Disneyland Paris races

c971001771Ok, so maybe it is time. Maybe there is enough distance between me and the Disneyland Paris half marathon. Maybe I have regained my sense of humour about the trip. The travel to Paris was pretty miserable. The flight was delayed because a passenger had to be taken off the plane because she was too drunk. As a result we missed the train and then because of the amazingly rude and unhelpful staff at the train station we missed the next one, too. Then we had to rush getting to the expo and that was just not as slick as we were used to from Florida – we had to queue at 6 different places and then a 7th to get th8419e742-9fca-4ba0-8c12-490574265153e photo pass.

The party on the Friday evening was also a bit rubbish but we had a little wander round the
theme park and Kath went on a roller coaster but basically I think we were grumpy. When the alarm went off on Saturday morning we were both tempted to just not run the 5k and stay in bed instead. We hadn’t slept. But we pulled on our gear, headed downstairs in the hotel for the breakfast they put on and then walked to the start area. We waited a little while but they seemed to send us off in waves in pretty quick succession. I am so glad we got out of bed because I had a great time on the 5k. We ran it all slowly and I spent the entire time looking around in wonder. It was just fun and the magic and sparkle was most definitely back. Towards the end we dived in for a picture with spiderman. There wasn’t a queue so we thought, why the hell not. Up until then we’d just 2ce2f72a-6aad-4915-8420-19914ef7ecb4been taking it all in, didn’t feel like we wanted to stop for pictures really. Loved that race! And loved the selfie with Paula Radcliffe after, too. Not sharing that as I didn’t ask her if I could.

After the 5k we went for breakfast, the proper version, and then spent a bit of time in the parks. We were tired though so had a little nap in the afternoon before heading for the Wild West show. I quite enjoyed that actually – I loved watching the horsemanship. The food was pretty average though. We had the runners’ menu which was basically a stuffed chicken breast and lots of sloppy rice.

When I got up on Sunday morning I felt nervous as hell. I knew I wasn’t ready. We went for breakfast again  – with our porridge pots this time – I barely got half of mine down. We went back to 3b16696e-7cbb-4867-a606-7bbc4eac40b8the room to use the loo before heading over to the start area. My tummy felt a bit dodgy – nerves, I figured. As I pulled my pants up againI noticed that I had a hole in them along the seam of the inner thigh. I quickly changed them and put the ones I’d worn for te 5k on again. Then we headed off. We seemed to stand around for a very long time. Once we did set off it became very clear that I was going to need to use the loo as soon as we got to one.

That theme basically continued and every time we stopped for the loo I felt a little better for a little bit and it was ok and then pressure built up again and I felt very uncomfortable for most of the 13.1 miles. I barely did any running at all really. Actually the route was quite nice although it was a good job it was dry – there were areas that would have been very slippery and/or muddy if it had rained. Some bits were also quite narrow which might have caused some of the faster runners problems. By the time we got there, there weren’t that many people around any more! As we turned the corner into the finishing area Chariots of Fire music started playing so I got my act together and ran the last bit. It was miserable. I do not need to have that many toilet stops during a half marathon ever again. My tummy finally started feeling normal again when we got home on Monday.

So there you have it- I finished it because I wanted the bling and because there was no way I had paid the stupid amount of money we paid for the trip and not come home with the medals. The next one will be better!

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We spent time in the parks after, getting a little competitive blasting evil aliens and showing off our medals – and stopping at every bloody toilet in the parks.

In other news – 3 miles in the bag today. It was ok, surprisingly warm for October.

Getting Ready for Disney Paris

Right, 2 weeks today we will have trotted our way round the Disneyland Paris 5km run and will be chilling out somewhere getting ready for the half marathon. I haven’t written much about the trip. I’ve been pre-occupied with leaving my old job and starting my new job (it’s been good – see here) and generally getting better. So it’s about time!

We set off on Friday lunchtime. We fly from Leeds/Bradford airport and land at Paris CDG airport shortly after 4pm and then we’ll jump on the train out to Disney. We’ll check into our hotel which is the Disney’s Hotel New York.

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Photo from Disneylandparis.co.uk

After check-in we’ll head over to the Expo to pick up our race packs and have a little look at the merchandise. I don’t need anything so it’s just about getting a little souvenir to take home and mark the achievement. After the expo we have tickets to the Inaugural party. The website calls it a magical evening not to be missed and says it is a

‘unique, private party, on Friday, September 23rd, 2016, at the Walt Disney Studios® Park. Disney Characters will be there, and you will have exclusive access to the main attractions and different catering offers’

It should be fun and means that we don’t really have to think about where to eat or book a table or any of that. After the party it’ll be bed and then the 5km race starts at 7am on Saturday followed by breakfast. We’ve never been to Disneyland Paris so we’ll have a wonder around but also take it easy, maybe have some time at the hotel pool, just relax and rest and hydrate – lots of hydrating – for Sunday morning. In the evening we have tickets to Buffalo Bills Wild West Show – the 6.30pm show is exclusively for runners and their families and they are offering a runners’ menu. We have made our food choices but I can’t remember what we ordered – I’ll dig out the email and add it to our travel docs!

Sunday will be another early wake-up call. 7 am start for the 13.1 miles and apparently the hotels are extending breakfast time for runners so we will be able to go eat properly after the run which is great but they will also offer a light breakfast for anyone who wants to eat something before – we’ll be taking porridge pots but maybe a banana would also be good.

We have no further plans really and we have 3 day park hopper tickets so we can use them Saturday, Sunday and Monday and we fly home just before 5pm Monday so we’ll have the morning at least. I’m looking forward to it, all of it, the trip, the running, the escapism…

Anyway – 11 miles await tomorrow and then we taper – or in our case, we try really hard to get our butts out for the short runs!

 

 

So that’s it then

Training done. We went for our last training run earlier today. Just over 6 miles and then we walked the 3 miles ish back home after having coffee at the Bingley 5 Rise Locks Cafe with our friend.

I feel a bit lost. The next time I lace up those trainers I will be running Disney! I’ve got a couple of posts lined up for while I’m away  – a couple of review type posts – but the next time I blog and post immediately will be after the marathon on 10th January.

See you on the other side!

The morning after a taper run

Paranoid much? Yep! It is the day after a 6 mile run and I’m a week and a half away from the Walt Disney World Marathon. Let’s just be clear, I am fine. I can’t feel any after effects from the run and yet with every step that isn’t 100% steady, with every little twist and every time I am aware of a muscle, part of me just freezes and goes ‘was that a tweak, is my hamstring tight, that wasn’t my hip flexor was it, oh goodness, my calf muscle…’ And then it hit me. I am going to have to travel to London on the train, sit in a theatre, get on a flight and spend a few days in the resort with OTHER PEOPLE. Just think of the germs, just think of how much more likely it is that I’ll catch a bug. What if I get ill…

But there’s no time for this paranoid nonsense. It is what it is. Our travel documents arrived.

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This sent me into excitement overdrive which required a little dance round the living room and a shriek or two. I know, I know, im a 37 year old professional woman…. Who cares, I’m excited. I have basically packed – couple of bits and pieces still need washing/ironing- and I am probably taking too much. I have loaded my iPad with books although I am not sure when I am going to read them. We have so much fun stuff planned that with all of that and the running I can’t see myself spending much time just lounging about!

Breakfasts and Dinners are booked, various lists of lunch locations, rides, activities etc we want to do have been made, US dollars have arrived, credit card companies notified we will be abroad, mothers are primed to look after the house and all our critters (they just move in so the cats have company!) all the pre travel stuff  for the US is done and I even know where my passport is. I am good to go!

Again today I am more excited than terrified. I think it might be because I am beginning to realise that this is really happening and it is happening now. I am going to do this thing and all that I can do now is trust in the training I’ve done. It’s too late to do anything else. Fuelling sort of starts now, the focus is on making a conscious effort to drink more water and on eating healthily to make sure we don’t put on any weight – 26.2 miles is a long way to carry an extra pound or two.

Anyway, I have more lists to write and a suitcase to re-pack several more times over the next few days and I need to do some yoga to make sure that really isn’t my hip flexor niggling…. Oh and the weather forecast is predicting marathon day to be the hottest of our trip. Lovely.

The Official Race stuff

First a quick sponsorship update – we are over half way on our JustGiving site and have a couple of pledges offline. Thank you! You can donate by clicking here.

I mentioned in my last post that the race guide has been released and the corral info is now also available so I was a little bit (ok, a lot) excited. It felt like the first day in weeks that  was not somehow dulled by the fog of depression. I ended up having a pretty good day with a 6 mile run and doing some useful stuff like sorting out expenses claims that have been lying around for ages. I was going to do more but I ran out of ‘brave’ pretty quickly – still, progress.

Anyway, the race guide etc:

When I ran the half marathon all I really wanted to do was make sure I didn’t have to start right at the back for this marathon. And look at this, I am in corral J based on the the half marathon time I set at the end of September. So so pleased with this

Corrals

The event guide is 36 A 4 pages… I keep picking it up every now and again and sometimes I giggle with excitement and sometimes I just wimper.

Mickey event guide
Snapshot from the cover of the event guide

The guide contains all the info we’ll need, like start times, recommended arrival time, transport options… It’s all there. Here are some of my highlights, scary things and ‘oh my goodness’ moments

  1. The Marathon starts at 5.30am, transport starts at 3am
  2. The Cool Down Party starts at 2pm – I will just about have finished the marathon!
  3. We have to pick up race packets at the expo and the floor plan for that looks insane. Kath will have to get one of those toddler leads for me so I don’t accidentally wander off!
  4. The Pasta in the Park Party we’re going to on the Thursday before includes a viewing of the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot from a reserved viewing area. I probably knew that when we booked but had forgotten
  5. They say there will be clocks at every mile marker – nothing like keeping the pressure on!
  6. 19 water stations, 5 food stops (bananas, Clif products and candy at 22.5 miles), sponges at mile 17.1.
  7. The Course. Oh the course. Of course there are long stretches along the road etc but basically we go from the Epcot parking lot to and through the Magic Kingdom, to and through the Animal Kingdom, to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and on to Hollywood Studios and finally to the finish in Epcot. If I can do a marathon then it will be here. Course map below.
  8. Disney bans selfie-sticks. That makes me very happy
  9. There will be photographers everywhere on course – so there will be evidence of this total and utter madness.Course map.jpg

So reading all this has given me a bit of a final boost. Body and mind have been pushed quite hard over the last few weeks and now there is only one long run left before we do this for real. I am more excited than petrified – but it’s a fine line!