Today is the Niagara Ultra race and while I’m not running 50k I do have my own 21.3k training run to contend with. Just my luck that it’ also hot and gross out (29° with 69% humidity); so mental toughness and testicular fortitude is the order of the day. The plan is to keep a steady easy pace with a bit of a stronger finish but, really, I’ll be pleased to simply get the distance in since I haven’t run a half marathon distance run since March 29th (click HERE). Gawd.
Anyway, today’s soundtrack is something else by The Band and Bob Dylan seeing as how I just finished the ‘This Wheel’s On Fire‘ book by Levon Helm (thanks Uncle Lance!), the double ‘Before the Flood‘ live album released in 1974 on Asylum Records.
This album represents the 17th release by Dylan and the 7th by The Band and documents their joint 1974 American tour. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200, reached #8 on the popular album chart in the United Kingdom, and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Dylan had planned professional recordings before the tour even began (and immediately following the recording of Dylan’s ‘Planet Waves‘ album released that same year), ten separate sessions in total: 3 in New York at Madison Square Garden on January 30 and 31; 2 in Seattle,Washington, at the Center Coliseum on February 9; 2 in Oakland, California, at the Alameda County Coliseum on February 11; and 3 in Los Angeles on February 13 and 14. To compile the album, recordings were taken from the final three shows at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood, California, with only ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door‘ from New York. The tour itself, with its attendant publicity, definitely returned both artists to center stage, and it definitely succeeded, breaking box office records and earning great reviews.
The title of the album is thought to derive from the novel ‘Farn Mabul’ by Yiddish writer Sholem Asch; Dylan had a personal relationship with Moses Asch, son of Sholem and founder of Folkways Records, a record label hugely influential in the folk music revival. Another theory is that the title refers to the album arriving before the inevitable flood of bootlegs could saturate the underground market.
The last time I ran this route was back in August of last year (click HERE) as my last long run before my infamous performance at the Incredoubleman Triathlon in September. That was one of the toughest runs of my life given the stupid° and humidity, just as it was today. So I was cautious to take it a bit easier. In fact, it was a full 2 minutes slower today while, being disappointing, I guess means I learned something on that last ill-fated run. I allowed myself today to take frequent short walking breaks and made to keep hydrated and even accepted another bottle of Gatorade from some nice Garage Saler’s along the blast furnace that is Bowen Rd. I did however have a moment where I thought I was hallucinating from the heat as I passed a guy walking down the middle of Ott Rd. in the middle of nowhere with a Lizard on his shoulder.
For a second, it was just like this:
Thank god then I wasn’t listening to the Doors as I totally would have lost my shit then and there.
Thankfully, there was a bit of reprieve from the heat for the last 3k or so coming back into Ridgeway when the skies opened up and it started raining. I’ve never been so happy to see the rain, let me tell you. Those last few kilometers, while painful, were also at a little quicker pace as well. Now it’s time for a muffin, some slices of cheese and apple and, shit, maybe even a beer or two at the Sanctuary since cutting the lawn is now temporarily on hold.
Sorry, dear. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.