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6.0 Miles Monday 11-26-12

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Ran exactly 6.0 miles in exactly 2.0 hours… The fingerprints of the Lord were all over this run tonight! As I said earlier, it always amazes me when I run dogs and the GPS shows we went ___.0 miles. We always run different trails in different directions and put loops together differently, so it’s certainly not something I could ever do on purpose. And tonight we found an old rabbit trail that we haven’t mistakingly gone down for a number of years where we had to Gee around and come back from a spot too narrow to pass. Then later in the run when I noticed the ATV was acting funny (front tire wasn’t spinning properly) and I realized I really didn’t have the energy to deal with any rig struggles tonight, I Gee’d around and cut the run short…at exactly the right spot so it worked out to be 6.0 miles! How does that happen that the run was EXACTLY 6.0 miles if not by the Sovereignty of God? If you have any doubts about His Hand in this, keep reading! Continue reading

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15.4 Miles Sunday 11-25-12

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5.4 MPH avg 2:51 moving time, 4:54 total time
As I am anticipating running later tonight, I am realizing that I’m approaching time on the trail with much more of a view to the Almighty than I ever had in the past. I’m somewhat more aware of how much I need Him to keep us safe and to lead and guide and control my heart, mind, words and actions to work together for the best for my dogs. I also am wondering what He will teach me about Himself tonight, about His Son and His Holy Spirit and the ability that ONLY comes from Him. I wonder what He will teach me about myself tonight, about my sin and hopelessness without Him but my forgiveness and sanctification with Him. I wonder what He will teach me about each one of my dogs and where they are in their training and in their relationship with me. I wonder…I am tempted to worry, but instead I look to Him and wonder…

Psalm 25:15 My eyes are always on the Lord!
“The Lord directs us to look to Him for all that we need–and look away from all that we fear and all that troubles us. Looking to man dishonors the Lord–and ends in disappointment. Looking to ourselves fills us with gloom, sadness, doubts, and fears. It was wise, therefore, of the Psalmist to keep his eyes fixed steadily and habitually on the Lord… Whenever Satan tempts you, or guilty fears torment you–turn your eyes to Calvary and see Jesus, your Savior–suffering, bleeding, and dying for you–and so you will enjoy peace. Lord, help me to look to You for all my direction in life, so that I might not be led astray by my deceitful heart. Let me praise You and bring glory to Your Name every moment of my life!” (James Smith, “Comfort for Christians!”)

So it’s now 2:30am and I’ve been home long enough to unload and snack the dogs, take off my soaking wet pants and socks and boots and sit down at the computer. Tonight was fun but sure seemed long! It’s funny how some nights seem longer than others. The first part seemed to zoom by, except for trying to get past that stupid horse again, which felt like about 30 minutes! I had Tozi and Galena up front, having given Tozi a break from wheel (Tozi was shaking off a lot tonight and when I rubbed his back he really seemed to lean into my hand, so I was a bit concerned that maybe he was a little sore), and unfortunately he was more distractible than usual in lead…and I only have one working brake, which made tonight even more “interesting”. (They listened much better tonight and only took off without me a couple times, one when they decided to light the afterburners going up the big hill and I almost couldn’t catch up to them!). I ended up trying to “shoo” the horse away from the fence by waving my arms over my head and pushed against his neck and he’d just come right back to the fence. He wanted to meet the dogs, but I was not a fan of that plan. It didn’t seem to matter what I thought, because most everyone met him anyway! Tozi started getting pretty wound up (I did not let him get close) and I couldn’t get him to listen well enough to walk away and get back on the ATV, so I ended up just turning the team around. We did go back by a little later but thankfully he had moved.
A short while later I stopped them at the truck and unhooked tugs and relaxed a bit (maybe 20 minutes) and then they started “hearing things” in the woods and started moving around and making noise, so I put them back on the line and we took off again….at a snail’s pace! Galena and Tana were sniffing everything, Tozi and Tkope were peeing on everything, and I was being as upbeat and positive as a kindergarten teacher, all to no avail. So, I promoted Tkope and Cicely to lead, put Tana in swing and Galena in wheel next to Tozi (who had been returned to that position some time after the visit with the horse. The two green leaders were ridonculous for the first 10 minutes, and you would have thought neither of them had ever heard “Gee” or “Haw” before! Tkope was quite insistent that we go Haw after I called Gee, so that took 5 minutes or more to get him straightened out. They finally got their act together and actually did quite well. I was giving them some practice following commands and called Haw, and unfortunately they listened because we wound up in the wettest spot in the wetlands, and everyone got tangled and I had to get off the ATV and water came in my boots (did I mention it was rather chilly water?!)…it was crazy deep! We finally got back on “dry land” (nothing is dry on the island in November!) and Tkope started running around and shaking off and play bowing and making snow angels without the snow… he was so funny! And yes, we got in another tangle while he was weaving the tug lines! We finally got back on the trail and Tkope and Cicely led us back to the truck and our run was complete. It’s definitely time for bed… I’m thankful we’re all getting stronger and I can’t wait to see how we do next weekend on two long back-to-back runs with a little camp out in between. I still don’t really feel like I know my team well at all, especially what they’re really capable of. Time will tell!

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17.3 Miles Friday 11-23-12

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5.4 MPH avg…and  ~16 of the miles were fun!  I should have stopped at 16, because after that point we got way too close to the horse who just stood at the fence looking down at the dogs who were standing right below him looking up (eek)… Continue reading

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0 Miles Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Got to sleep around 2 am this morning and woke up after 9 with soreness pretty much everywhere!  My hands are even swollen, for some unknown reason.  I think it was wise to cut it short last night.  I’m learning how much to push through, and how much to respect, and with it so early in our training, I’m trying not to overdo it too much both with the team and with my own old bones!  As I said, “I AM the weakest link” (I still hear that woman’s voice from that old TV show when I write/read this!).  I will say that the dogs look exceptionally tired this morning too.  Tozi and Galena didn’t even get up when I let everyone out for breakfast, although they changed their minds pretty quickly and joined the pack to eat.  I do believe we’ll be taking tonight off. Continue reading

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8.4 Miles Wednesday 11-21-12

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( 6.4 MPH avg)  2:10 moving time; 3 hours total time; 40 degrees with no rain  : ) 

Kids did really well tonight, and I don’t think I sounded like a crazy lady a single time!  Just writing the entry from yesterday helped teach me so much.  I’m looking forward to learning more and more through this blog.  The dogs were actually not ready to stop, but I was pretty wiped out from being up until after 4am after last night’s run.  They seem to be grasping the concept that I’m not helping them up the hills, but their speed is definitely slower than it could be.  They turn on the afterburners when they catch a scent and literally storm right up our biggest hills, but it’s not consistent.  I think I just need to continue to be patient and little by little they’ll pull harder and longer and faster, at least that’s my prayer.  Both Galena and Tana listened better tonight (they started to get distracted several times but I was able to bring them back pretty easily) and only completely wandered off the trail once when I was stopped to care for Tkope’s pad.   Continue reading

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12.8 Miles Tuesday 11-20-12

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( 6.2 MPH avg)  2:10 moving time; 3 hours total time; 45degrees at end, with pouring rain throughout

“The Very Last Run”                                                                                                                So, today I am kicking myself over and over and over again, because I’m making the same mistakes over and over and over again.  It seems the harder I try to get things right, the more easily frustrated and disappointed and critical I am with my team.  Yesterday at work I got to hang out with one of our trainers as we assessed a litter of Goldens, and on the way back talked with her a bit about some of the difficulties I’m having with my team, especially not pulling up hills and looking back at me instead of working harder to get moving.  Then I had a wonderful talk with Margaret about training for the race, and I found myself bound and determined to work hard on some of these issues tonight… bound and determined, I say!  Continue reading

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3.9 Miles Saturday 11-17-12

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( 6.4 MPH avg)

All righty then… and the craziness continues!  I was REALLY physically spent today, but knew that I needed to get out with the dogs and do some more training tonight, so against my better judgment (!), I went!  I read a bit today about keeping your cool with your dogs, even if you’re upset, and tonight I got to practice that a bit more.  I know I’m TIRED, so I’m setting everything up pretty slowly and trying to be methodical about things.  I had everyone harnessed and was getting Galena dressed last.  She’s such a good girl about standing still that I didn’t hook her to the truck first like I always do before putting on her harness, and instead held her between my legs and harnessed her up.  That part went fine, but then somehow I didn’t hook her on to the truck.  Continue reading

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16.0 Miles Friday 11-16-12

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( 5.9 MPH avg)  2:43 moving time; 4 hours total time; 49 degrees at end, but nice wind blew throughout our run

Tonight was a “Teamwork” kind of a night!  Everyone performed beautifully, and they even pulled me up the big hill out of Roche Harbor!  I am finding that stopping them when they start going too slow is working better than just keeping them going, even if it’s only at 1 MPH.  I was shocked at how fast they ran up the majority of it!  I think they caught a whiff of something, and for that, I was thankful!  Continue reading

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0 Miles Thursday 11-15-12

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I picked up the dog food in Seattle and worked a few hours at the office, came home on the 6:00 boat and had dinner with Mike, sat down and watched some TV but just couldn’t get going afterwards.  The dogs looked pretty happy to be relaxing too!

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9.4 Miles Wednesday 11-14-12

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( 6.2 MPH avg);  40 degrees

Started the day off with a skuffle over food when I was inside making a note to myself… I am not pleased with how I handled it, pretty much over-reacting in frustration and it’s only the grace of God that kept them from escalating because of my errors.  It’s one more in a long line of reminders that I DAILY, HOURLY, EACH MINUTE of my life NEED to RELY on the LORD for my ALL!  As soon as I’m left to myself (like leaving my dogs to themselves with temptations all around, like close food bowls belonging to their siblings) I am quite likely to blow it, whether in my mind/heart or fully in my actions.  Oh Lord, please forgive me for my independence and pride that leads me running towards all matter of sinfulness.  May You replace that with the fruit of Your Holy Spirit:  Continue reading

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0 Miles Tuesday 11-13-12

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“May my latter days be . . . crowned with peace, characterized by holiness, and honored with extensive usefulness–this is all my desire.  Another week has run into eternity, and here I am, left on the sands of time, with opportunities to do good, and get good for my own soul. May . . . my poor dull mind be enlightened, my hard heart be softened, and my irregular life be made to accord exactly with the holy Word of God.  I want to be as holy as Jesus is holy; and to be employing all my powers in God’s service. Every moment, I would give to the Lord. I am hastening to Heaven–and there all my powers, faculties, and talents will be employed for God forever! Nothing but the presence, power, and work of the Holy Spirit, will make me what I ought to be; or produce the change I wish to see.                        O for entire consecration to God!”     James Smith

Seeing how easy it’s going to be for me to waste time and resources as I seek to run this race… Continue reading

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9.8 Miles Saturday 11-10-12

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Saturday 11-10-12-  9.8 Miles (6.5 MPH avg)

“…our comfort and joy arise from our being simple in heart, firmly relying upon our Saviour’s declaration, living upon His Word, looking to Him, and expecting, without the least doubt, we shall most certainly be ‘kept by the power of God                                     through faith unto salvation.’ 1 Pet 1:5   ”  William Mason

As I’m thinking about tonight’s run and wondering what it will hold,  Continue reading

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13.9 Miles Thursday 11-8-12

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Luke 10: 39-42 … Mary seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching. But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving… But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; There is need of only one ...

It is so important that I not let my natural tendencies (worry, idolatry, worldliness) outshine God’s Grace and Plan for my life, as I so very often do.  I could easily (and have many times over) allowed my dogs and this sport to rule my mind and heart, pushing The One Thing aside in an evil showing of my ingratitude, selfishness and idolatry.  Continue reading

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7 Miles… And So It Starts! Wed 11-7-12

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This was our first officially serious training run, as we are fast approaching the race!  Planned on doing a 10 mile run, but things from the beginning didn’t go according to my plans!  We launched from the truck and quickly found a tree was blocking the trail, so had to convince 6 crazy dogs to Gee around and take a different path.  Wanted to start out by some water to get the dogs wet so they’d be cooler, as the temps aren’t quite as cold as we’d like.  Because of my fewer runs last season, I am having to re-learn some of these forest trails and since we only run at night, it’s always a bit challenging for me, especially given I’m already geographically challenged!  So, yes, we got lost!  Continue reading

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A Special Year, A VERY Special Team

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Last season was a VERY disappointing and difficult year.  Long about September, I met one of my mushing friends on the island and decided to take my big boy, Yuki, for a hike to test out his wrist which had a ligament injury from the previous season and kept him on the bench.  I was so hopeful that it had healed sufficiently to allow him back on the team, because I really needed that boy’s strength, but primarily because I really missed him not being with us.  He had one of those personalities that can only be described as a gentle giant, a stable, loving dog who I never saw ruffled, even when strange dogs would charge.  He had a way about him that just diffused bad situations and more often seen, infused a JOY into my pack by initiating “the games”.

I noticed at the end of our hike that he seemed just a bit gimpy… barely noticed a little something that I was afraid was that stupid wrist ligament swelling.  A couple days later I left town for the weekend, and when I came back and walked through the door, I instantly knew something wasn’t right with my sweet boy.  I didn’t even need to see him stand up… I just saw it in his eyes.  Continue reading

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Mushing “On By” Grace

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A Special Year, and a Very Special Team

The Lord has greatly blessed me and my 6 dog team of mostly rescued Siberians, and I am very excited to be taking on a challenge like we’ve never had before- running in a 100 Mile Race!  This race is the Lost Prairie Purebred Race in Marion, MT in mid January 2013.  I have been very encouraged by some of my wisest musher friends to sign up, but I know the reality is that we can only accomplish this by the Grace of God.  I have started this little journal/blog frankly because I feel led to write about this experience.  I don’t know why, or if anyone will be interested to read any of it, but I KNOW I have already learned a lot in the process.  Continue reading

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Hello Mushing World!

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Welcome to On By Grace !

Let It Snow !!

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