Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Training and a Few Random Musings

Monday and Tuesday it was too hot and humid to train, but Wednesday finally saw cool enough weather for a canicross run with Samantha.  It was spitting down moisture that really wasn't even thick enough to even call a misting.  Happily Samantha plodded ahead of me, even better at keeping her tug tight and concentrating on the run rather than the sights and smells, that is, up until she saw the raccoon...

She stopped dead, and the raccoon panicked and fled up the mountainside, Samantha in hot pursuit until she was abruplty stopped by a deadweight (me) on the end of the tug line.  The line yanked hard on me, tightening around my waist.  Fortunately, she listened to me once she realized I was not going to let her give chase.  Obediently she climbed back down the exposed hillside and trotted out in front of me as if nothing whatsoever had happened.  Cheeky girl!  Adjusting the tug away from the new cinch marks, I followed. 

I have to admit I've grown fond of running in the dark.  There is a mystery and beauty to the mountains untainted by the presence of humanity.  The soft caw of a roosting crow, the scream of a falcon just waking, the chirping of various night insects, and the whistle screech of a buck calling to warn off other males fill the pre-dawn darkness with sound.  We are alone on the the road through the mountains, but watched by wary eyes to either side. 

We run a half mile out and a half mile back to the house, as we are both still getting in to shape.  I feel better than I have since last racing season and know I'm on the right track.  This year I hope I will not be the one holding the dogs back!

Thursday was cool enough for a Bikejor, and I knew it was Princess' turn to run, but who to match her up with so that she won't kill me with her enthusiasm?  Yukon seemed the best candidate, as he is as fast as she is, and by far more manageable.  So I harnessed them up much to the disappointment of the other dogs. 

Princess threw a fit when I left her inside so I could get the bike out and ready, and she had all eleven dogs howling by the time I got back in to get her and Yukon.  To prevent escapees, I had to put the other dogs out the back door, and Princess screamed and whined the whole time while waiting for me.  She is something!

Finally I was able to get her and Yukon out the door, but it took a lot to get her hooked in as she kept jumping and screaming to go.  Yukon danced and shimmied, but settled immediately when I told him to wait.  Quivering with anticipation, he let me finish hooking him in and connecting the neckline between him and Princess.  He's such a good dog!  He even waited when I told him to wait on the road, holding back a screaming jumping Princess while I wheeled the bike to the center of the road and got my foot on the pedal.

When I said "Okay!" He lunged into his harness, and we were off!  Princess was yipping in excitement with every stride!  Yukon kept up with her for the first quarter mile, then began to slack off a bit, and I wondered if he was ok.  He looked like he was running fine, but only just keeping up with Princess, and not keeping tight on his tug.  Taking note of this, I turned us around at the 1.5 mile mark and headed us towards home. 

They both very eagerly consumed their meat patty treat, and I checked their feet, ankles, wrists, shoulders and general condition.  They both seemed fine, so I let the other dogs in, and gave G'kar his glucosamine chewies.  Yukon was begging for one, so I handed him one, which probably was a mistake.  He ended up throwing up his meat patty and the chewie (they have corn in them, so he may have developed an intollerance for corn since I do not feed them any food with corn in it, or it may be the richness of the chewie upset his stomach having already been hot from running?)  So I cleaned that up before giving Bandit his medicine ball, then cooking his breakfast for the rest of his medicine.

I ate my breakfast while Bandit's cooled in freezer (usual morning routine with my epi boy).  I usually make a little extra for a treat for the rest of the dogs, but Thursday morning's extra I fed mostly to Princess.  Before leaving for work, I asked Jim to keep an eye on Yukon and make sure he wasn't sick.

When I got home, I checked Yukon over, and he seemed fine, even playful, but Bandit seemed overly whiney and clingy.  I didn't feel the weirdness I get before Bandit seizes, but kept an eye on him anyway.  When I went to bed, he crawled in the bed next to me and whined softly.  I pet him until he fell deeply asleep. 

This morning it was a cool 55 degrees, and I wanted to give Moony the chance for some exercise, but who to run with her?  I ended up choosing Ace mostly because she was there and bugging me to go.  Moony whined and howled, excited to get the chance to go and Ace kept jumping on me and dancing around quietly.  She rarely makes noise.  James got up and I asked him to help me put the other dogs out back, and when that was done, he went back to bed.  After readying the bike, I went back for Moony and Ace.

Moony was by far faster than Ace, so I had to hold her back so Ace did not get discouraged.  I think from now on, I'll only run Ace with Demon since they seem to get along well and run at the same speed.  Moony will move up to running with one of the race team.

After medicating and feeding myself and the pack, down came the rain.  Thank goodness it waited until I was done.

No comments:

Post a Comment