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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

August 31, 2008

Researching Top Ten Finishing Times

Spent part of today researching the finishing times of top ten competitors at the rides I plan to attend in the future. I'm going to calculate the avg. mph for each of these 25 and 30 mile rides. (Puddin' was 1 minute from a top ten at her very first endurance ride...her heart rate kept bumping up when the wind would catch the taped off area that was the pulse gate!) Once I know the time range for each of these rides I can set up a virtual training partner, and try to reach the goal pace as training progresses. I'm also trying to figure out what gear we have left to accumulate for an equipped ride season. I'm thinking of purchasing 4 plain easyboots and some foam. I've read on the barefoot boards of many people having great success sans gaiters and using foam. This horse is pretty crabby about her back feet and I can't see myself wrestling the bares on and off. Most of her training will be done true barefoot, but I want protection as trail warrants it, and as we start to have high mileage weeks. Phebes doesn't have the rock hard hooves that Puddin' had. A spare pad may be necessary, a spare bridle will definitely be needed, then it is just the matter of getting enough money together for my AERC renewal, park & bridle passes, US Rider insurance, plates for the horse trailer, ride entry fees, and fuel. It is all a little daunting. My 2009 ride goals are: Chicken Chase in April X 2, Top of the Rock in June X 2, Salamonie Sizzler X 1 (maybe), and the Spook Run in the fall X 2, and if they repeat the Cave Country Canter....I'll shoot for that one as a one day. So 7-8 competitions with an eye of the first four being "training" and trying to get serious as the season progresses, but only to her capability. If she has to walk, trot all of them for a barely made it finish...then that is what it is, and we'll train for CTR the next season *LOL*. The overall goal is to get her head into the game, see if she is up to the challenge physically and mentally, and as we progress through each ride does she finish a little faster? The finish times will be like comparing apples and oranges, but I'll look at other horse's finishing times and see if we are hitting a back of the pack, to middle of the pack range. If she can do that in 2009, we will then measure the rides against our own average speeds from the '08 season (using the virtual training partner on the Garmin Forerunner) and we will then begin racing ourself, mindless of the other horses on the trail. In this way I feel I can bring her along sanely, and safely.

I'll write more about the 25 mile finish times later ...

Doug is still gimping, but plans to go with me on a trip to the park tomorrow anyway. We are going to take Phebes and if nothing else let her see the sights, horse, trucks, trailers, and normal chaos of day parking on a busy horse trail. She had her bath late this afternoon, and I loaded her tack "just in case". If she is reasonably calm I'll attempt the four mile loop by myself. It is a shorter trail than she's done, but perhaps more challenging in that it is #1 our first trailer ride since the trainer episode #2 her first trip to a public trail #3 her first experience meeting strange horses on trail. I figure about an hour and fifteen minutes to do that loop at the walk as there are some hills, and a couple of creek crossings.

Wish me luck...this is a big step forward if it all works out. My biggest worry is that she will refuse to get in the trailer to come home :-/
~Endurance Granny

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