I’m a FitFluential Ambassador!

I’ve got some pretty cool news that I’m pleased to share with all of you…

I was selected to be a FitFluential Ambassador!

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with FitFluential, here’s a little bit of information about them from their website:

“FitFluential is a nationwide network of highly influential fitness enthusiasts sharing their journey both online and offline through multiple social media platforms. Founded in April of 2011 by Kelly Olexa, FitFluential was designed to connect health and wellness brands with their ideal target market through customized, long-term experiential and contextual marketing campaigns.”

I actually received the news a few weeks ago via e-mail when I was in the midst of a very stressful family-related phone call. Read the rest of this entry

I just wanted to stop back in with two quick updates!

I’m not sure why I forgot to post this, but I served as a Guest Blogger on The Runner Dad’s blog last week. This is the first time that I have ever had the opportunity to serve as a guest blogger on a blog and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share my thoughts on such a popular blog! I shared a few tips about having a great first half marathon. Check out my post here!

While we’re talking about first half marathons, I had the privilege of serving as an Official Blogger for the 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon as I trained for my first half marathon. I am once again serving as an Official Blogger for the 2014 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, and all of the Official Bloggers have been given a free race entry to give away on their blogs. This race entry can be used for any of the four races that occur during race weekend. My giveaway starts tomorrow (February 14) and runs through February 21, so be sure to stop by!

Everyone who is planning on running the full 2014 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is well into their training plans. However, those of us who are running the half marathon, 10K, or the 5K probably aren’t starting our “official” training plans until late February. I’m running the half marathon, and the first run of my training plan doesn’t take place until February 25th. I know that my muscles will appreciate the rest that they’re getting now when September 2014 rolls around and I’m completing the longest runs of my training plan for the Towpath Marathon. Last year, I had many low-mileage weeks during January and early February and my muscles held up relatively well through my marathon training.

However, I can’t deny that my workouts have felt a bit aimless in recent weeks as I have been working without a formal training plan.

What’s a bored runner to do in the meantime?

I did some thinking and came up with five small steps that all of us can take during late January and early February in order to set us up for success in May! Read the rest of this entry

I’m thrilled to announce that I have been selected once again to serve as an Official Blogger for the 2014 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon!

1398484_10201668949759306_1769179088_oThose of you who have been reading for a year or so may remember that I also had the privilege to serve as an Official Blogger for the 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. In typical Joe style, I submitted my application approximately 15 minutes before the midnight deadline with the hope that my weight loss journey and my transformation into an avid runner might win over the selection committee. To my shock and delight, I found out via e-mail that I was selected right in the midst of a frantic search for a set of missing car keys that eventually turned up a few minutes later!

I had a great time documenting my training on my way to the starting line of my first half marathon. Read the rest of this entry

A Christmas Story 10K Race Recap

As a proud lifelong Clevelander, I know that the following statement may be heresy, but…

I’ve never seen A Christmas Story from start to finish in one sitting.

In my defense, I’ve seen the entire movie through bits and pieces of various viewings over the years. I’ve also seen the play (and I missed a Browns game to see it too!).

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Of course, the game I missed happened to be the one in which we actually beat the Steelers in 2009. I still haven’t seen this game in its entirety!

Nevertheless, when I first heard about the A Christmas Story 5K\10K, I wasn’t too excited. Perhaps that was because I’ve never had a proper viewing of the movie? In September, my stepmom forwarded me an email with a Groupon for the race and I didn’t sign up. At the time, we were looking for houses pretty regularly. I thought for sure that we would be moved to a new home in another part of the city by December, and I figured that paying to run in an area in which I have run regularly for almost two years now was a waste of money.

Fast forward to November, when it became obvious that we weren’t going to be homeowners by December, let alone moved into a new home by December. Read the rest of this entry

We saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Friday night down at the Cinemark in Valley View. The movie was excellent, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you do so (just read the books first!)

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Katniss and I remembering who the real enemy is

As we drove home along Canal Road, I looked out at the section of the Towpath running adjacent to the road and began to think about all of the various runs that I had done in that specific area over the past year. Read the rest of this entry

Life was pretty busy in the week before the Towpath Half Marathon.

I woke up on Friday to find that one of my tires had finally given up the ghost and died. All four tires on my car were very old and I knew that they would need to be replaced before snow started flying. Longtime readers may remember that I had a flat tire on the way to the Cleveland Marathon Expo. As I made arrangements to deal with my tire, I figured that perhaps the flat tire might be a good omen that signified that I would be having as much success at the Towpath Half as I did at the Cleveland Half Marathon.

Packet pickup was much closer to my house this year, which was nice. Whenever I go to an expo or packet pickup for a race with a distance that I have never previously run, I always feel a bit lost and uncertain…almost like I don’t belong there. I wind up wandering around in a daze and I’m sure that more than a few race volunteers have wondered how I managed to wind up at the starting line! Because I had already run a half marathon, I didn’t feel this way at packet pickup, and I had a good time stopping by the various booths and talking with the various exhibitors who were there. I picked up some Gu packets because I thought the aid stations only had Powerbar gels, which I have never used before.

After taking Sheila to the airport, I spent the evening relaxing at home with some video games and carboloading with a delicious Mexican pasta bake that Sheila made so that I wouldn’t starve while she was gone!

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I could seriously eat Mexican food for every meal. I took some students on a trip on Tuesday and I pointed out multiple Mexican restaurants that I love as we drove and by the end of the trip they were all making fun of my zeal for Mexican food. LOL!

As anyone who has read this blog for awhile now can attest, I have a bad habit of getting to races without much time to spare. Read the rest of this entry

Towpath Ten-Ten Training: Week 1

I thought that the past few months leading up to the Cleveland half were as crazy as life could get.

Boy, was I wrong.

Life since the half marathon has been absolutely insane!

I’ve had major freakouts over the past two weeks because we have events almost every night through the end of June.

I’m not big into defining myself by personality tests or labels—to quote R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe response when he was asked about his sexuality, “Labels are for food”—but I have spent a decent amount of time in recent years figuring out whether I’m an introvert or an extrovert.

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Thank God for Michael Stipe or else I would have felt completely not OK about marching to the beat of my own drummer during high school. (Image obtained from commons.wikimedia.org)

Read the rest of this entry

Adopt A Forever Friend Today!

Every week, my mom sends us a letter containing newspaper comics that she has found interesting over the past few days and updates about what’s going on with her life.

Many times, these comics are humorous and often involve lawyers behaving badly or dogs doing endearing things.

Last week, though, was a different story. As we were processing the mail that had accumulated while we were visiting Sheila’s family in DC, Sheila came across the following comic and had to put it down because she was about to start crying:

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Shortly thereafter, I read the same comic and I actually did tear up a bit.

Most of you who have read this blog already know that the real star of the blog is our pup Butters. Read the rest of this entry

The 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is a week away!

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I’m so excited! I’ve got one more “long” training run left to go and then a shorter run or two before a few “rest” days which will undoubtedly be spent taking every step with great caution so I don’t injure myself before the big day.

The race organizers have a great weekend of festivities lined up for us. I am looking forward to meeting some of the other Official Bloggers. Additionally, I’m excited for my very first Expo!

On that note, I’m excited to announce my first-ever blog giveaway!

I have two tickets for the VIP Brunch that will take place at the finish line. The VIP Brunch takes place inside Cleveland Browns Stadium, and you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a spread of delicious food and celebrate a race well run. One lucky winner will receive both tickets!

Here’s how to enter:

1.) Leave a comment telling me which race you’re running during the Cleveland Marathon weekend! If you’re not running a race, please share a fun Cleveland-related memory.

2.) Tweet “I want to win two tickets to the VIP Brunch at the 2013 Cleveland Marathon from @ClevelandJoe! http://thefrolickingfells.com/2013/05/2013-cleveland-marathon-vip-brunch-ticket-giveaway.html” (Make sure to leave me a comment letting me know that you did too. You can tweet once per day!)

3.) Follow @ClevelandJoe on Twitter (and leave a comment letting me know that you did that too!)

The deadline for submitting entries is 11:59P.M. on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. I’ll choose a winner Wednesday morning using random.org and get the tickets in the mail to you by Wednesday afternoon so you’ll have them by Sunday. (The ticket says that you have to RSVP by May 1, 2013, but since I didn’t get these tickets until last Monday I don’t think it’ll be a problem.)

Good luck!