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.

Cruel Runnings

This week was objectively much better than last! I’m feeling good, had my last day of shockwave and am now on a three-week trajectory to hopefully being able to run pain-free without flare-ups again, so why do I feel so ambivalent?

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I just want this good feeling back! Plus I miss the nice weather…

I have a horse show this weekend, and my lessons this week have been so…awkward that I am starting to not look forward to riding in it. Weird eh?

We worked on some technical polework in my lesson Wednesday and while hilarious, it was definitely a challenge (Oats was convinced we were JUMPING and why did we have to canter each pole nicely? Why??)…And then in my lesson yesterday, I just felt so stiff and disconnected and annoyed with Oats, who in turn ALSO felt stiff and his canter felt more like a bunny hop than a canter…It was not great. Our steering was miserable, his canter felt bad, I got really backed off in the grid-pole exercise and couldn’t focus.

Kind of a deflating few lessons. I like having super great power lessons to leave me on a confident high before my shows, but this week? Ha, NOPE.

I came out of my ride yesterday not really feeling disappointed (look, polework is tough for both of us, and I just couldn’t get in to the rhythm!), but feeling extremely ambivalent about riding in the show tomorrow. I just wanted to scratch. Sigh…

But when I get down to it, my goals for the show aren’t really anything? I want to have a fun time with my friends, and enjoy the companionship with my horse. If anything, I had a fabulous few rides last week and the weekend with Oats, so why does the impending horse show throw me in such a tizzy? Am I letting the pressure of it get to me, even if my goal is pretty much- show up, don’t embarrass yourself and learn something good!

Trying to puzzle out why I’ve felt so stiff, awkward and blah this week! I fee Oh well… I’m going to ride tonight, and for me the hardest thing about riding is to enjoy it and not make it a ‘workout’ for me and the horse. Tonight will be a test for me- can I be fair about it, and just cruise?

 

What’s life without losers

Last week…Well, let’s wipe it off the map and start over, shall we?

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Same girl, same.

I spent the majority of the week feeling HORRIBLE. Insane bloating that would come on later in the afternoon, cramping from hell so severe that I couldn’t sleep, was writhing in pain for days, painkillers couldn’t even remotely touch it, I took so many that I got sick… And had what felt like a fever by Thursday. It had gotten THAT bad. Very reminiscent of the episode in May, where I was so sick/cramping that I couldn’t function.

So, that was great (sarcasm)… And anyways, just miserable.

I didn’t have my lesson on Thursday because it was basically a monsoon, and the arenas were closed due to the resurfacing of the outdoor arena- (thank god, because I couldn’t stand up without feeling faint or like I was going to puke), and we are rescheduled for this week.

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Oats: Oh, hey…You’re here early today? 

I’m still injured, just had my last day of shockwave today! The three-week countdown is ON! I also cancelled my marathon. I still have to wait out about three weeks…When my marathon was supposed to be in a month. HAH, life, you really screwed me BUT good this time!!

Fortunately amidst all this bitching, Oats has been a very good boy and a real joy to ride. Love him!!! 🙂 And I had a nice weekend, the weather was not great, but I had time to enjoy a cocktail and dinner with a friend on Friday night at Chorizo & Co., and then time for a nice Tod Creek cider (blueberry! Highly recommend!) with my husband in the afternoon on Saturday. All in all, a quite and pleasant weekend.

Skip to the good part

Wow, so…Last post I read myself I was not doing great. Trouble with Oats, my leg was just feeling horrible thanks to shockwave treatments, and I was struggling.

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Still here. Now with bonus both legs! fuuuck

And how are things now? In a way, better. But not that much better?

I went to horse camping (and it was awesome! Much-needed, and I am going to post about that separately, I have been travelling for work and crazy busy lately). I went straight from horse camping to a work deployment for 8 days in the Interior B.C., and got back last Tuesday, had Wednesday off to do laundry, ride Oats, get groceries and get settled, and then was immediately back to getting shockwave treatment on Thursday morning, and then to work.

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Hiking with a colleague after work up Marriage Mountain.

Fun fun eh?

Work has been busy, and the shockwave continues to be a pain. I injured my left leg during my deployment and now am enjoying the experience of having both legs laid up. Yay?!! Not gonna lie, I was pissed when it happened. WTF is going on? So, I am now having shockwave on both legs. It’s as much fun as you can figure. UGH. FML.

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How cool is this??

My deployment was really cool though. So many neat and unique experiences! LONNG days holy shit, 12 hour days easily. I was exhausted! And no real opportunities to workout, unless you give the shed the firefighters work out of more credit…Hahahah.

I even rode on a helicopter! It was so cool.

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The ‘gym’

The food was good, my per diem sucked so hard, I was hungry all of the time, and I worked with some truly fun, committed and driven folks. It was hot, I was in a strange environment (working in a trailer, hah), and our water had arsenic in it!

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They had a lovely winery.

It was a great way for me to ‘step away’ from the insane angst that I was feeling the prior weeks. I still vacillate greatly from ‘ok I can handle this’ and ‘i have a plan’ to ‘WHY AM I STILL FUCKING INJURED AND PAYING A SHIT TON OF MONEY TO BE INJURED’…every day. It’s frustrating, expensive, painful and on I can go on and on and on…

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They grew heirloom tomatoes too! 

But being away really helped me to not bring that insane useless frustration I feel each day to my horse, Mr. Oats. He needs me to be a better person with him, not an angry or upset one. So I could come home and enjoy riding my horse again!  Yay! I felt like a wet noodle riding, but I had so much fun, and riding him feels like I am riding on a cloud…AH… That’s a great feeling 🙂 He takes care of me.

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It was so beautiful.

I hope they get it right this time

Apparently pain is a great teacher. I hope it is, because lately all I feel is pain (emotional and physical?).
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My leg feels like a throbbing mass of pain basically everyday. I HATE IT. 

I had an amazing spring and early summer, it felt great! Things were falling into place (I won a small half marathon! Oats and I made our 2’6” debut and it was fantastic!) and was really in this ‘challenge me’ type of mentality that I was getting a lot out of and feeling strong and confident!
Now, it feels like everything that I worked hard for kind of went off the tracks. Oats went suddenly lame before a big horse show I was really looking forward to, and we had to pull out. That same week I tripped running home over a small hose leading to a construction site and face-planted quite dramatically on the pavement. I was ok with no serious injuries, but it scared me, was painful, and took a week or so to heal.
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The last show that went well. I see a lot of things to fix, but I remember having a really fun time and smiling. How do I capture that joy again? 

At the same time I tripped and fell, I unknowingly had developed an overuse injury in my leg and couldn’t run at all. I have now been off for a month, and while I am getting treatment for it, it is a slow process and can expect to be injured for another month at least. I am (or was..) in the middle of training for a fall marathon and now I feel like giving up.
Oats came sound after a few weeks- longer than I thought he would be off, which was anxiety inducing to say the least- (after I healed from my fall) and things just haven’t been very smooth. I feel frustrated and things just don’t feel happy and easy, like they were before everything happened. Our rides are full of tension and while I am taking lessons regularly, we have good moments but on the whole it feels rough, awkward and makes me feel unhappy.
This came to a head this weekend when I had him at a small, no-stress schooling show and he felt AWFUL. Tense, unhappy, distracted and very anxious. We were at the same show a month ago and it was night and day! I have such happy memories of how thrilled I was at the show and I was saying I loved riding him so much I wanted to canter forever, it felt so amazing!! We were actually worried he had an episode of gas colic, he was so out of sorts and acting strangely. Not like Oats at all!
I can’t really ascribe all of his behaviour to me and what I am feeling (mostly frustrated and in pain) he could just be having an off day too, but he does mirror me closely sometimes. Too closely.
I am taking a step back this week and having my friend and competent rider take over my jump lesson so I can watch. All I feel like doing these days is griping and crying about what I can’t do?! I feel like I can’t trust myself or my body to do or know the right things anymore.
When is the next step the right move? Where do I go from here?

Cruel Summer?

This past weekend was a busy one, but with one notable absence: I am still too injured to run! 😦

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It wasn’t all bad! 😉

Otherwise, I enjoyed rides on Oats (and he was stopping at jumps again, WTF?) but I’ll have to shake that off and move on eh? I did some pretty vigorous rides, so I am looking to tone it down this week and work together with Oats. My lesson on Friday was great actually! I liked the lesson we took away from it- ‘how slow can you go’? 😉 And it worked out quite well, not perfect but still some excellent learning opportunities.

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Horse girls clean up nicely! 

Saturday I rode and it spiraled a bit more than I would have liked, ehhh. It didn’t help that Oats showed up with a huge gash on his neck, and BOTH eyes covered in eye goop. Fly-borne infection, here we come! Shit! Can’t just like, something work out for me this summer?

Makes me feel kind of cranky. The weather was not good (cold, raining), I am still injured, Oats has this gross eye goop in both eyes, he’s stopping at fences…Eh. It is all temporary, right? Now I just need to remember that, and get into why I ride: To have fun, silly!

Moving on! I went to my friend’s baby shower, in what turned out to be a really action-packed Sunday (ride, watch other friend at a horse show, go to baby shower), phew. We had a BLAST!! YEah! Plus, I won the ‘guess the chocolate bar in the diaper’ game – after loudly bragging to everyone that I was the ‘chocolate expert’ and that they should step aside…And I was right! I was the chocolate expert! 😉 I won five SWEEET chocolate bars for my prize- how perfect was that?

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Tucker enjoyed some healthy eating…

We had a lovely time and it was really nice to see my friends and horsey friends all hanging out. 🙂

The sun is shining now, I am getting shockwave treatment on my leg (first session was this morning,  YOWZA I knew it hurt but Jesus CHrist it really hurt. I was kind of like, half crying, half trying to pull my leg away…jesus. Ouch. But it works, so I guess it’s like…It hurts like a laser cutting through your leg, but it heals it much, much faster.

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In happier news, we made a paper towel diaper! hahah

Still, not so looking forward to the next session on Thursday- gulp!

Riding tonight (easy) and then a lesson on Wednesday to practice.

 

Good race, bad run: MEC Race #5 Halloween run!

I usually really like this one, if the weather is good there’s nothing better! But that was before I got injured 😦 I immediately knew I’d have to scrap the half-marathon, I was way too hurt to run that. Realistically, I was too hurt to race much of anything at this point and still today…But I got stubborn, my friends were racing too and dammit I wanted to! (Ok so now I’ve been injured for a solid month. It sucks, friends, it sucks).

So it poured rain all night, we went to a Halloween party and played it safe due to the race, enduring SOME razzing from friends, “It’s only a 5k!” What are you going home early for!” Ha.

I met up with my friends at the start of the race- in the bathroom lineup- of course. It was nice weather, the sun was starting to peek out and the clouds were blown away. I was even wearing shorts! Yes!!

We did a brief warm-up and the results were not promising. Shooting pain through my pelvis and back. Lovely. I correctly figured that this was gonna hurt. And it did. And it hurt even more to run fast, go figure haha.

Then we were off and I tried valiantly to cling to some sort of pace, but yeeeahhh…It didn’t happen. My km’s were slow, I felt like I was gasping for breath and had just shooting pain through my pelvis and lower back. It was slippery with the recent mud/rain and dead leaves, and just kind of up-down-all-around race. In other days I would have really enjoyed the variety haha. More of a true trail race than the half is, actually.

I did miss doing the half though.

I was kind of chugging along, feeling annoyed that I was so injured and it felt really hard. I was glad to see the finish line, and I wound up in 2nd place? Wha? Let’s put it this way- my time was not competitive. Ah well!

Best of all? My buddies were there to run with me, and one of them even placed 3rd! Whoo hoo! I just liked having friends there with me 🙂

And I am still injured and getting therapies on my abdomen to hopefully figure out wtf is going on. A month down…Hopefully that’s all it is going to be. My fingers are crossed!!