Monday, August 31, 2009

It is a FITcation!!!

I'm on a small vacation this week. Had to take time off. So I'm devoting it to fitness.

After this past weekend, the last thing I wanted to do was get up this morning and work out. But, I did. Met up with friends for a 2 hour Harvey Bear walk. This was a new challenge with lots of elevation change. But fun.

Afterwards, stopped at the market for some food, home for a quick shower, and then off to the gym for a workout with David. After getting home around 12:30, I have absolutely no idea what happened to the last 4 hours. I did some cooking. Read a little. Played with the pups. And poof. Time is gone. Day one is almost over. Tomorrow: Road trip!!!

This past weekend SMART (salinas monterey agility racing team) hosted an agility event. Laura and I were trial chairs. It was fun, but alot of work. I didn't do so good in the Q department, but had some majorly wonderful runs and ended up with a Q in Master Jumpers (4th place). Master Jumpers generally scares the bejezus out of me as it is so fast and furious. But Fin and I had a good run (albeit a bit wild) and ended the trial on a high note.

Well, gotta go walk the dogs!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Breaking the Law in the name of Fitness

On Wed evenings I have agility class in east san jose at the wonderful PowerPaws training facility. One of the things I'm trying to do is do a better job of warming both myself and Fin up before we do agility. I had this idea, why not go a little early and walk along the trails of a park. I looked up the rules and (evidently I clicked on the wrong thing) saw, dogs on leash. I headed out. The sign at the trail head did not have any rules. So I headed in for a nice 40 minute walk.
One thing I like to see is bathrooms on my walks and looky here, 15 minutes into it a bathroom, this is luxury...but oh no..

The bathroom was chained and no admittance.
Fin had a fun time and was actually more interested in tugging on her leash today than walking, but we kept going anyway. Any time I try to jog with her she gets all giggly wiggly and wants to tug, so we did some of that.

The views were beautiful and I saw some potential walks in our future. Unfortunately all of my visions of hiking were squashed when I found out that I was illegally walking my dog on these trails. Unfortunately I clicked on the incorrect link and my info was faulty and NO DOGS in Alum Rock Park.

We did have a fun class and Fin was spectacular.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Day, Another Hike

Took off this morning for a nice hike. Headed north to Santa Teresa County Park for something different. We started our hike near the archery range and our goal was to hike up to Coyote Peak, a 1155 foot elevation change in 1.9 miles. It was a steep hike and I found it extremely challenging but quick to the top. I liked the route as there was lots of trees and plenty of views.

The walk to the peak was quite steep in some places. But we trudged along.

We crossed a couple of bridges. This one had a picnic table underneath. We don't know why, but it was there.

Did I say it was steep?
The views were wonderful. This view was south towards our home.

Fin and Tazz were good pups, mostly because we didn't run into too many people. There were mountain bikers, but each time we saw them, they were going up hill...very slowly.

After hitting the top, we decided on a big loop home. Around 4 miles total, but with the elevation it was a nice hike.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So you want to be an agile star....

This past weekend I was lucky enough to be part of something very special.
The AKC world team came to San Jose, CA for their last practice prior to heading to Austria in September.Eleven teams participated with their two coaches. A few of us were lucky enough to volunteer and watch some amazing agility.
My job and that of my good buddies was to build courses, set jumps, move equipment, and in general make it easy for the teams to walk courses and practice running them.
The teams were gracious to us mere mortals that only wanted to bask in their glow of world teamness. Nancy Gyes runs a tight ship and on Saturday alone, we did EIGHT course changes.
On Friday, we started on an outdoor field at the top of the world. The fabulous Powerpaws facility. Laura and I driving home said we were looking forward to the next day to be in doors. We were tired of hammering in the stakes for the tunnel snugglers.
On Saturday evening, we were wishing for those stakes/snugglers as we moved to an indoor soccer facility in the morning and had enough of carrying sandbags from one end of the arena to the other!
The teams were amazing. Humans were agile and got to where they needed to be. Dogs were good and kept up keen attitudes the entire weekend. Courses were tricky and caused GREAT discussions on the best methods fo completion. Breaks were minimal for the humans, but all the dogs got massages, chiro, acupuncture, and lots of heeling walks.
I saw nice jumping style (very few knocked bars), extremely responsive dogs (not a tunnel sucker in the bunch), tight...tight...did I say TIGHT turns, and happy eager attitudes about working with their human team mate.
By Sunday evening, a few of the dogs might have been tired, but I swear, they were still keen to work.

Sunday afternoon, the teams headed home for all parts around our country. I felt that the time spent helping the teams was invaluable. I learned a great deal and am better able to articulate what I need to do if I ever decide to pursue a spot on this team.

My camera isn't the greatest so no indoor shots. Just the outdoor practice on Friday afternoon.

I'm a little tired after the long weekend. I didn't know what to expect when I volunteered. Today I am really glad that I went and proud of the team that represents our country in September.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hiking with my dogs

Today I would like to describe team whisner hiking. Todays blog is sure to dispel the myth that I am a dog trainer.

I hike for exercise. For fun too, but primarily it is exercise. I attach the dogs to a fanny pack so I can swing my arms. This also helps for flailing arms around when I trip over rocks.

They are attached to me because despite everything, I really like them and don't want them to be eaten by coyotes, chased by wild pigs, or kicked in the head by an irritated cow. There are some walks that they get to go off leash, but not the exercise hikes up Harvey Bear.

Tazzie (here in his winter full coat) is one of the hikers. He is a good hiker as long as we don't see any cows, coyotes, pigs, people, dogs, shadows, etc. Often Tazzie gets to go alone with me. One of the mommy and me things we do.
Fin also gets to hike. She prefers hiking downhill, does not like when ANYONE might be walking up the hill behind us, and likes some dogs, but not all. I suspect that Fin believes if she walks slowly behind me that the added weight will burn more calories. Often times, I will unlock the leash, hand it to my friend and take two of her BC's so that I can get a little help up the hills. Fin helps down hill...not up hill.

Our hikes are mostly pleasant. Then there are the not so pleasant times. These are whenever we pass anyone one the trail (hikers, dog walkers, bikers, and oh god no...horses).
I often walk with Laura who's dogs generally ignore everything and walk like soldiers. Tazz begins by standing a little taller, tail goes up, ears forward, and we get a little vocal "grrrring" going on. At this point I reel him in like a fish, take hold of his harness and lift him in the air. If I'm late in my harness grab, the spinning begins with low barking/growling. I laugh and say, "oh he is harmless," as I wrap him up in my arms holding his head, cuddling a raving lunatic.
Fin by now will decide whether she likes the person, horse, bike, and if the answer is no, will spin and bark (all be it, kinda humorous rather than threatening).
Once "the distraction" leaves, Fin happily continues our walk, Tazz is dropped to the ground and after a few barks and a little prancing we are on our way.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Hot Summer Day

After a long 4 mile hike, cleaning out the hot shed, and organizing the garage, what's a boy to do? Soak in the pool. Some dogs like to swim, but Tazz is just happy as a clam to hang out and rest his weary muscles with a cool dip. Noodles are for hanging out and soaking in some rays. Tazzie is liking his hair cut...the pool filter is liking it even more.

Now that he has figured out the noodle use, we may never get him to swim again!

Oh yeah, I was there too. Just trying to cool off and enjoy what's left of our day.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

When Bad Things Happen to Good Dogs...

Tazzie of all my dogs has the most beautiful coat. His breeder would probably kill me if she knew what I do during the summer. At any rate, she'll not want to give me another sheltie anytime soon. My conundrum is that of all my shelties, Tazzie has the fullest longest coat, yet he is the one that wants to swim and his hair drags him down when he is swiming. Sheltie hair in the pool is not all that much fun.

Tazzie asks, "step away from the electric shears!" Tazz also gets really hot. Although the last few days it has been mild, we will get multiple days over 100 before summer is up. So I trim him up. Usually that trim is mild. This year, it is extreme.

Fin runs saying, "take him, not me!"

I trimmed him earlier in the summer, but his coat had come in a couple inches, so I thought I'd try to take it a little shorter. One thing led to another and this is the result.

My problem is that it isn't totally even. Every time I try to go in and even it up, I make it shorter. I think I'm just going to let it grow and even it up as it comes in.

Hopefully now Tazz won't be sucked down to the depths of the pool by his heavy coat. The good news is that I don't think my friends will be lining up for me to trim their dogs once they see Tazz. There is always a silver lining.
Hopefully he will grow to love the shorter look and run faster on the agility field.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Shout out to Denmark

Hey who is the person that visits from Denmark? Love to know who you are. :) May want to visit you when I'm there!

Yesterday it was a family affair. This means Saturday was all about cleaning house and food prep and Sunday was about hanging with the family. Both days started out with visits to the gym. Getting back into a regular schedule. Need to loose 10 pounds by Sept 1!
I cooked a very healthy meal based around "salad." My sister is also trying to be more fit and it was her birthday. I ask, "Peg, what do you want to eat?" She responded, "salad and for desert, berries."
I grilled a bunch of veggies, cut up tomato's with basil and mozzarella cheese, b-b-q'd prawns, chicken, and pork. My mom brought deviled eggs and I put out almonds as a snack.
When we were eating, my mom said, "I hardly miss the bread." My cousin then said, "Wow, I didn't even notice till just now that there was no bread." I feel that was a success. I was able to put out a good healthy meal and most of the guests didn't even realize they were eating healthy.
Desert was fresh strawberries, blue berries, black berries and whipped cream. Yummy.
We played games and swam. A fun time with everyone.