What Women Want …. Christmas 2015

What women want.  That is a timeless question.  I could really say a lot on this but I’m not sure it would do anyone any good if I gave away ALL of our secrets, so lets focus on Christmas 2015. 

Christmas Wish List

What women really want for Christmas is time.  Honest.  If you’ve been married more than 5 years, I guarantee your wife is bitchy tired.  Okay, she is bitchy & tired.  Especially if you have a couple of kids and some pets.  She is tired of the laundry, cooking, cleaning, bill paying, and the stress of running a family while trying to maintain her sanity and not completely lose her own identity.  To be honest, if she hasn’t totally lost it OR become one of those moms who toss back a bottle of wine every night before bed, you are lucky.  And I’d suggest you tell her.  Now.

So how can we incorporate time into the 2015 gift giving?  If your wife is into fitness then my number one suggestion would be a race registration.  Be smart about it.  If she ran her first 5K this summer, don’t buy her a registration to the Flying Pig Marathon that I’ll be running on May 1, 2016.  As a general rule of thumb, more women are registering, training for and competing in the half marathon distance than ever before.  It’s manageable training for both wives & mothers, even those of us who also work.  It can be done.  This will make you look good without putting too much responsibility on you to watch the kids during a killer training schedule.  Win.  Win.   Register her for a local half marathon, like the Southwest Half Marathon & 10K in Palos Heights, IL or the Fort4Fitness Half Marathon, 10K or 4 mile in Ft Wayne, IN.  Price range:  $45-$80 depending on the race and how far out it is from now.  Early registration = $$ Savings.

Soutwest Half Marathon

Now that winter is upon us, there are a few things that your wife might need for her outdoor runs that she probably hasn’t wanted to spend the money on for herself.  Mom’s are notorious for feeling guilty about buying things for themselves.  Even things that are as much a necessity as a want.  Is she running in the dark?  If so, she needs some sort of headlamp or light.  I prefer the Knuckle Lights so that I can quickly point them in the direction of any sound or movement.  Find them on Amazon HERE for $39.99 per set.


Fun in the snow?  Yes, please!  Mom’s like to have fun outside too!  Few things make me smile more than running in the snow.  I grab my YakTrax for some added traction and I go!  I prefer the YakTrax Pro, with the springs, no spikes.  I usually run on a variety of terrain.  Even if its super snowy, sometimes I hit a street that is plowed and I’m down to blacktop before I know it.  Not a problem with the springs!  $29.99 per set.


A mom’s work is NEVER done.  If she is training, working, running the household & being a mom, then she is probably on her feet most of the day.  You want her to recover quickly.  A good pair of compression socks will aid in recovery and put a smile on her face.  There are tons of compression socks on the market now but CEP is medical grade.  You’ll need her calf circumference to get the correct size!  And pick a cute pair so that she loves them and thinks happy thoughts about YOU each times she pulls them on her tired feet/legs.   Hawaii Blue & Pink 2.0 Compression socks pictured.  $60


There are 4 gift ideas, all under $100.  Hope that helps you find something for the special active lady in your house!  And if the budget it tight, then skip all the above, and just take the kiddos out to play for a couple hours so that she can rest.  That will be just as good as a gift under the tree.  Promise.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.  And remember that time is one of the most precious gifts you can give, whether its time spent with loved ones, or time you give your significant other for themselves.  Time is a very precious commodity with the busy lives we lead. 

** Merry Christmas ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Time Changes ALMOST Everything……

It was a busy weekend.  I went home to my parents with the kiddos for a trip to the Shrine Circus.  We have been going every year since Aby was 1 and now with Michael only being 2, we will be sitting in those same seats for many years to come.  I know we shouldn’t go because of all the sticky animal rights issues and we recognize that we are just perpetuating the problem but the kids love it, so we keep going back.  Then Sara and I whisper back and forth the entire time about how unnatural it is for the animals to have to do tricks, etc, all the while the kids are ooohhhhing and aaaahhhhing.  Auntie Sara & Michael, of course, he was being a stinker and wouldn’t look at the camera.

Grandma F & her girls – Lexi (Sara’s Daughter), Grandma & Aby:

Lots of fun but Michael kept demanding that the elephants “come, now!”  He was screaming at the top of his lungs, “Elephants, COME!”  At one point, he even insisted that he would go get them himself.  Yep, that’s my boy.  Sometimes if you REALLY want something then you just can’t wait but have to MAKE IT HAPPEN!

On days like this when I’m at the parents, I usually get up in the dark really early and go for a run before all the fun begins.  However, on Saturday when my alarm went off in the wee hours of the morning, I opened my eyes to shut down the alarm and realized that my head was pounding.  Killer headache before I even woke up.  Yikes!  So, I {gasp} opted to skip the run.  Once I finally was able to haul myself out of bed to go to the circus I soon discovered that “sleeping in” was a good option as we had a nice 1″ cover of snow and the roads were a mess.  I wouldn’t have made it far before I would have had to turn around for safety issues.

However, the change of run plans ended up being a great thing because I decided to run a new trail, mid day, in the town where I went to high school.  I had previously seen a  trail map of the Bixler Lake Walking Trail which was a perfect 3.1 mile loop around Bixler Lake.  Wow, things have changed since I went to HS.  This trail didn’t exist then.  I must admit my expectations were not high but I managed to recruit my pal Adella and she was brave enough to leave her warm house and snuggly kiddos break trail with me around Bixler. 

I was slightly nervous about getting lost, which if you know Kendallville, IN, this sounds RIDICULOUS but it was a trial thru the woods and well, I was anxious.  So I was beyond happy that Adella came out with me!  We soon realized that this “new” trail was AMAZING!  I took a billion lot of photos but will try to pare them down for you.  Here is the view from the parking area at the Sherman Street entrance which is only about a 1/4 mile from the HS. 

We ran about a 100 meters before I asked Adella if she would sit her ass on this snowy bench for the sake of a photo.  I know you are all green with envy, wishing it were your ass in the snow you were here with us.  

Sites from the Bixler Lake Trail

The wooded section was short, I was too busy taking photos talking with Adella to notice exactly how far but I would guestimate it being possibly 1/3 of the 3.1 mile loop, so roughly a mile.  However, the snow and terrain did not make it a quick trip thru the woods.  The area was also very wet, I would anticipate it being extremely wet in the spring and summer.  There were many places were we crunched thru snow/ice and into a little bit of  water.  Not deep but it was in the upper 20’s so definitely below freezing, and there was a wicked wind too so everything was frozen pretty good.  Just don’t wear your new shoes out here if you are gonna bitch worry about getting them dirty.  Once we busted out of the woods we were in familiar territory near the camp sites and pavilions where we used to run Cross Country. 

Hey random walking dude, can you take our picture?  A few sites from up by the camp sites. 

The remainder of the loop was much less eventful as we had to run the road back around the lake.  There were some improvements over the last 20 year as the K-Ville Parks & Rec Dpt has added a walking path and street lights beside a portion of the lakeside road.

Other things seem timeless……just the way we left them.

Kudos, Kendallville for the “new” improvements.  I’m impressed and I will definitely be back!  Thank you!  Please add a Starbucks next.

Saturday was a 9.22 mile day.  I ran the loop once with Adella, then we did some easier street miles, then I re-ran the loop solo.  The first loop was with Yak Trax that worked really awesome on the snowy trail but then I had to take them off once we hit the road.  The second loop, I ran without the Yak Trax and had some serious slippin’ and slidin’ going on in the wooded area.  So I give the Yak Trax a thumbs up in appropriate conditions.

Today (Sunday), I squeaked in a quick 5.5 miles as the kiddos were having breakfast with Grammie & Grampie.   I LOVE being at the lake with the parents because they honestly don’t mind my disappearing for a few miles.  Here is the sun coming up over Witmer Lake. 

                                             Swamp lands around the lakes:Lastly, the spot where LilWhiteDog ran out of the cornfield and into my heart forever.  I hope he is doing well in his new home.Great weekend running and otherwise.  I hope all of you had some fun and are ready to start a new week!  Did you do anything exciting or were you able to try anything new?

Happy Running!                                                                                                              Amanda – TooTallFritz