I was planning on a good training weekend but instead I went skiing and read the newspaper while doing laundry. I ran today in the chill that has taken over Vancouver. I hate training in this cold but I love easy off day runs in this weather. I feel like I am home in Nova Scotia or back at the University of New Brunswick. In total I ran 6 miles tonight.
Tonight's run provided an opportunity to think back to the hours and hours of training I completed as an undergrad. In extreme winter cases my team would run blocks in the city in minus 20 degree weather. Our shoes would freeze as well as the perspiration on the inside of our jackets. There were times when my eyes would nearly freeze shut due to the extreme cold. Many of my summer routes in Fredericton would be converted to groomed cross country ski trails in the winter. I spent many, many, many hours on these trails building a cardiovascular capacity I continue to enjoy today. I can even remember running through knee deep snow drifts to get to our 'track' workouts held at the high school in their 100 m hallway. This is where I obtained my agility dodging people, pedestrians and custodians while running at full speed. I hated these workouts with a passion but they made me strong.
Although I hated winter training I knew it was the key to make me a better runner than those who beat me the prior cross country season. I credit the rain/snow/hail/-20 or-30 runs with making me the person and athlete I am today. There is something scary about stepping out of the door before a 16 mile run knowing that you are going to freeze the first 2 miles and for the last 4. Those runs really sucked. Those runs are why I am the 16th fastest Canadian man over 10 km on the road.
Sufjan Stevens!The concert was stunning. I have never been to such a spectacle before. There were times when I had to wonder if Sufjan was brilliant or insane. There were times when I could not figure out if what I was listening to was brilliant or insane. In the end it was brilliant.
I was quite familiar with the releases prior to the concert and was already a fan of his new work. His 2 newest albums are a voyage away from previous work and are not at all folky. The Age Of Adz on the surface seems quite experimental but with exposure becomes more accessible, although not for a pop music fan who needs a hook to listen. There are multiple layers of sound and expression that take hours of listening to fully understand. There are also complex emotions related in the music. Of course he sings of love and love lost. He also manages to express rage "I'm not fucking around" being one of my favorite lyrics. My favorite tune on the whole album is called Impossible Soul. This 25 minute title encompasses a diverse compilation of styles and emotions with lyrics that make my heart ring.
Seems I got it wrong, I was chasing after something that was goneWith a 25 minute song it can be difficult to isolate a particular lyric so I will include another whole verse with a few repetitions removed.
To the black of night, now I know it's not what I wanted at all
And you said something like, "All you want is all the world for yourself"
But all I want is the perfect love
Though I know it's small, I want love for us all.
It's a long life, better pinch yourselfAt the end of the concert I was speechless and amazed. He literally had the audience dancing in the isles. I am biased as I am a huge fan of this artist but I feel it is my duty to cajole you to pick up some of his music. It will take a few tries but I bet you will love it. Think of it as starting to run. It does not feel that great to start but one day you cannot live without it! As an added excitement his brother is a prominent American Marathoner!
Get your face together, better roll along
It's a long life, better pinch yourself
Put your face together, better stand up straight
It's a long life only one last chance
Couldn't get much better, do you wanna dance?
It's a good life, better pinch yourself
Is it impossible? Is it impossible?
Boy, we can do much more together...
Boy we can do much more together, it's not so impossible
It's not so impossible.