Home > Dispatches >Daily Dispatches 2014 > Daily Dispatch #247

September 16, 2014: Women who Run with Horses

There’s a book out there entitled Women who Run with Wolves. It is about Feminist-related self-empowerment. I am now thinking that someone should write a second book along these lines, one entitled Women who Run with Horses. This book will be about women who run with horses, the figurative context being about how horses empower women. I would be the primary example.

The literal context has gotten me to thinking about this. Pete and I are now, in the mornings, exercising and taking Tinni and Hrimmi along with us. Twice now, we have done our one mile loop,

alternating walking and running. I suspect that once it snows, the snow melts, and the water freezes that we’ll instead sit inside drink tea, and talk endlessly about the good old days, that is when the road surface was amenable to roaring around the hood with horses in hand.

What we’re doing is a part of my overall exercise plan. A few days ago I also started running with dogs on the trails, alternating running five minutes and walking five minutes. And, I might, when I get Raudi out, start running with her in hand.

I need to lose twenty pounds. I owe it to myself because it’s unhealthy to be overweight. I also owe it to Raudi, who in addition to carrying my sorry ass over innumerable trails, as of late had to carry it over increasingly higher jumps. My losing twenty pounds will make her job easier, and consequently, our relationship more joyous.

I have as of late been inspired by the accounts of two long distance athletes. I was in the kitchen, peeling apples. I heard of their exploits as I was listening to the radio. The woman (who lives in North Carolina) had set the record for having through hiked the Appalachian trail, solo, in 46 days. She ran with a pack, must have had trekking poles. And the man (who lives in Alaska) had in the past year completed a 300 mile and a 150 mile race. The latter was the Susitna 150, a winter race. He trained running in -30°F degree temperatures, in Willow, one of the most snow bound places on the planet.

I don’t have aspirations to do what they have done. But I would like to again run long distances, with and without my horses. This will never be an effortless endeavor. However, right now, the inertia of my physical and mental selves are like lead weights around my middle.

Gotta start somewhere. My comparison is to Raudi and my doing jumping. We did not start at the beginning – she was, when we entered the arena, a well-trained trail horse with plenty of miles on her. And I’m not going to start at the beginning – I have run long distances in the past, both competitively, and training-wise. Raudi and I stepped backwards and then stepped forwards. And I will step backwards and then step forwards.

Humbling, to still be jumping cross rails. And humbling, to run five minutes and be out of breath. Raudi and I can now go over several cross rails in sequence. And I can run five minutes, walk five minutes, and run another five minutes. So we are where we are, and we are happy to be where we are.

Goals? Would like to do another long distance trek, and be in good shape beforehand. Would like to run alongside Raudi for portions of it. Would also like to do a Levi Ride and Tie race. This is an event in which two people go a set distance – one rides and one runs. The two runners swap off running and riding. The finish time is dependent upon which (the horseback rider or the runner) last crosses the finish line.

I know that there are some very fast horses and runners out there. However, Raudi and I would be consistent. We’d also find a third, faster runner.

We’ll see. It feels good to be in the process of getting back in good shape. This dispatch is being written on the eve of my 59th birthday. 59 is a bit too close to 60, but at least I have another year to go. I know that I’ll feel better about being 60 if I’m in good shape. So for me, this too will be a form of self-empowerment. Guess I’ll write dispatches about the process and then, as with Lessons Learned, turn them into an e-Book.

Next: 248. 9/17/14: Lessons Learned: Pre birthday Ride