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. 

Life-is-not-easy-for-any-of-us

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 **

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Favorite Training Items Giveaway

This giveaway is from me to you as a way to say THANK YOU for your continued support.  Thank you for “liking” me on Facebook.  Thank you for “following” me on Twitter.  Thank you for following this blog.    If you aren’t a blogger then you may not understand how important it is to actually click on the follow button, or “like” me on Facebook but it is actually really important.  Each time I send out a request for a giveaway or a sponsor they come right here to look at my numbers to determine if it is worth their time to be part of this venture.  So thanks for helping!

Thank You

Since June kicks off training for the Chicago Marathon, I thought it would be a good time to concentrate on  a few of my favorite go to items for training.  Even if you are not a marathoner, you can still benefit from this goodie bag!  Promise!  Favorite Things GiveawayLet’s knock this out right now:  Yes, this goodie bag contains some AdvoCare products.  Yes, I’m an AdvoCare distributor.  Yes, I think AdvoCare has the best products for nutrition, energy & recovery.  Yes, if you click on one of these links and purchase something, I will profit. 

CONTENTS OF GOODIE BAG FOR GIVEAWAY ($75 Value):

  1. Personal Saver Pepper SpraySafety First, Second & Third…..right?!?!  I have several of these.  I prefer the Wrist Saverbut also have a Personal Saver like this to attach to my water belt or onto my skirt for immediate access while running.   I had a coupon code, not sure if it’s still active but if you purchase one, try the code:  TTF for $1.50 off.
  2. Toe Protectors (2 protectors) – I use these for EVERYrun.  I loose my toe nails regardless of the type or size of shoe I wear.  It’s just my thing and I’ve mentioned it previously.  Therefore, I always wear a gel toe protector on my second & third toe (right foot) and then use more if my other toe nails are sore.  These REALLY help!  You can find them at Walgreens or CVS in the foot care aisle.  
  3. AdvoCare Spark Energy Drink (3 packets) – I drink this before every long run.  I roll out of bed, drink this first, then go about my routine.  This not only helps me wake up but also gets the bodily functions moving BEFORE I hit the trail for my long run.   Sugar free, caffeine equivalent of 1 cup of coffee, 21 vitamins, minerals, nutrients.  45 calories.  My favorite flavor in the Mango Strawberry!
  4. AdvoCare Rehydrate Drink (3 packets) – I keep these packets in my purse, in my gym bag and Aby carries them in her track/cross country bag.  We dump this in a bottle of water for an on the go rehydrate product with a 1:1 ratio of sodium to potassium and only 40 calories.  My favorite flavor in the Mango Pineapple(Do you see a mango theme here?)
  5. AdvoCare  Rehydrate Gel (3 pouches) – I use these gels during long runs and long bike rides.  They are easy to carry and the gel is thinner than some of the leading brands.  The lemon flavor actually tastes good and I don’t cringe when it hits my mouth.  I must say that after years of using various products for refueling “on the run”, this is my favorite by far.  I’m VERY happy with this product!  Potassium, sodium & 21 grams carbs wrapped up in 80 calories.
  6. AdvoCare Post Workout Recovery Drink (3 packets) – I use this after every long run, long bike, and some random workouts that leave me zapped.  No exception.  I never use any other recovery product, ever.     This is the product that sold me on AdvoCare.  It works.  It takes the guess work out of recovery and what you need to eat to repair and recover.  I always knew that I needed a 4:1 carb to protein ratio for recovery but I’m not big on counting.  I just drink this on my ride home and then eat normal food the rest of the day.  I don’t need to worry about refrigerating it, just leave it in my shaker in the car and drink when I finish my run or bike.  It takes the thinking out of my recovery.
  7. AdvoCare Shaker/Blender Bottle – I mix everything in this.  If you use protein powders or any drink powders then you already know that chunks happen but this breaks up most of the chunks for a smoother drink content.  I keep one in my workout bag, one in my desk at work, one at the lake, two at home.  I almost always have one.
  8. Mission Athletecare Pomegranate Lip Balm with SPF +15 – This is by far my favorite lip balm for running, biking, workouts, life.  It’s the perfect consistency and stays on for a very long time.  It comes in lots of flavors but I prefer the pomegranate & mint.  It’s also Paraben Free and after reading Bridgett’s Beauty Blog, I’ve learned this a really big deal……although I can’t say I remember why.  🙂  You can buy certain Mission Athletecare items at CVS (in Illinois) but they are usually stuck in a corner somewhere, so you may have to ask where they are located.
  9. Mission Athletecare Max Muscle Rehab– Roll on gel for muscle soreness.  Feels good but since the scent vanishes quickly, everyone else doesn’t have to know you trashed your quads on the hills. 
  10. Mission Athletecare AntiFriction Cream  (2 sample packs) – I have used several Mission products in the anti-friction & anti-chafing line.  I like them, particularly for my feet and where my shoes (sandals too!) rub.

I have a ton of favorite products but these are things I use on a regular basis.  The total of this Goodie Bag is $75.  If you would like to enter the giveaway, please do one or all of the following and make a comment below as to what you have done: Make a comment below as to which of these products you are most excited to try (+1), Follow this blog (+2), Follow TooTallFritz on Facebook (+2), Follow @TooTallFritz on Twitter (+2), Share the giveaway via FB, Twitter, your blog, etc. (+2 for each share). 

The giveaway runs from now until 9am CST on July 3rd.  One winner will be selected via a random number generator. Good luck and spread the word!

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

7 Days til Ragnar – 7 Things I’ll Be Packing

We are 7 days out from Ragnar Chicago and it was a rough day in TTF land, luckily I had the day off from actual “work”. The day started well when I went to the pool and swallowed a ton of TRI Smart Water.  Wow, they swim fast compared to me.  Wow, they kick up a lot of water in the pool.  Wow, they pull a good current when you are surrounded by 4 of them.  Wow, I suck at swimming.  Wow, I’ve never seen the pool so busy.

After the swim, I only had time to squeeze in a 27 mile ride on the trainer before hitting the chiro.  Today she tried acupuncture since my body doesn’t respond like a “normal” person.  Being special isn’t so great in a situation like this.  I’m gonna post this “needles in the foot” pic again for my mom those of you who don’t have facebook or follow me on twitter.

After the needle fun at the chiro, I went directly to the foot surgeon for a more needle action in the form of a cortisone shot.  He infused the cortisone with an anesthetic in order to numb the foot out for a week or so.  Let’s cross our fingers!  Ragnar here I come…..Dear Foot:  Please comply!

In developing a list of 7 things I “need” that are possibly not going to be in every runner’s bag, I started with the important stuff:

  1. Ice bag.  I have a gel ice bag that I’m planning to beg my teammates to stuff in the cooler.  I need it.
  2. Motrin.  I need it.
  3. Merrill Encore Ice slip-on shoe.  Although this is probably the ugliest shoe I have ever purchased, I’m glad to have it.  I bought it off the clearance rack at REI and it holds my plantar fascia up and keeps my feet feeling “ok”.  I need them.  But they are ugly.  I’m considering getting a sandal just like this too.  🙂
  4. Toothbrush.  I know we won’t be having a lot of time to shower  but I’m hoping to be able to at least brush my teeth.
  5. Tortilla-Peanut Butter- Dill Pickle wraps.  I know this sounds disgusting but I actually like peanut butter and pickles together and I think this will work well for me food wise and I’ll be able to avoid the soggy bread issue.
  6. Rehydrate Energy Gel – This is a new product which totally rocks.  It is easy on my tummy and has an excellent lemon taste.  I still can’t get over how awesome this stuff is and am looking forward to our long term relationship. 
  7. A freakin’ AWESOME attitude.  I think this is probably the most important “item” on the list.  We are going to be tired, cranky and the worst thing we can do is take it out on each other or somebody else.  In order to have a good time, each person is responsible for bringing a good attitude.  Ever heard the saying, “if you aren’t having fun, it’s your own fault”?  So let’s bring it, rock this thing and have some fun!!

What would you take on your relay run adventure?

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

Southwest Half Marathon Race Report

I am pretty sure that almost everyone I know posted a new PR this weekend from the 5K, Half Marathon to Marathon distance.  I am so proud of all of you and wanted to say:

great job

I had a super busy weekend with setting up a Twitter account the kiddos,  mom in town, a few social events and the Southwest Half Marathon.  We had some serious fun!

In regards to the race, anyone who has ran a race by Mel at Running For Kicks knows that they are getting a lot with their race fee.  When I picked up my packet it was stuffed with great items that were both useful and exciting.  Thanks, Mel!

Palos Half__2012_goodies

We received a two pack of Saucony socks, a Southwest  Half Marathon 13.1 sticker (super cool!), a tube of Nathan Catalyst electrolyte drink tabs, GU Chomps, a mini Luna Bar that I ate before the photo was taken, an in-store $15 off shoe purchase coupon, an in-store coupon for those awesome Saucony socks, which I can’t find online, plus a gender specific shirt that fits and is cool!  I will actually wear this shirt!  As a bonus, since I signed up early, I received 2 shirts instead of one.  Of course, Aby laid claim to the other shirt as soon as we got home.  🙂

On race morning, everything was super organized and efficient.  The line to the port-o-potties was long but that is normal.  Gear check was excellent and they even had plastic bags to protect our gear since the grass was wet from the rain.  Nice touch!  Most of the F’N Runners met up for a quick photo.  From Left:  Kelly – Running Kellometers, Kevin, Susan M, Wayne, Lori, Aurelia, Brian, Me & Susan D.

Palos Half_FNRC

The race kicked off before most people probably even had their gps watch linked up as soon as the National Anthem concluded.  We were off and running and the race went perfectly.  The rain held off, it was starting to get warm but nothing too crazy, the route was easy to follow and with the out and back it was fun to see the fast runners come back for the finish, plus see friends along route.  There were lots of friendly volunteers, water/PowerAde every couple miles, potties throughout the course, a couple aid stations and lots of F’N support!

Maggie – MagMileRunner was at 104th Ave with signs, cheers and took a ton of photos!

Palos Half_Maggie

Diane, Julie, & Lisa were just past Maggie and screaming like crazy for us!

Palos Half_Cheering Squad

I also saw Amanda W & Dennis, plus met so many people on course who I have previously only known online.  Many thanks to all of you who took the time to say hello!  I’m so happy to have met so many new people during/after the race! 

This is a tough course for me, it always is but I’m not really sure why.  It’s an out and back and just seems to go on forever and ever and ever.    There are small rolling hills throughout even though everyone says it’s flat.  Not my best race, I struggled.  I was fueled & hydrated and it wasn’t too hot, I just didn’t run well.  I was very happy though that  1)  the new AdvoCare Rehydrate Energy Gel arrived on Saturday in time for the race  2) tasted good in a fresh lemon flavor, and  3) DID NOT upset my tummy.  New AdvoCare win for me!

AdvoCare Rehydrate Gel

I ran a 1:58 something which was WAY off my 1:50 goal.  Yes, I was disappointed.  The highlight of the race was definitely seeing the F’N Cheering Squad, seeing all the local familiar faces on course and meeting some new people along the way as well.  Great race, I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.  Give it a try!  It’s a great local race with lots of goodies for the $$, particularly if you sign up early.  Plus, our F’N Cheering Squad will probably be out there again next year and they definitely add major spice to the course. 

Here is a photo that Dennis took of me “pushing” to the finish with bricks in both of my shoes and one hanging from each butt cheek.  OUCH! 

Palos Half_2012

It’s now time for me to move on to Ragnar Chicago training.  I have lots of miles to cover and very little time.  I also need to seriously ramp up my bike miles to prep for the Ironman 70.3 Muncie.  Time is ticking!

Great job to all of you who ran, raced and particularly those of you who crushed some PRs this weekend.  Keep kicking butt!

Happy Running,                                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz