Once again the combination of work, running and riding in Area 2 made for a packed 4 days, and then I had a lot of work to catch up on, hence the Wednesday blog.
Friday, I attended an NIH grant writing conference at Penn. I've written and successfully obtained grants in the past, but was looking for more tips to pass along as part of my mentoring work in Delaware's ACCEL- CTR program. The conference was interesting and I have some great material.Fighting traffic on the way home makes me even more thankful that I don't have to make the Friday commute on a regular basis. I headed straight to Plantation where I happened to run into Missy who was there to walk the xc with Jason Racey, so I got some Jamie time, walked my course and then met up with Ann Baumgardner who was in to ride her Mick Dreamy on Saturday and was staying at our place (Mick got to stay at Blue Hill). We headed home after walking (and wondering a little about the course layout) and Henry cooked us super yummy steak and asparagus with a great bottle of Syrah for dinner.
Saturday, I rode at Plantation (after not riding Friday - good Keegan!). I also played groom briefly (for Jason Racey doing the intermediate with his handsome Dodger) and then volunteered as cross country control (one of my favorite volunteer jobs) once I finished riding. Keegan was great. We were back to our traditional 38 dressage score, but he was much better throughout the test overall and especially in his trot rhythm and his canter transitions. His show jumping was excellent and he clocked around the cross country. We were just a little slow (7 seconds) because there were some very weird turns on the course that I elected not to make. I either made circles to present at what I considered a better angle or trotted a bit. We also trotted down the steep hill as it was starting to get a touch mucky. The jumping was great and I had a lot of fun. We even brought home a ribbon, moving up from 7th after dressage to 5th and racking up our first USEA leaderboard point :). Steve Berkowitz captured another great picture and was kind enough to share it.
And the alarm clock still went off at 5:00. I didn't have too much trouble getting up and got dressed and headed down to Wilmington to pick up my packet for the Delaware half marathon. At 6:15 when I arrived, there was still easy parking and no lines at the packet pick-up (apparently most people took seriously the admonition to pick up their packets on Saturday. I had planned to do so, but was thwarted by that thunderstorm). I got my stuff, put it in the car, wandered around and at 7:20 headed out. It was another warm, humid day and as at DeLeon Springs in January, I had to go on the slow plan. Still it was a lovely day. I had a good time and racked up half marathon number 40. I also got a hug at the halfwayish point from Eddie Vega, the Barefoot Bandito who was there running barefoot marathon 28 for his targeted Guinnness World Record. Read about his exploits here as well as learning more about the charity for which he is running, Soles4Souls. Apparently, it was a bad weekend for keys as Eddie lost the key to his rental car and ended up missing his flight and having to take the train home. With his usual great attitude, he considered it an adventure. I also saw one of our Value Institute Biostatistics Interns who also was running the half.
After finishing, I headed back to Plantation where volunteers were in slightly short supply given the confluence of 1)Jersey Fresh CCI, 2)Mother's Day, 3) Willowdale Steeplechase races. I somehow was lucky enough to get to volunteer as the xc finish. Because the Plantation starter events operate on the honor system, I got to ask every rider how it went. Even those with stops had big smiles and thanks. There were some incredibly cute kids and ponies as well as some very good looking young horses. While many of the pros were at Jersey, Molly Rosin, Daniel Clasing, Cherie Gaebel and Jane Sleeper each rode at least 3. My favorite of the day was seeing Camilla on Remi at novice. They won the novice on their dressage score of 25.2 and looked great doing it. Remi did not seem to object to pink bell boots. The weather stayed lovely through the day and we finished up just before 5:00 with no lost keys or other objects.
Meanwhile across the state line, Caitlin and Hoku finished 4th in the CIC*** and Erin and Bucky finished 2nd, so that was a great reroute for both of them. The overall scores are here. David and BG demonstrated their talent and poise by turning in a clean xc run after being held at the water for a fall (only half of the riders who started dressage completed the CIC**), then being sent back to the barn for the thunderstorm and having to jump the water as their first fence after getting untacked, retacked heading out and only having one practice fence before being restarted. Both crazy and impressive.
We wrapped up our weekend with Mother's Day dinner with Myrna Levin. Henry and Jonathan Levin have been friends since 4th grade and it was great to catch up with Myrna. I also got a great update from Kathy (my sister-in-law) on how she and the kids are doing.
And the fun wasn't over as Monday was first ACCEL- CTR Conference on building Academic-provider-community partnerships for research. It was a great chance to network with colleagues from the VI and beyond. Tuesday was back to the everyday work world, although I did end it with a great dressage lesson with Missy.