Today was the final day of Passover so I am off. I decided to start cranking up some speed and the quickest way to do that is some repeats. I planned on two 200-300-400-300-200 ladders. Full recovery. Off I jogged to the B’ville track. It was sunny and not chilly. The track had relatively few folks walking about it, and fewer running, so I was good. And so I was for the first ladder. With each effort, I felt more comfortable at speed. they were 40, 58, 79, 57, 37.  On that last 200, steps after telling myself how good I felt I felt a twinge in the left knee. When it appeared again in the first 200 of the second set, I bagged it.

No reason to get too fancy. The workout didn’t last, but each effort felt relaxed with no strain. When one has had ups-and-downs, it’s nice to have something certifiable in the sense of a distance and a time and a degree of difficulty. So I’m happy even if the workout was cut short.

Speaking of the Bronxville Track, there was an article [ed.: no longer available] linked to on the LetsRun homepage this week about Mary Cain, about whom I’ve written before (and here). What I found disturbing in the piece was a quotation from her father to the effect that (i) her prior coach wasn’t good enough for her and (ii) she needed “individualized attention”:

Cain began to train under [Ed] Stickles and assistant Julio German this past season. They designed an individual workout program for her with some help from a couple of college coaches.

“They’ve done a wonderful job,” said Charles Cain, Mary’s father. “She was at a level, I think, where she just really needed that individualized attention.”

That “they” is the two Bronxville boys’ coaches who are now training her.

Obviously someone who runs a 4:17.8 1500 as a frosh and finishes 6th at Nike Cross Nationals as a sophomore under one coach — that would be the legendary Jim Mitchell — doesn’t need to change coaches to excel. I know a bit of what happened, and I don’t think it had much, if anything, to do with Mitchell’s coaching. (Indeed, Mitchell was just named the Mike Byrnes Indoor Coach of the Year in a season in which he did not coach Cain (his many accomplishments are listed in that linked-article).)

It seems to me, though, that a parent who says the school’s coach is not good enough for his daughter is a parent whose daughter should not be running for the school, boys or girls. I don’t know how a school can justify paying for personal coaching for an athlete, no matter how good she is. She’s just a kid so she gets cut lots of slack. Her father, though, should know better. Granted, it’s the party-line, i.e., it was the coaching and not something else. Whatever it is, it’s unfortunate and sad.

Fifteen Minutes

There was a thread on LetsRun on the cover of the new Running Times. (I’m converting my subscription for my Nook.) I’ve no comment on the cover, but there’s lots of good stuff inside. On that thread, someone linked to a  video with the always-helpful Pete Magill. I can’t embed it, but it’s a link worth following.