A weekend of trails
|January 28, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
I adore small animal emergency. I won’t even bore you with the panic I feel of only discovering the part of vetmed that I truly think I could happily practice as a career half way through my senior year, in a field I’m barely competent in. Oh no. Those aren’t happy thoughts at all. Instead we will turn our attention to the 4 days in a row that I got off.
Well, let’s just call it 3 days. Because Saturday was spent making up a sleep debt incurred through working six shifts in 4 days, the last of which was an overnight that saw me walking into the sunshine, a free women, at 8am Saturday morning.
Wanna know the hardest part about being an ultrarunner AND an endurance rider? It’s not WHETHER my off days will be spent hitting the trail, it’s HOW.
Most of the time I never really know whether it’s Earl Grey, ipod, and a pair of running shoes, OR a certain pair of fuzzy brown ears.
Sunday running won by a nose and it was Tess that joined me on the trail in Oroville – figured it was best to get my “wililes” out before dealing with Farley’s. I had a FABULOUS run – it was the first non-recovery run (ie a long run or speed work that actually requires some mental staying power) that I felt 100% mentally in the game. Just one more thing to let me know that a couple months of focusing on the 5k was the right decision. Oh by the way….it’s not hurting my distance game either – I ran the 10.5 mile *figure eight trail 13 min faster than last month.
*For you locals, the figure 8 is this: park at either kelly ridge/saddle dam lower trail head OR the upper smaller one next to the visitor center gates. The figure 8 is formed by running DOWN the trail from the upper trail head to the lower one, doing the loafer creek loop, and then running UP the ROAD from the lower trail head to the upper.
BTW, Tess is getting fat.
I can’t imagine why.
Monday had grand plans. The consisted of a morning visit with Funder and her adorable little one, and then squeezing in a conditioning ride on Farley yet-to-be-determined trails (I as bad about deciding what trail I’m going to drive to as I am about deciding whether it’s going to be a ride or a run).
But Earl Grey, treading a very fine line as his THIRD strike in a month had other ideas. And instead I spent the afternoon in a tow truck being towed several HOURS home.
Note to my father: see how I have positioned myself as far away from traffic as possible, BEHIND the guard rail? On the phone I was told to “get back into the car”. And I was like “UUUHHHHH….NO. Good general advice. Not the best advice in this situation.
Earl Grey goes to the mechanic on Thursday. Beyond oil changes and the like, this car hasn’t seen a mechanic since I first bought it 120 THOUSAND MILES ago. So, perhaps an assessment is in order, even if it’s just a radiator hose.
Now, I see the fear in my Dear Readers eyes. Did Mel get to go riding?????? Or is she cursed to lament the long hours and zero days off for the next 2 1/2 weeks?
Yesterday I snuck away from home (well, as much as anyone can sneak with a long bed 3/4 ton truck with a 3 horse slant in tow….) and hit the trail with Farley.
At first, when I ended up only having about 2 hours before sunset I questioned whether the 12 miles I had planned on the Oroville *Lollipop loop was worth it. In general I try not to let total drive time exceed planned ride time.
*Again for the locals – same trails as described above, except instead of going back via the road, you travel the same trail up and down to the upper trail head, thus making a lollipop shape. Mileage is 12-13 miles depending on your exact route.
But then I looked at the facts.
1. Last weekend instead of the 10 miles originally planned, Farley and I only did 7.
2. The last long ride (ie double digits) prior to that was October? November.
Based on this, 12 miles was actually PERFECT. And for perfect I’ll drive whatever distance :).
Farley and I had a lovely ride.
I took some pics at the beginning, and then it was all business. Farley was a little “greener” than usual. I realized we hadn’t been out by ourselves at an “away from home” trail for a long time. Year? It was used to be a very lonely sport has turned into a very social one for us.
Once again I “rode the horse I had” instead of the one I expected. I was reassuring, took a stronger leadership role than usual, and didn’t push as much as usual.
It was the first time I got to ride my freeform on serious “real trails” and once again I had to figure out how to *really* ride the hills and footing and not rely on the saddle. By the end of the 2 hours, I couldn’t even feel the saddle underneath me – it was if it was just me and the horse and the saddle was completely invisible. It was an incredibly intimate experience and I can’t wait to repeat it. The next ride will be in the 3 hour range. I’m really curious how the saddle will continue to perform over longer durations and miles for both me and Farley. For something I never thought would work with *this* horse I couldn’t be happier so far.
Now enjoy some pretty pictures!
No “what I published X years ago” because I’m late for my shift!