Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tallyho!

Kaylee and I got to try out a new dog sport this weekend... lure coursing!

Lure coursing is a sport designed for sighthounds, but the AKC recently opened up a new event (the Coursing Ability Test - or CAT for short) for all breeds. Hounds pursue an artificial lure (no real bunnies are harmed!) that is pulled through a series of pulleys on a long line of string. In trials, sighthounds have longer courses than non-sighthounds.

I arrived at the field about 1pm on Saturday, which meant I had plenty of time to watch and learn before it was our time to course. I was immediately put to work learning how to perform the duties of huntmaster. I was warned that I may actually be huntmaster on Sunday (yikes!) so I had better pay attention. I am convinced they give this job a cool name because... well... they need to make it seem more awesome than it is. Because it is not an awesome job. It consists of a lot of repetitive yelling and waving arms around. Yick.

After hours of assisting with the trial and getting to handle some Ibizan hounds for practice, it was Kaylee's turn to course. The course was not shortened to CAT length, so she got to run the full distance with the full number of turns. At first she didn't know what was going on - and you can't blame her for that - but once she realized she was allowed to chase the lure... that's when it got interesting. She tore off after the lure like a bat out of hell, and stuck on it like her life depended on it.

By the time we were ready for our second run, Kaylee knew what to expect... and she was screaming for it. Even in the bitter cold rain, she ran after the lure just as well as her sighthound counterparts. I was astounded... Kaylee likes obedience and rally, tolerates conformation, but I think lure coursing is her one true love. I was also ticked pink to hear other handlers tell me that Kaylee was "very impressive." See, you don't need a sighthound to have fun coursing!

I came back early on Sunday, in case they needed my help. Luckily all I had to do was help run some of the Ibizans again. When it came time for the practice runs, Kaylee did great. Our last run of the weekend was a little hairy, mostly because she got ahead of the lure and started anticipating its path. Stop being so smart, smart dog!

All in all, we had a great time. I can't wait until we can find Coursing Ability Tests to enter, because I think this is going to be the start of something great!

Here is a video of Kaylee's first run on Sunday (click the link!) Photos are coming, but it'll be a few days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVXDvEnvFyM

UPDATE: Here are the photos that the very talented Rachel Ritland captured of Kaylee coursing!










Friday, April 20, 2012

Skipping is for Pussies

I got tonight's title from what I said before starting Week 5 of C25K. I could have skipped tonight's run - I have IPO and lure coursing tomorrow, and I ate dinner far too early this evening for my stomach to be completely settled.

BUT... skipping is for pussies.

I'm glad I didn't skip. Week 5 looks scary, but I found the first day to be a breeze. Perhaps it helps that it was so cold out, because I couldn't feel my legs by the time my warm-up was done.

I think this is actually getting easier.

So. Moving on. If any of my dear readers live in/near/around Cedar Rapids IA, I highly suggest signing your butts up for Run for the Heart. This is a 5k run/walk in honor of Dr. McMann, one of my former high school teachers who needs a heart transplant. It's on Sunday, May 20th - less than a month away, kiddies! I will most likely be walking instead of running, since I do not currently have running gear that isn't hideous. Also, I'll be wanting to wear my VFFs and I'll have a dog with me. (The dog will be black and pointy, not multicolored and fluffy. Just in case you were wondering.)

Ohhhhh let's see, what else shall I update you all on? Oh! I got the two pairs of Vibram FiveFingers I ordered! They are beyond awesome, partially because they're actually the right size for my feet. If you have longer feet than me, I will gladly send you my pair of KSOs (size 41) because I no longer need them. I plan on replacing them as soon as I can decide on a color. I want my next pair to be bright. Also, my husband says he'll try them if I buy him a pair. I'm not sure if it's worth a $110 risk, and that's one less pair I can have for myself!



(Treksports on the left, Komodosports on the right. Mexican shoe-guarding dog in the middle.)


I will try to get photos tomorrow. We have a very busy day - IPO, coursing, and hopefully another visit to my favorite restaurant in the world... ZOMBIE BURGER.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

4/8/12 After Noon

For giggles, here is a chronicle of everything I did after noon on Sunday.

12:01pm

I left for Des Moines, to a destination I shall keep secret until later on in this post. As I prepared my iPod for the drive, I noticed my car zombie was feeling crushed under the weight of student loans.



12:34pm

I sat on University Avenue, waiting for the light to change so I could pass the gargantuan AE cow statues and head into downtown. I took a blind photo out my window, hoping to capture the Latin King restaurant sign. I missed. Still got a nice shot though.



12:50pm

What better way to celebrate Zombie Jesus Day than to eat at Zombieburger? As I've said before, there are a few instances where I sacrifice my comfort to the gluten gods and enjoy the food I love. I decided today would be one of those instances.

Zombie Poutine!



They're Coming To Get You Barbara, Double Tap, no onions. MMMmmmmmm....



Okay, that's the last of the photos. The rest will be sans-photo-commentary.

2:26pm

Went to Hy-Vee. Chicken was on sale, so I bought several packages. Dodged the over-zealous sample lady near the meat counter and got about a pound of ahi tuna. Contemplated buying more fish, but decided against it. Went a little crazy in the fruit aisle - grapes, bananas, oranges and pears. Bought some olives, and sang Dan Bern's "Messiah" to myself. (I spent ten whole days in Jerusalem... mmmm Jerusalem.... sweet Jerusalem... and all I ate was olives.... lots of olives.... mountains of olives... it was a good ten days... I like olives! I like you too... so when I tell you that I love you, don't test my love. Accept my love. Don't test my love. 'Cuz maybe I don't love ya all that much...)

Got a call from Steve. He asked me to buy some more strawberry jam for the un-bread we made a few days ago. He asked for Smuckers, but upon reading the label I realized the main ingredient was high fructose corn syrup so I bought strawberry preserves instead. Headed over the the veggies, and bought as many as I could stand. I hate vegetables. Rounded out my cart with a few bottles of Naked juice (Orange Carrot, Gold Machine, and Acai Machine) - wanted to buy more, but holy moly those things are expensive!

Got questioned about my VFFs while waiting in line. Bagger boy put my fruit in the same bag as my chicken, which upset me greatly. I hate it when they do that. I thought that was covered in Bagging 101... do not bag raw meat with other produce. Don't bag cleaning products with food. Don't bag delicate items underneath heavy items, lest they get squished. Grand total, $43.67.

3:57pm

Got home, unloaded groceries. Told Steve how excited I was that I bought healthy food, and resisted the urge to buy the discounted bags of Mini Eggs. Steve was not happy with my strawberry preserves... I think he likes the taste of high fructose corn syrup.

Suddenly he remembered that his mom had given us an Easter gift, and ran out to his car muttering something about "it" melting. The bag contained treats for the dogs, some wooden bowls and wooden spoons, and a ton of Easter candy. Argh, so much for eating healthy. I decided to let Steve take all the candy, save for the bag of jelly beans I saw hidden in the bottom of the bag. Evidently Steve saw them too, because he grabbed the bag and exclaimed, "No one likes jelly beans, so I'll just eat these first to get them out of the way!" Snarf. Sigh. There went my dreams of eating those jelly beans. For the record, I actually do like jelly beans.

4:17pm

Did dishes. Cleaned the kitchen. Watched the dogs play in the yard. Internet.

5:53pm

Left for Des Moines... again. This time I brought Jayne.

6:29pm

Arrived at Gray's Lake. Had a nice 6-mile walk with Aryn and Rocket. I'm really liking my VFF Komodosports... no blisters! The weather was perfect, the crowds of people thinned out around 7pm, and we didn't get as many asinine comments directed our way as usual. Saw a woman almost rollerblade off the dock and into the lake, but she caught herself in time. Sort of wish she hadn't, because it would have been funny if she'd had made it into the lake.

Rocket and Jayne still love each other. It's nice to have two males that don't try to kill each other. Jayne's butt muscles are almost as big as Rocket's, hooray!

9:45pm

Got home. Let dogs out. Pondered if I should be really dumb and do my C25K run, even though I'd just walked 6 miles and my legs were sore. The Leah of three weeks ago wouldn't have gone running - she'd have sat down on the sofa and watched a movie before going to bed.

10:15pm

Kaylee and I went running.

10:50pm

Got home, realized that my legs were about ready to fall off, took some painkillers and made some ice packs. Ate a few olives. Steve got home from work early and commented that eating olives by themselves is sad and disgusting. I told him I didn't care, and that I'd always eaten olives by themselves. Amazing that we've known each other for so many years, and he never knew until tonight that I love eating olives straight from the can.

11:40pm

Heard the foster kitties raising a ruckus downstairs. I went down to investigate. Jacques and Pierre were sticking their furry orange little paws into the foster cats' kennel and stealing their food. I moved the foster kitties to a new crate so my kitties would have a harder time stealing their food.

11:57pm

Started this blog post. It's now 12:37am, and I'm going to bed.

The Last Egg

Today is Easter... which means this is the last Cadbury Mini Egg of 2012 for me.



Until next year, my pretties.

Friday, April 6, 2012

An Update on Unsquishify 2012, and Other Things

I've been neglecting the fearless readers of this blog... sorry about that. Life has been busy, work has been stressful, and I've got a puppy that keeps stealing my camera batteries out of the wall charger. Have I mentioned how much I hate puppies?

Tonight I'm starting Week 3 of C25K. I've actually altered my schedule a bit, to accommodate my husband's "weekend" schedule. I don't like running on nights when he's home.

Monday - biking
Tuesday - C25k
Wednesday - biking
Thursday - something easy (a walk, usually)
Friday - C25K (the start of a new week in the program)
Saturday - something fun (a hike, a long walk, etc.)
Sunday - C25k

Also, I have some new shoes. Despite their ugliness, they're the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn! I like them so much that I've ordered a few more pairs - some Komodosports for walking on hard surfaces, and some Treksports for everything else. I wasn't going to buy the Treksports, but my husband insisted that I buy some plain black ones to minimize his embarrassment of being seen out in public with a "crazy toe-shoe person."

"At least they're better than Crocs," he admitted, "because Crocs make you look trashy. Vibram FiveFingers just make you look crazy."



I haven't started running in them yet. I want to be able to run consistently in regular shoes before I go "barefoot."

Steve and I are changing what we eat. Wait, let me amend that - I am changing what I eat, and Steve is sort of doing the same when he feels like it, but is 100% convinced he has radically changed his diet. Riiiiight. Just keep telling yourself that, buddy. I've almost completely broken my soda addiction, and we're trying to keep healthier food in the house. We tried to make gluten free bread. The dough looked like instant mashed potatoes. The finished product looked and sort of felt like bread, but it tasted like Play-Doh. Do not buy this crap. It is not bread. It is an imposter.



In other news, I finally got a group shot of "the kids." I didn't even need to beat them. Much. (Relax, I'm joking - I do not beat my dogs!)



That's all for now!