Friday, 27 March 2015

What do you want from life - The Tubes

Lyric:- How can you tell when you're doin' alright? - Spooner & Evans

Song Choice:- From The Tubes double live album of 1978 - probably the best live album ever this track poses so many questions and always leaves me feeling perplexed.

It's a simple question really...What do you want from life? The only thing is a) We don't really know and b) It feels awkward as we have to upset a few people to get what we want - this leaves us in the proverbial, don't know what to do zone that can exist for the rest of your life if you are not careful.

It's time to grab the Bull by the Horns folks, engage full power and get what you want from life, before it's too late and the Sliding Doors have shut!

Rory Coleman - 897 Marathons - 231 Ultras
11 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 21 Years' Alcohol Free.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Laser Love - After the Fire

Lyric:- 'Now and then I think about my life, think about the way that it used to be'

Song Choice:- I'm not sure if anyone can remember hearing 'After the Fire' - I remember seeing them at University playing this one-hit-wonder of a track which you can see here from their Greenbelt performance on 1979. You can see them here still living the good old days some 30 years later along with the fans that are also reminiscing just how good it all used to be, way back then.

Yes it's so true that there are more yesterday's than tomorrow's for some of us but a lot of the time, I believe we just keep flogging that old dead horse to death. I call it 'The 1991 Moustache Factor', you know the little white one that is trimmed back to nothing that men in their mid-to-late fifties seem to have; 'The 2015 Beard Factor' of the future...what is it with men and facial hair? I was of course a convicted 'Moustache Criminal' at the time but luckily my 'Father Christmas Whiskers' are too ageing now to even consider.

Talking of ageing I did find the 'Brian May Incident' yesterday quite strange. Back in '76 he of the black curly permed hair produced the best guitar solo ever. But yesterday he transcended into political weirdness promoting a campaign to support free-minded MPs and candidates from all parties, calling it his ‘Common Decency’ campaign. Oh dear...I'd call it off Brian and your time is better spent helping people create music more 'Bohemian' and less 'Laser' in my opinion.

Then again, I suppose I live in the past those good old days. Maybe we all like to know what has happened and are frighetened of what might happen and when it all goes right for a while we like to think back and enjoy it...I do.

What year would you choose and why? Brian would be 1976 with me I bet! Life was a lot simpler when I was 14.

More from one less tomorrow, tomorrow.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Welcome to the Machine - The Pink Floyd

Lyric:- What did you dream? - Waters

Song Choice:- The Floyd at their depressing best and one of my all time headphone favourites. If only it had sounded this good back in the 70's when even Dolby couldn't get rid of the it spins my mind every time I listen.

Which didn't take much today if I'm being honest as the push and shove of another week of MdS panic hits my inbox.

They say that Knowledge is Power and Experience means that you've already learned by your mistakes. I think it's amazing how so many people do their homework on the bus and question what they are told.

I'm buying double this year for me and Sir Ran and all we have to do repack it into tiny bags. It's some expedition this year!

More tomorrow :-)

Rory Coleman - 896 Marathons - 231 Ultras
11 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 21 Years' Alcohol Free.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

It can happen - Yes

Lyric:- You can fool yourself, there's a crazy world outside, you can bring your soul alive - Anderson, Rabin & Squire

Song Choice:- I love the 1983 Yes Album 90125. I listened to it today as I cracked in yet another high mileage day. The lyrics speak volumes to me as well as to you the reader as I believe ANYTHING can happen if you want it to.

The only thing is that we put limitations on our beliefs based on previous experience that slowly numb our aspirations. Eventually this downward spiral of ordinariness makes the world very well, ordinary and before we know it life becomes a treadmill of low achievment.

No wonder so many people subscribe to a Mid-Life Crisis. I remember mine at 31 and it was more like of a  '3, 2, 1 You're back in the Room' experience if I'm being honest and I'd be interested to know if you've had or are having the same feelings.

It sort of creeps up on you and you'll find yourself speaking and thinking a completely different language to those around you, feeling lost and in need of some time out to reconsider nearly everything you do.

Don't worry though as I believe it happens to everyone, more than once. If you are thinking about running the Marathon des Sables or buying a Sports Car then you are there already!

More tomorrow...There's a Car-Azy World out there...

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Apply - Glasser

Lyric:- Opens my eyes wide, there is something in my mind, keeps me up all night - Mesirow

Song Choice:- This song was used by my good friend Mark Gillett as a backdrop to this MdS Youtube Clip. It sums up the whole spirit of the race in my opinion and when that helicopter whizzes over at 39 seconds, the hair on the back of my neck never fails to stand on end. I still have to pinch myself though as I still find it hard to believe that I go to one of the most amazing places on earth and have done so eleven many times. I'm so lucky.

It's that old Devil 'Adventure' that raises it's ugly head in me you see and it's things like the recent Eclipse that gets my old sap going especially as it was so clearly visible in Cardiff. It makes you realise that we are living on a big rock circling the sun. The Brucie Bonus for all of us is the possibility of seeing a total eclipse in the USA on 21st August 2017. Something not to miss I'd say...

And it sounds like a real date to remember!

I wonder if you have dates to remember to or ones that you can look forward to? I've got loads for a multitude of reasons - 2nd April, 5th January, 6th November & 28th August are ones that immediately spring to mind...

Without dates - There's No Fun and No Future

More tomorrow...and let me know your dates and why.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

2 become 1 - The Spice Girls

Spice Magic
Lyric:- Set your spirit free, it's the only way to be - Rowe & Stannard

Song Choice:- I loved everything SPICE and even saw them on their Reunion Tour in 2008 and they were awesome...yep you heard it, really awesome.

Anyway, I was reminded of the video today in which the girls are in real time and their surroundings are speeded up, it's here if you can't remember the one. Does your life feel like that right now? I completely get the feeling as I've experienced it myself many times over the years.

That slow-motion in fast-forward mode feeling tells me that I'm in need of a break...and eleven days in Morocco on the Costa de MdS will do nicely thank you very much. Not everyones place to unwind but a good time-out for Mr Coleman!

Ok, Cardiff was quite dandy in the spring sunshine today and the green buds of spring are just bursting into life but a few days in the 40-50 degree heat of the Sahara is sounding rather more appealing if I'm being honest and will warm my old bones quite nicely.

Where's your destination of choice and why? I'd love to know...

More tomorrow - of course I could go to Barrybados instead!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Awaken - Yes

Lyric:- Strong - Dreams - Reign - Here.

Song Choice:- Well I love a bit of Yes and from the awesome 'Going for the One' album this was most apt for today's blog.

You see it's easy to dream...and it's very easy to talk about it but doing it can be 'Simply Difficult' or even 'Difficulty Simple' as the Oxymoron in me might describe it.

What the?

Well it's so simple to fix others when looking in on difficult situations that people have backed themselves into isn't it? We all have close friends who tell you their woes and within a couple of sentences we've sorted out their lives.

Only, it's just not that easy is it if you are the one who needs fixing.

I meet folk every day in just this situation - one they might have been in for years not knowing quite how to unlock the happiness door.

And yet, for most it's plainly obvious what it is they have to do. I class it more as a 'Life Laundry' where all the dodgy bits we endure are slowly eradicated from our daily lives and are replaced by the things that really push our buttons.

An 'Inwardly External' look at our own existences always helps - if you are frightened to do this btw don't worry as you are not alone.

There are so many people on this fence, I'm surprised it's still standing. If that's you, and I bet it is, it's time to 'Toughen up Buttercup' and get the Daz Whitener out - if you need my help them I'm only a phone call away.

More tomorrow...

Rory Coleman - 894 Marathons - 231 Ultras - 11 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 21 Years' Alcohol Free.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads

Lyric:- And you may find yourself in another part of the World - Byrne et Al

Song Choice:- I bought this in 1980 when I was at Art School and have loved it ever since - it's been a kind of mantra for me as I always say you are only here once and that we have to make our mark on this world as we'll all be long forgotten when we are gone.

It's Twelve times in a Lifetime for me actually at this year's Marathon des Sables and I'm just as apprehensive as those going for their 'Once' (and if not apprehensive they are in complete denial) as this year the Sahara is going to eat everyone up and spit our what little is left of us after a colossal 260kms of desert torture.

With this in mind my 5:10 that's marathons in days has got off to a great start. 26.2 miles with Mark Wynn in the sand of Merthyr Mawr preluded yesterday's Spring Shakespeare at Long Marston Airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon the former exactly 26.2 miles the latter a rather disappointing long 26.7 miles. (My Withings making it even further at 30.43 miles!).

However the elongated Tarmac outing did give me the opportunity of fully road-testing a pair of Brooks Adrenalin GTS 4E bad boys similar to the ones I'm using in Morocco this year and I can report that I just love 'em. I just hope they are wide enough for 62.14 miles of sand as the long day is longer than ever on this 30th running of the event.

'Same as it ever was' at the MdS in three weeks it certainly isn't - The amps have gone up to 12! I've got three more marathons to whack in at this week's Jurassic Coastal Challenge to keep my count going to hit my 900th marathon on the 42.2km day on 10th April.

I'm feeling strong after this weekend but nothing is a certainty even for me and for all those 'Onces' please be careful out there. It's going to be brutal!

Rory Coleman - Performance Coach
894 Marathons - 231 Ultras
11 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
21 Years' Alcohol Free.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

On Air - Toxic Federation

Thankfully not my foot!
Lyric:- 'What have I got to do to be what I want to be?' - Coleman, Graham, Emms, Stroud & Windsor

Song Choice:- I love this track from my Son's old band Toxic Federation. Seen here at the Greenbelt Festival in 2010, son of mine is playing guitar in the white vest.

What an interesting thought, 'What have I got to do to be what I want to be?' as I'm sure the 500 Brits taking part at this year's Marathon des Sables are all probably thinking as they wonder if they've invested enough time and energy into making the finish line this year.

I'm saying this in all seriousness this year as now the super-long day is 100kms, there will be more than the normal 10% drop out rate as I believe the 'make it hard, keep it doable' ratio has now been crossed.

I remember the 2009 race cut to four days by rain that had an elongated stage of 91kms that took many to the edge and beyond that now looks quite a doddle against this year's 250+ supersized race.

Earlier on I wrote the following piece:-

Everyone going to this year’s Marathon des Sables is putting themselves in danger. Let’s face it, that’s why they’re taking part. Being extreme, finding one’s limits of endurance and escaping the repetition of everyday life is a very attractive proposition on a cold and wet winter’s evening in the UK. Running in the Sahara Desert though is far from being safe.

The heat is public enemy number one
At over 50°C (122°F) during the day it’s so hot, it practically boils you. You can feel the litres of water and valuable body salt being constantly sweated out. Every day of the race well over 13 litres of water goes in and not a lot comes out that isn't sweat. Instead you have a thirst that an ocean of water couldn't satisfy. Becoming severely dehydrated and hyperthermic (too hot) can lead to more serious and life threatening situations such as multi-organ failure and strokes. It’s dead scary!

Severe fatigue and sleep loss doesn't help either. They can lead to your mind playing tricks. In the middle of the 100km long stage that can mean poor decision making that might see you overlook things. If you forget to apply enough sun cream for example, the searing midday heat can burn your skin to a crisp in less than 10 minutes.

Don’t forget about the cold or the bugs
If the heat doesn't get you, the cold at night can. Not because it’s sub-zero at night because it’s not, it’s nearer 10°C. It’s the temperature range that is more surprising. After each stage in the early hours it’s easy to get very cold and lose the valuable sleep that’s going to help repair your body.

The creepy crawlies? Well, there’s not a huge amount of wildlife out in the sand but there are some rather angry looking scorpions that can give a race terminating sting if you aren't vigilant in tipping your shoes out before putting them on in the morning. I've yet to see a famous camel spider, but they’re a mean looking bug that’s really fast on its feet…

With all that in mind, you also have to manage your body’s slow decay as it loses about 5kgs of bodyweight during the week. It’s also a constant battle to try and stay clean and hygienic. There are no flushing loos, showers or washing facilities to keep stomach bugs at bay.

And then there are blisters
The biggest terror is of course the terrible blisters that the race is so famous for creating. In a few short miles the sand can turn perfect looking feet to ones that look as if they've been on a bacon slicer.

It makes you wonder why people would want to place themselves in such danger. Every aspect of the race is super hard. Yet only 10% of the runners each year drop out. To me it’s amazing how people overcome all the obstacles that the race throws at the - they become their own real life 007s. Sir Ranulph, a proper 007, has made a career of overcoming such perils and he’ll be there at the finish line I’m sure. After all, he’s Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and ‘danger’ is his middle name.

Reading my words back even I think it sounds bloody terrifying and I do hope everyone is safe this year including yours truly.

Another day in the sand might well help tomorrow!

More or maybe less then!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Diary of Jane - Breaking Benjamin

Lyric:- Try to find out what makes you tick - Klepaski, Fincke & Burnley

Song Choice:- This bands really new to me and what better kick ass track to sample as an entree to all things BB. Take a listen yourself.

'Finding out what makes you tick' - I do this every day and I love that aspect of my work...Yesterday was 'Tick Overload' as I was introduced to 35 would be students for this year's Dixon's Carphone Average to Awesome Campaign PLUS I coached BBC Reporter Vassos Alexander in preparation for a Sub 3 marathon and the 100km Race to the Stones.

See, I told you it was busy...

In three hours the 35 had to become 12 it's amazing that in such a small group of people that there was such a diversity of characters and sadly we couldn't take all of them as they were all such lovely people - genuinely lovely and I'm not just saying that.

The 'Lucky' and I say 'Lucky' will be told today that they are to return next week for the start of the programme and have the opportunity of a lifetime to potentially become the people they've always wanted to be.

Yikes! That sounds dramatic but it's true, just like I did back in 1994. My job now is to see how much 'Tick' they've really got in their 'Tickbox'.

As for Vassos, well he had loads of 'Tick' as you can well imagine and I'm going to really push him to a sub 3 marathon and beyond.

You can follow all of their progress right here...

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Domino - Genesis

Lyric:- 'Play the game of happiness and never let on' - Banks, Collins & Rutherford

Song Choice:- Probably the best 'Live' Genesis you can get. Well of the later stuff anyway and a great film on Youtube too if you want to see a great gig...

Anyway, if I ever get to finish my book you see where the above lyric fits into my way of thinking. You see I believe we spend ages searching for our own personal Holy Grails. A 'Product X' which is going to make all our dreams come true, that elusive Lottery Win which will bring us endless wealth to enable us to buy all the things that we've ever wanted, to do all things we've ever dreamt of doing...

Only it doesn't work like that, especially if you are 'Playing the Game of Happiness' that Collins sings about in the Domino song. Life's timeline is a Domino Principle Extraordinaire and everything we do has a direct effect on the next thing we do or to those around us. That makes finding the elusive 'Happiness' even harder to find.

I found my 'Happiness' on a self built Desert Island where all I had to do was to run and run until I couldn't run anymore. It really sorts out your shit, loads of you are trying to do that by running the Marathon des Sables or hundreds of other long distance races out there; so much so that my island is now over-crowded!

I'm wondering if it was better when less folk new about ULTRA-marathon Running back in the Good Olde Days...

Maybe the folk who are the Happiest are the ones who have never let there's a thought.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Anyway - Genesis

Gabriel Giving the Porsche Salute
Lyric:- O boy! running man is out of death - Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett & Rutherford

Song Choice:- Ok, I listened to a lot more of The Lamb today and 'Anyway' is one of my all time Air Guitar Classics, which of course I play note perfect!

'Anyway', (there I go as it's one of my favourite words), 'Really' is another and 'Definitely' is too (even though I always spell it wrong when I type it). You see we are all creatures of day isn't complete unless I write a few lines of a Blog connecting allowing me to connect to the outside world and I've got a hundred other things I feel I have to do each day that make me feel better about myself.

So yesterday's rather sullen entry reflected just how tired I felt but a good night's sleep and with the knowledge of the long day of the impending Marathon des Sables being 91km+ gave me the kick up my fat arse I really needed.

That immediately focussed my thoughts and tonights 3.5 easy miles was one of my most enjoyable runs I can remember.

Let's hope it continues eh? And hopefully, 'You'll see me Stretch'...

Anyway - more tomorrow.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

In the Cage - Genesis

Lyric:- Like I just rocked my baby to sleep. I got sunshine in my stomach. But I can't keep me from creeping sleep - Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett & Rutherford

Song Choice:- From The Lamb lies down on Broadway, the best Double Album ever, with the deepest note on any song ever to rattle my double glazing, this track is more than apt for how tired I feel today. Take a listen here.

Yes three week old, little Jack Anthony Coleman (it's official tomorrow) hasn't got sleep perfected yet and there's a certain feeling of zombieness going on in my head right now.

You know the feeling, the world is going at 90mph and you are trying to run alongside in your custard filled Wellington Boots. It won't last forever but right now I could sleep on a washing line.

Following a weekend of strenuous Dune and Mountain Running you will no doubt understand why I'm clocking out at 9pm tonight to get some more well earned shut-eye.

Some times you have to do that rather than soldier on,

Have you been in the same boat?

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Depeche Mode - Barrel of a Gun

Before and After Gahan
Lyric:- 'Set upon weary feet' - Gore

Song Choice:- One of the Essex Boys best offerings and I've always loved a bit of Depeche Magic - especially in the Vince Clark (he of the Erasure Keyboards), early days of the band.

It does underline my thought of the day that everything goes through a process of change. 

A lot of change if you check out the above picture as in the case of Depeche Mode, Singer Dave Gahan he went from being a super cool looking, squeaky clean kind of chap to become addicted to heroin and reputably cheat death no less than four times and look like death itself.

Funnily enough his life experience improved the tunes and if you listen to the 1997 album, aptly titled ULTRA or watch the video you'll see what I mean. Luckily Gahan survived and will be 53 in May.

Life's a journey and it's easy to take the wrong path and waste time trying to find your direction again. Makes you think eh? 

Finding out who you are is really important and I'm not saying it has to be as drastic as Gahan but it's worth a thought.

Have you got weary feet?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Slave to the Rhythm - Grace Jones

Kicker Rory Gonzalez
Lyrics:- Work to the rhythm, Live to the rhythm, Love to the rhythm, Slave to the rhythm - Woolly, Darlow, Lipson & Horn

Song Choice:- Yesterday's A View to a Kill starring the rather strange Ms Jones, reignited my appreciation for this amazing 1985 song. Just how many great songs did Trevor Horn write that year. (No answers on a post card required, as it was lots!)

Anyway, amongst a crowd of MdS Runners this weekend, we were lucky to be joined by one of my Super-Kickers Rory Gonzalez from Dusseldorf, Germany.

When I say Super-Kicker, I mean a real Super-Kicker as only a few know how old she really is and about her personal journey. I've coached her for over three years now and during this time she's kicked out a 3.32 marathon...Now this is where the rhythm part comes in as we spent a couple of hours chatting during our transfers from sand-camp-mountains.

We spent most of that time discussing the 'Rhythm of Life', as you can't spend every day running up sand dunes, climbing mountains or running 3.32 marathons. What you do have to do is get all the different aspects of your life playing the same tune, in time. And that's the part that's so difficult to get right.

As Eric Morecambe once put it...'I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order'. Well it's a bit like that, all the parts of your life are functioning correctly but your planets just aren't aligned and very easily everything gets out of tune.

All that's needed of course is that swift kick up the proverbial and a quick shock from a De-Fib to make it all get back in sync. And that's the tricky part...

It's one where we have to be honest, with ourselves and question if we are setting a rhythm we can maintain and can live to it or we are just as Grace Jones so nicely puts it, 'Slave to the Rhythm'.

Which are you? Kicker or Slave? Rory - She's a Kicker of Course!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Love like Blood - Killing Joke

Lyric:- The life is short, I'm running faster all the time,
Oh, we must dream of promised lands and fields.

Song Choice:- Coleman, Ferguson, Raven and Walker

It's been a great weekend of Marathon des Sables training down in the sand dunes of Merthyr Mawr and the mountain tracks of Pen Y Fan. It was tough stuff too as with only 34 days to race day for some it was their first venture into running with what one person said was like running with wellies full of custard.

Getting blown inside out at the 886m summit of Pen Y Fan was a sharp reminder to me what lies in store again for me this year. I wonder what my group thought about their trip to MdS altitude!

The 'Life is too Short' lyric from Killing Joke (1985 really?) is a bit of a running theme for me but rang true this weekend as more and more folk are finding it harder to get the TIME to do the necessary training to get to the finish line in one piece. Sure they'll buy all the kit and heat acclimatisation sessions BUT it's the MILES that count...

Life is all about investment - you get out what you put in.

Are you putting it in? Are you getting anything out? Now there's a couple of questions to ponder.

More tomorrow...