TGIF??

Ugh…MORE snow. I can’t handle this; I just can’t do it much longer. I want to get out and run. I want to wear my new skirts and summer running clothes. I want to grill. I want to have drinks on the patio. I want to start my garden. I want to sleep with the windows open. I want Minnesota to act like it’s MAY!!

Ok…ranting over, and onto happy things:

  1. I ran my first mile UNDER 10 minutes! At Moms on the Run on Tuesday, we ran a timed mile so we can compare our progress over the course of the “summer” (sorry, I had to had the sarcastic quotes because it is SNOWING right now!!). I told Dan before I left home that I was aiming to run under 11 minutes, because I thought that was doable. Maybe Body Pump is starting to pay off?? Either way, my goal of running a 5k in 30 minutes or less seems way more feasible than it did a week ago!
  2. First two choir concerts went really well. If you’re in the Twin Cities metro-area, you must come to our last concert this Sunday at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Everything clicked for us and we’re having a fantastic season. Here’s a link to a YouTube recording of one of the songs we’ll be performing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS8ETIs8dQE. See if you can spot me! 😉
  3. Tomorrow we are running in a fun run: Run or Dye! We are running this one with part of the Nelson clan, so it should be a blast. It’s going to rain and it’s going to be cold, but I am DETERMINED to have a fabulous time!
  4. I’m officially down a jean size! I’ve been struggling with body image and weight since I can remember, so if I’m being honest, that’s why I started running and 50% of why I keep running. I am my own worst critic and can be so negative towards my body, BUT, I’ve found that with running, I have a hard time staying mad at myself for looking a certain way because I’m actively trying to better myself. Even though I acknowledge I have a long way to go on this journey of self-love and respect, I’m making progress by losing weight in a healthy manner.
  5. I had a great hair day yesterday: 
    Good hair day!

    Good hair day!

So that’s all I’ve got on this wintry, “spring” Friday.

Anyone else have a race planned for this weekend?

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I’m Addicted to Races

Seriously – I had to cut myself off because I still find myself searching for more and more to sign up for. I need (see how I do that, start justifying this by using words like “need” instead of “want”?!) to sign up for a couple 10 milers this summer/fall to help get acclimated to running long distances prior to Disney, so I’ll have to lift the moratorium at some point. Smile

It’s going to be a really fun spring (if it ever arrives!!) and summer for sure – here’s what I am currently signed up for:

Run or Dye “Fun” Run 5k – May 4th

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Photo courtesy Run or Dye

I am VERY excited for this run, because the Nelson side of the family decided at Easter to make it a family event. I’m unsure how many of us ended up signing up, but it should be around 10 people. I am such a “family” girl, so the thought of sharing a race with my family is pretty incredible.

Rave Run “Fun” Run 5k – May 10th

This should be a fun run, too, because it’s a night race and I LOVE night races. The husband and I are running this one with a friend, so it should be a blast. Glow in the dark sticks, neon lights, and a promise of an after-party also have me psyched.

Grandma’s Half-Marathon – June 22nd

Image taken from Grandma’s Half website

I am SO excited to get to experience Grandma’s this year – we were luckily selected in the lottery (I’ve read the chances of being selected are roughly 50/50), so the ability to get to run this seems even more special. I’ve heard raves about Grandma’s for years (even before I cared about running), and am so excited to see what the hype is all about. I checked and there is a net-decrease in elevation, so I’m hoping a PR will be in store for me as well.

Warrior Dash 5k Mud Run – June 29th

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This will be my second year doing the Warrior Dash – it is held at one of Minnesota’s downhill skill areas (which apparently is laughable to those from mountainous states), so nearly the entire course is straight uphill. I’m hoping that the Body Pump and additional running will help with my endurance this year as I absolutely left room for improvement last year!

Color Run “Fun” Run – July 14th

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This will be my second year doing the Color Run. It was such a blast last year, I am excited for a repeat this year!

Twilight 5k – July 27th

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This will be my second year doing the Twilight 5k, but I’m looking forward to this race because it’s a night race (hence “twilight”), and I PR-ed here last year (before PR-ing again later in the season). I’m hoping for a repeat PR this year!

Disney Wine and Dine Half-Marathon – November 9th

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I am most excited about this race! Not only is it in my favorite place on Earth, but, this is what got me hooked on the blogging world! Dan and I had been planning to take a trip to Disney the week of November 9th, but soon discovered W&D Half was also that weekend, so we had to race it. We will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary, so it should be a pretty special trip in more ways than one!

As you can see, I’m looking a little empty from August through October, so I’ll need (there I go again with “need” Smile with tongue out) to find a race or two to fill them up.

Happy racing and running, everyone!

What are some of your upcoming races? Is there a race you’re really looking forward to? Why?

My Life as a Sometimes Music Teacher

My studio is well underway and has been officially in existence for over six months. I had always thrown around the idea of starting a studio, but had some anxiety (have I mentioned yet that change and I don’t typically get along all too well?) surrounding “what-ifs”. Last fall I decided to stop fearing what wasn’t and start embracing what is, and haven’t looked back!

Here are some items I’ve learned through this new adventure:

#1) I thought I would be the one teaching and not learning, but I have discovered I too have been learning a great deal.

What I hadn’t anticipated was what a wide range of abilities I would be tasked with teaching from the get-go. I had students who had some musical background and could sight-read and match pitch well; at the same time, I had students who were approaching singing needing more help with the basics. I learned it’s important to help students recognize the progress they’re making – whether it’s singing an entire song a cappella in tune, or finding proper placement of a vowel on the first try.

#2) Everyone is on their own journey and it’s important to respect and embrace that.

Maybe I think too much or something, but I’ve noticed through teaching (especially through teaching people in different life stages), that it’s very important to go at their pace for learning and growing (with a little nudge here and there when needed Smile). Similar to how I’ve found running be such a personal experience, making music can be a very personal and meaningful journey. I feel so blessed every lesson I teach that I have been selected to accompany my student on their journey.

#3) Everyone is different and has different learning styles – it’s important as a teacher to figure out (and quickly might I add) what their style is and embrace it.

I learned in college that every teacher should be prepared to present any given topic in seven different ways to accommodate everyone’s different learning styles. This is probably the thing I use in lessons more than everything else I learned. For students who have the technical background, I can use technical terms to help them achieve the correct placement, for example. For those who don’t have the technical background, I have to explain things in a way that is meaningful to them.

All this after only six months – I can’t wait to see what the next six years bring!

Happy making music, all! Note

Any other teachers out there? If so, what lessons have you learned in your teaching experience?

Twin Cities Jogging Tours

This past weekend I participated in my third jogging tour around the Twin Cities with Twin Cities Jogging Tours. They are so much fun and I’m already looking forward to #4!

The first tour I went on was the Haunted Jogging Tour which took place last October (during the creepiest time of year!). We jogged around St. Paul and visited some of the haunted sites around town. We learned so much and had a wonderful time getting to know our tour guide and owner of Twin Cities Jogging Tours, Angie. Here are some pics from the first tour (all photos taken from Angie’s facebook page Twin Cities Jogging Tours):

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The gang in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral

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Hanging out with Izzy at the Science Museum

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We thought the lighting paired with the orange leaves looked neat – we are right across the street from Forepaugh’s Restaurant

Our second tour was the Christmas lights tour in St. Paul. There were some pretty lights, but overall the consensus was that St. Paul needs to step it up next year! Here are some photos with some of the lights we were able to see.

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I can’t remember where this was, but the tree was really tall and we were impressed at the dedication to decorate all the way to the top!

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Governor’s residence decorated for the season

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This tree was STUNNING in person – can you imagine how many strings of lights this must have taken??

Last weekend’s tour was down in the St. Anthony area of Minneapolis where we learned about the old mills and the rebirth of Minneapolis in St. Anthony and across the river. There was a bride doing a photo shoot (it was 30 degrees and sunny, but STILL) and lots of runners enjoying the beautiful weather before the snowstorm arrived Monday. Here are some photos from the tour:

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It was a beautiful Minnesota winter day!

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Minneapolis skyline behind us

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I *love* this one…we are nerds 🙂

Angie was delightful as always and we all really enjoyed ourselves. I’m hoping the Minneapolis downtown tour will be the next one we book with her. I highly recommend booking one of these if you’re at all interested. She goes at whatever pace is comfortable for you (even doing walking tours for those non-runners), and is so knowledgeable. Check her out: Twin Cities Jogging Tours!

Have a wonderful rest of your week!!