My Mea Culpa and an 80s Playlist Offering

I promise to be a better blogger.  I really do–especially now that I am running again and all healed up from my stress fractures and my entirely mental defeatist running stagnation of late 2014.  I hope you’ll forgive me…especially you fellow bloggers whom I’ve neglected to read over the past two months.  It’s hard to read about running when you aren’t doing it yourself.  If you were celibate, would you want to read about sex?

Some quick life updates and then I will talk about running and humbly submit a great 80s playlist as a peace offering to my readers….

Christmas came and went, along with bouts of typhoid/flu/virus hell for most of our family.  I spent about three weeks coughing like a two-pack-a-day smoker but credit running and strong lungs for seeing me through without an antibiotic.  Take that, respiratory bug!

I have joined the committee for a 4-mile run here in KC called the Trolley Run, and I am thrilled to be part of such a great group and helping with a race for the first time!  This run is in its 27th year and benefits the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI), an AMAZING school that provides services for blind and visually impaired children from infancy through kindergarten.  I believe it is the largest 4-mile run in the country, with over 8,000 runners participating each year.  If you are a local reader or someone looking to visit KC, come run it with me!  We on the committee have been working hard to make sure that this year’s race will be incredible…it’s a flat to downhill course with a fantastic after bash.  What’s not to love, right?  I’ve written a few blog posts for the run (which you can read here and here if you’re interested!),

I am close to opening a cross stitch shop on Etsy and will put info in a sidebar once I have it up and running.  Old lady crafting is a current passion, and I will be able to take custom orders too.  To be fair, I will mostly be offering snarky patterns and song lyrics, so please don’t contact me hoping for an elaborate stitched pattern of a playful kitten and a yarn ball.  Contact me if you want some Kendrick Lamar lyrics stitched up nice and crafty-like.

I turned 42.  Let’s skim over that one.  I tried to look happy about it…and honestly it’s not that bad.  I would rather be the me I am at 42 than the half-formed idiot I was at 22, and I’m knock-on-wood healthy and happy, so complaining about it seems like a waste of time, and wasting time is for suckers.

42car

HH and I played some winter golf this weekend…and wondered why we haven’t moved to Florida yet.

winter golf

This little beast has decided that it’s fun to snack on poop in the back yard…a real homemade all-you-can-eat buffet!  So much for having a fellow princess in the house…

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The other dog continues to volunteer with me each week at a local rehabilitation center.  He is clearly the house favorite.

My love for running has returned after a few months off.  I am definitely slower (like running through Jello slow!), but much happier.  I am trying to take it easy to allow my body and especially my weak feet a chance to rest, build back up, and accommodate the extra pounds I’ve put on from not exercising for several months.  I am scheduled to run the Trolley Run in April, which will be my first race (I think) since last 4th of July’s Ward Parkway Four on the Fourth, where I patriotically kicked some ‘Murican ass and barely snagged an AG medal (all the really fast people must have been out buying fireworks that morning.)

And now, I present on one apologetic runner’s knee, a list of some great 80s songs to kick up your run, including some standards and a few new ideas.  I don’t know if my running playlists ever generate any interest, though my blog stats say otherwise, so if you like them, leave a comment, tweet me a pic, or send a shoutout to @TwistedSwisster (bonus respect to anyone who runs in pegged pants or one-shouldered sweatshirts!)

Part One:  Betcha no one runs to Midnight Blue, but you can’t go wrong with that song.  He ain’t got no regrets, and he ain’t losing track, and neither should you.  Your following days are over, baby, now you just gotta follow through!

80sPlaylist1

Part Two:  A bunch of somewhat obvious yet totally bitchin’ running staples, and they’re solid gold just like the dancers.

80sPlaylist2

As always, thanks for reading and HAPPY RUNNING!  You’re simply the best!

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Indefatigable (Translation: Pain in my Ass) Oscar

This is Oscar.  He is a bad dog.

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We bought Oscar in France back in March 2012, a few months before moving back from Switzerland.  We had just put down our Dachshund, and though HH wanted me to wait, I couldn’t live without another dog, and I was determined to find a running partner.  I did my research, searching for a non-shedding breed with plenty of energy.  I settle on the Wire Haired Pointing Griffon breed and knew it would be perfect.  High energy, non-shedding, wash-and-wear, born to hunt but happy to just be with its family…sold!

When I met 10-week old Oscar, it was love at first sight.  HH thought he was ugly and strange-looking.  I thought he was the most perfect puppy I had ever seen–and given that he had one undescended testicle, he was 200 euros cheaper.  Discount!

Oscar then…

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Oscar now…

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Oscar sailed through his international move and passed basic and advanced obedience classes.  He is an angel.  I almost think he could be a therapy dog that visits nursing homes, because he has the sweetest and most gentle temperament—but he suffers from two major issues.

He is a major crotch sniffer/bell ringer, which I can’t imagine would fly with the elderly.

He pulls on a leash RELENTLESSLY, especially if he sees a bird or squirrel, which seems to happen every few seconds in our neighborhood.  Haters gonna hate, hunters gonna hunt!

I can give up on the therapy thing, but the pulling is a major issue for my running plans.  He drags me down the street, all 60 pounds of him, and by a mile or two in, my arm is killing me, my whole body is out of whack and I’m feeling barfy because I’ve been sprinting.  Also, he NEVER gets tired, no matter how long I try to stick it out.

I’ve tried various chest harnesses and the Gentle Leader.  Nothing works.  When I give the correction and his body/nose turns toward me, it’s almost like he just gives me a smile like, “Cool, huh?” and keeps going.  I even bought a belly harness that was guaranteed to lift him up by the stomach back near his hind legs when I jerked on the leash.  All it did was inspire him to start bounding and pushing off with his front legs.  He is just too strong.

When I walk him, he will heel for short periods.  He knows to sit when I stop walking, and he knows the commands for left and right turns.  But he will NOT heel for runs.  Ever.

Until this past summer, he wasn’t really old enough to run with yet, so our runs were sporadic and exhausting.  Then over the summer, it was easy to just leave him at home.  He was too overheated to run anyway (he’s very French, and the extreme Midwest temperatures are too much for him, I think.)  But now, it’s gorgeous, and the beast needs more exercise than he gets from just chasing little Stella around the house.  

I tried a leash of last resort today–a waist belt.  The belt attaches around my waist, so I don’t have to use arm strength to try and keep him under control.  I crossed my leash-free fingers, and we headed out for my first shake-out run since last weekend’s kickass half marathon.

Heaven!  I just went ahead and let him go in front of me.  Most of the time, he stayed over to my left side but up in front.  He was pulling, but I didn’t feel it nearly as much since it was against my whole body and not just my arm.  Even better, he still listened to my left and right turn commands, so we navigated the route perfectly!

They see me rollin’

They hatin’

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We ran an easy 2.75 miles, and I was able to keep the pace I wanted (that is, SLOW) instead of being forced along at his desired 7:00 mile.  I am so excited.  The leash and the pressure didn’t bother my back or anything, so I’m hopeful that I will have a constant running companion in these upcoming winter months.

Even better than the run?  Seeing a tired dog relaxing in the family room…

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Good dog, Oscar!

Songs to Run To With Your Dog:  Been Caught Stealing by Jane’s Addiction, She Wants to Move by N.E.R.D., Bitter Rivals by Sleigh Bells