Tag Archives: team in training

Opening Day

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I should be excited.  Today is the Indians home opener, a day that Clevelanders look forward to every year.  Spring is (mostly) here and the promise of summer is right around the corner.  Baseball season is full of fresh hope and playoff dreams, and the Tribe hasn’t managed to break our hearts … yet.

But this year’s opener is very bittersweet for me.  It brings back memories of a fallen friend, one who was with me through so many moments and memories from seasons past.

As kids we watched the Indians play at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.  It didn’t matter how many games they lost — and trust me, they lost a LOT — piling into the station wagon for a trip to the ballpark was exciting.  We spread out across the deserted rows of general admission, making sure to leave enough empty spaces so that we could bang the empty wooden seats along to the beating of John Adams’ drum.

In the mid-90’s, we were amazed at the glorious new stadium and the crowds it drew.  (I mean, where WERE all of these people for the 1991 season?!?)  But we were excited to have attendance high enough to actually do the wave!  We sat in the bleachers and screamed for Manny Ramirez (her) and Sandy Alomar (me).  We rode the wave of playoff excitement, and consoled each other when our World Series dreams were dashed.

We kept going to the Jake even after the shiny newness wore off, and we kept calling it the Jake even after the name was changed.  (The Prog???  I think not!)  We were older and had jobs but we both worked strange shifts, so we went to some of those great midweek afternoon games together.  The kind where sitting in a baseball stadium at noon on a Thursday feels like playing hooky, and you feel sorry for all of the office stiffs stuck in their 9-5 jobs.  We sat through games where we baked in the sun, froze in the lake breeze, or got drenched in the pouring rain.  And we had fun together every single time.

We went on a road trip to see the Tribe play in Chicago.  We boldly wore our Indians garb into enemy territory, ate their dollar hot dogs, and tried our best to let our team know we were there to support them … even though they lost.  We planned another trip to catch a game in Detroit last summer, but it fell through.  And now it will never happen.

As the players and coaches were heading to Goodyear to start spring training, she lost her battle with leukemia.  There is one less fan in Tribe Town this season, one less voice in the crowd.

Every time I watch a game, I will miss her.  I know that I will still yell and cheer, although my voice will never be loud enough to make up for the loss of hers.  I will hold on to the hope of victory until the last pitch has been thrown, just like she did.

This season’s for you, Mel.

Mel

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The author is running the 2013 Rock ‘N’ Roll Cleveland half marathon while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Please consider making a donation:  http://pages.teamintraining.org/noh/rnrclevh13/MileageMama

Team In Training

Follow her journey on Twitter @MileageMama: https://twitter.com/MileageMama

You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

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Ok, maybe it’s not an Oscar.  But as much as I like to think I write my blog simply for my own sake, it is very gratifying when I receive positive feedback … or any feedback … that tells me that someone else has taken a few moments out of their day to read my musings.  So I’d like to thank the lovely ladies at We Shall Have Pie for nominating me for a Liebster award!

Liebster

What exactly is a Liebster award?  The name comes from a German word that means something (or someone) that is dear or beloved.  In the blogging world, a Liebster award is for small-ish blogs that are highly regarded by fellow bloggers.  No fancy cash and prizes, but a lovely boost of confidence nonetheless!

Like most prize winnings, the Liebster Blog Award comes with some terms and conditions.  If nominated you must:

  • Add the award icon into your blog
  • Link to your nominator and say thank you
  • Post 11 random things about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers (and let them know)
  • Post 11 new questions to the bloggers you nominate

(I’m not sure who actually enforces these stipulations.  Perhaps there is a secret Liebster police task-force I am unaware of?  But regardless, I am honored by the nomination and will do my best to play by the rules!)

Eleven Random Things About Me:

  1. One of my favorite jobs was as a barista at a family-run coffee shop.  It still makes me sad that it went out of business!
  2. A bathroom in my house is decorated in scarlet and gray, complete with Ohio State Football wallpaper.
  3. The name of the Spirit Airlines inflight magazine (Skylights) came from me.  There was a naming contest when I was an employee there, and I won … Although in typical Spirit Airlines fashion, they jipped me out of my prize.
  4. I am very afraid of large birds, such as geese, peacocks, and chickens.  That’s right, I said chickens.
  5. I have never broken a bone.
  6. I like to read historical fiction, especially novels set during the U.S. Civil War.
  7. I hate the color pink, and I get very annoyed when sports teams sell items with their logos in pink just to attract a female audience.  (Unless, of course, it is for breast cancer awareness.)
  8. I also hate bacon.  The smell grosses me out.  I know this may make me very unpopular, but please don’t stop reading my blog because of it!
  9. When I was young, I went through a ballerina phase.
  10. I collect shot glasses, although I don’t drink out of them.  (I’m a beer girl!)
  11. My all-time favorite movie is “Rudy” and I like to watch it the night before a big race.

Eleven Questions From My Nominator:

  1. Have you ever traveled to another country?  — Yes!  Canada, Mexico, various Caribbean islands, and several countries in Europe.  Switzerland is my favorite!
  2. Do you enjoy dressing up for special occasions?  — It may surprise a lot of people who think of me as a tomboy, but I do love to get dressed up.
  3. If you run what is your favourite season to run in?  — I am really enjoying my winter runs this year, but autumn is my favorite.  Cool breezes, crunchy leaves underfoot, and the smell of bonfires!
  4. Do you play an instrument?  — Technically, yes.  I learned to play the piano and the flute, but I wasn’t that good at either.
  5. Do you drink pop?  — Very, very rarely.  Maybe once a month.
  6. What is your shoe size?  — Somewhere around an 8, give or take.  My feet changed shape after both pregnancies, very frustrating!
  7. What is your Favourite Disney character?  — I am not really a big Disney fan.  When they create a princess that runs marathons, she will be my favorite.
  8. Do you have any tattoos?  — Nope, although I have some pretty decent scars from trail running and biking accidents.
  9. If you could choose an age, what would it be?  — Any age where someone would expect me to take a nap every afternoon.
  10. Which one would you do? rock climbing or wind surfing?  — Both … but not at the same time.
  11. What is your favourite type of pie?  — Apple, no contest.

And now (drumroll, please) …

My Eleven Nominees:

  1. Girls Run the 901:  http://www.girlsrunthe901.com/
  2. Will Run for Glitter:  http://willrunforglitter.com
  3. Move Eat Create:  http://moveeatcreate.wordpress.com/
  4. Milk Free Mom:  http://www.milkfreemom.com/
  5. This Running Mom’s Life:  http://thisrunningmomslife.wordpress.com/
  6. Wisps of Thought Amongst the Smoke:  http://jbswisps.blogspot.com/
  7. The Frolicking Fells:  http://thefrolickingfells.com/
  8. rUnladylike:  http://www.runladylike.com/
  9. Rise Run Mom Repeat:  http://riserunmomrepeat.blogspot.com/
  10. Skinny Jeans & a Chai Latte:  http://skinnyjeanschailatte.com/
  11. Barefoot Technology:  http://jericeblog.wordpress.com/

Eleven Questions for My Nominees:

  1. Where do you live?
  2. What do you do for a living?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  4. Who is your favorite author?
  5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
  6. If you could live in any historical time period, which would you choose?
  7. How many cups of coffee do you drink on an average day?
  8. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  9. Brussels sprouts:  Delicious or disgusting?
  10. What is your favorite beer?  Or, if you don’t drink beer, why not?
  11. What did you eat for breakfast this morning?

For anyone else that wants to play along, feel free to post your answers in the “comments” section below.  I love learning more about my readers!  Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more regularly scheduled content …

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The author is a wife, mother, and solidly average “middle of the pack” runner from Northeast Ohio.  She is currently training for the 2013 Flying Pig marathon, and plans to run the 2013 Rock ‘N’ Roll Cleveland half marathon while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  To help her reach her goal, please visit her webpage:  http://pages.teamintraining.org/noh/rnrclevh13/MileageMama

Team In Training

Follow her journey on Twitter @MileageMama:  https://twitter.com/MileageMama

Blindsided

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Sometimes life lets you down easy.  Bad news comes in small doses, giving you time to deal with it as it gradually accumulates.

Other times, it slams into you like a Mack truck.  Your chest tightens as you gasp for air.  You stand frozen as the world spins uncontrollably around you.  No matter how strong your faith is, you are shaken to your very core, and you wonder how you will ever take one more step forward.

As the jumble of thoughts and emotions threatens to cripple you, you fight back.  You lace up your shoes.  And you run.

You runs as the tears stream down your face.  You run as you choke back the sobs.  You run as your brain swirls rapidly with memories of the past and thoughts of futures that will not be.  The churning of your legs mimics the churning of your stomach.  The burning in your lungs matches the burning in your heart.

You run faster and harder, and for a few blissful minutes, your mind is incapable of focusing on anything but the physical effort.  You run … and run … and run …

When you are done, your heart is still broken.  Your arms are still empty.  And yet, somehow, you are stronger than when you began.  You know that you have the strength to press forward, to push through the pain, and that you will survive.  One step at a time.

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The author is a wife, mother, and solidly average “middle of the pack” runner from Northeast Ohio.  She is currently training for the Flying Pig marathon, and plans to run the Rock ‘N’ Roll Cleveland half marathon while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  To help her reach her goal, please visit her webpage:  http://pages.teamintraining.org/noh/rnrclevh13/MileageMama

Follow her journey on Twitter @MileageMama:  https://twitter.com/MileageMama

When Pigs Fly

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Three years ago the thought of myself running a marathon was laughable.  The only running I’d done in the past involved forced laps during gym class, which I viewed as torture.  When I started training for my first 5K, I could only jog continuously for about a minute before I stopped to walk.  Completing that 3.1 mile race at a slow jog felt like an epic accomplishment, which made the idea of 26.2 miles seem about as probable as climbing Mount Everest.  If I had to sum up my marathon hopes with three words, “When Pigs Fly” would’ve been quite appropriate.

Well guess what?  Last week I started training for my first marathon and, ironically enough, it’s called the Flying Pig!

Flying Pig Logo

I’m not sure exactly when the thought of running a marathon started rattling around in my brain.  Perhaps when I finished a half marathon and realized it wasn’t SO bad after all?  Plenty of running books and documentaries have added to the inspiration.  (Check out “Spirit of the Marathon” on Hulu or Netflix, one of my faves!)  I would walk around running expos eyeing up the booths from various big-city marathons.  But it was never a solid plan, just a vague idea.

Looking at my 2013 race schedule, I decided to aim for a half marathon in April, and MAYBE (huge MAYBE) run a full marathon in the fall … Until I went to register for the April race and realized that I had a scheduling conflict for that date.  Doh!  Back to the drawing board.

So I started looking for a different half marathon and found a couple of options in early May.  One of them was the Flying Pig weekend in Cincinnati, which I’d always heard great things about.  Like a lot of larger races, it offered the choice of a half or a full marathon.  And that’s when the crazy ideas started to creep in …

What if I run a FULL marathon in May instead?  I’ve already built up a solid two months of base mileage, which would put me at exactly the starting point I need to begin a 16-week marathon training plan.

But it’s January in Cleveland, is this such a good idea?  On the other hand, it’s JANUARY in CLEVELAND and I’ve already done a great job of sticking to my schedule, including running through blizzards and frigid windchills.  It can’t really get a whole lot worse.  Plus if I was training for a fall marathon, I’d be starting in the July heat and humidity instead.  And I really hate running in hot weather.

But do I really want to travel that far for a race, and will I even be able to find somewhere to stay?  A quick check showed that it’s only a four-hour drive, totally doable for a weekend.  And after a little more searching I found a super price on a hotel less than a mile from the expo and the starting line.  And come to think of it, wouldn’t it actually be more worth it to make the trip if I was running a longer race?

And then came the clincher:  As I scrolled through the list of charity groups participating in the Flying Pig,  I came across Team In Training.  Team in Training is a group that supports endurance athletes as they raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  This is a cause that has recently become very personal to me, and I knew it would be great to have that extra motivation pulling me along.  To top it all off, they were running a special with a reduced entry fee.  And everyone knows I love a bargain!Team In Training

The last of my excuses had melted away.  All signs were pointing in the direction of the marathon.  There would always be a million reasons NOT to try it.  If I didn’t take the chance I had in front of me right now, would I ever be willing to make that leap?

So before I could think about it too long, I jumped on the Team In Training website and signed up.  Yes, I’m scared.  Will I be able to put in the mileage?  Can I avoid getting hurt?  Is it possible to raise the money to meet my fundraising requirement?

Time will tell.  It’s going to be an interesting few months.  But if there’s one thing running has taught me, it’s to never say “never” … So watch out for flying pigs!

 

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Updated on 3/17/13 … I’m still training for the Flying Pig on my own, but fundraising issues caused me to switch to running the Rock ‘N’ Roll Cleveland Half Marathon with Team In Training.  If you’d like to help me with my goal, please visit my personal page:  http://pages.teamintraining.org/noh/rnrclevh13/MileageMama

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The author is a wife, mother, and solidly average “middle of the pack” runner from Northeast Ohio.  Check her out on Twitter @MileageMama:  https://twitter.com/MileageMama