Ohboyohboyohboy!!! What with me being so behind on my posts, I probably came across as uncharacteristically quiet about my plans, but after last year’s Run Disney adventure it was quite clear that “one and done” wasn’t going to be in our vocabulary and way back in late 2018 we made our booking for the 2019 Magic Run Weekend at Disneyland Paris. The difference is that with better knowledge of the logistics, we were able to enter both the 10k and half marathon. Also, my sister joined us this time. Separate posts are in the works for both races, but there was more to the weekend than that so I’ll cover those aspects in my roundup of that particular week.
Much of the week, of course, was business as usual as there was the small matter of work to go to, but a Disney trip to look forward to really does put a spring in the step!
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 4 miles + PT session with Steve
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 3.8 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – travel to Disneyland Paris
Saturday – Disneyland Paris 10k
Sunday – Disneyland Paris half marathon
There was no Hatha yoga on Monday since my teacher was away on holiday so I took the time to do a little home practice then relax. My mission for the week was to get to bed sharp each night as I knew the weekend would be super busy and tiring.
On Tuesday I ran my usual 4 mile route and kept the pace nice and easy. No real need to run fast, more an opportunity to keep my legs ticking over before the weekend. I mean, realistically my distances would be pretty similar to an average weekend, it was just going to take me much longer as I fully intended to stop for lots of character photos!
Then that evening there was time for one last workout down in Steve’s studio. This time it was a combination of TRX, press ups and weights for my arm workout.
Wednesday was a rest day and the evening I had set aside to pack (although to be honest, I had been as good as packed since the weekend so it was more finalising my packing – and ensuring there were no cats in my suitcase 😹) Note: this case was to do BOTH of us (as in me and Steve, not me and the cat ha!) and was pretty empty on the way to Paris!
On Thursday I still went for a run but opted for a loop I like which is under 4 miles. This one was really more about consistency and movement than any actual preparation for the weekend. It was a chance to run things through in my head and be sure I had everything organised as I didn’t really have any further opportunity to go through my suitcase again.
I made it to my Ashtanga class in the evening. Still really frustrated with my headstand and I know I keep writing about that but it is bothering me now that I no longer seem able to do something that I was doing before. I am still certain that the problem is a mental block rather than a physical issue, I just can’t figure out how to resolve it. Happy to take suggestions!
After yoga I whizzed off to get my nails done ready for the weekend. I was so pleased that my colour choice would suit BOTH of my running costumes for the weekend 🙂
Friday was a work day but it was one of those days that I just wanted to get through so I could be on my way. Since nobody else lives near me I drove myself in with my hand luggage and the plan was to leave my car in the work car park and pick it up on our return on Sunday – basically work became an airport car park for the occasion! Steve picked me up with our suitcase at the end of the day and we drove straight to the airport, parked in our pre-booked car park and headed on through security.
Our flight was scheduled for 6:30pm so we made sure to get some dinner at the airport while we were waiting. I chose this pizza which actually had broccoli on it! Not as good as the pizza Steve makes, but good enough.
The flight was actually slightly delayed but we had a taxi booked to take us up to Disney so it wasn’t too bad (last year we had a shared taxi booked so it caused a major headache, this one was much easier although we were charged an additional fee for being after 10pm – d’oh!).
A highlight of the flight was seeing the Eiffel Tower all lit up among the lights of Paris – one of my favourite sights to see. Other than that it was fairly uneventful and we were through passport control and in our taxi family swiftly. I think it only took about half an hour to get to our hotel (we stayed in the Santa Fe this time) and I think I spent most of it communicating with my sister. She had travelled earlier in the day, checked us in to the hotel and collected all our race packs at the expo, meaning all we had to do was find our room and head to bed ready for an early start the following day.
The Santa Fe is one of the budget hotels and themed to the Cars movies. Although a budget hotel it had everything we were going to need (it’s not like we were going to be in the room other than to sleep!) and was perfectly comfortable. I only took a few photos as my sister had already put stuff around the room, but you get the idea.
Saturday was an early start as the race began at 7am and Steve and I had scored bibs for corral A (my sister was further back). Breakfast (that is to say first breakfast since runners get 2 breakfasts on race day!) started at 5am so we were up and changed into our running costumes ready to head over there for the back of 5. So long as you show your race bib, runners hand over their breakfast vouchers and are given a wrist band to allow them a second breakfast post-race. For some reason I thought it would just be continental breakfast options out for the early breakfast, but the cooked options were out too. I stuck to pastries and things for my first one though.
After breakfast we stopped briefly by our room again since it was on the way to the start, then I got my first sight of the expo/race HQ. Since Steve would be the fastest, we put anything we needed into his kit bag and he dropped it off. We also got a couple of photos before heading over to the start line.
The race itself was AMAZING. I will definitely write a separate post otherwise this one will be an epic, but suffice it to say I ran my slowest 10k of all time and enjoyed every single second.
Post-race we made our way back to the expo. I had made sure I had money with me as I (obviously) wanted to buy ALL THE THINGS and making my purchases at this point saved a bit of time in our day. My sister had collected the pins I pre-ordered when she picked up our race packs, but I wanted to grab a couple of race souvenirs and had my eye on a couple of general souvenirs which I figured I could buy then and return to the room so I wouldn’t have to cart them about with me.
We also had to have our second breakfast back at the hotel, which this time I made into three courses – cured meats to start, bacon and scrambled eggs for the main (somehow I neglected to photograph that) and pastries again for dessert. I’ve said it before, but I take hotel breakfasts VERY seriously!
The rest of the day was all about the theme parks. We started in the Walt Disney Studios to do a couple of things then made our way over to the main park. We wore our 10k T-shirts and race medals so we could get some cool pictures. It was a warm day – I would have been fine in shorts! – so the parks were really busy but we still managed to do a lot.
We had originally planned to stay for the fireworks but we reached a point were we realised we weren’t going to get on any other rides so were just hanging around for a couple of hours for the fireworks. Much as I wanted to see them, we were all tired so decided the sensible thing to do would be to head back to the hotel and get a decent sleep before another early start and a longer race the following morning. It was a shame not to see the fireworks, but I’m actually glad we made this decision..
Our routine on Sunday was similar – get dressed, have first breakfast, head over to the start and put our things in Steve’s kit bag. The only thing to deal with was that we hadn’t been able to secure a late check out so Steve was going to return and put our luggage in the baggagerie and have his second breakfast (I sacrificed second breakfast to get photos in the main park after the race) then come back to meet us. This worked pretty well although it would have been much easier if a late check out had been available. We did ask several times but they just couldn’t do it for us.
Again, a separate post will follow on the race. I think I smiled round the whole thing and had the best time – I even managed to go slower than last year despite being in a much better place fitness-wise, so you can tell I stopped lots!
It was a really quick run into the main park for some photos afterwards, but there was no way I was missing these shots with my haul of Disney bling!
Once we were all done, we got ourselves organised in the hotel toilets then got on the Magic Shuttle back to the airport. A whistlestop visit once again, but such good fun. I can’t wait to do it again!
What makes a race special for you?
Have you/would you run in a Disney event or other race where costumes are encouraged?