Some people have been slamming this record for being too retro, but what's not too retro these days? Primal Scream have always worn their influences on their sleeves but somehow have made themselves sound vibrant almost all of the time with the exception of the subpar Evil Heat from a few years ago. Riot City Blues is a classic '70s-themed rock 'n' roll record and by that I mean the good stuff like The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Lou Reed and Mott The Hoople. One of the bonus tracks is a punked up cover of Lennon's stone classic "Gimme Some Truth," which holds it's own with the Generation X version. My favorite song on here is the slow burning "When The Bomb Drops," featuring some mesmerizing guest guitar work from Will Sergeant of Echo and The Bunnymen. Quite similar feel to the 13th Floor Elevators' '60s psych classic "Rollercoaster" though not as obvious as the live version on You Tube which I posted a few months ago. Another great track is "Country Girl," which is the best Rolling Stones song since the Stones stopped making good records about 30 years ago. With so much wussy indie rock around these days it's nice to have a great big sounding rawk record to blast out of my speakers!
BMLC is now an official USATF-certified track club and I have the framed evidence to prove it! As for training this past week, I managed 55 miles in 6 days with one rest day. Highlights included a 16 miler at 7:35 pace on Monday; a session of 4 x 1.5 miles with 90 seconds rest @ 15K race effort on Wednesday, averaging 9:21 for each rep (6:14 per mile pace); and an 8 mile progression run on Saturday in 54:51 where I started slow at 7:24 and built up until I did the last 4 in 6:44, 6:38, 6:36, 6:28. Feeling really strong and adjusting well to the higher mileage I have been doing. Next week should be about the same mileagewise though instead of intervals I'll be doing hill reps.
Kasabian - Empire
New single from Kasabian, one of the few current groups worth bothering about these days.
Just an update from my beer review from a few days ago. Ended up finding a place in Cleveland that carries Speedway Stout and it was every bit as great as I remembered it being! It's definitely a sipping beer but it will have you nicely buzzed without giving your bladder a serious workout. If you're a fan of Guinness and stouts in general, you'll like Speedway.
I realize I haven't been writing much about rock 'n' roll lately but that's because must of what I've been hearing lately sucks. I am going to buy the new Primal Scream CD this weekend though and based on the three or four songs I've already heard it should be one of the albums of the year. The new Kasabian single "Empire" is really cool too and the album will be out in September.
Another really good week on the road to San Francisco. Did 49 miles in 6 days last week. Highlights included a 12 miler at 7:23 pace on Monday and an 8 mile run with the middle 4 alternating race pace for 6o seconds with easy pace for 30 seconds on Thursday. Managed to get in 18 sets of 60/30. Felt really smooth. This week the intensity will be bumped up a little bit with 4 x 1.5 miles at slightly slower than 10K pace planned for Wednesday and an 8 mile progression run planned for Saturday. Today I did 16 miles at 7:35 pace so I'm off to a good start. 16 weeks to SF! Looking to get just over 50 miles for the week.
I've slacked a little on this feature where I ask friends to nominate a favorite beer -- preferably a little off the beaten track -- so I'll step in and recommend something that will knock you off your ass. I've only had Speedway Stout once, at a party hosted by my friend Tim Harnett at his infamous London Underground-themed basement bar. I was talking to a guy there and mentioned that I liked stouts such as Guinness. He poured me a glass and pretty much told me to be prepared to be amazed. If you've ever had Coke syrup, this was like Guinness syrup. Definitely something to sip and enjoy like a nice cup of coffee, which by the way is an ingredient, along with chocolate! "Pounds and pounds of coffee added during conditioning for a little extra kick!" proclaims the website. Couldn't agree more! 12% alcohol -- not for the meek. Writing this made me realize that I need to search out a speciality store to buy one of their champagne-sized bottles or two immediately!
After completing my summer racing season with a 30:07 8K in Allen Park on August 5th, I started my 18 week buildup to the masters cross country nationals in San Francisco in December. Last week, I ran 46 miles in 6 days. Mainly pretty easy distance running with two harder workouts: a 12 miler at 7:30 pace on Tuesday and some hill repetitions on Friday. I hadn't done hills since the spring, but I felt better than ever running 8 reps at race pace on a fairly steep 400 meter hill with easy jogs down for recovery. I'm feeling really fit and if I can hold my mileage at 45-50 in the coming months, good things will happen. 17 weeks to go!
Back in the early '80s in my first life as a runner, Nike was by far my favorite shoe. They were a newish rebel company and I dug their stuff way more than their rivals. I loved some of their classic racing flats like the Oregon Waffle (later Waffle Racer) for cross country as well as road flats like the American Eagle and the Mariah. Not to mention the Internationalist training flat -- I went through numerous pairs of those. When I started up again in the second half of 2004 after my lengthy hiatus, naturally I went with Nike first. Didn't quite gel with the Pegasus or Air Max Moto, but I did enjoy two pairs of the Zoom Elite, until one of the friendly employees of Second Sole in Rocky River suggested I try the Mizuno Elixir. I like lightweight trainers and the Elixir is unbelievable. Almost like a racing flat but with enough cushion to use as an everyday shoe. The other week I decided to get a new pair of racing flats and I tried on the Mizuno Idaten (photo on the left) and was blown away. I bought them and I wore them in my most recent race. They're lighter and more flexible than the Nike racing flats I had been using and they also have more cushion, which is important to us old guys. Check out their website at:
Ran really well in my 8K (5 miles) race in Allen Park, Michigan on Saturday. Despite it being a night race, it was still 85 and humid when the gun went off. Nevertheless I ran what I think was my best effort of the year thus far when you factor in the conditions. I clocked a 30:07.6 (just over 6:00 per mile pace) and was 23rd overall and 4th in the 40-44 age group in probably the deepest race I've run in this year. Can't think of a thing I would have changed. My BMLC teammate Tom and I ran really smart races. We worked together for the first half of the race, hitting 6:11 for the mile and 12:15 for two miles before picking it up a bit in the last 3, both of us running nice negative splits. Tom ended up running 30:17. I think BMLC can do really well at nationals if we can stay healthy. Right now John is injured but hopefully he'll be back soon and Josh has been running well in workouts after coming back from an injury. Erik has been training great lately as well and I can't wait to see what he throws down when he races again.