Cinema trips, feeling more festive, and tea

Following on from the Brighton 10K, I was home on Monday not too late so did a lovely 4 mile run.

On Tuesday we had booked cinema tickets (for the first time in ages) to see the film about the Le Mans 24 hour race. I hadn’t got my free Starbucks drink yet, so popped in after work to pick one up. I’d been awake in the night for a couple of hours with a really bad headache and I think I hadn’t had enough to drink (and worked until nearly 10pm on my laptop), so I made a cup of tea to take with me to the cinema to make sure it didn’t happen again.

I really enjoyed the film, not knowing anything about it (it was based on a true story) but it was so loud and so exhausting to watch- I felt like I’d been driving for 24 hours by the time it finished!

I also took in a pack of peanut butter cups- these Pip & Nut ones are so good and mean I don’t need to bring back a load of Justin’s ones from when I go to the USA- hooray!

On Wednesday at yoga we had a focus on properly moving from the plank into being on the floor, keeping our elbows over our wrists (instead of tracking back)- oh my goodness me this was so hard and by the end my arms were like jelly! It felt like awful tricep dips! It’s so interesting how the body is so clever at adapting and finding the easiest way to do something, instead of the correct way.

On Thursday after work I had a 3 and a bit mile run, and then came home to some salt and vinegar peanuts- anyone else love these? I really love them but the KP ones burn my lips a bit- not so good! Andy put the fire on for a cosy evening of watching The Crown.

I really liked this autumn self care guide that popped up in my feed- after having several evenings working late in front of the TV, it was a good reminder to take care of myself too.

Although I didn’t have time for breakfast on Friday and we were heading to Starbucks for lunch, so I ended up having an almond croissant instead (brunch?)- they heated it up and it went a bit soft! (Still tasty though)

My tea club for November arrived and I loved the gorgeous packaging- such pretty drawings. Each month the postcard is designed by a different artist so it’s lovely to see the different styles.

On Friday evening I met Andy in town as we had to get a few bits from the shops, and we walked around to Caffe Nero to try a festive hot chocolate (I think a hazelnut one?) and a little look around John Lewis as I wanted to get some boots with my vouchers. As we will be making Christmas cakes with the children at work I tried out the recipe and it seemed to go down pretty well.

On Saturday I drove to my parents and then walked to Jersey Farm parkrun with Dad (my 6th run there- working on the p index).

It’s a fun course to do in the autumn/winter as it’s a bit muddy and a bit up and down, so it feels a little like cross country (compared to running on a tarmac path). One of the marshals shouted that she was spotting everyone’s leggings- I did see a few funky ones and even some festive ones. Dad ran ahead as he is working on breaking his pb, so I had an enjoyable run on my own, finishing in 30:24

We then walked back home where I had a shower and then Mum cooked us pancakes. They are planning a trip to Canada next year so we had a lovely long chat about the places they should visit and how long to spend in each place.

Once home we walked into town while it was still light (not much of that about at the moment)- I was feeling festive with my candy cane jumper and “Mince pies before guys” t-shirt which never fails to make me laugh (I took some pics in the changing room as some of my friends were at a Christmas market and the whatsapp group got a bit carried away with festive things!).

I also got the sparkly boots, and a really cosy jumper (pretty much the only one in the shop that didn’t contain wool, as I find that so scratchy).

I had some work to do so did that once home (it was dark by then anyway).

On Sunday morning I had a rather horrible experience- I was running along a track that leads past some houses and fields into the back of the park, when I heard barking, turned around and saw 4 dogs hurtling towards me, all growling and barking. I stopped (as I have been told that standing still is better than running) and screamed “oh my god!” at them and the guy walking them. He called something along the lines of “it’s OK, they are just chasing each other”- well it didn’t feel like that. He called them back, and once they were back at him I turned around and started running again, but the same thing happened.  I felt so panicked as a couple of them were really big dogs. He called them back and walked across to the field by the side of the road, but didn’t put any of them on leads. I watched them for ages, not wanting to run again in case they ran back across the field and chased me again. Once I couldn’t see them any more, I burst into tears which was very unexpected, and I couldn’t get my breathing to work. I walked for ages, and just could not calm down. I considered ringing Andy but it’s a private road (public footpath) so he wouldn’t be able to drive along there anyway. Once back in the park I had calmed down and could run again, but it made me really cross  that it had affected me that much. I think I’ll be avoiding that place from now on too.

In the afternoon we went to Andy’s parents house for a bit of a catch up, then once home I made the Christmas cakes, and in the evening we were off to see Frozen 2! (I didn’t wear my ears in the cinema in the end…)

I loved it! It was so beautiful- amazing autumnal colours in the woods, and the ice palaces just looked so bright. I liked a few of the songs but they didn’t all jump out at me (unlike Moana where I pretty much loved every song straight away) but I’ve been listening to it since then and there are some growers (including the song by Weezer- anyone else remember them? I used to love their Buddy Holly song and Island in the Sun). I was also glad to see it before any kids at work tell me any spoilers!


Off to Brighton again!

After saying how much I preferred running on Mondays, the next week I ran on Tuesday instead because on Monday I was meeting a friend for dinner straight after work.  We went to Bill’s and had a lovely catch up, so it was worth the mixing up of days.

On Tuesday I had a 3 mile run, and Wednesday a 4 mile run (no yoga that week).  I was due to have a late training course on Thursday but it was cancelled at the last minute so I headed home and used the time to catch up on other work bits ahead of our weekend away, because we were (surprise surprise) off to Brighton!

We got the train down on Friday night, and of course I was off to parkrun on Saturday morning.

I had opted for Hove Prom, as it was slightly closer to the hotel, but also I am working on my p-index (it’s at 5 currently, which means I have been to 5 parkruns at least 5 times) and needed to go to Hove Prom to begin getting it to number 6. These little challenges keep me busy!

I was surprised to see rain when I left the hotel as it wasn’t forecast, but thankfully it wasn’t heavy. I got to the seafront with about 10 minutes to spare and kept my hoodie on until the last possible moment- there was a really cold wind.

I started fairly slowly (and somehow ended up in the finish funnel behind some walkers so couldn’t overtake for a bit) but sped up in the cold wind. I had wished I’d brought gloves with me. Anyway I enjoyed it (it’s two laps out and back along the prom, starting in the middle) and when I finished the guy behind me asked the time as he saw me stopping my watch. My time was 27:24 which I was pleased with but very surprised when I got the text through congratulating me on a course pb- for some reason I thought I had run faster there, but when I looked it up it was Preston Park I was thinking of. Time to celebrate!

I met Andy at the Cafe Coho closest to our hotel and enjoyed a delicious breakfast of pancakes, and then headed back for a shower.

After a pop into Bird& Blend to pick up a drink (I went for a snowball latte which is made with their snowball tea- chocolate and coconut- plus vegan marshmallows) we walked along the seafront to Hove. Back in the town we picked up a wrap to share from Pret, and then stopped for tea and cake a bit later. I managed to make a start on Christmas shopping, and we went to the Hotel Chocolat cafe for a drink (although weirdly they would not serve the drink without the cocoa whip, but served it on the side??).

We got a takeaway pizza- this vegan one is soo tasty with pesto and veggies.

I got my race things ready and painted my nails (I love the five-free nail polish) and we had popped to Gail’s to pick up a Christmas bun so had that in the evening too.

On Sunday morning it was such luxury to be able to get up not long before the race started- you had to be in the pens at 9.20am, and our hotel was maybe 10 mins walk. I’d chosen to wear a long sleeved top in the end (my Run Disney one).

The race starts near the pier and you run west along to Hove for just over 2 miles, turn around and run east for 3 and a half miles, past the start line and then turn back and run west again for the final half a mile or so. It’s super fast and flat, but I didn’t think I’d be going for a pb (particularly with getting a course one at parkrun the day before). I really enjoyed it- at one point I was running and thought I saw someone spectating who I followed on instagram, and as I was looking a runner next to me commented “you look relaxed” (which Andy later found hilarious as I am the most un-relaxed person ever)- I replied thanks and that I was enjoying it, and that I liked his tutu (he was wearing a tutu). It was good to hear and it made me think a little more about race motivation. This route is a fab one for a pb (I think all my 10k pb’s have some from this course) but this run is a great reason to visit Brighton for the weekend, and I just love running by the sea and seeing all the crowd support and so on.

My 10k pb is 54:11 (from this time last year) and this year I was around 55:18 but a few years before that I was trying hard to get in under a hour (and my first 10k was 70 mins). Looking at my splits after nearly all my miles were under 9 minutes, so it was nice to see that I was running as this faster speed and feeling more comfortable (it wasn’t easy, but I wasn’t totally wiped out for the day either).

Andy met me at the finish line and had bought an almond croissant for my breakfast, so we headed back to the hotel, made a tea while I had a shower and then I could enjoy breakfast.

After a walk around the town we headed to Leon for lunch- we have our order perfected- two veggie burgers, one portion of waffle fries and one pot of hummus to dip the fries into. So good.

And of course I had to pop to Bird & Blend to get a drink for the train (this time, a classic chai latte).

I chilled out listening to the film podcast on the way home (and may have fallen asleep at a few points too), and then once home it was time to unpack and then watch a bit of TV- such a great weekend.

Look at the gorgeous festive tea tin! (And the Christmas room spray).

Are there races that you like to do again and again? Are you always chasing pb’s or do you run to enjoy them? Dare I ask if you have started your Christmas shopping?

Sunshine feels like a while ago now! (The first week home in the cold)

The last three weeks have whizzed by though! It is most definitely the end of autumn though- lots of frost and cold around now.

The first week after we got back from holiday wasn’t too bad with regards to jetlag- as I slept on the plane a bit, and then stayed awake on Sunday I felt OK for the most part but just felt very sleepy when heading into work (not ideal) so I got back into having some matcha first thing in the morning to wake me up.

I have been loving our little acer tree too- it almost glows in the low morning light.

Happy in my Run Disney top, sad that it can’t be seen under the high viz vest and torch get up!

Lots of frosty mornings too

As for runs, I have a busy day on Tuesday, and was in the habit of running on Tuesday as it was the night I ran with the club. However I have found I prefer running on a Monday, and having a walk after work on Tuesday instead. So the first week was a 3 mile run on Monday, yoga on Wednesday and 4 miles on Thursday. I’ve needed my torch each evening though- it’s so dark and even with the streetlights on, it’s hard to see the pavements as they are in the shadows of the big trees.

On Friday I had booked a massage (my back was rather sore after the overnight flight), and a friend at work had popped out to Starbucks at lunch and got me a cinnamon roll- my favourite! I had it once home with some tea.

On Saturday morning I cycled to parkrun and it was beautiful but so cold! I had on a running t-shirt, long sleeved top and jacket, gloves and a buff, but my face was so sore. I don’t quite know how to work out a warm head + helmet + ponytail- any ideas?

As I was parking my bike I heard “hi Maria” and saw another girl from my running club (Caroline) locking up her bike. She is a speedy runner, but has been running marathons and ultras the last few weekends so was taking it more easy. We ended up running together (a very enjoyable 31:17) and then cycling home together too, as she lives fairly close to me. We both agreed we will have to do it again sometime (and when I am brave she can show me the shortcut through the woods).

I was so cold though, I needed a warm shower and plenty of tea, and ended up sitting under a blanket for a bit too.

I had some work to get on with, so I parked myself in front of the TV (my office is very cold)  and later enjoyed half a mince pie- my first Christmas treat of the year (if we don’t count the Disney gingerbread..).

It was horrible weather by then, so I did a spot of baking, making some spiced pumpkin cake and some little chocolate and peanut butter pretzels.

On Sunday the weather was glorious so I went for a 10 mile run- it was my first double figures run in absolutely ages (probably since Wimpole 10 miles back in October).

How do you cope with jetlag? Have you had many frosty mornings? If you cycle, how do you keep your head warm in the winter?

Christmas Disney!

Last year I was very excited when we went to Magic Kingdom on our penultimate day and found some of the Christmas decorations were already up, so this year I wanted to see the again. We had seen hints of the decorations- Disney Springs had big Happy Holidays posters to stand in front of, and Hollywood Studios had Christmas window displays, and after our anniversary dinner we’d seen the beginning of the gingerbread house.

Due to the final Halloween party being on the Friday, it meant to Saturday was the only option for us to see them. We headed to MK for a bit to go on a few rides, have a giant cinnamon roll, and of course admire the decorations.

By chance I had wanted a final go on Jungle Cruise (side note- have you seen the trailer for this yet? Because you know, Disney needs to make a film for every single ride…) as I love their puns. As we were waiting, I noticed that a candy cane had been put over the u, so it said “Jingle Cruise” instead of “Jungle Cruise”. As we moved through the queue it turned out they had made it all Christmas themed- one of the barrels waiting to go on was full of eggnog, and the boats had been re-named.

The jokes on the ride had all changed too- honestly it made my day!

We walked from MK to the Contemporary hotel, as I had seen online that the gingerbread house had been finished. (I follow Disney Parks Blog and Disney Food Blog on Insta and it cheers me up when I am at home to see all the wondrous things that are happening over there…)

It did not disappoint! There were Hidden Mickeys to find as well as characters from Frozen and Small World, plus the shop was open. We bought a pebble (a roof tile) and a peppermint chocolate cookie to take home, and a little ornament (as we stayed in the hotel last year so it seemed like it was allowed…). They even did vegan gingerbread cake- I am really so impressed with all the options now.

Oh, and after that we got the Monorail to Epcot and guess what? In the first shop we went into, they had the aqua ears in stock (my pink ones were packed)- so now I have two sets of Minnie Ears! We’re off to Disneyland Paris in December so I will have to wear them over my hat!

I also got an Olaf mug- inside it says “I like warm hugs” so I feel it will be perfect for warm wintery drinks- as well as a few scented candles. When you are leaving the sunshine behind to come back to dark and cold days, you need these things to make it a little better!

Look- the aqua ears!

I totally love Christmassy things, although I do feel a bit humbug when mince pies appear in September- I want it to be special so it can’t last that long. But a bonus of going to Disney in October half term has been to see the start of their decorations (without the crazy crowds of actual Christmas in Disney), and now it’s a few weeks later and only maybe 5 weeks until Christmas, I feel like I can start to feel a bit festive.

When do you start to feel all festive? At this time I am all over the Christmas snacks but actual decorations at home need to wait until December. I actually saw a tree up in a house today!

Disney Fall Feast 5K 2019

Happily our trip to Florida also coincided with the Wine and Dine Run Disney weekend. Last year we did the 10k, but decided to do the 5k instead. I was planning on doing the Florida parkrun on the Saturday, as it was a 7.30am start so I could be back for checkout at 11, but when I actually looked it up, although it was 30 mins away (not too far) there were no public transport options and so the Uber was going to be $40 each way- a bit too much to spend in the end. But the Run Disney event was the main attraction. Races in the US seem to be expensive anyway (no £6.50 Festive Five here) but at least with Run Disney you get lots of things around the race.

I loved going to the Expo, not just for the merchandise but for the fun of posing for pictures and meeting characters (without the sweaty hair and face of the actual race day).

Last year we went for breakfast and then to the Expo, and this year we went to a park for a couple of rides before heading there- we were maybe half an hour later but there were big queues and loads of the clothes had already sold out. I really wanted some Disney shoes, but I could not work out how to find them in the app to pre-order, and when I went to the website it kept signing me out and making me reset my password. We picked up our numbers, went to the shop where in the end I got two things- a long sleeved top (the purple one below)- it has thumb holes and I loved the list on the back- and then the black jacket- it’s sort of puffy in the body with thin sleeves. My running club used to do similar branded ones, and I didn’t get one as I didn’t know which size to choose online, and I am always super jelly of the people who have them as they are light but warm. So when I saw they did one, I had to get it (and it was not too expensive- £69 compared to $45 for a vest). We then went to the other building to pick up our race tops- the green one below- these were also long sleeved, so no way would we be wearing them for the actual race! It was 33 degrees outside!

I had wanted to get some Minnie ears to wear for the race, and I was being a bit fussy- I wanted light coloured ones as the dark ones I wore last year didn’t show up in the photos. I really wanted the Arendelle Aqua ones (a sparkly blue/green colour) but they weren’t in stock anywhere, so on the day before I got some pink/gold sparkly ones. We didn’t stay too late in the parks that day (we chose a 9pm firework show vs the 10pm one) and then got our numbers ready, as it was an early wakeup the next morning.

The hotels all put on buses, and as the race started at 5.30am we were told to be on a busy by 4am at the latest. We set the alarm for 3.45 and had the quickest get up ever, as the bus stop was a 5 min walk from our room.

Once at the start, we had to go through security (neither of us had bags so that was speedy) and then walk to the start. You can see above that it was actually a fair walk (as we got dropped at the finish area)- I am guessing it was a mile? I wished I’d tracked it! We had to stand around for a bit, but there was a DJ playing music and they interviewed people linked to the supporting charities, so it was all fairly entertaining and the time passed quickly. We were in the first wave so once the wheelchair athletes had gone it was our turn to count down and see the fireworks.

After we had been running for about 5 mins we heard the next lot of fireworks for the next wave. The route was pretty flat and seemed to get into the park fairly quickly, which was good. I loved running around the world showcase- all the buildings had their lights sparkling, and there was music playing in some places.  I didn’t stop at any characters (they were not the most famous ones- a bug from Bug’s Life, Chip and Dale). It wasn’t timed but we managed a good negative split with 10:33, 9:48, 9:04 and 8:28. Once we finished and collected our medals and little snack boxes, we queued to meet Minnie and then Mickey, before heading to the bus stop.

The snack pack was pretty good- some hummus, chips to dip, apple sauce, little fruit and nut bar, and a sort of Dime bar.

After a shower and change we had to head out as we had booked breakfast at the Polynesian- my favourite.

We shared a fruit platter (which was full of mango, pineapple, kiwi, dragon fruit, strawberries and plums as well as fresh honeycomb and some of those ball things you get in bubble tea- I didn’t eat those- are you meant to eat them or are they for decoration??), and the banana stuffed French toast which comes with maple syrup and also this amazing strawberry sauce which I poured all over the fruit too!

Of course the other fab thing about a Disney race is posing with your medal after! We went to MK and Epcot so I could get a lot of photos, and then on the Saturday we went back again as I wanted to pose with the Christmas decorations (and Friday was the final Halloween party, so I knew there would be some Christmas things out the next day).

Have you been to a Run Disney or other themed running event? Do you usually run on holiday?