Whooha Gear Giveaway…….

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Whooha = Women Having Optimistic Objectives & Healthy Attitudes

Aurelia R. introduced me to Whooha Gear about 6 months ago and I immediately fell in love.  Although their acronym is a mouthful unusual, the words speak to me.  Plus the gear is amazing.  Normally fit is an issue for me and I was pleasantly surprised when the first item I ordered fit the first time.  I was even more surprised that it was also something that I actually wanted to wear.  If you know me, and know me well, you know that I return about 90% of the items I order online and I give away another 5%.  My success rate with clothing is very low.

In addition to my love of the fit and feel of Whooha, I am also in love with the company motto and focus.  This is directly from the Whooha homepage:

image Inspire yourself…that is the goal Whooha Gear has set for you! Started by two women athletes, Whooha Gear provides athletic wear made for women by women. Our shirts and accessories have inspirational sayings for active women that range from runners, climbers, triathletes, cyclists, hikers and much, much more.

My first Whooha item purchased was the Doesn’t Hurt to TRI V-Neck Heather Tee which is currently on close out for $20.  I paid “full” price, which was $24.  That’s reasonable in my opinion.  It’s also soft and fits my “curves” without hugging me inappropriately.

Whooha_blue shirt    image

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I’ve worn this Doesn’t Hurt to TRI Tee several times, including to work on a Friday the Ironman Muncie 70.3 expo where a woman seriously ran me down to find out where I had gotten this shirt.   It’s cute and chick at the same time, plus feels comfortable enough that I actually don’t mind it being a t-shirt.  I normally won’t ever wear a t-shirt, not even for running or workouts.  I’m very picky, but this I love!  🙂

After the above shirt being torn to shreds by jealous women at the Ironman expo such a huge hit in Muncie, I finally ordered another one.  Ironically, I like this one even more than the first!  My second purchase was the TRI & Triumph Triblend Scoop Neck.  Once again I paid full price at $24.  This shirt looks and feels amazing and I have to consciously wear something different on the weekends so people don’t see me in the same shirt over and over.  LOVE.THIS.SHIRT.  Its super soft and fits perfectly with a little flare at the tummy so it doesn’t stick to my rolls mommy tummy.  Thank you, Whooha!

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You “might” want to go browse around the Whooha site yourself because they have generously agreed to let the winner of the giveaway PICK THEIR OWN ITEM!!!  The main shopping section is HERE, which includes a lot of closeouts and everything is priced reasonably. Currently, my favorite product is the I Run Burnout Hoodie, which I don’t own yet, but I’m hoping Santa will bring it for me in a size large.

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If you would like to be entered in the giveaway:

  1. Go check out the Whooha Gear store and then tell me in the comments below which item you will be selecting if you are randomly picked as the winner of this giveaway. (1 entry)
  2. Go “like” Whooha Gear on Facebook HERE. (1 entry)
  3. Tweet, Facebook, Blog or share the giveaway via any social media outlet possible (1 entry for each share).

In order to be entered in the contest, you MUST make a comment below.  In that comment, please tell me which of the above items you completed.  There is a possibility of 5 entries.  A winner will be randomly drawn via a random number generator on Thursday, October 4th at 9am.

For Santa those of you who can’t wait to get your hands on some Whooha Gear, feel free to use the 10% off coupon code:  TTFWhooha  

**  Good luck & Happy Browsing  **  Amanda – TooTallFritz  **

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Excitement In The Air…..

As we come down to the last weekend before the Chicago Marathon, the excitement in Chicago is already hanging in the air.  We are ready for marathon week and the influx of visitors and RUNNERS!

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This will be the first year that I haven’t ran since I had Mr. Michael and of course the weather is going to be amazing, just like it was that year too.  I registered but can’t run because I tore my posterior tibialis tendon during a run on June 2nd.  Although I am fortunate enough to be healing and have recently started back running, I’m no way near ready to tackle a 10K, let alone the full 26.2.  So I’ll sit this one out and cheer you all on from afar…..and I’ll be passing this onto someone who can use it:

Chicago Marathon 2012_Confirm Tix

Since I know so many people who are running Chicago for the very first time, I thought I throw out a “couple” tips.  These may be applicable to any marathon but particularly the large ones that have 40,000+ people who will cross the start line.

  • Take a deep breath and say, “I’M READY TO RUN 26.2 MILES!!!!!”
  • Starting next week, try to get a little extra sleep each night.  The closer  you get to the marathon the less you will be able to sleep because you will be full of nervous excitement.
  • Start hydrating properly each day leading up to the race.  There is no need to go crazy but if you normally drink a lot of coffee, juice, soda, etc, just replace that with water.  Try to get at least 2 liters of water in throughout the day. I have a liter bottle which I drink then refill so I know exactly when I have reached the 2 liter mark.
  • Carb loading can be tricky but its something to think about.  Last year Dimity McDowell who coauthored the books Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother did a good article for Runners World regarding carb loading properly.  I always remember it because it went to print right before the Chicago Marathon.  Please read the article HERE.  If all that is too complicated and you want to carb load TooTallFritz style, I keep it pretty simple.  I just try to each clean, fresh healthy foods, plus avoid sugar and alcohol for most of the week leading up to the race.  I then eat very bland the day before the race. My  pre-race dinner is always the same, angel hair pasta with red sauce and half of a chicken breast.  I eat early so that it has time to digest before I go to bed.  Plus, I say no to the garlic bread and wine.  I also am very conscious not to overeat because I know that anything I eat needs to digest and “leave” before I hit the start the next morning.
  • Don’t go crazy on breakfast the morning of the race.  Once again, keep it simple.  A reasonable size portion of oatmeal, a bagel,  or something bland/boring that your tummy won’t try to expel.   Then I take a banana with me to the race and eat it in the port-a-pot line about a half hour before the start.
  • Go to the expo on Friday.  If you want something that says “Chicago Marathon” on it and you’d like it in your size, then go to the expo early because the good stuff sells out fast.
  • Try to be cool on Saturday before the race, relax & stay off your feet.  If your daughter doesn’t have Cross Country sectionals, then there is no reason for you be be running all over heck at a fast pace to try to beat her and her teammates to the next check point.  Take it easy!
  • Try to be relaxed on marathon morning.  Don’t stress. The work is done and now its time to accept your reward and run the best that you can on that given day.
  • Get to the race WAY before you think you “need” to be there.  If you are running for charity, then you will need to check in at Charity Village before the race and then hike it to the start.  This takes time.  A lot of time.  If you aren’t running for a charity, then you’ll need to wait in the gear check and bathroom lines.   These lines get long and don’t move very fast.  The corrals will close at 7:15 for the 7:30 start.  So plan to be IN the corral by 7am, just to give yourself a cushion.  When they close the corrals, they are serious and you won’t be getting in once they shut the gate.  Trust me.  Kerry and I had to walk all the way to the end in 2010 and start behind the walkers.   That was not fun.

 

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  • Do look cute because you won’t be feeling cute when you are at mile 20.  So fake it until you can make it, right?

chicago marathon_2011   chicago marathon2_2011

  • Start the race without your iPod.  Look around, enjoy the crowds and the crazy atmosphere.   There will be a ton of spectators throughout the city, then up into Lincoln Park and all the way until you turn west.  So try to run the first half off the energy of the crowd, then plug in between miles 13 and 15 and use your music to give you a boost for a bit thru 22, then you’ll be in the homestretch and can unplug and enjoy the crowds propelling you toward the finish. 
  • Don’t worry so much about your pace that you can’t enjoy the race, the crowds, the kids holding signs for their mom’s and the pure emotion flowing from all the people united in one common pursuit.  You race Chicago for the atmosphere, you go somewhere small and quiet for that BQ.  Many will get their BQ here but many more will be stuck behind the crowds looking for an opening.  Don’t get so swept away on pace that you can’t appreciate the grandeur.
  • Don’t drink water at every station or you will float away, vomit or get water poisoning.  The water stations in Chicago are every mile.  They are so close together that you can easily overdo it, particularly when you are tired and looking for an excuse to slow down.  Have a hydration plan and stick to it.
  • Only drink the sport drink offered on course if you have trained to do so, or you may vomit, have “other” tummy issues or end up in the med tent.  Or you may get lucky but why take the chance?
  • Take the fuel you need with you, plus a little extra.  Don’t expect to pick up fuel on course, you may not see it, or it may be gone.  Always have on your person, all of the fuel you need in order to finish the race. 
  • Lastly, Marathon Day hands you a basket of unknowns.  I can’t even tell you how many crazy things can possibly happen that you would never expect.  Things that have NEVER happened to you before in your many years of running.  I’d say “expect the unexpected” but that would be impossible.  So just go with the flow, handle yourself accordingly, stay positive and just focus on the finish.

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

My Medal vs Your Medal…..

On Sunday as I was walking to my car after the Quad Cities race, I was carrying the trophy that I won for placing 2nd in my age group.  I passed a lady who was walking slowly.  She was hurting a bit and I could tell she had recently finished the half marathon.  I said, “hello” and she looked up at me.  She saw my trophy and with big eyes asked, “How did you get that?”  

QuadCities_2012 trophy2I told her that I had placed in my age division for the 5K.  She immediately looked sad and said, “I’m really slow, I run a 12 minute mile”.  It absolutely broke my heart.  I hear this all the time.  It almost always comes from someone who just ran a very LONG race, and the person can’t yet appreciate the mere accomplishment of finishing something so grand.  So many compare themselves to others and assume that what they accomplish means less because they ran a slower race.  In reality, when we all run the same race and cross the same finish line then we receive the same finishers medal, regardless of pace.  It’s not a mistake that race officials handout these medals in mass.  It’s not a mistake that the finisher medals from an event all look the same.

     13-1valpo_medals  finisher medals      

We have just accomplished the very same thing.  Be proud.  Hold your head high, no matter how fast or slow you covered the miles.  It took a lot of hard work to even toe the start line so bask in the glory of your accomplishment.  You earned that medal, wear it proudly.  It’s the same one I have, you know.

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

Plum Creek Greenway Trail

After attending the reopening ceremony at Goodenow Grove in Crete, IL and getting a peak at the new Plum Creek Greenway Trail, we were very anxious to go back to run the entire trail.  Since my young partners are in the midst of a very successful Cross Country season, I didn’t want them to run the out and back (3.08 miles each way) so enlisted Hubby’s help to drop us at the far end, near the turnaround.  This way we could run the full length without having to double the mileage with a return trip.  Here is the map of Goodenow Grove, the Plum Creek Greenway Trail is marked in orange.

Goodenow Grove Map_2012The northeastern portion of the trail crosses Bemes Road about a quarter mile from the actual turnaround, it was very easy for hubby to drop us at that point.  As with most new trails, it does great things for the community and I noticed that Bemes Road now has shiny new asphalt which is a major change from the bumpy, rough, mess of potholes it was a year ago and is well marked in regards to the terrain and the approaching trail.  It was super easy to find!

There is no parking at the trail crossing at Bemes Road and it is very rural with most of the traffic being residential.  We basically just jumped out of the car and took off running while hubby & Michael went to the other end to wait for us at the trailhead parking lot on Goodenow Road.  I think he said it took him about 6 minutes to drive to the other end, going the back way, very slowly on our country roads.

Since trail running is an adventure for us, we did run the quarter mile up to the turnaround to officially begin our journey.  And yes, it was a journey.  The girls were squealing with delight almost immediately and were constantly remarking about the “pure awesomeness” of the trail.  To be honest, although I have ran many a trail in my run life, I too was very excited.  The weather was absolutely perfect, with a bit of chill in the air, a light misty rain which managed to stop just as we hit the trail and beauty everywhere we looked.  There were lots of bridges too and I love bridges!

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 Goodenow Grove_kids bridge_9-21-12         

Twists and turns to keep things interesting:

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The trail was well marked and there was never really a question as to which way we should go, we just followed the gravel.  Once in the main section of the park, there are a few shorter paved trails but its quite obviously that those trails are not part of the Plum Creek Greenway Trail.

We saw bathrooms at 3 locations along the route, the first at the campground, the second by the Plum Creek Nature Center, and the last one was at the last curve heading into the straight away toward the parking area at Goodenow Road.  Although we could see all of these bathrooms, they were not right on trail and would require a short walk/jog to reach them.

The trail is still soft and will be much easier to maneuver as it gets packed down.  We definitely took home kicked up some minute crushed gravel pieces.  There was also evidence of recent horse traffic left behind in the gravel.  Since the gravel isn’t packed tightly at this point, the horse did leave some decent divots that we had to avoid but overall it was an amazing run and we look forward to returning.  Here is the straightaway to the Goodenow Road parking area:

Goodenow Grove_straightway by parking_9-21-12  

Sara, Aby and I running out of the woods:   Goodenow Grove_coming out of woods_9-21-12

Great trail, definitely worth making the trip to Crete, IL to enjoy this newest running/biking trail.  Hope to see you out there!

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

5K at the Quad Cities Marathon

Many, many months ago, I registered for the half marathon that was part of the Quad Cities Marathon weekend.  This would have been my last race before the Chicago Marathon.  Many would probably take it easy with the marathon so close in sight but that’s not my style.  Each and every year, I always race and run hard this weekend and it never fails to be the fastest half of the entire season.  Yes, the fastest and on legs that are tired from marathon training but oh so fast and fit from 18+ weeks of high mileage.  I don’t even usually have to “try” to run fast, it just happens and always leaves a smile on my face knowing that the hard work of marathon training paid off. 

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This year has been a little different.  First, I normally race the Fort 4 Fitness Half in Fort Wayne, IN because that’s close to my parents and essentially a home town race for me.  My whole family participates in the various events which range from a 4 mile run/walk, 10K to the half marathon.  Its more like a party than a running event with family, friends and an atmosphere that few other races come close to rivaling.  Oh, and the course is amazing too.  I love Ft. Wayne!  However, this year the Fort 4 Fitness Half was scheduled for the September 29th, which is only a week out from the Chicago Marathon, plus Aby has a Cross Country Invite that day, so we were out for sure although certainly not happy about it.

About the time I realized I wouldn’t be running the Fort 4 Fitness Half, my friend Lisa who has been my best running friend for longer than some people have been alive decided to do her first marathon in her hometown, Moline, IL.  Hello, Quad Cities Marathon!  We had done the half there in 2007 before the Fort 4 Fitness races were created and despite the horrid heat from that year, it has always been on the top of my list of great races with amazing hospitality.  So I was instantly excited to go back to the Quad Cities and I even seriously considered running the full with her even though it was only two weeks out for the Chicago Marathon.  Then Lisa broke her foot.   Then I tore a tendon in my foot.  Lisa’s injury was about 6 weeks earlier than mine and healed fast so she was still able to train up for the half, while I was only able to return for the 5K.  So we both ran yesterday but in races which we didn’t originally register.  Cynde, Kelly, Lisa & I before the start (photo source, Nancy W):

QuadCities_2012 girls

The Quad Cities Marathon races are top notch.  They give great swag and since this was the 15th anniversary, the swag was better than ever.  In fact, I don’t remember ever receiving this much great stuff that I know I will be using!   The 15th anniversary promised running gloves (used them yesterday morning and they rock!), a running belt with a zippered pouch, reflectors and a blinking light, plus a gender specific long sleeve shirt that is super soft and will be nice for lounging and/or running. 

QuadCities_2012 swag    QuadCities_2012 Swag only

The expo had about 40 vendors and seemed small but most are when you are spoiled used to running races in Chicago that consistently have 35 to 45 thousand runners.  Although small in size, the expo had the necessities and they gave away free beer the vendors were personable.

The race itself offered a Kids Mini Marathon, 1 mile walk, 5K, half marathon, marathon relay and a marathon.  Lots of choices and they were very nice about letting us downgrade our registrations to shorter races due to our injuries.  Plus the various courses were well marked, had tons of volunteers support, port-o-potties, aid stations, and the traffic control was amazing.  These races are all fast due to the participant cap of 5,000 runners which enables  you to run your race and not get boxed in behind lots of other runners.  If you are looking to run fast and free, I’d recommend trying out the Quad Cities races.  There really is something for the entire family.  Plus they give a ton of awards so you may come home with some extra bling, I did!

                   QuadCities_2012 trophy    QuadCities_2012 trophy2

Although, I’m still not up to speed, I’m improving and well, most people come to Quad Cities for the  half or full marathon so the 5K was a “little” light.  I ran a 25:05 and that was good enough for a second in my age group.  Kinda cool that they gave such nice trophies for all the races.  The awards for the half, marathon relay and the marathon were even more extravagant.  They even offered awesome medals to the 1 mile walkers and the 5K participants.  They really made us feel a part of the process and that was nice.  Here is a pic that Run With Jess took of the 5K medal. 

QuadCities_2012 medal This is an amazing series of races and I would absolutely go back again.  I was very concerned about the mass start with all the races beginning at once but it wasn’t a problem at all and I was able to get right out and on with my 5K race at the pace that I could manage wanted.  I was never trapped or boxed and was across the start line within 20 seconds.  I love the Quad Cities and all that they offer.  I enjoy the atmosphere of these races and the little touches like on course wet sponges and oranges, and the great finish line party with on hand chiropractors and massages therapists, tons of snacks, water, chocolate milk, Pepsi, pork chop sandwiches and FREE BEER.  They were very generous with all the complimentary post race items and didn’t even take the tags from our bib.  Thanks Quad Cities for another great race.  I’ll definitely be back!

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

My Current Inspiration…..

I know we all have periods of time where we struggle getting out the door to log miles or hit that next workout.  It’s normal.  If you fall off the exercise wagon, don’t stress about it, just get back at it and move forward.  Take a second and look around you and see how others are getting it done regardless of their schedule.  Yes, get back at it!

As of late, running and working out has been easy, motivation wise, for me because I am constantly surrounded with amazing people and even kids who are pushing their limits each and every day.  I have been to 4 Junior High Cross Country meets over the last 6 days and each time I walk away in awe of how hard our kids are pushing.  These kids are running faster than most adults I know.  They are pushing hard each day and they are reaping the rewards.  Last Saturday, they brought home their first trophy, placing third as a team (Aby is at the bottom of the photo).

Aby & Peotone Girls w Trophy_St George Invite_9-15-12

Most of the girls also brought home Top 20 Medals, Aby was 16th running a 14:01 in the 2 mile.  I’m pretty sure I can’t run that fast right now.

Aby_St George Medal_9-15-12

Most of the girls are very tired but keep pushing their limits at meet after meet.  This is Aby running her 4th meet in 6 days last night:

Aby Running_9-20-12

These girls make me want to run faster.  They make me realize that even as an adult if we keep pushing and running hard, even when we are tired, then good things happen.  Now the girls get to rest for a few days before starting another cycle.  Push, Push, Rest.  Push, Push, Rest.  It’s a necessary cycle.  The resting, and taking care of oneself, being just as important as the pushing. 

Push hard my friends and you too will reap the rewards.  Let these little ones inspire you too!

** Push, Push, Rest ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Depression Hurts….

You have all probably seen the commercial with the weimaraner holding a tennis ball looking sadly at a depressed man.  Then the sound bite, “depression hurts everyone”.  If you know weimaraners, then you will love them even when they are pissing on your dining room carpet know that they are always one of three things: Ready,  Depressed/Bored/Waiting for YOU to be READY, or Sleeping.

Libby_Oct 2009

So whenever somebody is depressed, that commercial pops into my head.  Like a Weimaraner, I feel like I’m waiting for them to come out of their depression.  Like I need to take my ball and roll it between their feet and encourage them to get out the door to play.  But reality is that people who are depressed don’t want to play.  They don’t want run.  They don’t want to take the chance of feeling anything.  So you, like me, must wait.  Be there for them and wait it out.  It may take a long time. 

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You may need to play by yourself for a while.

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Just be patient.  Understand this is a medical problem.  Some people will snap out of it as the seasons change, others will require medical assistance.  Read more on depression HERE or HERE.  

Although, you can’t help them medically, you can encourage them to get out the door to hit the gym with you, take a yoga class or go for a run.  You know how you always feel amazing happy when you finish a run?  Well, that is because the brain releases endorphins or chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, during the run to elevate your mood!  These same chemicals also helps fight depression.  Here is an excerpt below on how exercise can help depression.  Full article from the Mayo Clinic HERE.

How does exercise help depression and anxiety?

Exercise probably helps ease depression in a number of ways, which may include:

  • Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters and endorphins)
  • Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
  • Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects

Exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits too. It can help you:

  • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
  • Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
  • Get more social interaction. Exercise may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
  • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.

So while “we” can’t do much to ease the depression of our loved ones, we can let them know that we love them, no matter what, and encourage them to get out the door to get a breath of fresh air and hopefully a few miles on a beautiful trail to boost those endorphins. 

Never give up.   Keep trying.  You may not be successful today but possibly next week or next month.  They are worth the extra effort it takes to haul their ass out the door boost their mood.  You will feel better too because it’s true, depression hurts and affects everyone.  So go, drag a friend or family member out for a run or walk!  Reintroduce them to  your “happy pill”.  🙂

**Boost Those Endorphins ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Breaking New Trails – Goodenow Grove

I love finding new trails to run.  One of the ways to keep running fresh, exciting and NOT let it feel like a job is to frequently change things up.   Running a new trail is an adventure.  When I take the kids, they think we are exploring and they are right!  We are exploring!  So if your run routine has become stagnant, go somewhere new to run this weekend.  Yes, you may need to step out of your comfort zone get into your car and drive there but it will be worth it!  Go, explore!

This last weekend, the kids and I went exploring at Goodenow Grove in Crete, IL.  This Will County Forest Preserve has been closed for an entire year as they revamped the nature center and cut new trails.  The main attraction for the kids is always the massive hill that they can run and/or roll up and down. 

Goodenow Grove_kids on hill_9-15-12

The main attraction for the runner in me was the new Plum Creek Greenway Trail.

Goodenow Grove_Plum Creek Greenway_9-15-12

This new trail begins on Goodenow Road, just west of the Dutton Road access and is 3.06 miles in length (one way) as it weaves thru the Grove and ends just north of Bemes Road.   The new trail is crushed limestone and very soft at this point since it hasn’t yet had the weather and traffic to pack it down.  The kids and I absolutely LOVED this trail. 

Goodenow Grove_kids run away_9-15-12

I couldn’t even keep up with the kids as they excitedly raced ahead to see what was beyond the “next” curve.  I was constantly calling them back and stressing, particularly to Aby and her friend Sara, that they had already ran hard that day at a local Cross Country Invite and they needed to walk.  They didn’t care or listen, just kept running.  Begging me to go further. 

Aby, Sara & Michael at one point running back to me.  Yes, Aby even runs in flip flops.  And Michael runs everywhere particularly when he has the opportunity to chase pretty girls.

Goodenow Grove_kids run_9-15-12

I think its a sign of a good trail when you can’t get the kids to go back to the car.  The terrain was soft, had lots of open area with wild grasses and flowers, shaded wooded areas, lots of curves and a few hills to give it variety.  There were also spots not too far off trail in the main section, near the Nature Center where water and bathrooms were available. 

Goodenow Grove_9-15-12

I think I’ll be heading back this weekend to run the entire length of the trail with the girls.   I’m anxious to cover the entirety of the trail and the girls begged me to take them back.  I’ll have a more in depth post with a map since I lost mine soon but I just wanted to put this new trail on your radar because who doesn’t want to try a cool new trail that is close to home? 

Where are you running this weekend?

** Happy Trail Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Life Happens…..

It appears that some people have it all together but know that they are real people too, have real problems and nothing is going as smoothly for them as it looks.  Or at least this is what I’m telling myself this week as I just can’t seem to find the balance between reality and sanity.

  • No workouts since Sunday.
  • A house so messy that I should be embarrassed but I’m not.
  • Late bedtimes.
  • Sleepy, grumpy children and mommy.
  • Nails that need polished.  I need to move this to the top of the To Do list!
  • Desk at work possibly as messy my kitchen floor where Michael does his “cutting”.
  • Missed the first mile of Aby’s 2 mile Cross Country meet last night due to jacked up traffic.
  • Can’t keep the dog from pissing on the floor where the treadmill will sit upon tomorrow’s delivery.
  • Can’t help but dwell on the fact that every step I will take on this new treadmill with Air Flex technology will send up a billowing perfume of dog piss.
  • Can’t help but wonder if the dog will piss ON the treadmill once I put it in her preferred pissing spot.
  • Too busy to even give a damn anymore about how much shit stuff I have to complete before I leave work or go to bed.

So let me pretend for a minute that the pretty ladies, that look all calm, cool and collected also have a dog pissing in their dining room and a toddler who destroys the house faster than the grown-ups can clean it up.   That they look like this as soon as they step thru their front door.  🙂

crazy_mom Source

I’m going to take a deep breath and refocus, acknowledge that life happens to all of us.  Not feel guilty about anything.  I’m going to repeat what my friend Bridgett once told me, “Fake It Til You Can Make It”!   And I’m going to fit in a workout today, no matter what.

Are you managing life better than me this week? 

** Fake It Til You Make It ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Distance Divas With Amy Yoder Begley

Do you know any famous people?  Maybe an Artist, Actor, Writer, Singer, Professional Athlete or an Olympian?   Most probably do not, particularly if you come from Small Town USA, like me.  However, my high school managed to be home to two kick-ass amazing athletes while I was there and those athletes eventually landed professional contracts.   One, Brad Miller, we watched on the basketball court tearing things up until his retirement just last season, the other,  Amy Yoder Begley we watched on the track. 

As the internet grew and social media became more popular, it has been easier than ever to watch Amy develop as an athlete on the track.  I didn’t have to stalk watch her website for tidbits of info, instead her upcoming races, progress and results were always posted to Facebook or Twitter.  While watching Amy’s career, I also became interested in her coach Alberto Salazar and her training partner, Kara Goucher.   See Goucher & Begley celebrate below on the track after they both qualified in the 10,000 meters to represent Team USA for the 2008 Beijing Olympics (click on the green link for full article in Runners World).

How Amy Begley Made the 10K Team

Photograph by Victah Sailer

So while watching Amy & Kara, this led to and eventual interest in Shalane, then Desi.  I now have an interest in all things related to women’s running and I’m not sure that would be the case if it weren’t for Amy.  Thank you, Amy!

Recently, Amy has embarked on her newest endeavor and is creating a community of women runners called the Distance Divas.  When I originally heard about the Distance Divas, I was certainly intrigued but didn’t even consider it would be a group for someone like me, an injured amateur runner.  It appears that I was wrong.  The purpose of this group is to connect women runners throughout the country.  The group focus will be social with an emphasis on training tips and advice presented in a members only forum where we can ask questions and talk with one another and get input from Amy on a regular basis.  Coaching is also available for those who may be a lot more serious than me but it’s optional, not required.  Eventually there will be races.  Yes, races.  Races where we can gather as a group and meet one another.  Races which Amy will attend and host social events and group runs.  Have you ever ran with an Olympian?  This is your chance!

After reading all the cool stuff on the Distance Divas website I basically assumed that I couldn’t afford to join the members only group.  I wanted to be a Distance Diva really badly but didn’t even want to click open the “Join this Group” tab and see the cost.  Do you want to know the cost?  Is this something that would interest you too?  $50.  Yep, $50 is the cost to be part the inaugural Distance Divas.  I’m in and I hope to see some of you over in the forum too!  There aren’t many of us yet but I’m pretty sure that will change fast.  So look for me on the trail in my new Distance Diva tee, which is included with the membership!

Diva V  Diva Back

Photo Source:  BegleyTrack.com

For the record, I don’t make any $$ if you decide to be a Distance Diva; I just thought it was a cool concept and something that will really take off as the word gets out so I wanted to tell you about it.   And in my book, all of you ladies are Distance Divas.  Keep running; I’ll see YOU on the trail!  🙂

** Run Like a DIVA ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com