Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


1 Comment

Cleveland 10k Race Recap!

Well I did it!! Even though I’ve run 3 half marathons, I’ve never actually ran a 10k race before. So when the news was released that the Cleveland 10k finishers would receive medals, I was all over that!! I was even able to convince my husband to run it with me!

Last year I ran the Cleveland 5k with my younger friend. It was a great race, and I even PR’d at it! I was expecting nothing different from the 10k. And I was not disappointed. Packet pickup was a breeze. I went there early in the day and there was minimal people there, which was nice. The swag bags were awesome! Not only did I get a cool tshirt, but we also got free sample of gummies, protein bar, Neutrogena shampoo, and a 4oz bottle of sunscreen! It was the best swag bag I’ve ever received.

20140518-145521.jpg
Awesome shirt modeled by my lovely husband!

20140518-145748.jpg
Awesome swag!!

Race day couldn’t have been better. The weather was a little chilly in the morning, like 40-45 degrees at 5:30-6:00 am. But by race start at 7:00am it was around 50. Perfect running weather! This year they had the marathoners, the half marathoners, and the 10k runners all start together. It was crowded, but finding your corral and taking off went smoothly. The 10k course was mostly flat. There were a few smaller hills, but nothing too bad. Once the courses split off around mile 2-3, the congestion went down a lot. I didn’t mind running together at first. I wasn’t stopped once or had any trouble maneuvering around walkers or slower runners. So good job with that Cleveland!!

Now, you have to know, I did absolutely zero training for this run. Stupid? Yes. Did I survive? Yes. I knew from running my half marathons that I could physically handle this distance. My legs have still been active due to dance, so I really wasn’t too concerned. With that being said- I didn’t really have any goals for this race. I just wanted to have fun and finish. Ok, maybe I had one goal. I secretly wanted to finish in under 1:10, but wasn’t sure if it would happen. Well, I’m happy to report that I accomplished my goal!! I finished in 1:06:59. Not too shabby! I ended up placing around the middle of my female age division, so yay! Husband also did great. He finished at exactly 1:10:00. I am so proud of him. He’s never ran more than a 5k, and he was really nervous. He did awesome though. I knew he would!!

20140518-150640.jpg
We did it!!

Overall I loved this race. I honestly don’t have any complaints. Here’s a quick recap of the pros to running this awesome race!

PROS:
~ Simple and straightforward packet pickup
~ Plenty of parking at race (we only spent $5!)
~ Simple corral placement (a little crowded due to spectators being allowed to be right in/beside corrals.)
~ Plenty of bathrooms with minimal lines, awesome!!
~ Fast, flat course with great views of downtown and Lake Erie
~ Plenty of water at the stations- awesome volunteers!
~ Great spectators along courses
~ Super cool spinning guitar finisher’s medal
~ Lots of post-race food and drinks (bananas, chips, Cheetos, Popsicles, water, chocolate milk)

The only con I have with this race is with the starting corrals. They really shouldn’t allow spectators to be so close and in the mass of runners trying to get to their corrals. I think they should have had the corrals fenced off like they did when I ran the Rock n’ Roll half marathon. It was a pain to get through the crowds, and there’s such an easy fix for that.

Overall, this was a great race. I will most definitely be running in it again next year! I’m hoping to run the half then! I highly recommend running this race if you live in or around the Cleveland area. I know the half and full marathon courses are pretty flat and fast as well. Many runners PR when they race! So thank you Cleveland for putting on a spectacular race!!

20140518-151724.jpg

Now onto to the Lady Gaga concert tonight!!! Woo hoo! I’m so ready to rock out and artRave!! 🙂

Advertisements


2 Comments

Where Have I Been?!?!

Well hello! Where the heck have I been?!?! This is why…..

20140428-232716.jpg

That’s right folks! We got a puppy!!!! This is my little teacup chihuahua buddy! We named her Peanut and she is currently 10 weeks old. She was born on Valentine’s Day. So freakin sweet. I love her so much. She’s been such a good puppy so far! Other than the expected occasional accidents, she is really picking up things quick! She’s going potty outside when we let her out and she’s sleeping soundly in her crate at night. She sleeps right next to the bed on my side. Everyone here loves her too. Our one cat, Oreo, is best friends with Peanut. They wrestle and play together constantly. Even Kya, our other dog has really warmed up to her. Peanut loves to chase everyone around the house. She’s so perfect. I love her!!

I will get around to posting more, but here’s a little update on all things! Ballet is going good! We are still working hard at our recital pieces. I really am loving them all. We ended up taking our second pointe dance and turning it into a ballet dance. Between our teacher being out with her injury and everyone having foot or shoe problems, we decided it was for the best. Next year it will be on pointe though. We are still wearing our tutus, which is really cool. The dance has really come together. It’s so different from our other dances. We are still using the fans too! It’s really awesome.

I have a running event coming up soon too! I haven’t been running as much as I was last year, but that’s ok for me. I had a 5k scheduled in March that I ended up not running because I ended up being really sick. I then participated in a Run or Dye race with a couple co-workers. We ended up just walking the whole 3.1 miles and talking. It wasn’t a timed race, so we took our time! Here’s a pic from after the race!

20140428-233640.jpg

20140428-233648.jpg

I’m the crazy girl on the left! It was so much fun. I recommend doing one!

Well, that’s all for now people! Catch ya on the flip side! 🙂


8 Comments

2013 Running Recap

Wow. What a year this has been. I remember earlier this year I started running casually to help increase my stamina in dance. I would only run a few miles here and there, but never was really serious about it. I began running and was also learning choreography for my dance numbers too. Our show was in early June, so I just kept running. I ran my first ever race in March. It was about 20 degrees out and snowing. My mom was in town and my husband also came to watch to me run. I remember being soooo nervous as we waited inside where it was warm. The pictures my mom took even showed how nervous I was. It was only a 5k, but I was still nervous. Who would have ever thought that 8 months later I would have successfully completed 10 races- 3 of them half marathons!! Not this girl! I’m so incredibly proud of myself for my accomplishments this year. I found a joy in a sport I never thought I would. I loved pushing myself and seeing the results. I loved looking down at my Garmin and seeing my mileage increase every week. I will never forget what it felt like crossing that finish line at my first half marathon. It’s that feeling I crave now every time I sign up for another race.

I’ve also made some new twitter “friends” as a result of running. It’s so inspiring to see their accomplishments and their excitement for running. Social media has definitely changed the world. I hope to meet some more of my “friends” next year in other races. So a huge thank you to everyone I follow on twitter. You all inspire me to be a better me.

Here’s a quick little recap of my races this year- and don’t forget you can check out my race results tab above to see all the races I ran in and my times.

~ 10 races in 2013
~5 of them were 5ks
~ One 5 miler
~ One 2 miler
~ 3 half marathons

~ My best 5k time was 28:06 at the Cleveland Rite Aid 5k
~ My best half marathon time was 2:28:58 at the Towpath Half Marathon

I know my training for all these races was a little unconventional, but I still accomplished all my goals. Heck, I never even thought I would run a half marathon this year, but instead I ran and finished 3. Sure, I may not have been the fastest or placed in the top, but I still got out there and ran. I crossed every finish line. So I’m very proud of myself.

My goals for next year are simple:
~ improve my 5k time
~ improve my overall pace
~ run a 10k race
~ run a race in Disney (this is more like a dream lol)

I’m looking forward to 2014 and all it will bring with it. I look forward to continuing to challenge myself in running and also in dance. I’ve learned I’m more of a “loner” when it comes to running and that’s ok. I don’t do well running with people or in groups. I just like to put my music on and run. I like to get lost in the music or in my own thoughts. I do like running races with friends though. Even though we never actually run together, it’s nice to see a familiar face on the course and at the finish line.

I know most of you follow my blog for my dancing entries, but I want to thank you for supporting me in my running too! It means a lot to see your kind words and encouragement. So thank you all!!!

Happy New Year!!! 🙂


1 Comment

Sunshine Award!

20131216-114923.jpg

A huge shout out to RO over at All-round Girl for nominating me for this sweet award! Thanks girl!! 🙂 Sorry for the delay in posting this!!!

Here are the rules of the award:

1. Use the logo in the post. Done!
2. Link to whoever nominated you. Done!
3. Write 10 pieces of information about yourself. Done!
4. Nominate 10 fellow bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”. Done!
5. Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award. Done!

Ten things about me:
1. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
2. I’m super, super, super, super scared of spiders. Like I will break down and start crying depending on how big it is and how close it is to me!!
3. I love to camp and hike. I want to camp and hike in as many National Parks as I can.
4. I ran 3 half marathons in one month’s time. I did this in my first year of running. Now I’m crazily entertaining the idea of training for a marathon??
5. I love teaching and being with little kids. I would love to be a teacher or work in a preschool. Maybe in another life?!?
6. I have 3 cats, 1 dog, and two fish tanks. I love having pets and always have. I would love to someday own a really large dog, like a Great Dane, and also a tiny dog like a Teacup Chihuahua.
7. I have always wanted to own (or lease!) a horse. I love horseback riding, just never have the time or place to do it!
8. I like to play bingo with my mom. I love it when we win lol!! I used to help her run a bingo when I was younger. I would sell instant tickets and call back winning bingos. I loved getting tips!!!
9. I’m obsessed with eating raspberries and Noosa yoghurt, but only the Honey one.
10. I have always wanted to visit Australia since I was little. I hear they have some pretty big spiders, and that scares the crap out of me!!

Nominees!! ( I apologize for repeating nominations! If you have already done this, please don’t feel like you have to do it again because I listed you! Lol!!)

1. The Animation Commendation
2. The Flannel Gander
3. Bush Ballerina
4. Dancescribe
5. The Dancing Rider
6. The Running Paintbrush
7. Steph Plus 4
8. The Remedial Ballerina
9. Understated Whimsy
10. Karen Loves to Run


1 Comment

A Christmas Story 5k Race

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this movie, you should check it out. It’s called A Christmas Story. It’s a holiday classic that a lot of people watch around the holidays. There is even a television station that plays this movie for 24 hours straight on Christmas Day. This movie happened to be filmed right here in good ol’ Cleveland, OH. I could go on and on about it, but their website does a better job at explaining it! And if you’ve never seen the movie, I highly recommend watching it! It’s pretty funny!

Now onto the race….

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the filming of A Christmas Story, so they decided to put on a race! How fun! You had the option of running either a 5k or a 10k. Since we knew it would be cold, husband and I decided to just run the 5k. Both races got you a medal, which is almost unheard of for these distances. The registration was a little costly compared to other 5k/10k races. We payed $55/ person because we registered late, but the cheapest they had it was on a Groupon deal for one day only for $25.

Included in the registration fee:
~ Long sleeve Christmas Story themed tshirt
~ Free admission to tour the Christmas Story House
~ Transportation from the House back to the start area after the race
~ Post race food and drinks
~ Finisher’s Medal

They ended up selling out for the race which is awesome! They even had a virtual race option, which I thought was really neat. I think there ended up being around 3000 people there on race day morning. I have to say I’m not sure if I really enjoyed the race. There were things I liked about it and things I didn’t. This race marked my 10th race of the year for me, and also my last for this year. Here’s a basic rundown of the pros and cons of this race, according to me of course 🙂

Pros:
~ Easy parking
~ Was able to stay warm inside the building before the race
~ Packet pickup that morning was easy and simple
~ Easy course that went one way for the 5k, and out and back for the 10k
~ Awesome tshirt and medal
~ Free admission to the House

Cons:
~ Very crowded. Like, took 10 minutes to get to the start line after the race started, kind of crowded.
~ No instructions were given to people walking the course. This ended up being a huge pain in the butt for us runners.
~ No email was sent out regarding packet pickup info, etc. I had to look it up on their website.
~ The finish line was crazy backed up. I almost had to walk across the finish line there were so many people.
~ The line for the House tour was right next to the finish line, causing even more of a backup and confusion. The line was also really long. We waited about 30 minutes to get in.
~ The line for the busses back to the start area was ridiculously long. We stood outside in 20 degree weather for over 30 minutes.

I understand it was their first race, so I’m sure things will improve for next year. We were just really shocked by the poor planning. With that many people registered, they should have had more busses available. And there definitely needs to be instructions given for race day etiquette. People walking would just spread themselves out wherever they felt like it. Groups of people walked in horizontal lines totally blocking the road from runners being able to pass. People were even walking on the opposite side of the course where the 10k runners were trying to run on their way back. It was very annoying- and when you add in snow and ice on the roads, it was dangerous. They also said on their website that runners could enjoy some warm hot chocolate (Ovaltine) after the race, but I never saw any. We were just given packets of Ovaltine? Kinda lame. It was fun to see all the different Christmas Story themed costumes people were wearing. Some people were really creative!

Overall, I’m kind of torn about this race. I enjoyed the course, but would have liked it better had there not been so many walkers in the way. Having to wait outside in the cold that long for everything was a little much for me. I’ll probably give this race another try next year, and hopefully some things will have improved. It was fun, but cold, very cold. Brrrrrrrr. I ended up finishing in like 32:14. I’m not really disappointed seeing as there were a lot of obstacles and slow downs along the course. I’m definitely very happy with how my race season ended and I’m looking forward to next year! 🙂

20131208-140607.jpg

20131208-140622.jpg

20131208-140636.jpg


4 Comments

Towpath Half Marathon Race Recap

This race recap is a little late, but I still wanted to share it with you. This was my third half marathon I ran in one month’s time. It was originally supposed to be on October 13, but due to our Government Shutdown, it got rescheduled to November 3. This portion of the Towpath Trilogy took place in Cuyahoga National Park. Although I have run other portions of the Towpath, I had never ran this stretch. The start area for the Half Marathon and the 10k was at Brandywine Ski Resort while the Marathon started at Boston Mills Ski Resort, about 5 minutes away. The weather was a little chilly that morning- in the mid 30’s when I first got up around 5am and then closer to 40 degrees by start time at 8am. Being the “bad” runner, I did not run at all between this race and my previous half marathon on Oct. 13. I know, stupid. Really stupid. But between dancing and teaching due to my teacher’s injury, I was really busy. I know it’s not an excuse, but since I had so much pain in my foot at the last race, I figured a few weeks off wouldn’t hurt.

The start area was definitely low-key compared to my other races. There were plenty of bathrooms available, about 20, but there were still really long lines. Luckily, we got in line when it wasn’t too bad and only waited about 10-15 minutes. This was a much smaller race- I could tell by the crowd around the start area. It most likely had something to do with the race being rescheduled. My female age group only had 38 runners. Very small!

Before I knew it, the bell rang and it was time to take off. I placed myself in the middle-middle back and immediately fell right into my target pace. I held it for the first 3 miles, which is when we actually went from running on the road to turning on to the actual Towpath. This race was my first “out-and-back” half marathon. And I can now tell you that I do not like courses like this. Sure, the first 7-8 miles were ok. But then you had to go back where you had just spent the previous hour running. This is a huge mental block for me. I do better mentally when I just keep running, not really sure of what is next. I also started to have horrible left foot pain by mile 5. Unlike the last race, instead of the bottom of my foot, it was the top of my foot. The pain was so bad I almost started crying. I ended up having to stop and walk more than a few times because of it. I honestly did not know how I was going to make it to the finish line. When the pain was at its worst, around mile 9-10, I had just stopped at a water station when I started to run again. I looked up and saw my mom and my husband screaming and cheering for me! They had totally surprised me! Seeing them made me smile and my eyes tear up and I realized I had to do this. They were counting on me. So, I sucked it up and kept running. I stopped a few times to walk, but tried to keep it minimal. I had no intention of beating my previous time when I realized the pain was so bad. When I got to the last straight away before we turned down the little grass hill to the finish line, I took off sprinting as fast as I could. Even though I was in pain, my adrenaline took over and pushed through. Hearing the crowd cheering for you when they see you finishing strong is always so amazing. That’s something my friend Legal Ballerina had taught me- always finish strong. You got this far, now power through. And when I rounded that corner and saw the finish line- and the clock- I realized I had set yet another PR. I ended up taking about 1 minute off my previous time! All I could think of when I crossed that finish line was: Give me my medal- Ouch my foot really hurts- Holy crap I beat my time- I need a banana STAT- and where is my family?! Whew! I was so happy to be done. That was definitely my least favorite half marathon to date.

Oh- you’re probably wondering what happened to my foot. Ya. This is what happened- I freakin tied my shoe too tight. Yes, that’s right. I tied my stupid shoe too tight. I wasn’t used to running in the cold weather, so when I re-tied my shoes at the start line and double knotted them- I tied them way too tight. It ended up causing what is called “extensor tendinitis” which basically means my tendons on top of my foot were getting squished when my foot was trying to expand when my body started to warm up. *FACE PALM* Like, seriously- who the heck does this? Apparently a lot of people, because when I googled my symptoms a lot of other runners have had this problem. It took about a week for it to feel better. I’m still feeling a little discomfort when I try to dance, but nothing like what I felt in that race. I learned my lesson there!

Overall- the race went ok. The Towpath Half Marathon was itself a very well put together race. The course was flat- but slightly inclined the whole way back. The course aid stations were well staffed and the volunteers were very encouraging! They had some hilarious signs.

Overall Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Plenty of bathrooms at the start area
  • Water at the start area
  • Great volunteers
  • Plenty of Aid Stations
  • Nice, mostly flat course
  • Fun Finish Line area with activities for kids

Cons:

  • Slightly confusing map for specators
  • Out and back course (not my cup of tea)
  • Not too many places for spectators along course (due to where course is)

Enjoy some pictures!

20131111-211835.jpg

20131111-211845.jpg

20131111-211855.jpg

20131111-211914.jpg


2 Comments

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! 🙂

20131028-192113.jpg

20131028-192108.jpg

20131028-192102.jpg