Marion Rotary For Shoes Marathon & Hot Weather Running Tips

Marion Rotary For Shoes_logo

Marathon #21 was in the great state of Iowa, in Marion, just north of Cedar Rapids.  It was the Marion Rotary For Shoes Marathon.  And it was hot.  And hilly.  But I had a great group of friends who made the trip with me.  From left, meet Lindsay (Glitter Girl on the Run), Judy F, Amanda W (Get to Goal), Derek, Julie M & myself.

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We also met Kim from Running on the Fly and her friend, Barb (not pictured). 

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The 2015 Marathon for Shoes was held in June for the first time.  The first two years were held the third week in April and apparently the weather both years was crazy cold with either snow or wind/rain/sleet.  So the 2015 edition was pushed out til June and cold it was not.  In fact it was hot.  So hot that most of us would have done a choreographed rain dance had we thought it would produce a cloud or drop of rain from that beautiful blue but steamy sky.  But alas, no rain.

Packet pickup was at a local school gymnasium and there were a handful of vendors.  Nice, friendly people.  Easy packet pick up.  Free parking.  Nike tech shirt as the SWAG.  You could have been in and out with your shirt & number in less than 10 minutes.  But you had to get your packet the night before the race or there was a late pickup fee the morning of the race.

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The race started in front of a local high school at 7am.  Easy, free parking.  A handful of port-o-potties.  Chip timing.  Beautiful blue skies.  The race started on time without much of a production.  We were across the timing mat in less than 30 seconds, along with the half marathoners and a handful of relay runners.  Not a huge race, less than 500 people at the start. 

Then came the hills.  One right after another.  Then a few more. And the never really stopped.  The temps that were in the mid 70s at the start climbed to mid 80s by the finish.  The course was mainly on country roads with some neighborhoods.   There were a couple sections where we ran along busy highways separated from the zooming cars by orange cones.  Highlights were an old cemetery and a small park.   The coolest thing we saw was a piece of art in the form of corn stalks just before mile 7.

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Around mile 7, the half marathoners turned off and it got pretty lonely.  I’ll be honest, I was so thankful to have friends running this race!  We mostly stuck together and just dealt with the hills heat as it came.  Very slowly.  With lots of walking.  Aid stations were every 1.5 miles or so apart.  They offered warm water & watermelon AdvoCare Rehydrate (tasty and way better than traditional sugar laden sport drinks for your body!).  There were lots of people on bikes offering bike support, asking us if we were okay, calling SAG for those who needed a ride and calling 911 for those who dropped.   There were a handful of spectators scattered throughout the 26.2 miles.  The best spectator award goes to a nice couple who put out their sprinkler as we ran thru one of the last neighborhoods.  We were super thankful for that sprinkler and ran thru it like a bunch of 5 year olds.  I think I even squealed with delight!  Winking smile 

Running in high heat and 100% humidity is pretty dangerous.  I wouldn’t recommend it.  However, weather for pre-registered events is an absolute unknown.  There is no way to predict what the day will bring but only what we can do to make our chances to survive the elements a bit better.

Tips for running in the heat:

  • Wear a hat or visor
  • Wear sunscreen to keep your skin from frying
  • Dump water on your head and body to keep yourself as cool as possible
  • Wear light colored clothing
  • Use ice or cold water to increase the rate of cooling
  • Run thru sprinklers or open hydrants, if available
  • Use sponges or cooling towels if the event offers these things
  • Take your time, decrease your pace, and WALK to keep your body temp as even as possible
  • Replace lost salt with salt tablets, electrolyte drinks/gels or by eating salty foods

Bottom line, even if you do all of the above, your rate of success will depend on how your body can ultimately deal with the heat.  Some people handle it much better than others.  Some people can’t handle it at all.  One of my friends still has a headache from the heat and dehydration suffered on Sunday.  Another friend had no idea why we struggled so much because she “loves running in the heat”.   It’s all about your body and how it can adapt to the conditions and that is super hard to predict.

Ultimately, everyone in my group finished, most of us with bragging rights over our new “personal worst” time.  But we finished under our own power because we did what was necessary for us and that meant slowing WAY down to endure the weather.  Here is Judy and I running around the track toward the finish line.  We were two happy campers to have finished another marathon in yet another new state. 

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Being safe always trumps running fast.  It’s certainly not fun but something we all learn over time.  If you ran in Marion on Sunday and are feeling bad about your race, know that only 124 people FINISHED the full, only 243 FINISHED the half and there were only 9 relay teams that crossed that finish line.  Finishing really was winning in Marion IA on Sunday.  Be proud.

Amanda – TooTallFritz

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Who’s Tired?

I’m at the point of marathon training where things are getting rough.  My legs are tired.  If you are training for a fall marathon then you can probably relate cuz I know your legs are heavy too.  The mileage is starting to creep up to the point where we will soon peak, then start to taper back down.  For the Chicago Marathoners, we basically have another 4 weeks of hard training, then we are done, ready to taper, and  absolutely prepared to run the full 26.2 miles on October 13th.  So take a deep breath, just get thru the next four weekends and you will be in the home stretch!  You can do it!!!

In addition to marathon training, I’m also finishing out TRI season.  Not brilliant planning but then I didn’t plan it this way.  I have a rollover registration from the 2012 Great Illini Challenge 70.3 which was canceled, so they rolled all of our registrations from 2012 to this year.  I considered downgrading to the Olympic distance so I can just go out, smash the distance and go home but I’ve decided against that.  I don’t want to downgrade.  I don’t want to waste the registration fee.  I don’t want to waste the opportunity to tackle the distance.  I’m trained for it even if I have only swam 1x since Racine so it just feels like a cop out to go shorter.  Therefore, on Saturday, I’ll be going the distance and pushing thru the last TRI of the 2013 season, which just happens to be a half iron distance event.

Marathon Training + Half Iron Training + CrossFit + Allergy/Head Cold + IBD flare-up = One wiped out momma this weekend.

Me & Lib_8-18-13

As a result, this week is all about recovery so that I can be fresh on Saturday.  I took a rest day yesterday.  I’m pushing my water, allergy meds and probiotics to help get rid of my “extra” issues.  I’m using Nighttime Recovery and Bio Tools to help repair my tired muscles.  And I actually slept last night thanks to both Michael and Libby (my weim) being tired too.  So it will be a good week and I will be rested by Saturday even though I had to pull out my bag of tricks to aid my recovery.  At least I’ve been doing this long enough to have a bag of tricks, right?   Smile

Feeling tired is a natural part of marathon and TRI training but make sure you are able to recognize the difference between being tired and having extra factors that are also draining you.  Don’t stress if you need to skip a day of training, or two, to get some of your energy back.    Rest.  Relax.  Listen to your body.  If you “run” yourself into the ground, then you will get sick or injured or both.

** Resting up for Great Illini ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Winners!! RMHC Raffle!

Many thanks to everyone who was able to donate to the raffle for the Ronald McDonald House Charities!  I really appreciate it and please know that the families that utilize RMHC are so very thankful.  If by chance you are still interested in donating but didn’t have time or weren’t ready, the charity page will be open until a couple weeks after the Chicago Marathon so feel free to utilize it anytime between now and the end of October 2013. 

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Now the fun part!!  The numbers have been drawn and we have lots of winners.  The list is below, please email me (amanda@tootallfritz.com) with your address so that I can send your goodies!! 

  1. Amy Dykstra – Lock Laces
  2. Mag Mile RunnerBoston Strong Tee
  3. Run With JessAdvoCare Fueling and Rehydration pack
  4. Nicki T – Aspaeris Pivot Shorts, ibungee speed laces & Team Tough Chik Sponsor Pack
  5.  Erica Finds –  Team Tough Chik Sponsor Pack
  6. Anastasia Kwitt – Women Rock Chicago calendar & headband
  7. Susan D – Venus de Miles Entry & prize pack
  8. Frogger – Handana
  9. From Ice Cream to Marathon – Women Rock Chicago calendar & headband
  10. In Mid StridePro Compression marathon socks
  11. Amanda W – Get to GoalFlip Belt
  12. Running KellometersPunkeeLove Headbands
  13. Sara & David J – Boston Strong Tee  & Biofreeze prize pack
  14. Suzanne Westenhofer – GU prize pack & Tough Chik $25 gift card
  15. Bonita F – Mission Athlete Skincare prize pack, Adidias headbands, & ibungee speed laces
  16. Pam S – Bastille Day 5K/8K entry
  17. Lynn S – Team Tough Chik Sponsor Pack
  18. Marcia’s Healthy SliceRoad Runners Sports 2 Bottle Belt
  19. Walissa D – Team Tough Chik visor
  20. Michelle Pluhar – Cytosport prize pack

Congratulations everyone!!

Check back in tomorrow for a giveaway!!

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

Charity Raffle for RMHC

This week starts the kickoff of the Chicago Marathon training season!  Everyone is excited.  Everyone is ready.  Everyone is planning ahead to make the 2013 race the best one yet.  Those of us who have chosen to run for charity are also strategizing as to how to make our fundraising campaign as successful as possible for our charities.  My charity is the Ronald McDonald House Charities.  Yes, we still have entries available on our team if you didn’t get one of those coveted lottery spots!!    Go here to become a 2013 team member for RMHC.

RMHC logo

I have chosen to run for RMHC for many reasons but most importantly because I want to help the kids and families not only of Chicago and the US but around the world.  The RMHC mission speaks to me by helping out the kids and families of injured, disabled & terminally ill children stay together.  They focus on normalcy and helping the family to feel connected, offering creature comforts, fun and a home base that is less like a hospital and more like a home.  They provide a place to stay, meals and support these families regardless of their financial status.  They focus on keeping families together during times of crisis.   That I like.  That I support.  That is something I would want for my family.

So without further ado, I’ll start introducing the raffle prizes.  I am still collecting raffle items so email me if you would like to donate something!   Currently we have just under 30 items with prizes ranging from $6 up to $189.  I’ve been hoarding saving and stashing things away for this all year, so I hope that we can really put some $$ away for RMHC.  My goal is to raise $5000 this week.  You will receive 1 entry into the raffle for every $10 donated to RMHC via my fundraising page HERE.  If you see a prize that you REALLY want, then please make a comment below and if your name is drawn then I will do my best to accommodate your request.

PRIZES

1)  Pro Compression Marathon Socks – $50 Value.  Your choice of color & size.  These are my go to socks for compression.  They are long enough for my long legs and come in a variety of colors and sizes.pro compression_gree socks_me

2)  Aspaeris Pivot Shorts – $65 value.  Your choice of color & size in the Gen2 style.  These are the only compression shorts I wear.  I love them.  I like both generations for various reasons but the hot pink Gen2 shorts really makes a statement as they are working at keep me together. 

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3)  Tough Chik $25 Gift Card – You get to chose what you want from the Tough Chik store!  Lots of amazing things from cycling, running, TRI gear to casual tees.  My new favorite, which just dropped yesterday, is the “Tougher Than I Look Tank” which is priced at $28.  However, YOU can pick anything you like with this gift card!

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4)  Venus de Miles Illinois FREE ride entry + Tee (medium) + Water bottle – $189 value.  Join myself, the other Venus de Miles Ambassadors and ladies from all over the tri-state area as we cruise Lake Forest in style on July 28th.  This ride offers a 25 & 61 mile option.  It’s totally free for YOU and the mandatory fundraising requirement will be waived.  The ride includes fully stocked rest stops every 12-15 miles, on course support, breakfast  & activities pre-ride, and a big ladies style bash after the event.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed with this event.  Check out the website or read more about the 2013 event HERE or my 2012 experience HERE

image   venus de miles tee

5)  Bastille Day 5K/8K FREE entry – $37-$42 value.  Run one of the best races in town on Thursday, July 11th for free!  This race claims to be “Bringin’ Happy Hour Back” so I have massive expectations for fun, Fun, FUN!  The race is in Lincoln Park offering a 5K or 8K option followed by a block party.  Join me to celebrates the French Independence Day and we will show Lincoln Park what HAPPY HOUR is all about!  Whoooooooop!!

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6)  Women Rock Chicago Calendar & Headband (x2) –  Value is “priceless”.   I scored two MEN of Women Rock Chicago calendars which have been signed by Mr. April & Mr. July!  You are welcome!!!  These calendars are filled with fun and hot men.  Each calendar comes with a Women Rock Chicago headband.  Two winners here, try not to fight but I know you want these!!

women rock chicago calendars              women rock chicago calendars2

7)  AdvoCare prize pack – $32 Value.  One AdvoCare blender bottle, 3 packets of Spark (mango strawberry), 3 packets of Post Workout Recovery Drink (chocolate), 3 pouches of Rehydrate Gel (lemon), & 3 packets of Rehydrate drink (mango pineapple).  AdvoCare is my go to for nutrition and sports performance products.  I don’t shop around.  This is what I trust.  This is what I use.  These products are safe, tested, legal, plus focus on giving us what we need for our bodies without all the “extra” additives and sugar.

advocare prize pack

8)  Punkeelove Headbands (3 bands – 1 winner) – $44 Value.  I love sparkly headbands that DO NOT slip.  These are the only ones that I buy.  I’ve tumbled and rolled down the lakefront path (no joke!) and these stay in my hair.  They don’t flip off the back of my head while I run either cuz who wants to pay big $$ for a cute sparkly headband then lose it in a race on the first wear.  Not me.  This prize pack includes a purple, black &  pink band.  What more could a girl possibly need?  Oh and they are adjustable so you can share them with the little divas at home too!

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9)  Mission Athletecare prize pack – $17 value.  I am including two of my favorite Mission Athletecare products.  They are my go to for sunscreen, anti-chafe, lip balm, muscle care & foot cream.  I really like this stuff.  CVS carries some products and then I get the rest online.  This prize pack includes an Anti-Chafe stick & a 50 SPF Kids Continuous Play Sunscreen.  I use the kid sunscreen all the time so this is what I had in the cabinet and this is what’s in my purse right now.

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10)  Road Runners Sports 2 Bottle Belt (size medium) – $29.99 value.  This is my favorite water belt.  It doesn’t move.  It holds 14 oz of water at one time, plus has  small pouch for keys, phone, or gels.  Fuel Belt branded bottles. Road Runner Sports designed belt. 

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11)  Team Tough Chik visor – $18 value but you can’t get it unless your ON THE TEAM and I probably won’t let you win it unless you are on the team or promise to sign up next year!!  This is a Headsweats brand visor with a velcro adjustment strap.

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12)  Flip Belt – Black (size large) – $24.99 value.  It’s been soooo hard for me to save this and not use it.  I have a yellow and pink one that I wear constantly.  I run in them, race in them and sometimes wear one if I’m out with the kids and don’t have pockets.  Great belt that fits a ton of stuff but doesn’t bounce or move around. 

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13)  CytoSport prize pack – Muscle Milk Light (Cytosport product) is a headlining sponsor of the Zooma Women’s Series.  I have a prize pack from our sponsor which includes several of their Muscle Milk & CytoMax products.  Prize pack includes:  2 Muscle Milk snack bars, 1 Muscle Milk Light (chocolate) ready to drink, 1 Muscle Milk Light (peach) ready to drink, 1 CytoMax ready to drink, 5 CytoMax mix packages, 2 packages of CytoMax Energy Drops & 1 CytoMax water bottle. 

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14)  Tough Chik Boston Tough Boston Strong performance wicking tee by Alo (x2 – both size medium) – $22 value each.  Get one of these tees while they are HOT!  They sold out immediately on the first printing.  They run small so these mediums fit like a small.  Two winners here.  Each winner will get a tee & a Tough Chik sticker!

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15)  Lock Laces – $7.99 value.  Yellow lock laces.  Great for running, triathlon or little ones who can’t keep their shoes tied!

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16)  BioFreeze prize pack – $31.50 value.  Number one topical pain reliever for athletes!!  This prize pack includes a full size pain relieving gel and a full size can of 360 spray

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17)  Handana – $18 value.  The Handana is all the rage!  Used by runners, cyclists and fitness enthusiasts everywhere, this is your answer to gracefully wiping away snot & sweat during a workout.  It may seem a little “out there” but it’s a practical solution to a problem that we all share.  Second photo from the Amazon website.

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18)  Team Tough Chik sponsor prize pack (x3 – three winners).  One of the benefits of being on Team Tough Chik is the backing of our amazing group of sponsors.  We aren’t just paying for cool clothes & access to an amazing network of women but also cool prizes and discounts from our sponsors.  A few of our sponsors are in this prize pack below:  Nuun – 1 full size tube of fruit punch nuun & 1 nuun water bottle, Cliff Bars – 1 Cliff Bar & 1 Cliff Builder bar, BodyGlide – 1 “For Her” product, Reflect Sports H2O swim shampoo sample & a John Wayne Cancer Foundation 30 spf sunscreen sample.

team tough chik_sponsor pack  team tough chik_sponsor pack2

19)  ibungee Speed Laces – $6 value (x2 – two winners).  Neon Green & Yellow.  The ibungee speed lace system claims to be the #1 seller for speed laces.  They are great for running, triathlon & the little ones in your family.  Installation is easy, just make sure you get them long enough!  There are 38” laces so long enough to cut to your specific needs.  Two winners here.

ibungee 

20)  Adidas Sport Headbands – 5 headbands (black, pink & white) – $9.99 value.   I haven’t tried these yet, a friend gave them on to me because she knew that I liked headbands but since I was collecting for this, I just tossed them in the pot.  They look cute!!

adidas headbands

21)  GU prize pack –  14 GU gels, $24 value.  GU is undeniably the most popular “on the go” fueling option.  We have 11 regular gels:  2 TRI Berry, 3 Strawberry Banana, 1 Mandarin Orange, 2 Espresso Love, & 3 Peanut Butter.   Then the prize pack is topped off with 3 of the coveted Roctane Gels in the Chocolate Raspberry flavor.  You’re workout will definitely get a boost with these!

Gu prize pack

Wow!  That’s it!  If we don’t get any other prizes, then I will draw 26 winners next week on Thursday, June 13th at 9am via a random number generator.  This is one instance where you can win more than one prize.  Please share this with your friends, blog readers, run club members & anyone who might be interested.  The idea behind this is to do the best we can for Ronald McDonald House Charities and in the process help as many families as possible.  My personal goal is to raise $5,000 thru this raffle and then not talk about it again.  Please help spread the word!  Each $10 donation (increment) to my fundraising page = 1 entry into the raffle.  No donation is too small, now go help me spread the word and GOOD LUCK

** Raising $$  For the Kids ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

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 **

15 Miles …. in the Snow

Week 13 of Lansing Marathon training closed out with a 15 miler.  Actually, if we are going to be honest, it should have been 17 miles but I knew I was by no means ready for that so I improvised!  As with all things in life, sometimes its more important to cover your ass improvise than it is to actually follow directions.  The last three weeks have been slow due to Ragnar recovery, the flu and my bum foot.  15 miles was plenty.

As it is, my weekends tend to bear the brunt of any training and life schedule so by the time the weekend hits, I’m trying to make up for whatever I couldn’t fit into the normal work week.  This week was no different, Friday night I hit the treadmill for a short speedier run, then did some core/strengthening work that the doc ordered.  I was also trying to break in a new pair of Brooks Ravenna 3s that showed up on my door step last week.

      me_core-ball work               Brooks Ravenna 3_ball work    

Then Saturday was long run day; however, hubby had to work in the morning so the run was broken up into 3 segments.  5 miles on the treadmill while screaming at the kiddos at the designated training pace (9:15ish).  Then hubby arrived home, I dried off and changed clothes to immediately head outside.  I had 5 miles on deck with a buddy, we were close to my training pace of 9:15 but I was starting to die out cuz I apparently wasn’t fueled properly so lagged the last mile.  I returned to my car to refuel only to realize I didn’t have any of my normal fuel, the AdvoCare Rehydrate Gel.  I dug into my bag of tricks to find an alternate fueling option, then took off on my own for the last 5.  By this time, I pretty much felt like crap.  The 5 on the treadmill felt okay but I could tell I was dragging a little cuz it certainly wasn’t as easy as last week, the middle 5 felt tough on the snow covered path.  Not a lot of snow but enough to screw up my already damaged foot strike. 

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And well, let’s just not talk about the last 5 or the fact that the alternate fueling option caused digestive distress which resulted in my having to abandon the trail in search for a bathroom.  By the time I returned to my car, everything hurt including my pride.  However, nothing could take away the fact that I still covered 15 miles, in the dead of winter, when I would have rather been huddled on the couch drinking beer cuddling my babies.

So it may not have been a marathon training win but it was still in the done column.

“Run”Way Fashion for a snowy day with temps in the low 20s:  Athleta Reflective Relay Tights (in Tall), Under Armour Mock compression base layer, Brooks Infiniti Hybrid Windshirt (on sale for $62), regular socks with Brooks Ravenna 3s, lightweight Manzella Sprint Gloves & Athleta Base Miles headband.

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Brooks Ravenna 3_snow image  image

As the temps decrease and the wind picks up, then I add more layers (pants over tights and tech shirts over base layer, possibly tall compression socks, hat in addition to headband)  but this type of gear will get your thru most cold winter runs.  Winter isn’t the time to skimp on good gear. You don’t need a lot, just a few key pieces, then wash them by hand & hang to dry for tomorrow!

Happy running, regardless of the mileage, don’t be afraid to get out and hit the trail even when the conditions aren’t perfect.  Just take it easy so you don’t slip and if its icy instead of snowy, hit the streets or stay inside.  Don’t mess with the ice or you’ll regret it for months.

** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

2013 …. What Lies Ahead

Since it’s been all Ragnar for quite some time, I thought I would take a break just for now and instead pin down a few 2013 goals.  Better late than never, right?

set and reach goal concept

I have a few general goals  that I will focus on for the entire year.  And remember, I roll with the K.I.S.S. principle.  Nothing too complicated, just simple but challenging goals.

  1. Run 1000 miles –  Although this seems like a no brainer, things happen, life happens and I don’t want to neglect my life in order to rack up run miles.  1000 miles is challenging, coming in at just under 20 miles a week, but also reasonable if I remain uninjured on the fitness wagon.
  2. Bike 2000 miles – Now this one may seem a little “Coo-Coo” but I biked almost 1000 miles this year and let’s just say that I didn’t give it a full effort.  I want to log miles every week of the year from here on out regardless of if TRI season is in session.
  3. Swim – Okay, I’m not ready to step in the pool yet…..still in denial here.
  4. Strength Train & Stretch – 2x per week.  This will be the first to be dropped.  I’m already worried about my schedule.  But this is the “goal”.  It won’t happen if it doesn’t even make the list, right?
  5. Drink 2 liters of water daily.
  6. Consume 5-7 servings of fruits & veggies daily.
  7. Be happy and have a positive attitude!

After the “general” goals, I then broke my training and race schedule into three parts:  Spring, Summer, Fall.  Each session having one goal race.  One focus.  Everything else will be for fun or quite possibly just not exist.  I’ve come to realize that with Aby in 3 sports per year, plus a toddler at home, our time is no longer our own.  I want Aby to be successful.  I want to support her in every way, which includes being at every race/game.  I’m not willing to sacrifice being her biggest supporter in order to once again, “log miles”.  For me, that means less racing, fewer “fun” miles, more focus oriented training.  

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Between each session, I will rest and recover.  For example, this week, I’m doing nothing resting and focusing on non-impact activities to freshen up from Ragnar.  The bottom line is that “most” of us can’t just keep going without some downtime or we will get hurt or burnt out.  I know that there is an exception to every rule, Susan M, but most of us mere mortals need to rest.  I also find that as I get “older”, I have to be smarter about recovery.  Maybe because I’ve been doing this for most of my life?  Yes, that’s a “reality bites” admission.  Maybe because I’m not a sprinter youngin’ anymore?  I now focus on training smarter, not harder and utilize tools like Post Workout Recovery, ice baths and massage sticks to just be able to walk recover for the next workout.

Spring Session – Goal Race – Lansing Marathon – April 21, 2013

If you haven’t heard that I’m running the Lansing Marathon, then this is the first time you’ve stumbled on this blog cuz I’ve talked about it, given away a prize pack and basically tried to recruit everyone, and anyone, who runs to join me.   Don’t feel bad if I haven’t hit you up YET cuz I’ll get you eventually.  🙂  If you would like to join me in Lansing for the full, half, marathon relay or 5K, please feel free to use the $10 off discount code CHICAGO10 and click HERE to register.  You know a girl doesn’t like to run alone and I certainly hope to see YOU there!

Summer Session – Goal Race – Ironman 70.3 Racine – July 21, 2013

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My TRI season last year didn’t go well. Ironman 70.3 Muncie was shorted due to the ridiculous heat (my report HERE) plus a tendon in my foot was torn so I couldn’t run, or finish.  I went with the intention to DNF.  I succeeded in acquiring my first DNF but it was not my favorite venue.  My second, and final, 70.3 of the year was going to be the Great Illini Challenge (my report HERE) but that race was called off due to the possibility probability of severe weather.  Completed triathlons in 2012 = Zero.  This year will be better.

Fall Session – Goal Race – TBD

I know many have their entire year planned but I’m keeping the fall schedule open.  This tends to be my fastest time of year.   I love the weather, I love the speed that my base mileage brings, I love to race.  However, the prior two sessions will dictate what Fall of 2013 will bring.  I’ve tossed around adding in another marathon but I need to see how my health is and how I am sitting mentally.  I may just sit on the couch and snuggle my baby run a half and some shorter races to take advantage of the speed.  Plus, if I’ve nailed some of my previous goal races, I’ll be cycling down rather than up.  Only time will tell.  I love a good mystery!!

Have you solidified a couple goals for 2013?  Do you have the entire year planned or are you okay with a couple question marks?

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Ragnar Florida Keys….. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly….

2013 Ragnar – Florida Keys – Part I

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This first Ragnar post is going to be a highlight of the good, the bad & the ugly aspects of our Ragnar adventure.  As I always say, “respect the distance”.  If you consider a particular race or event “easy”, then run harder.  It’s totally up to you to make each and every outing your own and get out of it as much as possible.  I also encourage you to respect your fellow runners and understand that something that may be easy for one, may be an epic adventure for another.  Respect the distance.  Respect your comrades in adventure.  Respect the adventure itself and that is when you will walk away with the fullest experience.

2013 Ragnar – Florida Keys – Team 2 Bros & 10 Does – THE GOOD

  • Amazing team – I got so lucky.  I  only knew a few members of the team going in and I totally lucked out.  All the members of the team were great.  The team worked together to support one another.  We took the “divide & conquer” approach and worked our way to the finish line, TOGETHER.
  • No pain.  I am happy to say that although I’m a bit “sore”, I had zero foot pain during, or after, the event.  The terrain was rough or slanted in many parts and I just carefully picked my way thru the bad spots, to avoid additional stress on my foot.  It worked. 
  • The maps, signs, directions were very accurate.  We didn’t have any problems getting where we were going.  This was a very point to point route.  Super easy. 
  • No Gator or Snake attacks.  Although we saw a few gators staring at our crazy adventure as we picked our way along a canal in the Everglades, I’m pretty sure they were scared of us cuz we were so bad ass tough.
  • Glow Sticks.  A team member brought us all Glow bracelets which we laced into our shoes.  Awesome.  Made my day.
  • Amazing sponsors!  Our shirts and decals from Family Fan Club were awesome!  Everyone loved the window decals.  They were attractive, easy to use, stayed on and peeled back off with ease.  Super cool!  The shirts were light and airy in the nasty heat & humidity.  The Aspaeris Pivot Shorts literally HELD US TOGETHER thru our legs.  Everyone loved the compression for both running and recovery.  I had a pair on non-stop for the last 30 hours of our adventure.  And God Bless, ShowerPill.  I can’t even possibly begin to say how much the ShowerPill athletic wipes saved us.  I have never been so hot, sweaty, disgusting after a run and not had access to a shower.  I used  a  ShowePill wipe after each leg (4x), and each time felt refreshed and clean.  I would never have made it thru without these and the other team members LOVED them too.               Ragnar Keys_van_sponsor decals-magnets
  • We finished.  All of our miles.  No leapfrogging.  We made to the finish, all by ourselves by helping each other.                            Ragnar Keys_finish shoot

 2013 Ragnar – Florida Keys – Team 2 Bros & 10 Does – THE BAD

  • Little to NO sleep.  The majority of  the time we were either running, supporting a runner, or driving to the next exchange.  When our van had some down time, while the other van was running, we had to leapfrog them to get to the major exchange where we would pick back up.  The major exchanges would have a few vendors, food, indoor bathrooms and public showers.  Some slept outside in the heat just to get a little rest.            Ragnar Keys_sleeping peopleThose of us unwilling to sleep on the ground in the heat, walked around, or hung out in the vans.  The van space was very limited so not much chance to stretch out.  We slept for short intervals but nothing restful or mentionable.  Pretty much as soon as anyone fell asleep someone would get into or out of the van or something would happen to awaken them. 
  • Little to NO real food.  With this being a long distance running event, we had to be very careful about food intake.  I tried to just focus on foods that would keep me fueled and hydrated without overeating.  So I mostly ate:  bananas, Nutrigrain bars, pickles, peanut butter, almonds & pretzels.  I did have a few protein bars, one chicken breast, a Skor candy bar & a glazed donut.  Had to keep the sugar, carb and salt intake up to avoid a crash.  I also used a Post Workout Recovery drink after each run leg, plus a Rehydrate Gel (or two) on each leg.  I Sparked for energy and drank Rehydrate.  It worked.
  • The darkness.  Wow, does it get dark.  It seemed like over half the event took place in the dark.  I’m used to running in the dark but I also run the same roads or trails, in the same area, every time.  I know the holes and rough areas of the road before I get to them.  I have the roads memorized. Not the case for Ragnar.  Headlamps and Knuckle Lights lit the way but the glow only went so far.  We ran by feel as much as by sight, constantly pushing forward at whatever pace we could manage.

2013 Ragnar – Florida Keys – Team 2 Bros & 10 Does – THE UGLY

  • Runner 2 – Leg 1 – Accosted by a man and a women in a poor area of Miami.  Scared the crap out of her.  The women was tugging at our runner.  Another runner came up from behind and helped get her away.  Was it dangerous?  Who knows but it was scary and it was the very beginning of our adventure.
  • Van 2 had a dead batter at the first major exchange, where they began running.  We helped jump their car battery & then fire rescue came to help.  Ragnar Keys_van issues
  • Runner 12 – Leg 1 – Spiral Fracture to the Tibia (shin bone).  She went to the ER with 2 of our other runners to help her.  One runner came back to finish the relay.  Runner 12 was set up for surgery before the FL hospital realized they weren’t capable of handling it.  The hospital then casted her entire leg from foot to upper thigh and sent her home for consult with an orthopedic surgeon.  Let’s all send our well wishes and cheers for speedy recovery to Runner 12!!  This situation left us with 10 runners.
  • Runner 1 – ME – Leg 2 – I was running a deserted trail between farm fields and someone shot a firework at me.  There was no question that “someone” was aiming for me cuz it only missed me by about a foot and was in the area of my mid back.  It did NOT come from the air.  Being from Chicago, when there is trouble, you don’t look around and ask WTF, you put your head down and run faster.   That’s exactly what I did.  No time for questions, I just kept moving.  I was all the way back to the exchange and someone noticed that I actually had black soot on my arm.  Good times. 
  • The heat & humidity.  No one is responsible for the weather.  You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.  It wasn’t pleasant.  It made the adventures so much harder but we once again, put our head down and ran and tried not to complain too much.  We focused on hydration, made sure our teammates were hydrating & fueling and just moving toward the finish.  Most of the time the runners on the side of the road running, looked very bad.  There were lots of emergencies from heat related matters.  Our van had a physician’s assistant and a nurse so we helped several people along the way.  Two that they helped had to be taken by ambulance, one they got going again until he could make it back to his van.  Crazy weather, leads to crazy, erratic running.

Over all, an amazing experience.  I personally covered 21 miles at an average pace of 9:14 min/mile.  That pace is NOT at all indicative of effort.  Myself, in addition to every runner on the team, ran our hearts out.  It was an all out battle of the heart to the finish.  Each and every runner did what they had to do to move us close to the finish.  We didn’t go fast, we just kept moving.  Some had to pick up an extra leg to cover the runners we lost.  No complaints.  We just focused on the finish.  An absolute adventure that I’m proud to have shared with my team.

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Restoration….

res·to·ra·tion

  1. the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment.
  2. a return of something to a former, original, normal or unimpaired condition.

There have been a lot of things weighing me down as of late and I think that is one reason the “sickies” caught me x2.  Things that a good run can’t fix.  Things I can’t fix.  Things I can’t understand.  As a control freak Type A personality, it’s hard to let go and realize that there are some things, no matter how important, which are beyond my control. 

As my body repairs itself from the “sickies”, I look within and begin the process of restoration.  What makes me happy?  What makes me feel good?  What can I do to “return” to my former self? 

First, I need to pay attention to my health and not take it for granted.  I’m an AdvoCare distributor but “may” have been lax about taking my ImmunoGuard.  Why?  Not sure.  I know it works.  I know that it normally keeps me healthy when others are sick, but I wasn’t taking it.  So this week, I’ve been focusing on my ImmunoGuard, and the olive leaf extract that Dr. Alexis likes, and Emergen-C (since I ran out of my CitriZinc Chews).  Overkill?  Maybe but who cares if it works!

immonogard    olive_leaf_extract   Emergen-C

Second, as soon as I could breathe, I wanted to run.  Okay, let’s be honest, I wanted to run before I could breathe but tried on WED and  it didn’t work out so well.  Today, I laced up and headed out to run. 

me_12-14-12

Thirdly, I ran toward the water.  I always feel better when I’m near water:  a lake, a stream, a river, an ocean.  The water has restorative powers for me and makes me feel calm inside.  At peace.  Healthy.  Alive.

Oak St Beach_12-14-12

Fortunately, Chicago has an abundance of water.  Its just a short run from my office building and I have…..

Sand.Toes in the sand_chicago_12-14-12

Water.me_lakefront_12-14-12

And a little sunshine.  Chicago Lake Front_north beach boathouse_12-14-12

I’m feeling better already!  Now to focus a little more on getting back into my normal routine, taking my supplements, building my miles and letting go of things I can not control.   Only then, will my body and mind truly begin the process of restoration. 

What has restorative powers for you?  Do you feel at peace when you are near something, in a particular location or just sitting at home cuddling with the kids and pets?

** Restoration In Progress ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Tis the Season of Giving….

While I absolutely understand that the season of giving is upon us there are few things that I have been gifted with as of late that I would like to return.

  1. The “Sickies” – This is my overall generic term for whatever ailment the family contracts.  And man, an army of these sickie germs has paraded through my house over the last couple weeks.  Enough is enough, I’d like to make a return.  Reason?  Although 39 may not look so attractive to some, I’d like to see that birthday.  In the spring.  When these germs are dead.       image               
  2. Ill Behaved Children –  While I won’t be naming names MICHAEL!!!!!, someone forgot to tell my lil one that Christmas is coming and that presents are not guaranteed!  The child is a maniac.  It doesn’t matter if I talk nicely and try to negotiate.  It doesn’t matter if I yell and scream.  It doesn’t matter if I spank.  It doesn’t matter if I use the time out chair.  It doesn’t matter what I do, the lil man is a flippin’ maniac.  He screams.  He fights.  He swears.  He hits.  He won’t listen to a damn thing I say but come bedtime, the lil monster turns into an angel batting those eyes and telling me I’m his best friend.  He just wants to be with me.  He NEEDS me to sleep with him cuz he’s scared.  Manipulator.   Monster Dash_2012_Michael PhotoBomber
  3. Vomiting/Spewing Pets –  I’m not really sure what has happened but we can’t get thru a day without stepping in, cleaning up, or shampooing something that shouldn’t be on our floor!  Last week about took the cake when Miss Liberty ate a rabbit.  Yes, a rabbit.  No easy feat mind you.  She had to first catch it and kill it.  All within our 3 measly acres of property which she can’t leave due to the e-fence.  Once she stuffed herself, she then brought me the leftovers.  I thanked her and then disposed of the back legs and spine, which apparently are the “junk” parts if you plan to eat a rabbit anytime soon.  And if you ever ask me why I don’t like to eat meat “much”, let’s just refer back to this, shall we?    Then 45 minutes later, she proceeded to vomit said rabbit all over my living room and kitchen floor.  What’s worse than a fresh rabbit corpse?  A freshly eaten rabbit vomited up on your floor.  Awesome.Libby_Oct 2009
  4. Bad Attitudes – I feel like I’m going crazy.  I’m tired.  I’m miserable.  I’m tired of being tired and miserable.  And don’t jump in here and tell me to drink my Spark b/c this isn’t about an actual lack of energy but about the fact that everyone is sucking away my good vibes.  I try to be upbeat and positive but I’m getting worn down by life.  It may be lack of sleep for so many years straight.  It may be because every aspect of life is so much work.  It may be because I have no down time.  Whatever the reason, I’m getting a bad attitude.  I’d like to make another return, please.  Bring on the good times, happy thoughts and overall love of life! 

“It is our attitude that makes us feel happy or unhappy.”  Unknown Author

So I’m going to do the Happy Dance with the beloved Peanuts star, Snoopy, and hope that things right themselves in MY universe very, very soon!

happy-dance_snoopy

My wish for all of you:  Health, well behaved children, non-vomiting/spewing pets and an AMAZING attitude! 

** Cheers ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com