A.M. Jacob's 7th birthday is on Sunday. We have a tradition of sorts if the weather is good and suitable for the mile record and if the child is young enough for me to be able to pace it (Benjamin has already graduated from that) to try to set one while the integer part of his age is still one year less. So Jacob did a mile time trial today at the Orem High track with Joseph being a front running helper.
I wanted to see how he would handle 6:40 pace. I botched it a little with a 1:38 first lap, but he responded cheerfully and followed me. In the second lap I sensed that he was starting to have a small difficulty breathing. I gave him his inhaler before the start of the run, but I think the dust from the small particles evaporating from the hot track was perhaps too much for him. It was even bothering me some. I eased off the pace to 1:43 for the next lap and we hit 800 in 3:21. Then Jacob's breathing problem got worse and I eased off the pace even more - next lap in 1:46. He was able to hold it together for the last lap repeating 1:46 and finishing the mile in a new PR of 6:55.1 improving his time by 2.7 seconds. The balance of 2 seconds went towards the 9.34 meters extra on top of the 4 laps. Joseph ran 6:53 and felt quite comfortable.
Even though this was only a small improvement, I was quite happy. Based on how Jacob handled the opening lap I knew that he had at least 6:45 in him if he could control his breathing. Also, from the trivia perspective - while still officially 6 and with all of the baby teeth still in place (although one of them is currently loose), he is now a 6:55 miler. After watching the race in Eugine and studying results of the USATF regionals I realized that sub-7:00 mile at the age of 6 is perhaps not exceptionally unique. But it is unique in our family. Jacob so far has shown most talent of all of our children. The key is to properly guide him through the development so he will not lose it.
Then I ran with the other children. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5. I did some pickups including a 100 uphill at 6% grade in 18.8.