Where to next…

There has been a few great changes in my year, and some ups and downs for all of us… Such is life… It’s grand I’d say.

I started the year off struggling to achieve balance and its taken almost the whole year to finally get where I want to be.

I have learnt and re-learnt that when I set goals, I will come close to achieving them and I should not worry myself if I don’t get to all of them. Running is a fantastic way of life and I am so glad to find myself on the journey I am on.

With my goals for racing, I always enjoy most of all the journey more than the win, however the competition is great for motivation. I always find that the goals have to either be shifted or adapted to making life “happen”. All will come should I want it and most of all work hard for it. Getting back into training with time constraints is not easy, and answers will soon reveal themselves, or find a way.

These are things we all know and I know that going forward the future is very bright. Even with injuries, human nature is astounding, but taking it slow is the key! Races will come, highs and lows will too come, and most of all fun and love for the run is always there.

I miss the runs with The Giba Gabblers and missions through Kloof Gorge, I am dying to fly through Shongweni and Summerveld areas. It’s great to be on the coast with family and friends nearby, and soon trekking to these areas “up the hill” will become regular again, which means awesome photos and possibly a video of the downhill “gravity dice” trail and “collarbone alley” in Shongweni!

Keep hitting those trails, get dirty, do it natural and keep it tidy. In other words have a VIVO-day!

Machine

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It’s been a while…

So I was in a little bit of a rut. Getting experience in the industry which I have fallen in love with (off-road adventure tourism) at the expense of low earnings (dreams come with a price). As the great Ryan Sandes says, “The lower the low, the higher the high” and this always rings true in life.

I had to move away from the mountain biking as my dreams were always where the running is…

And I have found it, aligned with the right people, my people.
With VIVOBAREFOOT
I start a whole new adventure with great energy and drive, as I think I have found my calling, offering great shoes and services to you the running world (and to those wishing to run naturally)

I have clocked 50km in my new “Breathos” and what a pair of shoes. I have been running less due to bronchitis, but am on the mend and have been feeling better whilst on the run. For this I am grateful, for too long I have been missing out on epic runs, although I know this is a long path and the fomo is not getting the better of me.

Joining VIVOBAREFOOT has been amazing and a journey of straight talking barefoot running and barefoot lifestyle. This suits me fine, in fact there is no better feeling in giving someone a pair of shoes that will probably change their running world as it did mine, with cautious transition. Who wouldn’t want to run like a kid again. Barefoot is best.

So to begin a new journey… one which will change your running for the best, get the “Veeling”

Find my company BTR Running on Facebook and Twitter! Get yourself some coaching, advice, trail info, shoes, yes gnarly shoes! You will love ’em!

Machine

Getting the balance right

In running, its a sport that is pure to each one of us who does it to have fun, get strong and overcome our problems.

I recently read “born to run” (super late I know, but just in time). The essence of this book I had found long before reading the whole masterpiece. The idea of running “free” was what really pulled me toward myself and gave me clarity when there was none. The rush, found while in the moments of running seems untouchable, along with the camaraderie makes it untouchable.

Someone the other day told me with a glistening eye and a truthful tone, “We are like ninjas!” (So true Dale, so true)

There is a section of trail in Shongweni near Durban named “collarbone alley” which I and some friends are going to see what the fuss or fun is about on foot.

I have been riding mountain bikes a lot. It got my legs strong, but also caused my itB to inflame due to bike setup. I have been working on this and feel like I’m winning which is a huge relief. Now in my world as a runner, running less is not fun, which I am sure is common throughout this sport. I have only been running 50k and 70k roughly per month, and enough with this part time runner boloney. I need to run 200k min a month and so starts my Comrades training around the corner. I am contemplating running barefoot, but zero drop may hurt a lot… Want to see where my form takes me first.

So good to hear the other real “machine” Den ( @archidenwa ) is making good progress on his knee. (Sliced his knee capsule open whilst blazing Giba in a 10k gorge trail race in a torrential thunderstorm that had @krissymoehl label us South Africans as “hardcore” thanks Krissy). Den will be back, sans doute. Thanks to @thetrailbrother for all Guy did to help on the trail!

Also a quick shout out to Matt ( @staresoffshore ) for coming 3rd in the stainbank night trail. Someone else who damn well knows how to runlikeamachine.

There are so many things coming up and so much more running and blogging to come.

Machine

South Coast Marathon – Ambitious Much?

So my last day of my 20s and my birthday presents include great new trail shoes from the guys at Vivobarefoot, athlete earphones from Skullcandy and 42km of tar pounding.

I have not been running as much as I would have liked, but have squeezed in some long runs to get in the headspace for the pain which is about to ensue on Sunday!

I am running and hoping to keep up with @staresoffshore and here is the race stats he did last year. Garmin stats

I have set my goals quite high with a hopeful (maybe not realistic) 3:40 finish. The only way I think I can do this is to runlikeamachine and break myself. Sounds great.

This race is point to point as you will see from Garmin map, but the neatest thing is the train ride to the start along the gorgeous South Coast of KZN.

This is going to be a journey and I am all about the journey, so bring it on!

Machine.

Running the right way – shoes and natural running

Running naturally makes sense doesn’t it? Of course it does, its made sense since I ran barefoot as a child and to this day nothing has changed. It has truly changed my running so much. Its hard to grasp that running naturally is harder but subsequently makes it easier and faster. Correct form has never been easy. Forget what you know about conventional shoes with 12mm drops’ and get with the program and runlikeamachine in zero drop. Now it does take a while to transition to zero drop, but you will never, ever look back. I want to feel the trail, most of it, whilst running. I don’t want rolled ankles, I’m pretty sure if you want to run awesome trails, neither do you. Be awesome.

So I got some new shoes yesterday, thank the Lord! They are, at first glance, AMAZING (caps necessary).

A first glance…

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I hooked these babies up due to the apparent need I found by an unlucky accident of a spike type thing which decided to go through my shoe and into my foot. At first I thought it was a root, but went back to the scene of the crime and found it was a steel rod! Now trail shoes should NOT have this kind of defect in design, at all.

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I was a happy Merrell Trail Glove user, until this happened. The fact that this can happen is enough reason to which I chose to change brand of shoe. Now I haven’t even touched on the South African agents for Merrells’ service to my first complaint over build quality, which I found appalling (consider it now touched). They tried to tell me that, “the shoe is a minimalist shoe and shouldn’t last long (in essence)” bull I say, bull!

The issue of the design fault is simply due to a design oversight by an idiot. Merrell (international) had tried their utmost to appease me but I was having none of it.

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Now that this issue is well and truly behind me, I am so happy to be raving about the service received by the new brand, the shoe and another product (still on its way, for those that like to listen to music while working out) will be reviewed on this blog soon. Can you say Vivobarefoot, can you say Skullcandy?

I can’t wait to put these new bits of gear to the test and you all will know that I am going to be very honest about the performance of the two.

I am looking to become a barefoot accredited running coach in the near future. I can’t wait to change people’s struggles in running like I had, and help them run injury free, efficient, and most importantly, runlikeamachine.

Look out for the review, I can’t bloody wait to kick into gear, literally and figuratively!

Also my running goals are a bit off, so I won’t be able to run skyrun, and a few others but I am running my first road 42k to qualify for Comrades Marathon race next year June, which I missed qualifying on the Cowan House 42k by 5min, due to getting lost, adding 4km onto it.

Yours in running (oh and I miss having the time to blog as much, but this will change)

Machine.

Cowan House 42K 2012- HOLY MOLY

@lushyluc this was my membership fee. Hehe jokes! I did this with purity, heart and I found chats and smiles and such natural beauty with snow capped peaks, enchanting forests and open spaces that, with every turn showed me heaven was still right here. This was a great building block, get amped for what’s to come. Grand bisous!

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The marathon motivation both before and after from these guys was awesome and priceless.

As @FellRunner1975 put it “immense”!

As @Archidenwa summed it up, “finishing is better than the start”!

@TheTrailBrother at their poetic best, “Always have a long way to go. That’s the beauty of what we do!”

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Oh the joys of distance running are definitely too many to mention. I must be crazy, I seem to like the pain but am vocal about it, as with everything. My iPhone battery lasted and recorded 39.8km which is pretty awesome, I completed that in 4:35. Stoked is an understatement!

It’s been said many a time before about the highs and lows of distance running in blogs, articles in magazines and by word, but we never understand it until we have done it. When we do it, just finishing is amazing (and next level) but running strong or breaking down is either a fine line or it can be the width of a 6 lane dual carriage way, depending on how good your training has been coupled with your mental strength. I prefer to run strong, and will one day get there, one day soon. All of us can do it. It’s in the mind.

@the_futureboy ran a MONSTER race and finished in 3:40!! Such a mamba, well done champ and thank you for such a good pre race vibe. I look up to you and hope to one day catch you so I can keep up.

@SB_Elliott caught up with me at around 30 odd kms after my dice/tumble on single track with the leading lady, and we ran together almost to the end, and I got us lost. I am a kak lead runner and was unsure about that split, very silly error! Anyhow we made our way back and finished in respectable times and both would have qualified for comrades with time to spare should i not have gotten us lost! You were a soldier my boet and without you would have been tougher, much tougher! Big up my friend.

Most of the stories are true about distance running and those who haven’t the balls for this, simply are missing out. The elation and ends of the scale between pain and pleasure is indescribable. This is a blessed club and I will be back next year to tackle this machine trail, the Cowan House Trail Challenge!

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With all the manicured single track and great support from water tables, at the warm registration and smiles at the end. Wildlands did a superb job putting this event together, can’t wait for Three Cranes and Mont aux Sources

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Thanks to all for the well wishes and support.

In awe of @staresoffshore completing the mammoth ultra Umgeni River Run 70K! Machine of note!

A big congratulations to Chad, he’s an amazing young man. Good to see you @leclos_swim again!

Machine

Cowan House 42K and taking what the trail gives you!

Hey fellow runners!

We have an amazing weekend ahead, its a long weekend, with trail running a plenty.

One of the big reasons I am doing this run for Lucille is that I offered her my first marathon and depending on the scale of the next “big” race/milestone I aim to achieve will be for Lucille’s charity of choice and this marathon a personal gift!

I hope that you will all support us in that drive (be it in 8 weeks or 8 months) with contributions!

Cowan House is the first 42k I will ever attempt and I am taking a bit of a jump in distance but I feel strong and pretty ready mentally!

The weather in our country has gone from pleasant to (as we say) bliksem moer cold (excuse the cursing – lightning nuts cold) so I am in for a challenge on sat! At least the race kicks off at 7am and not earlier.

Taking what the trail gives is especially important with trail running, wearing my old shoes (12mm diff) the idea of fun whilst running was indeed a far away thought and now that I am running in Zero-Drop I am quietly and calmly confident that I will achieve my goals with a smile with the equivalent to a cracking a money grin, hang on, much better than a money grin, it’s a “Trail Beam” of a smile.

I used to struggle to fall asleep before a trail run thinking about my ankles and down time for injuries which hadn’t even occurred and this doesn’t happen anymore at all. Now all I want is the freedom!

I look forward to this on Saturday, my first 42k, Cowan House Trail Run

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Runlikeamachine