Disneyland Day 4 – Star Wars Half!

Wow..

All of our races are over; a year of training and it all came down to today. Last race, last half marathon, completion of Rebel Challenge and Coast to Coast.

How did it go? Unbelievable. No longer subject to that nasty chest infection that held me back last week, we smashed it out of the park, starting and maintaining an astonishing pace – about 6:40/km. The course started very similarly to yesterday’s 10k through the parks, then after after about 4.5 miles we took to the streets of Anaheim, which was a lot of nice and flat, straight roads lined with high school cheerleaders, marching bands and some major Star Wars fans and cosplayers. It was electric! As for our time, would you believe we set a PB?! We crossed in about 2:39 (still waiting on chip time though), beating our previous PB by about a minute, insane!

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We also got the fun of not only collecting our half medals, but our Rebel Challenge and Coast to Coast, both of which are awesome, so we now have a total of 6 medals from this trip! Pooped, it was back to the hotel to eat, bath and generally recover.

After a solid amount of rest time, we headed into Disneyland via the Downtown Disney monorail, which drops off in Tomorrowland, and in serious need of energy, grabbed Cheese-3PO burgers from Galacitc Grill, and yes, Cheese-3PO. All the burgers were Star Wars inspired and it was cool.

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Next up, I dragged Dad over to Fantasyland and we stood in line for probably too long, but I finally had the character meet of my dreams: Rapunzel and Flynn together. The girls in front of us in the line were totally crazy, screaming and throwing themselves at Flynn, and Punzie was having none of it which was pretty funny, but when it came to my turn we had a good talk about running and my medals so that was basically magical. Next? Well if I told you we went to see a show you can probably guess it was Mickey and the Magical Map, right? I’m kinda obsessed, and was pretty upset I couldn’t video it because I don’t have the right memory card for Dad’s camera, but oh well.

The park was super busy today; I’m pretty sure everything except the Winnie the Pooh ride had a 40+ minute wait. We passed Big Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean and got all the way to Splash Mountain before realising this though, so we grabbed a Fastpass for Splash because the time slot wasn’t too far away so we just chilled out on a bench nearby for a bit, thinking of our poor achey legs.

From Critter Country we walked back through the park to Tomorrowland, and to the Star Wars Launch Bay, but didn’t really fancy the 45 minute wait for a Chewbacca meet, so we sat and watched a bit of a film about the making of the new and upcoming movies, then made our way back to Fantasyland, this time the Royal Theatre, for the Tangled show at Fantasy Faire, which was just as funny, if not better than the Frozen version.

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Saying goodbye to the Disneyland Park, we moved over to California Adventure. I’d made plans to meet up with my friend Nancy from Le Ears before we had dinner at Ariel’s Grotto. The food was great, and we were sat right on the water’s edge at Paradise Pier, soaking up all the atmosphere while we ate. The reservation was actually part of the World of Color dining package, which meant we were given preferred seating for the showing later that night. After dinner we went back to Cars Land (yes again, I can’t get over it) to see it all lit up, then cut through Bugs Land to Turtle Talk with Crush at the Animation Academy building – we love that guy!

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Exhausted, but still on our feet, we took a slow walk around the shops on our way back to Paradise Pier for World of Color; our preferred seating area opened at 8.45, and we got there about 9pm, which meant sitting down for a bit, and getting pretty photos of Mickey’s Fun Wheel.

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Now when we were last in Disneyland, which was in 2010, we saw World of Color which was relatively new then, and I remembered it to be crazy impressive. The current performance running, World of Color Celebrate was created for the 60th anniversary and is presented by Neil Patrick Harris, and did not fail to impress me just as much as the original! If you’ve never seen WoC before, go YouTube it right now, and thank me later.

The show took us past park closing, and we’ve officially been awake for over 18 hours now (and throw in a half marathon) so all that’s left is for me to say goodnight before I wipe out!

Today was our last day in the parks, and the last full day of our trip, and what a trip it’s been! Our flight is tomorrow (Monday) at about 5pm west coast time, and arriving back in the UK at midday Tuesday – please tell me it will be nice and warm? Coming home means normal blogging will be resuming, and I’ve got lots more about this trip to write about so be sure to stay tuned!

Disney, I’ll see ya real soon!

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: 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: 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 – 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: 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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