Monday, 31 October 2016

Frozen - Madonna

Lyrics:- 'You only see what your eyes want to see, how can life be what you want it to be. You're frozen when your heart's not open' - Leonard & Ciccone

Song Choice:- This song really showcases everything that's great about our Madge' and at 6:19 minutes, it one of her longest tracks, which is also another reason why I like it so much. 

Just take a listen here as it's simply a great song and I'm not surprised if it's been off your radar for a while now as it was released way back in 1998.

Anyway, it's the 'adjective' definition of 'Frozen' that I'm interested in for today's blog, you know the one where you're 'Frozen with Fear'. It's one I know personally as I've been frozen solid like a statue in the past. If you've been there too you'll know what I mean and what it feels like to have your world crumbling around you in slow motion. It's a very peculiar situation to get yourself into. An almost 'Zen' like state where technically you could be described as being 'Locked in'. 

Yikes, thinking back sends a shiver down my spine...and if you are 'Frozen' right now, you have my upmost sympathy.

As for having my heart open? Well, I'd like to think mine always is, but sometimes we only see what we want to see or hear what we want to hear. The thing is, when you are a statue, you see and hear NOTHING.

As for fixing it? Or in this case thawing it out a bit, well that's a whole new ball game. You see, no one can fix it for you except yourself and that sure ain't easy.

So please don't ask me for a solution, as I haven't got one but I can help turn up the thermostat.

More tomorrow...

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

Vote for my Blog here in this year's Run Ultra Blog Awards

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Scream if you wanna go faster - Geri Halliwell

Lyric:- 'Don't let life pass you by, jump on in, get ready to fly' - Halliwell & Nowells

Song Choice:- I never need an excuse to choose this great pop-song from Geri Halliwell. It's still fresh some 15 years on and if you need an adrenalin boost before or even during a run, this might just do the trick. Take a look or a listen here.

I could have done with listening to it myself yesterday, especially when I was hitting the last of the Severn Sisters on the Beachy Head Marathon. Shame my iPhone died with 50% battery in the damp weather early on. You see by 22 miles I'd  used up all my stored energy and the oxygen I was breathing in just wasn't enough get my heart-rate anywhere below maximum.  

It doesn't matter though, as that's what I'd expected to happen on the day and I was just super-glad to be back running. Luckily, my legs were totally willing the whole way and after a couple of miles of fast walking up the last hill, I ran hard to the finish and enjoyed the satisfaction of finally getting off the #976th marathon mark, to be met by Chrissie (above) and Ali (My biggest fans from Brighton).

Being able to click over my marathon total over means a lot today as it feels like the sand has started to trickle through my marathon hourglass once again. There's nothing worse for someone like me to be stuck in suspended running animation.

Go Faster? Well, going fast would be a start. The difference in my overall level of fitness was staggering and I took over two hours longer than my previous Beachy Head Marathon in 2014.

The best thing is that my body isn't too frazzled and my legs they will recover quite nicely by Wednesday of this week, when I'll start jogging again.

Like I said though, best bit of running the marathon was to feel 'NORMAL' once again, and I certainly felt that.

I now feel like a sleep, but I might wait for the Mexican Grand Prix later for that.

More then...

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

Friday, 28 October 2016

Boston - Foreplay/Long Time

Lyric:- 'I've got to keep on chasin' a dream' - Scholz

Song Choice:- Well, 'it's been such a long time'...

Wow, what a lyric to start off my 'Marathon Eve's' blog eh? As it's sure been a long old wait to race again. But here I am back on it and I listened to this incredible multi-layered offering from the 70's AOR specialists 'Boston' on the long drive from Cardiff to Eastbourne today. Take a listen for yourself here and relive 1976 just one more time.

I'll listen to it again tomorrow before I be relive my 10 previous completions of my favourite Beachy Head Marathon. Contrary to popular belief, I will be taking it really easy and will be using most of the 9 hour limit to cover the 26.2 miles without killing myself. (Mother & Wife, please take note that I've taken your advice onboard and I'm fully aware of the risks I'm taking and I'll stop if I start feeling like I'm going to die). Phew...Everyone is SO worried and I'm not!!! I feel excited...

What I will also feel hopefully, is alive and back to feeling like the old me again, chasing' the dream..

And whatever's left of me, I promise will let you know how I get on tomorrow.

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

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Time - The Pink Floyd

Lyric:- 'Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain' - Gilmour, Mason, Waters & Wright

Song Choice:- The lyrics deal with Roger Waters realisation that life was not about preparing yourself for what happens next, but about grabbing control of your own destiny. Pretty deep stuff. However, I've chosen it as it's TIME I did my first marathon race post GBS. And in Waters words, I been 'tired of lying in the sunshine' for these past six months.

And oh have I been frittering away those hours, waiting to get better. That's because since April of this year to now, it's my biggest marathon drought since I began running them back in 1994. It's been dead weird.

Anyway, I've picked a great one to mark my return in the Beachy Head Marathon as it's my favourite of all UK Marathon events, yet sadly is on the same day as the second best, The Snowdonia. In the old days, the Beachy Head was on the Saturday and Snowdon on the Sunday so you could do both, plus Dublin on the Monday, Irish Sea Willing. Why can't Race-Organisers plan better!

There's a massive 9 hour time-limit which will hopefully help my cause no-end and I'm going out there to enjoy myself and the feeling of marathon accomplishment I've missed for so long, once again.

If you are there, please say hello and I'll keep you posted on the day with my progress as I go back to 'hear the softly spoken magic spell'.

More tomorrow...

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

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Art for Art's Sake - 10cc

Lyric:- 'Gimme a silver gimme a gold, make it a million for when I get old' - Stewart & Gouldman

Song Choice:- Taken from the brilliant 1976 album 'How dare you!' If you've never heard much of their music try a look on the BBC iPlayer as there's a great documentary on there about the band. The 'I'm not in Love' track was a particular slow dancing, trouser busting classic, when I was a lad btw.

Anyway, rather than just bashing on about life not being a dress rehearsal and not going the National Trust because it makes you older than your years, here's a question for you.

 Did you ever own a 'Spin Art' made by RAPCO? 

It proudly offers 'Fun for Fun Lovers 6 to 60'. I only ask as I never had one, a friend of mine did and it was just the best toy ever. It combined all the spinning, painting, felt-tips and crayoning an eight year old could ever want and even now some 46 years later, you can still buy the updated version and 'Spin Art' yourself crazy.

There's very little in the world that's new it seems. Ok every now and again we get a 'Quantum Leap' in the shape of the transistor, silicon chip or the internet but a lot of the time things are just an update of previous versions of the same thing. The 2017 Spin Art sadly doesn't offer 'Fun for Fun Lovers' but instead offers 'Fun and Easy to make Fun Creations' which can only be a sign of the times perhaps.

Maybe we can apply this theory to ourselves?

Let's face it, we are simply updates of our previous selves and perhaps we only make safer 'Fun Creations' rather than have 'Fun for Fun Lovers' in our more idealistic 21st century world. 

I might actually get one of these off Ebay and see what I missed owning my own 'Fun Filled Art Factory' as we didn't have the silver when we were young and now when we've got the gold, sadly it's too late.

Shall I get one for you too?

More tomorrow...

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

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's 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 but its a trap that's easy to fall into, even if you are the most determined 'stay young at heart' person.

It's that National Trust Membership lifestyle as I call it. There's nothing wrong with the NT btw it's just for grey haired people. For some, their mid 50's now marks their retirement... What a waste! A waste of life...And I'm not wasting any of my time I can assure you from now on.

The track continues...

'And still to think you're free' - which is a great line, because can you say that you are free?It's really important that I still believe I am and far from the end of my innings, especially as I got very 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