Beautiful Day in Chicago!

This week has been a bit of a scramble but I did manage a swim on Monday (70 laps = 1750 yards = .99 miles = 40:04 minutes) when Aby’s track meet was canceled due to rain.  Yesterday I squeezed in a lunchtime shake out run.  My legs were still heavy from Sunday’s race so I needed something slow and relaxed.  When I run at lunch, I always hit Chicago’s lakefront and it was a perfect day yesterday for lollygagging and photo taking!  I ran out on the lakefront, then came back thru Grant Park to get a view of the fountain!

Sears Tower:

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Entrance tunnel (under Lake Shore Drive) to Grant Park by Museum Campus:

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Shedd Aquarium:

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Chicago Skyline looking North toward Navy Pier:

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Grant Park:

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Buckingham Fountain:

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All in all, I ran 4.5 miles at a very leisurely pace.   The City is so alive, there are lots of people milling around doing the tourist thing and I love seeing them and seeing the sights myself in the brightness of spring.  It’s the days that I can get out and run at lunch that really help me appreciate the beauty of Chicago.

People frequently ask what I do when I get back to work and am hot & sweaty.  I wash up in the bathroom!  If I actually go to the gym, to run on the treadmill, I can shower there.  However, I normally run outside so I just wash up and use the Yes to Cucumber Wipes.  Then I tell people to stay away from me.  🙂

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Over the next 3 weeks, I will be focusing on increasing my run miles.  A couple days a week I will be running more than once (2x and eventually 3x per day).  My first multi run day will be this Saturday with a hilly 13 miler in the morning and a 5K Fun Run in the afternoon.  I will continue to build the bike miles.  I will also be focusing on getting out as much as possible on mid-day lunch runs to acclimate to the heat pre-Ragnar.  The heat is the one thing we can not control and we will be running all hours of the day & night, particularly since there are only 6 of us running the 200 miles.  Stay tuned for lots of fun training in the weeks ahead!  Oh, and send me a truck load of ice for ice baths, okay?

What is your next goal and/or focus?  Everyone needs a goal, please share yours with us in the event that something YOU are doing might inspire and/or intrigue someone else!

Happy Running **  Amanda – TooTallFritz ** **

Just Felt Like Walking…..

I went out at lunchtime today to grab some miles.  I didn’t necessarily feel like running as my legs were still heavy from yesterday’s 5K……gasp…Yes, I said heavy from a 5K.  MY theory is that if it didn’t hurt, you probably should have run faster so I try to put my all into every effort regardless of the race distance.  However, that snowy ground cover was calling my name since the temps were broaching the mid 40s and I knew it would soon melt away.  So I overdressed and got my ass out the door. 

I had momentarily forgotten it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day until I hit the road and noticed all the extra people/kids on the streets.  It was such a perfect winter day in that the snow was visible but the temps were unseasonably warm.  The 44 degree temps felt like 54 to me and I was WAY overdressed and heated up quickly.  I know this will sound weird but I don’t really sweat but today was a different ball game since I overdressed, I was soaked in no time.

In the fall I was able to grab an awesome pic on the lake front path with which I fell in love.  My plan was to go back to the same area in each season and try to do the same photo so that I can frame them all individually but in a collage setting on my wall.  It didn’t work out exactly as I had hoped because my photos are similar but not the same, which shouldn’t surprise me but was still a slight disappointment.  I mean grabbing the photo was number one reason I got up and out today.  

I was also able to grab some other pics of the Lake Front Path in a snowy state.  It was fun and since my legs felt like lead anyhow there was no pressure as far as trying to keep a certain pace not that I really ever feel that pressure

Shedd Aquarium:Planetarium: 

A very deserted Burnham Harbor:

Lake Front Sledding Hill: 

As always, once I haul myself out the door, I really enjoy being out there.  Today was no different and knowing this could be the last day for a while with real snow on the ground made it even better.  Now the heavy, heavy, heavy legs didn’t feel great but I stopped for a gazillion lot of pics, walked on an off a few times, plus had the added stops of getting too and from the path, which is always slow going with traffic lights and pedestrians.

I was totally in a “just felt like walking” mood today.  It happens to me a lot.  I want to be out there but my body just isn’t fresh enough to keep moving very fast.  I won’t can’t even tell you how often, I just stop and walk.  It may or may not be for long, sometimes I just take Lisa E’s 6 Step Rule (you can stop and walk but after 6 steps you must resume running or do something that resembles running) sometimes I don’t give a shit care and walk for as long as I like.  Running, or walking, or just getting out there is for me and nobody else.  So if I want to walk, I walk.  Since there are so many newbie runners around as of late, I thought it was important to point that out.  It’s okay to walk……just keep moving forward and keep GETTING OUT THE DOOR.

Happy Running,                                                                                                      Amanda – TooTallFritz


Chicago’s Perfect 10 (2011) – GUEST Race Review

There’s a new race in town and since I don’t have a money tree in my back yard time to run them all, I was thankful that I had an “eye” at the race in a runner named Diane F. (& Company) from the Frankfort Running Club.   This was an inaugural race so there wasn’t much press on it, in fact, I haven’t even heard much about it in the days post-race.  The Perfect 10 did start and finish at one of Chicago’s most family friendly attractions, Navy Pier, so I’m very interested to see how it went just in case I can suck my family into attending one race next year.  Thanks to Diane F. for taking the time to compile this report and send some photos cuz the visual is almost more important than the words.

Race Review by Diane F. – Frankfort Running Club

The Good:      

  • Weather was AWESOME!
  • Start was fast!  I couldn’t even tell you where the start was as we had JUST enough time to get to Navy Pier, potty, and get to the start line (and take a pre-race photo).
  • Ran along Navy Pier (gorgeous) and lakefront (past Grant Park, behind Shedd Aquarium, past Soldier Field and down to about 31st St.)
  • Miles were CLEARLY marked and each mile marker ALSO had a clock!
  • LOTS of water stations (I think there were 4)
  • Music at, I think, 2 water stations
  • Packet pick up was easy
  •  Shirts are cool
  • Medals are AWESOME!
  • Results were posted to the website quickly.
     The Bad: 
  • Not enough post race food!  (only water and banana)
  • Not enough camera people!  (only 2 and they were about 10 ft from each other)
  • 10K and 10 milers started at the same time (though they were supposed to start 10K after 10M, but I think because of the time change they had to do all together) So it made for a kinda cramped area along the path (though it was short-lived) 

 It was a PERFECT day and race.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would definitely do it again and recommend it to anyone else. 


Awesome job, Diane F.!  Thanks for taking the time to articulate your thoughts on the very first Chicago Perfect 10!  If I may be presumptuous read between the lines, it sounds like you had a great race, had fun with your friends, Perfect 10 had a good start and did lots of things right but possibly has a small post-race food budget few kinks to work out for next year. I advise ALL race directors to bring on the food or go to Indiana to see how races feed people post-race.  Runners like to eat, in fact you can ask my hubby most run to eat.

Anyone else run the Perfect 10 this weekend?  Share your thoughts with us in the comments section! 

Happy Running & EATING!                                                                                                      Amanda – TooTallFritz