I pride myself on being mentally tough but – and I’ll be honest here – these hot mid-day runs have been absolutely killing me. In fact, I laced up this morning, poked my nose outside into the blast furnace and said to myself: “Fuck it. Today I’m running on the treadmill”.
I just couldn’t bare the thought of being roasted alive again as the last three weeks of trying to reinvigorate my run training outdoors have left me more or less a broken man. I needed some confidence that I can still run for extended periods without having to stop and collect myself before my heart explodes inside my chest. Plus, I could use the time wisely and work a few hills which I haven’t done since the fall/winter. So I did. Today’s running accompaniment then was the eponymously titled ‘Porno for Pyros‘ album.
This album was released during my first year of university in 1993 on the same label as Jane’s Addiction, Warner Bros. Records. Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and bassist Eric Avery, battling substance abuse issues, had left the band in 1991 in an attempt to stay clean, though the other half of the band wished to continue creating music. The remaining members of Jane’s Addiction, Perry Farrell and Stephen Perkins, were joined by guitarist Peter DiStefano and future Jane’s Addiction bassist Martyn LeNoble, and continued under the new band name Porno for Pyros. The band (and album) name is a reference to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which are mentioned throughout the songs on the album as a recurring theme.
Most noticeably absent are the monstrous guitar riffs – DiStefano specializes more in textured guitar sounds (à la The Cure‘s Robert Smith, etc.), which puts more emphasis on Farrell’s vocals and Perkins’ drumming (who also adds exotic percussion to the proceedings). Also, Porno’s compositions are far more succinct. Whereas Jane’s were known to wander into mood-enhanced improv, most tracks on Porno for Pyros are under the four-minute mark, while Farrell’s lyric-writing still alternates between train of thought and thought-provoking. The slightly melancholic ballad ‘Pets‘ was an MTV hit, as it lyrically touches upon the possibility of extraterrestrial life. A pair of tracks, ‘Cursed Female‘ and ‘Cursed Male‘, are sequenced back to back to create a brief epic (clocking in together at barely over seven minutes) that explores the pros and cons of both genders. Also featured is the funky ‘Meija‘, the hyperactive ‘Bad Shit‘, the ballad ‘Black Girlfriend‘, and the title track, which deals with the 1992 Los Angeles/Rodney King riots. While those expecting an instant classic like ‘Nothing’s Shocking‘ and ‘Ritual de lo Habitual‘ were probably disappointed, Porno for Pyros remains an interesting musical detour for Farrell and co.
As an added bonus for this afternoon’s run, the treadmill featured videos of running trails in premiere running destinations around the world, so today I opted to run the North Island of New Zealand since the tentative plan for 2018 is to compete in Ironman New Zealand. So there I was, running through the Kauri Forest, around Lake Waikaremoana and into the Inferno Crater, and then up to the Patangirua Pinnacles. There were lots of other sites too but I either can’t remember them or spell them. However, they were all breath-taking.
The good news is that I can still run for 40 minutes (on the ‘rolling hills‘ setting no less) although I covered 5.6 kilometers; remembering that treadmill kilometers do not equal outdoor kilometers (or pace for that matter). I still got sweaty, but I was pleased that ‘ol Thunder n’ Lightning felt good and that I still have some cardio and distance in me and that’s it’s really just been the sucky heat and humidity I’ve been dealing with these past few weeks. So once this bullshit breaks, I think I’m likely in a good place to resume my regular outdoor training.