Saturday, 31 December 2016

Leave it - Yes

Rory says - 'Happy New Year'
Lyric:- 'You just broke out of the danger zone' - Horn, Rabin & Squire

Song Choice - Here's a great anthem from the 1983 Yes album 90125 to sing out the old year with. Definitely more of a Chris Squire offering really and it's well worth a listen if you've never heard it before and it's on the same album as 'Owner of a Lonely Heart if that helps identify it in your record collection..

Anyway, today's blog is all about leaving stuff behind, especially as we hurtle headlong into 2017. If your year has been like mine (yikes it was tough), I'm sure you'll be glad to the emotional as well as the physical baggage behind and in true New Year's Resolution, start afresh with some new rules and ideas for the next 365 days ahead.

As a staunch keeper of 'New Year's Resolutions' (why make 'em if you are going to break 'em), I'm going to keep some promises myself over the next 12 months and beyond if I can. And if you are in the same boat, I whole heartedly hope you manage to maintain yours too; so to my Blog Readers and Clients, I wish you a Very Happy New Year...

2017 could be YOUR year if you just let it happen and ignore the 'White Noise of Life' as in Chris Squire's words, 'Tomorrow's another dreamy day'...

As for 2016 - I'm just leaving it :-)

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,396 Days' Alcohol Free.
Location:Caerdydd, Cymru

Friday, 30 December 2016

Excuse Me - Sir Peter of Gabriel

'No Excuses'
Lyric:- 'I got the medicine' - Gabriel

Song Choice:- Taken from Gabriel's first solo album from 1977, it's a far cry from the material from his last album with Genesis but it's interesting listening and producer Bob Ezrin's influence is clearly there to be heard and the whole album has a feeling of Alice Cooper's 'Welcome to my Nightmare' and Floyd's, 'The Wall' IMO.

Anyway, I'm not going to 'Excuse' myself for using this track to highlight today's blog as I'm using the other meaning of the spelling 'Excuse' as we, including myself are full of them. 'Excuses' that is. Added to that I think we are all also full of the BS that accompanies the reasons why we don't do things or accomplish the goals we set out to do. My goal was to get out and run a few more miles which of course I did. Here's today's V-Blog link.

In the real world, we never set out to fail and yet so often folk do. I now serial such 'failures'.

I hardly ever fail in anything I undertake, yet how many times do we see on social media do we see folk failing, saying that they 'Quit, because they didn't want to cause any permanent damage to themselves' especially in an ULTRA or Multi-Day.

That excuse gets me every time. You see it's down to how committed you are and failure should only come from accidental causes that are out of ones control.

You see in my book if you've invested the right amount of effort into something, you always deliver. I see great results time and time again in the folk that I'm coaching be it for a marathon PB or in quitting alcohol for good (well done Dylan BTW - 38 Days' today)  That's because I don't accept folks excuses and why I'm not prepared to accept them even from myself going into 2017.

I mean, why say that you are going to do something and then don't; you are better off not saying it in the first place. I'd like to know I could climb Everest or swim the Channel before I set off, wouldn't you?

I have no 'Excuses' - Guillain Barre Syndrome, Prednisolone, Time, Work, Family... anything in fact as if you want something bad enough, and you really, really want it - You'll do it. For those embarking on 'One Year No Beer' next year - NOT drinking alcohol is really easy... 

You just don't. 

Take it from me as it's the easy way of stopping. Getting to the point where you can say that to yourself is f@cking hard to say the least but it's easy to make 'excuses'. So do yourself a favour and cut through your own BS next year, make some firm goals and a lot less excuses and live the life you want to live. Honesty is always the best way, especially with yourself.

Please 'Excuse me' for being so blunt... but hey, as I'm not looking for 'Excuses', don't 'Excuse me'.

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,395 Days' Alcohol Free.
Location: Cardiff

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Used to be - Rory Gallagher

Video Link
Lyric:- 'Here's my fastback baby'...

Song Choice:- I bought his 'album way back in 1980 and it was already in the bargain bin then so I'm not quite sure how many copies this actually sold. I hadn't heard this track for donkey's years but it brought back memories, some good and some not so of my late teens. Anyway, take a listen here to the Oirish Blues legend and see what you think.

You see it's so easy to get into the 'Used to be' frame of mind and live in the past. I used to be a 'World Record Breaking' athlete but it counts for nothing nowadays as it's not about what you've done - it's what you are going to do that counts.

Anyone can drone on about what they've achieved in life (me very much included sometimes, you know, been there got the T-Shirt kinda stuff) but apart from the experience gained - it doesn't matter really how fast, how long, how anything you've recorded as you are only as good as your next run.

Recently, I've been getting upset by my snail's pace running but let's face it my marathon PB was 965 marathons and nearly 21 years ago. I'm not the sprightly 34 year old I was then and even without the GBS I would never have beaten it now in my mid 50's anyway, so why worry?

I've still got my drive and determination and even though I was travelling virtually all day today, I did get a slow 5km run in to keep my legs turning over. TBH, they are pretty shot following a couple of six mile days but I'm still in there and fighting away at getting fitter and faster in 2017 - aren't you?

Or are you too busy being 'your used to be'?

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,394 Days' Alcohol Free.
Location: Cardiff

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

You Might Think - The Cars

Run Hard or Run Home
Lyric:- 'But I know when you're weak' - Ocasek

Song Choice:- The brilliant 1984 Cars single, 'You Might Think', accompanies today's blog very nicely indeed. Helped along by a huge dose of Mutt Lange production magic (him of Def Leppard, ACDC and Shania Twain fame to name but a few) and an $80,000 video it's well worth another listen, as is their Greatest Hits Album which was one of the first CD's I ever bought back in the early days of Compact Disc Players.

Anyway, today's blog is all about you thinking whom you are, and coming to terms with the results.

Sometimes there's no easy way of dressing up one's findings and being honest about your starting place is always the best way. That's not an excuse to be your own worst critic as self-deprecation is the kryptonite we can all do without. What I'm saying here is just to own up to where you are right now so that you can have a proper starting point and foundation to work from.

I'll start and be honest and own up to my legs feeling a bit battered from yesterday's mountain run but in the true spirit of doing at least something for the next 101 days leading up to the MdS - I decided that a six-mile recovery run would do the trick quite nicely.

Now the beauty of staying half-way up a mountain over the Christmas break is that you can either go 'easy-hard' or 'hard-easy' when you go for a run depending on which direction you take. My thoughts after the first three downhill miles were more go 'hard or go home' as after a few miles my leg muscles seem to fire a lot better than they do when I set out  

You can see how much harder I ran in the last couple of miles here although my heart rate was in the red zone for 32 minutes!

But why worry as after seeing that 80% of 40-60 year olds don't even exercise at all, I feel quite heartened at my progress so far this week. OK its not quite the 75-100 mile mini MdS weeks that a lot of my clients are trying to accomplish this week but it doesn't matter. Managing my own expectations is my focus right now and I'll be back clocking up some more miles tomorrow. Will you? 

I'm going to as I don't think I'm weak...I actually feel very strong - well mentally anyway.

Rory Coleman
980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
22 years, 11 months, 23 days since 5th January, 1994

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Misty Mountain Hop - Led Zeppelin

Tough Talk
Lyrics:- Why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see' - Jones, Page & Plant

Song Choice:- This track feels a most apt choice today especially as I did my own 'Misty Mountain Hop'  up to the trig point atop 'Mynydd Caerfilli' (that's Caerphilly Mountain to you non Welsh folk) at 271 metres above sea level earlier today. I must have played this track a thousand times and  even though it was recorded in 1971, it still feels very fresh along with all the other tracks from the non-titled 'Led Zeppelin IV' album. Take a listen here if you haven't brushed off your vinyl for some time and need to give your running a boost.

Anyway, as I said in today's V-Log, it's the start of my lead up to the 2017 MdS and with 102 days to go before the race and just four before the end of 2016, I thought it was about time to get my arse into action.

It wasn't a quick run, but in my defence, I did run all of the way including the brutal uphill climbs at an average heart-rate of 114 bpm, which is virtually smack on my 70% MHR, so I was well pleased. The average pace of 17.18 per mile leaves a lot to be desired and I felt a bit of a fraud wearing my coveted 'Marathon des Sables' Buff but it felt like I'd made a start and thinking back a few months it's a pace that I never thought I'd ever run again and here's today's run.

So WTF am I moaning about?

Well, you see I know what's involved in getting to the finish line of the MdS and although I feel mentally I could go and complete it right now - I wouldn't be in a position to compete in it I'm being honest. Not with anyone else, but with myself of course. I know it's going to be a very tough ride again next year. '16 was as brutal as '06 and the added extremity really hurt. Ok it could have been down to my circling the Guillain Barre Syndrome drain but I'm sure that '17 will have just as many demons but my thoughts are if I can go at Sir Ranulph's speed of a few years back, at least I'll finish and anything quicker than that will be a bonus.

I've got some marathons planned along the way as well as a full training plan and gym bashing and I'll update you daily on my progress. So, if you are training for this or any other life-changing event please come and join me on my 'Misty Mountain Hop' and find out if your spirits fly over the hill, like mine did today.

More tomorrow...

Rory Coleman
980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
22 years, 11 months, 22 days since 5th January, 1994

Adventure of a Lifetime - Coldplay

Lyrics:- 'Everything you want's a dream away' - Martin, Berryman, Buckland, Eriksen, Hermansen & Champion.

Song Choice:- One of Coldplay's finest, (although they all sound the same a bit to me, if I'm being honest), and certainly the pick of the 'A head full of dreams' album.

Following on from yesterday's blog which featured the sad news of George Michael's death, I've been amazed at the diversity of the opinion aroused by his death at the relatively young age of 53.

He obviously made choices, some good and some not so good. But then we all don't we all, every single day of our lives. It was just a shame on his part that he had the means we would all love to make everything we want just a dream away - but either cocked it up or lived life to the full.

It all depends how you look at it as maybe it's not how you live your life, it's how much life you live that matter and you could say that George got the most out of his time on the planet.

Are you getting the most out of yours?

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,393 Days' Alcohol Free.

Monday, 26 December 2016

The Writing's on the Wall - Sam Smith

Coleman - Rory 'James' Coleman
Lyrics:- 'I've spent a lifetime running' - Napes & Smith

Song Choice:- Well it wouldn't be Christmas without a bit of Bond would it? And I love Sam Smith's dramatic backdrop to the 26th '007' offering, Spectre. It's a great film too and has the classic 'Bond Trademarks' which I love.

It's a great title for a song and it got me thinking about where the saying 'The writings on the wall', originated. Google quickly answered that one and said - 'It refers to Chapter 5 of the Book of Daniel in the Bible when King Belshazzar sees the words Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upsharin written on a wall. Belshazzar summons Daniel to interpret the writing, which Daniel translates as 'Numbered, numbered, weighed, divided.' Daniel tells Belshazzar that the writing means that Babylonian kingdom will be invaded and divided among the Medes and the Persians. The term 'The writing's on the wall' has since been used to refer any omen that predicts a bad outcome.

Well that put me straight, and I didn't quite expect it to have had such a dark origin but on a day when the world of Rock and Pop lost a couple more of it's band, in my life, what have I to worry about this Christmas at all eh?

The only bad outcome for myself could have been at yesterday morning's Christmas Day parkrun. You see my Christmas Eve training run was so catastrophically slow, I thought I may as well give up running for good, especially as my Marathon des Sables number had been released and I was slower than a Moroccan Snail. (It's 714 if you are interested).

Then again, I needn't have been that worried as a bit of competition and some words of encouragement from my Coach (thanks Jenny) made me forget my woes and give me a post GBS-SIDP PB of 32:35 knocking a few seconds off my previous best which was achieved with the help of a TUE on Prednisolone.

Anyway, It gave me the 'Christmas Kick up the Arse' that I needed and you watch me go from strength to strength next year - The writing's on the wall - in the best sense of the phrase.

What's your 'Writing' saying to you?

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,391 Days' Alcohol Free.
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Saturday, 24 December 2016

I Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (Extended Mix) - Paul Young

Lyric:- 'You think you've got it all set up, you think you've got the perfect plan' - Randle

Song Choice:- A great song from Paul Young's, 'The Secret of Association' album which features the brilliant bass playing of Pino Pallidino from good old Caerdydd (so crank up your sub and have a listen here to Top of the Tops from 11/10/1984 or buy the album for a bargain £6.99p). Originally recorded in 1972, by Ann Peebles, it has some great lyrics and it's the 'Tearing down your playhouse' part that I'm interested in for today's Christmas Blog.

Like me you've probably been receiving Christmas best wishes emails from supermarkets and places where you've shopped during the past year wishing you well at this time of year. I admire the sentiment as this is the modern world we live in, what else should we expect. Facebook seems to be the place to post out to blindly to Friends and Family, however I believe there's one clear message at this time of year for all and that is 'Hope'.

I HOPE that only good things happen in 2017 for all as a lot of shit happened to a lot of us in 2016.

And as you and your family draw together, enjoy a couple of days off from the 'Life-Merry-Go-Round' and have a Great Christmas and a very Hopeful New Year. 

As you never know when your 'Playhouse will come tumbling down', Amen.

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,389 Days' Alcohol Free.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads

Lyric:- 'Where does that highway go to?' - Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, and Weymouth

Song Choice:- Another Talking Heads classic for today's blog and one of the first 12" Singles that I ever bought way back in 1981.

It marked a real changing point for me coming out of a regimented Grammar School into the hippy world of Art College, you see it provided no real clear rules or boundaries which although I like to see myself now as a bit of a maverick, I actually need.

Maybe it's a 'Man Thing' as I'm someone that definitely needs to know where my highway is going to. I only have to get in the car to know that, as I use my TomTom to navigate all my journeys however short just to know how far I am from my destination, that I'm using the quickest route and there's as little traffic as possible. Sound familiar?

Anyway, I believe that's why I've loved this running lark over the years so much. Knowing the route and mapping my progress along it has always been an integral part of any run I've ever done and the longer the better, I've found.

Going to Lisbon proved that one and maybe that's my 'Once in a Lifetime - Road to Somewhere' journey (See what I did there). Then again you don't need to run 2004km to go and find yourself. You just have to open your eyes and take in the view from your everyday journey of life.

So why not take some time out over the holiday period to think about where you are going to in 2017, it might be further than you think.

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,388 Days' Alcohol Free.
Location: Thornhill, Cardiff, United Kingdom

Thursday, 22 December 2016

The Great Curve - Talking Heads

Tina Weymouth
Lyric:- 'Night must fall now-darker, darker' - Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, and Weymouth

Song Choice:- I bought this when it came out in 1980 and would never have guessed back then that I'd still be listening to it some 36 years later. It shows just how good the post-punk American Arthouse music genre was, and highlights David Byrne's writing and Brian Eno's production contributions to modern day music quite nicely. If you've never heard this track before, take a listen here to hear what you've been missing all these years. Tina Weymouth's bass playing is dead funky IMO and as an 18 year old art student I thought, and still do that the 'Remain in Light' album is just totally brilliant and deserves it's 129/500 best album of all time rating according to 'Rolling Stone Magazine'.

Anyway, it's 'The Great Curve' bit that I'm interested in for today's blog... and the curve I'm referring to is 'The Great Curve of Achievement'. It's not a well know phenomenon as it's one I've just invented but following a conversation I had with a good friend yesterday, 'The Great Curve of Achievement' ought to exist...

You see, at this time of year, it's very hard to get the adrenaline kick all of us achievers love as there's not a lot out there to go and conquer apart from Extreme Glutony perhaps. I did admire the 5,000 folk that tipped up at Stonehenge to 'enjoy' the Winter Solstice at 1044hrs yesterday, though I didn't admire the drunk I met on my run last night whom I saved from getting run over, I left him propped against a lamp post totally pissed out of his head.

Then again, he was only doing his thing and me doing mine - who's right and who's wrong, well you make up your own mind, but it wasn't pretty.

All I know is that I have to tick some boxes most days or I get a bit frisky, do you?

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,387 Days' Alcohol Free.