Saturday, 25 February 2012'll enrich your life!

Give me an E....for Encouragement...a word that goes entirely underrated in today's society!  (Notice how I 'Encouraged you to join in straight up'...oh so sneeky!)

Recently a couple of my mates from church have gotten into some running.  They are training for the Gold Coast (not sure which events yet?!) and are doing a great job.  One of them has run a little...very inconstantly and the other is completely new to running.  Both are now being consistent with their training which is super!  I have been doing some running with them too and also been running with a few other local runners, newish to endurance events and I have been trying to help them along.

Life in today's society is so focused on the negative and ourselves that we often need a little kick in the backside to see through the haze.  Let me just say that your life could be, I would say surely would be, enriched if you encourage someone today!

Often in running it is tough as we run at 'our pace' and find it frustrating and difficult running at another persons slower pace.  I have come to learn over time though that this is so very important, not only for the 'slower' person but also for your mental strength!  By running with other and encouraging them to a) get out running and b) make them push themselves, it will make your heart smile to see others achieve.  Today I saw two of my friends Jodie and Matt achieve personal bests in both running time and distance!  TOPS!!!  I truly believe that it is far, far more important for us to sacrifice one or two runs a week to get a new, slower, not as strong mentally, struggling for motivation etc friend out of the house and running with you (all be it at a slower pace than you are used to) than your running alone and your mate either run alone slowly or worse, not run at all!

There are many, many things in life more important than self or ego and helping those around us is way further up the list than these things!  Now this doesn't even just apply to running, obviously!  Encourage someone someone up, try to be more positive today than yesterday, smile more, help someone, say something nice when someone says something nasty (oh they will find it so frustrating!)  There are plenty of haters in this world so lets try to make a difference, one person at a time, one thought at a time, one action at a time!  A challenge, maybe, but all be it a healthy, honest one!

Diverting on the last couple of weeks.  After my little hospital visit, my toe has slowly healed.  The skin is still tender however is on the mend.  This week I have done almost 100k both barefoot and in sandals so things are looking up.

I have also made a big decision last week.  As most of you know I am still training for the Cooks Tour 50mile race in May.  I have also now decided to train for my first completely barefoot marathon!  I am doing the beginners program for the Gold Coast Marathon barefoot and then making up the rest of my k's each week in my sandals.  It will prove to be a challenge but one that I am very excited about!

Now that I am almost back to full strength, I have also decided to start my 100miles per week (160k) for 10weeks tomorrow!  I know this is a big challenge but one that I am going to strangle the life out of!  I am hoping to throw a couple of 200k weeks (well try to anyway!) in there as well so it should be fun!  LOADS of running and LOADS of good times!

Well that about wraps things up this week!  I have had a really positive week this week, making some new friends online who are super athletes and meeting some amazing new local friends!  I pray that your day and week ahead is full of smiles, good times, challenges, stupid amounts of running, love, friendship and nature!  Keep living life to the full and moving forward friends!  Love you all!

Run on...

PS - A massive congratulations to our good friend Nix who this week got engaged to our new friend Andrew!  (Sorry boys you missed out!)  Tegs and I are so amazingly happy for you both and pray that God will bless your socks off!  AWESOME!  

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Ups and downs...

So, since my last blog it has been a hectic, up and down two weeks!  I will work my way through sequentially to make it easy to understand!

I started the 1million kilo challenge and my new running goal with great excitement and anticipation!  I was at the Academy for a work course all the first week so pretty much all I did was run and go to class.  It was fun!  The jump in k's I wanted to achieve seemed substantial but I plugged through k by k.

On the first Saturday, I had a race at Mt Glorious.  It was to be a 'short' race for me, 22k but it had 1200m of elevation.  It was up in the Deagular National Park, North West of Brisbane where I had never been before and it was incredible!  An absolutely beautiful place!  I met up with good friends Tylana and the Rusty Ironman.  I also got to meet Seivland who I had been communicating with via Facebook since the North Face 100.  Good times!  We had some good laughs before the start, especially at a pink princess that forgot her shoes!  The Rusty Ironman and I offered to whip her up some sandals but she opted for a pair of innocent school kids shinny white Asics instead!  Scared I think! Ha!

We started the race and there was a creek crossing in the first meters!  We then started climbing up a steep incline for HALF AN HOUR!  We then went down a steep decline for HALF AN HOUR!  Tough first hour!  Things then were still steep but a little more rolling.  I had some great conversations with people about sandals and barefooting and this made the time go very quickly, along with the beautiful scenery.  The last about 2km was single track switchbacks through amazing rain forest going up another hill.  This running seemed so easy as it is my absolute favorite to run!  Single track love!  The knot on my left sandal pulled through in the last k, which I had been waiting to happen for about a month.  I had my trusty Bear Grylls knife to fix them but I thought I would just, to the confused looks on everyone's faces, finish barefoot!  Good times!  There was a great feed at the end and lots of smiling faces.  After a while I got a lift with Seivland and her partner back to my car and I headed home...thanks for the fun guys!

Now, after the race, I re-tied my left sandal...too tight on the top strap...stand by for more in a sec...

I arrived home to my lovely family and good times!  I weighed in on Monday and had lost 1.3kg...stoked with the first weeks efforts...however this is where the trouble started.

I am often asked if I get rubbing between my toes from my sandals.  I have been in them for nearly six months now and never had a drama.  HOWEVER, due to my having the top strap on my left sandal too tight, and not taking too much notice of it, my runs on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday came at a cost.  Between my left big toe and second toe rubbed, and rubbed, and rubbed...leaving about a bizilion layers of skin GONE!

Now I like to think when it comes to running I am pretty tough (not much else though!)  But by Thursday things had gotten too much.  I was still trying to stick to my goal of 100miles for 10 weeks but my foot was in agony.  I tried on Thursday to run in my sandals and only made it a k because of the pain.  I then thought, well I will run in my old trail shoes for a couple of days till my foot heals.  I put them on and instantly they felt wrong!  I ran 10meters down the road and I literally felt like someone elses legs had been attached to my body!  Running in shoes, I am convinced is the most un-natural, leg, hip, ankle, foot, whole body destroyer ever invented! Everything felt SO wrong.  I threw my shoes to the dogs and just went barefoot.  I then decided on Friday to do two runs in my Merrell Trail Gloves, a minimal shoe with no cushioning and only a 4mm flat sole.  These are better than convential shoes however at the end of my two runs that day my feet were mush!  I now have bad blisters and rub marks all over my feet...STUPID SHOES!  I then threw these to the dogs!

My long awaited new Luna Sandals did arrive on the Thursday though.  I got a spare second on the Friday to check em out and try a new lacing method.  Due to all my drama and wanting to maintain my 160k weeks, I decided to tape and pad my toe and tough it out on Saturday after working 8p-4a.  The run was a little painful but due to the thinner leather on my new sandals was bearable.  I ran 35k and I gotta tell you, did not even struggle!  The high mileage is doing me GOLD!

My VERY sore foot!!!
So I slept Saturday for another night shift last night...and it was painful.  All night at work, my toe/foot was in constant pain.  I was due to do 25k Sunday morning after knocking off but my foot was too bad!  After a large amount of convincing from Dad, Tegan and other running mates, I decided, begrudgingly to not run and go up to the hospital.  I got my toe looked at and the Doctor said it had turned into an ulcer and if I wasn't careful it could spread to the rest of my toe, foot and leg.  He was up in the air about antibiotics however he thought it wasn't quite at that stage yet.  He said I needed to take a few days off running to let it heal a little.  He said that I could then return to some running barefoot and back in my sandals when it had pretty much fully healed.  He was really understanding of my running commitments and I'm glad Ill hopefully be able to get back to some short barefooting on Wednesday...see how it goes.

Although I am extremlly disappointed, I am glad I went and got it looked at before getting any worse, it is SORE!

So, this has postponed my goal of the 100mile weeks for 10weeks.  My plan is to have an easy week this week, build again the following week and then look at restarting the goal the following week.  This will be perfect timing before my next big race, the Cooks tour.  I managed 160k the first week and 135km this week.  I will achieve this personal running goal, I just have to wait a bit for it!

Even though my foot is sore, I would prefer to have this problem a billion times that run in shoes.  The feeling of my 20m run in them Thursday re-confirmed how un-natural they are and how bad they are for the entire body.  Sandals are here to stay...just make sure you dont have them too tight!!!!!

So, on the food front, this week has been very up and down.  I have had a bit of a shocker and as a result have decided to not weigh in tomorrow.  I am refocusing and going to smash this week out of the water.  I am keen as mustard to see a big loss on the scales Monday week.

So that is the last two weeks homies!  It has been hectic and up and down, but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger!  I will enjoy this week of barefooting and can not wait to slip my sandals back on and smash out the k's!

I hope and pray that you are all going super and loving those around you!  Keep smiling and loving life and I cant wait to catch you soon!  Love ya'll!!  Until next time,

Run on....

As a side note, a massive congratulations to Ben and Andy who did the Caboolture 12hour run last night!  Ben managed 78km and Andy did a massive 90k!  Super effort boys, your an inspiration!