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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bought a Jee......FARM!

At the end of last year we bought 160 acres of dirt in a beautiful spot in South East Queensland.  We had no real plan, but to move in and let the kids run free.

There is a small number of cattle and a few horses, that were part of the purchase, which are now feeding well on the grasses the rain has so kindly reinvigorated.  With a very steep learning curve we intend to work with the Bull and Cows here and sell of the calves as required.  The horses here despite the fact I love having them around, are surplus to our current needs and will pose a cost we can't handle at this point.  They will have to go soon.

Infrastructure consists of two dwellings, the first is an old timber home with four beds, which is in pretty good condition though in need of some renovation.  We are yet to get power connected (Solar or otherwise) and are still using a rudimentary toilet and shower systems, which will have to be remedied by winter.  The second, is a single bed, open plan building, built with materials mainly off the property.  There is a good size 12V solar system which powers the lighting and fridge.  There are also outside amenities here which could do with some fine tuning.  This building is in a nicer location on the property, though not sizeable enough for our family.  The fencing is in OK condition in most places, though in need of repair in quite a few locations in the more, hard to reach locations.  There are timber yards that are also in need of a lot of work.

Looking forward, we have quite a lot of work to do, and that both excites and worries me.  First stop is Power, the diesel gen is really starting to drain our available funds, while we wait for power companies and the like to sort out their shit.  Water is in order for now as the weather is playing nice and keeping our tank full.  A second tank has been purchased and awaits a prepared surface for installation.  Heating may be a problem for winter as the house seems to be a little drafty, though we may reassign one of the wood stoves from the other house to help out this winter.  The house will still need work on the roof, a bathroom, update to flooring and a number of other small jobs.  While all the infrastructure type jobs are in progress I intend to get our food production systems in place.  Aquaponics and earthen bed veggie patches will kick it off.  I would love to revive the soil here and get started on a chemical free, sustainable permaculture strategy to provide a future proof food source for us and our friends/neighbours.


Sunday, July 03, 2011

One missed trail run, Two birthdays and a Third running partner

I was going to stay up late and read the new Trail Run Magazine, once they posted it, alas I had a trail run planned with a mate at sparrows fart and really needed the sleep.  So off to bed I trundled to dreams of trail and adventure, till sometime very early am, when my wife woke me from my slumber to the words I'd been waiting for for the last 9 and a bit months.....The baby's coming!

Shit!...No trail run, I'll have to call Ash............are you OK, do we need to go now?

Fast forward to 9:38am, my wife, in a sterling effort and more grit than an Ultra runner gave birth to our second son, happy, healthy and very loud!  DOB; 3rd July 2011, yep it seems as though my little runner shares the same birthday as the Trail Run Mag!  

My timing is spot on as it turns out, I was Numero Uno to pre-order the Hard Copy of the mag, so now the little man will have a keep sake to commemorate the shared birthday.  Lets hope they both have a very bright and lasting future.

Cheers to all at Trail Run Magazine and happy birthday!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trail Run Magazine a dirty, dirty, filthy magazine about trail running in Oz and NZ.

 For those of you who run trail here in Australia or in New Zealand there is finally going to be a TRAIL running specific magazine for our neck of the woods, Trail Run magazine.  It looks like the makers have taken the task seriously and will be putting out a quality mag.  The down side, (or up, depending on how you look at it) is that it will only be available online for now, though looks to fill a huge hole for local trail runners and be a great source for inspiration and information for all things trail.  You can play a part in it all too, by subscribing to the mag, submitting trail reviews, stories and pics etc.  I'll be getting behind it and doing what little I'm capable of, to help out.  If you like to get down and dirty, jump on board and help get Trail Run Magazine and local trail running on track trail.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Going for the win!

Fellow dailymiler (Alan T.) and blogger (Barefoot Journey) is going to give away a copy of Ken Bob Saxton's book "Barefoot Running Step by Step" through his blog here;

The blog is a good read so go check it out and see if you can win a copy of the book.  Comp ends July 1st so hurry!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Geoff Roes Interview

I'm new to the world of Ultra running and to Geoff Roes and was glad I found this. Wether you know him or not this interview is well worth a look, a great insight into the running and psyche of one of the worlds best.  The Interview.


I use Chia, I like Chia and this is where my Chia comes from  

For the sake of disclosure, I have no affiliation with or work for ChiaEnergy, though I am using the above link for a chance to win a $30 sample pack from them.

If you don't know what Chia has to offer as a food source, then check ChiaEnergy out, or do a google search on Chia and do your own research.    I come across it through the book "Born To Run", if you have not read the book then you should start your Chia journey there.

Born To Run movie?

This could be interesting...

Peter Sarsgaard Gears Up to Make His Filmmaking Debut with Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run

Peter Sarsgaard Gears Up to Make His Filmmaking Debut with Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This is where I'm at

G'day, it's full on here at the moment with our baby due next week and I just found out I got a promotion at work. SWEEEET!

My running has been going pretty well lately with a near breakthrough mixed in with some crappy runs.  All in all though, I'm happy that I've stuck with Maffatone and feel that it's all slowly (very slowly) coming together.  I don't think I'm on course for my 2012 shot at TNF100 but will definitely be looking at some easier and shorter runs more local in the next 6mths, even if I have to make the course myself and just run it Nigel No Friends style.

Since focusing less on micromanaging ChiRunning form/focuses and "real time", on the run, Garmin stats, I've found running more enjoyable, that I'm getting better results and that the whole process is more like it was when I started, a stress reliever instead of a stress raiser!
Though things are going well just running easy now, I wonder if it's due to the time spent watching stats and micromanaging form that I'm able to do so.  I have spent a great deal of time on things like form, cadence and concentrating on holding back the RAGE (the need to run faster) so that I can now run easy without sliding back into old habits.

As far as my Heart Rate goes, I have found that my Resting HR and, for lack of a better term my Running HR, have been indicators of progression as well as sickness.  A well known fact maybe but what I didn't know, was how hard it would be to recognise these indications.  I only ever picked up the cause of my HR changes after I got sick and/or studied the results of my runs statistically.  So realistically I'd have to check resting and running HR stats daily to be of any use in diagnosing sickness or predicting progress...Maybe.  I will keep watching in any case and as I get to know my body better, maybe then HR info will become more useful.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Rubber

With my ever growing interest in barefoot living and minimalist footwear, I have become a little obsessed with shoes.  Please don't be worried, although I have this new shoe affliction, which is generally thought of as a woman's problem, I assure you it is based around a solid and very manly idea of getting back to my hairybacked hunter caveman roots.  Thats right, nothing sus!  But lets get to the point, there are a lot of minimalist shoes on the market right now, but sadly a lot are still too close to the modern standard for running shoes wielding their technical terms and space age materials.  There are however, some that do come pretty close to a barefoot ideal and even a few I believe, really embrace that ideal and manage to look and feel good doing it.  I wont dwell on the failures, instead I will talk a bit on a few of ones I think have made my feet happy or at least look like they will.

We all know of the success of the Vibram Five Fingers, I wont go into detail on them right now but will say that I'm a fan.

Then there is the new Merrell Trail Gloves, I have to say, these feel sensational on and although I have not run in them or have a pair to review, I hope to shortly.  If you're after a review now, check the link and look at the customer feedback, pretty much speaks for itself.  The Trail Glove looks the goods if you run trail and want to go minimalist, they're comfortable, light weight, zero drop and well constructed to cope with the rigours of trail running. Easily my #1 choice for a shoe style minimalist runner.

Then as a casual option I stumbled upon these little beauties from Stem footwear.  I love the look and the feel for the shoe I get when browsing their website.  There may be other minimalist options out there for a casual shoe but this is the first I've found that really appeals.  That being said, I really love the Trail Gloves and wouldn't mind a second set of those just for cruisin!


Monday, March 28, 2011


Some VFF trail action...

Another swimming hole, it's so nice here I wish it were closer still.

Top waterfall, most of this would've been underwater in the recent floods.

Ahh...the serenity....

Look at the toad, he loves it....

My feet, the Carney's TrekSports and XandiePants'ses funny sock things and foot coffins!
Thanks lads had a great run, have to hit this spot again soon.


Crows Nest Falls Trail

Here is a quick look at todays run @ Crows Nest Falls
This trail is only 30 odd minutes from my place
and the only barefoot friendly trail I have found so far.

Happy trails for happy feet

Most of the trail was smooth dirt with a smattering of leaves,
barefoot bliss.

The lads getting busy...

The main falls swimming hole, would've been great in the middle of summer!

I've seen these falls really pumping after good rain...

Overlooking the same creek further down stream...


Parts of the track were a pleasure to run on, so soft under foot.  Was a good run and I felt quite energised after, despite all the high HR rock climbing to take photo's.

There were a few stairs but not enough to train for the Six Foot Track...To be Cont...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Must watch this!!!

OK this is my first look into Doug and his book Body By Science ( and I have to say I'm really impressed. Watch through the start, it gets better, a lot better. This bloke (Doug McGuff) is the master of explanation of information. Don't ask what or why, just watch it! If you're here for any reason from barefoot running to health and fitness you need to watch this. Then tell me what you think...

Found this here; Conditioning Research: It is all about information: "" Cool blog with loads of good reading.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making Progress...

I'm happy to say that some good initial progress has been made in the last month or so.  I'm running free and easy most runs and my HR is slowly settling enough to let me actually run for the most part.  Hills have still got me licked in the HR department though if I can continue to progress as I have I will be running hill soon too.  Looking at my run data I've dropped some 1.5 min/km, since my first MAF test.  OK still no blistering pace being made here but I have to admit the results show my initial fears of the program not working, were a little premature.  Needless to say I'm as happy as a foot out of a shoe.

I honestly think that this progress would not have been possible without the use of a HR monitor and altering my running form.  With the HR monitor now sussed I can focus on continuing to fine tune and develop my running form.  I've been reading a lot and getting a little confused with the amount of contradicting material out there on running.  Leading to limiting my exposure to bulk internet browsing and sticking to finishing one book at a time.  Well, two books at a time, I still have quite a bit of The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing to go and have already started ChiRunning.

I have finally got my hands on a pair of VFF TrekSport's and will write up a short review on them once I've put a few my K's on them.  Probably wont cover anything that hasn't already been covered in the million review already but hey, my turn!  ooo ooo ooo got Injinji socks too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Progress Report #1

My running is progressing, though at a frustratingly slow rate.  I'm worried I am possibly overlooking something within the running program I have set for myself (training based around information from Phil Maffetone's The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing).

The things I've changed thus far are;
  • My diet, I know try to balance may fats, I've drastically reduced my carb and wheat intake and increased the amount green leaf vegetables, veggies, salads, nuts etc.  
  • I'm keeping my HR as close as possible to my estimated MAF limit of 142bpm, for the body of my run/walks.  
  • My runs/walks include a warm up and cool down of at least 15min, where I increase my HR slowly to around 140bpm. 
  • I run barefoot whenever possible, unless it's wet (which seems to be everyday lately).  
  • I concentrate on good form and breathing while running/walking (I do need to read more on both form and breathing techniques).   
During and after running I have noticed very minor to no pain in my feet, calves or legs.  This leads me to believe that I'm not running to far or too frequent and my form must be reasonably good.  Possibly I'm not running far enough or frequently enough to see early progress?  I plan to continue with what I'm doing till I either make progress or regress as per results from my MAF tests.  I will conduct another MAF this week, though at a shorter distance than my first due to the length of time it takes me to WALK 8 Km.   Feel free to comment on and discuss anything I have written here, I want and need to learn.

I hope to see some good results in the next couple of months as I would like to enter an Adventure Race towards the middle to later part of the year.  I have my eye on the...
ARA 18Hr Dark Side Championships
...I think though I have a long way to go before entering a race such as this and finishing it.  We need to have dreams and goals...this is mine!  

Thursday, January 06, 2011

2011 Goals!

I ran out 2010 mostly barefoot thanks to Born to Run.  This year I would like to set some goals, nothing too dramatic but definitely something that will keep the heart rate ticking over and the legs moving.

My 2011 Gaols

  1. Stick with the Maffetone program and continue to build a solid aerobic base
  2. Run, train and maybe race injury free all year, whilst nearly or very barefoot 
  3. Enter and finish at least 1 Adventure race
  4. Enter and finish at least 1 organised Trail run or road run
  5. Destroy my last 10K time, it was quiet a bad time even for me
  6. Stay true to a healthy diet and remain focused

I have chosen these as goals to keep me in check and avoid over training while still having something to strive for.  I should be able to complete all these goals and continue to build a solid aerobic base at the same time.  The first and last aren't really goals but a way to keep me on the right track and injury free.  Barefoot and injury free speaks for itself, if you've read Born to Run.  I chose 3 because I have always had a fascination with Adventure racing and like the ideas of cross training to stay motivated.  4 because I love to compete and although I would only be racing my heart rate, competition events excite me.  Finally 5 because of the disappointment of my first and only attempt of the 10K.  I have no idea of what time I will be capable of this year (still trying to build my aerobic base) so a time anywhere between 50min and 40min would be acceptable, preferably closer to 40min. 

This all means I have to progress from my current power walking pace to actual running!!!  Lets hope 2011 is filled with quiet roads and long trails, best of luck to all.   Go bare and keep running.  

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Vibram Five Fingers

Made an online order for my first pair of Vibram Five Fingers today, and pretty excited about it too.  I went the Trek Sport (pictured below c/o the Vibram Five Fingers Site) option as they offer my tender, new to running barefoot, feet a little more impact protection and grip than the KSO's.  Took me quite a few hours to find someone online who actually stocked what I was after in size, type and colour.  Lucky for me I have relatives in the States who can forward on stuff that I buy online over there.

Apparently they're my Christmas present so will have to wait till Christmas Day to check them out.  I will post a review for barefoot beginners as soon as I have put them through their paces, or should I say after they put me through my paces?  The internet probably doesn't need another review of VFF's but I'll put one up anyway in the name of saturation.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Coming along...

I have been for a couple of runs this last week.  I have been trying to keep my heart rate below 148bpm as a half arsed attempt to follow what I know of the Maffetone Method.  I have not read the book yet so just going off what little I've read on the internet.  Bloody hard to keep my HR that low and find myself walking a lot up hill.  Definitely looking at getting a HR monitor, soon.  All seems to be going pretty well though.

My first run turned out to be a bit over 9km, shoed for most of it but barefoot for about 2-3km, so probably over did it a bit.  Pulled up a little sore mostly muscular, but definitely could tell I had run barefoot.  Actually easier on the road than in the grass, didn't have to worry about those pesky prickles.

Second run was a little shorter probably around the 5-6km mark, with about 2-3km again barefoot.  Pulled up a little better this time, still a bit sore, again mostly muscular and general foot pain.  I'm sure thats normal....right?

Today was my third run, 2km pretty easy going, took about 13 and a half min.  Didn't check HR this time, too lazy.  HR definitely got over the 148bpm max but it felt so good.  Stood on a bloody small rock that bruised the bottom of my foot.  I'm sure it won't be the last one I stand on, just like I'm not sure if I will ever have feet hard enough to stop it happening again.  It was only a little rock but shit, that little blighter really bruised me good.  Iced my foot after the run to try and speed up recovery.  Already a little stiff and sore, probably accumulative soreness as I have done next to no running for quite some time.  My second toe in on both feet is sore too on just the pad though.  They are the last to leave the road along with my big toe I guess, so no wonder they hurt a little.


Monday, November 29, 2010


My first order of Chia seeds arrived today..."EXCITED"...  If you don't know what they are Google it and jump on the band wagon, like me.  

Made up a quick batch of Chia gel and put a spoon full into a couple of tubs of yogurt for myself and the young fella.  Have to say I really liked the new texture and the young fella didn't seem to mind a bit.  Pretty excited about this stuff and hope it lives up to expectations.

Going for a run this afternoon, never know might not be able to stop.  I have only just started running again after a good 2 year break from any kind of running, so chances are I won't notice a difference even if there is one.  Will dose up some more before my run and see what I see.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Entry 1

The first ramblings for the blog...  It is late so I will make this short and sweet.

I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and like many others probably, things for me started to change.  I decided that it was time I started running again, like I use to when I was a kid, barefoot!

I'll let you read the book and work out why, this blog is for myself and anyone else who's crazy enough to watch, to see how and track the progress of my latest obsession.

Lets see where my bare feet can take me!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Check really....DO IT! The blog spot has a lot of good reading and info on all things heart rate monitor. If you are in the market this place is definitely worth a look.