Friday, September 30, 2011

September Goals Recap

Here's how my nine September goals went!

1. Drink 2.5 liters of water - I did alright with this one, over the past few days I know I haven't been drinking enough water but I never really felt dehydrated, I just need to remember to drink water even if I'm going going going.

2. Try yoga - I managed to miss every class in the fitness room and they aren't going to hold them anymore so I'm going to be finding some podcasts to start trying. Kind of disappointed about this one.

3. Add strength training to my routine - I did three days a week of strength training for most of the month, but didn't really enjoy it so I'm going to try to find other ways to increase my strength.

4. Continue to go to Masters practice - I did continue to go to Masters and it's still amazing and I think I'm going to love it forever.

5. Start biking to and from school - I managed quite a few days this month where biking was my only form of commuting and I really enjoyed it, although it's still a bit too hot to do it frequently.

6. Blog more - I feel like I was unsuccessful with this one since there were quite a few spans of time where I didn't post anything on the blog.

7. Start stretching - I really failed at this one because I didn't really make an attempt to stretch ):

8. Figure out how I want to keep my training schedule - I'm playing with this still, but feel that I really started making progress towards figuring something out. Definitely going to use a 3-ring binder though.

9. Keep my room clean - my room actually stayed clean for most of the month but I need to clean it again and then work on keeping it that way.

Overall I think that this month was full of some successes and a few failures when it came to my goals for the month, but I plan on making improvements on how much I get done on my goal list for October.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why I Decided to Change My Life.

I've been in a very reflecting mood today, something that I feel isn't happening enough for me lately, so I figured that I would take time to really talk about what lead up to me deciding that I needed to make changes in my life. I'm going to warn you that this is going to be a text heavy post. 

Looking back on this year so far I've begun to realize how far I've come, and how far I feel that I still have to go. In the beginning of the year I came home from visiting my family and felt very unhappy about well, just about everything. I had been thinking about getting a dog for quite a while at that point because something about living alone just wasn't working well for me at all, I was lonely (as to be expected) but I really couldn't adjust to it at all, because I needed someone else there. Over the break while at home I asked family members and friends if they thought getting a dog was a good idea, and most of the answers that I got were negative, either stating that I'm too young to have that much responsibility or that my life wasn't stable enough for that, but I really felt that they didn't understand why I wanted to get a dog. It was about having something constant when everything feels so temporary, having someone around all the time that is happy to see you when you get home and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and cry. It was something that I had already made my mind up on when I asked what people thought, I guess I was expecting someone to tell me that they thought it would be good for me. 

Well, I cried myself to sleep the first night back in Tucson, things weren't the way they were supposed to be and I needed to do something about it. The next day, myself and a school friend went to the pound where I ended up going home with Bella, and it didn't take long before I felt like things were going to get better. Then came the hiding her from my parents since they had told me not to get a dog, and that wasn't really the easiest thing in the world to do, because I knew that I had made a decision that was good for me, even if they didn't understand it enough to support it, or just plain didn't want to support it. The time away from school, and the constant companionship of my new princess, well, things were just feeling right. I was spending more and more time outside walking with Bella, working on tricks and training, but my Birkenstocks weren't up for the task of supporting my knees anymore with this increased amount of activity, so I cut back on the duration and we went for more frequent short walks. 

Then came the time when I finally told my parents that I had a dog, my mother wasn't much surprised because she had heard Bella bark while on the phone before, and my dad well, I don't really remember how he reacted, but neither of them were very pleased with me, as I already expected. But I could already tell that she was making a huge difference so their opinion didn't much matter to me. After a while I finally decided that I was way tired of my on and off knee problems and asked my mom what I could do about it, and she told me to go get fitted for some good sneakers at a running store. So I found myself in Fleet Feet of Tucson, and got fitted for some shoes and once the knee pain disappeared the long walks returned, and then I started doing short runs to kill time and be outside since I was really loving the time outdoors. So I started doing some research on running and races because I knew that in time, I could accomplish something awesome, something that made me feel like I was making progress towards a new, healthier lifestyle, and after years of being so inactive and spending so much time laying in bed (my favorite place to be) it felt so good to spend time outside, getting something healthy accomplished! I decided that I wanted to do road races, including some with my mother, and then the fun of deciding what races to do came about and I found the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, and it was pretty much decided that I was going to run it, some way some how, I was going to run that race. 

As it stands today, I look back on all this and realize that I just got so sick of spending my extra time laying in bed and watching tv, and probably also was getting sick of my clothes not fitting right and just not feeling good. Something in me decided that I could do better for myself, and my future all together and this whole adventure began. I still consider myself to be in an "in progress" stage, and that I'll probably be there for quite some time, but honestly I'm quite okay with that because I know that my changes, even if they're slow, will make me a much better person in the future, for myself, and everyone I know. 

So far, I'm glad I made a choice to make changes in my life because now I have a partner in crime that puts up with at times, very involuntary cuddles, I feel healthier, I'm doing better in school, and I feel like a better person. I still have a bit to go until I can feel really on top of the changes that I've already made, but I really feel like I can have it all together by the end of this year and that excites me like nothing else. I can't wait to see where things are going!

I know that this post is a bit out of character for my blog since it's just like a whole speech but I promise that soon we will be back to our regularly scheduled program! 

Until next time, 

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Smoking Aces, and Crash.

So after my epic 20 miles yesterday I was surprised that biking to practice came so easily to me, I had for sure thought that my legs would be toast and I would go back to bed after taking the princess out. But I made my way down to practice and boy did it feel good to jump in that cold pool after biking my miles to get there. As I was swimming practice, I could tell that my legs were done, and contemplated doing my run anyways, but as practice finished I decided it would be smarter to take a rest day and go back at it tomorrow than risk pushing it too hard and hurting myself. So instead I opted to go home and take a nap, and I think that was a really good choice because I woke up feeling better after I shook my legs out with a little walk. I still managed to crash at about 1:45pm, and wanted to go take a nap, but took a ten minute break and felt fairly refreshed for not having any coffee. 

Those numbers are pretty exciting aren't they? I was super psyched to get these back and see those grades, and it just made me realize more that the changes I've been implementing are really working, and that this whole crazy fitness thing is really helping in other ways too, although the whole feeling like I had crashed didn't feel so great, but a little break and it was gone. I think that my favorite part of the day is starting to become laying in my bed after being busy all day long. I fell asleep so nicely last night, and it may have been early to some people, but getting so much done so early, feels so much better than being up late and getting to sleep in. Speaking of sleep, that's where I'm headed, and yes it is way before 9 but I'm ready to sleep into some nice dreams. 

Until next time, 

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!

Monday, September 26, 2011

20 Miles and Alternative Camera Assignment

Today my mileage from biking was 20 total, and that was impressive yet painful, and I realized why biking to school on Monday/Wednesday is so hard, since I'm biking at 12:15, yeahhh, it's just a little bit hot that time of day. It felt like such an accomplishment to come home and realized that's the furthest I've biked in a day and I can't wait to see how I progress as I get fitter and fitter.

I know I've been a bad bad blogger, but I just haven't really had much to write about or I felt it wasn't interesting enough for the blog. But then again, you're already here right? So you must think that I'm somewhat interesting.

Today I had an assignment due in my Introduction to Digital Photography class called the Alternative Camera assignment. This meant using a phone with a camera or even the webcam off your computer. I'm sure you could easily guess that I opted for my phone, and here are the results.

If you did not know, this is TheRunningMike
I'm off to go sleep because I'm beat. It's been a long day but a good day, and I promise I'm trying to get back on the blogging wagon. I'm planning some awesomely cool stuff coming up so stay tuned for that.

Until next time,

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Whoops. Sorry Blog and Swim Etiquette.

You all know that I love you too much to ignore you, but I just haven't really felt like I had much to blog about. ): Sorry guys, sometimes my life gets boring.

Over the weekend I studied for my first drafting test about four times, fixed my bike, and even made an attempt at yoga! Things for this week are looking really exciting I have a small test in drafting tomorrow morning, a quiz in digital photography on Wednesday, I will finally be able to hang up my medal rack tonight when I get home from school, I made it through another Master swim practice and even biked to partway to school (backpack got too heavy to finish).

To the left is a little preview of what Halloween is going to look like at my house. :)

I do have to complain for a minute about swimming etiquette because one of my lane partners this morning does not understand staying on your side of the lane since I got kicked in the face and then splashed with water (which got swallowed) multiple times. So guys, if you're passing a slower person in the pool, stay out of the other side of the lane because someone may be in the middle of their lap and get swum over, or in my case kicked in the face then splashed with water so I felt like I was drowning. Oh and to the guy that kicked me in the ribs while trying to put his fin back on, I hope you swim in the afternoon group from now on.

Until next time,

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Introductory Speech.

First of all I would like to say, the first speech wasn't actually today like I thought, but I promised you all that I would post my speech tonight, so here it is.

September 11th, 2011 6am: It's time for another long run and as I don my running shoes I realize what day today is. It's not a day that I enjoy remembering, not because of what happened that day, but because of what has happened since. I leave my headphones on the table and set out, just me and the pavement because today is a day of reflection and meditation. I can't help but begin to think about how our country has changed in ten years, wars, an economic depression, an obesity epidemic, increased airport security, and we always say that we will never forget 9/11 but in our day to day lives do we really remember what it all means? Splash! My foot lands in a puddle that remains from the previous nights storm and just like a movie, the flashback hits me. Standing in the pouring rain just looking up at the sky, that feeling. Whoosh, a car drives right ahead of me and I snap back to reality. It's been four miles and my wet shoe is starting to feel uncomfortable but I'm not done, so I keep going because I don't have that feeling yet. I can't help but wonder why I am pushing myself so hard to meet these goals. An Ironman, is finishing really going to make my parents accept me? Will it really make my former classmates jealous? Do I really want to spend my Saturday's swimming then biking for six hours? When am I going to think that this is enough? Will it be when I cross the finish line? Or will it ever come? Then it hits me, well more like I ran into it, that wall, not the one where you can't go on anymore, but the one where you feel on top of the world. That is when it all starts to make sense, a day like today shouldn't be used to just focus on the past, but to celebrate being alive, just as everyday should be about celebrating who we are and what we can do. in the ten years since 9/11 we have strengthened and come together as a nation, but when do we celebrate what we have? That's it! The answer that I was looking for, that's what the standing in the pouring rain feels like, that's what walking through the door after seven miles feels like, that's why I want to do Ironman races. It may have taken wet shoes, a music-less run and standing in the pouring rain, but I know what it takes for me to feel alive. 
I am a swimmer, I am a cyclist, I am a runner, 
and I am a future Iron(wo)man because I want to celebrate that I am                               ALIVE                     
So that's my speech, also, I got my medal display. Now I just need some badass medals to put on it. I'll take pictures once it is hanging on the wall. :)

Until next time,

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!

Monday, September 12, 2011

EMZ Love, Speech Preview and LRTcrew Love.

I officially got my RUN EMZ shirt, and let me tell you it feels like heaven, so stop what you're doing right now and go buy one. You can find them here, none of the money from these shirts is kept, it is donated, which is just another reason why she FREAKING ROCKS.

I'm giving my first speech in class tomorrow and here's the last line.

I am a swimmer, I am a cyclist, I am a runner, and I am a future Iron(wo)man because I want to celebrate that
                        I am                

I will also be looking for more LRTcrew members in the coming weeks, you will get lots of cheering on from myself and other crew members, the chance to be interviewed by myself, and featured on one of my Feature Fridays, if you want to be a member, leave a comment letting me know or shoot me an email. You even get your own nickname!

Until next time,

Run hard, be strong and always think big!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Going Old School and Trisports Love.

I'd like to note that right now I'm watching Snow White. When you have no cable you get creative on what you do. I did most of my homework already so I figured it was time for me to relax some. :)

When I was at school yesterday I took a look at the new gallery show which is all works by teachers at my school, and it's always fun to see what they've been working on. Some of the photography in that show is epic man, and I mean epic! I'm not sure who did this piece but for some reason I really like it, also I'd like to note that I'm addicted to the camera on my phone.

The rest of the school week went really well, except for being insanely hungry all day Tuesday and Thursday, which miiiiiiiiiight have something to do with the six miles I got in before 9am. I just have to work on making sure I bring enough food to school so I don't go hungry, but I don't think that's going to be a problem, I like food enough. :P

I'd like to take a moment and note how awesome everyone at is. Last week they sent out a tweet asking for ideas for their "University" which provides reviews of triathlon products. Well, of course I replied because I've been super confused about trying to sort through all the different kinds of pedals and shoes that are made for road bikes, triathlon bikes and anything of the sort. Well, I asked and they answered coming out with Beginner's Guide to Clipless Pedals and all I have to say is that I officially am in love with Trisports! Everyone that I have talked to from their company and their store is fantastic, they really know what they're talking about and they're all super fantastically nice! For me it's definitely worth the two different buses and then still walking some. So if you're ever down in Tucson, check out Trisports, you won't regret it!

Until next time,

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day Back at School

I have to say that I'm quite pleased with how today went. Masters practice was amazing as always, I love getting to spend time with everyone there, and my progress felt good. Tomorrow though will be a different story with it being a VO2 max training day, which basically means push yourself as hard as you can until you can't anymore, for those of you who don't know what it is.

After masters I went for a run in Reid Park, which turned into a 4 mile run/walk and it really surprised me at how easily that came to me after swimming a mile and a half, it actually felt incredible which makes me excited for triathlon training to come in the future. After that I headed home, showered and got ready for class, and ran a few little errands then it was time for class!

Drafting was good, we did a few things but mostly just talked about all the equipment that we will need for the class, which reminds me, I need to find some of it. We let out early which was nice, but after my combined six miles this morning, I was starving. I ate everything that I had packed for the day in the span of like an hour. Then it was time for Principles of Communication where we listened a lot, did mini-interviews with a partner and then talked about that person in front of the class, boring, but it made the class go fast.

Once school was over for the day I made my way home and did half my homework, then kind of zoned out for a while, but weirdly enough I didn't fall asleep. I don't really know how that worked, but all I know is that I'm not tired now. ): I've finished all my homework for Thursday already which is nice, and this trend will be continuing throughout the semester because it feels good, although coffee may need to be added in there sometime in the morning.

Well, I'm off to take Bella out then go to bed!

Until next time,

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Getting Back on the Wagon.

After reading tonight's post by the ever so lovely Emily from Sweat Once A Day, I realized that I need to get back in gear when it comes to the schedule that I so diligently put together for myself. So tonight it's early to bed and early to rise for Masters then coming home to run three miles, then trying not to fall asleep so that I can survive my first day of classes.

I'm actually insanely excited to start classes tomorrow, and I'm glad that I found out my schedule is different than what I posted before, so I didn't show up at school on Wednesday at 9:30 when I didn't have class until 1. That would have been bad.

I'm also hoping to start figuring out how I want to organize my workouts so that I can look up what kind of mileage I'm supposed to be doing for that workout. I feel like it will help me actually do the workouts that I have planned for myself.

Well, I'm off to pack for classes and masters in the morning. :) Hope you all had a good long weekend!

Until next time,

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bad News, Rest Day and Nugget Monkey Adventures!

So first for the bad news, the Tinfoilman race is sold out as of today. Which means I won't be able to do that as my first triathlon, but that's okay. There are a few up north of Phoenix still this year, like one in December, so I'm thinking that would be kind of fun to do. EMZ, I'm coming for you. ;) 

I'm already beating down my 9 goals for September, including stretching after running and drinking 2.5 liters of water today. I can officially check those off for today, woooohoooo! Bella also got to go on my run this morning, which was her first ever run with me. So here are some pictures from our run!
Tired, but happy!
Bella may look good after a run, but I do not. 
In other news, Nugget Monkey went on his first adventures today, including the doctor's office with friend J, and a Taco shop with the same friend, so without further ado Nugget Monkey Adventures!

Doctor's Office!

Taco Shop!
Tonight I'm really wishing that I had some compression tights, because I managed to get some nasty bug bites that somehow got to my muscles too, so my legs are feeling demolished, I have a feeling I'm going to be having an affair with a set of compression tights in the near future, anyone want to help with that?? If you don't believe my about these bug bites, here's some proof of the nastiness of these suckers. I don't have any idea of what bit me, since I first thought they were mosquito bites, but I guess not. 

Until next time, 

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My 9 September Goals!

Some of my favorite blogs post monthly goals, and I'm starting to really like the idea of it. So I'm going to post a few of my own. Here's what I've got planned for the coming month. 

1. Drink 2.5 liters of water a day - this sounds like a lot of water, but when I start to look at all the different things I'll be doing every day, I know it'll be good for me. 

2. Try yoga - I'm a little scared for this one, but the fitness center at my apartment complex is going to start having yoga classes on Wednesday and Friday mornings, I'll be in class during the Wednesday session, so I'll be doing the Friday session. 

3. Add strength training to my routine - I'm hoping to work my way up to three times a week by the end of the month. 

4. Continue to go to Masters practice - I think this one will be pretty easy!

5. Start biking to and from school - I'm hoping that by the end of this term I can transition to biking as my main form of commuting! 

6. Blog more - I'm hoping to post something daily, even if it's not a recap of the day. I think I'm going to write some posts when I have free-time and then post them when I don't have a post for that day :)

7. Start stretching - I'm really not good at remembering to stretch when it comes to running and such, and I know that's not good, so that's another goal. 

8. Figure out how I want to keep training schedule - I moved to writing my planned miles down in my school planner, but if I'm adding in strength training, yoga and biking, I need to find a better method. 

9. Keep my room clean! - I know this one sounds lame, but my room has the tendency to get messy FAST, so I want to keep it CLEAN. 

What are your goals for September? Any advice for me on completing my goals? I'm pretty excited for September, since I have an awesome run this morning to kick off the month. 

I would also like to introduce to you the official blog mascot, Nugget Monkey. 
I think he got a little smushed in shipping. 
I will leave you with a picture of how Bella looked while I was writing the blog, enjoy.
Super attractive Bella.
Now I'm off to finish reading my strength training book so I can get started on #3 tomorrow! 

Until next time, 

Run hard, be strong, and always think big!