The West Virginia ponies are back!  No, no more Chompers.  Timberline Stables has new management, and a whole new crop of ponies.  But they’ve caught on quickly to the carrot game.  The time when Chompers nibbled on Aaron’s ski seems to have had an indelible effect on Aaron’s confidence in horses’ ability to distinguish between carrots and, say, fingers.  So he leaves the carrot delivery to me.

This is our longest stay in West Virginia to date — 10 days.  We took our laptops and worked from the Chophouse M-F, taking a mid-day break each day to go out for an expedition.  My IT band has still been squirrelly since HS40, so I’ve been doing an ‘activity’ of running and walking.  I go through cycles where I take my running more or less seriously, and summer tends to be a time when I let my hair down and back off.  The woods are full of activity — woodpeckers in chase, swarms of tadpoles, bees bumping over wildflowers — not a bad time at all to slow it down and pay closer attention to what’s around you.  Aaron seems to have been stung by one of those bees, and has been on a mileage tear — no doubt a good sign that he’s finally kicking the last of the Lyme.  It seems to be a particularly bad tick summer, and several of my friends from State College have already been treated for Lyme.  One of the really nice things about West Virginia is the lack of ticks here.  It’s the only place you can run through the tall grasses without a feeling in the back of your mind that tiny fangs are sinking into your flesh.

There are some perfect trails for newbie mountain bikers out here — jeep roads, grassy double-track, and singletrack that are just tough enough to challenge you without making you want to get off your bike and walk.  I’ve even been scanning Craigslist for lady’s mountain bike prospects — quite a large number of people out there with nice bikes trying to offload them.

I’ve also been experimenting with the Hoka trail shoe as additional protection for my fibroma.  Overall, my verdict is that I’d rather not to have to wear them (I’ve always preferred minimalist gear — the old definition of ‘minimalist’, before it meant ‘vibrams’), but given the fibroma problem it’s definitely a safer and more cushioned way to go.  Because of the IT band, I haven’t had a chance to really test them flying down hills, but so far the results are auspicious.  Missteps seem to be less punishing.

I have the Lurray Triathlon Aug 16, and the Pony Run in Montana the week after that, so at some point I have to be able to start running regularly again.  But neither of them are events I’m taking very seriously, and I know better than to rush an IT band.  I’d rather be healthy and under-trained than in shape but hurting.  I signed up for the Women’s Half Marathon lottery, but there’s a side of me that’s a bit fatigued of that event.  Not that I don’t love it to pieces — I would still go and volunteer.  But last year I thought I was moving to Minnesota and imagined it was going to be my last WHM hurrah, at least for a while.  I’m glad I’m still in DC (I would have been miserably cold in Minneapolis), but I feel like I’ve kind of punched out at that race, and psychologically I’m ready to let the WHM go for a bit.  Maybe it’s just hard for me to get psyched for a fast race when I have so many lingering issues — my fibroma, IT band, hamstring, low weight.  It’s hard to get in a racing mindset.  I’ll see which way my gut is going come decision time, but these days I’m far more concerned with whether the ponies get their evening carrots than whether I break another record.


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.