Round Two

If you’ve been paying any attention to my little corner of the blogosphere for a while, then you remember how hesitant I was to go back to gym world (here).  Dealing with gym rats who have to scream while dropping their weights on the floor, kids who’d rather take up a bench while texting their buddies instead of actually oh, I don’t know, WORKING OUT, and my all time favorite, inconsiderate you-know-whats who’ve never wiped off a machine in their life, were just a few of the big reasons I wasn’t looking forward to handing over my hard-earned cash and having to deal with that crap.  Again.

Ew.

Ew.

Seeing as I really had no choice though, as I had put myself on a running hiatus in the vain hope of curing my ITBS-that-really-wasn’t-ITBS-after all, back to the gym I went.  And for the most part, I stuck with it.  That’s not to say there weren’t a few times the hubby and I walked in, put in a half hour of cardio, and walked right back out again.  If for no other reason then there were too many friggin’ annoying people in there. Yes, I AM that person.  SO CLEAN YOUR SWEAT OFF THE DAMN BIKE.

gym sweatPost-surgery took more out of me that I had realized, so getting back there – even to do some upper body work – took longer than I would have liked.  Turned out just humping around on crutches and then gimping around in something that might be mistaken for ‘N Sync’s Bye Bye Bye video, would have me making a beeline for my couch and super knee cooler machine at the end of the day.

nsynch

Turns out all I needed was an extra week to get my poop together and a slight change of scenery.  We recently found out our gym had opened up another club considerably closer to our humble abode.  Oh HAPPY DAY.  With barely contained excitement – all right, so maybe it was more like slightly wary trepidation – you know what we did?  (No, BEFORE we hit the celebratory margaritas.)  Off to the new workout digs we go.  And you know what?  It was pretty damn awesome.

shocked

GET. OUT.

It’s amazing what some space, big windows, and fewer members of the younger persuasion can do to one’s fragile workout psyche.  And being the investigator-type that he is, the hubs asked around about the yellinggymrat/benchwarmer/noncleaningsweatycreep population.  We were happy to find that so far – as it is a very new facility – the aforementioned jerks are few and far between.  And the best part?

Yeah buddy!

Yeah buddy!

Sadly, it’s probably going to be at least another month before I can even think about jumping on one of these bad boys.  Especially since there’s this little issue of me not being able to oh….BEND MY FREAKING KNEE. YET.  And as we all know, I am a study in patience.

Yup.

That’s me.

Mother of All Things Patience.

Not. Even. Close.

Not. Even. Close.

But I’m excited anyway.  I hit that treadmill with a vengeance.  Walked a whole mile.  Took me 23 minutes, but I WALKED A WHOLE DAMN MILE PEOPLE.  WITH A GIMPY LEG.  CAN I GET A WHOO HOO?

whoo hoo

Sure….(ahem)……WHOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!

Stay tuned.  This is gonna get exciting.  Or not.  Probably not.  I like to keep you guessing.

Enjoy the ride.

Has a change of scenery ever improved your workout attitude?  Ever wish you could just drop a dumbbell on somebody’s foot?  Have you ever been THAT person who everyone wants to drop a dumbbell on your foot?  Did it hurt?

Nostalgia Has It’s Place

In case you didn’t notice if you were stalking me on IG and FB this weekend, I returned to the Place of All Things Happy.  All THINGS Happy.  Not all CHILDREN happy.  Oh yes, Disney World was definitely a place of all out baby stress this weekend.

screaming baby

I wanna Mickey muffin and I want it NOWWWWWWW!!!!!!

Thankfully though, we were able to escape said baby madness and keep things on a more adult level.  Well, except for a momentary kiddie lapse into Christopher Robin’s bedroom.  But honestly, who can say no to a hunny-luving bear and his bouncy sidekick?

Okay, who's got the hunny pot?

Okay, who’s got the hunny pot?

Once I returned home, unpacked, and played with the Wonder Mutt, I had some lingering house stuff to do that I’d been putting off.  This included going through a box of crap the hubby had filled with random, well, crap.  We’d recently cleared out our spare room and he had thrown a bunch of loose items into a box for me to go through.  I figured I better just get it over with and dug in.  Would you find it strange the majority of said crap in the box was a bunch of race bibs?  I have a habit of writing down the race location, date and my time/pace on the back of each bib.  What’s this?  A 5k with a 9:08 min/mile?  Say WHAT?!?

Whoooooaaaaa.....

Whoooooaaaaa…..

I even stumbled across the pics I ordered from last year’s WDW Half Marathon.  You know.  The one that made me stop running for the next four months, just to have a great training period and end up in a major crash and burn for the Great Disney Splash and Dash of 2014?  Yeah, that one.

Yep.  That was me.  Pretty much.

Yep. That was me. Pretty much.

As I weeded through all these race bibs, pictures of not-so-glorious race days gone by, ticket stubs to various vacation adventures, and the ever humorous photos of big, bad, hair days of the 80’s, I started feeling that oh-so-familiar rock in the pit of my stomach.  Images popped into my brain of a thinner, faster, fewer lines on the face girl who didn’t know what it was like to feel knee pain, couldn’t spell chondromalacia patella to save her life, or thought ITBS was a new grunge band from Seattle.  To say I started feeling a bit sad for those days gone by would be putting it mildly.  And – as always – the hubs knew exactly what was getting to me.  And – as always – he knew exactly what stupid thing to say to make me laugh, and let me know this injury is just a bump in the road.  But damn, these bumps get friggin’ aggravating, don’t they?

Ugh.

Ugh.

If there is one thing I can take away from my little moment of welling in self-pity, it’s this.  It’s okay to look back and wish for that thinner, faster, big-haired girl who’s biggest worry was getting her dupa out of bed by noon on the weekends.  But it doesn’t do anybody any good to wish for those days back.  Everything happens for a reason, and it’s not always up to us to know what that reason is.  We just have to live in the moment like the Wonder Mutt – whose only concern is whether or not Mom is going to drop a piece of that wonderful smelling food on the floor.  Because, well, DAMN.  Just look at how absolutely ADORABLE I AM.

I know, I know.  No need to say it.  TOTALLY adorbs.

I know, I know. No need to say it. TOTALLY adorbs.

Live in the moment Calypso?  Yeah, I got it.

Enjoy the ride.

Do you have one of those photos/race bibs/medals that always seem to hit you where it counts when you least expect it?  What was it from?  Were you proud of that moment or did it turn you into an even better runner/person/athlete?  Do you wish you had your dog’s life?

Cruella de Chondro Somethingsomethingsomething

Ever feel like you’re stuck in one of these?

Welcome to my life.

Welcome to my life.

I’ve been trying to get back in the swing of things for a week now – obviously, to no avail.  At least as far my little literary corner of the world goes.  Chaos has reigned supreme in the Black Dog house since before the Wine and Dine, (recap to come, I promise!)  Not the least of which was FINALLY finding out what’s wrong with my knees. SPOILER ALERT: It’s NOT ITBS.  So hang on, because this storm is about to ramp up.  BIG TIME.

So as not to bore you – again – feel free to get the background on my constant smack down with the dreaded IT bands here.  On and off for two years – yes, TWO DAMN YEARS.  Imagine my surprise when after not one, but two visits to The Man, and one oh-this-is-just-too-much-fun-for-words MRI, it turns out my IT bands are JUST FINE.  However, the same cannot be said for these little ditties.

We need to talk.

We need to talk.

Apparently all the running, ellipitcalling(?), jumping, leaping, and basically anything that caused me to bend my knees, has resulting in my kneecaps throwing up their little cartilage laden paws and barking, “WE GIVE UP!”  Official diagnosis from The Man: chondromalacia patella:

“Chondromalacia patellae (also known as CMP) is inflammation of the underside of the patella and softening of thecartilage. Chondromalacia patella is more accurately referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome. The cartilage under the kneecap is a natural shock absorber, and overuse, injury, and many other factors can cause increased deterioration and break down of the cartilage. The cartilage is no longer smooth and therefore movement and use is painful.[1] While it often affects young individuals engaged in active sports it also afflicts older adults who overwork their knees.[2][3]

Thank you very much Wikipedia.  Appreciate it.

So.  Where do we go from here?  Ugly orthopedic shoes, that’s where.

Oh HELL no.

Oh HELL no.

Thankfully, there were much more eye-pleasing alternatives which I took FULL advantage of.  (Especially since I think the above mentioned lovelies have a minimum age requirement of about 85.)  So it’s metal spring-loaded running shoes ONLY for the next three months, no bending the knees more than 30 degrees, and the biggest heart-stomping directive of them all….NO RUNNING.  At least until I go back to see The Man in February.  Bye, bye A1A Half Marathon.

(sniff, sniff)

(sniff, sniff)

But I’m okay with that.  Really.  If a temporary break from hitting the pavement, wearing funny shoes, and basically trying not to bend my knees for the next few months is what it takes to get back out there again, I’m all over it.  Not going absolutely insane in the meantime?  Well, that might not be quite so easy.

Nope.  Not even close.

Nope. Not even close.

I’m just going to send this out into the blogosphere.  If anyone has an abundance of pixie dust, please feel free to send some in the general direction of my kneecaps.  They could use a break.  Wait.  Perhaps not the best choice of words there. #heavysigh

Grazie!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever had to deal with an injury that sidelined you from running?  How did you handle it?  Were you able to return?  How long did it take?  Did you have to wear ugly shoes?

Don’t You Wish Life Had A Rewind Button?

So in an effort to be proactive about finding out exactly what keeps causing this…

Oh.  It's YOU again...

Oh. It’s YOU again…

I decided to take myself off to the experts.  Seeing as I conveniently live within a reasonable distance of a major league football team, I figured why not avail myself of THEIR medical miracle workers?  BUT, of course, one must go to one’s own doctor first, because heaven forbid one just take oneself off to said experts without permission.  This lovely jump through the hoops excursion landed me in the exam room yesterday of a doctor I had never met.  An hour past my appointment time. After sharing the lobby with some germ-emanating woman who actually sneezed in her hand then used that same hand to write her name down on the sign in sheet.  E-GADS.

Say it isn't so!

Say it isn’t so!

Here’s where my aggravation factor multiplied exponentially.   I simply want to jump through the appropriate insurance company hoops to get a referral to see The MAN about my ITBS.  Next thing you know, I’m laid out on the table for an EKG (normal), and given forms to go get my blood supply sucked dry.  (Actually, more like just getting my iron level checked, but it sounds so much more dramatic when there’s a vampire connotation involved, doesn’t it?) Then, as if I wasn’t already aggravated enough, I have to explain to THEM (as in the office staff – you know the ones who deal with the insurance hoops EVERY DAY), what THEY need to do with the insurance company so I can go see The MAN.  Me.  The PATIENT.  Am I the only one seeing the horrible dark comedy of errors in this whole situation???

Be afwaid Black Dog. Be vewy, vewy afwaid.

Be afwaid Black Dog. Be vewy, vewy afwaid.

So instead of actually having a productive day, I will be spending it on the phone arguing with my, playing intermediary between my doctor’s office and insurance company, all in an effort, to – here’s a novel idea – TAKE CARE OF MYSELF.

So let me take this moment to apologize dear readers, for the momentary lapse in sanity and rant against all things medical.  Hopefully though, the light at the end of the tunnel will be that I DO actually end up getting to see The MAN, who will then proceed to tell me in the first five minutes of my visit that he knows exactly what is wrong with these blasted IT bands, and can fix them in 20 minutes or less.  Or even 30.  I’ll take 30.  Maybe there will even be some hot, retired football player waiting in the lobby when I get there.  Nothing wrong with a little bit of eye candy to brighten up the wait.

How you doin'?

How you doin’?

Enjoy the ride.

Do the hoops you have to jump through for insurance companies make you absolutely insane?  Have you ever just wanted to scream unintelligible curses at your doctor? Have you actually done it?  Did it get you anywhere?

A Reality Smack Up Side The Head and A Game Changer

Hey! Hey you! Make sure you check out the weekly linkup at http://www.rungeekrundisney.com/2014/10/disney-parks-moms-panel-round-2-mickey.html!  Sometimes it’s great to be a geek!

So by now you guys know I’ve been in the middle of a major pissing contest with these buttheads.

Bad! Bad knees!

Bad! Bad knees!

Actually, it’s more a little to the outside of the noses, but you get the idea.  This battle has been off and on for the past two years and brought my shot at a Disney PR back in January to a screeching halt.  Literally. Screeching, screaming, crying….you get where I’m going here?  Anywho, I thought I finally had a handle on it until last week when it got ugly again HERE.

WAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

WAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

However, after a couple of weeks of therapy – for the knees, not the head, which I’m actually starting to think really are connected – after switching up HOW I run – thank you Mr. Galloway and my new-found somewhat longer attention span – things are starting to look up.

Could it be? A giant can of TUNA FISH?!?

Could it be? YES!! A giant can of TUNA FISH?!?

As I was chugging my way CAREFULLY through an 8 miler this weekend, I suddenly got hit by lightning.  Not literally. More like a little hit.  Maybe more like a tap.  Can one get tapped by lightning?  (Sorry, Dug-Squirrel moment there).  In a brief moment of runner clarity, and after the accompanying smack upside the cranium, I made a sudden runner-life-altering decision.  In a flash, gone was the single-minded goal of a Disney PR at the Wine and Dine in three weeks.  In its place, in all it’s luminous glory, was THE NEW DECISION.  I’m no longer going for a Disney PR.  Instead, I am – wait for it – going to run it —— FOR FUN!!!!!  CAN YOU FREAKIN’ BELIEVE IT????!!!!! Neither can I!!!!!

And the best part – I decided to go the FUN route because I am finally getting the chance to run it WITH SOMEBODY.  Somebody, who runs like ME! (That would be the non-speedy type, BTW.)  Actually, TWO SOMEBODYS!! (Well, one non-speedy like me and one speedy.  But she loves cupcakes as much as I do, so she’s in).  After all the excitement when runDisney released the corral assignments last week, and finding that Accountabilibuddy Kellie was only one corral behind me, it was an easy decision to jump in with her.  And THEN, Nicole jumped in too!!!  Oh happy, happy runner moment!!!!

happy-dance

So the self-imposed runner pressure is off.  I’m still going to run the best Half that I can, but the priorities are now this:

1.  Have FUN. FUNFUNFUNFUNFUNFUNFUN.  FUN.

2.  See exactly how many times we can sing the entire version of Let It Go from the start to the finish line.  And yes, Vegas is setting odds.

3.  Stop, drop, and #NardiChallenge with the Green Army Guy.

4.  Thank the Phoenicians as we fly by the Geosphere.  If you have to ask, I don’t know you.  And you should be ashamed of yourself.

5.  Did I mention? HAVE FUN!!!!! (And shooting for this look with my sister Accountabilibuddies far and wide at the after party. Plus cupcakes.)

Ladies? It's PARTY TIME.

Ladies? It’s PARTY TIME.

So with my new-found Wine and Dine outlook and attitude, I’m no longer going to freak if I’m not hitting the times I was previously shooting for in training.  I am a true believer in everything happening for a reason.  And I truly believe I was meant to slow down, (even if it DID mean by getting re-injured), tripping across the hilarious, where-the-hell-was-I-looking-for-humorous-outlooks-on-life before I fell into the blogs of Kellie, Nicole, Lisa/LindseyRae, and Jenn/Moon, and finding an alternative to painkillers and constant cursing in an effort to beat back the pain monster, (repeat after me, “lasers are your friend!”).

Sometimes the planets align just right, your dog kisses you with non-stinky breath, and your hubs brings you a cup of Moose Tracks just when you need it most.  And this is one of those moments.  Except the ice cream is vanilla and Calypso’s breath stinks like the fish she just ate.  It’s okay….I’ll take it.

Enjoy the ride.

What’s the last “aha” moment you had? Was it during a run?  Did you run into a tree or a swarm of  bees when it happened?  Did you even notice?

Cruella de ITBS

Exactly what I was mumbling under my breath at mile 6.5 of my 11 miler yesterday.  The 11 miler that I couldn’t finish because my f*&^%ing ITBS decided to make an appearance.  A BIG one.  After not making an appearance since this.  9 BLASTED MONTHS AGO.

Donald

There’s something, shall we say – dehumanizing – when you have to admit to yourself that all the stretching, twisting, smacking the side of your knee, swearing, ignoring, and pretending that the pain you’re feeling is all in your head, just isn’t working.  You give in,  admit defeat, and throw in the towel.  And if it wasn’t for the fact that you’re 3 miles from home, don’t have a phone, and pretty much can’t think straight, you would just sit down and cry where you stand.  But you don’t.  You recognize the pain  for what it is.  You cry yourself home, maybe stopping just once to tell your troubles to the friendly neighborhood peacock, who really is more interested in whether or not you have something he can eat.

peacock

Okay, maybe not this guy in particular, but you get my drift.

All kinds of craziness start flying around, filling your head space with everything from, “this is just a temporary setback”, to “why NOW, when I have Wine and Dine in a MONTH?!”, to “I’ll never be able to get through a full marathon when I can’t even get through 7 FREAKIN’ MILES!!!”.  And I can tell you, having all this crap taking up said head space is not a good thing.  But since you have no choice, you put one foot in front of the other and trudge your way home.  And as you round the last corner, you see this guy…

Who loves ya baby?

Who loves ya baby?

…running towards you as fast as he can on his gimpy foot, with the biggest, silliest grin on his face, because he’s just happy that you’re safely home once again.  And as he gets to you, the waterworks go into overdrive.  And he does what he does best – holds you, tells you we will figure out what’s wrong, and either fix it, or chop off your leg.  Okay, maybe not so much that last part.  But he lets you have your pity party, and then makes you move on.  Because that’s what an awesome pit crew chief does.  And we all know there is NO way we can continue to do what we do without them and all of their glorious awesomeness.

MK1

Like so many of my ramblings, they start of with an idea in mind, and so often they end up taking a path of their own.  Such is the fate of my game show dollar machine brain.  This was going to be all about how debilitating ITBS can be to a runner, and a reaching out to see what who’s suffered with it, and how you get/got through it.  But somewhere along the way, the fingers took a 90 degree turn on the keyboard and…well…here we are.

So as I sit here with compression calf sleeves on, and an ice pack on my knee for the second time today, my mind once again wanders.  Will I EVER get past this pain?  It HAS been two BLASTED years now, for crying out loud.  When is enough enough?  Was it too much to attempt after the last distance run being a 10 miler 3 weeks ago?   Is there more I could be doing to prevent it?  Of course there is Black Dog, but have you been DOING IT???  #RUNNERFAIL

I'm an incompetent idiot.

I’m an incompetent idiot.

Maybe we all just need a reality punch up side the head and this is mine.  I’ve been lax on the gym and lax on my therapy exercises.  AND THIS IS WHAT I GET.  So from here on out, it’s game on.  No more giving up the gym for laps in the pool, because that’s not gonna cut it.  No more excuses, no more whining that I’m tired, and no more nonsense.  It’s well past time to GET TO WORK.  AGAIN.  Because THIS girl, needs to get find her mojo again.  Quick.

Ta daaaaaa!

Ta daaaaaa!

Enjoy the ride.

Ever been sidelined by an injury and didn’t know what to do about it?  How long was it before you could run again?  Any words of wisdom?

The Three R’s

Rest and recovery.  Two words that may not register with the most diehard of runners.  Not a problem for this Black Dog.

Or this one.

Or this one.

If there is one thing that running for more years than I can remember has taught me – HONOR THY REST DAY.  A lot of practice – and colds – has proven that if I push my running to more than 3 or 4 days max, then I am bound to get sick or injured.  It’s also inevitable that if I add too much mileage too soon, then Little Miss You-Know-What shows up too.

Oh.  It's YOU again...

Oh. It’s YOU again…

As I was web-surfing looking for some credible information on the benefits of a little R&R, I came across this article from Runner’s World, (because who wouldn’t love just about anything found in the holy book of running?)  One of my favorite parts advised runners should get as much sleep as possible, 10-12 hours a night if possible.  And…NAPS!  Oh sweet manna from the heavens!  FINALLY a justifiable reason for my weekend snoozefests with the Wonder Mutt!

zzzzzz,zzzzz,zzzzz

zzzzzz,zzzzz,zzzzz

The Black Dog Nap Time Happy Dance was short-lived though, when it was also recommended to foam roll.  EVERY. DAMN. DAY.  Oh the humanity!  To say the love/hate relationship I have with my foam roller leans heavily to the hate side is putting it mildly.  I believe I’ve actually seen the hubby cover Calypso’s ears when I’m in the midst of said self-torture.

foamroll1

Ever hit that sweet spot along your IT band when all of a sudden everything just…shifts? In the name of all that is holy, what the crap IS that?!?  It’s like all of a sudden my tendons just turned into Silly Putty that some little ankle biting monster kid decided to stretch and mush and beat to a pulp before shoving it in his mouth to chew it into submission.  Before of course spitting it back out again to see if you really can mush it into the Sunday comics and pull up the pictures.  Quite the image, isn’t it?

Yeah, pretty much.

Yeah, pretty much.

Thankfully, that creep-me-out-wtf-IS-that feeling is quickly forgotten with a good dose of pigeons and cows.  No no no, not THOSE pigeons and cows.  These guys…

This is what I look like in these poses. Okay, maybe not.

This is what I look like in these poses. Okay, maybe not.

Just like on race day, every one has their own way of getting through the rest and recovery days.  My non-expert, I’m-not-really-a-runner-I-just-play-one-on-TV advice?  Do what works for you.  Honor the rest day, and let the body that works so hard for you get a day off once in awhile.  You just may be surprised how much it thanks you later on.

As far as the third R?  Did you REALLY have to ask?

hehehe....

hehehe….

Enjoy the ride.

Do you honor the rest day?  What do you do to allow your body to recover, especially after a hard workout?  Are ‘ritas an integral part of your recovery program?