Friday, June 22, 2012

Wheels Up

I'm not sure which is worse, packing up all the gear for an outdoor, hot weather agility trial or a hot weather, off-road triathlon.  So imagine my joy at getting to pack up for both in one weekend.  The packing and getting to the venue and setting up part is always the most stressful part, I love the competition part once I'm there and set up.  And I don't mind the setting up part for triathlon, much easier than for dog agility.  Rack bike, put towel on ground, put as little amount of gear as possible to complete race on towel in order events are run, done in 5 minutes or less, maybe 10 if a rack hog shows up in the process and I have to shuffle things around a little.  Some people have to get to the transition area right when it opens, even if this is 5 am and the race doesn't start until 8.  I'm not sure what those folks do that takes so long but I guess we all have our race day rituals.  Setting up crates and EZ ups and clipping all the zillions of clips to the shade cloths and pounding in tent stakes, now that is a production.  Even so, 20 minutes, maybe 25 if I'm tired and the coffee hasn't hit my veins yet and I have to dig through the gear bag to find the rubber mallet and the parking lot is far away.

We gets to do agility??!!

It's supposed to be hot in Black Forest tomorrow, high of 93 or some such nonsense.  I only signed up for 3 runs so hopefully those will be done before it gets too brutally hot.  I didn't sign up for the 'later in the day' runs but who knows what they might do to the schedule because they had to add a second ring last minute and hadn't quite figured out the running order.  I'm also hoping the smoke isn't too bad down there.

I've got a shot at my 2nd Grand Prix Q for Nationals and if I could have one Q it would be that one. Though I wouldn't turn down a Standard Q which would get us out of Starters, at least in Standard.

We've been practicing but not a lot due to the heat we've been having and my shift to focus on triathlon season training.  Been working on those weave pole entries in the back yard, quick little sessions, and I'm seeing some improvement.  Dogwalks have been looking awesome these days the few times I get out to the practice field.  Been practicing some more challenging turns/discriminations after the dogwalk.  Fun but we can only do a few reps in the heat before poor Strum's tongue is down to his ankles.  Wish I had somewhere that I could go to early, the field doesn't open until 8:30 and by that time it's too hot.

As for my race, I'm feeling better about the bike course though I know it'll be a long day.  The race is run in waves so there isn't congestion on the course and the waves are arranged by biking ability since this is the place where clogging will be a problem.  I was put in wave 5 of 7 waves and knew I had to switch to a slower wave but whether to go to 6 or 7, I couldn't decide.  I didn't want to be in too fast of a wave and contribute to congestion but I also didn't like the idea of being in the last wave with rank beginners and people who might be walking even more than me.  In the end I opted for wave 6.  This way I'll push myself and I tend to have more confidence in my own riding abilities when I'm riding with other confident riders.

My goal for the race is to finish.  There are opportunities to bail on the bike course and I don't want to do that.  It's supposed to be hot as well, high of 89, so the strategy for the race will be to keep to a reasonable, steady pace for all 3 events so I don't blow up and to drink plenty of water, keep up with food and electrolytes.  The race director added some more aid stations due to the predicted heat but I'm going to bring my own water on the run anyway.  And this will be the motto for the day:

I'm also going to make sure to drink plenty of water at the agility trial.  Running around in 90 degree heat the day before a race is not ideal so I'll have to take extra care at least to eat and drink properly.

Ah well, got the dog crap packed up, better move on to the race gear.

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