Beautiful Blogger Award……

I read a lot of blogs, I mean a lot.  One of the blogs I read is CultFit.  Early this week, CultFit awarded me with the Beautiful Blogger Award.  I’ve been seeing these go around but have not yet been chosen.  I’m honored; thank you, thank you, thank you!!


The idea behind the Beautiful Blogger Award is to recognize some of the blogger we read for their hard work and inspiration. 

**Obligatory Rules**

  1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  3. Tell 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment on their blogs to let them know.

Since I just posted my answers for the Spotlight Runner, I can’t really imagine you care want to know more about me so I’m going to pick some very random things, then pick 7 very random bloggers I follow who you might want to know.  My goal is to try to pick people you DO NOT know so I tried to stay away from the Team Tough Chik & Chicago Running Bloggers line-up (with 2 exceptions).

1)  I’m currently loving the Michelob Ultra Cactus Lime beer.  2)  My favorite person is currently my chiro, Alexis, who is going to make me better and as a result help me run faster.  3)  If Michael had been a daughter instead of a son, I wanted to name “her” Lydia but was out voted and we were going with Katherine Jean ( I think, can barely remember that long ago), call name:  Kati.  4)  If I have anymore pets after my brood passes, it will be one small dog named Sam I Am but only if it promises to not pee or poo or vomit on anything I own.  5)  Michael leaves for college in 5915 days, unless I can get him into school a year early since he is a genius and then we have 5549 days.  6)  I SWEAR I am NOT counting the days until Michael goes to college!  7) The first thing that I’m going to do when Michael goes to college is hike the Pacific Crest TrailPCT map

All of it.  From Canada to Mexico.  No, I’m not taking my cell phone so don’t even ask.

Seven bloggers I love, to whom I would like to award the Beautiful Blogger Award and simultaneously introduce to you. 

Tough Chik – Great way to learn about new tough chik teammates & blogger babes all over the world. 

Run GINGERFOXXX Run – This chick  makes me laugh even she is trying to be serious.   Not much makes me laugh.

Manage Better Now – Things you may or may not need to know about being in the office/business world.

Bridgett’s  Beauty Blog – I know nothing about beauty and she knows everything.

It’s Just One Foot In Front of the Other – Possibly the first blog I ever read and I’m still reading.  Amazing athlete on a looooooong running streak.

Angie Blogs – Another great runner and mother & she possibly owns the one and only Saucony Recovery Suit.

Swim.Bike.Run.3durance – Currently training for an Ironman.  Way more focused and better at following a training schedule than I. 

Congrats to the new award winners of the Beautiful Blogger Award!  Please go check  them out and hopefully you will find them as motivating, inspiring, funny or as helpful as I do on a daily basis!

** Happy Reading ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** **

Spotlight Runner……

Last month, Mel from Running For Kicks asked me if I would be the next “Spotlight Runner” for the store.  I was, of course, honored to be chosen.  They just started choosing Spotlight Runners this year and I was excited to be part of it!  As we all know, I’m a huge fan of Running For Kicks “the store”, Mel the owner, and the employees who are always around when we need them. Hey, Gail!  No revolving door in this retail establishment but real people who know  YOUR name and actually care about YOUR feet and running performance!  Read more on my respect for Running For Kicks HERE.

Mel sent me a list of questions and asked me to answer them for the Spotlight board.  Of course, I wasn’t brief, just not my nature, and they had to cut my answers for the actual “board”.

RFK_spotlight runner_me

I would have posted this much sooner but had been hoping to get into the store for a photo with “the” board.  Due to my injury, I told Mel to put those Saucony Fastwitch 5s back on the shelf and I didn’t get in until this week when Aby needed shoes (she’s a Mizuno girl). 

Saucony Fastwitch 5:image


     Aby’s Mizuno Inspires:image

So Aby and I stood beside the board for a photo!

RFK_spotlight runner_aby & me Since I know that nobody probably had time to stop and read the question/answers, I’ll post them below.  It’s easy to see why editing was necessary!  🙂

  1. What made you decide to take up running?   I have always been a runner. Initially I was a sprinter and high jumper through HS & College, then moved toward longer distances as I “aged”.
  2. Why do you run?   I run for so many reasons but there was one solid reason as to why I made my return to running. After college, I took a bit of a “break” from running. I was burnt out. I was working on my masters degree, had a full-time job, got married, had Aby and woke up from my honey/baby-moon and was “suddenly” 30 lbs overweight. Reality hit and I knew one solid way to get the weight off……I laced up the very next day to go for a run. I only made it 1.4 miles (had to measure it with my car!). That was on February 1, 2005 and I haven’t stopped running since. It took a lot of research/learning to figure out how to fuel my body properly to get out of it what I wanted on a daily basis. Once I figured that out, I was unstoppable. My mileage went from that initial 1.4 miles all the way up to 26.2 at the St Jude’s Marathon in 2007. Anything is possible if you allow yourself to dream!
  3. What are some of your goals or races for 2012?   I have two goals for 2012 – to run a 1:50 half marathon and to go under 6:30 in one or both of my half ironman races.
  4. Do you have a favorite race?   My favorite local race is the Shamrock Shuffle. I love the crowds, the atmosphere, the people and being able to run a killer pace thru the streets of Chicago. However, my all time (annual) favorite race is the Fort4Fitness Half in Ft Wayne, IN. I grew up near Ft Wayne, my family still lives there and we make it a family affair each year. Mom pushes Michael in the jogger and walks with my niece in the 4 mile, Aby and my brother-in-law run the 4 mile, and my sister and I run the half marathon. The fact that we all participate in some way makes this my favorite by far.
  5. Your favorite running shoe?    My favorite running shoe is the Saucony Guide, by default b/c its the only shoe that fits my foot. Sauc Guide 5a
  6. Do you have a favorite trail to run?   Currently, my favorite trail is Schubert Woods & “The Shoot” in Park Forest, IL. Its close to my house but I feel like I’ve gone somewhere special when I hit that trail.
  7. Do you have any advice to give to a new runner or someone that would like to start running?   My advice  – LACE UP…..GET YOUR BUM OUT THE DOOR….. Have the courage to make it happen for you! You will only do it if you really want it, so don’t talk about it, don’t ask anyone’s permission, just put your shoes on and run.
  8. What runner do you admire?   The runner I admire is Aby, my 10 year old daughter. She has been asking to run since she was 4 years old. I kept saying “no”. I didn’t want her to do it just because I did. I didn’t want her to get tired, hurt or burnt out. I didn’t think she was ready to run a “K5” before she could say it properly as the rest of us know it: 5K! Thankfully, life intervened about the point in time at which I didn’t think I could hold her off any longer. I was fortunate enough to conceive Mr. Michael and the pregnancy/birth/recovery allowed me to hold her off running until she turned 8. I let her start run/walking with me at age 8, at age 9 she started racing some local 5Ks with a bit of success in her age group, at age 10 as a 5th grader she started running Cross Country & Track. This track season has been rough on her. She is a young 5th grader, constantly racing in the 8th grade races. She gets beat, she gets last, she keeps trying and getting faster (7:07 mile so far!). This is really what it’s all about, knowing you may never be the best, knowing somebody will always be faster, hoping that at least one person is slower and staying in the game for love of the run. She loves to run so she keeps on running and improving. Can’t wait to see how she progresses in the years to come. She inspires me to be better each and every day.
  9. Chicago White Sox’s or Cub’s?   BOTH!  I’m from Indiana so do not have a “home” team. I’m also admittedly not a “ball sport” person. The ball sports don’t interested me at all. However, I’m an athlete and I know how much each person puts into their sport and their game. Years ago, Hubby said to me during a Super Bowl game, “You root for whoever have the ball, don’t you?” Yep, I want everyone to have success at that which they have put in so much work and passion. This is why running is such a great sport, there are lots of winners and each person can win their own game by pushing their own personal limits.
  10. Won a million dollars in the lottery, what would you do?    If I won the lotto, I would make sure that Peotone had a first class athletic complex & track. They are still running on a gravel track due to lack of funds and lack of taxpayer support in the district.  😦
  11. Dream vacation location?  I’ve always wanted to go to Rio de Janeiro. Tropical jungles, expansive beaches, The Carnival, crazy Voodoo stories/practices and they “stole” the 2016 Olympics from Chicago so they must be “the bomb”, right?. Sign me up for a trip in August 2016, please.

This is quite possibly more than any of you wanted to know about me but there it is in black & white.  And if you haven’t stopped into Running For Kicks lately, go back and check them out.  They rock and they actually care about you.  Mel, even sent me a note asking how my injury was doing.  How many running store owners do you know who would do that?  Thanks, Mel for always being concerned about me and  Aby, how we feel and the way we run! 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

No Honey Buckets in the Midwest…….

Due to the weekend chaos, I decided to try to get a 10 miler in last night instead of this morning.  This wasn’t exactly ideal since by Friday night, I’m usually very tired and just want to chill but I wanted to get it out of the way since the entire week has been less than ideal.  The Wednesday 10 miler turned into a 4, then I have an indoor 5K race on Sunday, and 13.1 Miami Beach next weekend.  Plus I needed to break in those fluorescent pink Saucony Guide’s! 

The weather was good at 28 degrees and there was no snow or wind when I began.  However, that quickly changed.  I parked at Ridgeland, ran east to Matteson and back for my first 4 miles.  It’s very scenic in the first mile east of Ridgeland with a large pond on both sides of the trail.  Very tranquil.

Then I picked up Kate for another 6 miles and by that time it was getting fun.  The snow had started and the wind was ridiculous coming out of the west blowing the snow right into my eyes.  Plus the wind was at the point where I.COULD.HARDLY.STAND.UP.  But, of course, Kate was up for some miles. 

We started off running into the wind to get that out of the way and that first 3 out were tough!  It was hard to talk and we were slightly over a 9 minute mile, which felt like we were moving in slow motion!  Once we hit the turnaround though we were flying until I realized I need a bathroom STAT!  That slowed us considerably while we hunted for one and I had to just totally stop a few times to “refocus”.  Sorry Kate!

This whole process really had me thinking about running in the midwest in the winter.  Personally, as a Midwesterner, almost everything seems better on the west coast.  Port-O-Pots included.  And what was on my mind during last night’s run?  Well, Port-O-Pots cuz I had to “go”.  Several west coast run-bloggers have mentioned their beloved Honey Bucket’s many times over the last several years.  Doesn’t that sound pleasant?

As a winter runner in the midwest, you will find that all of those readily available bathrooms, port-o-pots and water sources that you hit during the spring/summer/fall have all been locked up, or taken away, during the winter.  Well, that doesn’t mean that you still don’t need those resources but alas they are unavailable.  Kate and I were on a quest to find one yesterday when “the urge” hit me late in our run.  So nice to be out running with a friend and have such an issue fun.  Embarrassing but since she will not only be a Ragnar Relay partner but also a Chicago Marathon training partner, I guess she would have eventually realized that I have some “issues”.  Still not ideal though on my part.  😦  And note to self:  Cheese & Crackers pre-run is NOT a good snack.

Of course, all the nice, indoor facilities were locked.  The port-o-pots at the parks had been removed.  And one lonely Waste Management potty was left at Ridgeland Avenue.  Thank goodness for whoever pays for that one to stay and be maintained.  Not only was it open and available but it was also stocked with the necessities. 

And the best part, although those 50-60 mph winds tried their darndest to tip this potty while I was inside, in the pitch black darkness, I got lucky and made it out unscathed.  Some days are definitely better than others!

Anyone want to make a list of port-o-pots that are still available in the winter?  I may need to readjust my running routes to include these places.  So tell us if you know of any potties that are out along Old Plank Trail!

Happy Running,                                                                                                         Amanda – TooTallFritz

Saucony Guide – 4 vs 5 – 8mm Drop

After running a full cycle in the “new” Saucony Guide 5‘s with the 8 mm heel to toe drop, I feel like I can give an accurate and honest review of the changes of this shoe.  First off, the new Guide’s LOOK really cool, although this is the last thing we are supposed to consider when buying a shoe, let’s be honest, it kinda matters.

I have been running in Saucony exclusively other than short 5K type races since 2006/2007.  Due to my size and forefoot strike, I have to change out my shoes approximately every 300 miles or 3 months.  I really like to get 3 months out of a pair of shoes if possible but that is usually pushing past the 300 mile mark.  So let it suffice to say that I am familiar with the Saucony line, particularly the Ride (Pre-Michael) and the Guide (Post-Michael – Don’t ask how my foot changed so much from having a baby but that’s not the only thing that changed so C’est la vie).

The Guide 5 is by far the most attractive pair of Saucony’s I have ever owned.  It’s actually nice to be sporting a pair of “cool” shoes for once.  🙂  This new version with the 8 mm heel to toe drop is also 1.5 oz lighter.  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but it is a noticeable difference.  I notice it when they are on my feet and I had both pair in my hands last night and the Guide 5s were considerably lighter than the 4s.

The Guide 5s also fit like a glove.  It was love at first fit for me when I slipped these on my feet.  They are soft, much softer than the previous versions and they feel more airy like the Nike’s that I just love.  Great fit in the store, great fit on the run!

Although I was initially impressed with all the new changes, these shoes broke down quickly.  And I mean very quickly.  I ran the bottom off these shoes by the time I broke 200 miles and that’s just not cool.  I ordered a new pair from Running For Kicks once I hit 220 miles because my body was telling me it was time to switch them out; however, since the shoe has won so many awards and has a massive ad campaign in progress, it seems the shoe’s popularity has soared!  Therefore, I had to wait 3 weeks for these shoes to come off the backorder and be delivered to the store.  In the interim, I panicked ordered a limited edition of the Guide 5 from another source but have yet to receive those either.  However, here is a peek at these beauty’s which I will be sporting with my girls at 13.1 Miami Beach!  We decided to coordinate with pink & black and these babies will look pretty cool with our color scheme. 

So just this week my ankle, feet and hips started aching backordered Guide 5’s arrived at Running For Kicks.  I immediately picked them up and got to hit the trail with them last night.  I certainly didn’t go far as I have some nagging aches that I need to kick in the ass evict before the Miami race; however, I was able to catch up with my F’N Runners for a bit.  Good looking group showed up in the rain, if I do say so myself!    From Left Back:  Susan, Cathie, Wayne (newbie!!), Dawn, Kathy, & April.  Left Bottom:  Nicole C, Jeni – Sparkalish Roar, Meg & Nicole W (April’s Daughter!).  Not pictured:  MagMileRunner, Diane & myself.

I ran 4 miles with this crew before bowing out to go home to Amstel Light Motrin & the last remaining sample of the Arctic Ease wrap.  Although the Arctic Ease is not as cold as ice, it is certainly more convenient than icing when you have a toddler don’t have time to sit down.  They are temporary though, I had a larger covering that I had purchased at the Chicago Marathon expo and when I went to pull it out, it was moldy.  This has happened with other wraps I have had too.  They don’t last real long but are certainly handy. 

As I was self medicating making dinner, I started to think about the difference between the Guide 4’s and 5’s, knowing darn well that the fact that I ran too long in the current pair of Guide 5’s was the reason for my new aches/pains.  This prompted me to dig out my old shoes which I have been using to commute back and forth to work.  Since the Plantar Fasciitis issue, I haven’t worn a real pair of non-running shoes for quite some time, so I live in my Saucony’s.    The Guide 5’s are on the left, the Guide 4’s on the right.  You can see the wear is so much worse on the 5’s with 285 miles verses the 4’s with 330 miles.

Forefoot of the Guide 5’s:

Forefoot of Guide 4’s: 

In my opinion, it is conclusive that the Guide 4 wore much better than the Guide 5.  That being said, I still think the Guide 5 is a better shoe in all aspects but I find it unfortunate that I will be getting even less wear out of the new version that I did previously.  Is it worth it, probably yes but still not good for my bank account. 

Do you buy the same shoe each time and know exactly how the updates affect your body? Any shoe you can tell us about that specifically made noticable changes to the good or bad?

Happy Running,                                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz


Positive Changes…..

Change is good, especially when done with good intentions.  There has been much debate amongst my friends at the Frankfort Running Club regarding a name change.  Some wanted a more exciting name that would separate them from the crowd, others wanted something a little more family friendly traditional.  I feel as if the “officers” have made a good compromise in arriving at their final decision.  Please meet the FNRC……from left:  Kathy H., Susan D., Brian P., Diane F., Maggie W., Suzanne K., Brian F, Jeni H., & Jessica.

This group will now be known as the Frankfort -New Lenox- Running Club.   So for those of you who wanted a hard core more exciting name, you can still say that you are going to meet the F’N Running Club.  This will allow you to still have fun and give the “officers” freedom to promote the group in the Frankfort & New Lenox areas thru the Park Districts and other family friendly organizations.  Good compromise?    What do you think?  And thanks to all of YOU who have been coming out to join the fun and help this group grow to the point where they felt the need to be more inclusive and welcoming to others!  Way to make it happen!

So the inaugural run of the FNRC brought out an awesome group for a  cold, dark Wednesday night!  I was very pleased.  There were nine people available for the photo, then myself, and two more who showed up (12 total) in time to sprint off into the darkness.  Thank you to for lighting our way in the dark!  Many of us have them now with more people ordering them today so we illuminate the path like a train really light up the darkness.  Hope we didn’t scare anyone! 

We have been merging with an area Team in Training group for many of our runs as of late because THE MORE THE MERRIER!  That is really what I love most about this group.  They are friendly, nice people, easy to converse with and have a great attitude about running and life.  The paces and distances last night varied greatly as some people are trying to rebound from injuries.  The group ran anywhere from 2 to 6 miles as a whole and there were a few of us who added in some extra miles before hand to make it an 8 mile day.  Not bad for a Wednesday.  So proud of everyone for coming out in the cold. 

And it was F’N COLD!  It was 33 with a breeze when I started my run about 4:35pm and 29 when I finished at 6:15.  I literally had to hug a tree to stay steady enough for a photo….the shivers were taking over!

I only ran a little before everyone came and didn’t stop for many photos because you have already seen a billion photos from this trail it was dark.  I did grab one photo of the Christmas lights. 

It was a beautiful, crisp clear night.  Ms. TooTall wasn’t exactly dressed as planned but I improvised with my RunLove Compression Socks from to cover up the extra skin.  They currently have two pair (aqua and purple) of compression socks on the  SkirtSwaggle page for $19.20!  Great deal, along with many other products that are marked way down for the Active Swaggle deal, plus they are offering free shipping with the PROMO Code:  SKIRTSCHWAG …. Not sure how long they will last so if you want some, buy soon.

“Run”way Fashion:  RunLove Compression Socks, Athleta Headwinds Jacket (wind /rain/snow DOES NOT get thru….select sizes on sale now for $49.99), the Saucony Guide 5’s with the 8 mm drop.

I had heard lots of positive things about the RunLove compression socks, specifically them being a great product for the price.    I have a pair of the CEP compression calf sleeves and consider those to be awesome so thought it would be a big step down to move to these but I really liked them.  They are normally $32 each, which is still a great deal but the Swaggle deal is awesome at the $19.20.  I wore these socks all day at work, then ran in them, then home to the kids for dinner, laundry, etc.  I had them on for about 16 hours and didn’t even notice them.  They didn’t move, just continued to hug my calf muscles and make them feel warm and cozy.  A very light pressure, no pinching, no discomfort.  LOVE!

I also have been wearing the new Saucony Guide 5’s with the 8 mm drop.  Lots of hoopla about this shoe.  I normally wear the Saucony Guide as I need a light stability shoe due to a very high arch and overpronating.  My heel is very narrow, like possibly a AAA?  I don’t have many options that lock my foot in place without heel slippage.  As a result, I have been wearing Saucony for many years now so was NOT excited about a big change.  Then the huge ad campaign for the 8 mm drop just made me more nervous.  I am NOT a barefoot runner and I NEVER want to be one, so going closer to barefoot scares the shit out of me.  However, I must say it has been a pleasant surprise.  The shoe is noticeably lighter, the official weight difference is 1.5 ounces, which should seem like nothing but it’s noticeable.  In order to break these in a bit before just hitting the trail, I have been wearing them at night, around the house, after wearing normal trainers all day.  I could tell a difference immediately on the weight and added forefoot cushioning once I changed into these shoes.  Most of the weight came out of the back-end, around the heel and since I am a forefoot runner I don’t need/want a heavy heel cup.  This works well for me.  So thumbs on the 8 mm drop. 

8.14 miles in 1:19.   A few stops to pick up/drop off additional runners, wait at turnaround points, etc. but overall, kept moving.  

Happy Running,                                                                                                                  Amanda – TooTallFritz

Breaking the Rules….or So I Thought

I have a few unwritten rules that I use for running and specifically racing.  As I get older more mature, my body is less forgiving of the required daily demands; therefore, rest days are a welcome relief must.  My biggest, unwritten rule is that I don’t run the day before race day.  Or at least, I haven’t EVER planned to run pre-race day until today.  You might ask what prompted me to consider breaking tradition?

It was Mel D. from Running for Kicks in Palos.             

Although there are a couple local running stores, I only use two.  Running for Kicks in Palos or if I’m heading to Indiana, Fleet Feet Schererville.  The majority of time I go to Running for Kicks for the same reason as 95% of their other customs……..Mel, Gail and a whole crew of RUNNERS who are waiting to help you and make your next run better than the last.  You walk into the store and I promise, it’s a family affair.   I can say this because I rarely go unless I am dragging 3/4 of my little family, which includes a little shit man who is trying to climb the walls.  The Running For Kicks staff never bats an eye regardless of how they really feel his antics.

Today Running for Kicks partnered with Saucony to host a trail run where you could try out the new Saucony trail shoes and then for 1 hour after the run, you could    1) win one of three pair of Saucony Trail  Shoes being raffled off and   2) get a 20% discount on any Saucony shoes/merchandise.  This is huge for me because I run in Saucony exclusively, except for 5K racing, and each pair of my shoes start at $100.  So by attending this event, I would have automatically been guaranteed a $20 shoe savings…..which for my cheap ass me was reason enough to secure a sitter, and “break the rules”. 

This fun run and shoes savings never happened for me today because my little man got the flu last night and we all know what that does to the house and the family.   For most of us, running is a hobby and that means it will always take a backseat to the family.  There was no way I was going to leave him with somebody else while he was sick regardless of my own plans/desires.  He seems fine now so back to running talk with lots of laundry, carpet shampooing, and bed changing  fun in between.

Did you attend the Running For Kicks/Saucony Trail Run?  Did you win the FREE shoes?  Have you ever participated in a similar event?  If you attended, or were lucky enough to win the shoes, let me know!  I’ll see you at the next event or maybe 13.1 Valpo if I’m not puking tomorrow. 

Update:  Gail R. let me steal a few of her photos!!  Here are the three winners, Joe W., Kelly W.  and George B.  congrats to all three of you!

Happy Running!                                                                                                                     Amanda – TooTallFritz

Lakefront Run _Chicago

It was rainy earlier today but Mother Nature knew you needed some photos and that my cheap ass I didn’t want to ruin my new phone in the rain so she was kind to me!  As with all lunchtime runs, I got ready in our ladies washroom.  Apparently I need a blogger-bathroom-photos 101 course cuz these photos were horrible the best I could get.

I hit the street for a dash to the lakefront path. On days like this I actually don’t HATE enjoy working downtown and being able to run at lunch when I can’t pry Mr. Michael off of me just can’t get it done at home.  The chore of getting to/from the lakefront is probably harder than the actual running.  I spend a good deal of time weaving around the uncool non-runners pedestrians, waiting at traffic lights and then finally I hit the lakefront at Monroe Harbor after crossing Lake Shore Drive (LSD).   The first glimpse of the lake and the sun attempting to peak out is refreshing.

I frequently head South toward McCormick Place because:  1)  It’s a less traveled route, most runners and tourists head North toward Navy Pier, Oak Street Beach, North Beach, etc.;   2)  The path is slightly off the water so if the weather is less than ideal, there is a bit of a shield between runner, water & elements;  3)  McCormick Place has a bathroom right off the path; and,  4)  Portions of the trail have a soft shoulder for my plantar fasciitis the injury prone .

As I hit the Museum Campus, still in Monroe Harbor territory, I noticed two “ship wrecked” vessels.  Remember last week when I planned to run the lakefront but ran Yankee Woods in the ‘burbs instead?   Well, it was because portions of the lakefront path were closed due to 25+ foot waves.   About a month ago when we had waves “almost” that high nobody was smart enough realized they should stay away from the water and several runners/bikers got swept into the lake.  This time officials closed the path  to protect the stupid people and apparently it was a good move…..these sail boats were destroyed by the waves.

Moving on into the tunnel under the drive to Museum Campus.

Coming out of tunnel….STUNNING view!

This is about a mile from McCormick, if I run to McCormick it’s a 6 mile trip, if I want 8, I go a little further.  I took a lot of photos in the beginning and then put the phone away to make up some time.  The last photo stop was actually on the return and I had to stop, climb up off the path and onto the lawn at the Shedd Aquarium to grab a crystal clear pic of the Chicago Skyline.  Now that’s priceless!

8.01 miles – 1:14:19 –  several street crossings to/from lake front, lots of photo stops and even stopped to take a photo of a group of tourists on their camera so everyone could get into the shot.  GREAT day to get out and run!

“Run”way Fashion:   Athleta Accelerate Tee (select sizes on a killer sale now!), Athleta Quick Step Capri, Feetures No Show Tab socks, Saucony Guide 5 shoes

Cheers,                                                                                                                        Amanda – TooTallFritz

KT Tape FAIL….Plantar Fasciitis – Part I

I assume those of you who will be reading this VERY FIRST post on my NEW blog, will be friends and family.  So you already know that I have been dealing with Plantar Fasciitis all summer and it sucks hurts badly and I am very frustrated.  I have been going to a foot surgeon since beginning of September who did a series of wrapping/taping sessions on my feet to determine if orthotics would help my situation.  The padding makes it feel like I’m literally walking on clouds and makes the pain dissipate immediately…..but I can’t shower while I am wearing the padding unless I bag my feet. 

After weeks of taping and my being happy with the results both in life and in running, he decided to cast me for orthotics. 

And now I am waiting for the lab to construct the orthotics….super special ones that are a hybrid for both running and real life.  “Normal” orthotics apparently aren’t good enough since I’m in the advanced stage where my feet throb with pain even while I am sitting.  Please don’t touch my heels and I definitely don’t want to walk or run on them!

After casting for the orthotics, I was once again getting thru with the taping/padding but alas that fell off last Thursday.  I was being cheap trying to make it thru without going back for another office visit copay to have the doc reapply the tape/pads so I opted to try the KT Tape.  They have a special taping method for Plantar Fasciitis and step by step instructions on how the stupid normal person can do it themselves.  No problem!  I mean, it stayed on for Kerri Walsh thru the rigorous sand volleyball tournaments at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, so I thought I could get one run in without a problem. 

My tape job didn’t look quite as intricate or professional as that of Ms. Walsh’s….I mean, I don’t have a trainer, just Aby and I working as a team.  We followed the directions and it was “sticking” and I left for a run. 

However, it didn’t stick for long!  I was happy to be  heading out the door for a run. 

Then things quickly went down hill.  The tape felt okay and I had minimal support but the “stick” didn’t last long.  I stopped to restick it right before mile 1, then by mile 1.2, I stopped and pulled it off all together (Sorry, I didn’t have the camera for a photo of the wilted mass of green KT tape flopping around my ankle).  I ended up pulling my shoe off to get rid of the tape and cutting my run short, knowing things would only get worse in the pain department after that. 

4.05 miles – 37:08 – Never stopped my watch but had 2 stops for KT tape malfunction, one turn around, and one leap into the ditch stop for a car that wanted to hit me.  Fun times running in the country!

Plantar Fasciitis defined  HERE & Plantar Fasciitis Prevention Tips HERE.

Most importantly, my outfit – “Run”way Fashion: Ultra Swift Skirt, Athleta Accelerate Tank, Feetures Light No Show Socks w/ Tabs (pink!), Saucony Guide 5 shoes.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to post below or message me at

Cheers and Happy, PAIN-FREE running to all of you!                                                       Amanda – “Too Tall Fritz”