Like A Kid at Christmas…..

As I drove away from the Running For Kicks fun run last night, I was so giddy, I felt like a kid at Christmas.  The excitement lasted the entire 45 minute ride home and thru the remainder of the evening.  I was totally high off the run.  I actually wondered if the feeling was the “runners high” that people talk about but I’m quite certain I have never personally experienced.  The reason does not matter, just let it suffice to say this was the most “fun” I have had on a run in a very, very long time.  And that’s saying quite a bit because I actually like to run and find it enjoyable most of the time.

The fun run participants were so numberous, many didn’t even make the picture but here are the ones who bothered to stand still for the 2 seconds for Gail to snap the photo.  I’m in the back, just right of middle in the red shirt with the HUGE reflective log in the middle. 

Good to know that the reflectivity of my Athleta Hopkinton Top is no joke.  Don’t say that you didn’t see me coming! 

After the group photo, most of these people took off in a sprint but the F’N Running Club people were awaiting the arrival of MagMileRunner (Maggie) so this gave me an opportunity to grab a few photos.  Me & Gail….yes, I often cut myself off.  I  need a cell phone photog class.

FNRC Runners, minus MagMileRunner:  Aurelia, Kate, Running (Kell)ometers – Kelly, Get to Goal – Amanda, Joe, & Me:

Then Maggie arrived and we were off and running.  Apparently we ran thru “the hills” of Ishnala but it was dark and so much fun that I didn’t realize there were many hills.  I did notice an occasional downhill because of the downward momentum.  Not sure if we ran up those hills or not.  We might possibly have been running faster than some might consider fun and I secretly knew that I was sabotaging today’s speed workout on the dreadmill but I was having so much fun it was hard to give a damn care.  On the miles where my watch beeped and I knew we didn’t have “many” stops, we were right between 8:40 and 8:44.  Take that Ishnala!  

One might say the RFK runners invaded the Ishnala subdivision in a similar manner as to how children invade a neighborhood at Halloween.  There were runners EVERYWHERE.  Most of the runners had blinking lights and/or reflective wear.  Even though it was dark, we were very visible and you could see runners at almost every intersection.  None of us really knew the route so there was a lot of running, stopping, and jumping on the back of a passing group.  Then we would pass our “leaders” just to get to an new intersection and again stop to “discuss” the route and/or await an approaching group for direction.  It was quite an adventure and so much fun!  I’m so happy that I finally made it on time out for a RFK Fun Run!

When we returned to the store, we were greeted by the smell of chili with all the fixings and lot s of smelly runners.  The Mizuno Rep was also in the house and brought shoes for everyone to try during their fun run, then they raffled off 2 pair of shoes!  No, I didn’t win but I was hoping I would!  Here is a look at the store with everyone eating and awaiting the raffle: 

I encourage you to make it a point to get to Running For Kicks for one of these awesome group runs.  There were paces from walk, run/walk to really fast people.   Monday nights at 6pm, rain or shine!

Happy Running!                                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                             amanda@tootallfritz.com

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The Art of Customer Service….

As technology changes and advances daily, I sometimes think the internet rules the world.   In this new technological age, it is harder and harder to get good customer service.  Any information we can find on a company is provided thru the internet and there aren’t readily available phone numbers in the “contact us” section.  Most of the time, if I have an issue, I resort to emailing customer service and/or doing live chats with a representative.  The results tend to be mixed and I honestly, do not have high expectations that “issues” will be resolved in a positive manner. 

However, I was more than pleasantly surprised with the customer service I recently received from Under Armour.  For the record, they are not one of my sponsors but I would certainly be open to a proposal!  I contacted Under Armour because I had purchased a heavy-duty 3.0 Base Layer exactly 1 year ago.  Although, I have had the product for quite some time, I only pull this bad boy out when it’s REALLY cold.  I believe I wore it 2x last winter and it’s been sitting and waiting since.  I have only had to pull it out for one run this year.  Here is the photo of Joe, Julie & I in the freezing temps on Jan 2nd.  I believe we also had a little rain & snow, and the wind was atrocious but I was warm! 

However, upon my return home and washing my beautiful 3.0, things went bad.  I’m not really sure what happened as this was the 3rd wash for it and I didn’t have problems before but it came out of the washer like this: 

Absolutely Ruined.

I admit, I was upset.  I decided to contact Under Armour, not because I thought they would do anything but because I wanted them to know.  I sent an email to customer service and attached these two pictures (above).  Within 2 or 3 days, I had a response and an apology with instructions on how to return the merchandise for a refund/exchange.  I opted for an exchange and it has arrived!  I noticed immediately that the product has changed over the last year.   The material is thinner and less plush.  I anticipate it will be just as warm as the other but probably less issues with machine washing and pilling.  In fact, I have noticed all brands of technical, cold weather gear within the last couple years to have become thinner and less bulky.  They still provide the same warmth but we have less to haul around while running, jumping & playing in the cold.  Three layers now, isn’t what three layers was 2 years ago.  As with everything, gear technology is also moving forward at an amazing rate.  As a result, my outer layers are becoming baggy cuz trust me, I’m not losing any weight, so I will need to start buying a size smaller.  Win!

Thank you,  Under Armour!  You have certainly made a lifetime customer out of me.  I had even been considering trying one of your running shoes for my triathlon adventures this year and think I’m going to place that order very soon.  Look for Ms. TooTall “TRI”ing in these UA Charge RCs……

Have you had any positive customer service interactions where you felt they just went above and beyond to help you out? 

Happy Running,                                                                                                               Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                               amanda@tootallfritz.com

Time Changes ALMOST Everything……

It was a busy weekend.  I went home to my parents with the kiddos for a trip to the Shrine Circus.  We have been going every year since Aby was 1 and now with Michael only being 2, we will be sitting in those same seats for many years to come.  I know we shouldn’t go because of all the sticky animal rights issues and we recognize that we are just perpetuating the problem but the kids love it, so we keep going back.  Then Sara and I whisper back and forth the entire time about how unnatural it is for the animals to have to do tricks, etc, all the while the kids are ooohhhhing and aaaahhhhing.  Auntie Sara & Michael, of course, he was being a stinker and wouldn’t look at the camera.

Grandma F & her girls – Lexi (Sara’s Daughter), Grandma & Aby:

Lots of fun but Michael kept demanding that the elephants “come, now!”  He was screaming at the top of his lungs, “Elephants, COME!”  At one point, he even insisted that he would go get them himself.  Yep, that’s my boy.  Sometimes if you REALLY want something then you just can’t wait but have to MAKE IT HAPPEN!

On days like this when I’m at the parents, I usually get up in the dark really early and go for a run before all the fun begins.  However, on Saturday when my alarm went off in the wee hours of the morning, I opened my eyes to shut down the alarm and realized that my head was pounding.  Killer headache before I even woke up.  Yikes!  So, I {gasp} opted to skip the run.  Once I finally was able to haul myself out of bed to go to the circus I soon discovered that “sleeping in” was a good option as we had a nice 1″ cover of snow and the roads were a mess.  I wouldn’t have made it far before I would have had to turn around for safety issues.

However, the change of run plans ended up being a great thing because I decided to run a new trail, mid day, in the town where I went to high school.  I had previously seen a  trail map of the Bixler Lake Walking Trail which was a perfect 3.1 mile loop around Bixler Lake.  Wow, things have changed since I went to HS.  This trail didn’t exist then.  I must admit my expectations were not high but I managed to recruit my pal Adella and she was brave enough to leave her warm house and snuggly kiddos break trail with me around Bixler. 

I was slightly nervous about getting lost, which if you know Kendallville, IN, this sounds RIDICULOUS but it was a trial thru the woods and well, I was anxious.  So I was beyond happy that Adella came out with me!  We soon realized that this “new” trail was AMAZING!  I took a billion lot of photos but will try to pare them down for you.  Here is the view from the parking area at the Sherman Street entrance which is only about a 1/4 mile from the HS. 

We ran about a 100 meters before I asked Adella if she would sit her ass on this snowy bench for the sake of a photo.  I know you are all green with envy, wishing it were your ass in the snow you were here with us.  

Sites from the Bixler Lake Trail

The wooded section was short, I was too busy taking photos talking with Adella to notice exactly how far but I would guestimate it being possibly 1/3 of the 3.1 mile loop, so roughly a mile.  However, the snow and terrain did not make it a quick trip thru the woods.  The area was also very wet, I would anticipate it being extremely wet in the spring and summer.  There were many places were we crunched thru snow/ice and into a little bit of  water.  Not deep but it was in the upper 20’s so definitely below freezing, and there was a wicked wind too so everything was frozen pretty good.  Just don’t wear your new shoes out here if you are gonna bitch worry about getting them dirty.  Once we busted out of the woods we were in familiar territory near the camp sites and pavilions where we used to run Cross Country. 

Hey random walking dude, can you take our picture?  A few sites from up by the camp sites. 

The remainder of the loop was much less eventful as we had to run the road back around the lake.  There were some improvements over the last 20 year as the K-Ville Parks & Rec Dpt has added a walking path and street lights beside a portion of the lakeside road.

Other things seem timeless……just the way we left them.

Kudos, Kendallville for the “new” improvements.  I’m impressed and I will definitely be back!  Thank you!  Please add a Starbucks next.

Saturday was a 9.22 mile day.  I ran the loop once with Adella, then we did some easier street miles, then I re-ran the loop solo.  The first loop was with Yak Trax that worked really awesome on the snowy trail but then I had to take them off once we hit the road.  The second loop, I ran without the Yak Trax and had some serious slippin’ and slidin’ going on in the wooded area.  So I give the Yak Trax a thumbs up in appropriate conditions.

Today (Sunday), I squeaked in a quick 5.5 miles as the kiddos were having breakfast with Grammie & Grampie.   I LOVE being at the lake with the parents because they honestly don’t mind my disappearing for a few miles.  Here is the sun coming up over Witmer Lake. 

                                             Swamp lands around the lakes:Lastly, the spot where LilWhiteDog ran out of the cornfield and into my heart forever.  I hope he is doing well in his new home.Great weekend running and otherwise.  I hope all of you had some fun and are ready to start a new week!  Did you do anything exciting or were you able to try anything new?

Happy Running!                                                                                                              Amanda – TooTallFritz

Speedplay – Session II – FAIL

Today was my second speed session.  It was supposed to be on Tuesday; however, on TUE I didn’t leave the house other than taking the lil man to the doctor (for the second day in a row) and I don’t have a treadmill.  So today was the day, or so I thought.  I felt calm, cool and collected walking in, just like these chicks painted on the wall: 

But I was soon falling off the back of the treadmill.  JUST.COULD.NOT.HANG.ON. 

I was supposed to do 6x 800m at a certain pace.  I made one.  Yep, you read that correctly, one.  And it was a struggle to make that.  I just couldn’t get thru the second one before bumping down the speed.  I was afraid of actually falling off the treadmill in front of my building mates.  Then number three slid a little further down hill…… and so on and so forth.  I think you get the picture.  I didn’t make it happen, not even close.  I wanted to but I couldn’t.  Now the list of excuses:

  • Didn’t have my iPod
  • The TV on the treadmill makes me feel claustrophobic even though it wasn’t on.  By the way, BeARunner said that first, it’s not an original thought but that’s exactly how I feel.  See their post HERE.
  • Too much cuddle time with the lil man this week, not enough workouts
  • 8 mile run yesterday
  • Not enough sleep
  • Worried about the lil man – who is back to school today.  I know I’m reaching.
  • Maybe I just am not fast enough to hit those times

As a punishment, I ate this for lunch:  lettuce wraps, greek yogurt & water. 

Actually that’s a normal lunch for me, so not really a punishment.  Maybe I should say that I ate it before I ran and was cramping?  Nobody would believe that.

Help me think of other excuses to give Coach Frogger before he reads this post since I “forgot” to send him the update email.  Best excuses for failure not hitting your times?  Fast!  Help Tell me now!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

Getting to Know……ME

TAG, I’m it……x2!  There is a getting to know you type game rolling thru the blogosphere.  The concept is that a blogger tags bloggy friends, ask questions and like any good chain letter game they then keep the ball rolling til it fizzles out.  The game is creatively titled “11 Things”.  They ask 11 questions, I answer, then I create 11 questions & tag 11 of my favorite bloggers to do the same.  Don’t kill me but my tag may be coming for YOU!

The questions I received from Jolene & Jess are below, along with my heartfelt answers.   And by the way, I’m doing this for you, all the new “you’s” who may not know me as well as my mom long time friends. 

Jolene – Journey of a Canuck Mom on the Run

1.  Did you have a childhood nickname?  What was it?  Wait for it……Too Tall Fritz was my childhood nickname.  Nice start, Jolene, I couldn’t have ASKED for a better question!
2.  What is the weirdest thing you have ever done while driving?  I will pretend this is not the world wide web where my answer will be sitting out in foreverland, well, forever.  I am guilty of occasionally writing the check to daycare while driving.  I never seem to write it ahead of time and well, time is an “issue” for me.  This doesn’t happen often but I’ve done it more than once.  Sorry about sloppy writing, Nicki.
3.  Do you have any strange phobias? What are they?  Not sure I have a phobia but I really dislike snakes.  Like when I hiked the Grand Canyon in 2005, that was my biggest fear.  I was constantly on the watch for them. 
4.  If you could travel to anyplace right now without worrying about finances or how long you are gone, where would you go? Why?  Rio de Janeiro – white sand beaches, rain forests, Carnival, fit & fab bodies everywhere, plus they stole the 2016 Olympics from Chicago so they must be “all that”.  I wanna go.  Now.  Like, right now.
5.  What was the last movie you saw in the theater?  Breaking Dawn – Part I.  Yep, and I’m proud of it too!  Loved the books and well, the movies aren’t great but it’s part of the mourning process of a good thing coming to an end.  And Aby likes them so it’s one of the ONLY times we get out of the house without everyone else. 
6.  What song always makes you happy when you hear it?  Why?  I have a screaming toddler and a 10-year-old, plus it’s loud at work and on the train.  Silence makes me happy.
7.  If you had to move to another state right now, where would you move and why?  I want to go home to mommy & daddy back to Indiana.  I’m pretty sure the parents would let my whole family move in without much fuss.  I’d be screwed on the cat and 3 dogs though…..or I’d be home packing my bags now.
8.  Salty or sweet?  What is your favorite?  Why choose?  Diversity is a great thing. 
9.  Do you have any pets?  What are they are?  1 bitch-ass cat who is older than God.  3 dogs:  1 Weimaraner & 2 petfinder.com mutts, all approaching 8 years. 
10.  Snow or rain?  Pick your poison.  I love both, unless I have to clean off the dogs paws, then I’ll choose snow and lots of it, please! 
11.  Name someone you would love to meet right now, who is currently living?  Why would you like to meet them?   WOW, tough one.   I know I’m supposed to say  something like Desi Davila, Kara Goucher, or Shalane Flanagan but I have a friend in FL that I have known for years, who I have never actually met.  So, I’d like to meet Angela C.

Jess – Run with Jess

  1. I know you’re a runner – but have you ever watched/cheered at a race?  My daughter is a Cross Country runner so I not only watch/cheer but also perform timing duties or whatever else needs to be done.  However, last year as I was running the Chicago Marathon I promised myself that if I kept going and finished, I didn’t have to run in 2012 but I would instead work a water stop.  But I lied to myself again and will be signing up on Feb 1.
  2. Where’s your favorite place to run?  I like trails.  They can be rail trails, grassy, single track, anything that gets me out of the house into the open air.
  3. Would you rather be able to run fast OR far?  If I had to choose, I’d rather be fast.  I love a good 5K at a quick pace.
  4. Name one bad habit that you want to break:   I eat too much crap.  I do really good and make good choices and eat healthy most of the time but I still like some junk on occasion.
  5. If you could trade lives with anyone for just 1 day, who would it be?  Another tough one.  I think I’d have to take a pass on this one.  I know the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence but I think trading lives would break the illusion of your “hero” or possibly make your life more difficult to handle upon the return.  God got it right, it may not be easy but I’ll take my life today and every day hereafter.
  6. Your ideal workout would consist of……a nice 10 mile run with friends.
  7. Name 1 food item that you’d like to magically make “healthy”:    Pizza.  I usually get it with spinach and tomatoes and then I pretend it’s healthy.
  8. What’s your favorite distance to run, and why?  10 miles.  Its far enough to seem like an accomplishment and a challenge but short enough that it doesn’t require a lot planning or recovery.
  9. What’s the one thing about running that you DON’T like?  Losing toe nails. 
  10. What’s your favorite cross-training exercise?  StairMaster
  11. What sports did you play in high school?   Cross Country (hated distance running as a kid), Gymnastics (not sure why I did this….I sucked),  and Track & Field (I believe I still have the High Jump record at my HS at 5’5″).

Questions to my Bloggy Friends: 

  1. Favorite race/event & why?
  2. Were you a Princess or TomBoy?
  3. Who or What inspires you & why?
  4. Do you have more “online” friends or real life friends?
  5. 20 Year Class Reunion….Are you going, legitimately busy or you wouldn’t be caught dead stepping in the door?
  6. Do you prefer Flowers or Candy from the significant other or should they save the $?
  7. If you were rich and famous and had the balls guts to name your kid something outlandish, what would that be?  First and Middle name, please!
  8. You’re in a marathon, in first place, on world record pace…..You have to “go”.  Do you stop for a port-o-pot, and possibly lose the race and miss the world record or do you go in the street for the world to see?
  9. Why do you run?
  10. Favorite type of run:  Group, Solo, Tempo, Long Run, Speed Work?
  11. Most adventurous “out of character” thing you’ve ever done?

I’m tagging:

  1. Maggie – Mag Mile Runner
  2. Kelly – Running (kell)ometers
  3. Kelly the Culinarian
  4. Jeni – Sparkalish Roar
  5. Amanda – Get to Goal
  6. Katye – Long Legs on the Loose (Team Tough Chik!)
  7. Christy – Christy Runs (Team Tough Chik!)
  8. Carmen – She Runs Everywhere (Team Tough Chik!)
  9. Gina – Slow is the New Fast (Team Tough Chik!)
  10. Susan – Tri SusanK (Team Tough Chik!)
  11. Larissa – Larissa Milano Fitness (Team Tough Chik!)

Falling in Love…..with Life

It’s been a rough week already, the lil man is still sick and this is my first and possibly last day of work this week.  Since Hubby is home with the lil man today, I raced into work EARLY this morning to pound out as much as possible and still be able to squeeze in a decent mid-day run.  As I rushed out the door at “lunch”, the plan was to run the Chicago Riverwalk. 

I have been “saving” this trail for a day like today when time was tight and/or the wind was too bad for me to brave hit the lakefront.  I left the building in a very bitchy stressed out state of mind but very quickly came to realize how fortunate I am, how much I love my life even with all its imperfect drama, how much I love running and how much I love Chicago.  I have come to realize that each time I step out that door for a new adventure run, I fall in love with life all over again.  It’s a good feeling.  However, I must admit that I am a Chicago transplant.  I grew up in the cornfields of Indiana and let’s just say that it wasn’t love at first sight when I was introduced to Chicago.  In fact, if it weren’t for running, I’d probably still hate not like it here.  I miss my family and still want to go home each and every day but running has given me so much appreciation for life in general and the beauty of ChiTown.  In my non-running years, I would never have made it to the lakefront on a cold and frozen day to see the ice floating peacefully on such a strong, powerful body of water known as Lake Michigan.  It’s one of OUR Great Lakes and I can run beside it each and every day.

The Riverwalk path is a side trip off the Lakefront path and it is short and sweet.  I would estimate it to be about a mile in length and unless you plan to climb up & out to the street, it’s an out and back.  In the summer, this path is bustling with lots of people and various activities but today it was rather desolate.  

However, there were many hints remaining of what to look for come nicer weather. 

The trail is sunken down to river level and the city of Chicago towers overhead.  Pretty cool really and with this being a short jaunt from Navy Pier, I encourage you to take a stroll here with the family to experience the Riverwalk for yourself. 

Hope to see you on the Riverwalk come Spring!  I know I’ll be back to see the sights and take some new photos!

All-in-all, good run.  I did link up with the lakefront path for some extra miles.  I ended with 8.09 miles in 1:19 with lots of stops for photos and walking spurts for ice covered areas.

Non-Riverwalk related sidenote:  Lots of questions and talk about recovery as of late.  It’s not a secret that I’m an AdvoCare distributor.  It’s not a secret that I became a distributor for the discount because I LOVE the Post Workout Recovery drink.  It’s not a secret that you can check it out (and many other products) on my microsite HERE.    It’s not a secret that I can do what I do, each and every day, because of being able to properly recover.  If you want to MAKE IT HAPPEN on a daily basis, pay attention to your recovery.  On the “bad” days, I not only use the Post Workout Recovery drink but also the Nighttime Recovery so that I can make it happen again tomorrow.  Please feel free to browse my microsite, get familiar with the products, read up on our Scientific & Medical Advisory Board and take a peek at our professional endorsers.  If you have questions, I’m happy to help.  If you order anything, I will profit.  If you don’t want me to profit, but are interested in AdvoCare, check out my friend Lisa‘s microsite.  She too can help you so you can get your ass off the couch and do it again tomorrow.

Happy Running & Recovery                                                                                        Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                                 amanda@tootallfritz.com

Practicality….

So all the practical runners are now running boring subdivion routes to avoid those snowy & slick trails.  While I certainly understand the practicality of that decision, I still long for the beauty and tranquility of the tree-lined trails.  So Aurelia was brave enough to give it a go with me yesterday on the trails near Yankee Woods.  Me & Aurelia: 

But we didn’t make it very far.  We struggled thru deep snow for less than a mile before pulling out and hitting the roads.  It was beautiful even though short-lived and it sucks that of course, practicality always wins. 

We stopped so that I could remove the YakTraks, which were great in the snow, then off to traverse new and unexplored neighborhoods.  It was windy and cold at 22 degrees but the neighborhood homes did provide a wind break and we muddled thru for a slow 10.04 miles.  I’m pretty sure that I was holding Aurelia back as my quads are fatigued from some new activities and it was slow going for me but she was kind about it.  Thanks, Aurelia!

It was good that I got up and out early as my lil man did not leave my hip once I returned home.  At first it was all smiles and giggles and playing.

And then my lil man turned into a sleepy, feverish sickie.  He still isn’t better.  I’m currently awaiting the meds to wear off to see if he needs to visit the doc.   Love my lil man and totally don’t want him to be sick, ever if it does mean extra cuddles and love for Mommy TooTall.

Amanda – TooTallFritz

A Picture’s Worth….

They always say that a picture is worth a thousand words and since we did about a thousand things today, this is the cliff note version in pictorial form.  The morning started with a quick run with the F’N Running Club.  After 7 to 9 inches of snow falling across the south suburbs, we were pretty light on bodies this morning.  Joe, Susan, Brian & Nicole showed up to run.  A a subdivision route was chosen in order to stay off the snowy, slippery trail.

I even busted my YakTrax out of the box.  They have been sitting new and unused for several years.  I really liked them in the snowy/slushy areas but they really hurt my feet when the streets were clear.  I could feel those springs up in my arch and it didn’t feel good on the Plantar Fasciitis.  I will try them out again tomorrow for a second chance but they may be banished back the to box sooner rather than later.

F’N Runners showing they are multi-talented and can run with their eyes closed.  Joe & Susan:Nicole:

Then straight home to the kiddos to play in the snow!  Aby on the snowmobile:

Daddy & Michael:

Michael and Aby on the swing….exactly what ALL kids do when there is 7″ of snow on the ground, right?

Dakota loves the snow!Libby hates the snow!

Then off to a car show.  The kiddos loved the Joker car.Then a few more errands and over to Grandpa C’s for Happy Birthday Cake.  Michael likes birthdays almost as much as he likes Santa. 

Then a “nutritious” take-out dinner:

Wow, busy day!  What did you do today?

Amanda – TooTallFritz

SuperWoman

Today was INSANE.  Thank goodness I wore my SuperWoman costume under my work clothes! 

In my I’m never going to be an Olympian real life., I work for a law firm in an intense deadline oriented field.  To top that off, we are a very small firm.  Like it doesn’t get any smaller than us, short of the lawyer not having a staff and doing everything him/herself.  Meet our staff…..  Me, Myself & I.  And yes, I wear that goofy hat IN the office all the time.  Okay, not really.We do have an attorney who occasionally helps us out and we made full use of his law degree today by sticking him on the photocopy machine to free me up so I could still pound out docs, then the guy whose name is on the door could proof/sign….then off they went to our “helper” to copy so I could file everything prior to the deadline.  Yep, it’s a glamorous life.  And although the helper attorney was very kind about helping out, I’m pretty sure he wanted to shoot me.

In the midst of the chaos filings, I disappeared slipped out for some interval work at the gym lunch.  I am very lucky in that I have a small but full gym in my building which is free to its tenants.  I don’t use it much unless it is CRAZY cold out or sleeting or….well those are about the only reasons.  I’m not much of a gym rat and tend to only use a gym for its pool (and this gym doesn’t have a pool).  However, since today was my first of many “speed play” days, I took it to the gym and the DREADmillThanks goes to Frogger for giving me some direction!I am not a DREADmill runner.  I can never get the speed right.  I’m either going too slow and bumping up on the front of the machine and/or annoyingly stepping on the front guard.  I know you have somebody at your gym who is CONSTANTLY stepping on the guard and I’m sure it drives you as crazy as it does me to hear that non-stop slapping.  Well, it drives me just as crazy to be the one doing the slapping.  If the machine isn’t too slow, then it is too fast and trying to flip me off the back.  I must look ridiculous.  And when I’m on the DREADmill, I sweat like I have never ran before in my life.

I try to look like this: 

But yeah, we know that I don’t.  In fact the DREADmill is so much of an effort for me both mentally and physically that I always need a shower before going back to the office.  Good thing the shower at the gym is nicer than mine at home most locker rooms.

Then back to work I went for more chaos fun.  Very short workout.  I did some speed play with slow jogging in between.  I was on the DREADmill for less than 25 minutes.  Shortest.Workout.Ever.  But it’s in the done column and I didn’t want to do too much too fast.  This was a test.

How do you feel about the DREADmill?  Are you the graceful swan or the slapping idiot?  Or do you just skip it all together?  Tell me!  Or feel free to give me pointers!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

They can’t all be THE BOMB….

It’s Wednesday which means that it was run night with the F’N Running Club.  We had to deviate from our normal plan since the trail was snow and ice-covered.  This happens a lot during winter but we have been lucky thus far so this is one of the first runs we have done that was off trail.  A local subdivision was chosen for us to ambush and we swooped in with our knucklelights.  I was fortunate enough to get there a little early so that I could scope out the neighborhood before dark.  It was busy, windy and had several patches of ice but certainly better than the trail.  There was one nice 1.5 mile loop that Brian F. was able to extend for us to just under 5 miles.

Here is our group for tonight.  We were a little light but it was cold and windy so I can’t blame anyone for opting out going to the gym instead.  From left:  Cathie, Dawn, April, Brian F., Susan & Aurelia.

Even though the temps were in the 20s, it seemed cooler than that to me with the wind factor.  I was layered for probably 10 to 15 degree weather and it worked out correctly this time.  I was very happy to have Susan and Aurelia for company or I would have probably skipped it tonight.  I’m tired and don’t have much “umph” in my step.  Super glad to feel accountable to the group as it forced me to show up when I wasn’t feeling it.

So I went 2.91 solo, then another 6.4 with the group for a total of 9.31 miles on a cold, windy Wednesday night.  That’s a win in my book.  It wasn’t a nice scenic trail view, there wasn’t a tight row of trees providing shelter and wind break, we had added traffic/darkness/ice factors to deal with but we were still able to make it happen.  Not every run is going to be one for the record books, gotta take the good with the mediocre and (gasp) even the bad.

How about you, did you get out tonight or choose the gym?  Or did you skip a workout all together in favor of a rest day?

Layer Up!                                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz