Where Is Your Head At?

Like most responsible bloggers – not that I claim to be one of them, mind you – I try to have a list of topics I’d like to cover at least two weeks out.  I found it’s easier than letting my dollar machine brain spin out of control and sadly, end up with squat.  More often than not though, as I start writing in earnest about the day’s chosen subject, the tornadic activity kicks into overdrive and the inevitable brain vomit follows, resulting in a side trip to whatthehellisshetalkingaboutand how thehelldidshegetthere-itis.  Bear with me.  There actually IS a point I’m trying to make.

brain vomit

As I laid on the torture massage table this afternoon, staring at the ceiling and cursing under my breath, (not so much), my synapses started firing at full force as I wondered how, after two FREAKIN’ years, I was STILL dealing with IT issues.  Why, just when I thought I finally had this cursed pain in my ass knees licked, it showed up yet ONCE AGAIN.  And here I am, in the chiro’s office ONCE AGAIN.  Getting my muscles, tendons, ligaments, and whatever the heck else is in there, stretched, mushed, and beaten into submission. ONCE AGAIN.  Are you sensing a pattern here?

I don't WANNA have to foam roll any more!

I don’t WANNA have to foam roll any more!

Seeing as the only way I can keep from hurling my shoes at my massage therapist’s head is to breathe deeply, I was happy to find that it also helped quiet the noise in my head that kept screaming, “IS ALL OF THIS WORTH IT? DON’T YOU WANT TO JUST THROW IN THE TOWEL, PERMANENTLY ATTACH YOUR BUTT TO THE COUCH, AND EAT CUPCAKES?  ALL DAMN DAY???” Yeah, that’s really what my head says to me.  Doesn’t everyone’s?

Eat all the cupcakes.  ALL OF THEM.

Eat all the cupcakes. ALL OF THEM.

Thankfully – once I got over the whole cupcake fantasy thing – I was able to calm down and put things back in my favorite place.  Yeppers!  Black Dog is back on the PERSPECTIVE train!

tracks

Soooouuuuullllll Train…….

I COULD actually permanently affix my dupa to the couch and eat cupcakes all day while watching a Criminal Minds marathon, but that would only result in larger sized sweatpants, frosting mushed into the couch, and uncontrolled drooling over Shemar Moore’s abs.  While that in itself wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, it wouldn’t exactly help the original problem of getting these miles run with a tolerable amount of pain.  And that track always leads me back to the same place.  A little land I call TRUST THE PROCESSville. Land. WHATEVER.

As runners, we all end up there at some point.  A pain or ache that simply refuses to go away and makes our running life a living hell.  We stretch, foam roll, grunt, groan, and occasionally scream our way through every possible mode of therapy we can think of.  We wonder if it’s all worth it.  And then we see this.

soldier finish line

 And this.

Eric-CrossingAnd this.

Boston Survivor

And suddenly, all our aches and pains, pulled muscles, sore feet, lost nails, and yes, even our ITBS, suddenly doesn’t seem to matter so much.  Our complaining becomes tempered, our tears dry up quicker, and we look at things just a little bit differently.  We’re thankful we have our eyes to see, our lungs to breathe, and our legs to run.  That long, slow run we’ve been dreading all week doesn’t seem quite so scary come Saturday morning.  And instead of quietly sneaking out before dawn to get our miles in before work, we take a moment and kiss our significant other on the forehead, even if it wakes them up.  Because we realize that life is a precious gift.  And one that should never be taken for granted.

So if you’re battling a chronic injury like me, and feel like giving up, DON’T.  You WILL beat back the demons that seem to thwart your attempts at victory.  You WILL be able to look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of what you see.  And you WILL emerge victorious on the other side.  And all the anger, tears, and pain will have been worth it.  So go ahead and wrap your head around THAT.

 Enjoy the ride.

Ever get so down in the dumps about an injury that you thought your running days were over?  Were you able to overcome it?  Who or what inspires you or helps you keep things in perspective?

Sometimes You Just Need a Slap Upside the Head

Not that any of us ever WANT one, we just NEED IT.  Welcome to my day.  Actually my month. And here’s why.

Having never done a tempo run before last week, I wasn’t sure how to go about it.  Thanks to Coach Krissy’s Master Plan of Getting Black Dog to a 2:00 Wine and Dine Half Marathon, I knew I had to get 2 miles done at an 8:43 pace.  Pretty quick for my short, little, dumpy legs, but still doable.  OR SO I THOUGHT.

image

After my second tempo run ever, all I wanted to do was bang my head against a wall and call it a day.  I’ve never been a fast runner – at least fast by my standards – and this latest mess just reinforced my quickly crashing 2 hour Wine and Dine dream.  And then I saw this.

Hi2

And did this.

doh

Whenever things look like they’re headed for the toilet bowl, all I need is to see is that furry little face.  She’s had a miserable couple of days, thanks to her pool jumping OCD.  She just can’t control her obsession with jumping in our BFF’s pool. Over and over and over and over and over again.  And over and over and over and over AGAIN.  She does it so much she ends up tearing up the skin on her pads and limps around the house for the next three days.  But given the chance, she’d still be over there jumping.  It’s that whole living in the moment thing that all dogs have.  How can you not appreciate that?

water exit

Whoo hoo!!

So after seeing that face that was so happy to see my sweaty, nasty, worn out body back home again, it put everything back in perspective.  (Yup, there’s my favorite word again). I may not have hit the times I needed to on my run, and who knows if I ever will.  But I’m sure as hell going to keep trying. Over and over and over and over.  Call it my version of pool jumping OCD.  And if I hit it, great!  If not, at least I’m going to try and have fun getting there.  I guess it’s all just part of trusting the process.  And living in the moment.  Maybe the hubby will even give me a biscuit afterwards.

biscuit please

Please. No stupid pet tricks. Save me a shred of dignity.

Enjoy the ride.

Do you ever find yourself “stuck” in your training?  Do you let it bother you or do you keep getting out there and trust the training process?  Is there something you have OCD about?  It’s okay, you’re among friends.

This Crazy Thing Called Life

Every so often I like to take a step back and “re-evaluate” my life.  Am I taking advantage of everything I can as far as where I live, what I’m physically capable of doing, and the time I spend with the people who matter to me the most?  Am I having FUN?  Because I truly believe that when it all comes down to it, THAT is what life should be all about.

Yeah baby!

Yeah baby!

I read this post from Kathryn at From Dancing to Running a while back and it was one of those that just stuck with me.  I stuck it on a back burner knowing it would eventually get spit out by my Brainado. (And yes, I totally ripped that off from Sharknado.)  Then this week, I read this from Sara at Life Between the Miles.  And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

You may or may not know from a previous post (here), that I lost my dad when I was still in high school.  It was quick, (I hope), as heart attacks often are.  I’m often thankful that at least neither he, nor this family, had to watch him get sick and eventually drift away.  One thing I often do wish though, was that I’d had the chance to say goodbye.

Bye Daddy.

Bye Daddy.

Then I start thinking, what would I have said that could possibly make him understand the impact he’d had not only on my life, but on that of his friends and family?  I am a true cheerleader in believing everything happens for a reason.  If my dad had lived, would I have ever moved thousands of miles away from everything, and everyone, I’d ever known?  Would I have ever gone through a totally crap time just to come out of it with a shiny new relationship that I’m unbelievably thankful for every day?  Would I have fallen head over heels in love with all things running and Disney, and met the incredible people I now consider my extended family because of it?  Who knows?  But I do believe it all happened the way it did, because it was supposed to.

Fave guy in my fave place.

Fave guy in my fave place.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in “the stupid” that we forget to take a breath and realize how good we’ve got it.  I was sitting at lunch today with the hubby watching as they transported Nancy Writebol, infected with the deadly Ebola virus, back to the United States.  She may be flirting with death right now, but I also think she’s probably unbelievably grateful that she has at least been given a fighting chance to beat death at its own game.  I doubt she’s too worried about whether or not she can get the latest designer bag on sale or if her dupa looks too fat.  Oh look!  We’re back at my favorite thing! PERSPECTIVE.

perspective2

The next time you’re having a totally crap day, go ahead and have that pity party.  No one will blame you.  Just make sure it doesn’t end up occupying more space in your head than it needs to.  There’s too many others out there who would be more than happy to take on your problems.

And since I flat out refuse to leave you on a downer, take some of that unsolicited advice I was bitching about a couple of days ago and…

squat sign

Just trying to help you out.  I’m good like that.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Ever have to remind yourself about what’s REALLY important?

Thank You, Ms. Angelou

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, perspective is a big thing with me.

beachperspective

Perspective is what keeps us focused on what’s really important and not wasting on our time on what isn’t.  I like to think of it as another one of life’s great equalizers.  Ever get so caught up in a professional or college sports team event that you get seriously ticked off if your team loses?  Been there, done that.  Especially when these two go head-to-head.  Even Wonder Mutt covers her ears.

(photos courtesy of NFL Uniforms)

(photos courtesy of NFL Uniforms)

For anyone following me on Facebook or Twitter this weekend, you would have seen me tooting my own horn when I pulled this off:

time

I’ve only been back on the pavement for a month, so pulling off an average sub 10-minute mile is big bahoozies to this turtle-paced girl.  And to say I basked in the glory of my new-found happy place would have been putting it mildly.  Images of crossing the finish line in at Boston with a big 3:00 flashing on the time clock flashed in my brain. (Okay, not really, but it sounded good, didn’t it?)  But knowing I still have a lot, and I mean a LOT of work to do, brought my hard-earned little personal victory to a quick halt.  That, and Maya Angelou.  Huh? you may be saying.  What does Maya Angelou have to do with your time, Black Dog? And that would be a very good question!  Well…hang on to your britches, ’cause here comes another dollar alert.

Unless you’ve been sleeping through your life this past week, then you know the world lost an amazing spirit.

maya1

That sultry-voiced songbird was a master at calling things like she saw them, with an incredible amount of class and style.  She could make you feel like you could be a better person just by listening to her speak.  Her words were capable of moving celebrities to tears, presidents to delight, and the most cynical among us to consider – even if only for a moment – that humankind really could all get along, if only we made the effort.  She was a woman of talent, kindness, toughness, and of course, perspective.  She hardly led a charmed life.  Raped at the age of 7 and not speaking for years after, Angelou feared her words of accusation were what killed her attacker.  But that incredible mind never stopped imagining, creating, or believing she could make a difference.

maya2

After considering what this amazing woman lived through – and accomplished – made my little running victory seem not quite as earth-shattering as I might have wanted to believe.  But – and this is a big but – Ms. Angelou probably would have told me otherwise.  I’d like to imagine she’d grab me by my (sweaty) shoulders, look me dead in the eye, and tell me to repeat after her:

maya3

 

Which of course, I would do.  And believe.

Thank you Ms. Angelou.  Thank you for your spirit and convictions.  Thank you for being a class act and believing anyone could do anything, if they just put their mind to it.  Your spirit will live on in us all.  And we will all be better people for it.

Enjoy the ride.

Who has made the strongest impression in your life?