Well, hello! I have not dropped dead. I have not even dropped the ball. I've just been too busy doing All the Things to write about them.
I still feel like I'm too busy, truth be told, but I have a new multi-tasking plan that I think will help. So. How about a quick update in today's post, and I'll try to pop in more often after that.
After a brief exhibition of airs-above-the-ground at the start, Ledger and I took off with my friend Karen and her appaloosa Rio. Rio made an excellent roadblock for the first 20 miles or so, which helped Ledger chill out. He wasn't bad, though -- all that work we've been doing on maintaining my requested pace on a loose rein definitely paid off.
Sadly, he was slightly off on his right rear at the finish, so we didn't get our completion. We did, however, get all the miles and training we came for...everything but the T-shirt. I'm super proud of how much he's matured since our adventure at Old Selam last fall. His minor lameness evaporated within a few days, and I'm really looking forward to his next 50 -- probably at Autumn Sun in a couple months.
The upshot is that I'm not feeling quite as ready as I'd like to be for the rapidly-approaching race. As of two days ago, I hadn't run more than 7-8 miles at a stretch since March, when I ran 10 miles on the Greenbelt in the rain.
Cue yesterday's long run. I put in 10 miles on trails similar to the race course. My focus was on what I'd call "long, slow distance" in endurance riding parlance. Very little anaerobic, which meant hiking up the steeper hills rather than running them, just getting in the miles without over stressing my systems and structures.
I managed the workout without trouble and feel great so far today, which makes me feel a lot better about the upcoming race. I'm not going to break any land speed records, but I'm confident I can finish.
Horse Training Update
My beautiful Bellalunaa is doing so well! She went on her first couple trail rides this week and proved remarkably level-headed in the face of duck fly-ups and traveling in new places without a buddy horse. This represents a massive leap forward from the defensive behavior we had to work through on our way to this point. More on that later. It has been an interesting and heartwarming journey.
My fitness priority is to get ready for that half-marathon! Strength training will take a backseat for the next few weeks while I commit my limited time to training (but not overtraining) for the race.
After that, my plan is to maintain a solid 10K-capable base while shifting my priority back to strength training. I'm planning to work thorough the MAPS Anabolic program for starters, then MAPS Aesthetic. All this while continuing to include mobility work, of course. It helps. A lot.
In the horse department, I am really looking forward to spending more time with Bellalunaa. We'll continue to get out on trails, which she seems to enjoy, while also working our way through Clinton Anderson's "Fundamentals" riding exercises. Some of them (like the Cruising Lesson and Diagonals) are tricky to implement without an arena, but most can be accomplished either in the round corral or on the trail. It's hard to make time to watch the videos, but worth it -- and I reckon even if I only introduce one or two new exercises per week, we'll still be well ahead of where we'd be if I just trail rode and called it good.
Ledger, meanwhile, has one more week of rest on his calendar before we go back to conditioning. We have plenty of time before Autumn Sun to continue his CA "Intermediate" training exercises, in addition to conditioning.
Am I really on the cusp of having two endurance horses again?! It feels like it...knock all the wood... !
Oh, and meanwhile, the garden is growing strong.
Thanks for dropping by! I'm an endurance rider in the northwest region of the United States. This blog explores the mental, physical, and technical aspects of being a better horseman, athlete, and human.
The Sweaty Equestrian