Wednesday was a recovery day for myself and the Hillview runners. Well, unless of course they had not qualified on my two mile course yet. We did the 2 mile qualifier in the afternoon heat. Another 8 or 12 qualified! I now count 65 runners who have qualified on both my 2 AND my 4 mile course. There are 32 who have qualified on the 2, but not yet on the 4. There are another 30 or so who have not qualified on either yet. Some of these, I am sure, have quit, but others are just not going to get there.
I did get a little eye opener as to why some of the kids show up, but do not put in the effort to improve. I found out that sometimes it is the parent that wants them out there, not the child herself. After practice I noticed one girl sitting with the runners by the gym waiting to be picked up. She only looked vaguely familiar. She started a conversation, telling me that she had not been to practice due to a variety of other commitments, including drama and tutoring. I asked her name and she told me. I recognized the name as one of the names I had already removed from the roster due to lack of attendance. When they don’t show for a week or more I assume they have quit. She asked if she could come back the next day. I explained that she could, but that she would have to bring me a note signed by the mom explaining all the days she had missed. I also explained that she would have to meet the 2 mile qualifying standard by Friday, or she would then get cut from the team. She said okay. Just a few moments later I noticed her get into a car. The window opened and her mom called me over. The mom asked if she had been to practice that day…. no. Has she been to practice regularly? No, in fact I have removed her from the roster because I had assumed she had quit. Well, I want her to run so she can lose weight. She will be there regularly from now on….. I explained that she could come back but she HAD to make the cut in just a couple of days. The mom, understood, but told the girl that they would speak more about it when they got home…. Uh, Oh….
I could tell some other stories about kids who come out, but give no effort. When I cut them the parents complain. I find it is really the parent who is interested, not the student. I have a hard time explaining that cross country, that distance running will not work unless the person doing the running is motivated to do so! If the runner is unmotivated, they will underperform, and they will frustrate us coaches and the other runners. I am thankful I published a set policy to allow us to make cuts this year.
Thursday, we ran a warm up, did about 15 short hill sprints up our grass hill, and then did a cool down. In the evening I headed over to Clay’s for a workout.
This morning we did our first time trial which would lead to cuts. I have not yet gone through the results, but it seemed very few failed to at least make the 2 mile cut. There were about 6 or 8 who did not do so. I spoke with a couple of them and found out that they were also only there because their parents wanted them to lose weight. I would really like to be able to help kids with such a worthy goal, but we cannot supervise kids jog/walking at 14 – 18 minutes per mile while others are running a 6:30 or so.
My own run this morning was another course record. I completed the 2 miles in 13:48 and the 4 in 14:13. The first 2 was 25 seconds faster than last week. The four was only 3 seconds faster, so I ran the 2nd half slower than last time. This is understandable. About a mile and a half in I experienced a pretty good twinge in my lower back. I do not normally have problems in the lower back….. The spasm went on for a while but it eased up enough for me to finish the run.
After the run I had to drive all the way to San Clemente and back. I found that I needed a lumbar support cushion to be comfortable driving. As I write this, it is still just a little achy. I have planned a trail run with Clay in the morning, but I am wary…. Clay? What say you?