Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Recital 2010

Emma Rose and Sky before the recital. Do they look nervous? Naaaahhh.
 My younger three kids (ages 15, 12, and 9) have been taking piano lessons for four years now. My oldest, who is almost 23, started taking lessons when she was 6, and continued with lessons (adding to that voice and guitar in her middle school years) until she was 17. She now leads music and worship services with her husband (also a musician!) at churches in San Antonio.

Anyway, the kids had their annual Christmas recital today, and did great. We have been so lucky to find such wonderful music teachers wherever we have lived as a military family. Our kids have learned so much. My son missed out today because he was on a youth group retreat.

Oooh, sitting in their places. It's getting close!

Emma played "Carol of the Bells" and did an awesome job.

Then, the girls played "The Holly and the Ivy," a trio with their piano teacher. Originally they were supposed to play with their brother, but since he was playing hooky on a youth retreat, Mr. O'Dell took his place...

Sky played three pieces: a jazzed up version of "Go Tell it On the Mountain," then "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," and finally, "Cascades" written and arranged by Scott Joplin. She was FANTASTIC!!!
A group photo

One of the "projects" my son was busy with while his sisters were performing at the glad to know he was working so hard!

Jingle Bell Run Recap!

Well, the Jingle Bell 5K 2010 is history now, and the girls both did great! I was Sky's running partner, and Hubs was Emma's. Sky ran the entire way with an official time of 33:12 (and no side stitches!!), and Emma ran the first 2 miles without walking, walked for about 60  seconds, and then ran the rest. Her official time was 37:01.

Peanut butter on toast makes a good pre-run breakfast!

They look sleepy but it really wasn't that early. We left the house at 8:00.
Luke was watching everything and knew we were getting ready to leave him. There were some dogs at the race, but Luke would have stopped running after a mile. Lazy boy!
The girls got a chance to practice a little piano before leaving for the race. Their Christmas recital was today (Sunday). Pictures to follow soon!
They look pretty cold, don't they?
Warming up in McFaddens

Costume contest. I have no idea who won because it was too noisy!
Enjoying some free hot chocolate before running.

Waiting to start. Funny, Santa was there to announce the start, but no one at the front of the line could hear him. It was announced several times. We in the middle were yelling, "GO GO GO!!!" and finally the people at the front heard and crossed the starting line. I've never seen that at a race before. Not that I have much experience! I've never attended a small race before.

Almost ready to start!

The Running Sky!

Pittsburgh, the city of bridges!
Post-race drinks and snacks at McFaddens!  Classic "we did it!" faces.
I am so proud of the girls!! They trained and worked hard to run their longest race ever, so far. Sky said she is ready to train for a half-marathon. I told her, let's take it easy and go for a few more 5K's, maybe a 10K first. Emma was a little disappointed that she had to stop running to walk for a while, but I think she's okay with it now.  How many 9-year-olds can run nonstop for over 30 minutes anyway?

Friday, December 10, 2010

All ready...

...for the Jingle Bell 5K! The girls are sooo
excited about running their first 5K!

Aren't Emma's little size 2's extra-adorable with the time chip? And, is it just me, or do the shoes seem to be mocking us as we gasp for breath during a race?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Snow run

Just got back from a run with Sky, and although it didn't snow today (yet) it was a slightly cool day for a run:

No sun made it feel even cooler. But it was all good. She is totally psyched for the Jingle Bell 5K Saturday. Now, if I can only remember to buy some jingle bells for our shoes before then!

Ready to roll!

Like mother, like daughter?

Probably not the best running form when you want to prevent side stitches. Good thing it was just a dorky pose!

Now like good little Catholics, we need to go take showers so we can smell sweet for the Immaculate Conception Mass tonight.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Good-bye, side stitches!

Sky ran 3 miles with me today!

Next Saturday we are running Jingle Bell 5K together, and she is all ready for it. I posted a couple weeks ago about how she gets cramps, or side stitches, nearly EVERY time she runs lately. It has become very frustrating for her because she loves to run, but the side stitches have been slowing her down (or forcing her to stop at times). She always avoids eating or drinking too close to a run (only very small, controlled sips of water), and that hasn't seemed to help. Today, after only two minutes into our run, she started experiencing the very familiar and annoying side stitch. In the past, all I have known to tell her is to press the area of her cramp with her fingers (I had read that somewhere), and 90% of the time that has not helped. However, today was different, and she was able to get rid of the cramps and stave them off for the rest of the run. SUCCESS!!

Lately, thanks to Brian, I have been trying to get her to focus on her breathing. He recommended teaching her to consciously acquire a breathing pattern of 2-2 or 3-3. I realized I do that naturally - most of the time, it's a 3-3 for me; if I'm running faster or harder it's 2-2.  It has been hard for her to put that knowledge to use, but today she finally got it, and started running with a 3-3 breathing pattern.

At the same time, I got her to concentrate on her running form. I read somewhere recently (I can't remember where so I can't cite the source) that a poor running form can also cause side stitches. When running, the arms should be at the sides and parallel to the ground. I noticed Sky does a lot of crossing her arms in front as she runs. I instructed her to try to keep her arms at her sides and point her thumbs upward - a method I read that helps to keep the arms at the sides. I couldn't believe how quickly and easily she adapted to that form!

After a few minutes, she said the stitches were going away. After 2 miles, she said the stitches were gone, and was going another mile. When we got to the end of our third mile, we stopped running and walked the rest of the way home. She was smiling, beaming, sweaty (despite the 20 degree temp), and very proud of herself.

Well, almost the rest of the way. There is a very steep hill about 1/10 of a mile long to our house. At the bottom of it, she very casually said, "Hey Mom, guess what?"

"What?" I answered.

"I'm going to beat you up the hill." And suddenly high-tailed it.

And yes, she beat me. (Although I have to say she had a head start.)