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 **

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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. 

Aspaers_gen2

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!

TOUGHER_TANK

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!

punkeelove_3

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.

mission athletecare_2

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. 

road runner sports_water belt

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.

team tough chik_visor

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. 

flipbelt_black

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. 

muscle milk prize pack

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!

Tough Chik_Boston Strong

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

lock laces_yello

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

biofreeze

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.

handana  handana2

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 **

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

Right Vs “Could Have Been Better” on Refocusing….

We all admit to having good days and bad days when it comes to food intake and workout plans.  Since I specifically called myself out yesterday and promised to refocus my efforts to “do better”, I figured it would be good to review yesterday and acknowledge what went well and what could have gone better.  This is all about accountability, right Lisa E?

Today the scale read 165 but it had to think about it.  I don’t have the tenths position on the scale so it wavered a little bit flipping between 166 and 165 but it finally settled on 165!  Whooooop, I’ll take it!  One step at a time, right?

Right Vs “Could Have Been Better”

RIGHT

COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

4 mile run before work 2 shortbread cookies with Michael while packing his breakfast
ProBiotic from my Cleanse kit before work Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha after a chilly walk to work
Banana & Greek yogurt for breakfast Cheese curds (non-breaded) as a snack while “warming up” dinner
Baby Shortcut Carrots for AM snack Leftovers for dinner, which were from a restaurant, did not include any fresh “green”  ingredients
Salad with fresh veggies & 2 low fat cheese sticks for lunch Late dinner – 8:30pm since I worked late
Protein Drink for PM snack since I worked late No PM workout since I worked late
Tons of water throughout the day More time between dinner & bed
Herbal caplets from my Cleanse kit before bed  

I’ll never have a prefect day and that’s certainly not my goal but it would be better for the columns to be imbalanced, in favor of the good.  As a general rule, I focus on drinking my water,

water Eating fresh fruits and veggies,

Consuming lean proteins,

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Focus on whole grains and avoiding processed (canned, packaged foods).  I do my best to use fresh ingredients, even for cooking.  I also change up recipes that call for “frozen” veggies and use fresh and I normally steam fresh veggies to serve as a side dish for dinner (thank you Ziploc Steamer Bags!) rather than using canned or frozen options.

I do need help in identifying more lean proteins.  I don’t eat a lot of meat, mostly just chicken and pork and I rely heavily on dairy to pull in the protein that I need.  Do you have any suggestions for good lean proteins?

Do you try to avoid the “inner” section of the grocery where the processed foods are located?  I know it is difficult to eliminate all of that stuff with kids and a husband in the house but I personally TRY to keep from eating the processed in favor of fresh.

Please share any tips you have for eating fresh and/or let us know of those non-traditional lean protein options which you incorporate into your diet.

** Happy HEALTHY Eating ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Refocusing……

Summer is hard for everyone but this summer has been particularly rough on me since I’m not marathon training running my “normal” amount of miles.  The torn tendon injury was a blow to me both physically and mentally.  I kept moving and tried to have a good attitude but biking and swimming is not the same for the body or the mind.  As a result, I’ve noticed the scale creep up higher than ever before during non-pregnancy fitness stages.  I was 168 a couple weeks ago and am 166 this week.  Not cool.  I tend to normally float between 158 and 162.  I know you are might be thinking, “that’s not that bad” but it is that bad because it doesn’t want to go away!  As a maturing mother, those extra few pounds creep up and keep piling on and it is harder each and every year to fight it.  This is why I haul my ass self out of bed in the middle of the night early morning to run/workout before Michael wakes up the day gets started.  Today was a rough one.  I didn’t want to get up…..but at least I had my BAMR shirt waiting for me!  I’m totally loving this shirt and have worn it several times without even washing it.  It’s a prefect fit & feel (SportTek brand).

Me_BAMR shirt

So I  hauled it up and out for 4.22 miles this morning.  The pace was somewhere in the 9:20s range which is decent for “in the dark” running.  I’m happy.  Now to just refocus and knock out those few extra pounds.

I started Kelly’s DietBet Challenge at the beginning of August and to be honest, I thought that it would be piece of cake.  I’m an AdvoCare distributor and immediately ordered a 24 Day Challenge bundle and I was ready to get started. However, I apparently didn’t “submit” the order, a mistake I have never made since I began my distributorship circa 2006, and the bundle never came.  I have now received it after “reordering” last week so I’m a little late to the game, in addition to the fact that August is one of my worst months with lots of travel, celebrations and the start of school.  Super overwhelming but fun month, each and every year!

Instead of busting my butt in the fitness and clean eating areas, I have instead been spending time with friends & family, drinking and eating out.

Olympic Marathon Brunch with champagne and lots of yummy food  Kate, Maggie, Me, Amanda, Susan;  Bottom:  Sara, Kelly, & Nicole.

Boating and drinking hanging out on the water with friends:  Me, Hillary & Nicki.

me hillary nicki

Amusement Parks and drinking more beer travel:

Cedar Point_Mick & Aby_8-10-12

 

       Cedar Point_beer_8-10-12

Indiana Dunes, beach play, hiking & fun with the kiddos:

Dunes_view of Chicago_8-11-12

   Dunes_Aby & michael_8-11-12

 

 Dunes_stairs_8-11-12  Dunes_stairs down_8-11-12  Dunes_me & michael_8-11-12 Dunes_stairs down lake_8-11-12 Dunes_Succession Trail_8-11-12

So while I refuse to miss an opportunity to put my toes in the sand with the kids,

toes in the sand

I can probably cut a few alcohol related calories, refocus on drinking my water instead of Corona Light and clean up my at home eating.  While I do well eating at work where I take my fruits, veggies, lean proteins & drink lots of water, I fail miserably in the evenings.  There is no need to eat a cookie, just because I give one to Michael.  There is no need to eat 30 potato chips just because I give some to the kids.  There is no reason to drink a beer just because it’s fun everyone else is doing it.   I will do better.

I’m refocusing NOW!  How about you?  Summer is hard but now is the time to get back at it.  I heard on the radio yesterday that 20% of American’s in EVERY state are obese.  I certainly don’t believe in perfection but also know that we all  need to work at it in order to be healthy, productive, positive examples for our family and children.  Refocus now and tell me what you will be changing immediately in order to get back on the healthy eating train. 

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

Trust Your Training Plan

A lot of my friends & F’N Runners are currently in the midst of the heavy training miles for the 2012 Chicago Marathon.  Everyone is hitting their miles and making amazing progress yet their confidence is not boosted with the completion of each long run.  Instead they are filled with doubt.  They are doubtful they will finish, doubtful they are running enough, doubtful they will be fast enough to make the cut-off, doubtful that they can even make it thru next week’s run because the run this week went so poorly. 

I’m want ALL OF YOU to know that you will make it thru the next run, and the one after that, and the 20 miler.  We will get your nutrition in check and find out what works for YOU in order to get you to the start line with nervous excitement rather than doubtful dread.

chicago-marathon

You are certainly not alone when you look around and wonder if you are going to make it thru the training.  This is absolutely normal!  At this point, you are starting to hit the high miles and it’s not easy.  I remember getting back into my car after many a long run wondering how I could possibly get thru the next bump in miles.  Yet, I did it, each and every time.  It doesn’t get easier when  you have more marathons under your belt, you just know to trust the training plan.  Trust the training plan YOU picked.  Think about it for a minute, you picked a plan for a variety of reasons but basically because you thought it was “somewhat” manageable for your life.  You probably downloaded it from the internet, right?  How many other people have used that same plan before you?  You probably downloaded a plan from a well know website, right?  How do you think that person or that website got so popular?  Well, it wasn’t because the people who ran the plan before you didn’t make it thru the training,  couldn’t manage the next bump in mileage, didn’t finish their race.  They did finish and so will you!

So take a deep breath, stop panicking and trust in your training plan.  Here are a few things to consider:

  1. If you are having excessive soreness & fatigue after the long run, consider an ice bath.  Nobody wants to take one but they do help.  It is the fastest way to cool the muscles and decrease swelling.  Everyone does it differently but I sit in the empty tub, start the cold water, plug the tub and immediately dump in the ice.  I use a lot of ice, a heaping full 8×8 pan, no less.  Let the tub fill to the top of your hip bones and sit for as long as you can.  I usually shoot for 15 minutes between fill time & sit time.  I take my phone, check Facebook, brag about my AWESOME long run, let everyone know I didn’t die, send out a few tweets about how my training partners totally ROCKED THE RUN, etc.  Basically be prepared to distract yourself from the cold water.
  2. Don’t forget to use a Post Workout Recovery Drink that helps you get back your lost nutrients immediately after the run.
  3. If your “on the run” nutrition plan is not working, change it.  Now is the time to nail down what works for you.  Remember that what works for Suzy may not work for you, so talk to several people to get various ideas.  Keep trying, you’ll figure it out!  If all else fails, keep things very bland both the night before and the morning of the long run.  I like to keep it simple with a bland pasta dish with very little protein or fiber the night before, then a banana in the morning of the run.
  4. Consider getting up a few minutes early to drink a cup of coffee or have an energy drink that will get your blood and intestines “flowing” pre-run.  This could help avert an awkward run into the bushes for an emergency pit stop!
  5. Weather makes a difference!  By this point in the summer, you have probably realized that when it’s really hot out, its just not safe to run your normal pace.  In addition to adjusting pace, you will need to adjust your fluid intake.  Consider a hydration belt, handheld or hydro pack and plan ahead to drop water along your route.  Buddy up for the water drop and run so that you will have various places where you can expect icy cold water without having to do all the drops yourself!  I would also recommend dropping more than you need in case another runner, who is not as well prepared, needs to “borrow” some of your supply.   If you see this cooler on the trail, help yourself; I always bring extra!cooler
  6. Know that the higher temps and high humidity will result in more sweating.  The sweat flushes salt out of your system so go a little heavier on the salty foods the day before the long run.  Consider salty snacks, salt tabs, electrolyte drinks or a salt packet on long runs/race day to put a little salt back in your body to avoid water poisoning.
  7. Know that you and Suzy probably aren’t using the same training plan, so don’t go out and run 10 miles with her because that is what she has on her schedule.  Commit to the plan you picked and DO NOT feel guilty.  You will both be standing in front of the same finishers screen wearing the same shiny new medal!

image

Don’t stress; “You’ve Totally Got This”!

Do you  have a specific training issue/question?  If so, comment below and the readers will try to help you out! 

If you have any training tips that can help calm the nerves of our beginner marathoners, I’d appreciate your sharing!

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

Favorite Training Items Winner!

Without any further ado, the winner of the Favorite Training Items Giveaway is #130:

Lauren7

Congratulations, Lauren!   Please email me at amanda@tootallfritz.com and send your mailing address.  Your goodies are packed up and ready; as soon as I know where to send them they will be on the way!

Lauren’s favorite item in the giveaway was the AdvoCare Shaker bottle!  What was your favorite?  I have a list below of where you can find the giveaway items if you want to track them down.

The gel toe protectors are available at Walgreens & CVS in the foot care aisle.  You just need to trim them down to fit your toe!

The Mission Athletecare items are available online or at CVS stores (in Illinois, not sure about other states).

The Personal Saver is available along with the Wrist Saver & Cycle Saver online.   Use the TTF code and get $1.50 off!

AdvoCare products are available online in my AdvoCare Store or thru any other AdvoCare distributor.  I know several other distributors so if you don’t want to go thru me or my store, let me know and I can give you a list of other distributors.  If you have any AdvoCare questions, please contact me, I’m happy to help!

AdvoCare Business Card

Thanks for participating in the giveaway!  Stay tuned, there will be another one coming up shortly!

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

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