Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Camping at Klondike Park and Training on the Katy Trail

Over the weekend we took a trip to Klondike Park in Augusta, Missouri. We decided to watch a weight pull hosted by the Gateway Sled Dog Club (our dogs did not participate) and take the dogs out for a run on the Katy Trail.

The park was absolutely beautiful, and you can't help but stay warm with four furry dogs in your tent!
Training with the dogs on rails-to-trails trails is always fun. The Katy Trail is beautiful for running, biking, and of course, dryland mushing. The dogs did very well and we only encountered a few others out enjoying the morning.

The sweet girls were not sure about the whole tent thing!

Running on the trail

Sweet Denali girl

Our campsite

Katy Trail

Taking the rig down this hill was fun!

Pretty Calypso girl enjoying the day

Enjoying the sunshine

Klondike Park

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Running for Nome - 2015 Iditarod

The first Iditarod finisher is in. Dallas Seavy reached Nome this morning. His race time was 8 days, 8 hours, 13 minutes and 6 seconds with 10 dogs. Congratulations! 

We are cheering for one of our favorite mushers, Aliy Zirkle of SP Kennel. Her team of Scout, Scruggs, Nacho, Quito, Scooter, Willie, Chica, Mac, Mismo, Waylon, Izzy, Schmoe and Clyde left the White Mountain checkpoint at 3:24am headed for home! They will be into Nome shortly! 

The Iditarod is a 1,000 mile sled dog race that began on Monday, March 9 with the ceremonial start on Saturday, March 7.  Stay up to date with the mushers here

We asked Ruger, Denali, and Calypso if they dream of running the Iditarod. Our response was a request for belly rubs. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weekend Workout - March 14-15

This weekend was great for working with the dogs. We were able to train them on two different trails.

Saturday morning brought a drizzly start to the weekend, which was perfect for the dogs, but not so great for Joy who was racing a St. Patrick's Day 15k. Anyhow - Nick took the dogs to the Friso Trail for an 8 mile run on the rig while Joy ran in Springfield. The dogs did great and both Ruger and Denali had a chance to run in lead. The dogs had a bit of motivation at the end of the run as a cat ran out in front of them.

Sunday was cool, and perfect for a long run. Nick took the dogs on the rig on the 8 mile Lakeview Trail at Stockton State Park and throughout the park as well. This was a great 14 mile run and both Ruger and Denali had a chance to run lead. Calypso did great - we can really see the improvements she has made in both her speed and endurance.

We are looking forward to some Katy Trail training in the near future as well!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Morning Speed Workout

We have been allowing the dogs to do some of our running speed workouts with us. Today we did a 5 mile fartlek (3;00 on/1:30 off). If you are not familiar with the term, "fartlek" is Swedish for speed play. Unlike other types of speed work, a fartlek is a bit more unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy efforts. 

Our moderate-hard efforts today were to be completed at 7:30 pace. Each one was completed closer to 7:00-7:15 pace. Our easy efforts were completed around 7:45-8:00 pace. We were very pleased with how well the dogs ran today, especially Calypso. Calypso has been gaining more speed and endurance. She had completed this workout with us once before and needed several short breaks. Today, she completed it with no breaks (except turnarounds) and pulled hard the entire time.

We are going to start running this workout or one similar to this once per week as it allows us to work on a variety of commands with the dogs. 

It is warming up quickly here so we are trying to be very careful with the dogs as they still have their winter coats. The high today is supposed to be around 70 degrees! The dogs will likely start to blow their coats soon which means excessive amounts of brushing and vacuuming. 

Although we truly love spring, we wouldn't mind a bit more snow!

Monday, March 9, 2015

It's Iditarod Time!

We love following the Iditarod - this time of year is like Christmas to us! If you are not familiar with the history of the Iditarod, you can read a bit more here. Essentially, the race is a dog sled race that takes place every March in Alaska. The ceremonial start is to be held the first Saturday in March. The race is over 1,000 miles and the trail goes from Anchorage to Nome. However, this year, the race will begin in Fairbanks due to snow and trail conditions. According to Iditarod.com, "The pits man and animal against nature, against wild Alaska at her best and as each mile is covered, it is a tribute to Alaska’s history and the role the sled dog’ played.  The Iditarod is a tie to that colorful past."

One of our favorite mushers is Aliy Zirkle of SP Kennel. Check out the SP Kennel Dog Log for trail updates. We will be keeping an eye on one of her lead dogs, Waylon, this year as he is one of our favorites. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Jackets Dog Jog 5k

Today we participated in The Jackets Dog Jog 5k in Lebanon benefiting the local animal shelter and youth baseball. It was Calypso's first race (she raced with our friend, Jamie). We attached a neckline between Calypso and Denali to help her out since she sometimes gets a bit frightened of things that pass her due to her visual impairment. 

Overall, Calypso did very well. She struggled a bit around mile 2.5 as we were passing other dogs and people, but she did finish strong. We really appreciate Jamie and the help she has given us. Calypso has really bonded with her and they make a great pair. Jamie/Calypso and Joy/Denali ran 22:08 which is a wonderful time for Calypso's first race!

Nick and Ruger ran a PR of 16:10 and won overall. It was a great race for them both, and they had a great time. 

We really love seeing more dog-friendly 5k events pop up in our area. It's always fun to see people exercising with their pets. 

Nick and Ruger after the race

Calypso with the hat Jamie won

Thanks for the medal. I'm sleepy and the sun feels so good.

Nick and Joy with Ruger, Denali, and Calypso

Sweet, sweet Denali dog

Joy and Jamie with Denali and Calypso

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Happy Birthday, Ruger!

Happy 4th Birthday to our wonderful Ruger dog. We definitely couldn't ask for a better friend, lead dog, or cuddle buddy.