Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


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Pushed to the Limit

Man, have things been busy over here!! I’m working more now, got the new puppy, have dance 2 nights a week, teach on Saturdays, and I’m adding volleyball into this crazy mix now!! I haven’t been running as much as I was in the fall, but I am running the Cleveland 10k this Sunday. Woo hoo! Husband is running it too, and this is his first time running more than a 5k. I’m so excited for him. My friends asked me to join their volleyball team for this summer since my friend just had a baby and isn’t ready to return yet. I played with them a few times over winter, but this will be sand volleyball! I’m so pumped!!

Dance has been crazy. But a good crazy. Our recital pieces this year are really hard. Way more difficult then any of the ones I was in last year. For example: our fan dance has 3 sets of double pirouettes just about back to back. And then, we repeat it again towards the end of our dance. The length of this dance?? Just over 6 minutes. We do a lot of running on and off stage for this piece, which is really cool. We change our formations a few times and it looks amazing. One of my other dances has fouettés in it, which I’m doing good with for the most part. I get a little mentally intimated by the one set, but I’m getting better. We do two piqué turns and then two fouettés ending with an attitude turn. It’s so weird- if I just do two piqué turns and then start the fouettés, I can do over 10. But in the dance, I struggle with just the two. So frustrating!! I know it’s just a mental thing. I just need to trust myself more.

This year has definitely taken me to a higher level of dance. I’ve never pushed so hard and worked so much on such tough skills. Every class, every week, I’m pushed to my limits. And I love every second of it. I love the challenges of these dances and I’m pleased with how well I’m doing. I love coming home with aching feet and sore calves. It’s the best feeling.

Nothing new has really been happening with teaching. The girls are so adorable in their little recital dances. They love the songs. We are doing Pharrell’s “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 for our 3-4 year olds and Kesha’s “Blow” for our 5-6 year olds. They sing along while we dance and it’s so cute. They really enjoy it. I’ve been working on some new things to incorporate into their classes. I would love if anyone had any suggestions!

Hope everyone is doing well. I’m so glad warmer weather has come to Ohio. It’s been nice to get outside and do home yard work and play with the pups! Speaking of pups- here’s my little baby Peanut!

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Where Have I Been?!?!

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

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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!

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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! 🙂


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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!!! 🙂


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Sunshine Award!

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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


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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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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. 🙂