Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


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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! 🙂

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MAY 30 Day Challenge Recap

Well, as usual, life got in the way of my 30 day challenge. Sigh. I was able to work on a few things, but not on others. Here’s what my goals for May were:

Ballet:

1. Stretch daily.
2. Clean up double pirouette on right side.
3. Clean up my arms in my dances.

Running:

1. Get myself to a steady 10:00 pace.
2. Improve my 5k time.
3. Increase my distance to 8-9 miles.

Well, I can tell you now…I did not stretch daily. Heck, I barely stretched. Most of it was due to my nagging calf muscle. Stupid calf muscle. I have cleaned up my double pirouette on my right side….just slightly though. I still struggle with being consistent. I’ve also worked on my arms a lot. I’ve cleaned them up considerably in the pointe dance.

My running goals didn’t really get to happen. After I injured my calf, my teacher put the axe in me doing any more running until the recital was over. With the exception of my Cleveland 5k that was. But in running the Cleveland 5k, I improved my 5k time to 28:06…..took 4 minutes off my last PR. Also in that race, I ran a 9:02 pace. Most likely a fluke, but we shall see. I was not able to work on distance. That will try to happen in June.

All in all, my May challenges went pretty well. I was able to achieve some improvement in both ballet and running. I’m looking forward to new June challenges.

How did your 30 day challenge for May go??


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Cleveland 5k

Well this past Saturday was the Cleveland 5k! I ran this race with my favorite best girl. She’s only 9 years old, but man is she an awesome runner! She came into town with her mom on Friday and we spent a brief time at the Health & Fitness Expo. We picked up our race packets, did a little shopping of course, and then headed out for some dinner. Saturday morning came quickly and it was off to downtown! My mom also came in to town for the race, and was going there with me. Sadly, husband had to work and was not able to make it. We met up with them fit inside the Brown’s stadium and anxiously awaited the start. Before we knew it, it was time to line up. I was really nervous as to how I would run since I had not been able to run much since I injured my calf. I felt so under prepared for this race. I didn’t know what to expect. But with my recital coming up in 2 weeks here, I knew I couldn’t risk getting injured even more. I started out just fine, even a little quicker than I probably should have. I did not know what my pace was until I hit the first mile. It was at 9:00. Holy crap. I started to panic in my head. I was going too hard. I wouldn’t have enough energy left to finish. I’m going to injure my calf again. But at the same time, I felt good. My body was telling me I was just fine. No cramping or pain. So I continued to run. I felt like I had slowed my pace down. I thought I was feeling a little fatigued. But when I hit mile 2 I heard my pace was still right around 9:00. All I could think was, “Holy crap. What is going on?!?” The last mile I felt right in my groove still. I knew the end was near. I could see the stadium coming up. This was it. I might be able to finish under 30:00. As I approached the stadium, I could hear the announcer on the loud speakers. I decided to pull my headphones out for the last bit of the race into the stadium (we finished on the field!!). They even had the Cleveland Indians drummer outside the stadium banging on the drum! It was such a sound of encouragement. Between him, hearing the announcer, and the stadium workers cheering and clapping us on, my adrenaline kicked in even more. I got this. I came around the bend, and headed up the ramp onto the field. Not knowing what the clock time was, I was heading strong towards that finish line. That’s when I looked up and realized I had accomplished my goal. I was going to finish in under 30:00. I felt like I was going to cry! I could not believe it. My finish time was 28:06. I totally kicked butt. I was so incredibly proud of myself. I immediately texted my husband to tell him my good news. I then texted my BFF, Legal Ballerina. My friend finished one minute ahead of me and was waiting for me at the finish line. We gave each other big hugs and got our picture taken together. Such an awesome memory.

So take that you stupid calf muscle. You thought you could bring me down, but you didn’t. I sure showed you!! I was so amazed by my performance and results. I cannot wait to train for my next race.

Here are my race results:

Female Age Division (25-29):
Placed 11/86

Overall Females:
Placed 59/688

Overall:
Placed 186/1,049

Finish Time: 28:06
Pace: 9:02

Here are a few pics from the race!!

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30 Day Challenge for MAY

Ok, I realize May has already started. But it’s not too late for me to start my 30 day challenge for the month of May. I encourage you to start one too! Now that I’m also running along with doing ballet, I am going to do a 30 day challenge for both! So here we go!!

Ballet 30 Day Challenge:

1. Try to stretch daily. This will help obviously with my flexibility but also with getting my injured calf back on track.

2. Continue to work on my double pirouettes, at least on my right side for the recital.

3. Clean up my arms in my dances.

Running 30 Day Challenge:

1. Get myself to a steady 10:00 pace.

2. Improve my time on my 5k.

3. Increase my distance to 8-9 miles by the end of the month.

I think these goals should suffice for this month. Having to come back to both things a little slow for now kind of puts a damper on things. But I just have to keep pushing through. My recital is coming up in 5 weeks, so dance class has been very busy! My next 5k is in less than 2 weeks now. I hope I’ll be ok running in it. I’ll be running it with my friend from back home. She is only 9 years old but is an amazing runner so far! She has competed several 5k races and usually places in the top 3 for her age group. She is absolutely amazing! She is one of the reasons I started to run in the first place. She inspires me. That’s right! A 9 year old kid inspires me. I love it!!

I think this time around I’m going to write my goals on a post-it note and place it where I will constantly see it in my house. I’m hoping this will help keep me on track, especially with my stretching!!

Do you have a 30 day challenge for May?? If not, you should! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy! Just pick a goal, or a few, to work towards this month. Whether it’s improving your turnout or running your first mile….get out there and do it! 😄


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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 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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Learn to Walk Before You Run

Ok people. While I don’t actually have a bucket list written down, although probably should, I do have things I would like to do someday. Doing ballet again was one of them and I’m so glad that I did it. Another one is visiting every Disney theme park. While highly unlikely that it will ever happen, I still can dream about it, right?! I’ve always been interested in running, and am finally attempting it. I’ve signed up for two 5ks already and am hoping to do a few more this summer too. There’s even a half marathon I have my eye on that takes place in October. I feel like if I put forth effort with this I can do it. Like true effort. Like I’m running outside in the winter effort. I never thought I would want to run enough to actually want to run outside in the cold and snow. But I did. And I felt great every time I did it. Like I accomplished something. So you’re probably thinking where am I going with all this. The bucket list thing….

I want to run in a runDisney event. Like so bad. I’ve always thought about it but never thought I could ever actually do it. For the past 2 years now I’ve read about other people doing it. From blogs to twitter, I’ve seen other people participate. I’ve even teared up reading people’s blogs and tweets. People I don’t even know. It’s because for people like me who truly love all things Disney, being able to run through the parks must be pretty magical. At least that’s how I feel. Now that I’m beginning to run I can’t help but think about this all the time. I want more than anything to be able to run in Disney. My husband “gets it” but just frowns upon how much it would cost to “just run” in Disney when I can run in races here at home. I do agree with him that being able to run in Disney costs money. So that’s why my dear friends it is on my bucket list. While I am enjoying the world of running, I don’t think I will be one of those people that are super runners. I mean heck, my ultimate running goal at this point would be to run, and finish, a half marathon. If I were to ever run in Disney, it would most likely be a once in a lifetime type thing. If I lived closer, maybe I could see myself doing it more. But with airfare and whatnot, going down there just to run becomes quite costly. My BFF, Legal Ballerina was/is an awesome runner. She’s ran various races and even completed a marathon. That’s pretty huge to someone like me who hasn’t even run in a 5k yet. I tried running with her two summers ago,before we really got into ballet. I couldn’t keep up. It was very overwhelming, and to be honest I was really intimated. While I have my “main bucket list”, I also have side-addendum type bucket lists, if that makes any sense. For example: I want to run a half marathon. The side addendum to that would be, I’d love to run a half marathon with my BFF. It doesn’t have to happen, but if it did it would be awesome type bucket list. I would love to be able to run in Disney with my BFF, like I’ve read and seen so many other people do. Hearing them explain how magical and amazing it was to experience it with their sister, best friend, mother, husband, etc. just sounds so awesome. I mean, who wouldn’t want to accomplish something like that? Even though she doesn’t love Disney as much as I do, I still think it would be amazing. I mean, I absolutely love being able to experience learning ballet with her. So I can only guess that running in a race with her would feel the same way.

But then I get back to reality. One thing at a time disneyballerina. Lets get through our first 5k, then our second, and so forth. Husband told me that he supports me in this, like he does with everything. But between my love for my ballet, my new interest in running, wanting to start a family at some point, etc. I just have to take one thing at a time. He told me if I run in some races here at home this year and really enjoy it, then he would really consider letting me run in Disney. And right now, that’s good enough for me.

You’ve got to learn to walk before you can learn to run 🙂