Friday Funny

FF weekend cats

Enjoy the ride.

Happy long weekend to those of you pulling the Monday through Friday thing!  What do you have on tap for this long weekend?  Perhaps racing in the Happiest Place on Earth?  Fighting gators during your weekend triathlon?  Whatever you have planned, may you enjoy every second of the next few days celebrating in a completely pointless life.  See ya summer!

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Reset.

Sometimes that’s the only thing you can do.

resetbutton

Blogging around these parts for the past year has been sporadic at best, in case you hadn’t noticed.  Between school, my job from hell, and, oh yes, that little ditty called LIFE, my brain was being pulled in so many different directions, it felt like I was coming apart at the seams.  Every damn day was becoming a battle, so much so that the brain had nothing left to vomit.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it just suffered a major meltdown.

stressed

I hope I’m not jinxing myself,  but it seems like things have FINALLY somewhat calmed down, at least to a more respectable level of chaos.  I had to make some hard decisions to try and reduce the stress level, and they seem to be working for the moment.  I was over the whole going to the gym thing – not for any particular reason, just over it.  Without really putting much thought into it, the hubs and I started using that Amazon Prime membership to the extreme and began collecting random sets of free weights.  Then Pilates balls.  Then a weight rack for all those randomly selected weights.  Now a weight bench.  Lo and behold, before we even really noticed, we’ve now got ourselves a sweet little convenient garage gym, complete with live entertainment.

Wonder Mutt gym dog.jpg

“Let’s go lady, I ain’t got all day.”

In all honesty, it’s pretty damn awesome to just walk out the hall door and get a good sweat on, even if it is a million degrees and you’re sweating just breathing.  But when you look down and see this fuzzy face looking at you like you’re insane, it makes it all worth it.

Even if she does occasionally find it necessary to add a little more unnecessary resistance.

As I start really buckling down for November’s Wine and Dine Half, the cross-training aspect is going to play a major part of the training process this time around.  This will be my last Wine and Dine Half, at least for a while, (yes, I AM that whiny one who’s still pissed about all the changes to what was the best race EVER), and I need to be smart about finding the balance between what I hope to accomplish – a 2:00-2:15 half – and nursing the knees along for the first race post #brokeknee surgery x2 (recaps here, here, and here).  Every run so far has been somewhat of a mystery as I get used to a new reality of what strange crap I’m going to feel each time out.  I’ve been assured by my PT, chiro, and two orthos that I’m not doing any more damage to my knees, so I can do whatever I need to do at whatever pain level I can handle, if any.  As opposed to before the surgeries, the pain is now pretty constant, but at such a low level that I barely notice it anymore, unless I move funny and tweak something.  I take this as a win when before, the pain would peak and stay there, making any kind of speed next to impossible.

Pain tolerable was what I was shooting for post surgery, and pain tolerable is what I’ve got. #ftw!

pain tolerable

And it’s all good.

The balance will come into play big time this training cycle around with cross-training.  I need to build up the strength in the muscles surrounding my knees, slowly build up the mileage, and really just listen to what the good ol’ bod is saying.  Feeling too beat up today?  No problem!  Yoga it is.  Feeling that LSD run from a couple of days ago?  Off to the pool we go.  Need some extra muscle cuddle time?  Well, looky what we’ve got here!

Let's go lady

“Move it woman.  These weights ain’t gonna lift themselves.”

She’s a bit of a taskmaster.

The training runs so far have been slow and an exercise in patience, but now I look forward to each one – as opposed to before when I was dreading what would happen around Mile 6.  I’ve made some adjustments to my equipment, (hello compression knee sleeves!), and no longer have to wear the dreaded Monster Brace From Hell.

So the name of the game this time around will be “let’see what’s going on today.”  Not exactly the model of half marathon training plans, but hey, it works for me.  I look forward to every run now, I’m loving life in the land of garage workouts, and I have a new chiro who doesn’t waste her breath telling me I shouldn’t run.  Hopefully, the tropic steaminess will start to back off a little, caution and patience will pay off, the knees will cooperate, and the encouragement I’m getting from the hubby and running friends alike will continue.  I’ll check in along the way and hopefully have more than a few humorous training escapades to report. Until then my running buddies, may your runs be pain-free, the swampass minimal, and the run-ins with Zika skeeters non-existent.

skeeters

Bastards.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Are you currently training for a fall race?  Does your training plan include cross-training?  Are you angry with the changes to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend?

 

 

 

These Wings Were Made to Fly

As I sit here crashed on my couch at Island Time Tiki Bar, Calypso taking up most of all the available cushion space,  it’s challenging to figure out where to start my recap of the Wings for Life World Run.  It wasn’t a typical “race” in any normal race terms.  Oh contraire, not in the least.  There was the usual mix of participants – serious runners (not me), weekend warriors (also not me), people just out to see what they could do (getting warmer), and just plain shenanigators (BINGO!).

shenanigator

Then there were the athletes being pushed in their wheelchairs, athletes pushing themselves in wheelchairs, and even an athlete making his way along with his cane.  The energy and anticipation at the start was palpable, due in no small part to the big screen broadcasting video of hundreds of thousands runners at their own start lines, 34 in all.  It was….well……pretty damn amazing awesomeness.

Participants - Action

This was the first race in a really, really long time that I had planned on going balls to the wall as much as I could.  The hubs was also running with me for the first time in a couple of years, and as he was nursing a hammy injury and a lingering case of the plague, we had to take that into account for our race strategy.

Excuse me, but did you say race strategy?  Who are you and what have you done with our Black Dog?

Well.  If we DID have a race strategy, it probably would have looked something like this:

  • run like a bat out of hell for the first 30 minutes when we knew the chase car would be starting
  • incorporate as many shenanigan making opportunities as possible
  • make up for the time spent causing shenanigating by running like hell again, at least until the next water stop along the route

I am happy to report this plan worked out pretty damn well for us!

After what seemed like an interminable length of time just trying to get out of the BB&T Center parking lot, (seriously, how big IS this damn lot?!), we finally made it out onto the scenic streets of Sunrise, FLA.  With NO sunglasses.

Lesson #1:  just because it looks like you won’t be running directly east, don’t ever trust your sense of direction that early in the morning.  Ever.

my eyes

Returning to the scene of the crime, we continued on our merry jaunt – happily knee pain free – for what seemed like an interminable length of time until we finally arrived at the first water stop.  Now, let me tell ya, these people know what they’re doing.  Mile 2, complete with Clif bars, Red Bull, H2O, Gatorade and portapotties.  With a line.  The dreaded portapotty line. Duhn, duhn, duuuuuhhhhnnnnnn…..

Portapotty_line

After making a valiant effort at patience – 30 seconds give or take – it was time to create a little suburban drama.  After quickly surveying the scene and knowing the chase car would be hot on our collective tails any moment, the command decision was made to…..well….blaze a new trail.  Right to the nearest bunch of bushes.  Completely runDisney style.  Hey, ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

peeing in the bushes

No elephants were violated in the taking of this picture.

As I not so discreetly did what I had to do and high-tailed it back to the road,  what do I see but the guy who had been standing in line in front of me headed for the same bushes.  With a big thank you and a thumbs up we passed like ships in the night and the hubs and I were back on our way.

No idea how the bush is currently doing….

I’d give you more specifics about the course, but since this area of Broward County is like another country to me, I can’t tell you where we were at just about any given moment.  What I can tell you is this:  the volunteers at the water  stops were amazing.  The cheering groups with their witty race signs were amazing.  The cops and PSA’s of the Sunrise Police Department were the best.  Not so awesomesauce?  That damn helicopter.

WFLWR chopper1

When that bad boy was flying overhead, you knew the chase car was stalking in the near vicinity.  Soon after stopping at the third water stop – complete with music blasting and a cheer squad – the hubby turns around and starts yelling at everyone to run for their lives.  At this point it seemed everyone around us had entered spaced-out zombie zone and had forgotten the little fact that we were being CHASED.  That is, until they saw the chase car slowly gaining ground.  What quickly ensued would have made Usain Bolt jealous.

cheetah-run_494_990x742.jpg

Aw crap.

And  just like that, our race was done.

WFLWR1

Actually, after walking another almost two miles to the next water stop it was done.  By then, the partymobiles shuttle buses had shown up to take everyone back to Party Central at the start.  But not before we took full advantage of the fact that our bus was one normally used for the students on the campus at the University of Miami.  And if you follow college sports at all, then you know there is no love lost between Miami Hurricane fans and that other school up in Gainesville.  Needless to say, we took full advantage of the situation this poor guy found himself in the middle of.  Poor guy.  Knew he was outnumbered from the start.  Didn’t even bother putting up a fight.

gatorboy

Oh Robert.  Poor, poor Robert.

Once we got back to the BB&T Center and got off our rather odoriferous mode of transportation, we were given some rather impressive bling, and were free to avail ourselves of all the bananas, oranges, water, and of course Red Bull, we could carry.  Meandering over to the runner’s village, we were free to stand in more crazy lines for tacos, beer, and even champagne.  The big screen was showing where the leading male and female Sunrise runners were out on the course, at that point currently battling baseball sized skeeters and some not so friendly Florida natives.  (Not really but it does add a little element of danger doesn’t it?)

gator

We didn’t stick around too long as it was getting quite toasty and the call of a nice long shower was singing its siren song.  Off to the homestead we went, but we were able to follow the rest of the race on the live-stream via the Wings for Life website.  Five and a half hours after the worldwide start, Giorgio Calcaterra was finally caught by the chase car outside Milan, Italy.  He ran an AMAZING 88.44 km (or 54.95 miles for those of metrically challenged).  The last female runner to be caught was Kaori Yoshida from Japan who was caught at the 65.71 km/40.83 mile mark, outside Takashima, Japan.

Sunrise was lucky enough to have the 10th female overall with Nathalie Vasseur from France.  She managed to hold off melting in the heat long enough to hold off the chase car until she hit 54.53km/33.88 miles.  Damn alligators never stood a chance against Miss Speedy Pants.

WFLWR winners

Sunrise winners Nathalie Vasseur and Simon Munyutu. (Photo courtesy of Wings for Life World Run Sunrise Facebook page.)

Looking back at the event now, it’s easy to see why so many people have returned each year.  In the three years since it’s inception, the Wings for Life World Run has seen an increase in participation each year.  The best part of all?  This year set a new record in the amount of money raised for spinal cord injury research – a whopping $7.4 million (yes MILLION!)  And when you see someone who has never taken a step, walk for the very first time due in part to the funds raised from this event, well, let’s just say it makes all the sweat, aches, pains, #brokeknees, and miles all worth it.

walking again

(Photo courtesy of Wings for Life World Run Facebook page.)

You can bet the hubby and I will be returning to this race next year, and we hope you’ll join us.  We’ll be causing as many shenanigans as possible on Sunday, May 7, 2017 once again on the edge of the Everglades.  The natives have promised to be on their best behavior.  Just don’t make the mistake of showing up in Florida Gator crap.  This time, we just may not let you on the bus. 🙂

WFLWR medal

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever done a race with no actual finish line?  Raised money for charity?  Did it make the race feel more special?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Funny

FF Run humor

 

Enjoy the ride.

Are you a diehard music runner or do you prefer to hear yourself slowly dying?  Do you go into vapor lock if your music dies mid-race?  Do you then engage in providing your own music?  Have you been subjected to Team Can-Am’s race singalong shenanigans?

Best of luck to everyone running the Dark Side Challenge at Disney World this weekend!  May the Force be with you!

Don’t forget!  I’ll be making my return to racing on May 8th, courtesy of the Wings for Life World Run.  Please visit my page and donate today.  Together we can help stamp out spinal cord injuries!

What Does A Runner Look Like?

As I was mindlessly scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day, this one from Stephanie over at Goober Monkey caught my often wavering attention.  Her tweet once again brought to the forefront of said wandering brain something that continuously pisses me off to no end, and something my running BFF’s and I deal with on many a random running occasion.  I’m referring to a little – all right maybe not so little – affliction I like to call IRC.  As in “the idiotic comments that people make IRC the living hell out of me”.

angry rabbits

“You pissed? Yeah, I’m pissed.”

IRC: Idiotic Running Comments – a momentary lapse of common sense causing one to uncontrollably and/or spontaneously utter aforementioned idiotic comments upon discovering a woman larger than 100 pounds and shorter than 5’9″ has the ability to – dare I say it? – RUN.  Not to take away anything from the Shalanes, Karas, and Deenas of the world, but not too many of us have the advantages or resources to have almost every bite of food prepared for us, spend our days training with a myriad of coaches, have a team of doctors available at a moment’s notice to immediately take care of whatever ails us, and, the crowning jewel of it all, get paid for it.  As the genetic swimming pool has its limits, not all of us can be blessed with genes donated straight from the running gods either.  Lest we not already be suffering from the inevitable bad body image illness that many a woman has suffered from – rather rationally or not – let’s take into account how many skimpy little “running” shorts and cutesy (and completely non-functional) sports bras companies like Under Armour or Nike would sell if they only had real world runners available as their models?  (And yes, I’m looking at you Under Armour and your choice of a certain bitchy football star’s wife as one of your models).

angry model

“What?  You’d be cranky too if you hadn’t eaten in a week and had to fly to Milan!”

Ironically, as I was putting my thoughts on this in some semblance of order, I was also debating about making the ultimate leap for a socially awkward introvert and possibly joining a local running club.  As I was scrolling through the club’s pictures, I once again began to experience those old familiar feelings of irritation.  Why go down that road of angst and aggravation you may ask?  Well.  Let me tell ya.  Every picture posted of this club’s members showed tiny, thin, lean, muscley people who I’m sure never met a kale salad they didn’t like.  Let there be no mistake – kudos to these people who are probably complete badasses on the pavement and in the gym,  But where are the runners who, you know, don’t “look” like runners?  These are the peeps that this Queen of All Things Cellulite With the Ever Expanding Waistline wants to see gracing the pages of your website.  The ones who leave it all out there on the course and end up dealing with shut down water stops and a “sorry, we ran out of snacks and finisher medals”.  Those are the people who would do more to encourage someone like me to give that club a try than anything else.  If this world operates on looks, then put some “real world” looking people on your run club’s website and see how fast your club grows.

After looking further into this particular club, their schedule just wouldn’t work for me, so the point was moot anyway.  I wonder though, if this experience was to turn me off from joining a running club, then how many others out there have felt the same way?  How often has a case of the IRCs affected what had the potential to be a really good thing?

Petty as it may sound, if I’m looking for a particular piece of athletic clothing and can find it made by a company other than Under Armour, and that company has enough foresight to use models that actually have some curves to them, you can bet I’m going to take a second look.  Why?  IRC people.  It’s real.  My business with Under Armour may have been minimal at best, but it took just one ad, with one particular model, to turn me off from ever wanting to buy from that company ever again.  Can you imagine what would happen if more and more people did the same thing?  Under Armour would eventually have to take notice.  Sadly though, just like runDisney and the massive screwing they gave us Wine and Dine night race diehards, there will always be enough hungry consumers out there that a few opinionated concrete-heads boycotting their products, will not a difference make.

mad duck

“Thanks for nuttin’ runDisney!”

Am I coming across as more and more aggravated with companies who refuse to use REAL women – women who are in just as good, if not better shape, than the so-called “fitness” models they use to peddle their wares?  ABSOLUTELY.  Do I hate letting my little and insignificant corner of the internet go down a negative road?  ABSOLUTELY.  But I think it’s important to sometimes take the time to say what so many others want to, but for whatever reason, just don’t.  No worries, I got ya covered. 🙂  No offense to Ms. Hudson, but have you ever had a non-pregnancy involved fat day in your glamorous life?  I’m thinking not so much.  Would Fabletics advertise as much as they do and sell as many of those great outfits if she did?  I doubt it.  I sure know though, that I would be much more inclined to drop that kind of money if I was looking at those great patterns on say, Robyn Lawley.

If you’ve stuck with my rant this far then kudos to you for hanging in there on my latest brain vomit.  Sadly, I don’t think the minds of sportswear manufacturers will ever listen to temper tantrums like this, drop their IRC-ey mind sets, and not find it necessary to consider anything more than 100 pounds, and waists bigger than 23″ a “plus” anything.  Until they get hit where it counts – right in their checkbooks and stock options – it’s doubtful things will ever change.  Thin-sexy sells, and in the minds of way too many, sexy is not 150 lbs.+ and under 5’9″.  But have no fear my fine friends and faithful followers.  Whether you’re sporting a “perfect” package or have embraced all things curvaceous, this Black Dog doesn’t give a rat’s patootie what size it says on your clothing tags.  The only measurement we care about in these parts, is the size of your heart.

And maybe the margarita glass.

margarita.jpg

Enjoy the ride.

Do you find yourself getting aggravated by the constant bombardment of what’s considered the perfect body?  Do you wish manufacturers would stop using super models in their ads?  Do you find your friends and/or daughters are impacted by what they see in magazines or on tv?

**DON’T FORGET!  (You forgot didn’t you??)  I’m returning to racing on Sunday, May 8th for the WORLDWIDE (yes, WORLDWIDE) Wings for Life World Run and I need your help!  Please consider donating to Team Wonder Mutt as we raise funds to help stamp out spinal cord injuries! Visit the team Wonder Mutt page here today!  I promise, it won’t hurt at all!  Not even just a little bit!  Thanks everybody!!

 

 

 

Friday Funny

In honor of everyone losing their minds over runDisney’s announcement this week…..

FF Star Wars

Enjoy the ride.

Were you one of the many who went completely insane over the announcement of the East Coast Star Wars Half Marathon announcement this week?  Will you be trying to get in next year’s inaugural race, or will you be waiting until they work out the inevitable first time kinks?  Do you think it would be possible to run as a storm trooper and still manage to close the door to the starting line porta-potties?

It’s Almost Time!

And here at Black Dog Productions, we are SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!

Whoa.

Whoa.

Wanna know why?  Do ya? Doadoyadoyadoyadoya????  WELL.  Lemme tell ya.  ‘Cuz I know the suspense is just killin’ ya, ain’t it??

In just three more days, yes THREE DAYS, these vertically challenged, dumpy, landing-zone-of-silly-salacious-cellulite legs…..ARE GOING RUNNING!!!!!

hehehe....

hehehe….

I am officially eight weeks post #KneeGate2015, and with the blessing of PT Pam – along with a stern warning to keep the pace slow, and stop if it hurts, (um, we ARE talking about running here Pam), I’ve been given the green light to get back out there and crank out the miles mile.  To start.  I fully plan on having ALL the miles comfortably under my water belt long before the big day night arrives.

Whooo hoooo!!!!

Whooo hoooo!!!!

I even have a plan!  Run.  Run some more.  Then, run some more.  Stellar plan I know.  Actually, with PT Pam’s guidance, a little patience, (okay, maybe a LOT of patience), and listening when the knobbies say, “hey lady, enough already!”, I’m hoping to at least have my mileage base pretty comfortably set by the time it comes to actually getting back to the whole business of, ya know, training.  Of course, I do still have to keep in mind that little pesky fact that I still have to baby the OTHER knee, at least until after Wine and Dine, when #KneeGate2015 Part II will take place.  Because, why go through the fun of wearing a funny hat, compression stockings, and having your loving hubby videotape you as you get stoned on happy juice, just one time, when you can have your very own instant replay?

Huh?

Huh?

So as you head out for your pain-free, non-leadleg, speedy jaunt along your favorite route on Sunday morning, please send some pixie dust in my general direction.  And keep your paws crossed I don’t faceplant before I make it back to my front door.  Thanks.  Appreciate it.

On it.

On it.

Enjoy the ride.

How did you feel the first time back after a running hiatus?  Nervous?  Anxious? Nauseous?  Was it easier or harder than you thought it would be?  Did you hear choirs of angels singing your name?