VIRA Cedar 12k Race Recap!

To start off with, I don’t think my time or effort was bad during this race, it just felt… tough. And I fully accept responsibility for that, as I had kind of run a lot in the two weeks prior and didn’t exercise the discipline I needed for rest days (an ongoing struggle for me). I like running and working out! So…That’s what I did. And my legs were definitely a bit flat. Sometimes I can rally and really give it, or not. And this was more of a ‘not’…

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You can see the strain in my neck. Photo courtesy of Lois D’Ell. 

The course changed last year for the better! Gone are the two mega hills and the slow, demoralizing trudge through the elementary school field to the finish. Was this a fast race for me? Nope, not really. It was quite cold out, and this year I am really having to manage severe asthma, particularly during cold weather where it flares up badly. I can manage it, but it’s not really optimal.

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At the start. Photo courtesy of Lois D’Ell. 

At least I don’t feel like I am going to die!

I can actually see the strain it puts on my chest, neck and lungs in the photos, compared with my racing at Cobble Hill. I am straining as hard as I can through a tight chest, compared with smooth, flowing runs. Interesting! Just something to note.

Everyone started very fast for this race, I started ok-fast for me, but I knew I could NOT rally like the other runners. They started fast, and held it. I sure didn’t. I know my abilities right now and they aren’t there.

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Levitating! I like these pix a bit better, though I had QUITE the unibrow in them (shadows). Photo courtesy of Bastion Run Club. 

I held on for a bit, and kind of just didn’t bother looking at my watch. There is a GPS dead zone, so I knew it would be off anyways.

I kind of struggled with the rolling hills on the way out, and on the way back, perfected my patented ‘pick them off one by one’ move. Note I didn’t really step up my pace, it was just easier on the way back and I could hold it better.

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And across to the finish! Photo courtesy of Bastion Run Club. 

The finish was ok, and my time was ok. It was like, ‘eh’ alright, rather than my really jubilant and triumphant race at Cobble Hill. You truly can’t win them all! My time was ok, 53:19 though I felt it was a lot of effort again for an ‘ok’ time. That is just what I am dealing with this year. Last year my time was 52:49? and felt better too. Good for 4th in my AG and 10th woman finisher.

As always, the food was good- lots of chips! Yummy! The volunteers were excellent despite managing a lot of traffic on a busy, extremely busy main road and parking lots. Keeping us safe 🙂

 

And Oats gives me a heart attack

Got out to the barn last night and I was feeling pretty tired and unmotivated, I guess that’s what riding after my dressage lesson on Tuesdays gives me…But I’m not having my jump lesson tonight (other plans) and I have after-work plans on Friday night, so my jump lesson got moved to Saturday, so I haaaad to ride.

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Yeah, right.

I guess Oats was feeling the exact same way, because when I got to the barn, I went to get Oats out of his shelter and he was LAYING IN HIS HAY MOANING>?!! And kind of biting at his belly???

Dear god. The only thing running through my mind was colic!

I got his halter on, tugged him up, and surveyed his shelter. Good poops, lots of hay, he ate his dinner. So what is going on? He walked fine next to me, slowly (he is an incredibly slow walker). Nibbled at grass. Gut sounds fine, gurgly, not deadly silent.

So, wtf?

He seemed fine, by all accounts? I panic-texted my friend Sarah, who assured me that if he was pooping, gurgling and nibbling at grass he was probably fine. And you know…He was.

I tacked him up, rode him around for a bit. He was good, but quite lethargic/tired (so was I, so I can’t blame him). My riding was pretty much terrible, and it’s only due to him being an absolute saint that he didn’t dump me off at an x-rail…Ha.

He even pooped during the ride and I inspected it closely, and it was good. (yeah I know, good poops. Who am I??).

My guess…Tired. He’s actually done this once before- last year I came upon him in his shed, laying in his hay, groaning. I almost had a heart attack then too! And he was even harder to pull to his feet?! But he was fine, acting normally, but very tired and sleepy.

Maybe this is his once-a-year weirdness? Anyways, it always scares the bejeezus out of me.

My other trainer thought it might be a fart. Hahaha.

I’m just glad he was fine, and that this pretty much only happens once a year. I don’t know what I would do without my little pony buddy!

He ate a licorice candy, and this time he was super not impressed with it. He ate it because there was nothing else, but kept sniffing at my hands and mumbling them with his lips to see if what I had in my hand was tastier!

 

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Equine diet course: Don’t eat like this!

Equine diet course: Don't eat like this!

Photo is a delicious funnel cake I made last year (or the year before?) with a friend. Yumm!

But, it nicely illustrates that a lack of nutrition is causing an obesity/overweight crises in North America and some areas in Europe. Misfed or malnourished no longer seems to refer to skinny or starved horses, instead, our horses are experiencing an obesity crises of their own!

We had the good fortune to have an equine diet course taught last night by Dr. Stephen Duren, who was hilarious and really informative.

He reviewed the basic digestion of the horse, and the most important part of a horse’s diet- forage and movement.

Stalled horses are more prone to digestive issues, including ulcers. Free-moving horses do the best, with quality forage for their environment.

He reviewed the obesity issue with us (human and horse!!) and discussed case studies of what to feed an obese horse that he showed us. We discussed insulin resistance, special case studies, and the differences in oats/hay/grains. It was very interesting.

Then, we had time for a long Q&A that people asked questions about their personal horses, and questions of feeding- like feeding beet pulp, soya hulls, soaking beet pulp, supplements, allergies.

Vancouver Island is an interesting case for hay, as our hay is not good quality at all. The longer the hay grows, the less good it becomes- it is more fibrous which an cause blockage in the intestine, and it has more sugar because it sits in the sun for longer to dry out. It is also a rather unappealing browny-yellow instead of a soft, rich green of nicer hay. We are also deficient in Selenium and Vitamin E, and he is seeing more cases of calcium deficiencies and other minerals as well.

I went to the course right after I had a quick (yes I had my phone with me to keep an eagle eye on the time!) ride. He was great!! Worked on trot 10 steps, canter 10 steps on a circle exercise from the dressage show. It was WAY easier on the left, obvi. We also worked on getting some bangin’ trot. Woo!

I’m glad I went, and I thank Greenhawk for putting this on for us. I really learned a lot and enjoyed the session. Funny and informative!