Monday, March 17, 2008

Winding Down the R&R - Returning to my Place of Employment

Although I had planned to run my team on Friday, something came up that required a trip to Fairbanks. No matter how efficiently I plan, any trip to town requires at least two or three hours, just enough time to really mess up the day's plans. This was especially frustrating since I'd spent nearly all day Thursday in the city. Thursday's agenda included:
- Serviced my little car.
- Got my haircut for work.
- Meeting with your local animal control shelter manager.
- Dental exam and cleaning.
- Light shopping.

Friday I made a fairly quick trip in, to pick up two cases of black powder I had ordered for my trade store. It's one of those things that I can't put off until later. While in town Friday I finished the bit of shopping needed for supplies for work. I finished the day with some light housekeeping, though I can't really tell much difference in the way the house looks (YUK).

Saturday I flew to Los Anchorage, where I spent all day Sunday in work related training. It was s shame to miss out on the most exciting two days of the Open North American Championship, but my employer is convinced that I need to know how to be a competent paramedic in order to serve as a competent paramedic, so there you go.

Today I was able to make up for some of the lost training time, though. I divided my dogs up into 2 teams so I could run everyone in the yard. The training report from my journal is included below.

Tomorrow I'll head off to my place of employment. I'd like to extend a very special thanks to those who board my team for me, and to all my friends who drop into my place from time to time just to keep an eye on things. It gives me considerable peace of mind to know that the house never goes for more than a few hours without someone checking things out.

3/17/08 – Monday: Ran 2 teams today, preparing to return to work for 2 weeks:

TEAM #1 - Home to Swamp Trail, up and over Little Chena Ridge trail to Two Rivers Rd to parallel trail to home. +10 degrees at start, + 14 at finish. Crusty, frozen trail with light skiff of powder in places. 21.3 mph max speed (I question this), 6.5 mph moving average. 6.0 mph overall average.

Daisy + Dutchess (L)

Chinook (S)

Sheenjek + Nels (Wheel)

I question the max speed recorded by my GPS, though can’t think of any reason it might be inaccurate except that with Chinook in the team I honestly don’t think they are capable of that speed. All these dogs are very experienced sled dogs, so had a very nice, uneventful albeit relatively slow run. Daisy held up better than expected on this run.

TEAM #2 8.5 miles (same route as above team). +17 degrees at start, +18 at finish. Crusty frozen trail as above. Max speed 16.2 mph. Moving average speed 8.5 mph. Overall average 7.3 mph.

Torus (started at single lead

Rose + Nels (S)

Seamus + Grace

I originally tried to start with Nels in lead beside Torus, but Nels was turning around and tangling his harness, and Rose was doing the same. I hooked them up together in swing to solve that for both of them. Grace was difficult on hookup wanting to chew lines. I finally had to unhook her neckline and hook her back to the picket until everyone else was hooked in, then moved her back into line. Having the parallel picket lines really helps in this sort of situation. Better training in the off season will help much more though.

Very fast start, and they maintained a high loop through the Swamp Trail, not slowing much we hit the big hill. Several stops on the big hill to cool off and dip snow. I took advantage of a pair of snow machines passing from behind to give them a cool off break.

At mile 4 I stopped and moved Rose up into lead next to Torus. She did a wonderful job throughout the rest of the run except when she wanted to go potty. She nearly ran into a tree trying to sniff out a spot and I don’t think she ever did go during the run.

Grace crowded Seamus through much of the run, and scotched at him from time to time. For the most part he ignored it, but he did growl and snap in protest once in a while, enough to keep the Amazing One more or less in line. With mostly younger dogs I’m not surprised our moving average was 2 mph faster than with the “B” team. Given that I hooked down several times for cool off breaks, to move Grace under the gangline, to make a leader change and such, I’m not at all disappointed with the overall average. It was a nice run.

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