Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A few of my favorite runs from the weekend

Stan’s 1st place Snooker run.  I LOVE snooker.

1st place in Fullhouse

And a 1st place in Standard.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Monday So Soon Already?

The weekends fly by far too quickly around here. Between a long ride, a long run and an all day agility trial I am sapped!

I had a great hot windy ride in the hills. I haven’t done the Hicks-Shannon-Kennedy climb in roughly 2 years (how does time fly so quickly?) and I’d forgotten the long stretch at a 13% grade.

Heading out to the hills with Jeff and Nigel


Most of my views were like this, or of just road that went straight up


Max had to sit out the CPE trial this weekend until he sees his chiropractor again Wednesday but I hope he will get the green light for the show we are entered in next week. Stanley, however, had a blast at his first CPE trial and kicked some butt! Six 1st places, three 2nd places, and one 3rd place. He finished all of his Level 1 titles – CL1-R, CL1-H, CL1-S and CL1-F – but we’ll just put a CL1 at the end of his name to signify that he’s earned them all.

Titles aside, I'm just pleased with the the relationship I'm seeing develop with Stan and how our teamwork is coming along. The 10 runs this weekend gave us ample opportunity to practice what he needs to be ready for the ring and to work on areas that needed improvement. Together I would say we are coming along! I'm so proud of my baby boy!


I thought maybe I’d go see a movie tonight but…I think I’ll sit here with my feet up, drink beer, eat pie and watch TV. That’s about all I’m capable of at this point.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Howdy, Y’all! Giddyup and Yeehaw!

OK, with those Texas stereotypes out of the way…


After the latest update from Red Rock (SOMA duathlon for sure), I pulled the trigger: October 17th in Austin, it’s on!  When I factored in the course, a free ticket on Southwest Airlines, the timing, and the ability to maybe see some friends, this was my best bet!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Decisions, decisions…

I’m sure many of you have heard about the busted dam at Tempe Town Lake (site of Ironman Arizona) and the subsequent emptying of the entire lake.  If you haven’t, go Google some photos – they are pretty impressive.  The upside is, the city will have the dam fixed and the lake refilled in time for this year’s Ironman.  The downside is, it looks like all the other fall races that come before November won’t have that guarantee.  Including my A-race for the year, SOMA 1/2 IM on October 24th.



I do love the race management by Red Rock Company and they put on some great events.  They’ve been hit really hard this year by situations out of their control (forest wildfires, vanishing lake, etc).  And now based on their website and Facebook posts, it appears likely they will have to make their fall series all duathlons.  If something happened on race day (adverse weather, for example) and it became a duathlon, I’d just deal and race it.  But we are 3 months out and I’m not putting in all this hard work to travel 750 miles to race a duathlon.  There has been a lot of discussion on their Facebook page and even if they decide not to give refunds, I hope they are willing to defer people who wish it to a race next year instead of forcing them to lose their $$.  After all, we paid for a triathlon, not a duathlon.

And so, the hunt is on for a new fall 1/2 IM for me.  Unfortunately the two local races that I would have preferred are both in early-mid September and I just won’t be ready by then.  Everyone keeps suggesting Silverman and other Vegas area races but the bike profiles on those are skeery (and since I was anticipating a flat bike course, that’s more the type of thing I’ve been training for).  I’m also trying to factor in travel costs and difficulty of getting to some of these places into my decision.  There are a few other options out there and I think I’ve pinpointed a favorite, but I am going to wait the couple days they promised until Red Rock *officially* makes SOMA a duathlon before signing up for something else. 

And so it goes – life is never boring around here!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vineman 70.3 Spectator Report

Long time, no see! Yes, yes, I have literally been too busy to blog for all these days. I’m taking a few moments out of my work afternoon to put this up before I delay any longer.

After my long run Saturday morning (yay for long runs!), I headed north to Santa Rosa to meet up with Kate and Kim, who were both racing at Vineman. We ran around like crazy day-before-race people, picking up Kate’s bike, driving the run course, checking them in at the expo, dropping off their run gear, and then driving the bike course. I also met up with Rob at the expo! We tried to make driving the bike course fun.


We finished the night off with dinner poolside after Kim’s friend Abby arrived. Ah, it’s a rough life.


Our morning dawned very dark and early, as Kate was going off in the first amateur wave after the pros, at 6:38 am.


I found Rob again, modeling for the cameras.


Once the race was started, I hung out with Macca until Kate finished her swim. Hey, it counts if he was standing only 2 people away, right?

I will let Kate report on her own race, but I was very happy to cheer for her all day. Once she headed off on the bike, looking DARN cute

014 I drove over to Windsor High School to park and begin my own ride for a few hours. There were some eucalyptus groves.


And lots and lots of grapes.



I rode backwards on part of the race course so I got to see Kim rocking it on the bike. I made it back in time to pack up my stuff, change and see Kate roll in on the bike and head out on the run. I knew she’d be a while to the finish so I went to see what the expo had for food. Mmmmmmm, grilled turkey leg.


I spent a lot of time in the sun. I cheered Rob in to the finish.


And this guy.


And Kate!


After some serious decompressing time, and a mango smoothie, and a plate full of food, and picking up all her gear, Kate was ready to head back to the casa, where she had the perfect post-race activity in mind.


As I said, it’s a rough life.


Kim finished and made it back with Abby just after us.


We finished off the day with dinner at a lovely restaurant in downtown Healdsburg.


On Monday morning, we had to split up the gang, ship bikes, and head for home. Kate came back with me for an extra day before she flew out of San Jose and went home after several weeks in California. We hope to see her again soon!

Unfortunately, my weekend ended on a sad note, with news of the tragic death of a lifelong family friend. We’re all still quite stunned, I think. I will always remember Jan’s laugh and smile and enthusiasm for life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quick Friday Update

It’s been one completely spastic week so I’ll make this brief.

I broke my dog. Max came home from agility class Tuesday and by Wednesday morning he seemed unusually tired. By Wednesday evening I realized there was more to it and he wasn’t moving around much. He’d trot OK but clearly was stiff and having trouble doing certain things. I evaluated him myself and narrowed it down to a neck injury, confirmed by the vet this morning as the exact spot I’d determined. So he gets anti-inflammatories and rest, but it’s very hard to watch my barky pushy hyper dog lie around not feeling well. He hasn’t barked for 3 days.

Stan turned up with an ear infection almost immediately after our return from Ventura. He was re-checked today and the ears are clearing out nicely.

Cujo just thinks it’s too damn hot to live right now (I think it’s lovely!). He’s going to have a fine old time backpacking in the Idaho heat in a few weeks.

I’m waddling like a duck due to sore glutes. Best determination is running hard hill repeats on Thursday kicked my ass. Literally.

And poor Jeff gets to manage the whole crew on his own this weekend, pills and ear drops and all.

I’m off to Sonoma County in the morning to sherpa for Kate at Vineman and cheer for many other friends who are racing. I’ll be doing my long run before I leave and squeezing in a long ride during the race. It’ll be the first year I’m at Vineman and not racing it but I think I’ll enjoy that more.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekend Report

This weekend I…

* missed my team building at work Friday because people were late getting me items that were due Thursday for a an important deliverable.  So I stayed home and worked instead of going to the Winchester Mystery House for the first time since high school.

* did a swim test Saturday morning, my first since March.  And dropped another 6 seconds from my average 100 yard time.  My arms throbbed for hours.

* tried to stay off my feet, eat healthy, and rest.

* got a horrific night’s sleep due to the dog next door barking at 1am.  I really should have gone and knocked on their door at 5am when I got up Sunday morning.

* raced a little 5K today.  How about these stats?  16th place woman out of 436 women.  1st place in age group out of 54 30-34 women.  And I actually thought I had a somewhat crappy race with tired legs.  It didn’t help my mood any when the body fat screener (this race was at a medical center so there was lots of health screening) told me I was fat right after I finished racing.  I’m going with “dehydrated” instead.

* spent the rest of the day doing very little but resting.  Another big training week starts before dawn tomorrow!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bearded Collie Club of Southern California Regional Specialty

I made a spur of the moment decision a few weeks ago to make a 1-day trip to Ventura for the Southern Cal club’s regional show.  And I managed to talk my friend Shannon into going as well!

We headed out Wednesday at noon – two humans, three beardies, two grooming tables, FIVE crates (car crates, show crates, etc), and more grooming supplies than dogs than for ourselves.  The boys are all wonderful travelers who slept the entire 5-hour drive.  Beckham, Stanley and Max settled right into the hotel room quite humpily…I mean, happily.



We had a seafood dinner on the water with old friends and new ones!


Shannon and I both behaved and drank only water – we needed the best night’s sleep possible with the day ahead.


Thursday started bright and early with dragging all our gear out to the show site and setting up for the day.  Stanley and I had a date with the rally obedience ring at 8:50am.




Baby dog found his brain!  It was good enough for a score of 95, a 1st place and his Rally Novice title!


Good boy, Stanley!


Shannon’s gorgeous Beckham won the Puppy Sweepstakes, a huge honor under a respected breeder judge.  I was so happy for her!


I finished the day showing Stanley in Breed.  NOT a breeder-judge this time and I’m no pro handler with a recognizable face.  I was quite happy with how Stanley showed though, so no complaints.




And then we loaded the car and drove the 5 hours home!  It was a whirlwind trip but we had fun, got to hang out with friends, and learned quite a bit.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dragging the Weekend Out a Little Longer = More Photos

My husband has pointed out that I missed a critical attribute of Mendocino in my description of town.  Not only was Murder, She Wrote filmed there, so was the movie Cujo.  Because that makes it sound sooooo much nicer to visit, right?

Anyway, Jeff took some photos as well.




There are 2 dogs in this photo.




Bathing station at the hotel for post-beach cleanup


The next victim awaiting a bath


Those days between baths seem to fly by, I suppose, because tomorrow everyone gets one again before we hit the road for a quick dog-related trip.  As always, I will try to pack the camera!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Home Sweet Home

After 3 nights away, we are home again.  For all of 2 days, and then the dogs and I hit the road again.  More on that adventure in a few days!

If you find yourself on the Mendocino coast, I highly recommend the Inn at Schoolhouse Creek, for all the reasons mentioned in the past few posts. 

Finally, A Little Relaxation

A mid-morning ride on the Mendocino coast with Kate!




An afternoon spent at the spa


Pizza and beer in the hotel room


Ahhh, this is the life.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Are They Tired Yet?

Another whirlwind day of “relaxing” is in the books.  It started for me at 6:30am on the fire trail at Big River State Park watching the sun rise and doing 5K pace repeats to prep for next weekend’s race.  More or less the entire run looked like this (I was too busy kicking my own ass to carry a camera today).  I was tired after that.


After stuffing my face at the inn’s bountiful breakfast buffet…

and showering the trail off my body, we took the boys to Fort Bragg just up the highway to walk around the downtown area. 


Nearly TWO THOUSAND YEAR OLD tree, cut down in the 1940s.


Why can’t compression socks come in all these cool prints?


For whatever bizarre reason, Cujo pooped repeatedly on this walk.  Usually I am the one with two dogs juggling multiple pick-ups so it was hilarious to watch Jeff’s expression grow more and more incredulous with each one (and Cujo always timed it to right in front of an open shop door).  When the last one came, I was doubled over laughing in front of a coffee shop watching a stunned Jeff pick up after his dog AGAIN.

Because some of us weren’t tired enough *sob* the next stop was our inn’s private off-leash beach.  The very same beach where we got married!

Stanley immediately ran down to the water and flopped into it





The beach is essentially split by a peninsula that juts out (and is underwater at high tide) to meet an island in the middle of the small bay.  There is a narrow steep trail that leads up onto the island to view the entire scene.  For whatever reason Cujo decided he wanted to get on the trail but couldn’t quite find his way.  He tested routes all around the island in an effort to get up there.




Finally he was successful in reaching the top.  And the first thing he did?  Pooped.  Again.  And then headed right back down.


I struggled to stop laughing long enough to take a picture.


Oh hi ho, I fetched the stick!


No, you didn’t, I taked it from you.


Mine all mine all mine!


We bathed all three dogs before bringing them back to our cottage (yes, *I* am tired now!!!!) and putting them out on the deck in crates to dry.  I had worked up an appetite for sure.

Lunch with a view



Not too long after lunch was over, the boys were dry again and thankfully not looking for more activity.



The rest of the afternoon was spent simply relaxing.  The humans NEEDED this after all the work it took to tire the dogs out!



The day ended after sunset in the ocean view hot tub – it’s exhausting trying to exhaust the dogs!