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?

Yes, it’s really a race recap! Sort of…

I know this probably doesn’t sound like any big thing, but keep in mind I haven’t been much of a race girl while getting #brokeknees 1 and 2 fixed.

ice knee1

Don’t miss this nonsense!

Even though I’m not completely pain-free – and knew going into surgery that I may never be again – I have been able to accommodate my somewhat finicky joints.  In other words, keep the pain level to a minimum.  I can run.  Like the whole turtle though peanut butter kind of runs at the moment, but I’m okay with that.  I just keep telling myself the speed will come.  Maybe.  Hopefully.  It’s okay if it doesn’t because I really love peanut butter.

peanut butter turtles

After the fiasco that was the announcement of the new – and big steaming pile of dogpoop of a decision regarding Wine and Dine 2016 – I knew I had to get myself a proof of time to submit by August.  I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to properly train for a half after surgery #2, my old times were just that – too old – so a 10k it would have to be.  And if you live in south Florida, you’re basically screwed.

“Welcome to the Land of All Things 5k.  Because our attention span won’t last long enough for anything longer.”

serious grumpy cat

You suck south Florida…

Thanks to the utter lack of 10k opportunities, I bit the bullet and went with the Down2Earth cross-country series that goes all summer long, with this particular race being held at John U. Lloyd State Park.  Added benefit: they also run a 5k at the same time, so the hubby agreed to suffer right along with me.  What concerned me?  The whole CROSS COUNTRY part.  I haven’t run cross-country since high school.  The hubs has NEVER done cross country jaunts.  This should prove to be interesting, if not entirely life-threatening.

scaredy cat

Not you again…..

If you’re supremely bored and happen to go to the race website, you’ll see our race was held at a lovely sounding location known to locals as Dania Beach.  BEACH.  As in SAND.  LOTS OF FRIGGIN’ SAND.

sand1

Bobcat paw prints included at no additional cost.

Being the wise old runner that I am, (you can stop choking now), I figured it would probably be a good move to at least go down to the park before race day and figure out what the course would be.  You see, there’s only beach, access road, and parking lot.  That’s it.  Intracoastal waterway on one side, and the Atlantic on the other.  So on a balmy Sunday morning, the hubs and I drag our dupas out of bed, loaded up the cooler, and headed on down the road.  We managed to stop one of the park rangers to see if he knew where the course would be.  After all, he IS the park ranger.  If anyone would know, he would.  Right?  Yeahhhhhhh, not so much.  He gave us his best guess and we just flew with it.  Right onto the paw print marked sand as you see here.  I can honestly say I have never cursed so much at one race location in my entire life.  I think the bobcats have permanently vacated the area after hearing what was coming out of this girl’s yap.

It was a good thing we took the morning to do this though, as a couple of weeks later, we were as ready as we could be for more than a few miles in the sand.  The race field was very small, no more than 30-40 runners for both distances combined.  Race directions were simple:  run along the beach access road until you see the yellow tape, run around the tape, then run back to the start.  5k runners go once, 10k runners go twice.  All right, we can handle that.  It’s hot as hell, no breeze, typical south Florida summer humidity, nothing we’re not used to.  We all line up at the start, laugh about how many of us are going to die, gun goes off, and off we go. Into the wild sandy yonder.

The hubs knew I was running for time so he wished me luck and off I went.  Knowing that pacing was going to be a big factor, I did my best to keep the jitters under control and not go out too fast which I excel at doing.  Mistake #1, thinking there would be a water station at the turnaround 1.5 miles out.  Let me just stay this:  every race I have EVER done had a water station around the 1-2 mile mark.  EVERY ONE.  This one?  Not so much.  I got up to the turnaround, saw nothing but stupid yellow tape, and proceeded to say things that made the local snakes drop dead in mid slither.

WHO THE HELL DOESN’T GIVE YOU A WATER STATION AT THE TURNAROUND POINT ON A BEACH RUN???  Oh, wait…..

stooge

This stooge, that’s who.

Now, I put this one all on me.  I should’ve known better when my previous contact with the race director asking if there was going to be a water stop was met with complete silence. Definitely on me.  Lesson learned.  Moving on.

I passed the hubs on the way back and told him of the unfortunate circumstance and warned him that I think I had inadvertently killed a snake with my vocal venom.

“There’s no water at the turnaround.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“I’m a monkey’s friggin’ uncle.”

(We have a special relationship.)

Thankfully, after the final half mile back to the start in the softest sand you could imagine – and mind you this was just at the end of the first loop – they at least had water set up at the start line.  After stopping long enough to gulp down a couple of cups and throw a couple more over my head, off I went for Hell in the Sand part 2.  Which was pretty uneventful and much like Hell in the Sand part 1.  Pretty views of the ocean, lizards looking at us humans like we were nuts – guess they call it like they see it – and for the most part, completely by myself.  Race support?  Non-existent.  (Good thing no one dropped of heatstroke out there, they’d have been screwed).  So I just kept my head down, stopped freaking out over the ugly times I kept seeing on the trusty watch, and thanked the runner gods that the hubs had enough functioning brain cells to fill a bottle he had with water and toss it to me as I passed him for the second time on my way back out.

flashdance-9201.large

Yes, it felt THAT good.  Don’t judge me.

I managed to trudge back out to the turnaround, back through what beautiful little shade there actually was on the access road, out the to hellacious sugar sand along the beach, and finally made the final turn for the promised land.  About 300 yards from the finish, the hubs was standing on the side so I tossed him my iPod, turned on the after burners and hit the line still in an upright position.  I was hoping for a 60 minute finish time, but considering the terrain, I would have been happy to finish in 75.

Imagine my surprise, and somewhat sweaty delight, when I was told I had actually finished in 64 minutes, and good enough for 2nd place female! (Which sadly, once the results were posted on the website I was bumped down to 3rd place, but hell, I’LL TAKE IT!)

June 18 race1.jpg

(Smiling thinking about the post-race margarita.)

So here’s my takeaway from the Down2Earth 5 and 10k Cross-Country Run:

  1.   Ability to see the course online prior to race day – zip
  2.   Questioned answered by race director prior to race day – dog poop
  3.   On course race support – nada
  4.   Would I do it again? – perhaps

Here’s why that last one isn’t a flat out no.  I found out afterwards this was the first time this race was held at this location.  Normally they’re put on at Oleta State Park in Miami.  I’ve taken my bike there a few times and the park trails are CONSIDERABLY more runner friendly than at John U. Lloyd.  I got the impression when the race director was telling us about the races at Oleta, and proceeded to wave his hand at the sand and say “there’s no running in this kind of crap at Oleta”, that he wasn’t happy about the conditions either.  The only hangup for us?  Lloyd Park is only about a half hour away from our humble abode.  Oleta is a little more than an hour.  And in Miami.  MIAMI.  Trust me, not NEARLY as glamorous and these guys made it look.

The ending of the story?  I got my proof of time for Disney.  I got to run a race again, with the hubs.  I haven’t been able to do that in years.  Neither of us died.  I got a medal.  I know now that I have the verbal ability to scare away bobcats and shock snakes to death with my vocal venom.  ALL GOOD THINGS.

June 18 medal1

The aches and pains we felt over the next few days in places that neither of us knew we could be achy and painy from running in the sand?  Well.  That’s a story for another day.

Enjoy the ride.

 

Have you ever been disappointed with support at a race?  Have you ever done an entire race in the sand?  What are the worst conditions you’ve ever tun in?

Friday Funny

GIFSec.com

 

Enjoy the ride.

Admit it.  You’ve got MC Hammer stuck in your head now, don’t you?  It’s Friday!  Let’s all put on funny pants and party our dupas off!  What big plans do you have planned for these couple days of freedom?  Runs?  Margaritas? Races?  Post race recovery margaritas?  Let’s hear it!

Friday Funny

In honor of everyone running this weekend in Disney!

FF Drink marathon

 

Enjoy the ride.

Is the pressure of completing the Goofy or Dopey Challenge starting to weigh on you?  How are you handling the stress?  Are margaritas involved?  Will you be making a quick stop at La Cava del Tequila on Sunday morning?

Friday Funny

From all of us here at Black Dog Productions to those of you running the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend – especially Team Can Am girls Nicole and Kellie, and sidekick Jenn – may your race be an awesome one!

FF running ritas

 

Enjoy the ride.

Who’s taking part in one of the best marathons on the planet?  Are you ready or just trying to convince yourself you are?  May all those cuties in uniform be your inspiration!

I’m SO Excited!!!!!

surpirsed-baby

YYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

That’s it.

Really.

Thought there was more coming, didn’t ya?

Nope.

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

That ain't right Black Dog.

That ain’t right Black Dog.

Hee hee hee…..

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

Oooooooooh, pwetty cowors.......

Oooooooooh, pwetty colors…….

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

bbbbblllllhhhhhh

bbbbblllllhhhhhh

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

Olaf (1)

I like ice wraps!

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

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

Hydration.  Black Dog style.

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

Enjoy the ride.

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

A New Day

Yup.  Totally going there…

feel fat

Love the plan.  In theory.  Realistically, probably won’t quite cut the mustard.

With my new Man-imposed running hiatus, I have to pay attention now more than ever to what I’m shoveling down my yap.  I tend to start pushing maximum capacity when I’m not running.  So together with my partners in crime: Rae – who, coincidentally, joined the ranks of the married peoples this weekend (yippee!!!!), Princess Lisa, Nicole, and Kellie – we are TAKING CHARGE of our fat cells.  Or at least that’s what we’re telling them.  Stubborn little buggers.

fat_cells

What? You want us to go away? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

So it’s a new day in the Black Dog House.  The days of chowing down on everything in sight because I would just run it off anyway are long gone.  No more double scoops of Moose Tracks, one more mini peanut butter cup, overindulging in cupcakes, or second glasses of wine.  Did I mention these are on the no-fly list too?

Evil little sugar and calorie laden bastard....

Evil little sugar and calorie laden bastard….

Kill. Me. Now.

BUT, this is a necessary step in the evolutionary process that is my fitness journey.  Don’t get me wrong, I can work up a pretty good sweatfest on a bike or power walk with the best of them.  Maybe not quite Leo style, but I can wear out the Wonder Mutt after about a mile or so.  However, let’s not kid ourselves – nothing works quite as magically in the battle of the bulge as running does.  At least not for these stubborn, fat-loving genes.

So back to the Weight Watchers way of life and Monday morning weigh-ins.  I figure that’s the best way to keep you on the straight and narrow during the weekend.  Except when the hubby says, “let’s make pizza on the Big Green Egg this weekend.”  Who can say no to beautiful creations like this?

BGE pizza1

We. Are All. That Is Pizza.

(Heavy sigh)

So as I sit here daydreaming about the amazing grilled wonder of delight we had for lunch today, and scarf down a bowl of Moose Tracks laced with birthday/wedding/Half Marathon PR/Decorated Christmas Tree cupcakes – because what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t virtually celebrate these momentous occasions – I have to formulate a game plan.  So here it is:

1. Eat less crap.

Yeah.  That’s pretty much it.  I can probably stand to get the dupa to the gym more as well.  I just don’t want to go there too much.  I go too often, I inevitably end up getting annoyed with someone, and my little hour of sweaty, heart-pumping bliss becomes a hellacious nightmare of barely controlled insanity.  Due to the likes of the guy who insists on doing arm circles on the recumbent bike next to me and barely missing taking out the left side of my skull, or the woman who REALLY needs to try a stronger deodorant.  REALLY.

So if there’s any magical weight-loss/smaller-jean-size pixie dust out there in the great void, please feel free to float this way.  Or north.  Way, way, WAY north.  Anywhere between the east coast and the frozen Canadian Tundra will work.  Thanks.  Appreciate it.

pixie dust

 

Enjoy the ride.

Anyone taking on a new eating challenge?  Do you find the irony in the timing of me trying not to eat all the crap at this particular time of year?  How do you keep your weight under control if you can’t run?  Do you think the fact that Moose Tracks is the world’s most perfect ice cream is a conspiracy?

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?

Some “Alternate” Ideas on How To Run Cool

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

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

Ouch!

Ouch!

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

Moving on.

Cool running

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

glugluglug

glugluglug

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

Aspirin, anyone?

Oh, my head….

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

red-shirt-711680

Nope. Don’t see a thing.

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

Muahhahahaha!!!!!

Muahhahahahahahaha…

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

slug2

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

Ice cream.  Makes everything better.

Ice cream. Makes everything better.

 Enjoy the ride.

Do you have any other ideas for cool runnings?

Ever Have One of Those Runs?

You know the kind I’m talking about…

dog-pooping

Aww crap.

From the start you can’t breathe, find your pace, or feel like you have a major case of lead legs.  You look down at your GPS – which of course took 10 minutes just to find a signal – and you’ve only gone a quarter-mile.  The battery on your Ipod died 30 steps from the front door and you just don’t want to waste the time going back to steal your hubby’s.  Not to mention that his playlist bites the big one anyway.

ugh

God help me.

As more than casual runners, we all know it’s bound to happen sooner or later.  It’s just part of the territory and we deal with it the best we can.  We trudge through them, safe in the knowledge that they can’t ALL be that bad.  I mean really – just how many poopy runs are there to go around?

Yeah.  I'm done.

Yeah. I’m done.

How many of you set out to do X number of miles, get to the first corner, and said to yourself, “Self? I’m over it.  And you.  I’m going home, making a big, fat margarita, turning on Game of Thrones, and kicking back with the dog.  You can take these 8 miles and stick it.”  C’mon now, keep your hands up.  Yup, just what I figured.  Bunch of ‘rita-lovin’ runners…

Me! Me! Moi! Me! Me! Me! Me too!

Me! Me! Moi! Me! Me! Me! Me too!

We can only hope that when we cross that starting line, our training and effort pays off at the other end.  No one wants to have a poopy race – figuratively or otherwise – but the more we race, the greater the chances that we’ll crash and burn on one of them, (mumblemumblemumble “Disney Half Marathon” mumblemumblemumble).  Now, how you handle it when things tank with absolute fabulousity, can make or break you as a runner.  Do you just throw your hands up and quit?  Plop your dupa on the ground and blow a hissy?  Or throw yourself on the nearest grassy median, scream at the top of your lungs, launching yourself into a full-blown, Alec Baldwin-esque temper tantrum?

Oh no you didn't?!

Oh no you didn’t?!

However one chooses to deal with said crappy runs, one thing can always be counted on.  Unless you’ve been cursed by some strange-looking, one-eyed, gibberish-muttering voodoo master, you should be okay the next time out.  And THAT, my oxygen-sucking, mileage-loving friends, are the runs we all look forward to with love and…well…love.

Yippee!!!!

Yipppeeee!!!!

So just remember the next time you’re having one of THOSE runs, it’s okay.  Get through what you can, go home, kick back, and down that margarita.  It’ll be the best recovery ever.

Enjoy the ride.

What do you do when you’re having a crappy workout?

 

Which One Are You?

I can honestly say I have officially lost count of how many times I have visited Disney World.  No, that’s not me bragging, just the plain ol’ truth.  Prior to packing my bags and making myself scarce from the frozen tundra that is the great Northeast, I had only been to the World once.  Since then, it’s been an all out Mousefest.  If it wasn’t for the fact the hubby is of the non-Disney Dork persuasion, I’m sure I’d be spending a whole lot more time (and money!) doing all things magical.

Ahhh, home at last.

Ahhh, home at last.

However, as a side-effect of all the hours spent in the Happiest Place on Earth, (which may at times be quite debatable), I have become an expert in the art of people watching.  Honestly.  I even have a certificate somewhere.  Plopping down on a random bench with a Mickey ice cream or a libation from the Rose and Crown, can lead to observations of some of the funniest sights you can imagine.  So I am going to take my little corner of the world-wide-web, and impart upon you some of my hard-earned knowledge of all things Disney.  Well, not really, but it does sound impressive.

applause1

1. The Fearless Leader: often seen armed with a battery of park maps and sporting a white splotch of zinc oxide on his nose, the Fearless Leader has spent hours prior to arriving, pouring over travel blogs, park maps, and the Disney World website, in a wholehearted attempt of maximizing every precious second while on scene.  Any deviation from the minute-to-minute schedule not only results in a complete and utter meltdown, but oftentimes requires a pixie dust intervention.  Said person may also be seen wearing a khaki booney hat, water bottle clipped to a belt, and screaming something unintelligible into a battery-powered, two-way radio.

collapsed1

Must…find…Space Mountain…

2. The Blooming Mousketeer: You can spot these guys a mile away.  Typically sporting the latest in Mouse World fashion including ears, 2-3 cameras hanging around the neck, and a plethora of Disney pins adorning every spare inch of available lanyard space, these visitors are typically the most entertaining to keep within earshot.  Always willing to go on yet ANOTHER round of Toy Story Mania, proudly showing off their “1st Visit” pin to every Cast Member and visitor around, and leaving a trail of spilled popcorn in their wake for very happy Disney flocks, the Blooming Mousketeer is one of the jolliest and entertaining Joes in the parks.  Can oftentimes be seen wearing one of a dozen matching neon colored family reunion shirts.  Unlike this guy…

Not...feeling...the...force.

Not…feeling…the…force.

Then, there’s these guys…

chillin1

The Pros: Having spent the majority of their waking moments on a leisurely stroll through Tomorrowland, Dinoland, and the bars of World Showcase, this type can tell you without a moment’s hesitation where the nearest bar, bathroom, or satisfying snack can be found.  They can tell you where any number of hidden Mickey’s can be seen, but only because they happened to notice them while hanging out in line for Soarin’, (snowy landscape on the interactive game screen).  Pros never rush to anything in order to more easily take in the drama unfolding around every corner.  The top pros are able to easily navigate a throng of sugar-crazed pre-teens while carrying earlier noted libations, and spill nary a drop.  Often found kicked back in the shade of a British Revolution show, or taking in the scene while stretched out in the poolside hot tub of the Boardwalk Inn, these guys know there is always another day.

Oh yessssss.......

Ohhhhh yeahhhhhhh…….

I think when it comes right down to it, I’m a combination of the Blooming Mousketeer and a Pro – it just depends on the day.  I dare say I can also venture slightly into the arena of the Fearless Leader, depending on how many strollers have been rammed into my ankles and how many screaming babies I’ve been exposed to.  However, after a quick side trip into a little joint I know tucked between the 50’s Prime Time Cafe and Hollywood and Vine, all is quickly right in the World.  How can you not relax in a spot where you can see a mother nursing her kid while drinking a margarita?  (I kid you not – bet that kid slept like a champ…)

zzzzzz......

zzzzzz……

So the next time you pay a visit to Mickey, Simba, Woody, or men in kilts, just stop.  Take a look around.  Then come back and tell me what you see.  I guarantee you’ll have a whole new appreciation for your new found powers of observation.  That and a well-made, well-timed, margarita.

Hello beautiful...

Hello beautiful…

 

Enjoy the ride.

Are you one of these Disney types? Which one?