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.

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Love my boy

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. 🙂

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I went to the beach- 20 degrees, can you believe 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!!

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Got myself a latte at a new coffee shop nearby: Pretty eh?

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. 🙂

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The Grand Banana: MEC race #5 recap~

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Halloween Half- Marathon! Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria.

Finally, a race I can be proud of!! After a slew of really uninspiring races, races that blew up in my face, races that left me feeling pretty lacklustre about racing and my athletic running ability…I pulled this one out and it felt GREAT!

I wasn’t too enthused about it- to be honest, I was very anxious. My last  half marathon (MEC in June at Royal Roads) was just horrible. I felt like dying, was unsure about why I couldn’t breathe while I was running, and was just feeling concerned and a bit worried about how this was going to go. Was I going to have to walk, gasping for breath? Feeling like I was going to collapse?

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The day was PHENOMENAL! Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria.

I did take the entire week off running, and started toning it down quite early last week- shorter runs, taking more days off, making it easier. Not gonna lie, taking the week off from running last week was TOUGH. I felt antsy, anxious, sluggy and like…What if this didn’t pay off? What then? I took a week off, for nothing? (I know a week off in the grand scheme of things is A-Ok! and I needed the rest for my legs, but try telling your brain that).

Anyways, I took time off running, took it easy, went to the corn maze on Saturday with my husband and friend, and didn’t drink. All nice things, and it was incredibly beautiful on the weekend. A kind of beauty that makes me want to live outside haha.

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Gatorade break for me. Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria.

The morning was cold and I was kind of second-guessing my long-sleeves and shorts combo but I didn’t want to get too hot running, as I was going to be out there for awhile and it was supposed to be 17 degrees as the high for the day. Incredible!

And we’re off! I set out with a goal- try for under 5 min/km. Too ambitious? Maybe but I was just grasping at straws here. My first km felt kind of hard, but not really? 4:48/km. Hm…

But the beauty of it was…It just kept flowing. I felt light as a feather, light as air. I ran and ran, and thought about how I could do it forever.

My legs felt good, so good they wanted to be challenged.

I got caught up a bit in the gravel sections (so slow and sloggy) but counseled myself to run carefully here and pick it up when I could. Don’t try to push it too much on the ‘no grip’ sections, it isn’t worth the energy. Same for the running across the grass sections.

At 8km I had to take my shoe off to shake gravel out of it. GReeeeat….This would typically derail me bigtime, but I shook it off (literally) and kept running.

I felt happy, it was getting tough but I could do it. I was doing it. I could meet the challenge! I felt like I could do this, and then I could do even more. It was a fabulous feeling and one that has been missing from my races for a year or more. I was smiling, I felt good and I was happy.

At the finish, I was running with a young guy (who totally beat me at the end, ha) and we finished, turned to each other, and gave each other a high-five. 🙂 That’s what racing is for me- what I had been missing for so long. That purity, that feeling of fun, and freedom.

Thanks again to the excellent team at MEC, and the well organized (if a little insane) race. Good snacks, safe course and a great cheering section. I was even lucky enough to be able to go out for brunch with my husband (who ran an AMAZING race) and our friend who also battled it out to complete a solid 10k.  A great day.

Oktoberfest at the Victoria Public Market

Last year we went to Stein & Dine at the Victoria Public Market and had a blast! It was a lot cheaper last year ($35/tix) and this year the price practically doubled 😦 at $50/tix but we went anyways and it was still a really fun time!

There were beers, ciders, the world’s smallest sausage- a micro-sausage? And fairly reasonable portions of pork schnitzel. I enjoyed ciders from Spinnakers (the pear cider was ok but boring, the raspberry-apple was great) and a Pumpkinhead beer from Fernie Brewing Company.

Our friends came and we all really liked this year’s entertainment- it was definitely beefed up from last year. The German dancers did the traditional log-cutting dance, the slap-dance, and this crazy move where they linked arms and swung these more petite German female folk dancers in this insane centrifugal force move. It was nuts! And VERY popular!

Hahah.

Not a late night but certainly a fun one!

Saturday I went to see how Oats was doing, and his nose had completely cleared up, though he still had a cough…He was quite lethargic though, and maybe I will chalk that a bit up to it being unusually warm out for October- it’s been 19-20 degrees everyday! Isn’t that crazy! I rode a little, nothing too much just to feel him out a bit.

Sunday, I went back and Oats had a lot more energy. I noticed that the evening feeder had both not seen my note on the dry-erase board about Oats having his dinner grain already in the feed bucket (it was his last day of meds, and I wanted to make SURE he got the right baggie of grain) and also didn’t look inside his grain bucket when she was feeding…So he got double-dinners that night.

I was kind of annoyed but I bet Oats was NOT complaining!

He had a lot of energy on Sunday. Tons! He still had a cough, but he was zipping around like his tail was on fire. We cruised over a few of the jumps set up in the outdoor a bunch of times, five max I believe, and did the barrels once too. I didn’t want to push him too hard, good mood notwithstanding, because he was just coming back from his infection…

He was very sweaty after the ride, big fur coat coming in with very unseasonably warm temperatures= white foam sweat on his chest???

He got a sponge down and some apples, and I’ve called the vet to tell them that he still has a bit of a cough – they recommended wetting his hay for the duration – so that’s my next course of action.

I’m glad the infection has cleared out of his snout.

And next weekend, weather and knee injury permitting, I am thinking seriously about running to the barn. Nuts? Maybe!

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.

Jesus.

He was still snorting and freaking out, and we walked calmly back up to the barn.

Horses….

I do have a lesson tonight, dressage, so we SHALL SEE!

Mahalo!

Sooo the countdown is on- T-minus one day until I fly to Hawaii tomorrow!!! I CAN’T WAIT!

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Kauai

I will be putting this blog on another week’s hiatus, Oats gets a week of holidays to himself and so do I. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so glad we booked this. Yes, the Canadian dollar is sinking faster than the Titanic, but you know what? Life is too short, and I would rather have time than money right now anyways. Time to enjoy myself, have some adventures, try awesome island fruit, drink pineapple wine (maybe) and rum!

Not only am I flying to Hawaii for a holiday, but the day I fly back on a red-eye, I hop on the bus to audit the William Fox- Pitt clinic. Can you believe it? I’m the luckiest girl around these days (now if all my work stuff would suddenly all clear up, then I could relax a little more..). I spend the weekend I get back auditing the clinic with friends, how fun!?!

And now for a little Oats recap- I rode him Wednesday as a short hack, and it was better than last week’s hack (well, because my foot cooperated and didn’t hideously cramp up) and we cruised over a few small x-rails and verticals. I was struggling a bit with my eye being pretty off, and funny enough Oats is really going for those ‘out of stride’ distances, where I am used to the ‘hold hold hold ok GO!’ method he normally goes for, so you guessed it…Got left behind a bunch!

And that theme sort of continued on Thursday’s lesson, but we got a MUCH better ‘showjump’ canter and I rode his out of stride jumps smoothly (for the most part, though I still actually got left behind two or three times??).

We even did this crazy jump-a skinny- on an angle!  I was like WTF is this? It is something eventers do I gather, because I sure have never jumped anything like it. Surprisingly it rode really well every time we approached it.

The best jump on course I believe! Funny last week I was saying it had been a long time since we’d done a skinny- and we did one- and then this week, it’s not only a skinny but we jump it on an angle? I was SO sure we were going to crash into the standards, or I’d take one out with my foot! Oats was so honest about it, and was like ‘jump on an angle? Sure, whatever’ and that’s why I love that little bratty pony so much!

So, all in all good and we’re definitely learning a lot. Love riding, and I am DEFINITELY looking forward to my holiday in a tropical climate.