Come Sit By Me

As things were pretty non-existent for a while around these parts, I figured it would be a good time to catch up on life.  So pull up a pool chair, order a margarita, and let’s chat a bit.

Salut!

I WANNA DO-OVER

Let’s just say 2018 has been a total poop show.  It’s always tricky deciding how much we want to reveal of our personal details in the blogosphere, and it’s no exception here.  Let’s just say, the Black Dog staff had some MAJOR medical issues come up, but thankfully, all pulled through and the recovery process is moving along nicely.  Word to the wise: when you have a bellyache for a week, don’t give your significant other grief when the doc says to get your dupa to the hospital.  And once you’re there, thank your lucky stars said significant other is too stubborn to let you leave.  2018 could have ended a whole lot worse than it started, so we are happy to leave it in the dust.

THE WONDER MUTT STILL REIGNS SUPREME

This girl.

Beware the snoot……

Still just as silly, still a splash queen, still the BESTEST WONDER MUTT EVER, even if she has gotten a little more “sun exposure”.  She is the love of my life, my confidant, my fashion consultant, my workout buddy, bestie and running partner.  And yes, her Daddy gets it and makes sure to occasionally give me grief about it.  Maybe if he met me at the door at night wiggling his butt with a hedgehog in his muzzle, he’d rate right up there beside her too. 🙂

Do you like my hedgehog?

AGING SHOULD ONLY APPLY TO FINE WINE 

Have I ever told you I’m the youngest of five kids?  Yup, FIVE.  How the heck my parents did it is completely beyond my comprehension, especially since I have enough trouble with a husband a dog.  I hit another decade last year and fighting Mother Nature with everything I’ve got.  As much as I despise admitting it, all those articles about your metabolism slowing down each decade are absolutely true.  Mine however, has decided to just plain check out.  I swear I just LOOK at a mini peanut butter cup – LOOK – and POOF!  That’ll cost you another five pounds lady.  I know I did not do well when I was recovering from my two knee surgeries, but dammit Mother Nature, can you cut me a bit of a break here??  I turned half my garage into a gym, tuned up the bike, and kick my own dupa six days a week.  And still.

Nothing.

Nada.

I’m coming for your hips lady….

Hello Jabba the Black Dog.

There is nothing more frustrating than forcing your muscles to lift more, run faster (well try to anyway), pedal away the miles, eat enough veggies that you swear you’re turning green, and still nothing.  The hubs tells me I look great and there’s only so much I can do.  But this is ME.  Stubborn, concrete-headed, determined, refusing to give up, and just plain pissed off.

Ladies?  Ya see what I’m sayin’??

I understand everything is a balancing act.  I cannot obsess about calories in/out, but I do pay some attention to what I shove in my yap.  If only there weren’t so many amazing tastes out there!  Drink half my weight in water most days, but then…..WINE.  Sweat my dupa off in the Island Time Sweat Box then find that creating cocktails is kind of fun.  What’s a girl to do?  If any ladies out there suffering from a slowing metabolism and uncooperative genetics have any ideas, by all means – feel free to share.

Then we can down those margaritas. 😉

PRIORITIES MOVE LIKE THE TIDES

There’s nothing like a good old life scare to make you step back and re-evaluate what’s important.  For all my metabolism bitching, in the big picture it means nothing.  The love and health of family and friends, the health and happiness of your critters, slowing down life for a minute and enjoying a sunset with a special someone and a good glass of cabernet, traveling outside your comfort zone and embracing adventure, that’s what life should be all about.  Not making enough money?  Live within your means and be happy you have a job when so many others don’t.  Angry the man of the house keeps forgetting to put the toilet seat down?  At least he’s there to forget to do it.  Living with what seems to be a case of a permanent bad attitude?  Make the effort to do something nice for someone else and then try to fight that smile that’s tugging at the corners of your mouth.  Without question what was important to me 20 years ago is nowhere near what it is now.  We all have personal trials we go through and times in our lives when it seems like everything is a big pile of dog poop.  Then something happens to make you realize your poop amounts to nothing.  NOTHING.

LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

Races. Travel. Laughter.  Great friends and great times.  Funny how the simplest things have the biggest impact on your life.  Some of the best times I’ve ever had included a glass of wine, music, friends, dogs, and a simple backyard fire at this great little tiki bar I know.  It’s easy to find things to be grateful for each and every day, if you just take the time to stop and notice.  A helpful coworker, a smile from a stranger, a funny joke made by a passing runner at a race – all good things.  So my advice to you as I bring this recap of sorts to a close, is to appreciate the life you’ve been given and everything that makes it awesome.  You only get out of life what you put into it, so make that little extra effort, especially this time of year, when so many feel so lonely.  It costs nothing to thank a veteran or first responder for their service (dispatchers too!), or to help a senior citizen load groceries in their car.  Little things go a long way and people always remember the little things.

My challenge to you this day is to do some little thing for someone else.  Pay for their coffee, hold a door open, give their dog a biscuit (after making sure it’s ok of course!), then come back here and share what you did.  I guarantee you will feel a bit better about yourself and life in general.  Perhaps if we all do a little something for someone else, this tide of animosity that seems to be overtaking our lives will turn back just a little bit.

And little bits can change the world.

 

Enjoy the ride.

What little thing makes you smile?

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Full Circle…Almost

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

wine and dine

So.  We meet again.

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

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

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

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

b.   Can’t you just do something else?

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

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

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

hug10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

seinfeld happy dance

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

Seriously.

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

resting-bitch-face-dog-3

You’re killing me lady.

Enjoy the ride.

 

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

What To Do, What To Do

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

I am NOT happy.

I am NOT happy.

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

Hello beautiful.

Hello beautiful.

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

ouch flynn

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

nope grumpy cat

No more damn appointments. Unless Moose Tracks is involved.

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

Please?  Thank you!

Please? Thank you!

 

Enjoy the ride.

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

And The Adventure Continues…

star wars

No, not that one.  THIS one….

aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh......

aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh……

When we last left each other’s company (here), I was waiting for the healing to begin so I could get back to the business of, oh, well, RUNNING.  After all, it’s kind of an integral part of my little literary corner here.  As we all know by now, patience is NOT one of my strong suits.  As is neither refraining from ice cream, well-made margaritas, or a nicely chilled glass of Paso Robles Cabernet.  (Yes, Colby, I’m lookin’ at YOU.)  I know it’s only been three weeks, but this tail is itching to get wagging again.  DAMMIT, THIS GIRL’S GOT PR’S TO SET.

castle

Just…yeah…um…crap.

Soooooooo, since these little 15 minute strolls with the hubs and Wonder Mutt just aren’t quite cutting it as far as a training plan goes, girlfriend is taking her tail off to physical therapy.  At least if I’m going to break something to make it work, I’ll know how to do it correctly.  After all, I am pretty sick and tired of doing nothing more than staring at this crap all day long.

Pretty, isn't it?

Pretty, isn’t it?

On the upside, the hubs has been nothing short of amazing in his post-surgical nursing skills.  UH-MAZE-ING.  If they gave out Emmy’s for Amazing Husbands Who Take Care of Their Gimpy Wives, he would be like the Tom Hanks of the Gimpy Support World.  Minus the Walt Disney mustache.  And the hair.

I would've pasted hubby's face on here, but I'm too photoshop-challenged.  Work with me here.

I would’ve pasted hubby’s face on here, but I’m too photoshop-challenged. Work with me here.

So as we ride off into the sunset of the Black Dog Surgery/Recovery Shenanigans – at least until I get the other knee fixed – let us bid adieu to all things silly hats, cutie patootie anesthesia dudes, happy juice, and bruises.  From here on out, it’s all things onwards and upwards.  And if you hear inhumane screaming coming from a certain physical therapy office in south Florida, fear not.  For Mr. Hanks will have one of these ready for me when I gimp in the door.

LOVE. MY. MAN.

LOVE. MY. MAN.

Enjoy the ride.

Sooooo, were we highly entertained by the surgery/recovery shenanigans?  Or would you rather have had your eyeballs popped out with a spoon?  Did poking fun at your surgery make it easier to deal with it?  Did you have your own Tom Hanks dude at home, ready to make the pain go away with a Godiva chocolate martini?  Would you like to rent mine?  I charge a very reasonable fee.

A Day of Extremes

It was another amazing day…

Meb and Hillary

One class act.

Records were made, others broken, along with what I’m sure were more than a few hearts and dreams.  Once again, the amazing people of the city of Boston opened up their homes and their hearts, and welcomed the world to one of it’s most prestigious races.  And as usual, I laughed and cried my way through the hours of live coverage, all the while thanking the race gods for keeping my phone from ringing so I could watch every moment.  While at work.  Thank god for understanding bosses.

Not my boss.  But she could be.

Not my boss. But she could be.

All of this was somewhat tempered by the phone call that I knew was coming.  You know the one.  “Yes ma’am, have your dupa to the hospital two hours early so you can sit around on it while we waste your time, and eventually get around to knocking you out, slicing you open, waking you up, and kicking you out the door with a set of crutches your insurance probably won’t pay for and a prescription for painkillers that we know you don’t want but we’re going to make you take anyway.”  Yeah, that one.  Cue dramatic music…dunhdunhduuuuunnnnhhhhh!!!  Yup, it’s SURGERY TIME.

Aaaaaggggghhhhh!!!!!

Aaaaaggggghhhhh!!!!!

You all know my head is typically one of these to begin with.

Welcome to my brain.

Welcome to my brain.

Knowing the time has finally come to hopefully get one of my knees fixed has the brain in all-out F5 tornadic activity.  I SO need this surgery to work if I’m going to keep distance running.  Especially since I’ll need to have it done on both of these friggin’ kneecaps.  The one thing that’s got me all freaked out?

Awake Movie

All right, this wasn’t exactly the movie I saw umpteen years ago about people going under the knife and the anesthesia not working, but you get where I’m going here, right?  Let’s just say I don’t have a great relationship with anesthesia.  (Just ask the hubs about that unfortunate wisdom teeth incident.  It wasn’t pretty.)

All that aside though, I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a new, long, and happy relationship with my lower body joints.  I have absolutely no idea what comes next as far therapy goes, but I’m feverishly holding on to the hope that 4-6 weeks from now, this Black Dog will be adding more miles onto her pretty pink Brooks.  (And subtracting some of the inches on the aforementioned dupa.)

So as you head out the door to your day tomorrow, just take a second and send some pixie dust my way.  And hope that it makes the anesthesia work just a little.bit.better.

Yeah, that should do it.

Yup, that should do it.

Enjoy the ride.

Ever been nervous about having surgery?  Everything turn out all right?  Am I being a total nutball about this?  Perhaps watching that movie “Coma” might not be such a good idea tonight?

I Think I’m Going To Be Sick

Sick?  Okay.  Injured?  Yeah.  Over it.  Thank you nervous stomach.  Appreciate it…

Kill me now.

Kill me now.

I’m sure all these nerves are for nothing, but that’s just how I’m rolling these days when it comes to my knee prognosis.  Three months ago, after a beyond disastrous Wine and Dine, The Man was finally able to determine what was up my knees dupa. (Sounds kind of anatomically questionable, doesn’t it?)  Anywho, he told me to get the spring-loaded, thankGodIfoundsomenotsoscary orthopedic shoes, stop running, start walking, and don’t even think about basically doing ANYTHING I was doing in the gym before, i.e., no lunges, squats, jumping, square dancing, or full contact sweater knitting.

Don't even think about it.

Don’t even think about it.

Fast forward three months when I’m supposed to go back and see The Man about the next step.  Which is TODAY (gulp!).  I’ve been trying not to make myself crazy about what he’s going to say – “trying” being the key word here.  I’ve got myself so worked up that he’s going to axe any future running, that I’m making myself completely crazy.  Which is very unlike me.  The getting worked up part.  Not the crazy part.  We already know that’s totally me.

Nope. Not even close.

Nope. Not even close.

The left knee – that was bothering me the most the last time I went to see The Man – has been feeling MUCH better.  The right knee, which has totally made me its bitch for almost two years now, has other ideas in mind.  Like aching.  All the time.  Which I could easily tolerate, and have.  QUITE OFTEN.  Until said pain-in-my-ass anatomical location decides to vault itself out of ache zone and jump full throttle into the, “So you think you’re going to get a sub 2-hour half do you?  DO YOU?  I THINK NOT” zone.  That really pisses me off.  A LOT.

This is my mad face.

See?  Pissed off.  A lot.

As I sit here typing this though, I know there’s not a damn friggin’ thing I can do about what The Man is going to say.  I think the options may be let’s give it some more time, maybe try some PT, start back slow and with low mileage and see how it goes, go balls to the wall and see what happens – MY favorite option but obviously an unwise decision – or, the worst words EVER – run no more. #dunhdunhduuuuuuunnnhhhhhh…

This is my REALLY mad face.

This is my REALLY mad face.

No matter how much of a freak-out I’m having or however much sleep I lose tonight, the outcome will be what it’s going to be.  I am just going to spend the next however many hours praying to the run and knee gods, and hope my sacrifices and temper tantrums over the past few years months have been enough to get me to a better place.  Because this whole I’mjustgoonadrinkalltheritasandeatalltheMooseTracks treatment plan is starting to do a number on me.  And my waistline.  Not to mention my liver.  Must be the size of a darn watermelon by now…(not really but it sounded funny, didn’t it?)

Oh how I HATE when that happens.

Damn ceiling lights…

Stay strong my friends.  You may need it to keep me from  going off the ledge.

 Enjoy the ride.

Ever found yourself holding your breath while waiting the doc’s prognosis?  Did you pass out?  Was oxygen intervention needed?  Should I bring a paper bag with me?  E-GADS.

Progress. I Think.

Ten months in the gym and I haven’t smacked anyone yet.  Now that’s what I call progress!Gym Bitch

Okay well, there IS that.  But other than annoying non-weight rackers, the weird-distracting-arm-circles-while-on-the-bike-guy, stinky chic, and the insufferable WHY CAN’T YOU JUST WIPE OFF THE FREAKIN’ MACHINE WHEN YOU’RE DONE SWEATING ALL OVER KINGDOM COME people, my return to gymdom has actually been pretty enjoyable.  Now that’s not to say I haven’t had some downer moments, especially lately, but I’m doing my best to keep a good attitude.  After all, at least I still CAN work out.  Just like this guy.

funny-puppy-gym-weights

Yes, fuzzy butt. I do.

Ever notice how much time you spend bending your knees, especially when you can’t?  Per doctor’s orders, no bending the patellas more than 90 degrees, and especially, no more than 30 degrees when doing leg extensions.  Talk about actually having to pay attention to what you’re doing.  And if you know me at all, then you know my attention span doesn’t exactly fall in the spectacular department.  But as long as I can still work up a sweat and feel like I’m accomplishing SOMETHING, then I’m happy with that.  Accomplish that something without actually dropping a weight on an irritating, self-absorbed gym rat? Now that’s what I call a WIN.

Victory-is-mine-294x300

And really.  Who can be irritated when after more than FOUR YEARS, the hubby has been able to consistently run WITHOUT FOOT PAIN?  Yes, that’s right, NO FOOT PAIN.  Let me say it again in case you didn’t get it the first ten times – NO FOOT PAIN!  Seriously peoples, you have no idea how big a marvelous, stupendous, spectacular deal that is.  Even the achy legs he has after running outside yesterday is worth every bit of lactic acid buildup.  (Between you and me, I think it may have had something to do with the fancy new shoes he got on sale at Shoebuy for $75.)

Ed's Brooks

Ooooooooh, pretty.

Did I mention I spent half an hour on the phone the other day with The Man’s nurse?  Let me tell ya, that woman is a plethora of all things knee knowledge.  She spent all that time explaining to me why we’re traversing the road of conservatism with my knees.  In a nutshell, I need to alleviate the inflammation.  Then – and stick with me here a minute – I need to actually INFLAME them all over again, but at a more “manageable” level.  Remember I told you the back of my patellas were all chewed up and ripping up the cartilage behind them?  Well, I actually need to let them do that.  Why in the name of all that is ibuprofen, do you need to DO that Black Dog, you may ask?  Because.  If I let my body “plane out” the cartilage/patella naturally – instead of surgically – then it will do that to the specific angles that it needs, whereas a surgeon might not be able to do so.  Basically, surgery would be a best guess scenario versus Mother Nature knows what she’s doing kind of deal.

Yeah I got this.  And this lynx too.

Yeah I got this. And this lynx too.

Patience is called for in this scenario.  E-GADS.  I’m more of an immediate gratification kind of gal.  (That’s why I can almost get on board with Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping.  Almost.)  I need these knees to be fixed YESTERDAY.  Hear that, Mama of All Things Wise and Furry?  YES-TER-DAY.  I promise not to over-water the plants, under-water the flowers, or stomp out any bugs.  Except the roaches.  All bets are off with those nasty, nuclear-holocaust-surviving-creepers-of-ick.  Just get these suckers better.  Fast.  And feel free to take out a few of these ick monsters along the way.

Not a chance scumhead.

Not a chance scumhead.

So if patience is what I need to have, then patient I will be.  I almost sound like I mean that, don’t I?  In the meantime, please feel free to keep me distracted/entertained/pinned down and beaten until the parts have decided to forgive me for years of punishment.  After all, what does one do once one has healed but start the beat-down all over again?  Hmmm, sounds curiously like the definition of runner…

 

Enjoy the ride.

Ever find being patient more difficult than long runs or speed work?  Are you a killer of all things green?  When is the last time you felt the urge to throw a dumb bell at someone?