Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You CAN Teach an Old Dog NEW Tricks!

Jane & JT
Well it is a beautiful sunny day outside and time for me to brag about my Mom (Sherpa) Jane again. Recently with her goal to make the Canadian World Agility Team she decided to step up her game and began a core and walking/running routine with the help of Tammie Stanton .

My Mom has always been active however she has never ever followed any sort of exercise plan. When she was young(40) she played tennis, rode her bike around town and kept fit as a horse trainer switching from horses to dogs when she moved off the farm. So when she started her new training routine I was skeptical if she would in fact be willing and able to incorporate it into her daily/weekly life. Afterall learning new tricks at her age is a hard thing to do, isn't it? Well a few weeks into it the calls began. She was not calling to chat or to tell me about her wonderful dog JT but to report that she had completed her scheduled workout. It has now been 3 months and the calls have not stopped and continue on  twice weekly like clockwork. 

My Mom showing Striplight circa-1970ish???

I was watching footage of a recent Agility trial and where I would usually concentrate on JT and his speedy maneuvers I instead could not take my eyes off of my 72 year old Mom as she ran effortlessly around the ring leading her very fast Border Collie through the course. I could readily see where her hard work from the past 3 months has really paid off in endurance and speed. I am very happy that my skepticism was proven wrong as the video evidence is undeniable and certain proof that you can teach an "Old Dog" NEW Tricks (and thank goodness because I still have many to learn)!
Keep up the good work Mom, Love Eliza
Note to veiwer- not that my Mom is vain about her appearance however she did point out to me that she is wearing 3 layers of clothes because the barn was like a freezer; )

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Quietly Waiting Ramble

Doing the Scorpion
 I have been quietly waiting. Waiting for something to happen. Something worth writing about. Some monumental accomplishment that will have you all dropping your jaws to the ground and gasping in awe as you read my account of my superhuman feats of glory. But Spring is threatning upon us, Winter's cold is lifting from my bones and the quiet has become deafening as I wait so I have decide to break the silence and speak to you of my not so superhuman accomplishments.

I was fortunate to compete and place 2nd in my now annual running of the Frontenac Dion Snowshoe Race and I also managed 3rd in the Switzerville RedBarn snowshoe race. I then made a dismal attempt at a 5km race when I was sick as a dog and wishing I was home on the couch. I just hate running a race you know you never should have lined up for. It's not just the discomfort of trying to hold your aching body together through the distance but seeing the timer as you approach the finish and the time you knew was coming but did not want to see. Knowing it does not represent anything about who you are or how hard you train doesn't help when you think back to all the times you ran hills in the icy, dark, freezing night just so you could look up at the end of that very race to see all that hard work had paid off in at least shaving a few seconds off of last years time. Instead what I saw was a time which I had seen 2 years before. I couldn't help but feel I had lost 2 years of training in one single race. No matter how I tried to console myself seeing the time was devestating, overwhelming, dumbfounding. I was sick yes, but I should have been faster and I wasn't. Then reality hits me a few days later, I was slower because I was sick and I didn't feel like running fast. Could I have run faster? Yes. Did I want to? No! I didn't feel like it, and that is that. Sometimes you just don't feel like it, or you just don't have it. The perfect race is a lottery. So many numbers have to come up for you to be a winner. I had perhaps 3 of 6 numbers I needed for a perfect race that day with a good race needing 5 numbers, an OK race 4, an "at least I finished" race  3, a bad race 2, a terrible race 1 and a devestatingly horrible race 0. So on that scale I guess it wasn't so bad, things could have been worse.

Once again this year will be another chance for me to work on my running form and to study the art of  the 5km race. Emilie's Run is my goal race in June and is the one that I missed last year and I also plan to run the Limestone Mile again.

Doing one legged jump squats

I have been building strength all winter running hills and doing strength and core. Hills were hell. They are done with. I learned a lot about myself but I am glad to move on. Derrick(my running coach) now has me running hilly tempos which are much more fun as long as my Achilles and twitchy hip decide to co-operate. I also have a new strength routine I am progressing through adding reps weekly to strengthen my weak parts. Squats are not my friend. I hate them. They hurt me. But I do them because they are written on the paper my strength trainer gave me. Doing my strength routine with Tammie(my trainer) is OK. I can usually get through them because having her there is motivation for me to do well, and not slack. Doing them at home for my 2nd time of the week is another story. I tell myself I will skip reps. or skip complete exercises just to get my lazy butt down to the basement to get at it. Today I decided I needed some extra motivation because I really didn't want to get all sweaty and start lifting and pushing heavy things(my butt) around. So I decided to film me doing my entire routine in real time with no breaks so I kept it moving along and did not cheat. The camera did switch off at one point but this was purely accidental and I swear I did do the missing set of squats.  After a few minutes of watching it becomes as much fun as watching paint dry. Enjoy. Unfortunately youtube rejected my video...too too long; ) so I put it in my Dropbox which is not working but I think it is busy uploading. I did say it was long(40min).