As See On The Run, Swallow Cliff & Schubert Woods Edition ….

This last weekend brought us crappy, destructive weather unseasonably warm temps and most of the runners in my area were out trying to enjoy it, the only way we know how …. running.  What’s better than running?  TRAIL RUNNING, of course!

Saturday, I had Swallow Cliff on deck.  I had anticipated going alone to run two loops but much to my delight, I had two rounds of F’N Runners to keep me company.  We ran the 8 mile yellow loop and were easily able to accommodate an early AND a late crew.   7am crew on the left, 8:30am crew on the right.  No, I didn’t change clothes but added a layer for the second loop.  The temps were cool with the drizzling rain. 

FNRC Swallow Cliff_loop 1_Nov 2013   FNRC Swallow Cliff_loop 2_Nov 2013

Fun times.  I’ve posted about Swallow Cliff before so if you want to see more pics or take a peak at the map, go HERE.  Otherwise, below are trail pics from Saturday’s trip.  I’m not sure why but I was surprised when I hit the trial and it was totally COVERED with leaves.   We had to be pretty careful in spots because the bigger hills have ruts where water runs off and those ruts were totally covered by leaves.  It wasn’t a fast trip but it was beautiful! 

Trails, Bridges, Hills, Runners & More

Swallow Cliff_Nov 2013_big hill  Swallow Cliff_Nov 2013   Swallow Cliff_Nov 2013_bridge 

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Many of our runners braved the stairs too, either before or after their run.  Swallow Cliff is know for it’s stairs which were originally built for the old toboggan slides, which have since been removed for safety reasons.  However, the stairs are still present and provide area locals a great workout.   The stairs are always busy.  People are always climbing.  All day long.  Every day.  Year round.  How many trips up/down can you make?

Swallow Cliff Stairs_Nov 2013

Sunday I slept in with Michael, made the family breakfast, did a few loads of laundry AND THEN managed to get Aby motivated to run.  All morning we had been watching the radar waiting for a “window”’ where we could squeeze in a run.  When we left the house, the radar was clear and we were between storm cells but that didn’t last long.  We headed to Schubert Woods in Park Forest specifically because it’s a 4 mile loop which is the perfect distance for Aby.  Plus there is an added bonus in that the trail possesses a short hill, which is decently steep and good for hill repeats.  We have a very hilly Turkey Trot coming up so she needs to stay in decent shape and well, I ALWAYS need to work on my hills because it is one of my weakest areas.  Unfortunately, the bad weather rolled in before we got to our hill repeats.  Bummer.  Next week!

More details, pics & a map of Schubert Woods via my previous posts HERE and HERE.  These photos below are from our run on Sunday.  Love this trail, it’s one of my absolute favorites, and only about a 15 minute ride from the house. 

Schubert Woods_Nov 2013 Schubert Woods_Nov 2013_hill-bridge  Schubert Woods_Nov 2013_2

   Schubert Woods_Nov 2013_water Aby & Me_Team TC 2013 Schubert Woods_Nov 2013_small bridge

Good run weekend.  I’m currently training for the Huff 50K Trail Run on December 28th and the Disney World Dopey Challenge (January 9-12) so I’ll be logging some really good miles in the next month.  Or that’s the plan.  Let’s hope life let’s me put down the miles so I can enjoy both events, walk away with a smile, and earn all those January weekend sleep-in that’s I’m already planning!  Smile

Do you prefer roads, trails or do you just want to stay on the treadmill?  I’d love to hear where you like to run, tell us!!!

** See YOU On the Trail ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Long Weekend ….. Long Miles ….. Long Hike …..

We packed so much into the weekend that I should probably still be home recovering!  Good Friday started early as I hauled it up and out before the sun came up to go to Waterfall Glen in Darien, IL.  It’s not too far away but not necessarily close enough to hit too frequently.  I host a run there every Good Friday and Black Friday as an excuse to get the various running communities together and also have a few friendly faces with whom I can run the trail.  Beautiful location.  Beautiful Trails.  Beautiful weather.  Perfect 9.5 mile loop that is challenging for most of us, but still doable.

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The temps were good, high 20s when I got there at 6:30 am and near 50 when I left at 10:30.  This was the day of my last 20 miler for this marathon cycle (Lansing Marathon on 4/21/13) and I made almost 18 miles on the rolling hills before I needed to go home to the kiddos (and subsequently finish those last 2 miles on the treadmill later in the day).

The trail was mostly clear of snow and ice despite our erratic weather this year. And we were blessed with sunshine all day long.  Win!

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2013 Waterfall Glen Good Friday Runners:023

We also had a lot of runners who weren’t able to make the 8am start time (and above photo).  I saw many friendlies on the trail early, who came out to run a few miles or even the entire loop before heading off to work.  Great turnout with lots of new (and old) faces.  Thanks for coming, everyone!  I’ll see you on Black Friday, same time, same spot!!


This is the first nice weekend we have had this year that was remotely warm without rain.  So I took full advantage of it by hitting another “somewhat” local trial on Saturday, not to run, but instead to let the kiddos burn off some steam hike.  Matthiessen Sate Park is in Utica, IL about a mile past a much more popular hiking arena, Starved Rock State Park.  While Starved Rock gets all the hype and is definitely more commercial and user friendly, Matthiessen is a hidden gem.  Less traffic.  Better hiking.  Amazing sites.  Plus the kids like to get dirty so it’s a total WIN for us!  Thanks to Aby’s friend, Kara for making the trip with us and “helping” out with the little man!!

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The best part about Matthiessen, in my opinion, is the waterfalls.   Some are easy to find, some are slightly hidden.  We even caught a few in a semi frozen state!

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The second best thing about Matthiessen, is the stairs.  Lots of stairs, inclines & bridges. 

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I love this place and try to bring the kids a couple times a year.  Depending on the season and the precipitation levels, the water may be free flowing like it was on Saturday or it can be totally dry like it was on our trip last summer.  Although the trails don’t change, the sites area always different.  Fun times.  The kids love it.  I love it.  We get to spend time outside together.  Win!

Did you do or see anything exciting this weekend?

** Run, Walk, Hike, MOVE ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **