Saturday, March 24, 2007

Super Freaks

Number 1:
In honor of the upcoming Boston Marathon, the #1 superfreak award goes to Jacob, a 438 pound beekeeper from Wisconsin who's planning on running the Boston Marathon (as a bandit) on 3 months of training. To put this in perspective for the non-runners out there, most novice marathon training programs are 4-4 1/2 months long plus you want to have about 3 months or so worth of a base before starting the program. Attempting to run 26.2 miles on 3 months of training with no base and a serious case of being overweight is pure madness. However, you gotta give the guy props. He's raising money for charity and making some great lifestyle changes as part of his training. So far he's lost a whopping 66 pounds and his last blog entry had him logging 20 hours of 'exercise' for the week. I don't think I've ever logged 20 hours of exercise in a week in my life and that's right up there with the amount of time people spend in peak weeks training for the Ironman. It seems he's spending the bulk of the time on an exercise bike but also doing weight training and yoga which to me sounds like a great plan for fitness/weight loss for a beginner. It doesn't sound like he's doing much running though which is probably a good thing. Will he be able to finish the marathon? I think so. It won't be pretty and he'll probably have to walk a good portion of it but I'm guessing he'll pull it off. He's got the necessary drive, determination, sense of humor (his blog is pretty funny), and lack of common sense to complete a marathon. All I can say is Go Jacob Go, you are so punkrock.

Number 2:
Dear sweet lovely Cody comes in at superfreak #2. Sometimes I think I enroll him in agility classes just so someone else can see him and tell me that he's in his own little world and I'm not completely at fault for his shenanigans. There were only 2 of us in class on Monday so Cody had lots of opportunities to show off his interesting problem solving skills. The teacher kept saying things like; 'Well, that's an interesting thought he had', or 'Not sure how he figured that out' or 'He sure likes that A-frame' as Cody took some perplexing paths and off courses. It's not his fault mostly, it's my theory that he simply doesn't know how to read my handling signals in some contexts or that my signals in certain contexts mean something else to him than what they mean to me. Of course there's always that perverse 'no rules' part of him that wants to run & jump without worrying about me or where I think he should go. I think that part comes out mostly as a stress response to a perceived mistake but sometimes every once in a while I think he gets a little bug up his butt and just wants to run.

I took him to course run throughs on Thursday and it was pure disaster. Jumpers courses are usually his favorite and we normally do pretty well but somehow I couldn't quite get my brain around how to handle it and many of the challenges played to our weaknesses. I tried handling the tricky parts several different ways and eventually figured it out with the help of someone else who showed up. Even she noticed Cody's freakiness though-'He sure wants to take that off course jump no matter what you do'. By the time I figure this freaky dog out it will be time to retire him.

Number 3
Of course the obvious choice for #3 is NADAC. Eliminating the teeter because it's too dangerous?? Huh? Wuh? Well, whatever. I went over to NADAC's yahoogroup to try to make heads or tails of it but there are over 200 new messages and I just don't have the time or energy. I did notice that they've added extra classes at Championships this year-Hoopers, Gaters and Agility Obedience. What are they? I dunno. How on earth are they going to fit them in? Maybe they're shooting for a 24 hour Champs. Last year the days ran from around 7:30-8:00 a.m. to after 10:00 p.m. I think people will end up running in their jammies and bunny slippers this year.

I will say this about NADAC Champs-there was very little whining despite what I thought was one of the most disorganized, baffling agility events I've ever attended. People were happy & cheery despite the long days and lack of a schedule of events. I think NADAC's wacky management style weeds out the Type A people pretty quickly and you're left with a laid back go with the flow type of crowd. Now I'm pretty laid back but not that laid back so I won't be going back to Champs but I'm sure the majority of those who do go will no doubt enjoy themselves.

I just entered a NADAC trial in May but only one day and only 4 runs. It's really just a tune up for the 2 USDAA trials in the following weeks. Cody's running 2 rounds of standard for practice and one of Tunnelers for fun and Miss Lo will have her post injury debut running one round of Tunnelers only to see how her recovery's coming along. Unfortunately they were offering doubleshot Tunnelers which is 2 rounds of Tunnelers squished into one. You run the course then a connector tunnel shoots you back to the beginning and you run the same course again. Well, I'm not paying to run the same course twice-boring. What other changes will I find at the trial? I guess I'll have to wait and see and I suppose that's part of the freakiness and mystique of NADAC.


  1. It's good to know that when I do reach 438 pounds (it looks fairly inevitable after a lazy winter) I'll still be able to train for a marathon. And maybe even run one.

    I really take my hat off to people like this who run to raise money for charity. And with a bit of luck, the lifestyle benefits will last, too. All best wishes to Jacob from here as well.

  2. "...and lack of common sense to complete a marathon." Well, that's the way *I* always looked at marathoners. ;-)

    "Hoopers" is apparently basically hula hoops set up on a course so the dogs can run through them.

    I must say that I enjoyed running Tunnelers with my fast dogs and that there's a certain skill in handling a dog who can't see you during a quarter of the course, but I'm still not convinced that it needs to be a titling event. Oh, well, I haven't done NADAC in at least 2 years.


  3. Roads, I can't imagine you're even close to 438 lbs but that's what the off season's for-being lazy.

    As for tunnelers, I love that class but yeah, it doesn't need to be titling nor do the other 'fun' classes that I almost never enter because I don't personally think they're all that fun. I stopped worrying about trying for a NATCH when they announced that at some point you need Elite titles in all those games classes. No way I'm going back to Novice for those Weavers & Touch and Go points.

    Hoopers wasn't offered at the trial I'm going to. I can't imagine they'll offer it around here, it's hard enough to get those other classes in. Also, I can just imagine what those hoops would be like in the wind when our typical afternoon summer storms come through.