Monday, January 31, 2011

Sleds Part 2

So we trading in pulling sleds for driving them at the Willow Winter Carnival. We started off by playing snowshoe softball in the morning. Yikes, the snowshoes were like running around with two john boats on your feet. Then we ran home, loaded the dogs up in the back of the truck and headed back down for the Stampede race. Somehow, Tina talked me into the Leaddog competition (her powers or persuasion are impressive). Lo and behold, Agate took us to second place and out of 1st by only 4 seconds! Below, Agate and I with our 2nd place medal:
After a lot of gnashing of teeth, Dave was ready to partner up with me. I think he had some concerns about the dog hook-up stuff, but he was a pro. Our strategy worked like a charm. the secret? Only have 5 dogs at your house that can run. Takes less time to hook up and off you go. I know I said we were getting better at self portraits, but it was the first time this winter ANY of us were involved with a sledding endeavor, dogs included. So we were a bit off-kilter, excited, but a bit askew:
We took off in the lead, but were passed by an 8-dog team after some turning difficulties. Well, Willow and Cedar were having none of that. After 1/2 mile we took over the lead and never looked back. Here we are, coming toward the finish:
And our winning team, with our manager, Lil D:
My superstar dogs: Willow, Agate, Cedar, Chum and Ashy. Thanks, Bubs!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Three Months In....

...into sled-pulling, that is. Yvonne and Thomas stayed over after the 6+ hour sled slog. Sunday morning, four runners were spotted behind my house, sneaking out for...a run. Some would call it a "shake-out" run. Others would call it a " Yup, that DOES still hurt as much as yesterday" run. By now, one can guess who "Some" and "Others" are in this story. Lunatics. And they look happy:
It's obvious they have finally completed their transformation to the dark side. What kind of person are you on the dark side? Well, here are some examples:
1. the smell of your running clothes does not bother you anymore
2. a marathon sounds like a fun run
3. you possess more combinations of running clothing layers than you know what to do with
4. you have more than one camelback
5. you can hold your own during a gel comparison conversation
6. you don't use kleenexs
7. seat saver is on your weekly grocery list
8. you don't gain weight from a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Every night.
So it's been an interesting few weeks of running. me hacking up a lung for a few weeks, Dave unable to turn his neck, -20 degreee weather up to 35. We started a night run and it was wet heavy snow and a total slogfest:
Changed to rain and was still a slogfest, only with sopping wet clothes. And again the dogs happy to be free while Me and Jiggs keep each other company, handcuffed together:
And , yes, after 3 months of sled-pulling, Dave and I are still having fun together out there (and getting better at self-portrait positioning):
"If you gotta run, run from home..."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's Official! We're....

idiots, actually. Crazy? Yup. Has the cold frozen some vital organs necessary for rational thought? Yes, I think so. For instance, if it is so cold that you need to wear a surgical mask that is scary to those around you, maybe you should stay inside and stoke the fire:
What is too cold?
This is too cold:
Now that the 4 week cold snap is over, insanity turns to......
The Chain Gang.
Veronica, Jane, Christine, Thomas, Yvonne, Dave and I headed out to the Sweet Cream Trail today. Below, Christine is breaking trail:
It was +20 (that's right, +), so we had a couple small stretches of overflow to posthole around.
A myriad of emotions- Dave "I Could Go 100 today" Johnston, Andrea "Jesus, Whose Idea Was This" Hambach and Veronica "This Is Nothing" Beagan (sp?):
It was a great 6+ hour run, and tons of fun to meet everyone, listen to Jane's singing and chow down on some good eats at the end. And despite my cough, stomach woes (I never have stomach problems!) and crap attitude for most of the run, I know I'm better for it. At least that's what my coach says. If nothing else, I ran with some friends and Dave proved once again how much he rocks, sticking with me even during excruciatingly long walk breaks, thus one of my few smiles of the day:
"You can say that I've lived here
in honor and danger.
But I'm just an animal and can not explain a life.
Down this chain of days I wish to stay among my people.
Relation now means nothing, having chosen so divine.
And if death should smell my breathing
as it passes beneath my window,
let it lead me trembling, trembling.
I own every bell that tolls me."
Thanks, Neko, for saying it just right.