Wednesday, October 17, 2012

USDAA Nationals...

Attempting to catch up :) Note I said attempting...

Wanted to update about USDAA Nationals. It was an interesting trip, full of lots of lessons and great times.

I had a tough time leaving MN, Ace was coming off of being sick, I was worried about leaving him. It was really hard for me. Luckily, he did great during that week so that was great. But the mental anxiety that I went through leaving him was tough. Call me a softy, but I just wanted to be with him, those old dogs, their old souls, it's tough.

But...we loaded up anyway. And off we went! The trip was uneventful, that's a good thing :) 

Got to Colorado and settled the dogs up with a nice long hike in a local park.

Then the days of competition began. All my dogs NQ'd in Play It Again...which kind of put my mental game off...what was up? Why were there bars? What's going on?  I had to just let go of the "what if's" and focus on the competition itself. 

I also ended up with altitude sickness a bit...VERY short of breath, headache and muscle weakness...not a good combo for agility! Plus some nausea...bleh. You will see me in a few runs not driving at the end, yep...that's because I couldn't. Luckily by the end of the week I was running much better. I can't IMAGINE how it would have been with 15 extra pounds on!

Speaking of that, I am at over 20 pounds lost now :) Sugar really is EVIL.

Luckily the pups came out of that and went on to have a great week. Insanity really. Gator and Klink in all 3 finals. Crackers in 2 of the 3 finals...maybe I should stop going! LOL

Training in the middle of nowhere with just a seminar here and there to supplement, I always worry going to Nationals if we are "really ready" and if we can handle the challenges. Add to that the seminars I have been teaching and I worried if the dogs got enough work...doubts doubts and more doubts. Thank goodness for mental management!!!!

I guess they some luck helped. I am a firm believer in luck! :)

My mental management was really tested this week. More than it ever has been...I had to really focus. Luckily I had great friends to help me do just that :) Thank you everyone!

I didn't enter the IFCS classes...cause I am stupid...That is my only excuse. I should have...DUH.

Lynn showed me a TON of great things, and some things to work on. Like....Tunnels after running contacts...she is seeking them out. We will need to work on that :) But her speed was great, her confidence awesome (she is really thinking she should be running the show now! LOL), I was happy with her. Very much so. She didn't E in any team classes and really held her own. I am excited for future Nationals with my Stewart Little!!!

All the videos were taken on my ipad, and the conversion to a smaller format made for fuzzy vids...grrrrr. I need a new video camera!
Onto Klinker :) She was in great shape going into Nationals, the wrist thing she had was a thing of the past and life was good. But as we got into the week, she started requiring more and more massage and chiro :-( Her back was giving her problems...Thank goodness for Dr. Christine or Klink wouldn't have been running the way she did!! So the entire week I was thinking, maybe Performance is the next step for her. Which made me very sad. Admitting your dogs are getting older sucks. This really hit me since Ace was home and I was worrying about him anyway. Sure, she is still competitive...but to keep her running it is requiring more and more work. I have a big decision to make regarding this. It weighed heavy on my mind...would this be her last Nationals at Championship? I don't know at this point, but I decided to just run and cherish each run. She's only 7, hardly to the point where Performance would be an option, but she is so hard on her body. Always has been. I need to really think about this. Hopefully between all those that take care of her, we will see what the best path is. 

Don't worry, she wasn't lame or in PAIN, just tight, needing lots of massage ;-) But still...compared to Gator, Crackers and Lynn, who needed very minimal stuff...yeah.

Regardless, she ran her little heart out. She really did. 9th in Snooker, 10th DAM Team, Ran in all 3 Finals...very proud of my Klinker :)

Gator :) Mr. Amazing as I call him. He started out a bit hairy, but then settled into his job. He always does. This boy is just amazing...seriously. He is so athletic, so biddable, and he saves my rear end ALL THE FREAKING TIME. I just love running him. There is never any doubt he will do his job. 

He also ran in all 3 Finals, his team ending up 18th overall, 7th in Gamblers, and 6th in Grand Prix Finals, had a great run in Steeplechase Finals but tripped right before the Broad Jump, first time he has ever done that, I guess he isn't a machine?? ;-)...these boy dogs are just so amazing...I'm telling :)
And now to Team Crackhead...what can I say other than I am damn proud of them. Grand Prix Champion, IFCS Biathlon Silver, IFCS Overall Gold...wowza. Plus lots of other stuff...I think the video says it all :)
Brilliant little boy :) The handler is kinda cute too! ;-)
What an amazing Nationals...not sure how it happened, but I am so very proud of all the pups and of the husband. 

It was nice having such a huge support system too...people were so amazingly supportive of Andy and I. I was at times overwhelmed with the awesomeness (is that a word?) of the agility community...I don't think I have hugged so many people in my life (and liked it! LOL---WTF??). The laughs, the cries, the ups, and really is a demonstration of competition and good sportsmanship. 

I was sooooo not wanting to go...but I am so glad I did. I really had a great time (despite the weird scheduling and random things that happened)...Looking forward to TN :)
There's so much more I want to talk about...but I'll save it for another post :)


Taryn said...

Enjoyed the videos! Thanks for sharing!

Chris and Ricky said...

Congrats you guys!! I am impressed with the hugging - so now there is hope when we meet one day, I can hug you! :)

Diana said...

Wonderful job!!! Congrats!