Sunday, 25 September 2016

These Days - Take That

Lyric:- 'Tonight, tonight we'll remember - We'll remember these days - Barlow, Donald, Owen, Mark & Norton

Song Choice:- I just love Take That and in 'These Days' they are quite happy to take the mickey out of themselves in what's actually a great pop song. Not taking yourself too seriously always helps in my experience. Take a listen here and see what you've missed as I love it's sheer positivity and hopefully you will too, as it's that positivity that I'd like to tap into for today's blog.

You see, negativity can just seep into all aspects of your life, when you are least expecting it. It can come from family, friends and colleagues in all manners of forms but mostly it comes from within. 

How many times have you entered a race, full of energy and enthusiasm and got to race day totally deflated thinking 'Whose bright idea was this one?' Well it was yours you dummy and yes of course it's good to challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone etc BUT I wonder why folk set themselves challenges that they are just not suited for. Over a couple of years of non-achieving the negativity eats away at your confidence, it's like 'Running Kryptonite'.

What I say, is concentrate what you are GOOD at. If you are fast, get faster. When you perform, perform to the best of your ability. It feels AMAZING when you do. If your boat like mine is to run long, run even longer. Set up your own multi-day race on your own route, to your rules and specifications. It's an unbelievably positive experience - I know as I've done it, many times over.

Even if you are overcoming injury or illness you can still be really positive about your progress and recovery. Look at yourself and see what you can improve on when you get back running? Where are you going to race and make sure your 'Kevlar Armour' can fend off the doubters?

If you need inspiration, take listen to 'Take That' as we'll all 'Remember these days'. Keep that positivity going and enjoy your running as I'm loving mine atm...and I'm positive about that.

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
8299 Days' Dry

Friday, 23 September 2016

Running up that Hill - Kate Bush

video
Lyric:- 'Do you want to feel how it feels?' - Bush

Song Choice:- This is one of my favourite Kate Bush tracks. Can you believe it's from the 1985 'Hounds of Love' album? I bought here whole back catalogue a couple of years back now and it's well worth going back and taking a fresh listen to as it's still as fresh as the first time I heard it, way back when. Try it in headphones, it's cosmic.

It's also the track that comes to mind when I'm doing my hill reps. It's always been a tough session too, going up and down Leckwith Hill, in Cardiff eight times. I can't say I've ever looked forward to doing it, but I've always enjoyed the feeling when it's completed and the results of the training.

Anyway, yesterday I really enjoyed 'Running up that Hill', just the once. Running alongside Jeff 'Big Moose' Smith, made it even more special as he's been so supportive during my illness and there was no way I was going to give up running all the way to the top in front of him, even if I'd wanted to. 

It wasn't fast, it wasn't pretty but who cares. I did it!

The 77 minutes Jeff and I spent running together, marks my longest run to date and I'm not feeling the effects too much today, so I'll be out there again in the Cardiff sunshine enjoying my new found running freedom. Knowing I can run anything now.

You never know, I might even go and run up Leckwith Hill again.

Oh, how does it feel? Bloody Marvellous! That's how it feels...

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathons - 9 Guinness World Records
8297 Days' Dry
www.RoryColeman.co.uk

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Time Was - Wishbone Ash

'Time Was - George Best'
Songwriters:- Powell, Turner, Turner, Martin & Upton

Song Choice:- Taken from the 1972 album ‘Argus’, this 9.42 minute track is simply awesome IMO. It’s a shining example of the twin-vocal, twin-guitar fashion of the day. ‘Time Was’, offers more than all of this though, with it’s amazing lyrics and if you are struggling atm with everyday living, it’s well worth a listen. Only bear in mind that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done so far in your life, it’s what you are going to do with it, that counts. I'm living testament to that one...

The song starts, ‘I've got to rearrange my life, I've got to rearrange my world.’ - Sound Familiar? It continues, ‘I've got to keep my memories aside, I've got to try to live again.’ - Hmm, this is getting spooky now…

It gets spookier still, ‘And there's a time for waking up, and feeling down. That’s when you have to pick your feet up from the ground. It's not so easy, to just change your way of living.’

And that’s my point, It’s not EASY! II believe it's more SIMPLE…

Two completely different things.

If it was EASY, well we’d all be living amazingly perfect lives because all of our problems would just be a simple fix. Thing is, you have to work away at life’s problems…you know, chip away at them. Slowly, carefully and in time if you are lucky, you might get there. However, if you treat them as being SIMPLE, well then things get fixed a whole lot quicker and in my experience, stay that way for a whole lot longer, if not forever.

I’ll explain. A SIMPLE way of changing the way you live is to try and fix just ONE thing that is currently making life unbearable. It doesn’t have to be the ‘Elephant in the Room’ sized one, it could be a minor bump on an otherwise smooth life journey that maybe only you know about. Try it. Pick one yourself and have a go at eradicating it from your life. Hopefully you’ll find out that the process is SIMPLE and then pick off other character traits that are also driving you potty or to depression.

The interesting thing is, you will fix something. And that something you’ll find, only matters to you. At the end of the day - it's your shit and you are the best person to get yourself out of it.

The Wishbone Ash track finishes off with…

‘The crime was, I couldn't start to change my history' and it would be a shame not to change your history in the future eh?

More tomorrow…

Rory Coleman - 976 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8295 Days' Alcohol Free.

Monday, 19 September 2016

When the Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin

Lyric:- 'Don't it make you feel bad'

Song Choice:- This is my favourite all time Zeppelin track and one I've run to many a time. I listened to it today as I headed to my first consultant's appointment, (on foot of course) thinking about what I've achieved over the past few weeks; and then over the last 22 years. I've got a few more years left in me yet apparently.

Anyway, neither's been easy. Over-coming serious illness and addiction takes a lot of self discipline, yet we live in a strange old world where some little white tablets can bring mobility to life and where we let the stupid people at Tesco sell wine into our already struggling alcohol abused society, for less than £5 a bottle.

Now I know we live in a world of choice but we've been getting the idea of slamming the £'s onto cigarettes for sometime now and I reckon it's time for the cheap drain cleaner, the Supermarkets are pushing in every last corner of their stores, to get the same treatment, don't you?

Two bottles of wine for £9 - It's a joke!

What would be good is for one of the big players to stop selling both Alcohol and Cigarettes. How mighty would that be? You know, stand up for once and make a difference to society. I wonder how long it's going to take?

My lifetime? Your lifetime? The limited lifetimes of people who rely on buying this cheap shit? When's that LEVY going to break eh?

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Marathons - 9 Guinness World Records - 13 Marathon des Sables
www.RoryColeman.co.uk

When the Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin

Lyric:- 'Don't it make you feel bad'

Song Choice:- This is my favourite all time Zeppelin track and one I've run to many a time. I listened to it today as I headed to my first consultant's appointment, (on foot of course) thinking about what I've achieved over the past few weeks; and then over the last 22 years. I've got a few more years left in me yet apparently.

Anyway, neither's been easy. Over-coming serious illness and addiction takes a lot of self discipline, yet we live in a strange old world where some little white tablets can bring mobility to life and where we let the stupid people at Tesco sell wine into our already struggling alcohol abused society, for less than £5 a bottle.

Now I know we live in a world of choice but we've been getting the idea of slamming the £'s onto cigarettes for sometime now and I reckon it's time for the cheap drain cleaner, the Supermarkets are pushing in every last corner of their stores, to get the same treatment, don't you?

Two bottles of wine for £9 - It really pisses me off!

What would be good is for one of the big players to stop selling both Alcohol and Cigarettes. How mighty would that be? You know, stand up for once and make a difference to society. I wonder how long it's going to take?

My lifetime? Your lifetime? The limited lifetimes of people who rely on buying this cheap shit? When's that LEVY going to break eh?

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Marathons - 9 Guinness World Records - 13 Marathon des Sables
www.RoryColeman.co.uk

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Summer of '68 - The Pink Floyd

Lyric:- 'I felt the cold far too soon - the wind of ninety-five' - Wright

Song Choice:- A very hippy, Beatles influenced, track from The Floyd and a rare solo effort from Richard Wright. It's one of my favourite earlier songs from the Atom Heart Mother album of 1970 recorded at The Abbey Road Studios. Stick with it and enjoy the 'Summer of '68' again for yourself here.

Funnily enough, I can remember that summer really well and if you are a wine buff, you'll know just what a vintage year it was and if like me you were 8 years of age or over, you will remember the Football World Cup in Mexico, or the Apollo 13 mission, perhaps. We've certainly had a few summers' since and it's a time of year I simply love, yet missed out on this year as you know... until this weekend.

You see, it's just been simply glorious down here in Cardiff and I've finally been able to get out there and enjoy the 'Summer Sun of '16' delivering some well-earned Vitamin D onto my rather pale old skin and bones, down here on the beach in Porthcawl. 

For me there's just magical about the beach. Maybe it's harkening back to summer holidays spent in the mid '70's spent getting frazzled on Pendine Sands as they were great family times, who knows. They are etched into my mind anyway and being on the flat sands at Rest Bay yesterday reminded me of the 'Summers' of '75 and '76', in particular. 

What scorchers...

Anyway, Wright's lyrics cover a broad span of time and funnily enough, the 'Summer of 95' marked my introduction Ultra-Marathon running. A 33-miler along the Grantham Canal on the August Bank Holiday weekend. I just had to Google the weather on the day as I couldn't remember what it was like - but it was 'Cool and Dry', so there you go.

Gosh, thats 20 year's ago and I wonder what 'Summers' we have lying ahead of us? I know for sure that I don't want to miss out on another one. Being inside, when the world is going on outside just drove me potty. Or pottier!

So there's no time to wastes and this afternoon, is another opportunity to get out there and enjoy another few hours of this 'Indian Summer' before it gets blown away. I suggest you get out there too and enjoy it whilst you can.

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
www.RoryColeman.co.uk

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Learn to Fly - Foo Fighters

Lyrics:- 'Looking for something help me burn out bright' - Mendel, Grohl & Hawkins

Song Choice:- I thought this track from the Foo Fighters would highlight my thoughts on learning today. It's a great track and I love Grohl's attitude to music in never giving it less than 100% - a man after my own heart...

Anyway on the subject of learning, you might have come across the concept that if you give something 10,000 hours of your time, you'll master the skills needed to become an expert in that field. Simplified, Malcolm Gladwell's famous theory says that people aren't born geniuses, they get there through effort, something I totally get. Vince Lombardi's famous quote 'The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there,' only adds fuel to the argument. However, there are folk out there that just love to point out the anomalies to the 10,000 hour rule for some reason, highlighting people that have succeeded without putting in the necessary apprenticeship. I get that too but there are always those that have natural talent. Some of us have just worked really hard at things...

I reckon I've done my 10,000 hours of running over the years and I'd like to think I'm an expert. It certainly helped me in achieving my Guinness World Records, yet it hasn't made the fastest runner or won me any Olympic medals. It helped my enjoyment yet I could have been better and maybe that's where I got it all wrong.

Looking back, I could have invested some 10,000 hour chunks into playing a musical instrument, learning a foreign language or even learning to fly. Having tried all three, when I was younger, I quickly found that on setting out on the learning process, I was light-years away from where I wanted to be and promptly gave up. Maybe you've been there too.

Yet I've got it right without even knowing it. Looking at life in general there are areas where I've obviously clocked up the hours and hadn't noticed. Driving is one of them and thirty years on from passing my test, I would say I'm an expert. I'm sure like me, you've driven miles on automatic pilot without a care and a million miles from that first jerky driving lesson perhaps.

You see it all comes down to experience and there's no substitute for investing time in something you want to succeed in. If you believe in the 10,000 hours' theory, maybe becoming an expert at something will actually take you a lot longer than you think. However, don't be downhearted as investing even half of that will get you to a really high skill level, so there's hope for us all.

It might be worth a thought on where you could invest your time for the better... I can still learn loads I know, what could you learn?

More later...

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 9 Guinness World Records - 13 Marathon des Sables
www.RoryColeman.co.uk