What A Difference A (Few) Days Make

Remember how I was trying not to get too freaked out about this?  Well, a few days of rest, and a few days at the gym, and I think I’m back to where I should be.

Yes! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!!

Yes! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!!

I’m still giving it another week before I run again, but in the meantime, I’ve been hitting the weights.  HARD.  Like post leg day penguin waddle hard.

leg day waddle

Yep. That’s me.

I even busted out my dinosaur of an indoor bike trainer and cranked out a few miles in my sauna of a garage, while watching the final stage of the Tour de France.  I like to be inspired by all the muscley legs and overpriced fancy wheels.  Unlike this bargain basement beast.

She may be ugly, but I love her.

She may be ugly, but I love her.

I’ve even busted out that byatch of a foam roller at PT Pam’s advice, and as always, ice is my constant companion.  Isn’t it amazing how much better a mindset you can have with just a little bit of reduction in pain?  Even if you’re scaring your mutt with words coming out of your yap that would make a sailor blush in the process?

Excuse me, WHAT did you just say???

Excuse me. WHAT did you just say???

The plan for the next few weeks is to keep working the beejesus out of my legs, get back on the road again, and start building up that mileage.  S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I’ve got 102 days until Wine and Dine so I can’t go TOO slowly, but I’m not going to risk injuring #brokeknee part II before I can get it fixed, hopefully a few days after Wine and Dine.  Maybe by then, I’ll have actually paid off #brokeknee part I.  A girl CAN dream after all….

debt

If I haven’t already bored you to tears with the snail’s pace of my post-surgery shenanigans, hang in there.  I promise to litter my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds with all kinds of silly, feather-brained, muddle-headed miles.  (I have no idea what muddle-headed even means, but it sounded good.)  And who knows?  Somewhere along the way, I may even find that running doesn’t have to hurt quite so much as it has in the past.  Not really sure what to make of that.  Hmmmm….

hmm

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever found that a little rest and NOT running actually HELPED your running?  How long before you felt truly comfortable back on the road again?  Have you ever cursed so much you made your critters blush?

Setbacks: A Study in Patience

Of which I have none.

impatient

So here’s the dealio.  Just as I’m about to break up with PT Pam, #brokeknee decides to act up.  BIG time.  I’d been pushing my speed for short bursts during my last few runs.  If for no other reason than I haven’t been able to do any speed work for years.  Yes, you read that right.  YEARS.  Soooo, last Monday at my PT session, PT Pam puts me on the treadmill.  Where, once again, I say to myself, “Self?  Let’s see what you can do on this horrible thing, shall we?”  Now, knowing the speed on the dreadmill is WAY off in comparison to the pretty little numbers I’ve been seeing on my trusty GPS, I kept hitting the speed plus button.  And hitting it.  And hitting it again.  All the way to that lovely point I lovingly call the death pace.  You know the one.  The speed where lead legs kick in, stitches stick in your side, and breathing is a long-lost, fond memory.

C'mon Bridge, we got this.

C’mon Bridge, we got this.”

I had that blasted machine going faster than what it was telling me, and I started to suspect I hadn’t moved my dupa that fast since I was about 12.  But, I managed to keep it going at breakneck speed for a couple of minutes.  As I kicked it back for a cooldown, I started feeling a bit of discomfort in the spot.  You know. The SPOT.  The one started all this aggravation many, many, many moons ago.

Later that night and into the next day, that old familiar ache was back.  And I was PISSED.  When I went back to PT Pam a couple of days later – for what was SUPPOSED to be our big breakup – I was still pissed.  She figured I’d aggravated my….wait for it…..IT BAND.  (Cue dramatic music here).  You know what I’m talking about.  The same no-good IT band I thought was the source of all this crap for the past few years.  Yeah….THAT one.  I swear sometimes I’m cursed.

Angry bird's got nothing on me.

Angry bird’s got nothing on me.

All that bitchin’ aside, I’m happy to report the ache has subsided quite a bit, but my first run back beachside wasn’t nearly as pleasant as I would have liked.  Thank goodness the hubby ran with me.  (I don’t think he realizes how much he pushes me just by being next to me.  And that is a very good thing.  Just don’t tell him, I wouldn’t want it to go to his head.:)

I’m trying to take all of this in stride – no pun intended – and stop all the crazy thoughts of here we go friggin’ again – from racing around in my already overloaded, game-show-dollar-machine brain.  I’m yelling “plot twist!” and changing up the game for a couple of weeks.  I’m headed to the Keys in a few weeks and there’s no way I’m NOT running in that tropical paradise.  In order to get me there, the game plan will be all about biking, swimming, and walking.  I’m still going to breakup with PT Pam tomorrow, but I feel good about it.  Especially since I can do all the exercises on my own, and have pulled out and dusted off my trusty little muscle stim machine and foam roller.  Oh, and did I mention hitting the leg weights?  HARD?  If there’s one thing this runner chick has learned, it’s to embrace the sweat, pain, and tears of the cross-train.

leg day toilet

Any words of encouragement would come in pretty handy right now, so feel free to share any interesting, inspiring, little ditties of wisdom.  Or you can just yell at me to quit my whining and get my ass back in gear.  You wouldn’t be the first.  If you happened to be peeking in my bedroom window yesterday you would’ve seen me doing the same thing in the mirror.  BEFORE I called the cops about some creep peeking in my window.  But thanks for the good intentions.  Creep.

Enjoy the ride.

What inspiring words of wisdom do you have for a friend in need?  Are you the arm-around-the-shoulders type of or more the Jillian-Michaels-scream-your-head-off type?  What do you respond to more?  Are you a fountain of patience or ready to ram your head through the door after a minor setback in training?

Oh Happy, Happy Day!

Who would’ve ever thunk running a mere mile and half could make me smile like this?

Whooo hooo!!

Whooo hooo!!

Wanna know the cause for all this silliness?  Huh?  Huh? Wanna? Wanna? Wannawannawannawannawanna?????

Okay.

If I must.

(Like I can keep it in any longer.)

boom

PT Pam gave a thumbs up to start adding about a half mile to my mileage every week for the next month – which conveniently will bring me right about to where I start officially training for Wine and Dine.  MY plan, which I kinda sorta maybe quite accidentally fell in to, has me pushing my pace at the shorter distances.  I figure if I can give a little donkey kick to the conditioning now – you know, in the UNGODLY SOUTH FLORIDA HEAT AND HUMIDITY – it’ll make things just a tad bit easier down the road.  HA!  Get it?  “Down the road”?  Gawd I crack myself up!

Wha? Huh? Wha's so funny?

Wha? Huh? Wha’s so funny?

I’ve been finding it takes me about a half mile to get everything loosey-goosey and past the initial “what the eff are you doing lady?” phase I think most of us go through at the start of a run.  It used to take me a bit longer to settle in, but I’m finding by doing more dynamic stretching pre-run – front, side, back kicks, hip circles, and twists – that I settle in a little faster.  So much so that about a half mile in, I can begin to kick up the pace a bit.  And the UH-MAZE-ING part?  I’ve been able to kick up the pace to one that……wait for it……I HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE (well, at least since high school anyway, many, many, MANY moons ago).  Now, keeping things in perspective, I can only maintain that pace for about a minute to a minute and a half, but to my previously slower-than-molasses bones, it’s a start.  A HUGE start.  And one that I’m hoping I can continue to build on.

“Let’s get that four-minute mile one up here, shall we.”
“Who are you kidding?!?”

It’s going to be tough to practice what I preach about building mileage slowly – especially with what my GPS has been telling me.  BUT, knowing how rough I felt at the end of the run will help keep me in check.  Can you say “holy hell I feel like a cow kicked me under my new and improved bionic knee cap”?  Thankfully after about an hour and a bit of ice therapy, everything was right as Moose Tracks again.  And that makes this Black Dog very, very happy.

This is my happy face.

This is my happy face.

This will be my 1.5 mile week and I hope that my knees – and times – continue to hold up as well as can be expected.  I’m also breaking up with PT Pam this week as I think we’ve pretty much gotten me to where I need to be, and also looking down the road to #KneeGate2015 Part II, I need to save some PT visits on my insurance.  I can honestly say that I cannot wait until early next year when hopefully all of this knee nonsense can finally become a thing of the past, and I can really start work on dropping those numbers on the clock.  And then……who knows?

WDW Marathon

Stranger things have happened.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever taken a break from running and upon returning, found your strength – and spirit – renewed?  Did it last or did the newness of it all fade quickly?  Were you impatient to do too much too soon, to see how your body would react?  How did it end up working out?

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.

You’ve Been A Long Time Coming

Hello beautiful.

Hello beautiful.

Yes.  Yes.it.happened.  IT.  Yeah, THAT it.  The IT that involves putting one foot in front of the other at a pace fast enough to elevate one’s heart rate.  And, seeing as this IS south Florida – and it’s officially summertime in south Florida – cause one’s body to sweat.  Gallons.  Buckets. Pacific Ocean kind of buckets.  And every ache, pain, and salty river of sweat flowing into my eyeballs was nothing short of absolutely glorious.

HallelujahSquirrel

I won’t bore you with all the nasty, sweaty, smelly, gory details, but let me just throw a couple of deets at you.  I was under strict orders to stop when it hurt – yeah, OKAY – and not go more than a mile.  The hubs was kind enough to go with me, and agreed to run the loop around our community, then pick me up on the back side of his mileage.  So as I laced up my besties and donned the necessary running accessories…

Hi girls!

Hi girls!

…I tried not psych myself out too much.  After all, it HAS been 8 months since I’ve raced, and 2 months since I’ve even attempted a short mileage casual run.  It only seemed fitting that my partner in crime welcome me back to the road, encouraging and keeping an eye on me the whole time.  And he sure as hell wasn’t going to let me go more than the one mile PT Pam had cleared me to go.  So in 86% humidity and 93 degree heat, off we went.  Some of the locals even came out to say hello.  Sort of.

Well, you know what I mean.

Hey lady, got any food?

The knee felt a little shaky and I found my balance to be a little “off”.  And of course, not be outdone, the other knee decided to make sure it was well known that it still has to be fixed and acted up a bit.  I’m still not sure what that was all about, except I spent a half hour on the recumbent bike at the gym Saturday, and neither of my broke knees seemed to appreciate much after I got off of it.  (Note to self: stay away from the blasted recumbent bike.  It shall be your undoing.)

So I stuck to the allowed mileage, only had to stop to walk twice, and figure I managed to keep chugging along like the Little Engine That Could for about three-quarters of a mile.  Hardly worth writing home about, but girlfriend’s gotta start somewhere, right?

Yes, those ARE paw prints on the path.  Because that's how we roll in south FLA.

Yes, those ARE paw prints on the path. Because that’s how we roll in south FLA.

And what introductory run would be complete with out a proper cool down?

Where'd those ducks go?

Where did those ducks go?

The next few weeks will be all about finding my balance and form again.  I’ll still be visiting PT Pam a couple of times a week and developing a plan of attack to get me through to Wine and Dine while babying #brokeknee Part II.  I may just have to try and pull this off with only two runs a week, but thankfully, we have a little bit of time to figure it out.  For the immediate future though, it’ll be one mile runs a couple of times a week for the next few, and then we shall see what comes next.  Knowing I have the hubs, Team Can Am, and a certain little Black Dog on my side though, I know one thing’s for sure.

I GOT THIS.

I got your back Mom.

I got your back Mom.  Don’t know what a back is, but I got it.

Enjoy the ride.

How was your first run back after a break?  Were you nervous?  Did it feel great, like crap, or both?  Any ducks along the way?  Or cannonballs into a random body of water afterwards?

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?

 

#KneeGate 2015: The Adventure Continues

It’s been a while since we checked in on the progress of #KneeGate2015, so let me regale you with an update.  Because I KNOW you’ve just been loving the cliffhanger that has become the Tale of the Broke Knee.  Haven’t you?  Come on, you know you have….

Tellmemoretellmemoretellmemore!!!!!!

Tellmemoretellmemoretellmemore!!!!!!

So here we are, just shy of six weeks post op.  And let me tell ya.  This girl, THIS girl, is my new hero.

PT Pam, meet Black Dog world.  World, meet PT Pam.

PT Pam, meet Black Dog world. World, meet PT Pam.

In the past three weeks, with her expertise, patience, and the uncanny ability to not go off the deep end when I ask her every five minutes, (literally, EVERY five minutes), “sooooooo, can I run yet?”, PT Pam has gotten this stubbornass, stiff, achy #brokeknee to start acting like a knee should.  Bend more?  Sure.  Straighten all the way?  No problem.  Lift some weight again?  I gotcha.  It’s like she’s some kind of friggin’ miracle worker.

No, not that one.  BETTER.

No, not that one. BETTER.

If it sounds like I’ve got some kind of hero worship going on, I DO.  Three weeks ago, after a very, let’s say, disillusioning, visit with the surgeon, my attitude wasn’t the best.  After a few visits to PT Pam the Miracle Worker, this Black Dog brain is in a much better place.  MUCH better.  Like rolling in vats of Moose Tracks and margaritas kind of better place.

That's the one.

That’s the one.

This mutt has her dupa back in the gym, back on the bike, banging out baby squats, (who knew there was such a thing?), and fighting the urge to take the mph on the treadmill just a little bit higher.  I’m not quite THAT stupid.  Well, then again….

Okay, so I'm an idiot.

Okay, so I’m an idiot.

If it were not for the fear of screwing things up for this year’s Splash and Dash Wine and Dine, I might have just pushed it a little too far, too fast.  Then again, there’s always the very possible, very REAL fear of a Kellie beatdown.  Or getting beat over the head with one of Nicole’s oars.  Yeah, I’m not THAT stupid.  Usually.

Hmmmmmm.....

Hmmmmmm…..

In the meantime, my constant harassment of PT Pam shall continue, I’ll keep pushing the limits of my pain level, and I’ll keep looking at that date on the calendar.  You know the one I’m talking about.  Come on now kids. Say it with me.

Ommmmmmm........

Ommmmmmm……..

 

Enjoy the ride.

Ever found yourself chomping at the bit to get back to the road before being cleared for it?  Did the fear of re-injuring yourself keep you in line?  Have you ever dreamt about taking a running leap into a pool full of margaritas?