In a lot of these posts, we feature pics from our favorite riding spot Tanana Lakes Recreation Area. It’s a fairly new park that is flat with a number of trails, a swim beach, and gun range. Before Java joined our family, I practiced my open water swims down at the beach. Later I joined my husband at the gun range. Now I mostly ride with Java . Funny how our use of an area evolves.
Recently, I started capturing video of places that Java and I ride and run. There are a lot of beautiful areas we go all year around with old friends and meet new people. Before I started hanging out with Java, I would run and ride well-known areas since I’m prone to getting lost. Now I am open to explore areas because the only thing worse than an unexercised dog, is a bored one.
Below is a minute long video from my ride with Java a week ago. It was a sunny morning between the smokey days, and there were so many people. This is just a clip from our 30 minute ride. Enjoy! And see you on the trails!!
Java is back! After a week on the doggie injury list, Java is back to running with the bike. We had an intense ride on Gilmore Trail picking up race signs on Sunday, and it was the first time she ever ran with a skilled mountain biker. Forrest is about 3Xs as fast as I am even with a backpack of stakes and signs and so Java went full out for 13 miles trying to keep up with him. Prior to that ride, the most miles she ever ran was a 6.2 miles and that was at my jog speed.
No surprise that she was sore and stiff on Monday and Tuesday. Unfortunately, she also wore down her paw pads. No bleeding. Thank goodness. So a lot of gentle walking for most of the week. Yesterday, we slogged through a 5 mile rainy run on campus. She seemed fine afterwards. So today we tried an easy trail on the bike.
She was slow. Maybe she was tired though she sure seemed able to sprint after stuff she really wanted. My guess is that she was being gentle on her paws since they bother her worse when she pushes her full power.
Honestly, I was in worse shape. I started weightlifting again after a year off. Though I posted faster race times this year, I haven’t had the strength or the power to train all three disciplines needed for another Ironman. Weightlifting has always been the answer, and I know this. Unfortunately, it leaves me extremely sore and my brain has a hard time accepting that I am benefiting from a half hour session. Even when the proof shows in the stats.
Java will spend one more week on light duty before we head up Gilmore Trail again. This time we will either have someone drop us off at top and ride down (8 miles), or do an out and back that’s about the same distance. I need to get back into winter riding shape, which includes way more hills than I’ve been riding this summer.
Enjoying the last relaxing day until the weekend. Tomorrow I kick into high gear finalizing the last details for the 54th Annual Gold Discovery Run on Sunday. For the most part, I’ve been on top of things. For the most part. I did almost forget to pick up the medals. I haven’t yet seen the new part of the course up by the gold mine. And no matter how prepared I am on race day, I always seem to forget something. Even something as simple as trash bags.
This race is pretty unique in that the first 8 miles are on a trail the drops from the Kinross mine down to a paved neighborhood that continues across the highway to a brewery. The trail part is a multi-use trail and so you have both motorized and non-motorized traffic. No cars, but ATVs like four-wheelers and side-by-sides. And since we only half a day to mark all 16.8 miles, we take both a fourwheeler and side-by-side up the trail.
Originally, just Java and I were going to ride the 13-mile out and back of Gilmore trail on Sunday afternoon to pick up signs, but my friend Forrest volunteered to help. Two years ago he picked them up by himself because I was too tired to go. Last year Felipe and his friend too ATVs out. This will be Java’s first time going that distance. I told her she needed to start carb loading. She wisely chose raspberries growing in our yard.
It’s gonna be a tougher ride for me. I spend less time riding steep hills in the summer than I do in winter. And though I haven’t seen the new trail yet, the old one was already hilly. I anticipate a lot of pushing and some sore muscles Monday morning.
This is advice I didn’t take with my human child. As an unusually energetic 19-year-old, I thought I don’t need to sleep when Ivan naps. At 43, this is a whole different story. I napped regularly before Java. I nap more so now.
I have reduced my regular triathlon training to spend time with Java. This was the plan going into this whole puppy parenthood gig. I knew that having an obedient dog required a lot of consistent work. And with my schedule being unpredictable and often full, I knew I was going to have to say no to a lot of things until we got her trained.
Training a dog is mentally hard. So when she sleeps I sleep.
Other than that she seems to be happy living here. We try to keep her busy and introduce her to new experiences. Of course, we live in Fairbanks, Alaska so the experiences are seasonal and there are limited places to explore nearby. But fall and then winter will be here soon and she will get to learn about snow!
Somewhere exists a picture of my human son dragging toilet paper from the bathroom some 20 years ago. So when Java came running out of the exact same bathroom wrapped in a fresh roll, I had to stifle inappropriate parent laughter to take a quick picture and then pull it from her and tuck it away where she couldn’t reach it. Since then she has pulled down everything from backpacks to tool bags to blankets and jackets. I have my “Mom Ears” on all the time.
We are adapting so much better now. Java is starting to use the bathroom outside on a much more regular basis. She is adapting to her kennel though I would never say that she loves it exactly. We have decided to get her a kennel for the outside where we will designate a place for her to use the bathroom. We are also planning on getting a new style kennel for the house, moving the one my friend gave me outside. Honestly, my puppy doesn’t really need new kennels, but she definitely has my husband wrapped around her paw. So new kennels it is.
Puppy training class is going okay. Java would rather play with the dogs then go through drills. It is kinda hard because they are 11 other dogs and owners, which means there is a lot of wait time between demonstrating/practicing skills. I find the wait time boring and I’m sure Java does too. We keep going though and practicing at home and on the trail. Having a well-behaved dog will be worth it.
I finally got to bring home my new road bike–Trek’s Emonda SL7 Disc. I named her RichieDammit, which is a nickname given by my highschool friends. Richie was a nickname that started when I was in Japan prior to highschool and followed me back to the U.S. For the longest time, my friends started their sentences with ‘Richie’ and ended them with ‘Dammit’. For example, “Richie, you need to get to class before Mr. Harrington gives you detention again, dammit.” Eventually, it just got shortened to “RichieDammit.” And since this bike has some attitude to it, I passed on my old nickname.
So along with the drama of trying to get my puppy from South Dakota to Fairbanks, I was also trying to get my new road bike from Wisconsin. This was also some drama TNT style (We Know Drama).
I order the bike via Trek’s awesome Employee VIP program. They tell me the bike will be shipped at the end of the week.
The bike tech at the store I work (Goldstream Sports) tells me that the bike is on back order because customer orders have priority over employee orders. I will now have to wait until the end of the month. Okay, May 30th. I have a Mountain Bike. I can deal.
The bike ships on May 28th. Cool.
The bike is turned around on May 29th at Kentucky for a shipping violation. No notice from Trek. My bike tech has no idea. The store owner thinks it has to do with the lithium battery that powers the Di2 shifters.
I exchange a lot of emails with Trek. They confirm that it is the lithium battery. Someone forgot to put a sticker on the box needed for air shipment. This is after they tell me they don’t think they can ship the bike to Alaska because of the battery, which made no sense because we had two shipped up here for our customers and have e-bikes shipped up here all the time. This was about the time we were having trouble getting Java flown to Alaska too. There were a lot of tears that week. A LOT.
No more information for a week. I exchange emails with Trek again. They tell me it is on the shipping dock and will arrive in Alaska at the end of the week.
Minutes later I get this image texted to me from my inside connection at UPS:
I check UPS Tracking. Sure enough it had been shipped from Wisconsin last week.
The bike is delivered. The store is swamped with repairs, but the bike techs have mercy on me and get it put together quickly. I finally got to take it for a solid test ride. Tomorrow the store owner will do a thorough computerized bike fitting.