Our disney experience: All Star Sports Resort

Today marks the first post in a new weekly (or basically whenever I decide to write one) mini series for the disney loving readers amongst you which I shall title ‘our disney experience’. The aim being to review some of our previous disney experiences in the hope that it might help some of you as you plan for yours!

Today’s disney experience: All Star Sports Resort!

Gideon and I stayed at Disney’s All Star Sports Resort during our honeymoon in 2013. It was our first trip to disney together and we had a blast!

Resort:

Touchdown section of the resort where our room was located!
Touchdown section of the resort where our room was located!

All Star Sports is a value resort at Disney, which means it is one of the most basic disney hotels you can stay in, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad in any way – it was still full of the same great theming, dining and customer service we have come to expect from disney, but is designed for the more budget conscious!

The resort is split into several sport themed sections with various themes including Surfing, Baseball and American Football.

Room:

We had a queen room in the touchdown 7 section of the resort, which was conveniently located close to the food court and main lobby area. Some of the rooms are further away, but parking area’s surround the resort so you can usually park your car (if you are driving) fairly close to your room!

The room itself was plenty big enough for two, and though the decor was probably a little dated, it was clean and comfortable.

Food:

All Star Sports resort has one large food court which did get busy at certain times of the day (most notably breakfast) however the options were plentiful! We prefer the food courts at the value resorts above those at the deluxe resorts as they offer a lot more choice, with several different ‘sections’ that serve up different offerings (e.g. cooked breakfast station, omelette station, pancake/waffle station at breakfast). The decor again was a little dated – but it has since undergone a thorough refurbishment!

Pool:

main pool at All Star Sports
main pool at All Star Sports

We only tried the main pool by the surf section of the resort, but there is another in the baseball section. The pool was large and well maintained, however they do not have any slides or jacuzzi’s like at the moderate and deluxe resorts.

Transportation:

Bus stop area outside the front of All Star Sports
Bus stop area outside the front of All Star Sports

There is only one bus stop for the resort, located outside the front of the lobby. From here you can catch buses to all the parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports and Downtown Disney. We never had to wait very long for a bus, but be aware that during quieter times of day they also pick up/ drop off at All Star Music and All Star Movies, however All Star Sports was usually the first to pick up/ drop off which meant you could usually get a seat.

Other amenities:

All Star Sports resort also has a gift shop, games room/ arcade, poolside bar, laundry, playground, jogging trail and shows movies under the stars!

All Star Sports pool bar!
All Star Sports pool bar!

Overall experience:

We really enjoyed All Star Sports! It had all the amenities we wanted, and a clean and comfortable room. If you don’t want to pay for a more expensive moderate or deluxe option but still want to be on Disney property give All Star Sports some consideration – especially if you have sports fan’s in the family! It may not have a lot of frills around the edges like at some of the other resorts, but if you are planning on spending the majority of your time in the parks, All Star Sports will have everything else you need 🙂

Have you ever stayed at any of the all star resorts? What was your experience? We’d love to know your thoughts so leave a comment!

Mr accident-prone is at it again!

So this happened…..

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Gideon dislocated his shoulder whilst on a stag weekend, so his training is going to be out of whack for a good few weeks until the doctors say he can run again. He’s been advised to power walk the miles instead whilst still in the sling to keep his endurance up.

I’ll keep training in the mean time and start our training plan for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon as planned, hopefully Gid will be able to join back with me in a few weeks.

On another note, last Sunday my nike+ app looked like this:

Woop woop 100 miles of training completed!
Woop woop 100 miles of training completed!

This Sunday it looks like this:

Woop woop 100 miles of training completed!
Woop woop 100 miles of training completed!

Thats right, we haven’t run at all this week and that’s ok. After last weeks 10k we just fancied a week off. We have been training non-stop for one race after another since the start of the year, and it been nice to have a little break before the next training plan starts.

Only now the dislocated shoulder has happened that break will be a little longer for one of us!

How my wii fit has helped me.

I brought a wii fit and balance board many many moons ago when they were a relatively new phenomenon. I didn’t really need to watch my weight back then or do that much exercise as I was much more active so I mainly just used it for a bit of fun until the novelty wore off.

Fast forward a university degree, several jobs, a wedding, house purchase and a few extra stone later and I decided to dust off the old wii fit balance board and see if it actually could help me at all in my new found healthy lifestyle.

First off… when I first logged back in and the little virtual wii balance board welcomed me it told me that my last visit had been well over 1000 days ago. I did tell you this thing was old!!

It then proceeded to ‘measure’ me and told me i’d put on over 2 stone in those 1000 days and that my BMI was right on the borderline between okay and overweight. Now I don’t put much faith in the BMI measurement and I certainly don’t think i’m overweight but that little red line did freak me out a bit. It helped me come to the realisation that eating what I want when I want and not worrying about exercise just wasn’t working for me anymore. It might have been fine when I was a teenager, but in my mid-20’s I actually need to work a little harder to maintain my shape!

After that realisation, I started running and exercising, and now when I hop on my wii fit i’m mostly pleased with the numbers I see and overall that little red line is getting that little bit further away from the ‘danger zone’ (as l like to call it).

More recently, i’ve started using my wii for yoga and muscle strengthening exercises when I don’t feel like going out running. I like that the wii talks me through the exercises and then lets me try them out. I’m sure i’m probably not doing them correctly most of the time but I feel better for trying when i’d otherwise just be sitting on my couch watching friends re-runs on comedy central!

Who’d have thought that after all this time my humble little wii balance board would be back out from under the television table and helping me achieve a more healthy lifestyle.

Thank you teenage me for jumping onto the wii bandwagon back in the day!

Caerphilly 10k race report

Yesterday Gideon and I completed our first 10k race – The Caerphilly 10k and it was actually a lot of fun! The race starts and ends in the shadow of Caerphilly castle, and comprises of a rather hilly 10km around Caerphilly town.

We were up at 6:40am (far to early for a Sunday) and had a light breakfast of toast with Jam for me and Peanut butter for Gideon. The weather was humid but overcast. We were on the road just after 7:30 and got to Caerphilly at around 8:30. We got a little lost trying to find the carpark I was aiming for – i’m still not sure we actually did end up in the one I wanted – but we managed to find a space and then proceeded to walk the 5 minutes to the race starting area.

There was a really fun atmosphere during the build up to the race. There were lots of people competing and lots of spectators. We bumped into a fellow blogger – Kerry – which was really nice. It’s always nice to meet other runners/bloggers! Before we knew it it was time for the warm up (by doing some funky group dancing and stretches to music) and then time to get to the start line!

Ready to run!
Ready to run!

We stayed near the back of the start line so we could pace ourselves properly and not start out too fast, and then all of a sudden we were crossing the start line and on our way up the first hilly part of the course and around Caerphilly town centre.

We stayed together and ran the first 3.5km without stopping to walk. We passed a makeshift water station at around 2.5km which some nice church volunteers had set up, and which i’m sure proved a life saver for some (if you read on you may understand why).

At around 3.5km I decided to walk a bit as I was getting extremely warm (it was a very humid day) so Gideon ran on a ahead for a while. There was supposed to be water stop at 4km but by the time we passed it there was no water left – just empty bottles strewn around on the ground. Thankfully Gideon and I had decided to take our hand held water bottles along with us so we were ok, but you can probably see why some people would have been very grateful for taking some water at the impromptu water station a few km’s back.

I managed to catch back up to Gideon at around 6km and we ran and walked the rest of the course together as Gid’s calf muscle was playing up a bit and I was super warm. We were making good time all things considered and were enjoying the support and entertainment along the course (including a brass band and a drum band).

There was supposed to be another water station at 8km, but when we got there this was also out of water! Again, not a problem for us, but I would have been fuming if I hadn’t carried my own water. The nice part was that as this station was located on an out and back section of the course, runners who had already passed and were on their way back were passing their water bottles over to those who hadn’t made it to the water station yet – a true show of sportsmanship right there!

Before we knew it, we were at 9km and running the final part of the course back down to Caerphilly castle and the finish line. We crossed the line together in 1 hour 13 minutes and 5 seconds and set our first PB for a 10km race. It was the kind of time we were expecting given the fact that we had been unwell before and that the course was more hilly than where we have trained, so we were quite pleased.

We collected a lovely medal and nice quality draw-string goodie bag which included a snack bar and a handheld Caerphilly 10k water bottle (ironic). We gobbled up some jelly beans which I had been carrying and then sat and drank a well earned bottle of chocolate milk so that Gid felt alive enough to drive home!

Medal and Goodie bag!
Medal and Goodie bag!

Overall, we really enjoyed our first 10k experience. It was a well organised race, with a nice goodie bag and medal and with lots of spectator support. Our only complaint is obviously regarding the water, which I really think is pretty inexcusable considering the organisers would have known how many people would be running and considering the race takes place in the middle of June. I’m glad we decided to take our own water bottles with us.

It was an enjoyable first 10k experience, and i’m pleased we have an official time which we can submit to be placed in a starting corral for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Hopefully thanks to this we will be surrounded by runners who are the same pace as us which will make pacing the half marathon a little bit easier.

And the best part…. my legs don’t hurt that much today!!

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Caerphilly 10k & Weekly training recap: Mon 15th June – Sun 21st June

We did it!!!

We did it!!!

We crossed the line together this morning at our first ever 10k (The Caerphilly 10k) with a chip time of 1 hour 13 minutes and 5 seconds!!! We managed to beat our mini goal of finishing in under 1 hour 15 minutes, so we are super happy!! We’ll be sure to post a full race recap later in the week!

After this mornings race, my nike+ app is looking like this:

Woop woop 100 miles of training completed!
Woop woop 100 miles of training completed!

I cannot believe we have covered over 100 miles since our running journey began back at the start of the year. It feels great and we are actually looking forward to the next 100!

Speaking of training, our Wine and Dine Half Marathon training plan officially starts on Tuesday 7th July, so we will be taking the next couple of weeks easy with some recovery runs before we ramp up the schedule ready for Disney in November! In the mean time we still have the Swansea Bay 10k to look forward to in September, and we are both determined to shave some time off the PB that we set today on what will be a much flatter and more familiar course!

Happy running everyone!!

Monday:

Rest day

Tuesday:

We both ran 1 mile around the lake. Average pace: 12″07. Gid still feeling a bit worse for ware from last weeks lurgy so we took it easy.

Wednesday:

Rest day & evening stroll with friends for Amy (no idea how far – it was foggy!)

Thursday:

Amy did approximately 1 hour of a body blitz workout DVD with friends. Gideon had a rest day to try and kick the last of the lurgy.

Friday:

Amy walked approximately 3 miles around the gower coast with a friend (Hi Izzy)! Gideon had a rest day.

Lovely coastal walk!
Lovely coastal walk!

Saturday:

Rest day

Sunday:

10k Run completed in 1 hour 13 minutes and 5 seconds! Average pace according to nike+ app was 12’04” per mile.

One more sleep….

caerphilly-10k-breakbox

So there is only one more sleep until the our first ever 10k race – Caerphilly 10k! We have been to the shops to stock up on some post race chocolate milk and are looking forward to giving tomorrows 10k a go!

The weather is looking humid, but overcast. Hopefully this will work in our favour as we won’t have the sun beating down on us through the whole run, but you just never know what tomorrow will bring!

We haven’t done much training in the last few weeks due to our horrible cold/flu, instead we’ve been taking it easy to make sure we are in the best shape for tomorrow, but we know that realistically we may be a bit slower than we would have originally liked.

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This is the third year of operation of the Caerphilly 10k and we have only heard good things – so we are excited to give it ago! The course is described on the Caerphilly 10k website as “a relatively flat course with some undulating points” – I just hope we can handle those hilly sections!

Tonight will be a dinner of chicken and rice (our perfect fueling food) and then an early night as we have to get up at 7am tomorrow to make our way to Caerphilly (no one wants to get up that early on a Sunday!)

We will be sure to let you all know how we do tomorrow evening, but if you want to find out faster, check out my instragram page where i’ll be sure to post some post-race pics!

Wish us luck!

A lot can change in Disney World in a year…

It’s been just over a year since our last trip to Walt Disney World, and exactly 142 days until we will be returning to run the Wine and Dine Half Marathon!

A lot can change in a year and Disney World is no exception to that. Since our last visit a year ago several new things have been created in the world all of which we are very excited to see!

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Harambe Market:

Animal Kingdom is going through some BIG changes at the moment with the creation of Avatarland and the Rivers of Light nighttime show. The park is in expansion mode and whilst most of it won’t be finished by November, one new area that we will be able to experience is the recently opened Harambe Market! Located in the Africa section of the park, this brand new section is home to several new eateries including a soon to open sweet shop where i’ll be stocking up on Mickey shaped rice crispy treats! We are excited to try some of the new offerings!

Disney Springs:

When we last ventured to Downtown Disney a year ago the place was just construction wall after construction wall after construction wall! Since then, a large number of new shops and dining options have opened and we are excited to explore this completely re-vamped area of Disney World! Whilst it still won’t be completely finished, we should be able to get a good idea of the vibe they are trying to create, and enjoy all the great shops and dining experiences that have already opened!

Glad  Lego Nessy will be staying in Disney Springs!
Glad Lego Nessy will be staying in Disney Springs!

The Magic Kingdom Hub:

Since our last trip Magic Kingdom’s hub area at the end of Main Street USA has undergone a major transformation, the results of which look like they really add to the aesthetics of the park! I’m really looking forward to seeing what they have done with this space, relaxing on the new lawn sections and hopefully not being quite so squished in whilst watching the fireworks!

The Polynesian & Trader Sams Grog Grotto:

On our last trip we ventured over to the Polynesian for some Tonga Toast at the Kona Cafe. I was looking forward to exploring the resort a bit and seeing the lobby area, but when we arrived it was off limits and going through a complete re-vamp. In November, we’ll be taking multiple trips to the Polynesian and i’m looking forward to exploring all the new areas of the resort including the lovely new lobby.

I also can’t wait to take a trip to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, the brand new highly themed interactive bar, as well as the more chilled outdoor patio area! It should be a great place to relax whilst I sip my hippapotomai-tai!

Starbucks:

Starbucks have officially taken over the parks and being big fans (we got engaged in a Starbucks) we’ll be checking out the locations that weren’t open last time we were in Disney World – in Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom! I have already made room in the cupboard for the imminent editions to our Starbucks souvenir mug collection!

So those are a few of the new additions to Disney World that we are excited about experiencing during our next trip! Lots of people don’t understand why we love Disney World so much and why we continue to go back, but so much can change even in a short time away from Disney so there is always something to explore and something which you didn’t do last time, and that’s one of the reasons why we return time and time again! Every trip to Disney World creates offers new experiences and creates new memories!

Only 142 days to go!