Monday, February 13, 2012

Checkpoint practice

We finally got out on a beautiful checkpoint practice run today! I didn't want to do too long of a checkpoint run this close to our race - just long enough for the dogs to get the idea that they have to relax on the checkpoint. We did a total of 38 miles today, and I was really happy with them!

My team at the "checkpoint" - the dogs are rubbed down with muscle liniment, bedded down on straw, and covered with jackets and blankets. The idea is to keep them as warm as possible so their joints don't get stiff while they rest. 
The dogs did really well. I have some experienced mid-distance dogs on my team. Freya did the U.P. 200 as a yearling, Tak ran the Midnight Run previously for Joann Fortier and Gwennie is a Junior Iditarod finisher. It was yearling, Miles', first experience with a checkpoint, though, but he learned to settle down quickly. 
Miles on our campout today
If you have to bootie a dog, this is the way to do it :)

Gwennie is the easiest dog to bootie: she just lays down

Tonight on the second leg of our run, the sunset was the most amazing array of lavender and mauve. The U.P. really offers some of the best sunsets - especially when it's cold.

After the sun set, the sky was cold and clear, and there were a zillian stars in the sky. I turned off my headlamp and watched the stars zoom by in the cold night sky, and thought of how ready I am for the Midnight Run.

It also is bittersweet.  We've been training for months toward this goal, and now that it's here, it will be hard to see it pass, like post-amusement park blues as a kid. I don't want the season to end.

Happy trails from the trail!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave comments - I always love reading them! namaste!