So easy to root for
So I know I grouched mightily about how miserable my ‘summer’ has been but you know what, I finally have something fun to talk about!!
My dear pony is sound again, so I took Monday off work to join a few friends for a beach ride!! I had this idea last week, when I was moping around because Oats was lame with an abscess…I just was DYING to do something fun with him, you know??
Fortunately it resolved by Wednesday, I rode on Tuesday and I was able to have my jump lesson on Saturday even! And then on Monday it was the big ride 🙂 Even better, the weather finally cooperated and it was sunny for once. We actually had a pretty lousy weekend for sun- 16 deg and raining for pretty much all of Saturday, which was great (NOT) because I had invited friends over for a small patio party…That turned out to be indoors wearing jeans and sweaters because it is so cold here now!
And then finally Monday was nice! So we did it!
And the horses were pretty well behaved too, considering how busy the beach was. Boats, trucks, RV’s tents, beach umbrellas, kids, babies, toys, dogs, bikes, kites, beach blankets…You name it, it was there and flapping around!
Luckily the horses were very well behaved about all of it and we had a nice time 🙂
It just felt SO GOOD to be able to go and DO something with my horse since it’s been such a lame and boring summer, with the occasional absolute disaster.
Prairie Inn Harriers 8k Race Recap: When the problem is you
Yeah it sounds like a grim title, and it isn’t really that terrible BUT I raced on Sunday (ha before the snow really started flying!) and I wasn’t pleased with my body, my results. The race itself was fine, the volunteers are excellent and I even had pizza and cupcakes after! YEah! But during the race, I had a hell of a time trying to breathe. It felt like someone was squeezing my lungs. My throat was on fire from straining to suck in air. I was red-lining the entire race, at a pace that shouldn’t be a problem or issue for me. It was also quite windy, and we faced a real headwind and cold blowing air for a bit of the race. Fun times!
I was just totally fried. And after the race, my damaged lungs were like, filling with fluid or something? I coughed and coughed and coughed all afternoon/night, horrible racking sounds with a deep chest rattle. I honest to god sounded like a 90 year old person with COPD or something. It was extremely unsettling and really alarmed me. In a moment of desperation I dug out my old inhaler and used it, and was finally able to breathe normally before bed.
Now, this struggle with asthmatic breathing isn’t new to me- in 2016, almost all of my races were shitty and I had some really scary incidents where I thought I was going to pass out because I couldn’t breathe- at all. Finish lines, etc. When I was running the track series, I would cough ALL night.
I’m a fairly experienced long-distance runner with lungs that are apparently ‘superhuman’ when they were tested two years ago, so really WTF is going on? I had my lung capacity tested, stress-tested (off the charts..), and heart checked with an echocardiogram. All perfect. I ended up getting an inhaler, and regular allergy meds (I have a terrible, year-round allergic cough), and also iron pills for my extremely low iron. That seemed to fix it?
Even now, my throat feels scorched from the efforts on Sunday- and it’s Wednesday. And I still have a sort of cough.
The race was very disappointing, primarily because it felt like my body betrayed me. I tried as hard as I could, and I felt like death, for a minute slower than last year. Ironically, I ran that race with a nasty chest cold, and when I finished I coughed so hard I pulled a muscle in my ribs. ??????
It’s annoying to try so hard and get nowhere. I feel like I am going back in time, to 2016. People tell me that I need to be kinder to myself, to my body. I feel like I can’t sometimes- I want to push, to punish, to try harder, force myself, challenge myself, make myself do it.
That’s not the answer, but it has been my answer- and it worked in the past. Races are really all relative though, so who knows?! Athletic performance is always a bit of a crapshoot, haha.
So my next steps? Get a new, not two-year-old expired inhaler. And then we will see!
No one does it like you
Wow, so like a week of silence… Life got too busy, work kind of blew up in my face and I couldn’t deal with 1 more thing, at all for the past two weeks. I am hopefully coming out the other end of it, but yeahhh… Not fun. At all.
Also my allergies went completely off the rails and friends, I am suffering. Congested, incredible sinus pain, itchy upper palate, allergic coughing, eyes swelling shut and so itchy that I can’t even deal…Oh boy, I love it. Add this to work and I spent most of the week absolutely miserable.
But there is also the good: Weather! We had a crazy turnaround and had highs of 19-20 degrees this week. It felt incredible and sadly we are back to seasonal (still pretty decent) but on Wednesday it was downright HOT! Woah! I loved it. 🙂
Horses! Oats has been a total superstar!! Love my boy. We had a gymnastics jump lesson last Thursday (I hate gymnastics, so it was …Not that inspired, ha.) and then we had a really fun jump course on Saturday, with all sorts of crazy jumps! Not high, but definitely getting more consistent at the 2’6” -ish level heights. We also had a cavaletti jump at ‘A’ that really caught us out a few times, as well as a 1-ft circle jump that I biffed HARD by staring at it, hahaha. It was fun though!!
Sunday I went on a run with a work friend, and then went riding later. Oats has been really good, although I’m noticing his ‘halt’ has turned back into ‘halt and then start flying backwards…’ so we’re working through that this week. Lovely…It’s not a new issue for us, it crops up about once or twice a year, but kind of always bugs me. Oh horses!
This week was totally psycho with work, and by Thursday I was Over.IT. and tired. So tired. I didn’t really want to go have a jump lesson, but I know that when I go, I’m happier. More ‘me’ if that makes sense? So off I went! My allergies were a bit better yesterday, I still can’t wear eye makeup but yeah anyways. My jump lesson was really good! We worked over a small course, with the rocks as a single jump down the centre-line. Hahahha it was hilarious, Oats deked out and went around it the first time, crushing the traffic cone that was designed to guide us. HAHAH silly pony!
We had a blast! He was jumping really well by the end (he did get a bit flat at first, and kind of ‘blahhhhed’ over the first jump) but we had fun and it felt good later! He also kind of tried to half-jump over the rocks and jump off to the side. Oh pony. He’s such a good boy though, and it was a cool and fun lesson. See? I always do feel glad that I went and jumped, even though I spent my week feeling itchy, miserable, tired and stressed out.
My boy is always there for me. 🙂
Bitter winter/Familiar Ways
Had my jump lesson on Saturday- finally! I felt weirdly anxious all day, I guess because it was off my routine? I don’t normally lesson on Saturdays, and I ride earlier in the day as well. Instead I had my lesson and it was after lunch, at 12:30pm. That for some reason really threw me off my game.
Luckily Oats is a great little guy and he was not off his game, just me! Hahaha. He was very quiet- almost too quiet- because apparently he was playing too hard with his buddies in the field last week. Naughty pony! Oh well, he deserves his fun I guess, haha.
So we worked over a pretty simple course but identified a thing that I wasn’t too pleased with – a swap left to right going straight over a single fence. And darnit, if we weren’t always doing it? Shoot!! Oh well. We did work on picking up that correct lead on landing, by really focusing ‘right’ and it made us land…straight. Ha. Oh well, I guess if it works, it works? I also am sort of wondering if it isn’t my saddle that isn’t super awesome right now? I have been waiting for the saddle maker who made my saddle to come back from his snowbird holidays to fix it/pump more air into it…It had a twist and I wanted him to review how it was fitting on old Oats…Might be more than time, I think. ARGH.
Also his canter feels excellent as a hunter canter but wayyy sucky right now as a dressage canter. It has been making me feel very annoyed, ha. And wanting to just jump instead of working on the dressage canter…
And lucky for me, it landed on the day I take off from the barn!
Not so lucky for me- snow was sticking to the ground and coming down quite hard, in big flakes, blasting right into my eyeballs the entire way I was run-shuffling home. It was very cold, and slippery and the snow in my eyes was painful. ARGH.
The animals liked the snow a lot though! Gidget was tearing around in the field (I took her running in the field with me, since I could’t go for a regular run like I do on Wednesdays…the roads/sidewalks were slippery deathtraps). She does suffer from snoball feet though!
Tucker was unsure about the snow at first, and then he really got into it was was racing up and down the deck!
All in all, it looks very pretty today but I will be very happy for the snow to go, and for spring to come in earnest!
All is too much: Weekend recap
Funny, for a not-busy weekend it sure ended up being busy!
The weather was horrendous for most of the weekend. Winds of up to 90km/hr at my house, sideways rain, just so shitty. I went for a run in the AM on Saturday and after 2km of getting blasted backwards and sideways, I gave up after something hit my ear and hurt! I ran more interior routes and then headed home.
Friday we were lucky enough to do some fun Halloween-y activities, like pumpkin carving and making candy apples- the candy apples didn’t quite turn out like I thought (the candy slides off them and puddles on the tray…) Wouldn’t make it again but nice to try once.
We were going to do the big corn maze on Saturday after riding, but the weather was so awful that I ran horse errands instead (hay nets, grain, MSM for Oats). We are rescheduling for next Saturday as the weather has improved significantly this week. Oats was fun to ride on Saturday, can’t even really remember what we were working on (transitions? Probably transitions. It’s always transitions now.). Saturday night was board game night at the Board Game Cafe with the barn girls. Always a great time! 🙂
Sunday Ian helped me move jumps at the barn, a quick ride for Oats focusing on straightness at the canter with ‘small’ canter and ‘big’ canter, and going across the diagonal STRAIGHT (again, a big weakness). We were then off to Cobble Hill to Mile End Farm for his birthday lunch with his parents and a hike and a hot tub.
A nice end to a nice weekend. Couldn’t ask for more.
The weather lately has been HORRIBLE. Insane blasting winds (70km/h), freezing temps with a windchill of -8, and I am so over it. We almost never get weather like this?!
Anyways, it’s been making the trek out to the barn incredibly difficult. I know I was going through a rough patch before Xmas, and felt very unmotivated and found it hard to do anything. Run? Nope. Ride? In the dark, freezing cold? Nope. Shower? Nope. Gym? Nope. Work? Yes, but super angrily. Dinner? Nope. Breakfast? Nope…All I wanted to do was sit on the couch wrapped in a quilt and mope, for some reason. Oh and binge-eat as much shitty chocolate as I could choke down in one sitting. Yeah, a winning move.
Part of me fears that weird cold-situational depression is coming back with the freezing temperatures. UGH. So over it.
I had a good learning session with my equine counselor on Monday during the day, and I was still so frozen my ride after sucked. I couldn’t wait to get off, I was so cold my leg muscles were spasming. Fun fun! My pony was a good boy though, and with the wind blasting like a lunatic, he only had one spook.
Tuesday I had my dressage lesson and true to form, the weather was out of control bad. Blasting wind? Tree branches everywhere? Feral cats fighting in a tree? Screech owls having it out? Boy oh boy we had it all!
To be honest, the wild and wooly weather made it hard to focus on my lesson and actually hard to hear what my trainer was saying. It was SO windy. And effing freezing. It was a very intense lesson, funny enough not in the riding ‘sense’ but in the effort sense. Oats was a SAINT though. Didn’t bat an eye at all the craziness going on around him, and trust me he had ample opportunity to be a total dickhead about it. Cold, windy, lots of stuff blowing around hitting the arena= batshit horses. Luckily he was good as gold~
We worked on some lateral work at the walk, and then trot work getting them to stretch over their back in bend, and counter-bend, and then back to the bend, and counter-bend. It was a really good quality lesson, and I felt Oats get much looser by the end of it. Me on the other hand, pretty stiff!
When I got home, I was so cold I couldn’t warm up. I ended up going to sleep in a hoodie, and socks, and a third quilt on my bed (Hudson’s Bay wool blanket, so not a lightweight one either!). I took off the socks and hoodie, but the Bay blanket stayed, which is unheard of for me, I am a super hot sleeper and run warm all the time. I was FROZEN.
So over it!
Being ok with riding ok?
So, not a ton to report on the riding front. As I mentioned my jump lesson on Thursday was more of a ‘deal with the weird issue that is cropping up’ and that was dealt with…
Saturday he was ok, not great, just ok. My rides have certainly been feeling ‘blah’ lately so I rode, and we worked through some stuff and it was fine but I never really got that ‘ YES ‘ feeling that I am looking for. We also worked on some therapy- anxiety training after my ride, with Oats wearing a bareback pad and me getting led around on him, working on my breathing. It was good, and he was very cooperative. Bit by bit, I suppose.
I do still wonder if I am making progress with my anxiety? But it just isn’t something you can really ‘measure’ you know…
Sunday was a quickie ride, as we had a full day planned that consisted of floating at Thetis Lake (yeah summer is HERE!) and then going downtown for ‘Car-Free Day’ which was a blast! Oats was good, again not ‘great’ or anything to write home about. We worked on lumpy bumpy transitions, some awkward, some ok, nothing wonderful.
UGH though on our way back up to the barn, a pony was snoozing in the field (Elmo), and I laughed and was like oh cute Elmo, he look dead! Well, apparently Oats thought so too, and when Elmo got up, Oats LOST HIS SHIT I guess assuming Elmo had since risen from the dead…I was on a runaway who was losing his mind, and couldn’t decide if he should bolt up the hill, run sideways and jump over the fence, or c. what he actually did, which was run backwards into the blackberry bushes, snorting and freaking out. I leapt off, my water bottle went flying, and I managed to grab the reins back.
He was still snorting and freaking out, and we walked calmly back up to the barn.
I do have a lesson tonight, dressage, so we SHALL SEE!
Summer of Sarah: Rifflandia 2014
It’s come and gone! Rifflandia 2014 was a success!
I was lucky enough to be able to get a full pass and we enjoyed lots of music, from the night stages (Market Square on Thursday night) to the park pass Fri-Sun. It was exhausting, but good. I mean, it only comes 1X a year so why not?
My friend came from Vancouver to the Saturday park show and I was so glad. She loves good music, as do I, so it’s always great to have her stay with us.
Standouts include Death Cab for Cutie. I can’t get enough of them live, ever. They are my favourite band, hands down. And, I learned recently that Chris Walla would be leaving DCFC, leaving a significant gap to be filled. So, we watched his last performance with the band, a bittersweet but solid closing.
And you can check that out here
- Many to name: New Pornographers- ok but wanted more of their old stuff, and they played ALL their new stuff. Sigh!
- Dragonette- ok, a bit poppy for my liking.
- Airborne Toxic Event- GOOD. This is a solid band. Getting better all the time.
- Girl Talk- ok, not reaally my type of music but fun and upbeat. Can’t beat the spectacle of glitter/confetti/water guns/floating Earth ball/confetti balloons.
- Funk Hunters- good, but again not my type of music. Seems like there was a ton of electronic/dj/funk/dance/house this year and I’m not a fan.
- Serena Ryder- Excellent! Not loving her stuff on the radio, listen to her live. She belts it out!
- Zed’s Dead- ok, electronic dance-mix stuff. I don’t mind listening to some of it.
- Half Moon Run- you know, I thought I would like them more? I just…didn’t. I found their music really lacked a big ‘hook’ for me…It was kind of boring.
This year was a marked departure from last year’s Rifflandia, that featured a lot of big-name artists (Courtney Love, Wintersleep, Sloan, Death From Above 1979, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Stars, Mounties) to name a few…And I have to say I didn’t like it was much.
I will definitely go next year but maybe not the full pass.