RunCLE40- New shoes and Elmo

Week 2 of training felt like a good one!
I was able to get some kind of activity in mostly every day, even if it was just 2 quick lunchtime miles and I’m feeling great about it! This month is just about moving more frequently than I have been and getting my butt back to the gym and running. It just feels good to be back into a routine. And let’s not pretend for a second that those new cushy socks with the longer backs that don’t slip into your shoes that I scored with my Kohl’s cash and my new kicks aren’t motivating the hell out of me! New awesome gear is the really the best!

So, I’m back at it. My major race of the year is Cleveland and I can’t wait!  I’m planning to run the half marathon this year. I may be doing the Challenge series too, but logistically I’m trying to work that out. And check this out..

I’m super honored and excited to be a part of this race again! This is year 3 and I can’t say enough about how amazing it’s been to connect with the other ambassadors and the people who run this race. They motivate and inspire me daily!

I feel good to be preparing for the half marathon this year. It’s the right distance for me for the time that I can commit to it. There will be a day in the future that I’ll be running a full again, but that day is not today and I’m totally ok with it. My best training girl Lynanne is running the Pittsburgh full again this year, so on the weekends that I can run with her, I’ll be joining her for her long runs which will be fun! My main goal of the year is to crush my half marathon PR which is 2:21:23 from last year’s insane Cleveland marathon. You can see that recap here. I also have started to go back to my TBT classes at lunch which is short for Total Body Toning: it’s a mix of weights and some cardio. This class kicks my butt in the best way possible.
Here is what last week looked like for me




Arm workout at the gym


2.7 miles at lunch




3 miles with Lynanne


2 miles before work


5 miles, before work and at lunch


Road trip to Buffalo- Does a dance party with Elmo count as cardio?

This weekend the boys and I went to my sister’s house in Buffalo to celebrate my sweet nephew who turned 2! He loves Elmo so what is better than a dance party with the furry red guy and then some cake? We had a blast and really enjoyed some serious family time. 

Things you should know this week:
  1. Fellow ambassador Jill has her book launch party this Saturday in Lakewood! You can check her book out here and even meet her and have her sign your book this weekend at Mahalls in Lakewood from 1:30-3:30.

  2. This is more of a thing to do, but after you sign up for Cleveland, you should book your hotel too! I can’t tell you how much better it is when you are actually there for the race weekend instead of driving in and finding parking on top of trying to feeling cool and calm before a race. This is on my list of things to do this week for sure!

  3. You are amazing! Yes, YOU and you can do anything you set your mind to so set those goals and start checking them off!

As always be sure to check out what my fellow ambassadors are up to this week, there are some fun giveaways happening !  You can also follow me on IG @running_with_jazzhands!

Have a jazz-tastic week!


RunCLE40- Lets do this 2017!!

If you are new to my blog, welcome!  And thanks so much for stopping by!  I’m Melissa, a (mid) 30 something mom of 2 of the coolest little guys in the world!  Running is the thing that I do for me, it’s my hobby and my stress relief and I just feel better if I get out there for a few miles. I’m lucky enough to be part of the Cleveland Marathon for the 3rd year as an ambassador. This year is going to be amazing because it’s the 40th anniversary race and the Marathon has been geared up since last year preparing for all of the fun stuff to celebrate! And although I have actually completed a full marathon, I have fallen far away from the running bandwagon and after a few months of not really running and enjoying the holiday cookie table a little bit too much. So, I’m starting at the very beginning again. Just putting one foot in front of the other and taking it one day at a time. 
I’m sure many of you have been thinking about how to make this year the best year yet. And if you found me thru the Marathon page you may be looking for some inspiration. I think that my best piece of advice for you is to just get moving. 
Move!!! Just 20 minutes a day to begin with for this month. Just get up, put your shoes on and get out the door! You can walk, jog, run, chase your kid on their bike, walk the dog, or even walk around the block on your lunch break. But just get out there, you owe it to yourself. There are proven health benefits from 20 minutes of walking a day: better mood, more energy, longer life, better memory, weight loss, the list goes on and on! 
Everyone is busy, but in the same token, everyone has some source of stress that they would probably love to feel better about. The last couple years of my life I have gone thru a lot of personal stress and running is the thing that I did for me that I know kept me sane and focused.  I did not self-destruct, I got my butt out there and so can you! So, get out there!  Get those 20 minutes done today!
So this is my first week back training and it was honestly a great start! I was able to get some decent lunchtime runs in without stopping (always a sign of heading in the right direction). I made a huge effort to get some kind of movement every day this week and feel like kind of a rock star for it! It was the best way to kick off the year! Here is how my week turned out.
4 miles with Lynanne
HIIT pintrest workout while the kids were in the tub
2 miles at lunch
2 miles at lunch
TBT at lunch
4 mile kickoff run
Speaking of kickoffs, I also joined some of my fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors for a kickoff run yesterday! It was seriously chilly and if it hadn’t been for them being there, I would undoubtedly opted to run the inside track instead. But, I layered on all the clothes (right Rachel?) and made the drive and it was totally worth it!  Spending time with them is always so fun and inspiring!  I ran more than a minute faster than my average pace when I joined them! Just the confidence booster that I needed that I can get back to where I was and where I would like to be!  
If you want to get inspired too and hang out with more of the Ambassadors this weekend you can join them at the Fleet Feet in Westlake on Saturday @9:30 for the second kickoff training run! Sign up on the website here. I promise you won’t be sorry that you made it out!
This week I’m super excited because I get to do a Book Giveaway for my fellow Am(bad ass)ador Jill! Did you see how that worked out?  Not that great, OK moving on! Anyways, Jill IS a Bad Ass and I’m super lucky to have met her thru the marathon and even luckier to call her a friend! She published an amazing book and is kind enough to send one of you guys a signed copy!  You can check out her book here! I’ll be doing the giveaway on IG early this week!  
As always check out my fellow ambassadors are up to! And hop on over to IG and follow me and the Cleveland marathon there too! 


The truth

The truth is that the day was planned out to get some family pictures for my parents Christmas cards

The truth is that Erin's kiddos were willing to smile and take pictures and my boys were not even interested for a minute

The truth is that every time they act up I question if it's normal or if it's because of the divorce

The truth is that I had carefully planned our outfits to match so maybe this year we might be able to send out a Christmas card too

The truth is that even when they ask me a question for what seems like the millionth time or they need me to lay down with them to fall asleep I cherish it all

The truth is that I want them to grow into kind and open minded giving people

The truth is that it breaks my heart more than I can say that I don't get to tuck them into bed every single night like I should 

The truth is that this has been the hardest few years of my life but I wouldn't have made it very far without my boys

The truth is that they make me laugh and giggle and exhausted but excited to discover the world every day

The truth is that I wouldn't have it any other way

The truth is that my boys are amazing and I'm the luckiest to be their mom


You nailed it girl

I was telling someone a story today that I totally forgot about. I was pretty freshly out of college and working at Ann Taylor factory store. I was lucky enough to be picked so do a store opening. It was exciting to get to do some traveling, open some new stores and meet some new people. It seemed to be working out and I did a handful of them. I got to be friends with the merchandising girl that worked in the home office in New York City! 

Somehow I was picked again to join her to work on a monthly store set! It was the coolest! I was so excited to get to work on such an awesome project that the whole company would use. It was just what I dreamed it would be. I got to see the new product and we worked together for a few days setting the clothes and typing up the actual store set.

Then it was the final day and I got to meet and show off our set to the lady in charge of the whole company! I was nervous and excited but pretty assured that we did a good job and that she would like it. After we had presented the whole set to her we got to talking about goals and what I was doing at the stores. 

Then it was the question. THE question that I didn't really prepare for but I should have known better. The question that was so much more than a getting to know you question. 

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"  

It hung in the air. It was an interview without all of the pomp and circumstance. I didn't bat an eye and I said to the head of the company "working in a store and being a mom". As you might guess, that was certainly not the answer I'm assuming she wanted to hear. But, I was being honest. That was my goal, even back then.  I knew I wanted to be a mom. I knew I didn't want to live in New York City and devote my entire life to Merchandising. I knew I loved my family and it was important for me to have them in my daily life. I knew that I could answer how she wanted me to but it wasn't being true to my real aspirations. Now I know you can actually have it all but is there anything wrong with being happy with what you want? 

Simple goals are still good to have. And as I told that story today I thought to myself that was pretty cool, i'm glad that I had the courage to be honest with her and honest with myself. And if I could high five myself from way back then, I freaking would. Because being honest with yourself is the key to happiness. Staying true to what you really want out of life is a gift! 

And I may have never made it to the big city, but I still am doing exactly what I want to be doing. I have a day job that I love. But as I knew way back then, being a mom is the best job in the world! 


The rainbow

Life is crazy for everyone. I know that
Just because I have a long commute and two little guys and I am going through a hell of a lot of personal things doesn't mean that I have it harder or easier than anyone. But sometimes it just FEELS so much harder. Like so hard that it's hard to see the light. It's 100% worth the energy and time but damn. Yesterday was one of those days. I felt beat down. I felt completely exhausted and like there was not a whole lot of hope that things would wrap up anytime soon. I'm so lucky to have an amazing support team and a mom that is here and will hug me and let me cry. We had a fun dinner with my old neighbors and on the way home I saw this. 

This beautiful sight made me smile and take a deep breath. I know that even when it feels hopeless and bad and gross and I want to cry that there is always a rainbow to look forward to.