Sunday, May 24, 2009

Willo in limbo

I stopped riding Willow last Saturday and called the chiropractor. She wasn't any worse, but she wasn't getting any better either, and if she's ouchy in the poll I want to get that fixed before asking her to hold flexion there. Unfortunately, the chiropractor is totally ignoring me, so I'm casting about for someone else. In the meantime, Willow is enjoying being free-lunged and hand-grazed every day. There's a giant thought bubble over her head that says "I could get used to this."

Friday one of my barn-mates fell off her suddenly freaked-out gelding Bean and got trampled. He stepped on her forearm and lower back. She has some really impressive bruising, but is otherwise fine. Apparently her gelding thought the tiny Welsh cob pony Fishie was attacking him, and that's what set him off. Bean is not known for his bravery.

I've been steadily increasing my distance running, and also steadily increasing the pain in my knees. So today I visited the Eugene Running Company and got expert help in picking out some new shoes--Sauconys. They're supposed to stop my pronation. In my quick experimental jog outside the store I felt no pain in my knees at all, so I hope the new shoes solve the issue. Getting old sucks.

Since my last post I discovered more great running music: Flogging Molly. Celtic punk! I added "If I Ever Leave This World Alive" and "Devil's Dance Floor" to my mix.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My running mix

When I visited Nebraska in April, I found that 90% of my friends there were running the Lincoln half-marathon, and one was running the whole marathon. It made me feel like such a slug. I've been an off-and-on jogger for ten years now, but since moving to Oregon it's been more of the off-again, because I just couldn't bring myself to run in the rain, and I'm not the treadmill type.

For some reason, visiting with those awesomely fit friends flipped a switch in me, and I suddenly have an unreal level of motivation to get myself up to 5 miles. I've been running 5 days a week for almost three weeks now, and I've started looking forward to it rather than dreading it (a first for me). I'm even starting to eye some upcoming Eugene races, although I'm super intimidated, Eugene being Track Town USA and all. I don't want to finish last!

Here's my current running mix. I'm always on the lookout for good songs to add. I've marked with a * those songs that inspire me to accelerate, even when I'm falling-down tired. And I make no apologies for the mullet rock. Embarrassing in most situations, it's good stuff for running.

Arctic Monkeys, Fluorescent Adolescent
Arctic Monkeys, I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor
B-52s, Roam
Big Country, In a Big Country
Boston, More Than a Feeling
*Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run
Cheap Trick, I Want You to Want Me
Cheap Trick, Surrender
Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Hi and Lo
Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Zoot Suit Riot
*Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Drunk Daddy
*Conor Oberst, NYC-Gone, Gone
Counting Crows, Accidentally in Love
*CCR, Bad Moon Rising
CCR, Fortunate Son
Dire Straits, Walk of Life
*Eagles, Already Gone
Elvis Costello, Veronica
Finger Eleven, Paralyzer
Georgia Satellites, Keep Your Hands to Yourself
*Green Day, American Idiot
Green Day, Holiday
Jason Mraz, I'm Yours
Jennifer Lopez, Let's Get Loud (ducking rotten tomatoes . . .)
*Joey Ramone, What a Wonderful World
*John Fogerty, Centerfield
*Kansas, Carry on Wayward Son
Killers, Mr. Brightside
Killers, Somebody Told Me
*Killers, When You Were Young
Matchbox Twenty, Disease
Michael Penn, No Myth
*Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit
OMD, If You Leave
Quiet Riot, Cum on Feel the Noize
*REM, It's the End of the World as We Know It
REM, Stand
Santana, Smooth
*Styx, Renegade
Talking Heads, Burning Down the House
*Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, American Girl
*U2, Vertigo
We the Kings, Check Yes Juliet

Willow is still shaking her head, so I don't think the bit or the bridle is the problem. I bought padding for the crown piece just in case, but I'm also going to get the chiropractor out. In spite of the head shaking, we had a super lesson Thursday. Whatever's going on with her is not affecting her performance, as far as I can tell.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Life goes on

I can't believe it has been ten days since I lost Marko. It still seems very near. But I'm doing much better and am now able to remember the years and years of happy times while dwelling less on the end. I did love that dog fiercely.

Top five things to know about Marko:

1. He gave hugs. He would reach his head around behind your neck and squeeze.
2. He was a 65-lb. lap dog. He loved to drape as much of himself as he could across whatever human was closest. Classic velcro vizsla.
3. He had a nerve deficit in his right eyelid, causing it to droop a bit. I always thought this gave him a debonair expression.
4. He was a spazzy puppy. When he was six months old, he broke my nose.
5. He was the reason I decided to buy a house at the age of 25. "Bouncing off the walls" is not just an expression when you try to raise a vizsla puppy in an apartment.

My other two dogs are doing well. I'm glad they have each other. Sam the German shorthair is probably feeling some newfound freedom. Marko was the alpha, and Sam always had to watch his step. It'll be interesting to see if he shows off some sides to his personality that I haven't really seen.

Willow is testing a new bit and bridle. Lately she had started shaking her head emphatically right before I put her regular bridle on. The strange thing is, she'd let me go ahead and put it on, and once it was on she stopped shaking her head. I have no idea if she's signaling some kind of discomfort or if this is just a new quirk. To be safe, I'm trying out a bridle with a cut-back and padded crown (in case it's an ear thing) as well as a fatter version of her French-link snaffle (in case it's a mouth thing). She had her teeth floated six weeks ago, so it's not that. She hasn't stopped the head-shaking yet, but she definitely likes the fatter bit. Foam city.

Trainer Leslie's new focus is to get Willow up from the wither and stepping more under. So I'm deliberately bumping her up in front and at the same time touching her with the whip to engage the hind end. This is rocking Willow's boat rather wildly, but she's getting so much better about just going with it and not assuming the apocalypse is nigh.