Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!


3 Comments

My First Half Marathon Race Recap!

20131007-232420.jpg

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.

20131007-225821.jpg
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.

20131007-231633.jpg

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:

20131007-231937.jpg

20131007-231930.jpg

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 😟

20131007-232048.jpg

20131007-232101.jpg

20131007-232107.jpg

Advertisements


3 Comments

It’s the Final Countdown!!!

That’s right. It’s the final countdown! To my very first half marathon! Only 6 more days now until I gear up and head downtown in the wee hours of the morning to start my race! I ran my last training run on Saturday. I difficult 10 miles to say the least. I chose to do my run in a local MetroPark while my husband and his friends hiked. There’s the first red flag. If people can hike the same trails I want to run, I’m in for some trouble. Hah! Actually, the trails weren’t that bad. My first mile was a flat loop. Not too bad. Then my second to third miles started to get some hilly action. Tolerable though. Then came miles three through five. Holy cannoli. Big hills. Like, I have to walk up them and still stop to catch my breath kind of hills. Here’s my view from the top trail of the gorge. Simply beautiful!

20130930-140714.jpg

The 1.5 mile loop up here was more difficult to run. There were huge boulders, rocks, tree roots, etc. everywhere! It reminded me of the trails I ran while down in Hocking Hills. To get my mileage in I had to repeat some of the trails on the opposite side of the hill. This meant lots of elevation changes. It was tough, but I didn’t stray too far from my normal pace. Once I got to my five mile marker, I descended back down the huge hill to the flatter trails. I did a couple out and backs and then did my last 3 miles on the flat loop trail.

20130930-141132.jpg

My time was only a few minutes off from my last 10 mile run. This time it was 2:05 while the first time was 1:57. My first one was much, much, flatter than this time.

So needless to say, I’m a little nervous for Sunday! I trained as best as I could for this race. I know I’m undertrained, but I know I can finish this race. I didn’t really end up missing any ballet classes either. Just swapped a few of them out for some other classes where the work wouldn’t be as hard on my calves. My plan is to take it easy this week in ballet. I have classes twice a week, so I will see. I think I’m going to go to class tomorrow night and just take it easy. Then just miss class on Thursday. Gotta have fresh legs for the race! I’ll try to take pictures, but I’m not sure if I’m going to have my phone with me or not. Hope everyone has been well! 🙂


3 Comments

Finally in Stride

Since I’ve been off of dance for a few weeks now (due to summer break), I’ve had more time to run. Last night I ran 6 miles, the longest yet I’ve ever run, and I survived! It was a little muggy out still when I ran, I guess that’s what happens when you run in a heavily wooded park after it was like 85 degrees all weekend. Legal Ballerina joined me for the run. She’s a seasoned runner, so running with a newbie like me isn’t always easy. I have been doing all of my training runs doing between 10:00-11:00 minute miles. I know it’s nothing great, but it’s what I can do! We ended up not even listening to our music, but talked the entire time we ran too, something else I’ve never done before. It definitely affected my breathing, but I was able to keep up running and talking for the most part. We took a couple breaks, but then kept chugging along. I couldn’t believe I hit that 6 mile mark! I’m so proud of myself for my accomplishments. I may not ever be the fastest runner out there, but I’m trying just as hard as every other runner out there!

Now that my long runs are getting over an hour long, I think I need to start carrying some water with me when I run. At least for now, when its still hot out. I think it would help. I don’t feel like I need any carbs while running yet, but then again my long runs aren’t really up there yet. I will probably get some different gels or energy bits and try them out. The last thing I would want to do is not try anything before race day and then need some carbs while running and get sick because I’m not used to that particular gel.

Other than that, running is going great! My calf has been doing awesome! I’m still in love with my Brooks shoes. If only finding pointe shoes were so easy…..
Back to ballet classes next week! Yay!! So excited to get back and work on more things!

Up this weekend: family trip to Hocking Hills! We will be staying in a cabin and doing all sorts of fun activities! Geocaching, zip lining, cooking out, hiking, some running for me, and relaxing in the hot tub! Definitely excited! Watch my Instagram for pics of my weekend fun 🙂


2 Comments

Running Woes

Ahhhhh…..running. Yes. It’s been a while since I’ve had a “running” post on here. Truth is, nothing really exciting has been going on with my training. I’ve had to really take things slow with my calf. I’ve done some 3 mile a day runs. About two 4 miles run so far. And I’m scheduled to run 5 miles tonight after work since I didn’t get it in this weekend. I’ve had my neighbor work on my calf a few more times since I originally saw him and things seem to be getting back on track. I’ve been stretching before and after I run and even on the days in between. I ran a 2 mile fun race with my husband in July. It was hot and sticky out, as it was an evening run. But we had fun! First time I drank a beer before actually running.

I have a 5k race in mid September that looks fun. We get a cupcake when we finish and 3 free beer tickets. Sounds good to me! Oooohhh we also get a tech shirt and a pint glass! It only cost $20 too! There was also a 5 miler race I was considering doing in September, but we’ll see! My half marathon is October 6. I’m terrified! I was not expecting to have calf problems for as long as I had it, and it’s really put me behind in my training. I’m running in the Rock n Roll Cleveland race and they finally announced who the headliner was for the after race concert. It’s freaking Gavin Degraw. Seriously? Like that’s really the only person they could find to perform?? Lame.

Other than that not too much has been going on! I’m still loving my Brooks Ghost 6 running shoes. They fit my feet perfectly. I’m still learning how to use my Garmin watch. It’s hard to break apart from using my phone app! All my running history is in that app. Oh well!

20130819-130927.jpg

20130819-141409.jpg

20130819-141426.jpg


6 Comments

I’m Back!!

Well, hello there!! Sorry I’ve been quiet for a bit here. I’ve been oddly, crazy busy lately even though I don’t really remember what’s been going on!! Lol!! Not too much has been happening in the ballet world. We didn’t have class 2 weeks ago, but we had class last Monday, and oh boy was it a tough one!! My calves hurt and it was painful to walk until Friday. Four days of pain. Ouchie!!! But it was a good pain none the less. I absolutely love working on technique. It’s so difficult physically and mentally. I leave each week exhausted. We do 2 hours of ballet and then go straight into pointe for an hour. It’s a killer! I’ve been doing pretty well at the barre, at least I think so lol! We do some center combinations that’s usually involve some pirouettes. I’m happy to say that I actually was able to hit my double pirouettes on both sides! They weren’t perfect by any means, but I got around each time twice! Yay! I was very proud of myself. We then usually do turns across the floor which consist of chaînés, piqués, and soutenus(spelling?!). I’m pretty stable on my right side, but my left side is still really shaky. Just have to keep going!!

And then there’s the running. Oh, the running. The good news? I’m finally able to start running again. The bad news? I have to basically start at zero. Like one mile at a time. But I’m surprisingly ok with this. I’m at peace with it. It’s hard to take it slow, but it’s for the best. I’m going to slowly increase my mileage instead of jumping up in mileage. That’s how I got injured, and I definitely don’t want to get injured again. Speaking of my injury….it wasn’t all that bad. I had a huge knot in my calf. Like huge. And really deep. Thankfully my neighbor is a physical therapist and was able to do the active release massages on it. Man was that painful!! But a good painful. I was able to do 2 one mile runs this past weekend with no pain. I’m so excited! I’m now starting my training for the half marathon in October. I’m hoping things go ok! My husband and I also signed up to do a 2 mile fun run at a local bar towards the end of July. So excited! It’s our first race together too.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July here in the states! Summer is definitely in full swing! 🙂


2 Comments

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??


6 Comments

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!!

20130519-233240.jpg

20130519-233245.jpg