Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Mario

I hope that Everyone and Everybun had a wonderful Christmas!! As you read this I am no doubt pigging out on various Hawaii food delicacies.

As such, we celebrated Christmas a little early this year. Mario had quite the bounty:

And this year's special gift...
Tunnel Haven!! (collapsable and therefore easily storable)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Wings

It has been super rainy here in California so I haven't gotten much riding in the last few weeks. I visited Miss Muddy to clean her stall out and to let her stretch her legs a bit. She usually lives in a huge pasture but her owner tries to bring her in when it gets really rainy since the pasture turns into a muddy swamp. Wings is usually pretty ho-hum in the round pen, but man alive does she have some fire after being in a stall for a few days.

To answer a question from the last "Wednesday Wings," we ride English. Wings has a Western saddle that I think would be fun to use every now and then. I am embarrassed to say that I am too weak to get it up on her. All that running makes for strong legs and weak arms. But my goal is to be able to hoist it up eventually.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Mario

So if you remember this video from last year, having the Christmas tree and Mario out is a full time job. I got tired of calling him off of presents so I erected this:

Why I didn't think of this years ago is beyond me.

What the heck is this??

Maybe I can step over it...

Perhaps from atop my perch I can spy a route over...

Or maybe from this angle

You are a cotton-headed ninny muggins.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Kingdom For a Shoe

A lot has gone on since the last time I posted a running update. First off, shortly after the Turkey Trail Trot, my left knee started hurting. I personally blame this on one thing:

If I knew how, I'd draw devil horns on this shoe.

I've been running in the Pearl Izumi Syncroinfinity successfully for years. Pearl Izumi in their infinite wisdom discontinued my shoe love and replaced it with the above monstrosity. In Pearl Izumi's defense, I made some questionable decisions with the new shoe involving the removal of my orthotics. Once I realized this was a bad decision, I stuck them back in. I know for sure that the above shoe without orthotics is a bad match. I can't say for certain whether the above shoes with orthotics is detrimental since I am not sure if it was just a continuation of problems that started when I went sans orthotics. Follow? For the time being, I've sworn them off until I'm doing low mileage runs again to test them out again.

I therefore panicked big time (I have two pairs of shoes in rotation now with 400+ miles with two marathons coming up in a few weeks) and scoured the internet to find the last pair of Syncroinfinities in my size.

My new babies. If only they could last forever.

I also bought a pair of Asics GT-2150's to try out since Aron used to run in my other shoe love (Kayano 14's) and was able to switch to these when Asics in their infinite wisdom "updated" to the crappy Kayano 16's. Does anyone else sense a stupid trend with running shoe companies? With the shoe problems I just went through, I'm not sure if I'll get to try the Asics out in time to utilize them for Goofy in January. Worse case, I'll take my old pair of Syncroinfinities for the half and use the newer pair for the full.

But enough shoe drama.... What about that knee pain? It slowly got worse and more persistent the week after Thanksgiving. I am forever grateful to @karinmp for suggesting I go and see a chiropractor. I was desperate to be seen by someone that day so while I couldn't get in to see her doctor, I found another guy in San Francisco who I am convinced can walk on water.

Besides having awesome bedside manner, this guy diagnosed what was wrong (tight quads pulling on the insertion at my knee), gave me a stretch to try, and the thumbs up to go for a 10 mile run the very next day (who doesn't love a doctor who doesn't just say, "Stop running for a few weeks?"). I stretched my leg obsessively that day and went on a ten mile, 99.9% pain free, including the fastest 4x 1600 repeats I've ever done, run the very next day. And you know what? The day after that I ran 11 miles which were 99.8% pain free. Hallelujah.

I am not out of the woods, though. After this miraculous turnaround in less than 24 hours, I'd say my knee has not gotten any worse, but it also hasn't gotten any better. I am aware of it every now and then, but I am eons better than I was before seeing the chiro. The fact that I've gotten through my two peak weeks and held steady does bolster my spirits a bit, though.

I went out on a drizzly 22 mile run today. I have one more double-digit run on Sunday and then it is taper time for Texas!

Garmin at the end of today's run.

The best remedy for frozen hands after a rainy long run?

Bunny nose!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Mario

After many false starts we finally got the tree up!!

Mario had to meet his new roommates:

And make sure the ornaments were in their right places:

Of course his ornament is one of my favorites:

And after all that, a tired bun needs his personal massage:

Mario was so sweet this night. When I started rubbing his cheeks he inched forward and plunked his head on my leg. And if I stopped petting him, he'd give me kisses. My heart melts.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Boots & Hay

You are all so funny. The image of Mario clopping around in rain boots to keep his feet clean was too much! Actually, the boots in the boxes in the previous Monday Mario were both returned. With the rainy season starting the pasture at the stable is a huge muddy, boggy mess right now. I've been told that the stall Wings is going to get moved to when the rain really starts (it's going to get worse?!) gets pretty bogged down, too. I currently wear my leather riding boots to the stable. They are old (I got them when I was 15, I think!) so I don't care a lot about how clean they stay, but I'm not about to go into ankle-high muck with them on a regular basis, either. So I needed something to wear when going out into the pasture or mucking stalls.

I looked at the rubber boots on horse sites but they were all about $70! For rubber boots! I eventually found two pairs of those Western Chief boots. I couldn't quite decide which to get. I had a 15% off coupon for that day only so bought them both and figured I'd return one once I made up my mind. When I went back to return the pair I didn't want, I found these:

I fit into the kids size of the above boots! And they are better quality (waterproof guarantee, made in Canada vs. China...). The adult version of the above cost twice as much as the Western Chief ones I had bought. So I got the purple boots for $17. I feel slightly silly in the purple boots at the stable but they do the job and I am happy!

And since we're analyzing the boxes Mario was sitting on in the last post. That Oxbow Hay box... Do you know what it cost me? $29.55. For NINE pounds of hay. I usually buy a 25 pound box which runs almost $50. I was talking to someone at the stable and found out that a bale of Timothy hay costs $23. A bale is around 100 lbs of hay! Ugh.

So the most recent time my stable friend got a bale she picked up timothy hay for Mario. I took my hay container down and filled it up (I think I squeezed in 30 pounds). I paid for the whole bale since she was nice enough to pick it up (her horse and Wings will chomp on the other 70 pounds). Even after scrapping 70% of the bale, I still saved over 50%. Highway robbery of small animal owners!