A.M. Total of 12 miles. Did a workout. 12x400 down the Provo Canyon. It has been a while since I've done this workout. The precise reason is that it hurts so much that I always found an excuse to avoid it, and I had plenty. The main one is that by the time I am done running with the kids, I have neither miles nor time left for such workouts. Another one is that since I am a marathoner, I do not need to do such workouts. But I prayed recently for guidance, and felt that I should resume those miserable quarters. And not just 6 or 8, but full 12 with 200 recovery.
I remembered today how much those hurt. Enough that I remembered the way they get a little kid to eat his food in Russia. A spoon for each family member. One for Mommy, one for Daddy, one for Grandma, one for Grandpa. Maybe one for a brother or a sister if the child is lucky to have one. Then you have to start all over again. I've fed our kids like that, and with the extended family involved I do not think I ever had to repeat the cycle. So I did each one of the first ten for somebody in my house, and I included Matthew who is not yet born. That made it easier. But still, you finish the first two, and you dread the thought of another one, not to even think about ten. You savor your 200 meter recovery jog, and then comes another one.
I thought it would be good if I could average 72, but I was more fit for the pain than I expected. My slowest was the first - 70.2. Second slowest I was the fourth or the fifth I think - 70.0. I had a few under 69. The last one was the fastest - 67.1. Most of them fell around 69.4. Towards the end I figured out a form trick that gave me more stability on the right side, and I started to go sub-69 more consistently without more effort. Well, I did not really have more effort to give. That is the whole point of this workout. You make yourself hurt while trying to maintain the pace. You give yourself short breaks to reset the pile up of whatever it is that limits your speed just enough that you would not slug the next repetition. This forces the brain to find ways to run faster in a fatigued state. Since it cannot come through raw power, it comes through efficiency. You also develop higher pain tolerance. More specifically, you learn how to avoid panic at the signals of fatigue, which allows you to hold the fast pace a little longer.
The kids ran on their own. Benjamin and Jenny did 3. Julia 2. Joseph and Jacob rested for the cross country meet in the event.
P.M. Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob ran in the cross country meet at the Kiwani's Park. The distance was 2 K. Benjamin won overall with 7:01 in spite of taking a detour that cost him who knows how much. The facts are that it took Benjamin 2:44 to reach a place where I was standing, while the second place was there in 2:54, which was prior to the wrong turn. At the next checkpoint it was 6:01/6:07. At the finish it was 7:01/7:11. So I am going to guess he lost at least 5 seconds, possibly more. In any case, 7:01 is still a good result running in front alone for most of the race. I did notice a problem we need to address. Benjamin's leg turnover is too sluggish - ground contact time looks excessive. He compensates with a huge stride, but I think it is out of balance. Well, the huge stride is great. What is out of balance is that he lingers too long on the ground. From the visuals, it makes it harder for him to maintain speed when he is tired. We will work on fixing that.
Joseph had a great performance. His time was 8:45. Not only did he win Sub-Bantams (being only 7 he actually still has another year in Sub-Bantams), he beat the first Bantam boy, and what is impressive is that he had about a 2-3 second lead going into the last 100 meters, and he maintained it even though the older boy tried to kick. When you have a 2 year difference in age, the older boy almost always wins the kick. In fact, I believe this is the first time in our family history of running that with this age difference our younger boy did not lose the kick. Joseph improved his time from last year by 1:36.
Our barely six year old Jacob had a great performance as well. He would have won the Sub-Bantams had it not been for his "bully" older brother. His time was 9:40, which is 41 seconds faster than what Joseph ran last year at the age of 6 years and 9 months. Jacob is only 6 years and 1 month old.
Benjamin wore spikes, but the spikes we ordered for Joseph and Jacob had not yet arrived, so they wore Crocs. Joseph was OK, but Jacob lost his Croc with about 300 meters to go. He just kept on running.
Later in the evening I ran 0.5 with William.