Trying to stay positive – more Disney than running

Well I am a proper little snot factory. I have needed to take yesterday and today off work – I have a slight but persistent fever, a nasty cough,  the runniest nose ever and at the same time my sinuses are completely blocked causing my face to feel like it has been punched from the inside. Urgh. I can’t walk upstairs without a major coughing fit never mind run. I’m grumpy about it. I have been trying to cheer myself up with thinking about our Disney holiday and previous running successes. So just to remind myself that I now have two half marathons under my belt – ok so they are 2.5 ish years apart but never mind – here’s the proof

And to remind myself that there will be a fantastic medal at the end of it, here’s us showing off the bling after the 2013 half.

Half Marathon Medals 2013 (and a silly pose)
Half Marathon Medals 2013 (and a silly pose)

I’m excited about the holiday now. I paid the balance yesterday and now it feels real. I just printed off some bits and pieces – the final invoice showing the 0 balance, the tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba and all the dining reservations we’ve made so far. While I was looking for a couple of pictures from the half marathon I got sidetracked looking at the Disney pictures generally. Actually many of the pictures we have don’t really show the place – there are loads of us but here are some of the

places that I am very much looking forward to seeing again.

In other news, the weather has got autumnal. We lit a fire earlier for the first time and the change in weather has made me think about running through the winter. Unless it gets stupidly icey we are planning on going the distance outside. Neither of us likes the idea of training on a treadmill. I don’t want to miss the changing landscape and the chance to see winter wildlife going about its business.

I am a little concerned about clothes though. I have a couple of long sleeved runing tops and one which is a winter training top which I think will be ok and I think I will just need to get used to layers and taking something off part way through. Any tips?

Anyway, the only thing running here today is my nose so enough of my rambling

Getting carried away

I am getting over-excited. Perhaps it is that this evening I am finally starting to feel a bit better after after 3 days of feeling pretty crap, tired and miserable; perhaps it is because my visit to the osteopath seems to have sorted my leg and I am going to be able to have a go at the 11 miles tomorrow, perhaps it is because I have finally made some real progress with my teaching materials for the coming semester (I know I know but there is a week yet before induction week starts!). Whatever it is, I am getting carried away. In an attempt to make myself feel better yesterday I spent rather a long time looking at Disney stuff online.

Don’t judge me, I know, corporate America at its worst… I can’t help it. I believe in the magic that is Disney and I get excited about our trip. I spent a while looking at what I’d like to do at the parks. I’m not a big rollercoaster fan, I get motion sick really easily and thrill seeking has never appealed to me. I do like a little rollercoaster type fun though and the Seven Dwarf Mine Train looks fun – it’s new since we last went so I have no idea what it’ll be like but I’m looking forward to trying it. It always takes me a couple of walk-pasts before I decide I do want to go on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. That’s probably my rollercoaster limit (pathetic, I know) and I have to be in the right mood for it. I might not do this until after the marathon! I’m always scared of tweaking my back or something – is that actually likely? And then if I am feeling really brave which in my stupid over excited state this evening I am, I will ‘Blast off on a rip-roaring rocket through the darkest reaches of outer space’  and get myself onto Space Mountain. I have done that before and enjoyed it – I think it’s because I can’t see what’s coming and have no option but to go with it.

I’m also scared of heights so was only persuaded to go onto the Astro Orbiter on our final day of the last trip (which was January 2013 by the way – we don’t do this often!) and I actually really enjoyed it – it was lovely to have the views across the park and back towards our hotel. So I won’t wait until the last day this time! I could go on and on with other rides but I will stick to the Magic Kingdom for now or this will be a very long post. I am excited about walking over from our hotel once we’ve arrived and just wandering through the Magic Kingdom. I am excited about not being cold in January. I am excited about walking up Mainstreet USA and then just seeing where our feet take us. Ok, yes, I am just excited!

But I am not there to have fun, well not only to have fun. I am there to run. I’m there to run the RunDisney Disney World of course I got carried away and excited about that too. I got sidetracked looking at all the info on the RunDisney site and came across this pacing chart

Half Marathon
Full Marathon

So the  full chart actually starts at 6 minutes per mile but that is just stupid pace so I cut it down a bit. In 2013 we completed the half marathon in just under 3.5 hours – so very very slow but then we hadn’t really trained –  we’d never made it past 10km. I am looking at our pace now – 12.55 minutes per mile for the 9 miles the other week with a bit left in the tank at the end – and wouldn’t it be just amazing to complete our upcoming half marathon in under 3 hours – maybe even closer to 2 hours 45 mins than 3 hours? And then aim for a marathon finish somwherere between 5.5 and 6 hours. I get quite giddy at the thought of that. Too giddy. This was never about a time, this is just meant to be getting round and enjoying it. But, but.. but just look, the time allowed is 16 minutes per mile. Even on our slowest days we are significantly faster than that. I MAY NOT COME LAST! OMG I may actually not come last.

Getting Excited About Disney

I don’t quite understand why I like Disney World. I am not a massive Disney film fan, I hate all that is corporate America and I don’t even really like theme parks and yet there is something. Escapism. I like that for the duration of your stay magic really does exist and anything is possible. I know how that sounds, I know it makes no sense but there you have it. I am excited about going to Disney World and I am exctied about running at Disney World.

We’ve spent some time over the last week or so looking at places to eat and decided to book a few places for those meals where timing and type of food might be most important – the day before our run and the day of our run. As we have signed up for both the half and the full marathon to keep our options open (we are obviously aiming for the full) we  have booked dinner before both as well as somewhere to go once we’re done and have done the initial re-fuel at the race retreat.

If you are not in the slightest bit interested in Disney, stop reading now or skip right to the end. Here’s what we’ve booked with the running in mind:

Dinner the evening before the Half Marathon (which is Plan B but dinner will be lovely whatever!): Dinner at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. I think we have previously only had breakfast here but I may be wrong. The buffet makes sense because we can both choose what we want and they have plenty of runner friendly food to choose from.

The day of the half marathon (which is also the day before the marathon!) –  Breakfast – we have booked the race retreat so will see what our fuelling experiments discover. It may be that we have some peanut butter on toast or it may be that we have a banana or it may be that we take our own stuff to Florida with us. If we are not running, we’ll just have breakfast in the Wave at our hotel – should be ok not booking. Dinner is booked early at Tony’s, also in the Magic Kingdom – we both like it here and pasta seems like an excellent plan before the marathon (or just generally!). If we have run the half then we will add an early lunch in somewhere but we’ll book that nearer the time if we need to.

Marathon Day – Breakfast – we’re not messing about with trying out new stuff on the day. We have the race retreat so – as with the half, if they do stuff we have trialled and are happy with we may take advanatage of it, if not, we’ll have something with us. We will also be able to re-fuel at the race retreat immediately after the run which will be great. There’s no point in booking lunch – I might well still be running (crawling?). Instead we’d like to take advantage of the cool down party at Downtown Disney and celebrate what will hoepfully be an amazing running success. We have booked a table for early dinner at the Boathouse which looks like the perfect place for a celebration. If all goes well we should have plenty of time for a post-run bath and little snooze before heading over to the restaurant to eat. After dinner we’ll see – party or bed?

For the day after the marathon we have booked breakfast at the Crystal Palace – I like the breakfast here  – it’s a nice atmosphere and lovely building (try and hide the bacon from piglet!) and it is within crawling distance of our hotel but will make us leave the hotel and walk a little bit even if we are very sore.

Looking through the restaurants, reading the reviews, scanning menus and booking a few meals was fun but also a little scary. It is all getting to be a bit real now. This is happening. We are actually doing this. It’s more than just planning a holiday somehow. It’s hard to explain but the planning and looking what we might do and see around the marathon weekend keeps me motivated. I want the trip to be special and the running is part of that and I want to come back having successfully tackled the distance and having enjoyed it. Keeping that in mind helps with the ‘nah I’ll go tomorrow instead’ feeling.

I feel differently about the running now than I did a couple of months ago even. I don’t feel more confident exactly, I still have my demons, my ‘you silly fat cow, you can’t run’ voice and I often think it is absolutely right but I also have a slightly obsessive determination now. I’ve gone from ‘wouldn’t it be hilarious if I actually managed to do this’ to ‘ I am going to do this’. That’s not to say that the idea of me running a marathon isn’t utterly ridiculous, it is. It absolutely is – but somehow that really doesn’t matter. After all, it’s Disney. There’s nothing that can’t be achieved with a bit of fairy dust.