Life is whirling around me lately. I'm stupid busy (shocking, I know). Monday through Thursday I wake up around 4:45a and my head doesn't usually hit the pillow again until 10:30p. During that time period, I'm only HOME about 3 hours, maybe. It's kind of crazy. And I kind of need to slow it down just a titch. But probably not for another week.
Currently I am:
- Working my typical 10-hour day (I always have 3-day weekends).
- Giving an absolute wealth of riding lessons this week (and probably next) for girls who are prepping to take a horse they just met (he's a VERY good boy) to 4-H horse camps. All are doing very well.
- Squeezing in short workouts with Q that are either HIIT hill sprints, dressage, or nighttime riding.
The above is my snapchat story from a night-ride last Thursday. After the first 10 seconds it's all video. We did 5½ miles in an hour. Went out for more of a mental ride than a physical feat. Q was a demon on the return home and I spent a lot of time yelling, "WALK DAMNIT! WALK." She did better with the dark than I did. ;-) The only spooking moment was when she stepped over a stick in a funny way and it moved in a manner that touched both of her hind legs. OMG MONSTER, PANIC! *rolls eyes* So that was a fun 5 seconds of manic waltz-leaping to deal with. Overall, a very nice ride and definitely good practice for me. (I do believe I may need Dramamine for the nighttime loops of the 100 as it is kind of vertigo-inducing, something I haven't really experienced before! Funny how simple things bring about that kind of reaction.)
And the above is a clip of our hill sprints. It doesn't quite do the pitch of the climb as much justice as it could, but it's a good representative of how long our sprints are. She's going about 20 mph here and this isn't even the entire hill! There's about 200 feet more at the top that we didn't do and I started the video about ¼ of the way up from the bottom of the hill. She did 5 reps last night. I plan to taper her down to only 3 reps next week. 5 reps last night with a micro dressage warmup (read: Q blowing through all aids in an effort to try to go back to the barn) and the total ride was about 40 minutes (I hand walked her down the hill and half way to the barn on the way back). At most, she has done 10 reps on this climb and she had to trot the last ones. We did 7 last weekish and she was spent after those. She really gives them her all. And I always dismount after the last one, loosen her girth, and handwalk her down the hill and partway to the barn, stopping to snatch small handfuls of grass and feed her along the way. Even when she is absolutely huffing and puffing like a steam engine, she has an appetite which makes me happy to see because I know she feels good even though she's out of breath from the sprint.
- Squeezing in some workouts with Griffin, also, though not so much my focus as I know I'll have time to ride him more after the 100 is over.
- Going over all of my logistics for the 100. I spent a summer running logistics for wilderness trips (and I'm naturally a list maker and an anal planner), so I know a thing or two. I spend a lot of my daydreaming thinking about what is going to make the experience easier. I totally accept that I cannot control a lot of how it will go, and I'm not planning for that kind of thing much at all. But I absolutely CAN plan out gear and food and supplements and maps.
- MAPS! I love maps. I have taken the 100 and mapped it out by hand with my spatial analysis programs so I have a better idea of how the course unfolds. I can't preride it all, but I don't have to go in totally blind! (Through past OD rides and No Frills I've physically ridden 50-60% of the course.) I have a very good idea of where the worst climbs and descents are, how long I'll be climbing or descending, and over how many vertical feet. I know where I'll be on fire roads/Forest Service roads and where I'll be on singletrack trails. (Fun fact: over half of the OD 100 is on trail that qualifies as "road" meaning it is wide enough for a 4-wheel vehicle to traverse. It could be dirt or gravel, but it's definitely wide. Why is this important? Because it correlates to easy footing in the grand scheme of things!)
- Crafting! I've been crafting a lot lately. Mostly gifts for friends, but it's an idea I've wanted to implement so badly for so long. I have also crafted a handtruck saddle/tack rack for endurance rides (the carts are so expensive and this thing has only cost me about $50 to create). And the other horse-related craft I've accomplished is sewing pockets onto my Kerrits Flow Rise tights to make them more similar to the Kerrits Ice Fil tights that everyone loves so much. Yeah, I don't have the sticky seat that the Ice Fil have, but that isn't the biggest selling point on those breeches for me. The POCKETS are. And I couldn't justify spending another $70 right now on something I really don't need. I have 5 pairs of breeches (1 fleece winter pair and 4 summer pairs, two of which are Kerrits Flow Rise) that are all in great condition. So, instead of spending money, I recycled some old tech fabrics to sew pockets onto what I had! My sewing skills are mediocre at best, but I'm really pleased with how it all turned out. (And if I ever decided I absolutely hated them, I could easily use a seam ripper and pluck the pockets off without compromising the tights.)
And basically, that's my life in a nutshell lately. Whirling chaos that is spinning about in a fairly controlled fashion. But that's [mostly] okay. I know I'll slow down after the 100 (and these 4H camps) is over. For now though?