summer update

I let the blog fall to the back burner... for those who check in regularly and are regularly disappointed, I encourage you to check out my Facebook page. I post updates and pictures there often. 

I’ll post my Iditarod 2015 recap separately, but suffice it to say I had a fantastic time on this year’s race.  I had SO much fun, -50F be damned.  I raced a little bit this year and enjoyed myself immensely. I saw several areas in which the team and I could improve our performance, and before we crossed under the burled arch in Nome, I was already scheming about ways we could do better next year.  I guess this is how you get hooked !  I am already so excited for the 2015/2016 race season and am taking time this summer to work hard to button down what we need for our goals financially & to pencil out a more disciplined training regime.  Participating in more mid distance racing will be a priority for the dogs next year. But more on Iditarod 2015 and plans for the 2016 racing season later…. 

After this year’s Iditarod, I decompressed and recovered. I had said good bye to Sarah at the start line in Fairbanks. She left straight for the airport, headed back to her job as a rescue specialist in the Canadian coast guard. My indispensable friend Franzi, who volunteered for Iditarod dog drop this year, was here for about a week after the race. (She has a great blog about volunteering for the race: if you don't read German, Google Translate works ok -- http://blog.mush-on.de ). We drank beer, tea, cooked, took out small teams, went skijoring with my Solstice pups (2 years old this coming Solstice!).  Franzi took my "infamous" topless skijoring pictures, which caused a surprising stir on Facebook and annoyance on my part when I had to answer the question “but WHY?” from neighbors and Facebook friends for the next month. Why NOT!? It felt good! If I was a man, no one would have cared.  If I had posted a picture from the other direction I probably would have made the news. Ridiculous & representational of the sexualized and oppressive attitude Americans hold towards women.  Anyway.

We had a hot, short spring, with the melt coming about a month faster than last year. I didn't get to skijor as much as I would have liked, but it was probably for the best, as in my case, skijoring is synonymous with 80% of my body being covered in bruises. 

While the early break-up put an end to my spring skijoring season, with the trails being simultaneously un-skiable and un-runnable, I had a moment’s pause to start piecing my life back together after the hectic weeks that led up to Iditarod.  I cleaned and organized the post-Iditarod garage, sorted out drop bags, and ordered sponsor gifts (in a futile attempt to express how incredibly grateful I am for the support I received across the globe). 

My main sponsor this year was 3M Alaska. 3M’s recognizable brand is associated world-wide with quality and ingenuity. The company produces thousands of innovative & helpful products -- many of which I use to help get me down the trail in a safe and productive manner. Traveling by dog team in a safe and productive manner translates to efficiency, which ultimately, leads to success. This spring I was pleased to present the 3M Anchorage office with my 2015 race bib as thanks in part for their support this season.

A quick breakup also resulted in an early start to Alaska’s notorious construction season, so I started working again mid-April.  Work has kept me quite busy!  So has my new dog, a black one year old German Shepherd named Seb. (Short for Sebastian, a proper German name ;) ) I adopted him from Alaska Animal Rescue Friends.  As folks familiar with Siberians know, they are very independent natured dogs.....having a team of Siberians is basically like having a pack of cats. They love you, but on their own terms.  This independence is a trait I adore in my dogs, but I’ve missed having a dog that actually cared what I was up to... Enter Seb, my new best friend :)  He follows me everywhere & has taken possession of my truck. (Take note, thieves: if you want to keep your arms, keep out of my truck.)  It’s also so relaxing to have a dog I don’t have to worry about running away. Some of the Siberians I have are pretty good off-leash, but they only come because they want to. I wouldn't actually trust them to stick around if something more interesting than me rambles on by. Seb is attached to me by an invisible rubber band. 

Recently, there has been a lull in flagging & I am using the time to update & reorganize things around the kennel, plus prepare and plan for the upcoming racing season. The dog houses are getting new roofs and new coats of “dog house green” paint. It’s too warm to train the dogs, so I’ve training myself, running a little bit every day. Running gives me more energy & takes the edge off Seb’s teenage dog exuberance. If I run 4 miles, I think he & Mygga (his best friend) run 20, at top speed. 

2015 blogging got off to a slow start, but as I look towards another season of getting by as a semi-professional dog musher, I have full intentions of keeping the webpage regularly updated.  Stay tuned for the long-awaited recap of my Rookie Iditarod, as well as a summary of last year’s race, and an announcement of our plans for the 2016 Race Season !  

Hope your summer is off to a great start!  xo Lisbet