Thursday, May 26, 2016

Racing and Hill Workouts

Last night was Sam's last midweek XC meet for this spring season. It was at Harpswell, where last year she got tripped at the start line. This year's race went much more smoothly and she ran really well. She is not the fastest kid but she is happy out there and definitely much stronger than last fall! I love her open stride and how focused she gets out on the course when she is working hard. And of course, she has fun out there, which really is the most important part!!

Irene and Dana were able to come up for the day, and Ryan snuck out of work early, so she had a good cheering squad :) It was great to have Irene and Dana at the meet, and it was fun to all hang out and watch the rest of the team run. It really is a good group of kids, which makes it even better.

Being goofy at the start line ;)

Working hard

Striding toward the finish line

Thursday XC practice for Sam's team usually means hill repeats, and so this season I have learned that the front and back side of Mt. A. have names - Suicide is the bigger front side hill; Chicken the back. Apt names, both of them. The team does only Chicken hill repeats; Suicide would be too much for the little ones. Anyway, as I am trying to work on getting back a bit of speed this year, hill repeats are back on the menu. I suppose I would benefit from traditional speed workouts but honestly, you would never find me at the track - yes, I ran track in HS and college, but running through the woods is my first love and the thought of running in circles these days makes me a bit nauseous :)

So, all that said, I decided this morning to test out Ryan's hill workout, which he used with much success going into Grayson. I was feeling a bit ambivalent about it this morning as I didn't sleep well last night and honestly, focused, structured workouts are not my favorite way to run. But I headed out to do it anyway, and huh, I'd say it's not a bad way to do hills repeats. The idea is to run down hard then turn around and run back up the same hill strong, then rinse and repeat. But by doing both sides of the hill, there is a nice flat recovery in the middle. And as I could really do with some downhill work, this is a good way to get that in too. Today's workout was: Up Suicide > across > down Chicken hard and then back up strong > across > D/U Suicide > across > D/U Chicken > across > D/U Suicide > across > D/U Chicken > across > D Suicide. This came to a total of 4.3 miles including the out and back to the house. I'm calling it a successful first hill workout of the spring season and am planning to keep this one in the rotation through the summer and fall.

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