Welcome to 2020. This is your year, right?

So we are on the eve of the new year and wondering if 2020 will really be better? I guess when I get grouchy and tally up the never ending list of injuries, sicknesses and complaints I have about 2019, then I’m SURE 2020 will be better. But…none of it was permanent (not really), and so what am I complaining about?

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Riding a HIGH! 

Well, I wish my running had executed better- I had a fabulous race season last year, culminating in winning my age group (I NEVER take this for granted- it’s a tough crowd for sure, and I am 100% an amateur slouching jogger). I was riding a high when I won my first race – the very small MEC Royal Roads Half Marathon in May 2019. It felt fantastic!

And then, I guess when you go up high, you fall even further. I distinctly remember bragging to a friend about how I ‘never need to take rest days’ when we had both signed up for a marathon training group. This was it! I was going to race a marathon in the fall, the Okanagan Sunrype Marathon, and qualify for Boston!

……..

Until I immediately got injured for oh, the rest of the summer. It started with a weird twinging in my shins, inside just above my ankle bones. When it started hurting, I started wondering WTF it was but I didn’t really have to wonder for long- that same week I tripped over an unmarked hose going across a sidewalk that the construction crews were using, and face-planted quite dramatically into a curb. I slid for about a foot on my stomach, and wound up splitting my lip, gravel in my teeth, and a few scrapes and a banged up left shoulder (for the fourth time…my freaking shoulder.)

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It definitely hurt- a lot! But my stress fractures were getting even worse, so for once I was glad that I looked so terrible on the outside. It matched what I felt on the inside.

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Those wounds healed amazingly fast, which was funny because my shin splits and stress fractures sure didn’t. Oats was also lame the same week that I face-planted and developed shin splints, and we had to scratch out of the biggest show of the year for us. A cursed week (the week after my birthday). This also spearheaded a few months where I lost confidence in myself, my horse and my own body.

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I tried and tried to run for oh, the next three months and never could- It felt like someone was grabbing my leg and pulling really hard. I had trouble walking for a bit too.

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Ow, my leg…The success of shockwave was undeniable though! 

At the same time, I had been struggling with some pretty severe abdominal pain and cramping, for oh, 1. 5 years…I finally got it addressed this summer by having my Mirena removed, going back on Seasonale, and felt some blessed relief! I also still have an abdominal ultrasound scheduled in a few weeks, that I had to reschedule because I had the flu when I was supposed to have the appointment…

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The next day- it healed really well! 

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And that takes me to the fall, where I was kind of bummed about dropping out of the marathon but realistically I knew there was NO WAY I could run it. I had started back running for oh…1  or 2 weeks when the marathon started. I ran the 10k and placed third! (really shouldn’t have, but it was not a competitive field, ha), and my husband ran the marathon and did really well! I was so jealous!

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I rode Oats in a horse show and it just…eh. We had a few very inconsistent shows, where he felt weird and I felt really angsty.

Our fabulous roll ended abruptly by getting disqualified from our jumper rounds at CDRC for too many refusals. A very harsh contrast to the fun and happy success of the July show there indeed! And a good cap to what had really become a shitty, miserable season.

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At least we looked cute??

I also ran the MEC Halloween half marathon and finished it, happily. It was extremely humbling, running 10 minutes slower and only being back to running for oh…Three weeks? But I did it.

And then I bumbled along, getting screwed by fate again when I proclaimed loudly at work that I ‘NEVER take a sick day!’ …Yeah you guessed it. I immediately got the flu for three effing weeks. I had to sit around at home on the couch feeling miserable for 5 days. A lot of sick days that week…It took forever to shake that sickness and incredible fatigue and weakness/exhaustion.

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Finishing my longest run in 4 months! 

And then when I did get to take some time off, blessedly at Christmas, I went for a run and was really enjoying myself, blasting along and tried a little sprint at the end of a solid 20k run- and BOOM! My kneecap instantly had excruciating pain under it.

I limped home and limped around for the next effing week. I kind of knew it was not that serious, but damn it hurt and I still have trouble with stairs (going down in particular) AND now I am terrified of running fast or whatever. Why am I so fragile?

Merry Christmas to me>>???

And a happy New Year??

I feel like my resolution is this: Never make bold proclamations ever again, because this year they clearly bit me in the face. UGH.

Goals? What goals?

I feel like I have kind of abandoned the idea of riding goals for myself and Oats, chiefly because our progress has always felt very…tenuous and shaky. I was doing fantastic last spring, and it completely FELL APART in a very dramatic and miserable way in the summer. Cue falling off three-four times in a week, every single time I jumped. And falling off at every freaking horse show. Wow.

So…yeah.

Funny enough I did meet a lot of my goals though? I was cruising around a 2’6” hunter course, I went in a jump derby and PLACED>! And this year I even entered in a clinic and *gasp* rode in it without having a complete and total meltdown, it was productive and even fun?

Who is this girl?

I guess it all taught me that goals are fine, but it’s more important to be flexible, because life and horses can completely bite you in the ass and turn things sideways so fast your head will spin.

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Do I have more riding goals?

  • Sure, why not. I’d like to show some more, maybe do some more –dressage- ? Hahah.
  • Also I would like to school cross-country again, it was really fun, and ride in more hunter shows.
  • I am thinking I might also make the effort to go to more two-day shows.
  • Enjoy my horse.
  • Go on a trail ride? Only one though. That will be it for me, it’s too frightening with the traffic on the road at our barn!
  • Confidently school 2’6” in lessons again with the occasional foray up to 2’9”.
  • Develop counter canter.
  • Work on lead changes.
  • Have fun!!

And I have some running goals too! I didn’t meet my goal last year- achieve a sub-45 minute 10k, but I do have hopes for that this year.

  • Achieve a sub-45 minute 10k
  • Run all of the races I signed up for (winter series)
  • Don’t race all of the races I signed up for. Be canny about where to spend your efforts, and use those ‘in between races’ aka MEC races, as good training efforts instead.
  • Achieve a 1:40 half marathon- stretch goal for sure. maybe not gonna happen.
  • Ramp up my mileage- I am enjoying running a lot so make sure to get out more and work it!
  • Try my hand at the track series again. I really liked it and found it super challenging.
  • Be positive about progress and lack of progress particularly with regards to injuries.

NYE- Taking the pressure off

So, I didn’t do that much for New Year’s Eve- quite frankly because I really dislike the amount of expectation and pressure that exists behind the scenes for it- ugh.

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A white Christmas?

So, we did what I prefer- buy seafood, some sparkling wine, and have a fab time at home, gorging ourselves on lobsters, mussels and having a nice time. I did wish I had bought fireworks though, they sounded so fun going off!

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Fun holiday times!

I had my lesson early on the Thursday because I was generously allowed to leave work early if my work was finished- yess! So, I shared the love and brought some Fireball whiskey and hot chocolate to share with my trainer and friend, and boy did they love it!

Oaty was great during my lesson, we worked on low-wide oxers again and a small course or two, and I really enjoyed it! It was the perfect day.

Friday, I already felt this creeping anxiety that I had to ‘do everything’ on my weekend, forgetting that it was a super-long weekend. I rode Oats and had a flat ride (and it kind of sucked, forgot how much less fun flatwork is than jumping…) and now I can’t even remember what else I did on Friday?!

Saturday more riding- we were supposed to go to a fun clinic up-Island as a fundraiser for a local event venue, but the truck that was hauling us had an emergency brake line bust and that was that! No trip for us! I’m glad the horses were NOT in the trailer, jesus.

So, Oats got stuck with boring old me in the boring old indoor. We did some pole work and it was more fun than our Friday ride, that’s for sure! I was disappointed about our trip not panning out, but overall I can deal with being a bit disappointed–I couldn’t deal with a hurt horse or a trailer accident!

Went and ran some hills on Sat too, 30 mins worth, and my new Garmin suuuuuucks ass. Gah. Oh and a fun thing- board game cafe with my horse buddies Saturday night, and then a drink downtown with my husband- best of both worlds, really!

Sunday more riding, and my legs felt tired. So, why not some trot jumps w/o stirrups? Yeah! That didn’t last too long, ahha. A quicki 30 minute ride, and BRRR it was chilly…Oats was very good to me though. Then, a later afternoon 8k with my husband, and it was slower than we wanted, though my lungs still hurt plenty after…yeesh. And some mental preparation for work on Monday, and I slept horribly (translation: awake all night) and here we take us to today!

Oh and I still think my Garmin is an unreliable piece of junk. Grumble.

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Storm watching.

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Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Ian, Gidget, Mr. Oats and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

We take this photo every year, and every year it’s a challenge to keep the hat on Oats, keep Gidget looking in the right direction, and keep Oats ears forward, instead of back and angry-looking.

Mission accomplished? Sort of? Haha.

Oh well! From our family to yours. The only one missing is Buster. I will upload his Christmas photo separate- hint- it involves a dress, which he was very annoyed to wear. It lasted two seconds.