3 degrees, feels like -9. That's what the weather site said when I took Strummer out for his mid-day walk on Friday. Saturday was much the same. The dogs get about 2 blocks and start limping from the cold snow in their paws. Cody is the worst drama queen for this so I bought him some booties. I'm sure most people, even those without dogs, have seen the hilarity of a dog trying on booties for the first time. They walk around like Scooby Doo, taking big exaggerated steps and shaking their feet in the air. Not Cody. He freezes in one place and whines his head off. Oh he takes those big Scooby Doo steps if you can get him moving but good luck. It took me 10 minutes to coax him about 15 yards the first time I had him out several weeks ago. Today I decided to put booties on his back feet only reasoning that if he could feel his front feet the back feet would follow. I tried in the house, going from one end to the other and calling him to me, giving him some kibble when he arrived. He's on reduced rations due to the poor weather/less exercise thing we've had going on the past few weeks so it only took a few reps. before he was racing back and forth through the house. I put some Musher's Secret on his front paws (and all the other dogs too) and tried outside. He gave me some guff at first but a few times of rewarding with kibble and he was trotting along quite happily. He soon forgot about kibble and booties. The Musher's Secret helped a lot with everybody's paws and we were able to make it for 15 minutes or so. What a production though for a 15 minute walk what with booties, jackets and slimy wax all over my fingers never mind the zillion layers I needed for myself. But I couldn't have 3 BC/mixes getting cabin fever all weekend, not that a 15 minute walk is much for them but better than nothing.
Biscuit Eaters was snowed under again even before this latest round of snow. High winds caused a huge drift at the entry gate and covered over the paths we shoveled at New Year's. I've been working on weave entries with just 2 poles with Strummer indoors as well as his 2 on/2 off training on the flat plank. The Buja board is lots of fun too. Other than that all agility training is on hold.
I rarely run on treadmills, maybe 1-2 times a year if that and I hate going to the gym but 3 degrees is ridiculous so I went to the Rec. Center on Saturday. As did every other person in Boulder. The leisure pool was so crowded that they had to start a waiting list to let people in as others left. 30 minutes on the treadmill (two 10 minute sessions of running at a snail's pace of 12 minutes per mile with 2 min's. rest in between plus warm up/cool down) and about 40 minutes on the weight machines, all SO boring, even with my mp3 player. How bad is 3 degrees compared to running on a machine like a hamster in a hot crowded gym? O.k. it hurt to breathe outside but still, I don't know. So today I was determined to do my thing outside and the temp's. went up to a balmy 14 degrees (feels like -3 but let's ignore that for now). Aside from two 15 minute walks with the dogs I ended up skiing at North Boulder Park. It was snowing again today but that meant a nice layer of fresh snow on top of the icy snowpacked stuff left over from the various freeze/thaw cycles we've been having. The trail was wonderful and the park wasn't crowded at all. Most of the people there were the hardcore athletes who do the skate ski thing so I had the classic tracks nearly to myself. It took 2 laps to warm up and my mp3 player conked out probably because of the cold but after 6 laps and 57 minutes I was plenty sweaty, tired and happy. Sure beats the gym rat thing.
I also got some snowshoeing in this week. The track by my work had deep snow with a frozen crust on it despite all the warm weather but noone had been on it so I had a nice smooth trail to run on, perfect for snowshoe running. I let Cody run his monkeys out off leash while I snowshoed around the track. Again, two 10 minute session with 2 minutes walking in between plus warm up/cool down. Next week I'm going to try 15 minutes straight. The walk/run thing is a nuisance to keep track of and I think I'm ready to try straight running. Snowshoeing was a blast and I'm sure there will be plenty of white stuff hanging around for a while so I think I'll stick with it for a while since the trails & sidewalks are such a mess. Also, I've lost one of my Yax Trax and the entire city of Boulder seems to be sold out of them so navigating the icy sidewalks is even more out of the question. Of all the stupid things to lose, why my Yax Trax and why during the worst round of snowstorms I've seen here in the last 16 years?
I finally uploaded my video from last week's trial. Here's Cody's Grand Prix run which was probably one of his best runs of the weekend. Our only mistake was those darn weave poles again, the same problems we had at Nationals in the Semifinals, ie missing the entry then popping out at the end. That should have been an easy entry for Cody, not sure why he missed it. I think he's becoming increasingly uneasy about me handling the poles from such a distance. My location from him laterally was the same location that was seemingly causing him to pop out early at practice last week. I should have moved in once he got the entry. Long term I need to work on proofing those poles best I can with a small number of rep's. Otherwise it was a nice focused run with a pretty rear cross after the teeter. Notice the use of the broad jump in the Grand Prix. It's a requirement now for Steeplechase but this is the first I've ever seen it in the Grand Prix and it was also in Master Standard as the first obstacle (Master Standard was roughly the Grand Prix in reverse). Cody had no problem with it but some really acomplished Masters dogs had trouble with it, stepping over it rather than jumping. Something to practice for sure as I would never think to practice the broad jump as the first obstacle.