Saturday, January 22, 2011

Florida Trip - Packing & Road Travel

So now I'm on a week-long visit to Florida to celebrate my Mom's 90th and Dad's 95th birthdays.  I'm excited to be honoring them, yet leaving home is liken to having an arm ripped out of its socket.  Everything I need or want to do is at home.  And there are so many details to take care of to pack and to batten down the house before leaving, it makes me weary to the point of being immobile before I start the trip.

On the long 2 day drive, I got to thinking how on earth I'm going to achieve my trialing objectives for 2011 with this antipathy to packing and leaving home.  I have to get a handle on this aspect of my "precompetition routine".

I've picked up various helpful packing hints from a few people willing to share:
  • keep a dog bag packed with all their paperwork, collars with tags and w/o tags, leashes, toys, poopie bags, treats, etc.
  • keep your bags packed.  When you get home wash, fold and repack all your "trialing outfits" and keep them by the door.  Have separate clothes and toiletries from the ones you use at home.
  • keep the car packed with crates and mats that are just for trialing.  Don't use the ones you have set up at home.This way, you mostly just have to charge batteries, fill the cooler, bring your trial reservations paperwork, cameras, and go.
  • Once at the trial, have separate coolers, crates, etc., for the arena and the hotel room.  Don't haul stuff back and forth.
  • Volunteer to work the trials so you qualify for the free food and drinks.  That way, you don't have to bring much food.
I figure, I will have to attend between 6-10 trials this year to achieve my goals (one a month):
Maxie needs 10 Q's in Standard, and 10 Q's in Jumpers to get Masters titles.Lucky needs 9 Q's in Standard, and 9 Q's in Jumpers to get Novice, Open and Excellent titles.
If each trial is, say 2 days, and I go to 10 trials, that's 20 runs in each class.  Are there 10 trials within 2-5 hours driving distance?  Let's see:  Baton Rouge, Kiln, Hattiesburg, New Iberia, Gulfport, Lake Charles, Monroe, Haughton, Brandon, Alexandria, Pensacola  Yes!

All I need is 50% accuracy.  Maxie and my accuracy for 2010 was 60% (30 runs in 6 trials, 18 Q's), and since some trials are 3 days, there's an extra cushion there too.  Plus, hopefully we-re getting better at this game.

All it seems I need to do, then, to reach my goals is:
  • practice and improve at agility
  • keep practicing how to run
  • keep building up my stamina, strengthening my ankles, etc.
  • keep the car in good shape
  • make enough money to support this activity
  • streamline my packing
I also need to remember to bring drinking water from home.  Our 2nd night on this road trip, Maxie threw up 4 times in the bed, had to go out and pee and poo at 4 a.m., and wouldn't eat all of his breakfast -- all firsts for him.  The next night he threw up again, several times, and would not touch food.  I have a touch of diarrhea myself, and John is very sleepy. It might have to do with a 2 day road trip, or maybe drinking different water.  Another thing I need to organize and pack - a Doggie First Aid Kit.

I also need to bring my own pillow.  Our first night at a Days Inn in Ocala, as soon as my head hit the pillow my sinuses started draining, nose and eyes watering.  Something in the fabric gave me an alergic reaction.  I had to put one of my T-shirts over the pillow to get to sleep.
Packing is really an important part of this game. Hopefully doing it right will reduce my stress considerably.

Upwards and onward,

P.S.  I am also doing a write-up of each trialing environment to help me remember the conditions at each location.  So far I have done Baton Rouge, Hattiesburg, Lake Charles, Monroe, Kiln, Gulfport, New Iberia, Mobile, Port Allen.

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