Lunch Break….on the Lakefront

I love the option of hitting the lakefront path for a good run at “lunch” when I can cut the ties to my desk get out.  I  normally don’t leave for lunch so this is quite a treat when I make it happen.  I must say, there are many days that I just carry my clothes back and forth to work because I can’t MAKE IT HAPPEN so today is an awesome day!  Quick obligatory “blogger bathroom photo”. 

Then I literally hit the street running before my boss saw me leave so I didn’t change my mind.  The worst part of running in the city is getting the gps to find a signal having the patience to weave thru the pedestrians, and wait out red lights/street crossings, while heading to the lakefront.  Upon arriving at the lakefront, its smooth sailing.  Allow a brief shout out to the Chicago Parks Department for their fastidious upkeep of the Lakefront Path.  Once I hit the Lakefront path today, I was met by these babies: 

The Chicago geese are probably the most aggressive visitors you will encounter on the lakefront path; however, I have never actually seen them chase anyone.  I just have horrible flashbacks of the Bixler Lake geese, which chased us during the summers of EN CC practice so the sight of any geese while running makes me scream and run like a little girl tense with anxiety. 

If you have extra $$ and a big ass boat, you might have spent some Chicago summers here at the Columbia Yacht Club.

Great view of Navy Pier: 

Ohio Street Beach….wow, Lake Michigan is angry.  Is the snow finally coming?

In the summer you will see Chicago Lifeguards watching this strip between Ohio Street Beach and Oak Street Beach.  You will also see swim lanes for open water swimmers and triathletes who are grabbing a lunchtime swim in the lake or trying out a rented wetsuit.

Running north along the lakefront can be cold and windy as there is no protection from the wind and elements.  On a bad day, I would say run south toward McCormick or try the Riverwalk Path.  However, today was perfect at 33 degrees with a nice wind coming off the lake.  Ear band and gloves required but I was dressed for it so really enjoyed being out there!  As always, when I rounded the curve to Oak Street Beach I got a blast of wind and the waves were really splashing and leaving shit debris pretty far up on the trail. 

Memorial Day thru Labor Day, Chicago has a temporary outdoor, limited fare cafe with alcohol drinks here at Oak Street Beach.  It’s nice to sit on the beach and have a pricey lunch with cocktails. If you are shopping the Magnificent Mile, you can walk right across Michigan Avenue, after shopping Prada on Oak Street, and hit the beach for some R&R.  In this photo you can see the winter remnants of the outdoor cafe.  It’s a much different site “in season” and I encourage you to come and check it out when it gets warm!

Hey strange dude, randomly walking the lake front path without much apparent purpose……would you be so kind as to take a photo of me before the waves suck me out to the bottom of the lake?

On days like this when I am crunched for time, I run 6 miles.  The North Avenue sign is my 3 mile turn around. 

It’s just close enough to North Beach to make you want to run an extra mile or two or 10 .

But alas, I need to run back to work, so flipped and headed back toward the city.

Another great run in the CHI.  It was slow, 1:02 for 6.13 miles but that included 28 multiple photo stops, and major road crossings getting to and from the lake front path and some lollygagging.

Dress appropriately and get out there for a run!   You will be happy once you get your ass out the door.

“Run”way Fashion:  Athleta Headwinds Jacket (mine is the 2010 model), Athleta Base Miles Headband, & Manzella Sprint Glove Liners.

Manzella Sprint Glove Liners - Women's

Happy Running,                                                                                                            Amanda – TooTallFritz

Wind, Rain, & Snow…..Oh, My!

The big story today has to be that Susan D. and I actually drug our asses out the door last night the weather.  The conditions here in the Midwest this fall have been surprisingly mild and even though we are 1/3 of the way thru November we haven’t had much, if any, cold weather.  Yesterday started out in the low 50’s with wind and rain but the temperature dropped in the early afternoon to approximately 37 degrees, with moderate winds, light rain, and a few possibly imagined snow flurries. 

We had planned to meet up with the Frankfort TNT runners at 5pm but I was a few minutes early.  As I was waiting for “everyone” to show, I tried to figure out how to steady my shivering hand to grab a photo.  Didn’t work out so well.

Yes, that is correct, it is now PITCH BLACK at 5pm.  Lucky us.  Love the time change. 

A blurry photo of myself and Susan D. as we shiver and await the TNT runners……um, where are YOU guys cuz we are freezing our asses off?  We decided to just get moving around 5:15 because we realized that apparently everyone else whimped out was smart and stayed home.  Of course, we had to light up the trail in order to even attempt a run.  Susan D. brought a headlamp and I had my KnuckleLights.

Several people have contacted me to let me know that KnuckleLights are on backorder so I emailed them this week to see if I could get you guys a bigger discount what was up.  Dan H. from KnuckleLights said that the lights will be available again on Nov 18th.   If you place an order prior to that day, then use the coupon code:  KL050 and you will receive $5.00 off, plus receive 2 free gifts (a clip-on blinking light and a reflective arm band) with your order.  So try not to give up on them, this is a  great product; they have just really taken off in popularity as of late.  If you are interested, you might want to order now and be on the list for when they get their shipment.  It’s not like we will be seeing the light of day ever again anytime soon.

Susan D. once again drug me down the trail at a lightning fast pace.Thanks Susan, I’d hoped for a speedy run tonight and you didn’t disappoint!  I think the TNT runners were scared of our speed will regret not coming because it really wasn’t bad once we got moving.  I always say that the hardest part is showing up, or getting out the door, and I really believe that.  Susan and I had a great conversation about personal accountability and what justified wussing out skipping a workout.  For me, I have a tight schedule so if I don’t do it now, then it probably won’t happen.  I’m all about being flexible, just don’t have a lot of wiggle room in my life as of now. So if I say I’m in, then I’ll be there short of being unable to pry Mr. Michael’s fingers off me an emergency.

6.48 miles (slightly suspect about distance, I was thinking we would be right on 6) – 57:04, 1 stop to remove a rather large tree from the trail, 1 stop to remove a few layers.

“Run”way Fashion:  Old Navy Active top ($19.94 – cheap and nice, thumb holes and 1 zip pocket, but “in stores only” as of now), Old Navy Active Sports Bra ($10 – on sale now & has a reflective strip on the back if you like to run in your underwear “bra top”), CW-X compression 3/4 tights (I know you’re shocked, and no I never take them off), and the Athleta Drynamic Track Pant (currently on sale if you are a child XXS).  I also wore gloves (my favorites are Manzella Sprint Glove liners which have a reflective palm), the freebie windbreaker from the Hot Chocolate 15K, spi-belt and knucklelights.

I encourage you to get out the door, each and every time that you can.  It isn’t going to get any warmer, or less windy, and the sun isn’t coming back for a long time.  You can either sit in the house and pout til spring or come out and join us for some great conversation and fun running!  Hope to see YOU soon!

What do you do once the good weather heads south……..  Do you skip your workouts, hit the gym, or keep on trucking outside?  

Stay Warm & Be Safe,                                                                                                    Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                                 amanda@toottallfritz.com