So this weekend I felt like giving up running altogether. I can usually find something positive to take from my runs even if it is just that I made it round. However, this weekend I had a new first – I threw up for the first time following a run. With the fantastic wisdom of hindsight I probably shouldn’t have run at all but with a week away where I am unlikely to run I wanted to get some more miles in my legs. My whole body hurt when we started off, I have been assuming that this has just been down to me not working on the strength aspect of my training enough. Throughout the run I struggled, on the flat, on the first hill, on the downhill and when we came to the scramble up the near vertical slope we will run up on the day I could feel my legs wanting to give up a little. I had a slight moment while ascending the scramble where my feet began to slide – I am still building up distance in my new trail shoes. One of my running mates came back to help me up, without her I would have had to go the long way around so I was very grateful. Pushing through the roots, leaves and grass we emerged onto the top of the hill and I have to say at this point I felt such a sense of achievement! We had essentially run the first half of the race and I felt ok, my calves were totally seized up but other than that I was ok.
Then my head started to hurt, I had already made the decision that if I started to feel worse I would head home as I had to be at the stables that afternoon. So we all decided to head for home at this point rather than push for the next hill. As we ran part of a route I knew very well I started to feel really down, it seems like I have one good week then a bad week. I can’t understand how my friend that I train with can simply out-pace me comfortably, she was consistently in front of me on this run and if it hadn’t been for our other running friend holding back for me I think I would have walked.
By the time I said goodbye to them both at the edge of the meadows I was ready to give up, but due to my notoriously poor time-keeping that wasn’t really an option. If I was to get back in time to go to the stables I had to run at least part of the way home. I picked up some sports drink hoping it would help with the nausea that was near constant now and luckily met my bus at the bus stop. When I got through the front door I started to retch and had to run to the bathroom, now I was feeling weak and woozy. I tried to sip down some of the recovery drink I had mixed but it was tiny sips I was taking. I tried to eat some plain pasta but could barely manage any mouthfuls. Mr Inelegant Horse Rider kept telling me to cancel going to the stables but as it was the start of the riding and road safety course I really didn’t want to. He gave me a lift down to the stables and I discovered that luckily it was a theory session as I was confident I wouldn’t be able to ride. It was really interesting but if I am honest I was finding it tricky to concentrate and felt really cold the entire time. Afterwards I went to visit my parents and promptly was sick in their bathroom – a lovely way to say hello. I managed to eat Saturday night and have been progressively feeling more normal however I am still incredibly tired and my muscles all hurt. I am having an easy week this week, I just hope it helps otherwise I fail to see how I am getting round these seven hills. Although after writing this part of the blog I remember how I felt after the first 5 mile race I ever did and I have done many races since then, I refuse to be beaten by this!
So after feeling rubbish during a lecture on riding and road safety which marks the start of my course, I was hopeful that on Sunday I would be feeling great for my lesson. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling 100% and I think that showed in my riding. I was given P today as my mate who was meant to ride him hadn’t turned up and nobody likes to tack up T who I was given originally 🙂 After watching my instructor ride him during the beginner’s dressage test demo I was keen to ride P again, I love him.
However, we hit a snag when he wouldn’t move from the stable even the yard manager had severe difficulty moving him. I think he might have been asleep. Then once outside he nearly fell asleep at the mounting block, I could sense this wouldn’t be an active lesson!
Sure enough most of my warm up comprised of P standing in corners pretending he was going to go to the loo. Eventually someone was sent to get water to see if that would help him pee, it didn’t but at least I managed to keep him moving. Everything was a go-slow on Sunday. Trotting was tough and he tried to transition back to walk almost constantly. With my instructor giving me directions I was trotting him around and around in one corner of the school trying to get him to give me power but without losing the control. It definitely improved but if I am honest my heart and head weren’t in it as I had started to develop a headache and P’s chest and throat were aggravated by the dust in the school. We were working on our circles and diagonal lines in trot plus putting in some leg yielding. We managed a short canter on each rein but I felt P really labouring into it although after the first canter he seemed much freer. The second canter was much better.
Afterwards while speaking to my instructor she explained I have to get him motivated to work immediately, perhaps even put in a canter or two for him during the trotting exercises as this really wakens him up and helps him get his joints moving. He has beautiful paces once moving and I want to be able to ride him properly.
Finally, a brief update on the dressage lecture and demo I attended at the stables last week. Firstly, the lecture was brilliant – a bit of history, what judges look for and what a beginner’s dressage test is. Then a demo by my instructor (on P) while we were talked through what she was doing and asked to score her. It was great to see such a brilliant rider on P and to see that sometimes he does the daft things with her but that she knows how to deal with it immediately. The really interesting part is that we are going to be allowed to ride a beginner’s dressage test and be judged on it! I am missing May’s one as I will be on holiday but I can’t wait to try it out in June. Not sure which horse to pick, I might ask who I am suited to – that would be interesting to know anyway!
I will post a round up of the WWC for April later this week, this year is really passing quickly. In the meantime if you are interesting in the progress of the WWC – Nik’s update is on her blog at: http://www.littlehouseintown.co.uk/
Miles run: 15 (11 of which I shouldn’t have)
WWC Coupons left: 46 (the dress is being returned)