The Austin Spartan Super

Last weekend Kaitlyn and I volunteered at the Spartan Super near Austin Texas. We volunteered on the actual race course Saturday from 12pm-8pm, that means we were the ones making sure people who failed the obstacle did the 30 burpees and we got to yell at the racers, encourage them, help them, and cheer them on as they did burpees after failing. The obstacle we were stationed at was called the Herculean Hoist. Racers had to lift a bag of sand 20-25ft up in the air using a rope and pulley system and then lower it back down to the ground without dropping it. If they dropped it, they had to do 30 burpees, if they failed to lift it, they had to do thirty burpees.

I spent the entire time I was there yelling “alright guys, pull it all the way up AND LOWER IT DOWN. DO NOT DROP IT! Drop it and you’ll do thirty burpees! You hear me? Don’t drop those bags unless you like doing burpees!”

and “no! no! Oh no!! Don’t drop it! Do you wanna try again? all the way up all the way down. If you drop it, you’ll still have to do burpees!”

and “oh c’mon! I just saw a kid half your size do it! brace your feet and throw your weight back, you can do it!!”

and “somebody help him! Don’t make him do those burpees alone! you can help your fellow Spartans, don’t do it all for them-they have to earn their medal, but you can help them along if you want to!”

There were separate sandbags for men and women and the women could do the heavy ones if they wanted to, but they didn’t have to and most of them chose not to. They weighed 85(women’s) and 105lbs(men’s). I got the men’s sandbag with a little help. Kaitlyn steadied if for me so I wouldn’t drop it while I readjusted my grip but I did all the pulling, and that’s the sort of help we were giving the racers so I think I did pretty good.

The Spartan Race is really big on team work. They put team work above winning, so the racers were allowed to help each other. Sure, it slowed you down but winning isn’t everything. They will even let you do burpees for someone else. You don’t have to know the person, you could help a total stranger if you wanted to. And those that did, usually got a round of applause from the spectators. The only guideline for helping is you can’t do it all for them-sure you can help them along, but make them work for it too. Most of the time helping meant just steadying the rope while someone readjusted their grip.

We were hoping to work with three other friends who were volunteering but they were put on different shifts so they could run the same day- if you volunteer at a Spartan Race they will give you free entry into any of their races even the one you volunteer at. At first we were pretty disappointed, but we got to work with some really awesome people. And it made it a lot more fun when our friends came through. We yelled at them extra and told them they had to do double the burpees if they failed. I made a huge scene with one of the guys from the Spartan Pit and I think we scared some of the spectators. Some of them actually thought I was trying to pick a fight with a random racer that was twice my size just because I had a shirt that said volunteer on it.

The best part of the whole thing was watching just how determined some of those people were. There were people who weighed less than the sandbags that would hook their feet under the guard rail and they would do it. Then there were some people were just lazy and/or they didn’t know how to use their body weight to help they hoist it up and they would want to give up so I would tell them “I just saw someone smaller than me do it. They had to hook their feet under that rail to keep from being lifted into the air because the bag was heavier than them. If they can, so can you.” and after hearing that, almost all of them could do it. And it made me feel less bad enforcing the 30 burpee penalty on those that failed, because I watched people who weighed less than the sand bags do it, there’s no excuse for the people who could lift it with their body weight alone. Sounds kind of harsh but if you had been there, you would agree with me.

The funniest thing was watching all the people that dressed up costumes and were helping everyone out. Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Captain America, and Green Lantern. They all came through at separate times and all hung around for 10 or 15 minutes just helping everyone. It was pretty cool. And there were the people who painted themselves green, there was a whole team of guys with awesome red mohawks, and there was a the father and son team that everyone who has volunteered at a race in Texas has seen. Every couple of hours you’d see them again. They just kept running through, and they never failed the Hoist. I talked to them the last time they came through, I told them they were somewhat of a legend to my friends and they just laughed and seemed rather flattered. They did the race four times. The course was just over 9 miles long(they advertise 8+ miles), that means those crazy guys ran 36 miles and basically did 80 obstacles(there are 20 at the Super).

Another reason I wanted to go was to see if it was something I really want to do. I’ve been thinking about running the Beast this November but a lot of people didn’t think it’d be such a good idea to start with the longest one they have, well, the longest regular race, I’m not planning on doing any of their crazy ultra marathon races for a few years. But apparently, starting with the Beast isn’t as crazy as I thought, a lot of the racers I talked to did the Beast(13+ miles) for their first Spartan Race and they did just fine. I’m pretty sure I will to now. And I got an awesome volunteer t-shirt.

Shoe shopping on Impossible Astronaut Day

I got new shoes! They’re Saucony Guide 7’s. I’ve only run in them a few times so far, but I’m already pretty sure I love them.

 

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They’re the first pair of running shoes I’ve ever bought at full price, and only the second I’ve ever owned. I ran in my converse until January, then I bought a pair of Nike Dart 9’s from Plato’s Closet(yeah, yeah, I know, never buy used running shoes) and they were actually pretty nice. But I didn’t know when I bought them that you’re supposed to buy them a size too big because your feet will expand a little when you first start running so now they’re too small for me.

I went to Soler’s to find my shoes because I’ve heard a lot of great things about them from friends, and they were pretty awesome. They helped me find a pair that fit my feet pretty much perfectly, and gave me a lot of good running advice. They’re super friendly too, although, I’m not sure calling someone a nerd is very professional, not that I really cared-I consider it a compliment coming from a non-whovian, and to be honest, I deserved it;

The day I went to look for shoes was April 23rd, Impossible Astronaut day. The day that episode of Doctor Who aired, and a new monster was introduced. The Silence. A monster you forget as soon as you look away. The solution? carry a marker with you and every time you see one, put a tally mark on your arm. That way, when you look away and forget you saw it, the new tally mark will remind you. Every year on April 23rd whovians mark up their arms and sometimes their faces. It’s good fun. The guy that was helping me find shoes asked why I had tally marks all over my arms and when I told him he laughed and said “you’re such a nerd!”

I ran a quick mile the day I bought my shoes and it only took me 6:50, my fastest time yet. I wasn’t really trying to go super fast just feeling the shoes. Test driving them. And it would’ve been faster but I thought I saw a friend of mine while I was running so I slowed down and stopped as he drove past me. That probably cost me nearly 10 seconds. I’m going to have to sprint it and see just how fast I can run a mile. My only complaint with the shoes is the color. I know, right? I’m such a girl, they’re just running shoes, why does the color matter?? Because I said so. If someone else wants to buy me running shoes, I promise not to complain about the color.

I guess it’s not really a secret anymore

I guess it wasn’t really ever a secret… not to the people I actually know.
The goal was to set/start the Guinness World Record for ‘most push ups done in an hour’, but someone beat me to it. And he did 1874. There’s no way I could do that right now, because in order to beat that I’d want to do 2000. I would want to thoroughly beat it. Not just by a smidgen, you know? but that means I would have nearly double what I’m already doing. Which would mean roughly 170 push-ups every five minutes. That would take probably the rest of the year just to work up to, and by then someone else would probably have already reset the record. That’s a problem.

The worst part? they did it back in January. My best was 1100, back in November- which would’ve been plenty for a starting record-but that was when things started getting really busy for my family so I didn’t have time to go through the whole application process and record it. Then I hurt my back and quit doing them for nearly two months. It’s just so much worse knowing that I actually could’ve done it and just didn’t.

I knew someone else would quickly beat it, cuz if a skinny little 17 year old girl could do 1100 or 1200, a big athletic guy could easily double it. That’s why I wanted to hurry up and start it, and set the first one while it was still possible for me to try. But I waited too long. The solution? I realized they allow separate records for men and women, so I figured I start that one instead. I hate using the fact that I’m a girl as an excuse but I really wanted to set that record, so I figured I’d try. Because if it’s not worth asking for it’s not worth having, right?

The reason I say I hate using that as an excuse is because I don’t want to be strong ‘for a girl’ or fast ‘for a girl’. Make sense? I want to be ‘good’ or in this case ‘the best’ as a person, not just a girl. I know there are things guys are naturally better, like building muscle. Guys naturally build muscle faster than girls, and they have denser bones, that’s just a fact of life. And all that means to me is the competition is better, harder, and there’s more for me to gain just by competing with them.

But I figured, if I couldn’t start the record that men would inevitably take over, the womens record was the next best thing. So yesterday I went ahead and sent in the application for permission to officially set the record of ‘Most pushups done in an hour by a Woman’ and it said it should take 6-12 weeks to process requests to start new record. Ok, no big deal, that just means I have more time to prepare, right? I tried to remind myself that they could reject it, but I was far to excited to listen to myself. This morning, less than 24 hours after I sent in the request, they replied. It was a very official looking and sounding email. It started out by telling me how excited they were that I wanted to start a new record, and they admired the amount of discipline it must’ve taken to be able to do that, but they were no longer considering new records in that category.

At first I was like, ‘ok. whatever. no big deal. I’m fine.’ but then I had to tell my family, and the two people outside my family I had told yesterday after I sent in the application. That’s when I decided I wasn’t fine. It might seem silly to some of y’all but I did cry a little, and I’m pretty depressed. I’ve been working towards this for a whole year.

I felt a little better when I talked to a friend and she reminded me of the fact that whether or not I had the approval of some big name business to actually try, didn’t affect the fact that I already broke the record for most done in an hour by a woman recognized by the ‘push up hall of fame’. I beat it by 80, and I didn’t need anyone’s permission or recognition to do it. I also set a new personal record of 80 in one set. They were a little shallow but I’m working on that.

I’ll still do some push-ups just because I’ve come way to far over the past year and a half to just quit now, but I won’t be doing five or six hundred a day. Probably just two hundred, that takes me about ten minutes right now.

In some ways it’s actually very relieving to finally be done, but the relief definitely doesn’t outweigh the disappointment. I can quit worrying so much about that and just focus on my running now. I would like to run the 2016 Boston Marathon if possible. And in 2015 I’ve already decided to go for my Spartan Race Trifecta. Which reminds me, I’m running the Chosen Marathon this October, and there’s a Spartan Beast the weekend after that. Would I be totally insane to try to run that a week after my first ever marathon? I’ve heard some people say yes, some say no, and others say it really just depends on how prepared I am for the marathon…

Another thing that stinks this whole things is that the guy who did is Australian. I’m not so sure I like Australia anymore. I thought I wanted to live there but now I’m having second thoughts. If I ever do go to Australia, it’ll probably be for the purpose of hunting down this record setter, Carlton Williams, and disposing of his triceps so he can’t break anyone else’s heart by setting more records.

 

New favorite song- Ready Aim Fire by Imagine Dragons. I’m probably the only person in the world who didn’t know that they made it for Ironman 3.

Gym clothes rock!

The cool things about working at the gym are 1) I get to wear exercise clothes to work, or just regular jeans with my Spartan Pit t-shirt, because it’s a gym. I’m a horrible, lazy slob about clothes most of the time so this is heaven to me! I’m so lazy about it that I don’t even really know how to apply makeup! Ok-not quite true, I know how to apply eyeliner and mascara without looking like a circus freak or Cleopatra but that’s it…. so yeah, I get to wear the most comfortable clothes in the world at work, 2) I get off at 7:30pm and some nights that means I have time to jump in on the Muay Thai class before heading home, and 3) I’ve gotten to know the most of the instructors and personal trainers lot better, which makes it easier to respect them as teachers and also easier to understand and learn from them. I think it’s easier to learn from people that I know on a less formal level, like as friends too, not just as my teachers. Make sense?

Speaking of Muay Thai, here’s a quick word of advice, unless you like having giant bruises and knots in your shins, use shin guards during Muay Thai classes, and if you can, pair up with someone who also has a pair of shin guards. Especially when practicing with fighters.

Last Saturday I paired up with Dominique, the woman that fought at Cowboys Dance Hall few weeks ago. The reason I paired up with her was because she had shin guards and I didn’t I didn’t want to work with someone who didn’t have any because knocking shins with someone for an hour is not fun. The fact that she had shin guards made a huge difference, just not as much as I was hoping. I had just regular, sort of faint bruises after Saturday, and then I took it again on Wednesday after work and I still didn’t have shin guards so I paired up with a guy who did. It didn’t help too much then either. I think his were sort of cheap because I now have a giant bruise running down the front of one shin, and a few medium sized bruises on the other. I think the bigger bruise might even be called a hematoma. It’s pretty bad. Not that I mind too much. The way I see it, if I’m going to do something hard and sort of painful, I’d like to have something to show for it.

“We sweat in the gym, so we won’t bleed in the streets”

Don’t be that guy

Megan and I took wrestling tonight, and at the end of the class we had a few rounds of grappling, so we could try to actually use the techniques we had just learned, and so the instructors could see what we needed help with. I think Megan and I were pretty evenly matched. She got an armbar on me once, and I got her in a triangle choke, besides that it was just back and forth with me mostly on bottom but not always on defense. For those of you who don’t know what a triangle choke is, it’s a blood choke where you trap someones arm and neck with your legs and apply enough pressure to cut off blood circulation to their head. That’s why it’s called a blood choke, you’re not trying to cut off their air supply-but that does occasionally happen too. A blood choke is much more effective, when done right it only takes 4 or 5 seconds to make someone pass out.

Don’t ever, ever criticize wrestlers or mma fighter when they’re grappling and get all locked up and aren’t striking very much. Just don’t. The reason I’m saying this is because unless you take a few real wrestling classes you can’t possibly understand how much energy it takes to control someone. Just control them, and by control them I just mean not let them break your arm or choke you out.

Tonight we did those three three minute rounds of grappling at the end of class and that was enough to exhaust all of us, and we aren’t pros, and we didn’t have to worry about keeping our partners from striking. Imagine how hard it must be to, not only keep someone from submitting you, but also keep them from knocking your lights out.

The reason I brought this up is because at the fights a few weeks ago one of the bouncers was talking to a waitress about how the fighters weren’t striking enough when they were on the ground and all the things he’d do better. And that really rubbed me the wrong way because if he knows so much and would do so much better than any of the fighters why wasn’t he in the ring? he obviously knew he could beat them. Why wasn’t he already a professional? He seemed to know everything there was to know and was apparently much stronger and had better cardio than any of the people who had been training for years for those fights.

He wouldn’t have lasted more than a round with any of those guys. He thought just because he could see what was happening, he knew all about it. Maybe he’s seen quite a few fights, but he’d obviously never actually, seriously grappled with someone. Because if he had, there’s no way he would’ve been talking like that.

See what I’m saying? please, don’t be that guy.

Alligator Lake

Things have finally started calming down around here. Well, when I say calming down, I mean we’re getting used to it. It’s getting more organized. Now that summer is coming, it’s only going to get busier.

Speaking of summer, am I the only one in the world who hates swimming? I like the beach because it’s clear and you can stick to just wading around in the shallow water without missing out on anything cool(except the occasional shark attack), but I really dislike lakes and swimming pools. I don’t like lakes because I always feel like something is going to drag me down to the bottom where it’s all mirky, and slimy and kill me, and swimming pools are just sort of meh to me. My lake phobia either came from that episode of Supernatural from the first season with the ghost in the lake… or the fact that the lake we usually went to out in Boerne actually had a few alligator sightings, and they may have caught a small one there too. We called it alligator lake.

My uncle Patrick Henry just moved down here from Oregon. He’s the one I keep trying to wrestle with, and he gave me an old skateboard to rebuild last time I visited him in Oregon. I say try because I’m ridiculously outmatched. He’s staying with his older brother out in the country at least until he turns 18. So I probably wont get to see him too much but maybe I can steal his awesome skateboard since he won’t be able to use in on the dirt roads. :D  I put new bearings in mine but I haven’t had the money to buy trucks or better wheels for it yet so it’s still pretty cheap feeling. It’s not horrible anymore but it’s definitely not a great board yet.

Kaitlyn, Megan, and I have decided to start taking wrestling full time, and we’re currently taking kick boxing instead of Krav. Things have gotten super busy at the gym lately, they started offering a new classes and a flood of new people came in, and Rudy teaches those new classes. So until they can figure things out, we’re taking other classes. Which I’m totally cool with, it’s a nice change.

We’re actually learning a lot of the same stuff still as we did in Krav, the only difference is all the rules you have to follow if you’re learning it for sport. Of course we don’t have to follow all of those rules since we’re learning it for self defense but it is interesting to learn just how many limitations they’ve put in the sport. If you don’t know much about it, when you watch it, like on TV(UFC), it just looks like two guys beating each other senseless by any means necessary, but it’s not. The more you pay attention and learn about it the less brutal it seems.

While we’re on the subject, did anyone else geek out when former welterweight UFC champion Georges St Pierre showed up as a french kick-boxing mercenary in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? I knew he was in there but it was still really exciting to see that. I caught myself thinking of it as an actual fight for just a second and I was cheering for him in my head(sorry Captain)… He’s my favorite fighter. Well, my favorite in the welterweight division. I have three favorite fighters, GSP-welterweight division, Jon Jones-light heavy weight, and Caine Velasques-heavy weight. GSP has an amazing record of 25-2, and I actually have a friend who went hunting with one of the only fighters to ever beat him. Pretty cool, right? Jon Jones is a beast, he’s the youngest UFC champion in history, and he’s a christian, he has Philippians 4:13 tattooed across his chest and he’s very vocal and unashamed of his faith. I follow him on instagram, he’s a pretty funny dude. I don’t know too much about Caine Velasquez but I do know I have a cousin named for him and he has the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight division history. His MMA record is 13-1 and the only fight he lost seemed like kind of a fluke to me. Out of all the fighters I know of, those are the three I like best.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Sorry if the fight talk bores you, it’s kind of my life right now. Especially since the UFC is coming to San Antonio in June. And if you live in the area and are looking for tickets, the Spartan Pit is selling them. Just fyi…

Fight night

The fights last Saturday were really good. Three of the four people fighting from the Spartan Pit won, and the one who lost had nothing to be ashamed of. All the fights except his were fairly matched. Our winning fighters all won by unanimous decision. There were 11 fights total counting the main event, and we stayed for ten of them. We didn’t know either of the main fighters, so we had no interest in seeing the match. Our fighters were the 2nd, 6th, 8th, and 10th.

I didn’t think our first fight was going to be much of a match, it was the girls fight, the second fight of the night. When I say I didn’t think it would be much of a match, I mean I didn’t think Dominique’s opponent would last long, but she did pretty good. Dominique was definitely a lot stronger but this other girl wanted to win pretty bad. She made it through all three rounds. She put up a really good fight, she got a pretty good guillotine choke at one point. One thing I noticed was, all of our fighters did a superman punch, which is something Rudy, the head coach loves teaching. Now I know why, it worked every time. A superman punch is when you fake a kick, and as they go to check or block it, you’d throw your leg back and punch instead. It gives the punch more force and also gets their guard down.

Out of all of them I’m most impressed with our second fighter- the 6th fight of the night. The one who lost. Alfred is only 18, and this was his first fight. His opponent was 25, and a real weirdo. He spent the entire time trying to psych him out and it hardly worked. As soon as the fight started Alfred attacked. He didn’t waste anytime. He had his opponent on the ground in just over a minute and almost made him tap with an armbar. It was a beautiful armbar. The only reason he didn’t win right then was because he wasn’t willing to put enough pressure on it to actually break his arm. I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t have been able to do it either. After that his opponent got on top of him and he couldn’t flip him off. He should’ve made it to the second round but the ref called it. If he had made it to the next round I think he could’ve won. He fought like a champ but he was outmatched. He was super calm and controlled the whole time though. After all the fights but that one, the fighters would shake hands and talk, and maybe even hug, but not this one. The one guy was too busy gloating and dancing around making gross gestures at Alfred to shake hands with him.

Our third fighter, Matt, was the 8th to fight, and he left with nothing more than a bloody nose. I was impressed, but not terribly surprised. His fight looked more like a boxing match than anything else, he wouldn’t let the guy take him to the ground. He told me a while ago that he did boxing for years before he started seriously training, so he’s pretty good at slipping punches. I talked to him Tuesday after work and he said the reason he just out boxed the guy instead of trying to pin him and pound him down-which is really what I was expecting- is because his opponent has a black belt in Judo. Makes sense. I wouldn’t want to grapple with someone like that if I had a choice about it either.

The last who fought had the most interesting fight. Lots of ups and downs. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind at the end though, Sam had definitely won. At least once during each round he did what we call ‘ground and pound’. Pretty self explanatory, right? He had the guy on the ground, he was sitting on his chest, and he was pounding him down. It sounds brutal but it’s really not as bad as it seems. It only lasted five or ten seconds each time and the punches weren’t to hard because the guy was constantly trying to throw him off.
During that fight we saw something really odd. Something I have never seen happen in any MMA fight before. I’ll do my best to explain it. I wish I had a video to show y’all though, it’s really hard to explain. So, Sam was sitting on Josh’s’ chest, ground and pound, and Josh, who is really skinny and apparently ridiculously flexible, wrapped his feet around Sams neck. While he was sitting on him. Seriously, he folded in half and brought his legs up against Sams back and wrapped his feet around his neck. He was trying to throw him back to get him off him. That didn’t work though, so instead, he slid out from under him, using his legs for leverage. It was really weird. During the fights the coaches would be shouting to their fighters non stop giving them advice, but when that happened it was dead quiet around the ring. No one had any idea what to say.

I was a little disappointed with our ringside seats. It was nice being less than a hundred feet from the fights but we were slightly bellow the ring. The ring was about four feet off the ground and our seats were just folding chairs.That made it kind of hard to see what was happening when the fighters were wrestling. The fights took place in the bull fighting ring so the ring and the ‘ringside’ seats were inside the actual arena and the GA seats were up on the bleachers. I spent most of the fights halfway up the iron fence the separated the ringside seats from the bleachers, just because I couldn’t see what was happening from my seat.

It was nice getting to high five our fighters as they entered the arena and getting to talk to some of them after the fights but I might just go with GA seats next time so I can see the fights better.

My etsy nightmare

It’s finally here!

I had to fight for it, but it’s here at last.

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Isn’t it wonderful? It’s 19′ long. Just a little bit longer than advertised but I’m not going to complain, not about that anyways. His scarves were anywhere from 12′ to 20′ long and a whole 12″ wide, mine is only 6″ wide. I’ll mostly wear it like he did in this picture.

If you don’t want to hear me geek out about classic Doctor Who facts, or rant about my awful Etsy experience, I suggest you don’t finish this post.

 

 

You have been warned.

For those of you who don’t know who this is walking with the Doctor, it’s Romana. Not the original Romana. This is her second regeneration. Mary Tamm played the first regeneration, this is Lalla Ward in the picture. Romana is not her full name. Her full name is Romanadvoratrelundar. When she first told the Doctor her name, the first thing he said about it to her was “I’m terribly sorry, is there anything we can do about that?” he was so sarcastic. He always said whatever he felt like saying, and no one could stop him, that’s why I love him. Romana was definitely one of my favorite classic companions, along with Ace and Leela. She was a timelord, like the Doctor. The Doctor only traveled with two timelords, Romana, and his granddaughter, Susan-companion of the first Doctor.

The scarf itself is wonderful, the owner of the shop I bought it from is… not so cool. It took 2 months, nine messages, an escalated case on Etsy, and lots of hinting at name calling.

It was all fine until I sent her the payment, but once I sent her payment, she ignored me for two weeks, until I said “you’ve been ignoring me since I payed you. What is going on?” then she apologized and said she’d ship it in a few days.
Two weeks after that I had to open a case with etsy because she hadn’t shipped it and wouldn’t answer me again. Once I opened the case she printed the label and marked it shipped but still didn’t actually ship it.
A week later I told her I knew it hadn’t shipped even though she had told me otherwise and I escalated the case. Then she told me she shipped it. She said it was in the mail.
But, surprise! she still hadn’t shipped, and she wouldn’t until I told her to cancel my order. I told her on the 24th to refund me and just keep the stupid thing. She didn’t of course. She shipped it. The day after I tried to cancel my order. That’s just wrong.

Now here it is. In March. The end of March. It’s almost April now. I won’t be able to wear it until the end of the year now. And there’s nothing I can do but leave crummy feedback. I don’t trust her to give me my money back. She lied about shipping it several times, she’s obviously got issues. I wouldn’t trust her to give me $50 back once I’d sent the scarf back.

I never actually called her a crook or a liar-not to her face anyways, I said it to my family plenty of times, but in my not so humble opinion, she definitely was one. She lied to me during the case. I’m not just talking about the first three times she promised to ship it, I mean when she said it already had shipped, the last time. She said it had already shipped but when I checked the tracking number she had given me, it showed no record of the Postal Service receiving the package. That is lying. I’m definitely never ordering from her again.

On a lighter and much more exciting note, three of the guys, and one of the gals from The Spartan Pit(my gym) have MMA fights this weekend at Cowboys Dancehall, and I have ringside tickets. :D Dad, Kaitlyn, and I will be going. I’ll let y’all know how it goes.

Time to start training again!

I’m going to try to run again in the morning, just one mile. I’m going to try not to wreck myself, this time. I’d still like to run a marathon but I won’t be able to do that if I don’t heal properly. I’ve only run about seven or eight times this year so far because every time I thought I had recovered, I pushed myself to far.

That’s not going to happen this time. I’m going to start with just a mile. I’ll run probably four times per week, and every other week I’ll tack on another mile or so. Hopefully it’ll work this time. I hate being broken. Especially this kind of broken. I feel fine most of the time, and then I push myself just a little too hard once, and that’s all it takes.

I’m looking for a half marathon to run sometime this summer but I’m having trouble finding one. I’d really like to run the Rock’n’Roll marathon this December but it’s on a Sunday so I don’t think that’s happening. If anyone has any suggestions or advice as far as choosing which one to run, I’d love to hear it!

Kaitlyn has decided she’ll run with me, all the way up to the marathon! I love having a running partner! Running on my own is cool, because I don’t have to worry about keeping up with anyone, I can push myself to go much faster when I’m on my own, but at the same time, I find it much easier to keep going when I feel like quitting if I have a partner. I don’t want to be the one to cry ‘uncle’, so in the end I go a lot farther when I have a partner.

I drew this on request, for a friend in Houston. I also drew a picture of Azog for him, after we saw the first Hobbit movie in the theater with his family. You can see that here

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I think the two he requested are the best two pictures in my current sketch book. Maybe l should start asking him for more ideas.