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Somebody appears to have found his groove

September 8, 2011

Meet number two was today at Lincoln Park.

Ian said that his coach wanted all runners to try to cut 20 seconds off their times. Twenty seconds… in a cross-country race, twenty seconds is a friggin’ eternity. Like I explained to Ian: picture yourself crossing the finish line. Now count to 20 and picture someone else crossing the finish line. That is a LOT of time. But hey, that’s what Coach wanted, so that’s what they were shooting for.

So I said that in the meet on Tuesday, Ian ran an 18:32, right? That was at Rotary Park, a very flat course. Yesterday, he had practice at Lincoln Park, which has a fairly sizable hill. He ran that course in 18:22. Well, I got to thinking (to myself) that if he knocks 10 seconds off his time from a flat course to one with a hill, maybe that twenty seconds isn’t so far-fetched.

I gave Dawn the choice today. I let her choose whether she wanted to go to the meet at the beginning, or whether she wanted to stay and get Adam off the bus and then come to the meet straight from the bus stop. She chose the latter, since she didn’t really see much of Adam this morning, as she got up early for an 8:00am massage and pedicure. Bad choice that wound up being; they ran the boys’ race first, for whatever reason. (Yeah, I’m guessing I’m in the doghouse for that one… but in my defense, I DID give her the choice.)

The boys get lined up on the northeast corner of the park, ran through the outfields of the softball fields, ran a full circle around the “big field”, and head south into the woods and down the hill toward the pond. Then they ran back up the hill along 5th St., back around through the softball field outfields (more or less where they started), and around the far side of the “big field” again, with the finish line being at the edge of the Nelson Center parking lot. (Those of you not familiar with Lincoln Park, it’s a good long two miles.)

Okay, remember that whole thing about the kids trying to shave 20 seconds off their times? That would mean Ian would have had to run the course in 18:02. Yeah, well, he did it in 17:03!!! An entire 1:19 quicker than his best time thus far. That was amazing. He wound up finishing 18th out of 40 kids in his race, so better than half. The kid that won the race was also from LMS; he ran it in 12:50.

The girls’ race was just as exciting. The girl that won Tuesday’s meet (by a large margin) won again today (by a large margin). She finished in 13:11, and neighbor girl Carrie finished 5th. The LMS girls took 12 of the top 20 finishes, and the LMS boys took 13 of the top 20 finishes in their race, and LMS very handily won the meet over Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools.

I have told Ian that, in knocking well over a minute off his time at once, it’s going to get harder and harder to get personal bests every time now, that it only gets harder and more intense from here. He seems ready and eager to take it on. This cross-country stuff is pretty damned cool.

Big, big meet in Normal on Saturday. Probably 20-30 schools will be competing. Hopefully I’ll get to go. Dawn’s sister has offered to take Adam (bookoo early) Saturday morning so we can follow the bus to the meet. We’ll see how that goes. But at any rate, it’s gonna be a pretty insane time up at Maxwell Park!! Wish Ian luck!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Marjorie Stearns permalink
    September 9, 2011 7:27 am

    Wow! Ian’s doing great! Good luck to Ian on Saturday, and at all other meets. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t always improve your times. You’ll hit plateaus during your cc career, then improve again. I’d be proud of you even if you came in last, just for the sheer determination and effort you’re showing. Love, Grandma

  2. SpringfieldZebra permalink
    September 9, 2011 8:43 am

    Holy Cow!! 1:19 better than the previous time is more than shaving off time…that’s a hatchet job! AWESOME!! And you’re right, Juan…the ability to improve one’s time becomes increasing more difficult than the last, especially when your looking at almost 1½ minutes from the previous time. As I had stated in a previous reply, where you place in any given meet is not as important as achieving the personal goal of doing better than the last time. But placing in the top half of the field has to be quite exciting.

    Ian, keep working hard during your practice sessions. Building up endurance not only in your legs, but increasing your lung capacity will pay dividends. Maybe you’ll some day find yourself placing in the Top-10.

  3. DBeau permalink
    September 9, 2011 9:00 am

    Way to go Ian, the Beauman’s are beeming with pride!

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