Come Cop A Squat

Totally ripping off the whole “If We Were Having Coffee/Wine/Maragaritas” thing, come along with me, and let’s go cop a squat under a tree.  HA!

Oh Black Dog, you kill me!

Oh Black Dog, your rhyming skills kill me!

Since I hate coffee, but have recently discovered a new-found love for Dunkin’ Donuts Dunkaccinos, let’s go grab a non-earth friendly styro cup, our dogs, a couple dozen tennis balls, and venture over to the nearest dog park.  You never know what you may find out.

hmmm

If we were to cop a squat – you would discover that I have absolutely no people skills whatsoever.  Unless we’re talking about Disney, running, dogs, or wine, I’m a total shallow pool of nothing much interesting to say.

If we were to cop a squat – you would find that I have turned into a total wine glass snob.  Yes, wine glass.  And I can totally pan this weirdness off my hubby and besties.  The same ones who used to pick on me for drinking sweet white wines and continue to make the face when I put ice in my wine.  BECAUSE THAT IS HOW I ROLL.

You put what in your where?!?

You put what in your where?!?

If we were to cop a squat – you would find out that I can listen to just about any music out there.  Just about.  Classical, metal, reggae, pop, rap, compas, movie soundtracks…..you name it, I can handle it.  I can even take country but only in small doses.  But when something hits my eardrums like nails on a chalkboard, I react almost violently.  Deservedly so in this case…

swift sucks

If we were to cop a squat – you would find that up until nine years ago, I felt as though my life was flying by me like an Amtrak train and I wasn’t on it.  What happened nine years ago?  I met this UH-MAZE-ING dude, who showed me that life is a whole lot more than someone’s career, and that pushing your comfort zone isn’t as scary as it sounds.  And for that, I am as grateful as Wonder Mutt is for jumping in a lake.

whooooo  hooooooo!!!!!!!

whooooo hooooooo!!!!!!!

If we were to cop a squat – you would discover that I have crazy body image hangups, (who doesn’t?), as much as I try not to be I’m miserable if I can’t run, and if everything goes as planned with KneeGate2015 Part II, then the item on my bucket list that reads “complete a full marathon”, may just get checked off. {gulps}

If we were to cop a squat – you would find that I’m at my most content crashed on the couch at this little tiki bar I know, hubs on one side, Wonder Mutt on the other with her chin resting on my lap, binge-watching Game of Thrones, World Cup Soccer, or the Olympics.  Even the funny pants wearing events.

Best. Pants. Ever.

Best. Pants. Ever.

So if I haven’t bored you to tears by this point, and our mutts have sufficiently destroyed every tennis ball within a 15 mile radius, I think you’d find I’m pretty much your average, street-level introvert, who can be pretty damn quirky.  I love my Springsteen and Bon Jovi, my Moose Tracks and my margaritas, my running and my dog.  I have incredible friends both domestic and abroad, and have come to appreciate that it’s better to have a few great friends, than numerous casual buddies.  I have the world’s most amazing husband who puts up with my psycho-ness and buys me fuzzy animal slippers any time I want.  I’ve learned that animals live too short, fat cells hang around too long, and it’s better to live life balls-to-the-wall instead of watching it pass you by.

And that my dear readers, is why we should gulp down the Dunkaccinos, and go jump in the water.

WITH the dogs.

splash dog

No. Explanation. Needed.

Enjoy the ride.

Does any of this surprise you?  What would I learn about you over cappuccino and soggy tennis balls?

I’m SO Excited!!!!!

surpirsed-baby

YYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

That’s it.

Really.

Thought there was more coming, didn’t ya?

Nope.

HA HA HA, GOT YA!!!!!!

That ain't right Black Dog.

That ain’t right Black Dog.

Hee hee hee…..

For realz though, I AM awesomely excited for my return to the pavement.  I’m still currently limited to about a mile and quarter, but I’m okay with that.  For the moment.  PT Pam and I are breaking up – albeit temporarily – next week, but I shall continue to take it easy and ease myself back into the mileage.  As I still have that pesky other knee to keep happy, I still can’t go all stir crazy and go signing up for any marathons or anything, (no worries ladies, 2018 WDW is still a long way off).  In the meantime, I have to keep #KneeGate 2015 Part II happy until after Wine and Dine.  Then a quick bing-bang-boom and then BOTH knees should FINALLY be content to let me once again, beat the crap out of them.  This time though, training will involve alot more cross-training, therapy exercises, and a little less running.  Yep, two days a week this time around, plus I want to try and get a few runs of higher mileage – 15 to 17 miles – prior to Wine and Dine.  Let there be no mistake, Wine and Dine will be about nothing other than Team Can-Am Shenanigans, I just want to know that I can do the miles before I go under the happy juice again.

Oooooooooh, pwetty cowors.......

Oooooooooh, pwetty colors…….

So from here on out, it’s about slowly building mileage, cross-training, and not pushing it.  Well, not exactly pushing it.  Girlfriend just may have accidentally hit an 8:25 pace on her Independence Day run on Saturday, (never mind it was only for as long as it takes the signal to get to the satellite and back.  Still counts. So THERE.)

bbbbblllllhhhhhh

bbbbblllllhhhhhh

The next few weeks should be a good mix of sweat, pain, blood, and probably a few tears.  Just a typical training cycle right?  All good things.  All good things.

Olaf (1)

I like ice wraps!

Here’s my plan. With help from you dear faithful followers, I’m going to come up with a pretty conservative training plan that will start in two weeks, starting with a slow buildup of mileage and a little dab of speed work come September.  You know, just to see what the knees can handle.  I’d love it if you’d all throw out some suggestions as to how I should build this plan, including some weight work, therapy exercises, hopefully some spinning, and of course, moderate amounts of Moose Tracks and margaritas.

Did you really think I wouldn’t find some way to work those in there?  You know me so well…..

Hydration.  Black Dog style.

Hydration. Black Dog style.  With salt.  Of course.

Enjoy the ride.

Tell me a story.  You know, the one about the time you made a triumphant return to the pavement, kicked everyone’s dupa, and drank all the margaritas on the way to a PR.  Or, if the memory is a little fuzzy on the details, (damn tequila), then tell me the one about the talking snowman and the reindeer with an addiction to carrots.  I’m good either way. Thanks.

Ooh! Ooh! My Turn! My Turn!

Yup!  I lovelovelove this kind of stuff!

fave run stuff

Rae tagged me in the latest runner-bloggerer whaddyawannaknowaboutme craze storming the interwebs.  Always happy to oblige and share my most deeply held secret agent Black Dog Stuff – alright maybe not really all THAT secret agent-like – here goes.  Hang on, this is gonna get good.  Okay, maybe not so much.  Humor me.

Oh Black Dog, you "otter" make me laugh!

Oh Black Dog, you “otter” make me laugh!

1.  Trails, Roads, or Dreadmills?

I think you can pretty much figure out which of those I DON’T like.  Unless you have your snout buried in a bowl of Moose Tracks.  Then you’re excused.  I’m pretty much a 98% road girl, as there isn’t much in the way of trails in this particular corner of the hemisphere.  But the other 2% of the time…

If I'm running here, I'm ALMOST to Disney!!!

If I’m running here, I’m ALMOST to Disney!!!

2.  Fave time to run? 

I am ALL about the post work run.  ALL. ABOUT.  I’m already headed to work at the butt crack of dawn, so even if I could pull off the whole I-have-plenty-of-energy/oxygen-this-early-in-the-friggin-morning kind of excitement level, it won’t happen.  EVER.

Not happening.

         Yeah.  Not happening.

3. Sunshine, Mild, Hot?

Really?  SOUTH FLORIDA.  Like I have a choice.  But I DO have a kicking view.

Beat THAT.

                   Beat THAT.

4. Fuel – Before, After, During

Hmmm….depends.  If it’s a weekend run, typically brekkie of the best kind.  Which basically equates to a yummylicious egg and cheese sammie served in bed by the hubby.  Yes boys, he IS that guy.  It’s a high bar.  Work on it.

During – only on runs typically more than 7 miles.  Started with the Honey Stinger Chews, but as it’s a project getting them out of the bag, I’ve switched to Sport Beans.  Not really sold on either of them, but I think it’s just me.  I just don’t seem to get any kind of energy blast from anything.  And Gu?  Yeah….not so much.  Definitely not a fan of the whole gel thing.

5.  Accessories

I HATE carrying anything when I run.  The mandatory requirement is my ipod.  That’s it.  Probably a bonehead move, but I rarely take my phone.  I feel like it’s an invasion of Black Dog Time.  (And you don’t want no part of that!)  I also strap on an ancient Road ID ankle strap, and occasionally, the ever annoying water belt for anything over 8 miles or so.  I have enough parks in my general vicinity that I can usually hit up the semi-decent water fountains.  And as I have the world’s greatest hubs, and I always tell him my route, he’ll even show up out of nowhere with a cold Gatorade in hand on those days the temps – and mileage – start hitting the higher end of my tolerable range.  Like I said – THAT guy. ❤

smoochsmoochsmooch

         smoochiesmoochiesmoochie

6.  Rewards

Really?  REALLY?

moose tracks

7.  Type of run – tempo/intervals/LSD

Seeing as my knees haven’t tolerated speed in a LONG time, I’ve pretty much been confined to LSD runs.  I don’t mind them so much, and every so often I was able to throw in a couple of tempo days.  But boy, do I miss some interval work.  And if you tell that to my high school cross-country coach, I’ll say I had too many margaritas, made with really crappy tequila, cracked myself in the head with the empty bottle once I’d realized my fox paws, and had NO idea what I was talking about.  So let’s just not make me have to kick you, okay?  Good.

Don't.  Really. Just don't.

    Don’t. Really. Just don’t.

So there you have it.  Everything you always wanted to know about Black Dog Running but were afraid to ask.  I’ll bet your life is now all kinds of awesomeness, isn’t it?  I know.  We’re awesome like that.

Enjoy the ride.

Let’s hear it!  Tell me your deepest, darkest running secrets.  Everyone think that water bottle is filled with actual water?  Chocolate chip cookies your fave run snack?  Rock out to MC Hammer?  IT’S OKAY!  You’re among friends.  We won’t tell anyone.  Not even Coach Roberts.  Swear!

You Like Me! You Really Like Me! Again!

I received an awesome-sauce surprise a couple of weeks ago from a fellow I-live-in-inhuman-like-heat-and-I-almost-well-pretty-much-love-it blend named Helly.  She writes a great little blog aptly named Helly On The Run.  And much to my surprise, she found this particular little corner of the interweb….wait for it…..INSPIRING!  Now be assured, no exchange of cash, bribery, or promises of Princess Lisa’s Bailey’s Buttercream cupcakes, has taken place.  A common love of traveling – especially to Italy – may have been the beginning of a beautiful blendship.

Vaticano

Vaticano!

Whatever the reason may have been for dragging Helly kicking and screaming to Black Dog Runs Disney, (oh crap, did I say that out loud?), I’m sending her a big, wet, sloppy Calypso kiss for the nomination.  So here goes.

Muah!

Muah!

So let’s get to the good stuff.  First of all, the good part.

Whoo hoo!

Whoo hoo!

Now for the rules – ’cause we all know how much I LOVE rules (teeheehee…):

Rule One – thank and link to the person who nominated you – check!

Rule Two – list the rules and display award – checkcheck

Rule Three – share seven facts about yourself – oh boy, this could get ugly

Rule Four – nominate 15 other awesome-sauce bloggers and let them know they’ve been nominated.  I’m going to “adjust” this one just a little bit and nominate the blogs that make me laugh the most – because that’s the whole point of living isn’t it?  That and Moose Tracks Ice Cream. (like how I ALWAYS find some way to work that in?)

So here’s some little known facts about me…

7 facts

More than you ever wanted know huh?  Especially the Sponge Bobs.  There’s an image you won’t ever be able to get out of your head.

Now for just some of my fave blends! (There’s just so many, I can’t list them all…oh the humanity!)

blog list

Back yet?  Didn’t I tell ya these bloggers rocked?  Black Dog would never steer you wrong, especially when it comes to blogs and ice cream.  Never.  I take that stuff seriously.

 

Enjoy the ride.

What are some of your favorite blogs?  Do they make you laugh?  Do I make you laugh?  If not, just think of the Sponge Bobs.  Or go get some for yourself.  I’ll even buy you a pair.  I’m nice like that.

Some “Alternate” Ideas on How To Run Cool

By now I think it’s safe to say you guys know my brain is somewhat, shall we say…off.  I usually start out with good intentions, but then one of those game show dollar machine thoughts in my head starts whipping around at light speed and I am powerless to make it stop.

Said dollars starting whipping around after I read a multitude of very helpful posts about keeping yourself cool when running during the summer months.  I myself had planned on throwing in my two cents on the subject as well.  Then…BOOM! That dollar just smacked me right up side the head.  Hard.

Ouch!

Ouch!

So time for the disclaimer thingie: The following ideas have absolutely no scientific basis behind them.  They are products of my brain cells and my brain cells ONLY.  I definitely do NOT recommend them, but if you so choose to do so , then it’s all on YOU.  And your insurance company.  Not mine.  It sucks anyway.  You wouldn’t get a thing.  But I will send you a carton of Moose Tracks.  Just because.

Moving on.

Cool running

1.  Hydration:The popular opinion on being properly hydrated is to make sure you drink plenty of fluids both prior to and during your run.  I absolutely agree.  With one small difference.  Since many runners also suffer from a loss of salt during their runs, resulting in those lovely white stains on your hats and bandannas, and evidenced by excessive canine licking of said runners limbs, might I suggest a margarita?  Preferably with a well-salted rim.  Carbs? Check.  Thank you sugar-laden margarita mix. Sodium? Check.  Thank you big, chunky margarita salt.  Fluid? Well, duh.  It IS something you drink after all…

glugluglug

glugluglug

2. Run early in the morning:  Anyone who knows this Black Dog, knows I am your classic morning hater who’s pretty much useless much before 10am.  That being said, if you follow the above listed hydration suggestion, it’s a good possibility that come 2-3am, you’re still up.  So getting in an EXTRA early morning run will be easily accomplished.  You’ll actually be getting double running duty in as you can even count it as a run from the previous night AND an early morning run for the following day!  Follow my logic here?  Don’t worry if you don’t – you’re hardly alone.  The only downfall is if you’ve been diligently hydrating, you may find both direction and balance a bit challenging.  BUT, on the bright side, you probably won’t feel any pain should you stumble into any suddenly appearing light poles that – like you said – really WEREN’T there the night before.

Aspirin, anyone?

Oh, my head….

3.  Wear light-colored, lightweight clothing: Great idea!  Maybe.  Depends on whether or not said meeting with aforementioned light pole results in capillary injury.  In other words, how easily will the blood wash out?  You may want to make sure you have a ready supply of Shout or other stain removing items on hand.  Or just buy dark colors.  Red perhaps.

red-shirt-711680

Nope. Don’t see a thing.

4.  Show some skin: Well.  Hmmmmm.  This can be a double-edged sword.  The last thing you want to see, (and the last thing I want to show), is more skin.  Now, I’m a firm believer in if you got it, flaunt it.  ‘Cause you ain’t gonna have it very long.  But trust me – this Black Dog is NOT going to be the one responsible for anyone’s nightmares.  Unless you’re an ex-boyfriend.  Then look all you want.  Payback’s a you-know-what.

Muahhahahaha!!!!!

Muahhahahahahahaha…

5.  Slow your roll:  Unless, like me, you’re already running somewhere between a turtle and slug pace.  Slow down any more and someone may think you’re in a catatonic state on the side of the road.  Unless you’re said slug sliming your way through peanut butter.  I’m thinking that’s pretty damn slow.

slug2

So that’s the Black Dog’s take on what you can do to make your hot, sweaty, feel-like-you’re-in-the-crater-of-a-volcano summer runs more enjoyable.  I’m not guaranteeing they’re going to work, just thought it was important for me to offer some alternative options.  Let me know if any of them work for you.  Or if I need to get you some Moose Tracks.

Ice cream.  Makes everything better.

Ice cream. Makes everything better.

 Enjoy the ride.

Do you have any other ideas for cool runnings?

Ice Cream and Chocolate and Pasta, Oh My!

Those, in a nutshell, are what I consider the three basic food groups.  Okay, maybe not, but don’t you think they should be?  Where exactly is the justice in the foods that taste the super yummiest have to be so bad for you?  It’s not fair!  It’s horse hockey!  I’m not gonna take it anymore!!!!

Waaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

Waaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

All right.  Now that I got THAT out of my chocolate and Moose Tracks deprived system, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of stuffing your yap.  It’s simple.  It’s hard, it’s challenging, and it can totally suck when you open up the freezer and see your ever-loving hubby has once again brought home a container of ice cream and restocked the peanut butter cups.  What fresh hell is this?! you may ask yourself.  Or not.  I do.  OFTEN.

cat stress

I typically start out the day with good intentions.  A healthy breakfast, healthy snacks, and what is becoming a daily refusal for that large, chewy, fresh-baked, OMG-now-I’m-drooling-just-thinking-about-it chocolate chip cookie from my favorite deli.  The occasional side trip into french fry land, (especially the curly and smiley kind), has become REALLY occasional as of late.  But as we all know, you can follow calorie counts, “diet” (geesh I hate that word) plans, or dietary changes until our brains see nothing but numbers when we look at our food.  And try as we might, the number on the scale, or the fit of our clothes, just does not change – often resulting in above noted feline facial manifestation.  In other words, we suffer from that completely exasperated expression which cause our significant others to suddenly find any excuse to have to go check out the front end alignment on their car.

What is it about our metabolism, especially as we hit those blasted 40’s, that causes everything to come to a screeching halt?  Is this Mother Nature’s idea of a really bad practical joke?  According to Wiki Answers, the average life span of a woman in America is 79 years old.  Seems a little off to me as I live in the mecca of all things senior here in south FLA, but who am I to question statistics?  Even if that is accurate, why do our bodies feel the need to start slowing down only halfway through the game?  Do you start kicking your pace back at mile 6 of a half marathon or mile 13 of a full?  Why would you?  There’s still a lot of ground to cover!  Knock it off cellular degeneration!  I’m not through with that mitochondria just yet!

cartoon-t-cell-hi

All of this human biology kind of stuff leaves me wondering…..why do some people have the ability to eat just about anything and kick out a mile like there’s nothing to it?  Especially when short, dumpy, vertically challenged types like me, who try to follow all the dietary rules as much as humanly possible, struggle to finish their runs somewhere before the end the current decade?  Why can’t we ALL have those super hero genetics???  Who’s in charge here?  I want to lodge a complaint!

As science has never really been my “thing”, all I can do is try to keep up with the brainiac types and hope that what they tell me about fruit, veggies, protein, and “good” carbs is all true.  At least for the moment.  Seems like they can’t make up their minds and stick with it for longer than it takes me to choke down a piece of asparagus.  Every day presents its gastronomic challenges and it seems to only keep getting more complicated.  So I propose this.  Mother Nature takes back her practical joke and creates everyone with the same metabolism.  Chocolate, ice cream, and spaghetti become our three major food groups and no animal ever has to die in order to feed another.  Pizza becomes the perfect breakfast food and wine and margaritas become necessary for proper hydration.  And to make the hubby happy, animal-free bacon no longer affects your cholesterol, blood pressure, or waistline.  We’ll all live to be a hundred but look like we’re twenty.  No one runs a half marathon in more than two hours or a full in more than three.  And our dogs live as long as we do.  But find a way to use the bathroom like the rest of us.  Who’s with me?!

Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!

Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Do you find your body reacting to food differently as you age?  Have you changed your eating habits over the years because of it?

 

Who’s Hungry?

There’s nary a time when someone can pose that question anywhere in my near proximity, and receive anything but an exuberant, positive response.  In other words, I pretty much have a bottomless pit for a stomach.

Feed me!

Feed me!

In order to pay homage to one of my favorite pastimes – stuffing my yap – at one of my favorite places on the planet – do you really have to ask? – Black Dog Runs Disney presents…

 

ice cream sundae2

 

1. Yak and Yeti – $15-30

I’m embarrassed to say that after all the times the hubby and I have spent in Animal Kingdom, we never ate here before last November.  After stumbling into the front door (literally – it was the day after the Wine and Dine and my quads were screaming obscenities at me), our server, who had a wonderful sense of humor as he thought it was hilarious to make me walk upstairs, proceeded to give us a visual tour of the restaurant.  They have an amazing collection of Nepalese and Pan-Asian photos, furniture, and decor, and we were encouraged to walk around and check everything out.  The food was no less amazing and I inhaled my lo mein like it was my last meal on earth.  We got there right about noon and were able to walk right in, but I would strongly suggest ADR’s.  Between the yummylicious food and the great service, i can see this place filling up quickly.  If you like Asian, Chinese, or seafood, this is the place to be.

 

2. California Grill – $30-60

Located on the roof of the Contemporary resort, California Grill just reopened after a total rehab of both the restaurant and the menu.  I haven’t made it back there since they reopened, but based on previous visits, the food is unbelievable, the wine list is nothing short of impressive, and the service is top-notch.  The menu specializes in fresh, seasonal foods, and the menu is constantly changing to reflect the seasons. Considered a signature dining experience, diners are expected to dress accordingly.  My suggestion to the ladies is don’t worry about your do.  Once you step outside to view the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom, it’s going to be blown all over the place anyway.  ADR’s are the only way to go for this gastronomic experience.

 

3. Via Napoli – $15-30

I can honestly say nothing compares to pizza made in Italy.  That being said, Via Napoli, located in the Italy Pavilion in Epcot, does a pretty good job at replicating the heaven my taste buds discovered in Rome and Naples.  Typically a noisy, fun-filled restaurant, I would recommend trying to get a table in the glassed-in room located to the right of the main entrance. It’s a little less crowded and chaotic.  The Neapolitan thin crust pizza is out of this world and the menu also offers other southern Italy specialities like corn-crusted calamari, vegetable soup, and spinach lasagna.  Heaven for the vegetarian in your life!  ADR’s always a good idea, but we’ve never had to wait too long when we’ve made a last-minute decision to chow down here.

 

4. ESPN Club – $15 and under

Probably one of our favorite places to hang out on the Boardwalk, the ESPN Club is a sports-lovers dream.  With almost 100 televisions, and one whomper of a big screen on the main video wall, this spot fills up quickly during major sporting events.  With food items from Boo-Yah chili to burgers to salads, the menu offers something yummy for everyone.  ADR’s are highly recommended as the place fills up fast on game days, but we’ve never had a problem being seated after a short wait on off days.  Feel free to sport your favorite team’s jerseys and get ready to get loud!

 

5. Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant – $15-30

I was super excited when this place opened up at Downtown Disney and was not disappointed my first time there.  A huge space with four – yes FOUR – full bars, an impressive menu, step-dancers and house bands, Raglan Road is a party in the making.  With everything from shepherd’s pie to bangers and mash, it’s obvious to see the Irish don’t worry so much about cholesterol or calorie counts.  You can even stuff your gullet full of premium roasts, sides, and desserts, every Sunday for their legendary Sunday Brunch from 11am-4pm.  As usual ADR’s are recommended, but again, we’ve never had to wait too long after just walking up to the reservations desk.  And with four full service bars to choose from, passing the time with some Bailey’s and great music makes the waiting go by so much easier!

 

As you can see, the hubs and I tend to love the places where we can just show up and hang out at the bar.  Going for the “signature” experiences once in a while is always fun, but we tend to be more of the casual type.  Add in some entertainment and great music, and we are good to go.  Like everything in Disney, it’s all about what appeals to you.

Even with all the times I have visited the world of the Mouse, there are still a number of restaurants I’d like to try.  If any of you have snarfed down at any of these, please feel free to share!

Dogs-in-a-Restaurant2

 

I hope I’ve been able to give you some yummy tips on some of my favorite gastronomic locations.  With approximately 139 different places to stuff your own yap, you definitely have a few spots to choose from.  Happy feasting!

Enjoy the ride.