Hold onto something

After a disappointing week (ok, weeks!) of freezing, tons of snow, ice and blah leading to some serious cabin fever, I was OVERJOYED with how awesome the weekend was. And it was a long weekend to boot! Yes!!

I was able to zip out and ride Oats really fast on Friday and I so needed it! 

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Photo courtesy of Sarah C. 

I was also under a tight timeline because on Friday I took my husband out to dinner for our Valentine’s Day (I was supposed to have a jump lesson the actual day, and we all know how that turned out…) so our dinner was scheduled for the Friday. We went to Camosun College’s ClassRoom Restaurant and it was lovely! I highly recommend it- supporting the students and program, great food and very reasonably priced. Win-win-win!

Saturday was back to riding as per usual. There was still a lot of snow at the stables and the trip down to the arena was slippery and treacherous. I basically waterskiied off my boot heels all the way down, clinging to Oats’ mane. He was not loving it.

He was good to ride though, just lovely and even though he was irritating me when I was mounting up (grabbing at EVERYTHING ugh) he was focused and down to business for our ride. I also had another idea up my sleeve- begged my friend to come out to the outdoor arena with us to take photos! Basically the only good thing to come out of the massive amounts of snow.

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I loved it! Hahaha.

I also got a lot of running as the snow and ice melted and the sidewalks were safer. Yay! Went out for drinks on Saturday, and met up with a work friend for a run on Monday. Just overall loving life this long weekend. 🙂

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Cross you off my list

After completing an arduous three-day week coming back from my holiday (exaggeration obviously), I actually wasn’t feeling well at all. I felt tired, weak, run-down and kind of unwell. This manifested in a Friday of feeling terrible, and a nap (the horrors!!) on Saturday. A nap instead of a run? Wha? In what world do I need to do this? Clearly, I did though.

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Tucker is not so sure about what happened this weekend…Crazy windstorm! 

Gidget loved it, she loves naps so much. We got a Christmas tree on Saturday morning before I left for the barn, and they only had 4-5 left, kind of all scrawny rejects, haha. Ours is short, but not scrawny. So, like half a tree? Weird they didn’t have any. I guess there was a Christmas tree shortage this year?

We left the tree to put it up officially on Sunday, and I took it easy with a nap and some baking in preparation for our riding stable’s annual Christmas holiday party. We had a lovely time! I ate wayyy too much good food and we did a gift exchange and I loved my gifts from my secret santa, they were fantastic! (Reese’s clusters, yummm, a new mystery novel that I had actually gotten from the library to read myself but hadn’t yet, and a very cute fox mug ‘For Fox Sake!’).

Oats got Friday off, and then was ridden by moi both Sat/Sun. And he was such a good boy! I feel so glad when I ride him, he’s my favourite. We worked on some flatwork/lateral work on Saturday, and Sunday I decided to do some strength work for me- two point intervals. Good, except that my foot kept slipping wildly out of my stirrup- something was wrong with the grip pad on it. Ugh. I checked the pad after and it looks like it has worn away and is now totally slick? Frick!! It’s actually kind of hazardous now, outright slippery and my foot slips straight out if I try to get leverage on my heels. Shit!

Oh well, Oats was a saint! The weather, not so much. It poured on and off allll day. I packed my run clothes though and out I went! It…kind of sucked. I got soaked. Oh well!

Home time, and we put up our tree and decorated it that evening 🙂

Holiday Part 2: Kangaroo Creek Farm!

When we decided to go to Kelowna for our summer trip, I knew I had to go back to Kangaroo Creek Farm. I went last year for my sister’s bachelorette party weekend and LOVED IT!

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Unfortunately in the thick of summer, the farm is just swarming with children, which suck. So, it wasn’t quite as fun as when I went in May with the girls. But, Ian and I still enjoyed seeing all the animals, and had a listen to the reptile education session, which was great and very cool and informative. I learned a lot about turtles (they can feel the surface of their shells?!!).

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We didn’t get to hold a joey, due to the overwhelming demand it put on the park staff and animals 😦 so that was a bummer. We did get to them cuddled up in baby carriages, which I love love loved! Sooooo cute. I want them!

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I clearly have a maternal instinct- it is just for animals, NOT humans. Who knew? (I did tho..). 🙂

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We were back at another brewery of course- Hwy 97 Brewery in Penticton! 

If you see me, say yes

Another long weekend for me! I love it!!

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Piles of ribbons and awards from back in the day. Good memories!

Victoria Day weekend here, and it was fairly quiet for us. Lots of  yard work, house work, organizing, running, riding and family time. We put up a trellis, rabbit-proofed the yard (mostly) so Tucker could enjoy the outdoors with me, and we put up a rack so I could display some race medals and ribbons. I took a real walk down memory lane sorting through some old awards…Ah memories… I am planning to donate old ribbons and medals, just have to find the appropriate place to do so.

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Riding was good, I mixed up my outdoor and indoor rides to keep Oats’ feet happy (he does get very footsore very easily). The weather could have been nicer, it was cool and grey on and off, cloudy as well and it rained on us on Saturday!

I ran on the weekend too, staying away from longer runs at this point, not ready to go long yet so ended up doing 11km on Saturday, a bit of trail running with Ian in Cobble Hill on Sunday, and then 7km on Monday mixed terrain (some beach, some grass, mostly pavement). We were able to visit with Ian’s parents at their farm on Sunday, which went well. I even found a decorative knife (kirpan?) that had washed up on the beach. Crazy eh?

The weather really cleared up on Monday late afternoon/evening and it was clear and so gorgeous! Chilly though, woah. We wrapped up the weekend by walking to the breakwater, and then enjoying a beer on the patio at the Breakwater Bistro. A great way to end the weekend.

Biggest weekend recap ever: Jumping, massively sick, a bachlorette party?

Thursday I rode in my lesson (perhaps unwisely) as I had gotten turned away at work for showing up sick…I had a horrible sore throat that came on suddenly overnight and it was just awful. I couldn’t sleep all night, felt like knives stabbing my throat and I couldn’t swallow, my throat was so swollen.

Yay…

So I went home and lay around the house after work kicked me out. It was so boring that I was desperate to do something, so I dragged myself out of the house and went, drowsily, to my lesson. Where we jumped 2’9” hahah.

I know eh? But hey, it went fine! Scared the bejeezus out of me but he did it great every time! More times than I wanted to jump even! We just kept doing it. The other jumps weren’t…so good. He had some issues with a short distance into a line and kept slamming on the brakes? WTF? He is not a horse that stops, and it was NOT high, haha. It was almost like he was getting spooked by it? Weird. We did that one over and over again until it was fine with no issues.

Silly pony. 2’9” oxer no prob, but 2’3” black and yellow? Nuh huh!

I felt very spacey and dizzy after. Ugh. Just in time for my sister’s bachlorette party in Kelowna, which I was flying out to on Friday. Whoop! *cough* cough* sneeze repeatedly, cough some more…My sinuses hurt…

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The view from Arrowleaf winery. Sigh…

But yes, Kelowna. Despite being pretty sick, I had a really fun time! We rented a condo in a golf course area, and we had a blast! We visited the Kangaroo farm on Saturday, and then found a beach that wasn’t completely flooded out to chill out on and eat some junk food picnic, drink some booze, and float around on the lake!

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We wrapped up that day by more drinks around the pool at the condo, and then a BBQ (that turned out to be a total shenanigan…we had no propane tank?) meaning we had to make friends with a football team staying at the golf course to borrow their propane tank…It didn’t work so we had to get them over to fix it…I then put temporary tattoos on them like ‘Cheers Bitches’ and ‘Team Bride’ and ‘Miss to Mrs.”…fun times!

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I’m a natural (wallaby) mother!

I drank a touch too much but also I blame the heat (28 deg and unused to it) + junk food+ cold medication so yeah, ended up feeling quite rough the next morning. I got my run gear on, went to tie up my shoes, immediately felt like puking, ran to the bathroom, threw up, and then went back to try the shoes again (success!) and went on a wimpy, hot, weirdly sweaty run.

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Got back, still felt queasy and ick, showered and ate a bagel and then we were off to wine tours! The tours were great, we went to these wineries and they all had really neat and different venues with lots to offer.

  • The Blind Tiger
  • Arrowleaf Winery
  • Parallel 50
  • Grey Monk- we had lunch here and it is PRICEY. The food was not included in the wine tour, so the tour was $150, and lunch at the winery ran about $45/per person. Ouch!
  • Intrigue Winery

All in all, a great but quite expensive day.

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What’s a bachlorette party without hunks?

Then we were back to the pool & hot tub, and I swam for a bit in the pool. Really enjoyed it! I wast totally sacked though, so I prepared dinner for the gang (all 7 of us) from our grocery leftovers and did a pretty good job if I do say so myself, and then went to bed and didn’t sleep at all. Sigh! My flight out was at 8:45am on Monday and I felt so sad to leave. It was so hot, it felt like summer was finally here.

A good weekend all around, and I even got back to ride Oats on Monday, get a sunburn on my shoulders and still continue being sick back at work today. That part sucks!

Back from holidays! (nothing was the same)

A week away feels so much longer, particularly when I was coming down from several months of extreme stress, pressure and sickness.

And WOW it was worth it. Such a great holiday, such a great time.

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Greetings from sunny Sayulita!

We visited Sayulita in Mexico, close to Puerto Vallarta – roughly an hour away. An easy place to get to, and an easy place to like. Eternal summer.

We did everything. Horseback riding on the beach, hanging out with friends, boogie boarding at the main beach, swimming in the ocean every day, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding, hiking, I went on one run, and a boat trip to the Marietas Islands (more on that later…).

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We even got to gallop on the beach!

I miss it. I feel sad to be back.

The food was so great, we cooked/ate a lot of meals at our VRBO rental- which was great, by the way. The only downside was the shared plunge pool that ended up being not-so-shared as our neighbour unit had a large family and kind of ended up occupying it. Oh well!

What did we eat? Octopus! Shrimps! So many shrimps, I felt sick. Shrimped out!

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Cooked my first whole octopus

We made fresh salads with avocado, queso fresco, salt and lime. That’s all you need for seasoning, as we found out. We drank Coronas (me) Pacifico (Ian) and then later, Agua fresca  Jamaica for me (when I was off booze).

Restaurants? We did that too! We ate at La Esperanza, pricier than the other joints but SO high quality- I had tuna steaks in hibiscus sauce on mashed plantains, and it was AMAZING. So much tuna I gave some to Ian because I was full and still kind of reeling from my hangover.

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Souvenir beach bag I bought for my sister.

We also did an entire night of street foot- we started with tacos el Ivan and got eight – ocho-tacos al pastor for super cheap, $100 pesos? Next we had hot churros, and then a beef tamale, and then corn in a cup. It was all so good! In the beginning of our trip, we ate ceviche from a street vendor and it was excellent and fresh. So much good food!

The only tragedy was our boat trip to the Marietas Islands. I was excited for it, and the boat ride out was really nice, we saw dolphins and blue-footed booby birds and their chicks at the islands!

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Ill fated boat trip, oh against my better judgement

We snorkeled a bit but I was freezing- the water was cold and kind of silty so it wasn’t great snorkeling so I swam back to the boat and hopped on a stand-up paddleboard. It was tough and tippy!

On our way back, we swam some more, had lunch and plentiful snacks, and ….my ultimate downfall, copious amounts of free flowing booze like pina coladas, margaritas, tropical drinks and shots. Jesus.

Anyways, you can see where this is going…I drank WAY too much, encouraged by the atmosphere and fun and I completely lost control. The minute I stepped off the boat and onto the bus to head back to Sayulita, I was throwing up uncontrollably. Ian gave me a water bottle and it fell uselessly out of my hands because I couldn’t even clutch anything.

Threw up out the window the whole way back, and we staggered to the plaza- we stopped there so Ian could go to the bathroom, and I proceeded to throw up over the back of the park bench in the middle of the day, bright sunlight. YUCK.

We staggered back to our place, and I was so sick I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom (yes puking in a bucket, please and thank you)…

Passed out apparently with my eyes open, creepily.

Threw up at night again.

Rinse, repeat.

So, Thursday was not a great day after but I rallied and we went to the beach and got a Chocobanana (great!) and I managed to eat some stuff later on. I wasn’t feeling too miserable, because I guess passing out at 5pm the day before gives you plenty of time to stew in your misery before getting it over with.

So, yeah I am kind of off booze for now, giving my poor liver and brain a break plus GAG.

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The endless summer of San Pancho

But, I LOVED Sayulita and San Pancho and would definitely go back. Love Mexico!

End of the VIRA race season: Sooke 10k race recap & finale!

Wow, this one did NOT start off well. How poorly? Well, I would describe it as an absolute shitshow.

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Don’t let it fool you- it was a heck of a stressful race! 5th AG though!

I went out with the horse girls on Saturday night to celebrate a birthday, with dinner/drinks at Swans and then some cowboy dancing at Duke’s and we had a blast!! I was good, limited my number of drinks, did some dancing, and had a nice time. They had live music and it was actually pretty fun- I am not a country fan at all and I enjoyed it.

I had my husband agree to pick me up as my designated driver and when he did, the car was lurching and jerking all over the place. EFFFFFFF!!! Not again. We have an appt to get the car looked at on Tuesday but my race was on Sunday. Would we be able to make it out to Sooke??

I worried about that all night, and I was squabbling with my husband about what time we had to leave. He said 30 minutes will be more than enough, and I was worried about the time, the car issues and we had to get gas. All of these things= takes time. A lot of time, as it turns out…

We got the car started fine, but it was jerking and lurching to the gas station. We filled up and got on the road and by that time it was like 10:18am. The car drove pretty well to Sooke but time was not on our side…We hit traffic in Langford and before we knew it, it was 10:45am and we were NOT at the school yet. I was biting my nails and freaking out…We weren’t going to make the race! I am not listening to my husband about this again! I was pretty mad.

We literally pulled up about 500 metres away from the school (the road was closed for the race, and at this point, FULL of runners at the start!) and I leapt out when the car was still rolling and sprinted to the gym. It was not close. I ran into the gym and tore over to the bib pickup guys, who were all very friendly and like heyyy what’s your rush, you’ve got 5 minutes, do you want to put your jacket down? hahaha.

Yeah, five minutes!!! 

I frantically pinned my bib on, and jogged to the start which luckily was close. I started my watch and waited for 3 minutes to race…I had to pee too but that was NOT happening.

And they’re off! I started close to the front and started quick for me. The first KM was at 4:15…Faster than I can maintain. But, this course was practically designed to positive split- all downhill in the beginning, and all uphill back. Yikes!

I watched my times bounce between 4:22-4:30 or so until I hit the 5k turnaround and then the plummeted–4:45, 4:37, 5:00!!! That was a particularly long and devastating hill. I was fairly out of breath from the speedy beginning, so I focused on controlling my breathing and bringing my pace down (ha ha, yeah like I could go any slower even) so I could manage the hill better.

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To the finish!

It sort of worked- my times were kind of a killer, but I felt more focused and in control…Not just running balls-to-the-walls. That approach meant my form was better too, and I was able to come in to the finish feeling much stronger than I thought. I kept thinking- the sooner I am done the sooner I get to use the bathroom!

The finish line was so inspirational- I love it!! There are flags for the finish chute and everyone is lined up to watch. It feels so awesome to run through it, and I have to say it’s one of my favourite finish line moments of all the race series.

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Loving my new run shorts.

My time was good but it was also the slowest 10k I have raced all year, by 10 seconds haha- gun 45:44 and net 45:40. But hey, I have had a VERY consistent season, and so I was very pleased with my effort, given how much stress and anxiety there was the evening before and morning-of.

I trotted to the bathroom straight away. And then met up with my husband and dog, and enjoyed all of the snacks Sooke had to offer. They are the best! They had sushi (?!!!) sandwiches, the most amazing brownies, #1 cookies (first place I’ll get all year haha), and Milk 2 Go.

And best of all? I checked my results and I had placed 5th/22 for my age group. YEAH! That is the best I have placed in my 10ks this year. Woop! It is a smaller race, and yes those are my time to shine….Hahaha.

Thanks to my husband for taking pictures and thanks to the VIRA folks and Sooke for putting on a fun race!