Running PRs and Learning to Become an Adult Ballerina

I’m so glad I wrote that last post and went ahead with putting it out there, because I got so much feedback indicating that I wasn’t the only one feeling how I felt. For everyone who sent me a note or response, thank you for your honesty – it ain’t always an easy thing to do.

Two fantastic things have happened in the past week or two – I started ballet class and I ran an eight-minute PR in the half marathon!! 1:35:40, and I have my eye on another PR in the Shamrock Marathon in a few weeks. The race was in Williamsburg this past Sunday and it was a really fun weekend, Alex and I went down on Saturday and had dinner with my coach and his wife in one of the cozy restaurants along the outdoor downtown area. The race has an unusually late start, 1:10 pm, and it happened to be one of those freak 70 degree February days, so it was a super hot race. About four miles in I found a guy to hang with and when I asked him what time he was shooting for, he told me he was just “out for a training run to prepare for a spring IronMan”  To all the triathletes that read this blog, ya’ll are crazy. Just so you know.

In the last three miles I picked off a couple girls who looked to be in my age group and then in the last mile I caught up to two more. There’s something that doesn’t feel right about passing someone in your AG in the last quarter mile of a half marathon, but if you’ve got strength left in your legs I’m sure it would feel worse to not give it everything. I finished 2nd in my AG and 12th woman overall and I went home happy as pie. I can’t say enough how much my running has improved by working with a coach and having dedicated speed and LT workouts every week.

My friend and I also started taking ballet classes, which, so far, have proved to be the complete opposite of running. Movements are refined, constrained, and there are clear rules of etiquette for class time. Our teacher gave us a handout during the first class which described these rules, the list included coming to class freshly showered and smelling nicely, hair neatly tied back into a bun, and no wearing red nail polish because it looks creepy on stage. Nonetheless, the class has been a lot of fun.

My best friend was a ballerina all through our childhood and I went to her recitals every single year and never understood why anyone would want to do ballet. Fifteen years later and I’ve finally come around to it – it’s just such a beautiful way to move the body. And our teacher is great – funny, intense, talented, and full of ballet history. We start off the class with a discussion of dance culture, then we scatter to the barre for barre exercises and then to the middle to string a few movements together. Maybe in 25 more lessons I’ll be able to connect a full minute of actual ballet!



Author: zoegoesrunning

Hello! I'm a runner, a writer, and have run across the United States and the Tour de France course. Most recently, I'm blogging about my adventures in an MFA program that will bring me to Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, and my teaching plans for Argentina.

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