Looking forward to 2015 (maybe)
|December 30, 2014||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
I think I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. Or at least, hoped would happen.
I’m still not exactly sure how, but I have a notepad filled with things I want to do, try, and accomplish in 2015.
It’s less of a roadmap, and more of a non-numbered connect the dots puzzle, but it’s something.
The obvious (horse of course! related)
Farley 50 mile ride, a commitment to dressage
A fifty every year is THE most important ride goal I have with Farley right now.
I’m nervous about getting a 50 this year because of some scheduling conflicts. I may only have 1 or 2 chances at it. If we don’t do a fifty this year, it doesn’t mean we won’t achieve a decade team….but every year I push a season 50 mile completion beyond her 20th year the odds are more and more against us.
The good news is that I may have (re)discovered a secret weapon to keep Farley going through her late teens…dressage.
Dressage was absolutely integral to us finishing our first 100 mile, and I think it’s the answer to achieving our decade team achievement.
It’s hard to describe the feeling that is telling that formalized dressage in the arena is THE key to future endurance seasons, but that feeling is equally as strong as the feeling over the last year that says Farley is not one of those horses that is “young-forever”.
At some point in the last year a switch flipped and she went from a horse that I wouldn’t have thought twice about doing a 100 mile on, to an “older” horse and made some management changes – despite her remaining more sound in the last 3 years than she has been over her entire career. In fact, as of about 6 months ago I had decided I probably wouldn’t do any more 100’s on this horse.
Now with dressage back into our regular work, I actually think it wouldn’t be a problem to ask for one or two more 100’s over the next couple years. Yes, my gut says that dressage is that important to her endurance performance.
I’ve learned to listen to my gut feelings. Bad things happen when I ignore them. So for now, dressage (and continuing to make sure she gets lightly ridden often) goes on the top of the priority list so we get that all important first-50-completion-of-the-season that means we qualified another year towards the decade team.
In addition….to my surprise, I find myself writing this sentence: a 100 in the next 1-2 seasons is not out of the question.
(The other important thing about doing some quality dressage work on Farley right now is that it will nicely prepare me for riding and schooling ML in the near future. )
Drive Farley in a cart
I have a cart. I have a horse that will probably pull a cart.
Except not for the first time in the mud and dark and 40 mph wind. So it hasn’t happened yet.
But it WILL. There’s a whole 365 days in 2015 to make it happen.
I’m hopeful that our cart driving will not only prepare her for a post-endurance career – but in the meantime it will be a suitable cross-training to support our decade team and 100 mile efforts. Unlike jumping which was the WRONG choice as an additional cross-training activity for dressage+endurance, I think pulling a cart is a good match both physically and mentally.
I will be totally fulfilled if I swing a leg over her and do a little walk-jaunt around the arena and hop off. Mission accomplished. I suspect we will both be braver and ready for a little more – but absolutely no pressure to do anything more than a single, very boring lap around the arena. At a walk. Since watching her buck and kick during turn out in the arena has me curled up in a fetal position just thinking about riding the baby horsey (and yet strangely excited by the whole possibility!).
The Less Obvious
Run an ultra
I know, this seems obvious. But I’m not so sure! I have a whole post coming up on some revelations I’ve had on rest intervals and work/rest ratios in training, and I’m thinking that if my goal is to run a 100 miler, maybe the best thing I could do is to take this year off. A year off in exchange for this year where I stretched myself to never before imagined distances and PR’s.
The problem is I don’t want my final ultra prior to a rest period to be a DNF….so that means I’m looking for an early 2015 ultra. I have some precious free weekends….and absolutely no ultras within a 3 hour driving distance exist on those weekends! I might have to go on a road trip or put on my own solo ultra on home trails.
Don’t worry, I’m still planning on doing some running…..because the next thing I want to do in 2015 is to:
Train for some really fast 5 and 10K’s
I’ve never run a 5k. I’ve heard some convincing arguments from people who do ultras (and those who don’t) on why it’s worthwhile to train and run a 5k well and I’m intrigued. It will be different, less time intensive, and I suspect I’ll learn something that will serve me well when I pick up ultras again.
Publish an article
I really really enjoyed writing the RnT essays (and yes, enjoyed the check that went along with winning). Although I could probably argue that I’m still eligible to compete once again in that contest (Graduation date and Submission deadline overlap), I think that 2 years in row is sufficient and it’s time for me to explore other options for getting published.
Without a contest deadline to keep me honest, I’m going to have to make writing a ready-to-publish article and (and finding somewhere to publish something) a high priority in order to make this happen.
Self publish a kindle book
I’m excited about this project and it will be related to the content that I post here – but in a different format and media. To write well I’ve realized I need to write often and write in different styles and medias. Yes, I hope I create something that people are willing to pay .99 cents or perhaps 1.99 for, but it will be worth it even if I never sell a single copy.
The Absolutely Obscure
Write an app
I know. Random. But I have some ideas – mostly endurance related – that I think would be fun. I have found I really enjoy coding (problem solving with a direct correlation to clear cut success is addicting) and instead of continuing to tweak (and break) this website, I’m going to try my hand at creating something useful.
Ummm yes. Even though this very statement seems like a contradiction in a post full of things I want to DO, I’m going to do LESS in the upcoming year.
- I’m training for 5K’s instead of increasingly longer ultras.
- I’m giving Farley 6 months off without a shred of guilt starting the middle of next year.
- ML isn’t going to be doing any sort of real work.
- More outside writing means less posts here, but probably the same time spent writing overall.
- Same goes for the app. I spend an inordinate amount of time tweaking this site on the back end, doing little changes most of you probably don’t even notice. That time will now be spent doing something a little more useful :).
Additionally I’m doing less of those things that aren’t my *priorities. Which means the house will be dirtier, I will buy my fruits and veggies prewashed and cut, and some days I’ll dig barely dirty socks out of the hamper.
*which are, if you’ve been in a dark hole this entire time while reading my blog: running, riding, w’riting
I’ve been seeing an increasing amount of articles discuss being busy as a type of addiction. Born from a high that occurs when you accomplish a task. I have a tendency towards busy, and I’m rarely happy once I achieve it. So the motto is to do less, procrastinate more, and add some more R’esting to my other 3 R’s.
Rediscover some old loves
There are a couple of things that I *used* to do that fell by the way-side once I started vet school. Embroidery and knitting and music. They are the things I do in my down time and I feel they are a very important balance to my more physical hobbies.
It’s impossible for me to relax in the evenings and not do anything….unless I have a hoop or some knitting needles in my hand.
When I’m stuck at home and feel too antsy to sit and work with my hands, playing music is an alternative to doing housework.
They are good, healthy things to have in my life and when they happen, I know I have an appropriate rest/work ratio because they are the first to get pushed to the side when I’m “busy”.
I think I can finally say, “Happy New Year’s” and mean it.