Roxy training diary month 51
August 2007


Roxy Vogueing

Roxy at Work

Aug 26.  Another herding lesson this morning.

Roxy had a bit of trouble with a wild outrun at first, but I took her out of the pen and we hit the "reset" button.  When we went back in, things were better.  Shauna feels like she is getting bored with the same ol' same ol' so we tried some different things.

In these two videos (which are huge, and may take some time to download), you can see Roxy:



In the "covering" video, I'm deliberately moving out of position so she has to move around, get the sheep, and bring them back to me.

This news item makes me very sad.  The very last quote is particularly telling.  Personally, when I see chalk and arrows, I think someone is marking a running course.  Apparently, not everyone does.

Classes start tomorrow.  I need to learn to read a calendar, because the online classes opened up yesterday (Saturday).  I had planned to spend the weekend working on my class web pages, but when I got there, the students were already stamping their feet and glaring at me.  So, I got as much done as I could and apologized for being late.


Aug 25.  Dylan is 10 today.

To celebrate, Rosemary bought Frosty Paws for everyone.  Tonight, we had a Frosty Paws celebration, so it was like a regular birthday party with cake and ice cream minus the cake.

I ran a half marathon this morning, and it would have gone much better if I had packed some pants.

The Top of Utah half-marathon is a beautiful run down Blacksmith Fork canyon and then into Hyrum, Nibley, Millville and finally Providence.  It's about an hour's drive up there, and I needed to be there at 5:30 to catch the bus up to the start line.  I didn't want to be driving Sardine Canyon at 4:30 in the morning, so I took a motel room and stayed up there overnight.

I forgot to pack running shorts.  I even laid out my clothes the night before, and didn't even notice the missing clothing.  I did have sweat pants that I brought to keep me warm until the start, so I had to run in those or in my underwear.

My friend C., who doesn't like her name splashed all over the Internets, helped keep up a challenging pace.  We finished together in 1:57, so I'm consistently posting sub-2 hour half-marathons unless things go horribly wrong (like last weekend).


Waiting for Frosty

Must...Crush...Frosty Paws


Aug 19.  A big herding milestone for Roxy today.

We headed out to Kelley Creek for herding lessons with Shauna.  Roxy had some crazy moments at first, as is usual for her, but she settled down and worked the sheep well.  So well, in fact, that Shauna gave us permission to work the sheep unsupervised.

Another student needed the stock set, so we were allowed to get four sheep from a holding pen and — get this — take them across an open field and through the gate to the practice pen.  It was only a few feet, but the potential for disaster was enormous.  If Roxy got a wild hair and started charging into the flock, we'd have four sheep loose on several hundred acres.  Luckily for both of us, she came through it with flying colors.  I was proud of her.


Amanda's Last Picture as a Single Woman

Aug 18.  Not so good day of running today.  Next week will be better.

I have been trying to up my weekly mileage in preparation for the Oct 6 St. George Marathon.  The good news is that last spring, when I was prepping for the Ogden Marathon, I felt overtraining fatigue at about 30 miles/week.  I did 41 miles last week and was basically okay. 

However, I planned a 12K (almost 8 mile) trail run last night and then a half-marathon this morning.  That was a mistake, in several different ways.  The trail run was hilly but went well; I finished last in my age group but put in a respectable time of 1:21.  There were a few slippery/muddy spots from a thunderstorm that passed through about an hour before we ran.

The storm had knocked out the power at our house, so we went out to eat and then I went straight to bed.  So, I got lots of sleep.

On the drive to the start of the race, a public radio program called "Only a Game" was playing a program on the rise in popularity of the half-marathon.  I took that as a good omen.

The race course was mostly flat, from Island Grove Park in Clearfield out the Antelope Island causeway.  It's a state park, so one funky thing was that a park ranger had to count each of us as we ran by.  I suppose the $6 entry fee was included in my race entry. 

I wasn't running much of a race anyway, but for most of the run I still planned to tack on my 5½ miles to make my weekly mileage, just like I did last week.  I don't know whether it was the fatigue from running the night before or the 50 mph wind over the last half of the course, but somewhere in there I was completely sapped.  So, I quit after my 13.1 miles.

Amanda sent me an email with pictures from before her wedding.  I'm posting one here.


Aug 15.  Big day of herding.

Early-early in the morning, we all packed up the Subaru and headed down to Riverton, where Robyn has a herding facility called River Bottoms.  It's down on the banks of the Jordan River (yes, seriously). 

Roxy made some real progress with her outrun and lift.  She has a very loose-eyed but calm way of working the sheep.  Best of all, she was in an entirely new location and she didn't go all meshuggah on me.  That gives me hope for our debut at the ACDCA National Specialty next month at the pre-trial level.

We also got some practice in on the re-pen.  As you can see in the picture at right, she was pretty steady and helped me out a lot on the re-pen.

That afternoon, after having spent the morning getting my old, retired running shoes stomped by a flock of sheep, I decided to invest in a pair of actual cowboy boots.  So it was off to Smith & Edwards, a local institution.  They have just about everything.

I was tempted by the boots recommended by George Strait, since they would likely be best for working with an Australian Cattle Dog (since he's a fellow owner), but finally settled on the ones that fit me.

Armed with my new boots, Roxy and I headed up to Kelley Creek Farms to practice with Shauna.  While there were some bumpy parts, Roxy did quite well there, as well.

Now she's absolutely tuckered out and laying in a doggie ball at my feet while I type this.


Time to Re-Pen

John the Scrubber says, "Prepare Ye the Way of the Ford."

At the Start

At the Finish

Aug 12.  I made it through the Georgetown-to-Idaho Springs Half-Marathon, which was a beautiful run.

Race results have been posted.  I was about halfway through my age group: 1:57:34 chip time and 1:59:19 gun time, which puts me at 64/119 of men 45-49, and 820/2053 overall

My stepfather Bill took these pictures before the race (I'm in the porta-potty, about 20th from the left) and after the race, at the finish line.

After the race, I ran back up the course two miles and back, for a total of 17 miles, which was on my calendar for the day.


Aug 9.  Rosemary has contributed some Roxy pictures.

The one at left shows Roxy on her new throne, in the Ikea chair we bought for the living room.

The other pictures below are from Roxy's herding lesson Monday.  As you can see, she was pretty tentative about the whole thing.  She often changed the subject by either eating sheep poop, or rolling in it.

I've been on break from classes, so I'm getting things done around the house.  We had moved into the basement area, partly because of the construction and partly because it's fewer stairs for Annie.

Now the kitchen renovation is over, and Annie seems to be doing well with her medicines, so we moved back to the larger bedroom upstairs.  I re-built the ramp that she uses to get into bed.  Her climbing skills are not what they used to be, and the box she used to use is too much for her.

Today, I ran 10 miles, which was the longest non-race I've run in a while.  I gave myself a rest day tomorrow, which I will use to travel to Denver. 

If I keep it up, I will have over 40 miles this week on my running calendar, which will be the most I've run in one week.  In training for the Ogden Marathon last spring, I never made it above 38 miles in a week, and that week I had a terrible long run.  I don't feel great, but I am holding up, and I hope this training will make me stronger for the St. George Marathon.

On Saturday, I'm going to run the Georgetown-to-Idaho Springs half-marathon.  Runner's World calls it "best cheap thrill" on their list of best half-marathons.  I missed it last year.  It's supposed to be phenomenal.  I never dreamt, as a teenager growing up there, that I would actually run from one city to another — even downhill.  It should be an easy run, despite the altitude, but I have to make sure not to tear up my gastrocs like the last time I ran downhill.

Roxy's New Throne

Roxy, Meet Robyn

Roxy Rolls in Sheep Poop

Walk Up


Don't Bet on It

Starving Artists' Amusement

Aug 6.  Ran a 10K this weekend for the "Wheat and Beet" festival up in Garland, about a half-hour north of here.  Not only was it the first time I've ever run in a Wheat and Beet festival, but it was a PR.  I don't think my time of 54:21 is posted anywhere, but I did get third place in my age group (out of how many, I don't know).

Sunday I went down to Salt Lake to work a Weight Watchers meeting, and while we were there, Rosemary and I made the pilgrimage to Ikea and decided on some living room chairs.

Then, today (Monday), Roxy had a herding lesson — you guessed it — just a half-mile from the Ikea, at the same freeway exit, so we went by to pick up the chairs we had selected, since we had the van with the cargo space to fit them.

Rosemary also stopped by the Home Depot to get some chair gliders, so Roxy and I went into the Petsmart.  While we were there, I decided to look into the price of a nail trim.  A bargain at $8, more so if you've ever tried to cut her nails.  I figured we weren't going back there ever again anyhow.  I made it up to her by buying her a Bully Spring (don't ask) and a Chill Pill.  (The Chill Pill was more of a Dylan thing, but still.)

When we got home, she got some serious Boomer Ball time, so all is well.

Her herding lesson went pretty well.  It was a new place for us, with new sheep, and she didn't try to kill any of them, so I marked it down as a success.  She is still quite timid and nervous in that situation. 

Just for fun, two random cell phone photos.  First, a bumper sticker found in the wild next to our house.  Second, a picture from a local furniture store.  Note the paper ball precariously balanced on the picture frame.  It's right where the employee break room door lets out onto the stairs.  I'm guessing bored employees spent hours getting that up there.



Aug 1.  The kitchen was finished today.  The electrician came and installed the last of the appliances.  This evening, we spent some time packing things away.  I'll post "after" pictures, well, after.  Things are still cluttered from moving in.

Roxy had a herding lesson this evening and she did very, very well.  It was our first time without the rope and without a stick, so she was working completely on voice control.  She pulled things out more than once.  There were some not-so-good parts, but we hope to iron those out over the next few weeks.

While out in the sheep pen, she did manage to find a dead fish (complicated story, how a dead fish got in a sheep pen).  That was disgusting, to me at least, and a distraction for her.

Roy G. Biv


Previous RoxyLogs
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The Pre-RoxyLog Days RoxyLog January 2005 (month 20)
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RoxyLog August 2006 (month 39)
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RoxyLog October 2006 (month 41)
RoxyLog November 2006 (month 42)
RoxyLog December 2006 (month 43)