Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Video of final NAC runs

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Here is a video of Miller's last NAC in Tulsa OK. Mom has my blog of how things went on her computer so as soon as I have it I will post it cause I can't remember all i wrote LOL!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

NAC Tulsa 2010 Day 1 and 2

So I am tired but going to try and write some stuff up so my faithful readers can read my thoughts. It is day two, already have run four runs and yet I am exhausted. We got to Tulsa on Thursday afternoon in time to set up our stalls and check in. While our decorations weren't as eleborate as last year, they still looked pretty dang good. Unfortunately, several other states went all out this year and we are located in the very back of the stalling area so we aren't seen as much. Of course, the NCAA tournament is going on right now and KSU was in the sweet 16 and they were playing Thursday night. We went through double OT and and were up till 12 screaming for the cats so 5 am came wayyy too early! I think Lori and I texted back and forth the whole game! So glad the cats won and got to move on to the Elite 8! We had team day on Friday with two very tough but very fun courses. I LOVE ISC courses because they are so technical and they are so much fun to run. We had two great runs, but little mistakes got us. A missed weave pole entry due to mishandling of the threadle cost us our Q in JWW and a missed up contact on the dog walk (which I got but he sure did miss the down contact which she didn't call) cost us the Q in standard. I was extremely pleased with both of our runs and didn't care that we didn't get the Q. Last year was such a disaster running wise due to my illness and my belief that this would be our only nationals. He ran around obstacles and just did plan crappy and my handling was very crappy. This year I was determined to handle well and that was my main goal. I also wanted 5 clean runs but that was not to be this year. Friday night, mom and I ate and crashed, in bed by 8:30 pm.

Saturday dawned a bit earlier as we had to be at the site by 6:00 am. Mom and I had a good night's rest but still were a bit tired. I was in the first walk/run group for the first course which was standard but the last walk/run group for jumpers. So basically, I walked the course at like 7:00 am and then ran fairly soon after that and then didn't walk till late afternoon in jumpers and didn't run till 4:30 pm. I am so very exhausted, basically from the waiting. The song "The Waiting is the hardest part" by Tom Petty ran through my head over and over! At one point, my brain just started checking out and I started majorly zoning out. The standard course was not as technical as Friday's course, but had some hard parts. It was very doable and had some fun parts. Once again, Miller ran great but for whatever reason, popped the last pole in the weaves. I did fix it so we just got one fault but lost our clean run. The second run was JWW and he was clean but he broke his start line stay and the whole run felt very panicky. Funny enough, out of like 267 dogs, he is ranked 114. Not bad for a big red, barky bossy aussie!

Now on to my thoughts. They did announce that next year will be in Georgia. This is doable distance wise but I am not sure if this will be my goal. I want to get his second MACH and I am really struggling as to what to think about nationals. Much like USDAA nationals, the top dogs are more than not border collies and even with a clean run, Miller barely made time. I think this should be the goal of national events, to have the best dogs running and winning so don't think I disagree with how they do things. I am just not sure nationals is where we need to be. I agree, my first national events were a no -brainer, I had to go. Now, I have been to several and I am just not happy with just being there anymore. I am not wanting to get a border collie so therefore I will never be in the finals so what is the point in going? It is very expensive to just go and run and get a little green ribbon. Again, this is important to some and was very important to me at first but I am over that. I could move Miller down to 16 inches and run him in preferred for next year but I would have to start over in Novice and work my way back up to Ex B and get 6 QQs and 400 points. It is doable but why? I would have to put off getting his MACH 2 and I think this is an attainable goal with the way he has been running. I need to think about is somemore because I do really, really enjoy coming so would hate to pass up on the experience but is the experience enough?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pre-Nationals

Oh boy, getting excited and nervous! I am so ready for nationals this year, mainly because we had such a bad nationals last year (me being sick, him running around obstacles). As usual, my goal is to have 5 clean runs and handle the courses as well as I can. I have no delusions of making the challenger round or finals as I don't have a border collie:( We are just going to go, have fun, shop and run fast and clean! I look forward to having a good time with my mom and my friends and of course did I say shop? We are dragging an a-frame back that i bought from J and J and I will be on the look out for a base with 24 inch poles for deuce when he gets big enough to do weaves. I am feeling really positive about this year for a few reasons. One reason is even though we haven't had class since like November, Miller is running awesome right now. We have been practicing 24 inch spaced poles and he is doing great so that is not even a concern now. I feel like he is running very consistently and we should be able to meet our goal as long as stupid handler doesn't show up. I feel like I am in very good shape right now as well since I have been training with a personal trainer. I still have alot of weight to drop but I feel very physically fit. I remember last year hearing two handlers discussing peaking and preparing for nationals and feeling like I had done nothing to peak or prepare. This year, I feel like we are there, at the peak and prepared both physically and mentally.

This will probably be Miller's last nationals unless maybe they have it again in Tulsa or somewhere close and then I might consider going again. He needs 4 more doubles and about 300 more points. Since we have only been doing 2 day shows and not as many and have been struggling with these dang 24 inch spaced poles, so we are behind a bit but have many more shows this year so shouldn't be a problem. I am still not ready to drop him down but when the time comes, will for sure and then maybe we can compete in preferred at nationals. I just hate the thought of having to start back in novice because it took him a year to get out of P1 in USDAA due to all of the space between obstacles. More room for him to back talk for sure!

Anyway, will have mom's computer and the camera so will take lots of pictures and post and blog regularly! See ya in Tulsa!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Carthage Weekend 2010

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As usual, had a great time at Carthage. We always have a great time, even though it is usually cold inside the arena. You can't beat a show that has a bar in it that has good beer and heat LOL! Miller had been struggling at previous shows with the weaves but the previous shows had 24 inch spaced poles so was eager to see what he would do on 22 inch spaced poles. I am happy to say that he was 100%, 4 for 4 on his weaves. This is good and bad news. Good that we got two double Qs this weekend on some tough courses but bad that we are going to have 24 inch spaced poles at nationals and that seems to be an issue for him! I am going to get something to pound into the ground tomorrow and just do some 24 inch stick in the grounds to try and practice. It took him one day of getting entries but popping out last show and I won't have that much time at nationals. I hope that all clubs adopt them so that by the time Deuce is ready for weaves that everything will be standardized. I can really tell a difference when Miller weaves on 22 versus 24s for sure. Harley also had some great runs with a Q in Excellent B JWW for his MXJ. I was so proud of Tony for getting it and coming in 5th place. We worked all weekend, course building and helping scribe. Tony learned the fine art of course building and getting along with women at the same time. He sometimes becomes very shy around people he doesn't know but actually was nice and talkative and ignored the bossy ones and didn't let them get to him. We had a ton of fun saturday night watching the KU vs. KSU game at the bar in the arena. It was prime rib night so we had good beer and good prime rib, even if it was over cooked. We also got to go to shakes, a custard place that we use to have in Manhattan, and Deuce had his very first pup cup. I am so tired right now, thought I would be wide awake since we sprung forward but am fighting to stay awake. I am going to have a super busy week so if I can just make it through the week, the next week is just a three day week since we are headed to Tulsa to nationals. Going to head out to the show n go on saturday and hopefully sunday we can get some work done on the house. Bed time now!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wichita Weekend 2010

Back, unpacked, fed, having a beer and blogging. What a great weekend! Had so much fun, even though the Q fairy isn't being very good to me. Harley got his first MX leg and it was a great run and Miller got a JWW Q today with an awesome run. Had a great dinner with friends on saturday night with $1.99 margaritas. You can't beat that for frozen peach margaritas! I needed one because I did not sleep at all Friday night and I so needed something to relax me enough to let me sleep. I am a very light sleeper, so light that Tony has stopped sleeping with me because he snores and i can't sleep. Unfortunately, we can't get two rooms at a hotel, so I have to sleep in the same room and I didn't sleep at all. I think Friday night I had maybe 3 hours of sleep but surprisingly had great runs on saturday.

For whatever reason, Miller decided that weave poles were overrated and popped the last pole in JWW and then somewhere in the middle of the poles in standard. I am still undecided as to what exactly is causing his latest weave issues. I use to crowd him in the weaves so I am trying to be very conscious of giving him tons of space while he is weaving. Just as I had done with the dog walk, he knows his job and I need to stay out of his way. Babysitting is what causes him to jump or pop so I have been drawing an imaginary line and trying to stay on the other side of the line and stay out if his way. I feel like I did this weekend but for whatever reason, he was popping the poles. He has had issues with 24 inch spaced poles in the past so I am hoping that he can get this spacing figured out before nationals. He did have great poles on sunday so maybe it is something else or maybe the fact that we are seeing this spacing on poles pretty much everywhere is helping him figure it out.

We did get a Q in jumpers today and I am very happy with that Q. I was undecided at to whether practice some rear crosses since that is our weakness or to push him hard and do pretty much all fronts. Lori had told me to push since every run at nationals needs to be pushed so I listened and pushed him. He usually gets between 7 and 9 points in JWW and I am happy to say he got 10 this time! I am so proud of this big red, 11 year old dog!

I loved all of my runs this weekend even with the popped poles, other than my standard run this morning. I got miller out way to early and i think he got really stressed and started sniffing and not paying attention which is not like him. He did this at AKC nationals when I got him out super early so I need to not do that anymore if I can help it. Let's just say the whole start of the run was a big cluster f*ck. Once we got through the chute (7th obstacle), we ran fine, even getting in a nice blind cross off of the a-frame and a great dog walk contact.

Just to mention Tony and Harley, they had a great standard run today with a Q and also a very nice JWW run that wasn't a Q. Harley was pretty wild in JWW saturday and I ran him in standard in which I pulled him off for a blown a-frame contact. I so hoped Tony would get his first QQ today, but harley locked in on an off-course tunnel in JWW and blew tony off to go get it. Dang Harley! He is still looking great and for not having class or any practice since November, they are doing surprisingly well.



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