Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bad Timing and Good Dogwalks

I was watching some video of the bike course for this year's Xterra Championships in Ogden, Utah and it looked so nice, at least the portion shown on the video.  There's a brand spankin' new trail that the course goes on and it's so beautiful, sweet lovely smooth single track.  I was so hoping they'd use the same course for next year's Champs but since they've been in UT for the past 3 years I suspect they'll move them next year.  Then I check my email and see I've won a free entry ($95) to the 'citizen's race' (my wording) this year.  It's the same course as Champs but anyone can enter and you start 20 minutes after the folks who qualified for Champs.  And of course it's on the same weekend as DOCNA Champs. which is why I never set my sights on qualifying this year.  Argh.  Too late to get my entry fees back for DOCNA and I've committed to a Trigility team so can't let those folks down but I think otherwise I'd be there in a heartbeat.  I'm not in shape to compete at the Champs. level but I could do the race with the regular folks no problem.  Not something I'd normally pay for or set as a goal but I'd go with a free entry.  Ah well.  The other option for a prize was a free pair of swim goggles so at least that's something.

I've been easing Strum back into regular agility training these past couple of weeks and the dogwalk training started out depressing last week but today's practice looked good.

Last week:  4/10 - 40%
Yesterday:  3/4 - 75%
Today:  4/5 - 80%

Set-up was tunnel-dogwalk-tunnel for all reps.  I used the clicker yesterday but forgot today and used my regular verbal marker.  One of my strategies was to use the clicker more since my timing is much better now and I can mark the exact behavior to make things clearer for him.  The hits yesterday and today were really solid and I'm hoping he'll keep this up at Champs.

I joked to myself this morning that I should stop at 3 reps. because all were perfect and it would be 100% but it was a nice cool, cloudy morning and I wanted to get a couple more in.  Then he missed the 4th rep.  But he got the next one and I called it good for the day.  I didn't do the reps. consecutively today but mixed them in with other training, ie a dogwalk then some weaves then a dogwalk then some teeters, etc.  Weaves, teeter, A-frame were all looking great these past 2 days.  I think I had things set up to be too easy except the dogwalk (dogwalk to tunnel is the hardest for him).  I made things harder with the weaves and he popped out once and missed one entry but otherwise perfect.  Next practice I'll make things even harder but I want to ease him back in.  He's in great general physical condition but hasn't been doing those specific agility movements and he's 6 now so I'm being careful with him.  He seemed fine though, should do great at Champs. next week.  I think I'll get more excited about it once I'm there, had a great time last year, hopefully the courses will be challenging and not too repetitive.

As long as it's agility I'm happy.


  1. Good luck at Champs this year. Hope your weather is reasonable and not 90's again. Hard to believe Strumm is already 6, but then again my baby Rip turns 4 in a month and a half!
    Maybe they will step it up with some nice challenging courses and leave the pinwheels and flips to the tunnel on the drawing board.

  2. Yeah, I hope it's not too hot this year. I don't think it went into the 90's last year but was at least in the mid-80's and I was no longer acclimated for it at that time of year.

    I'm not holding my breath about the courses but you never know.