Saturday, April 3, 2010

Marathons and Coltrane

I started running again this morning. Not too far but very fast (for me). The music was inspiring and I felt it pushing me. My iPod was set to John Coltrane, "A Love Supreme" and after the fact, I realized that the one particular piece that lit the fire under my tail was called "Pursuance." Seems appropriate. Not sure, though, if I'm doing the pursuing or if I'm the one being pursued. As usual, the truth is probably both.

John Coltrane is one of my ultimate, top-of-the-list heroes and not just because of his incredible skill/tone on the tenor sax, but also because of the spirituality with which he approached his music. After falling into the dark side of the NY jazz scene, he had a "spiritual awakening" which helped him overcome drug and alcohol addiction and focused his life into, seemingly, an attempt to open a direct connection to "God" through his music for others to tap into. I'm all for that and every time I listen to "A Love Supreme," it gets inside me a little deeper, I feel maybe a little (tiny, ultraminisculy (sp?), eentsy weentsy) bit more prepared to understand whatever message has been, or is supposed to get dropped on me. Don't fear for my humility on this subject, though. I don't feel anywhere near to understanding what it's all about (Alfie?). I'll just keep looking and listening. Always have to keep the "ears" open.

As always, I have to do a little research when "lecturing" and I found a great website of quotes from musicians who were deeply affected by "A Love Supreme." My particular favorite is Carlos Santana's first quote (a very spiritual guy himself). John McLaughlin's is pretty good too. I think most of us are still trying to wrap our heads around this album.

So with spiritual running in mind, I would like to invite everyone into my planning process.

Now that the 10K is done and the sore muscles have mostly recovered, I am turning the radar toward future events. The big o' hairy monster at the moment is what I call the "Double Marathon Challenge" in Oct/Nov and since I will be pestering you all for sponsorship, I figured I'd ask "You All" for ideas as to how we should implement it.

Here are my questions: (what would YOU rather do?)

Should I take "mile pledges" in which people give me $1, $5, $10, etc...per mile that I complete (the total distance will be 52.4 miles by the end. OY!) or should it be just a generic pledge amount or both?

Would anyone else running in either/both the Chicago and/or Richmond Marathons (or even the smaller subsidiary runs) like to join the process and collect pledges? We could have a contest with a "fabulous prize package chosen just for you!"

What should be my goal?

Would you like the option to directly sponsor/subsidize (corporately or otherwise) the necessary travel expenses involved?

Should there be some kind of video documentation of the events leading up to the races and would anyone like to volunteer to do it? :-) (The second part of the question is actually the important part)

I will officially start my 18-week training on Saturday, June 5. Anyone wanna use that as an excuse to have a party?

Anyone interested in training with me?

Any trainers out there who want to make sure I stay on task?

Any other way cool ideas?

WARNING! TANGENT! TANGENT! (speaking of not staying on task)

As I'm typing, I started listening to k.d. Lang, "Drag." I actually used the title to search for her version of "My Old Addiction," which I love, and let the whole album play. As her album finished, the playlist on iTunes just kept going like it's prone to do and "Two Thumbs Up" started playing. A little freaky but I'm getting used to these things. Unintentionally, I put Johnny Bregar's album, "Dragonfly" next on the list with my search for "Drag." Just can't get away from that tune and that's OK. With Mr. Bregar's permission, I believe I will make that the theme song of all my running endeavors from here on out.

Need to go get other things done but please feel free to give me feedback on my "Double Marathon Challenge" ideas. Thanks.

Here's MY latest quote:

"Life is not beautiful. Life CAN be beautiful. Sometimes it's a big o pile of shit and you can only hope that you packed an extra roll of the quilted stuff."

Yeah, I'm sure they'll be putting THAT in the next edition of "Notable Quotables." :-)


  1. This is the first time I have written on this site. Why? To say HOW AWESOME you both are... such examples and role models. It is a humbling experience to know you. "To the stars through the difficulties" Kansas State Motto. It fits! John


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