This is the toughest time of year for me.  When it is rainy and windy and I am 100% guaranteed to get cold and wet if I go out.  There are few things in this world I dislike more than being wet and cold. Cold is fine, but wet and cold?? Oh so miserable. I don’t buy into the suffering musher trope. I like to be comfortable.

It was literally monsooning this morning. Just pouring. And windy. I would rather it was -40F. No joke. Over two inches of water accumulated in the bowls last night and the rain showed no sign of letting up. I procrastinated for two hours, looking for the motivation to go outside.  Did I find it knowing my competitors had already been out that morning? No. I don’t care what they do.  Did I find it due to a sense of obligation to my training schedule ? Partly. I have a serious compulsion to run the dogs if I think they need to go out, and I will be grumpy all day if it doesn’t happen. Did I find it in the knowledge that not going out because of rain would make me a wussy? Partly. I would have a hard time living with myself if I copped out because of uncomfortable weather. I am an “Iditarod musher,” after all, haha.  

No, I found it in the dogs.  I may mind the rain, but they don’t.  At all.  When I stepped outside to survey the situation, they all popped out of their boxes, pacing around, ready to go for another run. They know the schedule and seeing their excitement and complete disregard for the rain finally got me out the door.

There is a phrase in Norwegian — “the longest mile is the one to the door.”  It holds 100% true for me. After two hours of dilly-dallying, I finally put on long underwear, a wool jacket, a down vest, two rain jackets, heavy duty rain pants, two pairs of gloves, waterproof overmitts and went outside. & it wasn’t THAT bad.… my hands got a little cold and my butt got a little wet, but I felt good that I got over my hesitations & got my dogs out. We are moving forward in our training for Iditarod, right on track. :)

Of course, four hours later, not a cloud in the sky.  But, because I had already gotten the dogs out, I was able to take myself and Seb for a nice sunny jog :) 


summer wrap-up/fall update

Wow, what a summer!  It seems like we had endless sunshine this year, which unfortunately contributed to conditions that fed the Sockeye Fire, but was otherwise wonderful. I spent a lot of time outside ... on the trails, on the road, in the lakes, and on my paddleboard.  Sunny weather makes it near impossible for me to spend a lot of time indoors, but I have sporadicly been working on preparations for the 2015/2016 training and race season as well as developing my new business (more details on that later).

Late August brought an end to the sun and brought the fall rains. Misty or cloudy during the day, pouring at night. This is great because FALL TRAINING has begun & the dogs really appreciate the puddles that have formed out on the trails.

Training Plans
I am so excited for the upcoming season! I am doing things a lot differently this year & am looking forward to seeing how my tweaks in fall training will pan out on the trails later this winter. We are keeping distances short in September and will start doing some truck training later in the month. Partly because it is the absolutely most luxurious way to train dogs, out of the freezing rain & complete with a stereo, haha, but also because I am training 32 dogs by myself & because of time constraints, will need to run teams larger than I would consider safe on the ATV (plus there's heat!).  For some reason I still feel guilty about using the truck to train -- it's just so..... comfortable... haha. But mushers have been using the truck to train for years. My grandpa was training the dogs with the truck down Nancy Lake Park Road 40 years ago! Now it's paved, so I will be running up Hatcher Pass Road and down the Denali Highway, at least until winter storms threaten :) I have a friend coming in November who will be able to give me a hand & Super Sarah from last year has tentatively committed to return & run some dogs when her Coast Guard contract ends in December :)

Race Plans (& complaints)
I am signed up for two races so far -- Iditarod & the Alpine Creek Excursion.  I'll run the Aurora Dog Musher's Club Aurora 50/50 mid December if it doesn't look like I will need to help time it or something (I'm on the board). I would like to run the Copper Basin 300 this year (sign up October 1), and once again, it will be a race to sign up, allowing those who click fastest to sign up first. Luckily I'm a fast clicker, but I feel like it is an unfair system that discriminates against the non-computer savvy and wish they would instead have an open day to "sign up" and then determine the race roster by lottery. Same goes with the Knik 200 and all the other races that have this ridiculous method of Internet mandated sign-up. If there weren't 60+ people trying for 40 slots it wouldn't be such an issue, but it is. I am flirting with the idea of signing up for the Northern Lights 300 at the end of January & I think Jeff King's Denali Doubles at the beginning of February would be fun too. We'll see.

Our kennel is committed to maintaining the workability of the Siberian Husky. We firmly believe the best way to benchmark our breed is on the race trail. I am once again looking to offset the expense of racing by soliciting sponsorships from businesses, friends, fans & the general husky-loving public. I will be offering 2016 Team Anadyr Iditarod gear later this month (pre-order only), as well as featuring some of the lovely & specially customized MUSH posters donated to me by Jon & Jona van Zyle. I have four Frigg pendants remaining. These are part of a limited edition set of 10, handmade, signed by me on the back & packaged in a bootie from the 2015 Iditarod. One necklace provides the funds needed to buy booties for one dog on Iditarod. Posters & necklaces are available at the Team Anadyr Store.

Thank Yous
Big thank yous to Rodney Whaley, Mark Greene & Tom Bennett for their continued support. It means a lot to me. Rodney will be racing the Yukon Quest 300, so cheer for him in February! Checkpoint sponsors.....  a Checkpoint Sponsorship helps me fill drop bags with quality kibble, meat snacks for the dogs, hand warmers, meals for the musher, and defray shipping costs. Mark Greene sponsored the checkpoint of Kaltag. Mark is one of the fantastic behind-the-scene volunteers that makes Iditarod possible....Cheer for him as he manages the Kaltag checkpoint again this year :) Tom Bennett sponsored the checkpoint of Rohn earlier this summer & is again working with Portland State students like Aimee Ritter to design & build for me the fastest, most efficient, most aesthetically pleasing cooker on the Iditarod trail :) Thank you to Grete Perkins, Talkeetna's Bamboo Sock Lady (I sleep in a blue tie-dyed pair) for her donation & thank you to all the folks who bought Frigg pendants for yourselves or for the special ladies in your life :)

Follow along!
I encourage folks checking the website to like my Facebook site -- Facebook.com/AnadyrSiberians. It functions like a website; you don't need to be a member of Facebook to see pictures & updates. I post on there pretty regularly :)  I also like to post photos on Instagram-- find me @lisbetnorris. I will soon be debuting a new feature there & on the blog :D  & finally, look for weekly updates on the blog & an announcement regarding my exciting new business venture!