Shamrock, ShamROCK, SHAMROCK Shuffle Time!!!

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The time has finally arrived and even though its April and we should be looking for spring flowers, we are instead still hung up on Saint Patrick’s Day as we await the annual Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago.  Thanks, Bank of America for trying to get us a day with great weather even if we are already looking forward to Cinco de Mayo!

If you haven’t ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8K, your missing out.  Everyone says so.  Just ask Kelly at Running Kellometers!  The Shamrock Shuffle is “officially” THE.BEST.RACE.EVER at least in our opinion!  Even the chick on the promo page thinks so, look how happy she is to be wearing green and ShamROCKing Chicago!    

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And if you know the chick above, I’d LOVE to meet her.  In fact, Kelly would too cuz we know a Shamrock lover when we see one!  Tell her to look for the green sparkle skirts, the ones chasing down the green men for another photo.  The photo below, maybe just be the best photo that I’ve ever gotten at a race and I didn’t even “get” it.  This was courtesy of Nicole F, first from left.  Ms. Fastie can run AND carry her camera simultaneously!  Win!!  So myself, Maggie & Kelly were able to score big on her talent!  No fear, I’ll have my FlipBelt this year so I WILL have a camera on me at all time.  Watch out!

Nicole-Me- Green Men_Maggie_Kelly

If the amazing chick from the Shamrock Shuffle promo still can’t pick us out of the crowd since there will be so many fab women in green Team Sparkle skirts, then she should come to the beer tent after party and look for the crazy lady holding the green dye.  I mean really, what kind of St Patrick’s Day party can we have without green beer?

Green Corona

And yes, Brian J, I did steal your photo of this green beer.  Don’t sue me, okay?  I did put the die in that beer for you so it makes it half mine, right?  If not, I’ve already been punished enough by having to steal it from your mobile uploads.  Dude, you have some scary shit in that folder!

Yes, I’m looking forward to the Shamrock.  This will be the first of a billion posts about it.  The best part of the event, besides the fact that it’s the BEST.RACE.EVER., is that the whole weekend is about my run friends/family, even the Emendorfer’s come to town each year to whooooop it up with me!

Emendorfers_Shamrock_09

So look for my green sparkly crew!   We will be here, there and EVERYWHERE!

Hilton Crew_pre-race

** Happy ShamROCKing ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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Jingle Bell 5K Run – Kankakee, IL

There were a lot of reasons that I originally registered for the Jingle Bell Run but this weekend things changed.  As I’ve said before, time changes “almost” everything.

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I was sick at the beginning of the week and by yesterday, Mr. Michael came down with a raging fever while I was out running.  Our fun-filled Christmas themed weekend, the one that I have looked forward to more than any other this entire year, bar the Shamrock Shuffle Weekend, disintegrated before my eyes. 

So yesterday, I came straight home from my run and held Michael pretty much the entire day, while hubby proceeded to come down with the creeping crude as well.  Awesome.  So at 4am this morn, I was laying awake holding my feverish baby seriously considering bagging my first race ever.  I didn’t want to go, everyone was sick.  I felt guilty about leaving but was giving one person a ride to the race and meeting many more on site.  Would it have mattered if I didn’t go?  Not really but I felt a bit of obligation.  I went. We had a large group of FNRC Runners.

JingleBell_2012_group

We picked up the packets flawlessly.  Met the director of the Arthritis Foundation.  Met the Race Director.  Pinned our bibs to our shirts.  Waited around and socialized in the warm gymnasium and then returned to the car to do final preparations.  At this point, it was pouring rain and about 37 degrees.  My guilt was running high from leaving hubby and Michael home sick, Aby was feeling crappy and begging to go home.  Nicki didn’t want to run in the pouring, freezing rain mind returning home.  I literally put my head on my steering wheel trying to figure out the right answer.  Stay?  Go?  Time was ticking and the race was upon us and for whatever reason, I decided to stay and run even though I knew we all wanted to just go back home.

During my moment(s) of indecision, we about missed the start, and were standing in the grass when the gun went off.  Myself, Aby & Nicki are below on our way to the start.  Thanks Kim M. for all the F’N photos in this post.  If not for you, we would only see words on a page.  I appreciate your constant, unwavering support of all of us!  JingleBell_2012_me aby nicki

The gun went off, it took me a second to realize that the race was actually starting and we stepped onto the road to run.  It was then that I realized we were quite a ways from the start line.  Normally the poor positioning wouldn’t be a big deal because most chip timed races also have a timing mat at the start line but this one did not.  So we were on gun time but it wasn’t too big of an issue for us cuz we all felt like crap, were there primarily to be festive and run in our awesome Team Sparkle skirts, and support out friends and the the Arthritis Foundation.  No big deal, but a bit of an error on my part. 

Amazingly enough, the rain pretty much stopped at the beginning of the race and we were able to run without getting too wet.  The roads were wet but not unsafe.  We had to run thru dodge some puddles.  The route was on campus at the Shapiro Development Center so on closed roads that did not have vehicular traffic.  It was well marked, had 2 waters stops and diverse terrain.  We even went off road shortly and ran a non-technical trail thru a wooded area.  Kinda cool.  Definitely different.  I liked it a lot.

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Plus, there were so many F’N Runners & Kankakee River Running Club members running, spectating and helping, that it was nice to see so many friendlies.  I run to run.  I show up on a lot of days knowing that I don’t have much to give but I go (and stayed today) because of all YOU who also got out there to support a good cause and take a small break from “real life”.  I went (and stayed) to support all of you, my amazing running family, in the only way that I could.  I ran.

And when it came time for awards, I was even more F’N proud seeing all my friends collect some bling.   From left:  Kate S (1st in age group), Maggie W (1st in age group), Susan M aka “Julie” (first overall female), Nicole F (2nd in age group), & Me (1st in age group). 

JingleBell_2012_award winners

And yes, we came home with some cool swag too.  A long sleeve cotton tee, a jingle bell, and a few other cool things.

JingleBell_2012_swag

The post race food options were amazing with everything from hot chocolate, cream of chicken rice soup to pizza.  A costume contest was held, a raffle, and they gave awards 3 deep in all the normal age groups.  It was a good turn out with with well over 400 people finishing the race and a great race in general.  If all goes well, I  hope to go back and actually race the Jingle Bell next year.  I love a well run, festive event where I see lots of friends.  Great job, Jingle Bell Run! 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

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

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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!

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Tutu__on chair

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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

I Won & Here’s a Giveaway – Aspaeris Pivot Shorts

Last night I went to the Running For Kicks Shamrock Fun Run in Palos.  I am coming off some higher miles, at least for me, so it probably wasn’t the smartest move but I wanted to go so that I could wear my green Team Sparkle skirt again!   However, knowing that my legs were extra fatigued, I was smart and grabbed my Aspaeris Pivot Shorts (APS). 

These are the only compression shorts I own and I really like them.  They have two layers, which I initially thought would be awkward but they go on easier than most compression wear, plus they stay in place and don’t move even during hard speed workouts on the treadmill.   I really love the way the compression feels on my hips and legs when I run.  Even though my legs were very fatigued last night, the compression adds just enough pressure to keep the blood flowing and help ease the soreness.  I actually feel pretty decent today.  Now if the shorts could just push me up those Ishnala hills! 

Here is the official description from Aspaeris:

Aspaeris Pivot Short™

Aspaeris Pivot Shorts™ are actually two pairs of shorts bonded together. The Outer Short is a high performance compression short designed to support your muscles. The Inner Short features our breakthrough, Dual Sensory Compression Bands™.

These cross-knit bands guide your muscles into the proper position, thereby improving your pivot performance, which helps prevent ACL and hip injuries.

The Aspaeris Pivot Short™ is not an ordinary compression short. Athletes who try the APS™ report feeling more confident in their ‘pivot moves’ and almost all feel more in control without being restricted.

 I ordered a pair of the APS at the beginning of the year and liked them so much that when we were gathering sponsors for our Chicago Ragnar Relay Team (You Just Got) Chicked, I contacted them to see if they would be interested in sponsoring our team.  I got lucky and they said yes!  So this added a few more pair of these babies to my collection.  My first purchase was practical and black in color, then I was a bit more adventurous with the sponsorship and added a pair of red and white.    The white worked out well for the Shamrock Fun Run because I won 2nd in the Most Festive Dressed contest!  Yay!  So nice to look good and feel good!  Thanks Aspaeris!

Through the Aspaeris Sponsorship for the Ragnar Relays, I agreed to tell YOU about these shorts and provide my honest opinion regarding my thoughts on the design and performance, which was easy for me because I already owned a pair and knew what I thought” about them.  In return for my sharing this information (and YOU reading it), they agreed to give one follower a free pair of shorts in their preferred size and color.  So if you would like a chance to win a free pair of shorts, a $60 value, here are the hoops through which you will need to jump:

  • Become a follower of this blog  (click on the +Follower button at the bottom) – 1 entry
  • Become a Facebook fan of TooTallFritz – 1 entry
  • Become a Facebook fan of Aspaeris Pivot Shorts – 1 entry
  • Link this post up to your Facebook page and announce the giveaway to your friends – 3 entries
  • Link up this post up to your blog and announce the giveaway to your followers – 5 entries

After you have done some/all of the above, please leave a comment in the comments section below and tell me what you have done and how many entries to assign you (max of 11).   If you are already a follower and a TooTallFritz Facebook fan, that is 2 free entries for you, just let me know that you would like to be entered in the drawing!  I will randomly generate a winner via a Random Number Generator on Monday, March 19th at 9 am.

If you don’t win, or can’t wait to try a pair of these out, then please feel free to use the 25% off coupon code:  PC2012 to get a discount on the Aspaeirs Pivot Shorts now. 

Good Luck,                                                                                                                   Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                               Amanda@tootallfritz.com

Oak Forest Fleadh 5K – Race Report

Fleadh – festive event of Irish traditional music and dancing; festival of Irish or Celtic culture.

Where to start in regards to the Oak Forest Fleadh 5K?  Well, it’s a great big party and when it comes to parties that include running, I like to be right there in the middle of it, especially when the party is basically in my own backyard.  Yep, I’m there.  I was number 59, so it “might” be safe to assume that I signed up early too.  🙂

A lot of things have changed over the last few years, one thing is that I have attempted stopped being so serious.  Not as serious about my seriously messy house, or my crazy toddler who seems to always be defining death safety and not as serious about me or my running.  Part of that transition has allowed me to have more fun while running and do stupid stuff like dressing up.  The St Paddy’s Day races are the BEST for dressing up.  I highly recommend you being as OUTRAGEOUS as possible and trust me, you will fit right in with all the other lunitics runners.  Our group had previously chosen a green sparkle skirt from Team Sparkle for our St Paddy’s Day racing fun!  Here are the F’N Runners minus Susan M who was floating around with her friends and family.  Top left:  Kim, April, Judy, Gennie, Kristina, Nicki.  Bottom left:  Aurelia, Maggie – MagMileRunner, Melissa – MadMamaOf4, Aby, & Me.

The “after” photo – minus half our sparkly crew.  April, Gennie, Me, Maggie, Aby, Nicki, Kristina & Kim: 

 F’N age group placers, who the announcer kept calling Team SKIRT. Maggie, Aby & I – all 3rd place finishers. 

Judy F. was also a 3rd place finisher but must have been frozen and had to leave bailed before awards and Nicole F. (F is for FRITZ!!  WHOOOOOOP!) took 2nd.  I believe it was possibly a PR day for most, if not all, of the F’N Runners other than myself.

                                                               The LOOT:Holy crap, this is one of the largest loot bags I have ever received.  There was some cool stuff, lots of coupons that can be actually used and some fun things like:  cups, can cozies, pens/pencils, stick-it pads of paper, letter openers, screw driver, cookies, candy, gripper pad to open jars.  And the award for the ODDEST goodie bag item ever has to go to the “Convenience Bag” for the disposal of vomit and urine.  Ummmm, Thanks?

Overall though, Oak Forest puts on a great race.  This is one of my favorite courses because it is soooo easy.  And I don’t mean easy as in flat because this isn’t the case but it breaks down into 3 parts very easily and you know exactly where you are and how far to go at all times.  The finish will never sneak up on you here unless you are too involved in running up the gigantic hill into the nasty wind or you were merely absorbed in your music.  From the start line, it is almost one mile out (north) on Cicero Avenue, then one mile in a neighborhood, then one mile back south on Cicero to the finish.  Done.   Perfect.  I believe I saw 2 waterstops and there were a few spectators.  It was short and sweet.  Not easy but well defined.

As for my race, I’m getting faster.  This race was a 23:47, which is the fastest 5K thus far for 2012, and considering the wind and hills, plus the near 40 miles that I ran in the last 7 days, I’ll take it.  Although my legs were definitely fatigued, I was more mentally prepared for both the wind and hills this year and did improve over last year’s 24:19 finish.  So that is a definite win!  I still have a lot of work to do but things are looking UP!  And it was a total bonus to be able to run the first mile with Maggie, so I had somebody to at least talk to a little bit.  Not that we said much but it was “kinda” like we were in it together for a minute before she ran away from me to secure another PR for herself.  Go, Maggie!!!!

This race really grew in size this year too.  Last year they recorded 330 finishers with the last recorded finisher at 1 hour and this year they had 542 finisher under the 1 hour mark.  Plus, last year I won my age group and was considerably slower in this race.  In my opinion, this year’s 3rd place finish is even more rewarding since the competition is getting better.  That’s what I like, let’s ALL get better and kick some ass!  Yay!

So if you have a chance to run the Oak Forest Fleadh in the years to come, I would definitely recommend it!  The post race party delivered raffles, lots of food, FRS, massages and a free beer at one of the local establishments!  Plus the community also had a full day of Fleadh events including a parade for the family!

Happy FESTIVE Running,                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz

I’m a Tough Chi(c)k

I’m a tough chick.  I’ve known that for a long time.  As with all bitches ladies, some days are better than others but overall, I’m up there on the tough scale.  Over the last couple years, I became aware of a clothing company appropriately named, Tough Chik.  How fun is that?  I had browsed their website multiple times but their products just weren’t exactly what I wanted at the time.  They had lots of cute running tees but I don’t wear tees while running, or otherwise, and the performance line was small so I have been patiently waiting for them to expand the line.    I don’t mind spending money on performance clothing even though I have a ton but I don’t spend it on stuff that I don’t love. 

Towards the end of last year, my beloved Tough Chiks, who I been stalking but had yet to make a single purchase, announced they would be organizing a team for 2012.  Anyone who joined the team, by purchasing from the Team apparel line, would not only be part of the inaugural Team Tough Chik but also have a year’s worth of discounts for all Tough Chik apparel, get discounts for numberous yet to be named sponsors, and possibly get a ton of random freebies in our team package.  So basically we were purchasing a mystery package and well, I’m all about surprises and taking a chance, especially when the Team Tough Chik package looked to be just my style in regards to performance, function and fashion.

The team packages will be mailed sometime in March so I have been anticipating the delivery for several months.  Then I saw that the TC performance line started to expand and I was intrigued.  I’ve had my eye on this:

But I didn’t buy it.  I thought it was cute but I didn’t know how the sizing would work, I have this team package coming and the contents might not fit and since it’s custom I was sure that returns/exchanges wouldn’t be an option, so I was waiting to see how the sizing of the team gear would work for my body.  I have an odd body shape.  I’m long and lean but have a very poochy belly cuz I like to eat and drink instead of doing core work.  As a result, I have to be careful with my clothing not being too tight thru the belly or I look ridiculous.  I know you will be shocked but I also have an issue with my height and some of the TRI and running tops are too short and I certainly won’t wear anything that doesn’t have proper coverage so I was still waiting.  I figured that after the team package arrived and I had a better idea on sizing that I would try a few other things, like the pink tank above.

However, Tough Chik pulled a fast one and put something out that I COULD.NOT.RESIST.  Many of you know that my favorite race is the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago.  Each year, I try to harass encourage as many of my friends as possible to run.  This year I even strong-armed pursuaded a large group of ladies to run with me in green Team Sparkle skirts.  And since the occasion will be so festive, I have also purchased shamrock socks, white leggings for under the skirt and a green pullover.  But this green “i run” tank will hopefully match the Shamrock outfit perfectly: 

Yep, I couldn’t resist but took the plunge and purchased my first TC product.  It was relatively cheap at $30, plus there was an option of matching arm sleeves which I will probably need at the Shamrock Shuffle.  And most importantly, it fit PERFECTLY.   The tank is designed to be form-fitting thru the chest and then has a drop to a looser fit thru the mommy tummy.  YAY!  WIN!  I was so excited last night when I tried it on that I couldn’t even contain my excitement but took some pics, posted them on Facebook, tried to get 3 of these in the PINK (above) for me and my girls running 13.1 Miami on Sunday….. but shocker……. they are sold out of the pink in some sizes…..more to come soon!

Arm Sleeves ($25) with little Tough Chiks:

Back:

I can not wait to run in this top.  The fit is so nice, it was hard to take it off.  The seams are flat and the arm holes go up high enough that I don’t anticipate any chafing in the underarm flab department, this really seems like the perfect top and let’s say that I have been thru a “few” brands to know a lot by just the initial try-on.  Most tops I order never make it to a trial run but just get sent back immediately.  I have never found any running tops that I really love but am very hopeful with this one.  And quite honestly, the price point is so low compared to other technical brands, that I’m hoping this top performs half as good as I expect.  You may only see me on the trail in Tough Chik i run tanks this summer.  I’ll take this tank to Miami for a test drive this weekend and let you know how it performs.  More later.

Do you have any running tops/tanks that you absolutely love?  What is the price range?  Let’s find some good stuff at a good price for a change!  Tell us what you like!

Happy Running,                                                                                                              Amanda – TooTallFritz

 

 

Baby, I’m Back…..Or At Least I Can Hope!

Wow, was that a great run today, or what?  First, I just can’t get over this weather.  I have been running in the winter for many years now and this the most mild winter that I can remember.  We have had virtually ZERO snow and it’s been warm this year with average temps in the 40’s til this month (January), and now we are hovering around 30 degrees.  A true gift if you are a runner.  Thank you to our Lord and Savior for this glorious winter so far.  I do fear we will pay for it later with a shitload of snow and freezing temps but feel the need to be paying my thanks now.  Secondly, I felt GOOD today for the first time in…..well, I can’t remember the last time I felt good while running. I am super excited but just trying to remember to focus on building, and strength, and have faith that my speed WILL return.  WhoooooHoooooooo!

Met up with Susan this morn for a couple miles before the club showed.  I was apprently shaking while attmepting to take the photo.  It was early that’s my story and I’m sticking too it.  Since Susan isn’t blury, I consider this a  photo sucess:  We pounded a couple of fast miles then met up with the group.  Love this group.  We had all paces this morning from run/walk (12:40 ish pace) to a solid 9:00 min/mi group with lots of in between.  The distances also varied from 3 miles up to 10.  Proud of you F’N Runners. Today’s Group from back left:  Susan, Maggie, Amy, Nicole, Julie, Don.  Front:  Genevieve (AKA Gennie cuz it’s easier for me to spell!), Diane, & Jeni.

We also took a solitary one of me so that Don could work some photoshop magic.  Awkward.  I’ll post the magic when CrazyBoy has time to work it out. 

After lots of talking, laughing and sizing the sample Team Sparkle Skirt which we are planning to wear for the Shamrock Shuffle but in green we were off to run but not before I was able to capture Don trying on the skirt.  HeHeHeHeHeHe!  Thanks, Don!  And for the record, Don will not be sporting a Green Sparkle Skirt for the Shamrock but is instead wearing a kilt.  Go Don!

We were running from New Lenox to Frankfort today to meet up with some TNT runners.  I was also hoping to get a glimpse of some Pancakers from the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club but I saw them running east toward Harlem when we stopped for the TNT runners so we never did cross paths with those Pancakers.   Group photo in Frankfort after dropping part of our group and gaining some TNT runners.  Since I only know about 3/4 of this group, we were so busy talking I forgot to ask names, I will avoid names so I don’t leave anyone out.  I am hoping Suzanne or Kate can help me out and I can come back and add names later.  Then we took off like a train to make the push back to New Lenox.  Lots of power in this group.  I like the mixing of the groups a lot.  The more the merrier!

And push back to New Lenox we did cuz we were headed to Starbucks for coffee afterwards!  That Skinny Peppermint Mocha was calling my name!  Whoooop!  I was feeling very happy that Grandma Fritz was in town to watch my little ones.  “Grammie” Fritz not only LOVES her grandchildren to no end but also enjoys spending time with them.  So I always know when Grandma is in town it is no problem that I go for an early morning run.  When I saw the crew was headed to SB aftewards, I asked if she would mind if I stopped and she said “why would you even ask, of course I don’t mind!”.  Well, “Grammie”, I just apprecaite you watching my little man, and I know he isn’t “easy” so I just wanted to be courteous but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!  And I love you!

For Susan & I today, we had 10 miles in and managed to squeak under that 1:30 mark.  It was barely but we made it in 1:29:52.  So good to be feeling normal again.  I can’t wait to be fully back and running fast and hope that it translates to some fast times this spring and summer.  Now is the time to build a strong base, get strong and blow up those old PRs come spring.  Let’s DO IT!  Things should be fun right now while you are building strength so get out and enjoy this weather and the commaradarie of group running!

Cheers,                                                                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz

All Dressed Up…..

On Monday nights, the local running store, Running For Kicks sponsors a fun run out of the store front in Palos at 6pm.  For over three years, I have wanted to participate in one of these runs; however, my schedule sucks timing is wrong for me as the store is about half way between work and home.  If I stop at the store it is usually an hour before the run or a half hour after.  Today, I saw that they were doing a Christmas Fun Run and I attempted wanted to fit it in so that I could dust off my red Team Sparkle Skirt.  I honestly thought I could make it…until I hit Christmas rush-hour traffic.  Here is a photo of the RFK Christmas Group Run…..stolen photo alert….RFK facebook page. 

Great looking group.  Do you see anyone missing?  Right, I didn’t make the start.  I was probably 8 to 10 minutes late but as all of you know, that’s a good mile shy of the pack.  So I was all dressed up with nowhere to go…..red-team-sparkle-sketch.jpg

However, I came to run and I was going to run.  I run solo all the time but don’t drive 45 minutes each way to do it.  Mel D. pointed me in the right direction and off I ran into the darkness with my KnuckleLights.  I must say Mel’s directions had a little to be desired were vague seeing as I had neither been to a previous RFK group run nor ran in Palos ever before other than on race courses that RFK has sponsored….and my race motto is merely to follow the people in front of me.  I never stress about looking at a map, etc.  However, today I was running blind and trying to make the best of it.  Thank goodness for the CountryGirl sense of direction.   I did manage to catch a group of walkers and they gave me some very valuable instructions.  Then I somehow stumbled onto a group of runners.  But other than the few people I saw, I just tried to enjoy the neighborhood lights and the mild temps.  It was a really beautiful night….and HELLO…..I was wearing a RED SPARKLE SKIRT.  Here are a few homes that really caught my eye so glad they didn’t call the cops on me for photographing their homes.

I am happy that I was able to get out and grab some road time. I just ran a couple of loops multiple times, then when the homeowners started peeking out their windows, I would move onto another loop til I got in enough miles, then I headed back to the store.  In all, it was 6.56 miles in 1 hr 4 min.  Not lightning pace, but I did take some photos, plus had some directional issues, and I always am extra cautious in the dark.  So it was a good run for me.

An added bonus, I saw Judy & Kate when I got back to the store.  Then I begged got a few photos.  Gail & I: 

Gail was rockin’ some AWESOME socks.  Not sure which were hers but I was jealous!  Note:  photo stolen from the RFK facebook page!

Mel D. & myself – Lots of respect for this man, he helps a lot of people and genuinely cares about me you and my your running and foot pain.  Thanks, Mel!

I strongly encourage you to head over to RFK for one of their fun runs; but leave the house early so you don’t miss the start they are loads of fun with people you know and love, plus they will probably even feed you.  Sorry, I didn’t get to see more of you tonight.  I honestly tried, just don’t have enough minutes in the day.

Try to find the silver lining in any situation.  Some people have real problems so I need to remind myself don’t sweat the small stuff.  There will be other days, other runs and more life to live.  Try to do the best with what you have for today!  What is your best advice for handling the day-to-day disappointments mishaps?

Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                                 amanda@tootallfritz.com