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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Man versus Horse

Or rather, 4 legs versus 6 and a leadrope.

But first, I must share in my misery. Because of the lack of home internet this won't post until later, thus unless I tell you, you won't KNOW that it is currently 3:07am (I'm not exaggerating) and I'm contemplating such things like "really, the amount of hours that I spend in bed should be sufficient to dry my short hair". Yes, I have a test this morning at 9. No, I haven't studied half as much as I should have for it (thus the early hour of the morning). And before you fear that I have suddenly become overzealous and am looking for some incremental points inconsequential in passing, never fear!!!!!!!! I truly do need to actually do some studying...after all I'm in VET school and am going to be a DOCTOR in 2 years (yes, it's appropriate to laugh or quake in fear - your choice).

It makes my posts less "finished" to have random thoughts like this in front of the content, but I've decided it's worth it in order to keep me writing - if I know I have to edit posts and that I can't share what I like because it doesn't match content, then I'm less likely to be motivated to write right now - after all I have lots of stuff that I have to do "well" right now and not a whole lot that can be done how I wish.

Thus, I introduce random-thouht-before-content-number-2! As part of my "one small change at a time" philosophy that I started this year with, I bought a pedometer. I've gained back almost all the weight that I lost over last sumer, and from tracking my food and exercise in, I can blame much of it on increased calorie intake, BUT I wanted to make sure that some insidious reduction of movement wasn't to blame........With a goal of 10K steps (which is about 5 miles) I was pleasantly surprised Saturday and Sunday when, without any extra effort, I had 5K by noon and 10K by evening. Piece of cake! Then came Even with extra walks and being conscious of trying to take extra steps that 10K did NOT come easily. Nor the next day. I skipped school on Wednesday, and combined with a rededication to Martin (my walking treaddesk) I managed to eek out 10k yesterday. (Runs and rides don't count towards the 10K). The conclusion? Going to school, (or probably any other traditional sitting activity) takes a HUGE hit on activity level. Until I have a job where I can be on my feet, I am going to have to be constantly viligant to make sure that I move enough during the week and don't have my spine molded into the shape of a chair, something Farley would be VERY unhappy with, come our first ride of the season (oh yes, there is a ride season "plan", one that isn't being published just yet so that the gremlins of ride seasons can be held off just a bit longer.

If you are a face book follower of mine, you probably have seen this route posted several times.


Notice 2 things. 1. I am so not making up the ridiculous time that I'm up writing this blog post. 2. I'm using "Map my run" app to log my running and riding routes. Really have been happy with this (free) app and recommend that you give it a try if you are looking for something similar. I like to use Maymyrun for routes that I do regularly so that I can check mileage, not necessarily for formal rides where I already know the mileage - using the GPS on my phone uses up too much battery.

I call this the "Short orchard loop". Said loop is 3.1 miles. There's a levee in the middle of it that I have to climb and then descend, but other than that, it is a flat, dirt and grass, packed but not hard, currently-with-wildflowers-oh-my-gosh-aren't-I-lucky loop.

Up until yesterday everytime this loop was posted in my feed it was a 4 or 8 legged loop. Meaning I was mounted, +/- Tess. People were amazed at my times until they realized it was on a *horse*.

Let's call Farley's PR here 22 minutes.

Farley: Actually......

Mel: Shut up.

Farley: Remember that one time? that I bucked you off?

Mel: Don't go there

Farley: I'm pretty sure that I did this under 22 minutes.

I attempted a 6 legged loop yesterday, which was Farley's first leadline run in FOREVER, between thunderstorms and logged a paltry 32 minutes.

Farley: I helped by stopping and eating grass.

Mel: that was NOT helping.

Farley: but then I let you grab my mane handle and bounce along beside me at an extended trot.

Mel: touché

My run strategy was similar to my ride and tie one, except less motivating because the horse was with me instead of tied somewhere ahead: Run at a tempo style pace until I felt like I was going to die of a heartattack, then walk. When snot was no longer leaking down my face and Farley stopped being concerned about my welfare, run again.

I'm pretty sure I can beat the Farley 22 min PR

Farley: it's not a PR!!!!!!

Mel: I'm going to explain why you don't get to gallop the whole thing and call it a PR if you'll just stand there quietly!

In contrast to me hitting the pavement literally at a run and then dashing through the orchards at top speed, finishing with a kick (that's what they call it when you are on the ground kicking yourself for getting this out of shape right?) back to the stable, Farley has "guidelines" for our rides.

Farley: more like dictator-like commandments

Mel: When horses decide to stop being so delicate, be sure to tell me. Alternatively, when you learn to communicate anywhere but here, and we can have a discussion about how everything feels, you let me know. Until that point, I call the shots and we can pretend this is a partnership.

1. We walk about a point about 10-15 minutes into the ride.

2. There shall be no cantering until the half way point.

3. Hand gallops are allowed, BUT the ride must be finished with Farley cooled down enough that within 1-2 minutes she's below 60.


I think I have a shot at beating 22 minutes and not having Farley substantially raise the bar as long as I

a. do this BEFORE she sheds her winter coat

b. don't ride this loop with her too often.

Will Man beat out Horse? Or is 4 legs supreme to 2?

Farley: snicker

Mel: Be quiet! Or you will be going up and down EVERY hill this season with me on your back!

It's 3: 44! Time to get to studying, packing for the convention (which involves a Tess bath), and compulsively checking the weather report. Truck or car? I don't own chains for either. The car would be cheaper if I did have to buy them, but it would make long term sense for the truck to have chains - not to mention the safety of a bigger vehicle (and the embarrassment I will have to face if someone climbs into my commuter car full of Tess hair), but my truck gets squirrely with no weight in the back end (thanks to it being a standard cab long bed 3/4 ton). mmmm.......Things to contemplate AFTER the test! Now off to contemplate vector borne diseases, mechanisms of CNS entry, and adverse vaccine reactions!


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