Thursday, August 26, 2010

Overscheduled and totally worth it

This past weekend was one of the busiest of my life.  I knew when I scheduled two big events back to back it was going to be a little rough.  At the end of it, I was sleep deprived and exhausted, but it was totally worth it.

Part I: Saturday
At 6:30am Saturday morning I was on the road on my way to Westminster, MD.  Not for a bike ride this time but for an agility trial.  In my very first post, I mentioned that I do agility training with my dogs.  For those unfamiliar, dog agility is where you train your dog to perform certain obstacles (jumps, tunnels, stuff to climb over, etc) and the purpose is to run your dog through basically an obstacle course as fast as you can go without making mistakes.  Each course has different challenges, and on Saturday I ran a total of eight courses with Rugby and Juno.

At over eight years old, Rugby still has some serious spring:
Agility trials used to make me really nervous.  For someone as self-conscious as I am, the whole performing in front of an audience thing is nerve-wracking.  Then think about fear of making mistakes combined with having to rely on partnership with a dog. Recipe for disaster!  But sometimes life forces you to be exactly what you are trying to avoid, and me and my goofy spaniel were often the center of attention not for stellar performance but because of all of Rugby's amusing antics.  It was pretty common for Rugby to take off and zoom around the ring or run over to say hi to the judge.  Once he left the ring to bury his head in a pile of prize toys and another time, he followed his nose right into a kitchen to see what was for lunch.  When I stop and think about it, I'm rather proud that I kept going with agility rather than giving into my fear of embarrassment.  At some point I decided to love Rugby for being exactly what he is--an unpredictable goofball.

As he's matured with age, Rugby is less of a clown at agility trials, and while he certainly still spaces out and wanders away, sometimes he puts it all together really well and we had 3 successful runs of 5 this weekend.
Juno has much more focus than Rugby but is still new to agility competitions so she can be a goofball in her own right.  As she finished a run and before I could get her leash on, she jumped over the ring gating to go say hi to a friendly-looking Corgi.  It's good she's carrying on the family tradition.  Here she is navigating her way down an obstacle.
The little girl did quite well for herself.  I only ran her in 3 courses, but she did well enough in one to earn her very first "qualifying score" and first place ribbon, which I promptly displayed on her crate.
What a good little girl.

It was an exhausting day.  I didn't get home until after 8pm and barely had enough time to pack some things and try to get to sleep before the alarm went off at 4:30am.

Part II: Sunday
On Sunday morning, I left the house even earlier than on Saturday, this time for the Iron Girl triathlon.  By 6am I was setting up my transition area in some light rain, and by 7:30am, I was in the water about to start the race.  I'm somewhere out in this big pack of swimmers.
Swimming in a group like this is always an adventure, and I definitely got knocked around a bit in the beginning, but then I settled in and just swam.  I felt like I had a strong swim, but my time was a little slower than I was shooting for.  That meant I really needed some speedy transitions.  Mike barely caught me running by on my way to grab my bike.  That would be me there in the bright blue top.
Despite the rain, the rest of the race went pretty well.  I had an average bike, but with a crowded course and wet roads, I was okay with that.  I was able to quickly transition to the run, and had my best run on this course (which is no walk in the park--okay, well, actually it is in a park, but it's still a tough run), even sprinting full out at the finish. I think I'm verging on actually considering myself a real triathlete. No pictures from the end of the race since Mike was busy volunteering. I came home and not surprisingly, passed out for the rest of the afternoon.  It was a packed weekend from start to finish but I loved just about every minute of it.

Where's the knitting? But what about knitting?! No worries, there was knitting--a decent amount actually (there's a lot of waiting around at dog trial), but I'm saving that for next post.  Psst....Goodale is finished.


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