Weekly training recap: Mon 22nd – Sun 29th

I’m a day late posting this training recap. We have had friends staying for the bank holiday weekend. They are friends who run and they brought their running stuff with them so we could go for a run somewhere. We all had the best of intentions, but in the end a run just didn’t happen. We walked a lot, and just generally enjoyed time hanging out. We spend the day at the beach and had ice cream and went out for lunch and met up with other friends to catch up. There just wasn’t a spare 5 minutes with which to fit a run in, but thats ok.

Monday:

Went to the gym Monday and ran 1.25 miles on the treadmill and then biked 5k.

Tuesday:

Rest day

Wednesday:

Went for a run around the neighbourhood. This run was technology free so I’m afraid I don’t know how far or how fast we went.

Thursday:

Rest day

Friday:

We did our gym workouts today. I was about 30 seconds faster on the rowing machine again so I was pretty pleased with that. I’m still not finding the shoulder press any easier though and am still on the lowest weight, but its early days still I guess.

Saturday:

We walked a great deal today with friends. We went down to Rhossili beach and worms head on the gower where they had a temporary art instillation up that is currently touring wales. It’s basically a big sign that says EPIC, don’t really know how arty that is but it was fun to climb on and have your picture taken with!

Sunday:

A bit more walking today, but not as much as yesterday (and a lot more eating).

I will put the specifics of todays workout into the next recap as normal, but we have already been to the gym today which is good. Need to get a long run in at some point. Either this evening if we are feeling up for it or tomorrow evening. We will be aiming for 4 miles I think, with 4-5 miles at the weekend as well if all goes to plan.

Running for runnings sake

It hasnt been the best week so far in terms of running, but it also hasnt been the worst. I wanted to catch up on those 3.5 miles we missed at the weekend on Monday but the weather stayed grim so the best option was to haul ourselves off to the gym and settle for the treadmill.

I knew I wouldnt get 3.5 miles on the treadmill. I just don’t like it for long distances. I  can do 15 minutes but then I start feeling hot and dizzy. I can put the speed down and walk for a while but once I start back up again the dizzy hot feeling comes back pretty quickly, and I hate fiddling with the buttons mid run because it makes me feel unsteady on my feet because I’m not concentrating on the actual ‘running’ bit so much. Anyway… I managed 1.25 miles and then I decided to move on to something else (as I was there) so I biked 5k. I know thats not far, but I put the resistance level up a fair whack and as someone who doesnt bike ever I was pretty happy with that.

Tuesday we rested and then yesterday we decided to run around the neighbourhood. Neither of us were really feeling it, so we decided to leave all trace of technology behind and just run as far as we could be bothered. So thats what we did. It was nice not to be staring at the watch every 5 minutes wondering how fast we were going or how long was left. We just ran. Turned left or right down the roads when we felt like it and just went until we found our way back home. I’m sure I could work out how far we went if I really wanted to, but I don’t. There was something nice about not putting a number on it. I certainly felt I had worked hard though, so I suspect our pace was a quick one (as it took me a long time to catch my breath again afterwards). But again, don’t really need to know.

I think thats nice sometimes. The not knowing. Theres no pressure to hit a certain time or distance. Your just running because its something you want to do, not something you have to do. It’s carefree and enjoyable and I miss that sometimes whilst training for a race in the not too distant future. 

It’ll be back to distances and timings and routine for the rest of the week I’m sure, but I do think its so nice sometimes to put the tech away and just enjoy running for runnings sake. 

Weekly training recap: Mon 15th – Sun 21st Aug

It’s a short one this week. I really didnt want to write anything if i’m honest, but the point of these training recaps are to record how training is going so if I’m not going to be honest in them then whats the point of this blog. 

Mondays rest day turned into 5 days of rest. Mostly through Laziness on my part. Gid had a more legitimate reason in that he pulled some muscles in his stomach near his surgery wounds stupidly trying to do a plank so decided to give them a few days rest and not aggrivate it further.

We finally got to the gym yesterday. We did our normal workouts from our gym training plans. I was pleased because my 2000m rowing was 2 minutes faster than last week! We planned to run 3.5 miles today but then we stayed up till 2am to watch Mo win the 5000m in Rio and then had to get up early to go do the sound at church because it was my week rota’d on. Bad planning, because now we are knackered. The weather is foul here today, absolutely soaking rain, and I don’t really trust myself to run 3.5 miles on a treadmill whilst super drowsy, so we have decided to run the 3.5 miles tomorrow instead.

So thats that really.

I’m still feeling confident about the 10k. This week might have been a write off but there is still plenty of time and we know we are comfortable running half the distance already and I’m confident we’ll get up to atleast 5 mile long runs in training without issue. 10k doesnt strike me as a scary distance anymore (never thought that would happen). Thats perhaps a bad thing because it is still a distance that needs to be respected and that needs training for. After my experiences at the Swansea half I know what the consequences of undertraining can bring and I do not want to repeat that experience. And yet, I already feel far more ready and more confident about this race than I ever did about the Swansea half so thats positive. 

I have time to prep for this race. I have finished my masters study now (hoorah) and I don’t start my new full time job until the beginning of Oct. This means in theory that I can use my days off work in September to really focus on training well. I just need to turn theory into reality. 

I’ll be getting my fundraising page up and running soon. I’m going to be raising funds for Tumaini Kwa Watoto; a charity set up by some friends of mine that rescues children from the streets of Nairobi, Kenya and reunites them with their family. 

I also posted a little while back about possibly changing the name of this blog. I’m still on the fence about it at the moment, so I think I’ll keep it the same for now. As they sometimes say, ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it’ 

I hope this week will be a better one. We plan to run 3.5 miles tomorrow. Go to the gym Tuesday. Rest Wednesday. Run 2 miles Thursday and then Gym on Friday. We have friends staying friday night to – Sunday so we probably won’t get much exercise done (although they may be partial to a little run as one is training for a tough mudder). So the 4 miler will likely take place Sunday evening or bank holiday monday! Hooray for August bank holidays! 

Top tips for touring EPCOT!

Since visiting Walt Disney World as an adult EPCOT has become my favourite Disney park. It might not have as many thrill rides as the other parks, but there is something really special about the atmosphere at EPCOT. I could sit in world showcase all day long with a drink and a snack in hand and just people watch. I love exploring the countries in world showcase and learning about history and the land and the sea in future world. I could watch the sea turtles in the sea’s pavillion for hours on end (and have done). EPCOT is a peaceful park to me, but it shouldnt be confused with a boring park. There is so much to see and so much to do that I struggle to do it all in one day and like to devote many days of our holiday to enjoying all that EPCOT offers. Here are my top tips for getting the most out of your visit to EPCOT:

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Don’t Skip Spaceship Earth:

Many people I’m sure refer to spaceship earth as a giant golf ball, because that is indeed what the icon of EPCOT resembles! But inside the golf ball is a ride, and it’s a wonderful ride too! Spaceship earth takes you right up inside the golf ball and through history, telling the story how our earth has developed into what it is today and making some (pretty wild) speculations about what the future could bring! Don’t skip this ride!

Fastpass Soarin & jump in the single rider line for Test Track:

If you only have one day to spend at EPCOT then Soarin is a ride you need to fastpass. It regularly commands long waits but is definitely worth doing. The parks other e-ticket ride, Test Track is also very worth doing but because of the fastpass tier system at EPCOT you can only choose one or the other as one of your original 3 fastpasses (as they are in the same tier). I’d go with Soarin, as Test Track has a single rider line which – if you are happy to be split up from your party to ride – can considerably reduce the wait time. The other option is to hit either early as the park opens before the line builds up. Of course this will all be confused by the opening of the new Frozen ride in the Norway pavillion, which is also said to be commanding huge wait times. I have yet to visit since the frozen ride has opened and so have no idea which fastpass tier it belongs to, though the internet informs me it’s in the same tier as Test Track and Soarin. If this is the case I’d still be inclined to use the single rider line for Test Track and then get a fastpass for either Frozen or Soarin depending on your preference and then perhaps get to the other one as early in the day as possible before the crowds build up.

Eat at sunshine seasons:

For a quick service meal at EPCOT I don’t think you can beat sunshine seasons (although there are admittedly many great places to eat in world showcase). Sunshine seasons has plenty of options to suit everyone from Mongolian beef and rice, to rotisserie chicken and turkey sandwiches, plus they use ingredients that have been grown within the land pavillion itself – how cool is that??

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Turkey Sandwich from Sunshine Seasons!
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Mongolian Beef and Rice, Cheesecake & Key Lime Pie from Sunshine Seasons!

Better yet, just make sure you eat anywhere at EPCOT:

EPCOT really can’t be beaten by any other park when it comes to food! The options are numerous and diverse. There are signature restaurants, character dining experiences, buffets, table service and counter service locations. EPCOT even has its own food and wine festival from September to November each year where they add even more kiosks all across the park serving food from dozens of different countries.

Each pavilion in world showcase has at least one restaurant and the cuisine is authentic to the country, so whatever you fancy from Fajitas to Sushi, you can usually find it somewhere in EPCOT!

Dedicate time to exploring world showcase:

So many people just wander around the perimeter of world showcase (a 1+ mile loop around the lake which is home to 11 mini pavillion’s each based on a different country) and fail to really explore the area. Take the time to really explore each pavillion. Go right to the backs where there are quiet corners to relax in. Watch the circle vision 360 movies in Canada, France and China and wander through the mini exhibits and (sometimes massive) gift shops! Take your time to marvel at the little details that really make these pavillions special. Some are more authentic than others. I don’t think much of the UK pavillion for example (although I can see what they were trying to do), but the China pavillion has a replica of the temple of peace in Beijing and having been to the original I was so shocked when I realised just HOW SIMILAR the outside of the EPCOT version is. Here is a real v’s EPCOT comparison photo – obviously the real ones a bit bigger but the detailing is so similar!

 

Don’t skip the seas:

Don’t skip the seas pavilion. It’s kind of tucked away, but its worth going too. You may be thinking ‘but it’s just another aquarium’ and in a sense you are right, but it’s a pretty cool one! They have dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, rays and the place is huge. I find it really mesmerising and could watch the fish for hours and hours. If you want to watch the fish whilst you sit down for a relaxing dinner you can do that too at the Coral Reef restaurant (which I highly recommend). It also makes for a nice air-conditioned place to escape the midday sun for a bit on hot days.

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My sea turtle friend!

Stay for Illuminations:

Illuminations is my favourite of all the fireworks displays at Disney World. It takes place on the lake in the middle of world showcase so you can watch from anywhere. The soundtrack is what makes it if you ask me, it’s just beautiful. With the fireworks and the pavillions all lit up you really do feel like you are somewhere special.

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There is so much to see and do at EPCOT I couldn’t possibly cover it all in this post, so GO! Explore it for yourself! There really is something for everyone!

Weekly training recap: Mon 8th – Sun 14th Aug

We have done a lot of exercise this week friends! So much so that I am totally wiped out this evening. I have made sandwiches for lunch tomorrow, put out the bins, put the washing on, made dinner and now I am sitting on the sofa and I am not moving a muscle until bedtime. If there is anything I have forgotten to do I may cry!!! I am totally knackered.

Monday:

Gym session:

  • 1.5 miles on the stationary bike at level 3 resistance (8 minutes)
  • 10 minute session on the cross trainer
  • Various weight machines. 5 reps per machine with various weights from 10kg – 25kg (this was part of our induction)
  • 2 miles on the sitting bike at level 1 resistance (10 minutes)

Tuesday:

Didn’t run today because my knee was hurting from the gym yesterday.

Wednesday:

Knee still playing up so decided to just run at the gym on Thurs.

Thursday:

Treadmill run: 1.5 miles with an average pace of 12:14 per mile. 2 x reps of 6 on the shoulder press and chest press. Stretching.

Friday:

Rest day

Saturday:

Gym session:

  • 12 minute brisk walk at 3.5mph (treadmill elevation level 5)
  • 2000 meter row. Weight level 6. This took just under 16 mins
  • 5 minutes cross trainer effort level 5
  • 8 minutes on hand bike at resistance level 5
  • Shoulder press: 1 rep of 16 then 3 reps of 10 (5kg)
  • Lateral pulldown machine: 4 reps of 16 (5kg)
  • 3 x 30 second planks
  • flutter kicks
  • 4 minute warm down on sitting bike.

Sunday:

Ran 3 miles! This was a horribly difficult run. It’s not sunny here but it is so so humid! I didn’t realise quite how bad it was until we had started. I managed to run the entire thing though (just) average pace was 12:17 per mile. I’m not surprised by this because I was still achy from yesterday. I’m really proud of myself for running the entire thing though, as I wanted to give up so many times. Gideon did really well, he ran the three miles in under 30 minutes! woop!

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Three runs scheduled for next week – 2 x 2 milers and 1 x 3.5 miler – along with some time in the gym and possibly a swim. But a well-earned rest day tomorrow to help me feel a little more alive again!

 

Gym training plan.

I don’t normally blog twice in one day butttttttt I really want to tell you about my gym session today!

Today we sat down with the trainer at the gym and he wrote us each out a personalised training plan! This training plan KICKED MY BUTT.

We explained that we do a lot of running, and that we want to use the gym for other things. Gideon explained that he wants to use the gym to lose a bit of weight and also improve his all round fitness ready for his longer term triathlon plan. I explained that I would like to strengthen my upper body (because I have piddly weakling arms), so my arms, shoulders and also tone up my abs and (hopefully) loose my love handles!

The gym instructor wrote us each a personalised plan to do in our gym sessions each week. It’s supposed to take roughly an hour. Here is my plan:-

  • Treadmill to warm up. Elevation level 5. Walk at a brisk pace (3.5mph) for 12 minutes.
  • 2000m on the rowing machine. Level 6 difficulty.
  • 4 minutes forward cycling on the hand bike at level 5 resistance.
  • 4 minutes backward cycling on the hand bike at level 5 resistance.
  • 15 minutes on the cross trainer – level 5
  • 4 reps of 16 on the shoulder press with 5kg weight to begin with
  • 4 reps of 16 on the lateral pulldown machine with 10-15kg weight to begin with
  • 3 30 second planks
  • 3 reps of 30 flutter kicks
  • 8 minute cool down on the sitting bike.

Gideon’s is different to mine (being personalised and all) so after our plans had been written out we parted ways to our respective machines and got on with it.

It was TOUGH.

The treadmill warm up was fine. Walking at a brisk pace is fine for me, I walk ridiculously fast in normal life. I burned about 80 calories doing this though according to the machine which I thought was pretty great.

Then it was onto the rowing. I really like the rowing machine. It took me just under 16 minutes to row 2000 meters. Not sure if thats good or not (I doubt it). I wasn’t trying too hard in terms of speed, I was focusing on getting my form right, because the hardest part about the rowing machine for me isn’t the actual weight/resistance, its sitting upright in a comfortable position for 16 minutes!

Then onto the handbike. If you haven’t seen one of these its a bit bizarre, you do a cycle motion basically but with your arms. This turns a sort of propeller type thing which is in water and you can adjust the resistance of it. The forward cycling was fairly easy,  but I found the backward cycling really hard. I’m not sure actually if there was a problem with my machine, because it didn’t stay consistent, the resistance got harder and harder until it ground to a halt. This is the first time i’ve ever done a backwards motion on it so I don’t know if that is supposed to happen or not.

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This is the hand bike. Cycling for your arms!

Then onto the cross trainer. Here is where I slipped up a little. I only managed 5 minutes on the cross trainer. I mentioned earlier in the week that my knee had been giving me trouble, well the cross trainer really annoyed it, so I cut it short and moved onto the weights.

The shoulder press: Ow. OW OW OW OW OW!!!!! I did not think it would be that hard! Maybe it was because i’d already been rowing for ages and hand cycling etc. but getting 16 reps of 5kg on the shoulder press was tough. I managed the first 16. Just. But then had to give up after 10 on the other goes. Hopefully if I keep doing it i’ll see some improvement.

Then 4 reps of 16 on the lateral pull down. I kept the weight to 5kg instead of the suggested 10-15 because I found the shoulder press so hard, but I won’t do that again because it was much much easier than the shoulder press.

Then, for the plank! I told the trainer I didn’t think I’d be able to do three 30 second planks. He said just to do as long as I could. I didn’t have a timer so I had to count to 30 in my head, so I may have been a bit faster I don’t know, but I managed to count to 30 on every single one and I’m pretty proud of that. I didn’t think I had that in me, especially after all the rowing/cycling/weight lifting.

Then finally it was the flutter kicks. I’d never done these before. The trainer demonstrated it. It looks like the below:

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I figured that would be really easy, boy was I wrong! This was so hard, I really really felt the stretch in my lower abdomen, and I didn’t get anywhere near 30 on each rep before having to give up.

Then it was just a cool down cycle and done.

I left the gym feeling pretty pleased with myself, but I still think that I feel much more knackered after running than I ever seem to after the gym. I don’t know if that means I should push more?

4 hours-ish later, I can definitely feel the work in my shoulders and arms. They ache a lot. Lifting things is hard. It’s the kind of ache I get after I’ve been trimming the hedges in the garden all afternoon, only worse. But no pain no gain I guess.

We have done a fair bit of gym work this week, and I’m very interested to find out how that impacts our 3 mile run tomorrow. I’m still really enjoying the gym though, I think the variety is good. Just running was getting a bit monotonous. We have been told to follow our plan for the next two weeks and then meet with the trainer again to review it, so this is just the beginning. Hopefully in time we will be able to find out what really works for us!

 

 

Changing the name.

I’m thinking about changing the name of this blog.

I’ve been considering this for a while. I love my blog. I love writing it and I love that it keeps me accountable (sort of) in my running and fitness, and I LOVEEEE all things Disney so writing about that and providing tips about Disney is always something I will want to use it for, but, I feel as if the blogs original purpose has shifted.

When we started this blog, it was because Gideon and I had just signed up to our very first rundisney event: the wine and dine half marathon. The blog was a way for us to record our training progress and share it with the world so that we could be encouraged in our fundraising efforts for make-a-wish UK. We ran Disney back in November 2015, but we had unfinished business from that race, because it wasn’t the half marathon we expected it to be (you can read why here). So we continued in our training and finally completed a half marathon in March 2016 at the IAAF World Half Marathon in Cardiff. Mission accomplished!

We still love running, and we still love Disney. But we are no longer working towards ‘running Disney’. Our next trip to Disney is booked for March 2017 and whilst there will be running (and potentially even a race) it won’t be a rundisney race, as there are none scheduled for when we are there. In fact, I’m not sure if we will do another rundisney race – certainly not in the near future anyway, because the plans we have for travelling don’t necessarily combine with rundisney races.

With a possible 2017 London marathon place on the cards (ballot permitting) and the desire to branch into other types of exercise besides just running (Gideon wants to enter a triathlon, for example), this blog is no longer about running Disney. It’s about much more than that. It’s about our fitness journey! Of course, Disney is still a massive part of our lives, and I’ll never say never to another Disney race if one presents itself at a convenient moment, but with the focus of this blog changing to more local races and our fitness journey, as well as disney travel tips and advice, rather than rundisney tips and advice, I’ve been feeling that a little re-branding might be in order.

So I’m considering changing the blogs name to:

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A Disney Nerd Does Fitness!

or…..

Just Disney Just Fitness!

or….

Eat, Exercise, Disney, Repeat!

or…… should I just keep it the way it is? Decisions, decisions!

What do you think dear readers? Should I change the name, for a new era in this blogging (and our fitness) journey? Or am I just being silly and britsrundisney is fine the way it is? Which name do you prefer?  Let me know in the comments!!