October 1, 2014

I Must Confess....

I'm a little bit of a nervous wreck over the upcoming 50.

Maybe I am putting too much pressure on myself and my horse. To be clear: I don't give a hoot about winning, top 10, or BC. I just want to finish. I don't particularly care if I take 11 hr 59 mins to do so either. I just want to finish.

But there is this nagging voice that has started in my head. It asks questions like:

"Have I really conditioned her enough for this?"

"Is it even fair to ask her to do this for me?"

"Would it be worth the try if I break my horse in the attempt?"

"Are we even fast enough?"

"Why not just drop down to the LD since I know she can do that barring an accident or freak happening?"


I was fine, bold and ready until the bottom fell out of all my plans. The hubby and W were supposed to come spend the weekend with me and help support me emotionally as well as what they could for water buckets, grain, e-lytes etc... at the holds. S was supposed to ride the LD Saturday and have time to help me get Gem and myself through the second half of our ride.

But neither are going anymore.

It became highly unpractical to bring an almost 2 year old to ridecamp for the weekend, renting an RV was insanely expensive and the closest house to rent is 40 minutes away. Then I changed my plans to ride Friday and go up Thurs so I could come home Saturday and only miss 3/4s of one weekend day with W. S can't leave Thurs and doesn't want to drive 4.5-5 hours alone, so she is re-routing to another ride that is closer and the same weekend. I briefly thought about changing my plans as well, but the other ride is on all deep sandy trails and Gem hates sand plus hasn't been ridden in it in well over a year. It would be a disaster to ask her to go 50 miles in deep sand when not prepared.

So I am alone for this. I won't know anyone in camp, won't have anyone to help crew, won't have anyone to take a celebratory finish line picture or give me a consolatory hug if we get pulled.

Yes, I am feeling a bit sorry for myself right now, which is not something I am prone to do at all.

Anyway....I am going to defeat the nagging beast encouraging me to wimp out on the only goal I had for 2014. I want this first 50. I want it badly. I just don't want to break my horse in the process.

I know this may be far fetched, but I have a small hope of still getting a decade award. She is 15. A horse just did Tevis at 22. If I manage her right, pick the right rides, and ride smart it is possible to do a 50 when she is 25. But every year we waste waiting to begin, is another year longer we have to keep at it. So now is the best time.

I may need to adjust my thinking a little. I desperately want that 50 completion and this is my only option for 2014, but maybe that is too much pressure. Maybe I need to just go into it and see how far we can get. Can we do 1 loop solo and without aid? How about 2? How about 3 or 4 or 5? Actually, I don't know how many loops there are and I am praying fervently that all holds are in camp since out areas will be very difficult for me to handle.

Deep breath. I need to go ride tonight.


  1. Replies
    1. Crossville, TN on what sounds like a fantastic course. I spoke with the RM and she is emailing everyone next week the ride details, so hopefully knowing how long the loops are and where the holds are will help ease my stress a little

  2. While it wasn't my first 50 on my own horse, my second 50 followed suit after a winter off from conditioning and I, too, went ALL ALONE to my 2nd 50 in April. Me. Q. Kenai. That was it. I blubbered around camp and checked in; people were SO NICE. It was pouring the rain, but I set up everything and then sat in my tent and drank a beer as I awaited dinner; it wasn't so bad. And I was SO scared that night and SO nervous and I tried SO hard to talk myself out of it (but wouldn't because I'm so stubborn and knew I'd be PISSED for letting myself down) and then my tent BLEW OVER WITH ME IN IT and it was terrifying; but I woke up the next day and it was okay. And I tacked Q up the next morning with calmer-than-they'd-been-but-still-nervous hands. A blogger friend showed up and helped me, which calmed me more. And then I mounted up for the start and suddenly ALL WAS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD. I was on my horse. I was about to head out and do what I loved. I was gonna ride my ride and do my best and that would be that. And it was terrific. Q was a terrific and willing partner all day. And we even *surprise* top tenned against all odds.

    YOU'VE GOT THIS! Fight the mental game that tries to talk you out of things - it's so much harder than actually getting out there and doing the damn thing. You know your horse. You know you. Just go slow and steady! When she's "up" at the beginning of the day, just tell her: "Go easy little girl, we've got all day. Go easy." She sounds like such a spitfire, which means she's really got the heart to go out there and do it. And you sound stubborn, which means you've sure as hell got the heart to go out there and do it!

    YOU'VE GOT THIS! Best of luck and cheers to you. =)