Can Am Training in New Brunswick: Week 2

Our training this past week focused on endurance and getting used to being out in temperatures hovering around -14F. Three days of frigid weather forced me to work on the right combination of clothing for myself. I have the cold weather gear I need but keeping in mind that hills will need to be climbed and that runs will run into the hours I keep juggling clothing combinations. My goal is to find the right clothing that won’t impede movement and cause me to get too hot when I’m pedaling uphill and yet will be warm enough for those cold runs downhill or across the open areas prone to wind.

The dogs need to adjust as well. Because they live with us in our cabin I tend to take them out when the wood burning stove is cranked up! Their fur is thickening thanks to the cold and the added fat they are consuming. But their paws and pads are toughening more slowly. This week I’ve discovered that Kodiak and Aura work better in booties but the others can make due with some balm I was given by a friend. The balm is applied to the pads of the dog after the hair in between the pads has been shaved. This helps prevent ice balls from forming. Ice balls can cause abrasions and can lead to ankle or shoulder problems so when I’m on the sled I’m keeping an eagle eye on paws as well as the tuglines to make sure all the lines are taught. I’m also keeping an eye on the trail for ruts so I can balance and stay on the sled and I’m also watchful of wildlife particularly when I see moose tracks along the side of the trail. I have a lengthy checklist in my head when I’m on a run and I’m convinced that all that is what makes the time go by quickly.

The highlight this week was running a 6 dog team for almost 20 miles. Moley and Mannie, the 2 Siberians I am borrowing from Rob and Louise Cooke are wonderfully mellow dogs and they are workhorses. They run in wheel position which is the position directly in front of the sled. They are 2 lovable dogs and a great asset to the team.

Next week I hope to attempt a 30 mile run with the team. Ann Stead and Jamie Nelson, two ladies from Minnesota who are seasoned mushers and who conduct the Mushing Boot Camp I attended, recommend doing a 30 mile run several weeks before the 30 mile race so the team and the musher can know they can do it. Here’s hoping we can accomplish that.

  1. March 5 . ON the phone with your Mom this AM.
    exciting. That is quite a bucket list.

    • Thanks for your comments Aunt Connie! I will send you an email of my last 3 days. =) It was wonderful!

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