Monday, June 27, 2011

Rock and Roll 2011

It definitely wasn't my best race. I have no less than 3 theories for why I felt so weak throughout the majority of the 13.1 miles, but I'll never really know why so I'm trying not to dwell on it. And here's the good news: I endured to the end and still had a great finishing time--even if it wasn't my fastest--so I'm going to give myself some credit for that.

We started the race together but by mile 6 or 7 I started to lag behind. I was struggling. A lot. It was definitely discouraging to be giving it everything I had but still not be able to close the 2 or 3 yard gap that separated me from my running partners that I'd trained so many hours with.

I knew our families would be waiting to cheer us on (and take pictures) between miles 10 and 11 and I wanted more than anything to be able to be in the pictures together as a group. I pushed and grimaced and pulled at my side as I fought through a terrible side ache. But I couldn't do it. I am running solo in the pictures because I couldn't keep up. It hurt my pride. I was definitely sad. But I was still grateful for my little group of fans so I smiled and gave them a wave.

I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:53:36. Still a very respectable time and this race wasn't all about time for me anyway. I was happy that my many silent prayers just to be able to finish were answered.

After meeting up with my fans, we went back out to the finish to watch Jay come in from the marathon. He's an amazing runner and it was really fun to have Lucy and the family come for this event. It was so exciting to watch Jay come in with a personal best time--2:53:37--and finish in 2nd place in his division! Unbelievable.
Then we all headed back out for a third time to cheer Christopher onto the finish.

The three in-law runners. I admit to feeling like a lesser-achiever standing next to these two marathoners.

And finally, a shout out to our "athletic supporters." Really, their love and encouragement meant the world to me.

So there you have it. That is how you rock and roll in Seattle!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How To Do Giants

One of the Alyssa's final assignments for the 4th grade was to write and present a speech on a topic that she finds interesting. Well, of course the topic she chose is gymnastics.

She really wanted to show a video to demonstrate "How To Do Giants"... so we took the camera to the gym and asked her coach if we could video a part of practice. I helped her put it all together in a power point presentation.

Here is the speech she wrote:

Do you ever wonder what it feels like to fly through the air? Do you like roller coasters? If you do, you will probably want to learn how to do giants. A giant is a gymnastics skill on the uneven bars. The reason I said do you like roller coasters is because it feels like a roller coaster. Also, you can’t really see anything but the bar because of the fast power.

The supplies you will need are grips, chalk, water, a bar, a coach and you. Learning a giant takes many hours of training and lot of strength. The steps of learning a giant are first, learning the hollow body form. Some ways of learning this body position is doing handstands with your stomach facing the wall. You also need to learn how swing correctly. The next step of learning giants is to do them on a strap bar. A strap bar is a skinny metal bar with a white plastic pipe which rotates around the metal bar. You put on a wrist band then put a strap over the bar. You put your hand through the strap and twist your hand around and grip the bar. You are strapped onto the bar so you don’t need to worry about falling. Giants on a strap bar look like this. (show first video)

After you master the strap bar, it’s time to move to the uneven bars. For giants, you need a coach to spot you. You will also need to learn how to use grips. Grips help you hold on better. Grips look like this. (show grips and demonstrate how to put them on.)

First you need to spray water on your grips so that chalk sticks. Then put on the chalk until you can’t see any water. Now you are ready for the bar. The steps of the giant once you are on the high bar are; first, a nice cast handstand. Push away from the bar with your shoulders open. Then fall hollow, which means to not fall arched. As you come around, tap at the bottom of the bar with your feet. Then rotate around, shifting your grip and pushing against the bar. Giants on uneven bars look like this. (show second video)

So if you like flying through the air, you might like to try and learn how to do giants on the uneven bars.

She got her grade back today:  A+++++  (that's right 5 +'s)  Nice work Alyssa!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Like Macaroni and Cheese

In our younger years--about 1997

"We go together like peas and carrots," I said to Jon the other day. "But we don't ever eat peas with carrots so I don't like that one. How about...macaroni and cheese," I decided. "Yeah, because what good is macaroni without cheese?"

We were planning to celebrate our 15 fabulous years by going to the U2 concert. Our plans were changed, however, when Jon's uncle passed away and he traveled to his funeral in Utah instead. It was a very small sacrifice, really. We were both so, SO glad he was able to be there.

So, now we're planning a New York trip instead. Even better! And we went out for an extravagant steak dinner last night, too. He got peppercorn on his steak, I opted for crab on mine. Our waiter fluffled the potatoes and tossed the salad tableside and served an elaborate fruit, nut, cheese and crackers spread after dinner--a complimentary tradition we were told. It was wonderful!

Jon bought me a beautiful new watch and found the perfect card. It read:

Like bacon and eggs, like ham and cheese, like cookies and milk, like cake and ice cream...We belong together.

"Or like mac-n-cheese," he wrote on the bottom of the card.

Yeah, just like that.