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!



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.


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?



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.



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…



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.


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.



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.


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…


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.


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.



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.


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.


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…



Then, there’s these guys…


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…)



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?