Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Recap

Disney Princess Half Magic Kingdom

Our race in numbers;

32568- the number of steps my FitBit told me I had taken the day before the half marathon around the Magic Kingdom

3- the number of visits to the medical tent during our run- two for tom, one for me

4- loo stops along the way, I think I was a little worried about getting dehydrated so drank a lot of water.

2-disney keens wearing matching Mickey and Minnie ears. One of us was happier about wearing the outfit than the other.

11- mile markers that I took photos of. Not sure what happened to mile 9 and 13!

5- photo stops with characters along the way.

1 selfie with Mickey!

After hanging around in the carpark waiting for the 10K race to start, we decided to get to the start a little later for the half marathon. Of course, we didn’t expect our breakfast to take so long, hadn’t taken into account the increase in runner numbers nor the warmer weather on the Sunday so we literally raced to the start and missed our corral. The start was a good mile from the car park entrance- add that to our mileage!! Luckily we snuck into the start behind us and started running only 5 mins later.

So pleased to be able to ditch my throwaway right at the start, and show off my costume in the perfect running conditions.

Disney Princess Half minnie mouse

 

Disney Princess half start

Tom’s knee wasn’t happy for the first 2 miles, and he hobbled along. Both of us were worried he may not actually make it round the course. We took it slowly, walking when he needed and making a stop at the medical tent for painkillers and freeze spray. Luckily it seemed to loosen up and he was fine for the rest of the race.

The half was far more crowded than the 10k, perhaps due to our later corral start. We ended up spending a lot longer queuing for characters along the way, although this was part of the fun! Our first characters were some of the Disney villains;

Disney Princess half villains

As you can see it was pretty dark during the race due to the 5.30am start time, however it was already quite warm. Tom had to ditch his long sleeve top when we saw my parents in the Magic Kingdom (to shouts from the crowd about his ‘six pack’ and asking whether he was proposing…erm no).

Disney princess half Magic Kingdom

Disney princess half magic kingdom

Disney Princess Half Marathon

 

The sun was rising as we ran into the Magic Kingdom, the highlight of the half. It was amazing running down Main Street with the crowds cheering. Tom told me he felt like we were in one of the parades- he loves the parades! Running through the near empty park was so much fun, and I only wish we could have spent more time in the Magic Kingdom and jumped on a few rides!! We ran straight down Main Street before turning right into Tomorrowland. Tom’s nephew loves Toy Story so we had to stop for pictures with Buzz and Woody.

Disney Princess Half Buzz

 

Disney Princess Half marathon Woody

 

After Tomorrowland, running past Space Mountain, we ran back through the Castle and into Frontierland (where the Woody pic was) and past Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. So fun to see all the rides that we’d been on the day before. If you were thinking of doing either the 10K or the half, I would definitely recommend the half to run through the park. It was easily the best bit and it’s such a shame it’s not part of both races.

Disney Princess half marathon

 

We left the park around mile 6.5 and were back out on the main roads, at least it was now light! There was a bit of a stretch of nothing which was a little disappointing- I expected there to be more music out on the course. It was also really starting to warm up, which I loved despite the humidity. Plenty of loo and water stops along the way. On one of my loo breaks my GU must have fallen out of my pocket and I was hungry! So glad they had Cliff gels at mile 9.

Disney Princess Half marathon

 

Disney Princess half marathon

 

Disney princess half marathon

 

I had woken up with a banging headache that morning (story of my life, but haven’t had to race with a bad one before) and I was really struggling at this point. I walked through all the water stations and chatted with Tom to take my mind off it- he was amazingly supportive throughout the run and I was so glad to have him there. The Minnie headband probably didn’t help but there was no way I wasn’t wearing it all the way round. I wanted to smile through the entire race and wasn’t going to have my headache ruining that.

Disney Princess half marathon

 

Disney Princess half marathon mile markers

 

Once we could see the Epcot golf ball in the distance we knew we didn’t have far to go. Soo excited. I didn’t mind the last few miles in the sunshine, and enjoyed running with Tom and so many happy dressed up Disney fans. Turning into Epcot and we knew we had less than a mile to go. As well as the parades, Tom is also obsessed with the monorail.

Disney Princess half marathon

My knee randomly started hurting about a mile to go, and although I could put weight on it, I couldn’t pick up the pace at all. Stupid knees (I later noticed I had a massive bruise on it so figured I must have bashed it along the way as there’s no lasting pain). After a looping around Epcot, we turned into the finish straight…

Disney Princess half marathon

 

Disney Princess Half marathon

 

Disney Princess half marathon

 

Mickey was waiting just before the finish line- we were surprised more people weren’t queuing for a photo with him. Thrilled to be done in about 2hrs 45- definitely my slowest half to date but one of the most fun!

Disney Princess half marathon

 

So Tom’s weird patches on his top are from rubbing WAY too much vaseline onto his nipples during the run. Haha- he’s learning, slowly!

The support from the volunteers was incredible, there were plenty of loos, water stations every mile and medical tents along the way. I’ve never seen such well stocked medical tents with ice, freeze spray, painkillers, plasters etc. We both had our knees iced immediately after the race. There aren’t a huge amount to supporters cheering along the way, except for in designated zones which is a little disappointing, but the characters and stations along the way more than make up for it.

Disney Princess half marathon

 

Overall we both had a brilliant time during the Glass Slipper Challenge, and we’re keeping our eye on the proposed Disney half in Paris next year! Totally worth it for all the bling…

Disney princess half marathon

21 Day Refined Sugar Ban

chocolate chip pancakes Hi I’m Charlie and I am a sugar monster.

Everyday around 4pm I start looking around for a sweet treat, often walking up to the vending machine or coffee shop in our building and buying a kitkat or other chocolate bar to enjoy with a cup of tea. You all know I believe in moderation, and have no problem with a daily chocolate treat, but it’s my reliance on this sugar hit that I don’t like.

In Florida I went a bit mad. I knew I was on holiday so didn’t hold back when it came to froyo toppings, diet cokes, pancakes with maple syrup, French toast… you get the picture. But now I’m out of holiday mode, and I need to get this sugar monster under control.

froyo toppings

I am cutting out refined sugar for 21 days. (I was actually going to do it for the 40 days of Lent, but that started on the day I flew to the USA, so…NO!)

There have been reports that show that sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine and heroin, yet it’s the most socially acceptable drug around. That it’s poisonous and toxic doesn’t stop most manufacturers adding it to our food willy-nilly.

According to the British Heart Foundation, “in a single day the average person in the UK consumes 13 teaspoons of sugar with some people consuming up to 46 teaspoons. Even so-called healthy foods are not immune with muesli containing up to four teaspoons while one cereal bar contains as much as eight teaspoons of sugar. ” Pretty scary when you think about it. 

Refined sugar is known to cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to reduced immune function and increased risk of inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s,strains of arthritis and certain cancers. In fact, cutting down sugar consumption is pretty much the only thing that all health care professionals and dieticians degree on- you can’t argue with the facts.

I’m not doing the sugar detox where no fruit, dairy etc are allowed, but I am just watching my added sugar consumption. So naturally occurring sugars are fine, KitKats are not so fine.

bowl of fruit and granola

My plan is to swap out the bought breakfast granola pots I have a little too regularly for homemade porridge and overnight oats. I’ll be eating nuts and fruit as snacks, plus some homemade baked goods that have only natural sugars. There’s actually a stall at Borough Market that sells sugar free goodies! I don’t take sugar in my tea or coffee, but I’ll be cutting out my squash and swapping it for V Water, which is made with Stevia, a natural sweetener with nothing artificial which doesn’t have the same effects on the body as normal sugar (although should still be consumed in moderation). Each bottle has added VitaminB, C and E- always a bonus. V Water provides the perfect sweet pick-me up without adding in excess sugar or preservatives, and tastes good! My fave flavour is the Elderflower and Pear- a great sub for elderflower cordial. Image credit. 

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My 21 days starts next Thurs, after I finish my uni exams, and now that I have more time on my hands, I’m really looking forward to spending a little longer planning my daily meals, snacks and drinks, and paying more attention to what I’m putting into my body. I’m hoping it helps my skin clear up a little too.

Have you ever done a sugar ban or detox? I know as part of Whole30 you effectively give yourself a sugar ban although fruit is unlimited.

Anyone want to join me?…

This post is sponsored by V Water- sugar monster behaviour is sadly all my own. 

This wasn’t part of the plan

Disney rides

Tom is moving to Belfast.

I am not.

Just after we got back from our amazing holiday, Tom was offered a job in Belfast that he couldn’t turn down.

It wasn’t in my plans to live apart from the guy that I’ve lived with for the last 18 months. Whilst other friends are getting engaged and married, he is moving out of our lovely flat in West London (I’m staying until my exams are over). It feels like we’re taking two steps back, although I hope it will mean a giant leap forward at some point in the future.

I know that this isn’t forever, but it’s going to be tough. Right now Tom’s schedule allows him to come home most weekends, although I’ve already started googling races in Northern Ireland, and I’m trying to get excited about exploring an area of the UK that I’ve never been to.

I’m finding it stressful not knowing where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing in 6 month’s time. I like planning ahead and I feel completely out of control at the moment. However, I need to remember that life doesn’t always go to plan, and I need to roll with it, and enjoy the life I have now.

life is a journey to be experienced

Disney’s Enchanted 10K Race Recap

Disney enchanted 10k

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Is there any point going to bed if your alarm is going at 3am? Surely that isn’t morning, it’s still the middle of the night.

Tom was not impressed with our wake up call and even less impressed with the hour standing around in the freezing car park waiting for the Enchanted 10k to start at 5.30am. Luckily we were in the first corral so as soon as the wheelchair races crossed the start line, we were good to go.

Of course this is an American race, and a Disney one at that so there were fireworks and playing of the National Anthem.

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Setting off into the black night we ran out of our starting point in the Epcot carpark, and along the main highway. Hundreds of women in various fancy dress outfits. It was freezing in Orlando on Saturday, so I kept my throw away jumper on during most of the run, transferring my wings over the top- even Tinkerbell needs some extra warmth sometimes.

Word of warning- if you ever run in wings- remember they make you a lot wider than you think you are. Apologies to anyone who got slapped by a wing during the run!

I had warned Tom that it wouldn’t be a fast run, and that I wanted to stop for photos with characters. Luckily Meghann had advised me there would be queues, so we ran at a decent speed between characters and didn’t mind too much about waiting.

Our first stop was with these fairies that I thought were Tinkerbell. They weren’t and I have no idea who they are. Can anyone enlighten me? (Edited to add- apparently this IS Tinkerbell and her sister Periwinkle, thanks Becca Johns!)

fairies disney run

To be honest, a lot of the race was actually a little boring and I was glad not to be running alone. There weren’t as many characters as I was expecting and a lot of dark empty roads…

Until we got into Epcot. The lights were gorgeous and it felt awesome running through the park without the usual masses of tourists. I threw away my jumper about the 5 mile marker- just in time for a photo with Donald Duck!

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Disney 10k

donald duck disney 10k

Of course we also had to stop for Minnie…

Minnie Disney 10k

Goofy disney 10K

And goofy. Shame all the great characters were only in the park and didn’t break up the other miles!

Tom hated me for making him have this photo taken.

Disney enchanted 10k

Disney 10K finish line

We made it over the finish line holding hands, at which point we were stopped by someone with a camera and interviewed. I dread to think where that footage will be used. I loved collecting our first mega medal of the weekend! Enchanted 10k finished in 1.11.12!

DSC_0974

finish line Disney 10k

We quickly scoffed down our bananas and tucked into our goody boxes. Our day was only just beginning! The buses that had taken us from my parent’s hotel dropped us back there for a quick shower and change before hot footing it over to the Magic Kingdom. Our first fast pass was booked for 9am and I wasn’t going on Space Mountain on an empty stomach!

Our day was hectic, hilarious and brilliant- however not ideal preparation for a half marathon the following morning! To be continued…

Disney’s Glass Slipper Challenge

The castle

I’m just popping in quickly while Tom is sleeping- I’m blogging in the hotel lobby with a cup of coffee before we hit the Disney Parks for day two. Although I’ll be doing two proper blog posts about our Run Disney experiences, I thought I would just share some pics from our Glass Slipper Challenge. 

The Glass Slipper Challenge is two days of races, a 10K on the Saturday and a half marathon on the Sunday, totally 19.3 miles over the weekend. The races run around Disney property, including through some of the parks. However the majority of the races are run on the roads. There are characters along the course that you can stop and have your photo with, a great way to get character pics without the HUGE lines within the parks.

 

disney with Woody

 

 

I ran in fancy dress for both races, as Tinkerbell for the 10K and as Minnie Mouse for the half marathon. I also made Tom wear Mickey ears for the half- I’m not sure he was overly impressed but he was a good sport!

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The races start at 5.30am, which means a 3am wake up to get the shuttle buses to the start line, however the brilliant organisation means the whole process is really smooth. There were plenty of loos, water stations and medical tents along the way.

Thanks so much for all the lovely messages on twitter and instagram. I’ll be posting the rest of my trip on my social channels, and get back with full race reports as soon as I can.

Have a great day!

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