Recently my 10-year-old daughter came home and told me that she and a friend ran 8:22 in the mile at school. I was very skeptical but kept it to myself as she was very happy about her accomplishment. She was beaming as she had never run under 9:10 before. I was pleased that she had given it her all in PE. After speaking to her friend’s dad I became more skeptical of the time as he informed me that my daughter had to stop and tie a shoe in the middle of the mile.
The next week, Jadyn said she was going to try and run under 8 min in the mile. When she came home that day, she was completely stoked.
“Dad, guess what Kaleigh and I ran in the mile today?”
“What?” I asked.
“7:59!” She shouted.
“Are you sure the course was measured correctly?” I asked reluctantly. I didn’t want to dampen the excitement but my skepticism took over.
I’ve been a coach for over 13 years and hadn’t seen this type of improvement over one year, not to mention a 23 second Personal Best in one week.
“I’m sure it is, Kaleigh and I are running hard,” she said. “You just watch, I’m going to run under 7:45 at the 1 mile fun run next week.” The fun run is a run we do every year. It’s a half mile or 1 mile for our kids and a 5k for my wife and me. Usually Jadyn isn’t looking forward to it, but this year she is determined to prove herself to me.
Of course I tried to bring her back to reality before the race, telling her that we would shoot for 8:30 and see what happens.
“Nope, I’m shooting for 7:45,” she countered with confidence.
Once the race began, we were off to a fast start. Jadyn and Kaleigh were talking about the weather and how early it was. They were saying most people were probably sleeping while they were out running a mile. Chad (Kaleigh’s dad) and I were jogging, both wondering how they expected to run fast while having random conversations. At the half mile point, I looked down at my RunMeter app and it stated, 4 minutes 2 seconds, I figured we were headed for about an 8:15 mile. But all of a sudden, they stopped talking and started running harder. Chad and I went with them. When we reached the last turn and could see the clock, it read, 7:22. That’s when I became a believer. We told them to go for it and sprint to the finish. They did. They were both driving their arms and pushing through. They were determined. When they crossed, the clock read 7:39.
I was shocked! Being wrong never felt so great! I congratulated them on a job well done. They placed 2nd and 3rd in their age group. I’ll try my best not to ever doubt them again. As for now, I’m eating crow!