Monday, March 31, 2014

In which we are still waiting for Spring

March came in like a lion and seems to be going out like a raft of sea lions.  My Aiken season wound down with no more notable accomplishments.  Keegan spent some time grumy about his tummy and then managed to slightly wrench his back.  In between, Sally did ride him around at Sporting Days, which was fabulous.  We're both back in the North now and waiting for Spring.  I've gotten a bit of spring while volunteering.  I enjoyed the weekend at Red Hills as I haven't been back since 2008.  It remains an impressive event, although the new xc course took a toll  Still, it was reasonably warm and sunny all weekend.  Last weekend, I volunteered Saturday at Poplar where it started out quite chilly, but warmed up nicely and was sunny through the day.  A lot of the Florida riders were there, although many others were at the Carolina International.  It is pretty cool that there can be two CIC competitions running on the same weekend, with both of them full.  Poplar certainly was.  We ran xc straight through from 8:00 (if I remember correctly) until 5:45 and that was only the preliminary, training, novice and BN horses as the CIC, intermediate and advanced were to run Sunday.

I was not at Poplar for Sunday as I headed into Atlanta to run the Publix Georgia half marathon.  I had originally planned to do the full, but the weather report reported dropping temperatures and rain starting as the day went on, so I decided to go half.  I was glad of the decision as the temperature dropped from 60 degrees and cloudy to 44 and rainy as I moved from start line to finish.  The free cup of tea offered by the Omni was the best thing ever.  I also really liked that the Omni was right at the start/finish line.

Saturday Brigitte, Carli and I spent some time filling in the Blue Hill schedule for dressage shows (schooling and recognized), CTs, schooling jumper shows and recognized and unrecognized events and xc schooling. The board filled up when we got to June (the advantage of SE PA).  I rode Keegan who was wonderful and then hit the Expo for Sunday's half marathon and then Chris' Bachlorette party at the Valley Forge Casino.  It was good fun, although I ducked out early to get some sleep before the run.  It was raining and cold and cold and raining.  I thought, the weather guessers forecast say it will be better tomorrow.

In the morning, I got up and looked at clothes.  It seemed not totally freezing so I put on a short sleeved tech shirt, a long sleeved capilene and my Patagonia Houdini.  Decided I didn't need gloves (major error), but did put a rain hat on under my houdini hood - yes, I looked ridiculous, but my head was dry.  Nothing else stayed that way.  It was barely drizzling at the start and off we went. I tucked my hands into my sleeves, but they never got particularly warm.  My feet got warm somewhere around mile 5 as we went up an unexpected (to me) hill from mile 5 to 6.  Then the rain really picked up and by mile 7, everything was soaked (except my head - combination of hat and hood still working).  By mile 10, I could no longer feel my feet and I have no idea why they though have the last .2 miles be the steepest uphill of the run was a good idea, but there you go.  I finished successfully (2 minutes faster than last weekend) and headed quickly through the finish chutes to walk home.  I was really cold.  And then, thank heaven on the corner about halfway home was a 7-11.  I went in and got a hot chocolate which I clutched between my hands the rest of the way home (I didn't really drink much of it).  Once home, I peeled off all the soggy stuff and slid into a hot bathtub (no need for icing - that was kindly done by mother nature).  I do feel good today, no soreness at all, which I find is true of the colder runs.  Now starting the less than two week countdown to and hopefully the even shorter countdown to some nice spring weather.