Monday, August 30, 2010

Fitness and Carriage Rides

(I've been meaning to write this post for quite some time now, but just never forced myself to sit down and type. It's about time I found something to write so I have a more cheery post at the top of my blog. )

I stopped taking time to ride Arabee in April because it's something I can't do with my children. I expect to get more time this winter to ride, but after a few weeks of not much physical activity I found a second-hand (but in great condition) double jogging stroller and started training to run a 5k race (3.1 miles).

My goal before the end of 2010 is to be able to run from my driveway, to the stop sign North of our house, then turn around and continue South to that stop sign, then back home, which is a hilly distance of about 3.5 miles. I don't push myself very much, really, but right now I can run for about 2 minutes at a time, then take a walking break to catch my breath, and so on. Eventually I'll get there.

But I'd entered a 5k Fun Run that supported the Ronald McDonald House back in June, held at the Indianapolis Canal - a beautiful paved course that follows the canal, pretty much completely flat. Which was a lot of fun, I probably ran about half the time, walked half the time, alternately, and learned that I had a lot of training to do before I could keep up a running pace the whole time. But I'll get there. It's good for me, I think, as someone who is aspiring to compete "someday" in endurance - if I'm asking my horse to compete, maybe I ought to have a clue what it's like to be physically in shape! And besides all that, I'm losing baby weight, too :-)

Well, the whole family made a mini-vacation out of this fun run. We traveled up to Indianapolis and checked into a hotel just across the street from the NCAA Hall of Champions (where the race was to begin and end) with a pool, had dinner in town, and walked around the Circle Center Mall a bit. My daughter was amazed by many of the sights of the big city, including but not limited to: man hole covers, newspaper stands, and elevators......we need to get her out more. haha!

Before we checked into the hotel we stopped by Yellow Rose Carriage's downtown stable. I had worked there for several summers as a carriage driver and it was such a great place to work. It was such a great feeling to stop in unannounced at their barn and see how everything was still in perfect condition. The horses' stalls were spotless, fans were running to keep them cool (it was unusually hot for June when we were there) the harness was all hung up neatly and clean, the carriages parked nicely, ready for their next shift. It just felt really good to stop by and see how very very well everything was being taken care of for the horses.

I wasn't able to talk to the manager/owner - she had taken a couple of the horses to the equine chiropractor. I know there's a good amount of controversy over horse-drawn carriages in some cities, but the horses at Yellow Rose have the good life. If you find yourself in downtown Indianapolis, take a ride with a Yellow Rose Carriage - it's a great company who treats their horses very very well.

We had a really nice ride through the city - it is so relaxing to sit back and take in the city surroundings at the relaxed speed of the draft horse's walk, and comforting to know that the horse pulling the vehicle has received the best of care. Keep up the good work, YRC!

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