MEC Race 1 of 2018: The Tape Breaker~

Boy we got LUCKY this year. The morning couldn’t have been nicer! Sun shining, warm, just an overall fabulous day for a run.

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Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria photographers.

Compared with last weekend (which was absolutely horrible) I was feeling downright happy to be getting up early for yet another race. I wasn’t going to race this one, as I am attempting to be strategic (ha right, I know) in my race efforts.

This means last week I:

Ran my legs into the ground, and boy do I MEAN it. Running to work, treadmill work, hills on Saturday and then my MEC ‘race’ on Sunday (10k at medium effort, still relaxed to talk).

And during the race I had a great time actually! My quads felt pretty trashed- thanks hills- but my cardiovascular was going fine. Psychologically I thought it was going to be hard to not want to ‘race’ race it…But my legs were tired so I didn’t mind too much.

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Feeling good! Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria photographers.

We wrapped up with a 49:?? which is a fine effort to practice at. And as I said, the weather was so awesome that I was smiling, the volunteers made me laugh so hard and it was a nice day. My friends ran fantastic races too, both meeting their goals of achieving a personal best in the 5k and 10k. Whoop!!! We even met at the barn after and rode together briefly. Who has friends that you can run with and then meet later at the barn? It’s the best 🙂

The only thing that I found annoying was the silly lineup to get nutrition after (bananas, granola bars, etc.) people were in a lineup that wrapped around the entire gym. WTF? Just go in, grab, and gtfo. Which is what I did, ha.

Also Muscle Mlk wasn’t there and I was sad. I missed them!

But a great day and a fun race. What a perfect time to run.

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Getting past the past

Man, I am tired. After a very nice and fairly relaxing weekend (we made and decorated sugar cookies!) and went to watch some live music including Christmas carols at the Breakwater Bistro, it was straight into a rather hellish Monday at work…Ugh.

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I only have 4 more days. I can do this. I find this time of year really stressful and tiring. I sometimes have a hard time getting in the ‘Christmas Spirit’ TM but I am taking it day by day and hopefully things will turn around.

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I’m not kidding. We made & decorated a LOT of cookies!! Good times with a good friend.

In the meantime, I am just tired and kind of dragging myself to the barn to ride. My rides feel kind of short and half-assed, and yet the work Oats is giving me is really GOOD?! Go figure eh? We have been focusing on transitions (transitions, transitions, transitions..) and I am really happy with how he is going.

It’s cold though. And dark. And just…blah.

I can’t go on. I’ll go on. We have a dressage lesson today, and my friend with her horse will be joining us- I’m looking forward to seeing what she learns today!

No jumps and all poles and bending make me feel something something

Ohh yeah, I didn’t update this from my jump lesson on Thursday because it ended up NOT being a jump lesson, instead more like an exercise in frustration with poles! UGH!

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Miss jumping outside, and well, can’t we just just jump it? haha.

We did this crazy zig-zag course with like 10 metre canter turns and wow it sucked and we were bad at it. Like, really bad. Oats was dragging me through my outside hand, and for probably the first time ever my trainer was shouting at me to halt and then canter. Halt? Oats? His preferred gait is ‘standing around doing nothing’ so I was pretty surprised. But it was true…I was getting dragged and he was getting heavy and together we were going nowhere.

So the poles did not get put to jumps because we were kind of sucking at it so hard. I was sweating, Oats was sweating and it was just a lot of work and not the really fun type of work, the really hard type of work.

I then went home and pondered on it. Not fun but hard. Hm.

And practiced it a bit on Saturday (getting schooled again by the idea of a dressage canter and not holding a line to a pole correctly..ha). I let it go a bit on Sunday and schooled some easy lines to the World’s Smallest Xrails. Another trainer or kid likes to set jumps that are so small that I think Oats finds them hard to see, let alone jump! But I was also feeling kind of lazy (weekends, and a long run will do that to you). I left them and we schooled them.

All in all, ok. But man…Feeling like a plateau in my riding for sure. ARGH.

There’s no one new around you

A long weekend, and a pretty good one! I have to say that as the days get shorter, I get much less enthused about…running, riding, and trying to fit things in that aren’t my couch, or Netflix. Sighhh

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Oh well there were activities this weekend to force myself off the couch, like:

Riding Oats on Saturday and doing a fairly technical serpentine exercise, with transitions at ‘C’ on each loop of the serpentine. Kept us focused, and I eventually went up to walk-canter-walk for the transitions. A very good one to keep in the back pocket!~!

Went to watch friends ride at the Jane Stone Winter Series jump clinic on Sunday- they rode excellently, it made me feel both nervous and jealous! Wow what a technical challenge. I also made great use of my in-laws hot tub and ran up Cobble Hill mountain too. A good day, despite the blah and dreariness.

Made cheese (ricotta) with Ian on Monday. Fun! And bonus, he made a great cannelloni with it too. Yum yum.

And yesterday back at work, but I did go riding and schooled some small fences, with trot fence gymnastic (my personal nemesis, like oxers). I even did a trot-in xrail, to a one-stride vertical that I hopped off to set up, and accidentally set at 2’6”! And Oats was foot-perfect! YEAH!

I did tell Vicki last week that I was feeling like I needed to start challenging myself a little bit more, and I guess that was it!

Frozen, freezing, froze

UGH. Mostly just a rant about how terrible the weather was this weekend, AND last night. FREEZING.

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Last week.

I don’t really want to ride, or run, at all in the deep-freeze. Plus we live on the island and it’s never supposed to get this cold?!! What gives. I rode grudgingly on Saturday and it was pretty miserable. Oats was good but I was just…stiff and cold. Went for a run on Saturday after riding and almost died. It was HORRIBLE. I was almost crying it was so miserable. Freezing, rain, toes frozen, face windburned and chapped…UGH.

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Practically this week. wow. 

Sunday was marginally better and I had a fun ride where I got to jump some small jumps with a ground crew (my friend Sarah’s friend Christi was visiting and set for us very nicely) and then she rode Sarah’s horse too! A fun day all around. And I wasn’t bitterly frozen.

I then hoofed it to some hills and ran a decent hill loop (and then wondered why my legs feel so tired today…) and called it quits on exercise. Husband and I ended the evening with a footbath each, with foot soak and peppermint foot lotion. Ha, the things that make you happy in the winter.

Monday I had an equine counselling session, and I rode briefly beforehand. It was FREEZING. I caught my breath going down to the indoor it was so awful. My eyes were watering just walking around. Terrible. I toughed it out for a bit, but just couldn’t warm up. Probably the coldest night I have felt of all the deep freeze nights last week. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

And today? Ran to work and it was pleasantly chilly but I was overdressed (afraid of freezing like Saturday/yesterday) and had to take my hat off I was sweating so much. Harumph.

Tuesday dressage, and no Thur jump lesson this week.

All is too much: Weekend recap

Funny, for a not-busy weekend it sure ended up being busy!

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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.

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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! 🙂

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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.

Apple Day at Sea Cider

Despite the absolute horror that was the end of the week with Oat’s near-death experience, I managed to have a pretty nice weekend.

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Saturday, Oats and I had a very low-key dressage lesson. This was also when I noticed his cough was pretty terrible, so I tried to keep it very light and not hard for him. I was very pleased with his work though, he likes having a job (mostly).

We then zipped up island to my in-laws farm, to pick pears and plums! It was great, and there were SOOO many. 100’s of lbs of plums and pears! Overwhelming! They also showed me the lovely plaque they made for Buster Bunny, to mark his final resting place at their farm. It made me feel sad, but also very appreciative of them as a part of my family.

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Sunday was another busy day- I had every intention of running before meeting the girls at the barn for the Apple Day event at Sea Cider, except I ….didn’t get up and slept in. Ha. We had a fabulous time and really enjoyed ourselves. The cider was great, we even got to try fresh-pressed apple juice!! Food was phenomenal- standouts were the squash risotto, pork belly with potato/cauliflower gratin, apple toffee bread pudding, and octopus on bannock. YUM.

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I then rode Oats out in the field, to see if a non-dusty environment would improve his cough. Spoiler: It didn’t. His cough was TERRIBLE. 😦 I started getting quite concerned, so I called the vet on Monday and had him check out Oats. Good news was that all his vitals were fine, but to give him time off (the week) to recover and monitor him.

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By the time I got home after Sea Cider and riding, it was after 4pm! Time to get ready for our first time out to Sult Pierogy Bar, where they were holding a special tasting event with Parkside Beer. ‘Dawn till Dusk’ event and it was SO GOOD. Not cheap- $45, but so much food, two full cans of beer?! Lots of samples pairing with some really outstanding dishes- trout with lemon buerre blanc, smoked tomato bisque with grilled cheese pierogy ‘sandwich’, cherry smoked duck breast on top of the hottest pierogy I have ever eaten…Oh man.

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I am definitely going again. Thumbs up!!! 🙂

And now for this week, I am going out to the barn to monitor Oats,  handwalk/graze him (he loves it) and take his temperature. All lessons cancelled, horse show on Saturday cancelled. OH well!