Weekly training recap: Mon 23rd – Mon 30th May

A day later than usual, but it’s a bank holiday, and I wanted to include Monday in this recap as we pushed back our weekend long run to this morning.

Overall it’s not been a bad week training wise, though it has felt like a real slog to get out and run. I’m still not loving running currently. Running and I are going through a hate phase at the moment, though it is hard to hate running sometimes when this is your view:

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Monday:

Rest day

Tuesday:

Rest day

Wednesday:

Ran 2.35 miles using run/walk intervals of 3 minutes running and 1 minute walking with an average pace of 11:10 per mile.

Thursday:

Ran 1 mile in 10 minutes and 54 seconds. Really didn’t want to go out and run at all today so glad that we at least bothered with something even if it was only a mile.

Friday:

Rest day

Saturday:

Rest day – little amble around Langland bay in the evening. You can’t not go to the beach when the weather is this beautiful!

Sunday: 

Paddleboarding lesson!!

We had a lot of fun trying to paddleboard yesterday, but I was absolutely hopeless at it. I spent the whole hour standing up, trying to get my balance, then falling in! When I wasn’t falling in I was paddling around on my knees! Gideon was slightly better and got the hang of it towards the end of our lesson! It must have been a good workout though because I am so so achy today. It feels like the day after a half marathon! My knee’s have seized up completely!!

My verdict on paddleboarding: much much harder than it looks but a lot of fun!

We also walked 3 miles (to and from the water sports centre).

Monday:

Ran 7 miles using run/walk intervals of 3 minutes running 1 minute walking. Average pace 12:37 per mile.

After yesterdays paddleboarding session there was no way I was running 7 miles so we pushed it back to this morning (as it’s a bank holiday). The plan was to wake up at 6.15, head to the beach for 7:30 and run 7 miles. It took all my willpower to get out of bed this morning (after a rotten nights sleep because of the heat and because my legs are dead from paddleboarding) but we did it and we did our 7 miles without any issue really. It was warm, but nowhere near as warm as it would have been if we had got up later or gone this evening. There was a pleasant breeze rather than a gale which was awesome. The only other people crazy enough to be on the promenade at that time in the morning were other runners (of which there were many) and cyclists, so there was no dodging round hundreds of people, which there definitely would have been if we had gone later in the day as the weather is beautiful. Overall, a pretty decent (albeit slow) run, and I feel a bit more confident knowing I can still go over 10k without issue even though training has been pretty lacklustre as of late.

The plan for this week is to continue the way we have been going and get our three runs done. The Swansea half marathon is only 4 weeks away now so ideally we want to do 9 miles this weekend. I have felt like training has been naff for this half and the Cardiff half seems like so long ago, but actually when I look properly, the Cardiff half wasn’t ages ago. It was 2 months ago. Yes, running hasn’t been consistently great since Cardiff, but it isn’t as if we stopped all together, so I’m sure that base we built is still there. We just need to stay consistent for the next 4 weeks to give the Swansea half our best shot!

 

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My Love Hate Relationship with Running

Today for my run I decided to do a route I haven’t done for a rather long time. It’s a mile long stretch downhill to our local park, then a short lap of the park and then a mile long stretch back up the hill to home. As I was running back up the long hard slog of a hill towards home I realised that this run was a run of two halves. I loved the initial half, the downhill stretch to the park. Momentum carried me and I felt like I was flying along with huge strides! I was pretty fast too and did it in under 10 minutes. Then the park was nice… it’s not very much to look at but it’s green and there were squirrels. Then it was back out of the park and up the hill and I HATED it. I hated the fact that I was now struggling to breathe. I hated that I was shuffling along instead of striding. I hated that I’d slowed down and was almost 3 minutes slower in this mile than the previous one. One man who was out walking with his dog even tried to give me words of encouragement saying ‘not much further’ and I just screamed ‘I hate hills so much’ back at him!

This run really summed up my love hate relationship with running. Sometimes I love running so much. I love being out there, feeling the wind on my face, feeling my muscles working and lost in my own thoughts. Sometimes I hate it. I hate that I’m overheating, or I hate that my muscles ache, or I hate that I look at my watch and it’s only been about 30 seconds since I started and it’s already so hard.

I love running and I hate running.

I love the feeling I get when I’ve finished a decent run and I have that runners high and feel a little bit like I could conquer the world.

I hate the feeling when I’ve finished a bad run and my whole body aches and I didn’t go as far or as fast as I should have and I feel like a failure.

I love it when it’s a nice cool spring day and I’ve put on the right layers for the temperature and there is no headwind or cold driving rain.

I hate it when it’s raining and I’m running into wind, or when I’m overheating because it’s horribly hot and humid or I’ve worn the wrong kit for the temperature.

I love it when my legs don’t ache the next day.

I hate it when I can’t walk down the stairs the next day and end up sitting on my bum and shuffling my way down.

I love it when I’ve got all the energy in the world and feel like I could run and run forever!

I hate it when I have no energy left, my legs feel like led and my stomach is all full and uncomfortable.

I love running downhill.

I hate running uphill.

I love running races where there are medals at the end.

I hate all the boring training runs I have to do so I can get to the end of the race.

But mostly, in a weird way, I love the feeling of accomplishment and pride I get when I feel like I hate running but I get out there and do it anyway. I love that I haven’t given up on something, but that I’ve persevered with it to the betterment of myself. I love the friends I’ve made through running. I love that I’ve smashed through goals that I never thought I’d achieve, doing something I never thought I’d be able to do. I never thought I would be a runner, but I AM.

And I do love it really.

 

Weekly training recap: Mon 16th – Sun 22nd May

Not much to recap this week. We had a good week last week but haven’t ran nearly enough this week. Can’t really give any excuses. I was away at the weekend and had a bit of a bad stomach, but I should really have fitted it in before then. I’m not sure I see the point in getting annoyed at myself though. It is what it is.

Monday:

Rest day. I was going to go do my cross training  HIIT style class with friends – but it was cancelled at the very last minute – annoyingly after I’d already driven down to where it is held! Doh!

Tuesday:

Rest day

Wednesday:

Ran 1.25 miles with an average pace of 10:57 per mile. Hilly route. I was trying to tempo (again). It sort of worked, I was only a little over the 10:45 I was aiming for and I had to keep stopping and crossing the road because men were cutting down trees! It kind of threw me off a bit. Plus I decided to go the ‘hard way round’ which involved running up the crazy steep hill (rather than down it) and I actually made it all the way to the top without stopping! Go me!

Gideon ran 2.1 miles in 19 minutes! Speedy!

Thursday:

Rest day – should have ran!

Friday:

Rest day – should have ran!

Saturday:

Rest day for me. Gideon Ran 4.5 miles in approximately 51 minutes

Sunday:

Should have ran, but I had a bad stomach Saturday and didn’t really feel like running 7 miles on a completely empty stomach. Really it should have been done Friday though. So it’s not really an excuse.

Walked a couple of miles up the hill around where my parents live in the Sunshine.

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So hopefully we’ll get back on it this week. Aiming to try and do 4 miles tomorrow evening (to make up  a little bit for not doing any this week), then a couple of more midweek run’s and 7 miles at the weekend. We also have a stand up paddle boarding lesson on Sunday (weather permitting) which I hear is like a full body workout because of all the core balancing you have to do! So I’m looking forward to that and will let you all know how it goes!

 

Disney Park Tips: Magic Kingdom

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Disney post – but now that we have booked to go back I’m already starting to get super excited again! Only 304 days to go! LOL!

So in order to channel my excitement into something productive, I thought I’d do some Disney Park tips posts which may help others who are planning a not-too distant trip to the world! My first park…. MAGIC KINGDOM!

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Tip 1: Arrive Early

Magic Kingdom park is packed to the rafters with awesome rides, shows and character meets. You can really get a lot of rides done with minimal waits if you arrive at Park opening, as it usually takes until mid-morning for the parks to become really busy. I recommend heading to fantasyland to hit some of the dark rides where the waits build up fairly fast such as Peter Pan’s Flight, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid.

Tip 2: Fastpass your E-Ticket faves

I would always recommend fastpassing the big E-Ticket mountain rides in Magic Kingdom  such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain as these often rack up long standby waits. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is another very popular ride that probably needs a Fastpass. However you can only pre-book 3 so choose the ones which appeal most to you and your family, and consider hitting the others early on in the day if you don’t want to wait too long. Non-coaster rides that often have long lines tend to be Peter Pan’s Flight and the Anna and Elsa meet and greet, so consider fastpassing these if coasters aren’t your thing!

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Big Thunder Mountain!

Tip 3: Get a pre-park opening breakfast reservation

If you really want that empty shot of the Castle with just your family in front of it and no one else consider getting an advanced dining reservation for breakfast at a Magic Kingdom location before park opening. Typically Magic Kingdom opens at 9am (though always check the disney website for accurate information), but breakfast eateries like Crystal Palace, Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest open at 8am, so if you have a reservation, you’ll be let into the park early and can get a crowd-free shot in front of the castle!

Tip 4: Take time to savour the little details

Disney do a fantastic job of theming, so make sure to take some time to take in all the little disney details that add to the magic of the park. Look for hidden Pascal’s by the tangled bathrooms, glance up at the shop windows on Main Street USA. It’s the little things that make Disney stand apart from other theme parks, but it can be easy to miss if you are running from one ride to the next.

Tip 5: Watch the parade from Frontierland

Disney’s parades go through Frontierland, Liberty Square and then in front of the Castle and down Main Street USA. If you want a less crowded view it’s better to head to Frontierland or Liberty Square. Whilst it will probably still be busy, you have more of a chance of getting a good spot to watch closer to the start time of the parade than you do if you watch at Main Street – which means more time for other rides!

Tip 6: Take a mid day break

Touring the park all day can be tiring, so it may be worth having a mid-day break. If you are staying close by in a Disney hotel, head back to the resort to relax for a bit during the hottest and busiest part of the day, then head to the park again in the evening when the crowds have died down! If leaving the park is not do-able, consider some extended air-conditioned breaks in shows such as the Carousel of progress, the Hall of Presidents or the Country Bear Jamboree to have a break from the mid day heat (whilst still enjoying awesome disney experiences).

Tip 7: Don’t skip wishes

It can be a long day in the parks, but don’t skip watching wishes and it’s pre-show Celebrate the Magic if you have never seen it. The fireworks really do make for a magical end to the day! Watch on Main street for the best view!

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I hope you enjoyed our first disney world tips post – we’ll be posting tips for the other three parks; EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios soon! What are your tips for a trip to Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!

Weekly training recap: Mon 9th – Sun 15th May 2016

This week, despite the sticky heat (which I don’t like – incase you haven’t read my last few rants about it), we actually managed to get out and do every run we had planned! Yay for us! And all of this without any knee pain whatsoever, so I am definitely feeling more encouraged this week.

In fact, the way it turned out, we ended up doing our runs on three consecutive days. Tuesday was a wet and miserable day so we postponed that run until Wednesday, which meant we ran Wednesday and Thursday. Our long run (5.5 miles this week) was planned for Saturday. On Friday evening, whilst feeling like devouring several bags of chocolate, I suggested instead that we go do our long run and then we could eat all the chocolate we wanted afterwards guilt free. There was still a couple of hours of daylight left (yay for long summer evenings) so we did it. It wasn’t a particularly easy run, but I’m pleased we got it out the way. It meant we could enjoy that chocolate as a reward, and enjoy a lie-in the next day! Result!

Monday:

Rest day

Tuesday:

Rest day

Wednesday:

We ran 2.47 miles with an average pace of 10:37 per mile. Hilly route.

Thursday:

I ran 2.69 miles (with friends) using run/walk intervals of 3 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Average pace was 11:49 per mile.

Gideon ran 3.07 miles with an average pace of 11:07 per mile.

Friday:

We ran 5.5 miles using run/walk intervals of 3 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Average pace was 11:57 per mile.

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Saturday:

Rest day

Sunday:

Went for a leisurely walk around the local woods. I didn’t keep tabs on how far we had gone, but it was nice to get out and enjoy the sunshine rather than sweat in it horribly (which is what happens when running)!

With the Swansea half marathon only 6 weeks away, we really need next weeks long run to be at least 7 miles, which I think is more than achievable after this weeks 5.5. We are away visiting my parents for the weekend, so we’ll have to come up with a 7 mile route around there and make sure we fit it in somewhere! Hopefully then, we can get ourselves back up to 10-11 miles before the half marathon on 26th June!

 

 

 

Another hard run.

Another hot, humid and horrible run today. I found this one just as hard as the weekends, but at least it’s done. I spent a large part of it ranking my least favourite weathers to run in (probably not good for your mental-state mid run). It goes like this:

  1. Hot and humid weather (overcast or sunny) E.G. TODAY.
  2. Running into a strong headwind and driving rain
  3. Running into a strong headwind (but no rain)
  4. Cold driving rain (but no wind)
  5. Hot dry heat
  6. Freezing cold

So from that I’ve concluded that the only weather I like running in is a mild-temperature with no wind and no rain. LOL.

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Despite the yukky-ness that was today, I ran for 26 minutes (only 4 short of my 30 minute goal and only because I got back to my front door 4 minutes earlier than expected) and managed an average pace of 10:37 which was slightly faster than my planned tempo pace of 10:45. The run wasn’t quite the tempo I had planned though. The first mile was good but I just couldn’t keep it going and had to stop and walk a few times. I just don’t feel like I can keep running for prolonged periods when its humid – I think I just totally overheat. I need one of those hats with a fan that points directly at your face to run with!

My best run’s always start when I go at a steady pace and then am able to maintain it throughout. The problem is that I’m finding it really difficult to recognise that I’m going to fast at the moment. This seems to be more of a problem in the heat. Or maybe it’s not that I’m going to fast, its that I’m going at a fair weather pace and that I need to adjust my pace and make it slower to compensate for the hot weather. Yes I think that’s probably what it is. They say that your pace will be slower in the heat (I know this from Florida) so it’s obvious that if I’m not slowing down to compensate for the heat then it’s probably going to be a sucky run. So I think on tomorrows run this is what I need to think about, and I need to remind myself that just because I’ve gotten a bit faster lately, doesn’t mean I should be running fast all the time. It’s a (half) marathon not a sprint, as they say.

 

Weekly training recap: Mon 2nd May – Sun 8th May

It’s been a mixed bag as far as training has gone this week. We have got out and ran, but I’m acutely aware that it’s probably not enough considering the Swansea half marathon is only 50 days away. I still think we can pull ourselves back up to standard, but I’m not expecting any major improvements on time from the last half marathon. I think I needed a few weeks off after Cardiff and Swansea has just crept up a bit.

In good news, my knee hasn’t hurt at all whilst running this week. I’ve been using different running shoes to the ones which I injured it in. There still cushioned, but slightly less so than the Brooks I did have (these are Mizuno’s). I feel like perhaps the last pair over corrected my gait too much and these feel better, so I’m going to stick with them. Even on some downhill slopes I didn’t get any pain, so that’s encouraging!

I didn’t make it to the drop in physio this week, but as it hasn’t been hurting I think I’ll hold off for now and see how it goes. I know the drop in physio is there now, so if it starts hurting again I’ll go straight away. I don’t want to waste there time if it’s not currently a problem, especially because I felt really stupid going to the GP and having her move my leg around at all different angles only to find absolutely no pain at all. She probably thought I was nuts!

Monday:

Ran 1.5 miles. Average pace: 11:42 per mile.

Tuesday:

Gid wanted to do a fast mile today so that’s what we aimed for. Turned out it was insanely fast and I smashed my fastest mile again that I’d only set a few weeks previously! This mile was 8:54! Crazy!! Gideon’s was 8:19! Awesome!!

Wednesday:

Rest day

Thursday:

Rest day

Friday:

Rest day

Saturday:

Ran 3.5 miles with an average pace of 12:10 per mile. I spoke about this yesterday. It was a really tough run which I did not enjoy at all mainly due to the heat.

Sunday:

Walked approximately 2 miles around Clyne Gardens which are in bloom at the moment and make for a lovely scenic stroll.

So yeah. As you can see, we have ran, but not nearly at the mileage we should be running considering we are only 50 days out from a half marathon. So this week we really need to make sure we get out and do the full 30 minutes for both maintenance run’s in the week and do a long run of at least 6 miles at the weekend. Then we can just up the long run by a mile each week from now until the half and we should be good to go!