Week that wasn’t

Continuing on the theme of general ‘blah-ness’ for the week, I ended up missing my jump lesson last night due to getting stuck in a major traffic jam that didn’t even end up resolving until god knows when…The highway was shut down for hours.

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This was exactly a year ago- and we are going to Hopoxia on Saturday! Sadly the weather seems committed to be lousy…

After two hours, I though for sure I was just around the corner from the barn (about 1km) and then home free- turned the corner and BLAM! Cars were parked and people were out walking around. Nobody was going anywhere ūüė¶

That was that. I managed to turn around and went grocery shopping instead of riding. That means Oats gets three days off in a row (highly unusual) because I have evening plans tonight (Music bingo at Moon Under Water) that I really didn’t want to cancel.

I really dislike being off schedule and struggle with it. I came home yesterday in a really bad mood, and decided to take my dog to the beach – it was 8pm by the time I was home- to shake off some of my residual traffic anger.

So that was nice, but I am missing riding and Oats!

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Under allergy attack!

UGH it is officially spring here in Victoria and the alder pollen count is at ‘excruciatingly high’ rather than just ‘high’ or irritatingly high. God, my eyes started swelling shut this morning at work ūüė¶ my breathing was impaired and I started feeling¬†terrible. My eyes were so itchy, swelling and watering constantly and I had a sinus headache. Basically think of every allergy symptom you can have and I had it. All at once. Shoot me.

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Save me from spring!!!

I had to powerwalk to Shoppers to grab the biggest box of Reactine they had and eat one in the lineup. Even still, with Reactine and the Singulair I take every morning, I am STILL dying. UGH.

My eyes are still watery and itchy, and my sinuses are on fire. Lovely.

Very likely I am going to have to take more than 1 Reactine to stave off further horrendous reactions. This one is *barely* working.

Funny I chalked some of my allergy symptoms on the weekend to the dust in the indoor. As it turns out, it’s not just the dust, it’s the air itself around me, trying to kill me. Or just make my life a living hell, it’s a toss-up.

Blah!!

I did have a nice equine counseling session on Oats last night, and we worked on my positioning over a small x-rail. Oats biffed it good a few times, but it was really helpful for me in terms of being ‘ok’ with bad jumps, maintaining a strong arm/leg position to help us both out when the jump is less than pretty, and helping me hold my two-point in a relaxed, easy-to-maintain fashion.

A good ride all around.

Ugh, now if you’ll excuse me, I have to find a fork to scratch my eyes with.

Hatley Castle 8k- Race Recap!

This past Sunday was the Hatley Castle 8k- a fun and challenging race in the VIRA Island Race Series. Notable for a very hilly course, scenic views, and tasty hotdogs for the participants!

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Yum!

It was also freezing. There was a light dusting of snow on the ground, and the gravel was slick and icy. A windstorm was currently raging in Victoria, luckily we only got hit with it at Royal Roads when we ran along the water at the start. Anyways, it felt pretty lousy.

I didn’t have very high hopes for the race- not that this was bumming me out, but that I’m focusing more on building more Km’s into my week and not taking a lot of time off during the week= deader legs. I know this going in, so I am not using these races for goal races, I’m realistic about what I can accomplish.

But…I’m also improving. I am getting faster, even with not-so-fresh legs supporting me.

Logistics were pretty smooth, lots of parking, hit the port-a-potties early so no lineups, and I felt pretty chill (haha, I was frozen). We warmed up, I stupidly kept my fleece on for the race b/c I was frozen, and when we hit the start line, I fumbled trying to zip it up. I couldn’t! We were going too fast. I also hit my watch ‘START’ and it didn’t. So my recipe for success:

  1. Run with your jacket flapping like Superwoman. Yeah that’s not annoying at all!
  2. Watch doesn’t start. Notice 1km in.
  3. It is so cold my exercise asthma was kind of flaring but not badly so.
  4. ….
  5. Success?

We ran up the first hill, I was getting passed like crazy but I had a feeling like- nah, I can do this. I will wait. I will bide my time and then I will go.

To be honest this ‘zen’ mindset is more to keep me from freaking out and trying to run faster when I am getting passed early. That’s a quick way for me to ruin a race. I have to run MY race.

So I hung on, lost a bit of speed and enthusiasm up the longer hill and we hit the flatter gravel section. Now it’s flat but also gravel….slippy. The guy running ahead of me slid pretty dramatically around the turnaround but he didn’t fall! Came damn close though.

I plugged along, not running great but kind of looking forward to the forested trail section. We ran for awhile on the gravel and then turned into the woods. Yes! My time to shine! (sort of). I was able to tackle the hills well here, played leapfrog with another woman runner up to the top of the hill. By then, I was able to pass her and stay past. I had been getting passed by her consistently up until then. Sweet!!

Then the loooong downhill. Ouch my hamstrings.

Flat section, some more gravel, and a slight downill again. Use it! Free speed.

And…the long leadup to the finish. I didn’t really sprint (ha, yeah like I could) and my hamstring was feeling really cranky…

But I am happy with my time: 36:39 and good enough for 1st in my AG women’s 30-34. First time ever!

(also for context: This time last year would have netted me 6th place. Ha).

Thanks again for the volunteers, race directors and VIRA for putting on a well-run, smoothly executed race despite some weather challenges!

When they fight, they fight

Ah been feeling a tad unmotivated lately- summer lazy maybe? Oats has been a spooky ¬†moron some days and it’s driving me insane…He’s good with another horse in the ring, and was pretty decent to ride when my husband came out to watch/get a pony ride, but other times he’s running backwards, spooking sideways so violently I’m hanging off the saddle, or threatening to rear while running backwards and trembling…Greeeeat…

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He is a handsome devil!

Canada Day celebrations were fabulous, I can’t say I would change a single thing! The day was pretty effortless, and on Friday we were even able to see Tegan & Sara (great!) and on Saturday The Arkells, and fireworks after attending a friend’s BBQ- she had ribs and they were soooooo good.

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Rode all four days- Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues to above-mentioned mixed success. He was fine last night too, rode in the other field and really enjoyed that ride. Wish he wasn’t so stupid and spooky right now! I can’t figure out what changes in his brain when we’re alone in the outdoor arena, and the most frustrating part is that he was SO GOOD when we came out in the outdoor…Then I take a week off for my sister’s wedding and he’s a total idiot. WTF?

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What gives?

Oh well, have to work through his dumbass behaviour until it goes away later in the summer.

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Celebrated 8 years of marriage this weekend!

Runningwise? Hah not happening. We ran lightly this weekend, like 5k and my legs were fried. Just fried. I have no real desire to run, at all, right now. I do think I am burned out of it, to be honest! Maybe I’m burned out of everything, ha.

But, I do want to try polo and that has been on my mind for awhile….!!

Hot moment: Week update?

So this week. Yeah….

Not much riding happened- 1 ride on Tues where Oats was hot to trot, and I loved it! And then it blizzarded again on Wednesday, so I walked home and didn’t leave the house all night…

And then a jump lesson Thursday after all the snow melted and it was a slushy mess everywhere!

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So, my week and my winter…

My lesson was pretty good, some big oops moments (like, disunited canter and me turning Oats too fast and him slipping so badly I swear I thought he was going to FALL ON ME) he saved my freaking butt!).

We worked on a gymnastic- canter-in bounce to four strides, and then coming around to a single fence on the outside line, and then the gymnastic, but we then did a bending line the second time around to a small oxer. That’s where I screwed up a bunch of times, grabby hands on my left hand pulling Oats’ face around. Shit!

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Some days you ride better without hands. This remains true…

We then went from the small oxer to the angled fence, and then angled it the other way, and then to a small ‘step’ type jump, back to the oxer, and to a single fence on the diagonal.

We made some big mistakes, Oats got surprised by the angled jump and slammed on the brakes but it was like, oh hey no big deal, let’s try that one again. And he jumped it totally fine, phew!

So, even though my lessons aren’t perfect or necessarily really nice looking, I am working through some things and enjoying the process. I didn’t want Nicole to put them up though, so that’s my next goal- be ok with the course, be slower through my turns, rein in my rogue elbows & left hand, and BE BRAVER about jumps going up. The jumps themselves? Totally fine, not a problem.

So, do it, ME!

Also work has been a nightmare this week and I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping. UGHHH.

A jumble?

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I also got a brief run in…

So, things have also been very interesting this week. In a nutshell:

  • Listed my condo as I mentioned on the weekend¬†and accepted offers on Tuesday. Exciting!
  • Rode in my dressage semi-private on Tuesday and things were GREAT!
  • Work computers went ka-blammo also on Tuesday. Not so great.
  • Jump lesson Wednesday and it was…a challenge? Some good and some ‘needs a lot of work’ but what I can say- Oats is a babysitter too, and he took great care of me when I was doing a lot of my regular dumb things- riding backwards, pulling, getting left behind, not committed= no problem mom, I got this!

So yeah, wow.

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Beers with my husband at Car Free Day. A great weekend event!

I was VERY pleased with my dressage lesson. We worked on transitions, but not in the way you think- they were more like, good forward walk, ok go up to HUGE trot (it felt like we were flying!) and then transition back to good walk, and then huge trot again, to the canter. We were going to intentionally let them break into canter from the huge trot, so the transition felt very seamless and uphill. It did, actually. The only issues I had was Oats getting distracted down the long side – felt like I was wrestling with a shark at this crazy big trot. His canter transitions felt amazing though.

And- the forward work we did really ‘bled through’ to my jump lesson on Wednesday. Oats had 1 big spook at the tractor in the field (thanks doofus) but he was quite nicely forward and very obliging. Our gymnastic work- my nemesis- was SO good! The jump at the end went up to 2’6” and I swear it looked about 2’3”. I didn’t even believe Nicole when she said it was higher, and I kind of still don’t believe her. The course work was….a work in progress.

I need to get better about my hands pulling back, and for me, being more honest about the distance to the jump. So, bring my hands down, and commit to the jump, dammit! Oats was golden. He took any distance, never a bad thought in his head. Love him! I don’t want to lie to him about distances….

I only did the course once (yeah I wimped out) but I am trying. Slowly but surely, I am trying.

Next up: Tying a home-made bucking strap to the d-rings on my saddle, to give my pulling, too-high hands somewhere to anchor to when the desire hits me. I want to improve!

 

 

Fun times at Phillips Backyard Weekender!

So, my weekend wasn’t all falling off my horse and going for grinding 15km runs…

We also went to Phillips Backyard Weekend party on Sunday – the day that had the best bands- in my opinion. And it was a blast!

We saw Built to Spill, John and Roy and Dan Mangan and the Blacksmiths.

All good, all of them.

I particularly enjoyed Built to Spill’s retro 90’s comeback style, and then John and Roy were a relaxing listen. I actually found it difficult to listen to them in a big crowd-type atmosphere, as their type of West Coast chill music seems to be best¬†listened to around a campfire on the beach at night with good friends.

Also Dan Mangan and the Blacksmiths- classic. He still had to play ‘Robots’ of course, but cleverly intermingled Robots with another, newer piece that escapes me at the moment. They were good, though I have heard uneven reviews of his performance as of lately. There are no complaints on this end though!

The weekender is an affordable, easy to get to excursion and I highly recommend it. Sunday’s passes cost approx. $35/day and that is pretty reasonable to see the level of bands that were playing. Beers are $5 and the only quibble I have is that Merridale ciders raised their prices to $7, instead of having 1 tix price for all, so I stuck with the beers. I mean, I like ciders but for an extra $2? I’ll stick with the beer, thanks…

Check them out next year, the sound is even better and improved from the past year (some technical issues from what I heard), and we had no bad experiences at all!