Thursday, November 6, 2014

Letting things evolve at their own pace

On November 5, 2014, the South Coast League middle school cross-country finals for both the North and South divisions were held at Marantha Christian in San Diego.  The course was 1.5 miles and consisted of track, grass, pavement and dirt, with a bit of elevation change.

Zach did well, running the course in 8:40, which is a mile pace of 5:46.  (Time subject to confirmation.)  Zach finished fifth, set a new PR and helped his team win the boys' final.  Zach also got to meet Jim Ryun who was the first high school athlete to run under four minutes in the mile and won a silver medal in the 1968 Olympics in the 1500m.

Jim Ryun and Zach
It's been a good season of cross-country for Zach, as he's finished second or third each race and continued to set PRs.  Along the way, he's learned a few valuable lessons.  At one meet, the course was not marked properly, setting back the schedule by 30 minutes.  Zach, who didn't have water with him, ended up running the race with a dry throat.  Lessons learned: have water and crap happens.

Yesterday he played soccer at school prior to the meet.  He ran well and set a PR, but he realized afterwards this was not a good idea.  Lesson learned: rest on race day.

Although Zach and I ran a bit together this summer, I've left him alone for the fall.  Between soccer and cross-country, Zach was running 6-7 times a week.  I saw no need to get him to run with me.  Instead, I let him do his thing and I think it worked.

For the last three years, Zach has been expected to win every race he entered by his teammates and coaches.  While he did win 75% of the time, the pressure was a bit much for him.  He began to not want to run the races.

This year has been completely different.  His cross-country team is strong and Zach was more concerned about the team winning, then individual glory.  As a result, Zach enjoyed himself, is excited about the sport and wants to run more.      

No comments:

Post a Comment