Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Assorted Notes from Nationals Part Deux

SUMMARY: Random thoughts and photos.

  • Distance walked: According to my pedometer, I covered between about 7 and 8 miles a day. That's less than I do at a typical trial, where I'm often between 9 and 11 miles a day. One difference is that I had only 1 or 2 runs a day at Scottsdale, for one dog, versus walking and running 5 courses for 2 dogs (so as many as 10 walk-throughs a day) at a regular trial. Some of the distances here were immense, however; I clocked the walk from my crating area to the entrance to Ring 1--the farthest ring--at 5 minutes and .23 miles!
  • Knee and the rest of its body: My knee held up very well. I iced it only once, which felt nice, but I survived without more. I had to keep up on my ibuprofen to avoid a creeping ache. No swelling. And I enjoy walking; it feels good to move myself around, and I like burning calories. My right shoulder's bursitis, however, acted up, not sure why--too much tug-of-war? Too much photography wednesday and thursday? (I have bad habits when holding my camera.) Too many ice-cold, tasty smoothies with whipped cream? By Saturday evening, as we found seating for the Steeplechase finals, my knee was throbbing, my shoulder was so painful that I couldn't lift my arm, and I was developing a lovely headache. Fortunately for better living through chemistry, I popped some ibuprofen and downed them with a caffeinated diet Coke--and an hour later, everybodypart was happy happy happy. The rest of the weekend I was mostly fine.
  • Bloody nose: An odd thing; while sitting and preparing my lunch one day, my nose started bleeding. Just, poof, like that. Took a while to stop, and it didn't happen again. Dry air? Altitude? Air conditioning blowing on me all night in the hotel? Odd thing.
  • Hotel: The hotel was good except when the room keys didn't work the 2nd night. No one except me seems to find the pull-out sofa bed in the main room comfortable enough to sleep on. I've done it 4 years now, no problems; I'm so tired, though, I could probably sleep in a gravel pit. Internet access was excruciating slow at times--probably everyone got back to the hotel at the same time and logged in to do whatever people do on their computers.
  • Earthquake: We left San Jose Tuesday morning. That evening, a 5.6 quake hit east San Jose. When I got home, I found a few things tipped over or fallen off shelves, but only small, minor, lightweight items. No harm done. Would've been very scary to be in Scottsdale and have another Loma Prieta-sized quake--or bigger--happen while we were gone, though.
  • Bloggers: What fun it is to meet fellow agility bloggers in person! Got a chance to talk a bit with Days of Speed blogger Elayne and briefly with Team FernandezLopez's Sarah. The Internet DOES provide a real, human, social benefit.
  • Next year's nationals: I heard that it's definitely in Scottsdale next year. I heard that it might not be in Scottsdale next year. I heard that they'd like it to be in Scottsdale but that there are "issues" with Westworld. I heard that it'll be in Scottsdale but on a different weekend. I heard that it'll be in the midwest the following year. I heard that it'll be on the east cost next year or the following year. So now you know.
  • Enjoyment: Other than feeling like a dork when forgetting my Team Snooker run, and being really blue (for about 10 minutes) about not making the GP semifinals YET AGAIN, I truly enjoyed myself there. Chatted and hung out with many entertaining people. Enjoyed the weather except the very hottest couple of hours a day, but shade abounded--you could always steal someone's umbrella shade ringside. Watching top competitors from around the country and the world is a blast. Watching the final rounds, where super-fast dogs and handlers complete courses in amazing times, with astonishingly fast contacts and exciting handling moves, and placements determined at times by only .02 seconds (26" Steeplechase final 1st/2nd) or .01 seconds (16" Performance National Standard 1st/2nd) are pleasures that are hard to match anywhere. And it helps when several classmates, friends, and fellow Bay Teamers appear in the various finals, and do well, to boot.
  • More notes about the competition in general and Bay Teamers in particular are posted here (and more's still coming).
  • All my photos of Bay Teamers & friends of Bay Team and the whole site and event overall are posted here, with some commentary.
  • Sunset over Ring 1. As usual, every desert sunrise and sunset took one's breath away.
    Boost, watching another Border Collie play. (Oh, crud, 2 of these photos aren't rotated. Will fix later.)
    "Heyyyy--who gave you my camera??!"
    Our home away from home.
    Dining with friends at Chez Gourmet Fastfood--Sausages! Nachos! Hamburgers! Philly Cheese Steaks! Fried onion rings! French fries! Fat fat fat and more fat! Well, OK, really, they were well done for what they were. But I don't eat like that any more and just couldn't stomach several meals of it, let alone 5 days of it.
    My devil-made-me-do-it (pop contact, skip pole, bite judge) costume.
    A worthy thought that I tried to remember on a regular basis.

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