Virtual “Racing”…..

We definitely live in an “on line” type world where many spend the vast majority of their day interacting with their keyboard instead of real people.  It should be no surprise that we are doing everything “virtually”.    For some, this provides an excuse to hide behind a computer and develop a fantasy life that they are too afraid to actually live.  For others, this has bolstered their confidence, allowed them to make new friends, and ultimately given them the courage to step outside their box and DO THINGS that they never thought possible.  Think for a minute how the internet has affected your life over the last 5 to 10 years? 

 

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Source

The world is literally at our fingertips.  A few keystrokes and we can find out about anything we want to know.  We can find people who share our interests.  We can find people who have done what we have only dreamt of doing ….. until now.  Seeing their adventures and knowing it can be done has given many the courage to TRY.  To get up off the couch, get out of the house and to DO SOMETHING new.

Do Something

For many, the idea of going to the gym, hitting a local group run or interacting with other people in a fitness type atmosphere is super intimidating.  They stress over not being fit enough.  Not being fast enough. Not being healthy enough.  Not being worthy of interacting with other fit people.   They want to be “better” and “more fit” before they start running with the group.  They want to be faster before they sign up for that local 5K.  Everyone fears being left behind.  Being last. 

These fears have bolstered our online community. They have helped birth virtual races and challenges.  A virtual race or challenge can be completed anywhere, anytime and by anyone willing to give it a try.  It allows a person to anonymously join a community of people all doing the same thing.  It allows them to take part in something they may not have had the courage to try if the event where happening “in real life”. 

These virtual challenges are everywhere.  Some cost $$ to join.  Many are free.  Some have online pages, or forums, for daily group support.  Many just require you to cover the distance or activity and record the results.    Some are as simple as doing 50 pushups every day for a month.  Others require one to cover a certain “race” distance.  Some are for charity.  Others offer cash and prizes just for participating.  There is a virtual race or challenge for all levels of fitness and ability.  Run one.  Walk one.  Join one.  In fact, join two! 

I’m currently participating in two virtual challenges.  Not because I wouldn’t be moving or doing something anyhow but because I like trying new things, being focused and meeting other fit people with whom I may not normally interact.  The Spring Bootie Buster Challenge by Amanda at Run To the Finish, forces me to drink my water, eat my fruits & veggies, and workout daily.  It offers an online community where I can talk with other members, be accountable and be encouraged by the progress of others.  I paid to get into the challenge.  I am eligible for weekly prizes NOT for being the best in my category but for recording my points each week.  It’s a 7 week challenge.  It’s about accountability.

water   Fresh Berries   

The other virtual challenge in which I am currently participating is the Jelly Bean by Run with Jess.  I like this one because it’s free, it offers multiple events and there are a lot of great prizes available just for participating.  Each year the Jelly Bean Virtual Race becomes my Jelly Bean “Challenge”.  I personally take the challenge to do all the events within the 11 day window.  If all of the events are not for you, that’s okay too, pick one or two that best suits your current fitness level.  The idea is to just move it, at any distance or speed in which you are able.  A virtual race is rarely a “race”, it’s just a way to challenge yourself to complete a certain task.  My Jelly Bean “race results” & a few event photos are below. 

  • 5K – 25:05
  • 10K – 56:03
  • Half Marathon – 2:09:19
  • 21K Bike  – 44:01

Jelly Bean_2013  me_3-23-13_jelly bean  Team Tough Chik 2013 tri kit _on bike

So if your nervous about getting out “in real life” and joining the fit community, take it slow and get comfortable at home by joining a virtual race or challenge.  Get to know us online so that you realize that we aren’t just crazy health nuts but instead, normal people, just like you.  These challenges are created because we understand, we’ve been there, we know how hard it is to get moving and stay moving.  We know that the process is intimidating.  Join us virtually and then when you’re ready, hit the road with us at any pace you are able.  It’s about the journey, not the pace at which you cover the distance.  Get started today!

** Move It, Virtual or Otherwise ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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Flip Belt Giveaway Winner

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I was wearing the Flip Belt again this weekend and someone asked me, “Do you REALLY like the Flip Belt or did you just say that?”.  It surprised me.  Sometimes I forget that some of my readers don’t know me personally.  Don’t know how I feel about things.  Don’t know how I feel about this blog.   Don’t know how I feel about honesty. 

So, for the record, you probably won’t hear about the things I don’t like unless it’s a really big deal …..  like a race that we all paid a lot of money for and then got the short end of the stick.  I don’t want to throw a lot of negativity out there because there is truly something for everyone and just because it doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you.  However, if I tell you about it, then I like it.  In fact, I really like it.  If I don’t tell you about it, then well, I have other things I like better.  On a similar note, the way I work the giveaways, is I normally go after products, for you, that I already own and like.  So I don’t have to worry about getting something for free, reviewing it, and then having to write about it if I don’t like it.  There are a few exceptions to this rule, the Flip Belt and the Yurbuds Inspire for Women headphones (Review HERE) are both products that I went after that I didn’t already own.  I took a chance because of the wonderful things that other people, who I knew personally, had already said about them.  It worked out very well both times.  I now own 3 pair of the Yurbuds Inspires (green, yellow & pink) and I have ordered two additional Flip Belts (pink & black, in addition the yellow they gave me).

Now you know.  If I say I like it, I really do like it.  In fact, I probably love it.  Smile

Now back to the Flip Belt that I LOVE!  So far I’ve used it on every outdoor run since it came in the mail.  Runs as short as 4 miles and as long as 20.  It works great for me.  Doesn’t bounce.  Doesn’t move.  Holds lots of stuff.  It even holds my shirt down if it’s cold.   Bonus!  I looked at the sizing chart (below) and was between sizes.  I’m an 8-10 in pants.  I ordered the large because I like things to ride on my hips and not my stomach.  It was the right size for me.

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The Flip Belt Winner is #117, Stacy Kirk.

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Congratulations, Stacy!  Please contact me at amanda@tootallfritz.com.  I need your email address to send to Flip Belt so they can set up an account for you!

For the rest of us, Flip Belt set up a 15% discount code:  tootallfritz.  Feel free to use the code and share it with your friends if you like.  It’s active now.  I’ve already placed an order using it.  The code expires on April 25, 2013. 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Feeling Sassy…..

It’s Friday and I’m feeling GOOOOOOD!!  I’m not sure why because after a week of very little sleep due to hubby snoring Michael getting up a million times a night, usually Friday is hard. 

So why am I feeling so great?  Maybe it’s the fact that Dr.  Alexis worked out most of my lil aches and pains yesterday and I ran a decently fast, hilly 5K on the treadmill in 25:05 last night?  Maybe it was the AdvoCare Spark I drank when I got up?

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Or maybe it’s the amazing cookies that I made this morning instead of washing my hair?

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Banana Oat Cookies – Super Easy!  Recipe from Amy C.

2 ripe bananas mashed. 1 cup quick cook oats.  Handful of chocolate chips (optional).  Bake on 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Great morning treat for the busy mom!!  And they taste amazing!!

 

Maybe it was the fact that my skinny jeans are fitting well and my pink shoes are poppin’ today?

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Maybe it’s the sun, that is creeping out and shining down on the CHI today?  Maybe it is the fact that I can FEEL spring and know that it is close?  Maybe it was the awesome drive to work with the tunes blaring? 

To be honest, I’m not really sure why I feel so amazing today but one thing is for sure, a great feeling like this can never last.  As I pulled into the parking garage this morning and reached into my purse to pull out my gloves, I found these hiding in my purse:

 

What you say, are those blue things?  Those would be lil boy undies in my purse.  WTF?  I mean really, WTF?  They weren’t there last night.  I didn’t notice them this morn as I was tossing snacks in my purse.  I certainly didn’t put them there.  I don’t even know if they are clean.  Thank you children for once again reminding me that the feeling of sass and swagger is only temporary.  I’m totally back to normal now.  You’ve knocked me back to reality.  Many thanks.  Love you my lil angels!!

Monster Dash_2012_Michael PhotoBomber

Please tell me what random things you have found in your purse that make you say WTF? 

** Always a Mommy First ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Zooma Chicago Ambassadorship & Discount Code!!

I could spend a bit to time today bitching complaining about the weather but I think we all feel the same way.  I’m cold.  You’re cold.  BRING ON SPRING!!  Let the crocus bloom!!

I had a very bitter start last night to my Jelly Bean Virtual Race Series as I was bundled up from head to toe and couldn’t help but reminisce about the start of last year’s series when I ran in a tank top.  I know last year was unseasonably warm in March but I’m looking for a slight warm up!

                              Jelly Bean Virtual Race Start

                               2012                                        2013

Me&Susan_Jelly Bean_4-4-12      Jelly Bean_2013

But that’s right, I’m not complaining so let’s move on to something fun!! 

I was recently selected as an Ambassador for the Zooma Women’s Race Series event in Chicago!  Last year the Midwest event was located in Wisconsin and I “may” or may not have been green with envy as all my friends traveled up north for the race.  However, this year, they moved the Midwest event to Chicago so I’m IN!!!  I get to race and I was lucky enough to be accepted as one of their 2013 ambassadors.

Zooma_CHI

Zooma is a ladies event and they offer a Half Marathon and 10K distance along the north shore of  Chicago at Montrose Harbor.  I always love running up at Montrose and I’m excited to go back for the Zooma Chicago race on August 10th!!  Although I will, no doubt, be begging for the return of cold weather by August, I’m currently in love with the idea of basking in the sun with my friends at this amazing event.  There are so many great offerings for Zooma that I’m going to bring the description directly from the website so that I don’t miss anything!

Zooma Chicago promises:

  • Entry into an unforgettable, professionally-managed and timed half marathon or 10K race
  • Access to a full weekend of yoga, sponsored cocktail hour, and a Fitness Expo
  • ZOOMA Signature Swag Bag, including a cute tech tee, yoga mat, reusable bag, and stainless steel water bottle (over $50 value)
  • Water and Cytomax Sports Performance drink on the course
  • Water, Cytomax Sports Performance drink, Muscle Milk Light and food at the finish line
  • GU Energy Gel station along the course
  • Wine from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly at the After-Party Expo
  • Necklace designed exclusively by Satya Jewelry for ZOOMA for all finishers
  • Post-race massage, shopping and live music at the ZOOMA After-Party Expo

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I’ll be honest, this race isn’t cheap.  It’s pricy.  It’s women only.  It’s the only race my friends and I signed up for the first day it was available.  We are in.  We were in before I was accepted as an ambassador.  We are in for the fun, the friendship, the camaraderie, the necklace, the bubbly, the post-race massage.  We are ALL in.  We won’t be missing a thing.  In fact, I “booked” my mom babysitter for the weekend over a month ago.  I’m super excited!!

If you want to join the fun at Zooma Chicago on August 10th, here is a 10% discount code that you are welcome to use and share with your friends.  Discount/Promo code is:  CHIAMB6

The half marathon is currently $105 and the 10K is $75.  You can register HERE.  And if you want to get really crazy and take full advantage of this girls “fit weekend”, including the FRI night activities, then go ahead and book a room at the host hotel, Landgam Chicago.   I’ll be there with my girls and we will be having a blast without our lil ones relaxing.

If you are feeling lucky,  Zooma is giving away an entire weekend package for two, plus many other goodies in the Zooma 2013 Run the CHI-TOWN Sweepstakes.  Please enter HERE to win and tell all your girlfriends to do the same!  Good luck to you!!

ZOOMA-CHI13-sweeps-header

  Hope to see you at Montrose Harbor on August 10th!

** Run. Laugh. Celebrate.  **  Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Flip Belt Review & Giveaway…..

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I have been seeing a lot of hoopla on the Flip Belt.  I was intrigued.  However, I have two “fitness” belts already and I don’t love either one of them.  I was, therefore, reluctant to purchase another for fear of it being just “ok”.  I got lucky and Flip Belt agreed to send me one to try even though I’ll never be as buff or naked as their amazing models below:

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They have lots of great colors and I couldn’t decided which one I wanted so I ultimately picked yellow since it looked so good in their ad.  Yep, I LOVE a good marketing campaign and definitely missed my calling.   I’ll have what she’s having.  Just give me what the model is wearing.  Yes, PLEASE take the exact outfit off the mannequin at the store cuz that’s what I want too.  Smile

If you are feeling a bit more decisive than me,  here are the color choices below, plus they have a few limited edition colors on the sidebar of the Flip Belt webpage.

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I don’t think I had this thing more than a day and I busted it out of the package.  I was really excited to try it.  My current belt has one stretchy zip pocket.  It has worked well enough because my giant phone (a droid) fits into it; however, I can’t put anything else it in and well during marathon training, I need to carry a lot more than just my phone.

So as I prepared for the first outing with the Flip Belt, in the pouring rain, I loaded it with my car key, an energy gel, my phone and an iPod.   At the last minute, I opted to leave the iPod in the car since it was raining cats and dogs and I usually don’t use an iPod while I run anyhow.  I was also thanking my lucky stars that during the ordering process, I elected to add a free waterproof phone bag to my order.  So I slid my phone into that bag (a plastic bag with a ziplock) and I was ready to run.  At least as ready to run as anyone who has 15 miles to put in during a downpour.  We did get a brief period when the rain stopped (for about 2 seconds) so I threw off my hat and had Susan snap a photo of me wearing the Flip Belt.  Thanks, Susan!!

Flip Belt_full pic

The belt is a continuous loop which you step into (or pull over your head) and has multiple openings to slide items into the loop.  The openings are a bit stretchy so that you can fit a gigantic phone inside, plus lots of other goodies.  The entire circumference of the belt serves as a giant holding cell so you can stuff a lot into it, if necessary.   The concept of the “flip belt” is that you can flip it into you and seal the openings with your body if you are concerned about something slipping out.  I can’t see that happening since the belt is stretchy and snug but if you have that fear, just flip it inward and keep your belongings safe!

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I put the belt on, ran and forgot about it.  Then I remembered I had it on only because one of the other runners managed to spy it under my jacket saying, “Is that one of those flip belts?”.  I was like, oh yeah!  At that point, we had ran a good 12 miles and I hadn’t thought about it once.  That means, it didn’t bounce.  It didn’t slide.  It didn’t do anything that bothered me.  In my opinion, that is what makes good technical gear, something that benefits me but doesn’t bother me.  Something I wear and forget about.  I was sold at that very instant.  I was excited and sent out a tweet as soon as I got home!

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Instagram & Tweet from 3/10/13

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Since that day, I’ve worn the flip belt on every outdoor run, including last Saturday’s 20 miler.  I slide it on and forget about it.  LOVE THAT!!  I am also looking forward to using it in races so that I have my phone on me when I need it rather than having to leave it behind in gear check.

If you want to try the flip belt, they have offered one lucky reader their choice of any size/color Flip Belt ($24.99 value).  In order to be eligible to win, please comment below and tell me what kind of fitness belt you currently use and more importantly, do you like it?  You can then get one bonus entry for liking Flip Belt on Facebook HERE and leaving a separate comment stating that you did so, including your FB name for verification purposes.  And you can get a third entry by following them on Twitter HERE.

One winner will be drawn via a random number generator on Monday, March 25th at 9am.  Good luck!

** I  Red heart the Flip Belt **  Amanda – TooTallFritz **

20 Miles, A Big Deal For Me….

No matter how many 20 milers I have ran in the past, and no matter how many I run in the future, 20 miles is a big deal for me.  That’s a lot of miles for this body.  It’s not easy.  It’s hard.  I want to cry.  Sometimes I do cry.  But I usually finish.  Saturday was no exception.  It was hard but I finished. 

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I’m not fast.  I always “think” that I can run 20 miles in 3 hours but it never happens.  It took me 3 hours and 16 minutes this time (not counting potty stops).  As always, I probably started out too fast and I definitely ended in a crawl too slow. 

Although mentally 20 miles doesn’t seem that cumbersome, my body always reminds me to respect the distance.  So here is the breakdown of the good, the bad & the ugly.

The Good

  • I finished.
  • First consecutive 20 miler of the training cycle.
  • Ran comfortably for 13 miles at a decent clip.
  • I didn’t have any foot pain.
  • I have amazing running friends (ones who get up early and run in the dark with me, and others who take over and carry me thru those last very difficult miles).
  • The trail was 98% clear.
  • I didn’t poo my pants.

The Bad

  • Pace was all over the place.  Mile 10 being the fastest at 8:43, Mile 17 being the slowest at 11:00.
  • Feet started to get hot spots by mile 10.
  • Cold & Windy
  • Stomach cramps for 90% of the run.

The Ugly

  • 4 bathroom stops
  • I started hyperventilating 2x cuz I was about to cry.
  • Pace was ALL over the place.
  • I slowed down my run friends by A LOT.
  • I didn’t care that I slowed down my run friends by A LOT cuz I couldn’t go any faster.
  • Fueling Fail.  Bananas were not my friend!
  • I’m scared I’ll poo my pants at the Lansing Marathon.

I knew this run would be a rude awakening.  The bulk of my long training runs have been split due to time, work, kid & family schedules.  I didn’t have other options so just went with it.  Initially I wanted to run a spring marathon to force myself to run long and run strong all winter, no matter what.  I was hoping that the miles would bring back the speed and I tried to pick a plan to focus on being the best I could at this interval of my life.  However, I can’t pick the chaos that life chooses to hand me at any given moment.  I’m not advocating slacking, nor do I think I’m slacking, but the bottom line is that I have to balance my real life and my run life and they need to play nicely together or I will lose one or both.  So I do what I can do and refuse to stress about what gets left behind.

 sometimes the best you can do

I didn’t anticipate that both my tummy and feet, would have such a hard time adjusting to the long (consecutive) run.  I was definitely out of fuel due to the potty stops, then afraid to refuel for fear of not making it to the next potty stop.  I did, however, have better luck toward the end of the run when I was empty decided to forgo additional banana pieces and start fueling with the AdvoCare Rehydrate Gels since 1) I definitely needed to rehydrate and 2) that was what I will be using on race day.  I think I will start out with these next long run to see if I do better from the start.  I may be breaking up with my bananas.  They normally are safe but that hasn’t been the case for this training cycle.  It’s possible that my body is changing yet once again and I need to find a new pre-run fuel.  Sad but true. 

As for my feet,  I developed hot spots just from being up and running for that longer period of time. This is the same reason so many people’s feet blister during a marathon.  It’s further than they have ever ran before, sometimes the roads slant differently than my treadmill their training grounds, and the feet just can’t handle the pressure.  So I need to spend more time on my feet, on the road/trail and I have got to train my tummy to handle the run without developing “the runs”.  I’ve got 32 more days.  That’s not a lot of time; wish me luck!

How are your long runs going? Are you killing it this go ‘round, or are the long runs killing you?  Every training cycle is different, just do your best!

** Happy  Training ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Lock Laces Giveaway Winners

Time to announce the lucky winners of the Lock Laces giveaway!!

Lock Laces

I have 7 pair of varying colors to giveaway.  The winners overwhelmingly selected pink and purple as their preferred colors, so please expect the unexpected as I just randomly send out whatever I grab. 

Winners = #27, #20, #39, #40, #18, #23, & #11

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#27 – Brian P – Black

#20 – Bethp262 – No color preference noted

#39 – From Ice Cream  To Marathon – Pink

#40 – Josephine – Run From The Heart – Purple

#18 – Ani Danelz

#23 – Lisa Runs for Cupcakes

#11 – Lynn Starr

Congratulations to the winners!  Please email me at amanda@tootallfritz.com and give me your mailing address so I can send out  your lock laces ASAP! 

Thanks to everyone who participated.  If you are interested in trying Lock Laces, hit the website and check them out!  Great product that is super easy to install and use!  I used them this weekend for my 20 miler. 

me_after 20 miles (march 2013)_blue lock laces

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

20 Miles, No Big Deal…..

20 miles?!?!  For many runners, they will run one 20 miler during marathon training.  It’s the “big” run.  The one they dread.  The one that keeps them up at night as if the last 10 long runs before this one didn’t already scare the crap out of them.  The one that seals the deal and boosts their confidence ensuring them that they CAN run 26.2 miles on marathon day.

For most of us, 20 miles is in fact a VERY BIG deal.  However, the more marathons you run, the more 20 milers you have under the belt, the less worrisome they become.  Experience negates fear.  You may not be looking forward to those 20 mile runs but they really do become No Big Deal.  Just another day.  In fact, this “training cycle” and please allow me to use the phrase very lightly because my training has been far from picture perfect, I was scheduled to run five 20 mile runs.  No big deal.  I had to shorten the cycle so five 20 milers became four.  Tomorrow will be number 3.  However, due to family circumstances, I’ve not run all 20 miles of the last two 20 mile sessions together, all at once. My runs have been split either between the treadmill and the road, with a small break in between or even possibly split by many hours, or an entire work day.  As a result, I have no idea about my current fitness level.  None.

Tomorrow I will run my first 20 miler of the year entirely on the trail.  All at once.  Good or bad.  20 miles.  Crying face

Am I worried?  Maybe.  Do I know I can do it?  Yes.  Is it going to hurt?  Most definitely.

So who do YOU call when you need a partner for 20 miles?  I actually have a name and number.  I use it sparingly.  I only break it out when I need a 20 mile run partner.  My girlfriend is an amazing runner and she is married to an amazing ultra runner.  Her run hub may not have ran in the last 3 months but I know when I shoot them a message that if they are in town, he will show up, before dawn, to run 20 miles with me before most people get up and have their coffee.  Everyone should have at least one friend like this!

So tomorrow, my girl’s run hub will be out there pounding out miles with me in the dark.  I have no idea how fast he normally runs, I just know that he never has trouble keeping up no matter how fast I go, and he never complains no matter how much I slow.  Too perfect.  He’ll probably even hand me a Kleenex when I start crying.  Then she will pop up somewhere to offer us snacks.  Too perfect.  Thanks, Lara for once again letting me borrow your running hubby.  And yes, I know that you just send him so that you don’t have to get out there to run it yourself.  Kudos, my dear.  I’ll take it and I’ll thank you for it too!!  I’ll also thank you for having a running hubby who thinks that 20 miles is NO BIG DEAL.

** Happy Running, Regardless of the Distance ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Lock Laces Review & Giveaway

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I first became aware of elastic shoe lacing systems as I delved into triathlon circa 2005.  One of the easiest ways to knock time off a race is to have a smooth transition.  Yes, you can certainly “PR” an event just by being better in transition.  Consider transition the 4th discipline of triathlon.  The faster we are able to change our shoes, without hurting ourselves the better.   Enter speed laces, elastic shoe lacing systems which allow us to slip on our shoes before “some” decide if they are going put on socks or NOT.

For many years, we had two options in elastic lacing systems.  One was super complicated, the other was much easier, if you picked up the right size laces for your shoes.  Lock Laces has taken the complexity out of the issue and brought us an elastic lacing system that is not only simple but one that is truly for everyone.  That’s right, one size fits all no matter your shoe size, the number of eyelets on your favorite shoes or if you have tiny toddler feet.  I’ve seen these laces everywhere from professional triathletes all the way down to tiny tots at the playground.  One size fits all.  No exception. 

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As my TRI season fast approaches, I have started to think about my race shoe, and what type of lacing system I want.  Since things aren’t always as easy as they appear, I wanted to try the Lock Laces while I still had plenty of time to find another option if they didn’t work out.  Thankfully, Lock Laces was kind enough to send me a pair to try and they also sent a “few” for you!

Mine:Lock Laces_blue

Yours:

Lock Laces_in box

 

I decided to try the blue Lock Laces by putting them directly into my new marathon training shoes.  Several reasons, first I would know immediately if I liked them (or not) and two, because as I run long miles, my feet swell.  So in addition to needing a slightly bigger shoe for those mega long runs, I also need a bit of flexibility, or should I say expandability in my laces.  The Lock Laces eliminate my need to stop and readjust my laces mid-run as my feet swell, they instead just expand without putting additional pressure on the top of my foot. 

They worked out great!  First, I wore them to work/commute one day as a walk around test.  Then I ran in them numerous times both on the treadmill and on the trail.  I never even notice them, which is a good thing because the last thing I want to be thinking about during a run or race is my shoes or the laces. 

My favorite non-performance aspect of the Lock Laces was the ease of installation.  It wasn’t any more difficult than changing a regular pair of shoe laces.  The laces are long, so you just lace them like you would a normal shoe, slide on the round lock over the laces, cut to leave 2 to 3 inches & place the end caps on the laces.  Done. 

Lastly, I will say that I’m SUPER excited about these Lock Laces, not only for myself but for Aby’s Cross Country team.  I admit, that I’ve started hoarding them.  You probably won’t see more than one or two pair in my shoes specifically because I’ll be saving them for fall to dole out to Aby’s teammates.  Last year, I can’t tell you how many times those kids lost their shoes.  Some kids do not possess the ability to tie their shoes.  I know this sounds ridiculous but it’s true.  So if they can’t tie their shoes properly on a normal day, then they certainly don’t understand the concept of double knotting their shoes for runs and races.  Therefore, they lose their shoes.  A lot.  In the mud.  In the woods.  On nice straight, flat patches of grass.  In the rain.  In the snow.  In the flippin’ sunshine.  I’ve looked for missing shoes one too many times.  I’m springing for lock laces for the entire team come fall. 

If you would like to try a pair of Lock Laces, I have 7 pair to giveaway.  That’s right, 7 winners!!!  I have white, grey, purple, pink, red, green & black.

Lock Laces

If you would like to be entered in the Lock Laces drawing, leave a comment below telling me which color would be your first choice.  This will help with distribution!  For a second entry, go like the Lock Laces Facebook page HERE and leave a separate comment below stating that you did so, along with your Facebook name for verification purposes.  And lastly, for a third entry, go follow them on Twitter HERE & leave a separate comment stating that you did so along with your Twitter name.  Total of three entries possible.  Winner will be drawn on Monday, March 18th at 9am via a random number generator.  Good luck!!

These Lock Laces are cool and they aren’t very expensive.  If you would like to purchase some now,  go HERE and shop.  One pair for $7.99 or 3 for $19.99.  Enjoy!

** Win, Never Tie ** amanda@tootallfritz.com **

Better Late Than Never…..

There are a lot of things that I would LOVE to do with the local running community but the events that I attend are few and far between due to our family/work schedule.  Last night, however, was the Running For Kicks St Patrick’s Day Fun Run and hubby managed Mr. Michael, plus the chauffeuring so that I could go enjoy the festivities.  And of course, I was late, so missed the group photo and the beginning of the run.  All photos stolen from courtesy of Gail.

RFK St Paddys Run 2013 _group

On a normal, or even slightly chaotic day I would have had plenty of time to get to the event.  However, I neglected to anticipate that a gentleman in the parking garage would jam up the pay machine, or that the new valet would not be able to “find” my car.  So I spent an extra 20 minutes in the parking garage but still had plenty of time.  Then I hit the expressway for the short trip from Chicago to Palos and traffic was at a standstill.  Rain.  Accidents.  It took an hour to travel from 22nd street to 95th street.  Not normal.  Not enough time.  Now, I’m late.  I really dislike being late but really, this wasn’t the end of the world.  I was just thankful that I wasn’t rushing to get Aby or Michael and that they were covered. 

I had plenty of time while sitting in traffic to think about if I should actually go to the event late or just keep on crawling toward home.  I decided to go.  I know a lot of runners that run at RFK on Monday nights and I hadn’t seen them in a while.  I had old shoes in the car to donate to the store for their charity.  Hubby had rearranged his schedule so that I could go.  And most importantly, I had dusted off my green Team Sparkle skirt & Pro Compression St Patrick’s Day socks, just for the occasion.  So I went with the “better late than never” attitude.  My solo pic before heading out to find the group:

RFK St Paddys Run 2013

I was glad that I went.  Even though I was late and the group had already started, I headed over to the route they normally run and just started running.  I found a few people, socialized a bit, made a few random loops and managed to get in 4.5 miles of hills.  Win!

It’s not every day you can run around in a sparkle skirt, so given the chance, TAKE IT!    And just maybe, you’ll spot a few other crazies sparkly friends too!

RFK St Paddys Run 2013_Skirts   RFK St Paddys Run 2013_socks

I love these fun events and am thankful to RFK for doing things like this so we can dress up and be crazy without actually putting out $$ on a race.  Good times!

(40% off all Pro Compression Shamrock socks & calf sleeves with discount code:  SOM3)

** Happy SPARKLY Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **