After the big 100th my schedule has been rather empty on the marathon front, which is really unfortunate. That dilemma kind of boils down to me being a little bit penniless and my car being broken. Therefore, last weekend and this weekend (the birthday weekend too) I have zero marathon running fun to keep myself occupied. Ok, so this weekend, my dreaded birthday weekend was also disorganised from the start, but the lack of a good race does come from a lack of money and too-far away marathons. It is Beachy Head marathon on the day before my birthday; 22nd October, which would have been absolutely perfect. I entered it last year and everything, but in the end I was unable to make it = big waste of an incredibly popular marathon entry. It sells out so quickly that this year I was simply unable to afford to commit to entering it in advance = no birthday fun :( and serious withdrawal symptoms from running a decent marathon. Roll on next weekend and hopefully, the availability of a car of some kind, because I might just go insane. I have also been unable to get to my far-away gym, due to car issues; grrrrr.
Soooo, Alton Towers was an attempt to fill the void. Alton Towers proved a very successful attempt to fill the empty void that has been left from the absence of absolutely nothing exciting happening in my life. It has been one of those weeks (and a bit). Much to my joy, I discovered that from 15th October – 30th is Scarefest at Alton Towers…which means that it is open until an amazing 9pm at night, woooooo! I love Halloween and I am quite sure that I would feel so at home in America on a pumpkin farm with all the hyped up celebrations that they have over there; quite at home indeed. This is exactly what it was like when we visited the towers on Tuesday – fully decked out with pumpkins and everything creepy and scary and ghoulish. I absolutely loved it. What’s more, there were no queues for literally anything. We went on Thirteen so many times I lost count, subjected ourselves to the crazy speed of Rita over and over, log-flumed it, fired water at people in Mutiny Bay and went on silly ride after silly ride. We also got absolutely soaked in Mutiny Bay, but it was worth it to fire water at unsuspecting children. I came to the conclusion that even when you’re not running an ultra or off-road marathon, an OMM running jacket is the perfect essential in the war against getting soaked at theme parks…I was so right; at least my top half stayed dry :) The only major downside of the day was simply how freezing the weather was. I definitely should have taken more layers with me. It was bitterly cold and after a while, I started to get a headache. Its excellent having so long in a theme park, but after a while it does begin to take its toll on your head and a bit of achiness does set in.
I also absolutely loved the Terror of the Towers tour, which was a kind of scare-maze inside the scary old buildings, featuring live-action-actors whom basically tried to scare us as much as possible. You went in the haunted house-type set-up in groups of 8 or so and it really was such a scream and a giggle. The same can be said for the zombie maze; a brilliant idea. It did make me think, however; I would make a really good zombie and it would be so much fun to get paid to scare people all day – yep, the drama student in me still exists and I always did like playing the weirdo characters the best.
There we go then – Alton Towers has been my excitement this week and I think it’s fair to say that we did quite a bit of exercise walking around the theme park for eleven hours or so. I still need a good marathon though. I have my list and with my birthday approaching, hopefully I will have a bit of money to put this list into action and get some good events booked to finish the year on a high. There are some good marathons to look forward to and a few cheeky ultras. Standing around in the freezing cold on Tuesday at Alton Towers, I had a thought to myself about ultras: sometimes I really must be mental. In the winter and bad weather I will willingly spend 10+ hours in the freezing cold and often the rain to complete an ultra and will do so again in November with Likey’s Brecon Ultra – which was my first ultra back in 2009 and my third year in a row. It is hilly, rocky, often foggy, rainy, freezing and 45 miles long and I will be back :)…and possibly back in the Brecon Beacons again in early December to do an ultra that I couldn’t do last year due to the unrelenting snow. So, lots to look forward to – I just need to put my patient head on, ignore all the running shenanigans I’m missing out on this weekend and just look onwards towards events that I will be doing :)
Patience. Which reminds me, we went to see Damien Dempsey at the Liverpool O2 Arena on Sat 15th October as part of the Irish Music Festival. This was another great thing that I have done to fill my temporary running void and how can I forget the lyrics (although I’m not religious),
‘Patience, give me some of that sweet patience, Lord, I
will keep my eye on my goal…'