Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brady track update

I last reported that Brady was excited to run his practice mile last weekend and that I would post an update. Oh, how things change. He thought we were going to run the mile at a race with his teammates and friends and when I explained to him that he couldn't do it in a race until he does it in a practice, he was disappointed. He didn't want to run by himself and decided he didn't want to try to run the mile. I explained to him that you can't do the fun stuff (race) without first putting in the work (practicing it). He still kind of wants to run it, and says he'll try it in practice on his own first, but the ball is in his court. It's up to him now.

On a non-track-related note, Brady wanted to go for a bike ride on Monday (Melanie and I had the day off), so we took him out. He rode 7 miles and up some pretty big hills. I think he did pretty good but it did take an excruciatingly long time: 1 hour and 45 minutes. But he had fun so Melanie and I stuck it out. I was pulling Alex in the trailer and although he was getting a bit bored going so slow, he was a good trooper as well. The main thing is that Alex said he had fun and Brady loved it, too. So mom and dad just grinned and bear it.

On a related note, last night's track practice was something else. I should preface this by explaining how the track team practices and is divided. The team has kids ranging from 4 to about 14. They are divided into the 'little ones' (8 and under) and the 'big kids' (8+ and a few of the really fast 7 year olds). They warm up together as one group, but then run their practice within their age division. The coaches usually do not challenge the little ones much like they do the big kids so that there is no pressure and it's kept fun. I do like this because it keeps it fun, but there are a few of the little ones that actually want to be challenged. Brady is one of them. If he isn't pushed, he just sort of jogs. If you challenge him, he really goes all out and he actually has more fun.

So last night, none of the coaches were able to make it so one of the other dad's who has some coaching background coached the practice. Normally in practice, Brady runs his 200m repeats around 51 to 55 seconds each, and his fastest 200m time so far is in a race at 49 seconds. For the first couple of repeats, Brady didn't try real hard so the coach called him out and said he had to start hitting 45 seconds for his repeats. I wasn't there (had to work late but was on my way) but I got a call from Melanie.

Melanie: "What times does Brady usually run his 200s in?"
Me: "If he tries hard, about 51-53 seconds but if he's slacking he'll run around 55 seconds. Why, what's he running them in now?"
Melanie: "Uh, he's running them in 45 seconds."
Me: "What? No he isn't. Are you sure you're timing him right?"
Melanie: "Yes, and the coach is timing him too. He started giving Brady a target time to hit and he's actually running faster than some of the bigger kids who normally beat him."
Me: "I'm hurrying, I'll be right there. I have to see this."

So I finally get there and I get my stopwatch ready to time him. The little ones come up to do their run and the coach calls out, "Brady, you've got a time of 45 seconds to hit. On your marks, get set, go." I have my watch going and I have never seen him try with this kind of effort before! Sure enough, 45 seconds. My jaw nearly hit the grass. By this time a 2nd coach had showed up and when they saw my reaction, they looked over at me smiling and pointed to the watch shaking their head yes. I couldn't believe it. He was out-running kids he's never come close to beating before in practice. Wow. Needless to say, I was on cloud 9. Brady was pretty excited and after practice, I don't think he breathed for about 2 minutes while he talked and talked about it replaying it all for me. He was so proud of himself for running so hard and so was I.

We took him to Taco Bell for dinner as a treat, which is he and Alex's favorite place to eat. After dinner I watched the day's stage in the Tour de France and Brady wanted to join me. I was explaining to him the good riders, what strategies they were using, the rivalries, etc. He really got into it and said, "This is the greatest show ever! It's even better than cartoons." I know he didn't truly mean it, but that combined with his awesome performance at track practice, and he played me like a fiddle last night. I would have let him eat candy in bed if he would have asked. We let him stay up 2 hours past his bedtime to watch the Tour. :)

I'm one proud papa.

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