Take The Time!!!

As the title implies, you sometimes need to take the time out of your busy life to appreciate the small things.

While time is a man-made construct, we never have enough of it.

I find that I need time to eat, sleep, train, cook, spend time with my dog, spend time with my family, friends, travel, work, blog, social media, coach, work on my house and that’s just the half of it.

You need to prioritize your life and make sacrifices because you may just look back one day and regret that you made time for certain things over others.

So go out, skip that workout, make some memories and enjoy your life!

Never Give Up, Never Surrender!

So I heard a pretty interesting story this morning.

You know those new fidget toys everyone is going wild about?



Catherine Hettinger was the original inventor of this toy that helps curbs anxiousness and you would think she would be raking in the dough?!

Think again, she had the patent for 8 years and reached out to several companies, but no one took her seriously. She lost the patent for the toy in 2005 & now stores are sold out as this toy is flying off the shelves.

So this isn’t a post about how much money she could be making or how she should try to recoup some of the money because it’s her original invention or even how mad & outraged she should be that this fad didn’t take sooner, no, this is a post that if you truly believe in a cause, either it be you starting up a new business, you trying to build a brand or in this case, you inventing something, never give up!

Don’t stop, keep pushing. Keep striving to make that dream come true or that business a success or that new invention known; because when you let your dreams die, you’ll have nothing left.

Nanami Green Tea Trials!!!

Before I get this started, I would like you all to know that I love coffee and I don’t ever think I would be able to get over that affair.

I have been drinking coffee for as long as I can remember, and being a civil engineer and going through countless all nighters, I can say that if you drew my blood it would probably come out as coffee.

So I reached out to Nanami Tea for a trial on their “Zen Set” which comes with (4) different teas (Matcha, Sencha, Hojicha & Genmaicha); the premise of the trial was their 7 day drink green challenge where you drink no sugary drinks, no sodas, NO COFFEE and only their teas and water and what a trial it was.

*Disclaimer: this isn’t a cleanse or anything of the sort; I still ate food, the only thing I replaced was my coffee for tea.*

I have to say it was weird not waking up to a cup of black coffee to start my day like I usually do, but you know what, I can’t complain at all.

I went through the teas 1-4 & I have to say they were not only delicious, they actually kept me awake. With teas 1 & 2 [the Matcha & Sencha (the caffeinated ones)] they brought me up & kept me awake, but as the day progressed it was a gradual comedown and not a sudden crash.

Organic Matcha (Green Tea Powder)

★ Finely ground Japanese green tea powder
★ Excellent source of catechins (a vital antioxidant)
★ Perfect for mixing into smoothies, lattes, sauces, or pastries

Organic Sencha (Classic Green Tea)

★ Classic light steamed Japanese green tea leaf
★ Lively, fresh notes with a smooth body
★ Perfect for pre/post-workout and healthy daily hydration


The Hojicha & Genmaicha were more of an after dinner/before bedtime teas to help soothe and settle the stomach before you drifted off to dreamland. I’m not one who usually goes for anything hot at night, I usually like cold water before I go to sleep, but there was something calming about the teas that didn’t bother me at all.

Organic Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea)

★ Roasted Japanese green tea leaf
★The rich, nutty sweetness of the roasted rice blends perfectly with the fresh flavor of green tea
★ Perfect to enjoy with or after a meal to soothe the stomach


Organic Genmaicha (Roasted Green Tea)

★Organic green tea blended with roasted organic brown rice
★ Nutty and toasty with a slightly caramel-like flavor
★ Drink before a meal to suppress appetite


While I continue to drink them, but can’t at all make claims for what the website states, I do have to say I have a cleaner fix. I’m more awake without that buzzy, anxious feeling and best of all, I have been going to the bathroom a lot more recently as well! I would definitely buy these teas and try them out.

And if you’re interested and want to try them out, you can too!

Use code: samuraipiggy15 for 15% off your order!!!

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Welcome To The Dark Side!!!

I promise I won’t make any booty jokes!

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I initially had no intention of going up to Disney this past weekend, but I’m sure glad I did. I went up with a couple friends for a birthday celebration that had the theme of running the Disney Star Wars Dark Side Challenge.

So the Dark Side Challenge consists of a 10k on Saturday (04/22/17) & a half marathon on Sunday (04/23/17); but of course, if you know me, you know that I will squeeze any opportunity to run in any trip I take. Hence why I also registered for the 5k on Friday (04/21/17).

So all three races took place in the morning, so if you finished fast enough, you would be able to escape the heat; and thank goodness for that because it got HOT while we were out there in Orlando.

First off, of course you had to hit up the expo before the races and they were amazing as usual. Held at the ESPN center, it was quick, easy and you had more than enough time to walk around and check out the vendors on display. Got my packet and got ready for the races. And I also bumped into the lovely Carissa Anne!


I had three “costumes” for all the races; if you know me, you know why I put costumes in quotations, and for the first time EVAR I was in Corral A for all three races!!! Guess my training has been paying off.

Friday: Got up around 3am, got some breakfast and just shuffled around getting ready till the race start. I got there, made my way to the front of the corral and took off!

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Of course if you’re going to run a race for fun, you run a Disney race. Throughout the course they had screens playing clips from the Star Wars movies and they had characters where you can stop and take pictures with. Since I took off so quickly, I used each photo station as a break. I think I took 5-7 photo stops & still finished with a 27 min 5k!!! Oh, and my first race I was dressed as R2-D2! And for this race I used my Mizuno Wave Enigmas.

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Onto the 10k; this one started off rough, instructions provided by Disney weren’t super clear and I ended up showing late to my wave. So you figure if you’re starting at Magic Kingdom you would go TO Magic Kingdom and after you finished the race at Epcot, you would get shuttled back. Well, it was the opposite. You go to Epcot and get shuttled to the start. I didn’t find this information anywhere online and ended up starting Corral E. But of course, I always try to stay positive and look at the bright side of things and I still had a great time; I brushed off the late start and still finished the 10k in an hour. Chillin, lovely run and the costumes were amazing. Oh, and I dressed up as Darth Vader; if anyone was running behind me, they got a load of the dark side indeed. And for this race I used my Nike Air Zoom Structure 18s.

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And finally on to the half!!! Actually made it on time this day. I was dragging around a little bit because we were at theme parks the whole day before and honestly I had no idea how my body would react with my new synthroid dosage [had my thyroid removed (thyroid cancer)]. Still went out for a run anyways and I surprised myself. I’m standing there at the start, ready to go and the announcers start calling out some of the faster runners and winners from previous years and of course Jeff freaking Galloway! He was standing right next to me! Anyways, I bring this up because as I’m trying to decide how I’m going to break the race up, I hear my name called out!!! That was crazy surprising, because I honestly don’t see myself as that great of a runner. I just go out and run, but of course that was set up by the lovely Carissa Anne. We go WAY back from when I first started doing Disney runs and she’s always loved my costumes. Every time I came through the finish line this past weekend, she gave me a shout out. Such a sweet heart.

Anyways, I decided to break my race up by going to each aid station, walking for a minute, then taking off again. I was able to stay ahead of the 2:00 pace group the whole time! My mile times were definitely a lot slower because of the rest of the weekend, but I’m super happy I was able to pull that time. AND I STILL STOPPED AND TOOK PICTURES. And for this race I used my Saucony Guide 7s.

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I’m super happy how far I’ve come, but I still have a long ways to go.

Would I do another Disney run again? Star Wars or other? Definitely. You’re always guaranteed to have a great time.

Till next time my friends, happy trails!

New Year, New Goals, Same Old Demons

TL;DR version:

-You’re your own worst critic.

-Never judge a book by its cover.

-Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

-Who rescued who?

End post.

Now then to the longer version.

I honestly was 90%/10% about posting this tonight, the former being to not post it; it’s actually really poor timing with the news I’m going to reveal tomorrow; but I wanted everyone (friends, family, hopeful future clients) to know what is happening on my end; I want to be 100% upfront and honest; I want people to know the real me. And before I continue, please, this is not a pity post; I’m not trying to look for handouts or anything like that; as stated earlier, I want to be 100% upfront and honest.

Now then, let us begin. Social media has become an amazing thing. It lets you connect to people around the world, find out new trends/fads and can basically chronicle your life. What also makes social media a great thing is the fact that you can show everyone (friends, family, neighbors, strangers), the GREAT things that are going on in your life. People retake pictures hundreds of times over to get the right lighting, the right angle and then throw on some filters to add that special little touch. Now don’t take that as me hating on people, because I do it myself. You want to show people the best of yourself. That’s how you get more followers; show people your accomplishments, never your failures. Now that was a very vague statement because there are people who post their failures, their bad angles and I applaud them for that; I applaud them for showing people the real you and that’s what this post is about.

You really are your own worst critic. I have gotten nothing but compliments the past couple weeks congratulating me on my recent noticeable weight loss. I went pescatarian a little while back and actually started counting my macros and it has made a huge difference, along with all the training I’ve been doing. I still eat six times a day I and am satiated, but it’s still not enough to me. I’ve heard it over and over how skinny I look, how people can tell I’ve lost so much weight, but it’s still not enough.

I think it stems back to when I was ten years old in diabetes camp(it was a sleep away camp); I had this huge crush on a girl there, I think her name was Natalia; So one day we were on a trail walk and she somehow found out that I liked her. She point blank asked me if I had a crush on her. I kind of stumbled for a minute and finally was able to mumble “yes.” And she hit me with, “well I would never date you because your fat and you have a gap.” That CRUSHED me. I think it was from that day on that I took eating right seriously and focused more on sports to get that lean athletic look. It’s still a bit of a complex that I have that is always nagging at me in the back of my head. Which is funny because everyone that knows me in the racing/crossfit community knows me as Samurai Piggy. The guy who is 6′-2″ and who wears nothing but a speedo the day of an event and goes out and does his best; I actually hate my body.

Which leads me to never judging a book by its cover/ being kind to EVERYONE you meet for  you never know what demons those people are battling on a day to day basis. On the outside (which most of you know me for) I’m happy go lucky Haidar. The guy that is ALWAYS in a good mood and is there to lift your spirits. Honestly, sometimes the biggest accomplishment for me is making it out of bed in the morning. Being diagnosed with hashimotos/thyroid cancer has given me a host of side effects; but most people won’t notice because I’m really good at putting on a mask like everything is okay. The depression takes its toll, the fatigue, not having a working metabolism so I have to put in twice the work for half the results, it’s something that bothers me every. single. day. And I HATE being pitied; I can’t stand it; it bothers me so much that even when you can tell that I’m about to go into a diabetic seizure, I’ll just shrug it off and tell you I’m okay.

Sidenote: shout out to all my exes, any girl I’ve ever talked to, any girl I’ve ever been in a relationship with; they’ve dealt with the real me, the mood swings, the being closed off, they the real MVPs.

And another shout out to all my friends. Guys, I love you. You make me want to be better and if I ever made plans with you and bailed, it was all me, I’m sorry.

Continuing on, it is never enough for me. I’m way too hard headed for my own good. Even though I’ve made significant gains from when I started training, I’m never fast enough, I’m never strong enough, I’m never thin enough and it bothers the hell out of me. That’s why I keep pushing, that’s why I keep fighting. You might see me about to puke, but I’m going to get that last rep in, I’m going to finish whatever distance I’ve set to run that day.

The love and support I’ve received from both my friends and family is what makes me get up and out of bed every morning. I can honestly say that I’m truly blessed. Even with everything I deal with, I could have had it so much worse. I’m only dealing with thyroid cancer (which I’ve recently been cleared of!) I could have been diagnosed with something terminal, and thank God I wasn’t. And my diabetes? Not even a bother. I’ve had it since I was two, it’s basically a part of my life. I’ve literally been able to travel the world and have been able to meet amazing people with amazing stories in all the races I’ve done. And even here at home, I’ve met awesome people in the crossfit community/competitions. Even people who just happen to follow me on any of my social media sites, super awesome people.

And what keeps me going is these messages/comments from people telling me how I inspire them. That’s insane to me. I mean, I’m here trying to better myself and I just happen to motivate people to want to do/be better. I honestly can’t believe it. And like I said earlier, it could have been a lot worse. And that’s what pushes me to do more. It makes me want to run more, lift more, travel more and meet more people with amazing stories.

Which is kind of segway into the news I’m going to reveal tomorrow. I feel like I’m here to do more than just sit behind a desk; I feel like I’m here to make a significant change in people lives and bring them together to be one big happy community.

Oh, and I can’t forget the who rescued who line. I put it there because while I’m where I currently am because of the love and support I receive on the daily from my friends and family, this is what I get to come home to every night no matter what.


My number one supporter.

And one last shout out to my family. While I don’t know how they deal with me, they encourage and support everything I do and back me up no matter what.

Except for the speedos… and the crossdressing… and wanting to do ultras/ crossfit competitions; but they know I’m still going to do it and support me regardless.

So if you’ve read through this, congratulations! And please if you ever need anyone to talk to, know that I’m here and I will take the time to listen to you and try to help you out if it is within my capabilities.

I love and appreciate everyone in my life and everyone I haven’t met yet.

Thanks for being you!

Take That Chance…

I believe 100% that you need to take chances in life if you are to grow as a person or become a better person.

I know it’s easy for me to say this behind a keyboard, but get out there, apply for that college you don’t think you’ll get into, apply for that job you think you’re under qualified for, ask that person out you think you have ZERO chance with, start a business;

you may fail, but that’s how we learn, that’s how we adapt.

So get out there and do something new/take that chance. Take that leap that you felt you shouldn’t take.

You don’t know how it might turn out; it may change your life in a good way for years to come.



Case Of The Mondays…

As I’m writing this, I just spilled my opened water bottle on my lap…

I wonder where the “a case of the Mondays” saying came from.

Is it all the things that typically end up happening at the beginning of the week? Is it because no one really cares about Monday’s because it’s the one day after the weekend? 

Whichever it may be, I see Monday as a day where you can get in work. You had the weekend to rest and relax, however short it may seem, and Monday is the time to grind; if you weren’t grinding during the weekend either. 

Today was a little test. 

I woke up with a blood sugar of 521 (when normal numbers are between 70-120) & my AC stopped working the night before. I know throughout the rest of the United States it’s freezing, but I live down in Miami, quite terrible. 

Then my car wouldn’t start, battery died. 

Got a jump from a friend and still made it to work on time even with traffic. 

Then even though I felt amazing yesterday (killed my 5k PR), I ended up throwing up twice during my workday. 

I work as a civil engineer by day and couldn’t just leave because I had a project deadline for today. 

I sucked it up and worked through it, and finished the project. Worked on my website and now I’m with my family hanging out before they leave to Lebanon for Christmas. 

Oh! And I got my AC to work again! Woot! 

If you really want to push forward and knock out those tasks you need to do, you need to just suck it up and get through it. 

Now excuse me while I go pass out. 

RRCA Coach Certification!!!

What a great weekend!!!

It was honestly fun and interesting meeting everyone that I was part of a facebook group with for a short while.

It started off with me driving up to Tampa, FL for the most recent RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) coaching certification.

Then it was two days of learning the ropes and reinforcing/learning a ton of information that I only had before from prior experience.

There I learned how to properly set up a program, learned what I would be dealing with as a coach and how to use the proper channels to run a successful run club.

I just wanted to give a big shout out to Randy Accetta who came down to Tampa and led us through the weekend. He provided a bunch of information from knowledge he has learned over the years and he did it in a fun environment so it wasn’t extremely demanding.

And another huge shout out to Jessica Spivey who took care of the whole weekend/set up that made it an experience I would definitely remember.

And just to be sure I state, I took and passed the test for the RRCA certification and even got my pediatric & adult CPR/First Aid & AED certification!!!

Here’s to the future!



Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Review

This review will be based off of the first run I had in them; I went out for a quick 5k, with an emphasis on the word quick.

Have to say, I have had some Mizunos in the past, but these are the best that I’ve ran in to date.

I took them straight out of the box and just went out for a run. I encountered no problems at all. They were light and comfortable and I didn’t have to break them in; I felt I had the support I needed and they were light enough to move as fast as I needed without feeling weighed down.

I had several transitions from sidewalk, to road to grass and I did not skip a step with either of the transitions. It was a quick run at a conversational pace and I came in with a 7:30 min pace per mile.

Great run!

Here is some info from the site (http://www.mizunousa.com/running/waverider20):


Mizuno is transforming running once again with the Wave Rider 20. In the 20th iteration of our most beloved shoe, we’ve included entirely new Wave plate technology for a softer, smoother ride with an even more responsive feel.


The Wave Rider 20 maintains Mizuno’s classic fit while also featuring a breakthrough in Triple Zone engineered mesh that provides breathability, movement and hold throughout the run. After 18 years of continuous refinement, our latest Wave Rider is guaranteed to exceed all expectations.


  • An all-new, redesigned cloudwave plate provides an overall softer, smoother ride
  • Articulated U4icX heel wedge creates more cushion
  • Top midsole foam incorporates a new U4ic foam compound that makes this version of the Wave Rider 33% more responsive and durable than previous models
  • Engineered mesh increases breathability, movement & hold
  • Softer heel collar helps avoid irritation without losing heel fit
  • Ramp: 12mm



  • cloudwave
  • Mizuno Wave
  • U4ic
  • AIRmesh
  • DynamotionFit
  • Mizuno Intercool
  • SmoothRide Engineering
  • SR Touch
  • X10
  • U4icX

A softer, smoother ride with more cushion on initial heel impact.

This gets 4.5 out of 5 piggys!!!

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