I forgot how much work it is to train for a race. I have no idea how I did this in Fairbanks– well– actually I think I do. I’d go to work, then workout, and then mush from 8pm until 2am and then go to work the next day. I was a lot younger then!
Since Greg is training for the Montane 100, that leaves only one musher in the family– StinkyPup #1. I’m finding it hard to stay motivated with crappy snow conditions and doing the same trail over and over and over and over again.
In the beginning of the season, I had two teams of eight. Team 1 was: Allie, Axel, Chaos, Haines, Kia, Ted, Yukon, and Moose. Team 2 was: Geri, Amy-Sue, Siren, Justice, Snowflake, Jack, Kraken & Moose.
It was clear that I needed to do some rearranging with the teams. Moose is a great puller, is motivated to go, but can’t keep up with the faster dogs. Ted is a screwball– he was actually doing well this year, but was the weakest link in his team. Siren doesn’t want to go– even though she is an awesome sled dog. She said she would rather sit on her comfy chair. Kraken doesn’t mind going, but is content to stay home.
Around two weeks ago, as we increased mileage, I decided that Moose, Ted, Siren, and Kraken could stay at home. Moose is sad about this, and the others don’t care very much.
With those four not running, I now have twelve dogs to run and I’ve been rotating them through a three team system.
At this point it’s hard to say who will make the Yukon Quest 100 team, but it is highly possible that it will be an all girl team. I’ll have to see how Axel does with increased mileage and camping. I think Jack will probably not make the cut.
As a parting note– I lost my team twice this week. Fuck!
- The first time I was coming up from the lake and crested the last hill. My headlamp fell down and I needed to adjust it. I didn’t hook in (there’s nothing to hook into), and was standing on the drag pad but wasn’t holding onto the sled because I was fiddling with my light. The dogs said “We want to go!!!” and they did! They took off without me and I was quite worried because they were headed downhill. Jack isn’t a fast runner and I thought the sled may end up on top of him. I radioed Greg and let him know. Geri was in lead, so she was probably headed home– as opposed down to the field. Greg caught them headed home on the last uphill part and everyone was fine.
- The second time I lost my team was headed down to the lake. I have major angst about going down to the lake in these conditions. It’s a fast and windy path. I think this time I was going too slow (intentionally) and the sled got hung up on a tree. I put my hooks in– but there’s nothing to hook into– and knew when I righted the sled I’d lose them again. Sure enough, I righted the sled and they were off. Luckily my snub line got caught on a tree and they were stopped. In the midst of all this, somehow my snowhook got bent!