Weekend update: In which I almost die

I did so well last week with my whole “trying to be less fat” thing. I rode my bike 5 out of 7 days and rode my horse 4 out of 7. So naturally on Friday night when we had our Old Horse Friends Happy Hour I ate like a freaking pig. In my defense we decided this was my pre-birthday celebration and therefore we should order the Pazookie Party Platter. Let me show you what this looks like.


Basically we all got The Diabeetus and gained 5lbs in the process. Worth it. (Side note: my friend K who took this picture just started her own blog! Everyone should follow her, she’s cool and smart and has cute animals.)

On Saturday I was up early to go ride Henry. He was a little wild, which with him comes out as silly spookiness, so we did some snorting at random things and trotting sideways because the sandbags that are always sitting by the rail were STILL SITTING BY THE RAIL. Terrifying. But he settled fine once he got his sillies out and as usual left me giggling at his antics.

After I got home from the barn I had the bright idea that I should ride my bike over to visit my mom in one of Austin’s suburbs… cuz ya know… major day-after guilt from The Party Platter Diabeetus Incident. It really isn’t a bad journey, only about 19 miles round trip, and no major hills or bad traffic to negotiate. What I was failing to take into account is that it was 101 freakin degrees. I opted to wear a Kastel shirt instead of a regular bike jersey to keep the sun off my arms, but again failed to take into account that I wasn’t wearing gloves. Guess who has a super sexy hand sunburn? Guess who just about died of heat stroke by the time she got home? Total idiot. I will say though, that Kastel felt a million times better than my regular jerseys.

The Neapolitan look is hot. Pun intended.
The Neapolitan look is hot. Pun intended.

Sunday morning I was once again up bright and early (feeling like a tired sack of dog crap) for cyclocross practice. We did a warm-up ride through the park – aka by the time we were done with the warm-up sweat was rolling down my legs and face like someone had turned on a faucet – then proceeded to practice sprint starts 9,000 times. This could be a slight exaggeration, but not much. It was hell. Then we practiced barriers and run-ups, which I can only explain to you as a lot of running and carrying and other awful things like that. By the time we were done I was completely out of gas and really hot. So off I went for a lesson on Henry because as we’ve already discovered, I’m a total idiot.

sprint start number 8,999
Sprint start number 8,999. I’m the one on the banana.

Trainer had set up an exercise in the center of the ring that basically made a crap ton of turns and necessitated a steady collected pace and deeper distance if you wanted to succeed. Great… the exact things that take a lot of work for me, since I wasn’t already beat to shit. Note heavy sarcasm.


We went through the exercise a couple times with the jumps tiny, then put them up a little bit and did it a couple more times. When I actually sat up and rode and had a plan it worked out pretty well. I wish I could sit here and tell you that I sat up and rode and had a plan more often than not, but meh… 50/50. The fact that I was still on the horse by this point was kind of miraculous.

Hey chicken wings!
Ugh. Whatever.

Then we added more jumps after the zig zag exercise. An outside line that rode in a short six, across the diagonal over what was also jump 4, to the other outside line also in a short six. They were set short enough to where if you jumped in from a gap or with much of a bold pace, it was a 5. Guess what I did the first time? Womp womp.

I apologize for the wonkyness of the lines, I did it yesterday when I was in the throes of death. Just do me a solid and pretend they’re less drunken looking.

The second time was better, I actually rode to the deep one with a collected canter and the six worked out on both lines but I still felt like I was crooked and reacting instead of creating. At this point Trainer asked me if I was okay (pretty sure my face was past the color of a tomato) to which I replied “No, I’m about to fucking die. Let’s do it again.”. I really wanted to get it right.

Late, but wheeee
Late, but wheeee

Halfway through the last attempt I was starting to get dizzy but I managed to finish and it wasn’t awful. Still not really what I’d call great but passable. Henry and I were both cooked by then so we called it a day. My quads were quivering when I got off and I had to hose myself down in the washrack a couple times. Completely overdo yourself in one weekend? Yes please!

Video of the last part of the last attempt – best on full screen since it’s little. Also turn the sound on for Trainer’s glowing praise of “Alright… that was better” at the end. Hilarious. Poor guy, sometimes it really must be a struggle to be positive.

Henry Aug10 from amanda chance on Vimeo.

26 thoughts on “Weekend update: In which I almost die

  1. Pazookies are hard to pass up. Yeah, that was a lot of workouts for one weekend, especially in the heat. You’re way tough! If it’s 90°, I’m all thinking I better have an easy ride. I’d literally pass out if I did all that you did in that kind of heat. Glad you survived it 🙂


  2. Thank you for the shout out!!! 🙂 Now I *really* have to post regularly. That zig zag turn exercise looks pretty cool, and now I have plans to set up a similar one. But one question–what program do you use to draw your diagrams? They always look really nice!


  3. Yeesh! That loopy exercise would probably make my dizzy. Major kudos to overexerting yourself this weekend, but I feel like Pazookies are always worth it! You’re like me, in that even when I’m tired, I always want to keep doing an exercise until I get it right and/or we can end on a positive note. Glad you and Henry had a good lesson 🙂

    PS….aloe vera gel from the fridge is my BFF right now >-<


  4. It’s been great fun reading about your adventures with Henry so you’ve inspired me to start my own blog! Also, I want to swap tack with other peeps. =D

    Now I’m craving a Pazookie at 8am over here in CA….


    1. I never ride the horse without gloves but it totally didn’t even cross my mind on the bike. My dog chewed on my summer cycling gloves months ago so I’ve just been riding with none. Guess it’s time for a new pair.


  5. Happy early birthday. Egads on the cycling – intense, yo! And good job for inspiring another blogger to join the ranks. Also loved the video – looked very relaxed.


  6. If my trainer asks if I’m fine I generally bail out and call the ambulance. As far as he’s concerned, it’s hard to not be fine when you’re still actually on the horse. 😉 Hope you’re feeling better today!


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