Iditarod and Sleep
Here is another great overnight report from Rebecca, CEO of Snowhook Kennel, our team in the Iditarod. As of now, Snowhook seems to be in 22nd place (out of 78) which is pretty damn good! No point in competing without wanting to win, of course, but just finishing this particular race is a triumph, especially with the whole team happy and healthy – which is the Snowhook way.
Sleep is a wonderful thing. And, hopefully, that is what the dogs and AJ will find while they take their twenty-four in Galena. It may sound strange, but conserving energy is part of the training that AJ does with the dogs. Running and resting and part of Team Snowhook’s race strategy.
AJ will stop throughout a run to give the dogs a break and a chance to play, but there are times when he wants them to rest. More often than not, these times of extended rest are signaled by snacks of beef or fish. When AJ arrives at a checkpoint or a place he intends to camp, he will snack the dogs first, then tend to making them a larger meal, providing straw for bedding, removing booties, examining the dogs’ condition, and massaging muscles. Once the meal is devoured—a too tired dog will not eat—conserving energy is the focus. This can come, and usually does, in the form of sleep. This is preferable to a dog barking or jumping throughout the rest. AJ will try to match the rest time with the time spent running such as five hours running equals five hours of rest. It is not always an exact match.
The musher needs his rest, too. It is easy to begin the race already sleep deprived from the pre-race festivities and last minute preparations. While AJ will not be able to sleep as much as the dogs during the twenty-four because of seeing to their care, he will catch up on much needed rest. Sleep deprivation catches up to you on a race. It can lead to poor decision making, clouded judgment and even hallucinations.
Rested up, Team Snowhook will finish their twenty-four midday Friday and will make the trek to Huslia.
This entry was posted on Friday, March 13th, 2015 at 8:34 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.