Ted had to spend the day in town taking care of some personal business. That left me with 10 dogs to run and a limited amount of daylight, so I ran two different teams of 5 dogs each, but kept the distance down to only 3.4 miles, the same route we followed last Wednesday.
It really was a lot of fun. I started dressing at noon, and finished watering as the sky was growing dark, about 3. The first team was just a good, steady run up and down the hill. The second team, with Just who started his career as a sprint racer in lead, and all three of the two-year olds, was quite a bit faster. We've gotten a couple of inches of snow on the trails which has helped them considerably, though they are still plenty icy requiring a fair amount of gymnastics to keep the toboggan sled behind the team.
It probably didn't do much for hip pain (sciatic nerve pain), but it was a heck of a lot fun for the dogs and for their musher.
Here is the today's entry in my training journal:
Monday, December 13, 2010: A combination of cold weather and a low back injury kept me off the trails through the weekend. Today it warmed up considerably and we got a bit of snow on the trails. Although Ted wasn't available to help, I ran two team back to back.
Both teams ran 3.4 miles, from the house to the main trail to the swamp trail to Boyce's feeder trail to the house.
Torus (Single leader)
Rose & Grace (Rose (swing / team)
Seamus & Beau (wheel)
Torus slowed the team sooner than I expected, dropping into a trot while we were still on the power line right of way. I had to ride the drag a lot to keep the swing dogs from overtaking him. Grace chewed through her neck line just before she launched, but did the entire run with it and only 1 little glitch when she tried smelling an old fuel can beside the trail, and got jerked around a bit by her harness. This team of larger dogs powered their way up the steep hill after the swamp with only one very brief pause, hardly long enough to call it a stop. We were well under control on the way down the hill and the team passed by Ted's dogs with only a single work. We had a good run of it.
Just (single leader)
Cassiopeia and Capella (swing / team)
Orion and Nels (wheel)
Cassie and Capella were very rowdy with each other during hook up, and Just wasn't real good about holding the line out once I removed the leader hook. I had to bring him back into position and firmly ask him to stay lined out. Nels was crowding Orion through much of the run, but it didn't seem to bother the younger dog at all. Both maintained absolute tight tugs through the entire run. Just was spot on with his directional cues. It was a close to a "perfect" run as one can come.