My Dad Often Asks…

When I do return to the nest which hand on heart is not as many times as I could but since I got my car is more than the Christmas visit that I use to grace my parents with, my father would often ask me a question. This may be the first subject on the card, or it may be slipped in at some juncture during the days events.

I have never and will never answer the question and that is because I can’t. I’ve tried to detail the answer in a blog but failed. The failure haunts me every time I go to write a new entry as it sits in the drafts section waiting to be completed and finally published.

The question is not to be compared to one of life’s mysteries or indeed a question you want to shy away from. The question is pure and simple. The question is ‘What has been your best race?’

‘Best Race’ In terms of what. Personal Best, crowd, scenery, atmosphere, achievement. I have run many a race and find it hard to answer. I trouble with answering the question of what my favourite distance is.

The only way I could answer it is if I was to break it down. After all the Manchester 10K would be number one, as it was my first race and I enjoyed the atmosphere and passion of everyone who watches and participates. Plus the added bonus is it’s in my back yard. However the Conwy Half scores highly as it always see’s me smash my PB for the distance and starts under the gaze of my favourite castle in Wales and also takes me up the Orme. (Oo-er missus). But then Snowdon Marathon would come top as the crowd support was immense and I was under the careful scrutiny of my beloved mountain range the entire time. But the Liverpool Half would have to score a mention as I don’t think there has been a course which has carried support for the entire length. Manchester Marathon as it was my first for that distance and if I was to award the number one spot to Manchester for that reason then ‘The Great North’ would have to sit alongside it as that was my first half, with the added bonus I crossed one of my top 5 bridges and saw 6 others. It’s also on every runners bucket list as a must do race which I can now tick off.

So the simple question that my dad fields me every time I return to the Scott household may seem like a harmless innocent inquiry  but the boundaries and categories on what makes a good race are so far apart.

That question is about to get harder to answer as I am about to race again in Wales, what seems like the home of PB’s but in a race which if I run well could see it be catapulted to the top spot knocking Manchester and Conwy clear out of sight. For tomorrow is ‘The Island Race’

It’s 13.1 miles my favourite distance. It is taking place in Wales which followers of the blog do not need to be told is my favourite country. It’s taking place on Anglesey which is one of my favourite Islands (and there are others) and starts by running over The Menai Bridge which you guessed it joins the Tyne Bridge in my top five. Did I also mention I run around a castle which is also found in my top five castle list and I will be able to see the mountain ranges of Snowdonia. So all I need is for it to be a good course, a good time, and wonderful weather and I think finally I may be able to answer the question ‘What has been your favourite race’ Well until I run another event that is.

But even with all those ticks might see me choose to run it again but to answer the question is not just about, course, crowd, scenery, or even performance. It’s about how you feel. Every race has seen me run and become over powered by different emotions. Manchester Marathon has me believe I was going to die, I wanted out as the pain was too bad but the thought that only 1% of the world will ever run this distance spurred me on. Bangor 10K saw me run with passion as I crossed the line in shearing heat and almost a state of exhaustion. Snowdon taught me to pace and race well to cross the line for the first time feeling I had more to give, Manchester is the simple joy of running with people in their prime and those who entered in a drunken bet. King Johns Road on the Great North was only completed when the thought of those people who sponsored me and the way their kind contributions would help the Cancer Charity Christies to carry on their work allowed me to push on through my pain to reach the euphoria that is the ‘Runner High’.

So the very notion that I could answer the question is ridiculous. Every race, even a bad one will always be the best as I will be rewarded with the best drug in the world. That feeling of knowing you have pushed your body to the extremes and have survived.

Pinterest

Has anyone come across this. Do you know what it is. As far as I can make out it is just an excuse for people to collect the pictures they like online and store them in one place instead of clicking ‘Save Image as’

Well I have joined up and have started mounting many a boards of my inspirations of photos and images of objects I desire or have and even places that I love. If anyone is a member than please do check out my boards and maybe re-pin what you see. I can’t really go into any detail as I have no clue what the site does myself but I did say that about twitter and look at me now with 17,000 plus tweets two years on.

Oh well take a gander if you like Snowdon, Wales, Hiking, New Zealand, Running, History, Castles and Bridges which I guess should be all of you as that is all I write about in this blog with a little bias on the running element like why else do you read this dribble?? 🙂

See you all soon, and I hope you like what you see.

These are just a few of my favourite things.

If you ask any of my mates they would say running, we all know from this blog alone that I am more than passionate about growing activity whatever that word maybe. Along with running my friends would maybe list castles, Wales, bridges, piers, mountains, walking so when my last race of many was the Bangor 10K you can imagine my joy as all my favourite past times were placed in one day events.

My legs started to feel tired with all the running which did not make sense as I was doing fewer miles in my weeks running but was really going out for speed. After the Manchester run last week I really thought the Manchester marathon had finally caught up with me and weekly 10K races were not that good idea.  The truth was the 10K’s were suppose to be all about recovery runs and the game plan was to take it slow and steady with 9 minute milling, not my usual 7.30. What happened every time with the gun bang was my legs speeding at a very comfortable 6.50.

So come Bangor I was going to take it slow, plus the fact the temperature was a cool 26 degrees. The race was not the best organised event and was a small gathering of only 400 people. Roads remained open and the crowds were not exactly lining the streets. The course was down the high street, along the coast, out and back on the pier then a long steep climb with a long drop back to the coast to climb again until you turned off to club back to the finish. The essence here is that this was one hilly course, and I mean hilly, 2nd gear if you were in a car.

Anyway the race gun went and as usual with no wave’s, people who would slowly drop to the back of the pack were lined up in front of me soon to be over took. My steady game plan of a 50 minute race due to weather and gradients went straight out the window again and I shot off. trying not to stop to look at  Snowdonia mountain range or  Bridges over to Anglesey was hard work, but I managed to carry on running while taking in these wonderful sights. The race was feeling good and then the first hill hit, 2K worth of a climb and the pace slowed down but still quick enough to pass some runners. The down hill section started and I wanted to fly down but needed to keep my quads fresh so took it easy. one of the runners I over took came whizzing by and out of sight but I soon caught him on the next up hill section. this is how the race panned out, as we passed one another several times for him only to beat me at the end. Once over the line a friendly handshake and congratulations were exchanged with my competitor. Over all I came 26th in my category and 72nd over all. The best race I think I have done. I really enjoyed it and the result shows how much I have come in a year, if this course was flat and the breeze and temperature was right I really think I might have broken sub 40. Oh well maybe that will have to wait till the Mersey Tunnel 10K in a couple of weeks.

After the race, I spent the day in Wales looking at castles, mountains and all my other favourite things before finally coming to the thought that I would have to leave and head back along the A55 to England and leave the place where I am happiest behind for another day.

Your Passion

Off the usual road that this blog normally follows it has been inspired by a friend who asked on that topical highly viewed and respected for its truth and honesty, well read and admired for its educational and informative angles webpage that is Facebook. Yes as part of her status she asked if people if they had a passion and if so what it was. The reason for asking such a question was not just a mere interest into the psyche of her friends but because she had just watched a film where a passion was involved and was so inspired it made her want to find one.

Now all regular readers could shout out what I would list as passions. Running, Bridges, History, Steam Trains, Heritage, Canals, Castles, Wales. And you’d be right. I quickly added a comment containing ‘Running, Castles, Heritage’

So far this seems like a pointless blog entry, but hey why change tradition. But seriously what is a passion, could any of those listed above really be a passion. I love to run and get very kiddy when I see a castle, I can make my voice go as high as Aled Jones singing ‘The Snowman’ when ever I see a nice bridge or a good mill. But are these passions? I decided to consult the good old English Dictionary.

The meaning (s) are described as thus

noun

  • 1 [mass noun] strong and barely controllable emotion:a man of impetuous passion
  • [in singular] a state or outburst of strong emotion:oratory in which he gradually works himself up into a passion
  • intense sexual love:their all-consuming passion for each other[in singular]:she nurses a passion for Thomas
  • [in singular] an intense desire or enthusiasm for something:the English have a passion for gardens
  • [count noun] a thing arousing great enthusiasm:modern furniture is a particular passion of Bill

So maybe the ones I listed are passions. I do get very excited, and love my running and history. This blog is evidence of that. I’m very enthusiastic on all the subjects I speak about and maybe friends would say I’m passionate about them. However at the end of the day this status made me think. I was all to quick to list the subjects and hobbies that I love or interest me but it was only after when I thought about the true way in which they make me feel. Do I feel passionate about them. Yes I love running and if I can’t run I’m miserable, I love a good castle and would like to be transported back in time to see them in their full glory but does this count as a passion or just admiration and love of a subject. I’m sure they are passions but find my self still questioning myself.

Do any of you lovely people have a passion and if so what is it? Is it important to have a passion?


A Few of my Favourite Things

Well for those who know me, then you will know that I love steam trains. If you really know me then you will also know I love old bridges and viaducts. Well would you Adam and Eve it as on Saturday these two love interests were sewn together for every geek to come and see.

I am talking about one of these steam train tours that often travel around the UK. The one on Saturday was using the Settle to Carlisle line and thus would thunder over the Ribblehead viaduct.

So off I went to North Yorkshire to the Ribble Valley. I parked up and I took a walk around the viaduct and the surrounding areas and then waited for the big event. If I am honest then the event itself was a little under par, the noise and jets of steam and billows of smoke were some what absent as it made the crossing but the engine was still a magnificent beast.

How to Spend a Saturday

Now really I should be going out for a run being that my last one was Thursday, but I am taking five on the old running lark as I am giving my legs a rest of two days. So what is there to do on the Saturday???

Well lets look at two of my passions that are not running. We have steam trains, and we have bridges and viaducts. Together they equal good old English heritage. Bring them together at the Ribblehead Viaduct with Olivier Cromwell puffing away over the top and you have me with my popcorn in the front row.

I’m sure I will write about it later tonight when I return and see it come into Victoria with picture galore.

Oh well I better leave as I am bound to get lost.

Camping, Walking, Castles, Two thirds my perfect holiday

Well my last post was all about the walking holiday I have just been on and many of you may say that, that was no holiday. Where is the beach or the pool, the cocktail bar, the sun etc. Well I’m not into any of the usual holiday spots and I do quite like the idea of hiking and walking and looking at the wonderful country we live in soaking up our rich countryside and heritage.

Now on the holiday I took last week, it was one of my first proper camping experiences, and while I feel I will not go it alone just quite yet, I did rather enjoy it. Not as much as staying in a hotel, and having a wonderful cooked breakfast and being able to fall into the shower but none the less I did not grumble and if I am to carry out the next holiday plan in a cheap manner then camping is the only way.

That holiday is again walking, but with the added obsession of mine Castles. Wales is littered with them, and before 2012 I wish to have explored most of them. The northern shore has been done, and thanks to last week I have now completed one of the mid/south part of Wales. Therefore I am now planning a camping holiday that replaces walking with looking at castles, and trains, bridges, and canals just to make it ultra geeky.

The following posts will be filled with the castles I wish to visit, and the start of this grand plan. What is worrying is the amount of people who also wish to take part in this little adventure. Not that I am complaining, as I need the people with tents and sleeping bags but most important of all I need the good company of my friends.

So who knows within the next week or so, I may be setting up camp waiting to visit many a castle.

I’m now off to read all about the castles I may visit at some point in the future.

http://www.castlewales.com/