Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


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Where Has the Time Gone??

Well hello there friends! I don’t know about you, but this month has flown by! It started with my first half marathon on Oct 6, followed by my second half on Oct 13, followed by a lot of ballet. First off- my ballet teacher broke her wrist. Like bad. I got a phone call on Friday night, Oct 4 from her husband telling me the bad news. He said I would have to teach class alone on Saturday morning, with my few high school girls there of course to help! I was so nervous! Thankfully, the girls who help are totally awesome, so the classes went well. Whew! My teacher ended up needing surgery, so I was asked to step in and teach some of her other classes while she was out. Talk about being scared! I did not want to let her down, so I did as best as I could. I ended up teaching the Beginning Ballet 1/2, Beginning Ballet 3/4, and Ballet 1. One of the high school girls helped me teach the. Beg Ballet 1/2, but I was on my own for the others! It was a great experience, even though I felt bad for my teacher being hurt. I enjoyed the challenge and ended up doing really well. It helped show me areas of teaching I need to work on, and it also showed me that the girls in the studio respect me. Even little girls I had never met before were kind and open to me teaching them. By the end of the 3 weeks, I definitely got to know some of them a little better. Which always makes me feel good. My teacher has been working her way back into the studio. She was there last week to get some office work done while I taught, and then was back to teaching our classes. It was like she didn’t skip a beat- she was right back in there calling out combinations and working us hard! It is so nice to have her back. And I’m so glad she’s starting to feel better.

In other news, I have my last half marathon of this year coming up this Sunday! I’m a little nervous- I actually haven’t ran since my last half marathon on Oct 13. With all the ballet stuff my schedule was a little off- but everything will be ok. I’ve still been active with dance, so my legs are still primed and ready to go! I’m really excited for it. I just hope the weather cooperates!!

We also went camping this weekend. It was our annual Gory at the Quarry event. It’s a Halloween themed camping event which is always fun. Brrrrrrr! It was a little chilly, but nothin worse than the previous years. We all had a good time and the music wasn’t too bad. In case you’re interested, we go to Nelson Ledges Quarry Park for camping throughout the year. They put on some awesome festivals and the quarry is always nice for swimming! Enjoy a few pictures! 🙂

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I’m Only Half Crazy!!

Remember that time I decided to run my second half marathon only one week after running my first?!?! Ya…..that happened. Lol. I ran my second half marathon this past Sunday, October 13. I ran it with the one girl I ran my first one with. I kicked some serious butt too!!! Here’s a quick little race recap of the Northern Ohio Half Marathon!

This was also an inaugural race. They actually had a full marathon and 5k as well as the half marathon I ran in. The race took place up in Fairport Harbor, right along the shore of Lake Erie. While the course didn’t have any lake views, the parking area did! It was so cool to see the lake when it was still dark out. Kinda creepy! My morning started off waiting in line to use the indoor bathrooms by the park. There was about 15-20 women waiting to use them, but we still preferred that over using the port-a-potties. Well, as my luck would have, as we were almost to the front of the line, a rather size-able spider went running past us into the bathroom!! Naturally, all us girls were freaking out!! No one wanted to step on it. Bad karma for your running shoes!! It stopped right in front of the sinks. My friend and I were up to use the stalls, so we ran into the farthest two stalls out of the three in there and hoped this little sucker would stay put. Wrong! That thing ran through all three stalls!!! And of course ended up stopping in mine right by the toilet. Totally freaked us all out! Everyone screamed and luckily we ran outta there as quick as we could!!

The starting area was easy to find. They had an announcer out counting down the minutes until start time. We only had about 15 minutes to wait until start time, so we hung out near it with my friend’s husband and talked. My husband couldn’t make it, so I was on my own! Before we knew it, it was time to start. This race started off going downhill! How nice! The overall course was too bad. They did not do corrals or separate race starts for the marathon and half marathon, we all started together at the same time. They had the start for the 5k 30 minutes after ours. We eventually branched off from the full marathon. We had several rolling hills, but nothing too bad. I am proud to say I didn’t walk up any of them! I also never stopped running, except for the water stops. This was a first for me! It was so hot the previous week at the race and the hills were insane on that course that I ended up walking a lot. So I was very proud of myself this week. My pace stayed pretty even. I usually start out trying to stay around a 10 minute pace for the first 3 miles. I then drop back to a steady 11-11:45 pace for the rest of the race. I know I’m no speed demon here, I’m still just running to finish at this point. I kept chugging along and before I knew it I was at mile 10. Only 3 more to go!! Those last few miles are always the hardest for me. This time I started having sharp pain in my left foot when I would strike the ground. It didn’t happen every step, but it kept happening more and more as I went on. By the last mile, I was having a lot of pain, and almost felt like my leg would give out when that sharp pain hit, but luckily it never did. Even in the pain, I just kept running. All I could think of was, “What is wrong with me?!? I’m crazy!!” Hah! I secretly had a goal of trying to finish better than the previous week, but didn’t say anything because I didn’t know what to expect. Towards the last 2-3 miles I realized I might make that happen! I finally turned the last corner and saw that beautiful finish line. I kept chugging along until about half way down. I took one last look at my watch and kicked it into overdrive. I took off running as fast as I could! I could hear and see spectators cheering for me as I ran. Such a great feeling!!! I not only beat my time of 2:37:12, I crushed it! I finished at 2:29:50!!!! Under 2.5 hours baby! I was so happy and so proud of myself. I couldn’t expect anything more.

I loved this race. The course was awesome. The spectators were so encouraging! I registered late, so I wasn’t able to get a finishers medal at the finish line, but will be able to pick one up within the next month. If you live in the northern Ohio area, I definitely recommend this race.

Overall Pros:
~ Awesome course
~ Nice assortment of post-race foods (bread, pizza, bananas, and cookies)
~ Very easy to register and navigate their website
~ Great volunteers and staff along the course
~ Beautiful finishers medal (I will post a pic when I get mine!)

Overall Cons:
~ Not enough port-a-potties along the course (I didn’t use them, but my friend needed to)
~ Didn’t really have any “swag bags” (Just my shirt and bib in the bag)
~ Would have liked a separate start from the marathoners

I only have one picture from the race that my friend’s husband took along the course. Bummer!

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And the craziest part? I’m signing up for a third half marathon that happens in just a few weeks! Yay! After completing my two half marathons it qualifies me to be a member of the Half Fanatics group online!! It costs $35 to join, and then $10 a year in dues, so I think I’ll hold off for now. It’s still cool to know that I qualify now, because I remember seeing this group online before I started racing and thinking that’s crazy! I could never run a half marathon let alone several in a close time frame!

Well, never say never my friends! Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. 🙂


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My First Half Marathon Race Recap!

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Wowza. Like for real guys. The Cleveland Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon has officially come and gone. And you know what? I totally rocked it!! Whew! I still can’t believe it is over. My first half marathon. Now, keep in mind…. My definition of rocking it does not mean I was breaking any records here. I not only finished the race, I finished under my goal time! Not knowing what to expect, I aimed for trying to complete it in under 2:45. Now for anyone that knows anything about half marathons, that is no where near considered a fast time. The woman that came in overall first had a time of 1:23. Crazy! I ended up coming in at 2:37. Not bad people!!! I was incredibly proud of myself. I actually felt pretty strong until around mile 9-10. This course had a lot of hills. I was not expecting this. Anyways here is my overall race recap!

The Race Expo:
It was nice! Compared to the Cleveland Marathon Expo, this one was fairly small. It was held downtown at our new Medical Convention Center place. There were various booths set up offering clothing, GU gels, sunglasses, Therabands, etc. Brooks was one of the main sponsors, so they had a large assortment of running gear on display for purchase. I decided to pass, seeing as their clothing was pretty expensive. I did however, come across a booth from one of our local running stores, and the had a pair of Brooks running shorts that I ended up buying. They were the exact color I needed for my race outfit, and they were 50% off! Can’t beat that. I also picked up my 13.1 magnet for my car. I really liked the Expo. I went around the last hour of it being open, and still found a wide selection of products available. Packet pickup was a breeze. Everything was very organized and well spaced out. I picked up my packet right away, and then changed my corral. This was also very simple to do. I then headed over and picked up my race shirt and swag bag. The shirt is awesome. It was made my Brooks and the design on it is cool! We even got a little backpack as our swag bag. Pretty neat! Overall a nice Expo! The only downside was that you had to pay for parking. It was only $5, but I would have preferred to not have had to pay.

The Race:
The weather forecast leading up to race morning was less than ideal. They were calling for isolated thunderstorms and rain. No bueno. I got up around 4:45am to find it unusually warm. It was still a little chilly, but not chilly enough for race day. Runners, you get this. My one friend was driving down with us and met us at my house. We left around 6:10am and got downtown around 6:30. We found quick parking, and cheap too, only $5. We drove through some light rain, but it wasn’t raining when we got there. We hung out in the car for a bit, gathered our things and headed up to the start area. Holy cannoli was I nervous. The start area was already bustling and full of runners and spectators getting ready for the race. We had some time to relax, use the bathrooms, and stretch before getting into our corral. We met up with my other friend, Legal Ballerina, right before we got into the corral. There were so many runners! This was by far the largest race I have participated in. I even made my own shirt for the race letting other runners know this was my first half marathon.

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You wouldn’t believe how many runners cheered me on during the race! Hearing people yell out your name and cheer you on is the best feeling. The running community really is amazing. Everyone is so supportive. I even got to chat with some other runners. Such a great experience! LB started the race off with me and stuck with my slow butt until around mile 4. Then she took off like the experienced runner she is! I’m glad she got to run with me for a little bit! I then ran into my other friend (no pun intended there lol) and ran with her for a few minutes. The weather was crazy. It was so muggy and hot. It was easily 70 degrees when we started and it was almost 80 when I finished. Yikes. Lots of sweat! I surprisingly did very well. I kept a pretty steady 10-11 minute pace through the first 8-9 miles. The last few miles kicked my butt. It was hot, muggy, and my left IT band was pretty sore. I kept chugging along though and walked for a few seconds when I needed to.

I couldn’t be happier with my results. I wasn’t fast, but I finished, and that’s the important part. I finished quicker than I thought I would, which was an added bonus! It was a tough course due to the hills and heat. The communities we ran through though were very supportive and cheered us on! This race series provided live bands at almost every mile marker on the course. Pretty cool! They also had local cheerleading squads on the course cheering us all on. Also very cool! All in all, I really enjoyed this race. I think the Rock n’ Roll company put on a great inaugural race!

Overall Pros and Cons:
Pros:
~ Easy race day parking
~ Plenty of bathrooms
~ Nice corral starts
~ Plenty of water/Gatorade stations
~ Great volunteers
~ Challenging course
~ Awesome Finisher’s Medal and tshirt
~ Nice assortment of post race snacks (water, chocolate milk, fuel bar, banana, ice cold towels)

Cons:
~ Challenging course
~ Expensive Race Entry Fees

I picked up this Finisher tech shirt after the race. My mom also bought me the glass pint and shot glass. Since we bought $50 worth of merchandise, I got a free Brooks tshirt! It was a nice shirt too! It’s the dark blue one on the left.

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I really had a great time at this race. I’m proud of my accomplishment and I look forward to planning my next half marathon! Here are the pictures of my race shirt, swag bag, finishers medal, and magnet:

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Post Race:
They had a post race concert for runners and their spectators. Gavin Degraw was the headliner. We didn’t stay, but we heard him playing as we were leaving, and it sounded good! They also had a few bands playing while all the runners were racing. My husband said they were pretty good! It was very easy to find your family and friends post race. They had large letters on the poles, so you could plan to meet up with your loved ones after the race. I’m so glad my husband and mom were there to support me!! They got to see me around mile 2 and they saw me run in across the finish line. My husband even got a bunch of pictures of me crossing the finish line! So awesome!! I’m so glad my first half marathon was such a positive, good, experience.

And here are my before and after pictures! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos with Legal Ballerina 😟

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