Friday Funny

We’re officially in final countdown mode for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, so what better way to honor this longstanding tradition than by paying homage to that wonderful little creation…..the grape.

ff-wine

Enjoy the ride.

Show of paws – who’s going to be part of the upcoming madness in November?  How many of you have your last long run/taper run this weekend?  Who’s completely befuddled about what time to actually get up that morning with the time change taking place the same day?

You’ve Been A Long Time Coming

Hello beautiful.

Hello beautiful.

Yes.  Yes.it.happened.  IT.  Yeah, THAT it.  The IT that involves putting one foot in front of the other at a pace fast enough to elevate one’s heart rate.  And, seeing as this IS south Florida – and it’s officially summertime in south Florida – cause one’s body to sweat.  Gallons.  Buckets. Pacific Ocean kind of buckets.  And every ache, pain, and salty river of sweat flowing into my eyeballs was nothing short of absolutely glorious.

HallelujahSquirrel

I won’t bore you with all the nasty, sweaty, smelly, gory details, but let me just throw a couple of deets at you.  I was under strict orders to stop when it hurt – yeah, OKAY – and not go more than a mile.  The hubs was kind enough to go with me, and agreed to run the loop around our community, then pick me up on the back side of his mileage.  So as I laced up my besties and donned the necessary running accessories…

Hi girls!

Hi girls!

…I tried not psych myself out too much.  After all, it HAS been 8 months since I’ve raced, and 2 months since I’ve even attempted a short mileage casual run.  It only seemed fitting that my partner in crime welcome me back to the road, encouraging and keeping an eye on me the whole time.  And he sure as hell wasn’t going to let me go more than the one mile PT Pam had cleared me to go.  So in 86% humidity and 93 degree heat, off we went.  Some of the locals even came out to say hello.  Sort of.

Well, you know what I mean.

Hey lady, got any food?

The knee felt a little shaky and I found my balance to be a little “off”.  And of course, not be outdone, the other knee decided to make sure it was well known that it still has to be fixed and acted up a bit.  I’m still not sure what that was all about, except I spent a half hour on the recumbent bike at the gym Saturday, and neither of my broke knees seemed to appreciate much after I got off of it.  (Note to self: stay away from the blasted recumbent bike.  It shall be your undoing.)

So I stuck to the allowed mileage, only had to stop to walk twice, and figure I managed to keep chugging along like the Little Engine That Could for about three-quarters of a mile.  Hardly worth writing home about, but girlfriend’s gotta start somewhere, right?

Yes, those ARE paw prints on the path.  Because that's how we roll in south FLA.

Yes, those ARE paw prints on the path. Because that’s how we roll in south FLA.

And what introductory run would be complete with out a proper cool down?

Where'd those ducks go?

Where did those ducks go?

The next few weeks will be all about finding my balance and form again.  I’ll still be visiting PT Pam a couple of times a week and developing a plan of attack to get me through to Wine and Dine while babying #brokeknee Part II.  I may just have to try and pull this off with only two runs a week, but thankfully, we have a little bit of time to figure it out.  For the immediate future though, it’ll be one mile runs a couple of times a week for the next few, and then we shall see what comes next.  Knowing I have the hubs, Team Can Am, and a certain little Black Dog on my side though, I know one thing’s for sure.

I GOT THIS.

I got your back Mom.

I got your back Mom.  Don’t know what a back is, but I got it.

Enjoy the ride.

How was your first run back after a break?  Were you nervous?  Did it feel great, like crap, or both?  Any ducks along the way?  Or cannonballs into a random body of water afterwards?

You Don’t Have To Run To Be A Princess

But it sure comes in handy if you do.

Tiara

For the past couple of months, I had been scheming to make the trip north to cheer on my fellow #Chewsday Chicas – Kellie, Lisa, and Nicole – as they ran the final leg of the Glass Slipper Challenge aka the Princess Half Marathon, last weekend.  I’ve never gone to Disney as just a race spectator, and in all honesty, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it once I got there, seeing as how running is still off-limits for me.  But the prospect of seeing my Wine and Dine Support Crew again, and FINALLY getting to meet the Can portion of Team Can-Am, was enough to bring the excitement level up considerably.

After spending a couple of nights putting a LOT of effort into designing the perfect race signs for each of my chicas, and scouring the store aisles for the perfect post-race recovery snacks, I was ready to hit the road.  Confession:  I was in bed the night before the race by 8pm and spent the entirety of the evening constantly waking up due to the typical pre-race nightmare of sleeping through my alarm.  Ironically, even though I set the alarm for 0430 hours Sunday morning, it NEVER WENT OFF.  Thank goodness the hubby got up to go to the bathroom moments later and told me to get my dupa up, otherwise I would’ve ended up in total meltdown status.

"Whaddya mean I overslept?!?"

“Whaddya mean I overslept?!?”

Let’s just take a quick side trip here: we were staying with friends who live about a half hour from Disney.  The quickest way to get to Disney is through no-man’s land.  Literally.  I drove in on a highway with no lights, no civilization, and no other traffic.  I kept waiting for some freaky being from one of those creepy horror movies to jump out in front of me, sending my truck off the embankment, only to wake up in the evil clutches of some psychopathic nutcase like in the movie Saw.  I know.  I have a severely overactive brain at 5 o’clock in the morning when I don’t know where I’m going and the DAMN GPS CAN’T FIND THE DAMN SATELLITE.

Happily though – because of course, all things end happily where Disney is concerned – I FINALLY made it to the finish line, signs and snacks in hand, with plenty of time to spare. I was lucky enough to snag a pretty sweet spot about 200 yards before the finish line, and was able to watch as Tink – I mean Lauren – crossed the finish line at the 1:22 mark.  WOW.  (I had a picture, but she was so fast, she was nothing but a blur.  Not really, but it sounded good.  More like operator error.)

It wasn’t much later though when Princess Lisa kicked some serious dupa and crossed the finish line with a big smile on her face.  (Actually, she was trying not to puke, but it’s my blog and I can write what I want.)  Somehow, she did manage to find me in the sardine can of bodies I ended up in the middle of, and we were able to preserve the moment for posterity.  Lucky you.

Forgot my cool shades but remembered the tiara!

Forgot my cool shades but remembered the tiara!

One thing I have found is I may have a big yap, but my voice just does not carry.  I was screaming my head off for Lisa when I saw her run by, but there was no way she could hear me.  (Note to self: purchase a megaphone for future spectating opportunities.  Unless you have one I can borrow.  Thanks.)

Not long after, Princesses Kellie and Nicole crossed the finish line and really DID have smiles on their faces.  (However, I suspiciously think that was due more to the prospect of soon ingesting the gummy bears and pretzel crisps I had in my possession, than actually finishing the race.)

Whatever the reason, 90% of Team Can-Am was together, (again), with the exception of Rae, (well, we DID have flat Rae with us. See?)  And just look at those great race signs!

Princesses1

All in all, psychopathic drive through no-man’s land aside, spectating the Princess Half Marathon was a blast, especially knowing that my girls were out there on the course having a great time – minus the puke factor of course.  I would highly recommend that if you have someone special running any race – Disney or otherwise – get your dupa out there and cheer them on!  Even if they don’t see/hear you, you can still obtain hero status.  It’s all in the post race snack choices.  Who knew.

Hero worthy.

Hero material.  Seriously.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever played race spectator?  Did you provide inspirational signs and snacks?  Anyone puke on your shoes?  

Who Says You Have To BE There?

So yesterday, THIS happened!

Yeah, we're bad ass.

Yeah, we’re bad ass.

Nicole kicked dupa running her second – yes SECOND Dopey Challenge – and Kellie?  Well, Kellie ran her first marathon EVER.  AFTER running a half on Saturday.  Yes, psycho puppy decided to run her very first 26.2 as part of the Goofy Challenge.  Goofy?  Yeah, I’d say so.  Just a little bit.

Garsh!  Whatever made me think to run 39.3 miles?!?

Garsh! Whatever made me think to run 39.3 miles?!?

But the best part of the whole day?  Even though the Accountabilibuddies couldn’t all be there in person to cheer on our girls, we were able to keep the fun going anyway.  Thanks to smart phones, fantastic song lyric recall abilities, and runner tracking, we were able to keep Team Can-Am laughing, in great spirits, and feel like we were right beside them.  Even through Kellie’s semi-meltdown around mile 14.

What’s wrong with our girl Nicole?

Oh, you know.  Just a little marathon pain.  She thought this would be easy and comfortable.

Silly Kellie.

But all was once again right with the world once a grapefruit beer was consumed.  Prior to crossing the finish line of course.

"Yes, all is right in my world."

“Yes, all is right in my world.”

And who couldn’t be happier for being just a bit Dopey?  In a really good way of course.  Not dopey like….well….you know.  A dope.

"I'm Dopey!  And I like it!"

“I’m Dopey. And I like it!”

Of course all of this gushing, (and the multiple subsequent texts of “you’re next!”), really does make me set my brain even more on completing 26.2.  Someone just needs to get that message across to these friggin’ things…

Who?  US?!?

Who? US?!?

Let me be the first to congratulate ALL the runners from this past weekend.  If you ran one race or all of them, set a new PR or got swept, it doesn’t matter.  You got off the couch, you raised who knows how many thousands of dollar for charity, you battled your demons, and you have every right to look at yourself in the mirror tomorrow and be proud of yourself.  And feel free to have a Mickey muffin on me.  Or #drinkallthedrinks.  On me, of course.  I’m good like that.

Hello beautiful.

Hello beautiful.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Congratulations runners?  Did you run all the races and get all the bling?  Which races did you run?  Was it the best time ever or do you want to erase it from your running memory?  Will you go back and try it again?

Okay everybody. Get Set. Hug Your Dog!

Calypso has a boyfriend.  Actually she has a couple of them.  Who can blame her?  Just LOOK at her.

Hi there!

Hi there!

One of her fave guys is Ollie from Running With Ollie.  Ollie is just the handsomest boy who lives with his mom Lea, in Texas.

Do you think this is my good side?

Do you think this is my good side?

 And Auntie Lea told us yesterday that January is National Hug Your Dog Month!  Who knew?!

puppy love

Now, many times our mutts don’t really appreciate this human display of affection.  They see it as you trying to dominate them, so say the experts.  It’s the butt scratchies and belly rubs that rule the Laws of Affection in this Black Dog House.  Wonder Mutt has shamelessly placed her butt underneath an unsuspecting dangling hand on many an occasion, in an attempt to obtain said aforementioned butt scratchies.  Shocking.  I know.

A little to the left please.

A little to the left please. Ahhhhhh……

But whatever form of affection your dog prefers, just make sure to let them know they are loved, protected, and rule the roost. (Even if they really don’t.)  It’ll do wonders for their non-existent egos, but will go a long way for getting them to do what you want them do in the first place.

Sit here and look silly?  Got it!

Sit here and look adorable? Got it!

So from Calypso the Wonder Mutt and all of us here at Black Dog Productions, we wish all our canine friends and Happy and Healthy Hug – or Scratch the Butt of – Your Dog Month!

I love you man....

I love you man….

 

Enjoy the ride.

How do you show your dog affection?  Do they like it or simply tolerate their embarrassing human’s attentions?  You know they’re utterly humiliated when they’re hugged in front of all their doggy friends.

And Just Like That…

Hard to believe it’s already been almost a year since this disaster…

20140111_091931

I can barely walk but I’ll give you a cheesy smile anyway!

Let me start off by saying I had no intention whatsoever of running the Donald Half during Marathon Weekend.  None. Nuttin’. Nada.  But when a running buddy – who I think has never had a bad run in her life – says “hey, there’s a bunch of us running over marathon weekend, come join us”, who am I to say no?  An idiot, that’s who.  Still on a high from a great-for-me Wine and Dine Half, the thought of doing a second runDisney event looked oh-so-appealing.  Um, yeah.  Not so much.  6 miles in, IT bands on the fritz, and an emotional breakdown along whatever freakin’ road I was on, and I was done.

Cooked bird. Complete with timer. Yup, that's me.

Stick a fork in me, I’m done. Complete with timer. Yup, that’s me.

Pissed off, in pain, and ready to knock the teeth out of my knees, does not a good Black Dog combination make on race day.  So. Moving on, I took four months off, jumped out of my skin until this proud moment…

She's baaaaccccckkkkk!!!!

She’s baaaaccccckkkkk!!!!

…and had what I thought was, for the most part, a pretty darn good training cycle for the Wine and Dine Half.  And then…dunh dunh duuuunnnnnhhhhh, (insert dramatic music here)…..

Dammit!

Dammit! Not AGAIN!?!

And if wasn’t for these two nuts…

We roooccckkkk!!!

KELLIE AND NICOLE.  BEST. ROAD CREW. EVER.

…and this one big nut…

Nauseating, aren't we?

Nauseating, aren’t we?

I doubt very much I would have made it across the finish line.

Now here I am, this time on a doctor-imposed running hiatus, and ready to crawl out of my skin. AGAIN.  The question of the hour being where do I go from here?  Try not to think about what The Man might have to say in a couple of months?  Make myself all crazy every time I go to the gym and see everyone else doing everything I want to be doing but it’s against doc’s orders?  Bury my new-found misery in a giant bowl of Moose Tracks?

Yes, please, I'll have another.

Okay, maybe THAT wouldn’t be so bad.

And just like that, we’re at the end of another year.  One that seems to me – at least runningwise – to have had more downs than ups.  At least though, on the personal front, there were plenty more smiles and laughter than there were tears.  New race experiences, new partners in crime, new locations visited, a few new wines tasted – okay a LOT of new wines tasted – and new plans to look forward to in 2015.

2015

And just like that…..

happy-dog

Cheesy Grin. The Sequel.

 

 

Enjoy the ride.

How quickly did 2014 pass for you?  What were the highlights, or lowlights, of your year?

What Are You Thankful For?

Ever gather the family together around the table on Thanksgiving, and one by one, say what you were thankful for?  Yeah, me neither.  I think.  I don’t actually remember.  However, I DO remember our meals looking quite similar to this…

food fight

Okay, maybe not QUITE that messy, but you get the general idea.  A houseful of extended family always led to arguments about politics, interrogations of new love interests, and whether or not the Red Sox would go all the way next season.  It was loud, crazy, dysfunctional, and I loved every minute of it.  Except when I got stuck on dish duty.  And I ALWAYS got stuck on dish duty.

These days it’s about spending the day with our besties, watching football, and taking bets on whose mutt is going to win the latest episode of Puppy Smackdown.  It’s quiet, mostly calm, relaxing, and I love every minute of it.  But every so often, I think back to those Thanksgiving Days of noise and chaos, and my heart aches just a little bit.  It’s okay to feel a little nostalgic for the past every so often isn’t it?

nostalgia-300x190

This time of year is always tough for me.  I never feel the loss of my dad more strongly than between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And my poor hubby makes himself crazy trying to keep me from feeling too sad.  It’s gotten better over the years, and I know my Pops would be seriously pissed if he knew I was wasting time getting all weepy-faced.  So I wallow in self-pity for a minute and a half, and succumb to the bizarre, freakish, disjointed movements that the hubby considers his best dance moves, all in an effort to cheer me up.  Relax baby, works every time.

You rock baby!

Rock those moves baby!

So along with being blessed with amazing friends (you know who you are ladies and gentlemen), an even more amazing husband, a caring yoga instructor, the ability to move and bend and breathe, a job that pays for me to travel the world or just a few hours away to Disney, the ability to run – at least again some day soon – and the world’s greatest Wonder Mutt, I have plenty to be thankful for.  And I try to remember that every time I get annoyed with the stinky lady at the gym, aggravated at the amazing selfishness of some of the people I work with, or the fact that my Giants keep stinkin’ up the joint.

Bad. Ass.

Can we PLEASE get our act together guys???

Now I’m going to throw this challenge out into the Bloggerverse – I challenge you to think of three things you are most thankful for.  Keep them close in mind.  And the next time you end up next to the stinky person at the gym, recite them to yourself.  At least until said stinkybutt moves away from you.  Then you can add that to your list of things to be grateful for as well.

thankful1

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Let’s get this party started!  Let’s hear what you’re most thankful for.  Ready?  Tag, you’re it!!