Gideon’s London Marathon 2017 Training recap: Weeks 16, 17 and 18!

Hello All! I hope that you are all doing well and have had a lovely weekend. It’s been a little while since I have blogged due to a manic 3 weeks of holidays/work but I am here now so here’s the recap!

Week 16  – 20th March

So this was our first week of holidays, my TomTom was telling me that we were averaging around 5.5 miles a day walking which is good so here are my stats for the week:

Sunday – 1 mile run around resort in 10 mins & 15 seconds.

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Monday – Walked around the Park (EPCOT)

Tuesday – Birthday!! Today was my birthday so it was filled with many yummy treats but also a lot a lot of walking!!!

Wednesday – 8 mile run. After all the birthday fun and indulgence It was time to get back to business and get a good run in which I did! I ran 8 miles in loops around the beautiful lake at our resort (Caribbean Beach) in a lovely 19 degrees! I managed it in 1 hr 34 mins with a average pace of 11.45 which I was very very happy with.

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Thursday – Bit of Shopping and lots of walking again around parks.

Friday – Lots of walking around the parks.

Saturday – Race Day! As I was going to have to run lots for my marathon training, we decided why not get some bling at the same time. We entered the Winter Park 10k which was a lovely run around the picturesque town of Winter Park but boy oh boy was it warm! It was around 23 degrees by the time I finished at 9 am but I still managed to get around in 1 hr 15 mins.

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Sunday – Another day around the parks and a little bit of swimming.

Week 17 – 27th March 

Monday – Again much of the same lots and lots of walking around the parks.

Tuesday – Today I had planned to do a 12 mile run which I am sorry to say I didn’t complete. Instead, I smashed my longest run to date of 20 miles!!! I decided after reading lots about peoples marathon training that I was going to leave it too late to Taper if I didnt do the long-long run whilst on holiday, so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

I set the alarm for 4am (the first hurdle as no one wants to get up at 4am, let alone on their holidays). I got up and had a bagel and then headed out around 5am. It was still dark but already quite warm and humid. The first 2 hours felt good. I managed to get into a comfortable rhythm until the sun fully rose and the temperature soared to 24 degrees and it was hot hot! I managed to get the whole run completed in 4 hrs 31 mins. Even though this is slower than I would of liked, I was pleased with my efforts considering the many influencing factors such as the heat, humidity and a week full of unhealthy eating!

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Wednesday to Friday – Pretty much just spent the days walking around the parks and generally just spent a lot of time on my feet.

Saturday & Sunday – These days were taken up travelling home from the US.

Week 18 – 3rd April 

This week hasn’t exactly gone how I would of liked, I am currently in my taper stage before the marathon and had wanted to get 3 runs in this week however my body decided that this wasn’t going to be case. I came straight back from holiday into starting a new job which involves quiet a long commute. This, mixed with jet lag and the continued recovery from my 20 miler meant I have quickly come down with a scratchy throat and head cold.

I know it’s not helpful to taper to much and not do any running, but I felt like I really needed to listen to my body this week so I only managed one speed mile which was 1.03 miles in 9 mins 23 seconds. I am feeling a lot better today and have planned out my runs for the next two weeks until race day, so as not to let this low level week affect me to much.

I am now only 2 weeks out from the biggest hardest most nerve wrecking thing I have ever attempted. I’m doing this for an amazing charity – Children with Cancer UK, and if you would like too it would be amazing if you could sponsor me: www.virginmoneygiving.com/gidrunslondon

Also if you are praying type please pray for no injuries or further illness – the maranoia is setting in! 🙂

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Disney World Update no.2

Another great few days in Disney World! We are already well into our second week here, which makes me kinda sad cause I don’t wanna go home yet!!! 

Much of the same had happened since my last post. We completed the Winter Park 10k on Saturday which was a great race with some pretty lovely looking medals! I’ll do a full review when we get home.


Gideon also ran his longest training run for the London Marathon on Tuesday- 20 miles around the Caribbean Beach resort! He started at 5am! Crazy!! (That tiny dot on the bridge is him).


When we were wandering around the Magic Kingdom on wednesday we were stopped by Jackie and her son, who read this blog! Hi Jackie!!! It was lovely to meet you, hope you had a fun evening! 

On Sunday we went to the Kennedy Space Center which was a great day out and I’d highly recommend! We saw the actual Atlantis space shuttle and an Apollo Rocket and it was amazing to see the scale of these rockets up close- they are huge!!


We also got to watch Rivers of Light, which is the new nightime show at Animal Kingdom! I thought it was really beautiful. It’s quite abstract it in it’s storytelling, but I quite liked that about it!


Other than that there has been more hammock time (I love those hammocks) and a lot more walking around the parks – 60,000 steps since Sunday and we still have 2.5 more days!


And lots more eating!! Disney is foodie heaven I swear!!!!


Only 2.5 more days before we come home, which makes me sad, but we have plenty to pack in, including dinner at the California Grill, Starwars fireworks and a trip to my favourite resort – the Wilderness Lodge! 

I’ll finish off our trip when we get home, write a proper review of the 10k and let Gideon update you all on his London Marathon training, so until then, I’ll be in the parks! See ya real soon! 

Disney Update! 

So we are here! In Disney World!! I’m writing this from our room at the Caribbean Beach resort, during a much needed midday break! Just wanted to share some pictures from our first few days. Gideon has been busy hitting the resort trail during his marathon training, and we are looking forward to the winterpark 10k on Saturday.


Other than that, I managed to snag myself this adorable rundisney tshirt in the outlet store! 


And we have been spending plenty of time on our feet in the parks….


And eating plenty of delicious food!


And we still have 10 days of fun ahead! 

Happy Wednesday everyone! 

An update

This time in three weeks we will be on a plane to Disney World! Eeeeek! 

So hi… it’s me! I haven’t updated in a while. I’ve just been leaving it to Gideon to keep you informed of his London Marathon training and not saying much myself, but I’ve now realised it’s only 1 week until my first 5k of the year and only 4 weeks until my first 10k of the year! I figured it was time to tell you whats been going on!

Firstly, I have been running! Though probably not as much as I should be in order to prepare for these races. Next weekend we are doing the St David’s Day races in Cardiff. I’m doing the 5k and Gideon is doing the 10k. I’m thinking the 5k will be absolutely fine. I know I can run 5k and I’ve done it several times in training, so no issues there. It certainly won’t break any records, but i’ll get around the course, and look at the swell medal they are giving out this year! Yes please!

Pic curtesy of St. Davids Day 10k fb page

The problem I think comes with the Winterpark 10k in Florida on March 25th. Again, another awesome medal- so I want to do it. However I’ve struggled to push my training up past the 5k distance as of late. I can’t really pinpoint why this is if i’m honest. It’s definitely part laziness, but also my legs seem incredibly stiff at the moment every time I go out, which doesnt help matters. I’m planning a 4 mile run tomorrow and I think if I can get that done comfortably then i’ll continue on training for it and hopefully do the race. Again it certainly won’t break any records, but I should get round. 

The only other thing that worries me about it is the heat. The last race we did in Florida was so so warm- unbearably so. I don’t know if I can cope with that again. Those were unseasonably high temperatures though, and this race does take place very early in the morning, so hopefully it won’t be quite so bad. But still, the thought of it does worry me somehow. We get there a week before the race, so plenty of time to aclimatise to the temps. I think the best option is just going to be to do some training runs and see what it’s like. If I can run comfortably in it then i’ll do the race, if I feel it’s to uncomfortable then I won’t, or i’ll walk it. 

Anyway. In 3 week’s we’ll be on a plane, which is so exciting. It’s come around so quickly and I just can’t wait to get out there now and have a proper holiday! Gid will have lots of London Marathon training to do, so we are hoping to get out on some of the new balance trails and do some reviews for you guys. We also have plenty of meals planned and are staying in a hotel we havent been to before, so expect plenty of disney related content when we get back!  So excited!!!!

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!

 

 

Countdown to Disney: 174 days to go!

With less than 6 months until our next trip to Walt Disney World the count down has well and truly began. This week, we have spent time booking some advanced dining reservations for our must-do dining spots around the park!

Dining reservations can be booked at 180 days in advance, and you better believe that some of the popular ones really do book up that quickly, so you need to get in there pronto! For guests staying on site like us, when you reach 180 days out from your vacation Disney will let you book advanced dining reservations (ADRs) for the first 10 days of your holiday!

This trip is one with the extended family who are going out a few days ahead of us. They were able to book some of the ADRs that we will be joining them for before we reached our 180 days. All I needed to do was book the meals we will be having ‘just the two of us’ once our 180 day mark came around!

Anyway, between us all we managed to get everything we wanted. Some of them are restaurants we have dined in before, some are completely new. We are also planning to go to a few places off-site this year, such as the cheesecake factory and crackerbarrel. However as we have a Disney dining plan included with our holiday, we’ll use this to eat most of our meals on site for free!

Ultimately this trip is to celebrate Gid and his twin brothers 30th Birthday, so some of the ressies we have made are for the whole family (7 of us) and some are for just myself and Gideon, on the days when we are all off doing different things, or on our last few days where everyone else will have already gone home:

Mama Melrose (Hollywood Studios) – We have booked Mama’s for our first night! We have been here twice before and absolutely love it. I’m sure I’ve said it before on this blog but they do the best Steak I have ever had in my life EVER. I dream about that Steak! Can’t wait to eat it again MMMMM!!

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Steak of my dreams mmmm!!

Coral Reef (EPCOT) – Again, love this restaurant. It’s a massive aquarium where you can see the sea turtles and sharks and rays swim past you as you eat. We have done this twice before as well but the whole fam is joining and I don’t think they have eaten here so it will be a first for them!

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Sea turtle swimming past our table at the Coral Reef. 

Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom) – The big 30th Birthday meal!

Kona Cafe (Polynesian Resort) – Gid and I are actually eating here twice, once for Breakfast and once for Dinner. There brekkie is incredible!

Paradiso 37 (Disney Springs) – Another one we have done before but which will be new for the rest of the family. Always a great atmosphere with live music!

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Awesome bar at Paradiso 37!

Sci Fi Dine in Theatre (Hollywood Studios) – This is a new one for us. I am looking forward to the awesome theming (booths shaped like cars) and trying their milkshakes!

Morimoto Asia (Disney Springs) – This was still being built last time we went!

Ohana (Polynesian Resort) – We had such a great meal at Ohana last trip we had to include it again this time!

Florida Homecoming Kitchen (Disney Springs) – Another newly built offering at Disney Springs. This is celebrity chef Art Smith’s restaurant. He is famous for his amazing fried chicken (apparently) and I LOVE fried chicken so I couldn’t pass this up!

Yak and Yeti (Animal Kingdom) – Always wanted to try this place and finally getting around to it!

T-Rex (Disney Springs) – This one is on Gid’s bucket list and as it’s his 30th Birthday trip I have decided to give it a go even though Dinosaurs freak me out!

California Grill (Contemporary Resort) – Something special for our final night! We’ll be able to watch wishes from the viewing spot!

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Fireworks from the Contemporary!

So fellow Disney nerds, tell me what you think? Have we made good choices? No doubt some of them may change in the next 174 days, but I’m pretty happy with what we’ve got! What’s your favourite Disney restaurants? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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!