Serious Exercise Requires Serious Napping

We had so much fun this weekend, all we could do this afternoon - Memorial Day - was nap. And recover.

Saturday I borrowed a neighbor's weed whacker and attacked the huge clumps of various grasses growing in the yard (long story I won't bore you with). This took two hours. Then I pulled weeds - a Sisyphean task if ever there was one on these 5.5 acres. The girls supervised. From inside. While napping. Hard work.

Sunday we went to the nearby ski resort and ran even higher up the face than last time. We scouted a route off the north side that's popular with mountain bikers in the summer. Eventually - at maybe 7000 feet - we hit so much snow that I could no longer find the trail. We retreated, then took the more familiar trail, again finding more and more snow as we climbed ever higher. Maia's a marvel - she always knows exactly where the trail is, even when I start out the wrong way because the snow obscures the visual clues. As long as I have Maia with me in the woods, I'll never get lost. It's an incredibly comforting feeling.

We covered about 7 miles total, finishing just as the rains started with a backdrop of thunder. (Memorial Day Weekends here are notoriously wet and cold, often with snow.)

Query: Do dogs feel the effects of altitude? I've always wondered. When I posed that question to my father, his typically smart-alecky response was: they're not wearing altimeter watches, so they neither know nor care! Well, I'm not wearing an altimeter either, but I can tell.

That evening I spent three hours pulling weeds (I know, I know). The girls supervised from a supine position. I'm sure they were smirking. I finally quit when my lower back couldn't take it anymore.

Today we ran 12 miles, a loop of forest roads behind the house. I wasn't sure I'd bring the girls. Especially with Maia, it's always a wait and see proposition: did she eat breakfast, or is her stomach in turmoil? Is she stiff from the last run? Ironically, I was the one who awoke at 1 AM with a stomach ache, but I was fine by our 8:30 AM departure. It was clear and cool - 33F when we started - and that decided it. Perfect running weather, especially for Malamutes.

Jim and Jane, with Pixie, drove up to run with us. Pixie - a wonderful mix of husky and whippet (lower photo) - covered ten times the ground as the rest of us, all at a blistering speed. Amazing animal. Everyone but Pixie started out slowly - Jim and Jane run at paces slower than mine. Eventually the girls and I went on ahead. We were out for a total of 2 hours 37 minutes. A great run. Each of us held up better than I expected.

We arrived home, all with the same idea: nap time. Well deserved, too. Naps are like manna from heaven. This I've learned from my dogs.