a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Boot Camp and Boost Can

Friday, October 05, 2007

Boot Camp and Boost Can

SUMMARY: First week's Boot Camp report; Boost does good.

Boost's status first--Boost is doing so well in class! We're making mistakes, but really not out of line for the kinds of mistakes that the other, more-experienced dogs and handlers are making. Her weaves remain good. Her contacts remain good. We had class last night, and this morning I got a nice note from our instructor congratulating me on her great improvement over the last month. Sure, I've been working on things, but it really does seem that it's more like something clicked in her collie brain and she's finally put together all those 2 years of training into something that works for us.

She'll be in all Masters classes this weekend, and I'm eager to see how she does. Plus another chance at a Steeplechase and Grand Prix.

I had Boot Camp for an hour on Monday, Wednesday, and this morning. Wednesday night in class with Tika wasn't too bad although my muscles were a bit tired. Thursday I was quite sore all day and really flagged in Boost's class in the evening. Today I was still sore before class (most everyone else was, too). But I managed to jog 2 full laps around the field (1/5 mile each lap) before needing to walk a bit, which is better than Monday and Wednesday.

Today was "Testing Day". First, you ran/walked a mile as best you could and recorded the time. I walked about 3 half laps of the 5 laps and finished in 11:44. Out of 7 people, I had the third slowest time; times ranged from about 9:50 to 14-something. Drillmaster (my title for him) says that the goal is to improve our one-mile time by at least a minute before the last day of class, which is only another 3 weeks.

Second, we did as many pushups, in whatever mode, in our own time, as we could without completely stopping. I knew that this would be hard for me--I did 7 on my knees, not my toes, and I had the fewest in the class. The rest ranged from 9 to 35! (Against the top of a picnic table, later, I did 2 sets of 15, which is better than barely managing two sets of 12--with a struggle--on Monday.)

When I continued to the rest of the day's exercises, I discovered that my right hamstring was very painful and I actually couldn't do some of the exercises with that side. That's the same side as my crappy knee and the same side on which the thigh muscles need improvement. I'm guessing that, if the thigh muscles were stronger and taking more of the load, the hamstring would've held up better, too.

I'm icing and ibuprofening and I'm hoping that it's not going to hinder me in sprinting with my dogs on course this weekend. Everyone else gets the weekend off!

My classmates all seem nice. There's at least one gal in college, and at least one 49-year-old, because they were comparing notes on wednesday about what they each thought they should be able to do based on what the other could achieve. There's another lady who came to Boot Camp with a friend several sessions ago, signed up for herself, and has kept with it; she's now doing two sessions simultaneously! She says that she had never done any kind of exercising, ever; she had never heard the terms "crunch" or "lunge", had never run laps... what's this country coming to? ;-) One lady is obviously more overweight than the rest of us, but I don't seem to be tremendously more fit than she is. Harrumph.

The drillmaster is good; keeps giving us instructions on how to hold ourselves, what to move, what we should be feeling in our various muscles. A good mix of good-natured "keep moving--I didn't say you could stop yet!" and "don't hurt yourself, this isn't about pain!"

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