Trail Woes….

Today was an adventure for the F’N Running Club in that we tried a trail that most of us had not used previously.  We went over into the middle of nowhere New Lenox to the Hadley Valley Forest Preserve.  This trail has a single loop of 2.47 miles and then an out and back which is 4.58 miles round trip.  So most runners did the loop, then the out and back for a total of approximately 7.05 miles.  Then a few of us who didn’t want to go home needed more miles ran an extra loop plus a few circles in the parking  lot for an even 10 miles.   Here is our group from this morning:  Jeni, Brian, Don, Suzanne, Susan, Nicole, Joe, Amy & Kate

Every time I get to a run and there are lots of people, it just makes me giddy, so THANK YOU to everyone who came out.  I know you didn’t come for me but it still makes me happy to feel like I’m part of something.

The Hadley Valley Forest Preserve Trail didn’t workout so well for Ms. TooTall.  First, if you pull up the page, the photo you see is of a nice man sitting on a horse. 

Although the trail was wide and good for group running, it was obviously primarily used for equestrian purposes and there were lots of big divots and ruts in the trail.  One of the ladies who uses the trail on a more frequent basis said that they grade it but that is probably “in season”.  December really isn’t in season for anything other than Santa so this was a bit of an issue.  Also, my lack of miles this week and possibly the StairMaster left my legs feeling heavy and useless.   So it was a bit of a rough go and I struggled from mile 6 on thru 10.  I totally fell off pace around mile 7 and just tried to keep my 10 milers in sight….which wasn’t easy.

Thankfully, it wasn’t too cold or windy either because this trail is within an open grassy plain and there wasn’t any trees that would have provided a wind or sun break for weather purposes.  All in all, it was a good run with GOOD FRIENDS, so a great day.  Love you F’N Runners, thank  you for making me feel welcome each time I come out.

Hadley Valley Forest Preserve, I won’t be seeing you again for a long time.  Your divots and ruts were hard on my recovering plantar fasciitis feet body and the pain came early.  So thanks but no thanks, lots of other places to run that make 10 miles a bit more fun!

10.03 miles – 1:37:50 – big stop half way and a couple photo stops but my phone was giving me an attitude struggling with the cold.

Happy Running,                                                                                                               Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                 

Run Envy……

I am absolutely GREEN with envy knowing that I am not out enjoying the first run in the snow with the F’N Running Club.  Ugh!  Happens to all of us Mom’s, right?  We sacrifice what we want in order to make the family work…..or be available so Daddy can pull some OT on a Saturday.  This is why I don’t see many of you on Saturday mornings, cuz 99% of the time Daddy is working so we can make the house payment.  Obviously, him working is slightly more important than my running but it doesn’t make it any easier on Ms. TooTall!  So in an attempt to not feel sorry for myself too bad about sitting inside, I dug up a photo of one of my favorite snow runs. 

This photo is several years old…….a grassy trail that is part of the Hickory Creek Extension off of Old Plank.  I would have never ran a grassy trail had it not been frozen and snow-covered.  It was taken on Jan 13, 2009 and one of my last Saturday runs before the doc cut me off from running since I was actually preggo with Mr. Michael.  Hubby wasn’t working this day because business was slow and they were down to 4 days a week which allowed us plenty of extra time for baby making.  I showed up for a group run and I was the ONLY one who didn’t wimp out had gotten “up and out”.  Since I was there, I ran anyhow.  So glad that I did, this was a perfect day and it is a great memory.  I really do enjoy the snow.

Today is not even close to being the same.  We only have a slight dusting thus far but the snow continues to fall magically.  It would be nice to get a little accumulation so we the kids can go out and play.  Here are a few photos from the yard.  Lots of zoom action on this photo, the girls were all the way in the back of the yard, by the field….the tree line is a creek.

Across the road looking toward a different field.

If you were fortunate enough to get out this morning and happened to grab a pic of the snow dusted trails, send it to me or post it on the TooTallFritz facebook page!  What are your favorite running conditions?    Do you find the beauty in all the seasons or are you just a fair weather runner?  Tell me!

Cheers,                                                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                     


We all know that I am super tentative about my foot right now even though it currently doesn’t hurt but I  still needed a workout since I have eaten everything in sight for 2+ weeks so I decided on a little cross training last night.  My absolute favorite machine is the StairMaster.  I like the old school ones like Lisa E. and I busted ass on used in the Hanover gym for years while I was in college.  On February 1, 2005, I purchased one of those old school StairMaster 4000PT‘s from to get rid of 10 plus years of excessive eating and drinking lose some weight.  At the time, going to the gym was OUT.  Aby was a little over 3 at the time, I was working/commuting, etc. and time was tight.  I also, didn’t have the $$ for gym quality equipment but couldn’t live without this model so I purchased a refurbished one.  It has worked out really well for me and I would not hesitate to go with a refurbished product again.  It even broke once, within the first year, and they came out and replaced the motherboard…..over a $1000 between the service call and the replacement “part” and I didn’t have to pay a dime.  Yes, I’m a fan.    In fact, if I ever took the plunge on a dreadmill, I would go back to globalfitness for a refurbished gym model.  I made the mistake of purchasing an elliptical machine at a “big box store” in 2006 and that thing is a piece of shit lacking a lot in the quality department.  Lesson learned.

Okay, let’s do it….Aby try to grab a photo, okay? 

Just the beginning…..

Fast Feet!

My view, yes, the dining room is my gym, and the Christmas Room. 

My bike and the elliptical will come back to the dining room gym as soon as Christmas is over.  We attempted to sell the house last year because we can’t afford it wanted to change school districts; therefore, everything we loved personal was banished to the basement or barn.  Thank goodness, my StairMaster wouldn’t fit thru any of the doors during Operation Banishment.

If you like to sweat, the StairMaster is the machine for you!  I normally don’t sweat unless I’m vacuuming running hard or it’s super hot out (and I’m running) but this machine brings the sweat immediately!

I always recommend the StairMaster to anyone who wants to lose weight.  It’s not fun but you will sweat out all the alcohol chocolate you ate/drank over the last month in just one session.  So if you want to lose weight, put down the HO-HO’s NOW  jump on the StairMaster and make it a happen, then go back and do it again tomorrow, and the next day and you will lose that ass weight.  If you need a kickstart, you can also try the AdvoCare Trim line to help boost your metabolism and give you more energy to hit the daily workouts.  But you still have to workout.  If you see an ad or hear somebody tell you that you will lose weight without working out they are lying you aren’t getting the full story.  You must sweat to lose.  Promise.  Been There, Done That.

Thirty minutes of sweat and I’m done.  I didn’t have any much time tonight but squeezed in a short one.  It was 4.xx miles.  Not exactly sure how far because Michael kept saying, “Mommy, what you doing?   Mommy, what you doing?  Mommy on StairMatter?  Mommy all done?  Mommy, what you doing?”  It broke my concentration even though I was really trying to remember the mileage so that I could post it on DailyMile.

So I got in a workout, I made something happen.  May not be much of a workout to most of you but I was moving.

“Run”way Fashion:  I was totally rocking the sale rack.  The Signature Tee was on sale a month or so ago for $12 and I snapped one up, then had RaceExpressions add the TooTallFritz logo front/back.  Love this shirt, it’s my second one, is super soft and just a perfect shirt for workouts and life.  I think it runs big, that being said, it’s a regular shirt size.  If you buy a M at Kohl’s, then get an M here.  I have to size up for Nike some big name running brands.  This shirt is now on sale with the 12 Days of Skirtmas Sale for $15.  Signature Tee

I also picked up a pair of the Under the Skirt Leggings thru the 12 Days of Skirtmas Sale!  Normally $55 they are currently on sale for $27.50.  I’ve been wanting these for a long time and I was not disappointed.  They are soft, smooth and perfect.  Flare at foot/ankle, pocket on each side.  LOVE.  Super stylish! Under Skirt Leggings

There has been a lot of talk lately about bloggers making $$ on product reviews.  Just an FYI….all of the products that I have reviewed to date are those which I have purchased with my own $$.  I have not received any free items, nor do I profit if you purchase any of the things I “love”.  I review the products because I do spend a lot of $$ on fitness/running gear/clothes/shoes and I personally enjoy hearing what other think about things before I spend my hard-earned $$.  I try to help you out with the same.  If I am ever fortunate enough to receive anything FREE with the obligatory review to follow, I will be sure to mention it at the time.  However, it’s not an issue at this point.  But by all means, if you want to send me something to review, I’m more than happy to do it!

How are you doing with the extra holiday treats?  Do you work in an office where all of the goodies which you deny yourself throughout the year show up on your desk or in the kitchen between Dec 10th & 24th?  I’m struggling!  Can’t seem to control the junk food intake which I am normally so good at ignoring!  UGH!

Happy Eating Holidays!                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz


It’s a GOOD Day!

I am 60+ hours post cortisone injection for the plantar fasciitis and I am feeling GOOD.  Like so unbelieveably good that if I weren’t so flippin’ tall, I’d buy a pair of these….and make Mick take me dancing. 

Too much fun! 

But alas, I am trying to reign in my excitement and not do something stupid like re-run the Chicago Marathon route to try for a better time.  I did have one person tell me that they had the shot and it only last for 2 weeks before the pain came back.  I don’t even want to entertain similar thought processes as I happily sit here but possibly that would be why the doc had planned on a series of cortisone shots to knock it out for good.   Crossing my fingers!

While I am feeling good, if you have a few stretches you would like to share to help me combat the return of the Plantar Fasciitis, I’d be happy to entertain all reasonable exercises.  I have been balancing on one foot, while holding the other up….to stengthen the foot/ankle in general, plus doing calf/achilles stretches.  I would love to add maybe 2 more stretches.  Help me out with suggestions but remember, time is NOT my friend so don’t get crazy I need to be quick and efficient with any stretching routine.

Amanda – TooTallFritz

Rain Warriors….

It was raining today.  And I mean really raining.  But it was Wednesday and on Wednesday’s I run with the F’N (Frankfort-New Lenox) Running Club so I was absolutely ready to run.  I work downtown Chicago and let’s just say I’m “busy” so basically I never even looked out a window today but kept getting random messages, “are you still running?”.  Well, hell yes I’m still running.  Hubby is covering the kids so short of sleeting rain in the MIDDLE of a blizzard WITH 50 below temps……I’m running!  As a mom, full-time employee, and Chi-Town commuter, I may not get another chance to run until next Wednesday….yep, I’m definitely running.  That being said, I realized it would be a small group.  I don’t count on many people to show but I had faith that Susan would show.  I was pretty sure Brian P. would show and I thought everyone else would wuss out that would be it.  I was wrong.  Allow me to give a HUGE shout out to Kate L., Brian H., Susan D. and Brian P. for making an appearance.  PROUD of all of you!  I thank you for not making me run alone in the rain for showing up.

Susan D. & I – we couldn’t figure out if we should just grab a 12 pack and go back to our cars or if we should run. 

Brian F. and Brian P. were voting for beer versus a run in the rain.

However, fortunately Kate L. showed up to break the tie… the winner was…….a run in the rain.  Thanks, Kate…..not sure how I would have explained that one to the family.  Here is the proof post run photo of Kate, myself and Brian P soaked to the bone. 

Tonight was a trial run for me after the cortisone shot in my right heel/arch on Monday.  I must say that I felt pretty good today after a shitty pretty bad day yesterday.  However, I was nervous about running and my plan was basically to show up, get out of my car, and do any type of mileage so that I could have something in the books and have a post run point of comparison.

The group tonight went 2 to 4 miles at varying paces.  It was warm at 51 degrees but the rain was pelting us pretty hard at times.  I still wore a light wind-breaker, to help with the rain, and light gloves.  The rain can chill a person quickly if they aren’t careful!  Kate was kind enough to hang back with my knucklelights me so that I didn’t have to race Susan and Brian P. back to the beer our cars.  We did a leisurely 3.57 miles in 36:40 but I was out there.  I had some pins and needles mid foot, toward the arch, but didn’t feel anything in my heel.  It was good.  I think I was being more cautious than anything but if I can get to the point of running pain-free then I’m totally okay with giving up some good running now.  I also iced and drank some beer took some ibuprofen post run, which will hopefully handle any extra swelling.  I’m not planning to run again til the weekend and will hopefully be ready to fly by then.  Whoooop!

Do you go out to run in the rain?  Or do you hit the dreadmill at the first indication of clouds?  Or do you just wait it out, even if that means skipping it for another day?  Let me know how  you work out the weather “issue”.

Cheers to Making Progress.

Double Cheers to my Rain Warriors; I’m proud of you!!                                                 Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                     

Drugs Please…Plantar Fasciitis – Part III

Last night was the recheck with the foot surgeon to determine the progress after a month in the orthotics.  I am making progress but it is much slower than the doc would like so he decided a cortisone injection was in order.  After the painful poking to determine the largest problem area, and the point of insertion, the needle went in…… 

OUCH……Doc kept saying, “Remember, it’s not as bad as childbirth, right?”   Well, HELL no, but I had 9+ months to prepare for childbirth and a mere 9 seconds to prepare for this injection asshole.  Plus my body was helping to push/expel the a baby out, there was no wiggling said baby around, we didn’t push/pull baby in and out and/or reposition it.  So overall, baby just came OUT whether I was ready or not.  The needle, however, had a real fight going into uncharted territory, plus it needed to be in multiple places at once and well, that’s just not how things work.  It hurt.   See the pink dot for the point of insertion.

Doc injected cortisone up toward the arch and down toward the heel.  Those were the areas most swollen and tender.  The idea behind the cortisone shot was NOT to mask the pain per say but to pull out the swelling.  We have been treating this since early September because that’s when it got so bad that I couldn’t run with icing, oral anti-inflammatory meds, taping/padding and eventually orthotics.  Yesterday marked five weeks of orthotic use and apparently we should have seen more progress. 

September “Problems”

  • Left and Right Heel Pain – right heel far worse than left
  • Swelling of right foot, heel, Achilles Tendon, calf muscle
  • Left knee pain
  • Pain in both hips
  • Major cramping of right calf muscle after running a couple of miles
  • Left and right foot pain after running a couple of miles
  • Debilitating pain in feet and right calf to the point I would need to stop, stretch and walk during training runs
  • Racing was NOT good, lots of pain and swelling due to attempt at increased pace

5  Weeks Post Orthotics “Problems”

  • Right Heel Pain
  • Slight swelling in right heel and arch of foot
  • Fall off pace toward 8-10 mile mark of running
  • Right foot pain after 6-8 miles of running
  • Major right foot/heel pain after runs which require several days of rest to return to manageable pain level

Looking at these lists, I see that I have made a lot of improvement over the last couple of months.  Hopefully, after the pain from this cortisone injection dissipates, then the swelling will be reduced and maybe, just maybe, it will take some of the right heel pain with it.  Today is bad.  It hurts like a mother to walk and to sit and to stand.

The post-baby era, after having Mr. Michael has been rough.  2010 was the year of the come back, fighting the baby weight, and trying to regain fitness.  2011 was a year plagued with injuries starting in February/March with hip issues and then Plantar issues by summer.  I’m sure they are all related as the body is a complex organism but I would really like 2012 to be a pain-free year.  I can’t complain about 2011 because I have been fortunate to run some fast times for me while simultaneously being plagued with injuries.  That being said, I am careful about my miles.  Since I have been hurting this year, I take a few days off after training runs, or even a full week off in order to get as pain-free as possible race ready.  I certainly haven’t been at optimal fitness this year due to my sporadic mileage but I have made it thru the year with some decent times……22:19 – 5K, 40:31 – 8K, 1:16:40 – 15K, 1:53:20 Half Marathon….and I’ll just say I finished the 2011 Chicago Marathon with or without tears.  So I do look forward to racing pain-free in 2012.  I’m very willing to put in the miles and make it happen but I would like my body to be in a better spot.  If the next two cortisone shots don’t eliminate the swelling and right heel pain, then there will be time off in my near future.  I have a very big wish list for 2012 and want to do everything to the best of my ability PAIN-FREE.

Happy PAIN-FREE Running,                                                                                          Amanda – TooTallFritz


Tacky Christmas Has Arrived

We had a busy weekend as a family and it was all about Christmas 2011.  After my very peaceful and ME centered Saturday morning, reality hit it was family time as we headed downtown to Chicago’s Christkindl Market.

This  has become a sort of tradition for our family even though hubby HATES the cold.  So for a month preceding the designated date, the kiddos are bouncing off the walls and hubby is bitching up a storm grumbling.  Michael has been begging to go to Santa’s House since July when we started singing our first Christmas carols.  Trust me when I say that Christmas is a big deal at our house.  I have always loved this holiday the most and it seems that the kids love the music and holiday lights just as much as I.  Hubby is a good sport about the season, and even seems to reluctantly enjoy it even though it is always usually cold.  Here we are enjoying the Glühwein, a hot spiced wine…….love me some good German Festivities even with Mr. Grumpy.While the kiddos were enjoying the warming tent, carmel corn and some cinnamon & sugar candied almonds.But everyone one knows we really came to see the best Santa ever!  I really enjoy the Santa at Daley Plaza.  It’s the same one each year and they always take your photo for free.  Nice touch.  Each year Santa’s House gets larger and this year, we even had a short period where we were able to wait indoors and shed the winter clothing for a nice photo.  I, however, didn’t shed my clothing cuz I didn’t realize I was going to sit on Santa’s lap be in the photo.

We also looked at the Macy holiday window displays, went up to the Walnut Room to look at the Great Christmas Tree and then we headed home.  It was a short day due to Mr. Grumpy the kiddos not feeling great and the large crowd sizes.  Here is a photo of the tree in the Walnut Room at Macy’s….I stole this from Maggie – Run for Pi(e), we tried to go up to take a photo but that didn’t work out quite as we planned. 

Today……Tacky Christmas OFFICIALLY arrived.  We usually wait a little longer to haul out the shit Christmas decorations since I we like a real tree.  If we get the tree too early then it dies because Aby forgets to water it before Christmas & New Years.  I must say that I used to pride myself on elegant and sophisticated Christmas decor but that has all gone to shit  out the window with the addition of a husband little ones to the family.  We now have lots of “extra” decorations for the children, and it also seems that our house has become the dumping ground we have inherited every handmade, crocheted item from our grandparents.  Since I am apparently not as sensitive as some, it is easy for me to throw out the crap pick and choose the items that fit into our holiday theme and donate the pieces that other’s might enjoy more for their homes.  However, not everyone in this household is a cold-hearted bitch like me and we now have A LOT of randoms.  So please, meet Tacky Christmas 2011……Really happy with the tree this year.  We purchased it locally, about 5 minutes from our home.  We didn’t cut it down, just went to a lot and picked it out with the kiddos.  Easy and still fun cuz they got to pick.  Ornaments include remnants I’ve had from days gone by, Mick & I’s childhood ornaments, ornaments given to our children, and a hodgepodge of life’s blessings.

Random overflow hits the playroom.

Plastic holiday table-cloth with window decor to match.

Tree of homeless/misfit ornaments.

Crocheted items from Grandma’s of Long Ago.

Mini Christmas Tree X2….there is another one floating around the house somewhere!

We have had a fun weekend and really enjoyed putting up Tacky Christmas 2011.  It’s all in good fun and the kiddos LOVE it.  I try not to move too many ornaments around when they go to bed  be OCD about the way everything looks cuz it really is about the kiddos at this point in our lives.  And if Mick wants to hang a crotched Christmas Card Basket from Grandma Long Ago, that’s okay too.  Memories are a wonderful thing.  However, the biggest thing for me is to constantly remind the kiddos that “Jesus is the REASON for the Season”.  I normally always take them to church on Christmas Eve; however, the service is late this year at 9pm.  Sigh….we will never make that…..too late for Mr. Michael. 

I hope all of you have a very joyous holiday season!

Peace on Earth….Good Will To Men……..                                                                       Amanda – TooTallFritz

10 Degrees….

Ten degrees……the coldest it’s been so far in Illinois for the start of winter 2011-2012.  Wow, it was hard to get my ass out of bed  “up and out” this morn.  The thing that propelled me forward was actually the fact that I had the time, the kids and hubby were out of the house, and I really WANTED to go for a run…… regardless of the temps.  I would have gone had it been below zero.  Yes, I am  a freak weirdo like that.  It was also an added bonus to have a little accountability.  Although my running partners were quickly dropping like flies with the falling temps, there was still several who made an appearance.  Me, Suzanne, Kate, & Maggie – Run For Pi(e)

Today we were joining up with the Yankee Runners as they came south, out of  the Palos Hills, to run Old Plank for a change.  When I hit my usual parking area, which is quite desolate at this time of year, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was filled people…..not just people but RUNNERS!  I bet there were 25+ people out there for a run today!  AWESOME.  But I still was slightly tentative about leaving the warmth of my car.Wow, 10 degrees.  I can do it.  I have this new face mask….it will keep me warm!

There wasn’t any a lot of chatter or introductions, basically we just jumped out of our cars and took off running before we got frost-bitten.  However, I did see Judy F., Frogger, Mark C., Scott B., Cindy T. and a few other people I recognized from Running For Kicks functions or the Park Forest Running & Pancake Club.  Once we were moving, the photos blurred as the lens on my camera phone fogged.  But I still tried!

It was really beautiful out.  We had a dusting of snow, the sun was just coming up and did I mention it was 10 degrees?  The wind was low, we had a headwind going out but coming back in a full sweat I realized I was overdressed like always but it was just a beautiful day.  And as always, I was super glad I went out and got in a few miles with my friends.  On a random side note, I want to thank all of you who continue to come out and meet me to run.  It is sooooo much more fun trying to hang on to Suzanne & Kate’s coat-tails running in a group verses going solo.  Thank YOU!

“Run”way Fashion:  Reebok Compression base layer, long bra top, Athleta long sleeve lined with fleecy flannel which has thumb holes and fold overs for hands (they don’t make it anymore!), then I had a light running jacket on which is a generic off brand I’ve had for years.  On the bottom I had CW-X compression tights plus Athleta Run About Pants in TALL.  I was very bundled without too much bulk, everything fit close so that air didn’t get in to allow the sweat to freeze.  I also wore an ear band, hat, gloves and the new Seirus Innovation face mask (picked it up at Dick’s Sporting Goods last night but couldn’t seem to find it online to link it up here).  So I was really quite toasty after we got running!  You CAN run outside in the winter if you want dress appropriately.

10.03 miles – 1:34, a few stops for photos, a stop for fluids at the 4 mile mark, and a few road crossings but mostly kept it moving.  On days when its this cold, please keep moving so your sweat doesn’t freeze.  That would be bad for your skin.

Happy WINTER Running!                                                                                           Amanda – TooTallFritz

No “I” in TEAM…..

To succeed… You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you……….  Tony Dorsett


I was reading an article in Running Times this morning on Cross Country teams and how important it is to nurture the #7-15 runner.  The reason being that the top several runners are usually a lock and will perform accordingly but you also want TEAM success.  In a Cross Country competition, the overall place of the top 5 to 7 runners on a team will be added together and the LOWEST score equals the winning team.   So even if you have runners who will be first, second & third overall….you also really need a good finish from the fourth and fifth team runner too so that you score as low as possible.  And please remember that the further down the string, the more random the placements.  “Suzie” isn’t always going to be #4, so coaches have to be very careful to nurture all the runners in order for everyone to succeed to the best of their ability and therefore, secure the best result possible for team/school competition.

To me, this is easily transferred to partner/club running.  We each show up for a partner and/or group run for different reasons but the bottom line is that by showing up, we are nurturing each other.  Some run slower to help others come back from injury, build up fitness/mileage, etc….some run faster to try to keep up with the person beside them who might be a tad faster today.  The bottom line is that we ALL run outside of our comfort zone and as a result we ALL improve. 

I know what you are thinking…..”how is Brian P. improving by hanging back and running with me?”  Well, Brian P. may not have hauled his ass out of bed got up and out of the house this morning if he weren’t meeting up with the group for a run or he may have run 6 miles instead of 10 had he gone solo. I know some people are very disciplined but the rest of the world us need some help.  So, please know that when YOU get “up and out” and show up for a partner/group run, it matters.   I’d like to personally thank YOU for all of the partner/group runs where you  have made an appearance.

I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to help form a TEAM for the 2012 Chicago Marathon.  Many are on the fence about committing to the marathon distance but a team concept is what may be missing for all of you who are scared leery of such a huge undertaking.  This isn’t something that needs to be done today, and I know some who have already committed are running for Charity and will have specific obligations thru those various organizations…but the rest of YOU are free to form a team.  Help me get better and let me, and the rest of the team, help you!  Our team would go under the “blue” team category, which is not competitive but fun.  The idea of this is really to foster strong ties amongst friends/runners and to nurture each other.  We will show up united and will be there for each other no matter what happens during the race so nobody feels like they are out there alone.  We train together, go together, crawl home together.  Team Shirts will identify us and also help us reorganize after the race.   The more the merrier….any paces welcome!  

Chicago Marathon Team Competition Rules

  • A minimum of four team members is required and a team can field a maximum of 10 members.
  • A Co-ed team must have a minimum of two men and two women.
  • All registered participants are eligible for the Team Competition; however the race organization has the right to declare ineligible any participant it views as having an unfair advantage over the other teams.
  • Each team must have a unique name and roster.
  • A participant can only be a member of one team.
  • A team may only compete in one division.
  • The race organization reserves the right to refuse entry to any team with a name it deems offensive or inappropriate.
  • The top three teams in each category in the Red division will receive awards.
  • The top three teams in each category in the Blue division will receive awards.
  • Winning teams are determined once the official results of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon are announced.

What do you think?  Want to form a team?

Happy Running,                                                                                                            Amanda – TooTallFritz

Positive Changes…..

Change is good, especially when done with good intentions.  There has been much debate amongst my friends at the Frankfort Running Club regarding a name change.  Some wanted a more exciting name that would separate them from the crowd, others wanted something a little more family friendly traditional.  I feel as if the “officers” have made a good compromise in arriving at their final decision.  Please meet the FNRC……from left:  Kathy H., Susan D., Brian P., Diane F., Maggie W., Suzanne K., Brian F, Jeni H., & Jessica.

This group will now be known as the Frankfort -New Lenox- Running Club.   So for those of you who wanted a hard core more exciting name, you can still say that you are going to meet the F’N Running Club.  This will allow you to still have fun and give the “officers” freedom to promote the group in the Frankfort & New Lenox areas thru the Park Districts and other family friendly organizations.  Good compromise?    What do you think?  And thanks to all of YOU who have been coming out to join the fun and help this group grow to the point where they felt the need to be more inclusive and welcoming to others!  Way to make it happen!

So the inaugural run of the FNRC brought out an awesome group for a  cold, dark Wednesday night!  I was very pleased.  There were nine people available for the photo, then myself, and two more who showed up (12 total) in time to sprint off into the darkness.  Thank you to for lighting our way in the dark!  Many of us have them now with more people ordering them today so we illuminate the path like a train really light up the darkness.  Hope we didn’t scare anyone! 

We have been merging with an area Team in Training group for many of our runs as of late because THE MORE THE MERRIER!  That is really what I love most about this group.  They are friendly, nice people, easy to converse with and have a great attitude about running and life.  The paces and distances last night varied greatly as some people are trying to rebound from injuries.  The group ran anywhere from 2 to 6 miles as a whole and there were a few of us who added in some extra miles before hand to make it an 8 mile day.  Not bad for a Wednesday.  So proud of everyone for coming out in the cold. 

And it was F’N COLD!  It was 33 with a breeze when I started my run about 4:35pm and 29 when I finished at 6:15.  I literally had to hug a tree to stay steady enough for a photo….the shivers were taking over!

I only ran a little before everyone came and didn’t stop for many photos because you have already seen a billion photos from this trail it was dark.  I did grab one photo of the Christmas lights. 

It was a beautiful, crisp clear night.  Ms. TooTall wasn’t exactly dressed as planned but I improvised with my RunLove Compression Socks from to cover up the extra skin.  They currently have two pair (aqua and purple) of compression socks on the  SkirtSwaggle page for $19.20!  Great deal, along with many other products that are marked way down for the Active Swaggle deal, plus they are offering free shipping with the PROMO Code:  SKIRTSCHWAG …. Not sure how long they will last so if you want some, buy soon.

“Run”way Fashion:  RunLove Compression Socks, Athleta Headwinds Jacket (wind /rain/snow DOES NOT get thru….select sizes on sale now for $49.99), the Saucony Guide 5’s with the 8 mm drop.

I had heard lots of positive things about the RunLove compression socks, specifically them being a great product for the price.    I have a pair of the CEP compression calf sleeves and consider those to be awesome so thought it would be a big step down to move to these but I really liked them.  They are normally $32 each, which is still a great deal but the Swaggle deal is awesome at the $19.20.  I wore these socks all day at work, then ran in them, then home to the kids for dinner, laundry, etc.  I had them on for about 16 hours and didn’t even notice them.  They didn’t move, just continued to hug my calf muscles and make them feel warm and cozy.  A very light pressure, no pinching, no discomfort.  LOVE!

I also have been wearing the new Saucony Guide 5’s with the 8 mm drop.  Lots of hoopla about this shoe.  I normally wear the Saucony Guide as I need a light stability shoe due to a very high arch and overpronating.  My heel is very narrow, like possibly a AAA?  I don’t have many options that lock my foot in place without heel slippage.  As a result, I have been wearing Saucony for many years now so was NOT excited about a big change.  Then the huge ad campaign for the 8 mm drop just made me more nervous.  I am NOT a barefoot runner and I NEVER want to be one, so going closer to barefoot scares the shit out of me.  However, I must say it has been a pleasant surprise.  The shoe is noticeably lighter, the official weight difference is 1.5 ounces, which should seem like nothing but it’s noticeable.  In order to break these in a bit before just hitting the trail, I have been wearing them at night, around the house, after wearing normal trainers all day.  I could tell a difference immediately on the weight and added forefoot cushioning once I changed into these shoes.  Most of the weight came out of the back-end, around the heel and since I am a forefoot runner I don’t need/want a heavy heel cup.  This works well for me.  So thumbs on the 8 mm drop. 

8.14 miles in 1:19.   A few stops to pick up/drop off additional runners, wait at turnaround points, etc. but overall, kept moving.  

Happy Running,                                                                                                                  Amanda – TooTallFritz