Fitness and agility

When runners plan for a major race, the goal is to reach “peak fitness” for the race. I spent January and February working toward being really fit–and then completely squandered that fitness in three consecutive weekends of agility. Three days of AKC agility, two-and-a-half days of CPE agility, then two more days of CPE agility. Those last two days? I was the trial chair, which is exhausting in the best of circumstances, but when it’s cold, wet, windy, and muddy, it’s especially challenging. All credit due to the handlers who came: I didn’t hear anyone whine about the weather, the wind, or the mud. The weather was it was, they accepted it, they kept putting on more clothes and finding dry socks, and they just kept running their dogs.

Saturday afternoon, I slipped, tripped over my own feet, somehow managed to stay upright by running my feet up under my body–and ended up feeling like I’d twisted and yanked on all the muscles in both legs. A massage helped, two Advil let me sleep, and somehow I made it through the day Sunday. Monday morning I woke up with hangnails on all ten fingers; for me, hangnails are the first sign that I’ve been overdoing it and I need to back off a bit. I usually get one, maybe two, then I spend the day resting. I was so sore I could barely walk. I took the day off from life. I took Tuesday off, too, except for a short swim and a long soak in the hot tub at the community pool. I took Wednesday off. This morning, finally, I was down to just one hangnail, and all the sore muscles felt mostly okay, so I did a short run with Rush. That felt pretty much fine but this afternoon I’m sore again.

That all said, when I think back a few years, I could not have done those three weekends. I wouldn’t have tried. It was somewhat over the top for me, but it’s only taken me four days to recover. Pretty cool. Now to build again, with the goal of the next peak being higher than the one I just passed.

By the way, I got two Snooker Qs last weekend at “my” trial. On Saturday, I got 51 points (the maximum) for the first time ever. On Sunday… another 51 points. Pretty cool.