We all know how I feel about plans and even my attempts to only kinda, sorta make them for the spring have gone out the window. But...I need to have some sort of idea on how we are going to make it to our first 50 in the fall.
I would love to make it to a 25 mile ride beforehand. It would be great to get her back into the mindset of the ridecamp and having a true hold with a second loop to go out on. But it just isn't going to happen.
Rides up north begin in April and go pretty solidly until the end of October. Each weekend had many to chose from and it was rare to have a weekend without any ride going on. But down here the rides shut down from Jun-Sept due to the heat. Some locals head up north to Virginia to keep riding, but that is too far for my life right now.
I don't see making it to a 25 before the end of June. I don't have the time right now with starting up the new business nor do I have the money. I also won't sign her up for 25 miles 2 weeks prior to our first 50 mile ride. That would be setting us up for fatigue and failure and I won't do that to Gemmie.
So that leaves me in a little bit of a conundrum. I plan to continue to try to ride 2 days a week in the arena working on speed and consistency working up to a solid hour of work at speed. One weekend day will be spent out on the trails locally spending about 2 hours out on the trail. I hope to keep increasing our speed on trail so that our distance in those two hours increases.
When I rode with T she mentioned a trail system called the Brick House that is a bit far away from here, but will be a shorter drive once we move this summer. It sounds like a great place because it has two loops: 9 miles and 16 miles.
Here is what I am thinking: continue with my current 3 days a week plan until we move in June/July. As long as our heat conditioning is working well, head out to the Brick House in the summer to simulate a ride hopefully in mid to late June. Go out on the 16 mile loop and then take an hour break at the trailer to untack, offer water and food, eat and then trot her out by hand. Then tack back up and head out on the 9 mile loop trying to maintain an endurance style pace throughout.
That would give us a 25 mile ride and while it won't be at a real endurance event it will simulate it well enough to give me a good idea of how we are doing. Hopefully I can convince T and/or S to join me :)
There is no need to go beyond 25 miles in a conditioning ride so if we handle that just fine we are in good order to just back off a bit in the heat and work on maintaining. Pick it back up a bit again in late summer and then head off to our first 50 in September! :)