3 weeks to go, 3 weeks to go…
Here is Joe the week after our last pre-Quilty 80km. He did 2 80km rides in 2 weeks (both quite slow and steady). Doesn’t look too bad …
In fact after a 3 week “taper” and some spring grass, he just might be the fattest horse at the Quilty… (I’m not really complaining – when it comes to weight management, it’s MUCH nicer to be trying to keep weight off a fully fit endurance horse than be stuffing food into them trying to keep weight on).
The final 80km competitive ride was 5 weeks out from Q-Day. I don’t know if that’s too far out for a good “taper” but we’re going with it, as the ride 3 weeks beforehand was rumoured to be rocky and technical and was also a 3 hour float ride away. So we stayed home and knocked out 50km on our home trails (yawn) instead.
Joe is HARD to train at home.. He is quite happy to tell you he doesn’t want to be out there and I have to push to maintain 12 km/hr (7.5 mph). Then of course at rides we are all go go go and generally do the first leg at about 14 km/hr!
Still – we clocked up 33km on Saturday, using one of our training loops which includes some fairly long, steady climbs (similar to what we can expect on the Quilty track). Then on Sunday we did 17km of short sharp hills.
The dog enjoyed it, at least!
Is it enough? Who knows. He is certainly fitter than he was pre our first 160km in May, when he had only completed one 80km so far for the season.
Can’t change it now anyway… Most “authorities” will tell you that the fitness base is laid down months ahead of time and that you can’t make much difference in the last few weeks. So now it’s all about muscle work to keep him supple, MAYBE a bit of interval work to sharpen up his aerobic fitness, and being spoiled rotten. He got some bodywork this morning from the lady who will also work on him at the Quilty and she was quite happy with him. He was very interesting to watch – it took him some time to decide that Nancy was a good thing, but nowadays he really gets into it, and when he needs to stretch, he REALLY stretches!
Here he is today: weird colour as usual for spring:
Fingers crossed for the next 2 1/2 weeks. Weeks of making lists, packing, and nervously waiting, hoping no one kicks him…
I’ve bought my green nail polish though (Joe’s colours are green) so I’m sure I have my priorities straight!