Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Synchronicity - The Police

Lyrics:- 'A connecting principle, linked to the invisible' - Sumner

Song Choice:- Back in 1983 no-one really knew what 'Synchronicity' was and thirty-four years later on, I'm not sure we still do. The long and the short it is that there is a simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. It's a kinda deep philosophy that I could read about in depth...but without having the reading gene, on the surface, I get it.

In my experience and good things start to happen when you can make at least one major change in your life. Even better, make a couple and a 'Domino Effect' starts to happen and that's what I hope is starting to happen in your life as we get to the end of January. 

Why? Well that's 'Synchronicity' for you. Or have you just upped your game and cut out some of life's shitty bits and replaced them with better 'Brain Nutrition'. It's amazing how a bright outlook brings on a brighter future.

I think that 'Positivity' breeds 'Synchronicity' and as we go into February how about resetting the vibes you send out to those around you and see what comes back your way.

You never know if you as act as you think, you'll find that missing link... well that's what Sting says!

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,427 Days' Alcohol Free.
Inspirational Running Memoir - Get your copy here.
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Monday, 30 January 2017

Good Times - Chic

Lyric:- 'Our new state of mind, these are the good times' - Edwards & Rodgers

Song Choice:- This is such a happy tune yet back in 1979, one that I couldn't stand. I was more interested in prog rock and dismissed the melodies of Edwards and Rodgers as being disco rubbish not worthy of my record collection, but oh how time has changed a young man's perspective.

Rather than being amazingly complex pompous neo-classic rock to be marvelled at - this music was all about how it made you feel. I can now see that having a good time and being driven along by that pumping bass line gave disco a real edge and sadly it passed me by.

Ok it was a short lived genre and makes a resurgence every few years but it's amazing what you can miss out on or what you miss when it's taken away from you, especially if at one time you were good at it or it was your profession.

No wonder professional sports-people find it hard to detune themselves from their very protected worlds when retirement looms.

It felt a bit like that when my world turned upside down with the whole GBS thing last year. Getting myself back to where I once was is proving to be a long and uphill journey and even though I'm doing well, it makes me realise just how fit I once was and makes me think that I should've celebrated my successes more rather than immediately moving onto the next challenge.

After all, there's nothing as good as setting PB's or the odd Guinness World Record I've found.

Sadly they both are a rarity and you are never at the top for long whomever you are so don't overlook life'striumphs as it just ain't Chic not to enjoy the 'Good Times' .

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,426 Days' Alcohol Free.
Inspirational Running Memoir - Get your copy here
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Thunder and Lightning - Phil Collins

Lyrics:- You get, just one crack of the whip, that's all - Collins

Song Choice:- l watched an episode of 'Classic Albums' that featured, the 1981 album, 'Face Value' the other evening and it's had a profound effect on my thought processes over these past few days. With Collins himself becoming 66 tomorrow it's hard to imagine that he was just 30 years old when he knocked out his first and arguably best 'Solo' album.

With 150 million album sales from his solo work alone, it's an amazing legacy for the one-time Genesis drummer that only got into singing because of Sir Peter of Gabriel's departure to leave for posterity. Yet behind all of this his life's triumphs are accompanied by a trail of self-destruction.

It sounds all too a familiar story to me and my thoughts are that even if you consider yourself to be a Joe Ordinary or like Phil, you are a multi-platinum record selling artist, try listing your life achievements in five bullet points (excluding marriages and children) and see how you describe your life in five compact sound bites.

I could list my own but they are not important in regards to this blog or to you as they are only relevant to me and how I see myself and my own accomplishments.

Have a go yourself perhaps and let me know what you come up with. It's not as easy as you think... and if you can't think of any, hark back to Phil's lyrics as you only 'get one crack of the whip' according to him...

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,425 Days' Alcohol Free.

Location:Cardiff, Wales

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Steam - Sir Peter of Gabriel

Lyrics:- 'Stand back' - Gabriel

Song Choice:- Well on the day I clocked 29:00 mins for the weekly Cardiff 5km Parkrun, I must say that it feels like I've built up a head of 'Steam' that has certainly given me s lot of hope today for my future running exploits.

You see, I've knocked off over half of my time off that first post Guillain-Barre Syndrome 5km and I reckon that with more training and rehab, there's more in the tank.

I believe it's down to my own coaching principles of running a good base of 65-75% MHR sessions of either running, jogging or walking that I've been working hard on for a month now, plus some twice weekly leg sessions at Aspire Fitness with trainer Joe Timmins.

I'm asked and have been asked a thousand times about HR Training and I've now got it to a tee I believe and the results are amazing for me and for those whom stick to their session plans.

My motivation and concentration are now back 'Red-Lining' and exactly six months on from being wheelchair-bound I feel like I bounded that 5km today and I'll try and sub 9 all the way next time I need a 'Time-Trail-Trial'.

Until then it's 80:10:10 with the HRT and if you don't know how to do it and get great results, I do so please contact me and together we can build up your head of steel to create greatness.

More tomorrow:-)

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,424 Days' Alcohol Free.

Location:Cardiff, Wales

Friday, 27 January 2017

Reward - Teardrop Explodes

Lyrics:- 'Suddenly it struck me very clear, suddenly it struck me very clean' - Gill & Cope

Song Choice:- The Teardrop Explodes were an English post-punk/neo-psychedelic band formed in Liverpool in 1978 but I only know them for their 1981hit - Reward. And as we draw towards the end of January, it's the 'Reward' part that I'm interested in for today's blog.

You see, If like me you've been cleaning up your act by actively instigating some replacement behavioural traits, to some degree of success - just how do you celebrate?

It's an interesting thought.

On Wednesday next for instance, if you've been following 'Dry January' will you be going out to catch up on 31 days of sobriety in one session? If you've been cleaning up your diet, will a celebration blow-out Curry hit the spot?

Success or Failure always deem some kind of reward it seems. It's part of our culture, yet neither forms of reward above, hit the spot for me and if I'm being honest.

I think I must have missed out on the instant gratification gene and I prefer more of a permanent mark of success that I can use as a framework to build the rest of my life around. I would therefore suggest that 'success-breeds-success' and once you've got the ball rolling so to speak, stopping to take on a dose of 'celebration kryptonite' is actually counter productive to a continued progression.

I sound like some old spoil-sport here but there are other great ways of celebrating other than eating or drinking. A weight-loss 'Wardrobe Overhaul' or 'Sobriety 4K TV' for instance provides a longer term reward - and I'm sure we all have dream holiday, adventure or even new house we could use as bait to continue our good practices.

And that's my key message today - You've done well getting to where you are right now but don't take your foot off the gas, even for a moment if you can help it. It's so easy to slip into reverse gear and find yourself back at square one with a month's hard work up the swans and another to get you back to where you are today.

So keep a clear mind this weekend and get ready for February. Your 'Reward' might be closer than you think.

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,423 Days' Alcohol Free.
Inspirational Running Memoir - Get your copy here
Location: Caerdydd, Cymru

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Book of Dreams - Suzanne Vega

Today's Message
Lyric:- 'Rode like foam on the river of pity, healed the hole that ripped in living' - Vega

Song Choice:- I've always thought that Suzanne Vega was a bit underrated. I love the way she paint's pictures with her lyrics and delivers them with that smooth chocolaty voice that melts me every single time...

Anyway, it's been an interesting few days where I've been becoming more interested in folks reasoning behind their lifestyle choices, including their approach to fitness. You see 'Life' doesn't come with a handbook, it comes with choices, experience, setbacks and a bucket of hindsight.

Let's think back to learning to drive for instance... For me over 30 years ago and I'm sure that the basics still apply here in that you have some lessons from someone who CAN drive, get in the car and start the whole experience of becoming a 'Driver'. Are you really interested in the amount of torque the engine produces or the gear ratios in return for the fuel economy. Are you hell...The exhilaration of actually being behind the wheel was enough and the thought of the freedom that comes with driving was enough to incentivise your progression.

In reality, I was more worried about not crashing the bloody thing but with the more experience I got from my instructor (4 lessons) and from time practising behind the wheel - the better I got until the day when I finally threw away the number plates and got let lose on the roads, solo. 

That's where the trouble starts as until you are 70, you are free to drive as badly as you like within reason. I like to think I'm a good driver and my record of not killing myself or other people over that 30 year span speaks volumes. It certainly didn't come from my reading 'The Law of Driving' or a 'Haynes Manual' on how to service my 1980, 1100cc Mini Clubman (I loved that car) - yet why do we feel the need to consult the internet on everything we do now or read 'how to' books on Lifestyle Tips, Heart-Rate Training or Ultra-Dieting to 'understand' things or ourselves better?

My thing is and always has been, that it's about how you 'feel' and keeping things really simple. And yes I know I've just written a book but it's not a 'how to' volume, it's about how I uncomplicated my life and saw things for what they really are - me included. For that I didn't need any help. I just needed to open my senses to the 'River of Pity' I was sailing down.

Talk is cheap, if only we DID as much as we SPEAK. The internet is full of content on everything imaginable by folk we don't know. If you don't know how to live life, don't ask Google take some driving lessons on life in real life, from those that you know have and you won't go far wrong. Questions? Well there aren't any really and if you follow your leader you'll 'Heal the hole in your Living' that you are so desperately searching for.

More tomorrow folks...

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,422 Days' Alcohol Free.
Inspirational Running Memoir - Get your copy here
Location: Caerdydd, Cymru

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

We are the Champions - Queen

Champion Stuff
Lyrics:- 'We are the champions, my friends' - Mercury

Song Choice:- Well it's time I chose one of the many Mercury written Queen tracks and it's from a time when I was a wide-eyed fifteen year old school boy growing up in that hot Silver Jubilee year when we felt we were surrounded by champions, including Freddie of course.

You see recently, I've had a couple of conversations with friends this week about very matter and I wonder if we'll ever get another Pink Floyd, Genesis, Senna, Schumacher or Borg. What heroes!!!

I mean what have we now got on the menu?

Coldplay, Hamilton and Murray... I can feel my eyelids closing as I write the names.

The 'Champion Era' has long gone IMO - only to be replaced by some bland substitute of an anaesthetised mediocrity of uninspiring inspirational people that's sadly fuelled by big money from the far east it would appear.

So just ignore it I say and get on with your own knitting as luckily, we can be our own 'Champions' and forget watching some other people chasing cash for fame or listen to churned out pop music trash that Freddie would certainly turn his nose up at.

We are the Champions only got to #2 in the charts btw in 1977 - in contrast we now have the ' wonderful' James Arthur, big f@cking deal...Listening to him is 'Committing a Crime and well worth a Sentence' if you ask me.

So crack out your vinyl and Keep on 'Fighting to the End' and remember 'You are the Champion, Today and Everyday'.

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,421 Days' Alcohol Free.
Inspirational Running Memoir - Get your copy here
Location: Caerdydd, Cymru

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Useless - Depeche Mode

Great Scott
Lyrics:- 'Feeling tired and bruised' - Gore

Song Choice:- This great Depeche Mode track was their 34th single at the time (that's a lot more than I'd have guessed) but only got to #28 in the UK Charts back in 1997. The post suicidal Gahan songs have always struck a chord with me and coming from an album titled 'Ultra', no wonder why it's right up my alley.

Anyway, my own post 'Guillian Barre Syndrome' blackness continues and rather than being 'Useless' and therefore sit on my arse and become 'Use-Less'. I've decided to change my strategy and 'Use-More' if you could give it a name. Getting my nerves firing more efficiently every time I exercise takes time - every time. What I've found though is once warmed up I sort of get things going a lot better and  things start to loosen up and start to fire.

The drawback is, that when I go out running, the post-exercise fatigue hits hard and it's like all of the training kinetic energy I build up with resting, gets wiped away for at least two days if not three and I'm technically buggered. Also I've found I can walk faster than I can run therefore I'm stacking in the miles that way with a lot less fatigue.

The results are promising both physically and mentally and there's only one way of finding out if it works - and that's to stick at it. I'll be honest and say that last week I nearly reached out for the 'Prednisilone' but decided that a quick-steroid-fix would only lead to a long period of more side effects as well as having to go 'Cold-turkey' again. With hindsight it was a good decision.

What happens next? Well who knows, but hopefully it's going to be more 'Useful to me than Useless.'

I'll keep you posted...

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8,420 Days' Alcohol Free.
& 1 Inspirational Running Memoir - Get your copy here
Location: Caerdydd, Cymru

Monday, 23 January 2017

Blind Vision - Blancmange

Lyric:- 'A Dream's a Dream' - Arthur & Luscombe

Song Choice:- I wanted a great track to illustrate my latest Marathon des Sables thoughts and feelings on a cold, and rather dull, Monday morning in Cardiff. 'Blind Vision' provides a great anthem for the 73 days we have left to get battle-hardened for 'The World's Toughest Footrace' starting on Sunday April 9th, just a snidge after 9am. It's going to be a battle too out in the searing 50c+ heat and 257kms of desert sand Race Director, Patrick Bauer has devilishly planned for this year's race.

Each year it's said to be longer, tougher and harder and the truth is that every MdS feels long, super tough and f@cking brutal if I'm being honest (I know) but then that's we're going and why I keep going back - isn't it?

Getting a handle on the last 10 weeks though can become a really onerous task for lots of folk though, especially if they haven't done too much preparation and they read of the 000's of training miles being clocked up, races being devoured and packs the sizes of small pianos being transported daily to-and-from city desk jobs by others.

Please - there is still time and don't despair if that's you - if there's any solace, you are a lot fitter for the race than I am today.

As the lyrics say 'A dream's a dream' and I have just the same dream as anyone else right now of crossing the finish line somewhere near Merzouga on April 15th hopefully still in one piece knowing that I've been taken to my 'Limits of Human Endurance' for a stupid 14th time. My thing right now is that I can only train every other day (slow run or light weights) as my recovery rate has been slowed by the awful Guillain Barre Syndrome, that hit me for six immediately following MdS#31. I'll be honest and say it can be disheartening but after just watching a video clip I made last May when I was at my lowest point with the GBS, I've travelled light-years on and thinking back to my accompanying Sir Ranulph on his MdS journey in 2013, where we was totally battered, I know I have the experience and knowledge to walk my way to the medal.

Am I worried? Well, I don't think so...

Just getting to the start line is a miracle considering just how ill I was last year. I'm being  spurred on, like you are perhaps, by Kevin Webber and Duncan Slater with their own-triumph over adversity stories, and I'm sure everyone has their own story for wanting to get out there in the wilderness and find out just what makes them tick by getting a good 'Desert Kicking', where even the top runners will get caught out.

You see it's the 'Self-sufficiency' part of the race that folk forget overlook and it's not only about the 11 days we spend in Morocco, it's also about the 73 days we have left before we fly out to Ouarzazate, as your race can be won and lost here too. Luckily there's still time to advance your 'Sahara Apprenticeship' and focus in on what YOU are doing and not worry too much about what anyone else broadcasts about their heroics, as all the BS stops when the 'Highway to Hell' opens up for business on that first race day.

For me it will 'Book-end' a much tougher life-challenge than any Desert campaign could ever offer. It will however ,give me a chance to feel 'REAL' and 'NORMAL' again - and if that's me having 'Blind Hope' or 'Blind Vision' that's fine because when you've been out there and   lived theMdS experience you'll know where I'm coming from - and that it's not me just talking 'Blancmange'.

Enjoy the 'MdS ride' folks...

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records -
8,419 Days' Alcohol Free.
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Weirdo - The Charlatans

Weirdo Message
Lyrics:- 'Most of the time you are happy' - Burgess et Al

Song Choice:- I was listening to 'Weirdo' on my journey out and about on the streets of Cardiff on a busy Saturday night getting a few more miles into my legs.

Ironically yesterday's blog waxed on lyrically about Canton being one of the top places to live in the UK - however just a few hours on and the Paddy-Wagons, Ambulances and Police Cars were running riot as two people were stabbed outside a pub and the helicopter circled over trying to catch the perpetrator.

Michael Jackson's Thriller video had nothing on this scenario I can tell you as the Saturday Night revellers looked on.

Firstly It made me wonder if this is what folk looked forward to when they set out on their Saturday night and secondly who were the real Weirdos here - them or me out on my late-night exercise.

I suppose it's down to what makes you happy -  to my mind, you can't buy happiness.

More tomorrow, Weirdos...

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,418 Days' Alcohol Free
1 Inspirational Running Memoir - Get your copy here
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Living Daylights - A-Ha

Lyric:- 'Save the darkness' - Barry & Waaktaar

Song Choice:- You can't beat a good 'Bond Song' to set you up for the day and it's a shame the movie was a duffer as the A-Ha boys made a great stab at the theme. It peaked at #5 in the UK charts, way back in 1988, if you are interested.

Anyway less of Bond and my question today is how are you feeling now there's an extra hour of daylight since December 21st. It's actually 48 minutes but we won't get gloomy about that as the evenings are slowly drawing out now and my own mood is generally lifting.

Sunnier and warmer times are ahead, for all of us...

You can understand why animals hibernate and why December and January can be such a challenging time for folk with SAD. It's a bit of a dark tunnel for me too combined with the daily damp monsoon we get down here in God's Country. For a lot of the time, it's difficult to see that tunnel-end light I can tell you.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed or feeling all doom and gloom - I'm just saying that less than 8 hours of daylight a day just isn't enough Vitamin D for my old bodies system.

The longer days (around the end of March) are racing towards us at 12 minutes per week and I can hardly control myself as I always feel better in the warm Spring sunshine - the warmer the better!

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,417 Days' Alcohol Free
1 Inspirational Running Memoir - Get your copy here

Friday, 20 January 2017

Forever - The Charlatans

On being a 'Champion'
Lyric:- 'Oh I wonder what you people do with your lives' - Blunt, Brookes, Burgess, Collins & Rogers

Song Choice:- A lesser know Charlatans single but one of their finest IMO and highlights my thoughts today quite nicely about 'Running' and it's 'Forever" qualities. Got to #12 this one btw and has some super-subsonic bass which is well worth a listen.

Anyway, my Friday thoughts are about YOU becoming your own 'Champion' in whatever event you are contemplating taking part in this year. For me running in the same Flora London Marathon Race as Paula in 2003 and sharing her Post-Race Press Conference was a real honour. Being tapped on the shoulder and being wished 'Good Luck' by Mohamad Ahansal at the start of this year's Marathon des Sables was another real-life moment. How many races would that happen in?

You see, you can't run out onto Old Trafford for a kick-about with Wayne or drive your family runabout around Monaco trying to keep up with Lewis. Even if you could, hurry up as Wayne and Lewis won't be doing it themselves much longer as retirement beckons.

We, on the other hand, have a lifetime left in our running exploits and can therefore spread them out and achieve more personal goals for a whole lot longer. I can't think of a 55-year old striker playing in the Premier League right now. Plenty talking for hours about it on TV, dropping in their own achievements and their aitches along the way and wishing they were young once more and could play again.

So, the word this Friday, is that we are lucky as we can run 'Forever' and live out our dreams rather than watch others live out theirs.

Rory Coleman - 980 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,415 Days' Alcohol Free
1 Inspirational Running Memoir - Get your copy here

Location: Cardiff, Wales