Courthouse Classic 5K – 2013

Every year we head to the lake for Father’s Day and also participate in the Courthouse Classic in LaGrange, IN.  The race is always the day before Father’s Day, on a Saturday and benefits the Lakeland Cross Country teams.  Good race.  Good cause.  Good family fun.


One of the sponsors for this race, if you don’t remember from last year’s report, is a local grocery store so our goodie bag always contains groceries and usable items.  Then they specifically pack Aby’s for a “kid” and give her school supplies, candy and activity books.

My SWAG bag, Aby’s SWAG bag & the cool tee for the 2013 race.

Courthouse Classic 2013_me-swag Courthouse Classic 2013_aby-swag Courthouse Classic 2013_aby-shirt

This race is cheap too, which is especially nice if you are taking the entire family.  The 5K run/walk pre-registration cost was $14 and the 1 mile fun run (kids only) was $9.  Win!! 

This was Aby’s third year running this event.  I like running the same event annually because it’s about the only way to compare your fitness or lack there of over time.  And while I am getting slower, Aby is getting faster without even training, which is super exciting.

Aby’s Courthouse Classic 5K history in time & photos:  2011 (age 9) – 33:19,  2012 – 30:37 &  2013 – 25:09

Aby & Me_Courthouse Classic_2011  Courthouse Classic Aby2_2012   Courthouse Classic 2013_me-aby

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t all hip on returning to run this year and registered only after Aby begged.  I didn’t run last year (the 2012 race) because of a torn tendon (which happened on June 2, 2012).  I’m okay now but still not running fast and I’ve been having a hamstring “issue” that seems to dislike any sort of uphill/incline or long/open stride.  In short, I honestly can’t run fast, even when I try.   In fact, it’s been so long since I’ve ran fast that I wish I could just erase those “fast” times out of my brain to eliminate my constant disappointment.  I’m trying to focus on the fact that 1) I can run and 2) running makes me happy.  Does running faster make me happier?  Yes.  But only a little.   I just want to run and I want to be able to do it with Aby while she still wants to actually do it with me.  So I registered for this race even though I knew it would be a disaster I wouldn’t be fast and I wouldn’t be able to perform up to my own expectations. 

To complicate the situation, I’m TRI training and Friday is my long bike day.  And while I felt good on the 55 mile bike ride Friday ….

Team Tough Chik_2013 kit_6-14-13

My legs were “slightly” fatigued when I hit the start line on SAT morning.  Oh well, it’s not always about me and we were here to get Aby off her ass running and ready to start training for Cross Country season.  And thankfully my friend Adella came along so that I had a shoulder to cry on friend in misery. 

We all three stand on the start line together, somewhat near the front.  The gun goes off.  Aby takes off.  We follow.  My little girl has one mission in life, to beat her momma at any and all foot races.  Good news, I just need to stay close and she runs.  If I get close enough to pass then she surges to get further ahead of me.  It’s a game of cat & mouse.  We play it for about a mile.  We hit the mile mark, which has a volunteer reading splits:  7:45.  I think at this point I may have laughed.  I was pushing it, not dogging it, pushing it and starting to fade.  I, of course, think back to split times from “years gone by” when they started with a 6 instead of a 7 but that’s been a while now so I push it out of my head.  I keep pushing and keep fading.  My legs feel like bricks.  My quads burn.  My hamstrings ….. well you don’t really want to know what they were saying.  Good bye, Aby.  Good bye, Adella.  Good bye, Noble County Runner, Jim! 

Although, I didn’t remember this course being so hilly (a few small inclines in reality!) from years previous, I did remember the finish to be downhill.  By the time I reach this downhill, Aby and Adella were waiting for me and probably wondering if I DNF’d.  I finished my slowest Courthouse Classic 5K to date:  25:51.  Hmmmm, I should probably be disappointed but I’m going to revel in the fact that Aby didn’t steal the car and leave me did well, that Adella hung tight with her to try to push her when I couldn’t and that I ran and finished another race that last year I couldn’t even have walked.  So it’s a win in my book and I’ll keep chasing down my little girl.  I doubt I’ll catch her but I’ll keep trying if for no other reason than to make her surge ahead and run faster, even if for just a minute.   Goooooo, Aby!! 

When results came in, Aby won her age group.  Adella took 3rd in “our” age group and I finished in the 4th spot.  In unprecedented fashion, the race officials gave out a 4th place award for age groups this year.  I’ve ran a lot of races and never seen age groups go 4 deep.  Thank you!!  It was nice to be able to take a pic with the girls and us all have some “bling” to show for our run.  Me, Aby & Adella below.

Courthouse Classic 2013_me-aby-adella-trophies

“Run”way Fashion:  Team Tough Chik run singlets (this is what tough looks like) and RunningSkirts snow leopard skirts.

Yep, I’ll be back for the 2014 Courthouse Classic.  Come try to beat me.  I might be faster.  I might be slower.  Who knows what another year will bring, but I’ll be there.  It’s a tradition for us. 

** Run the Courthouse Classic ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Cat & Mouse…..

The time is here.  The time is now.  It is officially the time which Abby S. and I used to talk of and wonder about years ago when my baby girl wanted to start running “K-5s” with us.  Back then, my little Aby was probably 4 or 5 and I told her that she couldn’t run a 5K until she could actually say it correctly.  Big Abby and I  laughed and wondered how long it would take before little Aby would be faster than her mom.  I’m pretty sure we won’t need to be wondering for much longer. 

While I was off rehabbing my foot this summer, my baby girl, who just turned 11 came into her own in the running realm.   She keeps asking, “Mom, am I faster than you now?”  I keep saying, “Yes”.  She says, “Because your hurt?”  I say, “Yes, because I’m hurt but you would be faster even if I were healthy”.

Aby and I’s running journey started “together” in April 2011 at the Ringing In Spring 5K when she ran her first 5K.  She took 1st in her age group with a time of 33.03.  She was 9.

Aby & Me_RingingInSpring_2011    Aby_RingingInSpring 5K_1st AG

We’ve ran a lot of races since that day but one thing always holds true.  I always finish before her.  I don’t wait for her.  I have never ran a race “with” her and we don’t train together.  I run my race, she runs hers.  Some people think this is cruel but I think its real.  I can’t hold her hand when she races in school, so I don’t do it on the 5K course.  I always tell her to follow the crowd and she won’t get lost.  I finish, then go back for her.

Fast forward to this year.  She has gotten much stronger and faster.  I let her race the 5Ks that I pre-registered us for even though I had to sit them out due to injury.  She ran the Courthouse Classic (with Adella & her Hubby) with a good but not necessarily impressive time of 30:37, then the Short Run Long Day 5K (with the F’N Running Club) in 29:46.  Decent times but still in the “fun” zone.

Courthouse Classic Aby_Adella_Austin_2012          Aby & Michael_Frankfort 5K

Then Cross Country season started and she decided that she was no longer running “for fun”.  She turned on the jets and became a 7:00 min/mile runner overnight.  JUST.LIKE.THAT.

Aby_Running_out of woods_10-2-12   Aby_Running_10-2-12

She now floats when she runs.  Her best time for the 2 mile this year was a 13:54.  That’s a 6:57 pace.  Yep, sub 7.  Yep, she just turned 11.  Yep, faster than mom.

So this weekend we will run our first 5K together (Fallen Firefighters 5K Run in Bourbonnais, IL) under Aby’s new reign as the fastest runner in the house.  She asked me if she was going to beat me.  I said, yes.  Then I said, “but know that if you are in front of me, you better not slow down because I will be RUNNING.YOU.DOWN. every step of the way.  And I expect the same from you.  If I’m ahead, I will be running my ass off trying to keep you from catching me.”  I mean, that’s how everyone treats their 11 year old, right? 

Now who’s the cat and who’s the mouse?  I’m not even sure at this point but it sure is a game and it’s officially starting this weekend. Let the fun begin!

What I do know is that Aby will most definitely beat me on Sunday.  I know that I am still recovering so not up to a realistic speed as of yet.  I know that my speed has a cap, even in a healthy state and hers does not.  I probably need to get used to looking at her back but I will always keep pressing and letting her know that I’ll be there if she waivers.  I can’t wait to see how this fall racing season shapes up.  Yesterday, a lady on the trail ran a PR for her 5K because we were trying to keep Aby in sight.  She was super excited.  Aby asks me on the way  home, “What’s my 5K PR?”.  I said, “I’ll tell you on Sunday”. 

Feel free to come out and watch the showdown between Aby and I.  Or come run so that I have a shoulder to cry on when she totally kicks my ass.  Better yet, bring the cooler.  I like Corona Light.

Aby&I_Mokena Summertime Strides 5K

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Courthouse Classic 5K – LaGrange, IN

Each year on the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend, a small town close to where my parents live hosts a 5K to raise money for a local Cross Country team.  If you are near LaGrange, IN on Father’s Day weekend, I highly recommend you stopping by to run the Courthouse Classic.  The timing works out well for me as I like to go home for Father’s Day anyhow, plus any race I run by my parents is EASY because they are always happy to help with the kiddos while I’m running!  Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa Fritz for your enthusiasm and love for your grandchildren!

Although I did not run this year, for obvious reasons I have ran several years previous so feel qualified to review the race as both a runner and spectator.  Michael & I posed for a photo with Aby pre-race. 

Courthouse Classic Me-Michael-Aby_2012

We also met up with Adella and her hubby, Austin so I grabbed a photo of all three runners.

Courthouse Classic Aby_Adella_Austin_2012

This race starts and finishes at the courthouse in LaGrange.  It’s easy to find in the center of town, surrounded by red brick streets, located on the ONLY thru street.  You can’t miss it.  Registration is available online, via a mail in form or on race day.  The “early bird” fee is $14, with $17 being the cost of race day registration.  Very reasonable pricing to enable the whole family to participate by running or walking.  There is also a 1 mile fun run for the kiddos that is $9 as an early bird & $12 race day. 

Normally, I don’t mention much about sponsors unless I’m contracted to do so but this race is sponsored by the local supermarket, Millers SuperValu.  And let me say, if you can run a race where a supermarket is a key sponsor, do it.  Lots of loot!  Each year when I pick up my race packet, they hand me an envelope with my shirt, bib/timing chip, & safety pins plus a large brown grocery bag filled with…… GROCERIES!  Each year, they hand me the bag, I’m confident that my race fee has just been exchanged for food for the family. 

Courthouse Classic Loot_2012 My goodie bag items are on the left side of the shirt, Aby’s goodie bag is on the right side.  Last year was the first year I registered Aby.  Due to her age, and the popularity of their one mile “fun run”, the race director sent me an email and asked me if I had intended to register Aby (age 9 during the 2011 race) for the 5K or if I wanted to change her to the fun run.  I thanked them for the inquiry and giving a shit and responded that Aby would be running the 5K.  At packet pick-up, they had a special bag set aside with Aby’s name on it.  Rather than giving her groceries, they put together school supplies, candy, juice pouches, and a plethora of kid-friendly items.  Huge thumbs up!  They did the very same thing this year!   Thank you, Miller’s SuperValu!

This race also takes good care of the spectators and community members who come out for the event.  They are grilling dogs, brats & nitrate free meats before the race even takes off, in addition to having drinks, muffins, subway subs, cookies, cupcakes, local grown potato chips and a ton of other items for everyone present. 

Courthouse Classic food_2012

The race course, although not exciting, is an easy to follow out and back, USAT certified route.  They also offer chip timing but there isn’t a mat at the start line so it’s just a convenience for data gathering purposes.  And it’s guaranteed to be hot and steamy with a 9am EST start time.  This race is ALWAYS hot, don’t plan to run too fast cuz it’s probably not going to happen but they do have 1 water stop, which you can hit 2x if you are able to duck in on the return route, plus the finish is down hill.  Sweet race, really.

Last year, this was Aby’s 3rd race ever and she ran a 33:19.  She looks tiny standing next to me in the 2011 photo.

Aby & Me_Courthouse Classic_2011

This year, she looks like a freight train running to a 30:37 finish.  I love the little boy who really doesn’t want to be chicked but really can’t do anything about it.  🙂

Courthouse Classic Aby_2012                Courthouse Classic Aby2_2012

And my girl, Adella took 2nd in her age group!  Goooooo, Adella!  Here is a pic of me & Adella from the archives.  This girl is not afraid to get out and run regardless of the weather.  That’s my kind of running partner!  Great job, Adella!

Me&Adella_Dec 2011

Overall, the Courthouse Classic is a great race.  I encourage you to take the family and give it a try.  Small town friendliness and hospitality with a pre/post race buffet of food that anyone would love.  Go run, then eat!  I’ll see you there for 2013! 

Oh, and don’t forget to stop at Foltz’s Bakery as you are leaving town, best chocolate cream filled subs you will EVER taste, promise!  And now you know why I run, cuz I LOVE to eat!  🙂

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **