A.M. Paced the kids at Onion Days in Payson. Next year I want to have our own Fast Running Blog races. I am tired of supporting raffle jogs. Consider this - with some very rare exceptions every race around here gives away a prize of greater value in a raffle than it does to the overall winner. What kind of message does this send? "We are all winners" -:) ? Why do we even race? Why even bother paying a timing company a thousand bucks to time the race, and then hold an award ceremony? Just bring everybody to the start, fire the gun, jog, everyone is a winner, then go straight to the raffle afterwards.
Yes, dealing with the reality that you are in a race you cannot win can be hard. At the start of the Minuteman 5 K it was announced that we would have an opportunity to win some cash. I knew that most of the crowd had a statistical zero chance of beating me, and yet I had a statistical zero chance of getting any cash. So much for the chance. There was no chance. Many runners approached me asking if I was going to win, or if I had won. They were rather shocked when I told them about the statistical zero, or, post-race, materialized zero. They could not comprehend the dreadful reality of that zero. Yet it is in those races if we choose to face our own inadequacy that we develop the strength to push ourselves and improve. Had I not chosen to face that dreadful zero earlier I would still be running 2:40 marathons.
So we went to the race. It was a 5 K. Benjamin ran by himself in 21:56, 20th place overall among men (out of 118 runners), chicked only 6 times (out of 134 runners), not bad for a kid. Splits were 6:45, 7:07, 7:22, 42. Won 1-9 division by over 6 minutes. Probably course record in his division, but they do not keep track of those. Beat everybody in 10-13 division as well. For some reason he was having a slow day. He ran 21:12 on a slower course 4 months ago. Two possibilities - his pants were too long and too moisture absorbing, and that slowed him down in the second half of the race when it started to rain. Or maybe he is just going through a growth spurt, and his cardio is lacking a bit. In any case, 21:56 is quite a respectable time for a 9 year old, so I am not going to worry about it.
I paced Jenny while pushing Jacob and Joseph. She was doing well in the first mile and a little after, acting feisty, having fun passing people. First mile in 7:26, a slight downhill. The second mile was a mild uphill, and we started to get some minor headwind as well. She slowed down to 7:54. She caught up to a few adult girls in the third mile and that got her going a bit faster. Her next mile was 7:49. She ran 52 seconds from 3 miles to the finish, which I think was a little long. I ran the course two more times later for the mileage. First time around I hit that stretch in 51 seconds going about 7:20 pace, and second time around 49 seconds going around 6:30 pace (based on the split from 2 to 3). Jenny finished in 24:01, new PR by 1:03. 14th place among women overall. Won her age division (1-9), but the win was dimmed by the fact that there were only two girls running. However, she beat everybody in the 10-13 division as well, and set a course record I imagine - at least I have not seen a faster time in that division in the past. Only 43 out of 118 mostly adult men avoided the fate of being chicked by 8 year old Jenny.
Julia paced Marion, sort of. That was a way of finding something productive to do for Julia during the race. I thought that if we gave Julia pacing responsibilities she would be able to mentally handle a 5 K better. They ran together, then Julia took off, then got tired and walked, then Marion caught up to her, then at the end after I had come back Marion picked it up, and Julia started to struggle and fell back a bit. Marion got 30:57. Julia ran 31:12, but she was not officially in the race.
Sarah being 32 weeks pregnant ran 34:37, and finished 91st out of 131 women. That is a huge late pregnancy PR for her. She inspired me to create a new concept - virtual pregnancy. You do not have to be a woman to be virtually pregnant. If you are under 50, are not actually pregnant, and cannot break 34:37 in a 5 K, you are virtually pregnant. What is special about Sarah is that she is not a super-athlete. Her all-time 5 K PR is 24:19. So a 34:37 5 K can reasonably be used as some basic health test. If you cannot break it, it is a condition (virtual pregnancy), and it is probably time to make some life style changes.
Ran some more mile afterwards to make the total of 12, including running the 5 K course twice. Second time around decided to beat Benjamin's time, picked up the pace a bit, and got 21:22. Had to run 6:30 pace at the end to do it. Noticed that the difference between 6:30 and 7:20 for me is mostly in the focus. 7:20 = light breathing while spacing out, 6:30 = same breathing as 7:20 but a lot more focus.
Finished at Marion's house.
A.M-2. Michelle had another 4 miles in her, so we plotted against Marion and convinced/tricked her into going with us on a bike for another 4 miles. Just as we got out the door it started raining very hard including hail. Hail always makes me think of a scripture in Helaman 5:12 in the Book of Mormon which basically says that the winds and the hailstorms of the devil have no power of those who build their foundation on Christ.
At the end of the run I remember Ted telling me about Bill Dillinger coaching him at Oregon and the surprise challenges at the end of a workout. So I figured Michelle could use one of those, and I challenged her to run hard to the end. Then Marion challenged me to beat her, and that gave me a chance to turn my legs over a bit.
Five Fingers - 1243.27 miles.