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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A story of "naive optimism" and sandbagging

I have a TON of product review updates and a few new things....

But first a bit of whining.

I'm in a tremendous amount of pain.

Enough pain that I'm wondering how well those vicodin in the cupboard would work, that was was given for the plantar wart removal that I never needed to take.

The day started superbly and then rapidly, before noon, degenerated into painful stupidity.

Or as I would rather phrase it "naive optimism".  :)  I swear if a child of mine ever throws that phrase in my face during the teenage years I will slap them, child abuse laws be damned.

Anyway.  I believe it may be time to flip a u-turn from this tangent and actually relate what happened.

I got my first day off from work in 10 days, and because I've been doing so much sedentary sitting and driving, I couldn't WAIT to hit the road and hit the trails.

I changed into a cute little running skirt that I've had for a number of years that I mostly use for hiking and went for an interval run.  A bit reduced since it's been 5 days since my last run and according to the "First 20 min" book that I keep raving on and on about, the injury rates seem to be a bit higher in runners that are coming back after 2 days of rest, as compared to only taking 1 day off...the advice being that rest is good and you should absolutely have days off - but perhaps if you are coming back after more than just a day, take that first work out a bit easier, just to make sure all systems are "go".  As I had actually converted my last run from an interval work out to an easy 30 minute run that was Tess-centered because I just didn't feel motivated/NQR, this was an especially good idea (BTW - another rule of thumb for my new running program is to listen to my body and NOT push through low motivation, tiredness, or a feeling of just not "being there" that day for the run.  Go easy or take the day off - running is supposed to be fun, AND it could be an "early warning system" for injury).

I wasn't going to take Tess this morning because it was a bit later than I usually go and the sun was already up, but she begged with big soulful puppy eyes and little dancing feet and off we went.

Then I did a strength training session.  That was the point I knew it was a good day - I got my run in and instead of the bed calling me, the bar and weights were.

Then, still in my running clothes, I jumped in the car to go see Farley.  I had tights at the stable, but the idea of riding in my flippy little hiking/running skirt made me feel empowered, and with the ride and tie coming up, decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to see whether it would work for that.

After all, a stretchy little wrap skirt with what amounts to bike shorts underneath would perform better than most of my running shorts.

The plan was a short (30 min or so) trot with a little canter on the trail.  Perfectly doable right?  When I got to the stable and the barn owner asked if she could go with me and do a set on her polo horses I didn't see any reason to change my skirt plan.

After all I've ridden in shorts and skirts plenty of times (bareback), and even before a ride at Funder's house (in a full sheepskin cover).  Surely the little fuzzy things over my leathers would be perfectly fine.......

Because canter and handgalloping all over hill and dale is EXACTLY like riding bareback at a controlled pace, and happily shrieking with Farley did little happy bucks and flying lead changes perfectly describes most of my day-before-a-50-warm-up-rides (NOT!).  And we all know that the power of fuzzy leathers somehow extends magically in an aura that includes coverage of the fenders (NOT).

In summary, after completing one of the funnest rides I've had for a while (when was the last time YOU held a perfectly normal conversation while handgalloping across an open, perfectly groomed field with 2 horses on lead lines that are farting and bucking and kicking in pure joy?  Not to mention Farley's cute little game face as she navigated the trail and dust, and how she spotted a big 'ole week in the middle of the trail and decided to turn it into a 2 foot jump, which she did very prettily?), my calves lack any skin.

Picture big yellow patches with oozing fluid.  And redness.

And pain constantly.

YIKES.  In fact, they hurt more right now than they did right after the ride.  Anything is intolerable next to my calves whether it be clothing, air, sun, breeze, dogs.

They feel like they are on FIRE.  All the time.  No matter what I do or don't do.

I have learned things. I swear.
1.  I will not be wearing tights or shorts to my ride and tie no matter what.  No siree, this was enough to cure me of that notion.

2. You can ride for less than an hour and still destroy a portion of your body. (this ride ended up being 40-45 minutes)

3. Leather plus bare skin plus movement probably equals trouble no matter how hairy your legs.  It's just not the same as a fur coat.

4.  Farley still loves her job.

5.  I will probably NOT be riding tomorrow.  Or wearing pants.

6.  The next time one of the dogs bumps against the back of my calves I am going to turn into that firey devil dude from Lord of the Rings from the mines of Moria.

7.  Don't do stupid shit. 

Post script:

I think the reason I had such a kick-ass ride today was because the LAST time we were in the saddle together we had a little conversation.  It was rather one-sided and went like this:

Don't be a bitch and take out your moody mare attitude on me. 

We may not have a 7 day/week relationship anymore, but a 3 day/week relationship does NOT mean you wear the tights in this relationship.  I have a pair of orange shoes just like yours and I'll raise you a pair of ridiculously cute tights!

We usually condition in the afternoon.

So when I showed up shortly after breakfast, Farley lost no time in informing me that this was her NAP time and she wasn't in the mood to do a leisurely paced jaunt through the orchards. 

I kicked her up into a trot a couple of times, and then got off to check her out.  I believe the Endurance Granny term for this is "sandbagging".

Here's my take on it. 

Farley has earned the right to give me feedback on how she's feeling and what she would prefer me to do (lead down a hill instead of walk for example), up to and including showing a reluctance to go forward as a way to communicate with me.  99% of the time she doesn't abuse that privilege.  Because she normally IS a forward horse, I take a consistent relunctance to go forward seriously, especially considering a tye up in her history. 

However, if I feel that she's abusing it and/or I got off and there's clearly nothing wrong except she's in a bad mood, she gets to do twice the work and I become the micro manager from hell, insisting that she is in front of my leg and GOES when asked.  

About a mile into the ride, after checking everything I could from the saddle I dismounted.  I took pulse, picked up feet, listened to gut sounds, check all legs and muscle tone......and decided it was a brain issue.  I was pretty sure that was the case, but now, after deciding that physically she was fine, and knowing that she wasn't overworked, tired, I could push her without qualms.

The ride became a lot less leisurely paced jaunt and more "move it move it move it....move it move it move it".  (I'm sure there's a song with those words). 

I got mare ears, a bit of a swinging neck and then.....obedience, and grunts, and sighs, and stretches. 

Apparently she just wanted to make sure we still understood eachother. 


  1. Ohhhh your poor legs! Pro tip re: pain pills - they don't actually make anything hurt less, they just make you care about the pain less. If that sounds like what you want, you certainly deserve a couple hours not caring about the pain!

    Sounds like a wonderful ride, skin on your knees aside. ;)

  2. Yeah, and since I CAN stand the pain without puking (my least favorite thing to do BTW) then I feel like I can just deal. *sigh*. It was a good ride though. Absolutely awesome. With an LD in 4 weeks, I really need to know that I can push her a little and she won't fall apart. Insert finger chewing and little shrieks everytime she sorta stumbles or misplaces a foot. Seriously though, if she ain't fixed now she won't be, and I need to find out.

  3. I feel your pain...literally...(see my most recent blog post).

    Chamoisbutter + baby powder or anti-monkeybutt helps. Not much, though. Ow.

  4. glad wrap - I think you guys call it ceran wrap. It stops the air getting too the exposed bits. Treat the rub like a burn and it should help. If you can lay your hands on it, get some Manuka Honey - - medi honey is one of the brands.

  5. It actually did cross my mind that this is what burn patients must be feeling (except of course mine is a only a tiny tiny thing on the scale of a burn).

    Actually took vicodin last night so I could go to sleep. It has scabbed over by this morning and I'm actually wearing pants. It still hurts continually but instead of being in the front of my mind, it's more of an annoyance level. Except when I squat or bend down. Then I yell. Bad words.


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