Rock N Roll Chicago – 2017 Edition

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The Rock N Roll Chicago 1/2 marathon is one that I keep returning to, year after year.  Not because timing is great for me (its my momma’s birthday weekend EVERY year).  But because my friends & family love this race.  Since I moved away from the Chicago area, this is a great excuse to come back & reconnect with some people I rarely get to see, plus Aby loves this race.  Its always been my MO to go where my friends go.  Racing with friends is always more fun!!  And for anyone under 30, MO is “method of operation”.  Apparently that’s not a common acronym at this point in time.  I was just informed the other day that Aby has NO idea what that means (and I use it pretty frequently).  Smile

Aby, Nicki & I hit the expo on Saturday at McCormick Place.  Always plenty of parking at McCormick.  Easy in and out.  We even received discounted parking this year which was a bonus!!  Plenty of vendors.  A couple photo ops. 

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Having to go downtown for the expo is a perfect excuse to enjoy the city by walking around, having a late lunch & Aby usually insists on ice cream.  Ghirardelli’s anyone?

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Race day starts bright and early to try beat the summer heat & humidity of the Midwest.  We got downtown around 5:15a for a 6:30a race start.  Temps were probably in the 70s and not nearly as hot & humid as normal.  Thank goodness!

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And we are ready to ROCK!  Nicki for the 10K.  Aby for her 3rd half marathon & as for me, well, I was just there to have fun.  I’ve probably done 30 some half’s at this point.  Not my race distance of choice currently but Chicago offers a 5K, 10K & half marathon.  Great for the whole family & a great girls weekend where there is something for everyone!  I particularly love races that have multiple distances so its more inclusive for runner friends at all levels!

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It took about 2 miles before I realized that I was going to have to say goodbye to my “little” runner girl.  Aby had a poor buildup for the race.  Lack of motivation after losing her favorite running partner this summer!!  But race day brings magic and well, she was ON FIRE.

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Good bye, girl.  I must admit, the miles kinda slogged on from that point.  I wasn’t tired or hurt but had just come off the IM 70.3 Muncie the week before and I was facing down 2 half ironmans within the next month.  I didn’t want to put too much effort into this race.  I want to be healthy and that means that I can’t give it my all every time I hit the pavement.  I’m at that point in life, and age wise, where I have to train smarter, not harder.   So I slogged thru the miles.  Slowly. 

The course winds thru the streets of Chicago.  I’ve ran the race several times at this point so I know the course.  The spectators were concentrated at key intersections but it was otherwise  a pretty quiet day.  Like a training run with lots of friends! 

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Highlight was that I knew I had a chance of seeing Aby around mile 9, where there is a short out & back on MLK Drive between miles 8.5 & 9.5.  So unless she had gapped me by over a mile, which was a real possibility, I had a chance of spotting her.  And had I been even a few minutes slower, I would have missed her.  But I saw her briefly, shouted “great job” and she shouted that she was going to try to “break 2”.  I said, “Go get it!!” and she was off again.  She broke 2 on her 3rd half marathon!  1:56 for her!!!!  Great job, Aby!!!

Once we finished the out & back on MLK Drive, we head toward McCormick Place & the last 3 miles of the course.  There is always a giant inflatable Brooks Running guitarist at the 10 mile mark.  Happy to see him, as usual.  Then on to finish the race! 

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Finished! 

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Aby was flying high from her new PR.  We all agreed that the race was great.  Well ran.  Plenty of aid stations.  Lots of places where the City of Chicago had opened hydrants to cool off runners.  Amazing volunteers, great course support, great crowd/traffic control.  Overall, if your going to run a race in mid July, in the heat & humidity of the Midwest, this is one of the best.  Thanks Chicago for continuing to support the Rock N Roll Marathon series & their quest to bring one of the best running races to Chicago, each and every year. 

SWAG – Gender specific technical tee & race medal below.

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Next up, the Ironman 70.3 Ohio.  So I’ll be back next week to tell you all about that race.  Have a great weekend & I hope you ROCK your runs, no matter how big or small, at whatever distance YOU love! 

** Rock N Blogger – Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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Garmin Marathon (or Half) FREE Entry Giveaway – 2016 – Welcome to the Land of Oz

Lions & Tigers & Bears ….. Oh my!   What does that phase mean to you?  In my world, I grew up singing this phrase over and over.  Its one that my friends and I would scream, shout & sing while chasing each other around in a game of tag, keep away or while out in the dark pretending to be scared of the unknown.  The Wizard of Oz was more than a movie to us.  We incorporated the story line and plot into our own playtime antics.  We dressed up as Dorothy for Halloween.  We named our dogs Toto.  We had Wizard of Oz lunch boxes.  The Wizard of Oz was and still is a classic.  Here is a pic of Aby at 14 weeks, absolutely enthralled with the movie.   I know the feeling.

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So how many of you are aware that there is an #OzRun in Olathe (O-Lay-th), KS sponsored by Garmin?  The Garmin Marathon, In the Land of Oz is on April 16, 2016.  Who’s running with me?

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If you’re a Wizard of Oz fan, this is a must run event.  If you are a Garmin fan, this is a must run event.  If you are a Marathon Maniac, Half Fanatic or 50 States runner, you’ll end up at the Garmin Marathon because it’s where your friends are going and because this is the premier marathon in Kansas.  So who’s running with me now?

This is the 13th year for the Garmin Marathon but it is still a smaller race that caters to the runners.  There were less than 4000 finishers in 2015 so know that you will be getting the red carpet, I mean, Yellow Brick Road treatment.  I anticipate this race to grow exponentially over the coming years so am happy to be running while its still smaller and focused on delivering a quality race to the runners.  See the finish line below.  Just follow the yellow brick road!   Follow, Follow, Follow, Follow ……

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The start/finish will be mere steps outside of your hotel room at the new Embassy Suites Hotel at the Olathe Convention Center.  After our hotel fiasco in Tulsa, you know I’ll be staying there.  Book HERE for a discounted rate.

This will also be the location of the Emerald City Finish Line Festival which will offer runners freebies such as:  snacks, beer, a meal, chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, yoga stretching & live music.

Sounds awesome, right?  The Garmin Marathon has graciously decided to give away ONE entry to any race of your choosing.  Giveaway starts NOW and runs until Christmas Eve (12/24/15) at 8am CST.  I’ll do a quick drawing on Christmas Eve morning so we can announce a winner and make sure that someone has a great start to Christmas 2015.  To be entered you MUST comment below.  You can also get additional entries by jumping thru a few hoops (listed below).

  • Comment Below – Required – 1 Entry
  • Garmin Customer – 1 Entry (tell us which product you own)
  • Like the TooTallFritz Facebook page HERE – 1 Entry
  • Like the Garmin Marathon Facebook page HERE – 1 Entry
  • Like the Garmin Facebook page HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow TooTallFritz on Twitter HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow the Garmin Marathon on Twitter HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow Garmin on Twitter HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow TooTallFritz on Instagram HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow the Garmin Marathon  on Instagram HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow Garmin on Instagram HERE – 1 Entry

Total of 11 possible entries. Just let me know in the comments what actions you preformed so I can allot you the proper amount of entries.  Good luck.  I’ll announce the winner on Christmas Eve morning!

** Let’s Run the Land of Oz ** Amanda – TooTallFritz