All I can say is WOW to this weekend. It’s been the best weekend ever and I apologise in advance for the length of this blog and the amount of photos but you will (hopefully) understand why!
So it all started Friday morning, after starting my new photography job and getting up at 4am for 2 weeks – we were up at 6am to get the train to London to begin our weekend in Disneyland. We were all buzzing and couldn’t wait to meet my 2 aunties at Kings Cross for the traditional selfie outside of M&S after we got our snacks.
You can see the smiles on our faces gleaming!
3 hours on the Eurostar and we arrived in the happiest place in the world.
Now, I haven’t seen my friend Tammy for around about 8 months and we are both obsessed with Disney – it just so happens she was also there for the weekend so a quick 10 minute meet up was very much needed. Big hugs and kisses later we had to leave but it really did just add to the amazing weekend.
Friday is the day we potter around and go to the Disney expo to pick up our race packs and take a sneak peak at the medal (which can I say was amazing but we will get to that part later). This year was a lot more organised than the previous with different activities happening in the expo tent, I tried a VR game which for those of you that know how much of a nerd I am was extremely exciting.
We also went to a talk that Paula Radcliffe had organised and I had the pleasure of meeting her which was very inspiring.
We had dinner in Planet Hollywood and went back to the hotel for a good night sleep ready for the next day adventures.
Saturday morning we wake up, bright and early, down for breakfast we go (bump into Mickey Mouse) and off into Disneyland where my soul comes to life! 👸🏼
We just had the most incredible day in the park, long but amazing. Soaking in all of its glory and acting like children again. And just preparing ourselves for the run the next day.
So, Sunday – the run.
I must admit, from how I feel every morning of a run this one felt different, I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t scared I just wanted to get going and enjoy every minute of it. We were all waiting on the start line at 7am, in our bin bags & ponchos warming up and waiting for our wave of runners to start.
Now I can honestly say this was the best half marathon I think I have ever done. From start to finish I enjoyed every single second.
The first 4 miles you run round the park, where you have no supporters (apart from Main Street) it’s just you, the staff from each ride & characters you can stop to take photos with. There were so many characters I can’t name them all, I didn’t stop for any photos with them until however I bumped into Lynda and got a few selfies with the princesses and some outside the castle.
We ran past mum who was waiting for us down Main Street, I had a go pro with me filming everything so I could capture how amazing the atmosphere of the run is and whilst I was busy loving life filming the entrance to the Castle I managed to trip up a step and fall flat on my face (which was filmed on the go pro so that video is to follow!
I’m sure everyone knows that I am a very unemotional person, but right from the start all I wanted to do was cry from how happy I was and I think that really showed in my running. At mile 7 I looked at my time and saw ‘1hr25’ and I realised that I had only stopped to walk once and that was with stopping for photos with Lynda. I cannot explain how this made me feel, all I could do was text my dad and say ‘Dad, I’m smashing it I’m at mile 7 before 1hr30’ because he knows how slow I am and he wasn’t there so I just had to tell him – it couldn’t wait till the end. Speaking of my Dad quickly, this was the first run I have done without him in my 12 in 12 months and only the second out of my 15 I’ve done in total without him, he was definitely missed and all I thought about was him being proud of me at the end of the race knowing I was beating my PB, hardly walking which has never happened before and not nearly bursting into tears from pain at mile 10.
It feels absolutely incredible to be able to say I’ve beaten my PB is Disneyland, my time was 2:42 so only 3 minutes quicker but that includes me stopping for photos, falling over & walking slightly whilst drinking water. So I am so proud of myself and I think this is the realisation I needed that I am a lot better than I think I am and I need to stop walking so much! But it also could have been how stunning the medal was, let’s all just take a moment to appreciate its beauty…
…And me and Lynda of course. Now I think it’s important for everyone to realise just how amazing this woman is. I can’t believe it has been a whole year since she knew she had a lump and she went on to run this half marathon, the Cumbrian run (which was a week later) and never once let it affect her. She has managed to keep up her monthly walks up Catbells after going through her intense Chemo & radio therapy and she is still the happiest woman on the planet. I cannot express the love and admiration I have for this woman and I know I say it a lot but I am SO grateful to be able to call her my Aunty. She is just the best and I love being around her.
Also quick shout out to my sister who completed her first marathon, well done Victoria 👏🏻
Aunty Helen was not getting into the Disney spirit so we made her buy ‘tasteful’ ears 😂
Run over, we then go back to the room have a quick lay down/shower and back into the park! The adults even faced their fears and went on the tower of terror!
Last year the runners were far too tired to make the light show due to our busy weekend but we were determined to make it this weekend! The adults went home so me, Victoria & Suzanne stayed for it and OH MY GOODNESS it was worth it! It was so magical and emotional, I had goosebumps the whole way through!
Sunday was just amazing I don’t even think the pictures do it justice. Sunday evening we were preparing ourselves for going home Monday with another trip to Paris, and we thought the weekend couldn’t get any better – but how we were wrong!
Knowing we were checking out to go to Paris made leaving a little bit easier, Paris is my favourite city and I was so excited to be going back!
The plan was to go to the Eiffel Tower, obviously have a few selfies and cruise along the River Seine. It was so beautiful, getting to see the cities landmarks again and cruising along the river with champagne just made it even better.
We had pizza by the river and started to make our way home. As we got off the tube I noticed there was a sign saying ‘Arc De Triomphe’ and I thought ‘surely we can’t let this opportunity slide’ so we made a decision to go out and see it and it was the best decision made of the weekend. Not only was the Arc beautiful we spotted a little milk float type electric car doing tours of the city. We must have looked crazy but we asked if the driver could take us round the manic roundabout which he agreed to, and it was hilarious!
It was definitely an unexpected white knuckle ride!
We then came home to catch our Eurostar home – and that was our Disney weekend summed up in a very long blog!
It’s now time to stress all week as race 9 in 6 days! Rest & food will be taken advantage of.
Thank you for all the family this weekend for just making it amazing and I can’t wait till next year!
See you in a week 😬🙈