A.M. Started with an 800 meter time trial with Benjamin on the track. I was concerned about my ability to pace, as Benjamin is fast, and the distance is short. But I did OK. The target was 2:24, and I would have been happy with 2:26, but the plan was to pace him through the first lap in 72 and then see what happens. Benjamin was a bit aggressive in the first 100, which we did in 16. After that I told him to get really behind me and not push the pace from the side, and the pace became more reasonable. We did the next 500 meters hitting each 100 in 18, with 34 at 200, 70 at 400, and 1:46 at 600. Benjamin took the lead at 300 as we had planned. The idea was that if he knew he was supposed to take the lead, he had something to think about for the first 300 to get his mind off the worries about being able to sustain the pace. I took the lead back immediately after 400, and Benjamin took it again at about 540 again as planned. The idea was that this would give him a confidence boost, help practice for competitive racing, and also keep me from second-guessing how fast he wanted to go for the remainder of the run. At this point it felt really good to be behind him. I relaxed and did not try to pass him back on the curve. At 700 I found out why it felt so good - our next 100 was 19. So I moved out to pass him, but not very fast. This reluctance to accelerate came natural to me as I was quite tired, but it was just perfect for Benjamin because it stirred his competitive juices without mentally destroying him, and he picked it up. Our last 100 was 18 with the total time of 2:23.1.
This was very good preparation for the assault on the 5:00 mile barrier. Benjamin proved that he can run a significantly faster pace for half the distance, and that his second lap can be faster than the target pace, not just the first. Our next step is to take a break from the track next Tuesday and show the 6:00 guy who's the boss for 3 miles going down the Provo Canyon, and then the Tuesday after that try 1200 in under 3:45. So far, however, we are on track to break 5:00 before Benjamin turns 14, which is exciting. Now when he turns 15, it is quite likely that I might only be able to pace him for the first 800, and maybe the last lap in his mile time trials. But by then he can just run a competitive track race instead.
We ran some more miles after that, I ran with the younger kids, and some alone. Benjamin ended up with 6 miles, Jenny, Joseph, and Julia did 2, Jacob ran 1. I did a pickup for a quarter down the canyon in 76 chasing another runner. His name was Tony and he was visiting his family from California. We had a good talk.
P.M. 0.3 with William.