Tuesday – 12th October – 18 days to go

Not done the day yet, but probably not doing a whole lot more with my day.

I was meant to bike ride after work today, but will go with Helen at 6am tomorrow instead. I am tired and I am tapering, afterall. I need to focus on feeling ‘fresh’ for these next two weeks.

I look at that 13km run on Monday as my last big run. Yes, I do have a 10km run coming up, but will be sticking to 5s and 7s for maintenance over the next two weeks. I know I have the run in me, and have been thinking of training for a half-marathon! So there I go, looking out for a new big crazy goal again! But I am enjoying running so much. I think because I had to work so much harder at this than anything else. I fought with my body, coaxed it, and eventually we came to this agreement. And I feel so very proud that I can run now! It has taken so long. Mostly I am proud that I stuck it out and I got here! Wow!

I am also feeling really confident with my swimming, considering that I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to do it at all a few weeks ago. As I suspected when working out my plan, I felt that I would be fit enough to handle the swim, and would just need to do a few sessions to ensure I had the breathing right. Freestyle would have been far more challenging, and I probably wouldn’t have knocked off 1200m in my second swim, but freestyle’s never been my forte anyway! 🙂 At any rate, I am glad I was able to predict and interpret my body’s reaction to the work! YAY!

Will try to keep TK intersted and happy going out these next few weeks, but as with me, all we can hope for now is maintenance, there really isn’t any room for improvement left. Hopefully I can squeeze in a few more social rides with people from town to keep TK more enthused about riding out. He was so happy to see another horse when we finally met up with Mel on Chloe. We went from a snails pace to a big trot, with his expression saying “Oh thank goodness I’m not alone out here!!” Both horses were stoked to have another horse out there, though interestingly enough, neither seems to have any affinity for the other. TK can easily walk away from Chloe, but is much harder to separate from Sparky or Dee, for example. I also find he doesn’t feed off her energy levels. Dee was calm and relaxed and that translated to a calm TK, but Chloe was virtually asleep on our ride, and TK was silly half the way. Interesting, eh?

One thing I do want to work on with TK in the long term is balancing his training output with his event output. And the other thing I want to work on is my confidence in my ability to ride him when his energy is high. I want him to go faster, but for us both to feel relaxed and in control. Most often when he’s finally going at a speed that is where I want him to be, he feels frantic or overexcited, and he’s working his mouth and neck in that weird racehorse way. He’s still in my control, but he’s just hovering there at the very edge of it, and it’s an uneasy place for me. I either have to grasp that feeling with both hands and just go with it, or I am going to have to figure out how to keep him further from the edge.

I am steeling myself for the fact that we are probably going to have a hell of a start at Blackwood, but know that he’ll run it out, calm down and we’ll finish fine. The hill’s’ll knock some sense into him anyway! He was sure feeling them after the Manji ride, but handled them alright.

Bad news, though. Strapper number two is also unavaialable for the Blackwood weekend. And in fact, it’s looking very much like Mat and I and T&E are going to be the main attendees. I hate to put any pressure on T&E, especially with T’s back so crook, but they want to help, so I am going to accept it! I am just hoping to have a strapper that is a bit (dare I say it?) younger. T&E are in their 70s, and though they can accomplish some amazing things, I would hate to be the person that had a crazy horse wrench an arm or a heavy saddle do a back.

I hope to get out and paddle on Saturday afternoon. I work Saturday morning till 1, and I have my pool lifeguard requalification all day Sunday. The following weekend is the show and the fun run. Then the Blackwood. If I can’t go tomorrow morning (and I haven’t got a kayak yet, though I have been told to just call to say when I am coming to pick it up) then Saturday afternoon will be my last opportunity.

And then there is the cycle. Why couldn’t the horse ride have been last? Seriously! Anyway, I will just keep going, just keep spinning (like Dory from Finding Nemo) and I will make it in the end.

Check out my last two posts which are links to the Map My Run maps for the courses. The distances aren’t a perfect match, but the ‘Climbs’ speaks volumes. Time to move to somewhere with HILLS, TREES, and WATER!


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