Like A Kid at Christmas…..

As I drove away from the Running For Kicks fun run last night, I was so giddy, I felt like a kid at Christmas.  The excitement lasted the entire 45 minute ride home and thru the remainder of the evening.  I was totally high off the run.  I actually wondered if the feeling was the “runners high” that people talk about but I’m quite certain I have never personally experienced.  The reason does not matter, just let it suffice to say this was the most “fun” I have had on a run in a very, very long time.  And that’s saying quite a bit because I actually like to run and find it enjoyable most of the time.

The fun run participants were so numberous, many didn’t even make the picture but here are the ones who bothered to stand still for the 2 seconds for Gail to snap the photo.  I’m in the back, just right of middle in the red shirt with the HUGE reflective log in the middle. 

Good to know that the reflectivity of my Athleta Hopkinton Top is no joke.  Don’t say that you didn’t see me coming! 

After the group photo, most of these people took off in a sprint but the F’N Running Club people were awaiting the arrival of MagMileRunner (Maggie) so this gave me an opportunity to grab a few photos.  Me & Gail….yes, I often cut myself off.  I  need a cell phone photog class.

FNRC Runners, minus MagMileRunner:  Aurelia, Kate, Running (Kell)ometers – Kelly, Get to Goal – Amanda, Joe, & Me:

Then Maggie arrived and we were off and running.  Apparently we ran thru “the hills” of Ishnala but it was dark and so much fun that I didn’t realize there were many hills.  I did notice an occasional downhill because of the downward momentum.  Not sure if we ran up those hills or not.  We might possibly have been running faster than some might consider fun and I secretly knew that I was sabotaging today’s speed workout on the dreadmill but I was having so much fun it was hard to give a damn care.  On the miles where my watch beeped and I knew we didn’t have “many” stops, we were right between 8:40 and 8:44.  Take that Ishnala!  

One might say the RFK runners invaded the Ishnala subdivision in a similar manner as to how children invade a neighborhood at Halloween.  There were runners EVERYWHERE.  Most of the runners had blinking lights and/or reflective wear.  Even though it was dark, we were very visible and you could see runners at almost every intersection.  None of us really knew the route so there was a lot of running, stopping, and jumping on the back of a passing group.  Then we would pass our “leaders” just to get to an new intersection and again stop to “discuss” the route and/or await an approaching group for direction.  It was quite an adventure and so much fun!  I’m so happy that I finally made it on time out for a RFK Fun Run!

When we returned to the store, we were greeted by the smell of chili with all the fixings and lot s of smelly runners.  The Mizuno Rep was also in the house and brought shoes for everyone to try during their fun run, then they raffled off 2 pair of shoes!  No, I didn’t win but I was hoping I would!  Here is a look at the store with everyone eating and awaiting the raffle: 

I encourage you to make it a point to get to Running For Kicks for one of these awesome group runs.  There were paces from walk, run/walk to really fast people.   Monday nights at 6pm, rain or shine!

Happy Running!                                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                             amanda@tootallfritz.com

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All Dressed Up…..

On Monday nights, the local running store, Running For Kicks sponsors a fun run out of the store front in Palos at 6pm.  For over three years, I have wanted to participate in one of these runs; however, my schedule sucks timing is wrong for me as the store is about half way between work and home.  If I stop at the store it is usually an hour before the run or a half hour after.  Today, I saw that they were doing a Christmas Fun Run and I attempted wanted to fit it in so that I could dust off my red Team Sparkle Skirt.  I honestly thought I could make it…until I hit Christmas rush-hour traffic.  Here is a photo of the RFK Christmas Group Run…..stolen photo alert….RFK facebook page. 

Great looking group.  Do you see anyone missing?  Right, I didn’t make the start.  I was probably 8 to 10 minutes late but as all of you know, that’s a good mile shy of the pack.  So I was all dressed up with nowhere to go…..red-team-sparkle-sketch.jpg

However, I came to run and I was going to run.  I run solo all the time but don’t drive 45 minutes each way to do it.  Mel D. pointed me in the right direction and off I ran into the darkness with my KnuckleLights.  I must say Mel’s directions had a little to be desired were vague seeing as I had neither been to a previous RFK group run nor ran in Palos ever before other than on race courses that RFK has sponsored….and my race motto is merely to follow the people in front of me.  I never stress about looking at a map, etc.  However, today I was running blind and trying to make the best of it.  Thank goodness for the CountryGirl sense of direction.   I did manage to catch a group of walkers and they gave me some very valuable instructions.  Then I somehow stumbled onto a group of runners.  But other than the few people I saw, I just tried to enjoy the neighborhood lights and the mild temps.  It was a really beautiful night….and HELLO…..I was wearing a RED SPARKLE SKIRT.  Here are a few homes that really caught my eye so glad they didn’t call the cops on me for photographing their homes.

I am happy that I was able to get out and grab some road time. I just ran a couple of loops multiple times, then when the homeowners started peeking out their windows, I would move onto another loop til I got in enough miles, then I headed back to the store.  In all, it was 6.56 miles in 1 hr 4 min.  Not lightning pace, but I did take some photos, plus had some directional issues, and I always am extra cautious in the dark.  So it was a good run for me.

An added bonus, I saw Judy & Kate when I got back to the store.  Then I begged got a few photos.  Gail & I: 

Gail was rockin’ some AWESOME socks.  Not sure which were hers but I was jealous!  Note:  photo stolen from the RFK facebook page!

Mel D. & myself – Lots of respect for this man, he helps a lot of people and genuinely cares about me you and my your running and foot pain.  Thanks, Mel!

I strongly encourage you to head over to RFK for one of their fun runs; but leave the house early so you don’t miss the start they are loads of fun with people you know and love, plus they will probably even feed you.  Sorry, I didn’t get to see more of you tonight.  I honestly tried, just don’t have enough minutes in the day.

Try to find the silver lining in any situation.  Some people have real problems so I need to remind myself don’t sweat the small stuff.  There will be other days, other runs and more life to live.  Try to do the best with what you have for today!  What is your best advice for handling the day-to-day disappointments mishaps?

Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                                 amanda@tootallfritz.com