Come Cop A Squat

Totally ripping off the whole “If We Were Having Coffee/Wine/Maragaritas” thing, come along with me, and let’s go cop a squat under a tree.  HA!

Oh Black Dog, you kill me!

Oh Black Dog, your rhyming skills kill me!

Since I hate coffee, but have recently discovered a new-found love for Dunkin’ Donuts Dunkaccinos, let’s go grab a non-earth friendly styro cup, our dogs, a couple dozen tennis balls, and venture over to the nearest dog park.  You never know what you may find out.

hmmm

If we were to cop a squat – you would discover that I have absolutely no people skills whatsoever.  Unless we’re talking about Disney, running, dogs, or wine, I’m a total shallow pool of nothing much interesting to say.

If we were to cop a squat – you would find that I have turned into a total wine glass snob.  Yes, wine glass.  And I can totally pan this weirdness off my hubby and besties.  The same ones who used to pick on me for drinking sweet white wines and continue to make the face when I put ice in my wine.  BECAUSE THAT IS HOW I ROLL.

You put what in your where?!?

You put what in your where?!?

If we were to cop a squat – you would find out that I can listen to just about any music out there.  Just about.  Classical, metal, reggae, pop, rap, compas, movie soundtracks…..you name it, I can handle it.  I can even take country but only in small doses.  But when something hits my eardrums like nails on a chalkboard, I react almost violently.  Deservedly so in this case…

swift sucks

If we were to cop a squat – you would find that up until nine years ago, I felt as though my life was flying by me like an Amtrak train and I wasn’t on it.  What happened nine years ago?  I met this UH-MAZE-ING dude, who showed me that life is a whole lot more than someone’s career, and that pushing your comfort zone isn’t as scary as it sounds.  And for that, I am as grateful as Wonder Mutt is for jumping in a lake.

whooooo  hooooooo!!!!!!!

whooooo hooooooo!!!!!!!

If we were to cop a squat – you would discover that I have crazy body image hangups, (who doesn’t?), as much as I try not to be I’m miserable if I can’t run, and if everything goes as planned with KneeGate2015 Part II, then the item on my bucket list that reads “complete a full marathon”, may just get checked off. {gulps}

If we were to cop a squat – you would find that I’m at my most content crashed on the couch at this little tiki bar I know, hubs on one side, Wonder Mutt on the other with her chin resting on my lap, binge-watching Game of Thrones, World Cup Soccer, or the Olympics.  Even the funny pants wearing events.

Best. Pants. Ever.

Best. Pants. Ever.

So if I haven’t bored you to tears by this point, and our mutts have sufficiently destroyed every tennis ball within a 15 mile radius, I think you’d find I’m pretty much your average, street-level introvert, who can be pretty damn quirky.  I love my Springsteen and Bon Jovi, my Moose Tracks and my margaritas, my running and my dog.  I have incredible friends both domestic and abroad, and have come to appreciate that it’s better to have a few great friends, than numerous casual buddies.  I have the world’s most amazing husband who puts up with my psycho-ness and buys me fuzzy animal slippers any time I want.  I’ve learned that animals live too short, fat cells hang around too long, and it’s better to live life balls-to-the-wall instead of watching it pass you by.

And that my dear readers, is why we should gulp down the Dunkaccinos, and go jump in the water.

WITH the dogs.

splash dog

No. Explanation. Needed.

Enjoy the ride.

Does any of this surprise you?  What would I learn about you over cappuccino and soggy tennis balls?

Friday Funny

FF Goat

Enjoy the ride.

Because everyone should have a floating goat, right?  What big plans do have planned for this weekend?  Any long runs on the agenda?  Will you be taking your goat along with you?  Happy Friday everyone!

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?

Wonder Mutt Wednesday

GREATEST. DISNEY MOMENT. EVER.

GREATEST. DISNEY MOMENT. EVER.

Enjoy the ride.

Wouldn’t it be great if Disney created an ENTIRE PARK dedicated to one single thing??  The pure joy and fun of BEING A DOG.  I can see it now – fire hydrants, tennis balls, swimming pools with docks, splash zones, sticks, bushes, cats, biscuit dispensers, PLUTO, Goofy, PLUTO, more tennis balls, PLUTO, Mickey, PLUTO, Stitch instigating chases, PLUTO….(#heavysigh)…..

Running With Mutts

For those of you who may have been living under a rock for the past few months, you may not know how completely, utterly obsessed I am with dogs.  Big dogs, small dogs, fuzzy dogs or furry dogs, I love just about all of them.  This one in particular…

Huh?

Huh?

I’ve had Labradors before.  Ocean and Aspen, two purebreds who were the first loves of my life.

My first BFF's.

My first BFF’s.

Like typical Labradors, Ocean and Aspen lived for retrieving, swimming, and the mandatory nightly belly rubs before bed.  I was unbelievably lucky to have them in my life for 15 and 14 years.  They got me through pulling up stakes and moving 1300 miles away from everything and everybody I had ever known to start a new life.  They got me through the nightmare of one relationship gone horribly wrong and onto the best one a girl could ever dream of finding.  I took them everywhere and spoiled them rotten, because that’s what you’re supposed to do for your BFF’s, right?  But take them running with me?  Well, not so much.

Zzzzzzz...

Zzzzzzz…

Then, along comes Calypso the Wonder Mutt.  A speed demon with wings on her paws, she makes Usain Bolt look like he’s dragging dupa.  I can honestly say she has single-handedly, (or maybe single-pawdedly(?), reduced my average mile time by an entire minute.  I used to think this crooked running mutt liked running with her humans because she love to run.  However, it didn’t take us too long to figure out her game:  she only loves running because she gets to come home and do this.

Yippeeee!

Yippeeee!

Before splashfest gets to begin though, we still have to get a couple of miles under our paws, and sometimes that can get a little tricky.  I have two areas where I run with Calypso – around our development’s lake and the park across the street.  Both loops keep us pretty close to drinkable doggy water, which is top priority for this puppy mama.  We also live in a very dog-populated area, which can present some sticky issues on its own.  Take my advice for what it’s worth, but keep in mind, every dog has its own unique personality, just like it’s owner.  How you handle any given pooch situation, may not necessarily work for the next runner/dog team.  All I can reiterate to you is BE CAREFUL.

Whenever the Wonder Mutt and I run across another party of the canine persuasion, we always SLOW DOWN.  Nothing can freak out an oncoming pooch more than a big human, (and let’s face it, unless the other dog is a Great Dane, we’re ALL big humans), and a strange dog coming right at them.  Slow down, make eye contact with the other handler, and ask if their dog is okay to approach.  Most of all, watch your own dog’s body language.  Are her hackles up?  Is her tail up or down?  Is she avoiding making eye contact with the other dog or is she showing cautious interest?  Or in Calypso’s case, is she acting like she’s never seen another dog in her life and thinks she just found her long-lost soul mate?  Scary as it may be, this is when you really hope the other handler is paying attention and knows how their dog will react.  If you have any doubts at all though, keep a wide berth or turn around and go the other direction.  No blood, no harm, no foul.

As I mentioned before, I keep our dog runs short and always near a source of clean water.  Dogs sweat through the pads on their paws.  Hot pavement = hot paws.  If it’s too hot, don’t even risk it – leave the pooper at home.  If you’re running somewhere that does not give you access to clean water, bring some with you.  Your buddy is going to warm up a whole lot faster than you will, especially if your mutt is black and the sun is blazing.  Keep close watch on their tongue and the saliva that collects on their lips.  Too big of one and too much of the other is a good indication that your dog is getting pretty toasty.  Slow down and if possible, let them walk on some grass for a while.  Those precious little pads will thank you for it.

Keep me cool!

Keep me cool!

Most of all, make sure your dog is READY to run.  A quick visit to the veterinarian before starting is always a good idea.  A dog’s growth plates aren’t fully developed until about 18 months old, so you may want to keep them moving by walking and swimming until then.  Just like you, they will need to slowly build up their endurance.  Warm them up slowly and keep the mileage low to start.  If you see any kind of lameness or distress, get Skippy home and to the vet to make sure everything is okay.  Dogs are masters at masking discomfort, so it’s up to you to make sure they don’t overdo it.  These guys live to please their masters, and if running makes their masters happy, they’ll run themselves right into injured pads and heat stroke.  Your run may be important to you, but nothing can take the place of a happy, healthy dog.

So happy!

So happy!

Without a doubt, some of my best times are those spent running with the hubby and Calypso.  To see her perk up at the sight of another dog, a friendly neighbor, or God help us – a squirrel (think Dug), is priceless.  I hope to have many years logging the miles with her, along with watching her give Michael Phelps a run for his money when we get done.  So if you’ve ever wanted some company on your runs without feeling like you have to keep up a conversation, contact your local rescue or a reputable breeder.  You won’t regret it.  Cross my paws.

Golden Retriever pup lying, head up, paws crossed

Enjoy the ride.

Do you run with your dog?