Wednesday, July 31, 2013

a bit behind

Okay so I am a bit behind.  Here lately i only have time to write when I am at work and work has been crazy busy lately.  That is a good thing.  That means mommy has a job and baby can stay in pampers.  I have decided to take my blog in a slightly different direction.  This use to be my training blog for deuce, somewhere where I would blog about various training sessions and issues and also shows.  Now my life is so much more and I am tired of justifying that whatever I post will be only about the dogs or shows.  I have changed the name to reflect this.  Just as i talk about my dogs, I would like to start talking about other parts of my life as well.  So here goes.

Andrew just started walking.  I had waited so long for him to walk as other babies his age had been for a while.  I kept in my mind that milestones aren't competitions, but it was hard for me to keep saying that to myself.  He didn't start crawling till much later either so I figured walking would take a while as well.  Now that he is fully mobile, I want to rewind!  Gone are the days of just putting him somewhere and getting things accomplished!  I can still put him in his exersaucer and take a shower or quickly load the dishwasher or laundry but pretty much if I am visibile, he wants to be out and about doing whatever I am doing.  He is also climbing which gives me a daily heart attack.  We have several step ups and step downs in our house so we are getting lots of falls but the climbing is what really scares me and the fact that he is so quick about it.  We do have one set of stairs that we have to get gated ASAP because those are his favorite to motor to and climb up.  He can spend all day climbing up them and me taking him back down and him climbing back up.  I am still so nervous when he does this that I follow him up the stairs every time and so I am getting quite the leg work out.  He also loves to climb the two stairs up to the whirl pool tub so I have to keep the doors to the master bed room shut.  Unfortunately they are the type of doors that fold open so you can't lock them and of course he has figured out where to put pressure on them to open them easily.  Smart kid.  I really thought walking might be a big blessing in that he would wear himself out.  I am obsessed with reading other mommy blogs and many had reported that their kids go to bed earlier at night now or wear out quicker.  Not this kid.  I think being able to walk just winds him up.  He is still going to bed around 9-9:30 sometimes later.  The other night he went to sleep at 8:30 and i was in bed and asleep by 9 pm. HEAVEN.  Never thought I would be saying that!  He is also jabbering pretty regularly now.  He says words that sound like real words but we still aren't real sure if he knows what he is saying. The other day he was walking and fell and we heard what sounded like the words OH SHIT come out of his mouth.  We really need to watch our language.  He says mama and daddy regular and stella or lala or tella.  He can say deuce pretty clearly but doesn't really call out the other dog's names much.  He also sings his ABCs but it's gibberish so no we don't have a baby genius on our hands.  It's more just the cadence and the tune.  He still loves his cartoons, Martha Speaks, Curious George, Little Einsteins and The Cat and the Hat. I know he watches more at daycare but I don't know what he watches during the day.

Running has been great.  Finally got in the groove and 5 am isn't as painful as it use to be.  Occasionally if we have to shuffle our schedule, we will get up a 4:30 on rest days and go run and then do yoga but for the most part, it is 5 am.  If andrew would go to sleep earlier, that would make it better but it is what it is.  We just completed month one of our three (my four) month journey to train for this half marathon.  My running partner is doing a half a month earlier so she gets three months to prepare so I get a bonus month.  Good to just get back out and pound the pavement.  Forgot how much of this is a mental game just like dog agility.  It's all about you, the course or run, and finishing your goals.  I love running with a partner.  She is naturally faster than me but she pushes me to get faster and i push her to slow down and enjoy the easy runs.  If you ever think of doing a big race or even a 5 K, find a BRF or best running friend to help you with your journey.  Also, just as we do in agility, find a coach to help you pick a good training plan and to help you deal with any bumps you might encounter.  They are way cheaper than dog agility trainers LOL and they help you so much.  Lastly, keep your body in good condition just like we do with our agility dogs.  Regular massage and adjustments are a MUST if you are going to complete your training.

Dog agility is meh right now. I am at this point where I have reconciled my feelings and am again going to pull back a bit more.  No regionals and probably no st. louis trips in the near future.  Still on the fence about Omaha.  Not that far of a distance than KC and great friends to hang out with and bike with.   Deuce is still knocking bars and there is no clear answer.  He is running great, which breaks my heart to pull back but all of these runs with one knocked bar as starting to add up financially.  I have no goals for any national events so just probably going to stay local and just do a show or so a month.  I still am pulling from my savings account to enter shows so I am not entering much.  I am going to try and switch my teaching to weekends.  I will miss for occasional shows but I just cant' do anything week nights now with andrew and my running.  I also gave up my workouts at night but I am much happier for it.  I have no stress at night and we have been able to train our dogs more, do more stuff as a family, and get in bed at a decent hour.  I just can't handle anymore get up at 5, work out or run, work 8 hours, set up for an hour and then teach for three and get home at 10 or later.  It was exhausting and I just can't do that to myself and train for this half.  So, I am entered in three shows so far this fall and will go from there.

Hope y'all like my new blog format.  I totally understand if you have no desire to read about kids and or running but that is what my life is now made up about now:)  Will try and keep it as well rounded as possible but it might be heavier on the kid/running at times.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Twister USDAA agility

I have been avoiding writing this blog and I am not sure why.  Blame it on the fact that I have been getting up at 4:30 am to run.  Yep, addicted, just like I am to agility.  So the weekend went like this.  Headed down to oklahoma city friday around 10ish.  Traveled with great pal, the lady I rent the agility field from.  We have similar traveling styles so we travel well.  Got checked into the hotel and went to the trial site to put down crates.  Crating was a little weird, not much just open space so you either crated on the floor of the arena or up in the seats.  The bottom half of the arena was chairs but the top half was bleacher style so we just put our crates on the floor between bleachers.  Made it back to the hotel in rush hour traffic and got dinner.  Got in bed early but couldn't sleep.  The other inhabitants of this motel 6 were having a fiesta which seemed like right outside of our room.  Made going out to potty the dogs very interesting.  Man, I really wish I knew spanish.  Anyway, got up bright and early and headed over to the show site.  The club had provided gift bags for each handler that had tons of goodies.  We had seven runs that day.  I didn't know how this would go with his bar issue.  We had been practicing our jump grid work but you add in that extra does of adrenalin and all bets are off.  Here is what my sleep addled brain remembers of each run.  Will have to add videos later.

Jumpers: Bar. Will have to review video for other details.  My sleepy brain is hurting right now.  I do remember having to collect him on the start and doing my front cross too tight which flung him over the broad jump which he may or may not have seen in time to jump properly.

Snooker:  Knocked first red.  Set up, led out and tried to collect him prior to first red.  He saw tunnel and wouldn't collect and took a jump on way to said tunnel so we got a big fat 0.  Lesson learned, need to work on collection even if a tunnel is calling your name.

Steeplechase:  One bar and missed the weave entry.  Might have qualified with just one mistake.  I pushed him really hard on this course and he and i both kept our heads so I was proud of this run.  Did not give him enough info on the weaves but I think I was worried about the bar prior to the weaves if I pushed too hard.

Standard:  Honestly can't remember what happened so will have to view the video.

Master's Gamblers: The gamble was not a skill we had in our tool bag.  It was a jump to a tunnel under the dog walk and then they had to come back towards you and go up the dog walk.  I tried standing there so as he came out, he saw me and i could direct h im.  In retrospect i think going ahead and running and saying walk it would have worked better.  He came to me and I think if I had been moving forward that he might have gone up the dog walk.  Add that to the train that shit list.

Pairs:  Very embarrassed.  I did three front crosses in a row and was cueing the a-frame.  He crossed my body and literally accelerated like a fire was lit under his ass and took a jump 50 feet away.  Not joking.  I have no clue what he saw or what he was thinking.  A-frame was right there.  Didn't get video of this run.  I am afraid my pairs partner was not so happy about having a baby brained dog as her partner.  Would have been a smoking run.

Master's Challenge Standard: God do i love these classes.  These are my all time favorites as we actually get to USE the skills we train!!!!  Loved this course.  Got through the beginning very nicely.  I can't remember what else happened so will have to view the video and revise this.

Was kind of sad but at the same time really happy.  That was the first time we got through a steeplechase course with only a small mistake at the weaves. Was not happy about snooker but something to add to the train that shit list.  Got some good skill work on the gambler's course and he didn't knock the first bar of the gamble as he has done so many times before.

Sunday's runs:

Masters Gamblers -   The gamble was doable.  Unfortunately instead of going back into a tunnel that was under the dog walk to line us up for the teeter and then the start of the gamble, he went up the dog walk and so when the buzzer sounded, we were NO where near the start of the gamble and were coming into it very wrong.  He knocked the first bar and missed the tunnel instead taking a jump near me.  I blame myself for poor handling and didn't put the bar on him at all.  However, he did release off of my hand prior to me releasing him and probably would have been able to line him up better for the gamble had he not.  I should have been tighter on the tunnel to q him back into it.  

Masters Standard - Don't remember what happened, will have to review the video

Grand Prix Qualifier - Don't remember what happened, will have to view the video.  I do remember his cue from table over a jump to the weaves which was a huge push.  I had him super collected over the jump and sent him to the weave and he nailed the entry.  The weaves were going straight into the wall and I think he looked up and saw the wall coming at him and stuttered and popped out.  It wasn't like he was coming with me, it was like his feet got hung up and he just popped out.  That was the closest I have ever seen weaves going into a wall but again, train don't complain.  

The ride home was good.  Overall I think we have made progress.  He has dropped weight, is playing ball a couple of times a day and I hope to get out to the agility field more these next couple of months.  We had a couple of runs where he went off course and that bothered me.  He had been really in tune to me last show and we had hardly any off courses.  We have a break till regionals end of august.  My teammates have decided they are not going to nationals so don't have a team so may not go or just may enter friday and pray I get that last local qualifer so I can enter saturday.  If not, it may be a quick trip to KC and back in a day.  Oh well, not doing team saves me money.  Couldn't start my next session of classes due to extreme heat and rather than fighting the heat every week, canceled classes till the fall.  Am pulling money out of savings to deal with that and will pay back when classes start.  Scares me to do that (van you'd better not break down, knock on wood) but I know I will have sessions this fall.  I think we are moving in the right direction.  Will post videos as soon as I get them and can fill out my runs better.  Overall, happy, so close on so many runs.  Will keep plugging along and keep my chin up.  My friends are really awesome and have been cheering me up so much.  He has so much potential so I have to keep that in mind.  Nationals for USDAA are out this year and next year is too far so no goals for that.  Nationals for AKC are too far away for this qualifying year so no big goals for that.  Just go out and have fun is my motto and goal and there is always next year:)