it’s probably no longer considered jogging.  Cuz really, who’s gonna go for a 15-20 mile “jog”.  Whatever.  Words.  Possibly an honest mistake.  Possibly an insult.  Possibly I’m overly sensitive.  Whatever.

Then I had “the” CrossFit battle with a couple people.  My CrossFitting as “strength training”, to get stronger, and supplement my running & biking was seen as insignificant.   Maybe to some but it doesn’t seem insignificant to me as I’m hauling my ass out of bed driving cross country to get to a 5am workout.  It’s important to me cuz it’s helping my body heal from the inside out.  Whatever.  Words.  Possibly an honest mistake.  Possibly an insult.  Possibly I’m overly sensitive.  Whatever.

keep-calm-and-crossfit-on-5

Then I think the final blow was yesterday when someone called my fitness a hobby.  Really?  A hobby?  Okay.  Let me think about this one logically.  I personally consider it a lifestyle where the overall focus is on positive thinking, eating well, drinking my water and having a strong body  & mind.  I regard my old stamp collection from middle school as a hobby, something that I let collect dust under my bed when I was no longer interested.  Fitness though, a hobby?  Something I work on 4 or 5 days a week?  Something that helps my mind focus on the positives in my life?  Something that helps me appreciate nature and my surroundings a little bit more each day?  Something that helps me put the stress of the life behind me, even if only for a little while?  Is that a hobby?  Maybe to some.  Maybe it’s something more to me.  Whatever.  Words.  Possibly an honest mistake.  Possibly an insult.  Possibly I’m overly sensitive.  Whatever.

As I get Older

This quote above from Kristin Armstrong kinda brought it all together for me today.  I’ve worked really hard the last 7-10 years to purge “the bad” from my life.   People.  Food. Alcohol.  Negative thinking.  I try to focus on the good.  I try to be positive.  I try to uplift those who need a helping hand.  I try to do things to make me stronger.  I try to be a good example for my children.

I’m just following the path set before me.  If that seems silly, or selfish, or crazy …. then I have no words of rebuttal.  No words.  Possibly an honest mistake.  Possibly an insult.  Possibly we’re all overly sensitive.  Whatever.

** It’s a Lifestyle, NOT a Hobby ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Livin’ The Life …..

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy”   Franklin Roosevelt

You probably won’t hear me say that I’m “livin’ the life” unless that statement is dripping with sarcasm.  While many I know are exactly where they want to be in life, or maybe even doing better than they had hoped, I am fully immersed in a very, very messy and chaotic life.   If it’s quiet in my house then the family is either sick or sleeping.  Otherwise we have total chaos, kids screaming & fighting, dogs running around, dishes falling out of the sink, laundry piled up and dog hair flying.  Is this where I expected to be at this point in my life?  I can’t even say.  I don’t think I had a “master plan” like some.  I know that I didn’t anticipate still being a resident of Illinois.  I know that I never looked at my future self and saw a “family picture” oozing with lovely, well behaved little ones.  To be honest, I’ve always felt like I was living on borrowed time so never thought much about life beyond the here and now.  And I still don’t.

While some sit around and boast about their professional accomplishments, brimming bank accounts and growing 401Ks, I just wonder how I’m going to get thru today.  I wonder who’s going to do the work piled on my desk if I get hit by a bus on the way home.  I wonder if traffic will be bad again as I try to get home in time to pick up Aby from practice.  I wonder if Michael is terrorizing the staff and students at daycare.  I wonder if I’ll be able to squeeze in my speed work before dinner.  I wonder what the hell we are having for dinner and dream that someone will cook it for me.  When to do laundry?  When will I grocery shop?  I hope the dog didn’t pee on the floor again today.  Gosh, it’s time to pay the bills, don’t forget! 

That’s what I think about.  Not retirement.  Not grandchildren.  Not my bank account or lack thereof.  Certainly not the fact that Aby will be driving a car in 4 short years.  I think about today.  The here and now.  I try to be thankful for what I have:  a family that usually loves me, a job, a house, a little ambition to be healthy and fit, a normal, messy and chaotic life.  I don’t have time to be looking to see what the neighbors are doing because that will be the exact instant the Michael is FINALLY able to climb all the way to the top of the fridge and jump.  The here and now.  That’s my life.  I don’t compare.  I don’t wonder why or why not.  I don’t think about what if or maybe.  I just focus on now.  Living in the moment.  Being grateful for the little things.  Making it happen if it’s possible.  Letting it slide if it’s not.  The here and the now.  That’s the life I live.  That’s the life I love.

Youre Exactly Where Your Supposed to be

So take a moment to think about the gifts in your life.  Acknowledge that you may not be in charge of the master plan so just sit back and enjoy the ride, even if it is a little bumpy along the way. 

** Live YOUR Life ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Winners!! RMHC Raffle!

Many thanks to everyone who was able to donate to the raffle for the Ronald McDonald House Charities!  I really appreciate it and please know that the families that utilize RMHC are so very thankful.  If by chance you are still interested in donating but didn’t have time or weren’t ready, the charity page will be open until a couple weeks after the Chicago Marathon so feel free to utilize it anytime between now and the end of October 2013. 

RMHC

Now the fun part!!  The numbers have been drawn and we have lots of winners.  The list is below, please email me (amanda@tootallfritz.com) with your address so that I can send your goodies!! 

  1. Amy Dykstra – Lock Laces
  2. Mag Mile RunnerBoston Strong Tee
  3. Run With JessAdvoCare Fueling and Rehydration pack
  4. Nicki T – Aspaeris Pivot Shorts, ibungee speed laces & Team Tough Chik Sponsor Pack
  5.  Erica Finds -  Team Tough Chik Sponsor Pack
  6. Anastasia Kwitt – Women Rock Chicago calendar & headband
  7. Susan D – Venus de Miles Entry & prize pack
  8. Frogger – Handana
  9. From Ice Cream to Marathon – Women Rock Chicago calendar & headband
  10. In Mid StridePro Compression marathon socks
  11. Amanda W – Get to GoalFlip Belt
  12. Running KellometersPunkeeLove Headbands
  13. Sara & David J – Boston Strong Tee  & Biofreeze prize pack
  14. Suzanne Westenhofer – GU prize pack & Tough Chik $25 gift card
  15. Bonita F – Mission Athlete Skincare prize pack, Adidias headbands, & ibungee speed laces
  16. Pam S – Bastille Day 5K/8K entry
  17. Lynn S – Team Tough Chik Sponsor Pack
  18. Marcia’s Healthy SliceRoad Runners Sports 2 Bottle Belt
  19. Walissa D – Team Tough Chik visor
  20. Michelle Pluhar – Cytosport prize pack

Congratulations everyone!!

Check back in tomorrow for a giveaway!!

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

Saint Joseph, MI …..

Sometimes life gets so busy that we stop having fun.  Stop enjoying the gifts that we have been given.  Stop appreciating life.  It’s times like those when I am tired, fed up and just exhausted, that I need to leave.  Take time out.  Go off and  have some fun, adult style.  Yep, that means I leave those kiddos at home.  They will survive one day or one weekend, or even a week without you me and we’ll all be happier when upon our return.

This weekend was one of those “mommy timeouts”.  I left the kiddos home and hubby and I just went.  We weren’t responsible.  We drank in excess.  We ate food that wasn’t healthy.   We, okay …. probably just me, were loud.  We just had fun and didn’t really care who knew it.  Carefree.  Careless.  Maybe even a little crazy.Mick&I

I’m not really sure the sleepy little beach town of Saint Joseph, MI was ready for us as we rolled into town on Sunday but really, it’s almost summer so we tried to break them in right!  Normally when we go to Saint Joseph, we spend most of our time on, or in, the water.  However, this time the weather was cool so our friends took us in their boat to town, tied it to the wall and we walked around for a bit.

boat_tied up

 On boat

Pretty town, nice riverfront area with walking/running paths, nice views of the water!     riverfront path       St Joe_view of water from town

Lots of shopping!!  Sometimes, little touristy towns like this price a family girl like myself out of the shopping.  However, I was super happy to find a couple cool things that I liked and which I could also afford.  First find, was this cute necklace for a boutique type store.  Price tag with tax:  $39  Second find was a local winery, White Pine Winery, which had a store front and offered wine tastings!   Cost per bottle with tax was about $26 for the Merlot.  Reasonable!!  Plus wine tastings are always fun!!

necklace  WhitePineWinery_sign  WhitePineWinery_me

If the beach is your thing, St Joseph has long stretches of beautiful beaches.  The most popular is Silver Beach which is accessible from town. 

St Joe_beach   Silver Beach

Saint Joseph, MI is a 1.5-2 hour drive from the Chicago area.  Close enough to pick up and go but far enough that it feels like vacation.  If you can’t leave the kids at home, no worries, there is plenty for them too from swimming, parks & fountains to the Chocolate Café by South Bend Chocolate Company to the Curious Kid’s Museum!  Check out the St Joe Today website for all the latest info on the upcoming events, festivals and activities.  And if you like wine, make sure to check out the White Pine Winery  and go like their Facebook page HERE for all the latest info on wine tastings and special blends. 

** Take Time Out and Enjoy Life ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Learn to Love the Rain …

I’ve always been one of those people who love the rain.  It started in high school when I was a high jumper and everyone just HATED the rain.  As a high jumper, if it’s raining, you are not only going to get wet but rather SOAKED because each time you hit the mat after a jump, the water sprays up on landing and then you sink into whatever is left.  Not ideal but kinda cool, right?  And then when I figured out how much other jumpers despised the rain, it made me giddy.  Their bad attitude fed my fire and I always excelled in the rain.  Good times, photo below from my freshman year, spring of 1989. 

me_high jumping_freshman_1989

Not much has changed since then other than the 13 lbs I gained and the fact that I couldn’t jump that high if someone paid me, I still giggle inappropriately when people are pissed off, and I still love the rain.  

Today, however, I look at the rain a little differently.  It’s calming.  Cool.  Refreshing.  Restorative.  I see the rain for what it is for the environment, washing away all the dust, dirt, grime and helping nature clean up our mess.  It’s the nourishment for the trees and flowers that are in full bloom.  We need the rain.

hibiscus_raindrops

On the weekends, a rainy day is a good excuse to stay inside, sleep in and restore the body and the soul.  It gives us a break to spend time with the family catching up, hanging out and just being together.  It slows the world down, if only for a bit, as everyone takes time to refresh and restore themselves, just as Mother Nature intended for the outside world.

Rain is a good thing.  If you haven’t taken a minute to go out and run in the rain, try it.  Everything is different.  Quiet.  Glistening.  Refreshed.  Restored. 

Take a hint from Mother Nature, follow her lead.  Just as our outside world needs to take a break from the chaos, so does our body and soul.  Don’t be afraid to just chill on a rainy day and soak up your surrounds.  Allow yourself to feel the calm.  Allow yourself to refresh.  Allow yourself to restore and replenish.  Allow yourself to repair.  We need the rain.

** Learn to Love the Rain ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Zooma Half Marathon Challenge

I’m currently in a bit of a rut.   Truth be told, it’s total chaos in my world.  I thought things would slow down once I  entered taper mode for the Lansing Marathon but apparently that was just the gateway to TOTAL & ABSOLUTE chaos. 

I had to slow down the running for taper mode, then I ran the marathon, then immediately got sick before I was even able to recover.  So while I was trying to facilitate marathon recovery and fight off the respiratory crud of the century, I was also attempting to manage Aby’s track the family schedule, plus working/commuting/traveling to track meets, attempting to keep the house from being condemned, all while tossing in just enough laundry to keep Michael from going to school “nakie”.  I’m on week 6 of not much running and way too much chaos.  Not sure how you mom’s do it who have a lot of kids in a lot of different activities.  I’m barely managing with a 3 year old maniac and an 11 year old “Sporty Spice”.

With all the chaos going on in my life, it’s certainly easy to sympathize with the struggles that women go thru on a daily basis training for a half marathon.  Maybe you’ve trained for a half before, maybe you haven’t.  Maybe you need some assistance to prepare for Zooma Chicago on August 10th, maybe you don’t.  Maybe you like free stuff, maybe you don’t.  If you need or even would like some assistance in preparing for this amazing race, then take a minute to check this out …… Zooma is offering a Half Marathon Challenge and there are currently only 8 ladies who have applied for the 5 spots. 

image

What is the Half Marathon Challenge all about?  It provides you with coaching, support, a 12 week training program, a FREE entry to the Zooma Half Marathon in Chicago, a training shirt, and free Muscle Milk Light for recovering. 

What does the Half Marathon Challenge require from you?  It requires that you are able/willing to train for the half in Chicago, that you are willing/able to talk with and be interviewed by both Zooma Chicago Ambassadors (ME, ME, ME!!!) & Zooma Nation staff, that you check-in weekly with your mentors and Zooma staff and that you attend 4 events between May and August.  Not too crazy, huh?

ONE lucky winner will get all of the Half Challenge perks above PLUS be selected as the Muscle Milk Light Athlete to receive additional free gear, hotel accommodations on race weekend at the luxurious host hotel, The Langham Chicago, plus get a free spa treatment on race weekend! 

image

Let me just add that I’ve already booked my room at The Langham Chicago and if you can get a room for free, let’s just say that you “might” want to jump on that because luxurious hotels in the CHI don’t come cheap

So we currently have 8 applicants for the 5 spots Zooma is looking to fill (4 Half Marathon Challengers, 1 Muscle Milk Light Athlete).  This is an amazing package and if I weren’t already an ambassador, I would apply myself but they won’t let me I can’t.  So I recommend you apply so you can win free entry to the race, free training and possibly even a free hotel package!

Don’t wait, the application deadline is May 10th & winners will be announced on the 15th (next Wednesday).

To apply, email HMChallenge@zoomarun.com with the following info:

Full Name, address, phone number, blog/website if applicable, and a paragraph detailing your current running status, your running history (including any PR’s, etc), your running history and why you think you should be selected for this program. Good luck, ladies!

If you don’t want to apply but still want to run, please feel free to register for the half or 10K HERE and use the 10% discount code:  CHIAMB6

This is going to be a great race with a great goodie bag and a great atmosphere for an entire weekend of fun.  The only thing that could possibly be better would be to get it all for free, so apply for the Half Challenge!!

** Good luck, all **  Amanda – TooTallFritz **

First Midwest Half Marathon – 2013

Yesterday, we ran the First Midwest Half Marathon.  Some ran hard to showcase their skills and hard work, others ran to be social, some ran just to prove to themselves that they could cover 13.1 miles.  Regardless of their motivation, I was happy to see lots of familiar smiling faces throughout the day. 

The Frankfort New Lenox Running Club – Photo Courtesy of Gail at Running For  KicksFNRC group

This race is an annual event for me so I always register in time for the early bird discount.   The last 2 years  they have given an extra shirt to the first 400 people who register.  Last year we received two of the same shirt.  This year we received two shirts, one in purple (standard issue) and one in white as our reward for early registration.  This race always does it right between SWAG that can be used, plus a $15 off coupon to the running store when you register, then another one that is in your SWAG bag.  Between the SWAG and the coupons, the entry free is usually a wash for me.  I think they give me more than I actually pay. 

SWAG – 2 shirts, Feetures no show socks, $15 off coupon at Running For  Kicks, 13.1 First Midwest Half Marathon sticker & key chain, plus a nylon backpack.

Swag

Lots of fun at the actual race!  I started easy and soon realized that between my breathing or lack there of and my heavy legs from being sick for 2 full weeks, that easy was still too fast.  So I slowed down and settled in by watching the other runners, looking for our F’N Cheerleaders and I just putting one foot in front of the other when I wasn’t roadside coughing up a lung and pissing myself heading for the turnaround.

palos half 2013_ me palos half 2013_ cheerleaders  Palos Half 2013_me waiving 

This race is always an out and back course along Route 83 in Palos Heights, IL.  It’s advertised as a fast & flat course but there are some slight inclines both up and down at different intervals in the race.  Nothing major.  For some, an out and back is not super exciting but it does allow you to see all the runners on course at one point or another.  I’m usually in my third or fourth mile as the winners fly past me on the opposite side heading for the finish.  Then I get to see my fast friends fly by, then my medium fast friends, then eventually when I hit the turnaround, I get to see the back of the packers.  It’s a good race to run, which allows you to both run and still support other local runners with cheers and words of encouragement.  My kind of race! 

This course has potties, med support, lots of police & volunteers, and probably 4 water stops each way.  One water stop did run out of cups toward the end but all aid stations had both water and blue Gatorade for everyone, even those at the back.

Speaking of those at the back, my plan changed a bit as I was running.  I normally run my race, then go back to help run in friends and F’N Runners who are still on course but I realized early into the race that I didn’t have the energy for that so I revised the plan.  I ran to the half way point, the turnaround, then stopped and waited for friends.  Pam came first, whizzing by and totally taking me off guard (blue/grey shirt below), then I was more “ready” and managed to see Lisa in time to run the turnaround loop with her (white shirt below).  Then I waited and ran it again with Nicki (running solo, far right photo) and settled in with her for the remainder of the race.  

Lisa Nicki Me Pam   Me Lisa   palos half 2013_ nicki 

This was Nicki’s first ever half and I wanted to be there with her at the end.  We had a fun time covering the last half together, me talking endlessly to try to keep her mind off her knee pain, and her just looking at me like I was crazy.  Pretty normal for us really.  Smile     

    palos half 2013_ nicki & I   me & nicki_mile 10  Me & Nicki

Thanks to all the F’N Cheer Squad members who stood out there all day, cheering in each and every runner & taking so many fun photos.  It gets lonely at the back, the road gets disserted.   They waited for everyone to go thru, giving high fives, encouragement and lots of F’N LOVE!

Cheerleaders_Christine & Jenny    image image

This is a great race.  Its reasonably priced.  The swag is good.  There are prize purses for the fasties.  The race always has a local charity component or two.  Runners are protected by tons of police & volunteers.  And best of all, there is lots of love and support for each and EVERY runner on course.  It may be small, rural & “just” an out and back race but this is where you will find the heart and soul of our running community on the first Sunday of May, each and every year. 

I’ll see you in Palos in 2014!!

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **