Duck season? Wabbit season? Racing season!

Training has been proceeding according to plan. That is, my plan for myself: run when I can, workout when I feel like it. My last workout was a nice hill session up behind the cemetary. Not really a “benchmark” kind of workout, as the distances and times are fairly meaningless given the terrain, but here it is:

4:32 up long hill (it’s a gradual dirt trail, probably about 1100m in length)
recovery down short hill
2:22 up short hill (it’s a very steep grass and dirt hill, under an old ski lift, behind UdeM stadium, maybe about 500m long? If that?)
4:31 recovery down long hill
4:25 up long hill
3:17 down long hill
1:00 recovery
4:22 up long hill
recovery down short hill
2:24 up short hill.

So I think that’s decent. It will prepare me for the X-Trail 10k in Sutton that I’m doing this weekend. Last year the winning time was about 1:07 by a guy who had done about a 1:20 half marathon. So it’s some tough terrain, but I was out there on the weekend and it’s not so bad. The key is really being able to run fast downhill: it’s treacherous. Anyway, my goal is to win, but there should be some good competition. Kenny Beaudette of Sherbrooke is racing it, and while I have managed to get the better of him on the roads, he’s definitely a mudder and a trail runner and who knows what shape he’s in now, so I’m going to keep my eye on him. The other competitor that I forsee giving me some trouble is Dany Croteau. He’s a road warrior in the sense that he races almost every weekend, and consistently runs about a 1:15 half or 34:30 10k. I think I am in that kind of shape, but again, he’s a man from the mountains, his Sportstats results listing him as from Mont St. Hilaire, so he’ll have some skill on the climbs and descents. I have raced internationally in this sort of event though, so hopefully some of that comes back to me…We’ll see.

After that, I was trying to figure out what to do, race-wise, with the rest of my summer. Unlike the athletes that I coach, John Lofranco the athlete does not really have a long-term plan. Do as I say, not as I do would be the appropriate maxim here. The athletes in the track group are getting ready for their “racing break” where we take a couple weeks, tone down the workouts, and see what we’ve got on the track. I think this works better than racing every other weekend or so, because it allows you to focus. You focus on training, then you focus on racing. So the athletes will be in Ottawa next Wednesday for a short race (800m or 2000m) and then in Boston on June 11th for the NE championship 5000m (and Dan Kramer will return to his home state for a 1500m). Then we’ll take the week to recoup, and head down to London, Ontario for 1500m night, where everyone will bust out a metric mile. So I think, since everyone is doing it, why not try a 1500 myself? I’ll do a couple 400s at pace late next week and see how that goes… Why not? After all, it’s racing season!