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Training notes and feasibility studies

The weather changed a couple of days ago–finally got some rain (along with scary thunder, lightning, and heavy winds). Really freshened things up. Yesterday was a brilliantly beautiful day, with cooler temperatures, sunshine, and gorgeous views of nearby as well as more distant mountains. The three dogs and I walked about 8 km in the evening from Skopo to Gabrovica and back, along a well-graded dirt road. Wide and smooth enough for cars to travel on, but luckily we only met a couple. Also some other walkers, and a couple of cyclists. It was great to be outside now that the oppressive heat has abated.

This morning I took Oli and Bamm Bamm to the field we use for training (about a half-hour drive). Oli’s doing fine; she’s got her routine down, catches everything that’s thrown well as well as some that are not. She’s good at saving my bacon but I try hard not to put her in that position too often.

Freestyle with Bamm Bamm, on the other hand, is still pretty much a disaster. He’s all over the place and so are my discs. Only occasionally do disc and dog connect as intended. Still lots of work to do.

Both were good on the distance training. If I deliver the disc to the right place (target: a circle five yards in diameter with the center forty yards from the throwing line) there’s a 95% chance it will get caught. With Oli, almost always in the air. With Bamm Bamm, it depends. Sometimes he leaps, sometimes he waits and makes a ground catch.

We’re currently training for the next AWI event, the European Championship in Pforzen, Germany. I’m more used to the 90-second rounds under USDDN, in which the best five catches count. I can usually get in seven 40-yard throws with Oli and Lyra in 90s, and six with Bamm Bamm.  I’m not sure how many we’ll get in 60s, and every one counts. Bamm Bamm has a wide outrun style, is not as quick on the return as the other two, and makes me reach for the disc rather than delivering to my hand (like Lyra) or dropping it at my feet (like Oli), so we end up losing a lot of time. I’ll need to compensate for his lack of speed with extra accuracy. Ha, easier said than done.

In between training, walking, and working (I finally have some paid work now that my clients are trickling back from their holidays), I’m spending a lot of time these days figuring out the cheapest way to get us to the USA, to compete in either the AWI World Championship in Gray Summit, MO at the end of September or the USDDN World Finals in Cartersville, GA in late October. The competitions are only two days, but I can’t go for fewer than about 10 or 11: the dogs need a full week to recover from the journey before competing, and at least a full day to rest afterwards before flying back. So I’m spending a lot of time browsing booking.com and other sites trying to find cheap accommodation.

Got all excited about a place in Cartersville for about 35 bucks per night, pets allowed–until I read the reviews on tripadvisor.com warning of cockroaches and crackheads. :( I can’t really camp since I won’t be able to take any equipment with me, but for the week before the AWI WC I’m currently looking into a spartan cabin in the Ozarks for $25/night, trying to determine whether the dogs can also stay there. (Update: They can.)

I’ll keep you posted. ;) At the moment I’m still wondering how I’ll finance the AWI European Championship this coming weekend, and the Czech Championship the following one.  Based on current finances, the most likely outcome of all these feasibility studies is staying put in our spartan, dog-friendly cabin in Slovenia, but, well, haven’t given up hope yet.

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