Ch Ch Changes


*Updated: I thought I had it set up so both address still work however you will have to update your readers to the new site!

I changed the blog name! I registered my domain! Big girl panties on!


I have been thinking about it for a while now and have gone back and forth on if I would do it or not. But I finally decided to change my blog name and register a domain. I thought about keeping my old blog name and registering that address but it’s not available! Who has mojamala2.com lol.

However, one of my reasons for changing the blog name was to have something easier to pronounce. As well as having a short web address. After some brainstorming and checking to see what was available I came up with The Tambura Runner! So maybe it’s not super easy to pronounce but it’s easy to sound out 😉

Designed a new header!
Designed a new header!

For those of you who do not know, a tambura (pronounced “tum-burr-a”) is a Croatian folk stringed instrument. I grew up listening to tambura music, playing tambura and kolo dancing. It’s probably the only thing I love more than running, don’t tell running I said that! So I combined my 2 favorite things and The Tambura Runner was born!

Original picture with tamburas, running shoes and bib number
Original picture with tamburas, running shoes and bib number

A couple things will remain the same:

The blog address will remain mojamala2blog@gmail.com for now.
Twitter and Instagram handles will remain @mojamala2
Content discussed on the blog will remain mostly running focused but probably with more pictures of Bodhi.

The Bod Man
The Bod Man

I think I mapped the new domain correctly so that both mojamala2.wordpress.com as well as thetamburarunner.com will both take you to the same place! I think…


My Lovely Bridal Shower: Part 2

If you missed it, you can find Part 1 here.

Seriously, I am not sure how I remained so calm with everything going on. I decided that since I wasn’t hyperventilating or dizzy that I would go to the shower but would leave immediately if I had to. I called Ryan to give him the good news that I was on my way!

picture oftheguests moreguests

I knew I was late to my own shower but I thought to myself, “Who really comes right at 2pm anyways?” I figured by the time I got there only a few guests would be there. Ryan met me in the driveway and I asked “Are there a lot of people here?” I expected him to say “No” or “Just a few”. Instead he told me “Everyone is here.”

This was hanging at the bottom of the driveway. Loved it!
This was hanging at the bottom of the driveway. Loved it!

So my plan to get to my shower early, take pictures of how nicely everything was set up, help with any finishing touches, take pictures with my family, bridesmaids and guests and to greet my guests went out the window. How do you personally greet all your guests when they are already seated and waiting on you to show up? Very awkward.

Cute pic but you can see how tired and not well I was feeling ;(
Cute pic but you can see how tired and not well I was feeling ;(

I did try to snap a couple pictures real quick. The rest I stole from my bridesmaids and mom.

This cake should probably say "Soon to be Jessica & Ryan McCartney" or "The Future Jessica & Ryan McCartney" but I'll let it slide since it is us running :)
This cake should probably say “Soon to be Jessica & Ryan McCartney” or “The Future Jessica & Ryan McCartney” but I’ll let it slide since it is us running 🙂

Beautiful centerpieces that my cousin/MOH/Ashley made. (She even let me take them home to use for the rehearsal dinner).

So perfect!
So perfect!

And here are adorable favors that were marshmallows (one of my favorite snacks) on a stick to use to make s’mores that were set up in the garage/food area. Besides one of our favorite pictures on it, the words underneath said

“Much like chocolate and marshmallows, when they are separate, Jess and Ryan are great…But when you put them together, they are perfect!”

Shower Favors
Shower Favors

Since we were late, I went and said hi to my bridesmaids, moms, grandmas and anyone else I could real quick. And I mean, like real quick! We were on a schedule and I was late (and starving) so Ashley made sure we were the first to eat. Plus she needed to steal Ryan away to work on some games that were coming up. Ashley and I never discussed games but she knows me well and follows all my Pinterest stuff to know exactly what I would want. I’ll share the games in a short part 3 post.

IMG_1877 IMG_1886 IMG_1885

I didn’t get to snap a picture of all the food and desserts we had but my Mom did snap a picture of the chickens my step-dad cooked for the party. They were delish!

Dave's Chickens
Dave’s Chickens

This is where things start to get blurry. Nerves, plus asthma attack, plus super shaky from asthma meds, plus I don’t even know! I think we played 2 games real quick and then started opening our gifts.

opening stuff

While I would love to share all the gifts our family and friends gave us, it would make one really long blog post so I am sharing just this one. It was a gift that my Mom said was for Ryan to open. He reached in the gift bag and pulled out a chef’s hat and apron. There is a special joke about the apron, that I won’t mention to keep the blog PG. Ryan showed the crowd and was a trooper and put on the chef’s hat for everyone.

TrooperI must have misunderstood my Mom when she said the gift was for Ryan. I sat back and was enjoying watching him open up the gift…until he started to open something that I thought was maybe silk boxers.

"Hmm what could this be?"
“Hmm what could this be?”

Kinda weird but I thought maybe it was a joke until I realized it was a little girly for boxers and realized IT WAS LINGERIE!!!! By lingerie, I mean sexy nightgown. A little different from my soccer shorts and old race shirts. The best part is, my little sister picked it out!

"That's enough, let's put that away"
“That’s enough, let’s put that away” “You are hilarious Mom”

We are beyond blessed with awesome friends and family who spoiled us for our wedding shower. We loved all of our gifts! But really, we loved just being able to have all of our friends and family together before the big day. I loved being able to look out and see all the people who love us so much.

IMG_1875 Jessand MP MeLisaandLuke

The good news is Ryan was absolutely amazing and stole all the ladies hearts, like usual. And my cousin/MOH/Ashley threw me the most perfect and beautiful shower. It was 100% the shower that I wanted…minus that whole asthma attack part. I couldn’t have put on a better shower myself. Ashley really outdid herself and did it with a 2.5 year old and a 2 month old.

Her 2.5 year old is my ring bearer! From the day he was born I wanted him in my wedding.

IMG_1881Her 2 month old is very close to getting stolen by me…

JessandLukeAshley-Thank you so much for throwing us such an awesome bridal shower. I know it was a crazy day, but you were so awesome. I am very lucky to have you as my leading lady for my wedding.

Seriously, hands down the best person in the wold.
Seriously, hands down the best person in the wold.

Running For Hope 5K Winner & Erie Training Weeks 3 & 4

I used random.org to pick my winner. One of these days I will get up to speed and use rafflecopter but for now I’m still old school.

And the winner is…………… SARA!!!!!!

Good Luck at the race!


If I thought marathon training was going to be busy while planning a wedding, it just got worse with multiple asthma attacks the past 2 weeks. Running is a lot harder when you can’t breathe! Luckily, I’m really good at controlling my asthma and even have a doctor’s appointment today…even if I was at urgent care yesterday.

Training Week 3:

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Track was packed and I was crunched for time so I hopped on the treadmill. 1 mile WU, 4-800s at 3:35, 3:35, 3:20, 3:21 and 1 mile CD
Wednesday: last flag football game of the summer
Thursday: Sand volleyball game
Friday: 4 mile run
Saturday: 3 mile run and conditioning
Sunday: 2 mile WU and then the Park 2 Park Half Marathon


Total Mileage: 26 miles

Training Week 4:

Monday: Rest day and a massage
Tuesday: Speedwork. 1 mile WU, 5-800s at 3:21, 3:22, 3:25, 3:26, 3:23 and 1 mile CD. Speedwork was tough this week, I really struggled with the first 3.
Wednesday: 6 on the trails
Thursday: 4 before work. Ryan was awesome and biked next to me since I was still dark out…at 4:30am. After work we had a mini date night, driving range, sushi and a stop at the candy store 🙂 then I had to head off to volleyball.

Best sushi ever at Mizu Sushi in Parma!
Best sushi ever at Mizu Sushi in Parma!

Friday: Rest Day…conditioning day
Saturday: I had a busy Saturday morning so I ran 12 miles, went to work on a project for work and then finished the last 4 on the trail. Those last 4 on the trail were very hot! 16 total for the day

16 mile long run reward
16 mile long run reward

Sunday: Easy 4 mile run

Total Mileage: 35

My training paces have been all over the place with the heat and with my asthma. Hoping to get the asthma under control today and the heat I just have to deal with. It is summer in Cleveland.


Not Stressed Yet: A Wedding Update

Right now, I am really glad I started all of the wedding planning early. If not, I would be super stressed and overwhelmed. My plan all along was to get as much done as early as I could so that I wouldn’t be stressed closer to the wedding. The wedding is still 157 days away, yes we are still counting but it’s flying by now. Not to mention I am super busy. All my time not spent at work or running is now spent wedding planning. Every evening and weekend is consume with wedding planning but I love it!

todos80 to-dos to go according to my checklist on the knot. Some of those are easy things like, get your nails done before the wedding, check that bridesmaids ordered dresses, get fitted for your dress etc. Not included is register and go to pre-cana 😦 or help your Mom pick out a mother of the bride dress 🙂 But we tackled that last weekend. Also, my Mom hates shopping, especially the mall.

I need this chair!
I need this chair!

My Mom knew exactly what she wanted in a dress. Short in length, had to have sleeves (even if sheer) and preferred the color purple. She had scoped out some dresses online and hoped they had it in store. When we got to the store, they had her dress in stock but she entertained me and tried on multiple other dresses even though she knew she had already found the one. I can’t believe we found her a dress after going to just 1 store and in less than an hour!

My Mom also made a special trip out to my house to help me with invitations. To save money I decided to do them myself. To save paper I put multiple invitations on one page, and same with rsvps, directions, etc. However, I am somehow challenged and cannot cut paper. I have this giant fancy paper cutter and somehow can’t cut in a line. Thankfully, Mom is super crafty and came to my rescue.

Hard at work
Hard at work

We finalized our wedding favors, we had changed our minds a couple times but I’m happy with what we ended up with. It will be a DIY project so I’ll share it with you closer or after the wedding. But you may have already saw this sneak peak but we added a few things to it after this picture was taken.

Love seeing our names together like this.
Love seeing our names together like this.

Then I realized we already had all of our rehearsal dinner information so I went ahead and created the invitations for that late last night. My plan is to save on stamps and send them out with the invitations. It’s always nice to get stuff done in advance to I don’t have to worry about it later on. Other ways to save on rehearsal dinner invites is to send an evite, facebook invite, or mass mail. I’ve seen it all.

It looks better without all the top secret information blocked out.
It looks better without all the top secret information blocked out. And also if I could crop a picture without cutting it off.

Next week I meet with the florist, Vesna, so that will be one more thing to cross off my list and stop having nightmares about. My dress is not in yet but I’ll wait til March to stress out about that. (It was supposed to be in late January/early February.) I’ve been working on centerpieces for awhile now but I’m very very close to being done. Expected to be done by this weekend. Took a little longer than expected but worth it. It is so far my only Pinterest inspired wedding item, which is shocking.

Next couple things I need to tackle include actually booking the honeymoon. I think we finally figured it out (going to 2 places now). Need to finalize my flower girl dress. Need to assemble the invitations as well as address them all. Need to figure out gifts for the wedding party and parents.

What are some of your favorite wedding party gifts?




Taking Track Tuesdays to the Streets.

My past 2 Track Tuesdays have ended up as Treadmill Tuesday. Since the track surprisingly does not look like this.

Clean track
Clean track

And looks more like this.

My paint skills need work.
My paint skills need work.

Sorry, my paint skills are lacking. That’s snow and ice on the track. Not even a single lane is clear and only a crazy person would shovel a track. Although, I did drive around to 3 tracks to see if any were clear so I’m at least a little crazy.

I had 2 choices for speed work. 1.) Get on the treadmill (which would probably tell me 800 meters is 1000  meters and would run farther than I intended, more on that later) or 2.) take my speed work to the streets!

I found a short local street that is pretty much dead end in both directions and figured it would be perfect for speed work. The straightaway part of the street was over 800 meters so it was perfect and you could duck down any side street if you needed extra space.

Google Maps image
Google Maps image

The picture above is from google maps and did not look as pretty as this at all. In reality, it was dark, cold and the yards were covered with snow.

Pros of street speed work:

  • The street is completely plowed so ice and snow are not a factor.
  • Got my speed work in outside!

Cons of street speed work:

  • Even though the street was a dead end there was still a lot of traffic.
  • Too dark. Did speed work after work and it got dark fast! The street is not perfectly paved so it was hard to see dips, grooves, sewers etc.
  • Because it’s a straightaway it’s a hard to tell where you are at. Lots of looking down at your watch to see your distance. Which was too dark to see and had to turn on the light on the Garmin.
  • Times were slightly slower due to looking down at your watch to see distance, moving over for cars and watching where you were going.
  • It got boring running the same street. Which I was surprised, I thought running on a track was pretty boring.
  • Lots of weird looks from cars passing.

Hopefully, I will not have to resort to street speed work often, maybe I’ll bring a headlamp with me to see better. It is warming up this weekend so my next Track Tuesday should be on an actual track.

What do you do when you can’t do your speed work outdoors? Treadmill? skip it? street it?

My latest email from the Cleveland Marathon says 2 important things. 1.) Registration prices go up on January 10th! Register NOW! 2.) If you register by then you still get the early bird registration gift. Which is a shoe wallet! I’ve always been curious about using one of these.


My 2013 Marathon Training Plan

I spent a lot of time thinking about how I was going to do my training differently this year.

  1. Low mileage-no more 50 mile weeks, I’ll barely even be knocking on 40 miles a week.
  2. Running 3-4 days a week. This is killing me, I want to run everyday, double digits. However, my IT band does not agree. We have compromised on 3-4 days.
  3. 1 REST days a week.
  4. More strength training. I already do tons of core and leg work but am adding in more.
  5. PYLOMETRICS. The higher you jump, the faster your 5K times. I know, I know, this is a marathon training plan but this also works as some awesome cross training.

Looking back at old training plans this is close to my first 2 training plans I have ever done (Akron and Cleveland). Simple and easy to move workouts around and less mileage. I qualified for Boston on a plan similar to this.


I’ve always made my own training plans. This year, while looking at the Hal Higdon Training plans, I fell in love with the Marathon 3 Training plan. I feel like this training plan was made for me.

Marathon 3 is designed for experienced runners, those who have been running for several years, who enjoy running road races between 5-K and the marathon, but who find it difficult to run more often than three times a week. Perhaps it is because of a lack of time or perhaps it is because too frequent running raises their risk of injury. If you are one of those runners, Marathon 3 is designed for you.

However, this plan is 24 weeks long. Considering I am already running 10- 14 miles on the weekends, I am a little ahead on this plan so I could just straight to week 8-9. Instead, I opened excel and with major inspiration from the Hal Higdon Marathon 3 Training Plan, I came up with this lovely, beautiful, PR worthy training plan.


There may be a couple changes to this plan as I am still waiting on 2-3 races to  announce their dates. For the most part though, this is how the plan will go.

So I put my hands up...
So I put my hands up…

Cheers to racing INJURY FREE IN 2013!


Remember When?

Ok, way way back in February of 2011, I wrote an essay for a chance to win a $25,000 living room makeover. My essay was picked out of 1000’s and then put into a voting round on Facebook of about 200. I begged and begged you all to vote for me. In October 2011 it was narrowed to the top 3 and they picked a winner and 2 runners up. Oh and the winner, was ME!!!!


 I was shocked and super excited! I waited months trying to schedule a time for the designer to come out and redo my condo. In the meantime, I ended up getting engaged and moving (not far). It didn’t seem right to accept a prize, based on an essay I wrote that was no longer true. Also, with planning a wedding I didn’t want to worry about paying the taxes on such a large prize. I talked to Wayfair, the company I won the prize from and we worked out a smaller prize. Basically, I was given a smaller prize amount and was able to pick my own stuff out. Shopping Spree!!!

The website has a ton of stuff to choose from. Except electronics, so no new tvs, playstations or laptops but just about everything else was there, furniture, home decor, tools, bedding, lighting, exercise equipment and even hot tubs! Spoiler alert, I didn’t get a hot tub 😦

I did pick out some art work for the walls though. My first choice was sold out and after searching I stumbled upon the two pieces below. (the red ones on the sides)


Next, I wanted some decorative vases, that I never would have paid the money for normally. I fell in love with tons of vases. Finally I settled on the yellow and white ones for the living room and the lime green ones for the dining room. I really loved how the lime green ones popped.

                                           IMG_0770           IMG_0775

Of course, I had to spoil my man and get him a kegerator. Ok, maybe it was for myself as well. Beer on tap in your own house is pretty amazing. In case you were wondering, we have Columbus IPA on tap right now. And I am sad to say that we have not done any keg stands yet. I’ll work on that.


And with beer on tap I need a way to stay fit. So a spin bike and treadmill were easily on the list. I have gotten so much use out of the bike and treadmill already and know that in the winter I will get even more use out of them. In case I haven’t said it before, I LOVE THE TREADMILL. It’s warm and safe, I don’t have to worry about running in the dark, weirdos who hassle me or freezing my guza off.

                                                     IMG_0776     IMG_0714

Since this was originally a “Living Room Makeover” I did end up getting a new bright red microfiber recliner and an amazing sofa. I have wanted a grey sofa with a chaise lounger forever. I  cannot tell you how many times I have said “ I love my couch” It’s also super comfy and big. It was really hard to get a good picture of the sofa because it was so big. The link above may be better. The couch did not come with the yellow pillows, I picked those out as well to tie in the yellow and white vases.

                                              IMG_0773     IMG_0772

Finally, I had to get one more thing to hang on the wall. I briefly glanced at mirrors and instantly loved this big white one. Which now hangs above the couch.


I got a couple other things that are not pictured. Such as a Hello Kitty beach towel for my sister…and maybe one for myself as well. Possible bridal jewelry, a necklace which I wore for engagement photos, a wine rack, and a new coffee maker for my mom.

So far I have been extremely pleased with everything that I have received and was worth waiting a year and a half for.

What’s the biggest prize you have won? Would you ever decline a large prize for a smaller one?


There’s Something In The Basement

Don’t worry, it’s nothing scary and it may be my most favorite thing ever. I spent some time with it last night and can’t stop thinking about it. I am actually being serious. I am having a real hard time to not cancel all my plans this weekend to spend time with this. I contemplated calling in sick to work, just to stay home with it.

Introducing the newest member to our household, the Proform Treadmill 4500. In other words, I got a freaking sweet treadmill, WAHOOOOO!!!!

I hear angels singing when I see this.

I did my research when selecting a treadmill. I really wanted something that would last 2 marathoners at least a couple years. I had no idea how amazing it truly would be.

It has a 10-Inch Full Color touch screen (it’s android though, boooooo) and connects to WiFi. I could blog from my treadmill now….if only I could type while running. It comes with a fan built into the unit, woah, I know.  It is iPod compatible! Although, I can’t figure that part out yet but it has the connections.

So pretty.

Probably one of the coolest features on the treadmill is the iFit program, powered by Google Maps. iFit allows you to punch in any map and it will recreate that map on your treadmill by adjusting the incline and decline to match the maps elevation.

My thoughts exactly Ry.

Ryan was leaving as I was hopping on the treadmill and he was afraid the treadmill was going to murder me while he was gone. But seriously, we can type in upcoming courses and run them on the treadmill. Talk about taking training to the new level!

The only cons that I have about the treadmill are that it doesn’t play Netflix movies on that screen. We are mounting a TV on the wall anyways though so it doesn’t matter. Also, the treadmill doesn’t do laundry, I guess I can’t have it all.

 Seriously in love with this new member of the family. Almost distracts me from the fact that I am supposed to be racing the Air Force Marathon in Dayton tomorrow. Yet another race that I had to pull out due to injury 😦

In other news, I’ve been running again. I am up to 40-45 mins and really easing back into it. The longer I get to run the more I realize how much I truly love this sport!

Any exciting plans for the weekend?
Anyone use iFit before? pros, cons?