Yep, it’s that time of year again. Sleigh bells, hot cocoa, Santa hats on saguaros…and my annual year-in-review.
A wet, wet winter start to the year. The Bumble Bee ride got postponed to April…which was fine because I spent a lot of time concentrating on my trail running during the first quarter of the year.
Managed to log 90 running miles for the month, and actually keep a mileage/activity log for the month.
More running. I paced Mel at the epic mud-rain-hypothermia-fest that was the Black Canyon 100k. I ran the Elephant Mountain 22k. That race, for whatever reason, was where things really clicked for me and things like hydration, eating, shoes, and apparel all came together. And then I capped off the month with a training run at Mt Ord — 7 miles straight up and 7 straight back down.
I also squeezed in a day at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show…but I brought the pups along, so spent more time wrangling them and failed to get any decent pics. Eh, we know the drill. Ridiculously pretty Arabians…some of which made my fingers itch to deck out in endurance gear and tote their butts out to the trail.
I feel like I was gone for a good part of the month. Oh, wait, I was. First down to Florida to be the Renegade rep at the FITS ride, then to Dallas to run the Renegade booth at the AERC Convention. And sprinkle in last-minute prep and lead-up to my first 50k.
The biggie: my first 50k finish at Crown King Scramble! And then the Dam Good Run 26k, just for fun. (Although “fun” is debatable when it hits 95° on the course.) I attempted to do the Bumble Bee ride, but due to truck issues (not mine, mercifully), Liberty wasn’t able to be brought down to the ride for me. So I volunteered. Which, long story short, had an end result of me being nominated to run for the position of one of AERC Southwest Regional directors at the end of the year.
Mimi’s birthday month (24!), and we actually got to get out and ride. Dad and I ran the Renegade booth at The Mane Event expo in Scottsdale (yay, a convention thing in my own backyard!), and I got an invite to do the Tevis Educational Ride in July. A day trip to Prescott to hike and take in some cooler temperatures rounded off the month.
June kicked off with the Horse Expo in Sacramento for Renegade, which was a fun experience. Then I proceeded to get a lot of saddle time in around the barn in an attempt to be somewhat saddle-fit and ready for the Tevis Ed Ride. Pony was quite happy, as it was hot. The hotter, the better in her world.
This would kick off a roller-coaster rest of the year as far as endurance/horse activities go. The highlight was obviously the Tevis Educational Ride with my friend Cathy on her Al-Marah horses Tempest and Dean. I floated on the high from this weekend for most of the month.
Crewing Tevis. Although Lucy didn’t finish this year, it was a really fun time with a lot of laughter and the chance to hang out with good friends. Once home from Tevis, I was offered the opportunity to tackle the Virginia City 100 the next month, so spent some time and rides getting to know Beeba.
My first attempt at a hundred-miler with the Virginia City 100. We didn’t finish, but it was an amazing experience and I feel really good about how the whole endeavor went. Artemis’s birthday is this month (4!).
Beeba and I took a crack at the 50 at Man Against Horse…and got pulled at the finish. Disheartening, to say the least. I retail therapied my way through eBay and scored a ridiculously good deal on a set of Hought Tack…because a girl can never have too much tack. Sofie’s birthday month (6) and “gotcha” month — 2 years with me now. Also Mimi’s “gotcha” month — 21 years!
Highlight was being asked to ride my friend Cristina’s little Al-Marah gelding Atti in the 75 at Lead-Follow @ McDowell…and finishing! That was a major, much-needed win, and a great way to wrap up the 2017 season. It also put me at my 500-mile mark for endurance miles. Artemis’s gotcha month (4 years!), thus proving that I have a tendency to acquire my animals in the fall, apparently. Did some more catch riding on my friend Barb’s horse Junior, with an eye on some rides with him this upcoming season. Thanksgiving weekend, we did a family hike up at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum to admire the fall colors in the desert.
Vacation!!! Washington, DC, to be precise…where my best friend and I spent 5 days walking almost 40 miles, getting snowed on, eating excellent food, and engaging in all manner of plotting and planning that’s kept us friends for the past 23 years. On the horse front: although I wasn’t elected as one of the Sothwest Regional Directors, I did get asked to be a part of the AERC Membership Committee in 2018, so I’m looking forward to participating in that endeavor.