A goal!

A goal?

I’ve been dragging my feet a bit over the last two weeks. At first I thought I had a cold, but I managed to keep it at bay, or so I thought. It’s lingered for two weeks now, feeling like the last day of a cold for about 10 days. Miriam says it’s hay fever. I say, screw you, hay fever. So I figured I’d stop babying it and just get back on board with the running.

The goal of running every day for Lent failed miserably. I was doing ok, with only one or two misses, but these last two weeks killed it. That said, it achieved its purpose of getting me running again, and I think that I am ready to set another goal for the first part of the summer.

I recently accepted the position of race director for the 5 Peaks series in Quebec. Right now, it’s a one-race series, with the lone date set for Sutton on September 17th, but our goal is to get four more races in the series for 2012. My assistant directors have already been out scouting for locations. I was in Sutton for the weekend, and I met with the Parcs people, who were very nice and very helpful in setting out how things will go down. Anyway, one of the things on the list is to check out the trails, which I am going to do on June 4th as I run in the X-Trails series race that will take place on the same course at Mount Sutton. So I’ve got to get myself in shape to run that.

This weekend I was well-positioned to start that training, as Miriam’s dad’s cottage is located, in fact, upon Mount Sutton. Here’s the view from the top at sunset:

So I did a shorter loop that I have done before, down Morgan and Schweizer to Mountain Road, down Mountain to the town, then Rue Principale Sud to the bottom of Schweizer at the BMR, and all the way back up. I was surprised that the climb up Schweizer did not feel too bad.

Now that I have a goal, even if the goal is just to get in good enough shape to not embarrass myself over the distance, I feel like that’ll help motivate me to get out and run. There was no way I was going to pick a track race, and even a road race would be too much, as I doubt I could get down to a decent time, but a trail race is nice, because the times are all really slow anyway, so I won’t look too bad.

We should be able to train outside all week this week, even if it’s raining, though we will be at Kent instead of Robillard because Robillard is closed. Kent gets croweded and there are always people walking out in front of you on the track. It’s not great when you need to do some real short, fast stuff, but for steady, grinding pace work, Kent is cool. We may go there more often. Maybe Monday Kent, Wednesday Robillard (to meet up with the tri-group). We’ll see.

Meanwhile, the team is two weeks away from the next track race. Preparations are going well. There were some breakdowns at the track last night, but they were followed by recoveries, which is what I like to see. Sometimes I throw a very hard workout out there. It’s ok to fail sometimes. There is a fine line though, as you want to create a successful atmosphere in workouts. If every workout is killing the athlete, then they are only learning to get beat up. If they have some success, then that will help them respond to the times when they do get their ass kicked by the workout.

Also, big congrats to Glenn, Liz and Tiff, who all ran the Boston Marathon, arriving at the line (or not) in various states of disrepair. Glenn managed a solid run on a tough course. Liz probably started too quick, and was maybe not as rested as she would have liked. Tiff got dehydrated, which is always a danger in Boston when you get a nice day: weather is the double-edged blade of marathoning; you don’t want it too hot or too cold. But that’s marathoning. You get one shot on the day and then that number (or non-number) follows you around until the next one. It takes great mental strength I think, not just to train for the marathon, or to run it, but to start again. The time off after the race is key. You want to make sure you really recharge before you get at it again, otherwise, you are flogging a dead horse (or a tired runner, which is sometimes just as useful).