Wednesday, December 16, 2009

About to re-become the Florida Chronicles

Finn heads down on Friday! I start visiting in January. It has gotten rather cold here, so I am looking forward to it for that reason as well as all the others. I finished my running goal, doing all 10 Rock 'n' Roll events. I just dropped off the resulting 19 medals with Medals4mettle.com in the hopes that someone facing real challenges will enjoy them.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

9 down, 1 to go

Ran the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio over the weekend. Nice city, though I wasn't crazy about the race. Met a very cool woman named Tia Harrison on the plane back. She is from Chicago, working on 50 state marathons and has some very nifty fund raising ideas. She has also won a woman manager of the year award and runs a business with her husband and has 3 kids who all run too! Running, like riding, is a fun way to add to your life community.

Finn continues to do well. He appears to have grown a bit, was pretty butt high for a while, but looks more even now. Had a fun hill work yesterday, though the gnats were out, leading to the "dolphin-canter" up the first hill (one buck, one canter stride - feels like you might imagine riding a dolphin would). Keebler is settled in Michigan with Lynn Cronin. Hard to imagine a better place for him and she seems to be enjoying him, and totally onto dealing with his, as she says, "8 year old boy antics" I look forward to hearing about their progress. Meanwhile, in Florida, Hilda has put Isabelle back into work. We're not sure how thrilled she is about that (Belle, not Hilda), but I'm looking forward to eventing her along with Finn in the winter. Almost time to start looking at schedules. I'll be down there this weekend, so will get to make plans with Hilda and ride the girl. Wish I had unlimited time and money as there are so many really cool horses available right now. It would be fun to buy 4 and just ride for a year (assuming that unlimited time and money thing)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lottsa

The SMDM meeting was held in Hollywood October 17-22. I am now a member of the board, which is a huge honor and affords opportunities to be even more involved. We also got to visit the family while in Southern California.

I attended my Stanford 25th reunion October 23-25th. It was great seeing the campus and catching up with some classmates and faculty members. If I can figure out how to get photos from my phone to my computer, I will add a couple.

Finn continues to improve. His flatwork is getting very good and moderately consistent. Better in the indoor, where there is less that he wants to lift his head up to look at, but he remains unphased by all kinds of things, including the totally Hitcockian birds that hang by the hundreds in the trees beside the arena and then on some unknown signal, simultaneously fly across the arena into some other tree. We had a lesson Saturday and he ended up jumping through a little grid (2 trot poles, cross-rail, one stride to rail, bounce to plank vertical, two strides to small vertical) perfectly multiple times, putting all of his fee down correctly each time, so that was exciting.

Too much rain, but love the lighter mornings now.

Expecting the Phillies to pull off the miracle, but glad that it is also football season and the Eagles seem to have pulled it together following the totally embarrassing loss to Oakland.

Two more half marathons to finish out the year.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another PR at San Jose Rock 'n' Roll half. About 20 more improvements of this level and I will only be slow instead of really slow.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Back in Palo Alto

And loving it. Stanford beat UCLA 24-16. A good thing, as the Phillies lost to the Marlins tonight. Hopefully, the Rockies will win again. Yummy pasta at Lucy's place followed by online shoe shopping. Hopefully, the very brisk wind will die down before race time in the morning.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall appears to be here

Boy, it was chilly out at the barn this morning. Luckily Finn is as unaffected by cold weather as by everything else, including the recycling truck stopping right by the ring and dumping loud clattering cans and glass in, the dogs running around, the cat running through the trotting poles as we entered them. On the trotting pole front, he has totally figured them out and happily trots through on the first and all subsequent attempts. We are now working on being rounder and swinging from the shoulder as he goes through. Also doing jumps with ground poles in front and he is getting quite clever with his feet, though a bit lazy off the ground. On the other hand, when I pushed harder, he stepped in and then bounced the second pole and the vertical as a single element. Well, oops! But, we came back around and he did it perfectly. Grant deadlines at work, so that is pretty crazy. Also just got asked to review a paper that is a copy-cat of one of our papers. Gotta love this: The relevant paragraph:

In a 2008 study, Bristol et al. investigated the existence, content, and accessibility of seven work-life flexibility policies at the top ten medical schools in the United States: “maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, extension of the probationary period for family responsibilities, part-time faculty appointments, job sharing, and child care.” Following on this work, our study aims to compare these same work-life flexibility policies at all 17 Canadian medical schools. We aim to gain insight into the degree to which Canadian medical schools support compromise between work-life balance and career development.

Bristol, et al refers to: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jwh.2007.0682

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More xc schooling and more half marathon

We went back to Laurel Hill, this time with Rachel on the horse she is leasing and Missy riding Digger, a sales horse. Missy expressed some concern about the wisdom of taking three fairly green OTTBs xc schooling together, but she needn't have worried. All were very well behaved, quiet and willing to jump. It was great fun. Finn jumps out there just like in the ring, so we mostly jumped little logs, trying to get him to jump from very near them, rather than standing off and launching. It went pretty well. Dinner last night, with Lesley, Susie, Chris and surprise guest Amanda at Teresa's Cafe in Wayne http://www.teresas-cafe.com/TCDinner.htm. Great food and wonderful company. Last Sunday, ran the ING Philadelphia Distance run. Perfect day, nice course, personal best half marathon time, though still slow. Next week San Jose

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

late update


Went cross-country schooling at Fair Hill on August 31st. Finn handled the crowds like a champ. Stood around and hacked from place to place on the buckle. Astonishingly calm for a 4 year old OTTB. We continue to work with poles on the ground in our lessons and I have almost internalized that he will be rounder if I keep my outside leg on. Trot getting quite reasonable, canter remains a work in progress. Did a Bryan Kest yoga workshop yesterday. It was great, both his thoughts (for all that he has a slightly odd way of expressing some of them) and the physical part of the practice. Ran the Virginia Beach 1/2 marathon on Sunday, September 6th and enjoyed it still being the weekend for another day when I got back. It went pretty well, but at the usual slow pace, not the slightly faster Seattle pace. Off now to some sports bar for dinner and Phillies. Go Fightin's!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jumping Good, Ground Poles Apparently Paralysis Inducing

I had a lesson today, following our little show debut. We spent quite a bit of time working on how to get round and forward simultaneously with good results at the walk and trot and some improvement at the canter. Then on to jumping. He was quite forward and happy to jump everything in the ring (including oxer with blue barrel under it). When we got to the one stride, we had a couple reasonable gos, then he started to leave long, decided that was a bad idea, put his feet down, then failed to lift them up high enough, resulting on catching the pole between his legs, going down almost to his knees, tipping me onto his neck, but then somehow patting the ground and jumping the out! Like Bobby Meyerhoff's "Million Dollar Horse" over much smaller fences http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJd-U8w_6bw. He then continued happy to jump, but seemed to think the way to avoid landing on them was to leave out a big stride, slightly unclear on that concept. So, Missy put 3 trot poles in front of a crossrail. Finn trotted up and stopped in total consternation. Missy ended up leading him through at a walk. Then he walked through once, then stopped and was led through again. When Missy widened the poles a bit (from about 2 feet between to 4 feet between), Finn bounced perfectly through them. This was repeated about 4 times, then Missy set them to about 3 feet, resulting in a shuffle through (no poles touched, but really random foot placement), then some combination of trotting and bouncing for the remainder of attempts. I'm having big fun with the boy!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Finn's first show


Finn went off to his first show today, a DVCTA dressage schooling show. His buddy J.D. was also there, so that probably helped, but I must say I was truly impressed by how calm and business-like he was about the whole thing, despite lack of consistency leading to poor scores. We loaded up and headed out by 6:30 in the morning and when we arrived, just after 7:00, I tacked Finn up and took him down to the arena, where we were able to do our whole warm-up in the very large indoor that had the small arena at one end. Finn didn't seem to mind leaving J.D. and was quiet and equally well-behaved as he is at home through the whole warm up and two tests. Dawn and J.D. won both of their classes. Their score for the second class was a 71.5 (let me just say in my dreams). Finn appeared to predominantly consider the exercise an excellent grazing opportunity as the grass where the trailer was parked was lush and long, with lots of clover. Many thanks to Trudy for trailering, grooming and keeping us on track. Gotta love it when it goes well and you are totally done, leaving the barn by 10:30 a.m. I'm looking forward to the next one, but have lots of work to do in between.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cross Country Schooling

Finn went cross country schooling for the first time yesterday. We went to the nearby Laurel Hill, which is a very nice facility for the young horses. Chrissy nicely brought Gator along to babysit. Loading up was excellent, trailered over quietly. No problem tacking up or walking down the hill or walking around with Gator. Being asked to jump was a bit much for his little pea-brain and he acted more like an OTTB than he ever has. When Missy arrived, she sent us to gallop up the hill, which we did 4 times at a pretty impressive clip (perhaps a tiny bit *more* bit than the KK snaffle next time). He was willing to trot serpentines coming down. Then with Gator done with his jumping, we went down to jump. The little logs went well. He was perfectly happy to walk through the water. The first coop took two tries as did the first wine barrels, but all in all he settled down pretty quickly and once he was settled and realized he was jumping was very good. There was the unfortunate vulture-induced spook, but he gets a buy on that one, really vultures - yuck! Gator scared them away for us. He needs to do this a bunch more times, but for his first off the farm venture since arriving at the end of April, it went very well and today's dressage lesson was also really good.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Maryland, Michigan and New York

Big eventing weekend. Kaiti and Truman went to Maryland Horse Trials where Tiamo also redebuted after some time off. http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/orderpage.aspx?pi=0EBK00A7BI0030&po=60. At Stuart Horse Trials, Gillian won the training on Teddy and had a 9th place finish on Choo at Preliminary, even beating Susie. Lesley and Tia won the novice with a ridiculously good dressage score, that left them a needed rail in hand for SJ. Gizmo and Lexi went training level!! Yeah Gizmo!
Lesley and Tia: http://stuarthorsetrials.org/archives/2009/galleries/ndress1, Lexi and Giz: http://stuarthorsetrials.org/archives/2009/galleries/txc1/index.html (8th picture), Gillian and Teddy http://stuarthorsetrials.org/archives/2009/galleries/tstad/index.html (13th picture)

Meanwhile, I went off and played in Michigan. It was great to see everyone at Cobblestone. The course was lovely and the weather was almost perfect (it threatened to rain, but never really carried through). Cathy did forget her dressage test on one horse, but almost everyone I saw looked great and as always Eventing at Cobblestone Rocked!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

catching up

Since I last managed to post, there have been many good things and good times. I did the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle half marathon on June 27th. Perfect weather, beautiful course and a PR (still really slow). Then off to a week at Rocking Cs Ranch in Montana where I got to ride a lot, including the lovely Ravenna, kayak down and river and meet a bunch of really great people, including Harry and Wendy who got engaged while I was there (the very prompt wedding was being planned when I left). Then Henry's birthday, a 9-1 homestand for the Phillies, a lovely weekend at Maui Jim (except for the very sad death of Uni Griffin, thoughts and prayers to Lisa Marie Ferguson and others touched by his death). At Maui Jim, I stayed with Cindy Zitko, who generously opened her home. She has a lovely OTTB called Dickens, so I will be watching for them at events (online). Finn also jumped his first barrels. The one between standards with a pole over it did not phase him at all. The ones lying on the ground took 2 tries to be recognized as something to jump over, but then he was very good. I hear he and Duff had a moment on a hack, but he seems mostly quiet as ever and progressing at a great rate. Life is good

Thursday, June 25, 2009

In and Out

Because Finn jumped his first one stride on Tuesday and the squirrels on campus are dumpster diving all the trash cans and you see them popping in and out as you walk across campus. Tuesday, we did the little one stride for the first time and he was good, though very wiggly much of the time. He has a bit of a tendency to stall, though today, when we repeated the exercise (and the fences may actually have been 2' high), he discovered his "go" button and seemed to be having some fun. He can also canter a circle now, which means he is on his way to being ready to go to his first event. He remains quiet to the point of laziness, but is willing to try pretty much anything. He tends to step *on* things like rails on the ground and curbs, because stepping over them is apparently either, 1) too much work, 2) really uncessary, or 3) both in his world. Heading out tomorrow for the 1/2 marathon in Seattle, then 5 days at the Rocking C's ranch in Montana. Yeah!

Friday, June 12, 2009

more jumping

OK, I really do need to get a camera out to the barn so there can be pictures. We had another lesson with Missy today, more jumps. There were 3 little fences today and we made a (very little) course: jump the cross rail, turn left around the end of the arena and then across the diagonal to jump the 12" vertical then turn right around the other end of the area and up the opposite diagonal to jump the 14" vertical, canter once around the whole arena, back to trot and do it again. He was very good about the whole thing, and is nonchalant to the point of being lazy. Missy raised the possibility of small spurs as potentially useful. Hacking out is planned for tomorrow, after I run 10 miles in the morning.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Finn jumps

Well, sort of jumps, as the "jump" was about 8" high. But, he cleverly and carefully trotted through trotting poles and had no issues about going over the jump (he just didn't really think it was necessary to jump). We also got in some nice canter work (steering at the canter needs work, at one point two or three feet went up onto the railroad tie around the ring, but he was totally unphased by that). The bending and staying on the bit is improving, still not consistent, but as often as not. We actually saw a little spook out of him as all three big dogs were racing around like maniacs (which he kept an eye on, but wasn't too bothered by) and when one actually jumped into the creek, the splash resulted in about a 3 step skitter, really seriously spooking is probably just too much work. Sunday was also beauty shop day, so he got trimmed up and had braids put into his mane to get it even more trained over to the side. I hear this is a Missy pet peeve (along with the brass polishing). The rest of the weekend, I spent volunteering at Plantation. Dressage scribing for the recognized on Saturday and XC starting for the starter on Sunday, with Denis' very cool, optimum time divisions at training and novice on Sunday. No watch allowed. If you are within the optimum time plus/minus 5 seconds, no penalty. More above or below incurred 1 penalty point per second. People did quite well and it is a great skill. JYOP dressage on Saturday was a bit disappointing. I always think of the young riders as being really good, but this group didn't seem to have it that together. One test actually received 3 zeros, which I've certainly never seen before (nor ever received, thank goodness). More riding coming up, along with running in preparation for Seattle

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A little bit rock and roll

Successfully completed the full marathon on Sunday. Yeah!! Glad the remainder of the planned runs are 1/2 marathons (although sketching plans to run my 10th full marathon in 2010 and a 50k for my 50th birthday year in 2013). Jenna asked me what I think about when running a marathon. My reply
Plans for work, plans for horses, plans for birthday presents for those with
upcoming b-days, stuff triggered by the songs played by the bands. Some
chat with the other runners, how long until the next water stop, mile
marker, what pace am I on now? Must people continously lie about THIS ONE
being the last hill on the course, when in fact there are several more... I
manage to keep busy :)
It was a good day. As planned, I ran the first half at my usual slow pace and then the second half one minute per mile slower, but was quite comfortable through the whole thing and not particulary sore yesterday or today.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Finn's first lesson


Finn and I had our first lesson with Missy this afternoon. I decided to carry a whip, since our boy is a bit on the lazy side (probably what I get for giving him a name that sounds Irish). He was very good and the whip came into use to remind him that he could continue to move forward while figuring out how to bend and what to do about the pressure on the reins (that would be drop the nose, not stick it in the air). He progressed quite noticeably during the course of the lesson and I got to work on my position (which as always needs a lot of work). After vacation, I'll try to get the camera out to the barn so I can add a lesson picture. Hopefully, everyone enjoyed the memorial day weekend and found time for a thought for the troops.

Finn

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

back in Florida

Sometimes work travel is a good thing. In this case, the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (www.ispor.org) annual meeting was in Orlando. I had a Thursday dinner, a Friday symposium and a Sunday short course to teach, so off I went Wednesday evening, hit Urban Flats for dinner, yeah!! Thursday, ran in the morning, but it was way too hot, so I didn't ride, though I watched horses being shown (Vinny, Nicco and and outside horse). Friday, I got to go on a hack and ride Extra, the CCI*** horse! He is such a good boy, maybe a tiny bit less quiet than Squire, but still totally well-behaved and easy. Hilda has a neighbor who allows her to gallop on the edge of the grass airstrip, so we had a nice canter up that. Saturday, I got jumping lessons on Godsend and Vinny. I'm sure I was a mess, it being my first jumping since January, but both horses were very good. Sunday, I rode Bailey, a lovely 5 year old. He is still on the wiggly plan, but a very good boy. Monday morning, Hilda and I headed off for another hack and ended up in a total monsoon!! We were drenched. The horses were quite good and Godsend was even better than Extra, a very good surprise. Got off and wrung out, then headed back to the meeting. Monday evening, Henry and Andre hosted dinner at Hilda and Andre's place. Very nice. We are still waiting to hear the story of what about the rain prevented Cyndi and Ed from making it, but Susan and Matt Straub were there as well as Bill Gerth and a good time was had by all. Susan made the most fabulous strawberry cake - super yummy and I don't usually even like cake. Henry and Andre did a great job with the food. This is now the 6th state that Henry has organized a dinner party in. The usual menu, for those of you that have attended past Henry parties, Mushrooms with Gruyere, grilled asparagus, lamb and tuna as well as wine from Henry's cellar that we sent down with Hilda after Jersey Fresh last week. Came back here and heard from Hilda it continues to rain there. Lucky me, as weather here is shaping up to be ideal through the holiday weekend.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TDdom

Not the same as tweedledee and tweedledum. I received the letter from the USEF saying that after "due consideration" I have been granted my 'r' TD license. What is a TD you might ask? It isn't limited to horses (though my license is for eventing, see www.useventing.com for more information on that). For example, Canada Alpine Ski says "The Technical Delegate (TD) is the person who has advisory control over pre-race and race operation and together with other members of the Jury, has complete control over the competitive operation of the race. He/she along with the Jury have the final decision in all matters of racer protection and have the authority to cancel, postpone or annul the race if necessary. In all cases, the TD is the representative of the governing body by whom he/she is appointed." In the case of eventing, change race to "event". Essentially, the TD makes sure that the event is first safe and second in compliance with all USEF rules and standards. It is a bit daunting, especially in the face of recent concerns with horse and rider safety, but I am excited about it.

On the running front, put in a lot of miles yesterday. I think there will be one or two more long runs before the marathon May 31st. Definitely feeling under trained, but such is real life.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Go Cubbies

It is always good when the Cubs win. Even better, when they beat the Marlins who are still in first place in the NL East (Phillies fan here - well except for the Cubs). Since Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia all lost in first round of the NBA playoffs and the Flyers lost in the NHL, time to root for the Phillies (as well as the Red Wings, of course). Just because I've moved doesn't mean my sports alliances have totally shifted. Phillies (as well as many others) rained out Sunday. What is with all this rain?! Probably a good thing, but I'm ready for some sun and don't see any in the forecast.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

April ending

New beginnings. I really like Blue Hill Farm, www.bluehillfarmpa.com (though the website could come into modern times). Heading out later to play with Finn, meanwhile need to order stuff for him. Have to admit, the shopping is one of the really fun things about a new horse. Weather more normal, but hey, now I have an indoor so no worries about rain

Monday, April 27, 2009

2 down

Headed south for a few days at Debi's farm and then the Country Music 1/2 marathon. Keebler is finally starting to do dressage. I watched Debi ride and had a lesson, both quite good. He will stay for a while, hopefully with steady improvement. Ran the Country Music Half marathon. Between the cold last week and the much hillier than expected course, it totally kicked my butt, but I finished successfully, if slowly. Looking forward to the marathon in one month. Rolex is over for another year. Susie had to retire on XC, but had a great go as far as she got and Missy withdrew before SJ, haven't heard the why. We are having a heat wave, which I am actually enjoying. Looking forward to running in the warm and definitely planning to add more hills!

Friday, April 24, 2009

boot camp and sunshine

Dressage boot camp with Debi is doing Keebler a world of good. I had a lesson on him yesterday and he was even quite good for me. He'll be staying here for a while to continue the excellent progress. I'm now excited about eventing him again, either this fall or in Florida in the winter. Finn will head home on Sunday. Looking forward to having him there and riding more regularly. Great week for it coming up, temperatures in the 80s, not only down here, but in Philadelphia as well. Reasonable temps forcast for the 1/2 marathon tomorrow, around 63 at start and 71 at finish. After the cold from Tarturus (reference to most recent great read, Dancing on the Head of Pin by Thomas E. Sniegoski), not planning more than just getting through it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

eventing everywhere

Hard to believe that the Fair Hill horse trials and CIC, the Florida Horse Park horse trials and CCI and River Glen all happened over the weekend. I volunteered at Fair Hill, a bit tamer than usual with only two rings due to big ring for advanced. Hilda and Extra finished in 4th place in Florida. Ralph Holstein won, Mary Bess Sigman was 2nd, pretty amazing given her not so long ago nasty fall, Peter Atkins is definitely back on the scene with 3rd and 5th places to him. Nice to see eventing supporting 3 major venues on the same weekend. Next comes Rolex. I'll be following both Susie and Missy as well as the general goings on. Meanwhile, I'll be visiting Keebler and running, so lots to come

Friday, April 17, 2009

new pony


I'm sure I'm insane, but I've just committed to aquire a 4 year old OTTB. He had a very good pre-purchase examination today and will head north to arrive here around April 27th. It will be fun to have a youngster to work with and he is my favorite dark bay. You'll be hearing more about him in many posts to come

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

underway

That would be the eventing season here in our area. I volunteered at Plantation over the weekend. Saturday, I scribed for Doug Payne. This was the correct job to have, as it was pouring rain most of the day, quite nice to watch horses from inside the truck! I'm rarely glad I'm not riding, but this was one of those days. Sunday, was cold and windy. I jump judged at the water all day, which went really well. A couple riders missed fences here and there (including Phillip Dutton), but most did well. Caitlin and her lovely new mare, Gabriella Rossilini won their novice division, see picture of her in lesson with Silva here on March 9th post, http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_vqOMt7c3rCA/SbU8xbYzSGI/AAAAAAAAAOU/BO5KYTJnOJA/s1600-h/SilvaTeaching.jpg
Phillip Dutton rode Teddy (Funshine Bear) and was first in their preliminary division, making T very proud. I also got a chance to have a tour of Blue Hill Farm, www.bluehillfarmpa.com, where I will be moving when my new horse arrives. The current leading candidate for new horse is having a vet check on Friday. I just heard that my TD license application will be reviewed on Monday, so it is a busy horse week. And it is raining again today. I will be psyched to be somewhere with an indoor again, despite the longer drive and really missing everyone at Cairn O'Mount, which has been a second home these past 6 plus years.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I win

Not an event, or a race or anything, but the weather derby. Monsoons at Poplar, soggy set-in (see Robby Johnson's blog) at Morven and 70+ and sunny at Galway where I spent the weekend. Saturday, I scribed in SJ for Loris Henry, counting as my final apprenticeship for the TD license. Sunday, I jump judged for training and novice. Boy has it been a long time since I've done that. My training fence was a bank combo where there was a lot of trouble. The novice fence a simple palisade, only 2 total refusals. I managed to read 200 pages of my novel and rate a bunch of abstracts while fence judging. Looking forward to the start of event season here in less than two weeks, volunteering at Plantation (where I hope the weather is good).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Other horsey things

I spent Friday and Saturday mostly at Waredaca. I actually vetted a horse that I am not going to buy, deciding instead to increase from 1/4 to 1/2 ownership of the ever so handsome Hero, the Danzig line gelding that Steph Butts is riding. Probably a good choice. Went on Saturday and watched Katherine Rizzo ride in the Howard County Iron Bridge Hunt Races and that was a good time, quite tempting (especially as the fields were not too crowded). It is officially spring, but still not very warm. I am looking forward to California for the rest of the week including a return trip to Galway for the very final apprenticeship and some volunteering. Not running as much as I should be. More regular blogging to follow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Almost spring

It shall officially be spring next week. I think I am even more impatient for it than usual, having not done most weekends of the winter in more southerly places. We did hit Aiken for the "Henry party" good fun as always and great to see the Aiken gang. The continuing education seminar at the Ark the last weekend of February probably said something about the power of naming, it was starting to feel like the 40 days and 40 nights flood. Our seminar leaders cleverly packed everything into a long day Saturday and I was able to get out on an early morning flight on Sunday, so was home and settled in when snow struck. Quite a noticeable snow storm for March. I'm just hoping the whole "in like a lion, out like a lamb" thing holds true this year. I had my first riding lesson back post wrist surgery, a dressage lesson on Del, who was, as always, a very good boy. I'm hoping to take him to the dressage show at Blue Goose next month. Stayed tuned. Still running, prepping for both the 1/2 marathon in Nashville and the full in San Diego. Have gotten several good contributions for Back on My Feet and hope to continue to raise money for them through the year. Grant craziness as work. Between concerns about internal funding and the theoretical availability of stimulus money, everyone is putting in lots of grants and I am not exempt. This week's goal is to get back to yoga.

Monday, February 9, 2009

warm weekend

And exciting happenings all about. I ran 7 miles outdoors. First outside run since the half marathon on January 18th. Still have splint on arm. In Aiken, Gillian rocked, riding Lesley's horse Choo to a 4th place finish. Choo is for sale and is a phenomenal horse for a young rider or AA to event (or do the jumpers) on. Susie, Lesley and Cynthia also had good finishes at Sporting Days. In Florida, Hilda had a dressage lesson on her new guy Extravagance with Bill Woods and a jumping lesson on Godsend with Karen O'Connor. Karen got up on Godsend and he definitely felt the difference. Looks like it could be some harder work for him going forward. Both Godsend and Extra will do the advance horse trials at Rocking Horse. I hope that you might keep thoughts and prayers open as several friends and relatives are going through health challenges right now. May all your challenges be the good sort.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In which I return to Florida

I spent the (long) weekend at Rocking Horse, apprenticing with Sally Ike. It was great being back down there and seeing the team. I got to see Hilda's new horse Extravagence and my (shared) new horse, Hero. Hero totally reminds me of Gizmo (although a lot bigger), but same coloring and surprisingly similar mannerisms, including pushing food out of the feed tub and eating it off the floor, which apparently is just better. Rain Thursday and chilly mornings Saturday and Sunday, but a really nice weekend, complete with Sand Hill Crane appearance. Made it back in to Urban Flats for dinner and basketball one night. No yoga, since the arm is still healing. Now back to face the major work pile. Teacher's institute starts today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another year

The cliche that they pass more quickly is true. Still, I like celebrating my birthday - the more the better. Henry and I had breakfast at the Four Seasons this morning, perfectly decadent and a great way to start the day. This evening the LDI holiday party and then dinner with Susie, Lesley and Chris at Melograno. Gretchen Butts sent a really nice e-card. I got a paper card from an office mate and e-mail singing from my friend Lucy. All is good, and I will stick to the thought of wiser, better, more....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Really sank in today

That I'm not going south to show this year. Last year, I had already done a weekend in Florida and was about to do the first horse trial of the season. Prior years, this was packing for Aiken weekend. It became visceral today. Although, it didn't make me sad. I'm enjoying hearing about Keebler's progress with Debi and not having to go out in the cold (broken arm aside). Looking forward to getting back to a more regular exercise schedule including more running. Have lots of dinners booked with friends that there normally isn't time for. Will even be having dinner with Henry on Valentine's day, which is a Saturday this year -- what a concept!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A new day

I was able to see live feed of Obama's inaguration speech and think it really set the tone for a new direction. A leader in women's health and choice was quoted as saying the last 8 years have been a desolate wildnerness for progress in that area. I've decided to act locally in this year's exercise fund-raising and dedicate the Rock 'n' Roll series to raising money for a really great Philadelphia organization, www.backonmyfeet.org. If you'd like to donate, go here:

http://www.active.com/donate/raceforbackonmyfeet/seema_sonnad

Monday, January 19, 2009

1 down for me, down and out for the Eagles



I ran the rock 'n' roll Arizona 1/2 marathon yesterday. Did running with a broken wrist in a splint slow me down, not really. Did running after 2 weeks of no exercise at all slow me down, possibly. Did running in the Arizona desert slow me down, absolutely. But thanks to my great coach at www.2Lcoaching.com, even after the 2 weeks, I was in good enough shape to run the 1/2 marathon in my usual pre-coaching half marathon time. So I am started on the plan to run all 10 of the rock 'n' roll events this year, 9 half marathons and one full.

The metro light rail in Phoenix is a great thing. I didn't rent a car and was able to take light rail to and from the airport, to and from dinner and from the race finish line back to my hotel. Service was a little spotty timewise on Sunday afternoon, but it was otherwise really great.

On the bad news side of the weekend, the Eagles lost the NFC championship game to the Cardinals. I was at PHX at the time and there were a lot of happy people there, but more disconsolate ones on the plan back to Philly. Still, it was a good end of the year run and two championships in one year would probably be more than the city could really handle.

Friday, January 16, 2009

May I say triple brrr!!

Those of you who spend time with me, know that double brrr is my usual expression for cold weather (well ok, Florida buddies may not know that), but the high today is only 18 degrees and Philadelphia has turned me into a total cold-weenie. Of course, the Keebler boy was supposed to be enjoying being somewhere warm and it is 22 degrees in Alabama right now, so that theory isn't foolproof. Were I at Ashmore, I could be enjoying 60 degrees or in Aiken with a liveable, though still pretty darned chilly 35. Of course, tomorrow I head for Phoenix, where the expected low is 47 and the high 76. I'll be trying to soak up enough warmth to bring some home.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

my guilty pleasure

American Idol returns to the screen tonight. While I don't pay much attention in between seasons, I do tune in for my Tuesday night doses of "bad TV" (in my world, any TV that is not sports) during the idol season. I like watching, and rooting. Unlike many, I prefer the good singers to the bad/worse/ridiculous auditions. It is interesting to see which contestents, not always the winners become stars and the other things that they go on to do. While I'm admitting to my pop culture vices....my favorite CD of each of the past several years ---- The Grammy Nominees. Looking forward to this year's release

Monday, January 12, 2009

no pain, all gain

Surgery went great on Friday. I made the anesthesiologists do it with only the axillary block, no sedative, but it worked great and allowed me to go out for drinks with Lesley and Maripeg on Friday evening, less than 5 hours after end of surgery. The down side was the 11 tries it took the team to get an IV in (which finally ended up in the left foot after trying, right hand, right arm, right wrist, right foot).

No pain and no pain killers meant dinner at the BYO was also on Saturday night. It was great to catch up with Nicole, Jenna, Rick and Charles and the wine was excellent. We highly recommend Majolica in downtown Phoenixville.

On Sunday, the Eagles won and will go on to the NFC championship game. I will actually be in Phoenix, AZ, since I'm running the Rock 'n' Roll AZ half marathon that day. Hope to be done running (or walking, depending on the wrist) in time to plop down at a Sports Bar in the airport to watch the game.

Trying to be sanguine about no exercise until the run/walk (not supposed to expose wound healing to dampness, so no sweating) and have resolved to add meditation to my days.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Silver Lining

So, I was putting on my socks this morning (a longer than usual process with one wrist in a splint) and I realized having not done the long run on Sunday may have saved my toenails. They are still pretty black, but I am thinking they may not actually fall off this round, which they have done many times in the past. Toenails....wrist, not sure about that trade-off, but I'll take what I can get.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Did it again

And this is not the Britney song! I managed to break my wrist again, this time falling off a school horse during a lesson, pretty damned embarrassing. Also, annoying, but luckily, not particularly painful. The plan is for surgery Friday, then about 6 weeks of pt to get back to full function. Decided to go ahead and try to do the rnraz.com 1/2 marathon on the 18th. Stay tuned for an update on how that goes. I'm willing to walk it if need be. Luckily Keebler is attended to.