A perfectly perfect day biking out on the trails at West Mag today. There were small patches of snow on the side of the road on the drive up from Nederland to the trailhead but the trails were dry, sun was shining, and temps. warmed up to be perfect. Jeanne's husband Rusty joined our little girlie trio and came up with some nice routes for us. I still don't know the trails well enough to find my way, it was good he was there but I wish I had been paying better attention. I was too distracted by the bright yellow shimmering stands of aspens and the impossibly blue sky. I swear, none of it looked real. Knowing that these trails will be covered in snow soon made it all the more special. Fall is my favorite time of year, have to enjoy every moment I can. I'll confess I was struggling a bit with the 9000 ft altitude at the start but I soon forgot about it and had a blast. Agility nationals are coming up in 4 weeks so I was even more conservative than normal but still had plenty of fun anyway.
Monday: 2200 yards/1 hour swim at masters
Tuesday: 3 mile run in the a.m. with Strummer & Cody, agility practice w/ Lola in the p.m.
Wednesday: Rest day (1/2 hour agility lesson in the pm)
Thursday: 4 mile run in the a.m. with Strummer & Lola (forgot my swim bag so missed
masters, went to agility practice instead)
Friday: horrid 3 mile/20 minute bike ride in the a.m. from car dealer to work on scary busy
rural highway (ugh, missed my planned lunch time ride due to work related
circumstances beyond my control)
Saturday: 4 miles/1 hour trail run (Wonderland to Foothills to Hogback trailhead and back)
Agility practice in the a.m. w/ Cody & Lola
Sunday: 12 miles/2 1/4 hours (approx.) mountain bike w/ Jeanne, Sabina & Rusty
Total: Swim: 2200 yards, 1 hour
Bike: 15 miles, 2 1/2 hours (mountain bike/trails)
Run: 11 miles, 2 1/2 hours (approx.)
6 hours total
A light week but mostly due to scheduling problems. O.k., memory problems as far as forgetting my swim gear goes. I'm on a new fall schedule and still working out the kinks. Sometimes I zigged when I should have zagged.
Just 4 weeks until USDAA Nationals so I've been focusing on our biggest weaknesses and letting the little stuff go. I've been mainly working on weaves and my timing for both dogs and contacts for Lola. I'm following a video I got from Clean Run called 'World Class Weaves', we'll see how it goes. It requires an awful lot of weaving and I've had to break it down into short sessions because it's too much both mentally and physically for both dogs. The entry training has 7 jumps arranged in a semi-circle around the weave poles at the entrance, typical stuff most people do for teaching entries. However there are 5 exercises per jump (dog on left, dog on right, dog on left rear cross, dog on right rear cross and standing at the end of the poles facing the dog and calling the dog through). And that's just 'Level One'. It would take 35 jump/weave combo's just to make it through the first level and that's assuming you have 100 percent success and don't have to repeat anything. So far we've made it through 5 jumps spread over 3-4 practice sessions. It will take forever to make it through all the levels but we'll keep plugging away and see if it helps. I may eliminate the 'recall' step because I don't see the point and the dog's have the most trouble with it. Lola's breezing through the program so far but Cody's having a little trouble with the off side weaves unless I really guide him in. Thinking about it Lola's never had much of a problem with entries, I did a lot of work with that when I first trained her. I think she simply needed a little refresher course. Cody needs more practice though since he was the first dog and I never taught him as well.
I've also been taking weekly 1/2 hour private lessons with Joy and that's been working out great. I get the most out of these short sessions that are focused on me and my issues. Private lessons are an extravagance though and once nationals are over I may go to once every other week. Joy's been giving me lots of good simple exercises to work on things like my timing and tightening up Cody's turns. They're very quick and easy to set up too, maybe I can take a homemade jump and my lightweight practice tunnel to work so I can practice on my lunch hour. The dogs need short sessions throughout the day, not big mega sessions and it's hard to schedule them into my already busy schedule but I'm going to try. We've got a USDAA trial next weekend so we'll see if the practice will start to pay off, esp. with the weaves.