Thursday, January 11, 2007

Miscellany

SUMMARY: Agility blogging, agility training, agility entries, agility knee

Saw my orthopedic surgeon Tuesday for the last time; he said there's absolutely no fluid in the knee which is awesome considering where I'd been for months before the surgery, and gave me a 100%-go-for-it rating (no restrictions of any kind), just suggested that I keep on with my physical therapy to build those danged quads.

Went to class with Tika last night for the 2nd time since arthroscopy. Knee is still a bit stiff but the big problem is that I don't feel that I'm moving anywhere near full speed. I need to practice running, but of course running is the worst thing that one can do now that one has had confirmed that one's knee has begun arthritis. Just HAVE to get back to walking, at least, and maybe jog around the back yard a couple of times a day--I'm sure that 100 feet of jogging will be helpful--

Tika, however, did very well. She was even pretty close to trial-fast. (Where I can't normally get her revved to full excited speed in class, then she takes off like a rocket at trials. It's exhilarating at trials but wish I could practice our living-on-the-edge running a bit more often.) I had trouble with a couple of trick round-about-front-crosses-after-270s kinds of things that we were doing, but Tika had no trouble with some tough weave entrances that others were challenged by. So I guess we're all getting something out of the class.

Agility blogging, for me, was solely an attempt to keep my own diary of my dogs' lives and progress. It has turned into this social thing. People actually read it. And of course I'm intrigued by the thoughts and experiences that other agility people go through, especially in different parts of the country. In class and at trials we don't usually talk about our day-to-day experiences, our fears, our hopes, our deepest challenges (well, ok, I talk about my deepest challenges all the time to anyone who'll listen, usually right after I've screwed up another run). One of the blogs I've been reading for a while (Flirt the Squirt) just pointed me to yet another agility blog, this one Colorado based, and the writing is entertaining: Days of Speed and Slowtime Mondays: How Not to Train for Triathlon and Dog Agility. Just what I need, more blogs to follow. :-)

It's been 2 months since I was last in class with Boost, and today's the day (if we don't get some surprise rain or, they're predicting for san jose, snow flurries (!!). At the moment it's sunny and 30 degrees, quite cold for 9 a.m. She's been blasting around the equipment in the back yard, where I mostly send her rather than run with her, looking ever so much like her superstar mama. But our problems on courses were showing up to be my inability to judge when she had actually committed to an obstacle and pulling her off constantly, and not signalling soon enough on tight turns. I mean, Tika's fast, but-- well, I think Boost could beat Tika, and Tika's speed is right up there. Maybe Tika and I have just gotten used to each other, and Boost's still just a baby competitor. Although she'll be 2 in just 3 weeks! Can you believe it?

So anyway I said "yes" (with some arm twisting) to a classmate's suggestion that we try for a two-dog private lesson with Nancy on Sunday. I can use all the field time I can get with The Booster for now. Especially since I've started sending in those entries with the highest hopes, and wanting to get Qs instead of feeling like I'm wasting my entry fees.

And there's where the money comes in (aside from lessons, I mean). Bay Team's first trial is one day Masters, one day Starters/Advanced, and I had two $50 gift certificates, so I had to pay only about $20 for that weekend (plus I guess I'll need to stay in a hotel; no sleeping in my minivan in this weather). But I also sent in my entry for the following weekend for VAST. Five runs per dog Saturday, four-per Sunday, for a nondiscounted total of--gulp--$248. PLUS gas to get there and hotel in cold/wet weather. This is why I have no money. This is why there aren't very many younger competitors. I'm signing up for trial committee jobs that earn me free entries left and right, but that still covers only a small portion of my entry fees.

If it weren't so much danged FUN.

3 comments:

  1. Well I'm glad to hear someone finds me entertaining other than my dogs and the many agility judges I've shown under.

    I had a knee arthroscopy last Feb. for a cyst (liquid filled) on my knee and I'm only now just feeling like it's finally sort of mostly kind of back to normal. I had no arthritis either so I imagine that for you running will always be challenging. While I started back trialing within 6 weeks or so it was months before I felt sound enough to start running distances for exercise. I had a lot of physical therapy too and that helped.

    Cycling/Spinning classes might be a good way to stay in shape for agility though I'm not sure how good that is for an arthritic knee. Probably better than running but I'm no doctor.

    Elayne (Days of Speed)

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  2. I drop kibble all over the place-grocery stores, my car, my office, etc. The worst was the wet floor of the Rec. Center locker room. Kibble soup anyone?

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  3. Exercycling is supposed to be very good for my quads and for cardiovascular fitness. I'm supposed to be doing 40 minutes a day per my physical therapist. I'm lucky to get in 40 minutes a week. Plus I've decided it's helpful for those things but not for the actual physical exertion of moving one's body around a course. That's just running, knee or no knee. So much to work on!

    -ellen

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