Sunday, 30 September 2012

A new challenge

Lorna Jane anyone??

Well this week has seen me slowly back to running decent distances as it took me a little longer to recover from my chest infection than I thought!  Ugh, sickness blows!  It was a fun week, totalling 100k.  I have been a little flat since my DNF so it was nice to get back to some regularity and normality!  A highlight on Thursday was something completely different to normal, a 1hour run on a treadmill for Team Gloria Jeans at Hinkler Central Shopping Centre for the Cancer Council.  The girls at Lorna Jane did plenty of stirring and by the end my big old face was sore from smiling so much!  Thanks for a good laugh ladies and it looked like a good amount of coin was raised for a worthy cause!  Good job to all involved, even though I had to wear a shirt!


I also got news this week that I was un-successful in my application for Coast 2 Kosi.  I was actually telephoned by the organiser and he had a great, lengthy discussion with me about my entry, sandals and the race in general.  After chatting about a number of points, it was consensually decided that I would delay doing the race for at least a year and keep ticking the k’s over in my huaraches.  Although I think I have more than proved myself in my Jesus footwear, I do understand that they have to think about insurance, blah, blah….the joys of organising a race!  All good though and stoked that he phoned me personally to talk over their concerns. 


So, after my flatness and not being accepted into C2K, this week has also seen me pondering the rest of the year.  I have decided to do something different and entered Kurrawa to Durranbah, a 50k road race on the Gold Coast in December.  It should be nice and cold and an easy race.  Yeah right!  It will be hot and ripper fun!  I am looking forward to it and have been trudging out a few k’s in my roadie sandies getting ready for the different terrain!  What’s a boy to do!


I have also been thinking globally and acting locally….ok maybe not but it sounded good!  I wanna have a big end to the year and pulverise myself with some super fun, big distance, consistent running.  Now I kinda set myself a similar goal earlier in the year but only got about a month in before getting sick or injured, I can’t remember…so here we go again. 


Tomorrow is Monday the 1st of October, 13weeks aka three months until the end of the year.  I am going to aim to do a minimum of 100miles per week (160km, come on people, haven’t we figured these things out yet!?), eating a clean vegetarian diet and aiming to get to my goal weight (still!) which I will reveal in later posts, but is under 75kg’s!  So friends, that is a total of over 2000km in three months…OH THE BLISS!!! I will also be running in my usual attire, as little clothing as possible, namely a pair of shorts, maybe a head covering sometimes and either sandals or barefoot.  Summer is coming and I hate being restricted by silly inventions like shoes and shirts!  If ya cant handle that, stop looking at the tattoos!  Ha!  GOOD TIMES!


So there it is, another ridiculous adventure in the life of the TattooRunner!  I will be aiming to post on each Monday, the previous weeks runs and how things are travelling.  If ya not interested in this, just ignore my ramblings!


As a final note, I have also made an exciting link this week with Luna Sandals.  I am now an affiliate partner and you will see their link/maybe some small advertising for their products on my blog.  If you know anyone who wants to buy some (or you do!)and give them a burl, I am more than happy to chat to them about how awesome they are and how FREE the will feel prancing around in them!  Further to that, if you or any friends wanna grab some sandals or their clothes etc, please go through the link on my blog as it will then feed back to them that the TattooRunner is doing his job in promoting the awesomeness of the Luna Monkey!  As a side point, they are releasing the BEST SHIRT EVER in a couple of weeks.  A baseball style shirt with a cartoon drawing and the slogan ‘Good enough for Jesus, Good enough for a Spartacus, Good enough for you!’ YES!


Well homies and hometts as usual it has been a pleasure doing business with you all!  I can not wait to see, hear, smell you all soon and pray that you are looking after your mum and being nice to strange people, just like me!  Y’all the reason I am still here typing my nonsense so keep enjoying it if you will!  Love you all…RUN ON…TattooRunner    

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Ups and downs...

What a week it has been....some good, some bad and some just straight painful!

GLASSHOUSE 100miler - I have been training hard for pretty much the last year for this event.  I was leading up to it not doing 100% of what I would have liked (when do we ever?!) but feeling confident I could go well under 24hours......that was until Tuesday/Wednesday last week I started getting sick. 

My daughter was very crook two weeks ago and I thought I had avoided it.  WRONG!  I was feeling ordinary and on Thursday I pretty much completely lost my voice.  I then started coughing up yellow and green muck.  I didn't tell anyone about this as I didn't want them to worry, I thought it would pass and it was just the flu.  Anyway, I downed as much multivitamin, fruit and cold and flu medicine that I could handle.  I rested and did my best to be ready for race day.

I started the run very excited!  After the briefing Friday night and catching up with old and new friends, the anticipation  of a super day was in the air.  I started off and whilst not feeling 100% was cruising along nicely, running and chatting with friends.  I completed the first 10k look easily, saw my crew then headed up Mt Beerburrum.  We then had to complete about another 11-12km before seeing our crews again.  I ran the majority of this section, only power hiking the steep hills.  I again was feeling pretty good but a little cautious.  I saw my family/crew at Checkpoint 4 and everything was going to plan.  I was keeping a good pace and spirits were up.

After leaving this Checkpoint, things kept going along OK, until about the three hour mark.  I started to come into some good hills and I started to struggle.  I just felt like I had no energy in my legs, my breathing felt laboured and I was still coughing.  I had hoped I was just having a 'down' patch and that I would work through it.  I struggled thought this section and reached my family at Checkpoint 6.  I was feeling the pinch by now and was starting to wonder what was up.  I sat down for a second and then headed off to one of the tougher parts of the course, the power lines.

Now I usually LOVE this section but in this race, I battled!  I walked a fair chunk of the big ups and downs and just felt rough.  What was happening!!!???

I have run enough races and trained hard enough to know my own body.  This day, something wasn't right.  My natural heart rate was higher than normal and I couldn't get it down quickly like I normally would.  My breathing was very heavy where it shouldn't have been and my engine room (lungs) just felt bad and heavy.

I continued on very slowly to just before Checkpoint 8.  Upon approaching this Checkpoint I started to get quite emotional, something that hasn't happened to me for a long time in a race.  The only other time I have got emotional in a race was in happiness when I finished my first marathon.  I got to my crew and broke down.  I cried, felt completely beat up, and helpless.  I felt like I was letting them down.  I had never pulled out of a race before however this time it felt ominous!  The power just wasn't in my legs and the sickness was killing me.  I walked to the Checkpoint with Dad and Tegan and after a sit down (I had already lost three kg's...not too concerning but still a little) Dad convinced me to do the Western loop and then see how I felt. 

I set off on this 10km loop and for the first third shuffled and walked along.  After this though, it was again slow going, my body feeling the same as the last three or so hours.  I am grateful that I did this extra 10k though as I really gained clarity and peace in my decision to withdraw from the race upon returning to Checkpoint 8.  I am glad I didn't pull out when I was emotional as I didn't want to make a decision based on feelings.  When I got back, I had a little chat with Tegan and after only 59km, handed my number in.  Just like that.

I returned to the finish line that night to see my friends finish the 100k and then again returned the following day for presentations and to see some friends finish the 100miler.  I am so very proud of them all!

Barefoot at the Tattoo Shop!  A true believer!
In reflection I am still VERY disappointed that I pulled out.  I have never pulled out of a race and I don't want anyone to think of me as weak or as a quitter.  Upon going into Sunday and Monday after the race though, I was very happy and proud of my decision to pull out.  I went to the doctors Monday and found out I had a chest infection.  I am now on a weeks worth of antibiotics and still feeling pretty ordinary.  I have no doubt that if I would have continued I would have done some pretty serious damage to myself.  It is the first time in a race where I have actually been concerned for my long term health and well being.  I guess sometimes you just need to know when to be smart and say enough is enough.

A few shout outs to my buddies... Andy in his first 100miler - 29hrs!  What a legend, redemption brother!!  To Tegween who just scrapped in for the cut off in 29hr58min!  What an effort!  To Dion and Lee who went under 24hrs, awesome!  Proud of you boys!  Lori, Chris and Amy in your first 100km even...inspirational!  To finish and to be able to share in your joy was a privilege!  Well done!  The speedsters - Andy B and Scotty W finishing 3rd in the 50k and 2nd in in the 30k respectfully, top effort!   Thanks also to all that came out to support me and help out in any way!  Mum, Dad, Ma, Tegan, Pria and Dan, bless your heart!  Thanks again to Chris at the Mower Doctor for support me in my jaunts and adventures!  GOLD!

The new edition.  Only a little colour to go.
So, since then, I have continued to be sick but am slowly on the mend.  I spent a couple of days at Lori and Chris house chilling out and talking our heads off!  SO FUN!  They really picked my spirits up!  YES!!! 

To keep the TattooRunner name flowing, I then went and got tattooed all day on Tuesday...BAREFOOT!  OMG!  It was a LONG painful day but the end result was well worth it!  I only need to return for a little colour and my little wolf is done!  YES!

The new treds!  Light as a feather!
And...some of you may be wondering what the teaser was from the last blog...well, I have been in talkings with a Rep from New Balance and they have hooked me up with some shoes!  That's right, your read it correctly, SHOES!  Don't get too fired up though, they are complete flat, zero heel lift from front to back and only a very thin sole.  No cushioning or any of that rubbish!  I am going to be trying them out and providing some feedback with the potential for on going dealings with the company.  Some exciting times ahead.  I am continuing to run in my sandals and completely barefoot as well as my feet are going to take some getting used to being back in a shoe...such an odd feeling after not being in them for over a year!  Thanks Paul!

So that is it my friends, what a week it has been!  From here until the end of the year I am planning on running as much as possible and without a program.  LOADS OF K'S!  I have a few potential events in the pipeline but well see what pans out.

Regardless of what each day brings friends and what challenges life throws at you, keep your head up, keep strong and fight till the end!  'Can't stop, won't stop!' Love you all...Run on...

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Well, flippen, heckin, ripper times, bloody excited man!  Only four more sleeps till my next event, Glasshouse 100miles (160km for those of you struggling with the conversion).  It has been an exciting journey, with a few speed bumps along the way, as there always is. 


I have been focusing on this event solely for the last 13weeks and all was going tops.  As mentioned in my last blog, since Flinders Tour things have been a bit up and down, however I have noticed something significant happen.  Even though I haven’t been able to log the k’s I would have liked, the little bit of rest (pft!) has freshened me up!  My training runs have been quick and I really don’t feel like I am putting out any significant effort.  One particular run with my mate Sabo the other day we knocked out 10k at 5.04min k’s and it actually felt like I was going slow!  Good times!


So, overall, I feel ready.  I was a little worried when things weren’t going how I wanted them to, but over the last two weeks, the excitement has been steadily growing and now I am keen as mustard!!!


My goal for this race, as it has been since finishing my first ‘miler’ last year, is to go under 24hours.  I have worked hard this year, dropped weight, feel way fitter and completely transformed my running style over the course of the year!  I think it is fitting (excuse the pun) that this year I will be doing the miler in my huarache sandals. 


After finishing last years race (wearing conventional running shoes) my feet were an absolute mess…see lovely picture and insert disgusted sounds here!  HA!  I said after that event that things had to change and I was no longer going to be wearing ‘normal, conventional running shoes’.  Since then, I have transformed (kinda like Optimus Prime but skinnier and just as colourful) my running style.  I have, since then completed three 10km races, 50km Hares and Hounds and a run to Childers (50+ k’s) in my home made sandals.  I have also done a 50miler (again, 80km for those who have now gone to get their calculators) a 50km race and A LOT of k’s in my Leadville Luna Sandals.  I have also done a full marathon completely barefoot, YES!


Since my transformation things have been beautiful!  For the first time since starting running I actually have all my toenails!  I hardly EVER get blisters now and have only battled a few run in’s with rubbing between my toes.  My k’s have looked like this in the last year…
How your foot SHOULD be landing!  The right way to run!


Home made huaraches – 1141km

Leadville luna huaraches – 2183km (yeah that’s right, ONE PAIR!  Forks to the 800-1000km running shoe companies recommend you replace your fancy cushioned clompers!)

Complete barefoot running – 1141km    




So, there it is.  It has been an incredible journey and I am SO very excited to round it out with the 100miler, in complete style!  YES!  After this event, there may be some changes in the TattooRunners ‘footware’ and the journey of self discovery will continue.  Stay tuned for a blog….maybe next week about this!


Yeah baby!
To finish this blog up, a little on the 100miler event.  For most people, this kind of distance, especially on the trail, is incomprehensible.  I don’t say this to make it seem like something amazing, maybe just something a little left of centre.  The miler is a magical distance and for most ultra runners, the ultra distance.    I have heard the event described in a number of ways…even like child birth!  You go through so many different emotions and feelings.  I look at it as an amazing, beautiful, soul searching, meditative, blissful, free journey!  Whilst there is a lot going on in my life at the moment, and some things seem so blurry, running in general but especially for 24hours, is the ultimate freedom, council and steadfast thing I have.  I can lose myself in the day and yet be fully in the moment of travelling through the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains on my own two feet.  I can not wait to emerge myself in the day, the ups and downs, the laughs, pain, freedom and simplicity of pure movement, stripped back and raw.  All this with my beautiful family, Tegan, Pria, Mum, Dad and Ma as my support crew plus all my wacky ultra friends getting amongst it!!  PURE GOLD!
My mums handy work for this weekend!  GOLD!


I look forward to sharing my experience after the event with you all!  Thanks for the support you have all been and I hope to do you all, but most of all myself proud! 


Tell someone you love them today, give them a hug and cherish life, every moment of this beautiful thing we have been blessed with.  Keep smiling friends and run on…TattooRunner