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Monday, March 1, 2010

20 MT - Lessons learned part 1

The truck was just the start of my problems.  The only thing that went well during this race was the fact I got a completion (and have a happy, sound horse).  I feel like I had to struggle for every. little. thing. during this ride.  Me!  The ultra-prepared one!  Had to ask for help MULTIPLE times. 
Hours after arriving and discovered several important things:
  1. I had forgotten to pick up more containers of water (for human consumption).  Fortunately I parked my rig right next to the only faucet.  (Useful knowledge from previous year.)
  2. I had forgotten to buy replacement water bottles for my saddle bags, after losing most of them to the trail on my last couple of rides.  AND none of the vendors were selling water bottles separately from the packs.  Fortunately my next door neighbors had extras.
  3. I had sewed up the trim on my new Haf pad beautifully....except the trim I had sewed up was on the FRONT of the pad, not the back....Fortunately I was able to borrow a needle from Karen and redo the stitching.
  4. I had forgotten my miniature bottle of champagne at my aunts house, where I had spent the night before continuing to the fair grounds.
  5. Also forgotten at my aunts was my icepacks for icing Farley's legs.  Bummer. 
  6. Toe straps and pastern straps are NOT interchangeable on the renegades.  Fortunately my pastern straps were in "good enough" condition that I thought they would be OK.  (and it was).
  7. The tights vendor that was there last year was not there this year.  Bummer.  I needed new tights and was hoping to pick up another pair.  Fortunately I did bring 3 or 4 pairs that I could rotate through if I had issues. 
  8. My backpacking stove stopped working.  I had to eat half cooked raw ramen for dinner.  I realized most of my in camp food required hot water.....Then it mysteriously worked well enough later that night to boil water for coffee (decaf).  I didn't have another chance to use it so I'm not sure if it truly resolved itself. 
I must admit that the stove not working was the final straw.  I had been depending on the good will of my neighbors and I didn't feel like I possibly stretch their kindness any more.  I held back tears as I ate my half cooked ramen and choked down some cold, dry tuna.  This was not an auspicious start at ALL. 
I only started to feel more positive about the upcoming ride after Karen came by to check on when I thought I might be at the lunch stop (her husband was hauling our crew bags) and stayed and talked about endurance and horses in general.  It was a delightful conversation, and I went to bed feeling ready for the next day. 
Now that I have set the stage.....onto the race itself!

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