The further adventures of Mr. Oats

Not only did we have a blazing jump lesson this past weekend, but we also had an adventure! This summer is all about fun and trying new things for old Oaty and me. I had a long and arduous summer/fall/winter/spring with Oats and his injuries that honestly, really burned me out of life. I didn’t feel eager to do anything anymore, ya know?

Photos purchased by Allusion Equine Photography and I think she did a really nice job!

And what is the antidote to existential ennui, with horses? Why, anything new!

So that’s why this summer so far I have gone trail riding, take Oats and friends to an obstacle course workshop, done working equitation (lessons and the horse show!) and this past weekend, we went into a trail class!

It was very casual, a fundraiser for a new riding ring at the Beaver/Elk Lake Equestrian Society, and we were like the first people there at 8:30am, hahah. The volunteers were great though and got us rolling very quickly, not a lot of waiting around. Just how I like it!! No warm up arena available, so it was going in cold! Not our forte, as it turns out, ugh. The course was flowing quite nicely, nothing too challenging or spooky and not difficult to remember BUT we just didn’t have it together early enough on-course.

We bumped the gate and almost knocked it down, haha. Whoops! And that was our first obstacle! And then he was great over the bridge and to the mailbox and then the dreaded L-shape backup…Was a total mess. We clobbered the poles, Oats put up a big fuss about backing up and instead put his head straight in the air and went sideways… gah!

Moving on, he was excellent for the pole bending at the trot, picked up an ok canter, and then proceeded to completely blow the next back-up request. Face=palm. This is stuff WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON and this just..eh. Sucked.

Go Oats over the poles. I love how focused his little ears are here 🙂

He was then very good going over the uneven poles (though by Braille…He clonked every.single.pole.) and was nice over the tarp. Good Oats! We then picked up an ok left canter and halted fine, and then forgot what to do for a 360-degree turn on the forehand right, and then turn on the haunches left. My fault, whoops! He was great for it.

So, I knew what we had to practice the next day in my home arena: Backing up nicely through L poles. Also maybe I should refresh my memory of how to do a turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches NOT against a wall…My crutch as I learned.

But after our trail class we had a surprise: A trail ride! My friend who boards her horse near the venue/park rode him over and we rode back to her barn, where our other friend picked us up. Oats was THRILLED to be with his ‘big brother’ again 🙂 so cute. He screamed the whole way back to our barn for Donato…Poor Oats!

It was a very successful day, and I did even go and practice the ‘L’ shape on Monday’s ride. Gotta get that turn in sooner, which is my biggest fault in this obstacle.

But I also have to say that I am really enjoying these no-pressure fun adventure outings. Horses are so fragile, life is so fleeting…Let’s do it all, guys!

She just likes to fight

So…so.

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This isn’t happening this year. Man! What a downer. Photo from last year. 

Things are getting shut down, my work is ramping up to a 7-day-a week schedule as well as working 8-7pm each day (except I guess, on weekends??)…And yours truly is reaching a grouch factor that is in the stratosphere.

I guess grouchy, or just wanting to cry. I oscillate between both.

All the races are cancelled, many of my colleagues trips are also gone- to be rescheduled. At least they can reschedule that, phew!! I am wondering what will happen to mine in April.

Things are so far out of my control, I’m not sure what I can control at this point (my emotions?>???). My injuries are flaring up, my work is out of control, my happy future plans are now cancelled or really in question. That seems like minor, petty bullshit, but still- it’s hard.

Oats was sound last night though! Chalk one up to the good guys? 😉 I have a paltry piece of good news and I am going to cling to it with extreme desperation. Ha.

Also I had a doughnut today and it was great. So, the stress eating is going awesome!!

Prairie Inn Harriers 8k Race Recap: When the problem is you

Yeah it sounds like a grim title, and it isn’t really that terrible BUT I raced on Sunday (ha before the snow really started flying!) and I wasn’t pleased with my body, my results. The race itself was fine, the volunteers are excellent and I even had pizza and cupcakes after! YEah! But during the race, I had a hell of a time trying to breathe. It felt like someone was squeezing my lungs. My throat was on fire from straining to suck in air. I was red-lining the entire race, at a pace that shouldn’t be a problem or issue for me. It was also quite windy, and we faced a real headwind and cold blowing air for a bit of the race. Fun times!

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I got passed by everybody at the finish. Wow that was humbling! 

I was just totally fried. And after the race, my damaged lungs were like, filling with fluid or something? I coughed and coughed and coughed all afternoon/night, horrible racking sounds with a deep chest rattle. I honest to god sounded like a 90 year old person with COPD or something. It was extremely unsettling and really alarmed me. In a moment of desperation I dug out my old inhaler and used it, and was finally able to breathe normally before bed.

Now, this struggle with asthmatic breathing isn’t new to me- in 2016, almost all of my races were shitty and I had some really scary incidents where I thought I was going to pass out because I couldn’t breathe- at all. Finish lines, etc. When I was running the track series, I would cough ALL night.

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I’m a fairly experienced long-distance runner with lungs that are apparently ‘superhuman’ when they were tested two years ago, so really WTF is going on? I had my lung capacity tested, stress-tested (off the charts..), and heart checked with an echocardiogram. All perfect. I ended up getting an inhaler, and regular allergy meds (I have a terrible, year-round allergic cough), and also iron pills for my extremely low iron. That seemed to fix it?

Even now, my throat feels scorched from the efforts on Sunday- and it’s Wednesday. And I still have a sort of cough.

The race was very disappointing, primarily because it felt like my body betrayed me. I tried as hard as I could, and I felt like death, for a minute slower than last year. Ironically, I ran that race with a nasty chest cold, and when I finished I coughed so hard I pulled a muscle in my ribs. ??????

It’s annoying to try so hard and get nowhere. I feel like I am going back in time, to 2016. People tell me that I need to be kinder to myself, to my body. I feel like I can’t sometimes- I want to push, to punish, to try harder, force myself, challenge myself, make myself do it.

That’s not the answer, but it has been my answer- and it worked in the past. Races are really all relative though, so who knows?! Athletic performance is always a bit of a crapshoot, haha.

So my next steps? Get a new, not two-year-old expired inhaler. And then we will see!