yeah it's thursday was a blog i used to do banging on about stuff i'd been listening to, reading, watching and spending my time on.
it died because i started TMYT podcast and then the inside running podcast.
anyway, it's saturday, and I was meant to be spending 6 hours in the car to do a cross country race on the other side of the state and it got called off! So, i've got some time on my hands and wanted to share some stuff with you.
Music: I've been playing Chance the Rapper's new album way too much this week and the track - do you remember is my favourite. I came across this live recording of it yesterday live at Lollapaooza in Chicago and loved it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YH1yOimQbQ
I also thought this Tones and I video was pretty cool and raw. Obviously, she has blown up big time and I enjoyed watching this to see where it all started:
Podcasts: I learnt a stack about iron on my run yesterday when i listened to Soph Ryan and Kate Smyth talk about iron and distance runners on our latest IRP with... episode, it went out everywhere today and i reckon (I'm not just saying this because I've got a connection BTW) it's compulsory for all distance runners. You ain't gonna lose knowledge from listening to it and it will only make you a more aware runner. it's here
I listened to the first 45mins of Sarah Klein's interview on the Fuelled by Fire Podcast on Thursday. It's a fascinating listen so far. I've read the 56 page Sarah Klein Vs ASADA and Athletics Australia report a couple of times and spoke with Sarah briefly about it. After I finish the podcast I'll read the report again with more preceptive from her side this time. I think they're more discussions, explanations and research to be done around the whole incident. it's here if you wanna read it.
I also listened to the Road to the Olympic Marathon Trials Podcast and That Running Podcast this week. They're both good, honest and raw and that's what i like in my running commentary. they're here & here.
Watching: Stranger Things S3. Carley and I were late to the party with Stranger Things (we actually thought it was going to be way scarier than it is and didn't want that in our lives) we started watching it in mid July and haven't stopped. We've got 2 eps to go then we're done. We love it. Check it out if you haven't already.
Also, let me know recommendations with what's next to watch. I'm absolutely loving putting my phone in airplane mode for an hour and sitting on the couch with Thomas the Cat and switching off each night and if there's no show you're hooked on that's harder to do.
Reading: I'm currently reading, No Man is an Island by Adele Dumont. It's about a teacher who goes to teach english in the Christmas Island and Curtin Detention Centres. It's pretty comforting and makes you pretty pissed off/confused with Australia's immigration and detention policies. I'm gonna be a Dad in a few week's and I'm not sure what i'll be able to answer my kid when they're 18 if they ask me about the immigration policy in these years we're in now. Read the book before you @ me with some argument. It's here.
The Morning Shakeout weekly email. I enjoy reading this every week from Mario and it gives me a good fix of USA/World running news. It's here if you have no idea what I'm talking about.
Over and out.
This week on the Inside Running Podcast (Ep25) we spoke about launching our Patreon Page.
Patreon is used by many creators around the world as a way of sourcing some income for the content being created. It isn't a new thing, it has been around for a while and many creators are already using it. We've been familiar with it for quite some time and have had a number of discussions (off air) about the possibility of setting one up for Inside Running Podcast.
We've also been approached by a number of listeners via email and social media informing us of their engagement in the show and that if we had a page set up they'd be willing to contribute, so we finally got it sorted and pushed launch last week. (Thanks Mel B who was our first Patron, getting in quick before we could even announce it!)
Patreon is a subscription based service where you can choose how much you wish to contribute. We have 3 options at Inside Running Podcast those being, $5, $10 or $20 per month. With each different option, there are rewards associated.
We tried to make it clear on episode 25 that we wouldn't be using the money for ourselves. This ain't about putting cash into our own pockets! We love putting the show together every week as a hobby and are still amazed how much it has grown and the impact it has had in the running community, however, although podcasts are free to listen to, they are not free to create. Researching, organising guests, recording and editing each week takes some time for a show that regularly goes for 2 hours each week.
We're looking to put ALL the money back into the show to create better content for you, the listener. Firstly, we're in the red with some hosting fees and wouldn't mind getting out of it! Then we really need to get some better recording gear to ensure a smoother listen. We also have some great ideas organised for some live shows and possibly merch going forward that have a few setup costs.
The way we see it is, a lot of small financial contributions can make a huge difference at our end for your listening experience.
And we think some of our rewards are pretty cool. Patrons who chip in $10 or $20 per month, for example, will get the show released to them in private a day earlier each week. $20 per month also receives a bonus show each month, this may include a special Q&A episode, some interesting uncut chats with guests or exclusive interviews.
We're excited about the future of Inside Running Podcast. In ep 25 Brad announces that we'll have exclusive interviews with Michael Shelley and Jake Robertson, we have an exciting next live show being planned and we're proud of the content we've created for the Road to Berlin and Inside Running so far in the journey which amounts to over 80 hours of content. If you think it's worth a few bucks we'd love to have you in our corner.
I personally contribute on Patreon to the Marathon Talk and Rob Watson Show Podcast, they're both great. Each month a small amount comes out of my bank account that I hardly notice (not because I'm cashed up because it's car console loose change). I contribute because they bring me value. I spend more on one take away coffee than I do for both those shows each week and they provide me with 8-12 hours worth of authentic running content each month. It is money very well spent in my opinion.
There will no doubt be some listeners who embrace and welcome this and others who will not, some will sit back and say 'why would I pay for it when it's free', we feel that says more about them than us. By no means do we want people to contribute if you are financially stretched. Use that extra couple of bucks to pay your bills. We do think we've got some legend listeners out there though that can help us, help you with some decent running content. (Well I'm hoping at least 50 of you as I've got a bet going with Brad who reckons most people are tight like him and won't contribute. Help me to prove him wrong!)
Thanks for taking the time to read this. For more details on our Patreon page you can click here or wherever is says Inside Running Podcast above.
We have also set up a Paypal account for 1 off donations if going through Patreon is not your thing. It's quick and easy and can be accessed here. A big thanks to Richard Parasram who kicked off the donations on this stream last week.
Cheers, Brady, on behalf of Julian and Brad.
Yeah it's Thursday is back!
Last year I started a new themed blog called 'Yeah it's Thursday' (I had Thursdays off teaching).
It didn't last long, which is disappointing and in a nutshell it was meant to be sustainable as it wasn't long and jusa short list of a few things that I've consumed and thought were worth recommending. A doco, movie, book, podcast, event, etc.
Anyway I'm going to try and start it up again and see post 1 of season 2 below. (you can scroll even further down to see what I was digging this time last year!) Enjoy.
Movie/Doco: All for One.
Description: ALL FOR ONE follows the first five years of the GreenEDGE cycling journey. United by their renegade spirit and a determination to win against substantial odds, these riders take on the international circuit. The film offers unique insights into the first five years of their journey, bearing witness to the ethos of the team as embodied by all – from the strongest to most embattled members. Out of a culture that embraces a deeply human approach to sport, unlikely champions are born, and seemingly improbable team and personal goals are achieved.
I remember when this movie came out and the local cycling club had a fundraiser at the movies for its release and I didn't think much of it. On my flight to Tokyo the other day it popped up and I thought I'd give it a go. Wow! It below me away, such an inspiring, motivating and entertaining movie which I highly recommend. I actually watched it again on the way back as well. At one stage I was ready to fist pump the sky but remembered I was on a plane with a couple hundred of people. You can rent it for $6.99 from their website here and if you're into any sport you'll love this one and even as a dedicated runner this is hands down better than any running doco I've watched.
Book: Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
One of the best books I've read in years, it'll make you check yourself and the way you deal with other people and think about yourself. It will be a book that I go back to and read time and time again and this quote sticks out for me. Hit up your local library or check it on amazon below.
Event: Johnno's Run as part of Run Melbourne.
Last week we launched Johnno's Run for 2018. Last year we were the biggest team at the even with 230 people participating and raised about $80,000 for Community Living and Respite Services. This year we're hoping to raise even more and have more people involved, you don't have to live in Echuca/Moama to join so check out the details here. I'll be at training every Monday night at 5:15pm down Scenic Drive and hope to see as many locals as possible there.
I'm back again with another Yeah it's Thursday post. I hope you enjoyed and got something out of my last one, if you didn't maybe this time around you will.
I've been on school holidays the last couple of weeks and been able to soak up plenty of content. Here's a few things I liked and reckon you might to.
Book: When Breath Becomes Air: Paul Kalanithi
goodreads.com ranked it the Number 1 autobiography of 2016 so I thought it was worth a read. I went down to my local library, picked up a copy and had a crack at it with big expectations. In short it covers, neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi's life through med school, residency and then the heart breaking journey where he deals with lung cancer and eventually dies at the age of thirty six, a new Dad, with all his life ahead of him. At only 230 pages it's certainly worth a read and a book you won't forget anytime soon, be prepared for tears. More details here.
Podcast: Rich Roll with Travis Barker
I've been listening to the Rich Roll Podcast for a while now. It was one of those ones I'd come across a few times in the last couple of years and heard people bang on about, but when I listened to it, it didn't do much for me. Boy has my tune changed since then though and I'm constantly finding gems in his archive. Sometimes you listen but you're just not ready to hear I guess, and that was me with Rich Roll in the past. In this episode he sits down and has a two hour conversation with the most notable, Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker. It's an amazing conversation about his journey, premonition, intuition and the importance of following your heart. Put it on while your exercising, driving to work, gardening or cleaning your Airbnb Studio because you were too silly to make it a 3 night minimum stay over the Easter long weekend to distract you. I really enjoyed it, so did my mate, Cramers who has listened to it, so we're 2/2, 100% strike rate so! You can find details about it here, or open your iPhone and go to the purple Podcasts App and search away.
Community: Fitmob's Kids School Holiday Session.
The final thing I'm trying to make you aware of this week is something I had a part in organising, but is more of a thank you to the others involved. This week we put on a fitness school holiday session for our local kids, aged 6-16. I came up with the idea and floated it with Finky from Fitmob a month back and since then we've been busy planning it. Anyway, last Wednesday we were blown away with having 149 kids rock up for a 90 minute fitness session on a beautiful 24 degree day. The most amazing thing about this day was that everyone of the instructors volunteered their time, no one got paid and we raised just over $650 for Community Living and Respite Services and a stack of awareness. Most importantly we got some many kids active and promoted health and wellbeing for the future leaders of our community. Thanks to Finky, Sandsy, Courtney, Archie, Campbell, Steve, Briggsy, Megan, Larko, Elle, Kate and Forever Fresh who all helped in some way or another. It's amazing to live in a community where you can ask a number of people to help out and they all say yes making it easy work for all of us when we all play a small part.
There we go, that's my second Yeah it's Thursday post, take whatever you'd like from it and let's try to be better humans, until we meet again
Well not really,
Because you know it's Saturday, not Thursday.
But you know how it is when I want to start something new... I just go with the day we're on and get the conversation out there... no matter what the day is called. I'll explain a bit more:
Yeah it's Thursday blogs are quick put togethers' where I fill you in with stuff I think you could get some benefit from.
It may be a book I've come across, a doco, podcast, some news I've heard, or whatever. Just stuff. Sometimes Echuca/Moama related, other times maybe running or health, whatever we're playing with at the time I guess.
It'll be a super brief whip around of items, stuff that has caught my attention and I think is worth sharing.
It's not me spamming you with stuff from my sponsors, let's just get that straight from the outset.
Here's what I mean- In my opinion these are the 3 things you need to know about and are currently exciting me:
-TARLI BIRD- She'll run the Paris Marathon next weekend (9/4/17) and I've had the pleasure of joining her on some of her longer specific workouts during this build up. She's in great shape and ready to take on the marathon. Not an easy event to take on but if anyone's ready, she is! Tarli is super modest, low key and private. I'm glad I'm in her corner and can't wait to see how she goes. We're talking about a state champ over Cross Country, a Run for the Kids and City 2 Sea winner hitting a big international marathon. Tracking will be available here, I'll keep you in the loop on Twitter here and there will be a podcast interview I did with her for TMYT here, which will dropping early next week (Tues/Wed).
-FOREVER FRESH WENT PLASTIC BAG FREE- Stop press! If you care about the environment and have absolutely any understanding about the negative impact that plastic has, you'll know this is big news. The truth is many of us don't quite understand the true cost of throw away items, but for some reason we can all name who Kanye West is married to. There's something not quite right about that. Forever Fresh is Echuca/Moama's most outstanding fresh fruit and veggie produce store (heck, they even have kombucha on tap down there!) and they made the call this week to no longer provide plastic bags. If you've got a touch of logic in your mind this ain't rocket science: You just take a reusable, or they'll even provide you with a hipster, NY style paper bag, or old fruit box. There's plenty of options which are more sustainable and better for our environment. Imagine how many plastic bags from Echuca/Moama's supermarkets are currently buried under the ground out at the Echuca Tip. We know that they will literally NEVER, EVER break down! It's a brave, courageous and gutsy move by Forever Fresh when they could have easily kept a low profile in the ole' plastic bag debate and not have wanted to cause feathers to be rustled. So hats off to them for doing what's right for the world and being exceptional role models for others in our community. Also a huge congratulations to Echuca/Moama Plastic Bag Free as well as the main message spreaders for the initiative. Without them, I'd personally have no idea about the disastrous impact of plastic, and I'm sure some of the education Forever Fresh have received has also come from their direction. If you're interested in exactly what Forever Fresh are all about in this move check their Insta post here, and man, more importantly, head down there, spend the extra couple of pennies to get better produce that hasn't been sprayed by whatever chemical and support them in this move.
-Benny Walker- Benny was the latest guest on my podcast. I'm not plugging this for my podcast. It's 100% a plug to listen to him, but block your ears when my two-stroke/ jockey/ when's the next race at Flemington/ I can get to race weight very easily voice kicks in. The opening description I went with: 'Listening to this episode will make you a better human' about sums up what I think of it. I know some may be thinking 'settle down Ghandi, big lines you're dropping there champ' but in all seriousness, it's worth a listen. As I said, not for me but for what Benny has to say. Man, he is smooth with words. I guess that's why he makes a crust from it. If you're not touched by his comments about compassion in the last 15 minutes I'd suggest you close the tab to this website as we're defs on different pages and this isn't the place for you. Episode 7 featuring Benny Walker can be found for iPhone here and Stitcher (android) here.
There we go, that's my first Yeah it's Thursday post, take whatever you'd like from it and let's try to be better humans, until we meet again.
When I was a kid and teenager and even a young adult I hardly ever read.
Over the years though things have changed and I've immersed myself in books.
In a way, I regret not picking up books earlier as my reading list is getting bigger and bigger and it would of made it a bit more manageable if I got an earlier start to get through them, but, in saying that I'm glad reading has come into my life regularly in the last few years.
I'm not sure why it took so long, Mum always read and was a good role-model, things like this just happen when you're ready though.
I find reading relaxes me and gives me a great amount of knowledge in a range of areas.
Usually I read self-help kind of books.
Carley tells me I need to get better at implementing a few of things I read but at least I am planting the seed when I get the knowledge.
I also read a stack about running, food and health.
They all interest me as I can take things straight out of those texts and implement in my own life immediately.
Chuck in documentaries and podcasts and we have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips.
So I guess this is my first, short book report type blog.
And I'm only doing this as I think it's worth doing and sharing. If know one reads it, it's a journal entry for me at least.
I've recently just finished reading The Book of Joy by Douglas Abrams.
I first heard an interview with him on the Rich Roll Podcast a couple of months ago and then searched it up at my local library.
I was stoked to find it down at our beautiful Campaspe Library in large print.
I love reading books in large print, it makes me feel like a power reader, smashing through the pages at a more rapid pace.
In the book it documents a weeks worth of conversations between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (Don't worry, I'm not about to get all religious on you here)
The book covers a bit about their own stories (some awesome reading in that alone) and lists 8 pillars to finding joy.
I felt it was very relevant to the world we live in today and have shared them with you below.
There isn't much rocket science about the pillars, just simple things we can remind ourselves to do everyday to make our lives more joyful.
I'll be trying to set goals and nail a few myself in the coming months.
Anyway, here's the list.
Now you don't need to read it yourself, but if you do want to, I'd highly recommend it.
*Perceptive: There are many different angles.
*Humility: I tried to look humble and modest.
*Humour: Laughter, joking is much better.
*Acceptance: The only place where change can begin.
*Forgiveness: Freeing ourselves of the past.
*Gratitude: I am fortunate to be alive.
*Compassion: Something we want to become.
*Generosity: We are filled with joy.
Over and out.
The last month has been good.
Not at all in a running way. Run the Bridge 10km in Hobart and the Melbourne University 5km both smashed me. Note to self, don't try and run a 5km race whilst on camp and I've also learnt that I'm pretty run down, more on that another time.
This post today, however, is more about my podcast that I launched at the start of this month.
It's titled Tell Me Your Tales and you can read all the details about it here.
The idea to start my own podcast came to me early last year.
The idea came to me, I told a few people, bought a microphone off amazon and hit the ground running.
I've got a tendency to do that. All in, 100 miles per hour from the start.
But, then nothing happened.
Then nothing happened.
Then nothing happened.
It wasn't until this year, with having Thursday's off work did I finally start pursuing it further.
I wrote a draft letter for some guests.
I got Carley to proof read it.
She said it was fine and then nothing happened.
It sat in my drafts for another month and I maybe thought it was a silly idea and was just about to let it go.
Then I read Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic.
She's probably better know for her best seller Eat, Pray, Love. I haven't read that, but have heard it's good and I guess when you sell over 10 million copies you're probably doing something right.
Big Magic focuses on creative living beyond fear. More information on it is here. I highly recommend it.
Now I'm not talking art work creative, that's Carley's job, follow her on Instagram here to see some of her amazing art.
My creative work was my podcasts.
And it made me pull the trigger on the podcast idea.
Really I had nothing to lose.
I sent the email and then I crossed my fingers for responses.
Then they rolled in, yep, yes, good idea, I'm in, happy to help out and one maybe.
The idea came to me as I found there was a massive lack of media in the Australian running on the second tier guys. Unless you're going to the Olympics there isn't a lot on you. The men and women who I can relate to who juggle jobs and life struggles are the ones that I wanted to listen to.
And, on the flip side it was the same with the Echuca/Moama community.
I want to know about people in my town and region. Other than a few little newspaper articles there wasn't much rich content I could get my hands on.
So, I created my own.
A pretty selfish thing really.
In a way, I'm creating the content I wish someone else would have. I'd love to go out for an hour run and listen to an in depth interview with Josh Harris or Shannon Fink (my first two guests).
I don't get to now as I hate the sound of my own voice, Mr Two Stroke/Jockey over here. I do get to experience it first hand though which excites me and gives me that bit of a rush, then I send it out to the world to hear if they want, if they don't that's also fine, I'm not chasing big numbers or world domination here.
Podcasts are important to me. I often listen to them. The whole concept of them is actually amazing if you unpack it.
They're free for starters and easy to access. If you have a smart phone or the internet and you're set.
Secondly, the content available is astounding. Listening to podcasts is a great way to personally develop yourself.
I listen while running or driving to work and back. When you do the maths on that, it's quite a lot of time, my commute each day is 45 minutes return and the easy jogging gives me some more time to develop myself.
I've learnt so much about running, nutrition, politics, the health and wellbeing industry and social justice issues just to name a few topics when just jogging along the streets of Echuca/Moama.
The conversations and the exposure to experts in a select field is impressive. Type in any expert into a podcast search and no doubt you'll get many results, these are people in which cost decent amounts of money to listen to speak.
Some of my favourites podcasts are:
-Wilosophy with Wil Anderson
-The Rich Roll Podcast
-Like I'm a 6 Year Old with Tom Ballard
-House of Run
-The Osher Gunsberg Podcast
You might like them, check them if you like, no stress if you don't.
I enjoy the conversational podcasts the best though.
The ones where two people are chatting away with the microphones on and it just goes anywhere and everywhere.
That's what Tell Me Your Tales is, with select elite runners/athletes I have access to and interesting, inspiring, wise and/or successful people from the Echuca/Moama region.
In this day and age where we've got our faces too stuck in our smart phones it's good to be able to sit down with someone for a coffee or even a few beers and just talk. My podcast episodes are raw and that's exactly what I want them to be like.
The early numbers have been amazing, I've got people tuning in from Germany, Belgium, Slovakia and even Norway to name a few countries.
As I said, it excites me and I'm glad I'm giving it time.
I want you to think about how you can relate.
What would you create or pursue if you had a day off a week? How would you spend that time? Is having no time your excuse, like it was mine?
Hit me up on Twitter with your responses.
Andrew Mole from the Riverine Herald asked me a question after the Berlin Marathon last September about what running marathons meant for my short-distance racing.
I replied with details about how racing shorter distances compliments the longer distance races. In a nut shell you run fast over shorter distances to make it easier to run a little slower over longer distances.
It was a good answer to a good question. Surprisingly, Andrew knows his stuff about running! Gone are the days when sports reporters would ask me ‘and, how far is a marathon again?’, or ‘so how far is this marathon?’.
When I replied with my answer I was being 100% honest.
I'd long given up my focus on the short track stuff (800m/1500m/3000m) years ago and now thought of it as being nothing more than good training that would assist my marathons.
It’s the sweet potato fries to the burger. (They're good but the burger is always better)
So when I raced the Box Hill Classic 3000m last Tuesday night with a whole heap of young, fast kids, you could imagine my shock when I finished 4th in a time of 8.21.1.
The 4th wasn’t a massive surprise, the field wasn’t amazing but the time gave me a rev up.
I was shocked, and stoked that I'd ran that quick and came so close to my PB of 8.20.7 set in November 2010.
Yeah, you read that right November 2010. Back in the glory days. The days when I was a young speedster, loaded full of testosterone with not a worry or a responsibility in the world.
So nearly 7 years… That's a long time between quick 3kers, it's pretty close to the same number of years that some of the kids in my class have been alive on this earth!
It started 3 weeks before when I had a dabble with some shorter stuff running a 8.36 for 3km in Bendigo, a time I was happy with. And a result that saw me come second to Andrew Buchanan by 16 seconds. A smashing I'd needed. He's come a long way and there's nothing better than getting smashed on your home track to get the motivation pumping.
My plan going into this race at Box Hill was to progress and break 8.30, my coach and I thought that that would have been a good result from where we thought I was at.
My belief and mental state around 3ks isn't (well now maybe wasn’t) great when I think about it. (thinking about thinking, now we're getting complicated, it’s called metacognition my uni lecturer taught me.)
I was at a stage where I believed racing shorter stuff and being my best over the shorter distances was long behind me.
I'd envisioned I'd be the guy at the pub in my 50s telling some young kid that had the misfortune to land next to me at the bar that back in the day I'd ran 3km in 8.20.
Full stop, period, drop the mic, that’s all she wrote…
It was like it was tattooed in my mind.
I'm an 8.20 3km guy and I'd be that for my whole life now. (The video to that race back in 2010 is below)
So not only did having a good performance over 3k shock me a bit it also made me think about how I managed to all of a sudden get that result.
In 2017 I've come out firing.
I set some goals for the year, hopefully not in the corny, blown in 2 weeks New Year’s Resolution kind of goals, but more embedded lifestyle changes and so far it seems to be working well.
The first thing I did was set a motto for the year, it was an idea I got from the Australian Netball Coach, Lisa Alexander after hearing her speak last year.
My motto is: 'When your should becomes your must'.
When I was on school holidays I unpacked my life a bit and identified areas of weakness and how they affecting me mentally. I actually didn't mean to do it, Carley and I were driving to Bendigo for dinner and we just got talking about where I was at and it kind of just rolled from there.
It was a quite empowering conversation which identified a number of negative aspects it my life. I found myself identifying too many shoulds (not a word). It wasn’t a surprise, I’ve written some depressing blogs in the past identifying things I needed to improve.
To begin with I was thinking about my running with a negative mind-set and about what I wasn't doing.
I had no one to train hard with…
I had no hills in town to run on…
I had limited time to prioritise running..
I had difficulty getting to Melbourne mid-week and on weekends for quality races…
I also ditched core, massage and stretching too often…
There were way too many things I should have been doing that I was flogging off and it was affecting my belief in my performance.
As a runner I viewed myself as a hard worker with all the odds stacked up against him. There was too much 'oh poor Brady bulls***' going on.'
So I identified it and changed it.
I drove to Bendigo (70 minute drive one-way) every Saturday night for a month to knock my long run out over hills on the Sunday morning...
I've taken Thursday's off work to have more time for me and to prioritise running more…
I've been smashed by Andy Buchanan and Jaimie Cook in Bendigo more often…
I've made the looooong journey down to Melbourne for a race. (7 hours driving for a race that lasts 8 minutes isn’t the best return but boy does it make me feel alive when you're in it)
I've started saying no to things that don't fit in with me.
I've been nailing core and some strength training. (I'm even doing a push up challenge. Add 1 every day. I started at 30 and now I'm at 75. I've got little muscles in my arms I've never seen before, I challenge you to give it a go as well!)
Most importantly, I'm feeding myself first. It’s not only to make myself happier but to be a better person and be more present and have more energy for the people around me.
I remember myself as a runner 2 years ago, I got myself down to 14.19 for 5km, 30.06 for 10km and was consistently running 66-minute half marathons. I had a truck load of motivation, was super focused and used to go about my running with an underdog, chip on my shoulder mentality, I used to set myself for big races and most of the time nailed them.
I felt as though I was ready to launch and take that next step and was excited to do so, but somewhere along the line it just didn't happen, then it didn't happen, then it didn't happen and then I just cemented myself as a half decent runner trying to get back to my best. I was always hitting solid times but the PB list just didn't change.
I feel now though that I'm back to that guy I was a couple of years ago, physically I've probably always been there but the motivation, drive, the chip on the shoulder is back.
I stood on the start line Tuesday night in a better frame of mind than I have been recently. I understand the way I think and the way I need to live my life to be in the best headspace which brings belief.
Training hard, tick.
Less stress, tick.
They're ticks I haven't been getting lately. Which resulted in a whole different way of thinking on a start line.
And it worked for me.
I was a bees pecker off the best I've ever been and that's a great performance indicator.
If you thought I was gone, I'm not.
If you've been in my corner for a while, thank you.
I've got more for you, we ain't done just quite yet.
P.S, I need to give a big shout out to Jay from Invigor8 Massage. I was feeling like junk on Sunday and Monday prerace and he worked on my legs for much longer than my appointment to get me ready. If you’re in Echuca/Moama and are after a massage get onto him.
Wow, 2016 what a year...
'That will be hard to top' were the words a wise Steve Gray said to me just as the year was finishing up on my 29th Birthday, which just happens to land in the days leading up to New Year's Eve.
In 2016, I visited 8 different countries.
Ran a 2.21.53 marathon, which was just short of a 5 minute PB.
Bought our dream house and rented out my old one meaning I successfully dealt with the constant phone calls from banks, solicitors, pest inspectors and builders.
Finally won a major Fun Run in Melbourne being Run Melbourne Half Marathon.
Played a key role as an Ambassador in helping to raise $81,000 for Community Living and Respite's Opening Doors Project.
Ran 7300kms over 513 hours, an average of 140km per week.
Had a massively successful year at work in my role as Classroom Teacher/Deputy Principal/REC. Our enrollments are up, it was the best senior school PAT Maths/Literacy and Naplan data I've seen and an overly smooth year with some very successful key events.
I signed a key sponsorship deal with the Moama Bowling Club and Getfitco.
I signed on as running conditioning coach with the Echuca Football Club.
We hosted our first combined Family Christmas with Carley's family and mine.
Had public speaking gigs for Spreading the Good Stuff, The Moama Bowling Club AGM, Echuca Football Club and the GV Student Leadership Day.
It makes me exhausted just writing those things down...
And they all look good on paper in reflection.
'Oh what a year you've had' has been said at least once in the last couple of weeks.
All those outcomes from 2016.
We sit back and reflect on a year looking at all the things we've achieved. For me it's even taken me a week to put this blog together, fine tuning it and wondering what direction I'll take with it.
Which made me think, we focus too much on the all the outcomes though. Not so much the process that get us to those outcomes.
It's because the outcomes look pretty.
When we sit down at the end of the year for dinner with friends and family everyone focuses on the outcomes.
To the outside person the outcomes look good and make the person feel good about themselves.
It's like that iceberg image that pops up on Facebook every couple of weeks that has the success above the water and all the hard work underneath that you can't see.
That's why social media can be extremely misleading. The vast majority of people, me included only put up their good looking outcomes, no one's putting up the terrible days when things aren't going so well. And, I give you the hot tip I had plenty of those in 2016.
It's what really annoys me about social media and I know I fall for it and I'm sometimes a sucker for it as well, but it's only a snap shot. And, usually the very best snapshot with a load of filters over the top to make everything look even better.
I've written about it before in my blog for The Riverine Herald that too many people only focus on the outcome.
My 2017 had some amazing outcomes that I'm very proud of but, at the end of the day I don't know if I'd sign up to do it all again in the same way.
Because to be honest there were some crap moments as well.
Actually there could of been more crap moments than good moments, I didn't keep a tally but let me tell you there were a stack of challenges thrown in there. For example:
I started the year injured and spent the first quarter of it trying to get into shape. (Not much fun running and thinking your watch is lying to you)
I pulled out of the Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan in March. (The week after I signed to be an ambassador for the MBC which was a touch embarrassing)
I dealt with some low iron and my first real experience with the health system. (Not the most efficient system getting around)
I ran my 2 slowest Half Marathons in a while at the Gold Coast and Hobart Half Marathons. (Due to the low iron and a few other training difficulties)
I trained through a terrible winter for running. (We didn't have the frosty mornings we usually do but that was replaced with wet, windy and cold days and hardly any Spring.)
I was constantly struggling with fatigue and low energy levels from biting off more than I could chew.
So, if I could do it again would i?
Hmmmm... I'd love to run Berlin again. I was in great shape and it was by far my favourite running experience and such a thrill.
But the process for Berlin is a different question. That wasn't as much fun as getting cheered on by thousands of Germans.
The juggling of work, winter, life and marathon training was bloody hard and I wouldn't do it the same way if I had my time again.
I stretched myself too thin and although I got a result I was happy with in the end it impacted on other parts of my life too greatly.
I spoke the other week at Spreading the Good Stuff by The Splendid Word about how life became too much about surviving and ticking everything off the list. I'd wake up and one of my first thoughts would be 'S**t I can't wait to get back into bed tonight because it will mean I've achieved all I have on my plate for the day'.
Some days I'd rush around and tick everything off; 2 runs (around 30km in total), a teaching day, some meetings and time with Carley but hardly be present in any of them with my mind racing at a million miles per hour thinking how I can get ahead for the next thing or with ideas or projects I wanted to pursue.
I don't want to come off as thinking I'm this super human, super busy person, because in reality I'm not. I could have kids to chase around after and many more commitments. I believe it's a shame we somehow pride ourselves on how busy we are and make it a bit of a competition, I realised I was doing exactly that in 2016, trying to add bows to my string. This isn't me saying I'm the winner of who can be the busiest competition for 2016, it's more me realising I became too busy for the life in which I wanted to live. Think about it, how often do we ask/or get asked how we are and go on to hear about or say how flat out busy we are. "Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans." -John Lennon
It wasn't an ideal way to live for me, it may be for you and that's your decision, but you wouldn't have known that unless you were super close to me as the photos of me running fast, eating good meals or lounging by the pool on Instagram didn't show the constant struggle, the grind, the day to day. That's me doing what everyone is and only showing the good stuff.
So I guess in a way 2016 is going to be hard to top but I've decided I don't want to top it.
I just want to be more present in the year ahead and wake up excited for the days.
We live in this consumer world where we want and think we need everything. Me and my running is the same;
I wanted more PBs.
I wanted to be in more races.
I wanted more sponsors.
I wanted more shoes, clothes, the newest watch, protein powders etc.
I wanted to be an ambassador for more organisations.
I wanted to start and be successful in my coaching business.
The goals and achievements were my desires.
"There is no fear for one whose mind is not filled with desires." The Buddha
So in conclusion, for me 2017 is going to be simpler. I've made decisions already to lessen my workload which will help me in many ways.
It will cost me financially but will reward me spiritually.
It will mean I can increase my training load and recovery. It will also give me time to pursue some ideas I've had that always get put onto the back burner when I became busy. Watch this space.
There is no doubt my milage needs to increase. During 2016 I averaged 140km per week. Solid but nothing special and very similar to my averages for 2015 and 2014, therefore if I want to improve I need to train harder. I can't just keep banging out the same amount of mileage and expect different and improved results.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”H Ford
I know in my lead ups to the Melbourne and Berlin Marathon my body can handle 180-190kms per week and I need to be more consistent to hitting those bigger weeks.
As mentioned above 2017 is about me becoming more present by doing less things well, rather than a lot of things okay.
Both those things are achievable and I look forward to continuing to share my journey with you.