(A Wine and Dine Story) And So We’ve Come….

…to the end of the road.

Literally.

I know this has been a long, drawn out, painful process.  Much like my running life has been the last few years.  And it ain’t over yet.  Well, almost.

I promise.

The pain is coming to an end.

When last we checked in here and here, I was headed for that great big starting line in the……….wait.  No no no. Not THAT one.  This one.

wine-and-dine-start

Jeep packed up, Wonder Mutt dropped off at the neighbors, and off to the most Magical Place on Earth we go.  Not without a giant case of the nerves.  After checking in to our little temporary home for the next few days the night before, we headed over to the expo.  Nothing too exciting there, just your usual, if more complicated, expo shenanigans as in past years.  Complicated as in “let’s just make everyone walk all over kingdom come to get anywhere else between packet pick up, shirt pick up, and goodie shopping” kind of complicated.

We managed to get through all the madness, hook up with running buddies Rae and Lisa, grab a brewski upstairs from the expo, head off for a day of eating, shooting aliens in Studios, grabbing some moonshine at Fort Wilderness (literally, moonshine!), and singing our way all over central Florida.  Yep, that was us you heard.

night-sweats

Much less hairy though.  MUCH.

Fast forward to Sunday morning.  Oh-dark-thirty.  No sleep.  Nerves jumping like Pop Rocks.  I tape the beeJesus out of my knees, get dressed, try to eat the bagel the hubs had so thoughtfully picked up for me the day before, quadruple check that I have all race necessities – tunes, shades, Sport Beans, sanity (not so much), and off we go.  Hubs drops me off at Coronado Springs so I can hop race transpo to the start, and back to bed goes he.  After a very short wait, bus arrives, off to WWoS we go, and the reality of what’s about to happen REALLY starts to sink in.

Holy crap woman, you’re about to run 13.1 miles.  Again.  With the very real possibility that you may finish, not finish, implode before you hit the start line, or act like that ninny in A League of Their Own.

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Thankfully, the wait to start wasn’t unbearably long, and before I knew it, Rudy and Carissa, those ever faithful runDisney announcers, had the corrals off and running.  Ever vigilant of not starting off too fast, I ignored the typical bizarre looks I was getting from runners around me as I had the following convo with my psyche.  Apparently out loud.

“Hey idiot.”

“What.  Can’t you see I’m trying to run here?”

“Yeah.  That’s why I need you to rein it in and make sure you stick to your intervals.  Otherwise you may not finish.”

“I may not finish anyway.  And I hate running intervals.”

“Hubs said if you finish, he’ll have Patron waiting for you.”

(silence)

(more silence)

(even more silence)

“Dammit.”

Needless to say, agave juice won out.

Margarita in a glass

Dammit.

Soooo, as I wound my way at a snail’s pace around Animal Kingdom, of course I had to stop and hang out with these guys.

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My, you’re all really…..tall.

The new course then meandered along random Disney World roads and back towards Epcot.  At which point, my eyes lit up like I had just discovered a giant bowl of spaghetti with garlic and olive oil.  Due in no small part to what was probably the GREATEST MILE MARKER EVER……

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Maniacal smiling!

Mile 9.  I knew I was going to finish this bad boy one way or another.  But not before I had to go through what I lovingly termed the MILE OF REALLY MOTHER-EFFER?!?  I JUST COULDN’T GET THROUGH THIS WITHOUT YOU, COULD I?!?

stubborn mule

Nope. Not a chance lady.

Hello Mile 10, hello “what the hell just imploded in my left leg?”  Oh wait, just a lovely little mixture of tight IT band, tuckered out left glute, with a touch of inner left knee soreness thrown in for good measure.  Now, all that being said, I had stuck to my intervals, stopped to stretch every 1-2 miles, and never pushed the pace the entire time.  I knew this was not going to be a speedy half, and had already decided to just have fun with it.  Having this blow up at Mile 10 didn’t really bother me all that much, and if I had to walk it in from there, then so be it.  I could live with it.  I knew the hubby and Lisa were already celebrating her oh-so-speedy finish, and I had every intention of joining them in consuming vast quantities of celebratory libations before much longer.

lisa-grouper1

“Move it girl, there’s partying to be done!”

Then I knew the runner gods had been paying attention.  Mile 10 consisted of an insanely banked ramp up to an overpass.  A ramp which had no flat spot to run on.  ANYWHERE.  Now, I had received very strict orders from the Man and Torture Tony to NOT RUN THE RAMPS OR ELSE.

And for once, I actually listened.

Not just because there wasn’t a flat spot anywhere along that ramp to run on, but also because – you know – that whole pesky left leg thing.

Then, a Disney miracle happened.

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No, not that miracle.

As the ramp peaked at the top of an overpass around Mile 11, I decided just to test the waters a bit and see if the extended walk break may have been enough for everybody to calm the hell down.  After a few cautious jogging steps – and a lot of breath holding – things seemed to actually be…..ok.

laugh dog

Say WHA?????

What?  Were you not paying attention?

I said,

EVERYTHING SEEMED TO BE OK

AS IN NO PAIN

ANYWHERE!

In complete and utter disbelief, I called the hubs and Lisa, told them to get the ‘ritas chilling, kicked it into high gear – well, MY high gear – and brought it on home.

The rest – as they say – is history.  Enjoy.

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Enjoy the ride.

Thank you for following along with me on what has been on helluva ride.  Your good wishes and crossed paws all helped me cross that finish line on that beautiful morning, and I could not have done it without you.  I especially could not have done it without the encouragement of my hubs, my family, Lisa, PT Pam, Torture Tony, and Dr. Testa.  It’s been a long and painful journey, but we have finally arrived, in no small part to every one of you.  My running adventures will continue, and I hope to take all of you along on them.  Hang on tight, as the ride is only going to get better from here on out!

Reset.

Sometimes that’s the only thing you can do.

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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.

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“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.

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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?

These Wings Were Made to Fly

As I sit here crashed on my couch at Island Time Tiki Bar, Calypso taking up most of all the available cushion space,  it’s challenging to figure out where to start my recap of the Wings for Life World Run.  It wasn’t a typical “race” in any normal race terms.  Oh contraire, not in the least.  There was the usual mix of participants – serious runners (not me), weekend warriors (also not me), people just out to see what they could do (getting warmer), and just plain shenanigators (BINGO!).

shenanigator

Then there were the athletes being pushed in their wheelchairs, athletes pushing themselves in wheelchairs, and even an athlete making his way along with his cane.  The energy and anticipation at the start was palpable, due in no small part to the big screen broadcasting video of hundreds of thousands runners at their own start lines, 34 in all.  It was….well……pretty damn amazing awesomeness.

Participants - Action

This was the first race in a really, really long time that I had planned on going balls to the wall as much as I could.  The hubs was also running with me for the first time in a couple of years, and as he was nursing a hammy injury and a lingering case of the plague, we had to take that into account for our race strategy.

Excuse me, but did you say race strategy?  Who are you and what have you done with our Black Dog?

Well.  If we DID have a race strategy, it probably would have looked something like this:

  • run like a bat out of hell for the first 30 minutes when we knew the chase car would be starting
  • incorporate as many shenanigan making opportunities as possible
  • make up for the time spent causing shenanigating by running like hell again, at least until the next water stop along the route

I am happy to report this plan worked out pretty damn well for us!

After what seemed like an interminable length of time just trying to get out of the BB&T Center parking lot, (seriously, how big IS this damn lot?!), we finally made it out onto the scenic streets of Sunrise, FLA.  With NO sunglasses.

Lesson #1:  just because it looks like you won’t be running directly east, don’t ever trust your sense of direction that early in the morning.  Ever.

my eyes

Returning to the scene of the crime, we continued on our merry jaunt – happily knee pain free – for what seemed like an interminable length of time until we finally arrived at the first water stop.  Now, let me tell ya, these people know what they’re doing.  Mile 2, complete with Clif bars, Red Bull, H2O, Gatorade and portapotties.  With a line.  The dreaded portapotty line. Duhn, duhn, duuuuuhhhhnnnnnn…..

Portapotty_line

After making a valiant effort at patience – 30 seconds give or take – it was time to create a little suburban drama.  After quickly surveying the scene and knowing the chase car would be hot on our collective tails any moment, the command decision was made to…..well….blaze a new trail.  Right to the nearest bunch of bushes.  Completely runDisney style.  Hey, ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

peeing in the bushes

No elephants were violated in the taking of this picture.

As I not so discreetly did what I had to do and high-tailed it back to the road,  what do I see but the guy who had been standing in line in front of me headed for the same bushes.  With a big thank you and a thumbs up we passed like ships in the night and the hubs and I were back on our way.

No idea how the bush is currently doing….

I’d give you more specifics about the course, but since this area of Broward County is like another country to me, I can’t tell you where we were at just about any given moment.  What I can tell you is this:  the volunteers at the water  stops were amazing.  The cheering groups with their witty race signs were amazing.  The cops and PSA’s of the Sunrise Police Department were the best.  Not so awesomesauce?  That damn helicopter.

WFLWR chopper1

When that bad boy was flying overhead, you knew the chase car was stalking in the near vicinity.  Soon after stopping at the third water stop – complete with music blasting and a cheer squad – the hubby turns around and starts yelling at everyone to run for their lives.  At this point it seemed everyone around us had entered spaced-out zombie zone and had forgotten the little fact that we were being CHASED.  That is, until they saw the chase car slowly gaining ground.  What quickly ensued would have made Usain Bolt jealous.

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Aw crap.

And  just like that, our race was done.

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Actually, after walking another almost two miles to the next water stop it was done.  By then, the partymobiles shuttle buses had shown up to take everyone back to Party Central at the start.  But not before we took full advantage of the fact that our bus was one normally used for the students on the campus at the University of Miami.  And if you follow college sports at all, then you know there is no love lost between Miami Hurricane fans and that other school up in Gainesville.  Needless to say, we took full advantage of the situation this poor guy found himself in the middle of.  Poor guy.  Knew he was outnumbered from the start.  Didn’t even bother putting up a fight.

gatorboy

Oh Robert.  Poor, poor Robert.

Once we got back to the BB&T Center and got off our rather odoriferous mode of transportation, we were given some rather impressive bling, and were free to avail ourselves of all the bananas, oranges, water, and of course Red Bull, we could carry.  Meandering over to the runner’s village, we were free to stand in more crazy lines for tacos, beer, and even champagne.  The big screen was showing where the leading male and female Sunrise runners were out on the course, at that point currently battling baseball sized skeeters and some not so friendly Florida natives.  (Not really but it does add a little element of danger doesn’t it?)

gator

We didn’t stick around too long as it was getting quite toasty and the call of a nice long shower was singing its siren song.  Off to the homestead we went, but we were able to follow the rest of the race on the live-stream via the Wings for Life website.  Five and a half hours after the worldwide start, Giorgio Calcaterra was finally caught by the chase car outside Milan, Italy.  He ran an AMAZING 88.44 km (or 54.95 miles for those of metrically challenged).  The last female runner to be caught was Kaori Yoshida from Japan who was caught at the 65.71 km/40.83 mile mark, outside Takashima, Japan.

Sunrise was lucky enough to have the 10th female overall with Nathalie Vasseur from France.  She managed to hold off melting in the heat long enough to hold off the chase car until she hit 54.53km/33.88 miles.  Damn alligators never stood a chance against Miss Speedy Pants.

WFLWR winners

Sunrise winners Nathalie Vasseur and Simon Munyutu. (Photo courtesy of Wings for Life World Run Sunrise Facebook page.)

Looking back at the event now, it’s easy to see why so many people have returned each year.  In the three years since it’s inception, the Wings for Life World Run has seen an increase in participation each year.  The best part of all?  This year set a new record in the amount of money raised for spinal cord injury research – a whopping $7.4 million (yes MILLION!)  And when you see someone who has never taken a step, walk for the very first time due in part to the funds raised from this event, well, let’s just say it makes all the sweat, aches, pains, #brokeknees, and miles all worth it.

walking again

(Photo courtesy of Wings for Life World Run Facebook page.)

You can bet the hubby and I will be returning to this race next year, and we hope you’ll join us.  We’ll be causing as many shenanigans as possible on Sunday, May 7, 2017 once again on the edge of the Everglades.  The natives have promised to be on their best behavior.  Just don’t make the mistake of showing up in Florida Gator crap.  This time, we just may not let you on the bus. 🙂

WFLWR medal

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever done a race with no actual finish line?  Raised money for charity?  Did it make the race feel more special?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Funny

As I am off for just a bit of a Mouse-tease at the new Disney Springs – thank you very much passholder blackout dates – I thought I would end the week with just a smitch of offbeat, oh-so-appropriate Black Dog humor.

FF Dis Knee

Yes.  Yes I did.

Enjoy the ride.

When is your next trip to the Mouse?  Are you an annual passholder?  Do you cry when you see you’re two days out from the end of the blackout dates?

 

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?

 

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 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?

And We’re Off! Part 3

Or…

Dear God, Please Make It Stop.

praying otter

pleasepleasepleaseplease

Since I know you’ve been just salivating for more details of the Black Dog Surgery Shenanigans (here and here), let me allay your fears of not knowing how this cliffhanger ends.  Well, you kind of already do, but let’s just pretend I’m not really telling you this.  Yet.  I think.  Damn, now I’m confused.  Hmmmmm……

Anywho, when we left off last week, Nurse Claire had hooked me up to the happy juice and the hubby was making fun of my comparing it to shots of tequila.  (Made TOTAL sense to me.)  So now that the feelings of anesthesia-anxiety had quite dissipated,  I was pretty much up for whatever came next.  I do however, remember telling the hubs to make sure he took care of the furball.  You know.  Just in case Mama Dawg didn’t make it out alive.

Worried Calypso1

You’re leaving me with HIM?!? He doesn’t rub my belly every night Mom!!!!

After I don’t know how long, because, you know – happy juice – Nurse Nancy came in to whisk me away to the OR.  It was like getting wheeled into the Overlook Hotel.  Minus the creepy dead twins.  And the Big Wheel.  I think.  Happy juice, remember?

overlook

After what seemed like miles, Nurse Nancy finally turned into the suite and all I could think of was, “Look at all those friggin’ machines!  Where the heck is the guy gonna stand to cut me open?  THEY’RE ALL ON THAT SIDE OF THE TABLE!”  And then I happened to notice the anesthesia guy.  (Who just may or may not have been a total cutie patootie.  I’m leaning towards total hottie.  But then again, how hot can one be in one of those ridiculous hats?)

So after scooting off the bed and onto the table, cutie patootie threw an oxygen mask on my face, walked over to my IV, and said “this is what’s going to put you to sleep, okay?”  I got as far as saying the OH part of okay, and was out.  And I mean OUT.  Out as in I don’t think I’ve ever slept that great in my life.  No dreams, no nightmares, just good old dead OUT.  Not unlike this guy!

zzzzzz,zzzzzz,zzzzzz

zzzzzz,zzzzzz,zzzzzz

The weird thing about going out like that, is you wake up just as fast.  All of a sudden, I open my eyes, see a friendly face working on a computer next to my bed, and quickly deduce I am now in Recovery.  (Freaking brilliant aren’t I?)  Let me tell ya, the recovery unit in that hospital is Union Station at rush hour crazy.   I think it was only about an hour after Nurse Nancy had come to get me, so The Man #2 had certainly cranked through his portion of the program, and now I was happily back in Happy Juice Land.  All I remember is I kept lifting the blanket to see this huge dressing on my leg.  I just couldn’t comprehend the fact the surgery was already done and over with.  I must have had a giant goofy grin on my face and said something typically ridiculous, because I soon had not only my recovery nurse, but the one in the next curtain, laughing hysterically.  Because that is WHAT I DO.

FUNNY-FUN-FUN.COM

A fast hang time in recovery, and back to post-op we go.  Back to the anxiously awaiting hubby. (Not so much. Man found himself a tap-room across the street.  I would’ve been seriously disappointed had he not).  A pair of crutches and a comical attempt at trying to get my street clothes back on later, and I was OUTTA THERE.  Being the tough chick that I am – okay, maybe it was just the leftover happy juice talking – I volunteered to take the stairs.  One look from Nurse Lindsay, followed by a “yeah, don’t think so girl”, and into a wheelchair I go.  The lobby was only one floor down but let me tell ya, happy juice and elevators can be a lot of friggin’ fun.  A LOT.

wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

So endeth the tale of Black Dog’s Surgery Shenanigans.  My only conundrum is I really hope I didn’t say anything too embarrassing to the cutie patootie anesthesia guy when I was out…

Up next: Black Dog Recovery Shenanigans.  Stay tuned!  You know you wanna!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Let’s hear them!  I know somebody out there has a funny happy juice/anesthesia/recovery room story.  Divulge state secrets while you were out?  Unknowingly flirt with any surgical team cutie patooties?  Wake up with a strange phone number on your dressing?  C’mon….you know you wanna tell me!

And We’re Off! Part 2

We now return to our regularly scheduled program……

On the last installment of Black Dog Freaks Out (here!), we left as I was about to start raking my nails down a chalkboard if it was only to get someone to notice I had been sitting in the outpatient surgery waiting room for OVER AN HOUR.  Me.  Over an hour.  In a hospital.  Patient I am not…

impatient kitty

After robbing me blind and not even saying thank you – amazing how quick they are to take your money, isn’t it? – I was FINALLY called into pre-op.  And given THESE oh-so-fashionable garments to change into.

hosp clothes1

Completely jelly, aren’t ya? Yeah, you know you are….

Being the impatient guy that he is, the hubby decided to do some pre-op recon.  And came back with the bad news.  I was number 8 of 12 surgeries The Man Part 2 had scheduled for the day.  Eight.  EIGHT.  (No wonder these guys are rolling in dough.)  That place was a darn processing plant – get’em in, get’em out.  I had expected I wasn’t going to be back home any time soon, and I have to say that once things really got going – chat with the anesthesia doc, start getting goofy on the meds my pre-op nurse gave me, and, oh yeah, having to listen to the lady in the next curtain puking her guts up – yeah, THAT was pleasant – it didn’t take long to get the party started.  And to accompany me on my trip into La La Land, an NCIS marathon.  Score!

Oh Gibbs, you're such a looker.

Oh Gibbs, you’re such a looker.

And what pre-op festivities are ever complete without the requisite stupid hat photo-op?

Say cheese!

Do these come with Mickey ears?

Then again, we started getting all kinds of crazy when Nurse Claire turned up the happy juice.  You know what I’m talking about.  The stuff that makes you all loopy.  The best part was I could feel it hit my system, and as it did, I started comparing it to shots of tequila.  And providing said tequila narrative to the hubby.  Who apparently thought it was absolutely hilarious.  So much so that he recorded it on my phone.  Which shall never be aired on Black Dog Airwaves.  Ever.  EVER.  You’ll just have to live with a live action shot of the happy juice.

"Nurse? Is this Patron or Don Julio?"

“Nurse? Is this Patron or Don Julio?”

Since I know you’re all at the edge of your seats, like all good authors, I’m going to leave you there.  Yes, my sick, evil, twisted brain is going to keep you guessing until next week as to what happened next.  SPOILER ALERT: Girlfriend made it out alive.  But you know that.  Obviously.  Because my readers are THAT smart.  And have great blog taste.  And that’s why we love you.

nomnomnom

nomnomnom

 

Make sure you tune in next week for the final installment of “Black Dog’s Surgery Room Shenanigans”!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Did you ever think I could make the interminable wait of pre-op so entertaining?  Have you ever partook of pre-surgery cocktails?  Were they top-shelf?

Friday Funny

Here’s a little preview of how the conversation will be going at my follow-up visit with the surgeon tomorrow…

broken runner

Enjoy the ride.

Soooooo, any guesses as to what the first question out of my mouth is going to be?  Keep your paws crossed and have a great weekend everyone!  Run some miles for me!

All Roads Lead Back To….

W&D finish line

“I really hope this tape breaks. Otherwise I’ll be REALLY embarrassed.”

Today’s the day I find out if I’ll be able to have a fix-it done to what is turning out to be the most useless joints ever created.

Who?  US?!?

Who? US?!?  Ya THINK?!?!

I’m not asking to be the next Shalane or Kara.  I’m not even asking for the ever-retreating sub 2 hour half finish time.  I’m just asking to be able to run a half marathon – preferably the aforementioned Wine and Dine – relatively pain-free.  Yeah – NOT EVEN ASKING FOR NO PAIN HERE MOTHER NATURE.  I’d just like to be able to get through 13 miles without feeling like somebody is jabbing a giant railroad spike into the side of my kneecap.

Yeah.  NOT cool.

Yeah. NOT cool.

I don’t even know if it would be such a big deal if i hadn’t gotten sucked into the magic that is all things runDisney.  The hype, the costumes, the characters, the parties, the insane entry fees and registration madness – okay, maybe not those last two so much – but I’ve been lucky enough to make some really great friends thanks to a mutual love of running and Disney.  Weird how that place can do that, huh?

Cheesy grins?  Check!

Cheesy grins? Check!

"We are runDisney family!"

“We are runDisney family!”

What IS it about running through Disney parks – or the side streets of Anaheim – that’s just so damn…..magical?  I know I’ve thrown my reasons out there before, (here) and I’d love to hear what makes you sit anxiously at your computers on registration day, heartbeat racing, credit card in sweaty hand, ready to start screaming should the Active link suddenly explode, sending your information out into the great void of runDisney registration badlands.  At the very least, it will give me something interesting to read while I wait, heart rate a-pounding, for The Man #2 to put in an appearance.  Maybe some of that Disney magic will put in an appearance…

Tink!  Over here!

Tink! Over here!

Enjoy the ride.

Do you think Disney is a magical place?  Have you ever had pixie dust land in your eye?  Did it hurt?

Seeing as it’s Magical Mickey Monday, come visit the Purveyors of Pixie Dust over at run.geek.run(disney)!  You just might be surprised that Mondays can be a little less…….Mondayish.

What To Do, What To Do

I know I owe you guys an update on the soap opera that has become my knee injury – which I know you’ve just been SO excited to find out about, right? NOT – but if we’re gonna roll with that story, then I might as well regale you with the total excitement of the situation.  You.  In the back.  Quit snoring.  This is cool stuff.

MRI 1

See? Cool stuff. I know, I know….not so much.

Hang on anyway, because I’m going to need your input here.

Remember when The Man sent me for MRI #2?  In case you’re hung over and not exactly comprehending stuff today, that’s what you see here.  Cool stuff, right?  I THINK SO.  Anywho, no big surprise, I’ve got chondromalacia in this knee too.  YEAH, NO KIDDING.  *As a side note, the guy who was scanning me, (hehehe, no worries, hubs was standing right next to him while I was getting scanned), noticed that I have a hole in my shin bone (see arrow).  While sadly, that isn’t the cause of all my troubles, I think it’s a neat little bit of useless trivia.

“I’ll take useless trivia for $800 Alex.”

“For $800.  What would you find if you performed an MRI on Black Dog’s right knee?”

Jeopardy

Yes, one day Black Dog parts will make it to national television.

Where was I again?  Oh yeah, The Man.  So he calls me a few days after the scan, tells me about the chono, chrondo, WHATEVER it is I’ve got going on in there, and tells me he’s going to have me see his partner – from here on out known as The Man #2 – for a consult and possible – wait for it – “arthroscopic debridement.”  Sounds pretty damn impressive, doesn’t it?  I THINK SO.

elmo

“Ooooooohhhhh, impressive.”

So while I wait to go see The Man #2, I have a quandry on my hands.  My personal voices of reason – Kellie, Nicole, Lisa, and Rae – have already weighed in and told me I was out of my mind to even THINK about running again.  Hubs and I see it this way – how much more damage can I do getting a couple of runs in over the next couple of weeks, since not running at all since November hasn’t done squat to make things any better?  Now, I’m not talking heading out for any 10 milers, just a couple of easy 2-3 mile jaunts.  Such is my current conundrum.

thinking baby

Canun, conan, co what???

This is where you come in.  Do I keep on faking it on a bike, or do I dust off the Brooks and go back to my happy place, even if it is only temporarily?  (We’re only talking until my next appointment in about a week, when we find out about possible surgery).  I’m curious to see what you all think.  And also see how fast I can actually go when I have to run away from my own personal Jiminy Crickets when they come screaming after me – right ladies?

Princesses1

 

Enjoy the ride.

Let me know where you weigh in on the debate – stick to the bike or hit the road?  Do you think I’d be an idiot to satisfy my severely depleted mileage addiction?  Let’s hear it!

And The Results Are…..

….not in.

Yeah…..soooooo……remember when I said I was dreading what The Man was going to tell me when I went back to see him about my knees?  Well, I’m still not really sure exactly WHAT happened.

Huh?

Yeah, that was me.  Pigtails and all.

I think a lot of this is my own fault.  I’ve had right knee issues for SO long that I almost don’t remember what it’s like to NOT have pain.  After Wine and Dine, when pain suddenly showed up in the LEFT knee, I figured that was the one I better bring up first when I went in for my appointment.  Now, I DID make sure to tell The Man that both these freakin’ things have been a pain in my dupa – so to speak – but the left knee pain was a newer occurrence.

After doing exactly what he told me to do – and pretty much doing nothing that he said I shouldn’t, the left knee is feeling decent.  Not perfect, but decent.  The original pain in the ass right one though, well, let’s just say I am NOT a happy Black Dog.  Or Nemo either.

mad nemo

I am one pissed off clownfish.  No joke.

After a lot of blahblahblahblahblahblah, I just busted out with a I HAVE A HALF MARATHON IN NOVEMBER.  WHAT THE FRIG DO I HAVE TO DO TO BE READY FOR IT??!!  I knew I was in trouble when I was pretty much answered with the same look as Boo.  Then things got interesting when I heard I may be able to run 2-3 miles for the rest of my life.  ‘Scuse me?  What was that?  2-3 MILES???  ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR EVER-LOW-MILEAGE MIND?!?  I hate to point out the obvious Doc, but 2-3 miles ain’t 13.1.  Or 26.2.  DUH.  I think that was about the time I busted out the S word – no, the OTHER S word – and he knew I was no longer riding the Downtown Train on the Conservative Treatment Line.  Thanks Doc, but this girl is derailing this ride.  With glee.

Heeeeeere's anesthesia!

Heeeeeere’s anesthesia!

Not just yet though.  First, it’s a return trip to MRI Land to check for a meniscus tear – which, let’s face it, we’re 99.9% is NOT the case.  Simply because that would be too simple a fix.  And I never do ANYTHING simple.  EVER.  Then it’s see what the radiologist thinks, see what The Man thinks, and then possibly see what The Man’s partner thinks.  There was mention of possible microfracture surgery, but I’m pretty sure there’s another, much less scary sounding option out there.  Which I only mention as another runDisney fan-friend of mine had said alternate surgery done and was back to running after eight weeks.  And get this – he had THE SAME EXACT DIAGNOSIS AS ME.  Plus, why should my sister be the only chick in this family with bionic parts?

Whaaaatttttt?????

Whaaaatttttt?????

So, as the saying goes, we shall see.  MRI Part Two is tomorrow, and we should have the radiology report sometime next week.  Then, who knows.  Stay tuned.  This could get quite interesting.  Or ugly.  Or just plain downright hilarious when I really go off the ledge.  Jumping.  And screaming hysterically.  Wearing a cape.  Because I will just have to disagree with Miz Edna this time around.

Yes, Edna, yes.  Capes.

Yes, Edna, yes. Capes it shall be.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you had to make a decision about surgery that you weren’t 100% positive about?  How did it work out?  Any regrets?  Did you say anything embarrassing while you were knocked out?  What was it??  Tell me!!!  I won’t tell anyone, I swear!

 

Knobby Knee, I CAN Live Without You

Yes, I have actually named these joints that are slowly but surely driving me insane.

Who needs you anyway?!?

Friggin’ GD things….

It’s starting to feel like I cannot catch a break.  I’ll go days with no to minimal aches or pain, and then I’ll have a day or two where I just feel like plopping myself down on the floor and having me a good old crying jag.  Like today.

Just. Make. It Stop.

Just. Make. It Stop. PLEASE.

Since my schedule has been a bit insane, I’ve been working out at home more.  I’ve been able to get some really good weight and ab work in, but the cardio isn’t quite the same as I can do at the gym.  The Wonder Mutt can give me a pretty good walk around our lake, but I like to shake things up with some bike work as well.  I’ll go between the stationary and recumbent bikes, rotating between low and high resistant runs.  Saturday, I jumped on the stationary and set it for a medium resistance program.  Thirty minutes later, I had worked up a pretty good sweat and felt like I had accomplished a decent calorie burn.  Then…

dun-dun-duuuun

I spent the afternoon walking around at a local flea market.  Twenty minutes in, my right knee was on fire and my right hip was screaming at me.  WHAT. THE. YOU KNOW WHAT.  Now, I’ve pretty much reserved Saturday as my only day to party like a rock star. (Girl’s gotta let loose every so often, right?)  So after a cocktail and a glass of wine, and a begrudgingly taken dose of ibuprofen, the pain had miraculously disappeared.  It’s not exactly my recommendation of a good pain killing method, but hey, it worked!

Good for high cholesterol too!

Good for high cholesterol too!

Fast forward to Sunday.  I worked out at home again and decided to take Wonder Mutt for our usual jaunt around the hood.  Before we even started, the left knee this time – because damn, why should the left one feel left out? – felt bruised, like someone had kicked the crap out of it.  After a couple of Mutt miles, it felt no better.  So now I sit here with an ice pack slowly freezing my skin, on the verge of tears, wondering if I am ever going to get my running mojo back again.  Thankfully, these moments of moroseness haven’t happened often, but it IS like a black cloud I’ve stuffed in the back of my brain, that just keeps threatening to hit me with an unrelenting downpour.  I have yet to actually say it, but here goes…WHAT IF I CAN’T RUN AGAIN?

scared timon

I’m trying to make light of my fear with crazy Timon, but I really AM scared about all of this.  As with many of us, running isn’t just a thing we do to keep in shape.  My ortho asked me if running was a passion of mine.  I almost laughed as I said, “No doc.  It’s an OBSESSION.”  So what do you do when faced with what may or may not be a life-changing condition?

questioning-Person

What do I do???

It’s like a kick in the stomach every time I go to the gym and see people running, lunging, squatting, jumping, and basically doing everything I’ve been told not to for now.  I’ve been really good about following doctor’s orders, doing what I’m supposed to and keeping away from what I’m not.  I guess that’s why I’m so freaked out about why I’m still occasionally having so much pain.  I have another three weeks or so before I go back to the doctor, and I’m slightly terrified as to what he’s going to tell me.  Now I know this condition can be fixed somewhat with surgery, and at this point, as scary as surgery sounds, I don’t think I would completely object to it.  After all, I still have a score to settle after last year’s disastrous Splash and Dash/Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  And I so do NOT want to be dealing with knee pain at the first annual gathering of Team Can-Am, – aka Kellie, Nicole, Lisa, and Rae.  There is just too much shenanigan-making to be done.

shenanigans

So this is my plea to cyberworld:  if you’ve ever found yourself in a position like mine, please feel free to enlighten me as to how you managed to get through it – if you did – and how you managed to not completely lose your mind in the process.  If you did.  If mind-loss is just a mandatory part of it, then at least I’ll know, right?

Girlfriend ain't got no time fo this!

Go away Knobby.  Just GO AWAY.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Have you suffered an injury or condition that prevented you from running for any considerable length of time?  Were you able to get back to it?  How long did it take?  Any advice to keep from going completely out my mind?