Dress For Success….. Or For Fun?

My thought processes about running have changed over the last couple years.  While I am still “serious” about my running, I don’t mind having a little fun with the process and wearing a crazy funky outfit or costume.  I have found that a fun outfit not only makes me run faster happy but it also makes other people smile.  So bring on those sparkle skirts!  Team Sparkle has one of my favorite accessories.  At $25 with free shipping, I can dress up almost any outfit for any occasion. 

QuadCities_2012 girls

I’ve also come to realize that the more friends I peer pressure encourage to dress up, the more jaw dropping the reaction of other runners fun I have at the race.

 Hilton Crew_pre-race   Nicole-Me- Green Men_Maggie_Kelly

chicago marathon_2011

Recently, I’ve even branched out to add funky socks.   Every holiday, Target has festive socks for $5.  That’s where I normally go for the socks to complete my outfit.

RFK Winnings            

This week things got really crazy when I decide to run in a tutu for the Monster Dash.  Come on, all the cool kids are doing it, right?  Maybe not, but I am, and so are 16 of my closest friends.  🙂  So we recently had a Tutu Making Party to create these fabulous tutus.  Ordering the tulle and elastic by bulk, we managed to keep the cost to $5.  Wow, that’s a cheap costume and we certainly won’t talk about what a HUGE PITA it was to cut all that tulle from its 100 yard rolls.

Now, the tutu making process was SUPER easy.  I followed the very scientific approach previously used by Kelly to make these babies:Venus 2012_Lauren Erin Kelly MacKenna Me 

Tutu Making:

  • Elastic – Fit it around your waist, stitch or double knot ends together
  • Tulle – Two 25 yard rolls needed for 1 tutu
  • Cut in strips of desired length
  • Tie tulle around elastic using double knots
  • For ease of assembly, put the elastic band around a chair
  • So easy that anyone a child could handle the task!

tutu_aby

Tutu__on chair

tutu_nicki aby me 

This was easy & super fun!  Trust me.  If we can knock these things out while drinking corona having fun, you can do it too.  Try it and then send me photos!  Look for 17 black & white tutus on the Monster Dash Chicago course!

If you would like a more “technical” outfit, try RunningSkirts.com or SkirtSports for amazing skirts that are cute and work well for running long or short distances.

Have you tried dressing up for a race?

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Like a Ton of Bricks…..

Yesterday was a great day for running in the CHI with temps in the low 50s around lunchtime.  I wanted to head out to see if I could get a few photos of the flowers and trees which are starting to bloom.  This is an exciting time for me, possibly because I am a springtime baby, I definitely love this time of year the most!

My first stop was at Millennium Park because Hubby called my cell as I was passing by.

Soon the fountains will be turned on and you won’t be able to pass this area without hearing the squeals of laughing children playing in the water, awaiting the spitting fountain of water out of the “faces” and then the waterfall from the top of these towers.  It’s a lot of fun for young and old alike and always makes me smile when the fountains are on and alive with activity.There are always various pieces of abstract art displayed in the park.  The art pieces change periodically and add a different flavor to the environment with each new exhibit. 

Once I hit the lakefront, I ran south toward McCormick.  It’s less crowded that way, has more foliage, has a little gravel path at the side for softer surface running and also passes all the museums. 

Monroe Harbor:

Path beside Burnham Harbor:

This last photo is pretty much where the fun ended.  I turned around shortly after this because I didn’t want to run too far.  My legs are still a bit tight and fatigued from the Shamrock Shuffle so I have been trying to get in a few miles this week but not get crazy yet.  When I made the flip, I was back in this same area, running on the left side of this photo, in the crushed limestone area (off of the black top) and I tripped.  I was looking at the ground like always so was definitely focused on the task at hand.  No iPod.  No distraction.  No excuse.  I stubbed my toe on “something” and went down like a ton of bricks.   Since I was in mid stride and was running a decent pace, I was immediately airborne.  There was no catching myself, I was going down.  I put my hands out, one of which was carrying my phone, realized I was traveling to fast for this to turn into anything but a face plant so opted for a tumble roll to save face….as if that were even possible at this point.  The good news, I rolled, got up, brushed off and was unharmed other than a few grass stains on my hands and Aby’s new Fort2Base half zip which I had stolen plus a few clover leaves stuck in the case of my phone, which I did not drop.

Of course, I immediately wondered what made me trip but by the time I brushed off, removed the impacted dirt and clover leaves from my phone took off the grass stained half zip and tied it around my waist, there were people coming down the path.  At this point, I opted to just RUN so that I possibly didn’t have to talk to them about WHY I fell.  Who knows but when Ms. TooTall goes down, there aren’t any ballerina type graceful moves, its full force LIKE A TON OF BRICKS.  Thank goodness for the tumble roll.  Thank goodness I ran south instead of north so I wasn’t swimming in Lake Michigan instead of brushing off a few dirt and grass stained spots!  Thank goodness I wasn’t in a group run where I would have most likely taken out Aurelia and Susan too!  

I would also like to add that through all of these acrobatics, the damn PunkeeLove Headband did NOT move!  No joke.  I knew they were awesome and have been wearing the ones that I bought at the expo on every run but this really made me a believer.  There is your next giveaway:  PunkeeLove Headbands!  The package is in the mail, I’ll post it as soon as it arrives.  Stay tuned because you NEED a few of these headbands!  Here is a pic of my green one below.  I also have a double strand red/gold one which I wore yesterday.  I was told the double strand bands should be up on the website this week.

I also squeezed in a quick swim last night which was much less dramatic.  I just tried to focus on getting my rhythm back and using the full length of my arms to not “short” my stroke (thanks, Jackie!!).  My main swim goal for the year is bilateral breathing but I did not work on that yesterday, just focused on my stroke.  I swam 40 laps which is 1000 yards or 0.567 miles.  I normally swim 80 laps but swimming is like everything else and I need to get acclimated and build my endurance.  It will take a couple of weeks and I should be back to 80 laps per swim.  The 40 laps took me approximately 23 minutes.   The 80 should be right around 45 minutes once I’m reacclimated. 

If you want real details on swimming and proper technique, go over and check out Kelly the Culinarian’s post on her first swim lesson.  My approach to swimming is a lot like Dori from Finding Nemo:  Just Keep Swimming.

“Run & TRI”way fashion for the day:  Fort2Base half zip; Athleta Relay Capri (best capri’s EVER!), PunkeeLove Headband, SkirtSports.com  TRI Tank, Speedo Vanquisher goggles (from SwimOutlet.com), Swim Cap – Freebie from USAT.  I actually never buy swim caps because I get a free one in every race so I just keep them and use those in the pool.  I don’t have a brand preference, just use the freebies.

What did you do yesterday?  Any trouble staying on your feet lately?  Do you fall down gracefully or like a ton of bricks like me?

Happy Running & TRIing!                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz