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?

Notes From The Road

If you’ve been following the escapades of the two main characters of this little corner of the blogging world, then you know it’s been just over a month since I’ve returned to the road.  I am happy to report that so far, all is good.  Actually, all has been GREAT!

Whoo hoo!!!!

Whoo hoo!!!!

Here’s a quick rundown – no pun intended – of the main highlights:

Pace: has thankfully been decreasing each week.  My first couple runs were merely shakeout runs.  I had to get my body used to the actual motion of running again, after spending 4 months on a stationary bike, elliptical, or ARC trainer.  It’s comforting to know how well the body remembers!

Form: Fell right back into it.  I’m just letting my body move in a way that’s most familiar.  Why fight what it knows works best for it?

Breathing: This has never been an issue for me and one I’m entirely grateful for, especially knowing how many runners suffer from asthma or other breathing-related issues.  I still get the occasional stitch in my side, and fully expect to fight that little pain in the dupa once I start incorporating speed work again.

And the mother of them all…

ITBS: I can say with extreme cautious optimism – NOTHING YET!

Happydance, happy dance, happy dance!

Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!

All the killer leg workouts in the gym, all the painful foam rolling, and all the melted paper cups of ice just may be starting to pay off.  I’ve had a few twinges of knee pain, but I’m pretty sure it’s more related to my ever-decreasing cushion of whatever that crap is that the kneecap sits on.  And I can ENTIRELY deal with those #shenanigans.

Arthritis?  I don't need no stinkin' arthritis!

Arthritis? I don’t need no stinkin’ arthritis!

 The Plan: is to just keep on keepin’ on.  I’ll keep suffering the hormonal teenage onslaught at the gym, all in the name of keeping the ITBS at bay.  Mileage will continue to increase slowly, but this no more than 10% a week thing is for the birds.  Besides, if I stick to that, I won’t be hitting 13 miles until, oh, the WINE AND DINE HALF! Um, can you say “not gonna happen”?  I’m still going to be smart about it, but these gams gotta get it done.  And preferably BEFORE November 8th.

Well, hellooo gorgeous!

Well, helloooo gorgeous!

Until then, I’ll keep watching what I stuff in my yap, putting in the hard work to gain some much needed strength and flexibility, and challenging myself with a handful of both live and virtual races.

Show me the bling!

Show me the bling!

And of course, running with the best (canine) running partner around.

She's a bit hairy and easilt distracted by squirrels, but she's my buddy!

She’s a bit hairy and easily distracted by squirrels, but she’s my buddy!

Because it would totally suck if I blew this chance at being able to do what so many others can’t.  AND get to run in places like this.]!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Let me know your thoughts on my progress and if you have any ideas or advice on my continued training.  I’d love to hear from you! Hear that all you nurses in the family?  The RUNNING ones?!?

Enjoy the ride.

How long after an injury did it take you to feel good about your training again?

Today’s the Day!!

Actually, it was supposed to be Thursday, but thanks to last-minute schedule changes – and the fact that if I had to wait one more day, I would implode – today will be my first run since January 11th.  Yes, JANUARY 11.  Like FOUR months ago.  Insert crazy face here.

DogFaces

If you’ve been following my temper tantrums over the past few months, then you know I had a majoroso case of ITBS halfway through this year’s Disney Half Marathon.  So bad that I pretty much gimped my way through the last 7 miles, crossed the finish line, and proceeded to have a complete and utter meltdown.  One of the photogs even took a picture of me crying on the phone to my hubby. (REALLY Marathon Foto person?!?)  I knew then that I had to give these bad boys time to heal and work on what I needed to make things right again in my running world.

The debate about going back to a gym soon followed (see this).  I knew that if I wanted to continue to rack up the miles, I’d just have to bite the bullet and put up with whatever gym nonsense came my way.  I am happy to report however, that so far at least, it has proven to be a rather tolerable experience.  I’m still pretty shocked that mothers let their daughters walk out the door and head to the gym in not much more than dental floss, but at least it keeps the young wannabe studs moving through their workouts, as they try to impress anything with no dupas and plenty of other parts.  And it does provide for some pretty humorous people watching…

Well, hi there.

Well, hi there.

So here we are, four months gone and countless reps, crunches, ARC, bike, and elliptical minutes later.  The dreaded foam roller has made the occasional appearance and probably will make more.  At least Calypso helps me out with that little slice of ugliness heaven…

I got ya Mom.

I got ya Mom.

I feel like a kid starting their first day of kindergarten – scared, nervous, and ready to throw up the first time the teacher calls on me.  All this and all I’m doing is the 1.89 mile loop around my lake.  You’d think I was toeing the line of a marathon start.

I'm scerred.

I think I’m gonna throw up.

In closing dear readers, as you head home, to the gym, out for your own run, or to happy hour, (now THERE’S an idea), please send some happy pixie dust out into the universe for me.   Or at least for my knees.  It would be so nice to forget I even have them anymore.

HappyHappyHappy!

HappyHappyHappy!

 Enjoy the ride.

Were you nervous when you started running again after an injury?

How Running Has Changed Me

Remember a while back I told you my brain is like one of these?

Yikes!

Yikes!

I can tell you, with the utmost confidence, that if it wasn’t for being active, and especially being a runner, the cranium would look more like this.

Watch out!

Watch out!

Not so long ago, when I was a mileage-obsessed, don’t wanna do anything but runrunrunrurnrunrunrunrunrun freakazoid, I thought if I COULDN’T, I would go off the deep end.  Come home and NOT go for a run after work?  NOT go for at least a six miler on the weekend?  Go an entire two weeks without buying a new pair of socks, tech shirts, or compression shorts?  WHAT?!?!?!?  Oh HELL no!  That would result in above referenced explosion.  Grey matter would be scattered all over south Florida.

Helloooo ITBS.  (Insert sad face here.)  Anyone who’s battled this pain in the you-know-where, (and yes, I’m referring to somewhere OTHER than the knees), knows you can’t do anything but rest and rehab the bee-jesus out of it.  Enter the I’marunnerwhocanttrunanytimeinthenearfuture crazies.  Good tip for all you men out there – PMS has got NOTHING on this bad boy.  Think you’ve got it bad having to live with crankiness and irritability once a month?  Ask the hubby what it’s like trying to live with a woman on the verge of ripping her eyeballs out with an ice cream scoop and SWEARS she actually hears the pavement calling out to her??

Aaaagggghhhh!!!!!

Aaaagggghhhh!!!!!

Then – a moment of clarity.  (Oooohhhh, sounds deep and mysterious, doesn’t it???  Yeah, not really.)  After scouring the internet and social media, and finding I wasn’t the only runner out there with a majoroso case of runner DT’s, it suddenly hit me.  One, we’re all nuts.  ALL of us.  Okay, maybe no big surprise there.  Second, we’re ALL FRIGGIN’ NUTS.  We plan vacations around races.  If we go to Disney for a reason OTHER than a race, we’re discombobulated.  The only things we care about when we pack for vacation is whether or not we’ve packed enough running clothes.  The majority of our closets and drawers are filled with more tech material than an Under Armour factory.  We spend our time surfing the net for training programs, training logs, GPS watches, and race schedules.  And if we can’t run for whatever reason, we stalk our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogger friends, in a vain attempt to vicariously run their miles.

THAT my friends, is what running has done TO me.  This…

peaceful forest

…is what running does FOR me.  It brings me peace.  It gives me the ability to keep from going completely postal when somebody at work goes off on one of their I’m-the-king-of-the-world-and-I-want-more-money-and-less-hours-and-the-perfect-schedule-even-though-my-job-is-24-7 tangents.  It provides an outlet for me to beat on something that can take it, and not explode on the hubby, the dog, or the neighborhood ducks for absolutely no reason at all.

namaste

The dollars still whip around at lightning speed, but a few stand out in hi def, subsequently leading to the goofiness you often find here.  My blood pressure drops, my tension headaches usually go away, and on a good day, I feel like I actually could find the cure for cancer, (that is if I had gotten anything better than a B in biology class).  I know you follow me here – the feeling that all is right with the world and you’ve gained some kind of new perspective on life.  No more twisted brain cells, no more tense shoulders, no more ugliness.  Just beautiful, endless, peace…

beach

Aaaaahhhhhh…..

At the risk of offending the rock gods, (and more specifically Collective Soul), the next time you find yourself stepping to the edge, and see your world below, possibly in shambles, just remember that peace you find as the miles continue.  And maybe, just maybe, by the time you make that final turn back to your humble abode, all the crap will have mysteriously just faded away into calm, serene, nothingness.

Until you open the door to screaming children, barking dogs, and a spouse you just want to smack over the head with a skillet.  In which case you can just back up, close the door, and go for another run.

Enjoy the ride.

How has running affected your life?

 

 

 

Not Completely Insane…Yet

As you may or may not remember, I decided to take some time off from running in an attempt to let my IT bands heal after the Disney Half Marathon in January.  For any of you who suffer from ITBS, you know it’s not something you can just “run through”.  In fact, the more you run, the worse it gets.

Run away ITBS, run away!

Run away ITBS, run away!

After researching ITBS to death, the common denominator seemed to keep coming back to an imbalance in the hips and weak quad and gluteal muscles.  Like many runners, I’ve been suffering from a major case of runner’s tunnel vision. Runrunrunrunrunrunrun and more run.  That’s it.  The occasional foray onto my elliptical and IT specific PT exercises occasionally made an appearance on my workout calendar, but that was about it.  And ooh mama, did I pay for it!

PAIN_Logo_final

Around mile 6 of the Donald Half the pain started and just kept on getting worse.  The last three miles saw me either limping or dragging my left leg behind me.  Dressed up as Sleeping Beauty, it probably would have been more appropriate if I had dressed up as this guy.

Aaarrrrgggg!!!

Aaarrgghh!!

I managed to gimp my way across the finish line, and after my post-race 10 minute pity party, decided it was time to take back control of my lower extremities.  I  set a blast-off date of May 1st as my return to the pavement.  This time though, I’m all business.

This is my all business face.

This is my all business face.

Weightlifting, PT exercises, ellipticals, ARC trainers, and stationary bikes have become part of my daily routine.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m 43 days away from hitting the road again and counting every damn millisecond.  If I don’t go jump off a cliff in the meantime, it will be nothing short of a miracle.

cliff

However, I am trying like hell to keep an eye on the prize: 13.1 miles at this year’s Wine and Dine with NO pain (aside from the usual discomfort which is completely acceptable!)  And yes, I’m even going to go so far as to say I’m looking to PR.  Yes, at a DISNEY RACE.  I’m sure right now you’re thinking, “why Black Dog, you MUST be on crack!”  Maybe so.  Who PR’s at a Disney race??  We all have to have something to shoot for, don’t we?  So what if my target seems just a little whacked?  Just trying to keep things interesting!

Say WHAT?!?

You want to WHAT?!?

I have fought the urge to jump on the treadmill every time I walk in the gym.  Or every time I lace up my running shoes.  Or open my eyes.  Or breathe. Or eat ice cream.  I think you get the idea.  But I will stay strong and whack the little bad demon over the head every time he whispers in my ear, “Go ahead.  Just a couple of miles won’t hurt you.”  Maybe not.  What I won’t do, AGAIN, is rush back to my true love (no, the OTHER one), before I’m ready.  As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?  Either that or completely loony tunes…

crazy dog

Enjoy the ride.

How do you cope with injuries?

To Gym or Not to Gym

Let’s face it.  I’m over the whole gym thing.

grumpy-cat gym

I started going to the gym a couple of decades ago.  I was a faithful worker-outerer to the point that I even got hired at the first gym I ever joined.  That started a semi-daily routine of college, gym, work, gym, shag the dupa out of bed, gym, and on and on and on.  I loved it.  I never got the body I always envied and saw on a daily basis, but I did discover biceps and pecs.

My sentiments exactly.

My sentiments exactly.

(Source)

Fast forward a few years and 1300 miles away, and I found myself starting the gym cycle all over again.  Just before moving to Florida, I had joined one of those large franchise gyms.  I was able to transfer the membership to one near my new apartment.  Once again I began the routine of gym, work, gym, sleep, gym, gymgymgymgymgymgym.  There was a different feel to the atmosphere which I chalked up to the fact that most people tend to live in bikinis and spandex in south Florida.  Most of them can.  I am not one of them.

gym3

(Source)

Over the next few years I bounced around different gyms, never finding one I REALLY liked.  Then, after moving, I figured I would try out another one of those big chain places, (cue the over dramatic music).  This place would turn me off gyms for life.  Or so I thought.

gym4

(Source)

I found I had crash landed on the planet of “I-don’t-really-care-if you’re-here-to-work-out-because-I’m-going-to-plop-my-ass-on-this-bench-with-every-set-of-free-weights-you-need-while-talking-to-my-buddies-and-text-the-entire-graduating-class-and-eventually-maybe-just-possibly-do-a-rep-or-two-but-no-you-can’t-borrow-that-set-of-dumbells.”  Feel my pain??  I put a screeching halt to the” I’m 17 and all of that” minions by simply picking up what I needed, doing what I needed to do and placing them back on the racks where they belonged in the first place.  Do you REALLY want to mess with a chick old enough to be your mother who’s pumping out flyes like nobody’s business?  No, I didn’t think so.

gym5

(Source)

I simply do not have the patience for people who refuse to rack their weights, hog the dumbbells, think the machines are places to hold what they believe are earth shattering conversations, walk around screaming into their cell phones and treat saunas like they’re frat parties.  I get it, they’re kids – obviously raised by packs of wild dogs who don’t know the first thing about the ever elusive concept of MANNERS.  However, when repeated complaints by multiple other patrons results in absolutely nothing being done to remedy the situation, I throw in the towel.  Literally.  After finding yet ANOTHER wet, mildewed towel that smelled like it had been fermenting for about a week, I dumped it on the manager’s desk, told them to cancel my membership and never returned again.  Ironically, by the time I got home, the manager had left a message on my machine, apologizing up, down, left and right, stating he would do whatever was necessary to make it right.  Really?  REALLY?!?  NOW you want to address my (and numerous) others concerns?!?

Aaaagggghhhh!!!!!

Aaaagggghhhh!!!!!

(Source)

Long story short: I never went back to a gym again.  Until now.  After all this time, and aggravation, you’d think I would have learned my lesson.  Oh contraire mon Frere!

Dollar Alert: Ever wonder what the mothers of wild dogs talk about? 

“Hey Marge, I think your Maxie just got himself stuck by a porcupine again.”

“I told him not to pee on that darn bush!”

So here I am once again pondering the possibility of returning to face my nemesis.  I have found that no matter how much cross training I do in the peaceful confines of my humble abode, it just isn’t enough to combat the evils of my ITBS.  I need to hit the machines again.  I need to work my way up the free weight racks.  I need to be in an environment where the phone isn’t ringing, I’m not tempted by the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies calling my name from the next room and I’m not getting distracted by the Wonder Mutt giving me her sad come-play-with-me puppy eyes.  It’s time to take on the bratty, ill-mannered gym rats, and once again stake my claim in my little corner of the fitness world.  Who knows?  I may just end up looking like this in a bikini after all…

Abby-wearing-Affitnity-One-Shoulder-Sports-Bra1

Probably not.

Enjoy the ride.

How do you deal with rude people at the gym?