The Jelly Bean Virtual Race via RunWithJess

One of my Ragnar Relay teammates, RunWithJess is doing a Jelly Bean Virtual Race this upcoming week.  She secured some AWESOME sponsors who have donated a TON of prizes.  I  was late to the game as always and just signed up yesterday but I wanted to share this with you in case you too have neglected to sign up.  First and foremost, the race is FREE and since it’s virtual, that means you can do it virtually anywhere.  🙂   Plus, if you enter, then you will also be eligible to win one of the random prizes which the sponsors have donated. 

Race Options: 

  • Run 5K (3.1 miles)
  • Run 10K  (6.2 miles)
  • Run Half-Marathon (13.1 miles)
  • Bike 21K (13 miles)

 

Prizes:

  • SparkleSkirt (the tech skirt)
  • iTunes gift card
  • iPod shuffle & Cap/Water Bottle from Sexy Mom’s Running Club
  • Road ID gift card
  • Aquaphor gift pack
  • Bob Harper DVD
  • Nuun tablets & Nuun T-Shirt/Water Bottle 
  • Tough Chik – T-Shirt/Cap/Sticker
  • KnuckleLights
  • Gu
  • Lululemon gift card
  • Autographed copy of Life on the Run (Bart Yasso)
  • Fitsok
  • PF Chang’s gift card
  • Reebok running shirt

You can choose one or more distances to complete over the race week from April 1 to April 8th.  Of course, I signed up for all 4 events, Go Big or Go Home, right?  You also have the option to purchase a race shirt which says “Running takes Heart and Sole“.  Good one, Jess!  Love it!

Head over and sign up for something today and good luck on winning one of the prizes!  Don’t you just love the chance to win a prize when you will be doing the same thing you do each and every day?  Here is your reward for your continued dedication to fitness!  I’ll see YOU on the trail!

Happy Running,                                                                                                                  Amanda – TooTallFritz

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Like a Ton of Bricks…..

Yesterday was a great day for running in the CHI with temps in the low 50s around lunchtime.  I wanted to head out to see if I could get a few photos of the flowers and trees which are starting to bloom.  This is an exciting time for me, possibly because I am a springtime baby, I definitely love this time of year the most!

My first stop was at Millennium Park because Hubby called my cell as I was passing by.

Soon the fountains will be turned on and you won’t be able to pass this area without hearing the squeals of laughing children playing in the water, awaiting the spitting fountain of water out of the “faces” and then the waterfall from the top of these towers.  It’s a lot of fun for young and old alike and always makes me smile when the fountains are on and alive with activity.There are always various pieces of abstract art displayed in the park.  The art pieces change periodically and add a different flavor to the environment with each new exhibit. 

Once I hit the lakefront, I ran south toward McCormick.  It’s less crowded that way, has more foliage, has a little gravel path at the side for softer surface running and also passes all the museums. 

Monroe Harbor:

Path beside Burnham Harbor:

This last photo is pretty much where the fun ended.  I turned around shortly after this because I didn’t want to run too far.  My legs are still a bit tight and fatigued from the Shamrock Shuffle so I have been trying to get in a few miles this week but not get crazy yet.  When I made the flip, I was back in this same area, running on the left side of this photo, in the crushed limestone area (off of the black top) and I tripped.  I was looking at the ground like always so was definitely focused on the task at hand.  No iPod.  No distraction.  No excuse.  I stubbed my toe on “something” and went down like a ton of bricks.   Since I was in mid stride and was running a decent pace, I was immediately airborne.  There was no catching myself, I was going down.  I put my hands out, one of which was carrying my phone, realized I was traveling to fast for this to turn into anything but a face plant so opted for a tumble roll to save face….as if that were even possible at this point.  The good news, I rolled, got up, brushed off and was unharmed other than a few grass stains on my hands and Aby’s new Fort2Base half zip which I had stolen plus a few clover leaves stuck in the case of my phone, which I did not drop.

Of course, I immediately wondered what made me trip but by the time I brushed off, removed the impacted dirt and clover leaves from my phone took off the grass stained half zip and tied it around my waist, there were people coming down the path.  At this point, I opted to just RUN so that I possibly didn’t have to talk to them about WHY I fell.  Who knows but when Ms. TooTall goes down, there aren’t any ballerina type graceful moves, its full force LIKE A TON OF BRICKS.  Thank goodness for the tumble roll.  Thank goodness I ran south instead of north so I wasn’t swimming in Lake Michigan instead of brushing off a few dirt and grass stained spots!  Thank goodness I wasn’t in a group run where I would have most likely taken out Aurelia and Susan too!  

I would also like to add that through all of these acrobatics, the damn PunkeeLove Headband did NOT move!  No joke.  I knew they were awesome and have been wearing the ones that I bought at the expo on every run but this really made me a believer.  There is your next giveaway:  PunkeeLove Headbands!  The package is in the mail, I’ll post it as soon as it arrives.  Stay tuned because you NEED a few of these headbands!  Here is a pic of my green one below.  I also have a double strand red/gold one which I wore yesterday.  I was told the double strand bands should be up on the website this week.

I also squeezed in a quick swim last night which was much less dramatic.  I just tried to focus on getting my rhythm back and using the full length of my arms to not “short” my stroke (thanks, Jackie!!).  My main swim goal for the year is bilateral breathing but I did not work on that yesterday, just focused on my stroke.  I swam 40 laps which is 1000 yards or 0.567 miles.  I normally swim 80 laps but swimming is like everything else and I need to get acclimated and build my endurance.  It will take a couple of weeks and I should be back to 80 laps per swim.  The 40 laps took me approximately 23 minutes.   The 80 should be right around 45 minutes once I’m reacclimated. 

If you want real details on swimming and proper technique, go over and check out Kelly the Culinarian’s post on her first swim lesson.  My approach to swimming is a lot like Dori from Finding Nemo:  Just Keep Swimming.

“Run & TRI”way fashion for the day:  Fort2Base half zip; Athleta Relay Capri (best capri’s EVER!), PunkeeLove Headband, SkirtSports.com  TRI Tank, Speedo Vanquisher goggles (from SwimOutlet.com), Swim Cap – Freebie from USAT.  I actually never buy swim caps because I get a free one in every race so I just keep them and use those in the pool.  I don’t have a brand preference, just use the freebies.

What did you do yesterday?  Any trouble staying on your feet lately?  Do you fall down gracefully or like a ton of bricks like me?

Happy Running & TRIing!                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz

I AM A RUNNER

For those of you who have known me the majority of my life, there is no question to you that I am a runner.  I have always been a runner and, God willing, I will always be a runner.  There have been periods in my life where I have lost focus and/or was too busy livin’ the life just not able/willing to schedule fitness into my life but I was still a runner.    There are some people who met me during those nonproductive crazy times that think I have now “changed” and am obsessed, or even crazy, because I have running so high on my current priority list.  To those people, I say, I AM A RUNNER.

  • I do not have screaming children because I run; I run because I have screaming children.
  • I AM A RUNNER
  • I do not have a messy house because I run; I run because I have a messy house.
  • I AM A RUNNER
  • I do not need sanity because I run; I run because I need sanity.
  • I AM A RUNNER
  • I do not want to explore nature because I run; I run because I want to explore nature.
  • I AM A RUNNER
  • I do not appreciate life because I run; I run because I appreciate life.
  •  I AM A RUNNER
  •  I do not love my kids more than life because I run; I run because I love my kids more than life.
  • I AM A RUNNER
  • I do not attempt to stay calm, cool & collected because I run; I run because I want to stay calm, cool & collected.
  • I AM A RUNNER
  •  I do not view life as an adventure because I run; I run because I view life as an adventure.
  • I AM A RUNNER
  • I do not run because I TRI; I TRI because I run.
  • I AM A RUNNER
  • I do not run because I blog; I blog because I run.
  • I AM A RUNNER 

Yesterday I was a runner.  Today I am a runner.  Tomorrow I will be a runner.  I will run in the rain.  I will run in the snow.  I will run in the freezing temps.  I will run in the scorching heat.  I will run on my birthday.  I will run on Mother’s Day.  I will run on my anniversary.   I will run on vacation.  I AM A RUNNER.

Are you a runner too?  Do you have people in your life who will never understand WHY you run?  Or why you are a runner?  Who make fun of you and others in your life who run?  What would you like to say to all of those non-runners who don’t understand?

I.AM.A.RUNNER.                                                                                                                               Amanda – TooTallFritz

 

Sharmock Shuffle 2012

Now onto the good stuff!!  RACE DAY!! 

Race day was insane but went very smoothly!  Those of us who drove in or took the Metra Electric arrived in the city early with plenty of time to spare.  Some of the F’N Runners braved the Rock Island Metra and arrived a little later and we didn’t see them before the start.  Here is our early bird “skeleton” crew.  See the green sparkle!   

It was fun seeing a few of our friends pre-race but it was short-lived before we ran off to our corrals so that we wouldn’t be locked out like last year!  The photogs had a hay day between all of us dressed up and the fact that we were also early before the big crowds arrived.  I bet we got stopped for photos 10x before we made it to gear check.  Me, Rachel & Lisa.

Each year, the organizers change a few things.  Starting last year, they separated gear check into two locations and it was a challenge.  However, this year we knew what to expect and dropping gear was easy and smooth.

In Corral B awaiting the start, we had plenty of time to chat, do some light stretching & take some photos with Maggie’s (MagMileRunner) camera since the rest of us checked our phones/cameras with our gear.  Source:  MagMileRunner:  Maggie, Kelly (Running Kellometers), & Me.

The boys:  Brian & Kevin:

The race started on time, as usual, and being that we were toward the front we were across the start line in a matter of minutes.  The first mile is always a little clogged and I didn’t run as fast as I should have but it was good and exciting to see all the people waiting and cheering for us.  I was trying to keep the boys in sight because I knew they would run just outside of my comfort zone.  The temperature was perfect in the mid 50s and the sun had not yet broken thru the clouds so I was hoping for a good race.

All was good until the mile 2 clock when I realized I made a judgment error by wearing arm sleeves for the first time ever.  They were cute, comfortable, fit perfectly PLUS they matched my ToughChik irun tank so it didn’t even occur to me pre-race that they weren’t a good idea.  However, at mile 2 I was burning up and they had to come off!  The theory behind arm warmers is that when you get warm you just pull them down to about your wrist and leave them “on”, or take them off and tuck them into a pocket, etc b/c they are small.  I tried pulling them down but was so warm I was “kinda” freaking out.  Plus they were covering my watch and didn’t look good inside out.  I ended up pulling them all the way off but didn’t have anywhere to stash them so I was holding them in my hands.  Then I realized the guys were gone.  Ugh!  I carried them until mile 3 and knew I had to ditch them.  But I didn’t want to ditch them since this was the first wear!   They were so cute!  However, I couldn’t carry them and am not sure how people run carrying their cameras, fuel and other valuables because I just can’t do it so I scanned the crowd for a worthy recipient.  Any Tough Chiks out there spectating?  It took a while but I finally saw a lady in what I thought/hoped was a Chicago Marathon half zip and she was in the front row.  In a very dramatic fashion, I pointed at her and said, “ToughChik for YOU!!!” and I threw the arm warmers between her feet.  I can only hope she not only keeps them but also orders a green irun tank to match.  May my sacrifice bring another Tough Chik into the ranks?!?

With the arm warmers gone, I tried to refocus on the race but apparently just zoned out in the 4th mile with an 8:08 split.  Not sure why, I was running, slightly distracted by a father/son interaction that was not positive from my perspective but I was pushing or so I thought.  I skipped the water stop so no excuses there, my turnover was just not as quick as it should have been but I felt good.

The goal was to make it in the 38s this year.  As soon as I ditched the arm warmers I switched one of the watch stats to “time” so I could focus.  I knew the 38 was barely within reach AND I still had to climb the Roosevelt Bridge.  I was apparently slowing down cuz  Kelly (Running Kellometers) zoomed past me like I was walking.  Was I walking?  Maybe.  I clawed my way powered up the bridge and jogged sprinted  to the finish line to see that I had barely made it.  A 38:56 finish.  Woooooooop!  Success at the BEST.RACE.EVER.

Lots of photos, here are a few, more to come later (like the pic with the green men!!!!)  My favorite race day photo by far is of Rachel & Lisa from WI.  The E. family always does a serious pose followed by “muscles”.  Cracks me up, every time.  Lookin’ good, ladies!

Tim & Aurelia – A couple that Shuffles together stays together!

Me & Susan:

Fun times at the Shamrock Shuffle 2012!  The race was great, plenty of water stops, plenty of bathrooms, gear check in was great, gear check OUT was horrid, post race party looked awesome although I never attend but that may change next year and most importantly, it looked like EVERYONE was having fun.

Lessons learned:

  • No Arm warmers while racing if above 50 degrees.
  • No Knee High socks even cute ones with Shamrocks if above 50 degrees.
  • Need more focus in the middle miles.
  • Early arrival is good!

Special shout out to LaurenRuns for stopping to visit after the race.  Thanks, Lauren!  Great to meet you!

The End of Shamrock Shuffle 2012, at least until more photos are published!!

Happy Running,                                                                                                       Amanda – TooTallFritz

Sharmock Shuffle Expo 2012

It probably isn’t really fair for me to “review” the Shamrock Shuffle 8K since we already know this is the BEST.RACE.EVER. so I will just break the weekend into manageable parts.  I had a fun-filled weekend which was non-stop shamROCK.  I had so much fun with my visitors and the other ladies who hung out with us at the expo and on race day and I want to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to stop and say hi or meet up for a photo.  I know it was really chaotic but I appreciate seeing each and every one of you!

We started the weekend off with a bang with sush & hibachi on Friday night the Expo on Saturday morning.  We squeezed possibly one too many into the Suburban for the trip downtown on a cool, drizzly morning but made it safe and sound for the real fun.  As soon as we stepped in the door our group began to multiply.  I may have mentioned before I travel with a crew.   Even if I am “alone”, I always have my little ones and if I have other women, then they too are encouraged to bring their brood.  Back from left:  Lisa, Nicki, Kristina, April, Melissa, Jenny, & Jeanne.  Front:  Aby & I.

We walked around the expo and it was disappointing smaller this year.  Several of the booths that I was looking forward to shopping were not present.  The highlight by far was meeting the ladies at the Fort2Base booth.  They were super nice, we hung out there for a bit and Aby handed out flyers for their September 23rd race where they are offering a 3 Nautical Mile race (3.45 miles) and a 10 Nautical Mile race (11.5 miles).  In return they gave us a few of the leftovers from last year’s race which is super exciting to me because I have been coveting Maggie’s (MagMileRunner) half zip for quite some time!  According to Maggie and a few others who ran this last year, this is an awesome race and there are hot Sailors out on the race course cheering you on to the finish.  Something you single ladies might want to check out!  Plus the half zips are way cool and it’s an automatic PR if this will be  your first nautical race.  🙂 

Expo Loot:  Shamrock Shuffle shirt top (yes, it’s red…..enough said), Fort2Base half zips, green Shamrock Shuffle bandana, Strides for Families RMHC shirt, chapstick (x10), Sports Authority coupon, Vegetable Oil (strange but not as strange as the Oak Forest Fleadh vomit bag swag), and first aid kit.

I also met a group of the Chicago Running Bloggers but since I spent 2 seconds with them, it was difficult to retain all of the new names!  I look forward to meeting up with them again in the future when I can give them my full attention.  I also stopped in to talk to the ladies at the Ronald McDonald House Charities and scored one of their shirts.  Of course, they are still accepting charity runners for the Chicago Marathon if you need a registration and/or would like to help a worthy cause and raise some much-needed charity dollars.  If you are interested, I’ll be right there with you in a Team RMHC shirt on the start line of the 2012 Chicago Marathon!

Best expo find = PunkeeLove Headbands.  I was leery because I have purchased expensive, big name headbands at other expos that flipped out of my hair before I could finish a 5K but the PunkeeLove double strands, the green sparkles and the sales lady dressed from  head to toe in RunningSkirts.com adjustable piece under the band gave me the confidence to give it a try.  Half of me & Kristina showing off some PunkeeLOVE.

One more photo at the Expo and we were out the door for some shopping in the CHI.  Back left:  Me, Kristina, Brandi, Cathie, Lisa, Jenny, Jeanne, Nicki.  Front:  Michael, Aby, Rachel, Murphy, & Jack. 

Then we ventured onto Michigan Avenue for some shopping, lunch, Ghirardelli Chocolate, and sight-seeing.  The city was veiled in fog on Saturday and it almost seemed like we were on vacation somewhere exotic.

My favorite photo of the day:  Me, Michael (he’s smiling!!!) and Aby.

I also love this one of Nicki & Jack…..he looks like he just got away with something!

Brandi & Kristina:

Lisa & Rachel:

After a relaxing stroll along the lake, home we went to carb load relax & rest before race day.

Woooop!

Happy Running,                                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz

13.1 Race Entry Winner!

The winner for the 13.1 Chicago Race Registration is #115, Joe DeMarco!  Congratulations Joe!  Contact me at amanda@tootallfritz.com so I can get your information and send it to 13.1.

Good luck to Joe and all of the rest of you running 13.1 Chicago!  I’ll see you on course next year!

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

Look for ME!!

If you see me at the Shamrock Shuffle Expo or on race day, please give a shout out so I can meet you!

A few ways you may recognize me:

  • I may be a head or two taller than most of the crowd.  Yep, that’s me in the back with Cathie and Dawn in front of me.  No problem picking me out of the crowd.
  • I travel in a pack so if you see me at the expo with 3 or 4 women, 3 teens and 2, strollers, that’s probably my crew.  My munchkins are below, I think we get to leave the dog at home this time, I think: 
  • Race Day = Green Team Sparkle Skirt: 
  • Depending on the weather, I may or may not have my URL on my shirt.
  • I have a huge large tattoo of a cross on the back of my left leg.  Before you ask, this is the script of John 3:16.  You won’t see another one quite like this unless you go to the street photog’s website who caught me in motion in South Beach.  Source – Christian Robotti Photography
  • I’ll be in Corral  B with hopefully several other green sparkle skirts and a kilt or 2.
  • I’ll try to stand as close to the green men as possible in hopes of getting on tv.
  • I’ll be the green sparkle skirt dying in the 3rd mile coming back along Van Buren Street.
  • I’ll be at the front of the Blue Gear Check Tent awaiting the F’N Running crew to come in from their races after I finish and pick up my gear.

Look for me and say, hey!  And good luck to all my F’N Runners, newbies and old pros alike, as well as everyone else who is running.  Let’s shamROCK this town!  And don’t forget to sign up for the the automatic facebook/twitter updates via shamROCKon for race day!.

Happy Running!                                                                                                               Amanda – TooTallFritz.com

Team Tough Chik – The Kit Arrived!!!

This week has been hellish busy but good because my Team Tough Chik kit arrived!  If you have familiar with our “Toughies” you have probably seen pics blasted all over the net over the last couple weeks of Tough Chiks in their new team wear.  Opening the kit was a nice surprise as it not only included our team apparel but also a Tough Chik sticker!! goodies from our sponsors, which ranged from a vacation resort, swim shampoo, bike lube,  Anti Chafing Cream, snack bars, hydration, and a lot of other fun things, some of which I never knew existed! 

Although free stuff is beyond awesome, what we were all awaiting was the team apparel!    I purchased running singlets for both Aby and I.  On occasion, when I beg, she will actually run or race with me in a matching outfit.  This is super fun for me, somewhat embarrassing for her, but always GOOD because as I am running back to find her in a race, people identify me as “THE” mom and tell me how cute she is or that she is running really well, or that she is right behind them.  It works great on many levels.

Here we are below, preparing for a photo after a long, hot run for me.  I wasn’t feeling great, the heat is bad for me and I was drained!  I certainly wasn’t feeling a photo but we were dressed for it, if I could just get her to hold still long enough to get those blonde locks in place!  And what is she doing?  Is that an adapted “SuperStar” pose?  She is always a clown just like her father.

I know I look like hell and that’s how I felt too but let’s focus on the Team Tough Chik apparel. 

This is a large running singlet for me (xs for Aby) and fits perfectly.  Bonus that it feels and looks great too!  this singlet is very similar to the green & pink “i run” tanks from Tough Chik and as you may already know, I REALLY love the style and fit of these tanks.

Here is the green i run tank on South Beach when I was there to run 13.1 Miami Beach!  If you would like to run 13.1 Chicago for FREE, don’t forget to enter my giveaway HERE.

Pink i run tank:

Don’t be shocked but I also ordered a TRI tank.  I can easily say that I have never owned a more attractive TRI top. 

You can possibly see that there is a large pocket (the graphic with the chik) on the back for your gels, phone, etc.  This is huge if you have a TRI bike because once you transition from road to TRI bike, say goodbye to that nifty little under the seat bag that keeps all of your belongings.  Not that you would stop to access it during a TRI anyhow so this large pocket is both handy and very necessary! 

This is a large top and I should have gone XL.  Half of my TRI tops are L and the other half are XL.  TRI tops tend to run small, I should have known better.   When they reopen registration in May, I will order an XL.  That’s right you heard me, they are reopening registration for Team Tough Chik!  If you would like to be notified when they reopen, please click HERE and fill out the form. 

While we are talking about TRIs.  I have gotten a lot of questions as of late on TRI apparel.  Specifically TRI Suit vs TRI kit.  As always, this is really about personal opinion.  I am so tall that I wouldn’t even think to do a TRI Suit.  I also like to mix up my “outfits” so the thought of wearing one suit for every race doesn’t make me think happy thoughts.  However, they are convenient and do well for many people. 

In the past, I have had the best success with SkirtSports for TRI tops.  I wear a large in this brand, the tops are not skin-tight and I am comfortable racing in this top without worry that my mommy tummy is hanging out.  It’s long enough but not too long.  However, since it isn’t skin-tight, if you swim in the pool or have an open water swim which is not wetsuit legal then know that your top will be “floating” when you stop or are turning. 

I’ve also had success with TYR and Speedo (in large).  However, it seems that Craft has made its way onto the TRI scene in a big way while I was on Mr. Michael baby hiatus.  I have heard very good things about Craft but have not yet owned any of their apparel. And I’m currently coveting this Sugoi top but have never owned any of their products either.

I personally have not had good luck with 2XU tops.  I have an XL that is so tight that I can’t even wear it.  If you are tiny, then you will be fine but it you are a bigger lady then I wouldn’t recommend it. 

For the bottom, I always use the Skirt Sports Race Belt Skirt to slide up over my briefs after the swim.  I normally don’t use TRI shorts.  If I do opt for shorts, then I use Peal Izumi TRI shorts.  Since length is always an issue for me, most TRI shorts are too short so I favor the skirt. 

Do you have a favorite TRI brand?  Tri Suit or TRI Kit?  Or more importantly, are you doing to sign up to be notified when Team Tough Chik reopens registration? 

Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather, it’s amazing!

Cheers,                                                                                                                        Amanda – TooTallFritz

Shamrock *LOVE* Shuffle – 2012

I have been counting down the day for the 2012 Shamrock Shuffle since we finished the race last year.   

This is by far my favorite race of the year and this year will be bigger and better than the previous races because instead of going with 3 or 4 of my closest friends, we have a huge group of over 30 ladies who will be wearing green Team Sparkle Skirts. Here is a preview of a few of us from the Oak Forest Fleadh 5K a couple weeks ago.

Plus we have a few men making the trip this year too.  They received a green sparkle skirt exemption and opted for kilts instead.  Fun!  Can’t wait for the photos!

I have been running this race for several years and recently went back thru and “found” some of the previous year’s photos.  The first year that I could produce was 2009 when I was preggo with Michael but alas the photo was not of me since I couldn’t run.  Here is my friend Cindy (Jackie – The Swim Coach’s mom) & Mark B. (aka – Nitro):

Thanks for running for me Cindy; I know the conditions weren’t “ideal” but I appreciate your helping me out!

2010 was rough for me as I was physically bouncing  back from Mr. Michael.   Even though he was born in September 2009, he had a lot going on and I never really got back to running until January 2010.  So the Shuffle came fast.  And it was hard.  And it was cold.  But it was still awesome because I was with my friend Lisa and a few of her friends that year.   

2011 brought my return to fitness.  I ran the 2010 Chicago Marathon and about died in the heat really came into my fitness AFTER the marathon.  If you run a marathon, this may happen to you too.  Your struggle thru the training, you struggle thru the race and then AFTER the race you are on fire.  Strong. Fit. Fast.  Makes for great fall racing if you are a fall marathoner.  FUN!  However, I was so on fire and upping my mileage like crazy that I managed to hurt myself at the beginning of March 2011.  I went into the Shuffle with a smile but hadn’t run a step in weeks.  C’est la vie!  FAVORITE.RACE.OF.THE.YEAR.

And in case you can’t tell from the photo, it was hot as hell.  But I had more “friends” this year.  My friend Lisa, brought the entire clan:  Hubby – Mike, Son – Logan, Lisa & Daughter – Rachel.

And my girl Kristina was “in” for 2011 and pretty much every race since.  🙂

To me, this race is about more than running, it’s about spending one weekend a year fully devoted to friendship and a healthy lifestyle.  A huge thank you to my friend Lisa, who comes each year from Wisconsin to celebrate this weekend with me.  Really awesome!

So CHEERS to the Shamrock Shuffle 2012!  I will ENJOY the atmosphere and the celebration no matter the weather or the results!

Do you have any annual races or celebrations that have become tradition to you?

Happy Running,                                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz

13.1 Chicago – Race Entry Giveaway!

I am sooo excited to announce that I have free race entry to giveaway for the 13.1 Chicago event on June 9, 2012! 

Coming off the recent 13.1 Miami Beach race (recap HERE) makes this that much more exciting for me and I am super envious that I will not be hitting the pavement with you on June 9th!

This is a very unique race for the CHI as it does not go through the loop or the same tired section of the Lake Front running path that you may have run a million times in recent races.  THIS race according to the website:  starts and finishes at the Historic South Shore Cultural Center (SSCC) on Chicago’s south side. The SSCC offers beautiful views of both Lake Michigan and the Chicago Skyline and has hosted many notable events, including the wedding reception of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The 13.1 mile course takes you along the Lake front Path past La Rabida Hospital. After passing the hospital, you will run through Jackson Park, home of the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, the Osaka Japanese Garden, a strolling garden on Wooden Island. You will then pass the Museum of Science & Industry, the only original building remaining from the 1893 Columbian Exposition, and one of the largest science museums in the world. You will then head back to the Lakefront Path to almost 35th Street before heading back south, past the 63rd Street Beach House and finishing at the SSCC. This course is 13.1 miles of perfect Windy City experience.

This is a  totally different race experience than what you normally get in Chicago and I will definitely be out there with you next year!

So if you would like a chance to win a free entry to the 13.1 Chicago 2012 race, an $80 value, you probably already know what to do but here are the hoops through which you will need to jump:

  • Become a follower of this blog  (click on the +Follower button at the bottom or top of the page) – 1 entry
  • Become a Facebook fan of TooTallFritz – 1 entry
  • Become a Facebook fan of 13.1 Marathon Series – 1 entry
  • Link this post up to your Facebook page and announce the giveaway to your friends – 3 entries
  • Link up this post up to your blog and announce the giveaway to your followers – 5 entries
  • Agree to do a Guest Race Review of the 13.1 Chicago for the TooTallFritz blog after the race (if you win the free entry) – 4 entries

After you have done some/all of the above, please leave a comment in the comments section below and tell me what you have done and how many entries to assign you (max of 15).   If you are already a follower and a TooTallFritz Facebook fan, that is 2 free entries for you, just let me know that you would like to be entered in the drawing!  I will randomly generate a winner via a Random Number Generator on Monday, March 26th at 9 am.

And for all of you running the 13.1 Chicago, feel free to enjoy the after party, then head to North Beach to cheer in the Madison to Chicago Ragnar Relay teams.  That’s where I’ll be….. running it in with the Ultra Team (You Just Got) Chicked!  See you next year, 13.1 Chicago!

Good Luck,                                                                                                               Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                             amanda@tootallfritz.com