Monday, 24 October 2016

Die Young - Black Sabbath

Lyric:- 'Chain the sun and it tears away, and it breaks you as you run, you run, you run' - Butler, Dio, Iommi & Ward

Song Choice:- Well ok it's a track from 1980 but I've included it into my seven special tracks from the 70's as on listening to it yesterday, it struck a real chord not only with my current situation but also with where I am some 54 years into my life innings.

You see, on reaching your half-century, it's really easy to take your foot off the gas and 'Die Young', in a kind of giving up 'cos I'm getting old kinda way. I'm not being horrible as I can see just how that happens to folk as its a trap that's easy to fall into, even if you are the most determined 'stay young at heart' people.

It's far too easy to fall into that National Trust Membership lifestyle. For some, their mid 50's now marks their retirement... What a waste! And I'm not wasting any of my time I can assure you from now on.

It continues,

'And still to think you're free' - which is a great line as it's really important to me that I still believe I'm free and far from the end of my innings, especially as I got close to seeing the bright light at the end of the tunnel recently.

In a week leading up to my first competitive marathon at Beachy Head on Saturday I'm definitely not 'Dying Young' are you, or are you dead already?

More tomorrow...

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

The Musical Box - Genesis


Lyrics:- 'And the nurse will tell you lies of a kingdom beyond the skies. But I am lost within this half-world, it hardly seems to matter now.' - Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett & Rutherford

Song Choice:- A brilliant song from their 1971 Nursery Cryme album. A really fitting choice as in less than a week, I've seen Pink Floyd and Genesis play live, and play all their best tunes too... OK it was two great tribute bands, but who cares as they were both scarily as I remember seeing the real bands way back in the 70's.

Last night's tribute band, 'Musical Box' came courtesy of some old school friends of mine whom wanted to accompany a post GBS get together, with the music we grew up on, loved and adored in our teens. For a couple of hours, we were teenagers again and sang along word perfect to a note perfect gig. Luckily for Dave, David, Simon and Phil I wasn't in the wheelchair they'd imagined I'd be in, which was a good job considering the amount of steps at the Leamington Spa Assembly Rooms.

It's funny that none of them look or seem any older and thanks for organising the surprise chaps, it was most generous of you :-)

Anyway, I find it's always good to get a good life flashback and a dose of nostalgia every now and again but I wondered which current artists will have a tribute band of their own in the future? The X-Factor winner doesn't last more than a single, so I'm not expecting to see a 'Honey Bee' in 10 or 20 years’ time but I do hope my current favourite 'Public Service Broadcasting' will have had their tunes immortalised. If you have yet to hear them have a listen here.

Maybe there's a lesson here and it's not only a case of 'That's what I call music' but 'That's what I call living' too.

What number album are you up to?

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Friday, 21 October 2016

Sheep - The Pink Floyd

Lyric: Meek and obedient you follow the leader.

Song Choice:- I chose this as my favourite track of all-time on a recent BBC6 programme I was on. I must have played it a million times over the years on Cassette, Vinyl, CD and MP3 and I've enjoyed the whole 10:20 mins every single bloody time. It's been my blog song more than any other I believe...

Why? Because it's just the best song EVER. Take a listen for yourself here and see what you've been missing, especially if you've been pretending the danger's not real.

You see, maybe it's the Orwellian Animal Farm reference or it's my own fears of becoming a sheep myself and following the crowd rather than my own heart that resonates. 

Although I shouldn't be worried because being someone that has stuck out from the crowd now for the best part of 55 years, the probability of me harmlessly passing my time on the grasslands away is now pretty slim, thank heavens.

Or thanks Psalm 23 perhaps :-)

Listen with quiet reflection and great dedication my little Lamb Cutlets

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Book and a Cover - Suzanne Vega

Lyric:- 'To paint on that pretty veneer and try to hide whatever's dirty? - Vega

Song Choice:- I've always loved Suzanne Vega and her quirky take on life. The whole folky and arthaus vibe made for easy listening back in the 80's and 90's and she produced some really memorable tunes. So, on my looking for a song about Books in my music library, imagine my delight when a lesser know Vega classic popped up, perfectly in time to illustrate my thoughts for the day.

I've just received the front cover proof of my long awaited book, 'A Rebel and a Runner' that will be out around the New Year (Watch out Amazon Charts!). I just love that picture. It encapsulates everything I'm really proud of achieving with my extreme running and I'm so glad that photographer, Mark Gillett, God rest his soul, was there to capture the moment. 

You see that's the glossiness of writing a book. That colourful outside pic that attracts folk to pick it up in the first place and then read the inside story. I wonder what folk will make of the stark Black and White text that plainly tells the nitty-gritty of whom I am with all the Good, Bad and  the Ugly bits thrown in...

We'll see eh? At the moment the final, final edit is taking place and I can't wait to see the finished book as it's been in production for nearly two years .

Unlike Vega, you'll see that I haven't painted over my cover veneer as I'm quite happy to let folk read whatever's dirty in my book.

Would you be with your life story?

More tomorrow...

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Hey You - The Pink Floyd

Lyric:- 'Don't give in without a fight' - Waters

Song Choice:- Well it was either 'Hey You' or 'Pigs' for tonight's blog following an awesome Australian Pink Floyd gig in Bristol courtesy of my 200 days' dry friend Quentin Somerset. It was SO Rock and Roll, we even had a Mocha during the interval... Seriously though it's a great show and well worth a trip down memory lane if like me you saw the original Pink Floyd 'Wall' gig at Earl's Court in 1980.

'Hey You' was just one of the jukebox of amazing Floyd songs the band could have played last night, yet it stood out for me so much as I've always thought of it as a kinda cry for help sort of song. Gilmour's softer vocals on the first two verses leads nicely into Water's harsher more caustic voice for the third and fourth, which gives it the edge that I've always loved about the track so much.

In the reality of the 'Wall' double concept album, according to Wiki, Pink realises the mistake he made in shunning society, and attempts to regain contact with the outside world. However, he cannot see or hear beyond the wall. Pink's call becomes more and more desperate as he begins to realise there is no escape.

Yikes, it's heavy but that's what interests me in today's blog.

You see, that call of 'Hey You' can only come from within. No-one else can give you that It's a frequency only you can give out and receive. I know as I've been there fingers in ears, ignoring every bit of advice that ever came my way, denying I needed any help whatsoever but ask Quentin as I'm sure he'd tell you that too.

Sound familiar?

Anyway, nearly 40 years on from buying the wall as a very young and impressionable 17 year old, the music still spoke as loud as ever. 'Hey You' is one of those songs that lyrically gives you a great kick up the backside whilst being a beautifully written piece of rock theatre. I'll admit that I can't remember much of the 1980 show but I'll remember the Aussie gig for a long time to come and also as a 'Hey You' for my mate Quentin and in celebrating his 200th day.

More tomorrow...

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Monday, 17 October 2016

Tears from Heaven - John 00 Fleming

Song Choice:- I thought I'd share Jack Coleman's favourite video of choice today. It's well worth a watch if you are 21months old and obsessed by JCB Diggers or if you are 54 and love the track that accompanies the JCB 1CX Showcase. FYI, I've narrowed the music down to 'Tears from Heaven by John 00 Fleming' but am at a loss to where can download the main track that's featured. Please if you are in the know - let me know too.

You see, I've been pretty chilled since my 26.2 mile outing on Friday and I now have a much greater awareness of where I am in my recovery to date. This track has really helped me feel that calm and given me confidence in saying that I'm 'back to being Marathon des Sables Fit'. I know I will be fit enough for the race next April. I even know I could do it right now as I know what's involved in getting to the finish line.

Don't ask me how, I just KNOW.

I also know that I'm certain that I'm in a good place to complete the Beach Head Marathon in less than two weeks time but then again that has a 9hr time-limit so I know I'll be ok there too.

Am I Al-Andulus Trail Fit? Hmm, I'm not so sure. In fact, if I'm honest, I know I'm not. I know just how brutal Paul Bateson's race is and although I could hack a day, even two, I know there isn't a week of 'Spanish Ultra-marathons' in the 'Coleman Legs' quite yet!

But it's ok, at least I know where I stand. I'm satisfied that in just a few short weeks, I've moved mountains, (without the help of the 1CXT I hasten to add) and I've pledged to myself that I'm going to enjoy the recovery process as much as I can as I add more events to my calendar to get me closer to that magical 1000 marathon target of mine.

When? Well ATM it's very open ended and I'm very much taking life, one day at a time and am going with the flow as I'm weaned off my high-dose medication and start to get used to the real pace of life, drug-free.

Yep, there's a bit of a make-it or break-it time ahead coming my way. Until then I'm going to enjoy some more 'Tears from Heaven' with Jack and that bloody video A G A I N. 

But then, why not eh?

Rory Coleman
976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Time Stand Still - Rush

Lyric:- 'I turn my back to the wind to catch my breath before I start off again' - Peart

Song Choice:- I've used this track a lot in my blogs, but why not, as I love the notion of 'Time Standing Still' and what that would mean if only it were real. Paradoxically, it feels like the complete opposite right now as it feels that 'Time' is actually speeding upLuckily though, I managed to stop the clock yesterday for 48hrs and enjoy a couple of days of running with good friends Shane Benzie (yesterday) and Mark Wynn (today). 

I say 'Running' with Shane, what I mean't was, it was me walking and running as fast as I could around a 400m track for a couple of hours, and him analysing my 'NEW' walking and running gaits. You see Shane is a 'Running Analysis Coach'. Now I'll be honest, and I'll state for the record that I believed before Shane's input that recently my walking had reached a perfect state of functionality and that I was back to my pre-GBS self and that it was my running gait that was still a bit ropey.

Well, just how wrong can you be? You see Shane has this amazing running measurement technology that literally sticks to your shins. It records just how much power and speed each of your legs is using to drive you through your whole movement process. The results were amazing in that, even though I've had to learn to walk again, I'm as still as right-sided dominant as I was the last time we measured my gait pre-GBS. Old habits die hard eh? He also pointed out that my 'Walking' gait looks like I'm still walking with a Zimmer-frame, yet my running is a lot more in control than I thought and according to the technology, far more even. 

It was most interesting and something that you might be interested in doing yourself.

I tried to concentrate on Shane's feedback on today's running and walking mission with Mark. I must say that trying to keep more upright helped keep the fatigue in my lower back at bay and even after 20 miles I was still moving pretty freely and had a lot more miles left in the tank. Considering it was only a couple of months ago when I walked that first 4 steps to today's 58,153 shows just how far I've come in such a short time. Being able to do that today - well it's a miracle isn't it?

I know it was a lot of fun, and fun is what it should be. My thanks go to Mark for his entertainment once again and I think he got more of his stories into our time together than I did for once. Anyway who cares...

More tomorrow...

Rory Coleman

976 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 MdS - 9 Guinness World Records - 8318 Days' Dry