Hi There! I am Jess, a 30 something wife and doxie mom from Cleveland, OH, where I have lived most of my life. Minus those four college years I spent in Toledo. I absolutely love Cleveland and you will not find me living anywhere else. Even with those crazy lake-effect snow filled winters…that I secretly love!
Why the name “Tambura Runner”? Well, originally this blog was “mojamala2.wordpress.com” which was based off a nickname from college. I eventually decided to buy the domain for the blog however, that one or something similar was not available. Since this blog is 95% running, I had to keep it running related. Another somewhat serious hobby of mine is playing a Croatian folk instrument called the Tambura. Specifically, I play the prim, it’s one of my favorite things to do and my favorite music to listen to. Technically, I could have went with Prim Runner, which probably would have been a lot easier to pronounce! However, I ended up going with The Tambura Runner, forever making people mispronounce it. Your welcome.
You are probably wondering how I learned to play this instrument. Technically, I learned because for 14 years of my life I traveled and performed with the American Zagreb Junior Tamburitzans. They are a Croatian folk performing group in Cleveland. However, my entire family plays this same family of instruments so it was probably inevitable. I made some amazing friends and was able to perform and travel the world.
Currently, I perform with another local Cleveland group named Zumbercani. I started performing with them in 2014 and it has been a great way to continue performing and traveling.
Ok, back to running! Running has always been one of my favorite things to do. Whether I was playing kickball at recess or running drills for another sport, I always loved the running part. I participated in Track and Field in grade school and high school but short distances only. Anything longer than a 400 and you would hear some major complaints from me! I also “dabbled” in volleyball, soccer, cheerleading and gymnastics but still loved to run.
In college, I ran to stay in shape and slowly worked my way up to running 2 miles. Which all my friends thought was “so far.” To be honest, I thought it was pretty far too. By my senior year of college, I was running 5-7 miles a day and my friends responses then were “everyday?!?!” While at college I couldn’t really afford to participate in local races. I think I ran about 3 races in my entire 4 years at college and most of that was my friends dragging me to fundraising runs.
After college, I continued to run and did it because I loved it. Eventually, after being home from college for about 8 months I decided to sign up for a race to measure my fitness. I was doing all this running so let’s see where I measure up. While I couldn’t find any friends who would do one with me so I sucked it up and went by myself. Normally, for your first race (or first race in awhile), you sign up for something small, like a 5K. For some reason, I signed up for a 10k and at that time I wasn’t even running that far. However, I went, did that 10K and I was hooked!
Before I knew it, I was racing every weekend and sometimes both Saturday and Sunday of the weekend. I had my share of ups and downs with running, I made amazing friends, experienced injuries, became a marathon maniac and traveled to new places. I’ve completed 16 marathons, plus an ironman and continue to run about 20 races each year. I have loved every minute of it and I loved the people I met at races. Loved one runner so much that I married him!
Shortly after our honeymoon, we started a family and brought Bodhi home. Then in 2015 we brought Bandit home too. These two dogs bring an incredible amount of joy and laughter to our lives.
This blog is where I share my journey through running and life so I hope you enjoy it!
If you need to contact me please use the following email address MojaMala2blog@gmail.com
Can you believe there was already a mojamala2 email?