Fi's Mutterings

Disney, running, swimming, living with disability, challenges…


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Running Events Review of 2016

Last time I wrote about running was in May 2016 so here is, hopefully, a quick recap of the events we covered last year and what is planned for 2017.

R U Taking the P? 5K

On Fathers’ Day, Adam once again took part in R U Taking the P? 5K.  As it is a men only race to raise awareness and fundraising for male cancers, I wasn’t allowed to take part.  This year, Adam’s dad wasn’t at home to run it with him but, even knowing this, Adam asked if he could do it anyway.  It was the first time he’s ever run an event from start to finish on his own.  I was so proud of him.

There were a few people who we know from parkrun there and they kept an eye out for him which was great.  In fact, he got a mention on the York parkrun Facebook page and was featured in the parkrun newsletter in September.  I am so proud of him.

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York 10K

We entered the York 10K in August.  Not as good as previous years but we completed it.  Adam’s hat blew off while we were running down Nunnery Lane, just before we got to Micklegate.  We finished in 1:10:38.  Not bad considering we didn’t run between January and April and had only run up to 5k in training which was very hit and miss.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon

In September, Adam and I went over to Disneyland Paris for the weekend so we could take part in the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.  It was AMAZING!!!  I don’t know what our time was as both of our running watches ran out of battery at around 13k (out of 21k).  This was an event to take part in rather than run for a time though and it was so much fun.

Unlike other runDisney events which start at 5.30am, the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon had a start time of 7am which meant we didn’t have to get up too early.  The one thing I didn’t like was that there were no toilets once you got into the coral, waiting for the start.  We were waiting for over an hour from the last toilet to actually going through the start line.  Needless to say, I needed to go to the toilet when we started.  Ah well, there are plenty of toilets in the parks and we, and lots of others, peeled off as soon as we got to one of the ones backstage.  As usual, there was only 3 toilets in the ladies and the men had 2 plus 3 urinals.  A group of ladies, including myself, decided that we’d risk the wrath of the men and ran in to the men’s loo.

We ran through Walt Disney Studios and Disneyland Park.  There were lots of characters to meet and have a photo taken with but we only stopped to meet Chip and Dale as the queues were too long for the others.  After about 5k, we left the parks and ran through the French countryside before returning the Disneyland Paris and running through Hotel Santa Fe and Hotel Cheyenne to get to the lake and run past Sequoia Lodge and Newport Bay.  The last part of the run was through Disney Village.  Adam and I had started flagging a bit, I think it was because we didn’t have our intervals to keep us on track, when we were running through the hotels but as soon as we got to Disney Village, Adam got his second wind and was off.  I was happily chatting to someone from the UK (another parkrunner) when Adam decided that he was going to start his run for the finish line!

After the finish line we met Daisy and got our medals.  They are heavy!  The run was worth it for the bling, lol 🙂

York 10 Mile

Once again, the team behind the Yorkshire Marathon decided to include a 10 mile run.  Adam, of course, decided that we should run it even though it was only 2 weeks after the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.  As last year, it was a great run with lots of support round the course.  I think the lack of training and the fact that we’d done the half marathon 3 weeks before caught up with me because I didn’t think I could carry on at 8 miles.  I managed even though I had to reduce the run/walk intervals.  We finished in 1:53:46, 3 minutes slower than last year.

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What’s coming in 2017?

At the moment, there is only the York 10K.  If there is a 10 mile to go with the Yorkshire Marathon, I’m sure we’ll enter that again but they haven’t released details of it yet.  Adam is going to be running R U Taking the P? again.  This year he will probably be running with his dad, or at least starting with him.

Now that I have completed 100 parkruns, I’m planning on volunteering at least once a month but will still be running 2 to 3 parkruns each month, unless the horses are using the track 😉 (York parkrun uses the service track at York Racecourse so is cancelled if there is horse racing).  My fastest time for parkrun was 31:52 in 2016 and I would love to get back under 31, or even 30, minutes in 2017.

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Disneyland Paris Half Marathon

After last year’s runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon that ended up being a 7 mile run instead of 13, I did my sums and decided that Adam and I could do the inaugural half marathon at Disneyland Paris in September 2016.  I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun.  The only downside being that my husband will probably be away working so only Adam and I are booked on the trip 😦

Today, I finally did the last thing which I needed to get done/booked before we go so I can now relax and not panic, well not much anyway, until September.

So, I have booked the Disneyland Paris hotel, the Eurostar (from London to Disneyland Paris), the hotel in London for the day before Disneyland Paris and for the day we return from Disneyland Paris, trains to and from London (so happy that if you register with Virgin Trains you can book your tickets up to 6 months in advance rather than the usual 12 weeks).  I have also bought our half marathon entry and tickets to the inaugural party at Walt Disney Studios.  I’m so excited!  The amount Adam keeps talking about it, I think he’s excited too – I had to tell him so that I can get him out running/training for it.

One thing which is different about this run is that unlike other events where you can sign a waiver, under French Law, you have to get a Medical Certificate signed by your doctor to say that you are fit to enter the race.  I finally organised the Medical Certificates for Adam and me and picked them up today.  They are now uploaded to the registration site and we are ready to go.

Now we just need to put in the miles and the time in training for it.  At least we still have over 4 months to go 🙂

I managed to get a longer run than I anticipated this morning due to forgetting to pick up the Medical Certificates yesterday.  I was planning on running a 3km loop but had a phone call (which I didn’t answer) when I was half way round.  I looked at the caller id which came up with “No Caller ID” – when my doctors surgery calls it comes up with that – which made me remember I needed to pick up the Certificates.  So, I decided I’d extend my run and run to the doctors surgery.  I’d done 4km of consistent running, no walking, by the time I got to the doctors so decided to pause my Garmin and then restart it when I got going again.  I ended up with a, not quite constant, run of 5.55km in 36:15!  It’s not the time or the distance that I’m happy with (well, I am because it’s the fastest I’ve done for a while) but more the fact that, apart from the stop at the doctors, I ran without any walk breaks for over 35 minutes 😀

Bring on the York 10K – yes, we’ve entered that again – and the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.  We may add the Yorkshire 10 mile if they do it as part of the Yorkshire Marathon again.


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Disneyland Paris

This post is a couple of months late but at least it is here which is more than I can say for the post about my 40th birthday trip to Walt Disney World (WDW) which still hasn’t materialised!  Anyway, my husband and I planned a surprise trip to Disneyland Paris (DLP) for my son’s 18th birthday and this is my blog about it.

First, just a bit of background. My son has a learning disability so, even though he is 18, his development is around that of a 6-7 year old. Keeping this a secret from him was really hard and I nearly slipped up more than once!

OK, so here is the story of my son’s 18th birthday surprise. At the beginning of the year (2012), we asked my son if he wanted to go away for his birthday and, if so, where he wanted to go. As we had been to WDW for my birthday the previous year he said he wanted to go back to WDW. Sorry, but much as I would have loved to be able to pull that one off, it wasn’t going to happen – we can’t afford to go to WDW two years in a row and my son’s birthday is in the October half term holiday which means we only get a week, not two. So, he decided that he’d like to go to London and go to London Zoo, the Science Museum, Buckingham Palace (actually go inside not just see the outside) and the Transport Museum. That was OK, I could let him keep thinking we were going to London while planning a trip to DLP as we could get the Eurostar from St Pancras which just happens to be next door to the station we arrive in to when we get to London.

My son’s birthday actually wasn’t in half term, officially, but his school had a teacher training day on his birthday which meant that he had a day off. So, we got the train to London on the evening before his birthday when he had come home from school and stayed in a B&B near the station overnight.

On the morning of his birthday, he opened the few presents and cards we had taken to London with us and then we packed the cases up again and headed out of the B&B. We had told him that we were changing hotels after the first night in London to one which was a bit nicer and closer to where we wanted to visit. My son loves transport so we had asked him if he wanted to see if we could have a look at the Eurostar before we got the tube to the new hotel, he said yes so we took a walk over to St Pancras. When we got to the Eurostar area, we were told that you can’t see the Eurostar unless you are travelling on it. When we found this out, I asked my son if he wanted to go on the Eurostar. He said “No, London Zoo”. Oh boy! I was praying that I hadn’t just made the biggest mistake of my life by planning this holiday. I then asked my son if he thought I was being silly and he said yes which was why he had given the response he had. I got my holiday file out and sat down with my son to show him that we did, in fact, have tickets for the Eurostar and asked him if he knew where the Eurostar went. He said DLP and I asked, again, if he would like to go on the Eurostar. Thankfully, this time, he said yes! I wish my husband had been ready with the camera to catch my son’s reaction because he was so shocked that I thought he was going to cry.

The journey on the Eurostar was great. They provided and activity pack for children under 12 but I went to the information desk and explained that my son had a learning disability and asked if he could have one, they said yes.

The journey on the Eurostar takes around 2 hours 30 minutes to get from London to Disneyland Paris and it went so quickly. When we got to DLP we decided to walk through Disney Village to the hotel rather than wait with everyone else for the shuttle buses. DLP is very small and it took about 20 minutes to walk from the station to the hotel through Disney Village pushing the suitcase. I’m glad we did decide to walk because the check-in area at the hotel was deserted. Check-in was really easy and the cast members very helpful.

We then went to our room and unpacked before going down to the Disneyland Park for a quick look around before our next surprise (dinner). When we got in to the Park, we went straight to City Hall to ask if they did a Guest Assistance Pass like they do at WDW. They do! The cast member we spoke to was very helpful and gave us lots of tips on what to see and do. She also gave us a booklet with maps of each area of the Parks and marked on the disabled viewing areas for the parades in both Disneyland Park and Studios. By the time we had done all that it was 4.30pm and the parade at DLP is at 5pm so we decided to find a space to sit down and watch it before having to leave for our 6pm dinner reservation. When we had found our spot, one of the Cast Members spotted my disabled guide and asked if we wanted to go in to the disability area. I said that we were fine where we were but thank you. The parade was lovely and, as always, had a great catchy tune.

After the parade we left the Park to go to the Disneyland Hotel as we had dinner reservations for a character dinner in Inventions. The interaction with the characters was great but the food wasn’t right for us as it was mainly seafood although the blurb which I had read about it said that there was roast meats too so I had thought that it would be OK. My husband found plenty to eat but my son and I didn’t so that is a lesson for next time, we’ll probably try Cafe Mickey in Disney Village instead. That said, the puddings were amazing! I certainly made up for not having much of a main course with those 🙂 and, like I said, the interaction with the characters was brilliant.


There were birthday wishes from Mickey, Pinocchio, Chip, Dale, Pluto and Tigger.


Tigger was very funny. My son has a tuft of hair which always sticks up at the back (we can’t get it flat regardless of what we try) and Tigger came up behind him and started to flick the tuft of hair before my son knew he was behind him. It made my son’s evening and he is still talking about it now, 2 months later! Finally, as they do in WDW, they brought my son a slice of cake with a candle in it and played a celebration song over the loudspeaker system in the restaurant.

That was just the day we arrived! We stayed for 4 nights and had a blast. The parks are very small and we could have done it in 2 or 3 nights rather than 4 but it was still a lot of fun. The organisation for meet and greets with the characters has improved greatly since we were last there 10 years ago. I also liked the way they helped those with disabilities. At WDW, if you have a non-physical disability you are able to access the attractions through the FastPass entrance. At DLP all disabilities access the attractions through the disabled entrance. I found this worked really well. With some of the rides you just queued in the disabled area and in others you were asked to book a time to come back as they were only allowed to let so many disabled parties in at any one time. It worked great for us.

All in all, it was a great trip and a wonderful surprise for my son. He went back to school absolutely buzzing and actually spent 20 minutes telling his Pastoral Group about it with the help of the Park map. They usually have to encourage him to speak about his weekend/holiday.

My son did get his trip to London Zoo too as we had an extra couple of nights in London when we got back from DLP.


Weekly Photo Challenge: 2012 in Pictures

I haven’t done a photo challenge for a while and I’m not even sure I have enough photos to make up all of 2012 so I hope I have enough to show the best of the year.


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Daily Prompt: Immortalized in Stone

Here we go for day 3 of my week-long daily blogging challenge from the Daily Post.  Today’s daily prompt is:

Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?

The biggest thing which happened this year was my son’s 18th birthday.  We took him on a surprise trip to Disneyland Paris so that would be my sculpture – my son celebrating his birthday with all his Disney pals.

Happy 18th Birthday from Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Paris

Happy 18th Birthday from Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Paris

Happy 18th Birthday from Pluto

Happy 18th Birthday from Pluto

A quick drink before the parade

A quick drink before the parade

Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris

Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris