A.M. Total of 12. All with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. Julia set an unexpected PR on our 3 mile course. She started out a bit quicker than normal hitting the first half in 12:09. When she turned around I challenged her to break 24:00, and maybe even her record of 23:42. She outdid my expectations and ran 11:03 for the second half, so her time was 23:12. it has been a while since she wanted to push in a longer run, so this came as a surprise to me. She has struggled with low iron over the last couple of years which affected her endurance and competitive drive. As I mentioned in my post on Tuesday, I am happy when my children succeed, but I am also thankful that I can be there to help them when they struggle, and I am thankful there are struggles and problems to solve because that is when the real growth comes - for them and for me.
Last night I finished Nikholay Khokhlov's book about his life as a KGB agent, and subsequent defection. There were some valuable lessons in that book. This would be the next book that I will read with Benjamin in Russian. We have been reading "The Story of a Real Man" about a Russian pilot in the Second World War that gets shot down behind the enemy lines, shatters his feet, manages to survive for two weeks crawling through a forest during early spring, then is discovered by Russian villagers that are hiding from the Germans in that forest, eventually recovers, and flies again in combat. The story is based on actual events - the pilot survived the war, actually managed to live past 80 years old and died in 2001. We are progressing through it at snails pace, only a few paragraphs a day, but it has been a great learning experience for Benjamin - his Russian has been improving. He learned some things that I have always taken for granted - for example, that there is a verb in Russian that means "to carry out insurgent operations against occupying enemy force" with all kinds of freely used derivatives that are still found in day-to-day speech even though the war ended almost 70 years ago.
Later we drove to Goblin Valley. Kids had a lot of fun playing on the dirt "goblins". Matthew liked the passing lane on highway 6 because when we got there I would speed up to pass whatever was in front of us. Hitting the bumps in the road at a higher speed helped rock Matthew to sleep.