Race Photos……F’N Running Club

In the aftermath of the Southwest Half Marathon, our running web pages have been flooded with photos of us half marathoners running. Normally, those photos are rather painful to look thru and I’m not saying they were all good this time around but we were an exuberant group on Sunday. You know why? We knew the photogs! The people photographing us actually knew us by name, were screaming out our name as we approached and we were happy to see them! Thanks to Gail from Running For Kicks & the F’N Cheer Squad: Maggie – MagMileRunner, Diane, Julie & Lisa for making all of us look good!

Take a look at my F’N Running Club. Since I know after you see these photos, you will want to be one of us, here are rules to joining our “club”. 1) Show up, 2) Be happy orFake it, 3) Show up. See, everyone is welcome! I’ll see you tomorrow at the Grainery at 5pm for the Wednesday run!

Our F’N Runners

Kelly – Running Kellometers: Palos Half_Kelly

Lori & Susan: Palos Half_Lori & Susan Aurelia: Palos Half_Aurelia

Susan & Wayne: Palos Half_Wayne-Susan

Brian & Kevin: Palos Half_Kevin Melissa: Palos Half_Melissa

Steve & Jenny: Palos Half_Jenny

Me: Palos Half_2012_happy

Thanks Gail & our own personal F’N Cheer Squad for making all of us look as if we are having the times of our life. You guys ROCK!

Do you have any good or interesting race photos? Send them to me and I will post them on Friday!

**Update! Great minds think alike! Maggie is doing a photo challenge of good race pics. Please go visit her at magmilerunner.com and send your awesome photos to her! She will be posting them on Monday. I’m going to defer the good race photos post to her! Enjoy!**

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

Southwest Half Marathon Race Report

I am pretty sure that almost everyone I know posted a new PR this weekend from the 5K, Half Marathon to Marathon distance.  I am so proud of all of you and wanted to say:

great job

I had a super busy weekend with setting up a Twitter account the kiddos,  mom in town, a few social events and the Southwest Half Marathon.  We had some serious fun!

In regards to the race, anyone who has ran a race by Mel at Running For Kicks knows that they are getting a lot with their race fee.  When I picked up my packet it was stuffed with great items that were both useful and exciting.  Thanks, Mel!

Palos Half__2012_goodies

We received a two pack of Saucony socks, a Southwest  Half Marathon 13.1 sticker (super cool!), a tube of Nathan Catalyst electrolyte drink tabs, GU Chomps, a mini Luna Bar that I ate before the photo was taken, an in-store $15 off shoe purchase coupon, an in-store coupon for those awesome Saucony socks, which I can’t find online, plus a gender specific shirt that fits and is cool!  I will actually wear this shirt!  As a bonus, since I signed up early, I received 2 shirts instead of one.  Of course, Aby laid claim to the other shirt as soon as we got home.  :)

On race morning, everything was super organized and efficient.  The line to the port-o-potties was long but that is normal.  Gear check was excellent and they even had plastic bags to protect our gear since the grass was wet from the rain.  Nice touch!  Most of the F’N Runners met up for a quick photo.  From Left:  Kelly – Running Kellometers, Kevin, Susan M, Wayne, Lori, Aurelia, Brian, Me & Susan D.

Palos Half_FNRC

The race kicked off before most people probably even had their gps watch linked up as soon as the National Anthem concluded.  We were off and running and the race went perfectly.  The rain held off, it was starting to get warm but nothing too crazy, the route was easy to follow and with the out and back it was fun to see the fast runners come back for the finish, plus see friends along route.  There were lots of friendly volunteers, water/PowerAde every couple miles, potties throughout the course, a couple aid stations and lots of F’N support!

Maggie – MagMileRunner was at 104th Ave with signs, cheers and took a ton of photos!

Palos Half_Maggie

Diane, Julie, & Lisa were just past Maggie and screaming like crazy for us!

Palos Half_Cheering Squad

I also saw Amanda W & Dennis, plus met so many people on course who I have previously only known online.  Many thanks to all of you who took the time to say hello!  I’m so happy to have met so many new people during/after the race! 

This is a tough course for me, it always is but I’m not really sure why.  It’s an out and back and just seems to go on forever and ever and ever.    There are small rolling hills throughout even though everyone says it’s flat.  Not my best race, I struggled.  I was fueled & hydrated and it wasn’t too hot, I just didn’t run well.  I was very happy though that  1)  the new AdvoCare Rehydrate Energy Gel arrived on Saturday in time for the race  2) tasted good in a fresh lemon flavor, and  3) DID NOT upset my tummy.  New AdvoCare win for me!

AdvoCare Rehydrate Gel

I ran a 1:58 something which was WAY off my 1:50 goal.  Yes, I was disappointed.  The highlight of the race was definitely seeing the F’N Cheering Squad, seeing all the local familiar faces on course and meeting some new people along the way as well.  Great race, I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.  Give it a try!  It’s a great local race with lots of goodies for the $$, particularly if you sign up early.  Plus, our F’N Cheering Squad will probably be out there again next year and they definitely add major spice to the course. 

Here is a photo that Dennis took of me “pushing” to the finish with bricks in both of my shoes and one hanging from each butt cheek.  OUCH! 

Palos Half_2012

It’s now time for me to move on to Ragnar Chicago training.  I have lots of miles to cover and very little time.  I also need to seriously ramp up my bike miles to prep for the Ironman 70.3 Muncie.  Time is ticking!

Great job to all of you who ran, raced and particularly those of you who crushed some PRs this weekend.  Keep kicking butt!

Happy Running,                                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz

More Social Media…..Twitter

I have been avoiding Twitter and Pinterest certain social media outlets like the plague; however, I have been slowly coming around to the idea of Twitter.

First, I know that there are a lot of people on Twitter who do not use Facebook although I’m not sure why.  Secondly, I know it will be better to update things moment by moment as if you care on Twitter versus Facebook.  Thirdly, I was “concerned”  I was missing out.

Even though I had valid reasons for jumping on the bandwagon joining Twitter, I still didn’t sign up but rather put it on the “To Do” list pretty far from the top.  However, last week The Wannabe Athlete posted Twitter Tips:  Getting Started and I thought, “okay, this is the time….do it now”, but I didn’t.  Then tonight when I was on the website for the Southwest Half Marathon (aka:  Palos Half) checking the start time of the race, I saw a follow us on twitter button.

Basically, it came down to the fact that I want to tweet about the race so I opened an account.  Now I’m not sure how to use the damn hashtags in order to get it started.  Somebody please send me another tutorial!  And while you are figuring out what to tell me about Twitter, please go and follow me @tootallfritz!

How many social media avenues do you use?  Which is your favorite?  How do I start tweeting about the Southwest Half Marathon?   If you are interested, they are @SW_HalfMarathon.

Happy “Following”,                                                                                                            Amanda – TooTallFritz

You’ve Got This!

There are so many awesome races taking place this weekend and I want to wish each and every one of you well!  I know that people normally say:  Good Luck!

Good Luck Running Ladies

However, I want you to know that you don’t need luck because you have done the work and the race is yours to own.  You’ve Got This!!

You've Got This

So think positive thoughts, when the race gets rough, repeat “I’ve Got This”Make it Happen for yourself, for your hard work, for the sense of accomplishment and pride you will feel when you cross the finish line.  Do the best that you can do on the particular day and never have any post race regrets.  Remember, if the weather is less than ideal, you are not alone but have all of your racemates who are dealing with the same exact weather conditions as you. 

You’ve Totally Got This…..now go put an awesome race in the books!

Where are you racing this weekend?  Tell us so that we can send happy, positive thoughts your way!  I’ll be in Palos at the Southwest Half Marathon on  Sunday.  Look for  me and say, HEY!

Happy Racing,                                                                                                                 Amanda – TooTallFritz

Resting, Recovering & Visualizing..….

visualization

Slow week this week!  After the windy run on Saturday (10  miles) and the trail run Sunday at Swallow Cliff (8 miles) plus a set of those crazy stairs, my quads were/are trashed.  Not ideal, I know.  I lived in my Aspaeris Pivot Shorts on Sunday after the run, I napped, I drank a lot of water and I ate a ton of food trying to get my system back up to par.  When I woke up yesterday, I had gained 4 lbs, my quads were so sore it hurt to walk.  Today is better but I’m certainly not even close to being recovered.  So I’m resting & attempting to recover.  I even did some light stretching this morning with my push-ups (16).  Pull-up/Chin-up count is still at zero with multiple attempts each day.  I won’t give up!

Plan for the rest of  Race Week:

Today – Visualizing my awesome race on SUN, Drink lots of water, work, attend Aby’s track meet, Run easy 2 or 3 light miles to flush this lactic acid.

WED – Visualizing my awesome race on SUN, Drink lots of water, Run an easy 6 miles with the F’N Running Club.

THUR – Visualizing my awesome race on SUN, Drink lots of water, Rest, Visualizing my awesome race on SUN.

FRI – Visualizing my awesome race on SUN, Drink lots of water, Run an easy 3 miles, Visualizing my awesome race on SUN

SAT – Visualizing my awesome race on SUN, Drink lots of water, Pick up my Packet, Attend a Fundraiser, Visualizing my awesome race on SUN.

visualization_person

Okay, so I’m not really meditating like the photo above but I am trying to think happy thoughts, visualize a finish time and “see” myself moving thru the course pain free smoothly and efficiently.  This is so much easier on a course like Palos where I have run it several times previous and know the layout.  It’s also an out and back, which should be a no brainer, right?  Stay relaxed thru the turnaround and then really start to focus and push. 

How do you visualize a good race?  Any tips for those of us who “might” be  “trying” this for the first time?  Or do you like my hubby think the visualization is overrated and I’m totally crazy?

Happy Running,                                                                                                           Amanda – TooTallFritz

Race Week Do(s) & Don’t(s)

I think we all countdown to our important favorite races.  We all know that I have personally been counting down to the Palos Half (aka:  Southwest Half Marathon in Palos, IL) since early this week.  Apparently, I’m not the only one so I thought this would be a good time to go through a few  tips for our upcoming race week. 

RunningPeople

If you haven’t registered and would like to join the excitement , please register HERE now because the race is almost at capacity!  This is a premier running event on the Southside of Chicago and if you live in the southern suburbs then you are surely to  know ten one or two people racing on May 6th in Palos.  Come run with us.

Entering the weekend before the race, my legs are dead and very tired.  This is a good thing because by cutting back my mileage next week I will be fresh and a bit antsy on the start line.  You want to be antsy, to feel as if you haven’t ran/done enough “this week” when you get up race morning.  This is GOOD and means you are fresh and ready to bust out a fast pace!

RACE WEEK

DO

 DON’T

Drink lots of fluids – water! Drink a lot of alcohol
Get plenty of sleep Stay up late watching the Twilight Zone TV
Cut back your mileage/workouts Stairmaster, Run 40 miles & Bike Hickory Creek (The Hills!)
Swim & focus on lower intensity activities that keep the blood moving Drown because you are trying to swim 20 miles to make up for “not” running
Run a few easy miles Take the entire week off
Eat some good carbs (whole wheat pasta with veggies & lean protein, non-spicy marinara if you have a sensitive tummy!) Stuff yourself at a pasta dinner the night before the race and use the excuse you are “carb loading”
Stretch & Ice Use heat for sore muscles
Visualize the race & the finish clock with YOUR time Sell yourself short or be afraid of race pace
Plan to take more fuel than you “think” you need to the race Try a new type of fuel or hydration on race day
Charge your iPod & GPS watch Forget your iPod & GPS Watch
Plan for post-race recovery Assume that the race will have what YOU need to recover.  I always have my Post Workout Recovery Drink in my checked bag along with a bagel, banana & water.
Have a confident, positive attitude Freak out or feel as if you didn’t do enough

For me, my race week plan will include:  SAT (4/28) – 10 mile run at an easy pace, SUN – Bike, MON – Swim, TUE – 2-3 miles with fast turnover, WED – easy 6 miles, THUR  rest, FRI – easy 3 miles, SAT- Rest, SUN – RACE.

I have to keep it very low key the week before a race so that I’m fresh.  I have arrived on the start line ready to race mentally many a times and then quickly realized that my body was not recovered enough to hit the times.  What do you do for race week; anything special?  Do you have any race week tips?  Help us out!

Happy Running & Racing,                                                                                              Amanda – TooTallFritz

Scheduling Conflicts…..

I start planning my race schedule a year or so in advance.  I know this “may” seem OCD to some but there are a handful of races which I run each year, mostly because I like the course, or the race director (example:  Palos Half Marathon that Mel from Running For Kicks organizes in May), or it’s a charity event, or it’s close to my mom’s house and gives me an “extra” reason to go for a visit.  Whatever the reason, I certainly have my favorites and I will choose a small event over a big expensive event each and every time. Therefore, I have never delved into real Ironman territory.  I participated in an awesome 70.3 event, the Great Illini Challenge, in 2008 while I was trying for Mr. Michael but it was a generic version of the half “Ironman” distance and a fraction of the cost.  I normally stay away from big name events where you pay for an after party, band, and/or the brand name, etc. with your entry fee.  It’s just not my thing because I participate for the running/TRIing, not the party.  However, as this year’s schedule plays out, I have paid for both an entry into a Rock N Roll event and now I am registered for the Ironman 70.3 Muncie.

In my defense, I got a super deal on the RnR Chicago event when I registered for it last November with a coupon code and as an early bird.  As for the Ironman event, hey, that’s where my friends are going and I want to be there with them, and the timing/location is right.  Plus, my one friend is a kickass great biker, which is my weakest link, so I will just focusing on “trying” to catch her or if by chance I get out of the water first I will be pedaling my ass off fast trying to stay away from her!  I know that she will still crush me on the bike but a little added incentive is worth the price tag.  :)

Unfortunately, I had to nix a really GREAT race on my schedule to take part in the IM 70.3 Muncie.  I gave up the Evergreen International TRI in Hudson, IL due to scheduling conflicts with family, run & other TRI events.  This event is on July 14, 2012.

If you are available on July 14th, I highly recommend this race!  It is in a great location, great course, plus they offer both a sprint and an international distance so good for everyone in your party.  This is definitely one of my favorites and the course is fast, I will miss it on my 2012 calendar but please partake, take photos and send them to me and I will  post them while congratulating you on your achievements!  Go, register for Evergreen HERE.  As an added bonus, the race director a super cool lady who puts on a series of events under the TRI Mom/TRI Shark name.  In the last event I raced for TRI Mom, I was handed a sack lunch as I was leaving for my drive home.  Thanks, Mom!  I was starved and much appreciated that sack lunch.  Some times it’s the little things, you know?

So how is your racing season shaping up?  Is it coming together smoothly or are you coming across a few speed bumps like me?  I honestly can’t fit in one international/olympic distance TRI this year and will just be focusing on the two 70.3 distance events.  Not ideal and I’m sure my transitions will be slow due to lack of practice but attitude and an over abundance of confidence will make up for transition issues because I plan to totally crush both 70.3s this year.  I only have one time in which to compare and that is the pre-Michael race but the time still stands and counts in my books.  The 2008 Great Illini Challenge brought me a 6:33 finish and I am hoping by drafting off Renee the Muncie race will get me under the 6:30 mark so I can go on to really get after it at the 2012 Great Illini Challenge 70.3 on Labor Day weekend.  BELIEVE!

If you would like to join me at the 2012 Great Illini Challenge 70.3, they offer both an Olympic and 70.3 Distance, so feel free to come and have fun at whatever distance you are ready to tackle!  This course is really user/spectator friendly too as it has 2 loops to each part.  You will be close to your car transition several times during the race in the event that you “need” anything.  I hope to see you out there!

**Disclaimer** – Drafting in a triathalon will get you disqualified.  Don’t do it.  And if you do, don’t tell them that TTF said it was ok cuz it’s not! 

Sidenote:  Let me just say how excited I am for all of you over the PunkeeLove Headband Giveaway!!  I wish I had a headband to send each and every one of you and I will be on  pins and needles doing the drawing on Monday.  Good luck everyone!  Don’t forget to use the one time only code for 20% off:  tootall20   to order the bands that you want on discount.  I’m certainly taking advantage of the code and placing an order today since I don’t need to wait for the drawing!

Happy Running & TRIing,                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz