Friday, 9 December 2011

Consumerism sinks to new lows2

This is again from USA, Black Friday bargain hunters, people desperate to buy cheap trinkets and baubles and other meaningless STUFF/CRAP. I think Black Friday is the day before Thanksgiving. These people should look at this photo and be embarrassed but they wouldn't be embarrassed and that's part of the problem.

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Consumerism sinks to new lows

A recent beat-down over a pair of high-priced Nikes was captured on video. The incident took place at Dean College, a small school just outside Boston. The school expelled the attacker, along with eight others who witnessed the daylight assault. According to Boston.com, "The fight began when a group of male students confronted another male student over a pair of sneakers, said Franklin Deputy Police Chief Stephen Semerjian. 'It began with a sucker punch so the victim really had no idea,' Semerjian said." Adding insult to injury, the assailant also hit the victim with his own Nikes, then walked off with them.

I have also heard of people being mugged for their shoes.

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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Overdone the running

I had to walk home from run this morning. I had soreness on the outside of my left foot just before the heel. I ran a timetrial on Sunday and ran hard and had sore legs on Monday but still managed my Tuesday run and it was quite good. I have often run on legs that are a bit sore after a race I find it helps ease the soreness. I walked the chilfren to school wednesday and legs were getting better. But when I started my run this morning I could feel the discomfort but I felt it a bit after my timetrial I thought I could run it off - however 40minutes into my run it was getting worse - so I walked the last 20minutes. I walked the children to school 2 hours later and that seems to have helped. I think the reason for the soreness was the timetrials (like solo races) and I got carried away as my speed was starting to come back. In hindsight I should have known 18months no running + about 3 months return to running usually = injury shoes or barefoot. However in my defence my right foot is perfect. I have been thinking for a while my right foot is stronger than the left and I think I've got proof.

Moving forward when I return to running , I'm going to miss a few days, I'm not going to do any more run timetrials this summer and that means no triathlons. I had been thinking of not racing because my running was too slow by my standards who would have thoughts no running for 18 months = loss of speed. One of my many problems is that I am an eternal optimist which often clouds reality and this is why I was doing timetrials so I get an accurate picture where I'm at and now I know.

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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Swimming PB dealt a blow

All my times and data recorded from swimming in Pandora's are worthless.

After my time trial on Thursday, which was ruining by kids in optimist yachts sailing right me, I went for my normal Sunday swim straight 1000m swim between the bouys that are the furthest apart (3 and 1) to find that bouy 1 at the far end of the pond had been moved right into the farthest corner adding a significant 50m - 75m to the length. The day before there was a half-ironman called ironmaori targetting pacific islanders and maori to get motivated to improve their health. And it is very successful but it does mean a lot of morbidly obese people donning lycra, etc And although I understand the reasons I don't think it is healthy. Anyway back to swimming. The Sunday morning was the club's first Shed2 series race in the pond and comparing peoples swim results between that and the Icebuster(both supposed to 750m) all the top swimmers where about 1min -1.30min slower. I was 4min slower for my easy 1000m.

So it looks like the swim bouys have been reset acurately and that means my PBs I had set were not PBs for 750m which is a bit depressing that I'm not as swimming as fast as I thought I was but in reality everybody is in the same boat and I'm still in the same position time wise compared to my competition. So if racer A swims faster than me by a minute that doesn't change he will still be about a minute faster than me.

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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Dr. Terry Wahls gives a TEDx talk on how a Paleo diet cured her MS.

Dr. Terry Wahls learned how to properly fuel her body. Using the lessons she learned at the subcellular level, she used diet to cure her MS and get out of her wheelchair.

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Friday, 25 November 2011

A post about Teresa's running

Teresa had been seeing a physio about a niggle in her ankle that came on whilst running ages ago, no cause just started. She was in conventional very supportive running shoes. My theory is that because she almost always wears very flat shoes, sandals, flip flops (almost zero drop) and never wears heels, I think the wedge sole of the running shoes has caused the problem. For a good many years she hasn't been able to run more than 25minutes without some sort of discomfort afterwards. Yet when she first started running she could do 8-9miles. I think that like with my own plantar fascitis problem the problem built over the years of running in 'running shoes'.
So skip forward to the present day. We have just bought her a pair of Intuition zero-drop running shoes by Altra from naturalrunningstore.com/ and although they are not minimalist (they have a thick sole) they aren't cushioned and are zero-drop, with a wide toe box. They are a transition running shoe and they come with 2 footbeds one has a little support and the other no support.

What Teresa like about these are they very light, attractive (she chose these blue ones) and unlike my runamocs they look like regular running shoes.

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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Another post about running

My new triathlon shoes

Inov8 Bare xlite 150 zero drop racing shoes

Bought from naturalrunningstore.com/. The lightest, most minimalist shoe in the Road range. Quick lace and perfect for race day. The 3D Air Mesh upper is tongue less and stretchy to ensure a secure, comfortable fit.

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Friday, 18 November 2011

The video Sealord didn't want you to see.

Share this to stop Sealord using destructive fishing practices

Take one random floating object, attach a radio beacon so you can find it again, drop it in the ocean and return later with a giant net and scoop up everything in sight. That's how much of the world's tuna is caught - inlcuding the tuna sold by Sealord in NZ - using fish aggregating devices (FADs) with purse seine nets and it's a recipe for disaster. This footage was given to Greenpeace by someone inside the tuna fishing industry who'd had enough of the destruction.

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Thursday, 17 November 2011

New swim PB

This is the reason my garden post was so brief... I just swam a new pb. 11.24min. But what makes it better is that it was in really rough conditions. The longest stretch was into a very strong wind and waves and the rest it was side on wind and waves some of the roughest I've experienced on the pond. I've also had a tiring day : ran 20min at 5.30am , walked the children up the hill to school, I then walked back up to coach the 2 cricket teams (beginner grade that play Friday afternoons) and then back up the hill to pick Emily up from school. I would have normally had the car for cricket and then gone to swim at the pond but Teresa needed the car to transport children to the same pond for optimist yachting, so I had to go at 5.30pm and I wasn't feeling to good.

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Quick garden post

I need to take some photos of the new garden detailing the changes we've made and what we have growing in the way of fruit. We have planted for this summer and are growing successfully:garlic, tomatoes, beans, peas, courgettes, celeriac, beetroot, pumpkin, radishes. Herbs:basil, rocket,oregano,majoram, rosemary and mint which is taking its time. The soil in the old hoses garden wasn't very good, it was very hard and we didn't do a lot to improve the soil by double digging but are new garden we have raised beds existing and one I built we put in our own organic compost, horse manure ,organic sheep pellets , I even dug in left over fish carcasses and on top of all this we bought some very nice top soil.

I do plan to take some photos now I can face working at the computer but I can only do an hour and half 2 hours max.

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Thursday, 10 November 2011

This mornings run...

It was good to be running...even in galeforce winds and rain. I love running in tough conditions especially when I have denied running for a long time. This was my thoughts after starting to run after my arthritis had left me almost crippled. Not doing it makes you appreciate it more.

I ran(jogged concentrating on technique) for about 52min around the base of Napier Hill, along the coast line to Ahuriri and then home, I thought it was going to take me an hour. Not sure of distance, I'm goiing to measure it later but it is approx 10km because there is an organised 10km race that goes round the hill. This isn't bad considering that until the last 2 months I hadn't run for 18months. The barefoot running has definitely made me want to run..I was up at 4.30am ready to be out the door for 5am. This was my second run of the week.

I was thinking about the similarities of being a improved swimmer and the aids I am using to correct my stroke. Would there ever be a time (apart from the pond) could I ever swim without them. I concluded that as a person recovering from a poor swimming technique addiction is like being a recovering addict of anything - I will always be recovering and can not let up on technique work ever. NOTE: I know other addictions are way more serious and health threatening and not to be taken lightly.

I had planned to blog about our garden which I haven't done for yonks but I had running on my mind.

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Friday, 4 November 2011

Straight from Chris McDougall's blog

Lost Secret of Perfect Running (or, Ever Wonder Why Running Shoes Always Get Great Reviews?) by Christopher on November 2, 2011

This Sunday, I have a story in the New York Times Magazine which reveals the secret of perfect running. It’s a drill from the 1800s called “The 100 Up,” and after months of experimentation, I’m convinced it’s foolproof.
Check out the story here.

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Swimming update

It has been a while since I've treally had anything to write about on the training front. Because in reality the training is boring. It is about the next pedal stroke or progress in barefoot ruuning or the same old technique work in swimming - nothing really changes. But the summer racing season is upon me. I had identified last summer that because I wasn't racing(adjusting to barefoot running) I just trained through without the stimulus and break from routine provided and I raced best when I rest a lot. So I introduced my timetrials in all 3 disciplines every second week to imitate racing a lot.

This week was my first timetrial around the course in Pandora's pond (I do 700m and exclude the 50m beach start). I was as nervous as before a major race - fear of not swimming well. I had swum 12.17min on the exact same day as last year just a month after stasrting back open water swimming and just exclusively technique work all autumn, winter , etc. After months of swimming hard intervals between the bouys in the pond my final timetrial last year (I only did 2) my time was 11.20min and it felt comfortable. This week I did in 11.13min and it felt easy. So I'm gradually going to go harder and harder. In training I am still working on my fitness and I'm doing an overdistance swim (1000m non-stop) and then I will start doing harder intervals. I just want to see how fast I can get I'm hoping for 10min this summer. 10min for 700m. I'm dreaming of 9min the following year.

After that result I feel completely relaxed , I can still say my weird way of re-teaching my body to swim is working and at times I don't see a limit to what I can achieve then sometimes the little voice in my head says improvement can't go on forever. But most of the time my dream of being 1st out of the water is alive and still is the most important target for me

I'm adding a running target I want to beat my running pb of 1.16.xx min set for the half-marathon in 1994 when training for Ironman Lanzarote and this time doing it in minimalist running shoes.

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Thursday, 27 October 2011

The healing powers of barefooting

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I also want to do this... eventually


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Still in recovery mode

Still recuperating but back doing some work and enjoying the lifestyle I signed up for : time to read a book, practice the guitar(sometimes twice a day), play with the children and train. Each year I have a period of intense work for a few months just to ensure that I have enough money earned for the year and then I can relax. Although this time I think I overdid it.

On the training front I'm up to running 3x a week of 6km each time in my runamocs 2mm sole no insole. I only have slight discomfort on the inside of my left ankle. Last Saturday I ran(not a race) the 4.5km run route of my local sprint triathlons. About a third of it is on flat but very stoney trail which was a bit too much for me in my runamocs and socks but once on the road section heading towards the finish I really started flowing and was running quicker. I was 10min slower than I have run in a race but the that was mostly tip toeing throught the stones on the trail


I'm really in a positive frame of mind and hope to be racing on the 4 December although it depends on my swim times in training. I've been back swimming in the pond since the 1st Oct as usual and it just didn't as cold this year and my feet haven't been as cold (they are generally warmer and that is down to barefooting). I have my first time trial first week in November and if the signs are good I'll race - my goal is to only race if my swim has continued to improve. My ankle weight is up to 1.5kg when swimming in the pool and when I first swam with that weight and the balls in my hand I thought it was a challenge too far but het 2months later it is still hard but my body has yet again adapted. But this week I am swimming 6 times 3 pool 3 pond and I've noticed by the end of each session it is a case of survival.

Every second week I am doing a time trial on the bike on the turbo and then practicing flying mounts and dismounts. The idea of timetrials every second week is to imitate racing a lot (when I raced my best I raced a lot). And true to form I had a disppointmenting time trial last Sunday and as a reulted I got annoyed with myself so I ramped up my training this week and it was fantastic. And that is also how my racing used to happen in my best seasons start with a few bad races which fire me up for the rest of the seasons racing and training. So we shall see

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This is what I'm trying to achieve

KARLYN PIPES- NEILSEN FASTER FREESTYLE

Mechanically perfect, Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen is a 4-time World Masters Swimmer of the Year, Hall of Fame inductee and has established over 200 world records.

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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Whew! Computer makes me sick.

I'm just getting through a 3month period of work where at the end of it the thought of turning on the computer made me feel sick. 2 weeks into recovery and I'm slowly getting back into it. I am working a little bit each day on different client's work. It could have been worse I had a couple of clients who are struggling to get their content to me, another who usually has a lot of input but he is very busy so I'm slowly working on his. And I quit another job completely because 2 weeks into the project I saw that the client and I were on a different wavelength and I didn't have the energy to try and persuade. I'm not taking on any new clients now until maybe December or January which gives me to time to finish a few jobs and do work for existing clients.

I took on a lot because it came along and to guarantee having the summer off but there is no point if I make my self sick in the first place. And to be honest for most of it I enjoyed being really busy and having a variety of projects and my skills became better .. but you can have too much of a good thing.

I plan to do an update of training and plans to race soon

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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Quick note


Still here. Still very busy

Running is going well. Short runs in the softstar 2mm runamocs at 6am 3x a week. Really concentrateing on posture, form and technique. It is working - at children's hockey today I was barefoot and had to run back to the car over a mixture of concrete, asphalt and grass. It was fantastic and easy and comfortable , it was my longest completely barefoot run

Spent the morning at Hockey the mini-sticks, Cameron's team which I help coach are doing well winning their third match out of four this term 8 -2 and Cameron scored. Last week they played the the best team in the tournament for the third time and lost 10 goals to 5 but to put this into some sort of context, in their first meeting we lost 15 - 0, second game 7 - 0 so we are really pleased with progress. we face the second best team next week.
Emily has started playing and after very little practice with the team. In her first match she only touched the ball once and she knocked it out. Today in her second match she really contributed and help set up one of the goals. She is really starting to get used to the speed of the game. The rest of the team have played about 12 games. They won their game 5 - 3 only their second win (5 - 0 the other one) both wins were with Emily playing.

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Blown away by Alistair Brownlee

here he wins London




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What I've been doing...

I was just about to do a spot of work when the feeling that I had abandoned the blog a bit too long hit me and all work and no play makes me grumpy.. Been the busiest time for business, I seem to be churning out design after design(my best work) implementing more elements of html5, css3, re-designed my content management system. I didn't enjoy it so much over the recent school holidays and because I was doing the last 5% on a larger project which I always find tough.

I am reading Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte the next challenge how to design websites for screens that are getting larger and handheld screens that are getting smaller. Re-reading Good Calories, Bad Calories. Reading Vol2 of The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade

My ankles have been great especially my troublesome right ankle. I started to do some short jogs/drills 5 days in a row. But I developed a tender spot in a new spot on my left ankle bone, so despite feeling like I went to everyday and everywhere, I'm taking the sensible option and let it come right. I also had to to massage my plantar ligament with a ball because after jogging it tightened up because it still isn't quite strong enough yet.

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Friday, 22 July 2011

Feet feel great

Should have mentioned feet feel great and I have been doing so short jogs. I am hoping the moment I've been waiting for has arrived and that my feet and ankles have finally clicked into place and they are fully recovered from conventional shoes and orthotic. Touch wood!

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I'm still here

Just to let the world know I'm still here, still training but been to doing a lot of work. And any spare time has been spent with family as it is the school holidays. I have worked more in this holiday than any previous holiday

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Friday, 24 June 2011

On a road bike...

It's not every day that you see a carbon road bike being used as a stunt machine -- hopping over boulders at the beach and styling it up at the skate park.

British trials legend Martyn Ashton does just that and more in his latest video, The BikeRadar Roadie.

The clip sees Mountain Biking Hall of Fame member Ashton hit the tarmac on his carbon Raleigh Avanti Team on his way to the UK's premier bike festival, BikeRadar Live -- which took place on 10-11 July.



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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Stopping stretching and Squatting technique

After reading some stuff and then this by the Sock doc, I've abandoned stretching after 12 years of almost daily stretching. Although I have been building up the amount of time I sit crosslegged and squatting because sitting in chairs is not good for us


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Patrick Sweeney running on the track barefoot and in Luna Sandal's, filmed in Slow motion.


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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Barefoot/ Minimalist shoeing 12 months

Although I had started down the ditching of conventional shoe before this today is my 12month anniverary of ditching conventional footware only going barefoot or wearing minimalist shoes. And I was rewarded with the sorest ankles and feet I've had for about 6months. In fact it was only last week I had been saying that the good periods were easily much longer than the occasional sore bits and I even jogged home from school with Emily last Thursday. Thet have settled down again but I am getting a sore little toe on my right foot.

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Taking a few days off training

All the signs were there: tiredness, grumpiness, not sleeping well and feeling better during and after training especially on the bike. I needed sometime off. I've only missed a couple of bike sessions and the occasional swim (either children off sick or pool closed) for almost 12 months. And I've really been enjoying it especially the bike. I swam Monday but I'm not doing any training until I do my 30min test on my turbo Sunday morning. Taking time off is always hard. I didn't want to break my streak of almost unbroken training and now I've decided that I'm enjoying it. I can't just blame the training I've been working hard and speding a lot of time with Cameron and Emily

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Monday, 20 June 2011

"Barefoot is Best", by VIVOBAREFOOT Kids

A clever advert for Vivo 'barefoot' shoes from the UK. I would buy these but they are very expensive. We bought Emily and Cameron some zero drop canvas shoes at the weekend. Cameron's has quite a nice wide toe box Emily's weren't quites as good in that area but they are much better than the alternatives and sometimes in real life compromises have to be made.

VIVOBAREFOOT kids - Barefoot is Best from VIVOBAREFOOT on Vimeo.

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Friday, 10 June 2011

little movie about a ticket for riding abike not in the bike lane


This explains why it isn't illiegal

New York bicycle rules

Note the exception listed in the first point:

§ 4-12 (p) – Bicycles

• Bicycle riders must use bike path/lane, if provided, except for access, safety, turns, etc.

• Other vehicles shall not drive on or across bike lanes except for access, safety, turns, etc.

• Bicyclists may use either side of a 40-foot wide one-way roadway

Ignorant cop.

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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella on the science and the art of barefoot running

A brief video developed by Dr. Mark Cucuzzella on the science and the art of barefoot running and what we are trying to teach- a Barefoot Running Style. For more information see Two Rivers Treads Center for
Natural Running and Walking Site www.trtreads.org


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Friday, 27 May 2011

Head position in the water - Gary Hall senior explains

The text of the article is below the videos and it explains the reason why I swim with a weighted band on my ankles because if I don't get my head down I can't swim.

This video is part two of the article

Nearly every swimmer, good or not-so-good, who has visited The Race Club camp in the past several years has shared one common problem; the head position is wrong. After watching countless heads bobbing up and down, waves crashing against the forehead as the swimmer plows through the water, I have come to an almost undeniable conclusion. The human head must be made out of cork.

Or there may be another explanation. Perhaps swimmers really like to see where they are going. The fact is, if you swim in a pool like most, with 4, 5 or 6 swimmers per lane, circling around the black stripe on the bottom, hoping to avoid a fatal collision, you will swim defensively, just like everybody else, with eyes looking forward.

The problems with that head position are two. One is that by looking forward, you create a nice surface (your forehead) for the bow wave to strike you as you move forward through the water. At the speed you swim, how significant can that be? Significant. Surface drag (or wave drag) has been shown to be an important component of the three drag forces that slow us down. The other two drag forces, pressure drag and friction, also play important roles. Surface drag is important enough us humans that a really good kicker (ie Lochte, Phelps, Coughlin) can go faster underwater (for a fairly short distance) with just legs in a streamlined position than they can on the surface using arms and legs (in a less streamlined position). Surface drag has much to do with that fact. When you swim with your head down and in the correct position, that bow wave goes right over the top of your head and all that slowing energy passes you by. When you body surf, going out through waves, it is best to dive deep under the wave. Same thing applies when you swim.

The second problem that lifting the head creates is that is takes the entire body out of alignment. In order to swim at our fastest capability, the human body needs to remain as straight as possible. Please do not confuse this with swimming flat. We want the body to rotate along the axis of our motion. We just don't want the body to be curved along that axis. By lifting the head, our hips automatically sink down. For the swimmer who uses a steady kick, the lifted head creates the 'hammock' position of your body with feet and head at the surface, but hips below. The position is even worse for the swimmer who has no kick, as the body takes on a slight incline from head to toe, perhaps 7 to 10 degrees, as the swimmer labors through the water.

We have all tried pulling a kickboard sideways through the water and know how much drag force that creates compared to keeping the kickboard flat. Trying to pull a 5 to 6 foot body at even a 10 degree incline will add a tremendous amount of frontal drag to our effort.

This week we have the USA National Team for Open Water training with us in Islamorada, preparing for the upcoming World Championship and Olympic Trials in June. Of the four swimmers here, it is interesting to observe that they use three different styles of freestyle technique. Alex Meyer (World Champion in the 25k swim last year) uses a hip-driven technique, pushing his hands out in front with a slower stroke rate than the others. Of the three girls, two of them (Christine Jennings and Emily Brunemann) use a symmetrical, fairly fast shoulder-driven technique, while the youngest (Eva Fabian) uses a fast hybrid technique, holding in front a bit with her right hand on the breathing side. The opposite hand (left) makes a quicker catch and a slower recovery as she takes her breath to the right. She is using Michael Phelps' freestyle technique in fast motion (with respect to her stroke rate). I bring this to your attention merely to remind you that in swimming, there is not one technique that is right for everyone. When talking to Alex later, he claims he really uses three different techniques in any open water race, starting or making a move on the field with more of a shoulder-driven and finishing the race with a hybrid technique. However, the two things that all four swimmers do have in common are that their head position was correct, looking down, not forward. Second, they all swim with extremely high elbows underwater (early vertical forearm). Check out part two of the video series featuring these athletes and spotting drills for open water.

In open water, when the visibility may be measured in inches, what is the point of swimming with your eyes looking forward? At the start of the race, it may be to keep from getting mauled. In the middle of the race to avoid jellyfish, big globs of seaweed or swimming up someone's back. Some may justify it thinking that it is easier to spot from the head up position than from the head down position. Whatever your reasoning might be, I am here to tell you it is not worth it. I will take the jellyfish sting any day over having to plow through a mile or two in open water with a higher drag coefficient. For spotting, lifting your head from the correct position (down) as opposed to the wrong position (looking forward) is not much harder.

As for the pool, for those who wonder how they are going to manage to navigate through a workout with their heads down without getting smacked, I tell my swimmers the following. Lead your lane… Or if you are not fast enough to do that, leave 10 seconds (or more) behind the swimmer in front of you. Stay as far to the right as you can in the lane. Pray a lot. But keep your head down… Even on the turns. It is faster and easier.

Yours in swimming,

Gary Sr.

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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Meat glue? What the...?

A similar story recently aired on New Zealand tv. This video aired on Australian tv .

Mark from Marksdailyapple.com voices his opinions here and I agree especially about the deception involved. I buy my meat directly from a small beef farmer Cilla Verry and a local organic meat producer, so I know what I get is not glued but I do buy steak in restaurants now and again and that leaves me concerned.

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The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization

This research paper somes up the argument to stop eating crap and eat real unprocessed food and stay away from fructose and every other sugar.
click download article for the full 20 page pdf underneath the abstract. pdf here

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods.


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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Worst mistake in the history of the human race

Just been read this about the worst mistake in the history of the human race - agriculture download pdf

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Cameron's first hockey game

I almost forgot Cameron played his first hockey game(6 and 7 year olds) two Saturdays ago and his second was the Saturday just gone.

Scores were secondary to having a lot of fun but in the first they lost 12-0 and the second 8-4. But considering all but one of the team had never played a match before they did okay.

They train on Monday's afterschool with another parent and I have just started helping mainly because I am there anyway, as a teacher I can help her be more effective with her coaching because she kept repeating herself over and over and the children being children weren't focussed, she wasn't doing anything wrong in fact the hockey stuff was great there is a skill to teaching that has to be learnt. So on Monday I asked her if I could give her some advice in that department and she seemed really rleieved and said that in the 3 weeks she had been doing it her control seemed to be getting less as they got used to her.

When children are well managed they learn more and the coach/teacher has an easier time.








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Slacking off.

I've been a bit lazy recently although some of my laziness is connected with a mild case of food poisoning and a a cold that's left me feeling run down, and I could still train in fact riding my bike made me feel better.

You found this by Steve Jobs co-founder of apple

This article

Political scientist James Scott has been delivering a series of lectures on the domestication of man via grain and government. his and other great lectures can be found here


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Friday, 22 April 2011

Learning to play guitar

I don't know if I have ever mentioned that I am a completely musical dunce. However that is changing - Emily is having guitat lessons at school through an independent guitar tutor and Teresa and some of the other teachers are also havin lessons paid for by the school as part of their professional development. Teresa plays piano, clarinet, recorder to a very high level and has tried to learn guitar before but struggled. But this time the guitar tutor Jason ( plays in a well local covers band Naked Gun) seems to be just what Teresa needed. Both Emily and Teresa are enjoying great success and I was prompted to have a go. I'm not having lessons I just started going through the well known songs and chord sheet, Jason had provided, and started having a go 30 minutes everyday. For 2 weeks I kept it completely secret but I felt I needed some help from Teresa so I told her. I'm finding it quite addictive and have almost the same sense of enjoyment as when I am front end coding a new website. The only downside is my arthritis in my left wrist plays up the morning after and this is what stopped me learning the guitar on a previous occassion.

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Thursday, 14 April 2011

The secret to faster swimmimg - cutting drag trumps power.

The secret to faster swimmimg - cutting drag trumps power. Do this by using a high elbow stroke. I'll let Gary Hall(snr) explain here video on Slowtwitch

Text version

How to pull underwater in freestyle.

Many freestyle swimmers might not think they have a choice of how they pull underwater.

"Don't you just stick your hand in the water and pull back?" one might reason. "You mean we have options?"

The reality is that there are huge differences in how you pull underwater with your arm; differences in power and differences in frontal drag. The problem is that as you go from one extreme position to the other extreme arm position under water, you either gain power and drag, or lose power and drag. So, like so many aspects of swimming technique, the underwater pull involves compromise. The question is, which way is best?

First, what are the options? Assuming one does not pull like a grandmother, with the elbow leading the way as the arm moves through the underwater part of the cycle, then one can either pull with the hand/elbow deep (more straight down) which inevitably results in the underwater pull with the hand somewhere underneath the body. In this case, the elbow will bend, but not until the arm has reached a 30 to 40 degree angle with the line of motion and by necessity at this point, the hand goes under the body, while the upper arm points more or less straight down. Because this pulling motion is the most powerful motion one can achieve (positive shoulder angle), it is also the path most often taken (over 90% of swimmers pull this way). After all, if it feels good, do it.

Now, contrast that motion with the motion that most world-class swimmers use to pull underwater. In this case, which represents the other extreme arm position, the pull is initiated not by pulling the arm down, but rather by maintaining the elbow very close to the surface, beginning the pull by dropping the hand/forearm below the elbow (early vertical forearm position). Then, once the hand is nearly directly below the elbow, a quick sweeping motion of the upper arm is made to the side, maintaining the elbow as close to the surface as possible, as the hand finishes the pull and releases. Using this high elbow motion reduces the power one can generate with the pull because it puts the shoulder (at the beginning of the pull) into a negative angle, when coupled with the necessary body rotation. So if this motion reduces power, why does it appear to be preferable to the deep elbow drop? This motion also reduces frontal drag, and in the world of swimming, drag trumps power.

In order to understand how this motion reduces frontal drag, consider the following. First, the magnitude of the drag force is amplified greatly in water over air. Second, the shape and velocity of the object in motion (as well as the medium (water)) largely determine the drag forces. Surface material properties also play a role (shaving, wetsuits and body suits) but aren't quite as important for arm motion. The human swimmer is one of the few objects that drastically change its shape as it moves through the water, mostly as a result of the arm pull. To understand drag, one must first understand what is happening with the motion of the entire arm through the underwater pull cycle.

Today, a world-class woman sprinter will swim 50 meters in 25 seconds, averaging 2 meters per second. How fast is her hand travelling during the underwater pull? Most people think faster. The truth is that her hand enters and leaves the water in nearly the exact same place. In other words, the net velocity of her hand through the entire underwater pull is zero. (It is more complicated than that, but for now let's assume the hand doesn't move). If the hand is not moving forward then it makes no contribution to frontal drag. What about the rest of the arm, how fast is it moving? Well, the upper arm is attached to the body, so that part must also be moving forward at 2 meters per second. As we move down the arm, the average forward speed of the arm gets slower and slower. In other words, the upper arm, which is the largest part of our arm, moves forward (average speed) faster than the lower arm. Both of these features of the upper arm cause it to contribute more to increased frontal drag. The upper arm is the 'bad cop', producing most of the drag. The lower arm is the 'good cop', producing most of the propulsion.

When considering the drag forces that result from different ways of pulling with the arm underwater, one must really concentrate on what is happening with the upper arm, more than the lower arm. It turns out that when one decides to pull deep with the pull, the upper arm gets off axis immediately and the drag coefficient of the swimmer skyrockets. Pulling with the early vertical forearm position keeps the upper arm more in the line of motion of the swimmer at the beginning of the pull. When the swimmer is finally forced to sweep the upper arm to the side for the recovery, the upper arm remains in the unfavorable drag position for a shorter period of time. Remember, tenths of seconds in unfavorable drag positions are enough to nearly stop us in the water.

The truth is that neither way of pulling is ideal, since both cause significant increases in drag. Humans were not engineered well for swimming, so we do the best we can, given our tools. By pulling deep one will increase the frontal drag more, causing the body speed to slow by as much as 50% in going from hand entry to the underwater hand position just in front of the shoulder (slowest point in the stroke cycle). By pulling with the high elbow (early vertical forearm) the speed will still drop during this phase, but perhaps by only 30%.

Pulling with a high elbow not only reduces frontal drag but also helps us obey the law of inertia by not varying our speed as much through the stroke cycle. Whether you feel less strong in the high-elbow position is not as important as the net result - faster swimming and less fatigue. If one practices swimming with an early vertical forearm, one will eventually get stronger in that position, more comfortable with it and improve even more.

To help you get more acquainted with the high elbow underwater pull, we have created a video with some of our favorite drills for learning this technique link http://www.theraceclub.net/videos/secret-tip-how-to-pull-underwater-drills/.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Big fan of Peter Reid Former ironman world champ


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Needed a break from work

Even though I only work in my business for between 2 and 3 hours a day I get really fed up and tired. Sometimes it can be clients, othertimes I feel creatively drained. And if you add my fulltime job of being a stay at home dad I feel wiped out. I'm going through one of those moments right now, some clients just seem like too much trouble for too little reward so I got rid of them. They didn't pay for some of my services on time (for the second year in a row) but this time I just couldn't be bothered to chase them. And it made me feel better. I broke a piece of one of my teeth and I had to go the dentist. Ihaven't been for years and was worried that I would get pressurised into 13years worth of dental checkups which would cost an absolute fortune. I needn't have worried 15 min and no pressure later I was done. And that made me feel better. But what was the best was taking a few days just to catch up on mostly client unrelated work. I think a few more days like those before launching onto my next project. And next week is school holidays so we can break out of the routine and have a break.

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Friday, 1 April 2011

Emily's first triathlon in pictures











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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Training update

Back in the pool buiding up to 3x1500m wearing a 1kilogram ankle weight. 1x500m of balls in hands, 1x500 with no cheat catch up (catch up with stick in hands), 1x500 with paddles with only finger straps. Today I managed 3x200 (the 200 as 4x50). Training on the bike is more sprints in 53x12 and starting to buildup my long Sunday rides slowly up to 3hours again. Every 4th Sunday I'm doing 30 min timetrial on the turbo, it will break the routine and eventually get me ready for racing ( again doing something I've been avoiding over the years but I know I should be doing it).

The only downside has been my ankles, hips and legs have all been sore not sure why some is because of the minimalist shoes but some have been caused on the bike. But I don't know if they were also caused by the changes I've been experiencing in the minimalist shoes.

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Relearning how to run - drills


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Friday, 18 March 2011

An even prouder dad

This coming Sunday I may possibly burst with pride or be at risk of having my face split in 2 by a extremely large smile . What you might ask could cause this paternal pride? My Emily has entered her very first triathlon - a sport I have been enjoying for over twenty years.

I was saying to her the other day that she is already, at 8 and a half, a better swimmer than I was when I started triathlon in my 20's

Next Friday after cricket she and a friend are doing a dance in the school talent competition. Sometimes I can't believe how much self confidence, self belief and an I can do anything attitude she has - the way I see it she is going to unstoppable.

Cameron who is 6 is reading chapter books on his own - he has discovered Zac Powers please tell tell me boys don't like to read.

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Taubes' book refine my thinking

Taubes' book and the Primal website had me questioning things for a long time now. Now having read the book for myself there is even more to think about and as a result I am re-drafting my own thoughts and re-fining my opinions. And in some cases helped make sense of stuff I've always thought. A really good example of this is exercise and why I do it. It always makes me feel better - as Teresa can attest if I have to miss a training session I'll be like a bear with a sore paw. It makes me fit. But I never really saw it as away of losing weight - I did think of it as a sort of by-product of exercise.

It the book it says that you can't exercise to lose weight because if you burn energy the body will need to replenish that energy. And (I don't do this) most people replace it with convenient junk food and because they think they deserve for being good by exercising they actual have way more than the exercise they've actually just had - so in effect they are now worse off. It is Taubes (backed up by real scince in his book) the only way of losing weight (or getting to and maintaining your body's ideal composition - which is different for everybody) is eating when hungry food that your body actually needs , which excludes anything with refined carbs and sugar in it.

In short ... exercise to keep your body fit and strong...eat to maintain the optimum body composition for your body. Or if you aren't at the optimum then eat natural foods until your body finds it.

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Intermittant Fasting

I can tell I've gone fully Primal because of the sense of fullness and larger periods between eating. I am now only eating 2 meals a day. Main evening meal with family usually at some time between 4.30pm - 6pm. Then my next meal is breakfast/lunch at around 9am. Then on Saturday I wasn't eating till 11.30am and still wasn't always hungry. So this last weekend I decided to eat when I was hungry, I finally ate at 4.30pm 23hours later and then I wasn't really hungry but I was cooking yummy steak and red wine sauce for the family and couldn't help myself.

I finished the Gary Taubes book Good Calories , Bad Calories. I found it hard to understand in parts. But my final takeaway from the book is that with the inception of carbohydrates especially sugar and other refined carbs into the western diet a whole plethora of diseses happened. Including obesity - which is not caused by overeating but overeating caused by getting fat. The body's main source of fuel is fat and if it doesn't get any intake of fat it creates fat from other sources including converting carbs and then stores that fat. Carbs also don't make you feel full so you eat more and eat less fat (the bogus low fat diet) and the cycle goes on.
Of course this is my clumsy simplified explanation. I did know all this from the gary taubes video and the Primal website.


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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Cool new vibram fivefingers website

You are the technology .com

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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Swimming time trial 5thMarch

I nervously went to Pandora's on Sunday to swim a timed lap of the course. Not quite the full course as it normally starts on the beach. I timed myself at the beginning of the summer at 12.17 for approx 700m which was really good for me, and demonstrated all my technique work was paying off , this time I did in 11.20 a 57sec improvement. However the best bit was how easy I swam - it demonstrates all my hard work on technique and hard intervals in the pond was paying off. I'm starting to feel like a real swimmer. I plan to do another one in a month which will be my last open water swim for the summer. I have been swimming 3 times a week in the pond and as much as 5 times a week altogether. On my neat time trial I want to try and get close if not go under 11, so I've got to push it towardsthe end but not try too hard.

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Making jerky/Biltong/dried meat

I finally got round to making a Jerky maker, I've had the instructions for a while but never got to make it. However because I have gone fully Primal and wanting my children to have a Primal snack for school I decided last week to give it a go because it was expensive to buy and I wanted to know the ingredients. So I made it from a cardboard box and a light bulb on the Saturday and by Wednesday we had dried meat, Jerky if you're American, biltong if you're South African. I buy delicious locally grown, grass fed beef from the lady who produces it , she only slaughters 10 cows at a time (we also buy her eggs). And it is better than shop bought.













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Thursday, 3 March 2011

Attempted Homicide Charge for Driver Who Hit Brazilian Cyclists

By NY TIMES
3/2/2011

A car deliberately plows into a large group of cyclists in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, injuring at least 40 people, some of them seriously. The ride was organized by the group Critical Mass, which advocates cycling as an environmentally friendly form of transportation. The driver, held by police on a charge of attempted homicide, says the cyclists threatened him. The lead investigator on the case calls his claims “fanciful.”

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Friday, 25 February 2011

Good calories bad calories

Finally got my oen copy of Good calories, bad clories by Gary Taubes.

I couldn't get it locally or the library so I got from Amazon and because I don't like spending money and don't want birthday presents (1st March, 44 thanks for asking - the only difference between 44 and 24 is the amount of responsibilities) so Teresa is going to wrap it up just before my birthday and the children are going to give it to me as a present. They don't know I'm already reading it, I just couldn't wait.

Actually reading it does really re-inforce the feeling I have that we have all been lied to about food and I feel the same way about shoes. Governments, doctors, scientists, podiatrists are supposed to be people we trust the big shoe companies on the other hand we should have known...and I think deep down I did (always the question why change the shoe model every year?)

On a more positive note - I feel very much in control of pretty much everything what would make it even better when Teresa leaves teaching and has more time to do the stuff she wants. ...I may be restarting learning to surf, I am making friends with one of Cameron's friends dad who surfed and he has offered to take me with him when we can. I mad sure that he understands I am a beginner and probably only ever stood up on a board 3 times and that was 9 years ago.

I'm looking forward to it.

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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Eased up on the cycling

I have decided to ease up a bit on the sprints on the bike on the turbo for a few sessions. After I finished Sunday's road ride , I did 30miles , my left thigh and hip were sore again and I decided to do some lighter stuff until it gets better. I have been avoiding this for the last few months but as I have no races comong up and want to race next summer missing a bit of ycling noew to get it better makes sense.

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Ankle improvement

My weak ankles are showing signs of improvement. When walking down the hill(down steps) from taking the children to school in my huaraches, that have previously caused tenderness, I found myself bounding down them today and no discomfort - I enjoyed it.

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Sparkle loses his manhood

We took Sparkle to be de-sexed in order to help stop the spread of unwanted kittens. The vet was so so polite CASTRATION. I felt bad for the cat and it made my eyes water but despite seeming a bit tired from the op he looks like he will be back to normal soon.

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Friday, 18 February 2011

Exercising naturally


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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Emily's first cricket match and her first running race.

Last Friday saw Emily play her first game of Kiwi cricket - an eight side junior version of cricket. And this coming Friday her second game and I've agreed as a parent to umpire/score (it seems quite complicated) but the teacher in charge Ruth is going to help me this first time.





I forgot to take my camera but on Tuesday, Emily ran in a 2km race the Bluewater Inn races that Teresa and a colleague have been doing the longer 5km. Emily had a blast. I was very proud and when she told me she wants to do her first triathlon I almost burst. She is aiming for the Ironkids race at Oceanspa put on by the local club.


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Barefoot run update and other training.

It's on hold since the children and have returned to school, I've had some ankle tenderness from walking down the hill. And I'm doing extra walking.

The thigh strain I picked up from doing sprints on the bike - it actually came from experimenting with shoe cleat position and then sprinting - is getting better

I'm winding down the length of my Sunday ride I did 40miles Sunday just gone. and I'm only swimming open water in the pond over the next 4 weeks with and without wetsuit.

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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Chris McDougall - Talk on Ted.com

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Monday, 7 February 2011

Cameron's party

We had Cameron's birthday party on Saturday, 9 boys aged nearly 6 and 6 , easiest party ever. Cake didn't go according to my overcomplicated plan. More on this soon...

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Suday training

It has been really hot this last week. Hawkes Bay usually has great weather but it has been hotter than usual especially at night which has meant less sleep.

Yesterday it was in the low 30 degree celsius pretty much all day. Usually when I set off at about 7.20 on my bike it is cool and gets hot during the ride yesterday it was hot from the start and when I got back I really felt it.

I headed out to Waipatiki beach up the Pacific Coast Highway(I love saying that, it just sounds cool). I remembered to take Teresa's new camera, much smaller than our old one, and took a few pictures. There were a couple of big climbs and I took a photo at the top but unfortunately it doesn't really show the height.

In the afternoon we headed for the Pond and it was pretty busy I wasn't sure if I was going to swim but after Teresa did some without a wetsuit, I decided to give it a go. I did my normal 4lengths of the pool without the wetsuit which is the first ever open water swim without one. I can't really compare my times to swimmimng with a wetsuit because I swam much more conservatively but it would appear that wetsuit is still faster. But now I've got some times and got more confidence I'm going to swim sans wetsuit next Sunday if it is as hot.

This had been a challenge I set for myself for next summer but now the challenge will be to swim in a less protected part of the ocean to one of the farthest bouy and back. But I may even get that done this summer... who knows. These are big for me because I still sort of regard myself as poor swimmer but hopefully that is really changing.



Heading towards Waipatiki Beach (over the headland in picture)

Looking back towards Napier

Looking back towards Napier on top of the headland (I know it looks flat believe me it isn't)

Waipatiki Beach - stopped for toilet and water refill.


Really hot and sweaty and Emily immediately wanted me to play a game








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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The party invitations...

I made these during the holidays to give out on the first at school, yesterday, his party is on Saturday.



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And before I forget....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAMERON

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I said I would do a bakugan cake...

The plan is not to make a shaped cake this year for Cameron's birthday cake but to decorate it with a Bakugan theme. More information on the Bakugan website for those who don't know what they are. So I decided to buy a simple cake and decorate this year, that will be a huge challenge. I'm making a pattern which I am going to lay on top of the iced cake, carefully with a toothpick trace the shape of the pattern and then go over it with icing pens (designed for the job) any way that's the plan..watch this space.


The research


I think best by doing



So far so good


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Photos of raised veggie bed

I had help from my assistants.










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The Big Bush read

Was the holiday reading programme at the local library. The children to 4 report backs about books they've read and get a prize and an invitation to the finale. For the finale they were encouraged to go as something from the bush. Cameron went as a tree and Emily as an exotic flower.





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Monday, 31 January 2011

Found a flaw in my bike training

I was feeling a bit fed up about Sunday rides when I realised what I needed was a bit of a change. This year I had been picking an area and then doing several weeks riding in that area. So I went back to an old route that I had done early in the summer along Puhetiri RD towards Rissington (a school, a few houses and farms), the bit I knew had a few hills but nothing too hard. This was going very well until I reached Rissington and then had another 10miles before turning round and coming back. I prefer doing out and back on my own and it is easier if Teresa ever has to come rescue me.

I had planned to 47miles and it was taken forever to get to 23miles, it was pretty much uphill into a small headwind all the way. The conversation in my head was going along the lines of I'll cut it short and say that the hills made it longer,etc This argument was backed up by the fact for the last 2 months I had been riding mostly flat. The only thing to be said for continuing was the benefit from not quitting and smug satisfaction of finishing my longest and hilliest for a long time. And that is exactly how I felt when I got back home after completing it. In fact I realised that it had taken less out of me than some of the flatter rides riding into a headwind on the way home for 20miles, but I have always preferred the variety hills provide.

After a quick shower, watched Emily and Cameron perform a dance (I had to pay 20cents for the pleasure) and then went and get on with building the raised veggie bed. Went swimming in the pond and would have set a pb(pr) if some idiots had stolen the club's bouys.

Next post garden photos and the new raised veggie bed built with my two helpers.

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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Holiday is over

Had a 2 hour chat with one of my clients discussing the future direction of his online business we went full circle about selling/not selling through his websites. We concluded that he already used trademe (like ebay) and uploaded all his product info there and didn't have time to put the same info on his other websites so I would act like his IT department and he would pay me to do it

It was a good meeting and like most of my clients we get on really well. But there is a lot work to do and it begins tomorrow. After I finish reorganising all the images on my brothers business website. He asked me to add new stuff but I couldn't till I'd sorted out the mess the cowboys had made - it's like being a forensic webologist tracking down all the photos. And in the afternoon I have a prospective new client who needs a rush job. There is a good chance I will get the job if I want it as I already did a website for her husband.


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Teresa away on a conference

She is spending 2 days in Rotorua at a teaching conference, the whole staff have gone. She went at 3.30pm Wednesday and will be back about 7pm Friday

She didn't mind going and they were told that it replace the normal teacher only day but she was told/reminded this week that despite going to the conference they would still be having a teacher only day on the Monday before school starts. The management are pretty bad at communicating and often say one thing but change their mind at the last minute.

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Monday, 24 January 2011

Banana tree 2011

The banana tree really struggled in the old house's garden and used to get mown over when Teresa cut the graas. I rescued it put in a pot and now it is blossoming kept on the covered deck(almost transparent roof.




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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Torrential rain ruins training plans

Normally on a Sunday is my long bike ride followed later on by 4x250m(approx)hard in Pandoras Pond which after Fridays swim in the pond when I set a pb by 22secs for that session I was expecting another pb however the weather has spoilt it.
Ihad 47moles on the road planned for the bike and normally a rain doesn't stop me but we are in a real tropical that tends to last 3 days and it was just too heavy to go out. I did an hour of hard intervals on the turbo instead.

Training has been very consistant since our return from the UK in July, I don't know if it is the lack of running that has given me more energy or the right level of effort on my mid-week bike sessions but I have hardly missed a session and had no easy/recovery weeks. That have been some weeks were I haven't wanted to train but I make myself start the warm up or even have a longer warm up and that felt fine. Yesterday I did my short barefoot jog in heavy rain and my ankles are feeling a little sore but I felt no tiredness and was looking forward to today. It is almost I have passed through a stage were my body has adapt4ed to the hard work. A bit like this guy Paulo Sousa (a former coach of Simon Whitfield) talks about. But we shall see.

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Saturday, 22 January 2011

Belated Christmas Post

Just realised hadn't even done a Christmas post. We enjoyed a really quiet one. I cooked a turkey(free range) with lots of trimmings for the first time and I was really pleased with it.

For the second year we made our Christmas cake and this year I made my own almond icing and royal icing. It was fantastic - I saved up all my carbohydrate allowances(I eat a very low carb diet)for a whole month to enjoy it.

But the real hilite this Christmas was our adopting a kitten from the SPCA. Emily chose the name and then we found a kitten to suit and we definitely found the right cat for us. Meet Sparkle the newest member of the family.


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New shoes

I just bought some RunAmoc-LITE minimalist running shoes to use when the weather gets coolernot just for running but walking in. Altough this guy at Barefoot healthy goes barefoot in the snow. They have 2mm vibram sole and are made from sustainable sources in America by Soft star shoes.

Above is a picture of the Runamoc LITE but with the heavier 5mm sole and once you get used to the appearance they are great, very comfortable but I haven't worn them properly yet as it is still hot summer at present. They remind of the leather running pumps the elite runners such as Bannister, Lovelock, Brasher, Elliot all used to run in , before Bill Bowerman's invention running shoe and the start of Nike, except with a wider toebox for proper toe spread.



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Friday, 21 January 2011

Fiddling with the look of blog.

Please be patient with any problems, after redoing Teresa's class blog I want to do my own but as with all design ideas for myself I have too many ideas. This time I am going to persevere.

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Raw milk

Since I gave up being vegetarian we started buying organic milk, but even this is pasteurised so I found a localish supplier of organic raw milk. It tastes great, very creamy and works out cheaper than supermarket bought organic milk. However you have to join their milk club because like it is in other countries it is illegal to sell raw milk to the general population.

And it is this joining the club where the farmer has in my opinion failed in the business sense. I have been trying to join before Christmas paid my joining fee and for a week of milk upfront, filled in forms, etc No response, tried phoning - no-response. I don't understand as a small business owner selling a specialised product to a niche market, you just can't afford to waste an opportunity to get another customer. Or so you would think. I've asked for my money back but no response.

The organic shop has a sign on the window for raw goats milk - I may try that next.

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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Feet

I have a habit now of looking at people's feet, looking for healthy feet.

Emily's feet - she hardly ever wears shoes, if she does they are flip flops or sandals and she can walk on sharp stones, that hurt my feet, without a problem.


My feet - both of these photos taken about an hour after our 7min barefoot jog, my feet are always veiny, Emily cut her jog short I think I'm going a bit too far and fast for her and I think she finds running for the sake of running boring. That's another lesson - children run for fun in games but hardly ever just run to run.





Join the movement and we'll start a revolution - stop all unnecessary shopping - separate your needs from your wants.