March Madness?

March Madness for many may be ball sport related but for me the Madness of March 2012 is all about the weather.  My family and I are rushing around trying to fit in as many outdoor activities as possible afraid that the weather will make an attempt to return to winter.  As of yesterday, we had 4 straight days over 80 degrees and I wonder if that is a record?  Today may “only” reach 79 degrees but time will tell.

Yesterday I met up with the F’N Running Club to enjoy a run thru the Hickory Hills extension.  It was labeled the St. Paddy’s Day run and ironically, I showed up in pink.  Don’t ask.  Kathy showed too but was in red and refused to be in the pic so she was the photog for the day.  Thanks, Kathy!  From left back:  Me, Kevin, Lisa, Brian, Jim, Kim, Susan, Nicole, Tara, & Angela.  From left front:  Jeni, Don, Julie, Diane, & Maggie.

We also saw Melissa, Wayne & Nicole F. out running the trails.  WooooHooo, F’N Runners!  It was a beautiful day with temps in the low 60s when we began. 

Since it was so nice, I took full advantage of it by stopping for several pictures.  I was having breathing issues too so it was a good break until I realized the group was waiting on me while I was lolligagging

It was a 9 mile day for me on Saturday.  Not what I like distance wise for a long run but between the hills and my breathing, it was enough for one day.

Today I set out to meet up with the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club in Schubert Woods.  I didn’t make official run plans for this morning because last night was date night and well, no need to plan something that may not happen.  But, of course, we were home and in bed by midnight and Michael gets up between 5 and 6 am no matter what, so I was up to run.  I decided to go meet up with the Pancakers since I haven’t run with them in a looooonnnnnnng time, like my last run with them was the day before I found out I was preggo with Michael in February 2009.  And the bonus is that they run at 8 am on Sunday’s and somewhat close to my house so it wasn’t a big rush.

I wasn’t really sure where I was going, which was a bit stressful, but I knew I had to head toward Sauk Trail and Western, then what??  I had the map up on Eve my gps and as soon as I got close to that intersection I saw Chestnut Street pop up to the north and that triggered a buried memory that I was supposed to head that way.  So I did, turned on Chestnut (off of Western Ave in Park Forest) and ran right into a trailhead. Yay for dumb luck!

Unfortunately, I only saw one car and nobody waiting around so I assumed that nobody was coming.  I knew this Sunday run group was really light so I thought possibly with the racing schedules today or St Paddy’s Day the long run yesterday, that nobody was going to show, so I took off running right at 8 am.  I was instantly in LOVE with the beauty of this trail and wondering why I had never been able to come before now.

The main trial is a 4 mile loop.  There were lots of access points with parking and port-o-pots, plus I even saw picnic areas.  The trail had light traffic for today and was mostly shaded.  This will be an awesome spot to run when the temps are soaring this summer!  I only had one spot where I questioned the direction, and ended up running  a short spur that lead to a road before returning to the main trail.  So if you go by yourself, just say on the loop and keep going in a circular motion.  However, my lolligagging and picture taking misdirection allowed the Pancakers to catch me!  When I came back to the main trail after that short spur, I saw Mark B, Sue & Rob H (who mostly runs with Yankee).  I picked up the pace and ran a bit with them before Sue & Rob dropped at the trailhead to return to their cars.

Mark & I ran on to hit the “The Shoot”, a set of woods across Sauk Trail for a few more miles.  And then we picked up Alexis! 

Alexis is a local chiro who I have attempted to make contact with on many occasions over the years.  However, it seems our schedule between work and kids is not very compatible so this was our first meeting and I’m super excited to have finally met her!  According to Jenny G, Ms. Alexis recently “pipped me to the pole” in a local 5K race, so it’s good to know the chick who very recently kicked my ass racing.  Now I while can keep my eyes open for her “sneaking up” on me in the future!

The “Shoot” was an older section of the trail and very shady with mature trees and mossy green on the trail.  Super sweet!  This photo was in motion, so not as clear as I’d like but still cool! 

Today was a little over 8 miles for me.  Not fast at first but a few fast miles in the middle with the group, then I had to back off toward the end because I was toasted.  But I could breathe much better today and that is a huge WIN.  I was seriously thinking I’d have to go to the doc.  Yikes!  But I’ve pocketed hubby’s inhaler and am feeling decent.  Yay!!

Have you tried any new trails lately?  Do you think all trails look the same so find yourself content to run the same place all the time or are you always up for an adventure?

Last day to enter the Aspareris Pivot Shorts Giveaway HERE.

Happy Adventuring!                                                                                                  Amanda – TooTallFritz

7 thoughts on “March Madness?

  1. Well, ya I did run a different twist Saturday opting to work-in my 12-mile cut-back long-run at the “Poker Run” at St. Andrews (by Running-4-Kicks) and got a nice reprieve from the grind of running the miles by running to “stations” were you pull a card out of the deck. And the best thing was at end of the run, making 13 stops and with 13 cards, I had 4-aces and won best male hand and a $50 gift certificate to RFK! That was cool!

    If you are just “rediscovering” the Thorn Creek Trail at Sauk/Schubert Woods, then be aware that it was only recently resurfaced in the past, so you are getting to run on some pretty nice trail surface! Doesn’t matter with the views or pics of “nature” – that’s always been there.

    Did you notice the memorial site where stuff is left at the NW-end of lake and trail along 26th St. that is in memory of Alma Mendez? If not….I will show you next time we both there!

    Don’t recognize that little gal next to Mark Bradford, but do not Bradford’s nickname or handle is “Nitro” so refer to him that way cause that’s what Frogger does! And, he can “nitro” at times and run some really fast races!

    With many probably out there opting to run “March Madness” in Carey today, I would have loved to done the Sunday “Pancaker” run off of Chestnut with you all, but I opted to drive out to Orland Hills to start measurement of their 5k and 2k courses they need redone.

    But, when you run at Sauk/Schubert Woods and park at that spur path off of Chestnut, my good friends, Howie Silver and Jenni Morrison live in that first house South on the E-side. I also have friends selling their house further South on Chestnut near that elementary school, so if you interested in living on Chestnut, let me know and I put you in contact.

    Ya done well TTF….just keep tabs and make sure you get that asthma or breathing issue at rest.


    • The Poker Run sounded really fun! I am hoping to be able to do one of those in the future!

      I did see Alma’s cross. I had anticipated possibly running alone so did have my wrist saver pepper spray. It was pretty low key out there in the morning though without a lot of traffic.

      As for Mark Bradford, I knew him before he became “Nitro” so it’s really difficult for me to call him that even though everyone else does…..just seems strange. LOL!

  2. Let me know if you plan on running Shubert again anytime soon, since that is really close to me! I could actually run to meet you there if i was feeling really ambitious – I only live about 2 miles away.

    • It was a total last minute thing and I didn’t even know where I was going. I was trying to get ahold of a few pancakers I had contact info for and couldn’t so it was really a blind attmept to get there (where ever “THERE” was) by 8am.

      I will definitely be running there more and I know a lot of us out that way would probalby be willing to meet there so we will plan ahead more in the future. I’m out the next 2 weekends though.

      Have you ran there in the past?

      • I’ve actually never ran there. Based on the history, I’m too nervous to run there alone. I usually stick to the Old Plank Road Trail or running around residential neighborhoods when I run solo near home, because it’s more “public.”

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