Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Running the Calabasas Classic

My siblings and I
The race day finally came.  After training for the 5k with a running group for 2 months, I was ready for the big day.   I was a little bit nervous as I was going to run in the 11-14 age category and I am only 11.  My day started on a chilly morning with the sun just starting to peek its way through the clouds.  I warmed up with my track and field group that were also getting ready to run the race.  There were thousands of people watching, walking, or running the race. Two of my swimming coaches were also there running the race with me.  While I was resting from my warm-up,  I looked around, and tried to  find the start line. Since there were so many people, I couldn't even see it! There was also a DJ warming everyone up before the race.  A giant clock counted down until 8:00 am and the horn blew the start of the race. 
Coach Lara with me at the start of the race.  

We were running a large loop around the streets in our neighborhood. The week before the race, I ran the course many times for practice and felt ready for this race.  After the half way point, I got a cup of water and poured it over my head to refresh myself.  It felt so nice that I sprinted the rest of the race.  While I was running the race, my siblings were at work making a me a sign to cheer me on.   As I made my way to the finish line, my mom, sisters, and brother cheered me.

When I had finally finished, I had run the race in 23: 45: 38 and came in 5th place in my age group and 20th overall.  The fastest girl in my age category ran the race in 20:43:61.  

My sister and I after the race

Here is a video of the start of the race.

Have you ever been in a race with this many people?

Friday, December 6, 2013


Isaac Albéniz was one of Spain’s greatest national composers who composed during the late romantic time period. He was a child prodigy who gave his first public piano performance at the age of 4. As a child, he studied at many universities and even won the Brussels Conservatory’s first prize. Franz Liszt, another famous composer,  was one of his teachers. Albéniz traveled widely, living at various places where he composed, taught, and performed.  He is most famous for his piano music, including, Iberia, an impressionistic 12-section suite that describes Spanish places and dances.  

Prelude (also known as Preludio in Spanish) is the first of five pieces in Chants d'Espagne, (Songs of Spain), published in 1892. The beginning fast part sounds like a Flamenco dancer tapping his feet on the wooden floor. The second section is a similar to the copla, a Spanish song, because it sounds like a verse that can be sung. The music changes between a solo and accompaniment that is typical Flamenco style. I've loved this song from the very first time I heard my piano teacher play it. I hope you enjoy it as well.

My brother has been watching us play for the past few years, and has now decided he wants to join the instrument fun.  He wants to play the guitar but my mom said that he is too young to learn the guitar and should start out with the piano first. It will give him a good foundation in music and reading notes.  When we recorded, he was playing for just 3 days, and this was his first song he learned by memory.  He has been practicing every single day and now has almost finished learning his first piano primary book. Like when he learned to read, he started with his alphabet. Today Michael will play for you the ABC song. 

What did Prelude sound like to you?  

Any advice or words of encouragement you want to give Michael who is just starting to learn an instrument?