RunDisney 2016: 3 Weeks to go!

Just a quick little update on this week today, I’m busy trying to feel Christmassy in preparation for next week!

So on Tuesday Dad and I headed out for a quick run after I decided my knee could probably handle it, and we’d only made it about 1k from home before it caved, and I finally gave in to the suggestion of going to Physiotherapy, which I did on Thursday evening.

Turns out, my knee-cap is mis-aligned, causing abrasion between bones around my knee and creating scar tissue, which is what is causing the pain I’m experiencing, so in the next few weeks I’ll be undergoing treatment to reduce this scar tissue, while strengthening the muscles in my legs which will keep my knees straight while I run, simple! Meanwhile, my leg is covered with KT tape to support my knee, so that I can keep running through the treatment.

Freshly taped, we went out Friday morning to test this theory, and it was an absolute dream; I felt totally fine, which cheered me up immensely, yay! We have, however, held off running this weekend due to it playing up slightly on Saturday, and also Dad’s had some backpain, so we’re going to allow recovery time (and cos its Christmas) before a final ramp up and taper down in the final weeks approaching races!

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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.

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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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RunDisney 2016: 9 Weeks to go!

Today I’m coming to you all from a much better place than I have in the last few weeks, yay! My back is feeling a lot better – still not 100% but it’ll take time – and I’ve been able to start training at the gym again, which for me has such a positive impact on my mood, and I needed to feel better this week.

I went to the chiropractor on Monday about my back, and even after a treatment session still wasn’t seeing much improvement, so making the assumption that the problem was more muscular, I spent Tuesday religiously applying Deep Heat and Deep Freeze every few hours, which seemed to work wonders, and after surviving a gym session on Wednesday without too much bother, we were back running Thursday.

We did one of our usual routes, down through the town centre to the beach, along the seafront, up the zig-zag to the clifftop and home, which is about 7km, and while we took it at a fairly easy pace, it felt good and it was great to be back at it after all the worry last week.

Saturday was a ParkRun, and what a soggy one it was! Light showers turned to heavy downpours, and crisp autumn breeze became super blustery, and in my oversized waterproof coat I basically turned into a kite; resistance training to the max! It was a quiet race – not even 200 people turned up – and the course was turning to sludge, which slowed the pace a fair amount for everyone, not to mention dodging the people who had fallen in the mud (and stopping to help the up of course!), but I felt back on form, running ahead of my dad for the first time since returning to training after Europe. Timewise, it wasn’t a PB, but it also wasn’t my slowest: 31:37, which about 3 minutes off my PB, but I was never gonna do that in those conditions, and in fact only 5 of the 190 runners set new PBs!

AND MORE GOOD NEWS:

Today we signed up for the inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon weekend in September 2016, to do both the 5k and half. I wish they were doing a 10k as well, but hey ho!

So yep, I’m back on the brightside, and races are looming on the horizon!

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RunDisney 2016: 10 Weeks to go!

Well after last week, I was hoping to be able to come back this week with an upbeat post announcing that we’ve had a great week and I’m finally back into my stride with this whole running business after my trip, but I’m afraid its not been a fairytale week..

Weather in Bournemouth this week has been all over the place, and Tuesday was especially horrible, so Dad and I decided that instead of skipping out on a run, or getting soaked to the skin in the rain, we would head down to the gym and do our regular 45 minute training run on the treadmills instead. In theory, it was a great idea; no rain or wind to hold us back, the ability to maintain and control consistent speeds.. The reality though is that it was practically tropical there, surrounded by loads of hot, sweaty people, and for us as road-runners, running on a treadmill is painfully dull, and also a completely different running experience.

Not too far into this run, we decided to cut it from 45 minutes to a 5k distance, which essentially cut it down to 30 minutes. Running on a treadmill is hard work when you’re used to roads, the impact is totally different and you have less control over yourself, and all of that combined really takes it out of you. There’s also no moving air to cool you down, and we felt it! Thinking nothing of it, the week carried on..

The plan for the weekend was another mini-rebel challenge, to prepare us for the real deal in January. With work schedules as they were, we made the decision to skip the second training run of the week, and do our consecutive runs on Friday and Saturday, 5 miles and 9 miles, but following Tuesday’s treadmill run, Wednesday came with bad news for me: the pain in my back that I had suffered a little in Europe had returned.

Still in pain Thursday and Friday, we decided to call off the 5 miles, and compromise with a 10k early Saturday morning, as Dad was heading up to the Rugby World Cup final. I felt fine, and we set off fine, but it wasn’t too long (about 3k, in fact) before the pain set back in, and we were forced to turn home. Doing so meant that we did about 6k in around 45 minutes, which in all fairness isn’t too bad in any case, but I just felt rubbish; I still haven’t got back to my usual standard and now I’m injured, and just feeling further and further from where I was before I went away.

And that’s really all I’ve got for this week. I’ve got a chiropractor appointment booked for tomorrow morning, but right now I just feel a bit pants, and all I want to do it getting running again..

RunDisney 2016: 11 Weeks to go!

And another week has flown by, moving us ever closer to the big day, or days in our case!

This week has been our first full week back in training after my trip, so its been a case of taking things fairly easy. We’ve also had some issues with fitting in running this week, so we’ve only run twice.

Our first run was a standard 45ish minute run, taking a regular route down to the beach and back. We kept a good continuous pace, with a few walking breaks, and it was raining which was a good motivation! Overall we did about 7km in just under an hour, which is slow by our regular standards but a good way of getting back into it.

Yesterday was an 8-miler. We had a good start, but running into the wind for the first half was pretty tiring! That said, we were still keeping a good pace, and once we got to the turnaround point, it was a lot easier with the wind behind us, and going back seemed much easier. It took us about 1hr 40 altogether, which is a totally acceptable time, but coming back from time off, I’m still struggling a little with getting back into a positive mindframe.

Next week will be a better week though! We’re doing another mini rebel challenge, and I’m getting back on track with healthy eating and gym training, so once I’m back in the place I was before my trip, it will all fall back into place!

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RunDisney 2016: 12 Weeks to go!

Twelve weeks?! Its amazing how time flies when you’re not counting every week!

So its been 3 weeks now since I last did a RunDisney update, which was the week Dad and I completed our first Tough Mudder, and despite planning on running in the week following, that just didn’t work out; we were bruised and sore, and it just made sense to let ourselves recover properly.

And that week, obviously, was the week I left on my road trip, so there’s another two weeks without running for me! Dad’s been running a few times without me while I’ve been away, working primarily on his speed over shorter distances, mainly his <30 minute 5K.

We kicked back into proper training mode yesterday with our usual ParkRun. I took things a little slower, for a few reasons: firstly, I was coming out of three weeks off, secondly because I didn’t want to push myself too hard too soon, and finally, because we had a new member of the family ParkRun squad: my 8 year old cousin, Sophia. She’s a natural athlete, and having run a Race for Life earlier in the year, I thought it would be a really great for her to get into running more regularly. At first, she ran with my sister, who has a much slower pace than Dad and I, but it wasn’t too long before she was running at my heels, so I kept with her for the race, and we crossed the line together at 33:36; a slow time for me, but an amazing time for her, and given that I was feeling rusty, I don’t think I could have gone much faster without doing myself some damage!

So we’re back now! Proper training schedule has resumed, and its the final push to January now, crazy huh?!

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RunDisney 2016: 15 Weeks to go, and Tough Mudder!

Ok, we all know what this week was about.. Tough Mudder.

With that looming at the end of the week, we decided to only run once, on Tuesday, and skip Thursday to save ourselves for Saturday.. It was a nice little 5-6 miler, nothing special, but Saturday..

Saturday was all about the mud. If I’m being honest, I’m still a little in shock and awe that its all over, and that we did it. It was beyond insane.

Up and on the road by 7.30am, a rush to sign in and find our team, and into the warm-up zone for a quick jump around before making our way to the start line – which of course we could only get to by getting over a 6ft wall!

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From there, it was only 11.8 miles with almost 30 obstacles to get through before we crossed the finish line again, no biggie..

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Ice baths, mud miles, 12 ft walls, tunnels, hills, and electric shocks – the photos don’t do justice – and just over 4 hours later, we crossed the line and were greeted by goodie bags and a pint!

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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it was such an incredible experience! Definitely hard work, but amazing. Our team was phenomenal, especially Dad, who only actually signed up for this during the week, but was such a trooper and blew us all away!

Would I do another one? Let’s just watch this space..

And as for Run Disney, today marks the first day of double digits – only 99 days until we leave!

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RunDisney 2016: 16 Weeks to go!

Coming off the high of last week (Dad’s PB and our longest continuous run), this week has also been a great one. We’ve definitely found our stride, if you pardon the pun, and every aspect of our running seems to be improving so much, we’re actually surprising ourselves!

As per usual, we ran twice in the week, Tuesday and Thursday; both very different runs. Tuesday was a fairly regular route for us, with a difference: we ran basically all of it! Pretty much all of our training so far has been a rather loose interpretation of Jeff Galloway’s ‘run-walk-run’ method, whereby walking breaks are encouraged so as not to overdo it or cause injury, but following our first continuous 5K last week, we’ve really found the kick up the backside to keep going, knowing that we can. We did walk a steep bit of hill, but other than that, we ran the full distance.

Thursday was a split run – we ran down to my nan’s house, about 3k, stopped off there for a quick visit, and then ran back home, so about 6-6.5k altogether. Generally, the outward journey is downhill, and the homebound uphill, but we tried to push ourselves as much as possible. Yes, we hate hills, but they do appear in most of our routes, so they’re pretty much an inevitable part of any run. When possible, we run what we can, but personally I don’t see any shame in walking them because it does save straining ourselves, and it still works our legs pretty hard.

Saturday was a 10-miler. Its the first really long distance we’ve done since we got back into training after Japan, but with the successes of the last week in mind we kept fairly positive. The route was chosen based on us having a pretty good knowledge of the distances of certain legs, and that helps us keep pace and also have an idea of the end goal, so off we set..

We ran at a slightly slower than usual pace, and comfortably completed the first 5k in about 33 minutes – not too shabby – but we kept on running. Comfortably, we hit the 6k mark, and then the 7k mark, and were basically shocking ourselves as we kept going! We decided that we would stop at the halfway mark – 5 miles/8k – mainly because I needed the toilet, and also to take on a little bit of fuel, but super proud of ourselves for running that whole distance without stopping to walk! Quick loo stop, fuel loaded, and off we went again, running all the way to the 14k mark before we reached a nasty hill that we walked, and then stormed the last stretch home!

Overall, we actually did about 10.1 miles in 1hr 58 (including our toilet stop!) and more importantly, feeling as if we could go on for another 3 miles quite happily! Knowing that, I feel totally confident in our ability to run the full half marathon in 2.5 hours, especially with another 3-4 months training.

Yep, pretty happy this week! Next week I’ll be running my first ever Tough Mudder race, which will be something a little different and I’m totally terrified, so be sure to send lots of pixie dust my way!

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RunDisney 2016: 17 Weeks to go!

Yep, we’ve flown through another week already! One more week closer to my birthday, one more week closer to Christmas, and one week closer to our races, eeek!

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In fact, we’re not far off the 100 day mark, and by the time I get back from Europe it’ll be closer to 80, and all the fun starts! November is really the month where everything happens – fastpass+ choices, paying off Disney World and Disneyland, and booking any dining in California, and once all that’s done then we’re practically there! (I also finished the first of my running costumes!)

We’ve taken it fairly easy this week, with three short-ish runs, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t good ones. I’ve had a pretty nasty cold this week but actually running seems to have helped me sweat it out a bit! With this in mind, we kept our first two runs this week fairly short, around 30-40 minutes, but fairly continuous, and we kept a pretty good pace. Saturday though..

Originally, we were planning on doing ParkRun, but due to timing issues we decided to do our own 5k earlier in the morning, but to run it at race pace, with Dad really hoping he could hit a new PB below 30 minutes. We set off fast, taking a familiar route through the town centre to the pier and along the beach, and were easily keeping a pace below 6 min/km, and, after managing a sprint finish, not only did we finish <30, we actually did it in 28:43 – Dad’s fastest time and only 30 seconds away from mine. Not only that, after a short walk to get our breath back, we actually ran the rest of the way home, bringing our total distance to about 8k!

Now Dad’s proven to himself that he can do it, he’s definitely got the bug, and we might actually go for another run this evening!

Next week we’re back onto big distances with a 10-miler, so we can start working on pace and stamina again. Until then, see ya real soon!

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RunDisney 2016: 18 weeks to go, and a Mini Rebel!

This week has been a big week you guys!

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For starters we did our two midweek runs, both of which felt pretty good this week. I feel like I’ve finally sorted balancing my running training with my gym training so that I’m not having to sacrifice one for the other, and also so that my body can cope with two very different workout types without injury or strain. I’m a happy girl!

Our first run was a solid 45 minutes, and we managed the first 4k with no breaks which was really great. It was a slightly different route for us, which made a nice change from the norms. Our second run was a little shorter; we actually took my car into the garage for a service, and ran home from there which was about 3.5 miles.

What’s this?

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Why, a mini rebel, of course!

So if you keep up with my training, you’ll know I added these ‘mini rebel challenges’ to our new training schedule in order to train our bodies for running long distances with no rest days, and this weekend I did the first one. I ran our regular Saturday morning ParkRun 5k by myself as Dad was away, and despite having not run the course since before our Japan trip, I actually set a new PB of 28:14, which was 35 seconds faster than my previous. I honestly impressed myself because I found it pretty tough, so hopefully with a bit more training I’ll get sub-28 soon.

On top of that 5k, today Dad and I ran 7 miles this afternoon. Overall it was fairly good; we chose a really great shady route which was nice to run, and we were doing really well until my body got in the way, yet again.. I feel pretty bad because it feels like every week I’ve got an excuse for a falter in a run, but this week it was a pretty major issue with my heart (which I actually get more frequently than I probably should, and I genuinely am going to make a doctors appointment to get it looked at), and I forced myself to soldier on through rather than stopping for a minute to sort it out, which meant I made the situation worse. Nonetheless, we still hit the 7 mile mark in just under 1hr 30, and we finished this week on a pretty good note – even if my knees don’t agree tomorrow morning!

Next week we’ve got a nice relaxed week, so all should be well!

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RunDisney 2016: 19 Weeks to go!

So we’ve already completed the first 4 weeks of our new training programme; time is flying by and we’re creeping ever closer to the 100 day mark!

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Remember last week was a bit of a bust? Well this week was always going to be more of a success, and it was for the most part. We did three decent runs: a 45 minute one, and two 5ks, and I think what we’ve noticed most this week is how much we’ve managed to cut down on walking intervals during our runs.

I’m also really happy to be at the end of August now and heading into autumn – I’ve spent the last week getting erratically angry with the sun. Goodbye summer heat and hello brisk winds and running in the rain! My body sucks at regulating its own temperature and I’ve been finding summer running pretty horrendous, even doing it at 7am when its a little cooler.

Next week I’ll be running our first ‘mini rebel’ – 5k on Saturday and 7 miles on Sunday. Its essentially half the distances of the real Rebel Challenge races, designed to get us used to running big distances with no rest day. Unfortunately Dad’s away on Saturday so won’t be doing the 5k with me, but he’s not getting away without 7 miles on Sunday!

That’s all for now, folks!

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RunDisney 2016: 20 Weeks to go!

Despite my positive attitude to our new training schedule, I knew a week like this would happen at some point: the ‘disappointing’ week – the kind where running isn’t top priority.

In all fairness its my fault. I had two total burnout gym sessions this week which left me too tired and too achy for our early week runs, and it was the sensible decision to give them a miss in anticipation of a bigger distance on Saturday.

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So this week we ran 7.5 miles, in the fairly respectable time of 1 hour 30. Sure, we’ve been faster, but this week wasn’t about pushing ourselves, it was about keeping going. Plus, despite being a British summer, its still August and it was really warm, even at 8am, and I really struggle with heat.

So what else has happened this week? Well becoming an ever-increasing priority for Dad and me is improving our eating habits, and while its a bit of a challenge, we’re slowly getting there, and probably the greatest revelation on this subject is our lasagne transformation. Lasagne is my all-time favourite meal, we eat it every week, but we’ve made a few simple changes – swapping beef mince for Quorn mince, and adding spinach as well as using spinach lasagne sheets – and we’re definitely onto a winner, it tastes amazing! I’m also making an effort to prepare more meals in advance so I’m not tempted to grab a ready meal at work or give into my snacking temptations.

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With all this in mind, I’m pretty pumped for getting back into things properly next week with a few key mantras in mind:

– Always find time to stretch and cool down properly

– Eating healthy makes for happier people

– Just keep swimming!

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RunDisney 2016 – 21 Weeks to go!

 Time seems to be flying by at the moment, and we’ve completed another week of training!

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So once again, we’ve completed 3 runs this week: two 45 minute runs, and a 5k on Saturday. We’ve had great conditions this week; running really late on Tuesday (about 9-10pm), through cooling drizzle on Thursday, and early along the beach on Saturday.

Saturday’s run felt really good; we’d normally ParkRun on a Saturday morning, but my sister was doing her first triathlon at the beach, which started at 7am, so we decided to go down and support her, and run while she was on the cycle leg of her race. Dad and I do a lot of running at the beach, either running from home to the cliff and down to the beach and back, or just running up and down. Its a love/hate relationship: Bournemouth beach is beautiful, the sea breeze is cooling and its a nice stretch for longer distance runs, but at the same time it can be too windy, too crowded and there’s no real shade when its really sunny. Its also great because basically all of the races and fun runs that happen in Bournemouth take place at the beach, so its easy to gauge distances. For example, our local Race for Life is from Bournemouth to Boscombe pier, slightly further on and back, and knowing that, that’s what we did on Saturday. We didn’t set any PBs, but we did some good continuous running, and we weren’t slow!

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Another really exciting happening of the week was finally receiving our Rebel Challenge training tshirts. Training shirts for the races are released for pre-order for a limited time on the US Disney Store, and are for US delivery only, so I enlisted the help of a lovely friend from California who ordered them on our behalf, and shipped them over to us from there. She’s a star!

We’re coming for you, Rebel Challenge!

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RunDisney 2016: 22 weeks to go!

So after the blip of the last month, we’re finally back into our rhythm, completing the first week of our new schedule without a hitch, yay!

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The first major difference of the programme is the increase in length of our midweek runs, from 30 to 45 minutes, which really wasn’t too much of a problem, and taking it in our stride (pardon the pun) was quite reassuring as it meant we weren’t as far setback as I’d worried I might be after the time away.

I also threw us back in at the deep end this week with a 6 mile weekender, primarily because I knew we could do the distance, and also because in our 45 minute runs we can go 4-5 miles, so all of our weekend distances are 6+. Ok, so we weren’t up to our usual pace for that distance, but our PB is 1 hour 3 minutes, and we did it in 1 hour 15; a month off, and only 12 minutes difference really doesn’t seem to bad if you ask me!

Another change you might have noticed if you’ve kept up with my training posts, is that I’m starting to count down the weeks, rather than up as I did before, mainly for my own sanity, but also because it seems far more positive watching the numbers tick down!

Today we also FINALLY managed to book our places on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour for the first day of our trip! We’ve been trying to book it since the 180 day mark, but Disney have been undergoing some ‘Magical Enhancements’ to their tour booking system, and when we tried again today, they were ready for us! 8th try lucky..

This time in 22 weeks time we’ll have completed both of our Disney World runs, crazy right?!

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RunDisney 2016: A New Schedule

Let’s not even talk about this week.

Yes, we did start running again this week, but I’m not even sure you can call what we did ‘running’, so moving swiftly onwards..

When we first started training back in January/February, we stuck to the recommended training plan provided by Run Disney and Jeff Galloway, and we worked our way through most of that leading up to our Japan trip last month, but with our trip looming ever closer, now we’re back into things, we need to modify and increase our training to prepare us for the grand finale of our holiday: Rebel Challenge. On their own, a 10k and a half marathon wouldn’t faze us too much; we’ve run plenty of 10Ks, and our training so far puts us in good stead for a half marathon, which we’ll of course be completing the week before in WDW. Rebel Challenge, however, is both these distances one day after the other.. Yikes, right?

All our previous training has left a recovery day between runs, so now we need to learn to push through and run on consecutive days, and with this in mind, I’ve written us our new training schedule:

Its fairly similar to the Jeff Galloway plan, alternating shorter distances with longer distances, but I’ve added in what I like to call ‘Mini Rebels’. As the name suggests, they’re basically two consecutive runs, just smaller distances that the main event – 3 miles and 7 miles, 4 miles and 8 miles etc – and we’ll be doing one of these every month or so in addition to our regular training, and we’ll also be increasing the length of our midweek runs to at least 45 minutes.

This coming week marks 22 weeks until we leave for Florida, so we’ve got 22 weeks of training (including over Christmas..), 5 mini Rebels and a whole lot of powering through to do!

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RunDisney 2016: A Training Update

It has been a long time since I’ve written about our RunDisney training, for a few reasons:

1. I was finding it a little repetitive each week; ‘woo, we ran three times, woo, we were a little faster this week’

2. Due to injury/our recent Tokyo trip/various other excuses like the weather, we’ve really not been as into training as we were when we were at our peak

3. We haven’t run since pre-Japan

Everyone takes breaks, and knowing that that is ok is important; a work, work, work mentality doesn’t do anyone any good. Sure, we’ve enjoyed a little break, but we know we have to get back into our proper training schedule this week as tomorrow marks 23 WEEKS UNTIL WE LEAVE FOR DISNEY WORLD. No biggie or anything.

So we are now totally 100% officially confirmed for all our races – Disney World 5K, Disney World half, and Star Wars Rebel Challenge (10k and half). While we’ve been confirmed for all our races since June, because we’re booking the California leg of our trip through a RunDisney sponsored travel agent, we only officially entered Rebel last week. We’ve also entered all of our Proof of Times, due to our estimated finish time for the halfs being under 3hrs 15; we’re aiming for around 2.5 hours.

All of our accommodation is sorted! In Disney World we’ll be staying at Port Orleans – French Quarter, which includes a quick service dining plan, but we’ve also made a few Advanced Dining Reservations which I’m really excited about. Its still too early to book Fastpasses, and we’re having some problems with booking the Keys to the Kingdom tour, but we’ll cross all those bridges when we get to them! In Disneyland California we’ll be staying at the Paradise Pier hotel, booked through the travel agent, which means we won’t get our confirmation details til November, but we know that’s where we’ll be and that’s good enough for us!

So now its just a case of buckling back down into a training routine. Next week will just be a case of easing ourselves back into it, and then after that we’ll begin ramping it up to hit the bigger distances, and also do a little challenge training to get ourselves used to the idea of running long distances without a rest day in between.

23 weeks, lets do this!

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180 days to go!

Can you believe it? We’re already at the 180 day mark! So..

Did I get my reservations you ask?

YEP.

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I was a bit back and forth between whether I should make them by phone or online; reservations open at 7am Eastern Time, which was midday here in the UK, but I thought I’d be a little cheeky and try and see if they opened earlier online, to no luck.. at first!

Yeah ok, I knew I was never gonna get away with it hours early, but as I was waiting for the clock to hit 12pm to dial the reservation line, I hit refresh on my browser at about 11.40 and BOOM, I was in!

Top priority was California Grill – its a fairly fancy place, very popular with regulars, and Dad really wanted to eat here, so any time would have been fine, but for me it was key to get a time that puts us there in time to watch Wishes from the viewing platform, and I’ve only gone and done it!

Our other booking scores were Teppan Edo and Beaches and Cream, both for lunch on the days we’ll be running in the morning – key refuelling!

Tomorrow, with any luck I’ll be booking us onto the Keys to The Kingdom Tour, and then we’ll be all set until Fastpasses become available in November!

EEEK

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RunDisney 2016 – Training Week 16

This post is coming out a day late, but the weekend drained me so much that I decided to take a quick power nap at about 6pm yesterday before writing my weekend posts, and I ended up sleeping through til 10pm, at which point I decided I should probably just get some sleep and start fresh today!

Yesterday Dad and I ran in the Poole 10k, our first competitive 10k since last October, which was our first. Now I’m not one to brag or anything, but we smashed it! We shaved 4 minutes off our time from October, finishing in 1 hour 3 minutes, and we actually did the first 5k in a record pace of 31 minutes! Safe to say we’re feeling pretty happy with ourselves!

Now we made a couple of changes to our plans this week..

With sign up for the Star Wars half marathon weekend opening early to APs, DVCs and travel companies, we got in touch with the travel company we thought about booking Disney World with (but didn’t in the end), and when they came back to us with prices, we had to think a lot about comparing prices from all our options, and we made a rather spur of the moment decision.. to do the Rebel Challenge!

So originally we were going to do the 5k, which will be on the Friday, and the half marathon on the Sunday, but Rebel Challenge is completing the 10k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday, essentially running two longer distance races with no rest day in between, eek!

Either way, we decided to book through the company, which means we’ve officially been accepted for early registration! We decided we won’t be staying on property in California; the local hotels are literally only minutes from the parks anyway, and are about a quarter of the price, so for only a few days, which we’ll spend entirely in the parks, it wasn’t worth the extra spend.

So this has been a pretty great week! We’re going to dial down training a little in the run up to Japan, then kick it back up to full notch once we’re back!

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RunDisney 2016: Training Week 15

Another week, and a new PB, yay!

Jeff’s training schedule implements something called ‘Magic Miles’, which is where every other week you time yourself for one mile, and then watch how this time improves with your training. Dad and I, however are sort-of bypassing this, and instead taking part in our local ParkRun 5k every other week instead, and tracking our improvement based on our times for that. Last time we did a ParkRun, we set a PB for the distance, and this week we managed to beat it; granted only by maybe 20-30 seconds, but an improvement all the same!

The great thing about our local course is that its mixed terrains and levels, from grass to dirt tracks to concrete paths, with uphills and downhills, so it really covers everything, and although most races tend to be fairly flat, it prepares us for all eventualities and works different muscles for all round effectiveness!

We’ve (rather spontaneously) entered a 10k next Sunday, and we’re hoping to beat our previous record for a race, which is 1 hr 7 mins, but its looking like its gonna be hot, hot, hot, and its mid-afternoon, eurgh!

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RunDisney 2016: Training Week 14

This week an important lesson was learnt.

Never EVER wear new/different shoes on the day of a race.

I mean it.

If you’ve been following our training, you’ll know that this week was going to be the week we hit the big distance. We decided to forgo the 12.5 mile target and hit the big 13.1, set our first PB and feel super about doing it..

We didn’t. And I’m not going to lie, it was entirely my fault, which I hate.

I have two pairs of trainers that I run in: a pair of Nikes, which I’ve done the majority of my running over the last year or so in, and a pair of Karrimor running shoes which I use on and off, but not very often, so I’ve been trying to use them more recently to wear them in a little more and check their suitability. I wore them for all our runs last week and they were totally fine; a lot more lightweight than my Nikes and slightly more supportive of my feet.

So I figured why not wear them this weekend? We set off bright and early yesterday morning, and totally opposite to our last big distance, the weather was sunny, not much wind and for 7.30/8am, it was super warm, and by super warm I mean sweaty hot. But we continued to run into the heat of the morning sun, keeping a good pace, and hit the 5 mile mark in a record time (for us, obviously) of 57 minutes, which was a great feeling and could only mean good things for the rest of the run..

And then we hit 6 miles, and the blisters formed.. A runner’s nightmare, and all because I wore the wrong shoes. I’d never run more than 4-5 miles in my Karrimors, and the result of going past that point meant I quite literally have blisters upon blisters, in the same place on both feet. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the shoes are bad, I’m just stressing the importance of proper testing of shoes before a big race because I’d hate anyone else to have to give up mid-run, or do any serious damage to their feet.

I’m totally gutted we weren’t able to do it this week, but with plenty of training time to go, its not the end of the world!

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RunDisney 2016: Training Week 13

A quick one for a quick week..

We only ran twice this week, mainly due to recovering from last week’s trek of a distance. Wednesday was a free run; we did about 45 minutes, making up the route as we went along, but that works pretty well for us!

Yesterday we did something a little different, and took part in our local ParkRun. ParkRun is a worldwide scheme that organises free local running events, and our local one is just 5 minutes from our house so we figured we’d give it a go. Its completely free to take part; you just need to register online beforehand to receive your barcode, which is how your times are logged, and then just show up at the right place at the right time. Our local course is a 5k that takes place every Saturday morning.

It was great! Firstly, we couldn’t believe how many took part, almost 400 people! Secondly, the range of people was pretty astonishing; serious runners, fun-runners, parents with kids, people with dogs etc.. There was even a women who ran the whole thing pushing two kids in a double-pushchair! But the most amazing thing was our time: we did it in 31 minutes, which is a pace of almost 10km/h, and definitely a personal best (last year I did the Race for Life 5k in 37 minutes).

Next week the programme says to finish the week with 12.5 miles, but because of how easily we did our 11 miles last week, we’re just gonna go ahead and complete the extra 0.6 miles to make it the full distance, just to say we’ve done it, set our first time and then we know where we stand. Super exciting!

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RunDisney 2016: Training Week 12

Another week of running, another week closer to the main event!

Yesterday was another big run – 11 miles! And d’you know what? It was easy. Well, that’s not entirely true; we ran the first half into what I like to call ‘brick wall wind’ (because it literally feels like you’re running into a brick wall), and there was a sand-in-the-eye incident, as well as a little bit of rain on the way back.. But running wise, we really got into our stride, if you pardon the pun.

Because both Dad and I had a little bit of calf pain in the week, we thought we’d be better off doing regular run-walk-run intervals, which once we hit the wind, we were eternally grateful for! So the first half (into the brick wall wind) we ran for 0.4 miles, then walked 0.1, and then on the way back we did 0.9 and walked 0.1, and we averaged a steady 5 miles an hour the whole way through, finishing the total distance in 2hrs 13mins. That in itself was an incredible accomplishment, but even better was knowing that we could have easily kept going for another two miles!

We nailed everything, from the time of day for good (by which I mean not too warm) weather, to eating a good breakfast that had us energised, but not feeling stodgy, and even having on-course snacks of a wine gum every few miles. For the first time I think we know that not only can we do it, but we’re easily going to do it in a great time: sub 2hrs 30!

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RunDisney 2016: Training Week 11

We’re over the halfway point of our training programme, which seems beyond crazy – I swear we’ve only just started?!

I’m gonna keep it relatively short this week as I updated you guys on quite a lot earlier this week. The key point this week is that we’ve registered for both of our Disney World races (5k and half marathon), so everything just got totally real, although registration for the Star Wars weekend at Disneyland California doesn’t open until June, but even that’s only 5 weeks away now!

Running wise it’s been a fairly boring week; we only ran twice because we couldn’t find the time until towards the end of the week, and we really didn’t push ourselves much at all. Personally I’ve had a week of ups and downs, the ups being all the excitement of registration and planning, and the downs being fitness-wise; with all the running, plus all the time I’m spending at the gym at the moment, I think my body’s been a bit overwhelmed and needs recovery time, so I’m going to take it easy this coming week. I’ve also been getting a lot of headaches, especially in the last few days which I’m putting down to dehydration, so I just need to keep an eye on things.

Rest is just as important as training!

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RunDisney 2016 Update – we’re in!

Today I am happy happy happy!

If you’re up to date with me and my Disney life, you’ll know that today was registration for the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, which is our first event of our RunDisney January tour, and we got our places in both races! Aahhh! So we’ll be running the 5k on Thursday 7th as a sort of warm up, before we do the half marathon on Saturday 9th!

This was really the feather in my cap of a great last week or so. Last week not only did we book our flights for this trip, but we also scored a room at the main Tokyo Disneyland hotel for our July holiday, even though the website said they were fully booked, so that’s all super exciting, and meant the only thing that was really left to do was book our resort and park tickets for January, and securing our race places.

Well yesterday I finally made my mind up and paid the deposit on our Disney World resort/park tickets/dining plan etc. We’ll be staying at Port Orlean’s French Quarter, which I chose because it looks beautiful, and is really well positioned for us; our races all start in Epcot, which is just across the road basically! We knew we wanted to stay at a Moderate Resort because of the great deals they have for 2016 – free quick-service dining plan, $200 gift card and free Memory Maker – and given that we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort last year, which is the cheapest moderate, and didn’t want to spend too much more, POFQ seemed ideal!

So yeah.. Its still a while before we can really finalise specific plans for January (ADRs, Fastpasses and such), but everything now is really complete for the Florida side of our trip, and we don’t need to worry about California until June, so we’ll just keep running, and see where we get!

Anyone else running in January? °o°

RunDisney 2016: Training Week 10

Just a quick update tonight because I’m exhausted, and because I’ve just got in pretty late from seeing the new Avengers film! (its awesome guys, go see it)

I’m exhausted because today we ran 9.5 miles! Mega distance right?! Well its not our goal but it is, once again, the furthest distance we’ve run to date. Last week I wrote about how excited I was that our training really seems to be paying off as we’re improving massively, and I’m pleased to report that wasn’t a fluke week! We skipped our first run of the week because my ankle was feeling a little fragile and I didn’t want to do any damage, but we made up for it with an awesome mid-week run (we kept going way further than we needed to), and absolutely smashing previous records today: we hit 5 miles in our fastest time yet, and completed the whole 9.5 miles in 1 hr 56, when we were expecting a time of just over 2 hours.

Tuesday is sign up day, so wish us luck! We’ll be applying for the half marathon, and with any luck we’ll also manage to get spots on the 5k, but its not the end of the world if we don’t.

Eeek!

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Guess who’s planning again?!

This week I’m starting to get my Disney buzz back as our Tokyo trip is less than 3 months away, so we’re starting to get into details like itineraries and booking hotels, and also because with sign up a week away, Dad and I are starting to make our arrangements for our Run Disney trip in January.

Buzz buzz!

So as far as Tokyo Disneyland goes, its totally un-chartered territory for us. Planning-wise, my expertise are in Disney World, so I really am a fish out of water, which is exciting and a little scary for me as I’m terrified of not being able to fit everything into the 3 days we’ve got set aside for the parks. Now I’m very much a DIY person, and have never been one to turn to guidebooks for advice, but in this instance I decided to, so I bought two – Top Tips for Visiting Tokyo Disney Resort, and Elijah’s Ultimate Guide to Tokyo Disney Resort 2015 – just to be on the safe side!

Quite honestly, I chose them because they were the first options that came up on my Amazon search, but I’m pretty happy with my choices having them read through them; they both cover different things which is ideal. Top Tips is very much a planning guide, which covers everything from picking a hotel to useful Japanese phrases. Its full of great information on the important park stuff like Fastpasses, dining, transport and shopping; for a little book its packed to bursting!

Elijah’s Guide is more of a breakdown of the parks: rides, restaurants etc. It covers a little about choosing when to visit the parks and other planning basics, and then launches into a blow by blow review of each attraction. It splits everything into its area (Disneyland>Area>Attractions/Restaurants/Shops>individual reviews) and Elijah gives every attraction a rating, a bit of information (when it opened, who its aimed for etc) and a short description.

Our main issue at the moment however is the language barrier. While you may not think it, speaking English isn’t a priority for the Japanese, so we’re struggling to book hotels as not all the staff at the other end of the phone are capable of understanding my dad.. We’ll work it out though!

BUT..

Dad and I booked our flights for January today! Eeeek!

I am so excited. Now we’ve booked flights, we know how long we’ve got in each place, which means planning can begin! We’ve yet to pick and book our Florida resort to stay at as we’re waiting to see if we’re booking through the Run Disney travel company, or just directly through Disney, but by the end of the week we’ll have a plan and right now we’re in no rush to worry about the California leg of the trip just yet, but I am BUZZED.

This is happening, stay tuned for more!

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RunDisney 2016: Training Week 9

Almost halfway through our programme, whaaa!?

So after my spending my last update moaning, and despite having last week off training, we absolutely smashed it this week. Mmhm, that’s how we do.

Something just clicked into gear. For starters, we’ve stopped pre-planning our routes, running three new, different courses. The beauty of this really was not knowing how far we were from home, where was halfway etc, meaning we pushed ourselves further, without knowing comfortable places to stop for a quick walk. It also meant we ran a few different terrains; uphill, downhill, parks, gravel paths etc, instead of smooth, flat routes.

Another improvement was, despite the week off, we hit the ground running (literally!) and while previously taking breaks has left us a little lethargic and made getting back into it a bit trickier, I felt great from run 1. It may be from spending more time at the gym, cleaning up my eating habits a bit, or just improving my training mentality a bit, but this week has just felt so much easier than previous weeks. I was running further, faster and feeling less of an aftermath.

Basically, I’m pretty happy this week! Sign up for our first race is a week Tuesday, and at the moment we’re on track for a time of about 2.5 hours, which is great!

Keep running folks °o°

RunDisney 2016: Training Week 8

Well I am pooped.

Today we ran 8 miles, once again setting our furthest distance run to date, and we did it in 1 hour 41 minutes. Looking at previous run paces, its a little down on where we should be, but given that Dad missed the 6.5 miler two weeks ago, skipping up to 8 miles was always going to be a bit of a shock to his body and we were never going to beat our best pace, but we weren’t actually too far off: we hit 5 miles in 59 mins, which was just two minutes slower than I’ve done before, and bearing in mind a section of the route we did was very steep uphill, I’m pretty happy with today’s effort.

We’ve had a few problems this week, mainly due to becoming far too relaxed in our training, bordering on lazy. Once we find a route, we tend to run the same one for every midweek training run, and because of this we’ve been getting into the habit of stopping for walking breaks more frequently than we should, and also not pushing ourselves to the full distance we should be running; our midweek runs should be based on running for 30 minutes, rather than a specific distance, but instead we’ve just been doing 2/3 miles and calling it a day, which sometimes is only 20 minutes run time.

We’re also resting too heavily on our walk/run/walk training programme, recommended by RunDisney coach Jeff Galloway, the idea of which being that its ok to walk when you’re tired, because it prevents injury and actually keeps you running at a faster pace than if you try and push through the pain. That said, however, in an ideal world we should be running at least 2/3 miles before needing to take walk breaks, whereas at the moment our lazy habits mean we’re walking 2/3 times in a 2/3 mile run. I know that we’re still not at our fittest, so mistakes are allowed, and we’ve still got ages to go til the races, but I feel like we really should be pushing ourselves more, instead of slacking off.

Ok, rant over..

Next week we’re going to have another week off official training as Mum and Dad are going to be away Monday-Thursday, but I’m going to do a bit of solo training so as not to lose momentum. Until next time!

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RunDisney 2016: Training Week 7

Yeah we might have skipped last week.. Dad was still recovering from his shin splints and I thought my body could do with a rest, so we had a break and continued this week..

Which wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, yay! If anything was difficult it was probably the mental side of getting back into the swing of things, but we managed all three runs with no real difficulty, although we did take it slowly to start with, just to test the water. The weather in Bournemouth has been a bit up and down this week, not that we let it stop us, but running in sunshine is certainly a lot nicer than rain!

In my week off I spent time working a little on my core as I’ve read in a few places that a strong core helps prevent the dreaded stitches that I suffer from quite regularly. I’ve only really done a couple of different exercises, but I am starting to notice a difference which is promising!

Next week we take on 8 miles, which for me is only 1.5 miles more than last week, but Dad missed the 6.5 mile distance so we’ll probably take it a little slower. This coming week marks the start of April, which means we’re less than one month from our first sign up, and we’re going to be looking at booking our flights, so there’s much to look forward too, eek!

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RunDisney 2016 – Training Week 6

So Dad has shin splints..

We did our first run of the week just fine, but now he’s out for the count for the next week or so, so I did the second short run by myself. I think I probably ran a little bit faster, but it meant I pushed a little too hard and had to talk an extra walk break.

This week’s big distance run was 6.5 miles, or 10.46km, making it the furthest distance I’ve run yet. Dad joined me for this one on his bike, which meant I could run at my own pace and push harder when I wanted to. I ran it quite comfortably, although my stitches got pretty bad at times, so I definitely think that I need to work out ways to keep them away while running.

So two weeks ago when we ran 5 miles we did it in about 1hr 5, and when I hit the 5 mile point yesterday I did it in 57 minutes, so that was a definite improvement. The total run time was 1hr 15, which is 8 minutes slower than our 10km record, so there’s room for improvement, but it was still a good solid time. I felt alright this morning, and even after a 9 hour shift at work, but I was stupid enough to risk going to the gym after work, and now my legs are killing and I’m not sure I’ll be able to walk tomorrow!

Fortunately this week I’ve only got 3 miles to do, so I need to start concentrating on getting my time down on those shorter runs.

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RunDisney 2016 – Training Week 5

Last week I couldn’t believe we’d be going as long as we had, this week it feels like its been longer than 5 weeks, but then I guess that’s because Dad and I started our running for the year a week or two before we actually started this programme.

Work got in the way of training a little this week. After last Saturday’s 5 miler, we didn’t manage to get out until Thursday, and the break really made a difference as we struggled a little more than we’d have liked. It also didn’t help that that meant we then had to run Friday in order to squeeze all our runs in this week, which probably wasn’t a great idea.

On our Friday run we headed across to a local park with large sports fields and wildlife areas. The last time I ran there was in 2007 when I ran in a school cross country competition; I was 12 at the time, not as fit as I thought I was, and I really struggled. Eight years on, it was a very different story as I my memories spurred me up and down the hills on the dirt tracks.

My sister joined us on our run today, just a baby 3 mile round trip, although I think it was about 3.5 in the end. I’m really starting to find my stride more now, the muscles in my legs must be kicking in because I’m finding the ability to push myself further than I could before, and I only slowed down today to let the others catch up – not that I’m bragging! I’m also understanding the mental side of distance training; I’ve been trying to concentrate on enjoying myself and how good it feels to keep going, and it seems to be working for me!

Next week we take on 6.5 miles, which will be the longest distance we’ve ever run as its about 10.5k; about half of our final distance!

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RunDisney 2016 – Training Week 4

4/20 = a fifth of the way through our training!

Following last week, we’ve noticed a significant increase in our pace, which is great news! We did a 5 miler to finish the week in just over an hour, which included a few quick walking breaks, but if you extrapolate that pace out, it looks good for our aim of completing a half marathon in under 3 hours and Dad’s looking into races we can do this year for practice.

Another thing I spotted earlier today is some noticeable definition in my legs where muscles are starting to fight through, which is doing wonders for my self esteem as its proof I must be losing some fat around my body!

From here in out, our end of week runs alternate 3 miles with increasing distances of 1.5 miles each fortnight; we’ve just done 5, so its 3, 6.5, 3, 8, 3, 9.5 etc.. The plan is to be smashing the 3 miles out every other week, getting quicker and quicker each time. This is great as well for my 5k practice, as I want to complete Race for Life in under 30 minutes this June.

Just keep running, just keep running..

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RunDisney 2016 – Training Week 3

I can’t believe we’ve been at this for 3 weeks already!

Today was a first for us: the first time we’ve ever run in rain. Normally we would use the weather as a reason to put off a run, but today that wasn’t an option; we’re half marathon running wannabes, and the weather is no longer an excuse for us. And the best part?

Today was the fastest pace we’ve maintained. Ever.

Our distance was 2 miles today, which we completed in 20 minutes, which means we kept a steady pace of 6mph (just under 10km/h). I don’t know if it was the weather keeping me going, or the fact I was managing to keep going that was keeping me going, but whatever it was it worked for me because that felt like the easiest run we’ve done both physically and mentally; my muscles weren’t screaming for me to stop and my stitches weren’t unbearable, and I didn’t have that little voice in my head telling me to stop and walk for a bit.

This week I bought a Joni Vest from Fabletics to add to my warm running attire. I’ve been looking at getting one for a little while, but hesitated because I was a little concerned that it would be too bulky to run in, but I figured I could always return it if it wasn’t to my liking, so I went out on a whim and ordered one. When it arrived, I was then a little concerned that it was so lightweight I wouldn’t actually be kept warm, but it was just right! My fitness wardrobe is generally blacks, blues and purples, so the colour fits right in, and the pockets are surprisingly deep.

With any luck its going to start getting a little warmer soon, but this is England so there’s no knowing really!

Next stop, week 4!

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RunDisney 2016 – Training Week 2

We’ve survived another week of running, yay!

So this week saw the Disneyland half marathon weekend registration open, and Dad and I used this as a sort of test run for the application process. Race registration opens at 12pm EST, which is 5pm in the UK, so we sat online and waited for the clock to tick over and the page to update, before having a sneaky peak at the application forms and watching the race fill up over the rest of the evening. To our surprise, the shorter races filled up much quicker than the half marathon, so we’re pretty confident in getting our places sorted as long as we’re online at the right time!

On top of running with Dad, I’ve been doing some different run training on the treadmill at the gym. Despite the fact the race will be almost entirely flat, I’ve been doing a little bit of incline training, and also building up my speed; short bursts for now, but with the hope of being able to hold out to complete a 5k in 30 minutes for when I do Race for Life in June. I’m also trying to practice running without my dad; at the moment we pace each other nicely, but I don’t want to become to reliant on his pacing as he won’t be running with me during Race for Life.

Its getting a little warmer in Bournemouth, although its still very nippy in the early mornings. I suppose the challenge this week for us has been route planning, as we’re tending to do very similar routes day in, day out. We did 4 miles this week, so just under 1/3 of our final distance, and we’re keeping good time and I think we’ll comfortably finish on the day in under 3 hours as long as we keep up at this rate!

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RunDisney 2016 – Training Week 1

As I announced last week, me and my dad are hoping to be lucky enough to take part in not 1, but 2 RunDisney events at the beginning of next year; running a half marathon at each. We started running together last year, going from total inexperience to finishing the year with a 10k, so a half marathon is a total step up for us.

For us, the most sensible way to train was to use the training schedule designed by Jeff Galloway, the esteemed US athlete and trainer used by the RunDisney gang. Its a 20 week programme consisting of 3 runs a week: 2 x 30 minute runs, followed by a run of a set distance.

SONY DSC

So the running this week hasn’t been too difficult; just a case of building up the muscles and getting back into it. The real challenge has been running in the chilly temperatures of an English January, and dressing suitably for it; we did all our running last year in slightly warmer temperatures! I’ve been wearing full length running leggings, and a vest top underneath a fleece jumper, which is working quite well for me, but as I only have the one fleece I’ve got to look into a bigger range of options to avoid smelliness!

Just 19 weeks to go..

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RunDisney 2016

Right, so one of the items on my Disney Bucket List is to participate in a RunDisney race. These event weekends happen about 3 times a year at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, and each weekend consists of a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k and a selection of races for kids.

I’m not a professional runner, but Dad and I took up running last year with the target of running a 10k, which we did back in October in a very respectable 1 hour 7 minutes. So I got a little excited when the first races of 2016 were announced, and the Disney World Marathon Weekend and Star Wars Weekend at Disneyland fall just a week apart, and a crazy idea popped into my head.. Why not do both?

I mean, if I’m going to fly out for one, I might as well.. I proposed the idea to Dad, a 10k at each weekend, and rocking the parks in between, and he’s in, but today he offered an alternate plan..

A half marathon at each.

That’s right 13.1 miles, twice in two weeks. That’s a whole marathon altogether, and the longest we’ve ever run to date is 10k.

There is a little method to the madness; first of all we have 11 months to train, which is plenty of time (RunDisney provides training programmes, and to go from beginner to half marathon takes 20 weeks), and second, and more importantly, it means we complete the Coast to Coast Challenge; completing a half or full marathon at both Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year gets us an extra medal!

The race entries don’t open til later in the year, so our plans aren’t 100% finalised, but we start training next week, and I’m going to be starting a new series following our journey.

Wish us luck!

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