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! 🙂

Walt Disney World GoPro Pics!

On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I was fortunate enough to be lent a GoPro (Hero) to play with by family! I’ve never used a GoPro before, so it was great to test it out and see what it’s capable of (incase I decide I might want my own). I used it to record some videos, but also to take some still shots, using the single photo and burst options.

I have to say, it was very bizarre taking photos without any kind of view finder/digital screen. You were basically shooting in the dark –  just point it in the right direction and hope that it turns out ok. Most of the shots I took were utterly terrible. When I uploaded them onto my Mac when I got home it reminded me of how it used to be when you used to have to take your film to a developer, and then when you got the prints back you were rather disappointed that they weren’t better. I did get some nice ones however, and I thought I’d share the best ones with you here!

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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!!!!

Things you do when your sick and you can’t exercise.

A friend asked me recently if I was still running or if it was just Gideon. I AM still running… I’m not doing the London Marathon, but I am running a couple of times a week and lightly training for my 5k and 10k races coming up in March. Honestly, I just haven’t been shouting about it that much because I figured one person’s training recap is enough – but if you want to hear mine as well let me know in the comments!

I was running anyway, until Tuesday, where I came down with what I assume is flu. I am not talking about a common cold here, the way some people say “I have flu” (something I regretabbly have said many times – never again) when they really just have the sniffles. I am talking about the worst and longest viral infection I can ever remember having endured. I started feeling a bit naff last weekend, my head was stuffy, but I went to work Monday and struggled through feeling rough. Monday night I came home and just gradually felt worse and worse and went to bed early. Tuesday I woke up and everything hurt. I had the worst headache I have ever had in my life, my neck was stiff, my body was achy, I had a crazy fever and was absolutely boiling even though it was like 2 degrees outside. I even had to turn OFF the heating because I was that warm (and our heating is not on for long anyway or on high). I called in sick to work (because there was just no way – none) and continued to feel like I’d been hit by a bus until Saturday. On Saturday, I just felt exhausted, and today I feel a little weak (and still have a cough and stuffed up ears), but mostly back to normal so I’m glad it’s finally gone, and I can’t believe it took so bloody long! So no running for me this week.

As a loving wife, I have lovingly passed it on to Gideon as you do. He’s currently in the full throngs of feeling as if a bus hit you, and is very upset because he had his 13.1 miles planned for this weekend which will now have to be pushed back.

So what do you do when you are sick and you can’t run? Well besides rest, sleep and hydrate there have been a couple of things we have done to ease the misery of not being able to go outside/exercise/interact with the rest of the world!

Watch youtube videos about our upcoming races:

We have done a fair bit of this in the last few days. Gideon has been watching  go-pro videos from the London Marathon. I’ve been looking at the Winterpark 10k videos to get an idea of where we will be running in March. It’s a good way to keep the motivation up and help us feel a little prepared so we don’t lose it completely!

Online shop for new running gear:

Window shop (I should say). We haven’t brought anything but we have done a lot of looking for new gear. It’s fun to dream.

Find out some of the specifics:

This has been a good time to look into the specifics of certain races we will be running. What gels do they have on course? (so we can get some to practice with and hence decide if we need to carry our own or just use the ones provided), what time does the race start? (so what time do we have to get up, leave the house/hotel etc.) Is there somewhere to park? (if so, where, does it cost money). You get the idea.

Plan our next Disney trip:

As well as running videos we have watched a lot of Disney World videos ready for our next trip in 54 days (eee) and finalised some of our plans such as fast-passes, online check-in and dinner reservations. It’s been fun to look forward to something and take our minds off the misery of being sick. See you soon Mickey!

Anyway – we’ll be back out running again in a few days hopefully – once we both feel 100% better. I have learnt that there is no point in rushing things after you have been ill, and as annoying as it’s been to lose a week, in the grand scheme of things I don’t think it will put to much of a dent into our training.

What do you do when your sick and can’t run? Let us know in the comments!

Menu Monday: Peppermint Bark 

Got some leftover candy canes from the Christmas period and want something fun to do with them? Make peppermint bark! It’s as simple as melting some chocolate and crushing some candy canes, and you’ll end up with a delicious chocolatey pepperminty treat!

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We first had peppermint bark on a trip to Disney World in 2015. It was a Christmas treat they were selling in the Magic Kingdom main street confectionary during Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party, so making it always reminds me of a lovely snow-filled Main Street USA!

You will need:

  • A baking tray
  • Tin foil
  • Saucepan and a bowl which will sit on-top of it
  • Milk and white chocolate for melting (4 standard size bars of each should be enough for an average size baking tray – our baking tray was mini so we just used 2 of each)
  • Leftover candy canes
  1. First, cover your baking tray with tin foil, then place to the side.
  2. Break your milk chocolate into your bowl and bring half a saucepan of water to the boil.
  3. Place your bowl of chocolate onto your saucepan and stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon until it’s completely melted.
  4. Once melted, pour your chocolate onto your foil lined baking tray (carefully; the bowl will be hot) and smooth out into one even layer.
  5. Leave the melted chocolate to cool a bit (around 20 minutes should do it).
  6. Whilst waiting for the chocolate to cool, gently crush your candy canes into small pieces with a rolling pin or similar and put to one side.
  7. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with your white chocolate, then pour it onto the milk chocolate and carefully spread it out so it covers the milk chocolate layer.
  8. Sprinkle your crushed candy canes onto your chocolate and refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened.
  9. Once cool, peel the chocolate from the foil and break into pieces!

Walla! You have peppermint bark! Now eat and enjoy!

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Word of warning, this melts pretty quickly once you start touching it – so expect to get sticky fingers!

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!