2014 Chicago Marathon

Sunday, I ran what was supposed to be my last Chicago Marathon.  Not sure I  can go out like that and leave it as my last one but only time will tell.  Aby does want to go back and run it when she turns 16 but that won’t be possible because she’ll be at the end of a HS Cross Country season and well, we all know that we can’t run fast short and train for something as mammoth as a marathon.  I won’t be busting her bubble now but that’s reality.  Anyhow, back to Sunday!  It was a PERFECT day to run a marathon.  Run any distance really.  Temps were cool, the sky was clear and it warmed up nicely with a tiny breeze to keep us comfortable.  Start line along with 40,000+ other runners.

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I had one goal for this race:  to finish.  I was forced to take a bit of time off running this summer during the relocation and my build up was a bit too quick and well, I didn’t log the normal mileage.  My longest run was an 18 miler.  I had no idea about pace but knew to go slow.  What I did know is that my feet were in bad shape and I needed to keep moving in order to keep them from tightening up.  I should have guessed from how badly my feet hurt during last week’s 12 miler that things wouldn’t go well.  I have been seeing a physical therapist in Fort Wayne, IN for my plantar fasciitis but he’s been a bit rough on me.  In fact, every week that I see him, I get worse, regardless of my mileage or lack thereof.  This week was the same.  I was much worse than even the week before.  So I was in the mindset to run easy.  Enjoy the course.  And run from one spectator sighting to another.  So thankful that April W took my Aby around for spectating again.  It’s always a highlight to see friendly faces on course.  I saw them at mile 2, then again at mile 13.  I was breaking down badly by mile 13 and my hips were burning because apparently my gait was off due to the pain in my feet.  Both feet.  So awesome. CHI Marathon_Aby & IAfter faking a smile for a pic with Aby, my girl April gave me the only pain relief she had on her person, a Midol tab.  It didn’t touch my pain.  I walked/ran/limped from 13-19 and then I was about done, like out of the game.  Walking was worse than running because I couldn’t put my left foot all the way down so I was walking “crooked”.  The doc who saw me this week said my hips were out of line.  I’m sure they are after my hobble.

So I stopped at the med tent at 19.  In tears.  They have me 2 pain tabs and a nice lady doused my feet with biofreeze to numb out the pain.  I can’t say that I thought it would work.  But about 10 or 15 minutes later, I was on the run again and confident that I could finish the race because the pain was just numbed out enough that I could do another 10K.  THANK YOU med tent!!!!

While I certainly didn’t #OwnChicago in 2014….. photo compliments of my girl Dawn B from WI.OwnChi

I did finish. And I thank my last 6 miles of “mostly” running to my girl Julie who showed up shortly after I emerged from the med tent.  She was on target for a PR but was running out of steam.  That could have been her excuse to run me in, I don’t really know. Regardless, I was thankful to be with her thru those last 6 miles.  She and I have run a lot of miles together this year.  Some really great ones.  Some really cold, snowy, icy, rainy ones.  And she is one person who I know I’ll always be logging miles with …. no matter where either of us live.  She is also fighting the Plantar Fasciitis devil and we frequently commiserate together.  Thanks, Julie!

CHI Marathon_me & Julie

 So I finished.  And I’m thrilled with that because it was a fight this time.  I did see a new doc yesterday who filled me with cortisone.  So I’m temporarily pain free and that is a REALLY nice thing.  It’s awesome actually.  And I have a new PT that I get to start seeing on Friday.  New PT is a runner.  Knows running.  Likes runners.  I already like him too!  Looking forward to rehabbing these feet and hitting the road for many more long runs.  I’m going to change my schedule a bit over the next couple weeks to focus on the rehab but I will be finishing the year strong!

Thanks to everyone who was out there spectating and volunteering on Sunday.  I know it’s an exhausting day, even more so that it was for those of us who ran.  Here is my Aby and April’s daughter “spectating” for the last of our crew.  Yeah, exhausting.  CHI Marathon_Aby & Nicole

How did Chicago go for you?

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

 

 

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I’m In Trouble….

I’m pretty sure my new PT thinks I’m crazy doesn’t like me. Today marked the 4th session (week) with him and let’s just say it didn’t go well. Like he made me cry and I wanted to punch him in the face.

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The good news is that another PT, who happens to be an old friend of mine who I didn’t’ know worked there or I’d be going to her instead handed me a box of tissues. And then I was too upset, in pain actually, to punch anything.

The “run” down. New PT isn’t a runner. I’d even extrapolate that statement to hypothesize that he doesn’t even like runners. Maybe he knows my hubby? Last week he emphasized that I MUST cross train, even though I’ve been pretty focused on building miles. So I cross trained. Only ran 27 miles all week. Biked 25 miles. Took a spin class. Swam 1500 yds in the pool.

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I even took a damn sunrise yoga class at 5:15 this morn. That didn’t go well either. Runners doing yoga could be a comedy skit. You can ask Aby, she went too! What a joke but yes, we are going back. I think. Okay, Aby says “we” are going back.

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So, I cross trained. And I’m not any better this week, than last week. In fact, I’m worse with a plethora of new aches & pains to add to the list. My feet hurt. And they are swollen. And I’d probably take a cortisone shot from a homeless man if it was offered up to me! Kidding. Kinda. And now, I’m in trouble from Mr. PT. He thinks I run too much, or more specifically that I built up too quickly. Which I did. But please just fix me. Complain to the other PTs after I leave. Please. Thank you.

** Runner at Heart – Regardless of How My Feet Feel ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Marathon Week!!

This is it, the week leading up to the Chicago Marathon. It’s a tad bittersweet this year.  I really LOVE the Chicago Marathon and this will probably be the last year that I’ll run it. When I signed up, 2014 was only a few months old and I had zero idea of what the year would bring for me and my family. I had high hopes for Chicago and planned to make it “my race”. I don’t often race the marathon but I had wanted to really put a lot into my training this year and see what I could do with it. I wanted not only a great race but one to remember. I know the city. I know the route. I know the fan support is off the charts. I know that I love the Chicago Marathon in a very special way. It’s my home town race, or at least it was …..

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Now my home is 200 miles away from Chicago.  While I love my new hometown, the atmosphere is definitely “Small Town USA” verses a big bustling city. It certainly suits me and my family much better than our stint in IL but I do miss Chicago and the friends I’ve made over the years. So as I run the streets of Chicago on Sunday, I will be filled with mixed emotions as I bid farewell to the city and their beloved marathon.

Everyone keeps asking about my “goals”.  Well, my goal for this race has changed A LOT over the course of the summer and thru the lengthy moving process. I took “some” time off running to focus on eating ALL THE FOOD and drinking ALL THE BEER relocation.  I just started training at the end of August in an effort to salvage some of the fall marathon season. As a result, I am not strong and fast as I had previously hoped and some might consider me to be quite injured with both feet now in severe stages of Plantar Fasciitis.  So I’ve moved from the “kill it” plan to the “finish it” plan.  And there you have it, my goal is to finish.

To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t even be in “finish it” shape had it not been for a few long time friends who have selfishly helped me thru the long runs.  They’ve been there in the dark with me as I’ve muddled along trying to log miles, rebuild fitness and power up for Chicago. I am getting stronger and I owe a ton of thanks to those ladies and also my hubby for getting my treadmill in the house so I can log miles, even if broken into small chunks.  My mojo is returning, I can feel it!

So on Sunday, I do plan to #OWNCHICAGO.

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And while I’m busy owning the streets of Chicago, I also plan to give thanks. Not only thanks to those I’ve mentioned above but also to those who have supported me and my journey with the Ronald McDonald House Charities for the last 4 years.  I’m going to enjoy the race and be thankful.  So many thanks to give!!  I’m thankful for my stint in Chicagoland where I developed my love of running. I’m thankful for running because that’s how I developed my love of Chicago. I’m thankful for a family that tolerates my running to the best of their ability. I’m thankful for the desire to run. I’m thankful for the ability to run. I’m thankful to Dr. Alexis for keeping me healthy for so many years so that I could run, even when my body was rebelling! I’m thankful for a lot of things. The list is endless. And that’s what I’ll be focusing on when things get hard. Because marathons are hard. No matter how many I run or what type of shape I’m in at the time.. They are still hard. I’m pretty sure they will ALWAYS be hard.

So if you see me in Chicago this weekend, smile & wave!  I may be running. I may be walking. But one thing is for sure, I’ll be thankful to see a friendly face and you can be sure that I’ll be headed for the finish line!

** Giving Thanks ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

The Comeback ….. Version 5.12

You’ve been there. You’ve done it. You’ll do it again, whether you think you will or not. Because there are times in our lives when fitness falls to the back burner, sometimes for good reason, sometimes because we mentally & physically just can’t make it happen. Whatever the reason, it will pass. And you will need to restart your fitness routine and make the comeback. It will be hard. You may be angry. But every mile you log is like a building block, paving the way back to sanity.

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This time has been a bit different for me. I’m wasn’t off due to injury. I didn’t have a baby. I just didn’t have the time to run much while we were preparing to relocate.  Then I didn’t run at all in the 6 weeks it took to move, make repairs to the “new” house and finally unpack & get organized. No matter, the result is the same and I was back at square zero before I even knew what hit me. I also have some extra “baggage” that I’m lugging around so I’ve been focusing on taking care of my entire body while rebuilding my fitness. Here are the things that I’m working on, just in case you need a shove nudge in the right direction too.

1) Watching what I eat. Say hello baked tilapia with cajun seasoning and tons of veggies! Protein shake, anyone? Water, YES, please!!
2) Limiting alcohol. Sometimes life as a working mom is slightly less than glamerous. Nobody says thank you. Nobody even really listens to you. In fact, can anyone even think with all the screaming and fighting chaos? There is work. Then house work. Then cooking and cleaning and laundry. Don’t forget those chauffeuring duties too!! Yes, at the end of the day, I understand the desire to crawl into a bottle of wine have a beer or two. But try to keep it chill! The more I drink, the more carefree I become, then I will blow an entire day of hard work by eating a bunch of crap before bed. Yep, been there, done that. So I try to limit the alcohol because it’s just easier for me to stay focused on my goals when my head is clear.
3) Workouts are a must. Log miles on the road, on the treadmill, on the bike.  Whatever you can do, just MOVE IT!!  Cross Train. Stretch. Roll. Ice if there is pain or soreness. Make regular appointments with your chiro or PT in order to keep you in line. When I moved, I was in a lull for a while without treatment and my Plantar Fasciitis flared up and I’m a hurtin’! I’m back on track now. Getting treatment. It still hurts very badly but I’m certainly more focused on the basics and taking care of my body. Good article from Gypsy Fit HERE on foam rolling!

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4) Break up your workouts into manageable chunks. If you don’t have time for 10 miles NOW, do 4 or 5 and then knock out the rest later in the day. It’s basic time management. I know that second workout takes a lot of willpower but you’ll get it done if you really need it.
5) Sign up for a race or three or four!! That will get you moving for sure! I was in the midst of moving and my friend Judy twisted my arm convinced me to sign up for our first marathon double. It’s in January. Suddenly, I’ve become VERY focused. I signed up for a “couple” races this fall in order to ensure that I’ll be ready to pound out two marathons in two days by the beginning of January.
5) Believe in yourself! This is definitely the most important thing. No matter what is going on in your life, take back control. Carve out time for you. Not only do you deserve it but you will be happier. And you’ll be a better wife, mom & person as a result. You are worth it and your family will certainly reap the benefits of a fit and focused momma!!

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**Always Believe ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **