Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Running Aframes and Running Shoes

The NEW shoes that make me run faster and jump higher! (at least it feels that way, LOL)

I kept reading what some people said about the Vibram Five Fingers shoes, so when I was at the REI store, I had to check them out. I LOVE going barefoot and I had heard Dr. Oz talk on TV about how good they are for foot health. Everyone who talks about them says they love them, when I tried them on- they felt marvelous so I went ahead and bought a pair.

I got the model that said it is for trail type uses, the sales person said this type is a good choice for your first pair of Vibrams because they are easier to adjust to. There was a little less BRIGHTLY colored pair that was tan and maroon-which would not have been as obvious, but my arch is just a little too high for those to fit well, so yep, I got a bright cornflower blue and yellow pair. I think these will get noticed,...probably noticed a lot more then I would have liked, LOL.

I got my shoes home and did have some pangs of remorse thinking I might be a little embarrassed to wear these to class or a trial the first few times....I know I am far from being a teenager and can imagine people wondering who I am trying to fool, and wondering if I really think I can fool people into thinking I am really running, hehehehe, but I have to say they are really comfortable.

I am sure everyone has seen little kids when they get a new pair of shoes and they swear they can jump way higher then before and they fly like the wind because of their new shoes.....LOL, well, that is how I felt. I really could move a lot better and for the first time since the hamstring injury I could really run, or my version of running. So guess people can laugh, because they feel great and I like my new shoes!

I know these are made with a little thicker sole or something then some of the Vibram models but it is freaky--it feels like I am barefoot but I have taken them through the pile of rocks, and the dirt and it feels like I am running barefoot but I can not feel the rocks and stickers. Whooo hooo! I am LOVING THEM!

I started teaching Cricket a running aframe with the Rachel Saunders box method,...a long time ago. It all started out marvelously, but over time we started having problems. What was happening was that Cricket would be pretty much perfect on the grids but on the Aframe kept ticking the box with her foot. The criteria for this method of learning the Running Aframe is that-
1. For Cricket she is easily able to do two hits on the aframe on the way down, so that is her criteria.
2. All four feet need to hit inside the box, and there should be a pounce into the box
3. No foot is to touch the PVC box
4. Most importantly you should NEVER reward the dog just hitting the aframe once on the way down, even if the hit is in the yellow.
5. The dog should have minimal looking at the handler or checking in-this was the criteria that I was not sticking to enough and I think it was the reason Cricket was hitting higher on the Aframe then I would like, and she was ticking the PVC.

I tried to fix our problems working with grids on the ground...and placing the reward out front instead of throwing it. We had a lot of problems with that, so more training so we could do that, and it felt like this would never work out, but HEY, CHECK IT OUT, I think we are on the right track now!!! We are running an 87.5% success rate over the last three sessions, so we might even be ready to move on to the next step. FINALLY. The video is nothing excited but if you want you can check out our progress, if not just trust me it is looking better.

Considering this aframe is with me moving a lot while Cricket is doing her aframe, I have moved the box lower on the aframe and I am able to move in many different positions-we have had a couple of big steps forward in our training..., by George I think we are going to get it.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

I am glad to hear you love your new shoes! I know a lot of people who do agility with them nowadays and they all love them too!

Cricket's aframe looks amazing now! The forward focus is awesome and she flies over the apex. Just too cool! What a great job you have done teaching it to her!

Priscilla said...

Those are really awesome shoes! I'm so glad they help you run better in agility. Don't worry! I don't think people will think you are silly!!!

OMG! Cricket is amazing! You are doing such a wonderful job with her!

Diana said...

Yea, Cricket's a-frame is looking great!!!

I tried the Finger shoes, they hurt my baby toes, so I returned them. I may need to try a different pair. Im glad they are working for you. Everyone in agility , that I know , loves them. Im weird. LOL

Geraldine said...

Hi Kathy and Cricket, just been catching up on your blog, sad news regarding Breeze but at least you can still do jumping with her. Love Cricket's A frame, I had trouble with Merlot when doing a rear cross, on the running A,or when I am behind. Hope you love your new shoes I was thinking of getting them so you will have to let me know what you think of them.

Epicurus said...

I love the shoes:)

Morganne said...

Wow! She looks great! Nice focus forward too.

No comment about the shoes ;-)

Kathy said...

LOL, Morganne! If anyone ever wants to get some of those shoes I would really recommend going where they sell them so you can be fitted and when I was at the store they were saying the mens shoe models have more room for each toe. I tried a bunch of different models and there was a huge difference in the way each model fit. Thanks for the nice comments, we have worked hard on the aframe and it was getting a bit frustrating trying to fix it so it just feels so good to have it looking good now. I am learning a lot of lessons teaching it ;-)!

Sara said...

I never seen anyone in person wearing those shoes, but it makes sense health wise. Not sure how I'd feel going out in public in them.....maybe to sports stuff, but not the grocery store?

Sagira said...

Some girl in Bokeh's class wears them as well. I have another friend who hates shoes and found these to wear during the winter months. :)

Cynthia said...

oh man i hate things between my toes so it bugs me to just look at those shoes! LOL

Marie said...

I've had a couple pairs of socks with the toes, but I've never tried out shoes like those.

I don't know if it's the new shoes or what, but Cricket's looking awesome on the a-frame.