Tuesday, 29 September 2015

When I met you - Banks

Lyric: - 'Everyone knows I'm right about one thing' - Banks

Song Choice:- This song goes perfectly with the 10th season of the hospital show Grey's Anatomy, which has some great characters and life lessons we could all learn from sometimes...The following quote from the script is a wonderful passage in itself and one well worth mulling over, maybe listen to the song as well if you have time here.

Quote:- 'We're all gonna die. We don't get much say on how or when, but we do get to decide how we are gonna live. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? kinder? more compassionate? Decide. Breathe in...breathe out...and decide.' - Richard Webber - Grey's Anatomy Season 10 - Episode 1

And if you are one of my regular blog readers you'll know just how much I write about making your time here on this amazing planet just as good as you can make it.

On reading the quote, I'm sure we can all be stronger, kinder and more compassionate but what are we going to do about it? Go hell for leather and then end up feeling the venom of Banks lyrics as describes the hate for the person she once loved? What difference will it make to us? Will it make us richer, live longer, be happier?

Who knows…What I do know is that it’s important to follow the quotes most important part…’Decide how we are gonna live’. Well I think it is…It’s that part of ourselves that we reflect out to the rest of the people we meet, every single day of our lives. I’m told that I think too deeply about things but don’t we need to give our existence some deep consideration and think about what we do with our time as it’s such a precious possession. Something far more valuable than any house, car or bank balance.

I believe, as Banks sings that ‘Everyone knows I’m right about one thing’ - this thing called ‘Life’.

Don’t waste a drop of it and live it to the max folks as you never know when you might lose it…

More tomorrow and less Morbid - Promise.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

You and Me - C41

Song Choice - From the film 'Last Night', a surprising good Keira Knightly effort, I just loved the way the music fitted the film and then how the film left the viewer to make their own ending for the film. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you do as it's extremely provocative in it's comment on modern day busy couples.

Funnily enough, my version of the ending didn't follow my usual more cavalier approach to life and was far more conservative which even surprised me! I won't spoil it for you but what would you do if you were them?

Anyway less of the film but I encounter this kind of situation every day of my working life as more and more I'm becoming a 'Life Counsellor' to 'Runners' rather than the other way round.

I don't mind as it's a fascinating job and I feel privileged to be let into other people's worlds. This week I'm meeting my 'Dixons Carphone Average2Awesome' guys for the last time as we celebrate their success at this year's Race to the Stones and transformation from the Couch to Ultimate ULTRA-warrior.

I bet they never saw that coming up in their 'Life-Script'. Then again, maybe none of us do.

Tomorrow's Robin Hood Marathon provides a welcome pilgrimage back to 1995 for me and the opportunity to run a road marathon on my own for once, passenger free,

I must say I'm looking forward to it and hopefully this #931 marathon will be as joyous as #8 etc. that I've enjoyed over the years and I can have time out to think what's going to happen next in my own 'Script'. I know most folk don't like to know what happens next in plots - but I do...

Do you? Or do you leave it to someone else to decide...

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Forever Autumn - Justin Hayward

Lyric:- 'The summer sun is fading as the year grows old, and darker days are drawing near' - Wayne, Osbourne & Vigrass

Song Choice:- Well it was just too easy to choose it as it's my favourite Autumn themed song and as we've just passed this year's Autumnal Equinox it seems only right somehow...

Anyway, it's a beautiful time of year in Wales with all the colours in the local parks and Autumn is always a special time of year for anyone trying to crack in a fast marathon time. Over the last 20 years I've juggled with many September/October Marathons and ULTRA's but this weekend I'm going to run my 15th Robin Hood Marathon, in Nottingham, my absolute Road Marathon favourite.

I can quite believe I've run it that many times...back in 1995 it was a very quick 3.30.55 which seemed a really easy run out at the time, 10 years later it was my 500th Marathon and this weekend it will be my 931st. 

Is it really 20 years ago since I ran that first Robin Hood? 

My how time flies...

And that got me thinking...Oh dear you say, but please go with the flow here. It got me thinking about life in four seasons and before you think I'm getting morbid, I'm not, I'm just trying to get a handle on where I am in my life's cycle right now.

My brain and the math goes like this. I hope to get to see my 100th Birthday on 6th February 2062 and that William and Kate will send me my well earned telegram on the day, if they both make it! So, if I take my age now of 53 against the 100 as a percentage and then proportion that against 365 days of the year, I get to 12 August on my birthday this year and next year at 54 I'll be enjoying the 16th August. Therefore right now I'm in the afternoon of 15th August. Nice...

A sort of late Summer date rather than an early Autumn one which is actually better than I thought it would be. A proper 'Turnkey' solution. 

Right now I'm in the middle of my Mid-life Summer Holiday, and luckily I feel like I'm enjoying living in the warmth of everything that life can shine down on me before I tip into Autumn for real on the 30th September, when I hit the grand age of 75.

I've got ages yet!

Even better, Winter is really January to March but I've counted that as Spring in my way of thinking so in effect I'll be able 'kick my way through Autumn's Golden Gown for the rest of my days as Jeff Wayne so rightly puts it, 'My life will be forever autumn' from here on in! 

So what about you? Where are you right now in your life?

Have your trees already lost their leaves and are you already in December?

Made me think!

More tomorrow from August 15th...

Monday, 21 September 2015

Faith - George Michael

Lyric:- 'Need some time off from that emotion' - Barnes, Olivier, Michael, Cortes & Aragon

Song Choice - It's a great song and it's sad that someone with such an amazing voice as George Michael has found life to be such a struggle over the past few years, especially as it's been lived out in the public eye. The news today only highlights just how impossible this must have been for the former Wham Popster.

I'd chose the song before I read the highlights so it's rather apt really as the subject of faith cropped up with one of my Coleman Commandos today. 

Running forms such a fundamental building block for folk to rebuild their lives and manage their thoughts, problems and addictions (in my case) and for some becomes a daily religion.

'OMG he's really lost it now', I hear you cry but don't worry this isn't Rory's First Letter to the Olympians, it's more of a love letter to life as life itself is such a precious and precarious thing where we spend most of it 'Hoping' rather than doing...

It's that 'Hope' that gives us the 'Faith' I'm writing about I believe.

Think back to your own childhood and remember just how much you 'hoped' that Santa would bring you Hornby, Scalextric or Subbuteo (World Cup '70 not the Club edition with the crappy cardboard players) and how funnily enough he always delivered as long as you were good and had faith in your parents getting all of your very unsubtle hints and Santa letters...

Anyway, it's the same hope that we still rely on so many years on.

For instance, every day we hope our loved ones are safe and feel the same about us as we do about them. We hope we don't lose our job, our health and that we win the Lottery at least twice so we can then do something really meaningful with the second win, (just once would be ace)...

The thing is that a lot of 'Hope' never happens and that's when 'Faith' gets hard to hold on to. Keeping your head up when life is kicking you in the nether regions isn't the easiest, and I'm sure we've all been there.

Faith's worth a try though isn't it? Making one simple life change, holding onto a dream or asking for help never hurt you or anyone. It didn't hurt me...and I wonder if George Michael has his time all over again if he'd take the same path.

I wonder if you would. I know with hindsight I would make some changes and I wish I knew at 33 what I do now at 53. But then again no doubt I'll be saying this in 20 years time. There's a big difference in Faith and Wishing though... 

I believe that I'll still be here in 20 years time, living the same dream, it's not a wish...It's FAITH. 

What do you do 'Hope' or do you have 'Faith'? 

I'd love to know...

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Hotel California (Live) - The Eagles

Lyric:- 'Mirrors on the ceiling, The pink champagne on ice, and she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device'

Song Choice:- I wanted a track with 'Hotel' in the title to highlight the thought process for tonight's blog. And what a great version of the all time Eagles Classic it is...have a listen here and see what you think.

Now - why oh why oh why am I talking about hotels in a fitness blog? Well it's leading me into a 'Trip Adviser' flavoured offering which is normally about reviews of places, services and experiences but for this evening I want you to think about a Trip Advisor review of...YOURSELF.

I wonder what folk would write...I've been there and got the T-Shirt on this one and what people will say to your face and what they can write on a third party website can be two very different things. It comes down to whether you want 'Praise' or 'Feedback'...funnily enough, I like to know where I stand with things.

That's why I like to be honest with myself and I know where my strengths and weaknesses are and why when all of these amazing people come and see me for coaching, I try and get their take on me and what I offer. I like to think I'm a 5/5 person offering a 5/5 service as I'm a very confident if somewhat deluded kinda guy, but in reality I do know where I can work on my shortcomings and become the 5/5 person I really want to be and think I am.

So what would you write about you on your Trip Advisor review?

What out of 5 would you be? How honest are you?

You might surprise yourself and I bet I'd score you higher that you do...We're such a self deprecating race in the UK.

Go on - be honest, tell me just how it really is...

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Good Morning Beautiful - The The

Lyric:- Ask yourself, whose voice is it, that whispers unto you? - Marr & Matt

Song Choice:- It's a long while since I listened to the marvellous 1989 Album 'Mind Bomb' by The The and it's amazing hard hitting lyrics and distinctive Johnny Marr guitar sound.

'Who is it, that turns your blood into spirit, and your spirit into blood?
And set your souls ablaze, with love'.

My word, that's powerful stuff and just answer the question yourself...What is it that fires you up? I've been super-fired up this week, and I've already got 52.4 miles and 100,000 steps in the bank and it's only Tuesday! Easy for me you say as it's my job, but it's easy for you too, if you really want it enough. Or if you want YOURSELF enough. If you have that self-belief and fulfilment you are all looking for...

And after another MdS Training Day and meeting two more people looking for personal fulfilment, the above line asks, 'Whose voice is it, that whispers unto you?' And that's the line that first hit me about the song all those year's ago... As that voice in fact could be your conscience, or it could be your life partner, best friend or your best friend at work. But whom do you REALLY listen to? Do you actually listen to anyone, or even yourself?

Do you actually LISTEN?

It continues...

Try starting over tomorrow and when you look at yourself in the bathroom mirror say hello to the new you with a 'Good Morning Beautiful' - and listen to the above song as it's just brilliant...

When you do Listen to Yourself don't whisper about it - Shout it loud and proud!

More tomorrow...

Monday, 14 September 2015

So now you know - The Horrors

Lyric:- 'That's the life you put aside for too long'...

Song Choice:- The Horrors are always a good bet for a song with a good lyric and hey presto, this one jumped right out at me as today's blog is about being the person, you've always wanted to be. 

I encounter this situation every day of my working life. and it seems that more and more folk coming to see me say that they have always wanted to BE something, rather than wanting to DO something. It's underlines my theory that actually the races that folk enter like the MdS or similar challenges are actually not as important as they think but taking on the 'Elite' lifestyle of a marathon/ultra-marathon runner leads to a happier and more fulfilling life.

It took me hundreds of races and thousands of pounds to work that one out for myself. I believe the road trips I did around the Premiership Grounds, the London-2-Lisbon Run and my Stoptober 28x28 gave me the opportunity of being the person I wanted to be. A chance to be in the spotlight, to enjoy some media attention and make my rather eccentric way of life, my job.

Yikes, I'm so lucky. It's taken me a long time to get here and I'm doing my best to help others get here too. It happened again today on an MdS Training Day and it might happen again on another one tomorrow. Who knows...anything can happen on one of my training days.

Let's see if it does tomorrow for two guys coming to see me.

What I do know is it's time for sleep here in a very wet Cardiff and I'll update this post tomorrow post 42.2km :-)

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Elise - Thomas Newman

Song Choice - From my favourite film the Adjustment Bureau, this passage of music speaks volumes to me - take a listen here and see for yourself, there's 11.02 minutes of it in the extended YouTube version but well worth the time out.

I say this, especially if you are running at next year's Marathon des Sables, struggling with your confidence, can't find your Mojo or you feel completely lost right now. You see it's that funny old time of the year, I see it every September and it seems that this is the worst one yet! 

It must be a combination of the Autumn Equinox heading our way and a further expensive MdS payment being wrenched from folks bank accounts and credit cards all over Britain. It's occurs for the normal runner or racer too in September...It could be just the flicking on of the central heating or the getting out of last season's running tights or donning the hi-vis ready for runs after work that bring on the can't-be-arsed/I've-lost-my-mojo infection.

Now as a Coach it's far too easy to say 'Toughen-up-Buttercup, you are doing the World's Toughest Footrace and no-one said it would be easy,' or as a Facebook Friend say 'I feel like that too, let's be shit together'. But what I'd like you to do is to listen to the whole 11.02 minutes of the Thomas Newman song above and take that time out. If you watch on YouTube not only will you be looking into the lovely eyes of Emily Blunt but if you listen with your headphones plugged in, you'll be amazed at the depth of the music and how the music isolates you from the white noise of life around you.

The music helps me to remember my first run, in the dark of a January Evening, in my work clothes having spent absolutely nothing, Yes - £0.00 on any kind of trainers or kit. Hokas, Compression Gear and Gaiters just didn't exist back then. What did exist in me was a burning desire in me to RUN, express myself and release my demons in a very positive way.

Races, World Records and The MdS Came along a whole lot later. Thank God they did as it gave me another platform where I could enjoy my running freedom. And please don't get me wrong when I say they have all been amazing and I wouldn't swop any of them for anything as money can't buy the pleasure I've gained from running some of the World's Most Extreme Races BUT I get just as much pleasure from going out on my own, feeling the sense of freedom, with the Sun, Wind and Rain of an Autumnal Cardiff Sunday as I LOVE running and the way it makes me feel.

It sometimes feels fast and I was a lot faster and a whole lot younger in 1996, when I ran a lot of my PB's but who cares and in reality only I would if I did, so I don't. 

How I feel actually is 'Liberated'...and very 'Uncomplicated' about my running and life.

I find the music of Thomas Newman very therapeutic. Lady Coleman says it's bloody depressing but it's very emotive and helps me gather my strength and thoughts when times are tough and sometimes you are hitting your head against a brick wall with your training or your goals seem unsurmountable.

So, if you are finding it tough right now try listening for the whole 11.02 minutes of the track. I did and it reminded me how lucky I am to have a seven month baby son, who's cutting his teeth and not slept for two whole days and nights and that I'll run three more marathon distances this week with some more amazing MdS2016 runners, just like you, wondering if they can complete the 'World's Toughest Footrace', next April.

The statistics say that you will, just take time out now and again to pause for breath and try to really listen to yourself, whilst you are listening to 'Elise' - I'd love to know if it worked for you, like it did for me...

Happy Running...

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Telephone Man - Meri Wilson

Lyric:- 'I got it in the bedroom, and I got it in the hall'...

Song Choice:- Well it's a long forgotten hit of 1977 and how times have changed...I don't think the lyrics would pass today and they are very tongue in cheek of course. Back then, as a lad of 15, I'm sure I didn't really get them but I chose this song as it references the Telephone and a great link into today's blog.

Now earlier on, as the new telephone directory was coming through our letterbox, I was just there at the right time to stop it from hitting the doormat and catching it I managed to glide it very neatly down the hall and straight into the kitchen recycling bin, all in one easy motion.

It's amazing isn't it that we just don't (well I don't) use the Telephone Directory or Yellow Pages at all nowadays. In fact, I can't remember the last time I used it. It's a shame as my first job was drawing Yellow Pages adverts for £1.75 an hour back in 1983. The Guy who owned the Studio I worked for became a millionaire from having a team of us knocking out 20+ of them a day for A1-Dial-A-Skip and A1 Taxis etc. for Yellow Pages in Birmingham. Happy and Hard Days for me...A heady atmosphere of Typesetting chemicals, Cow Gum and B&H. We listened to the Beatles Revolver Album and Fleetwood Mac's Tusk Album EVERY day too as those my bosses his favourite albums, and even though played to death back then they are still on my all time list and give me a warm glow of times past.

Anyway, I digress...

You see the thing is we all develop and we all move on. Things that are SO important to us just get left behind. How many JVC VHS recorders, ITT Cassette Players or Nokia 3310's have you used today? We have a drawer of Garmins and old tech that still works yet is old hat. It's kinda sad...yet if you'd said to me in 1983 that my boss would later die at my age of 53 from stress and heart failure and that I would have run 926 marathons by his age of 53. Well I would have said you were dreaming and yet that's exactly what's happened.

Working so hard to be a Millionaire finished him off and who's richer now? What happened to all those adverts?

Well they are ALL in a Landfill and long forgotten...

My message is, don't be a busy fool, don't put all your effort into a Landfill and don't end up six feet under trying, it's just not worth it. Seeing the Yellow Pages today brought all those thoughts back to me.

So please, make sure your legs and not your fingers do the walking, and then you'll still be able to get it in the bedroom and in the hall too :-)

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones

Lyric:- 'Ooh, a storm is threat'nin', my very life today' - Jagger & Richards

Song Choice:- Now I'm not the biggest stones fan BUT this one ticks all the boxes for me, especially with the awesome duet with Lisa Fisher and Jagger... but hey don't take my world just take a look yourself here and the brilliant Lady Gaga version here.

BTW, it's taking me ages to write this as I can't stop playing the darn videos...as IMO it's totally brilliant and what you are actually looking at is 50 years of experience being played out right in front of you.

It's the thing that's really striking me right now as I engage more and more with lots of folk trying to reinvent the wheel with their approach to marathon and ultra-marathon running. Now thinking of the Stones, if I wanted to succeed in the music industry and had access to the band, I would no doubt get all the inside knowledge on what and what not to do to get the best out of my music career.

Let's face it, I'd be a fool not to...I'd be mad to ask people on Facebook or read a book on how to be in a Band or go on Youtube and do my research there or by using Google.

So why do folk do that for their running?

I was extremely lucky when I started my running career as I had the wisdom of John Martin, a follower of the great coach Arthur Lydiard who gave me all the advice and encouragement I've ever needed to get the most out of my running. I offer the same no nonsense approach and hopefully help my clients get the most out of their running.

There's far too much #zero-heel-drop-compression-top-hoka-wearing-barefoot-running-facebook-posting-we've-invented-ultra-marathon-running-nonsense out there that just messes up the simple, get your shoes on and get out there awesome experience that I've come to love over the years...

What do you think? 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Now I'm Here - Queen

Lyric:- Don't move, Don't speak, Don't feel no pain - May

Song Choice:- I watched a Queen documentary on catch up and thought it would be good to get a bit of Freddie in my blog and done 40 years ago, I remember watching this on TOTP and talking non-stop about it at school the next day. Freddie was SO cool back then - well still is if you ask me....

Anyway, less of the OMG it's 40 years since nostalgic stuff and more about the use of 'Don't' in the lyrics. Now, I know that May was recovering from an illness when he wrote the song but I think the Don't 'Something' affects us (mainly me it seems) over and over again, every day of our lives.

During a 42.2km at Merthyr Mawr yesterday, I was the one Don'ting like a good'un. 

Don't rush off, stop, walk, go home without completing were words I definitely said and tried to use positively rather than the usual negative, Don't speed, don't park here and don't bang around as Jack's just gone to sleep, I usually told that really gets my goat..

I'd rather we had a NEW word for don't as I'm tired with the old one. It's boring and negative.

You see we can spend all our days Don'ting and not Doing. It's the DOING that makes us whom we are and defines our very existence.

So Don't let it pass you by and don't come running to me when you've missed it DO Express :-)

What is it that you Don't that you want to DO?

Rory Coleman - 925 Marathons - 235 Ultras
12 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 21 Years' Alcohol Free.
Location:Cardiff 2015

Friday, 4 September 2015

Waiting Game - Banks

Lyric:- 'I'm thinking it over' - Banks

Song Choice:- Well a new artiste to my ears but one to connect with her the sound is really vibrant and engaging - try for yourself here and get an idea of what the fuss is all about.

Waiting...Hmm...On hearing this song, it  got me thinking about my own relationship with the 'Waiting Game' over the years. 

Now if you know me well, you'll know that I'm not very good at playing the 'Waiting Game'...I'm can really patient on a few things but once I make my mind up, it's very difficult to change it. It's a very Jet Black and Snow White World where I live.

However, I don't really know why. 

So I started some inner sole searching and in a place where people are always patient and waiting...Religion. Folk waiting and praying for a billion different reasons, hoping and waiting for things to change. Google came up with umpteen biblical waiting passages I could choose from.

One very popular passage, especially for Runners is Isaiah 40:31 - it goes...'But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint'. It's stirring stuff and it's one I've often mulled over when it's felt my legs want to drop off in a marathon.

My word that got me going!

But that's only one kind of waiting. It got me thinking on how much time we spend each day actually waiting. If you live in Cardiff like me, you'll wait hours it seems for the red traffic lights to change on any journey out of the city. It's one of my pet hates. I can run faster!

Hence, the A48 or Newport Road is a big no-no and adds minutes to any short journey you have to undertake, so I don't go there. I spend ages waiting with 'Buffer Face' for the mobile network to download my Facebook and Email updates, Virgin Media has a lot to answer for.

How much time do you spend waiting?

Waiting for your business meetings to start, a late train or plane?

Waiting for the right time to say something?

Waiting to take the plunge?

What are you waiting for? The saying goes...

Now is this REALLY Waiting or Wasting. Is it defering? It's an interesting debate and maybe for me I'm just not good at 'Wasting my Time'.

Time is so precious...Waiting isn't.

What do you think?

I'm WAITING to hear from you!