These are a few of my Favorite Things

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Spring Training

For those of us who are baseball fans trying to make it through the long, cold off-season, there's nothing that sets our hearts aflutter more than those magic little words - "Pitchers and Catchers Report."  It's appropriate then that this year, the first day of pitcher and catcher workouts falls on the day dedicated to all things love, February 14th, Valentines Day.

Pirates spring training facility in Florida - Pic taken from

It also feels like a great time to recommit to my own Spring Training which, to be honest, has been lacking in the last months.  Luckily, I have some very concrete and urgent things that should underscore my training.

First and foremost, I've got a marathon to run in fewer than 12 weeks.  That's right, I've committed once again to run the full 26.2 miles of the Pittsburgh Marathon Course after taking the year off to run the half in 2016.  This upcoming marathon will be my first race of that distance since I completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 2015.  I love Pittsburgh, I love running through the many neighborhoods on the course of the full, I'm looking forward to the changes in the new course, that will, among other things, take us past the homes of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers on the North Shore, but if I don't really ramp up my training soon, I won't love any of those things come May 7th.

During my last 26.2 mile venture - Marine Corps Marathon 2015

My second and most exciting motivator is that I am not merely running this race, I am Running for a Reason as a charity partner for the Miracle League of the South Hills.  Yes, I love baseball, and I believe that every child and young adult should have the opportunity to play.  The Miracle League facilitates baseball leagues and training camps where all children have the opportunity to play, to learn about baseball, teamwork, and community.  They also have a beautiful facility in the South Hills that includes one of the coolest playgrounds I've ever seen in the form of a wheelchair-accessible play structure that is designed to mimic features of Downtown Pittsburgh and PNC park.  I highly recommend anyone who has kids, or is a kid at heart, to check it out!  As I train for this year's marathon, I will also be raising money so the Miracle League can continue all of their amazing programming for kids and families in our community.  Check out my fundraiser at Crowdrise!

Coolest.  Playground.  Ever.  - photo taken from

My last motivating factor is decidedly more selfish than the last, and it's something I hate talking about, but that I need to talk about in the context of my running and training.  The fact of the matter is, I currently weigh more than I think I've ever weighed in my life.  I know it's not just the number of the scale, but it makes me feel tired and sluggish.  My times in my last few races have been quite slow compared to when I first started running.  Plus, sometimes I feel just unnecessarily worn out after activities that shouldn't make me feel this way.  I don't need to be able to fit into the same jeans that I could in high school, or anything like that, but I'm pretty sure I know my own body well enough to know that I need to lose back some of this weight I've gained over the last couple of years. Oh, and a potential bonus to that weight loss?  Better fitting the Pirates' free shirt giveaway t-shirts!

Free Shirt!  Woo Hoo!

Happy Spring Training to all of the baseball fans out there, and to everyone who is gearing up for a Spring/Summer race or another event.  Now, time to get up from my computer, and get out there and start training!