WINNER of the SOL REPUBLIC Punk Wireless Speaker …..

Lots of excitement about the SOL REPUBLIC Punk Wireless Speaker!  Glad everyone thinks this thing is as cool as me and my family! 

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The Punk Wireless Speaker retails for $69.99 at Best Buy HERE and SOL REPUBLIC HERE.  However, one lucky reader will receive it for FREE.  The random number generator selected #8.

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#8 is Melissa Madorma!

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Melissa, please email me your address so that you can get ahold of this Punk Wireless Speaker ASAP!  Congrats!

If you, like me, can’t get enough SOL REPUBLIC, follow them on social media for the most up to date news on their amazing products. 

I hope your holidays are amazing, filled with love, joy and lots of music!

Amanda  – TooTallFritz

Hipster Hands Free Leash Giveaway Winner!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who commented and entered the giveaway for the Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster Leash!  Please note that this giveaway was sponsored by Dog Fence DIY!  Huge shout out of THANKS to them!

I absolutely love the fact that so many people are active AND totally in love with their pooch.  Of course, active dog lovers are going to be active WITH their dog and that’s a great thing for everyone involved!   I’ve had amazing years running with my girl, Libby, and look forward to creating a similar bond soon with a new friend so my old girl can officially retire

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Without further ado, let’s pick a winner!!  The Random Number generator selected #6!!

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Who’s #6?  David Mauger, AKA “Frogger”.  Congrats, Frogger!!  Get your new pooch out and running with this Hipster Hands Free system!!  But beware of those squirrels so that powerful girl doesn’t pull you off your feet!! 

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As for the rest of us, we can buy the Hands Free Hipster Leash by clicking HERE!  The Hipster is normally $34.95 but I see it’s currently on special for $29.95 with additional discounts for multiple leash purchases.  Great deal!

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Enjoy all those walks, hikes & runs with your pooch!  Time with them is so precious!

** Run Hands Free ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Hipster Hands Free Dog Leash Review & Giveaway

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As most of you know, I’m  a HUGE dog lover.  One of my favorite activities with my dogs is hiking and running.   However, I’m also a freak about having my hands free while “on the run” for a variety of safety reasons.  For the last 10+ years, I used the same hands free leash system.  It wore out and didn’t make the move to Indiana.  I’ve recently discovered that it’s no longer available unless I feel like shopping in the UK.  You may have seen it previously posted in my “how to” segment on Running With Your Dog.  Needless to say, I don’t do a lot of shopping in the UK so I need something new and readily available.  Enter the Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster Leash

Full Leash  water bottle holder

Much to Libby’s dismay, we took the Hipster out for a test run.  She really isn’t into running much anymore and prefers napping while tucked into a warm blanket.  Age will do that, right?  While Libby may not be using this much, we do have plans to add another 4 legged “runner” to our family soon, so it’s important that we are ready to run when the time arrives!!!

The Hipster arrived quickly and looked great.  Loved the a neon green color!  It had several zippered pockets for storage, including one pocket that contained a collapsible water bottle carrier (pictured above) and another (the one labeled #2 above) that was large enough for most cell phones.   There were also D rings on both sides of the adjustable waist belt.  While Libby runs in heel position, I love the dual positioning option for dogs who run/walk/hike on both sides of their human.  Clever!

The Hipster also comes with an adjustable leash, with clasps on both ends.  The leash can be adjusted from traffic lead length (2’) to approximately 6’.  The leash is NOT on a quick release so be vigilant, my friends!

Off for a run to test this Hipster out!!

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The verdict?  The Hipster will work great for a dog that’s been trained.  However, the same goes for all hands free systems.  You can’t use a hands free leash if you haven’t put the time in to train your dog to walk/run with you.  And “with you” means either beside or slightly in front of your body.  No pulling, otherwise, they could pull you off your feet!    I also loved all the zippered pockets so that I had plenty of space for my phone and a few doggie bags.  Plus there is plenty of room/pockets for Sour Patch Kids gels or fuel for your run/hike.

If I were doing a list of Pros/Cons for the Hipster, my only con would be that the D rings for the leash were on the side of my hip.  Libby generally runs one step in front of me, rather than directly beside me.  Therefore, when she was ahead of me, she tugged on the belt and twisted it a bit.  Next time I’ll tighten the belt a bit more to see if that helps or I’ll just twist the belt at the start so that our D ring is sitting on the front of my hip bone.  I don’t think this is actually a design flaw but rather, just the way that we have learned to run together.  Overall, I like the Hipster and am happy to add it out our arsenal of must have dog accessories! 

Thanks to Dog Fence DIY for allowing me to review this awesome product!  They not only sent one for me to review but are also giving one ($34.95 value) to a lucky, dog loving reader!  Who can’t wait to hit the road with their dog & a new Hipster Hands Free Leash?!?!?!?

In order to be entered in this giveaway, please comment below and tell me & Dog Fence DIY where you plan to go with your dog after winning the Hipster Hands Free Leash!  Are you a runner, walker,  hiker or all of the above?

Giveaway “runs” from now until Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 9 am.  I’ll draw one winner via a random number generator.  Good luck!!

** Run Hands Free ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Bobcat Trail Marathon–Glouster OH

On Sunday, my friend Julie & I knocked Ohio off our list of states with the Bobcat Trail Marathon!

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As usual, we picked a weekend we were free & signed up for a race that was within driving distance.  We didn’t know much about it other it being a trail marathon.  I think we both figured it couldn’t be any worse (harder) than the Dances with Dirt Marathon at Devil’s Lake WI but we were about to find out.  Our one and only unspoken rule about our marathon running adventures is that we don’t obsess about the course.  We don’t spend any much time looking at the website and thinking about race day.  It’s an adventure and with adventure comes surprise and well, it’s always a surprise.  We pick races based on timing and our availability, nothing more.  The rest of what’s to come is a mystery.

The Bobcat Trail Marathon is in Glouster, OH at Burr Oak State Park.  It features 26.2 miles of running around a 660+ acre lake, thru the woods, mostly on single track, up and down leaf covered trails in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  Yes, the Appalachian Mountains.  SURPISE!  In case you don’t know, Julie & I are Midwesteners.  You might even call us flatlanders.  We run and train in and around Chicago and we consider the Roosevelt Bridge a mountain.  Let it suffice to say that we only see mountains on TV and we don’t even really have “hills” on which to train.  So this was a difficult run for us to say the least.  But the lake was beautiful!

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Packet pick-up and the start/finish were at the Burr Oak Lodge.  Great location.  Great price on rooms. Great food in the restaurant.  Lots of activities for the family!  Plus it was super nice to be able to stay inside and use real bathrooms until just moments before the race began. 

If you’ve been to packet pick-up at a trail race, it’s  normally a non-event.  They almost always offer packet pick-up on race day.  You stand in a short line, tell them your name, they hand you a shirt and a bib.  You leave and get ready to run.  So easy!  Bobcat was no different.

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The race started on time.  The only distance offered was the marathon and we soon found out why.  We basically ran into the woods and short of a few road crossings, we never came out until we were back at the lodge/finish line.  It was a full day of single track trails around a huge lake.  No cell service.  Race officials were in constant contact with one another via radios and they kept very close track of the runners and made sure we all went thru each of the check points.  We were told to “not worry” and that if something happened, they WOULD come get us.  Comforting.  I think. 

The entire race looked like this.

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We ran single file 99% of the time.  Following the path of partially crushed/disturbed leaves.  I’m pretty sure the local wildlife “cut” this trail.  It was very technical with an endless amount of exposed roots & rocks buried beneath several inches of fallen leaves.  Super cool.  Fun.  Adventurous.  Yet totally exhausting.

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I fell on my face one time but didn’t get hurt.  Stubbed my toe & went “flying” countless times.  Slid both up and down hills on the fallen leaves.  Crossed numerous bridges & ravines.  We had one full on water crossing that was impossible to navigate without submerging ourselves ankle deep in a cold creek.  I climbed.  I descended.  I wondered how bad this would hurt “tomorrow”.  I wondered if I would lose any toenails from the nasty downhill’s.  Three days after the fact, my quads still feel like they went thru a meat grinder.  I’m definitely sore this time.  Like really sore but I still have all my toenails so far.

We carried our own water and were thankful to have it.  There were aid stations every 4-5 miles, some manned, some with just water jugs dropped along the trail.  Aid stations offered coke, ginger ale, heed, water, cookies, Halloween chocolate candies, chips, pretzels, chex mix, Hammer Gels & other goodies I can’t recall.  The only thing missing was the salted/boiled potatoes that most trail races offer!  Multiple places with park potties.  Multiple check points with volunteers keeping track of our progress and encouraging us to continue at whatever pace was manageable. 

We were at the end.  Like almost last.  Everyone we met seemed local and trained on the trail which we were running.  They seemed light on their feet.  Running was effortless for them.  It took slightly more of an effort for us.  But we still got the same medal that they did when we crossed that finish line!!  And something cool, when we finished, we were offered a choice between a medal or a finisher’s plaque with a picture of the lake.  It was a tough choice but we both picked a medal. 

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Best part of the race?  Locals decorated part of the trail with Halloween decorations!  But beware, if you spend too much time looking at the decorations and taking photos, you may miss a flag or two, get lost and run off course. 

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Worst part of the race?  The endless roots/rocks that necessitated spending the entirety of the race looking at the ground.  It was tiresome and very rough on the feet.

Absolute must if you run this race?  Trail shoes!  You need those babies to protect your precious feet!

All in all, it was a good event.  It certainly wasn’t my favorite of the year but a nice solid race that was well supported.  Very peaceful.  All the runners and volunteers were super encouraging and very nice.  Yet, we may have decided that we make better road than trail runners!  Our lack of hills for training, our injured feet and the occasional need for a potty or two, may keep our feet planted on the road for the next few races!  But only time will tell.  We are taking a short break to recoup, then we’ll see where our adventures lead us next!

** Adventures in Marathoning ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

2014 Chicago Marathon

Sunday, I ran what was supposed to be my last Chicago Marathon.  Not sure I  can go out like that and leave it as my last one but only time will tell.  Aby does want to go back and run it when she turns 16 but that won’t be possible because she’ll be at the end of a HS Cross Country season and well, we all know that we can’t run fast short and train for something as mammoth as a marathon.  I won’t be busting her bubble now but that’s reality.  Anyhow, back to Sunday!  It was a PERFECT day to run a marathon.  Run any distance really.  Temps were cool, the sky was clear and it warmed up nicely with a tiny breeze to keep us comfortable.  Start line along with 40,000+ other runners.

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I had one goal for this race:  to finish.  I was forced to take a bit of time off running this summer during the relocation and my build up was a bit too quick and well, I didn’t log the normal mileage.  My longest run was an 18 miler.  I had no idea about pace but knew to go slow.  What I did know is that my feet were in bad shape and I needed to keep moving in order to keep them from tightening up.  I should have guessed from how badly my feet hurt during last week’s 12 miler that things wouldn’t go well.  I have been seeing a physical therapist in Fort Wayne, IN for my plantar fasciitis but he’s been a bit rough on me.  In fact, every week that I see him, I get worse, regardless of my mileage or lack thereof.  This week was the same.  I was much worse than even the week before.  So I was in the mindset to run easy.  Enjoy the course.  And run from one spectator sighting to another.  So thankful that April W took my Aby around for spectating again.  It’s always a highlight to see friendly faces on course.  I saw them at mile 2, then again at mile 13.  I was breaking down badly by mile 13 and my hips were burning because apparently my gait was off due to the pain in my feet.  Both feet.  So awesome. CHI Marathon_Aby & IAfter faking a smile for a pic with Aby, my girl April gave me the only pain relief she had on her person, a Midol tab.  It didn’t touch my pain.  I walked/ran/limped from 13-19 and then I was about done, like out of the game.  Walking was worse than running because I couldn’t put my left foot all the way down so I was walking “crooked”.  The doc who saw me this week said my hips were out of line.  I’m sure they are after my hobble.

So I stopped at the med tent at 19.  In tears.  They have me 2 pain tabs and a nice lady doused my feet with biofreeze to numb out the pain.  I can’t say that I thought it would work.  But about 10 or 15 minutes later, I was on the run again and confident that I could finish the race because the pain was just numbed out enough that I could do another 10K.  THANK YOU med tent!!!!

While I certainly didn’t #OwnChicago in 2014….. photo compliments of my girl Dawn B from WI.OwnChi

I did finish. And I thank my last 6 miles of “mostly” running to my girl Julie who showed up shortly after I emerged from the med tent.  She was on target for a PR but was running out of steam.  That could have been her excuse to run me in, I don’t really know. Regardless, I was thankful to be with her thru those last 6 miles.  She and I have run a lot of miles together this year.  Some really great ones.  Some really cold, snowy, icy, rainy ones.  And she is one person who I know I’ll always be logging miles with …. no matter where either of us live.  She is also fighting the Plantar Fasciitis devil and we frequently commiserate together.  Thanks, Julie!

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 So I finished.  And I’m thrilled with that because it was a fight this time.  I did see a new doc yesterday who filled me with cortisone.  So I’m temporarily pain free and that is a REALLY nice thing.  It’s awesome actually.  And I have a new PT that I get to start seeing on Friday.  New PT is a runner.  Knows running.  Likes runners.  I already like him too!  Looking forward to rehabbing these feet and hitting the road for many more long runs.  I’m going to change my schedule a bit over the next couple weeks to focus on the rehab but I will be finishing the year strong!

Thanks to everyone who was out there spectating and volunteering on Sunday.  I know it’s an exhausting day, even more so that it was for those of us who ran.  Here is my Aby and April’s daughter “spectating” for the last of our crew.  Yeah, exhausting.  CHI Marathon_Aby & Nicole

How did Chicago go for you?

** Happy Running ** Amanda - TooTallFritz **

 

 

I’m In Trouble….

I’m pretty sure my new PT thinks I’m crazy doesn’t like me. Today marked the 4th session (week) with him and let’s just say it didn’t go well. Like he made me cry and I wanted to punch him in the face.

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The good news is that another PT, who happens to be an old friend of mine who I didn’t’ know worked there or I’d be going to her instead handed me a box of tissues. And then I was too upset, in pain actually, to punch anything.

The “run” down. New PT isn’t a runner. I’d even extrapolate that statement to hypothesize that he doesn’t even like runners. Maybe he knows my hubby? Last week he emphasized that I MUST cross train, even though I’ve been pretty focused on building miles. So I cross trained. Only ran 27 miles all week. Biked 25 miles. Took a spin class. Swam 1500 yds in the pool.

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I even took a damn sunrise yoga class at 5:15 this morn. That didn’t go well either. Runners doing yoga could be a comedy skit. You can ask Aby, she went too! What a joke but yes, we are going back. I think. Okay, Aby says “we” are going back.

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So, I cross trained. And I’m not any better this week, than last week. In fact, I’m worse with a plethora of new aches & pains to add to the list. My feet hurt. And they are swollen. And I’d probably take a cortisone shot from a homeless man if it was offered up to me! Kidding. Kinda. And now, I’m in trouble from Mr. PT. He thinks I run too much, or more specifically that I built up too quickly. Which I did. But please just fix me. Complain to the other PTs after I leave. Please. Thank you.

** Runner at Heart – Regardless of How My Feet Feel ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Marathon Week!!

This is it, the week leading up to the Chicago Marathon. It’s a tad bittersweet this year.  I really LOVE the Chicago Marathon and this will probably be the last year that I’ll run it. When I signed up, 2014 was only a few months old and I had zero idea of what the year would bring for me and my family. I had high hopes for Chicago and planned to make it “my race”. I don’t often race the marathon but I had wanted to really put a lot into my training this year and see what I could do with it. I wanted not only a great race but one to remember. I know the city. I know the route. I know the fan support is off the charts. I know that I love the Chicago Marathon in a very special way. It’s my home town race, or at least it was …..

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Now my home is 200 miles away from Chicago.  While I love my new hometown, the atmosphere is definitely “Small Town USA” verses a big bustling city. It certainly suits me and my family much better than our stint in IL but I do miss Chicago and the friends I’ve made over the years. So as I run the streets of Chicago on Sunday, I will be filled with mixed emotions as I bid farewell to the city and their beloved marathon.

Everyone keeps asking about my “goals”.  Well, my goal for this race has changed A LOT over the course of the summer and thru the lengthy moving process. I took “some” time off running to focus on eating ALL THE FOOD and drinking ALL THE BEER relocation.  I just started training at the end of August in an effort to salvage some of the fall marathon season. As a result, I am not strong and fast as I had previously hoped and some might consider me to be quite injured with both feet now in severe stages of Plantar Fasciitis.  So I’ve moved from the “kill it” plan to the “finish it” plan.  And there you have it, my goal is to finish.

To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t even be in “finish it” shape had it not been for a few long time friends who have selfishly helped me thru the long runs.  They’ve been there in the dark with me as I’ve muddled along trying to log miles, rebuild fitness and power up for Chicago. I am getting stronger and I owe a ton of thanks to those ladies and also my hubby for getting my treadmill in the house so I can log miles, even if broken into small chunks.  My mojo is returning, I can feel it!

So on Sunday, I do plan to #OWNCHICAGO.

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And while I’m busy owning the streets of Chicago, I also plan to give thanks. Not only thanks to those I’ve mentioned above but also to those who have supported me and my journey with the Ronald McDonald House Charities for the last 4 years.  I’m going to enjoy the race and be thankful.  So many thanks to give!!  I’m thankful for my stint in Chicagoland where I developed my love of running. I’m thankful for running because that’s how I developed my love of Chicago. I’m thankful for a family that tolerates my running to the best of their ability. I’m thankful for the desire to run. I’m thankful for the ability to run. I’m thankful to Dr. Alexis for keeping me healthy for so many years so that I could run, even when my body was rebelling! I’m thankful for a lot of things. The list is endless. And that’s what I’ll be focusing on when things get hard. Because marathons are hard. No matter how many I run or what type of shape I’m in at the time.. They are still hard. I’m pretty sure they will ALWAYS be hard.

So if you see me in Chicago this weekend, smile & wave!  I may be running. I may be walking. But one thing is for sure, I’ll be thankful to see a friendly face and you can be sure that I’ll be headed for the finish line!

** Giving Thanks ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

The Comeback ….. Version 5.12

You’ve been there. You’ve done it. You’ll do it again, whether you think you will or not. Because there are times in our lives when fitness falls to the back burner, sometimes for good reason, sometimes because we mentally & physically just can’t make it happen. Whatever the reason, it will pass. And you will need to restart your fitness routine and make the comeback. It will be hard. You may be angry. But every mile you log is like a building block, paving the way back to sanity.

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This time has been a bit different for me. I’m wasn’t off due to injury. I didn’t have a baby. I just didn’t have the time to run much while we were preparing to relocate.  Then I didn’t run at all in the 6 weeks it took to move, make repairs to the “new” house and finally unpack & get organized. No matter, the result is the same and I was back at square zero before I even knew what hit me. I also have some extra “baggage” that I’m lugging around so I’ve been focusing on taking care of my entire body while rebuilding my fitness. Here are the things that I’m working on, just in case you need a shove nudge in the right direction too.

1) Watching what I eat. Say hello baked tilapia with cajun seasoning and tons of veggies! Protein shake, anyone? Water, YES, please!!
2) Limiting alcohol. Sometimes life as a working mom is slightly less than glamerous. Nobody says thank you. Nobody even really listens to you. In fact, can anyone even think with all the screaming and fighting chaos? There is work. Then house work. Then cooking and cleaning and laundry. Don’t forget those chauffeuring duties too!! Yes, at the end of the day, I understand the desire to crawl into a bottle of wine have a beer or two. But try to keep it chill! The more I drink, the more carefree I become, then I will blow an entire day of hard work by eating a bunch of crap before bed. Yep, been there, done that. So I try to limit the alcohol because it’s just easier for me to stay focused on my goals when my head is clear.
3) Workouts are a must. Log miles on the road, on the treadmill, on the bike.  Whatever you can do, just MOVE IT!!  Cross Train. Stretch. Roll. Ice if there is pain or soreness. Make regular appointments with your chiro or PT in order to keep you in line. When I moved, I was in a lull for a while without treatment and my Plantar Fasciitis flared up and I’m a hurtin’! I’m back on track now. Getting treatment. It still hurts very badly but I’m certainly more focused on the basics and taking care of my body. Good article from Gypsy Fit HERE on foam rolling!

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4) Break up your workouts into manageable chunks. If you don’t have time for 10 miles NOW, do 4 or 5 and then knock out the rest later in the day. It’s basic time management. I know that second workout takes a lot of willpower but you’ll get it done if you really need it.
5) Sign up for a race or three or four!! That will get you moving for sure! I was in the midst of moving and my friend Judy twisted my arm convinced me to sign up for our first marathon double. It’s in January. Suddenly, I’ve become VERY focused. I signed up for a “couple” races this fall in order to ensure that I’ll be ready to pound out two marathons in two days by the beginning of January.
5) Believe in yourself! This is definitely the most important thing. No matter what is going on in your life, take back control. Carve out time for you. Not only do you deserve it but you will be happier. And you’ll be a better wife, mom & person as a result. You are worth it and your family will certainly reap the benefits of a fit and focused momma!!

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**Always Believe ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

RMHC Raffle Prize Winners!!

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I drew winners for the raffle prizes.  There weren’t a ton of donations so no fear, I’ll be sending you something EVEN IF YOU DID’T GET DRAWN!  Without further adoo, the random number generator selected 9 winners! 

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The winners are numbers 1, 4, 8, 11, 13, 17, 18, 19, & 20.

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1.  Erica A – SOL REPUBLIC Relay Headphones

4.  Erica A – Emergen-C Prize Pack

8.  Barb D – Gu Prize Pack

11. Susan D – Spartan UP!  A Take No Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance In Life.  By Joe De Sena

13. Susan D – WOD Motivation – Quotes, Inspiration, Affirmations and Wisdom to Stay Mentally Tough – Eleanor Brown

17. Judy F – Dopey Challenge Pendant

18. Judy F – Moji 360 Foot Massager

19. Tonia H – Emergen-C Prize Pack

20. Tonia H – Mile Markers:  The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run – Kirstin Armstrong

21. Melissa B – I’m sending you a 30 Pack of Emergen-C because everyone is a winner in my book!!

 

Winners – Please email me at amanda@tootallfritz.com with your address and I’ll send out your prizes ASAP!!

Thanks for helping RMHC!  For those of you who didn’t get around to donating, you can go to my page HERE 

anytime and donate between now and the October 12th when I’ll be running the Chicago Marathon for my favorite charity!

 

** Running For A Cause ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Routine is Key …..

As we all know, things are so much easier when we create a routine and stick to it. However, many of us are flying by the seat of our pants despite our best efforts to stay on schedule. Creating a schedule is an elementary idea. Super simple until you have to start squeezing every aspect of your life into those little boxes on a calendar. As you have probably already figured out ……. your family, job, workout routine, child chaffering services, cheerleading, refereeing, dog training, shopping, cleaning, cooking AND sleeping can’t all be squeezed into one little box. It’s a mess. The writing for one box is always encroaching on other boxes. Things are always falling out of MY boxes. In fact, sometimes things are hanging over the edge of the box and then slip out when I am least expecting it, like when I am trying to grab Michael something else that is attempting to JUMP from the box.

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Regardless, the schedule is messy and tricky and a total PITA until we get it mastered. So let’s brainstorm a little bit and come up with a few things that can make our lives calendars a bit more manageable!
1) Meal Planning. I really think this is at the top of the list. We, as mom’s, spend a lot of time cooking. We want healthy options for ourselves and any of our little munchkins who will eat the good stuff too, but we are so busy in the afternoon/evenings getting our little angels where they need to go that we come home exhausted at 8pm (or later) and basically collapse. If a meal hasn’t already been planned or started, its pizza again! Yes, again, like we probably already had it once this week. And while nobody in my house complains about pizza, it’s just not a great option nutritionally, or financially, if it is constantly a Plan B. So think about what you want to feed your family BEFORE the week starts. Get together ingredients for a couple crockpot meals if you are gone a lot for after-school activities. Make larger meals so that you can have leftover night & just reheat everyone’s favorite meal of the week. Buy individually wrapped/packaged fish fillets that bake in about 15 minutes for when you are in a hurry but still want something healthy. Don’t be embarrassed about buying the bagged salad because tossing a side salad on the table EVEN WITH PIZZA is better than breadsticks something starchy! Cut the corners where you need to but focus on overall healthy meals that taste good, are quick to prep and make the family happy.

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2) Get the run and/or workout out of the way BEFORE the day starts. I know we are all busy. And tired. And busy. Everyone wants to sleep as long as possible. But get out of bed and go do your workout early. This is really the only time for most of us. If it doesn’t happen before the day starts, it’s not going to happen at all because we are too focused on the family to take time back out for us. It’s too easy to decide to clean the house instead of go for a run. Or make a good dinner instead of heating up leftovers. I know. I’m right there with you. So get out of bed and go run or take yourself to the gym before the chaos ensues!

3) Give the kiddos chores. Sounds mean? Not at all, this is about life, responsibility, learning to help others. Divide & conquer the house cleaning, laundry and dishes! Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect and if the towels aren’t folded the way that you like, go read Runners World a book rather than refold those towels!!

4) Divide & Conquer! Don’t be afraid to ask your significant other for help. Some people still live in the dark ages where they think that the women need to do everything. And while your hubby may not be a rockstar house cleaner, laundry fairy or babysitter, LET THEM HELP! Send them to the store so that you can pick up the kids. Text them and ask them to put the laundry in the dryer and to “please” not dry your favorite running tights. LET THEM WATCH THE KIDS whether they like it or not while you run! This is super important ladies. The father of your children are FATHERS. They are partially responsible for your little angles. If you don’t let them help parent the kids, then they will be clueless and that’s on you. I know you are amazing moms. I know that you are superwomen and can do it all.  But sometimes just remember that you don’t have to do it all because you are part of a partnership. And if you are not part of a partnership, I can only hope that you have an amazing mother, BFF, sister or a network of women to help you because running a household while staying sane is not easy.

5) Be flexible and schedule in downtime! A schedule is only as good as the people using it. Realize that nothing is ever perfect. Nobody is perfect. Life isn’t perfect. And takeout pizza isn’t going to kill the family when you forget to turn on the crockpot before you leave for work if things go awry. Do your best to plan things out, use all your resources to balance the workload as much as possible but understand that shit things happen and be ready to roll with it when it arrives. That’s the secret to a busy schedule: flexibility. I also think its super important to have downtime. I try to keep Sunday’s open. No I don’t like Sunday birthday parties or movie dates or shopping trips. I want to stay home on Sunday and not do anything. I’ll probably be tackling my long run before the sun comes up but after that I’m showering, putting my jammies back on, making a big breakfast for the family and then hopefully finding my way to the recliner to watch movies or read. That’s it. I bust my butt all week in hopes for some downtime on Sunday.

Do you have any scheduling tips OR maybe the secret to end the chaos? If so, PLEASE tell us!!

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** Finding My Routine ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **