5 Reasons I’m Excited to Start Marathon Training

A few weeks ago I announced that in January 2019 I will be running my first ever full marathon. This announcement should have been the start of my training, but the universe had other ideas for me and I was struck with a knee injury that’s had me out ever since.

Fortunately, I gave myself over a year to train, so this little set back doesn’t bother me too much, and instead of starting now I’m just gonna rest, recover and prepare myself for taking the bull by the horns come January, and I’m actually starting to look forward to it more than I am dreading it! Here’s a few of the reasons why:

Carb loading

For the most part, I will be concentrating on eating as well as I can come the new year, but while I’m a firm believer in eating what you want and not having to justify food choices to anyone, I’m pretty excited for big bowls of pasta with the excuse of needing to carb-load.

Getting to be ‘that’ person

Marathon runners are kinda like vegans, pilots and people who do Crossfit* in that they tell as many people as they possibly can that they’re training for a marathon as if you’re the first person in the world to ever do one. I don’t care, its a huge deal for me so you’re damn right I’m gonna spread it like Love Island gossip. (this is already the second post I’ve talked about running a marathon in the space of a month, so there’s the proof)

*Dear vegans, pilots and people who Crossfit, please know that I’m making a joke and I have the utmost respect for all of you!

Running regularly again

Sometimes I feel like the most pathetic excuse for a runner because in the past year I have been the furthest thing from consistent. Sure, I’ve completed 3 half marathons and 3 10K races, but I’ll be the first to admit that I did those with practically no training and only a few intermittent 5K ParkRuns and the odd short distance run, and part of the reason for this is because I knew I could get away with not training. Well that’s not gonna be the case for this.. I’m gonna spend the next few weeks putting together a proper training schedule (which I thoroughly enjoy making) and sticking to it like an octopus on your face.

All the fun runs

I currently have no actual races planned for 2018, so I’m on the hunt for as many shorter distance races and fun runs that I can do to keep myself motivated through the coming year. A few on my list are Race for Life, Run or Dye and the Great South Run, and if you’ve got any recommendations please drop me a comment!

The satisfaction of a good run

When Dad and I started training for our first ever half marathon, there was nothing like the feeling of completing the next milestone both figuratively and literally. Back then it was 8 miles, or 10 miles or 12 miles, but now I’m looking forward to the feeling of doing my first ever 15, 20 and 25 milers.

I’m sure there’ll be a million and one reasons that I start dreading training too, but for now I’m concentrating on the positives! Wish me luck!

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26.2

Guys, I’ve got an announcement to make.

Now I’m back from WDW (waa!), its time for me to get my butt back into running, not just because I’m back from holiday but because something big is coming.

I am going to run a marathon.

Yep, yikes. I have six half marathons under my belt now from the last two years, and I set myself the goal a few years back that I would like to run a marathon before I turn 25, which will be in October 2019, so although dates have not been set and registration isn’t open yet, I will be entering the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2019.

I’m terrified. This last year I have been very relaxed with my running, and hardly trained for any of the races I’ve done, but this is double the distance and therefore a million times harder, which is why I’m giving myself over a year to train.

The distance is one thing, I mean, I’m halfway there I guess, but its the mental aspect of the marathon that’s going to take real work. Its knowing that when my GPS clocks in at the 13.1 miles that I’m used to, I then have to do the whole thing all over again. Its pushing on for hours and knowing there are still a few more hours to go.

Then comes the potential for injury. In half marathon training I faced knee problems, shin splints, and even ran a race with a stress fracture, plus all the little aches and pains that come and go. I will have to be so careful in knowing my limits and knowing when I can and can’t push further.

Basically, I’m going to be about 13.1 miles outside my comfort zone. I’ve been winging it for the last two years and have been lucky to get away with it, but now I have to be serious, do my research and be ready to push myself. Of course I’ll be documenting the good the bad and the ugly, so everyone else can get some entertainment out of me torturing myself!

Can I do it?

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Goodbye RunDisney California

Yesterday it was announced that, for the foreseeable future, RunDisney will no longer be holding races in Disneyland, California, and the Avengers Half Marathon weekend next month will be the last races that grace the streets of Anaheim.

I’m slightly devastated, but not overall surprised, having noticed that no dates for next year’s races were being announced, and the only race that had been announced, the Star Wars weekend in January, had had its registration delayed.

There is, of course, a big difference in the scale of Disneyland races compared to Walt Disney World, which can only be expected given the park sizes and facilities available, but having participated in races both this year and last, it was very apparent this year that numbers of participants were dwindling. In fact, while I was there in May for the Tinkerbell weekend, they were still trying to sell bibs at the expo for the races in the following days!

Disney’s announcement stated that the reason for the cancellations was due to the construction work that is ongoing for the expansion, but personally I don’t think this is flimsy front for the fact that the races have been bleeding money. While the 5K and 10K courses are mainly within the confines of the park, the half marathon only does about 5 miles in the parks before the course leads out onto the streets of Anaheim, which means a lot of roads have to be closed, and unlike other Disney parks, the immediate area surrounding Disneyland is residential, so these road closures do affect a lot of people – there are rumours of quite a lot of complaints – and the permits cost Disney a lot of money, which with the dropping numbers of runners just can’t be afforded.

So yes, I thought this announcement was coming, but that doesn’t make it any better. Despite a lot of RunDisney veterans often slating the Disneyland races, personally they have been some of my favourites – the Disneyland 10K course is the best course out of all the RunDisney courses I’ve ever done. Disneyland is such a special place to me anyway, but racing through the parks is like nothing else. I completed my first weekend challenge (Rebel Challenge 2016) here, and ran my half marathon PB here.

The announcement also means there will be no more Coast to Coast challenge, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and leaves only Castle to Chateau as an option for those runners who will complete a half marathon in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris in the coming years.

All I can say is that I really hope that Disney will restart the races when the construction ends, and I can run through my happy place again soon.

RunDisney Paris 2017: Day 3 and Half Marathon

This morning Dad and I were up bright and early yet again, this time to run double the distance we did yesterday! The half marathon started at the same time as the 10K did the day before, but as Dad and I could join our actual corral B today, it meant we got across the start line quite a bit earlier than we did on the 10K.

The race itself was absolutely fab! The course was slightly different to last year, and we actually spent more time running in the parks which was great, and the characters that were out were so good! We skipped quite a few stops, but I did meet the Three Caballeros, Scrooge McDuck, Timon and Rafiki and Judy Hopps! Dad and I kept a good pace and we came in with a great time, collecting both our medals for the half marathon and also the Bibbidi Bobbidi Challenge, and I also got my second Castle to Chateau medal. While I had a few issues with some of the goings on from this weekend’s races, this race really turned around how I felt about things – I couldn’t fault it.

After the race we were on a bit of a tight time-frame, so we went straight back to the hotel to shower and change before packing up, checking out and rushing back into the parks, which was done at a bit of a waddle given the stiff leg situation. We were rushing as we had a lunch reservation at Captain Jack’s, which is the rebrand of the former Blue Lagoon Restaurant, set inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

I wasn’t sure how I felt when the rebrand was announced, as Blue Lagoon fit in nicely with the Blue Bayou restaurants of Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, both of which are also inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride of their respective parks, but as the Paris ride has just had its refurb, I thought it was nice that the restaurant was getting a spruce up too. The actual restaurant, however, was pretty much exactly the same as it was before, just with a few added pirate flags, and Jack doing the rounds while you eat.

The food, however, wasn’t as good as when I ate here before. My meal at Blue Lagoon on my 21st birthday was absolutely flawless, and not a single scrap was left, but I just didn’t feel quite as wowed by the dishes this time around. I loved my starter, but my main was just a little bit blah and I didn’t finish my dessert either, which was partially down to my lack of appetite post-half marathon, but also because I didn’t totally love the food.

After we’d eaten, it was unfortunately time for us to leave as we had to drive back to the airport for our flight home. I was sad to leave as this trip felt very rushed – races always seem to take so much time away from the weekends – and the weather was so lovely!

If you love reading my trip posts, fear not guys – my next trip is at the end of October!

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RunDisney Paris 2017: Day 2 and 10K

Hey gang! Today we were up nice and early to get to the 10K start line. Dad and I had been put in corral B, but as Hannah and Mum were in C we dropped back so we could all start together.


The race was great. I had a few moans about character lines being shut as it was too busy, but I still got to do a few meets that I really wanted to do and it’s not just about the characters for me. Plus even if I couldn’t meet them, the characters they had out were fab!

Once we’d finished and got our goodies, we celebrated with a McDonalds breakfast before going back to the hotel to shower and change, which led to some accidental napping (sorry not sorry), then we walked into the parks. We started in the Disneyland Park, grabbing lunch at Colonel Hathi’s, then we actually decided to go across into Studios to do one of our family favourite rides, Toy Story Parachute Drop, then for a chance to side down, Disney’s Art of Animation.

From there, I headed solo back to the Disneyland Park to watch Stars on Parade for my first time. As with Illuminations, although I loved the new floats, I still prefer Magic on Parade, or at least the soundtrack! I then had to fight my way back out of the park as we had booked Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show for dinner. It was our first time doing it and it was surprisingly fun, although a little strange at times.

Once the show was over, it was time to call it an early night as Mum and Hannah were both feeling the effects of this morning, and Dad and I will be up again for the half tomorrow!

RunDisney Paris 2017: Day 1

Yes it’s only been a week but once again I’m coming to you from another trip as I’m in Disneyland Paris for the RunDisney weekend!

We had an early start to get the first flight out of Southampton to Paris, which was lucky as due to strike action CDG was crazy busy and we had to wait quite some time to get through passport control! Once we were through and eventually managed to find our hire car company, we were on the road to DLP, and headed straight Hotel Cheyenne where we waited for my sister to arrive before walking into Disney Village. First stop was lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, then we went to the Health and Fitness Expo to pick up our race kit.

I had mixed feelings about the expo. I thought it flowed better this year in how it was set up, but it felt very very empty and I was really surprised at how few exhibitors they had. It just felt a little scarce, although much better for my bank balance! Dad and I picked up our challenge bibs and tshirts, and Mum and Hannah got their 10K ones, then we walked into Disney Village for a bit of window shopping before getting the bus back to the hotel so we could finally unload all our stuff into the room before heading back to the parks.

Somewhat controversially, we actually went into the Walt Disney Studios Park first of all, as it was closing early due to the 5K in the evening. Amazingly, we managed to do the Ratatouille ride with less than a half an hour wait, and also RC Racer and even Crush’s Coaster in a fraction of what I would consider the normal wait time to be. After Crush’s Coaster, the park was past its official closing time so we were guided towards the exit, so we headed over to the Disneyland Park.

Once in the park, my family stopped for ice cream while I walked around the castle hub taking photos of the 25th anniversary decs, then we went into Adventureland to do Pirates of the Caribbean, via a quick detour through Aladdin’s Enchanted Passage. I don’t think I’ve ever queued that long for Pirates, although it was probably only about 20-25mins, but after the refurb I didn’t want to miss out. We then walked the loop through Fantasyland and into Discoveryland for Buzz’s Space Ranger Spin.

Once we’d saved the universe, we took up spots for Illuminations. I had hoped that the audience would remain seated but unfortunately everyone started to stand so on our feet it was.. Honestly, I don’t think it blew me away, and I don’t think it was any better than it’s predecessor Dreams. It was an early park close of 8.30pm, so we headed towards Disney Village but as the 5K was still ongoing it was total carnage. We battled our way through the crowds to the wondrous place that is Earl of Sandwich, grabbed sandwiches and headed back to the hotel on foot.

In the morning we’ll be doing the 10K, stay tuned! 

My RunDisney Paris Weekend Outfits

I may have just got back from my Disney Cruise, but I’m off to Disneyland Paris THIS WEEKEND! I’ll be up bright and early tomorrow morning to be on the first flight to Paris, and I’ll be in the parks Friday-Sunday, but as per usual this trip is not without a race weekend!

I’ll be running both the 10K and half marathon in order to earn myself the Bibbidi Bobbidi Challenge medal, and I’ll also be getting my second Castle to Chateau Challenge medal, and two races means another two outfits to create!

I’ll be the first to admit that the costumes I created for this race weekend were a little bit last minute – in fact, my 10K outfit was something I literally threw together this week – thank goodness for my fabric stash!

So for the 10K I’ll be letting out my inner Star Wars nerd with this outfit inspired by Princess Leia’s Episode IV outfit. I have a good collection of plain coloured tech t-shirts now, so I only needed to make the skirt to go with a plain white top, and then I’ll be attempting some cinnamon roll style buns.

Then for the half marathon, I’ve created an outfit inspired by my favourite Mickey Mouse look: Sorcerer Mickey. I actually made this skirt from fabric I got out of the scrap bin at my local fabric store for just £1, and I’m so happy with how it came out! And while its probably impractical to run in a sorcerer’s hat, I do have this amazing scrunchie that I got from Shanghai Disneyland last year, and I even have a Mickey glove too!

If you’re also running this weekend, or are going to be in the parks, come say hi if you spot me!

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