The ‘I Just Can’t Wait to go to Disney’ Tag

Its now 20 days til Dad and I leave for our Disney trip, so it was perfect timing when the lovely Lizi tagged me to do the ‘I Just Can’t Wait to go to Disney’ tag!

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1. How do you get extra excited for your Disney trips?

To be honest, counting down to my next Disney trip is always the most exciting thing, but what really make a countdown extra special is having so many supportive friends and followers who always seem just as excited for my upcoming trip as I am! I also love planning, so spending ages sorting out the details of my trip is actually so much fun for me!

2. How do you feel the few days before your trip?

Oh my gosh, I can’t even describe. There’s a lot of squealing and jumping around, and also a little bit of worrying about things I might have forgotten about, ha! Before my last WDW trip, I actually made myself physically sick with excitement, and the same thing happened when I arrived in Tokyo Disneyland, but I never let it hold me back for too long!

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3. What are the things you are most excited about?

Oh where to start! The magic always starts when you see the first road sign, then when you see the parks for the first time, then laying eyes on the castle and knowing that you’re back; that’s pretty much the best feeling! I also get so excited for parades and character meets, and for Disney park food!

4. When you see the park for the first time of your trip, how do you react?

Its a combination of butterflies and pure excitement, and there’s a lot of failing to fight back tears!

5. What do you like to do while travelling to Disney?

Depends on how I’m travelling. I drove to Disneyland Paris back in October, so I was busy concentrating on the road, but whenever I fly to Orlando or California, I pack out long flights with plenty of films, reading, writing and daydreaming!

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6. What do you pack when you go to Disney?

I have my special Disney backpack, which at all times contains my planning notebook, camera, autograph book, sunglasses, phone, purse etc, and usually a few changes of Mickey ears just to be on the safe side! My outfits are always carefully planned (and I’m not even the slightest bit ashamed to admit that), and sensible shoes are a must, along with all the relevant accessories. I also like to try and pack efficiently so I can maximise space for souvenirs to bring home!

7. Do you count down the days until your next Disney trip, and how?

Always, that’s what iPhone apps are for, right?! Since I upgraded to an iPhone 5S, my new app counts down to the second, which is super exciting!

If you’ve got a Disney trip coming up, I TAG YOU!

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RunDisney 2016: 4 Weeks to go!

4 weeks *tears up with excitement*

Now a lot of exciting things have happened this week, but running sort of hasn’t been one of them. We kicked off the week with a recovery run on Tuesday; I call it a recovery run because it was in no way a training run, we just had to keep moving following Saturday’s half marathon distance – we lasted about 25 minutes and everything was hurting a little. For me, that was the end of my training for the week. Remember that knee problem I’ve mentioned before? Yeah well our recovery run tipped it over the edge and I’ve spent most of my time this week with an icepack taped to my leg.

Tuesday evening also came with one of those exciting things I opened with: corral announcements, and the release of the event guide! So we’ve been placed in corral F, with a predicted time of <2:21, which we’re capable of, but I very much doubt we’ll do what with photo ops and character meets along the course. The release of the event guide means we now know our race courses, the expo set-up and all the timings and transportation details, so I can start memorising everything in an attempt to mentally prepare myself!

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Exciting thing number 2: we’ve received some of the details for the Star Wars weekend from our travel provider, so it’ll only be a matter of time before we have our corrals and other info through from RunDisney! Unfortunately techincalities have meant having to reschedule one of our breakfast reservations, but its really not the end of the world!

Dad ran on Saturday without me, partially because of my knee, but mainly because I was in London for the day with my lovely friend Chelsea (because I know she’s reading this), eating pizza and amazing cookies, but considering we walked over 10 miles around the city I think that counts as training! And despite a slight complication at the end of the day, I came home to a package from Walt Disney World – our travel documents!

This is happening!

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RunDisney 2016: 13.1 (5 Weeks to go!)

I know that I post my RunDisney training updates on Sundays normally, but this week is a special exception for two reasons: 1) I have a special Christmas post for tomorrow, and 2) today’s run needs talking about.

Quite simply, we did it.

13.1 miles.

2:40:40.

Done.

13.1

Despite many people believing that you shouldn’t run the distance you’re training for before the race itself, given that Dad and I have been physically ready for this distance for a good while having trained for almost a whole year, we wanted to just get out there and do it, to feel 100% confident in our ability to do it, and also to set our first PB, and a time we can work from.

Knowing this was our goal for the week, we kept our midweek runs short – around 30-40 minutes each, and pretty much entirely flat, leaving us in a good position for this morning.

Conditions today were not ideal. The wind at the seafront was ridiculously strong, which despite giving us a nice extra push for the first 5-6 miles, it was kicking up all the sand from the beach which got into our face and shoes, forcing us inland for the second half, at which point we had to turn around and start running back against the brick wall of wind. It was hard work, and had conditions been better we would have been totally fine, but the extra work took its toll mentally as much as it did physically.

In terms of pacing and split times, we remained fairly consistent. For the first 7k, 1/3 of the total distance, we kept an average of 11 min/mile, and completed it in just under 50 minutes, and despite feeling much longer, the second and third 7k splits only actually took 55 minutes, so we were pretty well paced the whole time, even if fighting against the wind drained us of energy.

After finishing, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, although I was too exhausted to do either! I’m honestly just so relieved and impressed, and 100% feeling prepared for January now!

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RunDisney 2016: 6 Weeks to go!

Six weeks. SIX WEEKS. That actually sounds like a short length of time right?!

We’ve dropped well below the 40 day mark now (TOMORROW ITS 5 WEEKS TIL WE LEAVE), and everything is becoming more and more real, not that it wasn’t before! We are 100% sorted on everything now, to do lists are ticked, and the only small thing I have to worry about is sorting my running outfits for the Star Wars races!

Our races are now top on the RunDisney site!

Our races are now top on the RunDisney site!

As for running this week, its been fairly non-existent I’m afraid.. I’ve been having some problems with my knees and getting so close to the main event I really don’t want to cause any problems. Dad’s also been working away a lot this week, so there really just hasn’t been a lot of time.

The original plan this weekend was to do another mini rebel, starting with a Parkrun yesterday. Instead of our usual course, we decided to try out our other local course at Poole as they were having a pacer event and we thought it would be fun. The Poole course is a lot flatter than Bournemouth, so the potential for a new PB was definitely there, but getting caught up in the pacer event, I started the course way too fast, and ran the first half on the heels of the 27 minute guy, and considering I have a PB of 28:14, it was a major stretch. By the 3k mark, I was having some real issues with my heart rate (which is becoming more of a recurring problem, and I know when it happens I should stop running..) but I pushed myself onwards, having to stop every few minutes to walk and calm myself down; I even had to stop mid-sprint-finish which is ridiculously unlike me. BUT my time came out at 28:39, so only 25 seconds off my PB, and I think had I not pushed myself too much at the start, a PB would have been possible.

As for today, after spending my shift at work hearing about severe weather warnings on the radio (50mph wind, what), Dad and I made the decision to give it a miss, and save ourselves for next week when we’re going the full distance and hitting 13.1!

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PS. We signed up for our first ever virtual run yesterday, but more on that closer to the time!

RunDisney 2016: 7 Weeks to go!

I know I probably say this every week, but I can’t believe how fast the time is going, and the excitement is really getting to me – there’s a lot of squeaking going on!

We’ve had another good week; we only ran twice, but that was a tactical decision following last weekend’s mini rebel training and knowing we had a long distance this weekend. I also think given the amount of time we train, missing a run here and there really doesn’t put us behind like it used to, and the recovery time is good for us occasionally. Our first run was a classic training run – we went out for about an hour and did about 5 miles thereabouts, which is fairly normal for us on these sorts of runs.

Saturday’s target distance was 10 miles; a distance we haven’t covered in 9 weeks, but we took the same approach yesterday as we did back then: slow and steady. By holding back on our pace, we’ve found we’re able to go much longer continuous distances and avoid tiring, and today we ran well over 5 miles before pausing for a quick walking break. We were really lucky to have clear and dry conditions, but the winds were very strong at times, and the temperature had dropped considerably overnight, so it was pretty nippy! At the 10k mark, we’d been running for 1 hr 10 minutes, which actually isn’t too far off our race pace for that distance, and despite aiming to complete the full 10 miles in around 2 hours, we actually hit it at 1 hr 52 minutes, which was great!

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Better still, because we’d finished the distance quite a way from home, after a quick breather we kept on running, and not only did we carry on to 19k (11.8 miles), which is the longest distance we’ve ever run, we did it in a pretty impressive 2 hr 20 minutes – 4 minutes faster than our 18k record. Unfortunately by the 19k mark my ankle was feeling a little dodgy, otherwise we would have pushed the final 2k to the full 13.1 mile half marathon distance, which would have taken us around 12-15 minutes, so we can assume our half marathon time to be approximately 2 hrs 30!

Feeling much more confident about our efforts this week, I’m pretty happy to be going into our last 6 weeks of training, yay! We’ve sorted our American Visas this weekend too, so now all that’s left on our to-do list is sort our car hire for California! Eeeek!

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RunDisney 2016: 8 Weeks to go!

That’s right, in 8 weeks time our first week of races will be over! Today, in fact, marks exactly 50 days until we leave and arrive in Florida, and 50 days until our first day in the parks in California, which is beyond insane.

So another week of running; four runs for me, in fact. Due to calf issues, Dad decided to give our Tuesday run a miss, so I went out solo, but due to yuck weather I only did about 20 minutes running around our surrounding roads so I wasn’t too far from home when the rain got worse. Thursday, however, conditions were much better, and we did a solid 45+ minute training run, but still taking things a little on the easy side because we had a big weekend ahead of us..

Another Mini Rebel, yayayay!

Saturday we ran our ParkRun. It was raining, and it was windy, and once again we were joined by Sophia (who is now 9, crazy!). Despite conditions, we still made it in a respectable 31 minutes, which was Soph’s new PB – such a little trooper!

Continuing with the mini rebel, today we ran 7 miles, or actually 11.5km, which is a little further! We ran late afternoon, and for a change it was relatively dry right up until the last few kilometres, so conditions were pretty ideal; not too much wind along the beach is the best! We had a few minor setbacks, worst for me being the return of chronic stitches, but its still fairly amazing to think how far we’ve come in the last year, and at this point in our schedule, the last thing we want to do is push ourselves towards injury.

So aside from our training, this week the medals for the Star Wars weekend were released, aren’t they amazing?! We’ll be earning ourselves the middle three, for the 10k, half and Rebel, and I definitely think they’re the best ones!

You might have read my post earlier this week talking about our final checks for our trip, and I’m pretty excited to have started booking Disneyland dining reservations – just one so far, and I’ll be booking one more on Wednesday – and this week I want us to sort our American Visas as well, but its becoming very very real now!

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January Disney Trip – What’s done, and what’s left!

Would you believe that yesterday marks exactly 8 weeks until Dad and I leave for Florida, kick-starting our awesome RunDisney tour of Walt Disney World and Disneyland California? Well I can’t! I’m beyond excited; its so close I can practically taste the Mickey waffles!

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Being in the last stages of preparing, there’s been lots to do these last few weeks, so this is where we are:

• Our WDW stay has been 100% paid off

• We’ve checked into our hotel online, and personalised our Magic Bands

• We did our ADRs at the 180 day mark, so they’ve been long sorted, but last week I had the nasty early morning alarm to book our Fastpasses!

• We’ve booked our spot on the Magical Express

• Our coaches both to and from the airport are sorted

• I’ve got two out of four running costumes ready

We do, however, still have a few things left to do:

• Pay the final balance of our California booking

• Get our American visas – kinda super important!

• Dining reservations for California, as they can’t be made until 60 days prior

• Sort out car hire in California

• Get packing!

We’ve only got 55 days to wait! Do you have any Disney trip preparation rituals?

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