Today I went out with Archer for a run. Partly because my crazy week hasn't allowed for me to run until today, and partly because we're both going to run a 5K next Thursday.
His elementary school has a running club in which Archer has participated for the past two years. Last year he ran the one-mile option -- or rather, we ran together. This year his goal from the start has been to run the 5K.
I've been working hard to make sure I can keep up with him, and at least on an indoor track I've been able to complete three mile runs fairly regularly (meaning when I have more than 30 minutes to squeeze in a workout). We haven't been certain about whether Archer was up to that distance, and we've been cautious about encouraging him to push himself. Turns out he does it without any prompting, so our role has been to remind him to know his limits.
Last week during the regular club meeting there was a practice run on the actual course; Archer told us he ran "4.5K." That means he walked a bit in the middle, I suspect, having done the same thing today during our similar practice run on part of the course. But we ran a solid 2.54 miles, meaning that it won't take too muh more to add on the segment from the starting line on school property down to the park through which the racecourse runs (and back). Having done it with him today, and being just fine with a little bit of slowdown at water breaks, I have no doubt he'll complete the race.
That will cap a week that started yesterday with his top-10 finish in his first-ever chess tournament. The four top students from his third- and fourth-grade chess club went to the city-wide tournament, which included students their age as well as fifth- and sixth-graders. Being out of town, I checked frequently for Noel's Twitter updates.
Archer resigned the first game, which was not a good sign; he tends to resign if he's down on points during his chess club practices, because he gets to find a new opponent and start a new game (with a chance to win) right away. But in the tournament, he has to wait until all the matches in the round are over, so resigning does him no good -- might as well play it out, since it's the same difference if he loses and there's still an outside chance for a win or draw. Then he got a bye in the second round (one player didn't show up), which counted as a win. Round three he won on points. Ten minutes after the start of round four, he was walking out the door with a rook-roller mate under his belt. Round five he battled to a stalemate, taking advantage of his opponent's blunder to survive even though he was reduced to a king only. At the end of the day, he was ranked 9 out of the 43 contenders, and first among his schoolmates
I couldn't be prouder of my boy. How very far he's come, and how well he has parlayed his challenges into venues for success.