Thursday, July 31, 2014

Brew to Shoe week. It's go time!

 It's been yet another week of running at night and surprise, I am still tired all the time.  I am currently making a list of things to talk about with my doctor when I finally get in to see her in august.  Like the fact that I am tired pretty much 100% of the time.  This isn't really a new thing, but it is new in that I always thought it was strictly because i ran in the morning and got up so early.  So it's been around a while but I just ignore it.  Also the dizzy/buzzy spells I get,usually in the afternoon.  I always attributed that to too much caffeine in the morning but here lately, I haven't been drinking as much caffeine.  Lots of things to think about and discuss.  Sure, I get a runner's high every time I run but I also get long run hangovers like you wouldn't believe.  Yeah, we don't eat well, but we do eat red meat and some veggies and I am a lover of apples and bananas so while I don't eat them every single day, I do get them in occasionally.  I know my eating could always use a boost in the healthy direction but it is what it is.  I am getting around 9 hours of sleep a night and yes, that is all night sleep.  I have been blessed so far, with a child that goes down and is out till I wake him up at 7:20 in the morning.  I also haven't noticed a big effect on my sleep by running at night.  We usually eat between 6 and 7 so I go out around 9 pm and I have been in bed a little after 10 every night and out by 10:30.
The good news is my mommy is still here.  She has been going out and walking/running with me at night or taking andrew in his jogging stroller so I have a water source when I pass by.  The weather has been absolutely perfect this week, some say even chilly in the mornings.  Kind of glad I am still running at night.  It's just as peaceful at that time of night and no humidity.  There is a wee bit more traffic getting out to my running routes, but once out on the gravel or at the industrial park, I am good to go.  Mom even did a couple of hill repeats with me after my three mile run.  My coach is trying to get me ready for the two 10 Ks coming up this weekend and two weekends from then.  Both have monster hills around mile 5 that kick your butt if you haven't trained for them.  I blogged about the Brew to Shoe last year here.  It was my first 10 K post baby, and I was really happy with my effort.  I am a much stronger runner now so I expect to do better this year.  I would like to PR if my health and the weather all cooperate.  Hills are not near as scary, post my four half marathons this spring.  In two of my halfs, they had a timing mat at the 10 K mark and I was under an hour for both so I know I can do this. Just need to make my brain get in the game.  That brain that says, stay slow, you will need power for those hills later in the game.  As of right now, my game plan is to try and stay in the low 9s the whole race.  I have been doing hill work as my body has allowed it as I strangely enough love running hill repeats.  I smile when I see them on the schedule. Probably has to do with the whole recovery walk back down the hill thing.  I am going to be sad that tony has to work but very glad that my mom and my kiddo will be there to cheer me on.    

Mom got to run with reds all this week:)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Longish run

After a kind of disappointing training week (thanks mystery fever), I was hoping to re-coup some of my runs this weekend.  I had hoped I could at least do my four saturday morning before the heat hit and my 8 on sunday when it was suppose to be cooler.  Saturday dawned at 5:30 with me running yet another low grade fever.  Enough to make me hit snooze and roll over and go back to sleep till almost 8 am.  I am pretty serious about running, so for me to not get up and run is serious.  I enjoyed the extra sleep but not the stupid low grade fever.  I had decided that I would go to the local convienent care if  I was still feverish when everyone got up and ready to go for the day but by that time, I was back to normal.  We were under yet another heat advisory so I figured yet another rest day might not be a bad idea. Yes, I have a dreadmill but hello, who wants to run on a dreadmill.  I needed to do some shopping in town anyway so to town we went.  We had fun at target and we even had time for a fro yo date.  Couldn't find my name in the Coke name bottles but did find the hubby's name so just had to get one:)

I kept debating throughout the day that I might get on the dreadmill and run but I was still a little worn down from the fever and i kept telling myself yet another rest day was NOT a bad idea.  I did walk a couple of miles at 9 pm with my mom to fulfill her 10 K steps requirement for her fitbit.  It was HOT.  We were dripping two minutes into the walk and we were briskly walking at best.

Sunday dawned with cooler temps but SUPER high humidity.  Like 100% at 5:30 am.  I decided to go ahead and get up and fuel up in the hopes that the humidity would go down at some point in the morning.  After waiting till past 8 am and watching the temp and the dew point climb while the humidity stubbornly stayed put, I finally decided to head out.  It was cloudy and there was a breeze from the north and west so I hoped to not melt.  I have been freezing my water bottle so that it was nice and cold, but I was worried that I wouldn't have enough.  I was correct in my worry as we started running low around mile 4.  I usually do this route as a point to point route but I decided I wanted to keep stella and I off of the blacktop.  I figured we would go four out on the gravel and four back. I am glad that we did, as that kept us a little cooler I think.  I would stop every mile, take a swig of water and let stella drink as much as she wanted.  This picture is at 3 miles in.  

We were lucky that the sun stayed behind the clouds for most of our run.  If the sun had been out, that and the humidity would have made running  impossible.  I called my hubby to come and bring me more water around mile 4.  He obliged and tried to take stella with him.  We felt she was okay, but I didn't want to push it.  She freaked out when he left, so much so that he had to pull over and let her come back to me.  He said he had never seen her freak out that bad.  I guess she could still see me and that was too much for her.  She was barking and whining and clawing at the door of his truck.  With our new ice water and bigger supply, I would pour water on my running hat and all over her as well and we would both drink.  We made our 8 but we were both spent afterwards.  My pace was about 2 whole minutes slower than I normally run, but any running in these conditions is good.  I usually do NOT have a time goal when I run LSD so I didn't even look at my watch.  My phone was reporting by mile which was the only way I knew where I was even at pace wise.  I hope we don't have many more of these days, especially as my long runs begin to build again.  8 miles was doable at a slow pace but any more than 10 would be killer.  I say a huge KUDOS to my marathon training friends who ran 17 or more miles today.  Mentally, I don't think I could have done it.  Here is to a better week both health and running-wise!  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Yet another fever!

I have yet another mystery fever.  This is becoming a regular occurence.  It happened a couple of weeks ago and I wrote about it here and also here.  I did call my doctor and I can get a complete physical in august but no sooner thanks to insurance.  I have decided that if I have fever on monday, I WILL go to the doctor and demand tests.  This is happening almost every two weeks and is totally inhibiting my training.  I am tired of it.  I am NOT a sickly person and I am NOT one to lay around. I am getting plenty of sleep, good food, and water so it isn't any of these things causing me to be sick.  I would think if it was serious, I would be having a continuous fever but I am not.  This time it has stayed around 100 so just enough to drive me nuts and make me not want to train.  This time it started on thursday.  I had gotten dressed and was heading out to do my 800 meter repeats when I got a chill.  I just thought it was because it was so hot outside and so cold inside.  I took my temp just in case because I also had a dull headache.  100.2.  Sigh.  Put on my pjs and went to bed.  Took friday off anyway as I had signed up to be a chaperone for andrew's class.  Woke up fever free so thought I was in the clear.

After helping with andrew's trip to the fair and the playground, I started feeling weak and had the chills again and yep, it was back.  I had planned on having a rest day friday anyway since we had yet another day with a heat advisory and temps over 100.  I had hoped that if I rested two days in a row, that I would be okay.  I had hoped that this morning I would feel good enough to maybe do a short slow run but that was not to be either. I woke up at 5:45 and quickly turned my alarm clock off and slept till 8 when andrew woke up.

The weather is suppose to be nicer tomorrow so still holding out hope that I can get 8 miles in or maybe even pull a double tomorrow.  Brew to Shoe is one week away and I HAVE to do well.  I so want an under an hour PR and I know I can do it if I am healthy.  So, will take it easy and try and run if I am fever free today.  I have been hovering around the high 99s so far so fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

10 fitness things I really LOVE!

I saw this blog post on The Hungry runner Girl and I thought wow, that looks like fun.  I commonly get asked questions about running hardware/software and supplies that I love.  Being  type A, I am a list maker already, so here is my list of 10 things I really love pertaining to fitness and running.   Maybe I should also do one for dog agility too in another post.  

1.  My Garmin 220.  I use it for my everyday watch as it is lightweight even though it is big.  The large display makes it so easy to see.  While I am a little disappointed that I haven't noticed it locks onto satellites quicker than my older Garmin, I love all of the features and have not even begun to use all of them.  I will admit that my watch in particular has been a little buggy, sometimes dropping out on pace and sometimes not recording distance, but I can usually power it off and back on and the problem stops.  I love the big display and the detailed stats it gives you.  I also love that it comes in purple.  That was a big selling point for me (EMAW baby, go cats!).
2.  Map My Run.  This is my logging app that I use for running, biking, and walking.  I have used it for years and used it for coaching for mileage and pace before I bought my GPS watch.  I LOVE the live function so my hubby can click on his map my run app and see exactly where I am at, at all times.  I sometimes say I am going one route and for whatever reason, change my mind, and he can just look on his phone and find me.  I used the web based MMR for years before I had a smart phone, just to plan out routes of certain distances.  I do love the challenges that Map My Run has going on, like the Purina one right now where you can win dog food and prizes.  While I haven't won anything yet from doing the challenges, it is still fun to get the little badges after you hit certain milestones.  I also have several friends who use MMR and we can view each other's progress through the dashboard part of the app.  I also like to leave myself comments on how the run went or the weather conditions that affected my run.  

3.  Pandora.  I have a list of running songs and most of the time, unless it is a speed work out or I am with someone else like my BRF, I don't listen to music while running.  If my BRF can't long run with me, I try and go most of the run without music and just enjoy the scenery, but sometimes boredom does set in.  I like using Pandora for the fact that I can get variety at the touch of a button, versus a list on my phone.  I like Steve Aoki, Skrillex, or electronic cardio channels for speed work, or for slower runs, I like summer hits of the 80s or 90s. The beat and cadence of the music helps me set my pace sometimes.  I will even listen to comedy channels if I am having problems getting through a run, just to get a smile on my face.  I like having channels versus a list so that I don't really have to skip certain songs as I can customize my likes or dislikes.  I have done races where WIFI is non existent, so I have listened to my running playlist or just chatted with someone that had a similar pace.  

4.  My Nike Volmeros.  I cannot stress how important getting running shoes that are right for YOU is.  I ran in the wrong shoes for years and did damage to my feet. Brand does not matter, what matters is what is right for your feet and your running style.  I did a gait analysis at the local running store and was shown the options that fit the way I run.  I tried all of them but kept coming back to my Nikes.  As a dog person, I caught a ton of flack for being a Nike girl (ehem, the whole Michael Vick sponsorship issue), but they are the only shoes that fit me and my running.  Believe me, I have tried EVERY brand out there in the neutral shoe division and these just work for me.  Find what works for you.  On top of video gait analysis, our local running store commonly does test nights for other brands of shoes, so take advantage of these kinds of things!
5.  A BRF or training partner.  I have both of these:)  I pretty much train with both or either on every run unless one is injured or it is too hot for the dogs.  I can't tell you how much this helps you stay accountable on a training program.  Both having someone you have said you were going to meet up with at the butt crack of dawn and a crazy dog that is more crazy without daily exercise keeps you motivated.  It also helps to have someone a bit faster than you.  My BRF can run a 26 minute 5 K, so training and racing with her has helped me get faster and stay competitive, just by trying to keep up with her!  I met her at the gym and we are now great friends.  I don't know what I would do without her weekly "therapy sessions" AKA long runs.  I also love having a dog to train with because when my BRF can't go out, Stella or Deuce can, and I feel so much more protected as a woman runner with a dog.  Granted, we do live in a very safe area but you just never know.  
6.  Good summer running clothes.  I have been lucky to find some really awesome running clothes at really good prices.  I always hit sales at change of season and I have lucked out.  Having the right gear helps you to feel comfortable on your run and if you aren't comfortable, you will be miserable and will probably discontinue running.   My favorite summer piece right now is my Nike compression shorts.  I have never been blessed with a thin figure, and I have always had bigger legs, thanks to all of my sports endeavors.  This means no cute running shorts for me but that is okay.  I embrace my body type thunder thighs and clothe it for what I do and what makes me comfortable.  I love compression shorts in the summer and compression pants in the winter.  Keeping all the jiggly bits in for me makes me feel so much better:)
7.  Chocolate Milk. Nothing is better after a hard work out than a tall cold glass, and I am NOT a milk drinker.  When it was suggested to me to try it as a recovery fuel, I think I probably rolled my eyes and gagged.  I use milk in cereal and I literally drain every bit of it from every bite I take.  For whatever reason, chocolate milk, already mixed mind you, just doesn't bother me at all!  Maybe it is a texture thing.  I love it and always drink it after speed work or long runs.  YUM!
GU Chomps Strawberry - Box of 16
8.  Watermelon or  Cherry Chomps or Cliff shot Bloks any flavor.  Never been a GU fan.  Again, I think it is solely a texture thing and that snotty, bleh consistency just makes me gag.  For the record, I can't eat yogurt either for this very reason.  I kind of am changing over to Cliff shots because they are packaged different (all in a line) and seem to be easier to chew and swallow during running.  GU chomps are a bit bigger and gooey-er and seem to choke me up sometimes when I am running and eating, but I love the strawberry flavor.  
9.  Running Friends.  I can't say enough about running friends.  They are just like agility friends, always there for you.  All of us have ups and downs in training and in life and it makes it so much easier when you have great friends around. I love going to races and seeing my friends and celebrating PRs or PBs or just finishing!  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Running.....Had me a blast (NOT)

Yes, Grease is going through my head right now.  I think in musicals a lot.  I can't wait to share the great ones with Andrew.  I hope he loves them as much as me!  Summer has returned after a brief respite.  Last night I had 3 miles with 4 hill repeats at the end on my schedule.  I decided since we were under a heat advisory and I had to run at night, rather than do hill repeats and possibly pass out (it was still heat index of 98 at 9 pm last night with a dew point of 72), that I would just do an easy four and not worry about pace at all. As long as I got my miles, I would even entertain the idea of walking some if needed.  I filled up my bike water bottle with ice and a water and headed out.  For most of the run, I held the water bottle like a football which kept my body nice and cool.  As the ice melted more, I started pouring the water on my hat which would trickle through and keep me cool.  I decided to go out on my corn field route and hope that irrigation sprinklers would also be on, and score, they were!  I was feeling great, already at mile 3 and high fiving myself for being a beast and feeling cool, when a tiny hard backed bug flew into my eye and proceeded to try and claw my eye ball out with his little clawed feet.  I am so glad it was dark and Stella was not with me because i was dancing around and screaming the F word.  Stella probably would have bitten me on the butt dancing around like that.  I tried to flush it from my eye with my water bottle but the dang thing kept digging in.  On top of the digging, the stupid bug was emitting a acidic stress response that was stinging my eye like no other.  I had a split second where I thought about calling my hubby to come and get me, but it was 9:30 and he would have been putting Andrew to bed and I was only a mile away from home at that point.  I figured I would just have to run home and get it out and run one eyed.  The stinging stopped after a few strides so I must have drowned it and taken its little bug life with my deluge from the water bottle, but at this point, my nose was running like a faucet and I probably looked frightening.  When i got home, it had firmly lodged itself in the corner of my eye and nothing was working to get it out.  I finally had to get into the shower and turn the cold water on and with the shower head in my hand, put a direct flow into my eye to wash it away.  After all of that manipulation, my eye was pretty sore and red but the crazy bug was out. Of course I had to take a picture of it.
So little to cause so much pain.  My eye feels okay today, just sore but based on the number of gnats and flying insects I had plastered on me last night, I am for sure running with safety glasses on tonight and keeping my mouth closed.  I don't care if I look funny, at least I can finish my run and not in pain.  Will have to see what tonight holds.  We are still under a heat advisory but we are expecting some rain and a cooling off.  It's funny, I was super anal about weather when I was doing so much driving for agility, especially in the winter, and now running has turned me into a weather freak.  Funny how addictions do that to you.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A full week of five

Good morning!  How are y'all?  Thanks for hanging with me for a week!  It's been good and I feel blessed.  After a small blip of a mystery fever (that I keep getting mysteriously on and off), I recovered and was ready to try my first week of five days of running. I have done a 5 day schedule before, but that was pre-baby and a much different running schedule.  This week consisted of a double of 3 and 3, some speed work with a nice easier speed session, a long run of 8, and a couple of fours.  Since I did a double, I may only get 3 in today. My two goals for this training session are to find my paces previously seen again, and to increase my weekly mileage in preparation for a 15 mile trail run.  I also am going to get more on trails since that is such a different type of racing than road racing.  

The corn is getting pretty high now.  Sometimes it is pretty and some times (like when it is still dark out) it kind of freaks me out.  Especially when the wind rustles through it. I always expect a zombie will pop out and try to come at me and eat my brains:)

This week had a ton of night running thanks to my hubby's very busy work schedule.  I am SO glad that he has a job and is making some good overtime, so we can get some things caught back up.  The weather cooperated by giving me some nice nights where the temperature was only in the 70s and little to no humidity.  I also feel like I am finally getting caught up on my sleep.  I am glad to kiss the zombie feeling good bye.  We have at least one more week of me night running due to his schedule and we will not be blessed by such good weather.  
I see some heat indexes of 110 in there.  Yuck.  I will have to be creative, maybe running after dark if needed.   Not going to be fun, but again, money earned is more important than me getting runs done and  I will be smart this time about my running in the heat, especially after this this episode this year.  
This was from last night.  We did a nice lazy 3 mile walk with my BRF and her dog maddie.  We even stopped for milkshakes at sonic because, who can resist walking by sonic and not getting one when they are half price?  I am pretty sure chocolate milkshake at 9 pm contributed to andrew staying up till 11:30 but oh well, it was fun and I am glad we did it.  I may have a slight addiction to chocolate peanut butter fudge milkshakes.  I am very glad they come in smalls now so I can indulge occasionally and not feel like a sloth.  I miss them in the winter when they go away!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Discovery Center Saturday

Whew.  What a great day.  I need a nap though!  My BRF and I took andrew to the Kansas Children's Discovery Center,  to eat at Juli's coffee shop, and to the mall in Topeka.  She had never been since her kids are in college now (she had triplets, my definition of SUPER MOM), and I really wanted her to check it out and help me corral and keep up with andrew.  This place is seriously the most fun and awesome place for kids.  I can't even do it justice in words, so here is a link to their website (it loads slow so give it a minute).  If we lived in Topeka, we would have a membership for sure.  They even have a daily pass where you can go to the zoo, ride the carousel and train and some sort of play land that they have in the park, as well as the discovery center.  I think i would be exhausted after a couple of those stops, so maybe when he gets older and i don't have to tote him quite so much, we will try this option.  We had been to the discovery center several months ago and andrew was just beginning to explore past the toddler room, and as expected, today he was all over the place. Probably his favorite was the ping pong ball air table and the pneumatic tubes.

As I told another mother today, we have just as much fun as he does.  We also discovered the pond and waterfall and the new music garden.  This place never ceases to amaze me.  The pond and waterfall areas are really fun because you can not only get in and wade around (which we did not do) but you can release rubber ducks at the top and watch them float all the way down to the fish pond at the bottom.  I couldn't get any pictures because andrew really wanted to get in.  It was also bubble fiesta day and andrew had so much fun running around popping the bubbles.  Unfortunately, he ran head first into another little kid while chasing the bubbles, (i have video and it's kind of funny) but they were both fine after a little bit of crying.  You could even stand in a kid's pool full of bubble solution and make a bubble around you.  After watching one kid fall in, I decided maybe that wasn't a great idea, especially since we had other plans post discovery center.
This is inside a huge plastic/glass house that you can paint the walls.  Andrew had more fun playing with the paint brush in the paint than painting the walls so maybe next time.

I think we all had so much fun just exploring and we all even attempted the sway bridge and other obstacles that previously andrew couldn't do.  I did put my big girl panties on and let him go down the big slide by myself, although I went up with him and helped him sit down to go down. I did see him get a little air time  on the way down, so next time I will probably go down with him again.  Trying not to be a helicopter parent but he is my only true offspring and I am really not ready for that first emergency room visit:)
After a few hours at the discovery center, we headed to Juli's coffee shop.  Juli use to have a shop in our little town in wamego and we LOVED her food and coffee.  Many mornings we had breakfast burritos and coffee at her place and read the papers.  That was of course pre-baby.  We were really sad to see her move her business to Topeka, but score, she was right down the road from the discovery center so any time we are in topeka on saturdays we lunch there.  She has since moved to a bigger shop in down town Topeka that is really a beautiful old building with tons of room.  I had the greek chicken wrap today and was in heaven.  Even her grilled cheese for andrew was gourmet and so yummy.  Very rarely does he clean his plate and smile while he is eating but today, he did.  We ended the day with a quick trip to the mall to try and find some shoes for his growing feet.  Good lord, he is already in a size 8!!!!  The older he gets, the more expensive the dang shoes get too.  I refuse to pay 20 bucks for a pair of shoes he will wear for a few months, so settled on a clearance pair for 10 bucks.  You can't beat that!

All in all, the day was wonderful with minimal melt downs and one nice long nap on the way home and when we got home (which is why i can blog now:).  I am always sad when hubby has to work weekends but glad to get some one on one time with little red and my friends.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Speed work

Kind of pretty don't you think?  Just crop out the feedlot that is currently empty and less stinky and it is a beautiful shot.  I sure do love the flint hills and I love the scenery on my runs of corn fields and bean fields and green hills.  What I don't love?  Speed work. I know it makes me faster and I know that it has helped me tremendously but i just shudder whenever I see it on my schedule.  I had a talk with my coach the other day about how I hate it and how mentally, the big "I can't" comes out every time I attempt it.  I don't mind hill repeats or 400 meter repeats as they have recovery.  I HATE pace runs and tempo runs.  Especially when they are doled out in minutes.  Yikes.  My coach heard me and is trying some creative speedwork to get my mental game back in the door.  Like last night's pace run.  Instead of dictating a pace, she let me choose what I wanted to do and she broke up the pace run time wise so instead of 30 minutes with a 10 minute warm up and cool down, she let me do a warm up, 15 minutes at my chosen pace, three minutes recovery, and 15 minutes at my chosen pace with a 10 minute cool down.  That was much easier to wrap my mind around, even if I did have a slower pace for the second 15 minutes.  I still am not a fan but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?  I am just glad that the weather has been cooperating so I can run at night with my hubby's crazy work schedule.  I have to admit, I like running in the morning so that it is done and I can process the rest of the day earlier, but I am not a fan of the feeling I feel after many mornings of 5 am wake up calls.  I do pretty precise science most days and shuffling through it like a zombie is less than ideal.  So needless to say, I have been enjoying the night runs and the increase in sleep lately.

I am really looking forward to this weekend!  I have already completed my long run for the week so only have short runs left so no big running this weekend.   Since she is injured and can't run, my BRF (that's best running friend for those of you new to my blog) and I are headed to topeka to let us act like kids again andrew play at the Discovery Center, .  Many pictures to come because it is the COOLEST place ever for kids!  We have taken him before but I really think he can do the next level of fun stuff they have there and it is suppose to be Bubble Fiesta from 11-3 which sounds like it could get messy!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

First blog of the new blog

Well hi y'all :)  Glad y'all stopped by!  This is the first of my new blogs on Running with Reds!  You may ask, who are you and why do you blog?  I'll tell you who and why.  My name is Michelle and I am a mom to one red headed two year old, two legger, and 4 red australian shepherds, including two red merles, one red bi and one red tri.  Thus the name, running with reds.  I am southern by birth and midwestern by grad school.  I moved to Kansas, hated it, fell in love, and now never want to leave.  I am a full time scientist who has studied in the areas of animal science, food science/food safety pre-harvest and now,  I work in molecular biology/genome sequencing.
I am blessed to live in a small town that offers many roads both gravel and paved to run on.  My dogs and my son go with me on runs, as well as my awesome running partner, so you will commonly see me out with my jogging stroller and red dogs.  I am very passionate about running, dogs, and my kiddo.  I use to be very addicted to dog agility with my old man miller, who has his own blog at Michelle's Agility Blog and 
Deuce, who has his own blog at Deuce's puppy blog.  I had morphed deuce's blog into my agility/running/parenting blog, which was fine, but I was starting to get interest in running directors wanting me to blog about their races and mommy blogs wanting me to blog about being an active mom.  I decided to get a blog name and domain that reflected what I really do now a days, which will also be easier to find for the running aspect.  Mind you, I have not given up on my agility passion, but I have had to pull back as it is very expensive hobby. Funny, running seems to be expensive as well but not near as bad.  I will try to blog about all things in this new blog because you know what, life changes our passions and interests and a blog should be able to keep up with that.  I have blogged since 2009 mainly as a way to keep up with my training of my dogs and to chronicle big national events such as USDAA nationals and AKC nationals.  It has been of huge value to me as a dog trainer,  as I look back to find when problems started or to see what i have trained when.  I really committed to blogging when I brought deuce into our household.

He was the first puppy I had trained with purely positive, shaping exercises with tons of tricks and body conditioning, as well as agility.  I wanted people to follow me on my journey of training triumphs and failures.  I wanted to be honest with people on how I felt about everything that involved training and showing, the ups and the downs that we all encounter.  Deuce was and is my dream agility dog.  We have come so far in our life together and I can't wait to see where we go when I can commit more time back to dog agility.

I also blog about being a parent.  I came to the game of parenting much later in life so I think I have a different take on some things.  I had the best example in the whole wide world of what a super mom should be, and I am trying to live up to that, but put my own spin on it, as Andrew is not the child I was (according to my mom, i was perfect, hi mom:)  I am a super Type A personality, so being a new parent has tested that to the limits, but it has taught me to be more flexible which has helped me in all areas of my life.  I know I am not perfect and I like to share stories of my adventures in being an older parent.
Anyway, I normally blog a few times a week so won't you come back now, ya hear?