Sunday, April 20, 2008

Shorts & T-Shirt Weather

Beautiful weekend, shorts & t-shirt weather and I’m finally able to enjoy it. Kicked off with a trip to Biscuit Eaters Sat. morning with the full crew. Not my brightest plan ever but I figured that if other people were there I couldn’t work Strum so may as well have the back-up crew. No one was there when I arrived so I decided to work Strum first. We mostly worked the teeter and he’s up to around 6-8” shy of a full height teeter. No problemo. Then I let him rest and set up a front cross exercise for the old school crew. It’s a circle of jumps with a jump in the middle. You take the middle jump then a jump on the circle then the middle jump then another jump on the circle, etc. and you work your way around the clock. I cheated and set up just a semi-circle. It’s a strenuous exercise and I didn’t see the need of a full circle plus my foot was starting to bug me and I was feeling lazy. I decided to try it out with Strummer just for laughs and he did great, much better than the other two do. I put it down to the jump foundation training we’ve been doing. I think it’s helping me almost as much as Strummer.

I took all 3 for a short walk so I could cool down Strum & warm up the other 2 and by the time I put Strum back in the car I’d felt as if my foot had had enough. I did a bit of running with Strum on the teeter and of course all the back and forth to the car. It’s a bit of a walk from the parking area to the field and I parked a bit farther away in the open space lot across the street in hopes that Strum couldn’t see us as well and wouldn’t commence to screaming (he pitched a fit when we left but settled down after a few minutes, phew, there’s hope for him yet). But I felt bad for the other 2, dragged em all the way out here, warmed em up and then they don’t get to play? How much does that suck? So I decided to suck it up and went back to the field.

I had a huge stroke of luck though in the form of Sandy showing up at the field. I explained my debacle and she was happy to run my dogs for me. She’s an awesome handler and has a fast, big, long-strided Border Collie so she’s a perfect fit for my dogs. Plus I’ve taken classes from her so both dogs know her. Cody’s a bit of an agility whore, show him the treats and he’ll run for just about anybody but Lola’s a bit fussier and usually needs coaxing. She ran beautifully for Sandy though, tearing around the course with a big stupid grin on her face. Cody looked even happier. Both dogs were fast & happy, had great contacts, didn’t go off course, they looked fantastic. I should get Sandy to run my dogs all the time, she did a much better job with them than I do. Poor dogs, they’re so awesome and they’re stuck with me.

Got home, hit the couch and put the foot up on some ice. After some lunch and rest it was back out for a bike ride. I decided to drive to the south side of town for a change of scenery. I hate driving to ride my bike but it was only 15 minutes. I started at the Bobolink trail and headed south to the South Boulder Creek trail which, duh, goes along South Boulder Creek. It’s an easy flattish trail, a bit of an uphill but a good choice if you’re gimpy. Dogs aren’t allowed so you don’t have to worry about them running in front of your wheel, a problem I have on the trails in my neighborhood. There’s a nice view of the Flatirons which are the foothills that Boulder sits up against as well as nice views of the Continental Divide. There’s still loads of snow up there but down here it’s shorts and t-shirt weather. The only problem is that the trail is only a couple of miles long so I ended up going back & forth a few times. I only got in 1 1/4 hours instead of the 1 1/2 I had planned but I’d forgotten my mp3 player and was bored plus I figured it was long enough given that I might have overdone it a bit in the morning.

I took some pictures in a prairie dog town that the trail passes through. Prairie dogs are smart and have a highly developed communication system. They not only have words for say ‘person’ and ‘dog’ but if you go through their town on a regular basis they’ll make up a name specifically for you. I used to run through a couple of towns on a weekly basis when I was training for marathons and as they ‘eeped’ at me when I passed I was sure they’d made up the most uncomplimentary names. I was sure they were taunting me too. ‘Hey Slugpants, move yer ass, you are beyond pathetic’. Or maybe it was just the voices in my head.

At one point while I was snapping photos the dogs all got very excited, lots of ‘eeping’ and running for holes. I looked around for a loose dog or coyote and then the sky above me went dark and I saw an enormous shadow on the ground before me. A Golden Eagle was swooping over my head. I’m not sure how close he was and by the time I looked up he was pretty high so maybe he never came that close but wow he was huge.

In fact I saw lots of cool birds this weekend and I wasn’t even looking. Saw an Osprey out at Biscuit Eaters on Saturday, the Golden Eagle, then a Great Blue Heron and a huge flock of Pelicans at Biscuit Eaters on Sunday. Or rather they were at the ponds on the adjacent open space and I saw them while we were cooling down. There were so many Pelicans sitting out on a peninsula that it looked like it had snowed. Too bad my camera lens sucks for that kind of photography. Maybe I’ll try my video camera. My favorite is the Heron though. They look like dinosaurs to me. The Pelicans should be around for another couple of weeks, I’ll try to remember my camera but I’m not hopeful that I’ll get anything amazing.

Today was more of the same, agility in the morning with Cody & Lola then a bike ride this afternoon at Boulder Valley Ranch and the Rez. I ‘ran’ short segments of a course with each dog, stopping to reward and catch up. Cody did great, Lola was more hesitant. I shouldn’t run her when I’m not 100% but she was having fun anyway. I’m sure I’ll regret this as I usually do, bad trainer, I’ll never learn but it’s so hard to be patient sometimes.

Biking today was great, went a bit farther than last time in the same amount of time which was encouraging. I decided to ride a bit harder this time and go only a little further rather than try to add on a bunch of distance/time. I remember the PT for my knee surgery recommended this and it worked well. Hopefully by next week I’ll be able to run better with the dogs and maybe add some hills in to the biking.


  1. we have loads of snow here....I envy you with your sun and warm weather. Ugh.

  2. Wow prairie dog town looks like that would be dog heaven! But then it would be hell for prairie dogs.

  3. Roxanne8:26 AM

    Considering you just had your toe cut off weeks ago, it sounds like you're doing great on it. Congrats on the productive weekend.

    I do love the birds at the ponds near B.E. Lilly, for her part, loved all the bunnies. Drove me batty.

    I'm glad Sandy showed up and could run Cody and Lola. That's a BIG help.

    I hope you're in the pool today to give your foot some rest. Sounds like it might need it.

  4. Ah, snow, what's that? I saw your photos and I'm afraid I don't envy you though my dogs are jealous, they love the cold & snow. We even had a small wildfire near downtown Boulder yesterday it's so warm & dry.

    As for the prairie dogs, it's forbidden for dogs to chase or disturb them on open space plus they can have fleas which might be carrying bubonic plague. It's not common for dogs or people to get it but there have been a few cases of both. Usually they put signs up warning you that plague has been detected in a dog town but it's possible for the plague to be there and noone's detected it yet. I rode my bike through some 'plague' towns last summer and it gave me the creeps. You have to be pretty close and the fleas don't typically go for humans but still. Ick.

    Prairie dogs send Lola into fits, like, up on her hind legs screaming type fits so she can't go off leash on open space where there are dog towns near the trail. It's a nuisance walking her through the towns as well and the prairie dogs love to taunt her.

    The bunny population at Biscuit Eaters is out of control. Lola killed a baby last summer and while this was good for the ecosystem I was horrified. Plus I had to clean it up and it was in a narrow space between the fence & shed so I had to drag it out with a jump pole and take it over to the open space in hopes that something would eat it. I wasn't sure about the proper protocol for dead baby bunny disposal but somehow throwing it in a trash can seemed like a bad idea.

  5. ebwrite10:25 AM

    Didn't know P-Dawgs had their own language. That's pretty cool.

  6. P-Dawgs are the coolest. Except for the plague thing.

    I was in the waiting room yesterday and saw your name in a magazine on Ultrarunning (didn't even know they existed). 3rd place OVERALL for Ultracentric-woo hoo!!! Now I think I remember you writing about it but had forgotten and thought hey, how cool, I know that guy. Looked like Nattu had dropped out of his race, he must have been doing it for a training run or maybe got sick.