Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 62

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding the weekends are getting just a tiny bit more interesting. After all these months of not having very much to do, it’s been refreshing (if a little tiring!) to have something planned, even if it is just a small thing. I had a great week of running – including a virtual race – so here’s the breakdown:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.25 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich + SUP yoga
Sunday – 13.1 miles

On Monday morning it was POURING! I usually use my Monday morning recovery run to get started on finding the new list of items on the weekly scavenger hunt, but it was so miserable that I didn’t want to stop and take photos! Instead I focused on noting/thinking about where some items might be for later in the week, that way I could complete the run as swiftly as possible. I did stop for one picture as I ran by what is usually a gentle waterfall looking like this:

But on this day looked like this:

It was so wet that I left a towel and my dressing gown at the front door so that I could strip my soggy kit off as soon as I got in and stay warm while I grabbed a drink before getting in the shower. Yup, that bad!

My work day was fairly standard, but once home it was time for my yoga class via Zoom. The weekly check-in with all the “yoga pets” is a highlight of the week!

It was also time to start a new tv programme again, so once Steve and I were settled we watched the first episode of The Pact. Looks like there are going to be a lot of secrets to uncover!

Thankfully the weather was much better on Tuesday morning. I really enjoyed my run as not only was I doing some serious scavenger hunting, I was also listening to another of TIna Muir’s “together run” podcast episodes. I do really enjoy the sense of community these bring in what has been a very isolating time, and she has been including more and more to build on that, starting recently with including some strides in the run and in this one, taking a picture wherever we were at the point she said. I had really hoped to be by the river when she asked for the photo but I was still a couple of minutes up the road so ended up with a picture by the old city hall which is undergoing development work right now. I’m not a fan of this building (it’s been rather controversial around here for years) but the most important thing was taking part and adding my picture to the others to create that community feel.

After work I managed to arrive home at a decent time and Steve took me through a quick living room workout (this time last year I was definitely having workouts in the garden but it really hasn’t been nice enough for that yet). It was a combination of resistance band exercises for upper body and some press ups. I know I need to try and pick up my workouts again so as not to lose the strength I built whilst working from home. That said, I was pleased to finish and head off to do some yoga upstairs before dinner.

I laid my running kit out for the morning, but a quick check of the weather forecast later in the evening revealed a bit of a change and all of a sudden it looked like to might be wet on Wednesday morning. I left out a wet weather kit option, but as it turned out it was perfectly dry when my alarm went off.

Setting off down the hill my eye was caught by a movement in the land off to the right so I glanced over and saw a beautiful deer. They are often in that area but it’s been a while since I spotted one through the greenery, and this one stood for ages with its eyes meeting mine. I had my phone handy so was able to grab a picture, but otherwise stayed still and quiet, enjoying the early morning encounter with nature. It really put me in a good mood for my run.

I had a pretty productive day so treated myself to the luxury of leaving work by 5pm and arrived home to find that Steve was out meeting a client so I had about half an hour to get myself organised and keep on listening to the podcast I had on in the car. Of course when Steve arrived there was a lateral flow test to do, then a little yoga before dinner. It actually felt like quite a relaxing evening and I’m really starting to notice how light the evenings are – it is nearly June despite the weather looking like March!

Thursday morning turned out to be a little more eventful than I had anticipated. It all started fine as I got up and organised to run, with plans to join the most recent of Tina’s “together runs”. This time it included a workout of 5×1 minute pickups, which I intended to do as form drills. So far, so good.

I headed off into town, thinking to loop around the bridges and home again, and enjoying the 1 minute form drill efforts. Until disaster struck. Or, to be more precise, I somehow fell over my own feet like a clumsy clot!

Yes, I fell over. Again. Not that it’s something I make a habit of, but you may remember that day early last summer when I tripped on a kerb and went down like a sack of spuds, skinning my knee, taking a chunk out of the heel of my hand and wounding my pride. Nothing quite so dramatic this time, but as I was in a recovery phase of the drills (a JOG ffs!) I somehow managed to catch my foot and took a slow motion, but rather graceless, tumble to the tarmac. The heel of my opposite hand bore the brunt this time, with a graze that meant I had a stinging hand for the rest of my run (and me cursing my choice of a white top since the graze was bleeding – thankfully it was ok and I spared myself a laundry nightmare later). There was no other reason not to carry on, and I was almost 2 miles from home, so I made an adjustment to my planned route and started along a return path so I could get my wound washed out sooner rather than later. I’m absolutely fine, just irritated that I somehow contrived to fall again. Sometimes I am so clumsy!

My day picked up when I arrived at work and was treated to the school therapy dog joining my first period lesson again. She was much more settled this time and a little less of a novelty for the class who definitely found it a bit easier to focus, but I had to laugh at her choosing an otherwise silent classroom to start gnawing loudly on a chew toy haha!

Thankfully the rest of the day passed without incident and I made it safely home to a little yoga in the living room while Steve was on a client call, then I took the chance to relax with a couple of vlogs before dinner.

After taking a tumble on Thursday I definitely took more care on my Friday run. I went for a simple out-and-back and was pleased to be able to opt for a T-shirt for the second day in a row. Dare I hope for more summer-like weather?

And a little highlight from work was a cupcake from one of my seniors. It was delicious!

Arriving home from work I had time for a quick living room workout (resistance band) before a really relaxing yoga session. We then spent the evening watching the last couple of episodes of The Pact. I really enjoyed it – lots of twists and turns as more secrets were revealed.

Waking up on Saturday morning I knew I had another reasonably exciting weekend ahead of me. I began with a little reading in bed then headed out for my run, including a (not)parkrun sandwiched in the middle. From the weekly (not)parkrun results email which gets sent out I had noticed that this was going to be week 50 of (not)parkrun. It was also going to be my 50th (not)parkrun so for once in my life I was prepared and looked out my 50 milestone T-shirt to wear.

I kept the pace comfortable for this run as I was planning a bit more intensity for the following day, but it was a good leg stretch nonetheless.

Post-run there was time for a quick bite to eat then I got changed and headed off to the outdoor centre for a SUP yoga session. The weather by this point was warm and sunny so I was finally able to wear my shorty wetsuit (and felt pretty warm in it!). I could have stayed out on that paddleboard for hours soaking up the sunshine, but all too soon the session was over and it was time to head home.

Since the sun was still out I decided to get changed, put on some sunscreen and spend some time sitting in the garden. Our garden is a bit of a mess right now as we’re midway through a project to get it feeling like a nice space to be in, but I was still able to find myself a spot in the sunshine to relax. Steve was out, but when he arrived home we decided to have a nice cold beer in the sunshine – it really felt like summer! It was an intriguing beer since it was marketed as “carbon negative”. Wow!

When the sun disappeared I headed in and enjoyed a nice bath, then we settled down to watch something I was super excited about: the Friends reunion. I loved it! So good to see the cast back together again to reminisce and look back to some favourite episodes. In these days of on-demand tv it seems so strange now to remember the clifhanger endings to the seasons and having to wait months to find out what happened next. I’m always a little envious when pupils tell me that they are starting to watch Friends as they have all that great content ahead of them.

I was also able to open up my latest delivery from Disney which had arrived while I was enjoying the sunshine:

I made sure to get a good night’s sleep as on Sunday I had an actual event planned. Ok, it was a virtual event, but I was treating it pretty seriously and wanted to give myself the best chance to run well.

Earlier in the month I had decided to enter the virtual Edinburgh half marathon event, having taken part virtually last year as well (I logged my 2020 run in September). With that benchmark in place (I hadn’t really “raced” that one) I wanted to see if I could sustain a harder run and log a faster time over a similar route.

Of course I began by laying out my kit for that authentic race day experience:

And set off on my route. The sun was out and it was set to get pretty warm. Typical! I spent all that time wishing for warmer weather and it came along out of the blue right when a cooler day would have been ideal. I set off fairly swiftly and wasn’t sure if I would be able to sustain a brisk pace in the hot sun, so was really pleased when I was able to complete my run in under 2 hours. I was GASPING for a drink by the end, but I made it!

On a bit of a runner’s high, I suggested to Steve that we add an additional errand to our Sunday afternoon roster and after getting the food shopping we called in at the retail park to see about getting the garden furniture set we had been eyeing up. I was really conscious that garden stuff was getting pretty hard to come by and with the combination of nice weather and a bank holiday weekend in the UK, I didn’t want to leave it any longer. Fortunately, we were in luck. Although the set we wanted was gone, the one on display was still there and we were offered it at a discount. The condition was fine (and let’s face it, it’s going to mostly sit out in the elements) so we went for it. It will be perfectly fine for the time being and makes it much easier to grab a seat in the garden on a nice day.

To celebrate, we enjoyed a cold beer in the sunshine, accompanied by a sweet treat.

I then stayed in the sunshine to finish up my book. This one spanned the post-war years and followed the main character through Prague in the 1980s, Berlin in the 1990s and present day Paris, taking in the effects of the communist regime on people’s lives. It was a good read.

Eventually Steve told me that playtime was over and it was time to go in for my tea haha! We also wanted to watch the finale of the most recent series of This Is Us. I won’t spoil it, but if you’re a fan you won’t be surprised to know that it ended with a bit of a surprise to keep us hooked for the sixth and final series. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds!

And as ever, I finished my weekend with a relaxing bath. In real terms there aren’t too many teaching days left until we finish for the summer, but we’ve reached that point where it all feels a bit never-ending. Time to dig deep!

Did you watch the ‘Friends’ reunion?
Have you got any races (real or virtual) in your calendar?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 50

March brings with it some interesting stuff. First of all, week 50 of my posts tracking life in Lockdown/under Covid-related restrictions. Week 50! That means we’re coming up on a year since life bore any resemblance to what we previously knew as normal (I’m not a fan of the term “new normal” – I know we will likely make choices to change some aspects of our lives, but there are far more things that we would hope can return, races and parkrun being just a couple of those which involve face-to-face human contact). But March also brings with it Spring and the hope of better days ahead, even if that just means more daylight and the chance to enjoy the outdoors without freezing to death (well, that can still happen, but we can’t be too far away from warmer weather!). Finally, I have a new running-related challenge (and fun virtual event) to occupy me through the month. Read on for the details!

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Friday – 4.5 miles + walk after work + home yoga
Saturday – 6.5 miles
Sunday – 9 miles

Like February before it, March began neatly on a Monday – fresh start for a fresh week. I’m part of the Facebook community associated with the Tough GIrl Podcast and for March we were challenged to run a mile a day. Since I’m already running every day that was pretty straightforward for me, but to go alongside that we were given a bingo card to tick off. There was the option of coming up with our own challenges to add to a blank card, but that was a step too far for me around work right now (I just don’t have the additional brain capacity to be creative), so I decided to stick with the pre-prepared card and make one or two minor adjustments where necessary:

To start, I took the path of least resistance and crossed off “listen to a podcast”. My running time is when I like to listen to podcasts. I’m happy to run with nothing, but to make good use of my time I like to tune in to a running or Disney podcast while I run, so this was an easy starting point.

The rest of the day was pretty productive, then after work I took a walk up to mum and dad’s since it was dad’s birthday (a milestone one this year – to be properly celebrated later) and I needed to drop off a present and card. I was able to chat to my parents for a bit (at a safe distance) before heading back home, where Steve had been occupying himself with baking another cake, which we had after my yoga class. It was intended as chocolate fudge cake but there was a little over-cooking of the ganache so the filling resembled cinder toffee. It tasted good but we referred to it as “questionable cake” for the rest of the week 😂

Still keeping things easy, I ticked off “head out west” on my bingo card after my Tuesday run since it fitted well with the route I was running. Much more exciting was the arrival of my new laptop that evening (fortunately AFTER I had done my workout and yoga so I didn’t get distracted from them), so I got the initial setup and transfer of info underway, but knew I would need to wait a day or two before starting to use it for work since the adaptor I had ordered to connect my external drives hadn’t arrived yet. In some respects that was probably a good thing as it gave me a bit of time to make sure it was all set up the way I wanted. Actually very easy since Apple tends to make things like that pretty straightforward and there was little for me to do other than wait while my laptops worked through the process.

For my Wednesday run I planned to head down to the river and take in the view of the bridge. I’ve done that quite a few times now but that view is basically what you see on postcards of Perth so I was counting that as my “run to a local landmark”. I ended up with this picture:

Given that it was a bit of a grey start, it did the job, but I was slightly disappointed as Steve had run down there a little earlier than me and not only were the lights still switched on, but the sky was a beautiful colour and the water was a flat calm. His picture, about half an hour earlier, looks VERY different!

It just shows how it can be worthwhile to get out the door a bit sooner!

I actually felt really tired at the end of that day so decided to skip my workout (not something I often do) and do some gentle yoga instead. I felt much better after that so it was definitely the right thing to do. I then settled down to finish off my book. I really should have read this one long ago, around when I read Chocolat, as I really enjoyed it, especially the sensory descriptions.

When I got up on the Thursday I was still feeling a little sluggish and had no idea what I was going to tick off on my bingo card, but as I was choosing my kit I spotted my pink Run Disney top so decided to tick off “wear pink” this time.

Despite feeling a bit tired as I ran, I actually had a productive work day. It was World Book Day so I was encouraging discussion of books in my live lessons and some of my juniors had a fortuitously timed reading period, so it was really enjoyable.

A fun surprise came at lunchtime. Steve has really been looking after me well as his working day is much more flexible than mine so I have often come downstairs to find he already had my lunch underway. On this day I could smell something different cooking and it turned out that having set out to make some bread (not unusual for Steve) he had also decided to make some garlic pizza bread to go with our lunch. It was yummy!

I felt much better that evening so my workout was back on. We had been continuing to focus on my hip flexors since it was clear that this was the area needing work again. Working from home and being on my feet less has made such a big difference and that needs to be counteracted.

Continuing with my strategy of crossing off all the easier bingo squares first, on the Friday I headed off in the opposite direction to my Tuesday run to cross off “head out east”. Nothing special, just a pleasant morning run.

Having made sure that everything was set up ok on my new laptop, this seemed like the ideal day to switch over to it for work. My live lesson commitments were fewer, with the main one being my senior class who I knew would be much more forgiving if something wasn’t quite right (I had my old laptop handy and ready to go just in case!). Of course it was all fine and I enjoyed my day working with the new machine. I had been asked by a colleague who has been running loads of CPD sessions during this Lockdown to write a piece about some of my experiences so I turned ny attention to that for lots of the day – ably assisted by Smokey who seems to think he is now an expert on teaching via Teams!

Rather than a workout, Steve and I headed out for a walk after work then I did a little yoga before dinner. Rapidly nearing the end of my Marvel project, it was the first part of my Avengers double-header to complete the Infinity Saga. It was great!

Then it was Saturday – and a much more exciting Saturday than I’ve had in a while! Steve had received an email from the Paris half marathon which usually takes place in early March but this year, like almost every other big race you can think of, is planned for the autumn. However they had come up with a great (and free!) virtual event for what would ordinarily have been race weekend: to cover the distance “en duo”. With the aim of getting people back into running again, the idea was to split the distance between two people (it didn’t have to be an even split, but we did divide it 50/50) and run at any time over the race weekend. The pairs didn’t have to run at the same time, they just had to sign up and link their race accounts together then the whole thing was tracked via an app.

I was already looking forward to just having a slightly different focus for my Saturday run and since I was pretending to be in Paris, I opted for appropriately themed running attire.

But when Steve set out I realised that the app was designed to give a pretty immersive experience. I got an alert to let me know he had started his run then a further alert every kilometre, with time and pace – a bit like real-time tracking of a live race. It also told me when he was finished and gave me his time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The app also had maps in it. I had the option to see where Steve really was but also to switch to a map of Paris so I could see where on the actual course he would be. Pretty cool.

When I was ready to go I had my first issue of the day – my Garmin was dead. Oops! I really should have charged it the day before.  I fished out my old one in the hopes that it would be ok but there wasn’t much charge in it either. Still, I thought it might hold so gave it a go. I knew my run was being tracked in the app so the watch was just for me to record my miles and clock a time for my (not)parkrun that week. The watch ended up dying shortly before I finished the 2 miles I count as my warmup, so I timed my (not)parkrun and cool down using the Strava app on my Apple Watch instead. Once my Garmin was charged I was able to retrieve what it had recorded so I could create a manual entry using the average pace it had recorded (I already knew what the distance would be since it was my usual route and actually that ended up giving me a time comparable to what I normally run for those opening miles). In the grand scheme of things it’s not that important, but I like to have an accurate record of my mileage so I’m glad I had a way to work around.

Since I had the event app open to record my run, I got to find out what the runner experience was like using it and I was pretty impressed. Just like when Steve was running, I was getting alerts every kilometre to let me know how I was doing, plus at both 5k and 10k there was a verbal alert letting me know where I was. This had clearly been put into some kind of translation system since I got a “sat-nav” type voice in my ear, but this was immediately followed by a better recorded message in French congratulating me on my progress. The “sat-nav” voice also told me when there was 100m to go and congratulated me by name for finishing. My route actually meant I finished my distance at the bottom of the road rather than outside my front door, but since Steve had received the message saying I was done he was looking out for me arriving. Later I was able to go back into the app to see a kind of “fly by” video of my run which was pretty cool. The app also had a selfie frame built in for a post-run picture. I had to get an appropriate prop for mine!

You could download a finisher badge too.

I actually really enjoyed this so took the chance to tick off “run for fun” on my bingo card. I’ve taken part in lots of virtual races but mostly the kind where you go at any time you like and submit evidence to receive a medal. This one may not have had a medal (there were spot prizes but we weren’t lucky enough to win anything) but the app functionality made it feel much more connected and as close to a live event as we can probably get right now.

After all that excitement the rest of the day was pretty chilled, mostly with Smokey camped out on my lap while I started series 2 of The Crown!

i also had a quick doorstep (and distanced) visit from my mum who was dropping off some leftover chicken for the kitties and some homemade banana and nutella muffins for Steve and I. They were yummy!

The Sunday was much more low key. I actually felt quite flat on my run so despite being able to tick off “run in the sunshine” I actually made the decision to cut the distance back a bit – I think both my body and my mind were needing it.

I took advantage of the opportunity to finish up another book – the third in the series of crime novels set in 1970s Glasgow which I have been reading this year.

Then in the evening the rather bittersweet moment of watching the last episode of WandaVision. I really enjoyed the whole series and might go back and rewatch it some time to see if I can spot any details I might have missed.

And with that, my week drew to a close.

What’s the best virtual event you’ve taken part in over the last year?
What could you tick off easily on the bingo card?

My Year of Running 2020

For the past few years I’ve written this roundup post looking back over my running in that year (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). Even as I write this introduction I feel like this year’s post will be a little different (what isn’t in 2020, right?) but there has been a huge shift in my running this past year so I still wanted to create a post to reflect on that. Here we go…!

Best Race Experience
Well that’s an awkward one to start with! I had very few race plans as the year began (and those I did have were cancelled) so there are pretty slim pickings. Loads of events went virtual (and I took part in a few) but I think I’m going to choose an actual race experience – yes, those did happen in 2020, so long as you got in early! 1st January 2020 as part of our usual NYD adventure (three runs in one day), I ran in the Blairgowrie Ne’er Day Fun Run and put in one of my best performances in that event to date. It’s a very low key and simple event with no T-shirts or medals (the post-run soup and sweets are always very welcome though). It’s so strange to think now of all those people together in a hall before and after the event: no social distancing, New Year handshakes and lots of sweaty hugs. Unthinkable now! I’m sad that for the first time in its 30+ year history that this won’t happen in 2021, but fingers crossed it can return for 2022.

Best Run
By some miracle, I actually got to go on my planned long weekend trip to Disneyland Paris with my sister in August. Although I ran each morning, my favourite run was on the last day when I ran to the Disney gates and back on a warm and sunny morning. Hopefully this is something I’ll be able to repeat in the future as it was such fun to see familiar landmarks such as the Tower of Terror, Disney Hotels and Disney Village as part of my route.

Best New Running Gear
When you accidentally start a run streak, having plenty of running gear is a must. I’m certainly not short of kit, but a crucial cog in the wheel when you run every day is shoes. I always rotate my shoes and was in need of a couple of new pairs anyway, but I think my favourites from this year are these Adidas Solar Boosts with space-inspired soles. I wear them for my long runs and they feel great!

Best Running Advice You’ve Received This Year
Do you know, I can’t think of anything in particular, but when I first floated the idea of running every day as the UK lockdown began back in March, Steve told me to go for it. To be honest, whenever I come up with an idea for a challenge I would like to undertake, he supports me all the way and sometimes being told to go for it is just the advice you need.

Most Inspirational Runner
Ok, I know he’s my husband and I’m biased, but I’m going to pick Steve. As his 50th birthday approached at the end of this year, I made the (slightly mad) suggestion that he should mark the occasion by running 50 miles in one day. Not only did he do it, but he picked a day when the weather wasn’t all that great and STILL did it. I don’t think I’ll be replicating this feat when my big birthday rolls around, but it’s still an inspiring achievement.

Favourite Picture From A Run Or Race This Year
When the inaugural Disneyland Paris Princess Run Weekend was cancelled, the admins of a Facebook group I’m in created a fun at-home version. We created our own costumes, medals and photo ops and shared our pictures in the group. I had plenty of time for some arts and crafts in advance to prepare and had a great time on my run (for which I resurrected my Anna running costume from the 2019 Magic Run Weekend 10k). While it wasn’t quite the same as being at DLP, it certainly created a sense of community and fun to keep us all going and I love this picture I took of my “meet” with Mickey Mouse:

Race Experience You Would Repeat In A Heartbeat
Um, a little short on race experiences so I’ll choose a virtual one instead. Although completely unofficial, when my second planned Run Disney experience of the year (Magic Run Weekend in September) was cancelled, the same Facebook group that created an at-home version in May did the same thing again…but bigger! It was still a free event where we created out own costumes/race bibs/medals etc, but I went all in for this one by mirroring the 36km challenge: 5k on Friday evening, 10k on Saturday morning and a half marathon on Sunday morning. Based on the group themes I created all-new costumes for each and basically spent my weekend running around wearing crazy costumes (which nobody seemed to bat an eye at!). While I would MUCH prefer to be back running in DLP again soon, this was a great experience and I loved checking in with the group all weekend to see what others had come up with for their own Run Disney at home experience.

If You Could Sum Up Your Year In A Couple Of Words, What Would They Be?
Run Streak. If you had asked me this time last year, there is NO WAY I would have predicted this would happen. I never intended to start a run streak, it just sort of…happened. When we went into lockdown in March we were told one of the reasons we were allowed to leave our homes was for exercise each day. I knew that if I could get some fresh air then I would cope ok with being at home all the time and originally planned for this to be a walk on days which weren’t “running days” (I was running 4x per week at that point). The first official day of lockdown was a running day and when I got home, I floated the idea of seeing what would happen if I ran the next day, and the next, and the next… I genuinely thought it wouldn’t suit me, that I would struggle or get injured, but it was fascinating to observe how my body adapted to daily running and now I think I would feel strange it I DIDN’T head out each morning. Over 280 days later and I’m still enjoying my daily runs. It feels like part of me now.

How was your year of running in 2020? I’d love to hear all about it…

Homemade Run Disney – A (Virtual) Magic Moment

Oh 2020. Remember when I thought I was going to have Disney-filled year? Turns out that wasn’t to be, and although my miracle trip to Disneyland Paris in August was just the pixie dust I needed to assuage some of the sadness and frustration of this year, the opportunity to bring a little homemade Run Disney magic into one of my weekends was a welcome distraction. I summarised my virtual Magic Run Weekend experience in my last Week In Review post, but here are more of the details (and photos – lots and lots of photos!) for those craving a little more.

This was set up by a Facebook group I’m in – Run Disney Paris Fans – and was simply a free bit of fun to inspire those of us who love going to DLP for Run Weekend and were missing t this year. It was great to see how everyone got creative to put together their own events and photos.

The first thing I needed to do was decide on my running costumes. Had I actually been going to DLP I would have spent much more time over the details of this, but since this was just going to be me running around the streets of Perth, it wasn’t quite so important to have the details just so. Besides, there’s only so far I’m prepared to go in what I wear running around town by myself 🤣

Knowing the chosen themes made it a bit easier to decide and I settled on Marie (The Aristocats), Cinderella and Rémy (Ratatouille).

Then the next bit of prep was to make my race bibs and medals. We were able to download the designs from the Facebook group, then I set to work laminating the bibs and getting creative with cardboard, tinfoil and ribbon to make my medals. A little fiddly, but I actually found it quite good fun! If I had been taking part in one of the challenges (31k or 36k) in the live event I would have just had one bib for all of the races I was running, but I liked the idea of having all of them since this made it more unique, as well as connecting with my chosen costumes.

As the weekend rolled around, my aim was to recreate as closely as possible the way the event would unfold. That meant 5k on Friday evening, 10k on Saturday morning and a half marathon on Sunday morning. To keep me organised, ahead of each one I gathered together everything I needed for my costumes as well as some additional props for post-run photos of “character meets”. Yes, I was going for it 100%!

Beginning on Friday, my Marie costume was fairly simple: white tech top, white sparkle skirt (with shorts underneath), white compression socks, pink trainers and the Marie headband I bought at DLP.

 

I actually had great fun running my 5k and even though it was my second run of the day (I had run a super easy 5k in the morning before work) I felt good. Interestingly, nobody seemed to be paying me much attention as I ran around at 5pm on a Friday in my Marie costume (and no, I didn’t wear the ear headband to run) 😹.

After my run I added a couple of additional details to my costume: I put the ears on, tied a pink ribbon around my neck and donned my Marie face covering that I got on Shop Disney. Fully costumed up, it was time for my post-run photo shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, no Run Disney event would be complete without some character meets. My observation from previous years is that there aren’t so many in the 5k. For my homemade event I was welcomed to the finish by the Beast, my princess Belle-themed (pre-Duffy) Disney bear and The Big Cheese himself – Mickey Mouse in his running kit.

For my final flourish, I chose one of my Disney T-shirts to act as a “finishers’ top”. Given my theming, my Disney cats one seemed the best choice.

It was such a fun way to start my weekend and definitely made me feel a bit less sad about not being on a flight to France.

For my 10k on Saturday I was going with Cinderella. This costume was probably the least precise to my perfectionist mind, so I think of it more as “Cinderella-inspired”: pale blue (ok, turquoise) tech top, pale blue tutu (with shorts underneath), white compression socks, black trainers and my silver tiara running hairband. It was a little chilly so I ended up adding white arm warmers before I headed out.

This time I did get a little attention as I was running, but it was a friend of mine (who also runs) in her car. I guess when she spotted someone running in a tutu on a Saturday morning she figured it could only be me 😂

Once again there was a little adjustment when I arrived home as I added a homemade black ribbon choker (I hadn’t fancied running with something tight around my neck) before taking my medal pictures.

Getting carried away with the shoe theming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time I included a “castle shot” as well:

Character-wise, this time I “met” Minnie Mouse (in her Belle-style gold ballgown) and Mickey, who had a different set of shorts and T-shirt on. Thank goodness, I wouldn’t want him to be whiffy!

And thanks to some Disney magic, Mickey was able to transform to a bigger size in order to give me a post-run hug haha!

This time my choice for the “finishers’ T-shirt” was my Princess Power one since it features Cinderella.

Not quite the Saturday morning I had originally planned, but good fun nonetheless.

The pièce de résistance was my Sunday morning half marathon. The event at DLP is always such a highlight with loads of characters and lots going on (you can read about my previous experiences here and here). I had known the overall theme for the weekend when I was in DLP so when I spotted a hat on sale that would make for an easy (but fun) costume idea, I bought it. For the rest of my Rémy costume I needed: grey tech top, grey capris, pink socks and I even set out a wooden spoon for my post-race photos! Again, it was a little chilly so I added some grey arm warmers at the last minute.

For this one, I had Steve help me out with a “start line” photo, with Mickey Mouse (in his finest Breton stripe) acting as race starter (although I didn’t actually wear my hat for the run itself).

With the hat safely back on my head at the end of my run it was time to take my final “Run Weekend” photos:

An attempt to recreate the post-race picture with all the medals attached to the castle railings. You get the idea!

There are always loads of characters around at the half marathon, so my event was no exception. I was pictured with Rémy (of course!), Duffy Bear in his French outfit and, for reasons best known to himself, Stitch (I mean he has nothing to do with the theming, but he’s a cheeky scamp who likes to invade photos 😂).

I was also pleased to see that Mickey had changed out of his French outfit and was back in his running kit (another set, he must have almost as much kit as me haha!) and we got a few pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for my “finishers’ T-shirt”, I stuck to the fact that at DLP the half marathon swag is always Mickey/Minnie themed regardless of the race theme. The “Best Day Ever” T-shirt I got in August seemed perfect.

I was also keen to get a decent “castle shot” and came up with a way to manage just that. Almost believable!

All in all, I had great fun putting this together. No way as much fun as actually going to Disney for a running weekend, but a nice way to add a bit of magic to an otherwise mundane weekend and it gave me something a little different to focus on for a few days. I recommend it!

Fingers crossed that next time we get to run in Disney for real…! 🤞

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 27

I must admit, this really was a week of two halves – little of note in the working week and then a bit of homemade magic at the weekend. Here’s how it went:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5  miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Thursday – 4 miles + home yoga
Friday – 3.2 miles + 5k
Saturday – 10k
Sunday – 13.1 miles

As the week began I was pleased to note that while my body felt a little weary from running 13.1 miles the day before, my legs actually felt perfectly fine. I continue to be fascinated with how my body has adapted to running every day and how well I seem to recover. Probably because generally I run at a fairly easy pace and don’t push things too much. Between my morning run and a walk with Steve when I got home from work, I pretty much wrapped up the bulk of the weekly scavenger hunt and it was nice to relax into my yoga class afterwards.

Strangely, though, I felt more tired and sluggish on Tuesday morning. Perhaps a busy Monday had an impact as I headed into a day featuring lots of admin and meetings. That evening was fairly restful and we began watching the adaptation of Us on tv. For some reason this attracted kitty attention, even if one of them was facing the wrong way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday was better as I felt much more awake and was able to have the workout I had postponed from Tuesday. More excitingly, we settled down to watch The Great British Bake Off which had returned to our screens the previous evening. It was so good to watch something that felt “normal” (even if things were a bit different behind the scenes this time to make that possible). Unfortunately we hadn’t had the foresight to sort out a sweet treat in advance and GBBO always makes us crave something sweet so poor Steve had to go out and get some “emergency cake” 😂. We will need to be better prepared in future!

On Thursday morning the weather was much chillier and I had to wear gloves for my run. Back when we first went into Lockdown I wore gloves on all my runs as a reminder to not touch anything (e.g. the button to trigger a pedestrian crossing) while I was out, but as the weather improved it was too warm for gloves and they had been tucked away in the drawer for many weeks. I don’t think I’ll need them all the time just yet, but I think I will need to check the forecast much more carefully in the evening when I lay out my kit to make sure I’m ready for whatever the weather has to throw at me.

An exciting thing on Thursday was that my finisher pack from the virtual Edinburgh half marathon arrived. This is the same swag I would have got in the event of the live event taking place – medal and T-shirt presented in a lovely little box. I got something like this in the 2019 event and it was exciting to get this through the post. The box also contained sample packs of hot/cold gels and an armband that lights up – useful with all the dark mornings ahead.

Friday was pretty productive. Most of my non-teaching time is on a Friday and if I’m not needed to cover a class it allows me a good chance to get caught up on lots of fiddly bits and pieces. My day had started with an easy-paced run of just over 5k – less than I would usually do on a Friday because I was hatching a plan for a second run when I got home from work.

Why the second run? Well, this would have been Magic Run Weekend at Disneyland Paris and much like in May when the cancelled Princess Weekend came around, I was going to take part in a “homemade” version set up by a Facebook group I am part of. This was entirely free as there was no medal or anything like that, it was all about the admins creating a theme for the weekend and those of us who wanted to take part trying to be as creative as we could in pulling together costumes and re-creating aspects of the Run Disney experience. I’m going to publish a separate post with some of the details (and one heck of a lot of photos!) but will include some of the basics here.

The overall theme settled on was “Disney movies associated with France”. It was then sub-divided into the different races and challenges, in the same way it would be in the actual Run Disney event. There was a kids’ race themed to Beauty and the Beast (yes, I was a little put out that my favourite movie was associated with the one race I couldn’t legitimately take part in), the 5k was The Aristocats, 10k Cinderella, half marathon (21k) The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 31k challenge (10k + 21k) Sleeping Beauty and 36k challenge (5k + 10k + 21k) Ratatouille. I had been booked to take part in the 31k challenge (because the 5k would have been on the Friday evening and I can’t get to DLP in time when I’m at work) but since I was making my own fun, I decided to go for the 36k challenge, hence my second run on Friday. I could have just waited to go out in the evening, but I had learned very quickly earlier in the term that I feel much better all day when I get a run in the morning, so a double run day it was!

I had done a little prep the weekend before and back when the theme was announced I had started pulling together some costume ideas from the stuff I already had (and one teeny little purchase which could be used again at future Run Disney events). 

For my Friday 5k I was Marie from The Aristocats:

Then on Saturday morning (after a bit of reading in bed) I headed out in my best Cinderella-inspired outfit:

The top wasn’t quite the right shade (I got this one for my Anna from Frozen costume in the 10k last year, which I recreated for my virtual Princess Run in May) but it was as close as I could get with my existing kit.

I did have to step out of the magic a little for some “regular” Saturday activities (and our appalling 6/15 for the parkrun quiz definitely burst the bubble somewhat) including going for my second haircut since the hairdressers were allowed to open again in July. She styled my hair straight, which was novel for me as I haven’t bothered straightening my hair in ages!

Then I spent a bit of time reading my book. Smokey had been lying on a different chair looking kind of pleased with himself for “catching a mouse” 😹:

But he soon joined me for a little nap:

And we rounded out our evening with our next Marvel MCU movie. This time it was Iron Man 2 – another one we had previously watched but had little memory of.

Sunday began with a little more reading in bed, then it was time for me to run the half marathon distance. This time I was Rémy from Ratatouille and again, stuff I had (the hat I got on a super-cheap deal when I was in DLP in August). It’s not very obvious from the picture, but the capris are actually grey:

It was a bit weird wearing capris since I normally wear shorts unless it’s really cold, but it was all really comfortable kit for the distance. And of course, I was probably about an hour quicker than I would have been at DLP since I wasn’t stopping all the time 🤣

When I got back I had “completed” my 36k challenge so did my best to take a photo with all my homemade medals (look out for my separate post on my homemade challenge to see more photos). Not as easy as with actual Run Disney medals since my cardboard-based ones lacked the weight to help me separate them out along my arm, but you get the idea.

Th weekend finished in fairly standard fashion with food shopping, a bit of tv and my evening bath, but a bit pf Disney magic, albeit homemade, was just the boost I needed to see me into the last couple of weeks of term.

Do you have a favourite Disney movie/character associated with France?
How easily could you pull together a themed running outfit from stuff you have about the house?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 26

It finally happened. After realising the light in the morning was getting less and less, in mid-September I realised I would need my hi-viz as I was heading out into the darkness. Winter is well and truly coming! Generally speaking, I was pretty much settled into a routine with the intent to fit in a couple of workouts each week and as much yoga as possible around days when I felt I needed to work a little later. Here’s how it looked:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles
Thursday – 4.5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + garden workout
Saturday – 6.3 miles
Sunday – 13.1 miles

There was very little of note on Monday. I started the weekly scavenger hunt on my run, noted that I should probably start wearing my hi-viz, then got on with a fairly typical day. It was good to get to the evening and my yoga session and I was happy to get into bed at night so I could continue my book. This was a gift from my head of department when she retired at the start of the summer and comes from a publisher called Persephone Books. They reprint neglected books by (mostly) female authors and have these really pretty inside covers. This was my first one of these books and I was really enjoying it. I know this book was made into a film so I must look into watching it some time.

Tuesday was pretty soggy with a downpour in the middle of my run, and also the first morning I wore my hi-viz. It really marks a transition point in the year when this is needed, but at least at this point there was still a bit of light at the end of my morning run. It was another busy day at work so it was good to be able to fit in not just a workout (in the garden since the weather had improved) and some yoga (although I was almost thwarted by “yoga cat” who plonked himself right where I wanted to be 😹)

We had been given some cooking apples so Steve made a crumble with them, which made for a nice dessert whilst watching some tv.

Wednesday was super busy so all I managed was my run in the morning. I had an appointment in town after work and while I was there I was a brave girl and ventured into a couple of shops for a couple of things I needed (pretty quiet at this time of day) and ran one or two errands. When I got in I needed to prep some chilli to cook in the slow cooker the following day so had Steve chop up some of the ingredients for me so I could just quickly assemble it all then sit down to relax. I think Smokey must have had a busy day as well!

Busy again on Thursday, but I managed to get home a bit sharper so had time for a workout before my yoga. A real highlight was my new running shorts arrived and they have a pattern that felt ideal for me. They remind me of my wee cat Molly who left us a few years ago.

I was pretty productive on Friday and despite wrapping up a set of tracking reports, still had time for a workout when I got home (but not yoga). Steve had been to Dundee on an errand during the day and remembering that I had my “prize” still to collect from the Brooks Run Happy At Home challenges during the early part of Lockdown, I asked him to see if he could pick it up for me (this was the nearest place for me to have it sent). I knew it was a medal but had expected something flimsy and cheap so was pleasantly surprised to find a decent medal waiting for me when I got home. And this was for a free challenge! Well done Brooks.

In the evening we finished watching The Fall. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go, but we both really enjoyed the programme so recommend it if you haven’t already watched.

Saturday was fairly typical of current Saturdays. I headed out for my (not)parkrun then in the parkrun quiz we were pleased to get 10/15. Later in the day I had a bath and watched back the feed of parkrun returning in the Northern Territory of Australia. I’ve enjoyed watching these live feeds (although I don’t actually watch live) as it was so nice to see a parkrun happening and observing familiar things happening in a different part of the world. One day that will be us again…

In the evening we continued with our Marvel MCU project, this week with Iron Man. This was a film we had watched years ago, but had very little memory of it so I enjoyed seeing it again. At the same time, I also took care of a little arts and crafts project ahead of a fun running adventure I had planned for the following weekend (more on that next time).

On Sunday my original plan had been to run 12 miles as part of my mini-build to a half marathon the following weekend. But once I was out I realised that the route I had in mind was going to be a bit longer and the least I would run was 12.5 miles. When I realised that I decided just to add on a bit more and complete the half marathon distance a week earlier since I was feeling good. This meant I could submit my time for the Edinburgh Half marathon (usually part of the marathon festival, a weekend I have taken part in a number of times, including the half marathon last year) which this year was a virtual event. I hadn’t entered the live event (although often put in last minute entries for the Edinburgh races since they are fairly close to home) but when I was sent the details fo the virtual event I realised we would receive the exact same medal/T-shirt/pack as we would at the live event. This appealed to me and I also wanted to show my support for a long-standing event so that it will still be there in future. Like some other events, we were still sent race numbers, although I didn’t actually wear it when I was out. Still a nice touch though.

I noted that I felt pretty good after my run, even with the little extra bit I ran. It wasn’t my fastest half marathon time (although decent), but then I hadn’t gone out to “race” so I can only assume that my run streak has put me in a pretty strong position to be able to comfortably run a half marathon. That makes me happy.

And so another week drew to a close. It was good to complete a running challenge and I had exciting plans for the following weekend too…

Have you taken part in any of the virtual events organised in place of a live event this year?
Are you still able to run in daylight or are you getting some darkness now?

Friday Finds – 27th March

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Well! Didn’t that all get very real, very quickly. I’m going to assume that right now you, like me and around a quarter of the world’s population, are in some kind of lockdown situation. I hope that you and your loved ones are all safe and well. If you’re running, please make sure you are abiding by the current regulations wherever you are in the world.

Clearly there really aren’t going to be many articles around right now that aren’t Covid-19 related, but for me I think it’s important to try and post as I work to create some kind of routine for myself in this strange, new world. For this week, a few more bits and pieces around the current situation, but I do have some other things saved that I didn’t quite manage to get into a post yet, so perhaps some future weeks will be about delving into the reasonably recent article archive!

First, we have plenty of outlets offering some sage advice and reassurance:

And of course there seems to be a growing trend for “at-home” endurance races. Impressive, but I’m just not sure I’d have the mental strength to complete that many laps of my garden/living room. Mind you, we’re still allowed out for a run so who knows how I might feel if that were to change!

As well as those looking to spread some joy:

But if all else fails, you could always try to set an astounding new world record 🤔

Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands.
The Running Princess

 

Friday Finds – 24th January

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a great week. I didn’t manage a Friday Finds post last week, but wanted to take a moment today to stop by with a few bits and pieces I’ve spotted recently as I’ve got quite a few things saved. Here we go…

First, it’s been a fortnight filled with exciting news, mostly featuring Kenenisa Bekele. First it was announced that he will go up against Eliud Kipchoge in the London marathon, and second that he is going to be challenged by Mo Farah in the Vitality Big Half. These are going to be pretty interesting showdowns as that puts the 2 fastest marathoners in history toe to toe – it could come right down to the wire – and then Farah has a long history of top performances in the half marathon so I’ll be looking to see who has the edge in this one. Potentially two thrilling races

It’s also been a fortnight of fascinating studies, starting with the news that training for a marathon can cut 4 years off your “vascular age”. That’s a big difference to make to your health, but sadly I don’t think it’s 4 years for every marathon that you run haha!

And the pleasing confirmation that running isn’t bad for our knees. Good to know the next time a non-runner declares we’ll all need knee replacements when we’re older!

Meanwhile, the infamous Nike Vaporfly shoes have continued to court controversy with the news that World Athletics is considering their design and whether or not to issue any guidelines/bans around the technology to be allowed in competitive shoes. The results should be announced in the coming days and it will be interesting to see what they decide.

And finally, here’s Canadian Running with a few predictions for the next 5 years in the running world. Which of these do you think are the most likely?

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

Race Report – Disneyland Paris Half Marathon 2019

I hope you like photos, because this post is full of them!

Day two of our weekend of running at Disneyland Paris this past September meant the half marathon. You might remember that the 2018 event had been my first Run Disney experience, and with theming that appealed much more to me in 2019, I was really looking forward to this race.

As with the 10k, the route was changed slightly from the previous year, but with time spent in both parks as well as the same out-and-back section outside of Disney to complete the distance.

And the theme? Couples (in all their forms). I had an idea that I wanted to dress as Belle again, but this time in her “provincial” blue dress, so this made things really easy for Steve who was able to wear his Beast T-shirt from last year again. I even did my hair like hers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you take on one of the challenges (31k or 36k) you have the same race bib (and hence the same number and corral) for every event you are in. This meant we were once more in corral A and my sister further back behind us. This race has the biggest numbers so the expo seemed much busier beforehand, but since the weather was mild (I didn’t need a foil blanket or extra layer) we just headed outside after dropping our bag off and used the portable toilets by the starting corrals as this was going to be much faster than standing in a queue for the ones inside. After this Steve and I got ourselves positioned in our corral ready for the off.

Soon enough, it was time for our wave to start, so I said goodbye to Steve and got ready to go (we were running separately again as he prefers to treat this as a race whereas I prefer to “get my money’s worth” out of the experience!).

Of course, once again I was running in kilometres and the markers in Disney are as exciting as anything else!

The first couple of photo ops were just that – photo ops rather than character stops. First with Hercules and Meg in one of the backstage areas, and then a Lion King display that looked pretty cool in the morning light.

After that, we were into the main park but it was some time before we hit Main Street for the out-and-back run as there were character stops and photo ops before then! Like the day before, I was keeping my sister posted with the characters and who they were switching with so she knew if she wanted to stop or not. Her strategy was to stop at every 3rd, unless it was characters she REALLY wanted to see, so that she could stay ahead of the sweepers.

Pocahontas & John Smith

 

Phantom Manor couple

And then it was time:

Official photo

Clarabelle & Horace

Official photo

From there, a host of further character stops, with all the characters out as couples, in line with the theme.

Aladdin & Jasmine

Tarzan & Jane

Rapunzel & Flynn Rider

Phoebus & Esmeralda

Jack Sparrow (making his way towards Angelica)

Belle & the Beast

Official photo

Buzz & Jessie

It was after this final stop with the Toy Story characters that I realised I was now behind the infamous “balloon ladies” who walk at the back of the pack at a steady pace, just within the sweep time. I wasn’t worried though as I knew I was about to run 10k outside the parks and would soon overtake them (and my sister who had been with me at Belle/Beast but had passed me while I was getting that Toy Story photo). It was such an ego boost to be passing so many people that even at a fairly easy pace I felt like I was flying – and got *that* photo:

Once outside of the parks, it’s a case of running steadily. The route leads away from Disney into a nearby village where we run around a reservoir then retrace our steps back onto Disney property. It’s a great opportunity to appreciate all the other costumes people are wearing and there are lots of what the French call “animations” – musicians, dancers, DJs, etc to keep things interesting.

Then on our way back we cross a bridge where we can see the main vehicle entrance to Disneyland.

Returning to Disney property, the route hits some of the resort areas, starting with a quick pass of the hotel we had been staying at (and where Steve was eating his second breakfast, having collected our one drop bag which he was going to meet me with later, checking us out and taking our luggage to the bagagerie for safekeeping).

Then through the grounds of the hotel we stayed in last time.

Official photo

The route finishes by following the path that leads from these hotels towards the parks, looping the water and passing through the Disney Village before making its way backstage and to the finish line by the side of the Walt Disney Studios.

This time I was greeted by Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.

Before grabbing my medal and snacks:

I got the same snacks as in the 10k, plus these extras

I then grabbed a picture outside of the finish area before making my way back to the expo – a slow business with all the crowds since part of the route was on the way I needed to go, and with Steve finding it hard to get through as well, we agreed to meet at the expo tent.

When I got there I headed on in to get my 31k challenge medal, which funnelled me straight into a photo op.

I wish I’d had my 10k medal for this, but it was with Steve and he hadn’t arrived yet, so my main learning from this is to try and have all my medals handy before getting my challenge picture. But since I was still waiting for Steve to fight his way through the crowds, I grabbed another picture in the expo tent to pass the time and browsed the event merchandise, much of which had by this point been reduced.

When Steve finally made it, we headed really quickly into the main park so I could get some pictures with my medals by the castle before we had to get back to the hotel to change and collect our bags so we could get the Magic Shuttle back to the airport.

And there was just enough time to nip into Le Passage Enchanté d’Aladdin with my 31k challenge medal since it was themed to Aladdin.

I do really enjoy this event. It actually presents quite an interesting challenge as if, like me, you stop for lots of photos it means the first half is very stop/start, but then there’s a steady section of running in the second half. By this time you’ve probably been on your feet for a couple of hours so that can feel a little harder than it would be otherwise. Still, it’s great fun and I have loved both of my experiences of it. Will I be back? You bet!

My Year Of Running 2019

Over the past few years I’ve taken part in a blog link up to recap my year. This year I haven’t been able to find that link up anywhere, but since I wanted to look back over 2019, I decided to use my previous posts (2016, 2017, 2018) as a template and write my post anyway. So here we go with the 2019 edition…

Best race experience
These days I actually don’t race very often as I much prefer the process of getting out and running to the pressure of performing in a race situation. Yes I take my running seriously, but with this being a fairly tough year at work, I needed something that would bring plenty of fun to it – and for me there’s nothing more fun than running in Disney! I loved the whole Disneyland Paris race weekend so am going to be a wee bit liberal in my interpretation of “race experience” and pick the 31k Challenge, that way I can include BOTH the 10k and the half marathon. Sneaky!

Best run
Can I pick Disney again? This time at Walt Disney Word in Florida where I had my first experience of a WDW resort run. Along with Steve and my sister, I took part in the Beignet Dash over at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort. It was a mere 2km of running, but totally worth the early start to get a free order of WARM Mickey beignets. Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best new piece of running gear
Once again, I continued to obsessively buy running leggings with crazy patterns on them, and once again that’s not going to be my choice – too obvious! Now that my hair has grown out again, I find a cap suits me much better than when I had a bob so was keen to get something “nice” for runs on wet days (rather than the perfectly functional, but essentially freebie, one I wore before which I call my “emergency running hat”!). So in what seems to be a developing theme for this post, it’s Disney once again as I’m choosing the Disneyland Paris Magic Run Weekend hat that I made a point of buying when I was there in September.

Best running advice you’ve received this year
Not exactly advice, but I realised this year that I really needed to do more strength work to help improve my running. Ever since the summer I’ve consistently managed two sessions a week down at Steve’s studio (three when it’s been school holidays and I have more time) to work with an assortment of kit such as the TRX, weights, bar bell, Bosu, gym ball and my own body weight with a variety of press ups in order to strengthen my arms and core. I feel so much better as a result and can definitely feel the difference – and I managed to answer one of these questions without mentioning Disney (until now haha!).

Most inspirational runner
I would usually try to choose a female inspiration here, but on this occasion I just HAVE to choose Eliud Kipchoge. His achievement in running the first ever sub-2 hour marathon, even if it isn’t an official record, was an incredible moment and I’m sure it will have unlocked many more breakthroughs to come in the world of running thanks to his insistence that “no human is limited”. I actually ran to parkrun whilst simultaneously live streaming the end of Kipchoge’s historic run on my phone and will happily admit to tearing up when he crossed the line in 1:59:40. An inspirational runner, true gentleman and downright nice guy. I can’t wait to see what he does next (probably not Disney, but you never know 😂)

Favourite picture from a run or race this year
This is such an easy question for me. Thanks to the magic of – you guessed it – Disney, this year I acquired this picture which is now my all-time favourite running picture of myself. I’m dressed as my favourite Disney princess (Belle, whilst still living her provincial life – there must be some much more…), running through Disneyland Paris and grinning from ear to ear. I was loving that race and for me, the joy of the experience seems to radiate from the picture. I love it!

Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat
The Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. But you knew that, didn’t you!

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
Disney Magic. It couldn’t really be anything else! I went to WDW, DLP (twice!) and somehow managed to pour a bit of Disney into every day. Now to see if I can make 2020 even bigger, even better and with even more pairs of Mouse ears…

I’d love to hear about some of your 2019 highlights. Share below, or even better write your own post and let me know so I can read it.