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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oh so cool!

and I'm not referring to the fact that it's POURING right now and there's cuddly, napping pups and kitties on the porch along with me and Martin.

What the heck am I doing and what does it have to do with vetmed???????

Monday, October 29, 2012


This is a short post and not necessarily a happy post.  However, as you are my dear Reader, I want to include you in the happenings of my horsey and endurance life both for the better and the worse.

I'm cancelling my attendance at Lake Sonoma this weekend.  I really really really want to go.  However, over the past couple of days I've started to feel more and more overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I need to get done before Monday's test and today, after feeling a bit depressed this afternoon and completely discouraged about my performance in school, I've decided that these feelings are feedback from my body telling me that I need to slow down and take something off my plate. 

An additional stressor is that by missing Friday, I was going to miss the presentation of a group project, something that my small group was OK with, but with a test on Monday covering the group topics, and 2-3 lectures that same day, AND already feeling behind and needing every hour I have this weekend to stay up on the material, it was hard to think that I could trailer somewhere without electricity for over 48 hours and lose that time.  

That something unfortunately, is my LD this weekend.  Which means likely my season is over for 2012 :(.  I'll try to get in lots of good conditioning rides over the winter, including some "home LD's" so that we can start the 2013 in good form ready for a 50. 

As a consolation prize, I'll run in the Clarksburg half marathon Veteran's day weekend and trailer Farley out for a conditioning ride sometime this month. 

But for right now I'm going to focus on my studying, my health, and getting myself and Farley in kickass shape here at home. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The rest of the story

I found the perfect way to have your horse under 60 criteria while being able to gallop into camp! Tack up a horse in an English saddle after they have bolted on a lead line twice while tacking, after several days of rain and a week of no riding, on a cold windy afternoon during her regular dinner time.

Then go out onto the trail, decide that you are cold so a bit of collected cantering would be fine instead of the trotting you had planned. While doing so, fuss with your new to you saddle cover and admire how well it fits the saddle, how comfy it nice crocs are to ride in....what a strange picture you must make with a helmet, expensive full seat breeches (also given to me thank goodness!) and.......crocs.

In fact, lean forward a bit in order to better admire the esemble from the saddle......and promptly be ejected from the saddle.

Well. It was a less of an ejection and more of a stop, buck (Farley doesn't do those bolting full run bucks, that would be too much work), grab mane and neck as I slide over the shoulder, land on my feet, have Farley rip the reins out of my hands and knock me down to my knees.

Ever the thoughtful pony, Farley came over, made sure I could get up and was fine before bolting away at high speed for the rest of the loop.

Without me.

I had a brief discussion with myself of whether I should walk or run.

1. I wasnt going to beat her to the stable or wherever she was headed

2. If I did have to deal with an emergency, me being sweaty, breathing hard, and full of adrenaline wasnt going to help.

So I walked. I took a short cut through the loop, arrived back on the main trail and was IMMEDIATLEY distracted by hoof prints,


So I did what any sane person would do in this situation and took picture.

I noticed the differences between hind and front, what gait she was travelling at, and how she navigated the terrain. I noticed how the physics of each foot translated to force on the ground and what lead she was choosing.

I either did this to

A. Distract me from the various possibilities that could have befallen her that could leave me horseless.

B. because I kept forgetting I wasn't at a ride and tie

C. Because I'm a crazy person

D. Because barefoot horses are fascinating

E. I felt like giggling -- Farley finally was the most naughty pony ever and it seemed saner to spend the walk looking at hoof prints instead of laughing at how absurd the situation was.











Thursday, October 25, 2012

Boy do I have a story for you!

Oh my dear I have a story for you!

If you can imagine a fitness diary for today it might say the following:

Melinda: warm up, 15 minutes trot/canter, 20 minutes walk
Farley: warm up, 15 minutes trot/canter, 10 minutes gallop, cool down

Ah yes.  Me and Farley parted ways rather....errr....spontaneously today and I got the rare opportunity to reflect on my sins (and remind myself that this was NOT a ride and tie and my horse would NOT be waiting for me next to a tree just around the corner...) as I trudged through the underbrush in a short cut to attempt to shorten my walk to something a bit less than the loop that Farley was concurrently galloping. 

All of a sudden, I emerged onto the trail that Farley had shortly passed before and saw.......hoof prints. 

What's so fascinating about hoof prints you say?  Tune in tomorrow to find out!!!!!! 

Why not just write the post right NOW, the dear reader says while stamping their dear little feet? 

Because I have three dog costumes to come up with tonight for tomorrow's contest and a white dog to dye green. 

So, dear reader, since I know what a sacrifice it will be to wait a mere 16 hours to hear the "rest of the story", I will give you this tantalizing detail --> it shall be told in pictures.  With captions.  and arrows.  And colorful squigglies. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blah blah blah

First rain of the season and not much to report except it wasn't just a little shower like I had thought it would be. 

Tried running today for the first time since the ride and tie (sprained my ankle) and while it felt OK, I decided not to do the speed run I had originally planned and just do an easy run.  I ended up turning back midway through the run since I was feeling twinges from it again, after the original warm up.  So not quite ready to hit the trails just yet.

Farley feels good and I'm officially registered for Lake Sonoma.  Just under 2 weeks.  If the weather is bad, I won't ride.  Sonoma will be my last ride of the season, whether it happens or not.  Would love to do Desert Gold but family-wise it won't work out to do so many events so close together (not just endurance, but I'm also doing road races, ride and tie, etc. and missing Thanksgiving would NOT be kosher).

Sorry this post is less than entertaining --> check out Tess's blog for a bit of morning entertainment!  New block starts today, and along with the rain I just don't feel like putting the time and effort into a good, entertaining post, and I refuse to waste on of my wonderful topics I have pending. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

First Ride and Tie

First, let’s clearly outline what are the major differences are between RnT and endurance
1.  You get dirtier in Ride and tie.  Much much much dirtier. I have very white legs.  This is not a tan.

2.  If you've ever felt out of place among all those fancy rigs that seem to be more and more the norm at an endurance'll fit right in at RnT

3. You aren't as sore after a RnT.  At least I wasn't - I'm feeling remarkably good, even considering I sprained my ankle yesterday which brings me to...

4. War wounds are the norm at RnT....

5. You're done before lunch, have time to drink 2 beers before lunch, eat heartily and still have plenty of time to drive home.

6. No one can say the horse is doing all the work

7. Galloping and cantering into camp is totally acceptable.

8.  No one asks you if something is wrong when they come up behind you on horse back running all by yourself.

9.  There's lots and lots and lots of yummy people food snacks on the tables for us hard working runners!!!!!  And the water trough on the trail including a table full of snacks and gatorade that was more reminiscent of a trail race or marathon.

10.  Everything is less work with 2 people and 1 horse.....

11.  Every thing that can rub will rub.  Even if it's never rubbed before.  I practically bathed myself in chamois anti chafing lotion at the vet check.

12.  Make sure you can mount and dismount from both sides in a COORDINATED fashion, while the horse is walking/trotting off, under PRESSURE, after sprinting up a hill. first couple of mounts from the right side felt like some weird form of trick riding.  In some cases, only my upper arm strength that I've been working on kept me on the side of the horse, semi on top as we trotted away as I tried to convince my left leg that it could swing up just as well right leg when mounting from the other side!

Everything started well.  I got to M*'s house on time, helped load stuff into the truck and fed the rest of the animals.  Stasi had been bathed, groomed, and fed and ready to go.

The trip over was uneventful --> M* went to check in and set up the horse trailer for Stasi, and my bedroll for the night.

When it came for numbers we dug around in the chalk box for a green grease pen because we were "Team Lettuce" and decided to do a little decorating, because we were actually "Team Poo on Lettuce" and of course, what do I do when told I can go hog-wild?  Draw this of course:

Because I have the most awesome partner she knew what it was.  Do you?

I finished off 2 beers and headed off to bed.  I asked M* whether Stasi needed a refill on his hay bag for the night, and we both looked at his errr....pudge and she said that he had been eating all day and did NOT need more hay.

So we went to bed.

Stasi took issue with this decision.  At almost 20 years old and being EXTREMELY experienced at this RnT thing, he knew how the game worked.  He gets unlimited hay.  Then he carries his riders through the course as fast as he possibly can while standing quietly at trees and bushes waiting for the next exchange.  The cost of this little game is unlimited hay.  And some grain.

At 11 pm Stasi decided to remind us that we had "forgotten" his night ration of hay.


"What the".....I did a chin up to the top opening of the trailer and didn't see Stasi.  I ran outside.  No horse.

I ran to the back of the truck and tried to wake up M*.

M*!  M*!

No answer.  I started poking at blankets only to see her walk towards me with Stasi.

Stasi was returned to the trailer, given a new lead rope, and a full ration of hay.

 I got up around 7pm and wandered around making coffee.  Ride meeting was at 7:45, Ride start at 8:30.  The plan was to take Stasi up at 7:30, go to the ride meeting, and then change into our riding gear, etc.

 We went up to the main area and munched on good things, ignored the begging Tess and checked our watches.

As usual it seemed like the ride meeting was going to start late.

 Then ride management shouted that they were changing the ride meeting to 8:15.  CRAP!!!!!  By this time it was only a couple minutes before 8:00am.

NOT enough time to now dress, bathroom break, make the camp ready for us to go on trail, and pack the saddle.  #$@!#@@##$$%^^$#

We tried our best, but also didn't want to hurry to the point where we forgot something vital. It had been a couple of years since M* had done a ride and tie and this was my first one.  It was worth the time to make sure that everything went right. 

This is a picture of the start.  If you look very will see we aren't there. 

We started about 3-5 minutes late.  In endurance terms this would be "typical" for me, knowing I could make up the lost time.  In Ride and Tie terms, this was time that could not be made up, and probably cost us a placing or two at the end of the race. 

The first 9 mile loop is a blur.  Considering that my 10 mile PR on a flat course is about 1:42, and we did this 9 mile hilly and rock loop in 0:57, you can see that we were FLYING.  I ran as hard and fast as I could, and we I got to Stasi, I cantered and galloped before handing off to M*.  About 3/4 into the loop I was dismounting and my left food came down on a large rock and I twisted it.  Badly.  *&(*^&^%^&(()@!!!@@!@.  As long as I landed perfectly centered on my ankle, there wasn't pain, but that was a neat trick as I catapulted along uneven dirt and rocky trail. 

I galloped into ride camp --> only 4 miles left.  No hold, just a vet check.  We were allowed to tie to a trailer at the check (usually only natural objects allowed) and I sponged, water, fed as I waited for M* to run in.  When she came in I grabbed her water bottles and mine, refilled and then hit the trail at a dead run. 

If Stasi got pulled, M* would send word with another rider and when they caught up to me, they would tell me and I would turn back. 

I ran for what seemed a really really long time.  It's not very motivating knowing there isn't a horse in front of you.  And I didn't see anyone else and we didn't know where we were in the pack that was doing the 14 miler so it was entirely possible I was going to do the whole stinkin' 4 mile loop all by myself. 

Fortunately Stasi and M* cantered up behind me and passed me on their way to another tie. 

Again, I don't remember much of the loop, not because we were flying (it took us an hour plus a bit to do this one), but because my ankle hurt, my cardio was maxxed out (usually my strength is what maxes me out going up hill but I've really been focusing on strength training over the last couple of months and cardio was my limiting factor) and was running a constant effort rather than a constant speed or pace. 

Stasi decided that it was time for us to GET GOING and wasn't being very cooperative for M* to tie.  Finally we were near the end.  I decided that we were going to have a picture perfect finish, even if we weren't in the start line photo and cantered up to M* and yelled "let's finish together"! 

Well...the sentiment was there.  Stasi was having no part of this and to my dismay we kept right on going past the in timers.  DARN IT.  I was at LEAST going to turn around and WATCH my partner finish!!!!!!

Stasi threw a hissy fit and threatened to buck. 

I made a rude comment. 

Stasi sulked.

I saw M* finish.

I turned to walk him back to the trailer, across the road.

Stasi decided to trot across the pavement. 

I told him in no uncertain terms that we were WALKING and MADE HIM WALK, much like what I DIDN'T do at the end of the race with M*.

Stasi tried to throw a hissy fit and succeeded in tripping and going down....down....down. 

I sat there calmly supporting him with the reins thinking the following thoughts:

1.  Thank God for Aussie saddle poleys
2.  Should I step off?  I'm only like 3 inches off the ground
3.  M* is going to kill me for laming her horse right before the vet in.
4. Serves Stasi right for throwing a hissy fit.

Stasi is super balanced and had never even tripped on me, even cantering down hill so I stayed on and he recovered and looked a bit trite.

When I got back to the trailer, I noticed the tie rope was wrapped around his rein and probably explained why I had a hard time pulling him to a stop, and making him walk.

M* vetted Stasi in, and then we sat down to have yet more beers, while I iced my ankle and contemplated the last couple of hours in which I had had more fun on horse back than I can remember having in a long time.

I love 100's, but if I'm being honest, while there may be moments of fun and enjoyment and peace within the 100, overall the experience kinda hurts.  And there's times of very low motivation.  The reward comes with the accomplishment and the bond with the horse.  RnT is a completely different kind of experience and while my plan is to do at least one more LD with Farley, my thinking is that I would rather do 25 miles of RnT than the LD's, or even 50's.  Just enough 50's to get my 100 in every year or so, and RnT the rest of the time, as long as I'm capable of running.

M* and I sat down and compared battle wounds.  She had a long bloody gash on her arm where Stasi had rubbed her into an errrrrr.....tree (what we agreed the story would be....) during a tie near the end of the race, and I had my stupid ankle. 

The lunch ticket was good for a personal pizza, salad bar, and a drink at a local pizza place which was DELICIOUS. 

After lunch we had some extra time before awards so went to check on Stasi and clean up camp so we could leave right after the ceremony. 

We returned to Stasi napping.

With his nose in the grain bucket.

A subtle hint that he would now like some grain thank-you-very-much. 

(I swear this horse is more like a dog than a horse.  He problem solves.  He attempts to communicate with another species.  He's not people oriented or particular affectionate, just rather a wee bit manipulative.  In short, he sorta reminds me of Tess...).

M* and I placed 6th in a field of 10 teams in the 14 mile distance, all 10 teams finishing within about a 30 minute window.  I got a pin in addition to a cup because it was my first event. 

Now, a day after the race, my ankle feels stiff but much much better.  I think I'll be running on it by the end of the week no problem.  I'm surprisingly not sore at all.  There's a bit of "deadness" in my calves and quads, but not soreness.  I had planned on giving myself the day off, but I find myself on Martin (my walking tread desk) writing this post because I just can't sit down any more and I'm getting fidgity.  I think the LD a month ago, combined with the fast 10 mile running race (both events left me so sore I couldn't walk without wincing for days) set me up very well, not to mention my intervals and strength training.  I think I need to bump up my interval training in both intensity and duration and make a point to get out on the trails for a run once a month. 

The most dangerous part of the sport is probably the mounting.  I almost lost my balance and grip and got dragged during my first mount, and I'm completely covered in bruises from head to toe and every nail is torn and broken on my hands from the 20+ mounts and dismounts that occurred during the race.  Not to mention dashing through the tall weeds and star thistle to GET to the horse and untie it while avoiding branches and brush and manzanita.

CAN'T WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN........Endurance friends who visit me horseless.....expect to get roped into a ride and tie practice if you ever visit :)

No event post would be complete without Brittany pictures!  Here's Tess striking her best Brit poses. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I forgot!!!

With all my doom and gloom of the last post I forgot to say the most exciting part of my week so far!!!!!

Farley is, as of our ride yesterday, as sound as she was before I vaccinated!!!!!

It only took 5 months.  *sigh*.  Definitely going to NSAID her before I do anything for the fall (which includes Rabies --> WAY too many coyotes, skunks, and other critters to skip that one!).

She moved out QUITE nicely on a gravel road at a trot (and tried to buck me off when I asked for a canter) and moved well and soundly on rocky trails for the whole ride.  YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

Speaking about NSAIDs, I have a whole scary pathology post with PICTURES for you on NSAIDs, kidneys, and dehydrated horses.  In a nutshell; DON'T DO IT --> but of course you'll want to tune in for the gore and commentary on another fascinating vetmed tidbit.

Endurance riding on a student budget

It's been....interesting over the last couple of days.

My archived list of topics that I was "getting around to" dissapeared. Bummer.

However, that isn't the worst thing that has happened to me in the last couple of days, so it's sort of "meh".

After doing an update for my wonderful blog readers on Monday, I did several things.

1. I bought a new bike helmet. A fact I didn't share when talking about my helmet situation was that I haven't been wearing a helmet while biking for the past 6 months. If you had asked me why, I wouldn't have been able to tell you -> I had my helmet with me, it wasn't that uncomfortable, I don't mind helmet hair, and I believe in helmets. But inexplictadly I stopped wearing it. During the ride and tie helmet debate I took a hard look at my bike helmet. In addition to the problem with the harness, and the padding, the visor fell off randomly, Tess had gotten ahold of it at some point in her puppyhood (we are pretending she's out of puppyhood right now....), and it was starting to show signs of sun damage, the straps were scratchy and show wear of UV damage. OK --> there's some evidence that I should replace my bike helmet, even though it was only 4 years old (I typically replace helmets after 5 years. I went into the bike store and decided regardless of price I would buy the helmet that felt the best. One thing I've learned from the equestrian world is I don't even think twice about wearing my helmet and actually feel pleasure in putting on a well fitting, comfortable helmet. My bike helmet needs to feel the same way, paying $100 for something I will wear, rather than paying $70 for a helmet that will spend lots of time in my back seat. I absolutely LOVE my new helmet with it's comfort and fit. I am going to wear it in the ride and tie. If I didn't trust the horse I was riding, I would wear an equestrian helmet, however in the list of "bad things happening" probabilities, heat exhaustion and dehydration ranks higher than my probability of falling off this particular horse. Ride and tie helmet problem solved. Good thing I bought this early in the day on Monday since I probably would still be moaning about not having a suitable solution if I had waited, since events occurring later that day would not be conducive to a helmet splurge.... New bike helmet: $$

2. I paid off my credit card balance from last summer whose 0% was ending since financially I am doing OK (ie - the amount of student loans, scholarships, and job has let me not only pay for books, but ALSO some rides. If I continue to go to meeting strictly for the free food provided and continue to dig through dumpsters for scraps. But I digress). Most of the time, this would not be a fact worthy of the blog....but just stay with me...Credit card paid off: $$$$

3. Took my car in to get the tires rotated. News came back that they were too worn to be rotated. Not good. They are rated for 50K miles, I had put 45K on them. I wondered why they were perfectly fine to be rotated 10K miles ago, but now were too worn, but since I'm not real good at checking my air pressure or rotating them regularly, I took it as my punishment for being a bad-car-person. Tess spent the entire evening convincing me I was the best person in the world by engaging me in puppy play, refusing to let me wallow in my misery. 4 Tires: $$

4. Took my car in the next day (Tuesday) to align my new tires in an attempt to be a better-car-person. After entertaining myself with Tess for an hour waiting for my car to get down, I waltzed happily up to the counter to be told that due to some issues with my car, I would not be able to get my tires aligned unless I spent a chunk of money on my 15 year old car that equalled approximately 1/3 its value. Which doesn't count the new tires I put on it because then it would be a depressing 1/2 of its value. Repairing car: $$$

*sigh*. I do believe that it is the will of God that I never be rich in dollars, nor will I ever have so much money or time that I will be able to compulsively focus on one thing and destroy my mental and physical health by doing so. Bummer. Talk about bad timing on items 1 and 2!

Farley is ready to do another LD at the beginning of November. I took her out for 2.5 hours with a friend and did a half way decent conditioning ride (the type of ride where you spend so much time visiting and talking and laughing that it's a little less focused, slower than a typical conditioning ride, but somehow you don't care because if you can't enjoy a ride where your horse is a bit stupid and the company is too good to be true, then why do this sport?), and she's ready. It was a tougher ride with her - she's a fuzzy teddy bear right now, and I rode her barefoot over some pretty rocky trail and I think she was annoyed at the end at my tendency to insist that "trot" meant "get your ass in gear" and was not a "suggestion" (but that was OK because I was annoyed that she interpreted every cut log as a horse eating monster.....). I'm still messing with my stirrups and leathers but my saddle seems good to go.

How does this relate?

ummmm....endurance rides cost $-$$. November's ride is a couple hours away, so it's definitely in that $$ range.

AHHHHHH!!!!!!! Quit my salaried job and live off of loans? WHAT WAS I THINKING???????????????

Ok....ok....focusing. How can I have both the bird in the hand and the bird in the bush?

What is this I see? A burned out Corolla on the property that is the same model year as mine???? Mmmmm...I wonder what THAT car's control arms and bearings look like? My parents would never notice a control arm missing....I digress...

Time to do a little college student endurance math

Let's say I only replace the bearing (safety issue) and don't fix the alignment issue or the alignment. I lose $200 worth of tires until I can get those issues fixed. (I thought about commuting in my truck for a couple of months but since this is less than 2 tanks of gas in my truck......I'm thinking that this makes less sense than me trying to figure out how to skimp on my commuting vehicle in order to ride 25 miles on my horse.....). Voila! November LD possible! Call it an early xmas/birthday present. Call it an advance on my Spring Semester student loans. Call it whatever you want but most importantly we will call it "Melinda and Farley get to do another LD before the weather turns sucky and dark".

Lets analyze the benefits:

1. I get to ride an LD

2. The car probably won't kill me, even if I wait a couple months to fix any of the issues

3. Another financial aid check comes in january

4. I will be happier

5. Tess will still love me even if I'm poor and officially driving a beater car

6. Putting off car repairs is so unlike me that it's almost worth it to do this exercise purely for the purpose of self growth (OK, I may be reaching with this one).


And now the costs

1. I might lose $200 in tires

2. Matt will think I'm insane for creative math that involves putting off car maintenance so I can ride 25 miles in the November.


I think the logical thing to do is clear....

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shoe update and ride and tie thoughts and whatever else is on my mind

Any guesses of whether I'm in class or not? (Fwiw I am waiting for the pathology book to update so I'm just typing this out while I'm waiting. So please don't be too hard on me! Plus I just finished a midterm...

When I bought these shoes the company rep was there and she said I could just throw them in the washer when they got dirty and they would come out as good as new. She was right!!! They were filthy from ride and tie practice and the ld ride when I wandered through a couple of creeks and they were so dirty I was worried that it was going to cause irritation on my feet! Good as new, and yes, my fancy laces stayed on during the washing.

My first ride and tie is Saturday!!! Had a practice last Thursday that went really really well! I finally got a taste of how it feels when it works!!! I have a small problem that is a large problem. I'm having helmet problems. I can't wear any of my equestrian helmets because I'll die of heat stroke and probably get a migraine. Just not going to happen. My compromise was a bike helmet. However....the bike helmet is not proving to be comfortable for any length of time. The plastic harness is misshapened and creates pressure spots on my head that really hurt, and the padding breaks down with my sweat, AND it won't stay in place as I run and canter (apparently there's not a lot of bouncing in biking...).

I'm this close to slapping the Mohawk on a baseball cap and calling it good.

Yes, I know that is probably the wrong choice. And irresponsible. And everything else you can throw at me.

If there was a worse role model for young equestrians than endurance riders, it would probably be ride and tie people..

I suppose I could go to a bike store and see what my other options might be in a bike helmet. I know there's nothing in the equestrian world that is going to be near my budget.

I could also cover the inside of my bike helmet with panty liners.

That's what it seems to always come down to huh? Feminine products.

Maybe we should just warn newbies --> there's a FUD for urination, pads for bandages, tampons for bloody noses, and panty liners for various helmet fixes. Not to mention discussions of the virtues of going commando (or not). Should endurance bloggers really be suprised that our blogs seem to come with a certain amount of "adult spam"?

so.....anyways......I have a problem. I don't use pads, tampons, OR panty liners. (if you are feeling brave, google "diva cup" and be welcomed into the brave new world). Thus I rely on donations from friends.

Now, the problem isn't that I'm squeamish about asking, after all who knows who is reading problem is that all my endurance friends and sisters are long distance. Do how does one bring this up in casual discussion among the friends I DO see every day? For people that see blood on a daily basis, vet students can be a squeamish bunch - something I do understand as I'll clean up Tess vomit without blinking early in the morning, but the mere sight of someone retching leaves me running for the nearest toilet.

Do I post on the face book page that I'm in need of some "supplies" and see how many people think I'm talking about drugs?


I post on my blog and wait to see how many of my friends read my blog, and wait for "presents" to show up in my school mail box....hint hint hint.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Test test TEST

Yes, it's that time again.  A big big test on Monday.  So I'm frantically riding and running and studying.  Which leaves little time for blogging. 

Ride and tie practice when fabulously last night and I finally feel ready for my race that is just over a week away!!!!!!  I got a taste of what it's like for it to go REALLY well last night and I'm STOKED.  I'm running SO MUCH FASTER during the ride and tie practices and I think it's becuase:

a.  when I running with the horse in front of me I'm trying to catch up
b.  when the horse and rider are chasing ME I feel like a little rabbit being chased by a fox. 

Later folks.  Me and Martin have an extended date all weekend :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Introducing "Martin"

Above is "Martin", my walking desk. 

We've spent many hours this week doing homework and database maintenance [although no blogging :( ], and I must say I'm in love. 

Martin is of course literary --> remember the mouse warrior from the Redwall books?  I'm on a mouse wheel!!!

I walk along at a lesiurely 1.0 mph  and very much feel like I'm improving my mental and physical health, which tends to decline with long hours spent inside sitting and studying.  I have a wonderful view of the yard and the dogs.  The porch is shaded most of the time and I can work out here long into the night because of the inside light that shines through the window, and the porch light. 

And of course, I'm walking barefoot, keeping my body and feet in condition for the runs that don't happen as often as I would like. 

And yes, I'm aware that the extension cord is a safety hazard right there and will move it immediately :). 

I won't even mention how sore my quads are after a total of ~5 hours on this thing over 2 days.  Who knew that 1.0 at a 2 incline could be such a good workout without even sweating or breathing hard? 

In other news:
-took Farley out Monday for my first real ride in my new saddle and her first real ride since kicking the pipe corral and she felt great both that day AND the day after.  If everything goes well at our conditioning ride next week, than the LD I have planned at the beginning of November is a go. 

-Another Ride and Tie practice tomorrow evening!!!!!!!  Our last one before the big day - not this weekend but the weekend after.