What am I becoming?

Ah, I last left this blog on a Thursday and haven’t blogged in…Over a week.

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Sometimes the evacuees are bunnies!

Why? Not vacation, I can tell you!

I was deployed on the Friday to help with emergency communications in Prince George, a service I volunteered for from work. I received the call at 11am on Friday, and was on a 2:45pm flight to PG. (Sort of, it turned into a big debacle and we flew to PG, couldn’t land, flew back to Vancouver, caught the next flight back to PG, and ended up there at 10pm).

We worked until 1am that night. Hitting the ground running in a way, eh?

It was a challenging, life-changing and good experience. But it was exhausting, emotionally difficult, and a ton of work.

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At least I had the chance to have some great times with friends when I got back!

I got back home on Friday, and had great expectations for going riding when I got home. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I crawled into bed, feeling like I got hit with a ton of bricks. So exhausted. I didn’t get up until 4pm?! Riding happened on Saturday instead. Ha.

Oats…isn’t being super great. He’s pretty fine most times, and then other times has this massive demon-spook that is just INSANE. He has also been spooking at things that don’t normally bother him, like birds, squirrels, etc.??? He had a few big freakouts in the field, which is typically his happy place? He spooked so hard and flew backwards so violently that I pulled a muscle in my hip trying to stay on (I did..). Jesus.

At least I had a fairly decent dressage lesson last night, but it started off rough and I was in an absolutely terrible mood. I wanted to cry for most of it, until it smoothed out and he relaxed and gave up the resistance.

I am having an increasingly hard time breathing while I am running- so much so that I am struggling to breathe running a shorter distance (5k)?? It makes me feel panicky and trapped, like I am stuck in my own body and it’s betraying me somehow. Ugh, I hate it! I’m fine normally, it’s just when I am doing my long-distance running…And I am an experienced runner, so WTF? My lungs were checked relatively recently and they were fine, more than fine actually- superhuman. So …yeah. I now have an appointment with my doctor to see if I have a heart murmur or something that is causing this newfound breathing struggle.

I don’t want to collapse.

Anndd….I came back to work to find a lot of my dear friends and longtime colleagues got let go on Monday.

Lovely.

 

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It felt just like Christmas

Borrowing a title from the band ‘Low’ for a minute for a weekend update.

The update is again, good and bad.

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Can you believe this was 2 years ago?

Good: My work lunch was fun, I ate way too much and drank even more. The delight I discovered was in my work gift x-change- Fireball whiskey and hot chocolate. Mannn…Wish I didn’t know about that the next day, that’s for damn sure!

Also good: Decorating the tree! Finally had a free night (Saturday) to set up the fakey tree we got. Confession time: Also bad because I just don’t like fake trees. I am trying to be a convert because our fascist building rules say no more real trees but damn, it just isn’t the same. It looks ok though.

And great: A jump lesson on Saturday with Nicole and Oats! He was good, I was…well, less good and pretty hungover. Gak. He was very forgiving and I couldn’t see or ride a distance to save my life, despite crowing recently about how much of a rockstar we have both been in our solo jump efforts. Oh well!

Bad: My trainer’s mom died very suddenly Sunday night. She had a stroke from what I understand, and when she was removed from life support, passed away instantly. I’m very sad for Nicole and feel that life for sure has dealt her the toughest blows this 2015. From putting down her old horse of 17 years a month ago, to some relationship troubles, to getting injured a few weeks ago, to her mom passing–she has not had a good or easy time of it.

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Feeling sorry.

Also bad: The weather. WTF! It was soooo insanely windy and crazy all weekend, but Saturday in particular. Last week was pretty nuts all week too. And now it is freezing again. We seem to be stuck in a cycle of windy/rainy storm cyclone, then freezing with frost on the ground, back to windy/rainy. Can I get off this carousel please?

Bad: Fake trees. Blah!

More bad: Hangovers! But they come from a fun place, so….Take what you can get maybe.

And to wrap it up: An ok ride on Sunday, can’t quite remember what we were working on but it was fine. An equine counseling session yesterday that was quite cathartic and emotional for me, so I elected not to bring that to Oats for a ride.

Instead, I worked him free-longing to do some ‘join-up’ work and it wa really nice to see him follow behind me! I was sooo late coming home though, eeek.

 

Weekend recap: Running my legs off~ (But Mr. Oats gets off easy)

Oats only had 1 ride this weekend, as my poor knees just couldn’t take it on Sunday. Saturday, we had a crazy windstorm, complete with rain. Oats is quite well behaved during wind, but he did have one big spook- a chair blew over and a door blew open, just as we were riding by! I couldn’t really blame the guy.

We worked on some flatwork, and then trotted through a line of poles (that definitely weren’t set for him, oops haha, but he is a little fairy pony with clever feet, so he didn’t have a problem with them!).

After lunch Saturday, my husband and I ran approximately 19km (not entirely sure how long it ended up being, because we parked further out from the 1km start and ran from there!). It kind of sucked out loud. My legs started aching immediately. You know that feeling, when you’re not ‘feeling it?’ Yeah, that.

So, I kind of spent like 19km complaining heartily that my legs hurt. I even broke it down:

  • 6km. Seriously? Only six? Whaa?
  • 7km. Maybe we should turn back here.
  • 8km. Or here. HOW did it take like 50 minutes to get here?
  • 9km. I guess we’re doing it.
  • On the way back: my right leg hurts more than my left leg. Why is that? My left knee is my bad knee?
  • Oh, there it goes. My left knee is in on the action too.
  • Everything hurts. How is the wind changing direction to blast in our face this way too?
  • My left calf is threatening to cramp up.
  • My ankle hurts now too.
  • Annnddd done!

So yeah.

We got a beer after, and it was more like a grim beer, not a ‘celebratory’ beer. 19km feels like more of a kick in the teeth than 15km, that’s for darn sure! My husband even got some real under-arm chafing going on. Yes, this is serious business guys.

So, Oats got a brief longe outdoors on Sunday while I gingerly hobbled around in the rain. He was less than impressed. ”You want me to go where? It’s raining. I’ll get wet!”

He did get some peppermints I had bought, to see if he might like them as a treat! He does, so good. Oats now has an official treat that isn’t candy canes.

And takes me to this week: My knees!!!!! Ahhhhhghhh…..I am taking it easy this week- no stairs, no elliptical, no sprint work and maybe taking Wed off from the barn too. Yeah, easy means easy (which I actually have a really hard time sticking to!!).

Starting to want more

So, because I have been running a bit and riding a LOT I’ll use this update for both- a total weekend recap.

At a race! Photo courtesy of Brian Domney.

At a race! Photo courtesy of Brian Domney.

I would be remiss if I didn’t add that my weekend kind of blew because I have a cold and was coughing my lungs out, and apparently allergy season is in full bloom here as well, so I felt like my face was on fire, my throat was SO ITCHY and my ears are bothering me. It’s a distracting time, and I feel like I’m on so many drugs (I take steroids for the allergies, and decongestants/acetaminophen for the sinus pain/body aches AND benadryl for allergies when it gets SO BAD) that I would not pass a drug test!

Anyways, enough with the complaining, on to the updates! It was a good weekend for physical activity, actually.

Saturday, I rode Oats and the weather was niiiiice. Sadly, we are still locked in the indoor- the outdoor is flooded. He was pretty cooperative and we schooled over some crossrails, with me focusing on straightness, getting ‘pace’ and keeping my butt out of the saddle in two-point. Oh and there was this hands lower, etc etc also happening.

All good, except when I tried to switch gears and go a bit more ‘dressage-y’ after our x-rails session, Oats was having none of it. I let him stop when we achieved 1 canter circle each way with contact and NOT breaking into trot. This was much harder than it sounds, and took a lot longer…

Saturday, my husband and I also did our first 15k training run. Well, run is a generous term. It was more like a 15k jog-shuffle that took approx. 1 hr 25 minutes….So slow! It was good though, and I finished feeling pretty decent, and NOT dying or coughing my last breaths. I did that later, at the brewpub we had a drink at to celebrate our runner’s ‘smug’. 

And then Sunday I rode and Oats felt distinctly less cooperative, I was feeling tired and run-down, and it was…just ok. Ok transitions, 1 buck- or it felt like a buck, but he didn’t keep it up so I didn’t punish for it (could have been feet confusion, that does happen to him sometimes)…Some ok trot work but it was overall kind of ‘eh’. One thing I was proud of him for- we worked through some trot poles- that were not really set up for us, but he’s a tricky little pony who can figure out his footwork well- and then I asked for canter WITH the correct lead left rein and then right rein. He was good!

Very determined

Very determined

It’s funny- a year ago, I’d be over the moon with how Oats is. Now, I’m just wanting more from him. I can appreciate how he’s changing though, and that is a good thing! Also- I can appreciate how my run training is helping me address longer distances, and my races are improving.

After you’ve gone- Oats update!

 

So it goes

So it goes

 

I think a vacation was great for the both of us. I hopped on Oats Sunday after flying back from NYC Saturday night, getting in at midnight…3am NYC time…So wasn’t expecting greatness but he was great!

I felt a little rusty, but we worked in the indoor because I was able to ride with a friend, and she wanted to put the radio on when we rode (pls it was pretty hot!).

Oats was so cute, so agreeable. We hopped over some poles, did some trot work, some canter and some collected trot-ish.

We also trotted over a ‘skinny’ fence with no standards set up in the middle of the ring just for fun. Oats was so game!

And then yesterday, I had ANOTHER great ride. Rode in the outdoor, and Oats just SO ON! Yeah!!!! I was just really feeling his vibe, and we were clicking really well.

Hmm…maybe a vacation was needed?

I ended up cutting my ride short yesterday because I wanted to save some of his energy for tonight’s lesson – he gets Wed off- and quite frankly, because I was so happy with his attitude. Yes ma’am! It rocked!

Oats does dressage

Oats does dressage

I’m feeling very thankful that I can come back after a week and have Mr. Oaty-pony be so agreeable with me. Love that little dude. Now, if only my rotten little mutt Gidget would behave so well at her grandparent’s place, instead of taking the opportunity to become a tyrant and boss the other dogs around the yard.

Oh well. Animals- can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.