You always remember your first: Marathon recap!

So, I did it. Like any good runner, you turn into a cliche: The marathon runner. SIGH!

Looking fresher than I felt…

I held out for a long time, chiefly because I couldn’t stay healthy enough to train, let alone race, that type of distance. I got a few stress fractures (when people talk about shin splints, they have NO IDEA how bad they can get. Source: me) and I wasn’t able to walk very well so goodbyeee race plans! And then a pandemic, and then another set of stress fractures, and well you know the whole story!

So, this was my time to shine- clearly.

I did train fairly well with a ridiculously ambitious training plan (for people aiming to get under 3:30, and I can tell you the plan was NUTS and clearly designed more for people trying to get closer to a 3:15, in my opinion!).

But…the bugaboos are always there. The gerbils were running wild in my head, I was so anxious. It’s not a joke of a distance and I was aiming for an aggressive time. I chatted with a few runners I knew at the start and told them my time goals and they thought they were agreeable, but when I was pacing with a guy we chatted too and he was surprised that my time goals were that ambitious for my first…So I was kind of knotted up in uncertainty. Go big or go home??

I had a lot of nightmares about the race leading up to the day. Two back to back nightmares about missing the start? Hah. Weird.

The morning was anticlimactic. There was a heat warning for the race, as we are having an incredibly unseasonably warm October- this was the warmest this race had ever been, at just over 20 degrees when we were running! This added to my freakout…

We jogged to the start (a huge bonus of doing a hometown race. Zero travel!) and got into position. The wheels in my brain started to churn- there was NO pacers. None. I was really counting on one, given I am a newbie…And kind of left the idea of pacing to someone else. Big mistake!

But no time to worry, time to focus! We started and it was very congested and very slow. The half marathon started with us, and many racers (half and marathon alike) pretty much went to the front and started…walking. I spent a lot of time and energy weaving, because I am an idiot.

Looks better than it felt

I felt tired right away- good omen eh? The first 10k were uneventful, I had some candy in my pockets and I ate those. It was hilly and winding, very congested. We wouldn’t lose the halfers until about KM 14 I think?

Because of how dangerous the heat could be, I made sure to stop at every.single.water.stop. No skipping- not even one. I don’t normally even go for water in a half, but I knew that could literally kill me this time. I respected the heat warning, and in fact got so hot I started grabbing multiple waters (one to drink, one to dump down my chest).

I was so thirsty. SO thirsty.

My pacing (despite not running tangents due to crowds) was fairly even up until the half way point. I caught a few too fast KMs (4:23s) and toned it down. I’m still so green at this distance…I know it can mess you up badly. By the time we got to the half way point I was hanging on, but also starting to feel concerned…and like maybe this was a bad idea… The tightness in my right hamstring really started to call out to me.

Hah, joke’s on me. It only gets worse from there on!

At around Km 33, the wheels in my brain fell off and I wanted to

a. cry,

b. leave the course immediately and probably

c. get hurt so I wouldn’t have to finish.

Sweat was pouring off me, my core temperature was going crazy and I just couldn’t think straight. I ate a few more Xact Nutrition bars (clumsily, with sugar crystals coating my face, the bar a mushy mess in my mouth) and just tried to hang.

I bounced around with one of my friends until I thought he left me in the dust. I was feeling lightheaded and hot, so hot. After KM 36 or so, it honestly felt like time was slowing down. Everyone was moving in slow-motion, arcing in front of me but still going too fast for me to catch up. My legs, arms, body wouldn’t go faster.

I also tossed an almost full water cup straight into the chest of a volunteer (sorry!) who was standing in front of the trash cans and didn’t move when I was mumbling excuse me as I ran by. There was someone running in a full rhino suit- can you believe it!! It was SO hot man. Woof.

It was pretty funny in retrospect!

I had this thought: Get to KM 39 and THEN you can fall apart.

But then I got there, and the finish seemed so close!! (until you realize it’s still like 3km of winding). Any small amount of hill that normally wouldn’t bother me seemed like Mt. Everest. I wanted to walk so badly, I even stopped at the final water aid station (2km left) to drink in hopes it’d power me further. On a regular day no way would I stop that late in the race!

Clearly I was desperate ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ian was going to watch me and I planned to spy him, but when it came I was so zonked out that I couldn’t do anything but stare straight ahead, and breathe with my mouth open. Hah. He did the half marathon (and got a very solid time!).

My time! Finally! It was good too, 3:17:38 (chip)

I jogged weakly through the finish, saw a chair and sat in it for a bit, then got up and got my medal. The snack volunteers were like: You want a banana or an apple? And my brain was so destroyed that I couldn’t figure out wtf they were asking me. So, I ended up with a banana and then went to the next volunteer and got the apple bag- hah.

I hung around waiting for Ian, and when I couldn’t find him decided to start walking home gingerly. I spotted him in the field of the Legislature and I was soooo glad because then I could lean on him to hobble home! We got home, I couldn’t take my shoes off so I sat on the stairs so Ian could take them off. The aftermath was prettttty hideous. But I hopped in an epsom salt bath for 30 mins and listened to a podcast (Gidget kept coming in to check on me!! ha she is so sweet) and then we were up and walking back downtown to beer festival. Crazy eh? It was SO GOOD!!! I loved it! It was amazing.

Ouch. Still healing these bad boys today!

And then I walked home feeling pretty drunk but probably just tired and lay on the grass for awhile. Good end to a good day. At that point I told Ian I was NEVER going to run another marathon ever.

We’ll see ??

Well earned ๐Ÿ˜‰

Working Equitation Horse Show

And the fun keeps rolling! We did the Working Equitation horse show in Glenora a few weeks ago, in mid-August. I personally think that is the best time…even though it was extremely hot. Like, very hot for us. Last year Oats was high as a kite and a bit difficult to manage, so I was more prepared this year to work on his energy levels (though I may have overestimated them and worked him into tiredness a little early?!) guess that’s better than a nutty horse on-course.

It really is beautiful eh? too bad the grass is so dead! This is for our Ease of Handling/Speed Round course.

I took Friday off work (I have a few days to use up and MAN I am really enjoying it!!) and my working equitation trainer Shelly and I loaded the horses/gear up and set out. The Malahat is pretty much terrible any time of day, but it was particularly nasty on a Friday afternoon so it took us ages to get there (and then about 2+++ hours to get home on Sunday…eff this for a 45 minute journey…).

It was a muggy day, I had already longed and bathed Oats at home so I didn’t stress him by working him further on Friday. Instead, we got the ponies comfortable in the stables, which Oats HATED and was pissed about all weekend, feeling like he was stuck in a cage… And then we went for a swim!

The next morning came really early, it was so hot out that I was slowly roasting in my tent. I went to warm up Oats after his breakfast/cleaning his stall and he was hot hot hot hot to trot! Sooo I hopped off and longed the little turd to get his yahoos out. He did have some! THEN I hopped back on and he was a gentleman.

And then, the waiting game…

And waiting…

And by the time my dressage time was up, I was pretty over it. Hot, tired, Oats was hot and pissy, and some flies were really bothering his eyes. We warmed up fairly nicely but it was very hot and stuffy in the arena, and the minute we trotted down centreline…Oats was freaked riiiight out. His head was on a swivel, he was spooking and flinging his head wildly. I got so distracted by his wacked-out behaviours that I forgot where I was going!! I had to pull up and ask the judge (who is SUPER nice). YEEEEK. I was in such a bad mood after that piss-poor showing. ARGH.

And then I noticed that everyone was crabby after dressage. HAHAH. So true.

After, to put the bad taste of the bad test out of my head, I asked Shelly to come with us on a trail ride. She did and with a few minor Oats moments (where he runs backwards and is an ass every time we stop on the trail..) they did really nicely ๐Ÿ™‚

And then I got to go swimming again, and start perseverating about the Ease of Handling Round and Speed Round the next day… No banks this time, thank god (our real nemesis last time!).

…To be continued!

BC Day Adventure!

We had FANTASTIC weather this August, so we headed up Island to visit my in-laws, and my new nephew too!

It was so warm we swam in the ocean, every day. It was heavenly, just divine ๐Ÿ™‚

I also went on a 27-km run that was pretty miserable, as it was 30 deg, full sun, a long, hot day AND I hit the trails to escape some of the heat and ended up tripping and falling pretty dramatically, but hey- I didn’t even get hurt!

I wrapped up the run covered in dirt/dust, lol and Ian had to go looking for me because it took me forever to get back, those trails…Not fast!

My reviews: Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Mac and Cheese

You eat with your eyes, so maybe wear sunglasses..

Buckle up people!

Ah yes, the finest cuisine

They say you eat with your eyes, and if thatโ€™s the case, my eyes wanted sunglasses when I was staring down a bowl of this atomic-red monstrosity. Sidenote: We always associated atomic with the colour green? Why not this fiery inferno of red? The colour is so weirdly off putting that when you eat it, your brain and mouth donโ€™t want to work together and kept insisting that this must have tomato in it? (It doesnโ€™t, this is 100% chemically-created with not a hint of any sort of real food). BUT that being said, even if it is eye-blistering, itโ€™s also very tasty! The texture is straight up cooked pasta, a fusilli shape to simulate Chester the Cheetahโ€™s tail, apparently. That is a bit of a reach, personally. Itโ€™s fusilli, people. The taste is straight up spicy heat, kind of like eating a softer Takis Fuego, the kind that makes your face and eyeballs sweat when youโ€™re eating it.

Yum??

The portion sizes, like all mac and cheese dinners, is miniscule. Too much maybe for 1 person but too little for 2 unless you are both children in trenchcoat instead of an adult.

Also lacking: Cheese. For mac and cheese, itโ€™s all bite and no smooth cheesy taste. So think it really wins on the heat level โ€“ impressive- but it does lack on the backup cheese taste. In that way, it is not like Cheetos at all, but luckily for them I have a solution- mix in a box of regular Kraft mac and cheese! Win-win!

So, please do that and let me know if itโ€™s a winner because in my mind, it really will be. Cheetos mac and cheese is available in other flavours so maybe I will have to try those, see if they can balance the heat + cheese flavour a little better? Otherwise, this was available at Save On Foods for a ridiculously marked up price because of the novelty of it. Go ahead and try it, remix it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mr. Oats does a Working Equitation horse show: Day 1

Phew this was a super busy weekend, to top off a super busy and bummer few weeks.

I signed Oats up for a Working Equitation horse show! We have some experience with this discipline, but I was also taking lessons on Sundays to practice up, as well as working on our dressage with our trainer. We hauled out bright and early Saturday to Hi-Point in Glenora for our dressage day at 9:30am.

Swear, our warmup was more…nice. Oh well, you gotta get back somehow!

The test was quite simple, similar to a training level test? But no fear, I had a good warmup and then immediately rode pretty poorly soooooo it was still challenging for us. At first we went to warmup in the field (Hi-Point has the only x-c on the island) and Oats was AMPED. I was pretty sure he was going to buck me off lol. So a trainer suggested we move to a section of the indoor roped off for warm-ups and bingo, he settled right away.

After our dressage ride it was still SO early, ha. I knew Oats would need more work- a new place where he has done x-c and he was hot hot hot means he needs a lot more work to get him chill and used to it. After all, we had our two rounds the next day (Sunday), Ease of Handling and Speed Round.

So I hung out a lot, and watched the Intro class finish their Ease of Handling (they don’t do speed rounds). Then I got Oats out, wearing shorts again (haaa) and rode him. As I suspected, he WAS amped. Good at the trot, but power-trotting around and tossing his head excitedly. We cantered, and he was good, and then tried to buck, haha. He has a very powerful buck and just snakes his head down and humps up and woooof it’s hard to get back, haha.

So, rode that for awhile even though it was HOT out, like close to 30 deg?? I was hot, Oats was hot but he had a ton of ‘go’.

After our ride he chilled out and was sooo thirsty, poor boy! That would be the theme for the weekend- Oats is sooo thirsty!

After my ride, we went to the pond for a swim ๐Ÿ™‚ I had my mango White Claws, and all was right with the world. I even had a bbq with my new friends that evening, and it was delicious. Early to bed, I felt very tired. A long day in the sun and around people?!! I have been a total hermit for like a year?! ha.

I did feel worried about the course, as it had several x-c elements that Oats was not familiar with (water, a bank). Turns out I was right to be concerned…

Which was too bad, because after dressage we were leading! To be continued…

Field fun!

Have a crazy few weeks going down at work so have to limit the blog writing, but in the meantime we’ve been doing lots of dressage rides, zero jump lessons, and lots of working equitation lessons too!

Even Oats is embarrassed at what I am wearing!

We have also been riding around in the fields- not so much in the big field as you cannot get to it at the bottom anymore, you can only get to it from the top of the stables, so I usually just ride and then zip out to the lower fields. Today though, big field (the one he went kind of bananas in and galloped around bucking, eeek) has my name on it!!

We also rode in shorts the other day (regretfully, ouch my skin) and had some fun while Ian videotaped us jumping the small fences I put out in the field with his help. Every year, without fail, I am the only one to put jumps out- so at least this year I get to enjoy it!!!! Unlike the absolute disaster of last year, which shall not be named, ugh.

Fun in the field!!

Fun times!!

And apparently another heatwave is coming?? We have been very, very lucky to not have smoke here. I am very appreciative of that.

And off to the Big Smoke (Kelowna)

Which actually wasn’t smoky really, but as the wildfires gathered strength I heard it got much, much worse. We did get incredibly lucky on this trip on the whole!

We drove through Vernon and it was wall-to-wall cars from Vernon to Kelowna and Kelowna was just terrible. Gridlock traffic the entire way. WTF??

Winery tasting with the family

We couldn’t check in to our hotel (damned Kelowna hotels, we stayed at the Prestige Beach location and I kind of hate it…) until after 4pm so we had hours to kill with Gidget. I decided I wanted to check out Gellatly’s Nut Farm which is also a beach and provincial/historical park. We couldn’t walk Gidget through the nut orchards because they apparently were worried that some dumbass child would mistake a dog shit for a nut (which then I think, they had it coming…) so we took turns cruising through the orchard and I found a hazelnut and a walnut! The walnut was interesting, all green and the nut inside the ‘fruit’. I had Ian dig it out and it stained his fingers for a week!!!

Summertime and the living is easy

We had dinner at my folks place, went for a swim and the next day met them in the morning for a swim and a nice visit to a winery close to their house.

That’s a big beer

We then staggered around in the heat downtown which was tougher than I thought, I felt so hot and dehydrated?!

Summerhill Winery’s pyramid of mystery

Back to my parents for dinner, birthday cake and a swim (which was awesome!), a walk to their beach locally and then back to the hotel. The next day we were up bright and early to drive to stay a night in Vancouver, where we ran the sea wall (yes!!) and had Moroccan dinner, which was very cool, and then back home- holidays all over!

I miss being on vacation….

Christina Lake

And my vacation continues! I wanted to write more last week but work got tooooo busy. After we spent some time in Princeton (there isn’t much there, ha. We did some swimming, hanging out in the river, and running), we zipped off to Christina Lake which wasn’t too far.

The river site at the campground. Living our best life!

There isn’t much of a town there but WOW the lake, it is just incredible. So warm- the warmest I have ever felt in Canada. Remarkable! The lake is also quite large but you can access it from a few different points. They do not allow dogs anywhere near the main lake at the provincial park, so we packed up our dog and went to the next park over where there was a big campsite AND they allowed dogs at the dog beach. Plus, the dog beach was super nice- usually it’s crappy and miserable, but this one was great.

Ice cream at Christina Lake, yumm!

We camped the two nights in Christina Lake at a small campsite that had it’s own river access with a sandy beach- I can’t tell you how incredible THAT felt, it was soooooooooo awesome. We basically had our own swimming hole shared with the other campers, and it was a very quiet campsite. So fortunate! I loved it.

The lake itself- sooo inviting.

We swam, camped out, went into ‘town’ for an ice cream and generally hung out in the sun for a few days. It was blazing hot out so that was key to be near the water. So amazing though ๐Ÿ™‚ Gidget on the other hand had some complaints about camping…To be continued ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ian and Gidget at Kalso. The adventure continues…

HEATWAVE

Wowza, climate change is real! We got temperatures reaching up to 37 degrees here on the West Coast, so I didn’t do a ton of riding this week and past weekend, more like hosing off the poor horse!

While I am a fan of the heat, I was concerned about our furrier friends. I ended up cancelling Oats’ jump lesson on Saturday (32 deg!!) and we went on a summer adventure instead! And on Sunday I got up early and was in the saddle around 8am, but it was still incredibly hot so we just did a little w/t and called it quits. Monday I got up VERY early and had my butt in the saddle at 6:35am to beat the heat- and it did the trick! The shade was out over the outdoor arena, so I rode outdoors for as long as we had shade and then I get to beat it to work- so, finished up around 7am. It was much cooler then, thank god.

Swimming time!

Our summer adventure was a great call though. We hoofed it up to the Cowichan River and went swimming and it was glorious! The water was a bit cold (I am a wimp though) and it was very hot out. Gidget came with us and we definitely enjoyed ourselves.

We then zipped over to Enrico’s for a wine slushy (yess!!) and hit up Ice Cream Mountain on our way to the barn. I rode Oats bareback at the walk for 10 mins and that was it, phew…it was smoking hot! I felt very good about cancelling my lesson that day, it just didn’t seem very fair for the horses.

Wine slushy!

And now we’re off to another summer adventure, after a ride tonight ๐Ÿ™‚ I love summer, and it’s starting to cool off from our insane heatwave here.

So many good flavours: Peanut butter and chocolate, Raspberry cheesecake, Pralines, Caramel cookies ‘n’ cream!

Nelson is great in the summer!

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After spending time in Kelowna, we headed up to Nelson to do a little exploring, trail running and eating/drinking. And it was fabulous! Very hot, sunny and gorgeous out. We stayed at a cool hotel downtown- the Adventure Hotel- which is pet friendly. Great because we had both critters with us ๐Ÿ™‚

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We went on a trail run on the Trans Canada Trail, and there were SO many thimbleberries!! Very tempting, and I guess, tempting for bears as well…

Since it was quite hot in Nelson, we did the run in the morning, and did a little bushwacking and found an old railway (still had the ties), followed it down to the lake, while getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. It was a gorgeous little interlude.

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Then we got back to the room and the sun was very intense. We grabbed a drink/shower, and went for a walk along the waterfront with Gidget. It turned out to be a pretty long walk and WOW I had a terrible headache by the end of it. Turns out Ian and I both got a bit of sunstroke that day….I felt awful for the entire day. Never shook it.

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We then went to a local brewery and enjoyed a beer, and by that time I was developing a miserable headache…

We chilled in the room for a bit, feeling like crap, haha. Then we went to this cool Hungarian restaurant and the food they had was pretty great! We only went out to eat at places that we could sit alone, nobody close by, and outdoors. This one fit the spot!

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The next day we had to pack up and begin the loooooooong drive back to the Island. Of course we had ferry drama- but we made the 6pm!! if you can believe it!! And we were all pretty darned tired, Gidget, Ian, Tucker and me. ๐Ÿ™‚