Sunday being the exception, I have been very frustrated with Limerick and running lately.
Lim has been feeling fantastic. I mean it. She has the worst case of the spring crazies in almost a decade.
In fact, I think the last time she was this nutty was Before It All Began, before she kicked out (at what? a horse fly?) with her right hind leg and got it caught in that stall window in July of 2002.
That was the climax of her story, and from then on her level of comfort and her athleticism just went downhill. And now...well, it's almost as if last year she was a caterpillar, over the winter she was in a cocoon of artic air and 1200 denier State Line Tack turnout blanket, and now? Now she is a butterfly emerging forth into a new world, a comfortable world.
She has not yet finished shedding what little winter coat she had and already her bay hide is gleaming with black and copper dapples. Her hooves are stronger and truer than they have been in over a decade, if not ever. Her muscles, admirable if they were on a seven-year-old, are jaw-dropping on a horse that was born in May of 1991. Her eyes gleam with a light that I haven't seen in so long. I am all horse. Let me be a horse!
On the ground she is fine to work with but on her back, it's a whole other story. When she's not full of herself and wanting to run and shake her head and strike out with a hoof, she is nervous and distracted and flighty. She has equine ADHD. She is sensitive and anxious.
I was going to show her on April 5th but I've decided that now is not the right time. I posted that if she behaves then I will show her. Well, she isn't behaving.
However...we are attending the show, but just for the experience of being there. I plan on doing a lot of ground work with Lim over the next few weeks and will only ride if conditions are absolutely perfect for it. Being at the show will be a good test to see if that ground work has paid off.
It's wonderful that she feels so good, and if you've been reading this blog since I started it then you know that Lim has come a very, very long way in the past year. I'll give her this time to be silly by not mounting up and forcing her to behave. But in the meantime, I'll strengthen our relationship on the ground so that when I'm ready to climb onto her back again with regularity, things will go well.
Now for the other issue, my running...
I bonked (crashed, hit a wall, whatever you want to call it) on a 14-mile run on the 15th of this month. It was my first run at this distance and it was going well until I ran out of Gatorade at mile 9. No biggie, I thought. What I have drank will carry me through. Wrong! I should have invested in some sports gels prior to attempting a run of this distance.
My legs felt like bricks by mile 11 but I pushed on.
When I tried to run a couple days later, my entire right lower leg was very sore. Uh oh! I had the 10k coming up that weekend and panicked. Bags of frozen vegetables--then bags of ice--became my best friend. I took a break from running and tried again on the Friday prior to the race. My leg was better but still sore. I was so sure I was doomed!
But as you know from my race report, the leg wasn't a factor during the race.
But it's back and bothering me again. I'm not sure but I think it's a muscle knot. The pain is not on the shin (fortunately! I don't need a stress fracture right now...knock on wood!); instead it seems to rove around in the calf. One day it'll be on one side of the calf, the next day it'll be on the other side.
But if I were to become injured, this would be the best time. My 10k is over and my official marathon training doesn't start until April 18th (18 weeks and one day prior to the marathon, in case you're counting).
So now you see why I am so frustrated. I cannot run, I cannot ride. I try to look on the bright side of things, though. That's all I can do.