Back to Reality…..

Although today I am confronted by going back to work reality, yesterday was a busy and productive day on the home front as we tried to squeeze in as much as possible on our last day off.  I was fortunate that Hubby took one for the team watched the kiddos so I was able to meet up early, but not too early, with the F’N Running Club for a Monday morning run.  This was a total luxury for me because I am usually sitting on my ass at my desk early each Monday.  The Monday morning New Year Crew:  Julie, Joe, Jeni, Susan & Jennifer E.I want to give a huge shout out to all of these runners, as well as sending them a great big THANK YOU for getting up and out of their cozy beds to come for a run.  I laid in bed all night listening to the 50 mph winds and rain/sleet pelting the windows.  When I got up it was snowing, we had freezing temps and MORE wind, so I was surprised that anyone besides Susan show up.  Thanks, you crazy F’N Runners!  I would have never been able to do it without you yesterday and had already copped out of my Jan 1 run due to wind/cold so I really needed this!

The temps were around 20 degrees in the early morn but felt much colder due to the wind.  However, being on the trail, the trees provided us with a lot of wind cover and it really wasn’t bad after that first mile.  It was snowing pretty good at times too but there wasn’t any accumulation, the trail was in good condition with good footing.  Not too slippery.  

  Julie & Susan looking strong as they are approaching the turnaround: 

Joe, Julie & Me at the turnaround.

The group ran between 3 and 7 miles at a leisurely pace.  A few stops for road crossings and turnaround/meet-ups.  I never stop my watch cuz I will forget to restart it so I had 7.01 miles in 1:10:48.  Great run!

After my car defrosted from the snow and ice which had accumulated during our run, I returned home and hubby and I set up my dining workout room again.  The workout equipment had been evicted to the basement while trying to fruitlessly sell the house, then to make room for Tacky Christmas.  I am back in business now! 

I even managed to squeeze in some bike miles and a short weight workout during Michael’s nap! 

So the NEW year is going strong for me so far.   I am trying to refocus on fresh foods and veggies to lose those extra 5 lbs, core/weight work, and more cross training.  I am sore today so something must be working. 

Are you off to a good start this year?  Are you doing anything different or just refocusing on some good habits which may have fallen to the way side over the holidays?

Think and BE Healthy this year!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

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On My 7th Day of No Running…..

On my 7th day of NO RUNNING my truelove continues to distract me!  This running hiatus came at an odd time as Hubby and I are also enjoying a mini “stay”cation without the kiddos.  So we have been running around like fools in an attempt to distract me from thinking about running have fun and enjoy ourselves and not worrying about whether Michael is climbing my sister’s curtains and jumping from the top of her stairs do a few things that we normally can’t fit into our busy kid friendly schedules.  On Day 1 of staycation, we went shopping, plus had dinner & drinks.  I know this sounds totally lame isn’t exciting to most of you but shopping with the kiddos is a chore and not fun.  Plus, we bought lots of fun things for ME!  Yay! 

And there is not even one remotely running related item in that loot pile.  I know most people had running things on their Christmas List but running for me is different. I’ve been doing it for a long time so I don’t really have a wishlist.  I buy a few pieces of clothing each year to add to my collection but already have all the big items.  So I did get a few pair of compression socks for Christmas but basically have what I need otherwise.

Day 2 of staycation was blinging it up,  wearing some of my new loot and hitting the local NON-Smoking casinos.  Illinois is non-smoking so better and easier to stay local so as not to have to deal with the nasty smoke from the Indiana & Michigan casinos.Hollywood Casino (formally Empress) had a beautiful tree!

We were also able to bring home some $$ between Harrahs & Hollywood!  Love it when I have black chips in my possession.  I never spend them, just hoard hold onto them so I feel special.  I had used most of the green by this point and was heading to cash out so we could move on for more fun.

Do you ever opt for a local “stay”cation over the big price tag of airfare/hotel in a new and different city?  We seem to take this option a lot now with the dogs kiddos.  First, we have 3 dogs that don’t like to be boarded so we end up begging a friend to stay at the house when we are out-of-town to “dog-sit” which is a PITA.  Secondly, we never have much time.  Why waste a ton of  $$ to go somewhere for 3 days?  Thirdly, we live in a great area in that there is a bunch of things to do in the CHI.  Fourth, Mom couldn’t get anymore time off work this year so we couldn’t ask her to come and watch the kids/dogs here I like to sleep in my own bed.  So vacation or staycation?

Cheers!                                                                                                                            Amanda – TooTallFritz

The Stockings Were Hung……Christmas Eve 2011

Well our stocking aren’t hung by the chimney with care because we bought the cheap house don’t have a chimney.  But the stockings are out and awaiting their goodies! 

We had a great day with many of the Thanksgiving Misfits returning for the Christmas festivities.  As I have previously mentioned, the Illinois side of the immediate family is very small, just my 4 and the in-laws, so I we always like to include friends who are available for drinking and eating celebration.  I always wanted a huge family with lots of screaming kids so the misfit friend factor really helps by adding more screaming kids livliness to our festivities.  Here is a photo of those little screamers angels.

Unless you are used to having a lot of little ones running around, I can’t possibly convey the difficulty of getting them all in one spot, looking at the camera simultaneously, somewhat smiling or at least sitting where we put them and NOT have one kid picking their nose.  Sorry about the nose picker but shit happens.

For many years, we have tried to adhere to some low-key traditions for the sake of my own excitement the kiddos.  We usually go to church on Christmas Eve but this year the service was at 9pm so it was too late for my lil man.  Even though church was out we  still moved forward with our other traditions.  We went outside and put food out for the dogs reindeer. 

Why YES, those are Quaker Oaks!

We give one gift…..always jammies. 

We also put cookies and milk out for Daddy Santa.Jealous of my tacky festive table-cloth, aren’t you?

After Reindeer Feeding, Gift Opening (only 1), and Cookie Placement, we read Twas The Night Before Christmas.  This is our version.

Then one last glance at Norad’s Santa Tracker and the kiddos are off to bed!  Although the kiddos are already tucked away in their beds, I just checked and Santa is currently dropping presents in Santa Claus, IN….then heading to Indy, then to Michigan.  Get those kids to bed so you can stay up and drink some wine Santa can come!  Love the Santa Tracker, that has been a HUGE motivator getting the kiddos to bed on Christmas Eve! 

Merry Christmas Everyone!!  I hope that Santa leaves lots of gifts under the tree for your little ones! 

What type of holiday traditions do you have?

Merry Christmas,                                                                                                      Amanda – TooTallFritz

Winter Solstice 2011

Winter Solstice begins tonight at 11:30 pm.  So what did we do to celebrate?  We ran.  What is my favorite way to celebrate any occasion?  Running and drinking.  I ran with the F’N Running Club then they went to the bar and drank.  At least it was 50/50 success ratio for me and the “celebration”.

Tonight/Tomorrow marks the climb up OUT OF THE DARKNESS toward daylight and spring.  The shortest day of 2011 will soon be in the done column and I’m happy about it.  Although it has yet to get cold and nasty in the CHI, and we have not had any snow, the darkness just lingers.  In fact, according to the numbers we currently have 6 hours and 6 minutes LESS daylight than during the Summer Solstice in June.  It certainly is nice to think about June right now but the current reality is darkness.  Most of us get up, go to work and come home in darkness.  Unless you are retired, or a SAHM with an awesome friend/family member to help out with the kiddos, most of your runs have been in the dark.  I hope you broke down and bought the KnuckleLights or goaded someone into buying them for you for Christmas!

Most of the F’N Running Club does have KnuckleLights, head-lamps, flashers/blinkers, etc. now for safety so we were back at it tonight for our usual Wednesday Night Run.  We tried to make it a Christmas Run but not everyone had festive attire.  That’s okay, 8 people showed up to run in the dark……  Me, Susan, Jeni, Brian P., Kathy, Vera & Maggie

I picked up those festive socks for $5 at Target. Lots of different styles!

Brian F., Jeni, Susan, Brian P., Kathy, & Vera

The group ran between 3 and 5 miles and then headed to the bar at varying paces.  We really enjoyed our visitor from Boston, Vera, who is a long time friend of Maggie‘s.  Had to get a pic of them together.  Those long-lasting friendships tear me up really rock!  Love the hat too, Vera!

4.0 miles – 34:51 for  me, no stops other than for traffic at road crossings.  This will be my last run until the NYE 5K in Matteson.  I have decided that it’s in my best interest to give my right foot a rest.  Although the orthotics and cortisone shot have done wonders in eliminating the heel pain, I have noticed now that the heel pain is gone I also have some other issues.  The outer bone on my right foot is shooting pain when I walk or run.  Although it probably didn’t help that I fell down the stairs with Michael in the dark on FRI this is a set back, I need some time off to evaluate if this is just an aggravation in conjunction with Plantar Fasciitis or if it is something independent.  So, no running til NYE, then we will see how the foot fairs after a fast 5K…..at least I hope it’s kinda fast.

Think happy thoughts for me and my bum foot!  I shall return.  Big things for 2012 and I want to be healthy.

Cheers!                                                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz