Thursday, May 03, 2012

Boot Camp, ASCA, Photo Shoots, it's all a blur

I've been busier than a mosquito at a nudist colony lately and I lost the plot with my training last week.  I went to enter Monday's workout into my training log and realized I hadn't logged a single workout last week.  Though I suppose this could be because I don't think there were any workouts after Wednesday's Hills & Drills Boot Camp due to not being able to move.  I'm pretty sure it was the 'step ups and downs' on the bench that did it.  Too many reps, too high of a step, I don't know.  This was after running up and down the bleacher stairs the full length of the high school football stadium.  For warm up.  Then we did a timed mile on the track.  My time of 8:58 was sort of depressing but maybe sort of not as bad as I thought it would be considering my mile pace on the trails has been in the double digits.  I never was very fast, even when I was on the track team.  I think my fastest mile ever was around 6:18 or something.  Oh yeah, and then we did some sprints up and down the football field with 'burpees' at each end zone.  After 3 or 4 sprints I was calling them 'pukees'.

Anyway, I could barely walk the dogs on Thursday and Friday and the agility trial on Saturday was looking iffy.  I was still a little sore when I woke up Saturday morning but thankfully I could walk and run for the most part so it turned out o.k.  While everybody and their Border Collie was at USDAA Regionals in New Mexico and everybody else who wasn't there was at an AKC trial, we were at an ASCA trial which I've never done before but the courses were identical to the sort of wide open courses you see in DOCNA.  In fact the Jumpers course was yet another monotonous run of pinwheel to pinwheel to pinwheel.

One of the nice things about ASCA is that they let you run without having to register with them.  They don't track your runs or give you titles but I could care less about titles so I was happy to save the $30 in registration fees.  They also let you run whatever level you want so I was able to run in the highest level and not have to suffer through novice.   We were only registered for Saturday but I had such a good time I decided to come back on Sunday since they were taking day of entries.

Another funny thing about ASCA is that if you have a Border Collie, you are the marker dog.  There were only 2 BC's at the trial both days and I was the only BC in Elite on Saturday.

We started off Saturday with Jumpers and I decided I'd throw in some rear crosses in places where I normally wouldn't just to practice and see what would happen.  It wasn't pretty and the run sort of went up in flames.  The next run was Standard and handling-wise it went much better but Strum missed his dogwalk contact and I think his A-frame as well.  I didn't realize ASCA uses a 5' tall A-frame, probably a holdover from the NADAC days, and I think this might have effected his striding.  The next Standard run was beautiful though, hit all his contacts, my timing felt good, one of those wonderful, smooth, connected, wheee! runs that gets the adrenaline flowing and puts a smile on your face.  That was the end of our day and part of me wanted to not come back on Sunday and end on a good note but it was just too much fun to not come back for more.  And we had 1st place and the fastest time of the entire Elite class.

On Sunday we did Gamblers and 2 more rounds of Standard.  Gamblers went o.k., it was mostly for practice.  The first round of Standard went really well again except I turned and left him too quickly at a jump and he knocked the bar but he got all his contacts and weaves and it was another fast, smooth run.  I experimented with some more rear crosses on the second Standard run and I ended up with some wider turns than I would have liked but no off courses.  Was another good run except for the wretched dogwalk contact again.  Sigh.

Final score was 2/5 good dogwalks, 100% weave poles on entries and staying in (SO happy for that), 4/5 A-frames, 4/5 teeters, only 1 knocked bar, no off courses and lots of running and fun.

I had more boot camp this week - weights on Monday, more track intervals yesterday and masters swimming after both boot camp workouts.  Exhausting.  But I feel good today, tired but good, no lingering, debilitating soreness so I guess my body is adjusting.  Felt almost fast-ish for the first time in a while at the trial too.  At the very least this training is great for agility.  I think it's going to help me with my triathlons as well.

I finally had a photographer take some photos for my website.  She was great by the way and charged a fraction of the cost that the foo foo photographers in Boulder were asking.  The website photos didn't take that long so she offered to take some photos of the dogs.  She didn't process them or anything, just sent me the raw images so don't judge her work by them but it was fun to have some extra photos of them, even if they refused to cooperate and face the camera.  It was pretty chaotic.

Somebody was awfully excited.

Somebody else couldn't keep her mouth shut.

And somebody else was fascinated by the fancy camera lens.

Actually he's fascinated by all cameras, that's why there are so few pictures of him on the blog.  Once he spots the camera and wanders over to it it's impossible to get him to step away.

That's it for now, I suppose I'd better stop stalling and go argue with my website about letting me post my nice new photos and my radio interview podcast.  If only my website were as easy as Blogger.


  1. What a whirlwind week. That's really cool that ASCA lets you just show up and run basically. Funny on the 5ft Aframe though - bet that does change stride.
    Great news on the weaves, but jeeze on the dogwalks. Running dw's are so cool but so frustrating at the same time.

  2. Yeah, we had trouble with the 5' A-frame at Trigility at DOCNA Champs. They set it at 5' for the wee dogs and leave it that way for everybody and I had no idea they did that. Not sure I could have done anything even I knew, that running A-frame isn't managed, it just is what it is.

    I think Strum needs to go back to Dogwalk Boot Camp. Hopefully it'll cool down a bit in the coming weeks and I can get some practice in before the May USDAA trials. Would love to get that 2nd GP leg and get out of Starters.