Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday 110612

KZ had her XC end of season banquet last night at the HS.


Few thoughts here …

  • Her coach, Greg Weich, ran at Adams State.  He was coached by Joe Vigil.  Yeah, the Joe Vigil.  I find that pretty cool. 
  • Greg is obviously incredibly passionate about what he does;  running and coaching.  To the outsider, he probably seems a bit nuts.  In this audience however, he is dedicated and committed.  BTW – dude did 2:35 as a marathoner (master) last year.
  • It is really fun to see this family of kids.  As each kid was called up, they passed their previously called up team mates … you could hear the “low fives” as they passed by, and see the respect they had for each other in their eyes.
  • Varsity letters were given to girls who broke 22 minutes and boys who broke 19.  The fastest kid on the team was Ethan G – who went 15:56 at Liberty Bell. 
  • I suddenly felt like “that old man” when this young Mr. G approached me after the banquet and shook my hand, and thanked me for my support at the Pat Patten meet (for cheering him on). How impressive is that?  And then he wanted to hear about my running, because he heard I was an “ultrarunner.”  (some may recall that when I did the B100 last year, a BHS senior also entered and got to 80 something miles before dropping.  His team was his crew).  All of a sudden, I felt like that old runner guy.  I am glad I will get to see Ethan race another year – he is a junior this year, and appears to be a solid young man.
  • KZ started XC by announcing to me the DAY BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED that she wanted to do this sport.  I was surprised:  this was the kid that continually told me that “running is something you do when you are getting chased or going after something like a ball.  Otherwise there is no need to do it.”  I knew this was going to be a tough go for her as nearly all the kids on the team had been training with the summer group for 10 weeks already.  Her initial goal was to run a half an hour continuously.  That grew quickly to forty minutes.  Then an hour. 

    She was, as would be expected, incredibly sore the first couple of weeks.  She was shocked that the other kids jogging was her “all out” pace.   There was no difference for her between a hard repeat and an easy jog.  It was all running hard at the start.

    But she remained committed.  She recalls her first 5k at the pre-state meet to be 42 minutes and change.  At Liberty Bell, she went to 30 minutes.  She hoped to break that season best at the conference meet but was frustrated by (her words) “going out too fast.” 

    KZ got her junior varsity certificate.  I am incredibly proud of her.  She went ahead and did something that was way out of her comfort zone, learned a lot about herself, and so grew in many ways along the way.  Seeing that as a parent trips something in me that is not easily described.  Other parents get it for sure, and I am sure that there are other circumstances where that can happen.  But I don’t find them as easily.
  • I am not sure if KZ will continue to run.  If she doesn’t, I can say with complete honesty, I am okay with that.  If she does, I am also completely okay with that.  As a runner, and knowing what issues it can cause particularly in young women, I am probably erring on the side of being overly-disconnected about the whole thing.  I am there to support her, but not to push her.  It can be an odd balance at times.

    For example, when she heard that another freshman girl ran 19 minutes and change, she looked at me and said “that is so fast!”  I replied, “yes, but you know … you could do that.”  “No Dad, I couldn’t.”  To which I replied, “well if I told you that you were going to drop 12 minutes off your 5k this season at the start, would you believe me?”  She grinned, shook her head and said “but that is different.” 

    Sure it is.  But some of that I will let her discover on her own, versus me nudging that too hard.  Support versus push.  Tough balance, and this running thing with her is probably an analogy for a lot of other examples in her life as she grows from young lady to an adult.  I will try not to screw it up.

on a lighter note …

PM – 10 miles with 2 x 200, 6 x 800 (400r), 2 x 200 in the middle.  42, 39, then 2:46, 2:49, 2:47, 2:50, 2:43, 2:46 and then 40 and 37.  These were road intervals, so I made the 200s a bit longer (to compensate for GPS) error and the 800s actually 8:10s.  Can’t say these were easy.  I am thinking about half of this is relearning how to hurt and deal with it.


Farthest I was from my office was about a mile the whole time.  The odds were slightly downhill overall (-20’) and the evens were right at zero with an up and a down in there (the up at the end though –ack).


  1. Running is such a good sport for kids for many reasons. One big reason (in my opinion) is that generally the harder you work, the better you get. There really are a very few things in life that are guaranteed like that.

  2. Great post, especially as I will be taking young jP (age 10) to the High Altitude Pirates XC club run tonight.

  3. I see so many of these "pushy" parents and it drives me nuts. They all think their kid is the next Gretzky or Mia Hamm. I guess that is the world we live in with competitive travelling leagues in about every sport by the time your kid is out of diapers. You've got it right GZ. Sports are just a tool for hopefully leading our kiddos to bigger and better things. All you can (and should) do is set an example that getting off your butt and being active is a good thing, and let them choose what makes them happy.

  4. Congrats to her great year, and your great attitude.
    Not concerned about the physical issues of those young girls in the link running those distances -- but the psychological and social issues. Never hanging out w/ friends on wknds? Doing something regularly that makes you cry? Racing every weekend (even adults rarely do that)? How about a chance to play and be a normal kid?

    Easy to judge from the sidelines I guess -- but in contrast, seems like you're doing a great job, GZ. Keep it up!

  5. I've seen the "crum grabbers" in person and, yes, GZ and wifey are doing a remarkable job raising them.

  6. Very kind of you all to say ...

    I see that I might have come across seeking a compliment on my parenting (as many have seen running blogs as a forum in which their authors are seeking compliment on their workouts). That was not my intent, but I appreciate the kind words.

    One way I use the blog is to cross check myself on training. And to some extent, on my parenting I guess. I certainly don't post here the stuff I screw up in that regard. But with the running and KZ, I find myself in an interesting intersection that I want to treat carefully. By going "public" with that I feel a bit more accountable.

    And really - any good traits from my kids are about 95% my wife's doing.

  7. Excellent post and congrats to KZ on her first season, looking forward to hearing about her progress over the years (if that is what she chooses). Great attitude though on your part as a dad, I am taking notes. To echo Footfeathers comments, GZ and TZ are doing an exemplary job raising some great kids.

    Don't let Carolla see that Participation Award... ;)

  8. For bushwhacking up steep hillsides?

  9. JV = junior varsity. I might have a new nickname for you.

  10. This is so great on multiple fronts. First, I love that she took on this challenge without deliberating and planning and prepping in advance. She just "decided" which is awesome and instinctive. Her willingness to just jump will serve her well later in life. Second, she did it and improved and learned a lot. Third, you're supporting her and from such a place of knowledge and wisdom based on your experience... and yet you're not pushing her. She'll love you all the more for that. Nicely done, all around. This post put a smile on my face this morning.

  11. Congrats to KZ on completing her first season and improving so much. I just finished up my 4th year as a parent to my two older daughters in High School XC. From my experience the more "hands off" the better, even if the coaches are incompetent. Simply showing interest, supporting them and showing up to races and cheering them on is enough. The rest will take care of itself.
    Now if you want to see some extremely "over-the-top" parents you should check out the world of competitive gymnastics. My youngest daughter is in that world.

  12. Lisa - thanks for the kind words! Craig - I see it a bit in soccer as well ... I can't compare it to gymnastics, as I have not seen that, but there are some living pretty vicariously.

  13. This post made my day! :)

    Ryan didn't make his goals this year like he wanted, but he told me the other day he was still grateful he gets to run these things for the camaraderie alone...and he is still improving, just not where he wants to be. Slow and steady is hard for these kids to understand (Hard for me to understand sometimes, too :)) but the camaraderie is so incredible. Love how supportive you are in whatever her quest in life draws her towards.

  14. Jill - you are too kind with your comments!

    Is Ryan a senior?