A.M. Kids ran a little warm-up on their own before the cross-country meet. Benjamin did 3, Jenny 1, Joseph 1. Others rested. I did 12.25 total with 4x800 down the Provo Canyon with 800 recovery. The goal was to run around 2:30 for each. I did better than expected. 2:27.9 (73.1, 74.8), 2:26.3 (72.7, 73.6), 2:26.6 (72.7, 73.9), and 2:22.9 (72.1, 70.8). The splits reflect the nature of the course - the first quarter was a nice steady downhill with a little uphill bump at the end, while the second began with the continuation of the bump, then relatively flat 100 meters or so, then a short abrupt downhill, then more or less flat for 100 meters or so, and then 100 meters of mild uphill.
In the last one I tried to have a visual imagine of Lasse Viren's long kick, his resilience, his quiet confidence that no matter what he would win, and it did help - the legs just moved through the fatigue and I ran quite a bit better than I thought I would. The visual image is relatively easy to bring up, but it is not easy to translate it into speed - it takes some practice. That is why we do intervals and tempo runs. I do not know what went through Viren's mind when he was kicking, but I like to imagine it was the tune of Finlandia/Be Still My Soul. It very well could have been, but even if it was not, it communicates the message very well, and it is the tune I am familiar with from church. When I am able to catch the spirit of it I can find a few extra seconds per mile in me at the end of a hard workout.
P.M. Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and William raced in the Kiwani's Park 3 K cross-country meet. Benjamin won overall with 10:56. He says he got confused on the course, because it was new, and added some distance. Second place, Spencer Jarvis finished in 11:38. Grant was not there. Benjamin says he was feeling weak, weaker than in the 2 K. I am not surprised - it is about time to be reaping the fruit of the reduced mileage from his sickness. Unfortunately, this race is not very indicative of how out of commission he was, so we will do a little evaluation run on Thursday to see where he is at.
Joseph had a decent race winning the 8 and under division in 13:53. This is the first time he went under 14:00 in a cross-country 3 K. Jenny was having issues with her back from bending over a lot during the cleanup on Saturday, and ran 14:34 taking 4th place in the 13-14 age division. Jacob was having issues with breathing again, but still managed 14:39 taking second in the age division after Joseph. Julia's piriformis was better, but the reduction in training affected her fitness, and she could only manage 15:09 - good enough for 3rd in the 11-12 age division. William ran a gutsy race - 3K is quite a distance for a 4-year-old - but he was not afraid to jump in and go fast, and was rewarded with a decent time - 18:40 which was good enough for 6th place in the 8 and under age division.