Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Recovery Days - Swimming and Horses

I did my first International Distance Triathlon on Sunday. I say did, not competed, or raced, because I DID the distance just to see what if I was able. It was the longest I have ever traveled at one time on my own steam.

After the event, I was a little tired, and a lot hungry, and REALLY HOT, but I felt okay. I thought for sure that on Monday I would feel achy, or tired or, well, I don't know what I was expecting to feel. I certainly thought I would need a couple of recovery days.

I hadn't expected it to be so easy to get up at 5 a.m. Monday for work. I thought for sure I would get tired during the day while teaching a bunch of first graders. I didn't expect that after work I would have the energy to meet up with one of my best friends and swim 1500 yards at the pool. It was easy and I felt great!

Swimming 1500 yards in a warm pool is way easier than 3/4 of a mile in a cold lake.


The run at last weekend's triathlon was torturous! It was hot and we had to run on sand, cement, dirt and uneven pavement around the man-made lake. TWICE! The first time was hard. The second time was excruciating! After Sunday I was sure I would not want to run again for a long, long time. Well, at least for a while.

Then I looked at my training schedule for today and it said to run for 7 miles. Yikes! Running 7 miles would be like running around that darn lake twice and then some. Robert suggested we run our usual canal route, which is about 5.5 miles.

Nope! If I was going to run, I was going to run the 7 miles. But I needed it to be pretty or at least new. We decided to run the Gage Canal, but from the other end. I had never run on this portion of the canal. It was the same, but different. The canal was still there and the dirt path next to it was bordered with orange groves in some places. But in other places there were arenas and horses and cows.

Same canal, but from a new perspective.

My favorite part of the run was at the 3.4 mile mark when we ran by a horse ranch. First we ran by a pen where a lot of steer used for roping practice lazed about in the dirt. Next, we trotted by a huge arena with grandstand seating on one side. The place just smelled like horses and it brought back great memories of all the years I had horses and showed at horse shows. I didn't rope steer or barrel race, though I had lots friends that did. I rode English and showed Jumper and Hunter Hack.

Then just a jog down the path we came upon a fabulous sight. Sorry, Coach, but I had to stop running and watch this - Next to the arena they had a swimming lane for the horses. A couple of guys with a lead line on each side of the horse, led the big roan up to the edge of the pool. That quarter-horse jumped in and made a big splash and then he swam the length of the lane. The lane must have been deep because just his head was sticking out of the water. He swam to the other end where he walked up an incline and was out on dry land. 

Robert asked if horses like to swim. When I was younger, I told him, we use to take our horses to the river bottom and they would swim in the river and we would hold onto their tails and get a free ride.
I was never afraid of swimming with my horse.

If I had not gone for this run today, I would not have seen the swimming horse or remembered how much fun I had swimming with my horse. It made the run all worth while.

As we turned off the canal's dirt path to the paved road, I was surprised my legs felt so good.

From here we had about a mile to run to get to our car. I ran as fast as I could all the way down this street to the stop sign. I waited at the end of the street for Robert and then we jogged the last half mile to the car.

You should have seen Robert's face when I told him my schedule for tomorrow says to run again - track workout of 4 miles.

I think I may be running the track alone.

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