I’ve been trying to get a running blog up and going for a while now – it’s just something that I’ve been putting off, preferring to go out and run for a couple of hours instead of putting my running into words.
About a month ago, I had an epiphany on my long run…the words Trails ‘n’ Ales popped into my head – I guess I was just thinking about my post-run beer (I do that quite often!)… and that’s how this blog came to be!
I have been playing around with the blog set-up over the past couple of weeks, and had aimed to get it up and going last week, but unfortunately due to a family illness, things had to be put on hold.
I guess things happen for a reason…if I’d launched this blog last week, I would have been talking about preparing for “just another event”, going into the weekend. With the delay, I am now writing as a first-time race winner, having crossed the finish line of the 2016 Trailsplus Brimbank Park Urban Trail Ultra (50km) in first place! My first ever race win (actually my first podium…straight to the top!) in a time of 4:17:27!
Anyway, more to come on that later, in another blog post.
So, why start a blog? Isn’t it enough just to post photos, results and little event recaps on Facebook & Instagram? Well, I personally love reading blogs by other runners – both elite and everyday runners – and it helps to inspire and motivate me, especially those runners who I can relate to. So, my hope is that this blog does the same for other runners, and that they can use it for inspiration – to know my story and see how far I’ve come since I started running and give them hope that they can also dream big and achieve big goals.
I consider myself an everyday runner – nothing out of the ordinary and certainly not elite. One of my favourite hashtags is #ordinarypeopledoingextraordinarythings – which I believe is what I’m trying to do. I set myself big challenges and look to push my limits, trying to find out what my body (and mind) can achieve…it’s amazing what you can achieve when you set your mind to it!
For a long time, I classified myself as a front-of-the-midpack runner – behind the front runners but towards the front of the main pack. I didn’t exert 100% energy all the time, often running in 3rd or 4th gear in some events to run a controlled and unassuming race. I used to be satisfied with finishing in the top 20%-30% of the field.
More recently, I’ve had to admit that I may have started to move from the front-of-the-midpack to the back-of-the-front runners – putting in more consistent efforts and putting 100% efforts in all of my races. I’ve always had the endurance but I have been working on my speed and pacing in recent times, which has seen me creeping into the top 10%-15% in some races. I will be writing more about the changes that I have made in the past 12 months in some upcoming blog posts.
It hasn’t always been like this…if you check out my About section, you’ll read about my struggles early on…just like most runners when they start out. Starting to run through necessary (for weight loss, after blowing out to 76kg when I usually sit around the low 60’s), I found a passion for running that I never knew existed – now, I wouldn’t know what my life would be like without running!
Why Trails ‘n’ Ales? Apart from trail running, and going hand-in-hand with it, is my love for food and beer, specifically burgers and craft beer! For those who know me well, it has become my trademark post-run meal (#runreward #runrefuel), and more often than not, I will get more “Likes” for my burger & beer pic than any of my actual running photos! Frequent comments on my running pics along the lines of “looking forward to seeing the burger pic” and “where will he get his burger today, and what will be the craft beer of choice” are quite common nowadays!
My philosophy is, run hard and reward yourself! My reward of choice is a burger and beer – for others, it may be your favourite smoothie, donuts, chocolate…whatever it is, it gives you something to look forward to after a big effort! Another couple of hashtags you’ll quite often see on my instagram posts are #thisiswhyirun and #beeriswhyirun. Just keeping it real and down to Earth – I run so I can enjoy the things that make me happy!
So, welcome to my blog – I hope you get something out of it, even if it’s just a bit of enjoyment at my unique sense of humour (think dad joke meets stand-up comedian), but hopefully it gives you a little bit of inspiration, either in running or some other aspect of your life!