Alton Towers Scarefest 2013 Review

So James and I took a stroll up to Alton Towers for two days of scary fun.

We arrived on the Sunday at around midday and took the monorail to the park. On arriving we realised it was the same Sunday that the travelling community chose to visit. At first this made me worried that queue times would sky rocket but it didn’t make much of a difference. The only difference from other visits was that plenty of people gathered around the front of the towers which made it difficult to manoeuvre around.

Unlike our visit to Thorpe Park this was a regular Scare Fest day. We had our scare maze times booked for 7:30pm so we didn’t consider anything Halloween until later and headed to the rides. The real pain of this day though was the weather. Heavy downpours were expected. This caused a 45 minute queue for Sonic as they ran it only three people per car. We then headed to Nemesis which had a short queue. As we stood in the loading area watching the car before us load up we saw the rain outside come down extremely heavy. The Alton Towers team quickly ushered everyone back, sent out an empty car and the crowds applauded the soaked riders as they returned to the loading area locked into their nemesis seats.

After a slightly wet ride on nemesis we headed to nearby Air. The rains poured again and we stood soaked and slightly miserable in the queue line with our heads down to avoid rain to the face. The queue for this was about 30-40 minutes but I love Air so much. It feels like what wearing a jet pack must be like.

We took to The Smiler at this point, we knew the queue would be long all day but the morning is the worst so we were glad we waited. Our first queue for this was about 35 minutes. The queue line for this ride gets flooded, like Thirteen you literally have to stand in puddle for 30 minutes as you wait to ride. I believe at some points of the day they stop the queue line to reduce the amount of people standing in it.

The Smiler is a fabulous ride. I don’t know if it is because it is new but this sort of ride is great to just look at. It had giant rotating screens with messages about joining the Smiler and tickler duster things spinning around the ride. It has this really grand feel to it. As you wait to ride you are literally underneath the roller coaster which gives some great views. Once inside you have to put up with 5 minutes of the insane music and crazy lights displays. We noticed once at the loading bay that the staff wear ear plugs so the music clearly gets to them.

This will be biased as we were lucky to have the best seats but we really liked the fact there is no ride at the front queue. Over the weekend we went on the Smiler three times and each time we were seated at the front. There are four rows so it is just a one in four chance, and we got that three times. (This led to us trying to figure out if this is a 1 in 12 win or a 1 in 64 win, we still don’t know). Therefore I can only review from the front row. But it is awesome. Unlike 10 loop colossus which cheats 5 of them with the same loop over and over, The Smiler has a variety of loops, and 14 in total. It is a long ride too. After the seventh loop you stop before a lift with signs saying ‘Half way corrected’, this is great because you know you’ve still got just as long to go again. This is then followed by a random vertical lift identical to Saw at Thorpe Park but without the sharp drop afterwards. In fact the seats are also identical to Saw but 4 rows instead of 2. I really came off of this ride smiling, you then leave through a vintage X No Way Out style walkway with more light displays. This ride is worth the wait (but if you want a shorter wait, do not head for this ride first).

Oblivion also seems to be a walk on ride these days, which I don’t mind! However this is another uncomfortable in the rain ride (not the drop but the tunnel). This is also a ride you have to have to do arms up, stop being a wimp!

Right, the scarefest part. I’ll explain the mazes. Unfortunately we do not have a map to point out these mazes, after two days in James’ raincoat pocket in the heavy downpours the map did not survive.

The Terror of the Towers: What Lies Within – pay for maze

This is located, as expected in the towers. Entrance is through the tunnel alongside Hex. The queue was minimal for this at our allocated time. We joined on the end of another group, for which James was very grateful. If you read our Thorpe Park review you would see that James is constantly at the front! So we headed inside, up the stairs and were briefed about the actors. I was stood on the end and a loud noise made me jump, so I moved around James so he would be on the end. We were then ready to enter, and the man told us to turn around and head through the curtain. Turn around! We weren’t at the back we were at the front! I laughed hard as James led us into the darkness.

This maze starts with a video, probably the scariest part and that really isn’t saying much. We then headed in and something didn’t seem right. We were looked around all the corners to find an actor but nothing happened. Then a man came from the end of the path looking a little shocked to see us! Something must have happened to the previous group which slowed them down. Half way through we joined the group ahead of us, one actor even whispered to James ‘hands on shoulders’. She must’ve had a shock at the amount of people in this group.

I don’t really remember anything about this maze. There were some actors with pale faces and dot contacts. I think the theme was vampires but I didn’t get it. This was the weakest maze by far.

The Sanctuary – pay for maze

This is located next to Terror of the Towers and the queue was much longer for this. This maze was linked to the Smiler and is themed on a crazy doctor. (Why the papers haven’t picked up on this alongside Thorpe Park’s The Asylum I don’t know). As we approached the front we were grouped with three girls in front, a couple behind and then a family with two young girls at the end. The girls in front asked us if we wanted to lead and James was quick to say no! We decided between us that I would be in front of James as it is usually the other way around. We were briefed by a ‘nurse’ and then taken to meet the head doctor. He told us about his work and that people thought he was mad. We were lined up in front of the door with a red light above it. He then told us, ‘when that goes green you cannot turn back’. At which point one of the three girls ahead of us ran away, then the second girl fled leaving the one who had taken the led. Then she ran too, and there I was facing the maze at the front!

James and I agreed this was the best maze. There was a lot of variety and big scares. I watched as a giant flame shot up in the corner of the room, I covered most of my face with my hands, as I pulled my hands down a woman was stood right up in my face! One of the biggest scares for me. Another woman caught James out and he fell into the wall. On leaving James said the woman behind him was shaking so hard. This maze was a lot of fun.

The Carnival of Screams – free maze

We did this in the afternoon on Monday to avoid the queues and were called to the front as a pair. We joined a group consisting of a woman and 6 kids aged 8-12. I was already very dubious about this. The first room was the iconic scare from the previous time we entered the Carnival or Scream a couple of years ago, the living dummy. But Alton Towers had managed to make it less scary by making him the focus of the room. Last time you saw this box out of the corner of your eye and it coming to life was a shock, in this room it was obvious what was going to happen. Clearly not a scare as the kids were okay with this.

Next was a fat clown who said some rhymes that made the kids laugh, but wasn’t exactly scary. At this point the kids asked the woman to go first. Then it all went down. A clown policemen freaked the kids out so much, then told James and I to push one of them! A little shocked by this actor. Luckily there was a member of staff waiting here before the next room and as the kids pleaded to leave the woman and the kids were led away by the staff member. Then James and I ran in to do this maze alone!

We headed through the beanbags and to start with I was in front of James, then we held hands and went through everything together. I love this scare maze, again a lot of variety. A highlight was Find Mr. Dot. In a room filled with fluorescent dots a man in costume hides on the floor. On finding him he stood up and asked in a husky fast voice ‘Where is the rest of your group?’ at which point we had a chat with him about the kids and that they had left. He then led us to the next clown who he quickly spoke to. (Thinking about this later, I think Mr. Dot may have thought the kids were running around still inside the maze! Oh well).

There are a lot of scares in this maze, this one is more worth paying for than Terror or the Towers!

Finally, both evenings we spent running between Thirteen and Rita. The lines for these were non existent after 7pm and Thirteen especially is great in the dark. We enjoyed our two days at Alton Towers, but to compare the scare mazes to Thorpe Park? Alton Towers has nothing on Thorpe Park – Fright Nights wins hands down.

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Brownies – Armpit Fudge

I am still a Brownie Leader. I haven’t written anything on Brownies since our Holiday last year. I reread those blogs yesterday and face palmed. Buy a bigger house I said, they will all come I said. This year we did put a deposit on a bigger building, and so far only 6 have confirmed they will come. Two parents with ‘they will definitely be coming’ attitudes have changed their mind, 3 girls who have said they are coming have not confirmed. Plus we have half the unit being 7 year olds. I don’t know what I’ll do! Wait. That is what I’ll do. It should work out. I only need 12 to come as a minimum.

Anyhow, this wasn’t going to be about Brownie Holiday problems so I will move on.

Armpit Fudge

Two weeks ago we took on a food activity. I find these very hard as I am not an accomplished food expert i.e. I can make toast and scrambled egg and that is it.

I found a compromise, armpit fudge. Before I begin with the meeting I’ll give you the recipe:

Ingredients: (single serve version)
•2 oz. icing sugar (1/2 cup)
•1 Tbsp butter
•2 tsp cream cheese
•dash of vanilla essence
•2 tsp cocoa

What to do :
•Place all ingredients
in a sandwich-size plastic zipper-bag (Ziploc ™, etc). •Squeeze out all the air.
•Squish and moosh (under the arm!) the bag until all the ingredients are well mixed and there is a creamy consistency.
•Add any favourite flavours or other stuff (raisins, M&M’s, peanut butter, chopped nuts, etc).
•Take out a spoon and enjoy.

It sounds gross but it is really delicious. Rather than fudge it is more like chocolate icing. Anyways, here is how the meeting went:

The week before we had a term planning meeting and the girls gave their top ideas. So we started this meeting by explaining our plans for the rest of the term, pyjama party, Christmas party and bring and buy sale all on the agenda. Then we came to tonight, alternative baking.

“We will be making armpit fudge”. This was followed by faces of disgust, noises of ergh and yuk and lots of shocked girls who didn’t want to make it! I smiled and told them that they would change their minds.

We then got the girls into a type of conveyor belt. First washing their hands, and then taking a plastic bag and taking each ingredient under the watchful eye of us leaders and Brownie helpers. They added marshmallows, sprinkles and white chocolate chips. The bags were put inside a second bag to avoid going messes. The girls then sat in a circle and waited patiently while the Brownie Helpers (Guides who help us out) also made their own armpit fudge.

I asked again “who wants to make armpit fudge?” and the girls looking at their chocolate powder and marshmallow messes infront of them all cheered “we do!!!”

So we instructed them, put it under your armpit and squish! Altogether they started squashing the ingredients together. But their armpits weren’t quite strong enough! They started using their hands. Then a Guide had a new idea, through it full pelt at the floor. We couldn’t quite tell the Guides not to and chaos ensued as the Brownies followed suit. Some were hitting it against the wall, some were sitting on it, it was an all out brawl against their food! We had to calm things down and asked them to sit in a circle again. Passing out the spoons the girls digged in.

Some bags had split inside and had made complete messes, but the girls got on and ate them. Some were reserved, had a spoonful and decided that was enough. Others ended up with the mixture covering their face and hands.

The girls then helped tidy away the messes and left over ingredients.

So, the moral of the story? Trust your Brownie Leader and you will be rewarded with gooey, chocolately messes!

Couch 2 5k – Week 6 – 25 minute run

Yesterday, after all the headaches and tiredness of work, I completed my first 25 minute run. It was raining, cold, windy, and getting darker. The chill in the air made me want the 5 minute warm up to finish so I could up the pace and get properly warmer.

This time the first 5 minutes weren’t so bad. I kept the pace slow and I knew I was capable of more. Approaching 10 minutes I started to tire. The same negative thoughts arise of ‘how am I possibly able to complete this?’. Running through the park at this stage, I feel more relaxed with less people are cars around. But then there is the added unease of the dark trees to my left and the man walking his massive dog on my right.

I make it through to the opposite side of the park and the part I was dreading most as it is a fairly steep hill. In my last run, this was the point I realised I was further away from home that I’d thought and turned back. Today I had decided on this route, so I was expecting this. Funny though that at first the hill didn’t look nearly as steep as I remembered, but it was still tough.

As I turned onto the main road the rain and wind hit me hard. It was a struggle, but I considered the idea that anyone who saw me running must think I was having difficulty with the weather rather than the long distance I was attempting. By this point I was 12.5 minutes in, half way through. I thought of the journey ahead and realised I had expected this part would take longer. I headed up another long hill, a few moments I switched to walking pace but 16 steps was the maximum. (Be careful crossing roads as well.)

At the top of this hill was a set of traffic lights. I would turn left here though and head towards home. This also lead me downhill, a very steep downhill that my legs were confused about. I must have looked very bizarre trying to run this part!

At the bottom of the hill the voice on my ipod kicked in again. I didn’t really know how long she was going to say I’d run for. She said that I was 20 minutes in. My mouth literally dropped as I ran and rain clung to my bottom lip. 20 minutes? Last week then final 2 minutes of 20 were so difficult that I nearly keeled over! And here I was carrying on through her talking. 5 minutes to go.

I had to go past the point I thought I’d stop at. I headed on but slowed down a little, I knew I’d have to turn back and I didn’t want to pass the man walking ahead of me just to turn around! For the final minute I turned back, almost colliding with a runner coming up behind me. Then it was over, 25 minutes. My legs were jelly, my breathing all over the place. I smiled a lot as I realised what I’d achieved.

As I walked home I saw my mum pass me in the car, I gave her a little wave. I got home in time to help her put the shopping away, had a shower, dropped James at his friend’s house and had dinner.

Next week is three sessions of the same 25 minute run. I can’t wait.

Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2013 Review

This review may include a few spoilers from films and the mazes! Readers beware…

Fright Nights

With our Merlin Pass this year came the added bonus of attending the preview evening for Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights 2013. Last night James and I spent 3 and a half hours screaming our way through mazes of pure thrilling fun.

This was a preview event, therefore the number of tickets allocated may have been reduced compared to a regular day. (Pass holders still needed to book a free ticket online to attend). Therefore the park may be busier and queues more intolerable like last year. But I can categorically say this was 100% better than last year’s disaster.

I’ll now review each fright nights attraction in the order we partook in them;

Cabin in the Woods

This was the one I was most excited for, finally a maze that would work like an actual maze. You choose the route, you get lost, you can succeed. Well, kind of.

Cabin in the Woods

Location: Behind ‘X’. If coming from Colossus you will need to go around the left when you reach the blocked off path. The queue line is signposted with the open and close time / maze information.

Thorpe’s Scare Rating: 4 star
My Scare Rating: 4 star

On queuing the Zombie Redneck Family, the killers chosen in the film, entertain with a few scares but mostly Jeremy Kyle style slanging matches. Spitting, slurring, un-conditioned hair, it felt like Tuesday Morning on ITV. The scares were there for anyone prepared to turn their back to them. These actors were okay, kept us slightly more entertained as we approached the entrance, but weren’t particularly scary.

You enter through the cave which in the film is the border between the regular world and the ‘cabin’ world. This is still a part of the queue line (please, single middle aged men attending along, don’t think you can use this as an excuse to hold the shoulders of the 15 year old boy in front of you, pure creepy). But it isn’t long before you are greeted by a Thorpe worker. She quickly explains the usual spill about not touching them, they won’t hurt you, keep moving, but the extra detail of you chose which door you go through then shut the door behind you.

The great thing of this is you go in in your groups, two or three at a time. This will only flop if you are an unfortunate couple queuing behind a creepy middle aged man on his own, and then you are forced to take a stranger with you.

However our experience of the maze started the flop when groups start colliding with each other in rooms with multiple doors. We managed to lose creepy single guy but ended up tagged onto a group of about 8. The element of choosing your door lost as you follow behind other people.

If you are lucky you can find the control room, what you do there I do not know as we didn’t find it. And if you don’t find it expect a unfulfilling exit. No big scare, and a clear view of the props next door. (It was a little too obvious, makes me wonder if the control room was actually though there.) You walk through the entrance where others are being given the welcome talk, really cuts down the atmosphere.

The main thing though, the scares, were great. We saw doll face and pumpkin head people who were both really creepy. A guy waving a chain around. A guy outside the lift with a massive white afro who I may have accidently kicked (sorry!) and a guy covered in blood who really liked James.

In all, the variety of monsters was good, the chose your own path element needs to be worked on, but overall a fun maze.

Saw

We had done this once before when it was new, back when they had it open all year round and it wasn’t fright nights on our last visit.

Saw

Location: To the left of the Saw: The Ride entrance. This maze has it’s own purpose built building, queue line is built the same as Saw: The Ride’s cage.

Thorpe’s Scare Rating: 4 star
My Scare Rating: 5 star

The queue had no actor interaction. At one point a guy with a large cone to his mouth was shouting instructions to the cast of ‘extras’ at the edge of the queue, however you could only hear him when the cone was pointed at you and he spent the whole time waving it around so no one understood what was happening.

This is an old school maze, hands on shoulders and walking though in groups of 8. After the mandatory photo that no one buys were we lead into a security room with two loud mouth American police officers. “Backs against the wall now!” Walking in in a line meant I couldn’t fit my back against the wall and so was singled out the push the button to start the game. James’ laughter had him singled out too and was ultimately picked to lead our group. (Serves you right for laughing!)

This is a great maze. Scenes from the film are there before your eyes. Actors scream with terror, one poor girls had her foot mangled up in some device, and there are a fair few jumps. One section of this maze has strobe lighting and cages like the asylum. One actor lies above your heads and grabs at those underneath, I was crouching away from him as James at the front got stuck within the cages.

This is where the problem in my review lies. Neither of us could remember the end to this maze. Unfortunately it couldn’t have been that effective if it was so unforgettable however we did come out laughing.

The Blair Witch Project

We were going to do this before Saw but the Thorpe Park attendants informed us this wouldn’t open until it was dark enough. On our return the queue snaked back past the hot dog stand. No formal queue line set up.

Blair Witch Project

Location: At the back of the park to the left of Burger King, opposite the Rocky Express.

Thorpe’s Scare Rating: 2 star
My Scare Rating: 1 star

This one was very different to the rest, I guess this is why it is referred to as a scare zone rather than a scare maze. To put it short, it is a walk in the dark. About 3 actors in black hoodies hide in the bushes, one actor stands still and cries for help. That is all. The 3 actors seemed to wait the same amount of time between scares as the girls behind us got the scare each time. At the exit you walk through a cabin with red handprints on the walls and then you leave…

I expect there was meant to be an actor in the cabin and it would probably be more scary if you weren’t walking through in a long line. It is okay, nice walk through the woods, but don’t expect scares.

My Bloody Valentine

I caught James by surprise by saying I wanted to do this next, this was the one advertised that we would get split up. But we had to go for it. We did Experiment 10 last year and were expecting a similar experience, and to be honest it was.

My Bloody Valentine

Location: The arena, to the right of ‘X’.

Thorpe’s Scare Rating: 5 star
My Scare Rating: 3 star

On joining the queue we approached a slow walking man grasping the railings. James hoped past him and I followed, he was an actor dressed as a Miner. Another was hidden among the queue freaking people out. This was the longest queue for us, but the actors helped pass the time. Two actresses crawled around on the arena seats screaming for each other and yelling at the miners to leave them alone. The miners would then chase the girls around until they were out of sight and would reappear elsewhere. It was a good build up.

At the front of the queue we were placed into a group of 10-12. We were told that this was a free walking maze, no shoulder holding woo! Then we were greeted by a very happy chappy in a helmet who introduced our ‘tour’ to the mines and explained who this Harry character was. This was good for the story and felt we had a reason for being inside this maze. Quickly this escalated to actors screaming “Harry is coming” and grabbing out at us.

We approached the same stopping point where last year we were picked off and put into cubicles (last year James and I still ended up together). This year as we approached a couple were refusing to let go of each other. The actor spent too long on them and the couple ahead of us, James and I, and a girl behind me all slipped past in a group of 5. (The girl behind us had her boyfriend ripped away from her.) This led to a less than usual experience as we ran past all the cubicles and another actor had to direct us through one cubicle and straight out the other side. We were then led to the crawling tunnel (same as The Passing last year) before continuing the scare maze.

The exit was mundane, not much jumped out on the final part of this maze and we walked out fine. The mix up at the cubicles meant a less than satisfactory experience as I still felt the safety of having James with me. This was billed as the scariest maze but I tend to disagree, perhaps if I’d seen the film it would have been more atmospheric.

The Asylum

The ultimate scare maze returns. The only maze without a horror movie theme, The Asylum speaks for itself.

The Asylum

Location: The Showcase, opposite the Ranger’s Carousel.

Thorpe’s Scare Rating: 4 star
My Scare Rating: 5 star

The queue line had two actresses dressed as Asylum patients to entertain us. One very young looking actress refused to pose for photos as others held up their phones, but suddenly changed her mind as she passed a small girl with her family. She was also messing with the Thorpe Park worker at the front of the queue. A second actress stayed at the front of the queue and acted as if no one else was there, climbing over fixtures, rolling around the floor and, as soon as we were being told instructions for the maze, scrapped the railings.

James and I were the last to join this group, however as we stepped up to the door we somehow became at the front! To be honest, I think James had this maze the best by being at the front. Every actress stopped him, one stood in front of him for ages with her arm in her mouth. (The previous group was too close to us). This maze is a holding shoulder one, which we decided must be because of the strobe lighting. I was beginning to worry about it toward the end and could not imagine how the actresses work in that environment.

The end was a let down for us, the added shower curtains on the final stretch was good to add anticipation. But then the final actor with the chainsaw appeared, he walked straight past us, and then we walked out. We lost the rest of the group, who knows what happened after that, but we had finished our route. But we were satisfied as the rest of the journey was brilliant.

We then had a chance to run around to Nemesis Inferno which is fabulous in the dark. The mist in the tunnel was so dense. I would love to go to Thorpe Park during a regular evening just for the rides.

You’re Next

Oh, I forgot to mention this. That is because I cannot be sure it existed on Friday Night.

You're Next

The only thing that may have been You’re Next actors were three friends walking past the Saw queue line in animal masks, one had an over the head horse mask. The other two I don’t remember. I know guests shouldn’t have been wearing masks, but perhaps these three friends were? Anyhow, if this was meant to promote Lionsgate’s latest horror it really didn’t work. Perhaps contain these actors in one place? It is a little disappointing that Thorpe choose the You’re Next characters as the main image in the publicity but there was no presence by them at all.

So in conclusion, my favourite was Saw as this had a bit of everything (despite shoulder holding). Cabin in the Woods could be better but as the first maze with options to your route I am excited for what could come in the future. Blair Witch lost the atmosphere as too many were going through together. My Bloody Valentine was just Experiment 10 without the big finale. And The Asylum is epic as always! It is worth a visit this year, but be aware the queues can be horrendous. I can’t wait to see what Thorpe does next!

Couch 2 5k – End Week 5 – My First 20 Minute Run

Running non stop for 20 minutes was something completely unimaginable 6 weeks ago. Back in August I could barely run for 1 minute without requiring a break. Yet the Couch 2 5k plan has moved me on to a workout of a 5 minute warm up walk, 20 minutes of running and a further 5 minute warm down.

I was slightly nervous but mostly excited for this run. I hadn’t gone a single session without completing the suggested run so I assumed I’d be fine with this. It was all in the mind I told myself.

I started the 5 minute walk yesterday morning at 9:00am and headed toward a large housing estate with few side roads, giving myself no reasons to stop. I wanted to get the 20 minutes going as soon as possible, and as I entered the estate my iPod friend told me to start running. Keep it slow, pace yourself, you’ve a long way to go. The first 5 minutes were tough. The longest I’d run for before this was 8 minutes, and when 5 minutes took so long I wondered how I’d ever reach 8 again and knowing I’d have to go past it. Within the first 5 minutes I’d ran the circle of the estate twice, and with a man mowing his front garden I didn’t want to be watched so I headed into the park. I had in mind a new route, and the focus of this and dodging any pet dogs kept me going for the next 5 minutes.

Between 5-10 minutes was the easiest part of the run. I was in the park, running downhill, wide open spaces, no people or animals to avoid. My iPod friend told me that I’d done the hard work building up my fitness and that I’d done enough to complete this. 10 minutes in, that was half way. I’d already run for longer than I had done before.

As I approached 15 minutes I’d decided to run to the car park and run along the road back toward my house. I left the park and turned left, a hill in front of me. Suddenly I came to the realisation that this wasn’t the road I expected the see. I was a lot further from home than I realised! I made a casual U-turn and headed back into the park. Slightly down hill but I had to run back past all the people who had just seen me leave. 15 minutes in, only 5 left to go.

The last 5 minutes were the hardest, I’d already done so much more than before surely I could stop now! But I would feel so guilty. My iPod friend told me I’d done enough training to do this so I would be a failure if I didn’t. I focused on the text I would send James when I got home to proclaim my achievement. I focused on one foot in front of the other. I was running across a field, staring at the path ahead and knowing I’d be done once I reached it. 2 minutes to go. The longest 2 minutes of my life. And as I reached the path the slow down music played in my ears, it took an eternity for my iPod friend’s voice to speak over it to confirm I had done it. That was it, 20 minutes running done. My legs were wobbly, I needed to get my breath back. I would’ve sounded so unfit in my final 2 minutes.

I walked back toward my house for the 5 minute warm down. My iPod friend congratulated me, it was the best feeling I’d had all year. I was able to run for 20 minutes.

As I approached my house the slow down music came to an end as my iPod friend said the 5 minute walk was over, then she through me a curve-ball. “If you didn’t complete the 20 minute run, don’t worry, next week retry Week 5’s runs to build up your fitness to try it again”. Hang on. I had no knowledge that running 20 minutes was optional! I would’ve stopped after Minute 9!

Next week goes back to 5 minute, 8 minute and 10 minute runs while I build up again to 25 minutes. But for now I feel happy, I’ve run for 20 minutes and no one can take that from me!