Time to load the truck, hitch the trailer, and lead Consolation aboard. In just a few hours, we'll be off to Idaho City for Old Selam.
I seem to starting a tradition of "firsts" at Old Selam, which is Idaho's longest-running annual endurance ride. (The original race was held in 1976.) Last year, Aaruba and I completed our first 50 at Old Selam. This year, Consolation and I will attempt our first LD.
I'm a bit nervous.
I know, I know. It's only 30 miles. No biggie, right?
It's only that, due to the peculiar year I've been having, Consolation isn't as fit as I'd really like her to be. I'm sure she can cover the miles, but I'm going to have to take care that she doesn't do so too quickly. You'll recall that, on conditioning rides, she likes to take her time. I've only lately been able to start working with her on some real speed.
The key to success at tomorrow's race, therefore, will be for me to prevent her from getting caught up in the herd mentality at the start. If she does, she's likely to burn herself out on the first loop by trotting much faster than her accustomed pace.
Will Consolation prove susceptible to "race brain?" Oh, probably. She's a horse, after all, and an inexperienced one at that. What I can't predict is exactly how, and to what extent, she'll be affected by the ride atmosphere.
On the one hand, Consolation is much more level-headed and less emotional than Aaruba. I don't anticipate pen-pacing problems in ridecamp, thank goodness. On the other hand, she's a lot more independent and willful than Aaruba. I may be in for a serious workout in the form of a battle of wills.
Ah, well. That's what Limited Distance is for: training. My top priority is to help Consolation learn about this sport. If we finish on time, fantastic. Maybe we'll even win the Turtle Award for coming in last!
Cross your fingers for us. :)
Want to read more posts like this one?