Monday, May 11, 2009

Some Hillwork and dog-grooming: How I spent my weekend

Gilligan's new summer 'do. Of particular interest should be the random bald patches. I think it makes him look very tough.... particularly considering the beautiful bright pink collar he is now sporting (upon closer inspection you may notice Gilligan supports Breast Cancer Research... or else he is embracing his inner "Gillian").

Gilligan is very fond of lying down. This bodes well for his once yearly extreme makeover: Canine Edition because all he has to do is stay still for his fur cut. It is a little unclear if it is better to shave or let Berners have their long fur for the summer, but having short fur makes it easy to hose him down when it gets really hot. So currently we (really I) shave him once a year. I really need to stop talking in plural because a) it gives my husband way too much credit and b) it suggests I may have a split personality, neither of whom actually contribute greatly in the completion of many tasks:-)

As I may have mentioned in previous posts, Gilligan is lazy. In fact he failed the Canine Good Citizen test because he would not continue to sit upon being given the command "sit" fact he would sit then lie down after about 5 seconds. I still don't get why him being immobile lying down is such an offense. Nor does he, but we now console ourselves by eating lots of ice cream...especially on Thursdays:-)

The azalea's were in full bloom at Sugarloaf Mountain this past weekend when Tristan, Gilligan and I went there for some hillwork. The azalea's were just spectacular and made running up the hill go so much faster. The first half mile up has no azalea's but then there are frequent flowers for the remainder of the hill. And the colors were all so vibrant: Red, purple, pink, white, coral....

Another "pack" of azalea's along the road. This time doing hillwork at Sugarloaf is the first time I have actively had to pay attention for cars. The last few times, there were 5-10 cars tops, but this time I would guess 50 cars, 20 bikes and a few runners. I guess spring/summer is now here in full force.
Luckily the road to the top is one way, so I pretty much just have to pay attention for cars passing me when I am going up and then when I come down I worry at some more blind curves that although the posted limit is 25 mph cars seem to go about 45-50 mph.

This past weekend was pretty uneventful. I did not have a marathon, a business trip or pretty much anything on my calendar. And since I donated blood I was a little hesitant to run to long or too far.

So Saturday Tristan, Gilligan and I all packed into blue-ey for a road trip to Sugarloaf Mountain. Gilligan and Tristan hiked all around the mountain while I ran up and down for 3 repetitions. I was pretty proud of this in my blood deficient state. It took me about 1 hour 45 minutes which was a little slower then usual, but I was kind of goofing off during the run. On my first rep, I ran into about 5 runners that looked reallly tough (one had a Montrail shirt on and the others all had trail running shoes and hydration packs). In fact after I finished, Tristan asked about these runners and I said I saw them. But I mentioned I didn't exchange anything more than a "huff, puff, huff, puff,.... Hello, ...huff, puff, huff puff". This is because at the time I was going up the mountian and either the altitude or lack of extra iron sort of had me winded.

Well, Tristan apparently talked to these runners and learned one was running MMT100 next weekend (hmmm, not sure I would be doing Sugarloaf the week before a 100, but that's just sissy Tammy speaking--although a week before Javelina 100 I have Marine Corps Marathon, so perhaps I should stop being so hypocritical).

Tristan apparently discussed ultra-running with these folks and apparently they saw me, and somehow connected Tristan to me. At some point their conversation turned to my name and Tristan mentioned it (Tammy Massie in case you see me as google blogger : 7299086143790529567). To which they responded..."we've heard of her". I am not sure if I should be alarmed or flattered. If I am becoming "famous" in the MD ultra community I will have to start earning my fame and that will put all sorts of pressure on me. I really like my current philosophy regarding ultramarathoning that I have heard so eloquently put by L. Simpson

"Set the bar low, then start digging".

Saturday afternoon was spent bathing the dog (well at least that is how Gilligan and I spent the afternoon). Initially this bath was a stopgap for his yearly shaving to be done in June. But then Sunday turned into a beautiful day so I decided both he and I would be happiest if it was done in pleasant weather.

In fact my calendar is full the next three weekends with a trip to my Aunt's in NJ and the Delaware Marathon next weekend, a trip to Burlington VT for the Vermont City Marathon with a friend/co-worker, Ann and finally hopefully a coaching certification class (professional coaching, not athletic coaching) through Saturday and the Bob Potts Marathon on Sunday the following weekend.

Thus realizing our next window for opportunity for this 2-3 hour task, I got out the scissors, nipped a bunch of mats, then escalated to the shaver. I would give myself a "C" for the quality of Gilligan's current 'do. I think he has some bald patches (the razor attachment would get snagged, fall off then I would give him a buzz cut, until I finally realized the attachment was off). And he sort of has a mohawk thing going on-this I have no easy explanation except perhaps all of the cool dogs have a mohawk.

I would however give myself a tip because it is hard work to shave a 120 lb dog with long fur. I have never tested how volumnous he is but I would guess easily 30 gallons or so. To give you a sense about how much fur I shaved, currently we have a town provided recyclable container that is filled with his fur. What's even worse is that we are not sure what to do with it. Is it recycleable, trash, compost???

I am lucky Gilligan is pretty agreeable to being bathed and shaved. Sporadically he would wander off in to another area in our fenced backyard, but it is a tiny backyard, so I could easily walk over and remind him of our goal for the day. Also, for his shaving he could just lie down stoically while I ruined his coiff.

At the end of his shaving ordeal, I saved the best for last. Gilligan likes to regularly change his collar. It gives him freedom of expression. He has two collars that were ready to be in play: a Ben and Jerry's collar and a Breast Cancer awareness that is bright pink. Since May is breast cancer awareness. He choose to show his support by sporting a new Breast Cancer Awareness Collar. Now all he needs is the "Feel your Boobies" T-shirt and his ensemble would be complete.


Jimbo said...

Are you for hire? Wilbur desperately needs a haircut, he is just a massive ball of fluff this year. The problem is, he always gets very anxious when we approach him with scissors or clippers, but that could possibly be because he has seen how I do my own haircuts!

joyRuN said...

You're famous!

And busy - your next three weekends are going to be action-packed!