Saturday, 28 January 2012

The 'W' word!

Yes, this post is about the dreaded 'W' word...WEIGHT!

So, for those of you that have been following my blog (thanks!) you would recall a post last year about my wanting to drop weight.  I have dropped some since then, however not as much as I would have liked to.  I have been stuck in the low 80s for a while now.  This, however is the start of a new program and exciting results!

Chanel 10, bless their soles, have come up with a really good idea!  Who would have thought!  I saw it advertised a while ago on TV and it looked great!  (Yes TV can promote some good stuff believe it or not!)  It is called the 1 Million Kilo Challenge.  Details can be found at Now I usually try not to be one to 'jump on a band wagon' however this promotion is really good and can only be good for our ever fattening nation.  The program challenges Australians, together, to commit to lose 1million kilos over a 10week period offering exercise programs, diet advise, meal plans etc...ALL FOR FREE!!! RIPPER!  Well done Chanel 10!

Now the main reason for me partaking in the program is that I have hit a little plateu with my weight loss.  As anyone knows who has tried to lose weight, this happens and did for me when I was just above 100kg, just above 90kg and now that I am just above 80kg.  (Yeah you read right, since moving to Bundy, I have nearly lost 20kg's...that day will be awesome!!!)  Sometimes we just need a little kick along to get us back 'running down hill'!  So, this next 10weeks will be mine.

I have started a team and if you would like to lose a couple of kg's, join our crew and lets encourage each other during our progress.  My team is called Run it off!  I think you just send me a request, I accept it and we are good to go together!

Now I know some of you have been reading this and hatin!  Don't be!  I have heard so many times 'You don't need to lose weight, you'll be skin and bones' 'Where are you going to lose weight from?' blah blah blah.   Let me give ya'll a little insiders tip, if you know someone who wants to lose a few kg's and you keep saying this, it is very discouraging!!  We all want to lose weight for different reasons, to be able to play with our kids and not be puffed, to run our first 5k, to be able to play touch footy better, to run better, the list is endless and we all have our differing motivational factors.  I know it is hard for non runners to understand, but every kilo makes a MASSIVE difference...especially when you are running ultra distances.  I am still being called the big fella who runs stupid distances!  Over it...the big fella part, not the stupid distance part!!  For this reason, I still have very lofty goals for my weight loss so if you see me round, please don't give me, or anyone else dropping weight, the third encouraging, we are improving our life and becoming more healthy!  You never know, you might be encouraged to drop a few kg's too!

So, apart from cleaning up my 'already reasonably clean diet', I am setting myself a reasonably decent running challenge to go along with it.  For the next 10weeks, I will be running a minimum of 100miles (160k) per week, for the full 10 weeks, along with core strength and stretching every week day.  For a very simple breakdown of the running, this is 20k per day through the week and 30k both Saturday and Sunday.  I will mix it up a bit, but want to do over the 100mile each and every week!  So, if you are looking for someone to run with, shoot me a text or a Facey message, cause chances are, Ill be running and I always love company!  Benny Boy has also informed me that we are going to try a 200k week sometime in March too, so standby for more details on this!

So, crew, that is it!  For the next 10weeks, starting tomorrow, I hope and pray to see some significant changes in my running, emotions, health and physique.  I will break through the 80kg mark and have set my goal at 79kg (Goal for the 10week challenge).  I look forward to catching up with you all during this challenge and hope you are motivated to join our team, come for a run, go for a walk, eat better, or do anything to make your life a little better!

Stick it to em crew!  The only one stopping you reaching your goals is you!  So, stop your whinging, do something about it and rip in!  Lovin life, lets make it count!

Keep smiling yo, and well catch you soon.

Keep running!


Monday, 23 January 2012

Less is more...the bollocks principal!

Before I begin, I just want to clarify...this blog may seem negative but it really is positive.  Hum, lets see...

So the point of discussion today is my frustration/confusion about all the 'less is better' babble that is coming out lately!  I regularly get emails from Amazon (a place, among others I buy books) about new running books.  Every couple of emails there seems to be a different book on running less and how good it is for you!  The main culprit, of all companies to come from is from Runners World.  They have released a book called 'Run Less, Run Faster'.  Now, I am not sure if the bloke who sends out emails for Amazon reads my blog or not (he should) but I am confused...

Then, going back a few months, I got another email about running less, avoid injury, be happy (how does that work by running LESS?!?!) blah blah blah!  

Now, I don't know if it is just me or not, but we humans, as a society are very confused.  We seem so erratic and ass about we don't know if we are coming or going?!  On some aspects we want more and more.  A more 'Easier' way of transport (cars etc), more and larger meals for our dollar, more time at work for more pay, wanting more knowledge but not wanting to do anything about it, more time in front of the TV, more life happiness but not willing to do anything to achieve this.  MORE MORE MORE!!!

Then on the flip-side we want to do less and less, but gain more and more of a reward for our efforts.  Less exercise (magic weight loss cures, ab rollers, loose 5kg in 5days eating grass) for more weight loss, less effort into building a great family and whinging that nothing improves, less to think about because 'it is all too hard', and as a result of our mindnumbingness (yes that is a word, I swear) a less fulfilled life in general!

On the running front and as a runner, I am confused by this modern day train of thought.  Do we not run because we enjoy it?  If you are running and don't enjoy it...are you stupid?!?!  Quit complaining and find something else to do!  We all NEED (yes NEED, we are ment to, believe it or not!) to exercise so you may as well do something you love!  And forgive me if I am trying to be Einstein here, but if we enjoy something, don't we want to do it more and more...not less?!  HUH?!

Now, I understand that when you are starting out running you cant just go out and run 20k (well you could if you wanted to but probably not the best advise!) But come on.... Running is the most primal, beautiful, exciting thing and we want to do it less and less?!  Give me a break!

Now, this is a point for another blog in the near future, and I may be creating some controversialness (yes another word!) here, but I don't believe in over training.  I am a believer in the principal that you do what your body can handle.  And trust me...for 90% of us (me included) this is FAR FAR more than we think, or are told we can or can't do!  I am looking forward to going further and exploring how far I can go...200, 250, 300+ km's per week?!  Who knows what the limit could be!  But, if we don't try, how will we ever know!  I don't know about you but I don't want to leave any stone un-turned in my life, so give it a crack!  For you at your point in life it might be 10k per week, riding for half an hour, walking to work everyday...we are all at different stages in life, that's the beauty of it all!

So I guess, what we all should be doing is flipping the 'MORE's' and 'LESSES' on their heads!  Get more exercise, watch less TV, love more, eat less junk, spend more time with our families, drink more coffee (hay I have to have one vice!), use our cars less, smell more flowers, kiss our partners more, eat more plants and less meat (or none at all!!) care less about trivial crap, use our money more wisely, do more of what matters, focus more on the good things in life than the bad, watch less news cause lets face it, all they show is depression, love God more...and the list goes on!

So to, lets call him 'Bill', at keep sending me those 'Run less, run faster' type emails.  They make me a bit angry, and lets face it, a bit of fire in your belly can be a good thing if used correctly!  Bill keeps me motivated and wanting to run MORE, not less, and keep switching my MORE and LESS's!

Thus ends the babble for this blog.  Keep smiling friends!  Fall over with a kid, do a forward roll or a cartwheel, run with your shoes off, catch a lizard and laugh like a kid!  You deserve it! YES!

Run on!

P.S - Ben (my mate from Rocky) has thrown down the gauntlet in his last blog, without even knowing it!  I set myself some goals at the start of this year, and he just pushed mine a bit further...I now too am aiming for at least 5200km of running this average of 100k per week.  I hope you don't mind me jumping on the band wagon Ben, but it will be fun!  RIP IN MATE, see ya soon!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

The maiden huarache quest...

Since completing the 100mile Glasshouse Trail run in shoes in September 2011, losing eight toenails and getting incredibly swollen feet for about a stated in previous posts, I made a big decision to ditch my shoes and train solely (pardon the pun) in my Luna Sandals (DIY kit) and completely barefoot for Hares and Hounds.  After this race I would re-assess how/what I would run in.

Yesterday was the big day!  I was very excited to be doing my first ultra in my sandals and couldn't wait to get on the Glasshouse Trails.  Hares and Hounds was the race I would be doing and is a race I haven't done before.  How it works is the Hares (individuals) take off at 3:30am and the Hounds (teams of two to four) then take off at 4:30am and try to catch the Hares.

My good friend Katie, who was a Hound with her sister Belinda, who we were staying with, kindly offered to drive me to the start so my dear wife and daughter wouldn't have to get up well before sparrow's fart!  Well that was an adventure in itself...after getting lost and driving a heap of dirt road, I only got to the start line at 3:20am!  I handed in my medical form and went to weigh in when the organizer spotted my sandals.  'Your'e not running in them are you?' was his question.  With a big smile on my face, I politely replied 'Of COURSE I am!'  After a quick Gday to all my friend (eight other runners from Bundy and a mate Ben from up north) and seeing a few familiar faces from previous races, we headed to the start line.

Before long we were off.  I trotted along with my dad in the darkness and up until dawn things were pretty non-eventful.  The trail was very easy compared to what I had become accustomed to in the other Glasshouse events.  As usual we got talking to a number of different people, quite a few who were interested in my choice of footwear.  After the first aide station, I drifted off from Dad as he was taking it a bit easy and I was feeling good.

The race was an out and back course and heading out, I chatted to many people and got to run a bit with my mate Ben who is usually miles ahead.  He was running with a mate of his Sean in his first ultra.  We hung together for a while and had a good laugh, including giving each other a hard time (he now runs in moonboots, sorry Hoka's) and eventually I again went ahead.

Mt Beerwah
On the way out, my feet did start to get a bit sore.  This was due to the rough trail, something I struggle to find and train on in Bundy.  I plugged on and kept smiling though.  There is some incredible scenery at the Glasshouse Mountains and I managed to capture one of these upon making a turn and seeing Mt Beerwah in all its glory!  I got to the turnaround point at 27.5km in just under three hours.  I saw my beautiful wife and daughter here who are always the best cheer squad!  Mum was also with them waiting Dads arrival.  It was great to see them and sneak some sweaty kisses!  I don't usually like to, but at this point I downed a couple of Ibuprofen tablets.  Given that this was my first ultra in my huaraches and my feet were hurting a bit, I wanted to stay on top of things.

I headed off back the way I had came and was keeping a solid pace.  I wanted to run a negative split (run the second half of the race quicker than the first).  A bit of the way along I spotted a bloke John who Dad and I had run a fair bit of the last Glasshouse event with.  He's a nice bloke and it is always nice to have company.  I ran reasonably hard to catch him and then ran the next hour or two with him.  We had good old yarns and plodded along at a good speed.  After a few decent hills (finally) John told me to go ahead as he was going to take it a little easier.

I ran ahead and continued to reel in other runners.  I found a couple of the Bundy crew who had gone out too hard and were suffering in the heat.  I got to Checkpoint 7, the last aide station and decided to not hang around long and keep moving forward.  I again saw Tegan, Pria and Mum here.  With about 5km to go, I was starting to feel the pinch a bit as it had gotten HOT!

Check it!  Done!
I continued to plod along and my feet were feeling quite good.  The Ibuprofen seemed to do the trick (I recommend having these in your running pack however I don't recommend taking them unless you have to as they can cause significant kidney damage, especially in ultras)  I battled with the heat and though I was going to cramp up in these last few k's.  I downed some salt tablets and I pushed through however and finished to a loud cheer (and some confused faces) in 5hrs 56min and change.  I would have been happy with 6-6.5hours in my first sandal ultra so I was stoked to go under the 6hour mark!

Some good friends Scott, Tylana, Jaxon and Maddie who I had met at The North Face 100k last year, were there to meet me at the finish.  They had taken part as a family in the shorter events.  Tegan, Pria and Mum were also there with big smiles on their faces.  After a few happy snaps, it was time to relax and have a swim at the Woodford Pool where the race ended.  It was a super spot to hang out after such high  temperature .

My friends continued to trickle in, with some even taking a wrong turn (Bec...).  A lot of competitors suffered in the hot temperature however all our crew were able to finish with a smile on their faces.  Well done to all, particularly all the first time ultra/trail runners from Bundy, Katie and Belinda and Sean!  Top job guys!

So...the wash up!  After the easiest Glasshouse Trail I have done by far, I spent much time chatting to people after the race, promoting correct running gait, showing off my DIY Luna Sandals, the benefits of bare footing and running in huaraches and how much I LOVE my new running life.  I have a little swelling on the top of my left foot however I will NOT be going back to shoes and I love the complementary team of bare footing and sandal running.  Amazingly (not really), I also still have ALL my toenails!  HA!  Again, I have very little leg soreness after the event and I put this down to the change in gait, my new choice in footwear (or lack there of) and of course my vegetarian lifestyle!  Ha!  I am now training for another couple of ultras, including another 50 odd k'er, a 50miler and then returning to my 100miler, however this time in huaraches!
Happy as always!

If anyone is interested in transitioning out of shoes and freeing you mind and body drop me a line!  There is much information out there you can research about the benefits of bare footing, the reduction if not elimination of injury, the damage shoes cause, correct running gait etc.  I LOVE my sandals and if you are keen on the type I have, go to  There is A LOT of information on the site and some cool funny stuff from Barefoot Ted and his monkeys!

Well crew, another adventure is down and now I have a heap more training to do so keep smiling, free your feet, give someone some flowers and keep loving life.  Until next time...RUN ON!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

2012 what tha!?

2012...and there you are!  What tha?  How quick 2011 went!  In saying that, I welcome 2012 with much expectation and excitement.  As promised, in follow up from my last blog, I have some figures you may or may not be interested in.

2011 was a big leap upward and onward in my ultra running.  To check out my races for the year see my last post but the hard numbers are as such...

First half of the year – 1973.14km
Second half of the year - 2282.19km
Total yearly km's - 4255.33km

As you would know, last year saw the introduction and continuation of barefoot and sandal running in my program.  I started this on the 19th of September, 2011 after my 100mile race (and EIGHT toenails less!!!) and I haven't been in shoes since (unless forced! ha!)  During that time I completed:

207km completely barefoot, and
985.5km in my sandals

This progression has been a life changer for me.  Upon starting, I decided to give it a 100% go until my next race, Hares and Hounds (this weekend) and race this race in my sandals (VERY excited for this weekend!).  When I started this plan, I really thought my high mileage would go to the wrong I was!  I have done much reading and research, built slowly and now have NO intention of going back to the way I used to run...UGLY and in SHOES!

Let me give you some insight as to how my world has changed since ditching the foot coffins!  

Firstly, I have turned into a hippy!  I have found a connection with nature and the earth that I have never had before!  By releasing my feet as it were, I have been able to re-connect to the real essence of the simple, beautiful, primal thing that is running!  A peaceful, amazing experience.  I now feel free on my runs and they no longer feel a chore as they sometimes did.  This has created a real calmness in and new found joy in my running.

Technically, my gait has completely changed.  I once used to be a very heavy heel striker with a slow cadence and constant niggling injury.  Even though it a constant work in progress, I am now a healthy, light, mid/forefoot lander with a high cadence and very limited injury.  Every time I go for a run, I can feel my body thanking me for essentially saving it!

Because of my change in gait and 'footwear' choice, I now suffer very little to no leg soreness.  I used to nearly live in my Skins after long runs and always found it hard backing up after long k's.  I always used to live in my calf socks on long jaunts too.  Now, since transitioning, I haven't worn my calf socks (except maybe one day) and no longer need to wear Skins for recovery.  My legs seem to repair so quickly and even when doing back to back long days feel very little soreness/tiredness in my legs!  Amazing!  I can put this down to three things.  1. My ditching the shoes. 2. My new gait and 3. My vegetarian diet (I'm back baby, for good!)

Have I become a running evangelist as well as a Christian one...FOR SURE!  (Most would say I already was, but hay, even more so now!)  Wanna hang out...we will probably be talking running!  Wanna ditch your injuries and feet problems...come chat!

So after all that, in 2012, whats to come?  I am going to continue to run barefoot and in my sandals.  I am also trialing something new up until the Cooks Tour (50miles) and going without a program for the first time in my running life.  I have always done up my own programs, however I am now just going with the flow, logging big k's and loving the pure joy of running.  More on this as I progress.  I have a number of races planned for this year, however want to adapt the Anton Krupicka (and most trail/ultra runner) mentality in that I am going to run for running's sake and the races come just as a result of my training.  Just enjoying every day of getting out and doing some high mileage...good times!  I am also considering doing my first completely barefoot ultra in July...stand by for more details.

2012 is a massive year with me turning 30 (just hitting my form) and Tegan and I celebrating 10years of being married.  Along with these two milestones, I look forward to an exciting, free, blessed, amazing year with my beautiful family, wonderful friends and God's beautiful creation!  

Smile friends, live life, enjoy every day and Ill catch ya soon...

Run on...