Thursday, January 29, 2009

Let's get caught up a bit.

On Monday I took a team of 6 on a two hour run into the hills behind my place. It was wonderful. The trails were in excellent shape overall, and the dogs managed the additional distance nicely, even with an extra 40# of "ballast" in the bottom of the toboggan sled.

Alas, nothing in life is free. Tuesday I paid for Monday's folly, with my lower back and shoulder reminding me that as I get older it takes the little aches and pains a little longer to heal. I didn't want to take the day off, I took it off because I had to.

Yesterday I took care of the dogs and yard, stuffed my toothbrush, razor and pair of underwear into my briefcase, and flew off to Los Anchorage (the northernmost suburb of Seattle). Although the program was suspended last year due to budgetary issues, my employer requires that I spend a certain amount of time each quarter practicing my clinical paramedic skills. For this first quarter of the year I chose to spend the day in the surgical department at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, performing endotracheal intubations.

I am always impressed at the volume of surgeries they perform, and with the skill and competence of their anesthesia staff. I always learn something useful from them, and always enjoy my time. Today was very cool, I was able to get the required number of tubes in short order and even caught an earlier than expected flight home.

My friend and training partner, Lynn, fed the dogs last night and watered them today, Even with a stop at the grocery store I was home early enough to scoop
the yard before feeding, to unload 10 bags of dogfood that have been sitting in my car since last week, and to spend some quality time loving-up on the stardancer dogs before tending to my own supper.

I have a few more days off, and the weather forecast is looking more favorable than it was before. I think I'll be able to get in a few more good runs before returning to my place of employment.

Here's the training report for Monday's run:

26 January, 2009: 13 miles in 1 hr, 42 minutes. Home to main trail to Firebreak trailhead and return. Snowing lightly with +11 degrees at start, +12 at finish. Packed and groomed trails over hilly terrain with very small section of breaking out new trail (turnaround on lollipop loop). Toboggan sled with 40# ballast.

Rose & Just (lead)
Nels & Grace
Seamus & Beau (wheel)

Working with Just to give me a controlled launch and to take a “whoa” cue during start. He did OK with it today, though he didn’t much like it and if my foot had come off the brake he’d have been off like a gunshot. We did several “whoas” along the way and he took the rest of them quite nicely.

Today he wanted to go haw at the swamp trail, where he dodged gee the other day – silly beast. I was ready for him and didn’t let him get away with it. He also tried to go “gee” onto the Little Chena River Rd trail, but Rose pulled him into the proper direction.

Rose did a very nice job running lead today. She led the whole distance and rarely got distracted. Nels wanted to dip snow more often that I felt necessary, but otherwise did a good job of working hard. Grace scotched at him just a wee bit, but was generally well behaved though she would prefer to be running up in lead.

Seamus and Beau were very good in wheel, but I might want to find freight harnesses for them when in that position, as I noticed the ManMat wheeldog harness was pinching Seamus’ hips quite a bit. That is bound to get uncomfortable sooner or later.

It was a productive, long run. The dogs held up very well and could have gone further.

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