I wrote a previous blog post about songs that remind me of Ironman. In fact I used to pick a theme song almost habitually when I started building my training up for an event. For my very first Ironman it was Opportunity by Pete Murray. I got through my long day at Ironman Western Australia with the defiance of The Pretender by The Foo Fighters.
These days, I pick a theme song only when it feels right. I've reinstated the tradition for The North Face 100.
It won't surprise regular readers of this blog to find that I chose a song through pure emotion. More specifically, a good cry.
As I drove home from my longest training run a few weeks ago I flicked around radio channels and burst into tears uncontrollably when I came across Lanterns by Birds of Tokyo. So many emotive words for someone who had just watched the sun come up part way through a tough 50k training run. Darkness... dawn... marching on...
I got home, found it on YouTube, and really listened to it. So many themes that felt relevant to finishing up preparation for an ultramarathon. Lighting your own way... finding yourself on the road.
Then I found an interview with band member Ian Berney. He described the song like this:
"Lanterns is a journey song. It's about forcing oneself to leave the nest, to find new challenges and to grow as individuals. The story reaches an epiphany that whilst we may feel alone when we choose to leave our comfort zones, these greater souls are unified in the quest for new beginnings."
Next Saturday, as I stand on the start line, I have no doubt I'll feel all of these things. Proud of myself for setting new challenges; hopeful that I will grow as a result. Alone, well, running is after all a solo pursuit; yet unified with my fellow runners in a quest for the finish line.
Our day has come
And we'll stand for who we are
We are ready, we are young
We have nothing to fear.