Always Learning

14 October 2011         08.00 AM        32 F        Light rain

Every year, I start a running log to keep a record of which dogs ran, how far we went and any other relevant information, comments or notes. It can be a great training tool, helping keep track of injuries, rest days etc and it helps to combat my appalling memory by simply having the information there. Of course, as well as a bad memory, I am also afflicted with the attention span of a golden retriever. So, invariably I end up going several runs/days/weeks without updating the log and by then, it’s too late as most of the details have merged into one big jumbled story.

So, this year I resolved to be different. Just like every other year, in fact, but this year will be different. No, there is no reason for me to be any more confident in my ability to actually keep the log up to date this year over previous years, but I’m certainly going to try.

I’ve also changed the way I do it. Previously, I have used an Excel spreadsheet, which I still do for the basic records, mileage and teams and ultra short concise notes. However, I found the spreadsheet a little limited when it came to displaying text and my copious drivel. So, this year, I’m keeping the spreadsheet as well as a longhand notebook. And, I have made completing them part of my daily post run routine.

In comparing last year’s records with the current year, I made a strange discovery. The other day, we did our first 9 mile run. Last year, we didn’t start running the dogs until 13 October. For the life of me, I couldn’t work out why. (That bad memory thing again) And so, I turned to my blog to help me out – (which is the real reason I write this, it’s so I remember what I did……… )

It turned out that this time last year, I had just returned from a trip to Manitoba to collect 3 new dogs, Kazek, Irina and Friddy. Which explained the late start.

I’m pleased to say that this year, we are much more in a rhythm with our training. The dogs are doing well and I have been able to put some of the ideas and advice I have been gathering, into practice. We still have quite a ways to go to accomplish some of the goals I have set myself and the team, but I feel like we are in the process of setting a solid foundation from which to build. This will be our third winter in Alaska and the first one in which I’m thinking we may actually get a team to the start line for our first distance race.

Our dog team having a quick drinkA beautiful day, Denali in the background.

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