Monday, January 30, 2012

Challenge complete

Today I hiked the last of my Jan 31 hiking miles up a steep grade.  I'm exhausted but very happy.

I started this month thinking that I would just walk 1 mile each day.  Then I started hiking and I realized that I could still do my 1 mile each day, but change my challenge to hiking miles.

Each time I hiked I pushed it.  I am still intimidated by steep uphills, but I must admit, that I'm finding a little confidence hiding behind all the fear of failure that has held me back. 

I hope that you are finding the confidence to step out of your comfort zone and create achievable goals.

Tomorrow morning agility class.  Can't wait.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A day at home....can't wait for the next agility trial

  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Vacuming
  • Grouting a small bathroom
  • Walking dogs
  • Toe nails (theirs not mine)
  • Making beds
  • Dusting
  • Working
Finally, finally, we get to go out to eat.  Now, please!

Tomorrow.  Hike and work.  That's it.  Should be a very simple day.  Get the work finished.  Hike will be a shorter one as I am still feeling the Friday spectacular.

BTW, my sisters bathroom looks fantastic!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another day, another Hike.

This morning I might have lost my mind a little.  I thought to myself, "Self, lets you and I take on a challenge today and hike to the top top, not just the little top....but the really tall top."  What was I thinking!?!

I was going to stop and pick up the Monkey, but she was unavailable.  She has a very busy schedule.  I'm hoping she has time for me next week. 

We headed up the trail and when we got the the place we usually turn, I just kept going.  About half way up I had to stop.  I used the excuse that the dogs may be dehydrated and probably needed some water.  I have no idea how far to the top I was, but the thing that I was sure of was that there was no relent from the uphill anytime soon.

Dogs were happy to have a bit of water.  I looked at the map.  Decisions.  Do I continue the madness, or turn back.  

I kept going.  It was hard.  But I did it.  Ended up going about 5.5 miles and 1600+ elevation.  Once up there, it was a really nice flat to rolling walk, not many views, but a bunch of trees.  Very nice and peaceful.  Only problem was the flat part was too short, then it was all down hill.  The only other person that I saw was a man (near the end of the hike) with two reactive dogs.  What's the chance of the only two people walking reactive dogs actually run into each other?  I guess pretty good.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


When I do agility and I see people come off the line looking like they just found out they just got a cell phone bill of $7000 or they got cheated by their car mechanic, that is not good.  Or when I get into a negative space (like when I lost that GP Q due to Fin going around a jump) I would ask myself why do I do dog agility?

I used to think I did dog agility because of the titles and placements.  My dogs have taught me something else.

Dog agility is about connection.  Gives you something to do with your dog that requires endless hours of cooperation.  Your dog needs to learn how to learn and you need to learn how to teach.  Spending hours exercising and training creates a dynamic that can not be denied.  My dogs want to be around me.  They want to be the center of my universe.  Sure we have the run after the squirrel, the do not come when called...I am human after all, but seriously.  My dogs would rather be with me than pretty much anywhere.  Gotta love that!

Dog agility is about friendship.  There are people you meet when you are progressing through the paths of agility training and competition that will be your friends for life.  Going away for the weekend is seriously fun when you get to hang out with funny, committed, and crazy people.

Agility is about play.  Having fun.  Enjoying a sport you can do with your dog.  Smile, laugh, giggle a little, that's what agility is about.

Agility is about athletic competition.  You and your dog follow a fitness program and get better together.  Eating right and getting fitter (although not so much fun while you are doing it) will make the sport more fun.  Having a dog that was over weight come out fit and run a course is a joy beyond words.  You can see how much more fun that dog is having with the excess baggage removed.

Agility is about speed.  Gotta go fast.  As fast as you can go.  But remember to keep a smile on your face.

Agility is about ego....NOT.  One thing my dogs have taught me.  Leave the ego at the door.  It will be crushed along with all your other silly ideas about yourself.

If you've lost your way and are not finding fun due to many of the stresses of life (focus on Q's, thinking that not Q'ing means you aren't successful, pissed because of lack of contacts/weaves/whatever, you've got a breed that's harder than other breeds), step back and ask yourself why you got in agility in the first place.  Make a commitment to yourself and your dog to get back to the fun.  You will not regret it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I was an art major, not a math major.

So, sue me.  I miscalculated my hiking mileage.  I'm actually much better off.  Only 9.5 to go for the month.  I'll get that and more this weekend :)  Victory is on my doorstep.

Oh crap.  Now I gotta do better in February.  I'll hike 29 miles plus 4 days a week at the gym.

Brief Hiking Update

Hiking continues.  The result of hiking is a happy house.

Hiking results in quiet.  No barking.  No barking is good. There is a little black and white dog responsible for most of the barking.  After a nice long hike she is content.

Hiking allows me to get some work done.  I get a nice foot warmer to keep me comfy under my desk.

Hiking results in more ball play and short walks for the old farts.  Ball play makes for a happy Rocky.  He also gets to walk up the hill in front of the house and loves to read and leave mail all along his walk.

Hiking or no hiking, really doesn't matter to Maddie.  As long as she has her squirrels to chase she is a happy dog.

12 miles to go before Jan 31.  that is 3 more hikes in the next 7 days.  Got a little behind because of my cold and the storm but I would say that success is in the air.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Report:

Had a very fun, cold, wet, time at the Bayteam USDAA trial.  Not a ton of Q's...actually one for Tazz and one for Fin. However, I felt my handling for most runs was really good.  I dropped the handling ball a few times this weekend and these courses, if you got behind, you were in trouble the rest of the course.

Fin Grand Prix
What a lovely run.  I am very proud of my handling.  Fin was perfection, getting out and finding obstacles that I was unable to get to.  Unfortunately it was a weave to nowhere corner and she popped.  I didn't care, just kept going. 

Tazz Jumpers
Tazz rocked his first course out of the weekend.  He moved through it and was a happy dude.  All his courses were like this for the weekend...couple times I slowed him down with a late cross, but he just kept going.  This "agility is fun" business is working.  No other Q's for him (time faults and one weave pop out), but the name of the game is find the fun, I believe we accomplished that.

Fin Jumpers
Funny how my favorite run of the entire weekend resulted in 4 off courses.  After the wrong end of the tunnel, Fin was supposed to stay on my right side.  She decided the left side was the path to take and I decided to just go with it and have a great time.  I loved the ending...especially my friends screaming for me to finish strong.  Thanks you make agility so much fun!

Although it rained, I got lots of walks in (only way to keep warm).  I found out buildings and some stairs and me and the dogs played silly games so we'd stay warm and dry.  Our hotel was wonderful and the drive home wasn't too bad - everyone was home watching the game so traffic was light.

Now back to work.  Darn.  We all want to go back and try that Grand Prix one more time!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The month that I was in a time warp

I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that it is January 2012. 

Today it is supposed to rain.  It has been cold here.  Really cold.  The rain will probably bring the thermometer up a bit and my lawn could really use the wet. I'm really working hard on my hiking and workouts (3.5 more only 16 to go!).  Also been eating healthy.  No McDonalds for 29 days!!!  That is a new record. 

I'm struggling lately, I think partly because it is so freak'n cold and because I'm coming down with a little sniffly head cold.  All I want to do is sit under a blanket and eat.  Not really in the plan, but absolutely something I'd like to do.  Fortunately, huddled up eating vegetables just doesn't hold the same allure as potato chips, so instead I'm finding things to do to pass the time.

One thing I'm doing is working the weave pole drills.  trying to do all kinds of stuff to make Fin break her weavies.  She is just marvelous!  Tonight I might make myself a hot tottie and go out there and see what she thinks of drunk weaves :)

This weekend I'm scheduled to hit a USDAA show in Santa Rosa.  GP and Steeplechase are on Saturday and I'm looking forward to fun courses and great friends.

Friday, January 13, 2012

More Hiking (how boring) Some Videos and an Update

Hiked again today 3.5.  Making my way through my month  18 hiking miles total 13 to go...since it is Friday the 13th, I'm thinking this is a sign.  On top of the hiking I'm also walking the dogs AND going to the gym.  I'm getting so healthy my legs are going to fall off. 

Grand Prix.  Such a heart breaker.  We got through the hard stuff and lost focus on that last jump.  Fin ran wonderful (except for not sticking her contacts - naughty).  I think I handled the hard stuff pretty well.  Very proud of us.
For the rest of the runs, go to my youtube page, link is on the right.  Loads of great stuff.  This is going to be the best year ever.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The day we did the GP and were clean through 19...but guess what? There were 20 obstacles!

Fantastic weekend with my friend and her young dog.  The weekend was fun, Fin got another Steeplechase and took 2nd on day two.  Overall I felt my handling was good (maybe a bit too much babysitting still), just minor things took us out of q'ing for most runs.

GP was a tough course.  I could NOT believe we made it though the 17th obstacle and I made a HUGE mistake.  In my mind we had it, and I stopped working "every jump" and Fin drifted out a little too far and ran around the last jump.  AHHHHHHHHHH! I laughed and told her what a great dog she was, because, she is a great dog!  Then once I put her away, I wallowed in self pity for a short while until I remembered Agility was fun.  Other than that one moment of mental let down, the rest of the weekend was fast and furious.

We also walked uphill a bunch of times.  Since I didn't have my body bugg on, I have to estimate so my friend and I agreed on mileage for the weekend.  I'm going conservative with 4 miles.  That added to my 3.5 hike this morning (thanks Laura and Laurie), I'm at 14.5 for the month leaving me with only 16.5 more to go and it is only January 9th!!! 

Santa Rosa USDAA in two weeks.  I am really excited about going.  Looks like it might rain but we are indoors for the trial so won't effect the runs.

The one thing I am looking forward to most....Deanna's soup.  She makes a mean soup.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why is it after hiking I keep thinking Ticks are crawling all over me...

...even when I know they aren't.

3.5 miles today.  That is 7 miles with 24 to go and 27 days to get it done. 

This weekend is a fun USDAA in LA.  Headed down there with a friend and little Fin. Should be a fun weekend with excellent weather.  Only thing to decide....where to have dinner :)

Busy work week is keeping me off the home computer.  Yard cleanup is keeping me off the home computer.  Sorting and give away is also keeping me off the home computer.  Thank god for the iPad!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jan. 2. 3.5 miles

Hiked with Laura today.  Thanks to Monkey power did 3.5 miles up Mt. Madonna and back down.  27.5 miles left for January.  One day at a time.

Much thought has been going through my head about my health goals.  I want measurable goals.  I want achievable goals.  The reward is going to be feeling good.  These goals are not New Years resolutions.  It just took the photos from christmas and an overwhelming feeling that I needed change to start the ball rolling.

Today a friend shared this video on Facebook.  It is so worth looking at, both for us and our dogs.  Think about how many hours we sit.  His message, "Can you limit sleeping and sitting to 23 and 1/2 hours?"  Great message.

On other news, I've entered Tazzie and Fin in the upcoming USDAA in Santa Rosa.  So excited!  I'm really working on Tazzies speed in the weaves and table.  For Fin we are working on obstacle performance with me drifting away to provide positional cues.  Specifically with the weaves and pinwheels.  I'm working on challenging Fin by putting the weaves facing into nowhere land (like into tunnels - as close as 1 foot away) and rewarding for staying in.

Hope you are working on specific skills with your dog and finding excuses to get off the computer and take a walk.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

So for January I am gonna challenge myself

31 miles.  I gotta do 31 miles in January.  I did 2.5 yesterday but they don't count.  Oh yeah.  Fin is gonna do 30 miles too.  Oh and Tazz...let's not forget Tazz.  Then there is Maddie and Rocky.

At 12.5 they will not be doing the 31 miles, but maybe 15 miles!  .5 each day isn't too much...especially if they get to go to their favorite flat hike.

Been cleaning out the upstairs and rediscovered a bunch of photos.  Did some scanning and now we have them on digital.
This is an old photo of me and my dad.  Gotta be around 20 years ago.  This was a birthday party for him at Farrells ice cream parlor.

Kel at Chrismas 33 years ago.  I did not know this handsome Marine.  I only got to know the good looking Purchasing Manager.  He was one serious dude back then.

Here we are in 1991 at my first obedience fun match.  Sophie was probably 6-7 months old and Chester was a little tyke. 

Hope you had a great holiday, a very happy new year!