2016 Running in Review.

Despite the fact that the last quarter of this year has been EXTREMELY quiet for me in terms of running/exercise/anything fitness related really, I must not forget that I have achieved a lot this year. What feels like a lifetime ago – completing my first half marathon – was only in March! Less than a year ago!

I’ve run 4 races this year. Two of which I enjoyed and two of which I haven’t.

February saw both myself and Gideon complete the St. David’s Day 5k! I really enjoyed this race, despite the fact that an 11 mile run the day before had left my feet severely blistered. I was proud because I managed to run the whole race even with the blisters (and when I say blisters, I mean blisters the size of 50p pieces). There was a real sense of achievement that day and I enjoyed myself in spite of the difficulties. This is the only race that I’ve signed up to run again in 2017 (signed up today in fact, so there’s no excuse for my fitness lapse to continue into the new year).

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In March, we finally met the goal we had set back in 2015 of running a half marathon! It was a little late, but not through any fault of our own. We completed the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon on Easter Saturday, and again, in spite of a nagging knee injury and a monsoon, it was an enjoyable race, and we were so pleased to have met our goal!

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From here, things sort of went downhill. In June, appendicitis sidelined Gideon’s 2016 attempt at the Swansea half marathon, and so I was left to decide whether I wanted to run it by myself. Stupidly, despite being severely under-trained, I went ahead, and even though I finished, I would not recommend attempting a half marathon whilst under-trained to anyone. I spent a horrible afternoon being sick afterwards and that really knocked my running confidence. Nothings been quite the same since. I lost my running mojo a bit.

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So in August we decided to join the Gym! Whaaaaat?! I know, I’m still in shock myself but we did! I needed a break from “just running” for a while and the gym helped with that whilst still keeping me fit and healthy!

September saw my second attempt at the Swansea 10k. It did not go as well as the first and my time was absolutely abysmal. Had it been a normal race I probably would have just quit, but I was raising some funds for a charity close to my heart and that kept me going until the end. Job done.

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October saw the results of the London Marathon Ballot for 2017 released. Neither Gideon or myself got a place through the ballot, but Gideon secured a charity place shortly after and began the long hard training slog towards April 2017.

And that pretty much brings us to now.

It’s been a festive period filled with food and fun, but I’m finally ready to get back off the sofa and return to training. Besides the St David’s day 5k in March, we are also signed up for the Winter Park 10k in Florida, so plenty to motivate me to do well in the first quarter of 2017.

Here’s to a new year, new goals, new achievements, and a new set of medals to add to the collection!

Miles ran in 2016: 152.3 miles according to Nike+!

Races completed: 4

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Gideons London Marathon 2017 training recap: Week 4

Hello! Its time for my weekly recap on my training progress for the London Marathon, considering all of the distractions in the run up to Christmas it has been a pretty good week!

Monday : Gym Session

  • Warm Up – 10 mins on bike  (with a short cool down)
  • 1.06 miles on treadmill switching between 6/8 mph – trying to build up my speed
  • 1.03 mile brisk walk on a 8% Gradient
  • 3 set of 16 – Leg Press @ 35 kgs
  • 3 sets of 16 – Shoulder press @ 20 kgs
  • 10 min cool down on the bike
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Bike stats!

Tuesday : Went for a 45 min run which was going pretty well until just after the first mile where I slipped on some wet leaves (more dangerous that ice in my book!) and rolled my ankle. Abandoned the run and hobbled home, as a precaution got ice on it and elevated it. Better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday : Gym Session

  • Warm-Up – 10 mins on the bike
  • 2.18 miles on Cross-trainer level 7 resistance
  • 1000 meter row on highest resistance as fast as possible – 4 mins 51 secs
  • 15 mins brisk walking (4.5mph)
  • 3 sets of 16 shoulder press @ 20 kgs
  • 3 sets of 16 10 kg kettlebell
  • 10 mins cool down on bike
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Rower stats!

Thursday : Rest Day

Friday : With Storm Barbra threatening to ruin Christmas I decided to move my run to Friday morning as it was supposed to be the calm before the storm.

So I ventured out at 8am to quote the weather man ‘get the best of the dry calm weather’ before the storm came through… how wrong was he! I was met with strong head winds, cold temperatures and rain but that didn’t stop me going and completing my 9 mile run.

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9 miles – completed in 1:46:49 with average pace of 11.51 – with which I was extremely happy considering the weather conditions and how bad my previous long runs have been. The cross-training and strength work is definitely paying off, I managed to get negative splits between miles and I generally just felt stronger 🙂

Anyways as I type this it is Christmas Eve and like most of you I am super excited to see what the big man brings me over night and to have a good excuse to be merry and enjoy myself. So Merry Christmas 🙂

I’m running the 2017 London Marathon in aid of Children with Cancer UK. If you’d like to give me (and them) a  super lovely Christmas present, consider sponsoring me by visiting my page here! 

 

 

Gideon’s London Marathon training recap: Weeks 2 and 3!

Good Evening, Gideon here! As you may have noticed, I missed out on last weeks training re-cap so I am going to just do one for the last 2 weeks. Hope I don’t bore you all too much!!

Incase you didn’t catch my last post, I’m running the London Marathon in April to raise money for Children with Cancer UK. This will be my first marathon, and it’s quite a daunting prospect. I don’t really have any goals except for to finish upright and to raise some funds for Children with Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, you can visit my sponsorship page by clicking here. Even a small amount like £10 could fund the analysis of one tissue sample, to help researchers understand the genetics of heart failure after treatment for childhood cancer, and potentially lead to treatment that could help save lives.

Anyway, here’s how the last two weeks have gone:

Week 2

Monday : Rest Day

Tuesday : Gym Session

  • 15 min bike warm-up
  • Intervals on Treadmill – 2 mins @ 7.5mph, 1 min @ 4.8mph repeat x 10
  • 1800 meters on Rower – 9.08 mins (new PB!!)
  • 3 sets of 16 leg press @35 kgs
  • 3 sets of 16 shoulder press @ 15 kgs
  • 10 min bike cool down
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New PB on the rower!

Wednesday : Rest Day

Thursday : 45 min run – Mixture of speed work and hill work

Friday : 7 Mile run – 01:30:33. Average pace of 12.55 a mile – This was by far the worst run I have had in a long long time however not all is lost as I know exactly what caused it to be so bad and how to rectify it all! I decided to run Friday instead of Saturday as the forecast for Sat was looking bad. I hadn’t fuelled correctly in the day and I don’t think I was dressed correctly for the temp either!

Saturday : Rainy day – lots of Netflix

Sunday : Rest Day

Week 3 

So this week didn’t quite go to plan due to an impending visit from some friends from the USA and your typical winter bout of illness.

Monday : Not very well today

Tuesday : Still not feeling great today so only completed a 1.5 mile run – 17 mins 54 seconds.

Wednesday : Rest Day

Thursday: My plans to go to the gym were scuppered as when I arrived they had closed the place due to a power-cut, so I did a speed mile instead and managed a mile in 8.57. Not the greatest, but considering how I had been feeling earlier in the week this was a massive boost!

Friday : Rest day

Saturday : Woke up with a very bad headache so decided to listen to my body and rest.

Sunday: Spent day with friends from the States.

So not the greatest week to have but I am looking forward to starting a fresh tomorrow and have a nice 9 mile run penciled in for Friday or Christmas Eve which should help counteract any over indulgences on the big day! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

 

 

Disney trip 2017: what’s new?

In March 2017 we will be off on our 4th trip to Disney World since 2013! A lot of people ask me why we go to Disney so much. Are we not bored of it? Wouldn’t we rather go somewhere else? And yes, whilst there are many many other places I would also like to go (and I will get to them), a trip to Disney is never boring, mostly because no matter how frequently you go, there is always something new and different to do. Since our last trip in November 2015 a multitude of new things have opened in and around Disney World. Here is just a small selection of the new things I am looking forward to seeing this year that didn’t exist on our last trip:

Eating at Skipper’s canteen: This fun new restaurant opened in the Magic Kingdom in December 2015, so we just missed it on our last trip. It is found in adventureland and is themed to be an extension of the Jungle Cruise ride, where the skippers from the ride hang out and have dinner. Jungle cruise skippers are your waiters, so it should be a fun experience as they are known for their humour. I’ve also heard numerous reviews that the food is some of the best that can be found in the Magic Kingdom, so I’m excited to try it out for myself.

Riding Frozen Ever After: The popular Frozen franchise finally got a ride at Disney World in  June 2016 and I’m pretty excited to give it a try! It can be found in the Norway pavilion of EPCOT (as the film took a great deal of inspiration from Norway) and has been rated very highly, especially for its animatronics!

Shopping and Dining at Disney Springs: When we last went to Disney world in November 2015, Disney Springs had started its renovations, but was mostly a maze of construction walls. Now, it’s pretty much finished, with a completely new shopping and dining area called town centre. There are so many places I want to try out in the new and improved Disney Springs, including Sprinkles Cupcakes, Art Smith’s Homecoming Kitchen, Blaze Pizza, D-Luxe Burger and Morimoto Asia! I can see a lot of our time being spent in Disney Springs during this holiday!

Soarin’ around the World: I have been so good and mostly stayed away from any spoilers and videos of Soarin around the world, so I still have no idea what to expect with this new version of one of my old favourites. I hope it will live up to my expectations!

The beginnings of Star Wars at Hollywood Studios: Okay, so Star Wars Land won’t be opening for a few years yet, but since our last trip, Hollywood Studios has added both the Star Wars launch bay and the Star Wars fireworks display, which I am really looking forward to seeing as it is supposed to be really brilliant! I think this will give us a nice flavour of things to come!

Animal Kingdom at night: This is what I am most looking forward too. Since our last trip to Disney World, Animal Kingdom has started after-dark operations. You can now do Kilimanjaro Safaris at night-time, see the Tree of Life awakening projection show, and there is even the possibility of (dare I say it) RIVERS OF LIGHT! This nighttime show at Animal Kingdom has been delayed due to technical difficulties, but there are rumblings that it may be opening soon as cast member previews have been taking place recently, so fingers crossed it will open in the next 105 days and we will be able to see it!

Along with all these brand new offerings, we are also staying in a different resort. This year, we will be staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort, which is a moderate level resort. Having never stayed in a moderate level Disney resort before I am looking forward to seeing how it differs from the values and the deluxe’s, and I’m looking forward to ticking one more place to stay off my list!

So there you have it, a trip to Disney World is never the same. Things are constantly changing, which is one reason why we are drawn back again and again! Every holiday is different, but you also feel right at home!

What has changed since your last trip to Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Gideons London Marathon 2017 training recap: Week 1

Why hello! todays post comes from the other part of this running duo (it’s me, Gideon – my first post), as you may of read on previous posts by Amy, this week has seen the start of my Official London Marathon training!

I have decided to run the marathon for 2 reasons, firstly I have always said I wanted to do the London marathon before I was 30 (unfortunately I turn 30 just before but its close enough) secondly, the main reason  I am doing it is for an amazing charity – Children with Cancer who help support children who have cancer and their family’s through the struggles of coping with this horrendous illness and they also help fund vital research to help cure cancer for good!!

Each week I plan to do three runs, two maintenance runs where I will try to concentrate on improving my speed and endurance by incorporating speed runs and some hill work to help with my overall stamina (more on this to follow) and then one long run at the weekend. Along with this I am also going to try and do two cross-training sessions to help me get stronger and generally fitter in the gym/pool.

So on to my first week… and I must say I think it went pretty well. Here is a recap of how week one went:-

MONDAY: I did a gym session to kick the week off the right way, this session consisted of the following:

  • 15 min warm up on bike
  • 15 min interval running on treadmill – 1 min @ 5mph and 2 mins @ 7.5mph
  • 1800 meters on the rower as fast as possible (took 9mins 19sec)
  • 30kg leg press – 3 sets of 16
  • 15kg shoulder press – 3 sets of 16
  • 10 min cool down on the bike

TUESDAY: 45min run on which I managed to cover 3.70 miles with an average pace of 12:11, so not my best but considering it was 1 degree outside I was pretty happy with myself for doing it!

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WEDNESDAY:  Rest Day

THURSDAY: Another Gym session:

  • 15 min warm up on bike
  • 20 mins on Treadmill – brisk walk – 4.2mph on 5.5 incline
  • 1800 meters on the rower as fast as possible (took 9mins 23sec)
  • 30kg leg press – 3 sets of 16
  • 15kg shoulder press – 3 sets of 16
  • 10 min cool down on the bike

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Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: Ran 5 miles today which took 59 mins with an average pace of 11.54 per mile. I was joined by my running partner in crime (the wife) for the 1st mile and a half.

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So as you can see all in all not a bad week, this week is going to be a bit more challenging as there is a lovely wet front moving in over Swansea from Tuesday so my outdoor runs are definitely going to get me digging deep but it’s all for a good cause!

If you would like to sponsor me and help me raise my total fundraising goal for Children with Cancer (and give me some motivation) you can visit my virginmoney page here.

Until next week!

 

The first run in forever

Ever since I thought of the title for this blog I’ve had that song ‘first time in forever’ from Frozen in my head. It won’t go away, not that I’m complaining, I am a disney nerd after all!

Anyhow… after another week of procrastination, I finally worked up enough motivation today to get back out there and run. Aside from a few very brief spells on the treadmill at the gym, today has been the first time I have got out and ran since the Swansea 10k back in September!! I know, mad right! The longer I left it, the harder it was to start again, so I’m glad I’ve finally broken through the ‘getting back out there’ barrier.

I was expecting it to be really tough, because I haven’t run for 2+ months, and have put on about 5lbs in that time (thats what happens when you don’t run but continue to eat all the chocolate folks), and had about 17 million different colds!

I decided to tag along with Gideon on his 5 miler, although I wasnt going to go that far. The plan was to turn around when I felt it was right, run back to the car and then wait for him to get back. We did really easy intervals of 2 miles running and 1 mile walking – ease me back in!

As it turns out, I managed a whole 5k! I genuinely wasn’t sure I’d be able to do that after not running for 2+ months. And you know what, dare I say it? I didn’t even find it that difficult! It actually felt good, it felt nice, even though it was bloody freezing! But really, how can you not enjoy being out when this is your view?!

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So basically, a great first run, and a great way to kick off my training for the 10k in March. I can’t wait to go back out now, and I’m so glad! I really fell out of love with running after the Swansea half and Swansea 10k last year, so maybe an extended break is exactly what I needed to make me enjoy it again!

As this is all I’ve done this week, I’m going to let Gideon give you a recap of his London Marathon training tomorrow, so watch this space!