Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


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New 30 Day Challenge

Soooooo I guess it would benefit me to jump on board with a new 30 day challenge. My other fellow adult ballerinas have decided to do it, so I guess I should too. Now, my first 30 day challenge didn’t go so good. I wanted to work on my splits and begin stretching everyday, and well that never happened. I’m not surprised. Hah! I was trying to think of practical things I know I could do. With all of my ballet classes prepping for our recital, we have not been spending much time on technique or anything. So I think I’m going to try for a few things this month. First up….stretching. Yes, I know I said I tried this before and it didn’t work. This just means I have to try again. Second….my pirouettes. I want clean doubles. Third….my attitude turns. They need to look better. I will aim to improve on all three things this month. With all of them being in my recital dances, there is no option. My teacher says I look good in my dances, but she knows I can give her more. So more it will be. I want to look good on stage and make not only her proud, but myself. So I will be working on these three things as much as I can in class in-between rehearsing. And I will just have to start practicing at home. Time to roll out the good ol’ ballet floor! My studio is closed this week for spring break, so instead of ballet classes, I will just have to practice at home. I might attend some work out classes there this week instead too. Can’t hurt to be more in shape. I have to say since I’ve started running my stamina has greatly improved in class. I can now push through my dances and not feel as fatigued or out of breath every time. Yay! I’m doing really good with my running too. Ran 5.4 miles in our local park yesterday, whoop whoop! I signed up for a 5 mile run this upcoming Sunday….yikes! Super nervous. I’m sure everything will be ok. Hopefully!

In other news….I think I broke my shanks on my Gaynor Mindens?? I know, I know….before you all say its impossible to break their shanks, please look at the following picture….

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These are the Supple shanks, but I don’t think this is supposed to happen? I can completely bend them in half and they make a weird cracking/ plastic rubbing together sound. It’s really weird. And where its bending in half is weird? I’m still dancing in them, but I’m starting to get big toe pressure/pain now when I’m dancing. My hard shanks I had were comfy to me and I was always able to roll through demi-pointe in them from the beginning….so I don’t know what to do? Has anyone else who has danced in Gaynor’s had this happen to their shoes? I feel like I can dance in any shank type in these shoes, so how do I figure out which ones are the best for me? Any suggestions out there??

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5k….DONE!!

Well folks, I did it!! I ran in my first 5k race. I wasn’t breaking any records or anything, but I finished! This race was held in one of our local parks known as the Holden Arboretum. I’ve been there once before for a charity dog walk for our local shelter. It’s a really pretty area with trails and lots of different trees. It was hosted by HMA events, which is one of the larger groups that plans races in Northeast Ohio. So here it is…my recap of the night leading up to the race and race day itself!

So we start the weekend off by my mom coming into town to visit for the weekend. She was attending a quilting expo in town. Saturday we spent the day shopping and what not. Then when we got home my husband and I decided to keep working on our spare bedroom project. This entailed ripping the carpet out along with the million staples in the hard wood floor under it. You can only guess who was assigned that wonderful job…..ME! So I spent the rest of the evening ripping out carpet staples with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver. Fun stuff. It helped keep me occupied because I was getting really nervous. The weather was looking really cold for the next morning and I was doubting my ability to run. My mom and husband, and my BFF, all helped calm my nerves and told me it would be ok. I went to bed kinda late….around midnight and we had to be up at 6 am to get ready. Ugh. Morning came and I was soooooo nervous. It was absolutely freezing out. Like in the teens freezing. The coldest I’ve ever run was like 25 degrees. I was scared. As we got to the Arboretum, I immediately saw mile marker signs. It was an out and back course using the main entrance roadway as our path. Now when they said slightly hilly in the course description, they weren’t kidding!! This made me even more nervous. I hadn’t really trained running on hills. Yikes. I originally had wanted to aim for a time of under 30 minutes, but as soon as a I saw the inclines, I knew that wouldn’t happen. Race time was set for 8:30 am and we arrived around 7:30. Quickly other runners started arriving too and signing in. I got my bib and then hung out with my mom and husband inside the building. As the starting time approached, we made our way outside. It was so cold. Like barely 20 degrees. Before I had any time to think, it was time to line up. I said see ya later to my mom and husband and got in line. Ahhhhhhh!!! I had my headphones in and ready to go, had my Nike app running, and waited to hear them say go! Within seconds we were off! All I could think was holy crap! Start your app and get running girl!!! I started off good, had a little trouble with the cold air and breathing, but was able to keep going. By the 1 mile marker I was feeling good when we hit the first hill. Gulp. My thighs started burning immediately. What was I thinking?!? This is crazy. But I kept chugging along as best I could. I only had to stop and walk for about 20 seconds. I wasn’t happy about that, but I needed to do it. Then we hit the end of the road and made the turn to return back. Then I hit the 2 mile marker. I was feeling really good now. Then we went downhill which was great. After the hill though I realized in front of me we went back up a slight hill! Crap! I was so nervous and overwhelmed when we took off I didn’t realize we started on a decline. When I hit that last incline I felt exhausted. My thighs were burning! Once I made it around the bend though, I saw my mom and husband standing up ahead waiting to cheer me on to the finish. It was just the boost I needed. I heard someone running right behind me and I was not going to let them pass me up this close to the end! I kicked into overdrive and just sped up through the last quarter mile. I left that other runner in the dust!! When I hit the finish line I couldn’t even believe I did it! I was so excited and caught up in the action I actually forgot to stop my Nike running app until after a few seconds past the finish line. Rats!!! I waited for my mom and husband to walk down and meet me. They were so happy and proud of me! We went inside where I grabbed a bagel, Nutrigrain bar, and Powerade. Whew! I did it. I actually ran my first 5k. Bam.

My mom had to get going back home, so we said our goodbyes and then she was off! Husband and I decided to go out for breakfast to celebrate. Super yummy. Once home, I completely crashed and napped for like 2 hours. Hah! Since my running app wasn’t stopped accurately, I’m not entirely sure of my time yet. I know, ridiculous. I can’t remember what the clock said when I passed it either. So I’m anxiously awaiting them to post the race results to see what my time was. My app clocked me in somewhere around 31:45?? We shall see.

My this were pretty sore afterwards, so ballet class Monday night was interesting. I made it through it though. And then I actually ran last night again! And I ran my farthest yet…. 3.63 miles in 38:42.i didn’t stop to walk once. Super bam. As for today? I just signed up to run a 5 mile race in 2 weeks. I’m crazy. But I know I can do it. This race is part of a trilogy. They have a half marathon and 5 mile race in April, a 10 mile race in June, and a marathon, half marathon, and 5k in October. I’m hoping to do all 3 races. Obviously I would need to do the 5k in October, but that’s ok. I’m so excited.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! 🙂

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This is me SUPER nervous before the race.

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Taking off!

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Almost to the finish

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SO happy once finished! My first 5k in the books baby!!


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What Do You Live For?

I came across probably one of the most heart touching stories I’ve ever read. There is a man named Iram Leon from Texas. He was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer at the age of 30. He’s 32 now. He has a 4 year old daughter, too. Because of the type of cancer, he is prone to seizures. He cannot drive, work, or play any contact sports. But he can run. The story I read told of how this man lives and loves to run while pushing his daughter in a stroller. He’s run several 10k and half marathons with her and was looking forward to running his first full marathon. The Gusher Marathon in Texas was what he had hopes for. When he tried to register several times they denied him because most races do not permit strollers in the course. Finally, they allowed him to enter the race with his daughter in the stroller. Not only did this man run this race while pushing a stroller, he won!! He finished first overall with a time of 3:07:35. Completely and utterly incredible. This story brought tears to my eyes. Here is this man, who has such a grim diagnosis (doctors don’t expect him to live past 40), not only running in a marathon, but totally kicking everyone else’s butt while doing it. He says in the one article that he does not want to be on his death bed wishing he had spent more time with his daughter. He says running allows him to spend time with her, and she loves it. If this amazing man can run a full marathon, I can certainly run this 5k no matter how crappy the weather is or how I’m feeling about myself. I, and you, can do anything we put our minds to. Seeing people like Iram Leon make me want to keep pushing myself to discover and do as many things as I can in this lifetime. This man lives for his daughter. And I think that is amazing.

Here are the two links to his story. Please read, enjoy, and pass along if you want 🙂

The Gusher Marathon Story

The Post Game Story


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What Was I Thinking?!?!

I’m having one of those, “What was I thinking??” moments. My first 5k is this coming Sunday and the weather has still not warmed up. I knew going into this that there was going to be a good chance of it being cold and crappy out still, but I signed up anyways. Well as I sit here looking out the window at the freezing rain….I’m like, oh crap. This was a stupid idea. Hah! I’m trying to remain hopeful that the weather this Sunday will be ok. I’ve ran in less than ideal conditions before, I just don’t prefer it. Im just starting to get really nervous. All of the little things are making me uneasy. Like, where do we park? Where do I go to sign in? Will other people be able to tell I’ve never done this before? Will I look silly running? I know I’m just over thinking everything, but that’s just how I am. I like to know every detail before arriving. My goal is to hopefully finish under 30 minutes. I’m not really sure of the course layout…I’m hoping it won’t be too hilly. I gained some major encouragement after reading fellow Disney-loving runner Cristine. She is an avid runner, just completing another half marathon last week. She even got to run in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in Disneyland. Super jealous.

I’m hoping to get in at least one or two more runs this week. I know I can do this 5k regardless of how much more I train, but I really want to complete my time goal.

Oh, and that running belt I bought? It’s perfect. I only used it to store my inhaler and iPhone, but it worked out great. I couldn’t even feel it. I know you’re supposed to wear it with the pouch against your back, but I turned it around to be more like a fanny-pack style so I could access my phone (I finally figured out my iTunes problem, now I just have to create the proper playlist). I highly recommend the Nathan Shadow Pak. I got mine here on Amazon for like $15. You can’t pass it up. If you’re looking for more storage room though or more water bottles, I would recommend getting something larger. It’s perfect for the beginner runner.

Well wish me luck for my 5k! I’ll be sure to post some before/after pics on Instagram and Twitter. Keep a look out!! 🙂


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Running Accessories

Like any girl, I like to shop. So naturally when I started doing ballet I bought all sorts of leotards, tights, leg warmers, etc. You can never have too many ballet things. Since getting into running, the same thing has happened. I bought thermal running pants, compression running pants, compression shirts, running jacket, etc. Since I’m not running long distances right now, I don’t need to take many things with me when I run. Right now I take my phone to track my run, my iPod shuffle for music, and my asthma inhaler. Why the phone and iPod shuffle? Because my phone is all messed up with my music right now. I haven’t been able to correctly sync my iTunes music to it, so therefore the iPod shuffle comes along. I always plan on having my phone with me when I run for various reasons. Right now I put my inhaler in my jacket pocket. It doesn’t have a zipper so I’m always afraid it’s going to fall out. I clip my iPod shuffle to my jacket and just hold my phone in my hand. I needed something to better carry my stuff. So I took to the Internet and started looking for running accessories. I came across things called running belts. Seem of them are pretty fancy. I just need something simple and lightweight that won’t bounce or shift while I run. Some of these running belts are hydration belts. I have to admit they are pretty intimidating. Some of them can hold up to four 10 oz bottles! That’s crazy hydration right there. I was a little scared of these big running belts, so I focused on starting off with something smaller. I don’t really need to carry that much water with me since I’m not running more than 3-5 miles at a time. I looked around on Amazon.com and came across a few different belts I liked. I didn’t want to spend too much either. I ended up going with a Nathan Shadow Pak in the berry color and decided to also get a Nathan Add On Flask also in berry. It only holds 8 oz. of water which is just enough for now. I decided to do it this way so that I can just use the belt for my shorter runs and for now in the winter when it’s not as hot out. And when summer comes and I start running farther, I can simply attach the water bottle to my belt. Perfect! For both items I only ended up spending like $27 with free shipping. Not bad. If I ever get to running super crazy long distances then I would consider upgrading to one of those fancy belts. I can’t wait for them to get here. I will let you know how it goes!

Have any of you used a running belt before? If you did, what did you use?

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My Master Class Experience

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As my last blog post mentioned, I was given the opportunity to attend a Master Class taught by Allison DeBona. She was brought here by the amazing Jessica Wallis, founder of Ballet In Cleveland. I was so excited to attend this class, even though I was super nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, how many girls would be there, what type of work we would be doing, etc. I was so nervous. Thankfully, my BFF, Legal Ballerina, was also able to attend. I remember walking into the studio and seeing a bunch of really pretty, young, ballerinas. They were all stretching on the floor and at the barre in their cute little warm up outfits. I was immediately intimidated. All I could think was, “I can’t stretch like that. Holy cow, I’m not that flexible. Wow her leg extensions are amazing.” LB and I put our belongings back in the locker room and headed out to find a place to stretch. We headed for the farthest corner of the barre. There ended up being so many girls in this class! It was amazing to see so many girls from all over Northeast Ohio. So we stretched for about 10-15 minutes when it happened. I saw THE ballerina walk into the room. The lovely Allison DeBona had entered the room and was ready to get started. We were fortunate enough to have somebody there playing the piano. I had never experienced this! Allison introduced herself and we quickly got started. She showed us the warm-ups she does at Ballet West on a typical day. It was kind of hard to see her demonstrating things from where she was standing, but I tried my best to follow her. She would quickly demonstrate the combinations and also verbally say them too. I recognized most of the words being used, but struggled with the quick pace each set of combinations went at. We did basic leg work. A lot of tendus, relevĂ©s, fondus, etc. All the younger girls flew through them with ease. I struggled a bit with combinations. It was hard not being able to see what she was doing. I tried my best though! Allison would even stop the pianist mid song to correct things the majority of the girls were doing incorrectly. I liked that she did that because the advice she gave was really helpful.

LB and I weren’t the only “older” people there though! There was actually a very nice gentlemen in his 40’s there who had only been dancing for a year. A guy! How awesome is that! I give him mad props for putting on those ballet shoes and learning ballet. There was also a younger boy in the class who danced pretty good for his age too. I was afraid Allison was going to call me out for the mistakes I was making or for not being up to speed with these younger girls. But she didn’t! In fact, she was very helpful in explaining things and giving everyone pointers on how to better effectively execute moves. She was very poised and knowledgable. You could tell this girl definitely knew what she was doing. And her body?! Holy cow. She is so muscular and petite. All strength. Pretty mind blowing.

Anyways, back to class. After working at the barre, we moved to center and did a few adagio combinations. Simple ones like tombé pas de bourrée, pirouette or tombé pas de bourrée, glissade, jeté, jeté, jeté, grande jeté. She even complimented me on my traveling across the whole floor! Score!! We worked on grande battements in center too. I was actually able to do them as good as most of the other girls. So that was good.

At the end of class we took a class picture with Allison. I don’t have it yet. They should be mailed out sometime this week! I was able to get a picture with Allison and LB though on my phone! Super cool. We also got a autographed headshot of her too. Ballet in Cleveland also gave us some swag bags with some cool items too. The owners, and also professional dancers, of Food Barre were there too. We ever got a free sample in our bag!

Even though I struggled quite a bit with the class, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of. It was such an amazing experience. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to go. If you ever have a chance to take a master class in your area, I highly recommend doing it. Don’t be afraid. Even if you are the oldest one there, you will still take things away from the experience. Not once did I ever feel like the younger girls were judging me. I even got to talk with Allison for a minute! I introduced myself and told her that I was the one who had been tweeting her lately! She was such a sweet woman. I hope she is able to come back again some day and do another class. There was also a Q&A session after class where the girls were able to ask Allison questions. Allison’s mom and sister were even there! So cool. I’m so glad I was able to do this. And I cannot wait for season 2 of Breaking Pointe to air on tv. I recommend everyone check it out! You won’t be disappointed.
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Master Class with Allison DeBona

OMG. Guys.

I get to meet AND dance with Allison DeBona. She’s a real ballerina. She is a demi-soloist with Ballet West and stars in the CW’s show, Breaking Pointe, which is coming out with season 2 this summer! I originally wrote about her coming to Cleveland here. Ballet in Cleveland is bringing her to Cleveland this weekend for a master class taught by Allison. So exciting! I didn’t think I was going to be able to go, but thankfully the lovely Jessica Wallis who runs Ballet in Cleveland, made it possible for me to attend. I’m so excited. I absolutely love the show Breaking Pointe, and cannot wait for it to return this summer. I’m also very excited to meet Allison and ask her any questions I may have. The master class I’ll be taking is 1.5 hours followed by a 30 minute Q&A session with Allison. Other than my own ballet instructor, I’ve never met a professional ballerina, let alone dance with one! I’m really nervous for the class. It’s for children ages 13-18+ and any college aged students. I have a feeling I will be the only adult there, besides Jessica. And I think I’m ok with that. I have no idea what to expect in class. I’m hoping I can maintain!! This is just such an amazing opportunity, I can’t pass it up. And if I end up being the “worst” there because of my age and skill level, then that’s ok. I’ll never see any of these girls again. Or, for all I know I will be just as good as them and blow them away that an “old” person can dance too. I’m hoping for the latter. Hah! Either way I think it will be fun. I’ll be sure to follow up with my experience and post any pictures I may be able to take. Yay!! 🙂