July – Dec 2015

27/12/15 – This week has been a solid week of training and the last big one before ‘tapering’ for Hares and Hounds.  I have hit some solid workouts and feeling good a couple of weeks out from the race.  Whilst I would like to be a few kilos lighter (as always!) I am in a good mental and physical place going in.  I had set myself a time goal of 4hr 30min and whilst this may be a little adventurous, I will be bashing myself decently in the race to reach this goal!  Bring it on!

I have said to a few people recently, I am not sure if it is a coincidence or not but since I have started doing yoga I haven’t had the usual niggles I usually get when training high volume.  I have also been able to focus a lot more when doing efforts (particularly in long runs).  I have been going at least two times a week and trying to do one session at home as well.  I want to really get in a practice of yoga three times a week but it is tough sometimes with all the training I am doing.  I am super grateful and stoked to be part of the Love Life, Live Yoga crew in Bundy and honoured to know Carmen and Katie our incredible instructors.  I look forward to deepening my practice and learning a lot more as I go along.  If anyone is keen to come along to a class, please let me know, I promise, you will love it!

This week also marked a SUPER exciting milestone for me.  For the second time now I have hit 5200km for the year running….with a few days to go yet!  This works out to be an average of 100k a week for the whole year.  I am not using this blog to gloat by any means but this is an accomplishment I am really proud of.  To be able to maintain this volume year round makes me super stoked.  Shout out to Jody Fisher, my good buddy who a few months ago posted something about his milage which prompted me to check mine.  After some calculations, I realised I was on track and with some pushing I would be able to reach this goal, and here we are!  Thanks brother!  Super happy with this year of running!

So, it has been a fun week of milestones, bulk milage, relaxing and heaps of fun at the beach with the family.  I look forward to the next few days to round out the year and may throw up a ‘wrap up’ blog on the 31st…Ill see how I go.  I pray this finds y’all well, blessed and chasing your dreams.  Keep smiling and chasing the beautiful life.  Be compassionate to all beings, human and non-human and pursue mindfulness relentlessly.  Much love….

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20/12/15 – Well, our first school Christmas Holidays are in full swing.  It has been a busy week with a trip to the beach nearly every day, finishing my uni work for the term (YEAH BABY!) and a heavy week of training.  All good things.

On a personal note, I have trained really hard for the upcoming Hares and Hounds and it will be interesting to see how I go.  I have included the most variety in my training for a long time and Im hoping it pays off.

One area that continues to be a block for what I believe could lead to me seeing some real success is my diet and weight loss.  I know most people think that I probably don’t have a lot of weight to lose but when it comes to ultra endurance sports, every kilo counts.  I feel like this has been a constant lingering weight around my neck (pun intended) for a long time now.  I lost over 20kg since my beef cake days (and yes, pun intended again!), but have been hovering around this same weight for a number of years now.

I know, from all the reading and study I have done that I have a ways to go.  I am at constant battle within my mind of knowing intellectually how to eat optimally, and my flesh continually hijacking my knowledge.  I know I am on a journey and that I am a ways along it and currently going through a book called Unhooked by Laura Dawn which is SUPER interesting and hits SUPER close to home.

I am well aware of my limitations and struggles and constantly working to overcome and improve them.  I am in the process of setting specific goals for 2016 and I look forward to progress in this area being one of my major areas of improvement.  I truly believe that this would unlock some reasonable amounts of un-tapped speed and success in my training and racing.  Time will tell.

So, I reach this point of the year, under a week till Christmas with a heck load more knowledge about myself and healthy living in general and look forward to ripping in and seeing exciting things happen in the coming months.

I hope and pray this blog finds you all well and safe leading up to Christmas.  I know you all have different beliefs and understanding of what this time of year means but in all honesty, I personally believe it is the time we celebrate Jesus birth.  As a Christian it is a special time and while I get jaded at times at the commercialism, I always try to remember the reason for the season.  I pray you all have a blessed, safe and fun Christmas with your family and loved ones and Ill blog y’all after the big day!  Much love.  Namaste!

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13/12/15 – This week has been a good week!  I have bee productive, had a heap of fun and really enjoyed it!  So, what have I been up to?

Well, first of all, to help out with the productivity (namely getting an assignment finished with minimal stress), I have been setting daily, weekly and monthly goals.  This has really helped me keep accountable, focused and on task through the day and achieving things that I may have put off ‘until tomorrow’.  I have found this practice really helpful and will continue it going forward.

I have also been keeping up with my daily Instagram posts for the 90days of summer.  This has also been super fun and a challenge for me keeping up with inspiring stuff to say and try ,my best to help those around me.  I will continue to keep up this practice so if you haven’t seen it, check out my Instagram page Adventures and Activism for the fun.

Lastly, to cap the week off, Tegan and I went to Brisbane this weekend for a tip on our own.  The kids stayed here while we went down to hang out with friends, Tegs to shop and for me to go to Vegan Fest.  The weather was crappy, and some of the organisation was a little poor but all in all it was amazing!  It was well worth the money to hear Keegan, the creator of Cowspiracy and James Aspey speak.  If you haven’t seen Conspiracy, WATCH IT NOW!  It should be essential for EVERYONE to watch!  You can get it on Netflix or if you don’t have that and don’t want to buy it straight away, I can lend it to you and PLEASE watch it!  The most inspiring and amazing moment of the Fest though was James speaking.  Last year he took a vow of silence for a WHOLE YEAR as an activism campaign, raising awareness about animal cruelty.  His message was practical, motivational and funny!  He truly is a charismatic human and I don’t know if it will be possible but I would LOVE to be involved in future campaigns he does.  Check him out and follow his adventures!

So, all in all it has been a rad week!  This week is again going to be one filled with purpose, adventure and good times!  I hope this finds you well, seeking compassion and love for others and Ill catch ya next week!  Much love!

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7/12 – Hay y’all!  Sorry it has been a little while since a post…just over a week I think?  Is that just over two weeks?  I can’t keep track these days!  Although I am not studying as much at the moment (just one subject over summer) it seems like I have no trouble filling the time.  Makes me wonder where I find it when I am doing FOUR subjects!

So, a quick catch up is in order.  A bit has happened in the last little while!  First up…hair!  So, I decided to go and get dreads again from my bestie Lori.  We put in extensions and they looked pretty darn rad that is for sure!  I had them for about two weeks and noticed that I pretty much had NO hair on the top of my head!  After many texts back and forward with Lori and some information she gave me, I have basically realised that a) my hair is not strong enough to have dreads, particularly when they get long b) because of this they were pulling my hair out at the roots, ripping it from the base and making me bald and c) if I didn’t do something about it, it can scar your scalp and cause permanent damage.  So, there was only one decision….cut them off!  As sad as I am to not be able to have dreads again, I am committed to the long haul of growing my hair again.  I want to and have wanted to have it long for AGES so I am committed to the journey.  Let the growing begin.

I have also only been on social media spasmodically up until the 1st of December.  I had some time away to basically re-focus my energy and purpose with what I am aiming to do with Instagram, Facebook etc.  So, I have had a re-name which some of you have asked about.  I have re-named my Instagram account Adventures and Activism (along with my Facebook page) as I think this name more aligns with what I am trying to achieve these days….epic adventures and straight up animal rights activism.  So far so good.  I have also re-named my personal page on Facebook to Sandy Grills!  This is a name that either my mum or dad wanted to call me when I was born but it didn’t turn out for whatever reason.  I think it is cool and suits me these days so Ill run with it for a while and see if it catches on!  Good times!  In conjunction with all this, I am also doing a 90days of Summer thing where I am posting a photo every day for December, January and February with some inspirational jargon I come up with.  So far it has been a bit of fun and I am enjoying it.

Lastly, training has been going really well and things are going good in my prep for Hares and Hounds.  I love the heat when I am running so it is a great time of year for me!  Heres to a solid next few weeks ahead and then smash it up come race day!

Well friends, that is a few things that have been going down.  Life is good and I am enjoying time with the family, focusing on what is important and doing my best to keep it real!  I hope you are enjoying your Summer thus far and have some good health focus leading into Christmas.  Much love friends and well chat soon!  Sandy…

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Hay y’all!  Tonight I am going to share an experience from yesterday, Pria’s Birthday.  Hopefully this subject will get you thinking as it did us.  A potent subject point at this point in time.

We had a little get together at the beach to celebrate the kid turning 6 and were having a great time.  About half way through the party, I walked up from the beach and adjacent to our party, a large group of people had also set up.  There was probably about 15-20 people of Middle Eastern origin with the women in full head-dress.  They, like us had food set up, laughing and seeming to be having a good time.

Now, I don’t consider myself racist or prejudice at all, however after some later conversation with my dear wife and reflection, I have to be honest and say I had some immediate thoughts upon seeing the group.  It probably sounds silly but I felt disappointed, a little frustrated and thought, in some way, they, by their mere presence were going to somehow ruin Pria’s party.  I have no idea where these thoughts came from as I haven’t had any particularly bad experience with Muslim people to arouse these thoughts.

Upon arriving back at our party, I did my best to not let their presence affect my experience at our party.  Whilst watching them they were laughing, chatting, interacting positively and sharing food together, just like our gathering was.  After we had Pria’s cake, one of the ladies came over to us with a large plate of beautiful watermelon and home made flat bread.  She was extremely kind, delightful in speech and giving.  Later, I found out that Corle, our two year old must have spotted they had juice and was asking for some.  Tegan did her best to keep Corle at our party however another of the ladies welcomed her over, gave her a big drink and Corle instantly had a new friend.  It took some effort on Tegs behalf to get the wild kid back to our shindig!  The rest of the party went fantastic, fun was had by all and we left (all be it with Corle screaming due to being so tired!)

After some decent reflection and pondering of my thoughts, I am embarrassed to have had the initial reaction I did toward the what we found out were Turkish people.  Although I choose not to watch the news, read the paper and avoid headlines on the Internet, a certain level of fear, cautiousness and callus has been engrained within me.  This makes me so so very sad.  The family we interacted with were incredibly beautiful, caring and in every sense, just like us!  Funnily enough, Pastor Errol spoke of some of these points at Church this morning….more pondering ensued!

I do not claim to know what the answer to the worlds problems are at the moment, however I know being afraid, reacting with hate, fighting violence with violence and treating those who look, sound and do things a little different to us are NOT part of the answer.  Hate only breeds hate.  Ultimately, love is the answer.

Was the family we shared the morning with over compensating due to the state of things in the world at the moment?  Maybe, but I don’t think so!  Their generosity seemed to be genuine and from the heart.  And, lets face it, even if they were being over nice, they went beyond what a lot of caucasian families would have done.

I hope and pray that going forward my attitude and initial thoughts toward those different to myself (particularly muslim people) can be different.  Apart from the minority, I am sure that they love, cherish, respect and believe in many of the same values I do and do NOT deserve to be treated any differently just because of their dress, religion or ethnicity.

I hope this blog has you thinking.  Remember the news is over-sensualised and whilst our world is facing some dark times at the moment, you can make a difference in your world.  I thank the family we spoke with for their generosity and friendliness and most of all, I thank them for challenging my thinking, helping me to grow and hopefully next time act and think with more love.

Love is the answer friends.  Keep pursuing it, keep hope and positivity toward mankind.  We ALL have flaws and issues to deal with but we can do it together.  Division is not the answer.  I love y’all, spread it round and Ill catch ya soon!

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The last couple of weeks has been so so fun.  I had a week off social media and really enjoyed that ‘away time’.  I had my Birthday on the 10th and this weekend, head up to Biggenden/Mt Walsh with a group of friends for a camping and running getaway…with NO internet or phone service!  Even better!

I feel like I have a lot of acquaintances in this world and I am really grateful to know a lot of people and hopefully have some sort of small impact in their lives, however having true, special friends is something that is incredibly important to me.  I of course have a few friends who are not into running, however to be able to go away with my besties who share a passion with me was always bound to be a fun adventure.

Basically, on the weekend we run, talked rott, swam, laughed, ate good food and had a rad time.  Whilst the location, activity and surroundings contributed to the fun and enjoyment, the biggest thing that touched my heart was spending time with my people and them making such an effort to come out and hang out in the middle of nowhere with me for my birthday!

True friends are hard to come by and these ones are AMAZING!  I would do anything for these beautiful people and honoured that they are in my life.  It is with much love and respect that I can call them my peeps!  Jason, Anna, Dad, Dave, Tanya, Sharna, Nix, Andrew and Luke, I love you all with my whole heart and thank you for making my 33rd Birthday weekend one to remember!

So, my message for this blog.  If you have one or two REAL friends, hang on to them!  Treat them as precious as gold and keep them close to your heart.  A good friend is hard to find and I truly believe that if we can gain a couple through our lives we really are blessed.  Stay true, be transparent, honest, caring and giving to those dearest to us!

What a blessed life we all share!  The simple things in life are the most important and the ones we should desire!  Much love to you all, be amazing this week and cherish those dear and near to you!  Until next week friends, Live Long, run on, Plant Strong!

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The last two weeks I have been on block Prac placement teaching at Bundy High.  It has been a really awesome experience and I learnt a heck of a lot!  I worked hard, took on what I was taught and hopefully an asset to the team and not a hindrance!  I think most of the kids liked me as a teacher and I enjoyed the school environment heaps!  I am really looking forward to teaching full time in the future but first…a LOT of study to do first!  Gold!

What a rad weekend!  As some of y’all would know, a month or so ago, we bought a little pop top caravan.  This weekend, we took her for her maiden voyage and it was all I had hoped it to be!  Little Corle was in a bit of a mood some of the time but apart from that it was great!  No TV, good weather and much adventure to be had.  I also learnt a HECK of a lot about the van and some more gear to get but that was all part of the adventure!  I think this purchase will really revolutionise our family holidays in the future and grow us all stronger.  Super stoked to have made the purchase!

This week I am looking forward to a week off study and relaxing a little!  I have only one subject to do in term 3 and keen to catch up on some much neglected jobs and things I am wanting to do, as well as some books read!  Good times!  Over the next couple of weeks I am also going to be sitting down and working out my race calendar for next year.  I am hoping to track down some new challenges and keep achieving some good results going forward.

I pray this finds y’all well and Ill catch up next week for a little longer blog maybe!?  Live long, run on, plant strong!

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Well, since Glasshouse 100miler, things have been a little up and down as far as training, sickness and life in general goes.  About a week and a half ago I decided to commit to doing the 100k at Blackall 100, but just take it easy and see how it goes.  After much discussion and planning, the girls were all going to stay in Bundy for this race, so I would be flying solo.  Or so I thought!  Last weekend, my good mate Bruce put his hand up to crew for me, so that would be a new adventure for him and me!  I head off after school on Friday (I am on prac at the moment) and arrived at briefing ready to rock.  After hanging out with Jason and Anna Friday night, it was to bed for an early wake up and 100k adventure .

We woke up, head up the range and had nice cool weather for the start.  After some rott talk, we head off and got amongst it.  I won’t go into heaps of detail in this report but I will say it was one of the best constructed races I have done in a long time.  I started out nice and easy with Jason and Jody and got through the first 40k incident free.  Jason then left us and Jody and I then kept plugging along to just before the 60k mark.  Jody was pretty tired from only getting 3 and a half hours sleep the night before so I departed him then and went on the hunt.  I ran solid and really enjoyed myself through the next few aid stations.  All in all the remaining 40k went fantastic and I ran strong and well passing a number of people through this last section.  I was a little sad toward the end as I really didn’t want the race to end as it had been such a fantastic day but all good things must come to an end.  I finished in 12hr 40min, 9th overall and 7th male.  What a hoot!  All of my friends did a super job and it was a blessed day!

For the rest of the weekend, I just chilled out with the crew, had good coffee and drove home.  It was a great time but I missed the family and it is always good to come home.

Considering I went into this race with no expectations, was a bit underdone and not as prepared as I would have liked to be it was a super success!  I ran hard for the last 40k, made up some places and finished strong!  Massive thanks to Bruce for crewing me, Anna and Jason for having me stay, Injinji Performance Products for looking after me with gear and Alun and Brett for putting on a super race.  Another one in the bag and a great way to round out the year race wise.

Hope you are all having a super week, loving what you are doing and blessing those around you!  Keep being amazing and until next week…much love!

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Hay y’all!  Sorry for missing last weeks blog!  I was wrapped up in Grand Final fever and completely forgot to write!  Goldfish!  Anyway, here I am, tapping away again!

There hasn’t been a whole heap happen in the last couple weeks.  I got the flu off Corle and then it turned into a half baked sinus infection and then a super blocked/painful ear.  I have been taking antibiotics and it is slowly clearing but man, it knocked me a bit!  It frustrates me at times that I try and look after myself but get sick!  Imagine if I didn’t take care of myself!

Anyway, all that aside, training has been ok and whilst I haven’t had the build up I would like, it looks like I am gonna be lining up for Blackall 100 again.  I was considering just doing the 50k but decided to go for the big one.  I had originally planned on having a crack at sub 12hr but now just decided to take it easy, enjoy it, possibly run with some mates and make my way round the hundo k with no real ambition.  It should be a good day on the Hinterland and Im looking forward to the challenge, fast or not!  Good times.

All else is good in the world of The Tattoo Runner.  Not a lot else to report apart from fun family times, uni, work and love.  Oh, and this weekend, I had a goal to take vegan gainz to next level…..and I achieved!  40 bananas consumed in two days!  Yeah baby!

I know this is a snapy blog this week friends but I hope it finds you all super well, rocking and loving life every moment.  Much love.

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Hay hay all!  Hope y’all doing awesome and had a rad week.  This weeks blog see’s some reflective thought and I hope you can join with me in an attempt to expand our minds together.  If your not up for some thinking or challenge, return for next weeks blog!

Recently at a family dinner, the topic come up of a certain corporate fast food franchise and their involvement in the community.  The comment was made that whilst everyone knows I don’t like them, they do a lot of good for charity, aren’t really that bad, give away money etc.  This got me thinking….does the means justify the end?

Does the contribution to the mass murder of billions of land animals, pillage of cows milk/butter, being a grand contributor to our world wide obesity crisis all whilst turning a blind eye really rub out the fact that this corporation give money to school sports teams, charities, ex-war vets and other community groups?  It is an interesting thought process and one that I was involved in with myself for sometime on my morning run the following day.

I believe I have come to the decision that no, the means does NOT justify the end.  Whilst I think it is great that companies support local and national community groups, the fact that innocent animals are being killed in the process for no reason, and that the funds come from selling a product making us fat and that I struggle to even call ‘food’, makes it very difficult to see past these points.  Should they keep all the profit for themselves, well no, but I still don’t think the acquisition of such funds is either ethical or conscious.

If it wasn’t so serious, in a humorous twist of irony, a large number of charities that said corporation gives money to are trying to raise funds for and prevent – nearly 100% preventable and in many cases REVERSIBLE, DIET RELATED DISEASES!  THE FOOD THE VERY COMPANY SELLS IS CAUSING THE DISEASES THEY ARE GIVING MONEY TO TRYING PREVENT!!  Can anyone else see a conspiracy circle here or is it just me?!

This to me is exactly what the bikies do and I was made well aware of when I was working in the Police.  364 days of the year they operate as out-laws dealing drugs, promoting and committing violent acts and basically doing as they choose, however one day a year they do a toy run for kids at christmas, drum up a ridiculous amount of media so the public can see that they are ‘good guys’ and ‘not all that bad’.  In reality, the majority of real bikies are criminals but due to their one act of kindness, the public is blind to the acts they commit every other day of the year.  See a similarity here???

So, in closing, I know this is a little more serious and direct than I usually write however these topics continue to upset me and there is not enough people speaking up about such points.  There is 100% NO NEED for ANY land or sea animal to be killed or exploited for our own pleasure.  Regardless of what companies are doing with the profit from the animals loss, I can not and will not support such malpractice.  I am not saying for one second that I have it all together or am perfect but it is the striving that is important!

Please, do your own research, investigate, watch Conspiracy, make conscious decisions and vote with your dollar!  YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  Every time you decide to buy a vegan meal at a cafe, by-pass the meat and dairy section in the supermarket and speak up for animal rights, the less demand there will be for the senseless acts committed to obtain such products.

I pray and hope this has provoked some thought for y’all and until next week, aim to show compassion to all beings, love freely and vote with you dollar!

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Gday y’all!  Just a quick check in to let you know that I am recovering well and on the mend.  After my race at Glasshouse 100, I have taken my mandatory week off and basically been smashing through some study.  I got a massage from my lovely friend Kay Shepherd who has been helping me out no end!  If you need some body work, please contact her, let her know I sent you and she will help you out for sure!  She is going to be sharing her time between Bundy and Brisbane very soon so drop her a line!

I have managed to go to one yoga session with my beautiful new friends at Love Life, Live Yoga and whilst I wanted to do more this week, even that one was tough on the tired body.

My sore knee came good for a couple of days and then hurt a reasonable amount for a couple of days.  It seems to be slowly coming better though which is promising.  I am going to start some light running tomorrow and see how it feels.  Heres hoping.  I am still looking at doing Blackall 100 however it will just depend on how the body goes the next couple weeks….and finance!

The other SUPER exciting thing I have started to get involved with this week is a new website called Mindful Active.  I am now blogging with them and happy to announce that I am one of the founding contributors.  Their vision is to encourage, inspire and lead people to a more mindful and active lifestyle.  This will take many different forms however I ALREADY have a blog up there and I am REALLY proud of it so please click on the link above and have a read.  I love getting involved in projects like this and although my time is pretty darn limited at the moment, always love taking time out to contribute to things and help people I believe in!  Check it!

So, thats a snappy update for this week friends.  I am super keen to start running again tomorrow and planning for what is ahead.  It is also school holidays so the rug rats are home and the inlaws are coming to visit tomorrow for a week or so which will be nice.  There will be some relaxing, a heck load of study and getting back to some solid training.  I hope and pray this finds y’all well, much love, namaste and Ill see you soon!

Finally….just remember, its heating up so shirts are for suckers and shoes are for rich people!

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14/9 – Well, that was adventurous!  Pretty much all year my main focus centres around the Glasshouse 100miler (162k for those not good with math).  This weekend saw it come and go again, and man it was a different experience thats for sure!

I went into the race feeling pretty confident.  I had no injuries, have had some good success racing this year and was fit, healthy and ready to roll!  My goal since finishing 7th last year was top five this year and I would be doing my best to achieve this!  After the usual rock up at rego Friday night, it was to the start line early Saturday morning for the fun to begin.  The race this year saw a major change in course and apart from everyone being a little worried about getting lost, we were all keen for the new scenery.

The morning started at 6am and I rolled out with the lead boys on the first 10-11k loop.  This involved copious amounts of rott talk, laughs and fun.  All good thus far.  We arrived back at Beerburrum School before heading off and summiting Mt Beerburrum.  This was all good but broke the field up a little.  From here, apart from a few very brief conversations, I was alone ALL DAY AND NIGHT!  Bizarre!  Things went pretty much run of the mill until about three hours into the race when things got interesting.  In hindsight, I don’t think I ate or drank enough but I had the worst bonk (rough patch where all glycogen stores are depleted) I think I have EVER had!  I HATED life!  I was ready to stop running for six months, just do yoga, not finish and even dreamt of falling over, breaking a bone and getting to drop from the stupid race!  Talk about being in a bad way!

I now have enough experience though to know that these things pass….however when your in the moment its not so easy!  This lasted for only…TWO HOURS!  Ugh!  Eventually, I dragged myself out of that funk by running when I could, trying to talk myself positive and taking things a step at a time.  I was also aware this year that in the past I have got cooked early, so I started dousing myself in water early.  This always helps!

After this little saga and feelings of self harm had disappeared, things were back to normal.  I knew I was in about the top 8-9 so things were still looking up.  The day moved on well and I really enjoyed the new loops and order of things.  It would be an INCREDIBLE task putting on an event like this!  I ate and drank a lot better although I was pretty dehydrated through the day and tried my best to stay on top of that.

Before long, night began to fall and I bid farewell to my dear wife and daughters.  They were fantastic support crew all day and without them, my races would never be as fun!  My good buddy Luke then tool over the reigns as crew man for the night shift.

I had moved through the field and heard that a few front runners had dropped so all was going ok.  Upon arriving at one of the aid stations, Luke informed me that 2nd and 3rd had left the aid station exactly five minutes before me and I was gaining on them!  This really lifted my spirits and game was on!

Things kept going pretty well until about 11pm.  I wasn’t able to get the boys in front of me and I then hit another funk, not as bad as the ‘I HATE THE WORLD’ first one but still pretty ordinary!  I knew I was still in fourth with some great runners behind me so I did my best to keeping on moving forward.  The course was WAY tougher than last year but I like it that way!  After heading out to Checkpoint 9 through the Dungeon I was still a bit flat but kept pushing.  We then did a loop and by the end of the loop had come a fair bit better and was ready to race.  Heres where things got interesting…

Without blaming anyone or going into extended detail, at the 145k mark I was sent in the wrong direction and whilst I should have back tracked after a while, I ended up running around lost for about 1hr and 10min (roughly 7-8km) before getting back to the checkpoint I had left previously, making NO ground in the actual race!  I was so so disappointed.  Anger would be a more appropriate response but I didn’t really have much of this, just real disappointment.  I dropped two places and found myself in 6th.  Regardless of losing my way, I believe that my mate Jody may well have caught me anyway, but who knows!  Whats done is done!

I worked my way back to the second last aid station with a few people worried about where I was!  I was just so disappointed.  By this stage, I had a pretty sore left knee also as I think I tweeked it earlier in the day.  It was causing me some drama.  I kept moving the best I could, trying to run as much as possible, before literally verbalising grunts as my knee was so so sore.  I reached the last aid station, had some beautiful vegan soup and then continued on to the end.  I reached the finish pretty darn broken and glad the day was over.  I managed to hang on to 6th, one place off my goal but given the day I was handed, pretty happy.

This race was like no other.  Last years miler went so smoothly, this one was a real mental and physical battle.  I fought, toughed it out and feel like I did a pretty good job in what was some pretty crappy scenarios to keep my cool, work hard and do my best.  This was one that will be drawn on for a long time to remember how to persevere and get through when things suck.  All in all though, I am proud of my performance.  Apart from slowing a bit when I got lost due to sheer disappointment, I gave it my all and loved the experience.

I want to just thank my beautiful wife and kids and bearded friend Luke for being there for me the whole event and being so incredible as support crew.  Without crew, these events would be EXTREMELY difficult and I really appreciate them giving up their day, and night to help me out selflessly!  I also want to thank the race directors, volunteers and other beautiful friends/athletes there on the day.  Lastly, I just want to give a shout out to Injinji Performance Products and At One Food bars who helped me out with gear and also some of my favourite brands I used on the day, Ultimate Direction, Ronhill, Injinji, Altra and Gu.  Much love.

Thank you to all of you who have offered your beautiful words of support and love leading up to, during and after the event!  Good times and much respect and honour to you!  Thanks all for sticking with me and until the next adventure, Namaste!

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HAPPY FATHERS DAY y’all!  I hope you have had a great day celebrating your dad wether he is with us or not, and kicking it with your kids if you have been blessed with them!  Such a special day!

I usually find myself on days like this in reflection.  Being a dad is one of the most exciting, frustrating, beautiful, time consuming, special…and pretty much any other range of experiences/emotions you can think of!  I wouldn’t have it any other way!  In saying this, it is one area of my life that I am CONSTANTLY trying to improve and do better at.  Some days I get to the end of and I just feel like a dictating failure and some days I reach the end of and I feel amazing at the experiences I have shared with my sweet family.  I hope I never stop trying to improve in this area and pray I am doing the right thing by my girls raising them the way I think best based on my life experience and biblical principals I hold dear.  Time will tell I guess, but we can only do our best!  I just want to take the chance to thank my girls for putting up with my imperfections and loving me regardless.  I love you both to the end of the earth.

On the other side of the coin there is my dad.  Most of you will know him as a colourful character that pretty much everyone loves!  He has been on his own journey of fatherhood and we have grown super close over the last number of years.  He is one of my best mates, running buddy, Dragons side kick and all round top bloke.  Looking forward to lining up at the miler next weekend with you boss and many more adventures.  Much love, Happy Fathers Day and keep being incredible.

As a side note…IT IS RACE WEEK!  I can not believe this time next week I will be kicking back, relaxing, talking rot with friends, telling tall tales of race antics and generally relishing in the glory of another 100mile finish.  The way it will pan out is yet to be told but I can not wait!  Bring it on!

I hope and pray this finds you all happy, smiling and enjoying your Sunday.  Until next week, namaste.

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30/8 – SOOOO, I got half way through this last week and realised that I forgot to do a blog last Sunday!  Ugh!  So much going on, I need a million notes to remind myself to even do trivial tasks!  No fuss, life is good!

This week has seen my last big week of training before a couple week ‘drop back’ before the big dance, Glasshouse 100miler.  Training went really well and was capped with a shotgun trip to the Sunny Coast this weekend to run the 53k (although advertised as 56k) Conondale loop with bestie dirtbags Jason, Anna, Jody and Luke.

I arrived on Friday night, had a beautiful Asian dinner whipped up by Anna and Jason and hit the hay.  We woke Saturday all excited to get amongst some running.  We arrived at the trail after a nice drive and got into it once Jody decided to finish putting his makeup on (HAHAH).  The first half of the loop seemed to go forever up hill!  So much power hiking which was fun but we were all keen to do some actual running!

We had a little break at one of the camps, got some food into us however were unable to get water from the tank as it was running a bit brown and I wasn’t ready to risk it.  After leaving here, we still did a lot of uphill but did get a little more running in which was awesome.  We continued on, loving the day, telling stories, laughing, talking rott and enjoying the BEAUTIFUL scenery!  Incredible!  Some of the sections of trail were quite un-maintained but we kept scrambling, climbing over, under and on top of any tree, log or rock in our way.

There were many beautiful running streams along the way however I just wasn’t keen to drink from them as I have had giardia in the past and REALLY did not want to get it again before the big race.  So, because of that, I was REALLY low on water and pretty darn dehydrated all day.  I didn’t eat a lot either so it was a tough day at the office but a really good mental builder.

We finished the day out with some beautiful single track running (and a butt naked photo!  See Instagram/Facebook!) just before it got too dark.  We ended up with 53km in 7hrs 23min 26sec (moving time.  We climbed 1728m and loved every second!

After a quick tub we went out for some beautiful Indian food, laughed, relaxed before I head back this morning.

Thanks to my beautiful friends for a wonderful weekend away and to my smokin wife for letting me take off for the adventure.  A ripper time by all!

Hope y’all had a rad weekend and lets get excited for the week ahead friends.  Much love, run free and have a blessed time!  Namaste.

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17/8 – This week has been another buzy one…tapping out assignments, study, training like a banchi, working and hanging with the crew.  Mid week, I got a text from my mate Jody Fisher asking if he could come up and visit, hangout and go for a run.  I was stoked!  So, on Friday he made his way to Bundy, crashed the night and we went for a fun run on Saturday morning with some other friends and then kicked around for the rest of the day before he had to take off (and I had to do some study!).

This small event kinda sparked some emotion in me and got me thinking about running and in particular trail running.  It truly is a special sport and I know I have talked about it before but please indulge me…. I really feel like (at 99% of events anyway) that I am part of something beautiful and the other athletes are my family.  At times it is really hard living in Bundy being so far away from trails and mountains but the friends I have made through running always keep the excitement, love and fire burning.  I honestly believe that I have made some friends that I will have for life and although we might be different in age, socioeconomic status, life stages or whatever, we are connected through this beautiful practice of putting one foot in front of each other.

I feel honoured and blessed beyond words sometimes when I think of the relationships I have in my life.  At times I am almost brought to tears thinking of the love I have for my wife and kids and further, my heart overflows with the joy I have toward my trail brothers and sisters.  Although the human side of me gets in the way at times, I love you all beyond words, am grateful to be a part of your life and look forward to the many adventures we will share ahead.  Through the pain, sheer exhilaration, mental strength, peace, serenity, depths of despair, overwhelming appreciation of nature and fondness for the path less travelled we are united and share one heart.

Thank you all for being my friend, partner, dirtbag, crazy, ‘rest of the world doesn’t get it’, ultimate ultra buddy.  Keep loving life, chasing your dreams and sharing the journey.  Thanks for the visit Jody and in turn, prompting some special visits.  If any of y’all fancy a weekend away to the flat lands and crash out at our beach shack, drop me a line.  Much love peeps, keep running and exploring.  Namaste.

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9/8 – What up party people!  Hows things?  It has been a usual buzy, productive, exciting week!  Hope it has been the same for y’all!  Apart from all the usual, on Saturday, a group of us decided to run to Childers from Bundy….just a random reason to run 50k!

So, at 4am, 10 of the Bundy Crew gathered together and head off for a morning of fun.  We went a back way I have never been before and it was AMAZING!  Truly one of the most enjoyable runs I have done in a long while!  Beautiful weather, company, nature and conversation.  Who would have thought running on the road could be fun!? LOL!

The thing that will stay with me for a long time as a result of this run however is getting to know, and chat with my good friend Tanya’s 14year old daughter Sharna.  She has recently got into running but never gone further than 16k….still bloody impressive for a 14year old kid!  I was really keen to chat to her as Tanya has been telling me over the last 6months or so about her transition to a plant based diet.  I was super excited to chat shop with a kid about how it was all panning out for her.

So, over the course of the four odd hours she was running we chatted pretty much the whole time.  Apart from the fact that she ran 34km!!!  WHAT THE HECK, she is one of the most inspirational, wise beyond her years, nicest kids I have ever chatted to.  She has vision, perspective and compassion and it was a pleasure to talk to her about veganism, growing up in todays society, Christianity, running adventures and everything in between.  I went away from the day completely revitalised and excited to know that there are still kids out there with vision and drive to change the world.  Keep pursuing the journey Sharna, your a special kid and I know your mum, as well as me as your new friend is super proud of you!

Aside from that exciting adventure, I have been in contact with a lady named Carmen of Love Life, Live Yoga in Bundy.  After a meeting with her and her partner, I am excited to announce that I have joined with them in cross promotion.  I have been wanting to get into yoga to compliment my running for a long time, so I am super stoked with this new partnership!  I will be writing for their new online magazine/newsletter regularly and doing what I can to promote their business.  Very very excited!  So, if your keen to make your life richer, expand your mind, get a great workout and improve your flexibility, check them out and head on in for a class!

So, all in all, it has been a super week!  I have loved every minute, getting plenty of uni work done and loving life in general.  I am spinning out a bit thinking there is only five weeks till Glasshouse 100miler, but training is going well and I am super keen to rip in!!!

Have a rad week y’all!  Spread the love, smile plenty and pat a strangers dog, trust me, it’ll cheer your day up (providing it doesn’t bite your hand….ask first kids!)  Much love…Mat

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2/8 – Another week down of the usual hectic study, training, work and family.  Beautiful!  Late last week, I received two pairs of sandals from a new company called Earth Runners.  I have been trying them out all week and I gotta tell you, I am impressed!  They are comfortable, good thickness and most importantly, really secure.  I have been really enjoying running in these bad boys and keen to see how many k’s they will handle.

Today also saw our local main running event for the year, Cane 2 Coral.  This year I signed up to do some pacing which I was really looking forward to.  I got a nice pace of 1hr 55min for the half marathon.  I raced in my new sandals and got the usual comments which are always amusing.  I also supported our good friend Nix by running in one of her new venture’s shirts.  She is trying to spread love through random acts of kindness…so if y’all can head over to her Facebook page and follow along that would be awesome!

I loved helping some people achieve PB’s today in the beautiful weather and great atmosphere.  I hope and think I did a good job and really stoked to be able to help out the event and some cool peeps in this way.  I had a super nice time after basking in the sun and catching up with old and new friends!  All in all it was a beautiful event!  This afternoon, we head into town and picked up my sister and her husband from Melbourne and caught up with them which was super nice too.

This week has been a good first week back in training and great to be  back at it.  Six weeks till GH100!  Have a super awesome week friends, be inspired and send spread some kindness around!  Catch ya next week!

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26/7 – What up everyone!  Well, it seems like it has been FOREVER since I have blogged!  I am sorry!  Ha!  I have been SO busy with my head down studying, prac, training, working and spending time with the family, the only down time I get, I feel like mush!  HA!  So, going forward, I have some exciting things happening, but I am going to do my very best to blog weekly.  Lets see how it pans out!  First though, a quick little catch up…

So, I have been going hard at study again after mid year break.  Really loving my courses this term which is great!

Just finished a BIG block of training doing my first ever 200k week and last weekend, finishing third overall at the team event Kokoda Challenge.  A massive thanks to a new sponsor Wild Earth!  If y’all need any trail, out doors or general cool kit, check them out!  Everything you need and super rad guys!

We also just got a new puppy…a miniature dachshund!  About the cutest thing you have ever seen!

The family are great and life is rolling along beautifully!

Although life is super busy at the moment, I am loving the challenges that are happening!  Ordered chaos!  I have Cane 2 Coral next weekend where I am doing pacing duties and my main event for the year….Glasshouse 100 in 7weeks!  Time to turn the fire up on this training!

So, that is a SUPER brief, snappy overview of what has been going on!  I hope and pray this finds y’all happy and well.  Thanks for your patients with me and hopefully each Sunday, you’ll be able to regularly tune in again to my antics.  Much love friends!

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