Thursday, June 26, 2008

Done and done!

Whew. Trailer is packed, truck is packed...except for the extra waters, why do I always forget those??? Just finished showering and in the process of waiting for my hair to dry somewhat, redecorated myself with henna.

The quest to break myself continues...slammed my left index finger and right pinkie in the sliding window of the trailer yesterday trying to get it unstuck. The end result is some painful brusing whenever I clench my fists. That'll get me to "ride light" this weekend. Mimi, no pulling!

Then, my coupe de grace was this evening, carrying the folding table out to the truck, I wasn't paying attention when I lifted it and clipped my big with the edge of the table. Goodbye, 1/4 chunk of toenail off my right big toe. :((( Took almost 15 minutes to get it to stop bleeding...Wonder Dust for horses works really well on people, too.

Well, I had been waffling on what shoes to wear this weekend...Terrains or Columbias. This makes the decision for me, because I think my Columbias are going to be too tight in the toe area, whereas the Terrains are super wide. I guess I have an excuse to avoid running now? Heh.

3:30AM wakeup call...time to get to bed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday: Stress

Definitely miss those two extra days. *sigh* Glad for the extra money, though. Means I can go raid Horses Dacor for toys. Already have a new purple sponge on hold to pick up from them. :)

I' ve got half the grocery shopping done...just need to go to the regular grocery store in a few minutes. And then I've got to clean my tack, and start sorting stuff in the garage. At least packing the trailer doesn't take quite as long anymore. And it's already been washed out in the back, I just need to reapply a fresh layer of Gorilla Tape to the gaps in between the mats.

And I seem to be doing my best to break myself. First, I jammed my finger, nail first, into the door handle trying to get out of the Suburban today. *sigh* Blonde moment. Broke the fingernail off, though, down to the bed, which is a really weird sensation, since I've gotten so used to longer nails. Grrr. That's goingt o probably throw my writing on my machine off at school tomorrow, what with the bandaid and all. *more sigh*

And then, for some reason, my left shoulder is really bothering me today. Any time I try to lift something forward, it hurts. The weird thing was, I never had any specific injury that would cause me problems. The only thing I can possibly think of it when, a couple years ago, Mimi spooked and ran me into a tree and I ended up flipping over backwards.

We were grazing alongside a wash, all relaxed-like, which meant I had dropped my stirrups and was holding the reins by the buckle. Genius, me. Something spooekd her front behind and she majorly panicked. Apparently she dug 8" deep divots in the dirt, she launched herself forward so hard. Unfortunately, she launched right into a very low-branched palo verde tree. She had just enough room to scrape under the branches, but I didn't.

I threw my arms up to protect my face, out of pure was one of those things that I never even had a chance to really grab the reins, I was already screwed and in 'survival mode.' The branches stopped any forward movement on my part, and as she scooched forward, I got shoved up into the branches, then flipped over backwards and dropped into the dirt.

At the time, I thought the worst injuries I acquired were a concussion, a cracked bone near my knuckles, and some sprained fingers. Now I'm wondering if I didn't wrench that shoulder in the process of tangling/flipping? It's an off-and-on problem and I'm hoping goes 'off' in the next two days! Otherwise, I'd better hope really hard the Mimi doesn't pull. That, and it'll affect my ability to wear my Camelbak, which I always drink better with. Hmmmm. Time to go rustle up some Motrin.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

One Week of Ride Prep, Saturday-Tuesday

Countdown to Ride Day…Devil Dog 50, Williams, AZ

Saturday, 6/21

Medium-workout day. About 8 very hot miles in the San Tans on one of the ponies’ favorite loops. Lots of trottable single tracks and a few hills. Mimi’s a happy girl, despite her best efforts to destroy the inside of my trailer with her impatient kicking. Grrrr.

Sunday, 6/22

Final ride. All legs are still attached. We only did about 4 miles, and it was hot, Hot, HOT! I was wilted at the end, and went through two water bottles just in that short time. Too lazy to fill my Camelbak for that short ride. That, and some of the muscles around my left shoulder blade are sort of tweaked, and I’m trying to keep stuff off it until the ride. School is not helping, the way I sit at my machine, especially if I’m being lazy, puts a lot of pressure on the area.

Monday, 6/23

I’ve really lost some of my getting ready time this week. I’m helping a friend out by pet-and-babysitting for a couple of days, Sunday evening through Tuesday evening. She’s taking her daughter up for an NAU freshmen orientation, and her 13-year-old didn’t really want to go along, so she asked me if I’d be willing to watch him and their two Schnauzers, whom I’ve already sat for during the past three summers. Being of the “poor, broke college student” inclination, I agreed.

Unfortunately, this means I lose two days of my week for packing the trailer, which is now sitting in the street in front of my house for the week. Gotta cram everything into Wednesday and Thursday now.

Tuesday, 6/24

Williams is going to feel so good, weather-wise, in comparison to Phoenix. 79* as compared to 109* here right now. However, the prediction of 87* on Saturday is slightly worrisome, as it is high elevation up there – 6500’ – and at that height, 87* can be really warm, as it’s closer to the sun. I hope the rumors about natural water along with ride-provided water on the trail are true. Might actually need my sponge for once.

I’m really looking forward to the ride. Our farrier Patrick will be taking his new horse Clark up for his first ride, and is entered in the 25 mile LD. We’re driving up together, since he lives right along the way, about twenty minutes from the barn.

I emailed Patty Danley, fellow endurance rider and ABC distributor yesterday for a Redmond’s Salt order. Patty was one of the first people I met at my first AERC ride, and we were camped right across from her. She was so helpful in answering all my newbie questions and really welcoming me to the sport. Well, she’s starting her new mare, a Doc baby, at this ride, and asked if she could head out with us at the start, since we always start a few minutes after the mob. I told her we’d love to have her join us…it’s nice to be able to return favors in any way I can after everything she’s helped me out with.

That’s one of the things I really love about AERC…coming from of the show world, distance riders are so incredibly friendly, welcome, and accommodating in comparison. Every ride I’ve been to, I’ve always made at least one new friend, and have been fortunate to camp next to wonderful neighbors.

I’ve at least got my packing and shopping lists made, so it’ll just be some intense work tomorrow and Thursday to get everything packed and ready. That’s the unfortunate thing about having 6 months in between rides…in that time, it’s harder to keep the trailer neat and organized.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Results of an evening photo session

"pete and repeat" - can you tell them apart? (mimi's on the right)




Sunday, June 1, 2008

Summer is here to stay

A much more productive weekend this weekend, horse-wise. Beamer really had his head together this weekend, even on Saturday, which is normally his rather weebly day. Both ponies were in total ride-mode - Beamer was very bold and forward, so much that he wanted to lead the entire ride. None of us were complaining. And Mimi shocked me - instead of being in ultra-competitive mode, she was instead in "conserve and naturally rate thyself" mode, meaning she was a total push-button (well, for the pony) blast to ride. Soft, light, not pulling at all...t'was very unnatural. She must be lulling me into a false sense of security.

Unfortunately I didn't get any pics...I'm still futzing around with my saddle packs, trying to figure out how to balance minimalist with function. Always tougher in the summer when the need to carry pony water arises. However, I don't want to carry too much stuff, I feel bad enough making the pony pack my butt around.

We got our heat conditioning in this weekend, that's for sure. Say it all together now: "Good Tevis training!" Saturday we did the bigger loop, which is a great mix-up of trail with sand washes, trottable singletracks, some technical ups and downs and rocks, and climing - both longer and fairly short and intense. It's one of my favorite trails in the park, as it's very interesting and there are about half a dozen variations you can do: make it longer or shorter, run it in both directions (we usually start east, go west, then loop back around to the east in a clockwise direction), take different trails out to the back loop, take different trails back to the trailhead from the back keeps thing interesting for us and the horses.

It was warm yesterday, but I actually wasn't feeling it until today. I did really well - over about 3-1/2 hours, I drank my entire 70oz Camelbak of water, as well as a 16oz waterbottle of a half Gatorade/half water well as remembered to take electrolyte caps and even nibble on half an energy bar. The heat kills my appetite, and when I'm hot, there's so much that is unappealing for me to eat. Must explore options for that.

The ponies got a water break halfway through...they both drank - yay! This is the first time Beamer has actually drank on one of our training ride mid-trail breaks. He drinks brilliantly at rides and in camp, but he doesn't see the point in standing around for a break on a little "training ride." Well, when the weather is up around 90*, apparently he sees the point.

Today was a bit of wash, however. I think the heat caught up with all of us, as Dad reported that Beamer felt a lot more tired today. Mimi was still perky, although she was kind of miserable from some kind of bugs that were chewing on her last night...she had a good dozen lumps all over her body today, about half the size of my palm. Fortunately nothing in the saddle or girth area, but she was really itchy on them.

That, and yesterday, her ears were really itchy, too, and kind of dry and scaly inside. This isn't the first time this has happened, but I'm not really sure what it's all about. I'm hoping it's not something like ear mites that will require a vet visit. However, doing some research has lead me to be more inclinded to believe that it's just the nasty little black gnats that are biting her ears. She was a good girl and let me wipe her ears out with a dry cloth, and then put fly stuff her her.

So today's ride was shorter, about 5 miles, although it did have a good hill climb to it. Mimi still blitzed up the hill. She's such a crazy go-pony. Yesterday's heat wiped me out though; I'm definitely not conditioned for it yet. Today I pretty much felt like a wet noodle, and came home and slept for a couple hours this afternoon, and am still ready to go to bed early. Wimp. Time to break out the CoolMedics vest and see how well it's working.