Full Circle. Almost. Again.

In the last installment of Black Dog shenanigans here, we left you on the edge of your seats, (just work with me here people), waiting to see how the latest attempt at post-surgical recovery/rehab shenanigans was moving along.  My angel-winged running neighbor had recommended this GUY, who, as it turns out, has proven to be the man.  As in THE Man.  As in, after more than two years since all of this #brokeknee crap started, has actually been able to, ya know – FIX MY SHIT – and get me running kind of like a normal running person does.

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I’ll make this short as I know your attention span isn’t any better than mine.

Wait.

What?

Was I saying you something?

Oh yeah.  Running rehab shenanigans.

Anywho, this GUY, not only shoved a finger in that lovely area known as the piriformis, which was immediately followed by a string of cursing the like has never emitted from my goody two shoes yap –

incredulous-owls

Lady, you’re not fooling anyone.  Stop embarrassing yourself.

– but within about 10 seconds had figured out what was actually broken THIS TIME.  Say it along with me kids…

“Since you’ve got a completely shut down broke ass on your right side, your left side has stepped up to the plate, tried to do the work for both sides, and has now decided it’s had enough of this malarky.  It’s sending you the message, with all due respect, to go eff yourself, it’s tapping out.”

Well now.  That’s pretty…..specific.

What’s a frustrated runner idiot girl to do?  Get to work of course.  On BOTH sides of dear ol’ broke ass.

get back to work.jpg

The next few weeks consisted of such insanity as hip and glute strength building, cursing at my new BFF Torture Tony, Elastigirl-like stretching sessions, more cursing, zapping, icing, resistance band exercises I have to determine the validity of or if Torture Tony was just effing with me, more cursing, and oh yes….running.  Remember running?  That bastard of a sport that started all this nonsense in the first place?  That activity over which us runner idiots types have no power to ignore, like a mythological siren’s song?   Yeah, that one.

Jackass.

crying runner.png

After sweating and swearing through four weeks of visits to the GUY and Torture Tony, I was as ready as I could be.  I tried to ignore the knots in my gut that kept telling me…

Too bad you didn’t find these guys a year ago.”

You haven’t run further than 9.5 miles before your leg implodes, you know.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“There’s a big, fat Ghiradelli sea salt dark chocolate bar in the freezer.”

“Could you possibly be any more undertrained for this if you tried?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“You’re going to have so much kinesio tape on your leg you may get mistaken for a mummy.”

“Have I mentioned you’re an idiot?”

Next up, the final chapter.  Thrilled this painful journey is almost over aren’t ya?  It’s okay.  I understand.

resting-bitch-face-dog-3

Seriously. Killing me.

Enjoy the ride.

How long have you given a new type of therapy before giving up on it?  Have you ever had to apologize for swearing at your doctor?  Did you find the therapy got a bit more “intense” after unleashing on him/her?  Do you have cute pet names for him/her?

Full Circle…Almost

We came, we saw, we conquered.  Sort of.

wine and dine

So.  We meet again.

If your attention span is in any way even minutely better than mine, then you would know what a big deal this year’s adventure to the Wine and Dine was going to be.  This is going to take a while – and a few episodes – so sit back, grab yourself a nice fat ‘rita, a couple of ice packs, and maybe hook up that TENS unit for a bit.  Because gawd knows my attention-deficient brain won’t be able to hang in there long enough to get through the entire adventure in one shot.  Besides, cliffhangers are more fun anyway.

After #brokeknees Part 1 and 2 finally came to an end – almost – it was time to get on that training train again and start pulling on the whistle.  ‘Cause DAMN, those miles weren’t going to run themselves.  It was time to grab those pretty new pink ASICS and get to work.

After having my “less damaged” knee parts fixed a year ago, (for those of you new to the nonsense, that’s #brokeknee Part 1 in last April AND #brokeknee Part 2 last November.  Because just one knee surgery is never enough), I was over the whole –

a.   You’re not getting any younger so it may take longer to heal

b.   Can’t you just do something else?

c.   You really shouldn’t run, it’s bad for your knees

d.  You need to stop running immediately  kind of moose poop.

(Thank you runner friends for completely GETTING me on this crap).

hug10

Every time I’d think I was FINALLY getting somewhere, something else would go to total crap.  Lessons learned?  Hoka One One’s are NOT knee friendly for this girl.  Next one?  Never settle for just one opinion.  Lesson three:  sometimes being a concrete head (as the hubs often calls me:), can come in damn handy when you have no intention of throwing in the towel.  The biggest lessons I learned?  Husbands and Wonder Mutts can be your biggest supporters, and chiropractors fluent in the language of Active Release Therapy are worth their weight in GOLD.

After what was yet even MOREIAMSOSICKOFTHISDAMNFRIGGINPAININMYKNEES setbacks with my training, I was at my wit’s end.  I had gone back to embracing the Galloway run-walk-run method, was only training two days a week, and fully acknowledged the fact this race would have to be all about finishing the distance and not about the time.  (Or so I at least tried to convince myself. #concretehead).

Then an angel happened to flap her wings in my general direction.

I have a neighbor friend who is as obsessed about running as I am.  The difference is she is actually really good at it.  REALLY good.  She’s a few years older, (falls into that dreaded Masters category), and has consistently finished in the top three at every event she’s competed in.  She’s fast, strong, and could pull off the cover of any fitness magazine WITHOUT any photoshopping needed.

And suddenly found herself riding the injury train right alongside me.

Did I mention we’re good friends and like to share?chagrined_chimp

As my neighbor buddy didn’t really blame me for my need to overshare on the injury front, she did the kind neighborly thing and told me about THIS GUY she had been going to who was doing some really cool stuff to fix her very own case of #brokeknee, including such neat stuff as TENS acupuncture, gua sha, and compression icing.  Photo updates from her visits quickly became a source of “holy crap, that looks….interesting”, “he’s doing WHAT?!”, and a few “what the hell is THAT?!” comments.

Now, being a complete victim of FOMO, I had to get in on this out-of-the-norm rehab action.  The bad thing?  The doc’s office was entirely too geographically undesirable.  As in an entire county and way too much traffic insanity away.  However, said doc worked with another awesome GUY who did the same kind of stuff and had an office in a much more geographically desirable location.  (Insert happy Black Dog dance here.)

seinfeld happy dance

Stay tuned for the next chapter of “WTF is Really Wrong With the Parts and How We’re Finally Going to Fix Them”.  It’s a nail biter.

Seriously.

My literary non-talent has Wonder Mutt gnawing hers off as we speak…..

resting-bitch-face-dog-3

You’re killing me lady.

Enjoy the ride.

 

Have you ever refused to give up when injured?  Have you ever explored “alternative” forms of injury rehab/recovery?  What were they and did they work for you?

Reset.

Sometimes that’s the only thing you can do.

resetbutton

Blogging around these parts for the past year has been sporadic at best, in case you hadn’t noticed.  Between school, my job from hell, and, oh yes, that little ditty called LIFE, my brain was being pulled in so many different directions, it felt like I was coming apart at the seams.  Every damn day was becoming a battle, so much so that the brain had nothing left to vomit.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it just suffered a major meltdown.

stressed

I hope I’m not jinxing myself,  but it seems like things have FINALLY somewhat calmed down, at least to a more respectable level of chaos.  I had to make some hard decisions to try and reduce the stress level, and they seem to be working for the moment.  I was over the whole going to the gym thing – not for any particular reason, just over it.  Without really putting much thought into it, the hubs and I started using that Amazon Prime membership to the extreme and began collecting random sets of free weights.  Then Pilates balls.  Then a weight rack for all those randomly selected weights.  Now a weight bench.  Lo and behold, before we even really noticed, we’ve now got ourselves a sweet little convenient garage gym, complete with live entertainment.

Wonder Mutt gym dog.jpg

“Let’s go lady, I ain’t got all day.”

In all honesty, it’s pretty damn awesome to just walk out the hall door and get a good sweat on, even if it is a million degrees and you’re sweating just breathing.  But when you look down and see this fuzzy face looking at you like you’re insane, it makes it all worth it.

Even if she does occasionally find it necessary to add a little more unnecessary resistance.

As I start really buckling down for November’s Wine and Dine Half, the cross-training aspect is going to play a major part of the training process this time around.  This will be my last Wine and Dine Half, at least for a while, (yes, I AM that whiny one who’s still pissed about all the changes to what was the best race EVER), and I need to be smart about finding the balance between what I hope to accomplish – a 2:00-2:15 half – and nursing the knees along for the first race post #brokeknee surgery x2 (recaps here, here, and here).  Every run so far has been somewhat of a mystery as I get used to a new reality of what strange crap I’m going to feel each time out.  I’ve been assured by my PT, chiro, and two orthos that I’m not doing any more damage to my knees, so I can do whatever I need to do at whatever pain level I can handle, if any.  As opposed to before the surgeries, the pain is now pretty constant, but at such a low level that I barely notice it anymore, unless I move funny and tweak something.  I take this as a win when before, the pain would peak and stay there, making any kind of speed next to impossible.

Pain tolerable was what I was shooting for post surgery, and pain tolerable is what I’ve got. #ftw!

pain tolerable

And it’s all good.

The balance will come into play big time this training cycle around with cross-training.  I need to build up the strength in the muscles surrounding my knees, slowly build up the mileage, and really just listen to what the good ol’ bod is saying.  Feeling too beat up today?  No problem!  Yoga it is.  Feeling that LSD run from a couple of days ago?  Off to the pool we go.  Need some extra muscle cuddle time?  Well, looky what we’ve got here!

Let's go lady

“Move it woman.  These weights ain’t gonna lift themselves.”

She’s a bit of a taskmaster.

The training runs so far have been slow and an exercise in patience, but now I look forward to each one – as opposed to before when I was dreading what would happen around Mile 6.  I’ve made some adjustments to my equipment, (hello compression knee sleeves!), and no longer have to wear the dreaded Monster Brace From Hell.

So the name of the game this time around will be “let’see what’s going on today.”  Not exactly the model of half marathon training plans, but hey, it works for me.  I look forward to every run now, I’m loving life in the land of garage workouts, and I have a new chiro who doesn’t waste her breath telling me I shouldn’t run.  Hopefully, the tropic steaminess will start to back off a little, caution and patience will pay off, the knees will cooperate, and the encouragement I’m getting from the hubby and running friends alike will continue.  I’ll check in along the way and hopefully have more than a few humorous training escapades to report. Until then my running buddies, may your runs be pain-free, the swampass minimal, and the run-ins with Zika skeeters non-existent.

skeeters

Bastards.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Are you currently training for a fall race?  Does your training plan include cross-training?  Are you angry with the changes to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend?

 

 

 

Yes, it’s really a race recap! Sort of…

I know this probably doesn’t sound like any big thing, but keep in mind I haven’t been much of a race girl while getting #brokeknees 1 and 2 fixed.

ice knee1

Don’t miss this nonsense!

Even though I’m not completely pain-free – and knew going into surgery that I may never be again – I have been able to accommodate my somewhat finicky joints.  In other words, keep the pain level to a minimum.  I can run.  Like the whole turtle though peanut butter kind of runs at the moment, but I’m okay with that.  I just keep telling myself the speed will come.  Maybe.  Hopefully.  It’s okay if it doesn’t because I really love peanut butter.

peanut butter turtles

After the fiasco that was the announcement of the new – and big steaming pile of dogpoop of a decision regarding Wine and Dine 2016 – I knew I had to get myself a proof of time to submit by August.  I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to properly train for a half after surgery #2, my old times were just that – too old – so a 10k it would have to be.  And if you live in south Florida, you’re basically screwed.

“Welcome to the Land of All Things 5k.  Because our attention span won’t last long enough for anything longer.”

serious grumpy cat

You suck south Florida…

Thanks to the utter lack of 10k opportunities, I bit the bullet and went with the Down2Earth cross-country series that goes all summer long, with this particular race being held at John U. Lloyd State Park.  Added benefit: they also run a 5k at the same time, so the hubby agreed to suffer right along with me.  What concerned me?  The whole CROSS COUNTRY part.  I haven’t run cross-country since high school.  The hubs has NEVER done cross country jaunts.  This should prove to be interesting, if not entirely life-threatening.

scaredy cat

Not you again…..

If you’re supremely bored and happen to go to the race website, you’ll see our race was held at a lovely sounding location known to locals as Dania Beach.  BEACH.  As in SAND.  LOTS OF FRIGGIN’ SAND.

sand1

Bobcat paw prints included at no additional cost.

Being the wise old runner that I am, (you can stop choking now), I figured it would probably be a good move to at least go down to the park before race day and figure out what the course would be.  You see, there’s only beach, access road, and parking lot.  That’s it.  Intracoastal waterway on one side, and the Atlantic on the other.  So on a balmy Sunday morning, the hubs and I drag our dupas out of bed, loaded up the cooler, and headed on down the road.  We managed to stop one of the park rangers to see if he knew where the course would be.  After all, he IS the park ranger.  If anyone would know, he would.  Right?  Yeahhhhhhh, not so much.  He gave us his best guess and we just flew with it.  Right onto the paw print marked sand as you see here.  I can honestly say I have never cursed so much at one race location in my entire life.  I think the bobcats have permanently vacated the area after hearing what was coming out of this girl’s yap.

It was a good thing we took the morning to do this though, as a couple of weeks later, we were as ready as we could be for more than a few miles in the sand.  The race field was very small, no more than 30-40 runners for both distances combined.  Race directions were simple:  run along the beach access road until you see the yellow tape, run around the tape, then run back to the start.  5k runners go once, 10k runners go twice.  All right, we can handle that.  It’s hot as hell, no breeze, typical south Florida summer humidity, nothing we’re not used to.  We all line up at the start, laugh about how many of us are going to die, gun goes off, and off we go. Into the wild sandy yonder.

The hubs knew I was running for time so he wished me luck and off I went.  Knowing that pacing was going to be a big factor, I did my best to keep the jitters under control and not go out too fast which I excel at doing.  Mistake #1, thinking there would be a water station at the turnaround 1.5 miles out.  Let me just stay this:  every race I have EVER done had a water station around the 1-2 mile mark.  EVERY ONE.  This one?  Not so much.  I got up to the turnaround, saw nothing but stupid yellow tape, and proceeded to say things that made the local snakes drop dead in mid slither.

WHO THE HELL DOESN’T GIVE YOU A WATER STATION AT THE TURNAROUND POINT ON A BEACH RUN???  Oh, wait…..

stooge

This stooge, that’s who.

Now, I put this one all on me.  I should’ve known better when my previous contact with the race director asking if there was going to be a water stop was met with complete silence. Definitely on me.  Lesson learned.  Moving on.

I passed the hubs on the way back and told him of the unfortunate circumstance and warned him that I think I had inadvertently killed a snake with my vocal venom.

“There’s no water at the turnaround.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“I’m a monkey’s friggin’ uncle.”

(We have a special relationship.)

Thankfully, after the final half mile back to the start in the softest sand you could imagine – and mind you this was just at the end of the first loop – they at least had water set up at the start line.  After stopping long enough to gulp down a couple of cups and throw a couple more over my head, off I went for Hell in the Sand part 2.  Which was pretty uneventful and much like Hell in the Sand part 1.  Pretty views of the ocean, lizards looking at us humans like we were nuts – guess they call it like they see it – and for the most part, completely by myself.  Race support?  Non-existent.  (Good thing no one dropped of heatstroke out there, they’d have been screwed).  So I just kept my head down, stopped freaking out over the ugly times I kept seeing on the trusty watch, and thanked the runner gods that the hubs had enough functioning brain cells to fill a bottle he had with water and toss it to me as I passed him for the second time on my way back out.

flashdance-9201.large

Yes, it felt THAT good.  Don’t judge me.

I managed to trudge back out to the turnaround, back through what beautiful little shade there actually was on the access road, out the to hellacious sugar sand along the beach, and finally made the final turn for the promised land.  About 300 yards from the finish, the hubs was standing on the side so I tossed him my iPod, turned on the after burners and hit the line still in an upright position.  I was hoping for a 60 minute finish time, but considering the terrain, I would have been happy to finish in 75.

Imagine my surprise, and somewhat sweaty delight, when I was told I had actually finished in 64 minutes, and good enough for 2nd place female! (Which sadly, once the results were posted on the website I was bumped down to 3rd place, but hell, I’LL TAKE IT!)

June 18 race1.jpg

(Smiling thinking about the post-race margarita.)

So here’s my takeaway from the Down2Earth 5 and 10k Cross-Country Run:

  1.   Ability to see the course online prior to race day – zip
  2.   Questioned answered by race director prior to race day – dog poop
  3.   On course race support – nada
  4.   Would I do it again? – perhaps

Here’s why that last one isn’t a flat out no.  I found out afterwards this was the first time this race was held at this location.  Normally they’re put on at Oleta State Park in Miami.  I’ve taken my bike there a few times and the park trails are CONSIDERABLY more runner friendly than at John U. Lloyd.  I got the impression when the race director was telling us about the races at Oleta, and proceeded to wave his hand at the sand and say “there’s no running in this kind of crap at Oleta”, that he wasn’t happy about the conditions either.  The only hangup for us?  Lloyd Park is only about a half hour away from our humble abode.  Oleta is a little more than an hour.  And in Miami.  MIAMI.  Trust me, not NEARLY as glamorous and these guys made it look.

The ending of the story?  I got my proof of time for Disney.  I got to run a race again, with the hubs.  I haven’t been able to do that in years.  Neither of us died.  I got a medal.  I know now that I have the verbal ability to scare away bobcats and shock snakes to death with my vocal venom.  ALL GOOD THINGS.

June 18 medal1

The aches and pains we felt over the next few days in places that neither of us knew we could be achy and painy from running in the sand?  Well.  That’s a story for another day.

Enjoy the ride.

 

Have you ever been disappointed with support at a race?  Have you ever done an entire race in the sand?  What are the worst conditions you’ve ever tun in?

When Running Is About More Than Yourself

Hey!  Look what I found!  My blog! Yayyyyyyy!!!!!

yay turtle

Yipppeeeee!!!!!

I know it’s been a crazy long time since I’ve regaled you all with tales of my shenanigans, but fear thee not!  I’m back. Pretty much.  Still trying to coordinate all the nonsense that makes life….well…LIFE.  Hang in there my faithful peeps.  I have all kinds of glorious tales lined up for you.  Stress, school, shenanigans, surgeries, spinning, puppies, paddleboarding, trips, and general madness and mayhem, just to name a few.  I’ll be catching you up on all the latest and greatest in the chaos that is the Black Dog world.  But that is for another day.

Right now though, it’s time for what shall be a glorious Black Dog return to racing! (Please keep in mind I consider complete and utter gloriousness simply putting one foot in front of the other for more than 8 feet without falling flat on my face).  After three months of pavement-less days, I have returned to my first love.  And I’m not talking just Moose Tracks, mutts, and margaritas here people.  Nope, uh huh, no way.  We’re talking honest to goodness RACING.  Like with a bunch of other peeps racing.  People ALL AROUND THE WORLD RACING.  AT THE SAME TIME!

“What are these shenanigans you speak of Black Dog?” you may ask.  Well, let me tell ya.  One thing that has always meant so much to me and a lot of other runners  too, is running for those who can’t.  Believe you me kiddos, knowing there are so many people out there who are unable to take even one step has helped me get through many a mile when all I wanted to do was call it quits.  That’s why my first race after Knee Gate Part II means so much.  Thanks to fellow Browardite and shenanigator Hokeyboy, I found out about this uber cool race that has NO FINISH LINE.  Crazeeee, right?!?  How can a race have no finish line, Black Dog?” you may ask.  Well, LET ME TELL YA.

Wings for Life World Run is just that – a world run.  On May 8th, runners from all over this hunk of rock we call home will be taking to the streets to run while raising funds for spinal cord injury research.  The coolest part?  100% of all registration fees and funds raised go to research.  How awesomesauce is THAT kidaroonies?!?  And that no finish line thingamahoozie?  Well, you just keep running until the official Chase Car catches up to you!  Yeppers kiddies, a chase car!  Thirty minutes after the runners cross the start line, the car is hot on the trail.  Okay, maybe “hot” isn’t exactly accurate.  More like turtle pace speeds to start.  Then each hour, it speeds up just a little more until the fastest runner is caught.

No, no, not THAT kind of caught sillykins.  Getting caught is actually a good thing!  “Why is that Black Dog?” you may ask.  Well, LET ME TELL YA.  Once you get passed, you the get to hop on a party barge!  Said party barge then takes you back to the start to engage in further post-race party shenanigans!  Party shenanigans that include shenanigating with the very peeps your donation money is helping out!

Now, from what I understand from Hokeyboy’s review of this most amazing day, meeting those whom your generosity is helping can be quite an emotional experience.  (Cue the sappy tears just thinking about it here.  It’s okay,  No judging from this Mistress of Sappiness.)  It can definitely help keep things in perspective when you’re having one of those runs and just want to throw in the shoelaces.  At least it does for this Queen of Busted Knees and Ibuprofen. As crappy a run as you may be having, at least you’re running.  Which is a whole lot more than those suffering from spinal cord injuries can do.

wheelchairs

You know what’s coming now my faithful followers.  Time for me to appeal to the generous hearts I know so many of you have.  Since I needed to make my return to racing about something so much bigger than just a pair of somewhat recovered #brokeknees, it seemed only appropriate to help those who can’t race today, maybe race some day.  And I need your help to do just that.

I’ve set up the Team Wonder Mutt page here.  As I’ve never been very good at this whole asking people for money thing, I set a very modest goal amount of $200 to start,  Imagine my surprise when, after only a week, I had already met that goal! (Thank you so so much to my friends and family who already donated!  You guys ROCK!)  Never being one to settle for mediocrity, what I’d like to do now is see just how much you guys can help me DOUBLE my goal amount!  Yes, my faithful Black Dog Bubbykins!  You go right ahead, pull out those credit cards that have just recovered from Christmas, and DONATE AWAY!  I promise it will result in nothing more than a warm, fuzzy feeling inside from helping those who want nothing more than simply to put one foot in front of the other.  And in the immortal words of Larry the Cable Guy, let’s…..”GIT ER DONE!”

wings for life

Let me take a moment and extend a very, very warm thank you to those who have already donated and to those of you who are already pulling out the plastic.  You guys are a big part of why I love this sport so much, and put up with all the aches, pains, and surgeries that I do.  If it wasn’t for you, a lot more people would never be able to put one foot in front of the other ever again.

For more information on this amazing event, please visit the Wings for Life World Run page here.  I promise, you’ll be glad you did.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever participated in a race like this?  Do you try to make your running about something bigger than yourself?  How did it make you feel?

 

Run All The Miles…Without Any Pain!

Or at least start with a couple.  Especially since you’re only 66 days out.

Oh dear....

Oh dear….

I figured it was time for an update.  One that I’ve been putting off.  If for no other reason than I didn’t want to admit – to myself or anyone else – that I’ve been suffering.  A LOT.  Even this post was pretty much scratching the surface of how scared I’ve been.  Scared that I felt like I was in more pain than even BEFORE #KneeGate2015, and it wasn’t going to get any better.  Scared that it would get so bad that Wine and Dine was going to end being a pipe-dream-I’m-gonna-have-to-pull-the-deferral-card kind of terror.  Most of all, scared that my damn #brokeknee either wasn’t fixed or worse, that I had #brokekneed it AGAIN.

scared Jerry

Nooooooo!!!!!!

Alas, it was all for naught.

That’s right.

Naught.

Nada.

Zippo.

Zero.

Zilch.

NOTHING.

Thanks in no small part to…well…a small part.

Hello beautiful.

No, this is NOT my knee. It’s a stunt knee.

Let me give you a quick rundown as to what this little strappy thing is all about.  On a training run after what I believe was me pushing it too hard at PT one day, I started suffering some majoroso underknee pain.  Celebrex, ice, EMS, my old giant knee brace, nothing worked.  Not.A.Damn.Frigging.Thing.  So what came next?  What usually seems to.  Lots of tears and lots of anger, accented by my usual litany of colorful language.

Then, in a last-ditch effort before picking up the phone and racking up yet ANOTHER doctor visit bill, I hit up the ever so trusty Team #runDisney Facebook page.  And therein I found the Moose Tracks to soothe my angst.

Ahhhhhhh......

Ahhhhhhh……

One of my fellow TrD’ers suggested I try this. The main complaint for runners who use this is a nifty little pain in the dupa – or in this case, under the kneecap – known as patellar tendinitis.  Being a gold star member of the Amazon Prime Is My Crack club, I went online, read the reviews, and decided what the heck.  If it doesn’t work, I’m only out $15 bucks and no worse off than I already was.

Having only gotten one run in this past weekend after battling a case of the plague, I wasn’t expecting too much.  Then…

I started to run.

And had hardly.any.pain.

Angels were singing.

(And Bon Jovi.)

It was heavenly.

HallelujahSquirrel

Now.  I’m trying to stay level-headed about all this.  After all, it WAS only one run.  And breathing was quite an adventure. (Remember? Post-plague.)  And apparently it was lead leg day.  However, instead of a pain level of 9 to start, it was more like a 3.  And I’ll take a 3 over a 9 ANY.DAMN.DAY.

So this is the plan for the remaining, ever-so-quickly dwindling available training days until November 7th.  Keep it to mainly 2 running days a week, with a few 3-a-week thrown in there to make up for lost time. (Don’t forget, I still have to deal with #KneeGate2015 Part II after W&D).  Keep up with lots of ice time, EMS time, foam rolling, and PT exercises.  I HATE the possible side effects of Celebrex, but may start taking them daily the week before race day, just to build it up in my system, but that’s still up for debate.  After all that, guess we’ll just see how it goes.  I’m hopeful and cautiously optimistic.  And hoping for a big fat dose of pain-killing pixie dust.  All wrapped up in a pretty little strap.  Maybe I’ll even add some sparkles….

Do your thing girl.

Do your thing girl.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever had the simplest piece of equipment cure your pain, or at the very least minimize it?  Do you believe that most of your pain can be controlled by your brain?  Does the pain threshold of pro athletes shock the hell out of you?  Jealous?

Stubborn Has Its Place

I swear sometimes the gods are out to get me.  Not out of some bizarre sense of paranoia, or some weird case of the planets not aligning properly, and a moon being the wrong house, (or some such astrological oddity), I just really think something is doing it’s best to try my non-existent sense of patience.  And I’m OVER IT.

over it

#KneeGate2015 aside, it seems lately as though this great big beautiful – often pain in my dupa – thing called life, seems to occasionally thrive on upsetting the apple cart.  Over and over and over again.  And over.  Like Groundhog Day over.  Let’s review the recent past shall we?  Then you can tell me if I’m just being paranoid.  Or whiney.  Okay, that part is true.  Humor me.

  1. Approximately two weeks after getting the all clear to get back to running, and having a couple of the most glorious short runs I’ve had in years, after a particularly tough run on the dreadmill at PT, the pain-free gloriousness came to a screeching halt.
  2. The stress level in my job has shot through the roof.  Big company takes over little company because little company was damn good at what it did, and did it EFFICIENTLY.  Now THERE’S a word unheard of in said big company.  Hence, Burj Khalifa roof-sized stress.
  3. Go to Key West, meet up with professional body builder/personal trainer/BFF since kindergarten, gain some badly needed inspiration, return home ready to hit the gym/pavement with a renewed sense of purpose, and CATCH A DUPA-KICKING COLD.

See what I’m saying?

unbelievable

All right.  Enough of THAT crap.

Now that I’ve got all the whiny bitching out of my system, time for one of my favorite mantras…..MOVING ON.  I’m on the upside of my once-a-year case of the plague, the knees are feeling much less achy, and work is….well…..work.  I hate it, but it does keep a roof over my head, food in the Wonder Mutt’s bowl, and Disney addictions paid for, so I can’t really complain TOO much.

heavy sighReally, all of this is just built up aggravation – and a good-sized chunk of worry – that Wine and Dine is only (gulp!) 76 days away.  Even though I’m not worried about time this time around, I AM worried about hitting the mileage with training time to spare.  So far, I’ve only hit 5k, and it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out I don’t have a whole lotta time to get those miles chewed up and spit out.  Am I having a bit of a freak out?  Oh yeah.  Will I pull my head out of my ass and get over it?  Probably.  Do I have a choice but to do just that?  Nope.

nope grumpy cat

Deal with it stupid human.

So this is how it’s gonna go.  This whiny chica is going to pull on her big girl panties, (now there’s an image you won’t be able to get out of your head, sorrynotsorry), take another dose of vitamin C and echinacea, smack a Ronda Rousey attitude into her head, and get this show on the road.  The gods may be trying to test me and test me good, but there’s enough stubbornness, determination, and just plain bull-headedness to get past all this crap.  Just ask the hubby.  He doesn’t call me concrete-head just because he loves me.

I love you. Really. I do. Really.

I love you. Really. I do. Really.

Enjoy the ride.

How do you handle all the crap life throws at you?  Do you have a stubborn streak or do you tend to just let things bounce off of you?  Any sage words of advise for an impatient, mule-headed, obstinate runner?

What To Do, What To Do

Well, after a two-week running hiatus – AGAIN – I hit the road this weekend.  And it SUCKED.  Like somebody please just shoot me and put me out of misery sucked.

I am NOT happy.

I am NOT happy.

Let me bore you with the deets.  Rewind back a couple of weeks to one of my last physical therapy visits.  I hit their dinosaur of a treadmill and hit it hard (here).  After that, the knee was feeling a bit wonky, so I laid off for a couple of weeks.  I was still working out my legs on the machines, getting my miles done on the stationary and recumbent bikes, and even dusted off my trusty bike trainer.

Hello beautiful.

Hello beautiful.

Should I have laid off the lower body work altogether?  I don’t know.  But when the hubby and I headed out for an easy two miles, I thought Ronda Rousey was still fighting and landing karate chops to my the top of my #brokeknee.  It was actually a little worse than right after the first time this popped up post-PT dreadmill day, but I also knew it would eventually calm down once I had warmed up.  Not completely go away, but at least get tolerable.  Fast forward to about a mile and half, and without even really thinking about it, I picked up the pace a little bit and finished up relatively strong.  Then back home, on ice, stim, and good old Tylenol.  Not that it does a thing to alleviate the pain.

ouch flynn

Herein lies my conundrum.  Both PT Pam and the surgeon said I can’t screw up what he fixed, so that makes me feel a little better about my current state of affairs.  The first two runs back before the PT dreadmill incident felt GREAT.  So great I was hitting paces I hadn’t seen since high school.  Now, it’s worse – at the run’s start – then it was when all this #brokeknee crap started.  Is this just residual whatever left over from the dreaded dreadmill incident?  Have I messed up something ELSE now?  Is this just my knee’s way of saying, “I’ll let you get back to it, but not before I remind you who’s REALLY running this running show?”  I guess the only way to figure this out is to keep running and see what happens over the next couple of weeks.  If it doesn’t back off, then I just may try a few laser therapy visits.  AGAIN.  I am just SO sick of APPOINTMENTS.

nope grumpy cat

No more damn appointments. Unless Moose Tracks is involved.

I’m just going to hang in there and see what happens.  To be completely honest though, I am a bit S-C-A-R-E-D, but I’m trying to fight that off and not have a total freakout over it.  Any clouds of healing pixie dust you may have just hanging around, please feel free to throw it to any Florida-bound winds.  It would be very much appreciated.

Please?  Thank you!

Please? Thank you!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this four months post-surgery?  Any advice for a mildly freaked out runner girl?  Am I just overthinking this or do I just need to calm the heck down?

What A Difference A (Few) Days Make

Remember how I was trying not to get too freaked out about this?  Well, a few days of rest, and a few days at the gym, and I think I’m back to where I should be.

Yes! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!!

Yes! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!!

I’m still giving it another week before I run again, but in the meantime, I’ve been hitting the weights.  HARD.  Like post leg day penguin waddle hard.

leg day waddle

Yep. That’s me.

I even busted out my dinosaur of an indoor bike trainer and cranked out a few miles in my sauna of a garage, while watching the final stage of the Tour de France.  I like to be inspired by all the muscley legs and overpriced fancy wheels.  Unlike this bargain basement beast.

She may be ugly, but I love her.

She may be ugly, but I love her.

I’ve even busted out that byatch of a foam roller at PT Pam’s advice, and as always, ice is my constant companion.  Isn’t it amazing how much better a mindset you can have with just a little bit of reduction in pain?  Even if you’re scaring your mutt with words coming out of your yap that would make a sailor blush in the process?

Excuse me, WHAT did you just say???

Excuse me. WHAT did you just say???

The plan for the next few weeks is to keep working the beejesus out of my legs, get back on the road again, and start building up that mileage.  S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I’ve got 102 days until Wine and Dine so I can’t go TOO slowly, but I’m not going to risk injuring #brokeknee part II before I can get it fixed, hopefully a few days after Wine and Dine.  Maybe by then, I’ll have actually paid off #brokeknee part I.  A girl CAN dream after all….

debt

If I haven’t already bored you to tears with the snail’s pace of my post-surgery shenanigans, hang in there.  I promise to litter my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds with all kinds of silly, feather-brained, muddle-headed miles.  (I have no idea what muddle-headed even means, but it sounded good.)  And who knows?  Somewhere along the way, I may even find that running doesn’t have to hurt quite so much as it has in the past.  Not really sure what to make of that.  Hmmmm….

hmm

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever found that a little rest and NOT running actually HELPED your running?  How long before you felt truly comfortable back on the road again?  Have you ever cursed so much you made your critters blush?

Setbacks: A Study in Patience

Of which I have none.

impatient

So here’s the dealio.  Just as I’m about to break up with PT Pam, #brokeknee decides to act up.  BIG time.  I’d been pushing my speed for short bursts during my last few runs.  If for no other reason than I haven’t been able to do any speed work for years.  Yes, you read that right.  YEARS.  Soooo, last Monday at my PT session, PT Pam puts me on the treadmill.  Where, once again, I say to myself, “Self?  Let’s see what you can do on this horrible thing, shall we?”  Now, knowing the speed on the dreadmill is WAY off in comparison to the pretty little numbers I’ve been seeing on my trusty GPS, I kept hitting the speed plus button.  And hitting it.  And hitting it again.  All the way to that lovely point I lovingly call the death pace.  You know the one.  The speed where lead legs kick in, stitches stick in your side, and breathing is a long-lost, fond memory.

C'mon Bridge, we got this.

C’mon Bridge, we got this.”

I had that blasted machine going faster than what it was telling me, and I started to suspect I hadn’t moved my dupa that fast since I was about 12.  But, I managed to keep it going at breakneck speed for a couple of minutes.  As I kicked it back for a cooldown, I started feeling a bit of discomfort in the spot.  You know. The SPOT.  The one started all this aggravation many, many, many moons ago.

Later that night and into the next day, that old familiar ache was back.  And I was PISSED.  When I went back to PT Pam a couple of days later – for what was SUPPOSED to be our big breakup – I was still pissed.  She figured I’d aggravated my….wait for it…..IT BAND.  (Cue dramatic music here).  You know what I’m talking about.  The same no-good IT band I thought was the source of all this crap for the past few years.  Yeah….THAT one.  I swear sometimes I’m cursed.

Angry bird's got nothing on me.

Angry bird’s got nothing on me.

All that bitchin’ aside, I’m happy to report the ache has subsided quite a bit, but my first run back beachside wasn’t nearly as pleasant as I would have liked.  Thank goodness the hubby ran with me.  (I don’t think he realizes how much he pushes me just by being next to me.  And that is a very good thing.  Just don’t tell him, I wouldn’t want it to go to his head.:)

I’m trying to take all of this in stride – no pun intended – and stop all the crazy thoughts of here we go friggin’ again – from racing around in my already overloaded, game-show-dollar-machine brain.  I’m yelling “plot twist!” and changing up the game for a couple of weeks.  I’m headed to the Keys in a few weeks and there’s no way I’m NOT running in that tropical paradise.  In order to get me there, the game plan will be all about biking, swimming, and walking.  I’m still going to breakup with PT Pam tomorrow, but I feel good about it.  Especially since I can do all the exercises on my own, and have pulled out and dusted off my trusty little muscle stim machine and foam roller.  Oh, and did I mention hitting the leg weights?  HARD?  If there’s one thing this runner chick has learned, it’s to embrace the sweat, pain, and tears of the cross-train.

leg day toilet

Any words of encouragement would come in pretty handy right now, so feel free to share any interesting, inspiring, little ditties of wisdom.  Or you can just yell at me to quit my whining and get my ass back in gear.  You wouldn’t be the first.  If you happened to be peeking in my bedroom window yesterday you would’ve seen me doing the same thing in the mirror.  BEFORE I called the cops about some creep peeking in my window.  But thanks for the good intentions.  Creep.

Enjoy the ride.

What inspiring words of wisdom do you have for a friend in need?  Are you the arm-around-the-shoulders type of or more the Jillian-Michaels-scream-your-head-off type?  What do you respond to more?  Are you a fountain of patience or ready to ram your head through the door after a minor setback in training?

Oh Happy, Happy Day!

Who would’ve ever thunk running a mere mile and half could make me smile like this?

Whooo hooo!!

Whooo hooo!!

Wanna know the cause for all this silliness?  Huh?  Huh? Wanna? Wanna? Wannawannawannawannawanna?????

Okay.

If I must.

(Like I can keep it in any longer.)

boom

PT Pam gave a thumbs up to start adding about a half mile to my mileage every week for the next month – which conveniently will bring me right about to where I start officially training for Wine and Dine.  MY plan, which I kinda sorta maybe quite accidentally fell in to, has me pushing my pace at the shorter distances.  I figure if I can give a little donkey kick to the conditioning now – you know, in the UNGODLY SOUTH FLORIDA HEAT AND HUMIDITY – it’ll make things just a tad bit easier down the road.  HA!  Get it?  “Down the road”?  Gawd I crack myself up!

Wha? Huh? Wha's so funny?

Wha? Huh? Wha’s so funny?

I’ve been finding it takes me about a half mile to get everything loosey-goosey and past the initial “what the eff are you doing lady?” phase I think most of us go through at the start of a run.  It used to take me a bit longer to settle in, but I’m finding by doing more dynamic stretching pre-run – front, side, back kicks, hip circles, and twists – that I settle in a little faster.  So much so that about a half mile in, I can begin to kick up the pace a bit.  And the UH-MAZE-ING part?  I’ve been able to kick up the pace to one that……wait for it……I HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE (well, at least since high school anyway, many, many, MANY moons ago).  Now, keeping things in perspective, I can only maintain that pace for about a minute to a minute and a half, but to my previously slower-than-molasses bones, it’s a start.  A HUGE start.  And one that I’m hoping I can continue to build on.

“Let’s get that four-minute mile one up here, shall we.”
“Who are you kidding?!?”

It’s going to be tough to practice what I preach about building mileage slowly – especially with what my GPS has been telling me.  BUT, knowing how rough I felt at the end of the run will help keep me in check.  Can you say “holy hell I feel like a cow kicked me under my new and improved bionic knee cap”?  Thankfully after about an hour and a bit of ice therapy, everything was right as Moose Tracks again.  And that makes this Black Dog very, very happy.

This is my happy face.

This is my happy face.

This will be my 1.5 mile week and I hope that my knees – and times – continue to hold up as well as can be expected.  I’m also breaking up with PT Pam this week as I think we’ve pretty much gotten me to where I need to be, and also looking down the road to #KneeGate2015 Part II, I need to save some PT visits on my insurance.  I can honestly say that I cannot wait until early next year when hopefully all of this knee nonsense can finally become a thing of the past, and I can really start work on dropping those numbers on the clock.  And then……who knows?

WDW Marathon

Stranger things have happened.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever taken a break from running and upon returning, found your strength – and spirit – renewed?  Did it last or did the newness of it all fade quickly?  Were you impatient to do too much too soon, to see how your body would react?  How did it end up working out?