Things You Need To Know About Tough Mudder

Its crazy to think that its been over two years since I took part in my first (and only, to date!) Tough Mudder event, and to say it was an experience is an absolute understatement!

I took part in a small team made up of a few people I knew from work and their friends, plus my dad, and had the craziest 12.5 miles of my entire life as I ran, waded, climbed and threw myself up, down and over the infamous obstacles that put the tough in Tough Mudder.

Its no easy feat, but its absolutely doable by anyone with determination and a bit of preparation, and if whether you’re already training, or thinking about taking on the course one day, here are a few words of wisdom for you..

Your team is much bigger than you think it is

Most people participate in the events in small groups and teams, but in reality, everyone on the course is on your side too. Total strangers will come to your aid if you need a leg up, hand over or just some moral support for anything that comes your way.

Label everything

If you want to run with a Go Pro, or a fitness tracker (only do this if its waterproof), or anything that could potentially fall off, label it. A friend of mine who regularly volunteers at the events says that after each race they scoop at least 10 Go Pros and more watches and sunglasses than you know what to do with out of the obstacles, and they do try and return them all, but that’s not easy if you can’t tell who’s from who’s.

You won’t be able to do it all alone, and that’s ok

I’m not being funny, but unless you can jump vertically 12ft in the air to get over some of the enormous obstacles in your path, you’re gonna need help every now and then, and people will be more than happy, as I’ve just said! Plus, its totally ok to fall/jump off everything!

You cannot prepare for Arctic Enema

Plunging into a container of ice water is like nothing I can describe. Its not like skinny-dipping in the English Channel on New Years Day, it will literally knock the breath from your lungs! Whenever I go out for a run in the rain, or complain about the cold I just think that I will never ever be as cold as I was in those moments.. But don’t worry, you warm up again pretty quick!

Cry Baby is not as bad as you think it will be

Crawling through an enclosure filled with what’s marketed as ‘tear gas’ is enough to fill anyone with a bit of dread – hell, I was so worried about doing this – but truth is, its actually laughing gas, and its not that far to crawl either!

But Electroshock Therapy really is

Probably the most infamous of all the torturous obstacles, and they love to save the best for last, running to the finish line through a structure with dangling electrical cables that are hooked up to car batteries is certainly an experience. Not all the cables will shock you, but when they do, oh my word.

You don’t have to do everything

All of the obstables can be bypassed, and there’s absolutely no pressure to participate, and no shame in saying no. I was prepared to skip quite a few, but I actually only missed one (which actually appeared in the course twice, so technically I did it once anyway!) which I was pretty impressed by.

It takes time

I did my event during the peak of my half marathon training, and I figured that 12.5 miles of obstacles wouldn’t take me much longer than just running the distance. Well it took us over 4 hours..

Bring a tonne of wet wipes and a big towel

After you’ve mudded up, you can wash off in a makeshift shower area, but this is outside (so unless you’re a bit of an exhibitionist, no stripping off), and the water is freezing (but warmer than Arctic Enema) and has no pressure. I showered fully dressed to get the mud off of as much as possible, then ducked into the women’s changing tent to put on as many warm clothes as I could, despite still being fairly muddy and wet, but all the veterans in there had wet wipes which seemed like a much easier way of doing things.

Enjoy the photos

I know that in many of the photos I look ridiculous, but seeing them makes me so damn proud of what I achieved. Never in a million years did I think I’d make it through that course, yet here I am, a Mud Legionnaire.

If you’re unsure about taking part, all I can say is just do it. You’ll amaze yourself.

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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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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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Photos to Take With your RunDisney Medals

Maintaining your fitness, a sense of achievement, or pushing your limits; anyone might think these are the reasons to participate in a RunDisney event. Sure, there’s an aspect of this in every race, but really its all about the medal at the finish line, and I’m definitely not the only Disney runner who thinks this.

If you’ve never seen a RunDisney medal before, let me tell you they are every bit as awesome as you’d expect them to be and more. For starters, they’re huge, and weigh a fair bit, but as well as they’re they are always so detailed and well themed, and well worth however miles you just sweated for.

For many, the completion of the race might be the end of the event in your eyes, but you’re gonna want to document everything perfectly, and in the hours and days after your race, medal photos suddenly become a priority. With 5 RunDisney weekends under my belt, I have perfected the art of the medal photos, and if anyone’s about to take part in their first event, here’s the definitive list of photos that you’re gonna want to take.

1. A finish line medal selfie

A volunteer has just hung that glorious medal around your neck and you’re stumbling towards the water table but what you really need to do is document that finishing moment with a good ol’ sweaty selfie!

2. A photo with the finishing board

Once you’ve picked up your free bottles of water and Powerade and grabbed your food box, the next stop before reuniting with your friends and family at the end of the race is to get that official RunDisney board photo.

3. A photo of your weekend medal collection

If you’ve run more than one race, or completed a challenge, be sure to get a photo wearing all of those medals at the same time, even if its too heavy for you to wear them all all day!

4. A photo in front of the castle

Sometimes this shot needs a helping hand of someone to hold the medal while you get the position of the photo just right, but its a classic!

5. A photo with the character on the medal

If you’re medal is themed based on a certain character, as so many are, be sure to go and see them to show off! They absolutely love seeing medals!

6. A photo in a themed location

If you’re in a park that has an area theme that matches your medal, grab a photo there too!

7. Your medal display at home

However you hang your medals at home, take a photo after every new medal has been added!

My next RunDisney event will be Paris in September when I’ll be running the 10K and half marathon for the inaugural Bibbidi Bobbidi Challenge and also getting my second Castle to Chateau challenge medal! Who will I be seeing there?

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Characters on the Course – RunDisney Tinkerbell Weekend


I might be back from Disneyland, but you’ll all know by now that that never means the Disney posts are over! And of course, yet again, the primary purpose of my trip was another RunDisney race weekend, this time, the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend.

Again, I ran the 10K and the half marathon – the Pixie Dust Challenge – so there were 19.3 miles of running magic for me to share with you! Some of you may be aware of the somewhat dramatic twist that during the 5K there were no characters available on the course, and this is something that I have a very different opinion to most, but I won’t get into that now, instead I’m going to share the characters that were out for us at the 10K and half marathon!


The 10K:

  • Lost Boys – the Lost Boys were hanging out in Toontown as we entered the park just after mile 1
  • Pirates – there were a bunch of face character pirates scattered throughout the course, and they were lots of fun!
  • Captain Hook and Mr Smee – this pair met by the Storybook Canal Boats at about mile 3
  • Pirate Donald – I couldn’t resist stopping for my favourite duck on Main Street
  • Pirate Chip and Dale – the chipmunks were up to trouble in California Adventure
  • Peter and Wendy – this was really just a photo op as they stood a few steps above the pavement, but it was nice to see them out!
  • And pirate Minnie was at the finish line!




The Half Marathon:

  • Iridessa, Silvermist and Rosetta – I can never resist the fairies, and having never met Silvermist before this was one for the character list
  • Pirate chipmunks – Chip and Dale made another mischievous appearance, this time on Main Street
  • Peter and Wendy – during the half, Peter and Wendy were on the railway bridge, so not even a photo op
  • Lost Boys – the most boys were having a ball on King Triton’s Carousel on Paradise Pier
  • Pirates – the pirates were out in force again!
  • Pirate Pluto – this lovable pup was also kitted out for pillaging and plundering on Paradise Pier
  • Tinkerbell and Fawn – well it would be rude if Tink missed her own race, right?
  • Captain Hook and Mr Smee – this dynamic duo made a second appearance, this time in California Adventure

If you caught the Princess Weekend edition of Characters on the Course, you may be noticing there’s considerably less this weekend. This is primarily due to the fact that in WDW, Disney own all the land between the parks, so even when you’re not in the park, they can still put the characters out on the roadsides along the course. However in Disneyland, the majority of the half marathon course is on the streets of Anaheim, so there can’t be any characters along those 8 miles of the course. There were, however, some bands, DJs, and also a whole tonne of super supportive locals making that length of the course magical for us!

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