Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mid week, no runs yet, got to catch up!!!!!

We have officially hit the problems that are a two runner family.  Let me catch you up first before i delve into this issue.  I did a 6 mile run on saturday with my BRF and miss stella.  The weather was perfect and we had a great time even though we did have some ice to deal with.  Driving home the sky turned super dark and upon reaching wamego, we were greeted with wind and rain.  Glad we went to town and did linear trail.  The above pic is my BRF Robin and miss stella.  She prefers to run right next to robin so a lot of times i will hang back and let her hang with robin.  If not she tends to swerve over in front of robin because she has ADD and can't run a straight line.  She adores robin and if one of us has to stop or gets separated, she will pull as hard as she can to get to robin whether it is forward or backwards.  Sunday I needed to do an easy 4 mile run.  I had a friend who wanted to run with me so I sent her a FB message and agreed to meet up on sunday for a nice recovery run.  It turned into quite a tough run with 2 miles of it being steadily up hill and into a sustained wind.  Needless to say, I am still sore three days later from that run, but oh well, we had fun and talked the whole way and took walk breaks when needed.   I really wished I had my camera because the views when we got to top of the never ending hill was amazing.  We could see all out on the flint hills and konza and it was breathtaking and not just because of the wind in our face LOL!

This week has been kind of wonky.  Tony is now running three days a week and loosing weight and looking awesome.  BUT that kind of makes my running off kilter.  He is still working on increasing both his mileage and his pace and it will take time so i have to wait till he is done at night to go out and run.  I really don't love running in the cold and dark but my new headlamp my BRF got me for christmas helps and the feeling of course after I get done makes me feel like a beast!  I am hoping we can figure out a better schedule so we both can get our runs in.  His schedule is more a tuesday/thursday/sunday schedule and I am more of a MWFS runner but here lately I have been having to double up on the weekend which makes me have to rest mondays and do some weird combo during the week.  I haven't run at all this week but I am half dressed today at work so as soon as i get home, I can head out.  I did notice last night that at 5:30 there was still light so that will make my life so much easier.  Something about sunlight and cold that i can do.  Stella says she doesn't care, just let her go.

On a kiddo note, we have decided to move andrew to a new preschool from his current daycare.  It was a hard decision but I think he will really enjoy being around kiddos his own age.  He does love the babies at daycare but i think his language and manners will improve greatly being in a structured program that has kiddos closer to his age.  I also hope it gives us an added bonus of monkey see/monkey do in the potty training department.  We have been gearing up for this adventure, buying new potty seats and step stools and stickers so it will be a blessing to have many children going through this together so they can learn together.  I am so going to blubber like an idiot the last day he is at kathy's.  She has been such a great help for this first time mommy and I am going to miss her!!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

friday catch up

I did it.  I sent my entry in for the february USDAA trial, (just the regular classes), for one day of the local AKC trial (local meaning an hour away) and have my entry filled out for the USDAA trial in lincoln NE .  I also called a few of my agility friends this week and just talked.  Boy do I miss them more than I knew.  I also entered two races, one a 5 mile trail racet and a virtual race for one of my long runs that benefits another runner raising money for a charity in africa.  She is running 37 miles on the treadmill on her 37th birthday and raising money in doing so, so I figured my long run could be dedicated to helping her raise money.  I am also eyeing a diva dash here in manhattan to benefit the girls on the run running club but it has a hefty fee to enter.  I think it is another race where you get alot of bling and I just like races where you get a T and you run but maybe I can work on a PR.  It looks to be a super flat course.  Kind of bummed that if I do the USDAA trial that I will miss the st. pat's 10k but I want to support USDAA in lincoln too.   More USDAA less than 5 hours away would be nice.  As i have said 100 times, I could so quit AKC and just do USDAA year around.   I also asked to be put on a waiting list for a local ballet class for adults. I should have looked at the classes beforehand and just got into them before they filled.  Our college has classes for credit or non credit taught by people in the community on a variety of topics and super cheap.  I have always LOVED ballet and took a beginning ballet class in grad school.  They have had their first class and I haven't been notified of anyone dropping out so I guess I won't get in.  Maybe next time.  I tell you, the best shape I have EVER been in was that semester doing ballet so I am hoping if I can take a class, it will help my running.  So spring is looking to be a bit busy and I am excited.

I did get two runs in so far this week and had coughing fits after my speed work but not during.  I took it easy last night after my pace run on Tuesday and just did four at a 10:12 pace.  I confused the hell out of stella because I decided to go a different way and then got wishy washy and kept turning down different roads and she got so confused.  I have to laugh about our speed work. I say our speed work because miss stella is an awesome pacing partner.  I had originally thought I would just ease back into my week by doing 4 and my long run pace and then do speed work later on in the week.  Well, as usual as I started out, I felt good and my legs felt speedy so decided to go ahead and do the speed work. Except I had forgotten what pace I needed to do, so i whipped out my phone while running in the low nines and checked my email to look at my plan.  I saw 9:10 so I thought well, that is pretty speedy for me but if my coach believes in me, well, so do i so let's do this.  I hit mile 4 in 36 minutes and was getting pretty tired and on the verge of coughing but toughed it out and finished the 40 minutes.  Then I looked at my phone again and my plan and realized, whoops, the 9:10 was for the tempo run last week that I missed due to being sick and that my pace was suppose to be 9:50 for 40 minutes (which now seems to be my comfortable mid distance pace).  I am so happy that my fast is getting faster and am so ready for some races, particularly the 10 Ks. I feel like I can really push this pace even more and I think a sub 1 hour is a reachable goal now for sure.  I have another longish run this weekend but only 6 miles now that I am back on my plan.  Then an easy 4 either today or sunday. We are also contemplating andrew's first hair cut.  I am sure I will take tons of pictures if we decide to go that route!

Monday, January 20, 2014

a longish run

Another weekend of not getting my exact mileage in.  Needed a speedwork tempo run on saturday that didn't happen thanks to the 50 mile and hour wind gusts that never died down (thanks for not telling us the truth weather man) and also needed 11 miles on sunday.  I was still coughing so we decided to just do 6.  Glad we did because even though it was warmer and there were no wind gusts, there was still wind that was sustained.  Not sure what the mph was but it kicked our butts.  I actually coughed during the run several times.  I think it was a combo of the wind affecting my breathing and getting hot because it was warmer than normal.  The wind was a southern wind which is so odd in winter.  I got it done regardless and am taking a rest day today.  Today was suppose to be high 50s but when andrew and I went to the park, it was cool, cloudy and windy yet again.  Sigh.  I am so over winter.

Will have to see what this week brings.  I think i have 6 miles on the schedule this weekend so may bump that up since i have done a 5 and a 6 the last two weekends.  I have made two decisions this week which may affect my running but I need to.  I want to get back to taking regular classes with deuce and I want to get back to showing even if it is one show a month or one show ever couple of months.  I helped my kiddo that I mentoring to do her exit project this weekend.  She wanted to do a small agility class for friend and family so i brought obstacles and helped her and it was a big success.  And it proved to me how much i LOVE this sport and how much i really miss it.  I am hoping we get the same tax return this year so we can blast our credit card debt.  I am getting an extra paycheck this month so i can afford a local show if I do just the regular classes and no tournament or team.  I can drive back and forth and maybe do a long run in the afternoon or take a weekend off.  I think I have enough of a base built up now that missing one long run won't hurt me.  Also thinking about doing one show in march as well.  There is a usdaa show three hours away or aussie nationals 6 hours away.  The only reason I even consider aussie nationals is that mom could meet me and we could spend time together.  Both would have hotel room costs and both would have gas costs.  Alot to think about for sure but thinking anyway.  I miss agility:(

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Update on stella and coughing + running

An update on stella and andrew and that whole situation.  I met with a professional behaviorist and we agreed on a plan.  While i already had a plan in my mind and had talked to several dog friends that had agreed, I wanted a professional opinion.  Basically the gist of it is to create a positive association with andrew.  The biggest roadblock I think we will have is that the growling is random.  It's not always when he runs in the house or towards her.  It's not always when they are on the bed together.  It's not always when she is on a piece of furniture and he approaches.  We have been rewarding her for any and all interactions.  I have really been watching her body language and I am not seeing any tense body language, any stress signals like lip licking or whites of the eyes.  She does occasional get up and leave and i have been making sure he doesn't follow her so her desire to exit is respected.  I have also been really cracking down on andrew's behavior with deuce.  Deuce is great because he lets andrew do anything to him but just because he lets him, doesn't mean that I should let andrew do those things.  I know andrew can't generalize so i am trying to keep the behaviors around deuce and all the dogs the same.  So far so good so will keep you posted.  I know that we have been out of the house way more as when alot of the behaviors had happened, we had been stuck inside due to holidays and the weather.  This week we have been back at daycare and back on our normal schedule.  I think this has helped to give stella space and to give us time out of the house too.  We have also made a decision to not allow the dogs to sleep in our bedroom anymore.  This was a tough one for me because they have always slept with me or us so to eliminate this was probably tougher on me than them.  Now last night they snuck upstairs and slept with andrew and I when tony fell asleep downstairs but this whole week, they have been downstairs at night.  So far, it has worked out better than I thought.  I have slept better without them being in the bed (also known as lay on mom so she can't move all night time) and they have been getting peanut butter kongs as a compromise.

I was way to happy about running yesterday

Running has been pretty low key this week.  I had two speed work sessions and a 3 and 11 miler on the schedule.  I had started to feel sick saturday in San Diego and then it just progressed worse and worse.  Monday and Tuesday night I got very little sleep since i coughed all night.  I tried different combos of cough meds and pills and nothing was working.  I finally posted on FB and several people told me to try mucinex.  Well, mucinex is the miracle drug.  I still woke up whenever the drugs wore off and i started coughing again but 3.5 hour blocks of continuous sleep was wonderful.  I am still coughing today but did get a run in yesterday.  So I got my fartlek work in monday before the coughing got out of control and then tried running yesterday.  The plan was just an easy three miles but the dogs wanted to really stretch their legs and I felt obliged so i just ran as i felt good and ended up with a 9:20 overall pace!!!!!!  Today, the wind is gusting up to 50 miles an hour.  Driving into town meant both hands on the wheel and gritting of the teeth.  I am still holding out hope.  The weather man says the wind should die down around sundown so may be able to get a quick run in but we shall see.  We bought tickets to the women's basketball game so hoping I can run before we go.

Monday, January 13, 2014

My trip to San Diego. Lots of business, beaches and a tiny bit of running

Sitting here in our condo in La Jolla by myself, borrowing my boss's computer so I thought I would blog.  I left the snowy yucky weather in Kansas for sunny, cool, humid San Deigo on wednesday.  We had our first user's group meeting with the company that we are a service provider for on thursday and friday.  I am really glad that I got to come along because it has been hugely useful for me to be here and  get to know the in lab people.  Many ideas were thrown around and many misconceptions we had been given were clarified.  The first thing we did when we landed though was to go to the beach.  We hiked up Torrie Pines and back down and then walked the beach back to the car.  It was so good to stretch our legs after 5 hours of flying.   We also had to have some fish tacos, although I am not a lover of fish or anything seafood so I opted for some good carne asada tacos.  I also got to visit my first real whole foods!  Don't laugh, we don't have one anywhere near and I was impressed with the variety but not the prices.  No wonder people eat crap!  It is way cheaper!  I was SO tired that  night that I skipped dinner to go lay down and slept 12 whole hours that night.  It was GLORIOUS!

Doesn't everyone have their favorite toes in the sand pic?
On the second day, our meetings didn't start till one so I got to go for a nice run.  For whatever reason, I was having trouble breathing.  I think I am finally catching the chest cold that andrew has so my chest is super tight and now I am of course coughing.  I took it slow and tried not to get lost so I only did my three miler.  I was suppose to do my 10 miler with someone from the company but as i soon found out, everyone that was a runner within the company was sick so no one to long run with:(  We had our meeting and then the company took all of us out to dinner down in old town.  Would like to go back there when it is daylight.  It was dead at night.  We had happy hour at the company which was wine, then had multiple beers at dinner, then had wine at our condo we are renting.  Needless to say, I felt like pure crap friday ALL DAY.  I blame the 2 buck chuck wine we got from whole foods.

The View at Torrey Pines

The third day started early so no running.  All day meetings which lasted till late that night.   It was so good to have face time with all the people that I constantly call, harass, text, and email.  Many times I got the comment, Oh YOU are michelle.  Sigh.  Not sure if that was a good thing or not.  Turns out I have the most experience with the most variety of sample types so I had many people coming to me with questions, even lab staff at bionano.  I would love to have a couple of days of just sample prep with their staff but travel is expensive so we will have to see if that is possible.

Day four was all ours so we slept in, laid around and drank coffee (our condo had an expresso machine so my boss figured it out and made us expresso every morning) and then headed out to the beach.  We went to two beaches, the La Jolla cove to see some seals and tidal pools and then over to PB to walk/sit/sleep by the ocean.  We walked so much that I was really worried about doing my 10 miler when I got home that afternoon, which was my plan.  I had been given some routes and they sounded nice so as soon as we got back and the other part of our crew left to go to yet another meeting, I headed out.  This place is super hilly.  I knew it from driving but with the tightness in my chest, I was super worried about doing too much or getting lost.  Well, I got lost but I had heard UCSD had some running trails and I kind of knew where it was so I headed in that general direction.  Thank goodness for all the cross walks/lights because it gave me a chance to catch my breath and stretch.  I wanted to do at least 6 but was back at the condo by 5.3 and the sun was setting so decided to call it good.  No long run this week but I did get three runs in this week, my speed work, my 3 miler and my 5 miler.  I guess my body won't mind one break.
La Jolla Cove

I have had for the most part, a relaxing time but I sure am missing that red headed baby!  I need my baby fix!  He has learned a new word while I was gone so we had to face time so I could hear him say it.  I also did face time on the beach so he could see the waves and the surfers.  All the things and places I can't wait to go with him!  On a side note, flying out, I had two very small kids and their parents.  They immediately started crying and I thought, oh boy, this is going to be rough.  They stopped once we got in the air which was nice but I overheard the mom say there were flying to Tokyo.  Wow, can you imagine that long of a flight with two little ones?  They are some brave parents!

La Jolla Cove sea lions

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I love my dogs and my kid. Now to find harmony.

Sometimes it is really hard to admit you don't know something and you need help.  I have been in the world of dog training since about 2000.  I have trained and learned with some of the best trainers in our area and i am very lucky for that.  But, I have hit an area I don't know much about and it is really tough. I am very emotional about this and reluctant to share but I feel like it will help me.

First of all, stella is a tough dog.  She has been a tough dog from the start and as I joke with the breeder, in all honesty if she would have been my first aussie, i probably wouldn't have gotten another one.  She was intended to be my hubby's dog for agility so I had wanted a tough little sassy bitch.  I got that and more.  She was easy to train for agility, smart as a whip but super high drive and needed her brain worked as much as possible.  She runs with me every single run unless I am running at work or out of town.  Within our pack, she very quickly moved herself into the top dog status.  Berry held that title for years and even shared it with miller.  As miller has gotten older, he has gotten less and less respect from the other dogs and stella has just stepped into his shoes.  She isn't insecure at all, she is very sure of herself.  We were fine with that, the pack respects her and all is well.

Enter then andrew.  For the longest time, she was inseparable from him.  She constantly watched over him and wanted to be near him.  I really liked that, liked the fact that she loved him so much.  Now things have changed.  Big time.  It started with a growl one night.  We co-sleep and she was in the bed at the foot where she always sleeps.  We were having a bit of a tough night in which I felt like it was bed time and andrew did not.  He shot towards the end of the bed and startled stella.  She reacted very loudly and I just knew she had bitten him and it was totally my fault.  Luckily it was all noise, no bites but it scared me big time.  Fast forward, a few other growls here and there, mostly because he was in her space and she felt uncomfortable.  Kids can move at the speed of light sometimes and I try to be the most observant mom but I am not perfect by any means.  I still chalked it up to she had a right to tell him to back off, he can't read her signals so it is up to me and I need to be the best mom in the world and manage any and all interactions.  Fast forward again.  I had stella in my lap, on the couch.  Andrew approached the couch, doing his normal gibberish and I felt her growl.  I quickly told her to get off and picked up andrew and put him in my lap.  She seemed put off but nothing else.  Then she did it again the other night when she was on the couch with tony.  Again, we quickly told her to get off and put andrew in her position.

Last night was the final straw. She was laying by my feet and andrew came running up to me.  She not only growled but I saw teeth.  I was devastated.  I honestly don't know what to do.  I can't baby gate her away from him, my house has huge openings from one room to another.  I want her to feel positive feelings when he is around.  I want her to NOT resource guard me.  I want her to respect him and love him.  I have been so emotional last night and today.  I want harmony for my pack.  I now know how clients feel about their kids and their dogs.  I want to do what is right and what is safe but what is also successful for everyone in the long run.  I want my kid to not ever have to go through the fear of a dog bite, especially from one of our own dogs.  I have a few strategies to kick around.  It's been hard because this is not my area of expertise. I know I want to have a positive interaction with andrew and for her to know that he ranks above her.  We have learned so much about pack interactions now and also the power of clicker training and shaping and not using force or submission to teach our dogs.  I want to harness that, the power of the positive.  Will keep you posted.  I will get through this and create a safe environment for my child and my dog.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

long run hangover

I had a big long run hang over that included not waiting to do anything for the rest of the day.   Luckily my kiddo wasn't feeling up to snuff so we sat around and cuddled all day and watched a star wars marathon on spike tv.  My legs have really been bothering me this week and I have no clue why.  I did some nice fartleks at the beginning of the week, actually seeing some 7s on my watch during the one minute hard interval, and then ran the very next day in the low 9s for my 4 miles.    I really need to go get a good work over by my massage guy, its been too long.  My hammies are super tight and sore after every run and my hip actually was bothering me today.

We again had to beat the snow forecast.  Lucky for us, we beat the snow but not the cold front.  Wow, when we started it was actually warmish.  We were comfortable in our base layer and jackets.  Actually got a tad sweaty.  I had my first in a long time, I have to go to the bathroom now time.  Funny because my tights wouldn't go back over my sweaty butt, so I am pretty sure I mooned all of casement road.  Yep, your welcome.  About 6 miles into our 8 mile planned run, the wind started howling and the temp dropped immediately.  We were not dressed for that at all so when we got back to the car, we ended it.  7.33 miles in the books instead of 8, and it was tough.  The temp was nice starting out but the ice randomly everywhere on the trail was not.  We had decided that the pace as not important, that the mileage was.  I had to run somewhere different today and risk some ice.  Three weekends in a row on the same long run route was not going to work for my mind, even if we had to only do 8.  The above scene was some cows we came across.  They followed us for a while but didn't run with us.  We were bummed but stella gave them the stink eye for at least a half a mile.

It's kind of funny, I don't even view 8 miles as a long run.  Anything over 10 is a long run now.  Maybe I am prepping my mind for marathon training?  If I can keep my body together, let's do this!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


This one may take me a while to write so bear with me.  My running goals are nailed down but my agility goals are still iffy.  Let's start with what I do know.

If I have it right, I ran 7 5 Ks last year, one 5K trail run and three 10 Ks.  My goal this year is to do the same and to improve upon my times.  I would like to run at least one race a month to see where I am at.  For my 5 Ks, I would like to get my times under 27, maybe into the 26s.  I think I can do it, I am seeing low 8s on some of my speedwork runs.  I have had some 8:30s in two 5 ks but could only sustain that pace for two miles so hoping I can increase that to 3.2 miles.  I am also signed up to do not one but four half marathons in a matter of three months.  Three are part of the heartland series and one is Hospital Hill.  I don't think I can PR on all three since the series is pretty close together so my goal is to PR on at least one of the three and finish in one piece for the Hospital Hill race.  June in KC and hills may not be the best race of my life so finishing is a good goal.  For the fall I haven't thought that far ahead.  Part of me wants to do a full marathon.  Part of me wants to do some more halfs and let this be the year of the halfs.  I would like to do the KC half and maybe go to Tulsa this year and do the Route 66 half but fall stuff will have to wait.  I really want to see how my body responds to doing 4 halfs in three months first and see if tony is still working in Topeka.  I really, really need to train in the morning in the summer thanks to the wonderful Kansas heat and humidity.  If I can't do that or if tony is working lots of weekends when I need to do long runs, a marathon might not be in the stars for me.    I would also like to find a destination race we could all do again this year.  Maybe even a race where we could take stella and she could run with since she trains with me.

Agility is still up in the air.  I haven't had any time to practice lately.  I do take deuce on my shorter runs 5 or less miles, but it isn't the same as doing obstacles.  I am working weekends right now so lots of weekends i could practice have been out.  Tony was working 12 hour days so monday night classes were also out of the question as I couldn't get to the class and take care of andrew.  I wish we had more of the weekend seminars that Lori use to do but she is on the road a ton now teaching elsewhere and I can't make her monday night seminars in KC.  Then there is the whole money thing.  I only got one session taught this year, partly due to weather and partly due to lack of childcare for my kiddo.  It doesn't make sense to pay more for my kiddo to have daycare so that i teach and barely break even after paying for sitters.  I did have some wonderful baby sitters the few times I had to have them and I am grateful to them for stepping up so I didn't have to cancel class.  I moved my classes to the weekends thinking that would be better for me and for my students but in doing this, I lost more than half of my normal crowd.  I had hoped to get back to week night classes but I am still not sure that will work for me even in the future.  I have a ton of responsibilities at home now so nights are pretty tough for me to be away.  I use to be able to use shows as practice but now that the money is tight and I am back to having to use money out of my pocket, I  don't think I will be able to continue to do so.  Basically I have a ton of thinking to do.  I haven't entered any of the january or february shows and need to decide about the march shows.  I would hope to be teaching again by march so maybe that would be a possibility.  So the two things I do know are no nationals and probably no regionals.  May just do USDAA this year and not do AKC at all.  Still thinking.  I do think that based on Deuce's age, this should be our year to really kick it in brain wise, if I can get practice in.  My other two aussies really got it at age 5 and Deuce seems to be heading in the same direction.  I must make agility a priority for practicing.  There are some small possibilities coming up to maybe rent a place in manhattan with some other trainers but it is very small possibility and footing would be a major concern for agility.

My personal goals are to blog more than just once a month.  I feel so much better when I blog a few times a week.  I also want to be a better example to andrew eating and drinking wise.  He already wants to drink our sodas and eat the crap we eat so I need to do some more clean living.  I want him to grow up healthy just as tony and I did, not addicted to the fast food lifestyle that we currently indulge in.  I want to foster my hubby's hobbies and help him to love the sport of running even if he never does a competitive race.  I also want to stay more in touch with my friends, especially my agility friends.  I love them all dearly and even if I can't or don't show, I want to keep in touch with them.  I also would love to get more involved and find a home church.  Just the few times we went this year really made me super happy and made my heart sing to see andrew having so much fun in the nursery.  I want him to have a church family and youth group just like I did growing up.  My youth group was probably the main reason why I was such a good kid and lived a christ centered life.   I need to get back to that.  I am second needs to be a personal statement that I say constantly.

I am really excited for this year.  I am in the BEST shape of my life and feel like I am ready to tackle some major goals running wise.  Hope and pray to stay injury free.  Hope to keep agility in my life in some shape or form even if I have to cut back on showing even more.  Deuce is just too awesome for me to just give up.  Looking forward to another year of growth and development of my little kiddo. Hope to continue to get better at this whole mommy thing and let go of worry/ guilt/stress that my job is bringing to my life.  Just live in the moment and not worry about the future so much.  Here we go!!!  Hello 2014!!!!!