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?


What do Dreams Mean?

I’m only writing this in order to postpone my run and in truth maybe I should not be going out for a run today as my legs feel a little strange, but they have a rest day tomorrow before the long run on Saturday.

Anyway back to yet another thrilling entry to what has become a blog about running. While I have been sleeping a hobby I find very hard, I have been having some nice dreams. Now if you as a reader had to make a list about what makes me tick then running would be top, the subjects that followed would be walking/hiking, Snowdonia, Wales, Castles, history, heritage, bridges, canals, steam trains and dogs.

So does it mean something that I have been having dreams about finding a girl of my dreams, who works for the National Park, I then get one of my dream jobs in this dream and also end up working for the National Park and Castles. Now at the moment you may be thinking that’s a lovely dream, but it gets better. The National park this dream girl lives in is… You’ve guessed it Snowdonia and a wonderful little cottage under the gaze of the mountain with a wood fire where our two dogs sit.

Now I know this is a dream and it makes me happy, but I have been having this dream on and off for several nights and last night I invited all my close mates round to our cottage to announce our engagement. Now do dreams ever come true? Is this telling me something. I do wish to leave the world of theatre and work for the National Trust or a National Park and I do want to live in the shadow of Snowdon with some dogs.

Oh well let’s get this day out-of-the-way, so I can go back to dreaming about this rather nice secret life in the land of sleep. (could of done a pun there and used the word sheep being that I was talking about Wales, but I have been told I should give my bad puns up)

If I had a Million Dollars. Or in this case a Million Pounds!!!

Did you enjoy that song. I like it, and listened to it just now. This blog comes out of the fact that my best mate, has always suggested he may and knowing him he’ll keep his word, has said that if he won the lottery then he would more than likely share the wealth as he would not know what to do with all that money. He has said pay his mum and dads mortgage, buy a house, a car etc etc.

This got me thinking on what I would do if I won the lottery. Rather than writing a huge blog, I thought I would list my items that I would buy and in no order, here is how I would spend my lottery winnings.

  • Car (Golf 98 Model)
  • Car (Polo 2011)
  • House in Cheshire
  • House in New Zealand
  • House in Snowdonia
  • Flat in Manchester, Newcastle, London, Cornwall, Glasgow
  • A Giant train Set (Life Size) Steam off course
  • Canal Boat
  • Air Craft Hanger with a huge train set layout
  • My Own Theme Park
  • My own Castle, or several Castles. One of which in Scotland
  • My own theatre and theatre company
  • Donation to Christie’s. Don’t forget you get donate to Christie’s, and hep me raise my target for the Great North Run by clicking this link, or the one in the side bar.
  • My own gym
  • A road bike
  • State of the art running things
  • A huge telly for my new house.
  • Loads of dogs.
  • A trip round the world to see train stations and canals and castles and everything medieval.
Was it what you expected. It is really quite hard to think about it. I would also share the wealth with friends and family. If not only because it be boring having all that money and no one to enjoy it with.  But I am a scrooge, so i may just pop it in savings account and moan about the interest rate.
What would you all spend it on. It is all a lot of money.

Weekend on the A46

Well this weekend was spent drinking and driving. Not together I would like to point out. I don’t even have a shandy or lemonade top when I drive, even when I have several hours between each activity. However with that aside, I carried this two past times of mine out on separate occasions. I was of visiting a very good friend down in Warwickshire.

Now before we go on, I should say that my knowledge of this area, is very limited. the Midlands seems to be a big place, with lots of towns that you’ve heard off, but would never have associated them as being placed in the middle of the country. With all that being said this area of the country seems to lack history. The inventory of the weekend was pretty empty, my hosts struggled to find activities to please my narrow mind, however we soon did find areas of interest, but due to cost I vetoed them.

This blog is all about my weekend, and what I learnt, and what my eyes saw.

The Weekend began picking up my friend who had been up visiting her Mother, and she would play the part of the sat nav. As you may know from other adventures in my car I am not the biggest fan of the M6, north and south bound, however travelling at a nice 60, to increase my MPG, keeping the rev’s under 3000 I enjoyed the drive. The M6 seemed to have disallowed any lorries or idiots on the road, and after two hours we arrived in the village where my friends had relocated to. The First night was spent drinking a box of cider followed by several cans, while watching my favourite of all past times, the wonderful act of comedy. The players were part of the Channel Four Gala, and to be fair, a lot of my comedians failed to feed my appetite for this enjoyable pastime.

With the morning I was treated to a cooked breakfast, and then it was on to decide what the day would bring. Now a lot of people would guess we would head to Warwick Castle, and we would have if it was not for the entry fee, of £36.00. We did find a castle only pass for £16.00 but even for me this was slightly too much to hand over, but we headed to Warwick anyway to have a look around the town. Now the town is very nice and there’s a rather nice church, I was trying to work out how old the church had stood for by looking at the gravestones, but all were dated after the 1800’s. There was however an interesting history with the Church, as it seemed that it use to have windows at ground level, that have now since been bricked up. This brick, looked new, but also looked worn which could suggest the windows being bricked up due the window tax which could date the church back to the 1700’s if not before.

From here, we looked at a possible wedding venue,(my friends are getting wed) which is connected to a later building I saw on my visit, but use to be an old hospital. With the castle being rejected by myself and I can understand some of the shock in reading that. Me rejecting seeing a castle, but even a lover of these buildings, the thought of entering a commercial castle, built for fun and attraction did not appeal, plus I’m a cheap skate. We did however move on to a toy shop, that had model trains at the back of the shop, and lots of discounted engines and carriages. How I wish I had room for my own train layout.

We quickly got back in the car, after I had almost orgasismed  at the train sets and off we set to Coventry. Now my friends did not want to return to this concrete town, as they found it boring with nothing there. I however wanted to experience the cathedral, and boy what a sight. The old bombed ruin stands in equal stance to the 1950’s concrete and coloured glass marvel. The rest of Coventry was nice, I think I have a thing for 50’s and 60’s architecture, especially when it is mixed in with that of Tudors or other classic designs.

Now we had already been to Coventry once today, as the first visit on the list of my friend’s place of work to see his theatre. I did joke that there really most be nothing to do, if we are sight-seeing a university, that is called Warwick, but is actually in Coventry. Luckily I don’t think they do a degree in geography.

Now while in Coventry I did spot a castle, an old style Motte and Bailey, I have included a picture of the evidence so you can all see the proof, and wonder why I got so excited by a patch of grass with nothing on it.

We then headed to the transport museum, which is really a car museum, or history of the motoring vehicle as opposed to a transport museum which I told them so on the feed back form. “Where were the trains, and canal boats” I wrote. However apart from seeing the land speed record-breaking car, and the Chopper, my first bike that I learnt to ride on… actually thinking about it I could have learnt on the Chipper??!!??, anyway apart from that there were two interesting pieces. The old style cars from the early 1900’s were good, but what was better was the old buses, and the double-decker bus test. I did not know this, but every bus is tilt tested to 28 degrees, to make sure it doesn’t fall. It’s little things like this, and my love of concrete modern towns and Castles that will help me remain single.

From Coventry we retired back to my friend’s home, and had Chinese, which took an age to get. Other people were coming into the shop, and getting their food orders quicker than us.

The next day we went to Stratford, to see a mutual good friend and their new addition to the family. There eldest had a Brio Train Set, which kept me entertained, along with the giant pop up book and touch and feel books.

We moved on to a castle, a castle that we walked around, but weren’t allowed in, even tho my friend had a sticker from when he last visited, he refused to hand it over for me to sneak in. Next time I’m going in as reading about Kenilworth its full of history, from Normans, to Tudors, through to the Civil war, and the reigns of the Georges, including the Lord who built the hospital in Warwick. It also looked immense, and extremely impressive.

After that there was just the very nice Sunday Lunch, with home-made gravy, and plenty of Coach Trip and Made in Chelsea which I feel my friend may now be hooked to as well.

The drive home was just as pleasant, a little bit rainy, but again, I did 60 m.p.h and got home in good time. In reflection it seems that Warwickshire is home to history, and a lot of Tudor houses for some reason and plenty of driving on the A46. But I didn’t go down to sight see. Well I did want some castles, canals, and trains, but I achieved the main purpose of the trip, and that was to spend time, and catch up with one of my best mates.