Thursday, April 28, 2005

Gimp City

I can't believe it's been only 2 weeks since the crash, it feels like a lifetime. I've got (hopefully) 3 more weeks on crutches then a few more weeks until I can start swimming and maybe some weight training and trainer biking. At this point though I'd be happy to be able to carry a cup of tea from the kitchen to the dining room. It's unbelievable all the dumb ass everyday things I can't do, never mind all the fun stuff. I finally went back to work a few days ago and it's actually easier for me since I have all kinds of people that can wait on me. Which leads to a rather disturbing realization about myself-I hate asking for help, to the point of it being pathological. Rather than buzz people on the intercom to ask them to bring me something I insist on stumping around the office, only to have someone tailing behind me anyway, asking how they can help. I'm supposed to keep as still as possible for the next 3 weeks so the fracture can heal and I know I shouldn't be trepsing around but it seems so stupid to bother someone to bring me something from the printer or fetch me some water. Today I brought in a gallon jug and I've gone through 3/4 of it before lunch. I had no idea I drink so much water, what is wrong with me? I know the climate here is semi-arid but this is ridiculous.

What to do with myself after I come home from work is becoming a challenge. There's only so much time I can spend reading and I'm sick sitting in front of the computer by the end of the day. TV is atrocious and I've watched all my agility videos so many time the tapes are nearly worn through. I read the Da Vinci Code in just a few days and I've started on a book called 'The Dogs of Bedlam Farm' by Jon Katz but it's really started irritating me. Jon Katz is a really good story teller but he's a pompous ass and this book has too much of his self indulgent, overinflated ego and assinine opinions about dogs and not enough funny stories about his border collies and life in the country. I've ordered a book that's supposedly sort of a training journal by someone who was rehabbing a border collie with fear/aggression issues but it hasn't arrived yet. If anybody has any good book ideas, I'm all ears.

I have discovered one hilarious tv show-Showdog Moms and Dads, on Bravo. I hate reality tv in general but this just has me in stitches. It's a real life version of 'Best in Show', too funny. You can't have reality tv without at least one character that constantly loses his cool and screams obscenities at the drop of a hat and the couple that fulfills that role is annoying (and I feel sorry for the poor dogs that have to live with them) but the rest of the freaks on the show are a hoot. I do find the 'dogs are my kids' attitudes a bit disturbing but what can you do, there are an alarming number of dog owners who think that way.

I get to go car shopping this weekend, not something I'm looking forward to but what else have I got to do? I'll probably just end up with another Subaru wagon but we're thinking about a Honda Element (beastly ugly) because it might be easier for hauling the dogs/agility trial equipment & bikes. They have similar gas mileage and safety ratings (the Element doesn't have a high center of gravity like an SUV so no tipping issues). We might even get a dreaded minivan (gag). I'd rather be shopping for a new bike.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Game Over

Thanks to a rather unpleasant car accident last week my summer will be spent on the couch and in rehab. My pelvis was fractured in two places and I had a mild concussion but I consider myself lucky that I wasn't hurt worse considering the size of the Chevy Suburban that plowed into my Subaru. Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE S.U.V.'s?

To add to the fun my husband dislocated his elbow mountain biking so we have quite the casualty ward going on at our house. I need to teach the dogs to carry things around for us (and drive).

I'm not sure how relevant this blog will be for a while since it's 6-8 weeks until I can start swimming and biking again and who knows when I can start running again. Not that that will stop me from continuing to shoot my mouth off so read on at your own discretion.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

I've Had Better Weekends

This weekend certainly could have been better. The trial on Saturday went o.k., not great. Neither dog had Q's (qualifying scores) in any of their runs. Cody's first run was Gamblers and he was distracted and a bit stressed on the start line so he ran off after 2 or 3 obstacles to chat with the photographer taking photos ringside. I got him focused back on me but because of the lost time I didn't know when the buzzer would go off to start the gamble and had to change my planned course. I was close to the gamble when the buzzer went but not close enough and even though Cody did the gamble he was a second or two over time so it didn't count. It was a really tough gamble too, hardly anybody else got it. Fortunately I worked on his focus the rest of the day while outside the ring, asking for sits, downs, silly tricks, etc. and that seemed to work, I had his attention on the start line for his other two runs. Lola didn't seemed stressed at all which was great after the last couple of trials. Aside from the Gamblers run where both dogs were a bit wild, both dogs got all their contacts which was a huge accomplishment. Lola even had a nice fast dog walk in the Grand Prix and a fast A-frame in her standard run. The creeping is slowly starting to diminish so that was some progress. Cody fell prey to a tunnel trap in the Grand Prix so didn't get the Q he needed to qualify for nationals but there are still a couple more chances if I really wanted to go. He had an otherwise really nice run. Lola was distracted at the tunnel trap too and though I managed to keep her out of it I also sent her up an off course dog walk. She had on otherwise perfect Grand Prix run so I guess I shouldn't feel too bad. I think we'll be in Advanced for a while which is fine with me. I think Master's level would be a bit much for both dogs right now (and me as well).

I didn't go back to the trial in Loveland (45 miles away) on Sunday because the whole Front Range was having a blizzard. As it turned out Boulder didn't get hit all that hard. I'm not sure what the roads to Loveland were like but in general that stretch of I-25 is not a very happening place to be when there are high winds and snow. Also I felt like crap when I woke up Sunday morning so I decided to sleep in and eat my entry fees. I'm still not feeling 100% and yesterday was a long, hard day (left the house at 6:00 a.m., got home around 6:45 p.m.) with bouts of dizziness and coughing. The dust in the air didn't help much either. I just didn't feel up to it today.

To put the icing on the cake to this weekend my husband dislocated his elbow riding his mountain bike in Fruita. One of his riding partners dislocated his wrist shortly after. The trail they were on is called 'More Fun' and let me tell you from personal experience, it's not. It's ridiculously steep, twisty and technical. I managed about a mile on it (mostly pushing/carrying my bike) and insisted we turn back, it was just too insane. I wasn't pleased to hear they were going to do it but there was no talking them out of it.

I managed a 2 mile walk around Wonderland Lake with both dogs today as well as some snow shovelling. I spent a lot of time resting on the couch too. Hopefully I'll start feeling a bit more up to training next week.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Head Over Heels

Or is that heels over head? In any case, at agility practice on Weds. I was running backward while looking at Lola, trying too keep her attention on me while we ran across the field. I backed smack into a jump and landed on my ass, feet up in the air. I felt o.k. at the time but now my low back, which is already a source of problems and pain, is sore. To make it worse I had to crawl around a construction site yesterday to do a framing inspection. I had to crawl though tiny holes in concrete walls to access crawlspace areas then stoop and crawl through the crawlspace, under heating ducts, etc. I also had to climb a few tall ladders. I hate site visits. I had to drive over 250 miles, up in the mountains past Vail and I didn't even really get to enjoy it because I was stuck on the job site. Beautiful views from this rich guy's future mansion though. The guy's a doctor which goes a long way toward explaining why health care costs so much. This house and land are costing him in the millions. It's a gated community with hugely restrictive covenants. If I had all the money in the world I wouldn't want to live in a 'community' like that.

Tried a 2 mile run/walk with Lola the other morning and it was a bit iffy. Still dizzy and coughing stuff up and the running wasn't helping. My legs are sore and I'm not even doing anything. How can I be so sore from sitting on my ass? Hopefully I'll survive the dust at the agility trial this weekend and be ready to resume some sort of tri training on Monday. At least the weather's supposed to be crappy this weekend. I hate sitting in a dusty horse arena all weekend while the sun is blazing outside.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Dog Daze

I'm still not feeling well enough for tri training and I've got an agility trial this weekend so I've turned my focus to the dogs. Lola's contacts, especially the dogwalk, have really degraded so that's what I've been focusing on with her. I need to speed her up on the down ramp but still have her stop at the bottom with 2 feet on, 2 feet off. Right now she stops at the top of the down ramp and barks, then walks/creeps her way down and sometimes stops in position, sometimes bails. In trials she's started bailing more and more. I've gone back to working on that 2 on, 2 off position, jackpotting her with food while she's in the position then releasing her to a tossed tennis ball. I had boiled chicken breasts for treats for the first time in ages on Monday and she really went crazy for those. She even had some decent speed on the down ramp, no pausing at all. I had to share the practice field so I couldn't really set up any good exercises. I have one good realization about handling weaves at a distance-if I'm too far ahead of her and past the entrance of the poles she runs right by and enters the poles sort of even with where I am. But if I stay behind and send her to the poles she nails the entrance no problem. She's missed 3 easy gambles in trials so far because I got too far ahead and she missed the entrance. I'll have to work on sending her to the poles while I'm ahead of her.

Today Jonny brought Cody out to me at the field after work so I could practice with both dogs. I had to share the field again but this time there were some nice jump boxes set up so I got to practice some handling. I worked both dogs on distance, especially sending out to a pinwheel. Cody has no problem with this but it took Lola a little longer to catch on. Both dogs were listening really well, very focused and attentive. They're jealous of each other so I usually get a lot of good attention when I have both of them.

I tried a tunnel/weave gamble with both dogs, hanging back and sending to the poles and it worked great. Cody missed it the first time but nailed it the second time and once he got it right he just kept doing it. He's too smart that way, sometimes it backfires. Lola was actually offering the 2 on, 2 off on the dogwalk repeatedly, very cool! Maybe by this weekend we'll have some progress over last trial. I tried handling Cody at a good distance on the dogwalk, layering the teeter, and he did great, really fast and stopped on a dime. His contacts have been great lately, even at trials. He's been near perfect. If he listens as well this weekend as he did today he'll have a great trial. That's a huge if though. If he qualifies in the Grand Prix he'll qualify for USDAA Nationals. I'm not holding my breath and I doubt I'd go but it's pretty exciting to think he could.

As far as tri training goes I've decided to give up on the idea of a June 1/2 IM. With the setback from this illness I don't feel like I'll be ready in time. I could probably be o.k. for just finishing but I don't want it to be a miserable experience so I'm going to wait until fall. I've managed a few more 2-3 mile walks but I'm still dizzy and have some congestion in my chest. Maybe I'll be able to manage a short run or run/walk tomorrow morning, fingers crossed. I don't want to go back to the pool or try riding until my dizziness is mostly gone and my chest is cleared up a bit more. Yes I'm a wimp.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

You Spin Me Right 'Round

I've been sick, sick and more sick for the past week so no training to report. High fever, dizzy, nauseous, couldn't even sit up in bed. For several days all I hoped for was the room to stop spinning around. I think I'm finally past the worst of it though and I'm going to try to go for a walk later. Though effective, I don't recommend this as a good way to lose those nagging winter pounds before bikini season.