My trial with Max went well this weekend – no amazing victories, no qualifying for Nationals (yet), but an accomplishment of the goals I had in mind. Since we have trialed very little in the past year, I had a few things I wanted for this trial: (1) contacts – I wanted to really work the contact equipment in a trial environment and reinforce the good thing we had going last year and (2) calm – trials are crazy and exciting and nerve-wracking and it’s not always easy for the dog or handler to be calm. I wanted to work on keeping Max calm leading up to his turn in the ring by whatever means necessary – hiding behind tents until we are called, focusing him on me and food and games while we wait, etc – anything to keep him from going out of his brain watching a border collie tear around the course. I also made it a point to think about ME staying calm – it’s all too easy to rush through a run and handle your dog poorly as a result. Having not trialed a lot lately, I find I get nervous doing this again! My poor stomach…
We had two very successful Gamblers runs with nice controlled openings and many contact obstacles performed correctly, even if we did not get the gamble either day (and I knew from the course setup on both that we would not – Max is a clingy dog, perfect for Snooker!).
We had a really nice Steeplechase run yesterday, but for a blown A-frame contact (boooo!). If we hadn’t had the fault from that, we’d have been fast enough to qualify (you have to come within X% of the average times of the top 3 dogs). I spent the 2 hours before our run volunteering as a bar-setter for the Championship classes in Steeplechase. Imagine 100+ dogs running the course and at least half of them drop a bar on a jump, sometimes three or four or five. My job was to sprint out there, pick up the bar off the ground and fix the jumps so the next dog could run. Repeat over and over and over, and my glutes are SORE today from all the squatting/bending/standing. Oops.
Today we had a run in Grand Prix that I was really proud of. Again, not a Nationals qualifier because of one boo-boo where I pulled Max away from the dogwalk. But this was a really hard course, people were blowing up on it left and right, and I was thrilled to get through it otherwise clean and – yes – calm. And with all our contacts!
When I got back from the trial today, it was time for my bike/run brick. What follows is like a poor man’s version of Marit’s post from the other day.
Unlike everyone else in Blogland’s fancy bike trainer setups with TVs and carpet, I am exiled to the garage so as not to disturb the other occupants of the house. A laptop on the freezer is the best I can do for entertainment.
And entertainment I have! All loaded up with mindless distraction for my ride. That will be the most I can handle with all the Zone 3 and 4 intervals ahead on my plate. It turns out A Cinderella Story is EXACTLY the right length for a 90 minute ride.
But first, the ritual sugar cookie carbo-load.
My run gear is waiting anxiously by the dog food, calling out to me to skip that stupid bike and go play outside.
After dripping sweat on the ride and taking myself to all sorts of fun painful places (yes, I tried to take photos; no, I am not sharing them), I finally got out the door to run. 25 minutes with a large chunk of that in Zone 3. Instead of Marit’s beautiful beach scenery, I just have suburbia (no, I didn’t take the camera on the run).
I rolled out my sore spots with the Quadballer and decided to excavate the tub from layers of drying swimsuits for an ice bath.
This was a lower volume week with some speedy efforts to prep for Sunday’s race. My upcoming week will be a taper for the Napa Valley Sprint Tri. My chance at redemption after some bobbles at Vineman Showdown!
Training totals for week 18 (April 20-26):
Swim: 7100 yards
Bike: 56.8 miles
Run: 13.7 miles
Total time: ~9.25 hours
(plus 2.5 hrs of yoga)