Winter 2017-2018 IRL
|February 2, 2018||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
Can you believe winter is over?
Can you believe that I’m actually saying that?
It’s true. This winter came and went like a blink, in part because the weather was so mild as compared to the last couple of years. But, some of my strategies of winter prep this year also had something to do with it, so let’s spread the credit a little further than just Mr. Weather.
I’ve defined winter ’round here as November through January. It’s a perfect time for….
- …Projects and sorting through gear
- …arena rides and occasional weekend long rides.
…lots of trail running.Let’s change this to “taking a sabbatical”.
- ….Enjoying the home life. Writing, reading, and watching it rain out of the living room while sipping hot tea. Playing the piano and getting some fiddling done! Focusing on family time and being present at home and brainstorm ideas to stay connected the rest of the year.
- ….race lotteries, alternative races, and planning the upcoming seasons. It’s an exciting season that I have planned!
- ….days off during the week.
Before we get into the riding and running and the other typical IRL stuff of endurance training, I wanted to share some of the accomplishments of this winter.
Throughout the year I wrote down projects that could be done during the winter instead of squandering the good weather of Spring-Fall, knowing that the winter would be a perfect time for organization and sorting. This worked REALLY WELL. My horse gear is clean, organized, and ready to go at the stable. One wall of my garage is now dedicated to outside gear and packing for an outdoor adventure is as easy as “shopping” off of my shelves and racks. Not all the house projects got done (such as hanging art and pictures), but that’s what the transition month of February is for. Lesson learned. If an obsessive cleaning and sorting project can be delayed until the winter, that’s the way to do it!
I planned days off during the week. Normally work is slower and in addition to getting some time around the holidays off, usually there are a couple of other days per month that work will be cancelled due to lack of scheduled surgeries. This happened very rarely this year and I was very glad I had made sure I would get some down time this season by taking an extra 1-2 days off a month. They never worked out quite how I intended – long rides on the trail – but they still made a HUGE difference in my mental self-care since I was able to stay on top of chores and responsibilities that need daylight and daycare to get done. Having planned days off during the winter to look forward to made the biggest difference this year. They span the time November through February and it is because of those days I couldn’t WAIT until winter was here. I discovered in my early 20’s that the nicest thing I can do for myself isn’t a fancy meal, a new car, or anything that can be bought with money. It’s a day off in the middle of the week.That’s still true more than a decade later.
I’m not going to blab on and on about my sabbatical because I already did that here.
I didn’t do much playing music, or watching it rain this year. But I did write a book. And focused (successfully) on spending quality time with my family. We are going to take monthly “mini vacations” this year and I’ve started writing letters to family members and friends again.
Let’s talk about the R’s of this last winter.
November 2017-January 2018
Riding didn’t happen for me this winter, despite the mild winter. In reality after I got done dealing with a very stressful work situation (still not completely resolved, however I know what the resolution is going to be as of the end of December, even if it takes a couple of months to be official), rehabbing my running injury, and taking my sabbatical seriously I didn’t have a lot of left over energy – mental or physical – for the ponies. This is still a reasonable expectation for future winters.
Farley got out for a a short trail ride, both ponies got handled for farrier appointments and the occasional mash.
That’s it. That’s OK.
Assuming that all goes as planned this tax season ML will go back to the trainer this spring (May) for another 30-60 days of training and early endurance conditioning miles. I ended up with some extra “play” money that is not to be invested, saved, or used to pay off debts. It is to be used to spend on myself and I can’t imagine a more fun way to treat myself than to have ML get tuned up and given some time that I don’t have to give her right now.
The only caveat will be if something funky happens with my taxes. I’m self-employed in a two income household with some other complications that come with the amount of student loan debt I have yada yada and there’s a certain amount of napkin math that goes into planning taxes and breath-holding to see if we got it right. I will NOT owe money to the IRS and WILL pay in full, so gotta jump through that hoop before I can really believe that ML gets to go off in May.
November I spent NOT running. December I got cleared for some running as long as it didn’t hurt, and I started PT in early January. There’s no stress fracture, a bit of arthritis at the pubic symphysis, and a groin muscle strain that my physical therapist believes is probably referred pain/injury from the hip joint capsule as a result of not having normal range of motion in that hip. In fact, I don’t have normal normal range of motion in either hip, but the right is worse than the left.
Bottom line is that I spent a lot of time not running this winter, doing lots of PT, and while I’m not completely pain free at the end of long runs, I’m getting there. My physical therapist is AWESOME.
Plans this year are to run the Loco Go Big or Go Home 100k first weekend of June, and then run the Tahoe 100 miler 6 weeks later. Tahoe is my Western States 100 qualifier for this year, which will allow my to enter the WS100 lottery for the third time in December 2018 for the 2019 race.
Tess has been joining me on my runs because…..Loco allows dogs!!!! She has to have a note from her vet (…mmm….wonder where I can find one of those?), and when she crosses the finish line with me she gets her very own medal! As long as she looks like she’s doing well in training, I’ll do some blood work on her in May to make sure her liver and kidney function is good (she’s seven years old this year, so not so young any more!) and she will be joining me on that adventure as long as it’s not too hot that race weekend.
Here was my running break down for this season:
November: no runs
December: 3 runs, 5.5 miles total. All Easy
January: 8 runs, 1 powerhike. Running mileage was 29.5 miles total with 1 long run of 9.5 miles. Most were 2-5 miles in length, and easy paced.
February – the transition month. This is the time for me to finish up any loose ends and projects to make sure Spring, Summer, and Fall go smoothly. February is a short month, the weather can be ANYTHING so best to take things as they come, and time is tight because a good portion of the month is spent doing financial planning, tax prep, and finalizing 2017 stuff. I love being self-employed, I love being a vet…but boy does it make my financial life incredibly complicated.
How did winter treat you? Any lessons learned or proud accomplishments you want to share?