Thursday, 31 August 2017

Moby - 18

Are you on Target with your new identity?
The first time I heard the music of Moby, I was blown away. Couple his music with one of the best film franchises that's ever come out of Hollywood and you end up with 'Extreme Ways' the track that's played with the credits to all five Bourne movies, and one of the real standout tracks on Moby's sixth studio album 18 from 2002.

I love the original Bourne Trilogy and it's the double identity of actor Matt Damon's character in the movie Jason Bourne, that I find really interesting and the subject of today's blog.

For those that haven't seen the movies (really?), Jason Bourne is but one of many aliases used by David Webb, a Foreign Service Officer who is deployed by the US as an elite assassin. If you haven't seen the movies recently and you are looking for ninety minutes or so of pure escapism, then visit the bargain bin and enjoy the ride. The car-chases are worth it alone.

So are the double identity issues that our hero Jason Bourne goes through in each of the movies. I mean, not knowing your true identity is a complete mind bomb. Then again it's something I see in folk that go through massive life changes both in body-size and their habitual behaviour. I know it's something I found very challenging when I turned my life round all those years ago and redesigned the new Rory Coleman.

Getting used to the person looking back at you in the mirror takes time. In my experience it took me about 12 months to become comfortable with the new 'Me'. I then needed a personal software update to cement those changes and then created another path of personal enlightenment that followed, and is still updating. It's hard to explain if you haven't been there yourself but it's something that a few of my clients are encountering at the moment and it's a real sink or swim time in their personal progression, even though they believe they've left their old 'Me' well and truly behind - they haven't.

You see, that person creeps up on you if you are not careful and it becomes too easy to revert to type especially when you are least expecting it. Once a year on the date you changed your life is the best time to reassess your 'Extreme Ways' as some folk might see them and work even harder on your secret mission - just like Jason Bourne, David Webb or whatever you are calling yourself today.

Maybe it's time for an identity update?


Rory Coleman - 998 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,639 Days' Alcohol Free - 487 Days' post GBS
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Urban Hymns - The Verve

Tell me...Do you feel lucky?
As I continue my self-indulgent voyage back into the last 23 years, I'm enjoying listening to some of the classic albums that have accompanied me along the way. The Verve's ‘Urban Hymns’ is one such album and 'Lucky Man' has always been a stand out track for me, even though it was 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' I played over and over again in its 'Treat Infamy' version during my 24 hour Treadmill Guinness World Record in October 1998.

‘Lucky Man’ is well worth another listen today if you are struggling with life, addiction or pain. I know those emotions myself but somehow at my lowest point found the resilience and energy to change. The lyrics sum it up perfectly for me.

It's just a change in me, Something in my liberty - Ashcroft

You see it was the feeling of being FREE that I loved and still love today. The LIBERTY I've felt this past post-addiction lifetime has been the best 'life-experience' anyone could ever wish for. There are many solutions in overcoming Alcohol Addiction nowadays, 23 years ago there were two. Give up and toughen up or AA. I chose the former as AA didn't look much fun if I was being honest and being surrounded in a room of people that I saw as 'failures' just like myself certainly wasn't attractive.

The thought of never being able to ‘leave’ as I saw it back then, was also far too suffocating.

That's when I thought that actually, I'm a 'Lucky Man'.

Lucky to still be alive that is and 'Lucky' that I'd found something that was going to point my life in the right direction. Focussing on that made being 'Alcohol Free', easy and never letting ANYTHING chip away at my inner resolve an oath I will take to my grave.

You see, it's far too easy to lessen your grip on your values. Alcohol-Free Beer that has 0.05% Alcohol in it is the latest bit of 'Marketing Bullshit' I've seen and for those trying to quit, makes only for a slippery slope of deceit. So, my question today is folks 'Do you feel Lucky?' And if the answer is 'Yes' then why are you fuck your life up drinking?


My Book 'A Rebel and a Runner' is back in print :-)

Rory Coleman - 998 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,638 Days' Alcohol Free - 486 Days' post GBS
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Ray of Light - Madonna

After having a bit of a downer on ‘Madge’ the other day, I thought it only right that I chose one of her greatest albums in the lead up to my 1000th Marathon (I’m sure she’ll sleep well tonight knowing that). But in all honesty back in 1998 I thought, and still do that ‘Ray of Light’ is a brilliant album. The title track is one of the album highlights but I prefer ‘Frozen’. It’s well worth another listen especially if you haven’t dusted off your CD rack recently… it’s even better with a good pair of headphones on.

Lyrically, it’s just perfect and over my lifetime, I've connected with all of the following:-

You're so consumed with how much you get,
You waste your time with hate and regret,
You're broken,
When your heart's not open.

But then again, I’m sure we all have been consumed, wasted time and been broken at one time or another… let’s face it, being ‘Frozen’, ain’t much fun and getting life back to running with a full head of steam can be a tricky old thing and take a lot of time on your own. There's so much help available nowadays - it's worth reaching out if you are in need. People are only too glad to help if you ask... I know.

It only takes a spark to get things going to let that ‘Ray of Light’ back into your world and live life to the full.


Rory Coleman - 998 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,637 Days' Alcohol Free - 485 Days' post GBS
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Black Grape - It's great when you're straight...Yeah!

Album Choice:- I remember listening to this album on my way to the 80 Mile World Trail Running Championships on the South Downs in June 1996. Yes, they were the 'World Championships' back then masterminded by the famous Harry Townsend. I'd loved the Happy Mondays, and Black Grape was a great progression in my opinion, that sadly only lasted another album.

As far as the race went, I must admit to feeling a little apprehensive on the start line as the only person I knew who'd previously taken part said that he'd wanted to 'lie down and die at half-way'. I got to the 40 milepoint in 8hrs quite nicely and went onto finish in 16hrs 43mins and claim a 134th place  and a World Ranking which I've always been proud of.

There was something most special about being burned to a frazzle on one of the most picturesque National Trails that the UK in has to offer as well as heading into the night to complete the race in the dark on some tricky descents down into a spectacular finish at Eastbourne.

It was also  the day I learned that running in Speedos would have been a much better idea than shorts with a liner if you didn't want to finish an ULTRA running like a cowboy that's lost his horse and also that you should take on board what folks say that have been where it is that you want to go, but not to take it as gospel.

I also found out that 80 miles wasn't my operational ceiling and that I'd have to find another goal to seek out my 'Limit of Human Endurance'. It must have been a brilliant experience though as I ran the race the following year and again in a slightly shorter 100km version in 2002 where in a team of four, we won the now famous Trailwalker Event organised by the Gurkas and Oxfam.

Over the years, as a person and a runner, I've found pushing myself and my barriers has led to much of my inner happiness and I've found out who I really am I believe. If you are searching like I was all those years ago, I'm not suggesting that you need to go and run an 80 mile Ultra-marathon but it might be worth trying to find some space where you can assess your direction, make plans and assess you are going.

Back in 1994, I felt very lost and yet in a short space of time I felt invincible all from a 'Bit of Running'. I believe the Reverend Black Grape got it right preaching at the time, 'It's great when you're straight...Yeah!

It makes a huge difference when you are not looking at life through a fog.

You can hear me preaching my gospel on BBC Five Live at 11.30am tomorrow btw.


Rory Coleman - 998 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,636 Days' Alcohol Free - 484 Days' post GBS
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Depeche Mode - ULTRA

Kinda Beautiful...
Album Choice:- Well, as I'm in the 'Final Countdown' to marathon #1000 I thought it only right to choose some of the albums that have accompanied me over all my years of running. Any album, I'm sure you'll agree, titled 'ULTRA' should easily make any runners' shortlist but this Depeche Mode, (post Dave Gahan Melt-Down) album has a really dark sound that's great to run along to. Have a listen here to the track 'It's no good' and see what you think.

'I'm going to take my time, I have all the time in the world' - Gore

I love that line and we DO have ALL the time in the world.

Anyway. I thought 'ULTRA' was a good fit as it's 22 years' ago TODAY that I did my first ULTRA at the 33.94 mile Grantham Canal Race from Notts Forest Football Ground to Grantham on 27th August' 1995 along the disused Grantham Canal. I ran it hard as I remember too in 5hrs and 2mins including vaulting endless five bar gates and limboing under some very low road bridges.

It had a profound effect on me too as there were a couple of runners who had completed the Two Bridges Ultra in Scotland the previous day to much applause at the start. I was most impressed by that and little did I know that one day I would go on to run hundreds of Marathons and ULTRAs back-to-back and head to Nottingham some twenty-two years and 984 marathons later, to create my own piece of running history in the same City.

You see anything is possible, you just have to go and make it happen. The feat started all the way back in 1994 when the Telford Marathon caught my eye in Runner's World and I decided to send off my £10 for the entry fee to start my marathon journey. Yes' the rest might be history but it started with a spark and a simple decision to go and run the classic 26.2 mile distance, the one that was going to define my life it's worked out.

I always say making a choice is 'Simple'. Sticking to it much harder only if you do you'll enjoy the freedom that's accompanies the journey and in my case has been the best decision I've ever made,  for a million reasons .

Maybe it's time for you to make a similar decision today and then stick to your goals come what may. I mean you have 'all the time in the world'.


Rory Coleman - 998 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,635 Days' Alcohol Free - 483 Days' post GBS
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Boys of Summer - Don Henley

Aberystwyth - 25th August 2014
Lyrics:- 'Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach. I feel it in the air, the Summer's out of reach' - Henley

Song Choice:- 'Oh Woe', is me! Are you 'Oh Woe is me', too... You see, I feel Summer's fading fast down here in God's Country, the once Horse Chestnut vibrant green leaves in Llnadaff Fields are now rusting up for Autumn and it's August Bank Holiday Eve.

Yikes, what a downer!

Now you know I'm not a 'Glass-Half-Empty', 'Energy Vampiring' kinda guy but I've never seen much good come from the long weekend in August especially as it heralds in September and our Central Heating Boiler going into overdrive.

Maybe it's the nights drawing in perhaps or the last four weeks of rain that have put a dampener on it?

Anyway, to improve the mood, hopefully running my 998th marathon in Blandford Forum tomorrow will breathe a ray of late summer sunshine into my Bank Holiday Weekend and pray that an Indian Summer is on it's way for our September... Perlease!!!!

Well, we can all hope eh? But we can all still try to be 'Awesome'... before Summer's out of reach.


Rory Coleman - 997 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,633 Days' Alcohol Free - 481 Days' post GBS
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Live Forever - Oasis

Titled - Fat People...
Lyrics:- 'You and I, We're gonna live forever' - Gallagher

Song Choice:- Well it's great news for us active types and not so for the six million adults in England that are so physically inactive that they are not even doing one brisk 10-minute walk each month. 

Yep you read it right - A MONTH!

The finding is part of research by Public Health England (PHE) that reveals the shocking levels of inactivity among those aged between 40 and 60. It found that 41% of the 15.3 million people in that age group walked less than 10 consecutive minutes at a 'brisk pace' - of at least 3mph - each month.

That's if you call 20 minute miles a 'brisk pace', it's more of 'shopping pace' if you ask me and no wonder our Doctor's Surgeries and Hospitals are already full and will only become even more overloaded with folk that simply can't get off their backsides - it's a modern day plague.

The problem is, that in our modern politically correct world we're not to point out that obesity is killing our Nation and our National Health Service. I wonder how much PHE spent on the survey? I could have told them the results in one sentence and a simple head count in most city centres, especially in the poorer parts of the UK will deliver a 40% obesity rate. You only have to look around... yet there are no answers yet, just no-one walks, especially in London.

Well here's a few ideas, spend the cash getting food manufacturers to cut sugar, obliterate cigarettes for good and get a celebrity culture to encourage folk that being healthy, active and slim is cool. That would be a great way to start IMO.

What can WE do - well as people that know the benefits of aerobic fitness and being active, all we can do is to keep on encouraging others to get out there, become active and get on a diet - your mission is to save as many lives as possible as that's how serious a problem this is becoming.

The good thing is that it could well be thousands of lives as you are going to have a lot of time as we are going to 'Live Forever'.


Rory Coleman - 997 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,632 Days' Alcohol Free - 480 Days' post GBS
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Holiday - Scorpions

Lyrics:- 'Exchange your troubles' - Meine 

Song Choice:- I've always tried not to be put off with the Scorpions strange Anglo-German sounding vocals, and like the Pre-'Winds of Change' Scorpions are far better IMO if I'm being honest. I was at Art-School when I first heard the 'Lovedrive' album way back in 1980 and instantly loved the track, 'Holiday'. It fits my thoughts today perfectly and is a far more macho choice the alternative Madonna track I considered... Have a listen for yourself here and see what you've been missing all these years.

Anyway, with the 'Holiday' season in full swing and a bank-holiday (destined to be a washout no doubt) firmly on the horizon, I find a 'Holiday' time-out a great opportunity to get things straight and work out my life's next direction.

There's nothing better than making plans and then starting to implement them. 

Five year's ago on a scorching beach in Majorca, I decided I needed to write a book chronicling my 50 year journey including all the highs and lows and 'A Rebel and a Runner' was born. I'm not saying necessarily that you need to write a book but some basic thoughts and ideas jotted down can really help give you some direction and fresh impetus on your return.

I mean, why not make the best of an August Bank Holiday for once. It's something that I'll definitely be doing myself as well as enjoying a bit of late Summer sunshine - Well you can always hope eh?


Rory Coleman - 997 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,631 Days' Alcohol Free - 479 Days' post GBS
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Perspective - Peter Gabriel

Lyrics:- 'Don't trust my eyes' - Gabriel

Song Choice:- Taken from his second 'Scratch' album released on 3rd June 1978 (Yep, I looked it up) I've always really loved the Perspective track and following yesterday's blog on Fear, maybe we all need some 'Perspective' when we are engaging with change and trying to make our mark on the world.

It's funny that a lot of my time is spent trying to get folk to see the bigger picture, the thing is, when they do, it's how they interpret it that can be confusing. I'm sure we've all been there over-encouraging someone else to see the 'Magic Eye' pictures or Stereograms that were so popular in the 90's. This one has the words 'CARPE DIEM' meaning 'Seize the Day' hidden within it to my eyes but you might see something different and if you do please let me know.

A lot is life is about how we interpret what we see but also how clearly and impartially we see it. Ask any Football Fan why their team lost and they'll usually blame the Ref and make lots of excuses rather than be honest and simply say their team were second best. Don't get me wrong, being impassioned and protective is one thing, self-belief and vision though are vital to success as is a more pragmatic approach.

Why not take a good long stare into your own 'Magic Eye' world today and see what's really going on. You never know, - you might see more than you'd imagined.

Trust your eyes and 'Seize the Day'.


Rory Coleman - 997 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,630 Days' Alcohol Free - 478 Days' post GBS
1 Sad Day for the World
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Fearless - The Pink Floyd

Afraid your team won't win?
Lyrics:- 'You'll never walk alone' - Rodgers & Hammerstein

Song Choice:- Fearless is taken from the 1971 album Meddle. It's one of my early Pink Floyd favourites and includes the classic 'Echoes'. On this track, I've always loved the sensitivity of Gilmour's vocals, and they've always struck a chord with me, especially the line, 'They say the hill's too steep to climb', how appropriate  - take a listen here, if you haven't heard it in a while or are even new to the song or even Pink Floyd (If that's possible).

Anyway, how 'Fearless' are you today? Maybe try and score it on a scale of 1-10, with the 10 being totally 'Fearless'. I don't think I've got that much to be afraid of today and  believe I'm punching a near perfect 10 so I thought I'd look back at 21st August, 2016 to see how afraid I was then as a reference point.

The simple answer to that is that I don't think I was full of 'Fear' then either, as far as I can gather from my blog of that day. 'Fear' wasn't a consideration although I suppose I should have felt a little afraid at least, as I was still had a long way to go on my recovery.

Post illness, I know I don't get afraid of things at all...I wonder though what makes some folk quake in their shoes and others boldly go where no man has gone before? Maybe being a 'Cool Cucumber' takes practice or a life-threatening event to eradicate the behavioural trait. 

I do believe you have to do things in your own time and I'm a classic, 'And I'll climb the hill in my own way just wait a while, for the right day', kinda guy. I don't need pushing as I'm already at pushing at 113% if my latest VO2 test is correct.

So why not join me this week, and try not to be so afraid of anything? You might surprise yourself and if you share your 'Fears' - 'You'll never walk alone'... share them with ME if you want?


Rory Coleman - 997 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,629 Days' Alcohol Free - 477 Days' post GBS
1 Sad Day for the World

Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Move on up - Curtis Mayfield

Christ College, Brecon - Not a bad place to train...
Lyrics:- ‘Just move on up, towards your destination’ – Mayfield

Song Choice:- I’ve always loved listening to this track in the car as it’s got such a great groove to it and it’s full of drive. It’s speeding ticket potential rating must be right up there with best but it’s the notion of moving towards one’s destination that really hit me for today’s blog.

You see, I’ve been coaching a group of people from all over the UK this weekend in sunny Brecon, who are preparing to run in the Sahara, Atacama or Gobi Deserts and I’ve been really knocked out by their enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge. A room full of ‘Six-Day Racing Self-confessed Run-A-Holics’ is a very powerful place to be I can tell you and on a group run after the classroom sessions, it felt like we could’ve moved the mountain that we were running up.

BTW it was bloody steep and after my blast around the Merthyr Tydfil parkrun earlier, I didn’t have the oxygen to say much going up that baby. Note-to-self, run more hills!

Anyway, the thing is, it felt that these guys, ‘Moved on up’ yesterday - sat up and made huge strides towards their destination. Their chances of success at their races which in some cases are still 230 days away, hopefully have improved greatly with a new knowledge base. I certainly learned a few things myself from the other experts that spoke too, which is a good thing and I’m looking forward to leading a group training run around the sand dunes in Merthyr Mawr to complete their Desert Training experience this morning.

For you though, if you aren't running across deserts in the near future, if at all, maybe it’s worth taking some time out today to consider how you might move on up, towards your own destination whatever that might be. And like these guys get some help and guidance along the way to point you in the right direction as you’ll ‘Move on up’ a whole lot quicker.


Rory Coleman - 997 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,628 Days' Alcohol Free - 476 Days' post GBS
1 Sad Day for the World

Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Barcelona - Queen

Lyrics:- 'Shaking all our lives' - Mercury & Moran

Song Choice:- Following yesterday's events in Barcelona, it only feels right to write about one of my favourite places on the planet. I'm not going to have my thoughts, memories and images tarnished by people who want to kill and main others and I'm only ever going to think positively about this amazing City.

I mean, it's no wonder that Barcelona draws in so many visitors. If you've ever been there, I'm sure you will have wondered at the Sagrada Familia Cathedral (left) and the genius of a certain Senior Goudy. I've also visited the Olympic and Football Stadiums and used their famous bus hop-on-hop-off tours to get a complete picture of a very 'bohemian' place to experience. There's always a certain sense of relaxed freedom and I've got great memories of Lady Coleman running a couple of 24hr races in the north of the City and enjoying her success at going on to be part of the GB team.

It's a special place.

So that's what I'm going to continue to think. I'm going to keep on enjoying the freedom that should be part of our everyday lives. Enjoy the FREEDOM that running brings and that has brought me an extra dimension in my life to be able to enjoy the world and go back to Barcelona and experience it again in the future.

I hope you also feel empowered to continue to live life to the full and not let things stop you doing the things that you want to do.


Rory Coleman - 997 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,626 Days' Alcohol Free - 474 Days' post GBS
1 Sad Day for the World

Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

You're the Voice - John Farnham

Lyrics:- ‘We have the chance, to turn the pages over, we can write what we want to write’ - Reid, Qunta, Thompson & Ryder

Song Choice:- This song is such an anthem and I’m sure lots of people have sung along to it at the tops of the voices especially when they’ve feel like they’ve not been listened to or even heard at all. Being such a Power Ballad, the song was famously used for The World Liberty Concert in The Netherlands on May 8th, 1995 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of Europe. Not a bad accolade for a bloke Dagenham eh?

It got me thinking about what band or song I’d associate myself with part from Rush’s New World Man which has my book title ‘A Rebel and a Runner’ in it of course but thinking on a wider scale whether I’d be in a group, what I’d play or whether I’d be a solo artist. I’m sure I’d like to be in control, that probably goes without saying and the microphone is a very powerful tool. However, I would like the freedom and expression of having those lead solo breaks where I could show off my skills and get the ‘Wow’ factor that I obviously crave. I’m not sure how I’d cope with playing in a group though as I’m not a team player AND in my early life, I’d have probably had all the right criteria to get immediate membership to the ‘27 Club’.

So, my question for today is… If YOU were a band or a solo artist who would you be and why? Say of you were a completely out of control person that went on to clean up their life but now plays a lot of sport still liking the limelight, you might be an ‘Alice Cooper’ say… sounds kinda familiar eh? You might be someone that is just happy to play along with others taking the limelight, yet wanting the success it brings without all the hassle… Well you’re in Coldplay but no-one knows your name.

I’d love to know and ‘Write what you want to write’ as having a Voice is important, Making yourself heard - Well that's a whole lot harder and SHOUT if you need to.


Rory Coleman - 997 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,625 Days' Alcohol Free - 473 Days' post GBS
Inspirational Running Memoir
Location: Cardiff, Wales.