Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekend redux

I previously posted about my run this weekend, but that was a mere 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 59 seconds of Sunday. I did other stuff too!
Friday night, when many like to go out for a meal or drinks (or both!), I prepared for a horse show on Saturday. Katie brought her horse over so we could ride together and I could braid him, as they were also going to the show Saturday. I wish I took a photo or something, but I didn't. We had fun, and Bradley looked gorgeous with his horse show hairdo. As a thank you, Katie surprised me with homemade bread:
 Of course I got a photo of that! It was delicious! (I love carbs. So. MUCH.)
Most of the local horse shows I attend have my classes early in the morning, but this time I was set to show around noon. Which was great since the barn got done BEFORE leaving! Imagine that?! I brought only Jamp this time and showed him in the adult equitation. It was a great prep for our upcoming New England Medal Finals as it was held indoors. Jamp was a little nervous in the flat class, but we finished 3rd. Which wasn't too bad considering he spooked right in front of the judge... <<sigh>> kids... My first fence class went really well! And then I kind of flubbed up class number 2. Jampy was listening sooo well, he did all the things I asked for. Unfortunately they weren't always the right things. We wound up 1st and 2nd though, so that was exciting! We also won the medal class, which gives me 10 points toward qualifying for next years CT finals. 2 more points to go!
After the show I rode Ducky and Rio. It was quite a long day, but I had gotten an invite to a local fair... and you all know how I feel about fair food! So I dragged my tired self out, had some fried deliciousness, AND got to see some nifty animals!
Kangaroos! If you look closely, you can see the joey's head peaking out of the pouch! Adorable.

Some kind of sleepy tortoises

This is a Zeebu. It's like an african moo cow.
My original plan was to get the awful 12 mile run done early on Sunday, but the forecast called for rain in the morning and clearing by noon, so I decided to postpone until the afternoon. Instead, I went to town for breakfast and to find some deliciousness at the Sunday Farmer's Market. So much yum early in the morning! I also had a few b-day gifts to pick up. In my travels, I found a bargain I couldn't refuse. Now I should be honest here. I recently put myself on a shopping ban as all of this horse showing is dwindling my bank account. However... when you find a $260 Emma Fox bag marked down to 49.00, well, you don't leave that there. Seriously, look:
Now I realize it's a summer bag, and I can't really use it until next year... But still, look how pretty:
After shopping I met up with Vanessa for our run, and the rest of the weekend was spent "recovering." Yeah yeah, by that I mean stuffing food in my face and sitting on my butt. Oh and I did a load of laundry! That was productive at least...
How was everyone's weekend? Did you attend a farmer's market? Find a great deal somewhere? 

I have so much to talk about!

I think I'll reserve this post to talk about running. I haven't had a running only post in awhile so now seems like the perfect time!
Next weekend is not only my half marathon on Saturday, but I'm also running a 5K on Sunday to benefit the JDRF. This event has been held for the last 3 years in memory of my co-worker and friend Michael Daly, who passed far too young at the age of 34. Mike suffered with diabetes, and this race is a fundraiser to work toward finding a cure for that terrible illness. It has affected my own family as well, and is a cause I hold close. If any of you readers would like to donate, please click here. Or if you live close by, consider coming out next Sunday! It's open to walkers as well.
But back to the half... I'm running it with my friend Katie from Running a Ragnar. 13.1 miles. 2+ hours of running (cause I'm slow). This will be my 4th half, and possibly my last. But then again, I say that every time I run one. So I guess time will tell on that...
I mentioned in a previous post that I did not allow NEARLY enough time to train for this half. It's extra hard and somewhat torturous to perform the abbreviated training plan. BUT, misery does love company. Thankfully, I have a great group of friends to train with. We don't always all make it to every run, but often at least two of can get out there together.
Katie and I are running the Hogsback half on Sept 28th, and Vanessa and Chelsea are running one in Newport on Oct 13, so our mileage doesn't match up perfectly, but we make it work. 
Katie and I ran our 9 miler together a few weekends ago. We made a huge mistake in not really planning out a route ahead of time. We decided to run in the local state park, not realizing the full diameter of it is only 3 miles. Both of us feel that running in circles is torture, so we attempted to leave the park and run on local roads, only to discover we were in some kind of basin. Every direction seemed to climb a mountain. We even tried taking some trails, but they were more for walking: very narrow, lots of roots and rocks. Ugh. It was rough. But at least we went through it together! We decided we earned a large and delicious lunch:

Today I was semi dreading my long run. I've been struggling BIG TIME with running. I'm pretty sure it's my lack of healthy eating, not enough sleep, and not enough water intake. But regardless of the reasons, running has been really hard. On top of that, I was planning to run it alone as Katie was out of town, but I posted on FB asking if anyone cared to join me. I was joking, as really, who would want to spend a gorgeous Sunday running TWELVE miles. Especially during football season. But to my surprise, Vanessa said she'd join for most of it. This week was set to be her 10 miler. So we did those together, and then I continued on for my last two.
For the first time in what feels like, well, ever, this run actually felt pretty good. I struggled some at the very end, but not so much that I didn't think I'd make it.

There is nothing fast about my training this time around. My projected finish time for this half is about 2 hours and 15 minutes. While I'm disappointed with my pace, I don't really think it's worth beating up on myself about considering the short time to get ready. 
I once read somewhere that if you're still pretty and fresh looking after your run, you're not doing it right. I find this to be quite true. Case in point... see the photos below:
My knee caps have grown their own knee caps... Interesting.

That's supposed to be a smile. Best I could do, I was sleepy ;)
Post run, I sat outside with some ice on my knees, a frozen electrolyte pop, and my pups. I can't think of a better way to recover!

Anyone else have a long run this weekend? Have any races coming up? Please share!
Oh and one more in time, in case you'd like to help me reach my fundraising goal, please click here

Monday, September 2, 2013

Looooong weekend!

I have mixed feelings about the Labor Day weekend. On the one hand, I'm all for an extra day off! On the other, I'm really sad to see summer coming to an end. So I've made a decision to just pretend it's not ending. It's still 80 degrees and stiflingly humid out, so clearly, summer is still here!
So what did I do all weekend you ask? (Just pretend like you asked or this will be a very dull post.) My weekend was FULL.
Here's what I had on the schedule for Saturday:
Horse show
Ride Ducky
Change the course in my ring
Run 7.5 miles
Sadly, the horse show took FOREVER! Which was shocking since there didn't seem to be very many exhibitors. At the end of the day, the boys and I came home with these ribbons:
Due to the small turnout, they look a lot more impressive than they really are... But hey, I take what I can get!
It was after four by the time we got back, so I was only successful in getting Ducky worked and playing some fetch with the pugs. I then took a lovely nap on the floor until 9:30 and went to bed!
So here was my updated Sunday schedule:
Run 7.5 miles
Go to the Farmers Market
Clean the barn
Catch up on horse laundry
Ride all three horses
Change the course in the ring
Straighten up the house and do/put away laundry
I did a little better with Sunday's list! It was tough to get out and do the run so early, so I made a deal with myself. I could go as slow as I wanted as long as I went out and did it. The run is best described by the three H's. Hot, Humid, and Hilly. In other words. 7.5 miles of pure torture. But I got it done!
Next, I followed my favorite rule when I have a lot to do. DON'T SIT DOWN. Got directly in the shower and then headed off to the farmer's market.
I have one piece of advice for all of you, if ever you see the following item in your travels, BUY IT!
After stuffing my face with cheese, bread, and the above Honey Butter, it was time to get to work on the barn. The stalls were pretty messy since it was already after noon. They normally get done first thing in the morning. It was 6 PM by the time I finished stalls, horse laundry (3 loads!) and riding everyone, and I was pretty sleepy! So I skipped moving the jumps and opted to just straighten up the house and do a couple loads of my own laundry.
My bed was a welcome site at 11!
Monday's to do list:
Run a 5K in New Haven
Clean the barn
Ride the horses
Change the course
Yep. You read that right. Running two days in a row. Ugh. At least it was a nice flat route and only 3.12 miles. But also HOT and HUMID. So humid. I muscled through at a steady (slow) pace and got it done in just under 30 minutes (literally 29:59). Got some free ice cream at the finish. WIN!
Cleaned the barn and it was raining off and on the whole time. Decided to skip "ride the horses". They didn't seem to mind at all!
I then nearly concussed myself with the pitchfork handle (I have no idea how, don't even ask). Once I could see clearly again, I got to work on the ring. I had new flowers for the jumps from our newly opened neighborhood dollar store (WIN!) and was very excited to put them to use. The only nice thing (in my opinion) about autumn is the decorations and Halloween! So I made an autumn themed jump AND a halloween jump.
All done!

Autumn Jump

Halloween Jump
I gotta tell ya... After all the running, horse riding, cleaning, moving all those heavy jumps, etc this weekend, I am POOPED! Went out and ran some errands and got a burrito that weighs about as much as I do. Just about bed time for this old lady!
What did you all do this weekend? Anything fun and exciting? Did you sleep late? Seriously did you? Cause if so, I'm super jealous.