Leaving On A….

BlueAngels1

Okay, well maybe not one of THESE jet planes, but you get the idea.

For the next few wonderous, glorious, non-work filled weeks, this Black Dog is outta here!  Lovely, wonderful, beautiful, finally accrued enough friggin’ vacation time is here and I am HIS-TOR-EE.  At least until the end of the month.

So with a major blogger fail – no guest bloggerers  – we can operate on an absence makes the heart grow fonder theory.  And hopefully not the out of sight out of mind theory.  You can follow my West Coast adventures though, on IG, Twitter, and occasionally even Facebook.  I promise to inundate you with wondrous pictures of places you probably wish you could be, eating drool producing magnificent foods, and drinking copious amounts of libations.  Seriously.  Promise.  I’m good like that.

So until we meet again my dear, loyal friends, au revoir, adios, addio, and adeus.  That last one is Gaelic.  Yeah, I’m showing off.  Not really.  It’s Google Translate.  See ya on the flip side!

Elephant Seals2

Enjoy the ride.

Today We Honor

Today we honor those we’ve lost.

9-11-sites

Today we honor those we loved.

9-11-Victims-300x226

Today we honor those who sacrificed.

first responders

Today we honor the heroes we might not otherwise remember.

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But through all the tears, the sadness, and the heartache, we go on.  We heal as a nation, we heal together.  And we will never forget.

We_Will_Never

 

Enjoy the ride.

I hope you take a moment today and remember the thousands who lost their lives on that horrible day.  We owe it to them to never forget their bravery, sacrifice, and amazing acts of unselfishness which allowed so many others to live.  We owe it to them to LIVE.

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.

It’s Only Weird If It Doesn’t Work

Okay, show of hands.  Who’s seen this one?

weird

Yes. Yes it is.

Admit it.  We all have weird crap we do in a cosmic, karmic effort to help our teams win.  In this house we have a multitude of practices, including, but limited to:

-chewing on pendants

-turning visors backwards and upside down

-clutching pillows

-throwing away said pillow if it doesn’t work

-rubbing challenge coins

-chewing on said challenge coins

-hugging legs to chest

-shaking the crap out of favorite team’s doll with removable limbs

-tossing said doll at television if team throws an interception

-holding hands so tight digital damage is incurred (may or may not result in trip to ER. AFTER game is over.)

-rubbing nose 3 times, pulling twice on right earlobe, grasping left ankle and hopping 5 times in a counter-clockwise circle while chanting in Swahili

Swahili_Dancers

“Mama-ko, mama-sa, ma-ka-ma-ko-ssa.”

What is it about our love for sports that turns us into rabid, hot-tempered, no-holds-barred, I’m-gonna-kick-your-ass-all-the-way-back-Philly maniacs?  I place complete blame for my sports insanity on older brothers and a husband who’s just as much of a sports freak as I am.  Even if part of his loyalty is COMPLETELY misplaced.

To each his own.  Even if his own is, well, you know.  THAT.

To each his own. Even if his own is, well, you know. THEM.

Growing up in a properly sports educated environment-

Wicked awesome!

Wicked awesome!

and

Bad. Ass.

Bad. Ass.

I was taught at an early age to respect people’s team choices. (Except, of course, when it comes to baseball and football).  However, I also learned the fine art of a properly timed zinger, how to properly deliver said properly timed zinger, and when, in the spirit of sportsmanship, to walk away from what could end up being an inconveniently timed trip to above mentioned emergency department, (i.e., NEVER before halfway through the fourth quarter, the bottom of the ninth, the last 2 minutes of the third period, or if it’s the Heat, and it’s the playoffs, before the last second of the last overtime).

Jesus Shuttlesworth in the clutch.

Jesus Shuttlesworth in the clutch.

That’s not to say I’m very good at the timing, but once in a while – okay a REALLY great while – I am SPOT ON with my digs.  And I ROCK IT.

I love good-natured ribbing, and as a faithful Red Sox fan since the time Mom popped me out into the world, I’ve been on the receiving end of it PLENTY of times.  And it’s all good, especially when it’s all done in fun.  But we’ve probably all seen when schmucks – usually drunk schmucks – take it too far.

Putz times two.

Putz. Times two.

It’s all well and good to be a rabid supporter of your favorite team(s).  Just remember – in the end, it’s all just a game.  The outcome won’t affect the world on its axis, won’t change where the sun rises and sets, and probably will be forgotten a year later.  Unless it’s the Red Sox breaking that goddamn curse and winning the World Series.  That will NEVER be forgotten.

Restrain yourself Kellie.

Restrain yourself Kellie.

Enjoy the ride.

Would you consider yourself to be a rabid sports fan?  Have you ever gotten into a pissing contest with a rival fan?  Who won?  Did it include a trip to the emergency room?

When Life Gets In The Way

Ever have one of those days weeks when you start out with the best of intentions and everything just goes to total dog poop?  Welcome to my life this week.

Aaaaaggggghhhhhh!!!!!

Aaaaaggggghhhhhh!!!!!

It started out great with a pretty awesome 7 mile run on Sunday.  I got the dupa up early enough to avoid the nasty, sticky mess that has been the setting for my weekends runs lately, and headed out into blessed shade and slightly cooler temps.  After beating my goal time, I came home, threw on my snazzy new compression socks, and proceeded to do nothing except eat a nice, healthy lunch and sport this awesome-sauce look.

Fuzzy slippers ROCK.

Fuzzy slippers rock.

A few hours later, my left knee started feeling a little achy.  I ignored it and off to bed I went.  Then I woke up Monday morning and DUHN DUHN DUHN (insert dramatic music here), the other knee decided the first one was lonely and decided to get on the achy train too.

train2

So thinking that after all my aches and knee pain that I may have gained just a pixie dust amount of runner smarts – and with some objective advice from the hubs – I bowed out of my scheduled run and stuck to the dreaded foam roller, IT band exercises, ice, and some muscle stim, in the hopes of getting things right again in my world.  Alas, these stupid, friggin’, frog-flipping, insert any number of colorful language terms here – knees refused to cooperate and it just simply was not meant to be.  I woke up again on Tuesday with that blasted achiness.  I think my face probably looked somewhat similar to this.

Don't talk to me. Ever.

Don’t talk to me. Ever.

Being the concerned hubs that he is, instead of going to the gym, he suggested hitting the pool instead.  Now I’m far from a good swimmer, but after 20 minutes of lap work, both my head and my legs felt considerably better.  I knew come Wednesday I’d be ready to hit the pavement again.  Until my LIFE decided to get in the way.

oh come on

That’s when I took a step back, reminded myself to breathe, and in the immortal words of Elsa, just let it go.  If there is one thing us runners sometimes have a hard time figuring out, is once in a while, life IS going to get in the way and eff everything up.  Miles won’t get run, weights won’t get lifted, crunches won’t get crunched.  And it’s all OKAY.  Sometimes you just gotta be fluid.  Like melty Jello-O.

blublublublublublub

blublublublublublub

Life throws enough crap at us so there’s no point in getting all worked up over the crap you can’t control.  Like people running late, bluetooths that keep disconnecting you, and certain little black dogs burping their fish dinner pleasantly in your face.

What?

What?

So the next time you find yourself about to go postal over what is probably something REALLY stupid, take that step back for a second.  And breathe.  And if you still want to kick someone after that, knock yourself out.  Or someone else.  Whatever flattens your ears.

stress cat

 

Enjoy the ride.

Do you get stressed out when life gets in the way of your training or do you just go with the flow?

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!

zzzzzz,zzzzz,zzzzz

zzzzzz,zzzzz,zzzzz

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.

foamroll1

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?

hehehe....

hehehe….

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?

Friday Funny

We sadly bid goodbye to Shark Week in true Black Dog fashion…
image

Enjoy the ride.

Have a great, shark-free weekend!  And if you do have your very own shark encounter, remember…sharks too, just want to be loved.