Unexpected Loss

Hi There,

I promise I did not abandon you again. Unfortunately, my family was dealing with the very unexpected loss of our sweet puppy Calypso. It came as quite a shock and I think, even now, 2 weeks later- we are still getting used to the idea that she isn’t around anymore.

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Calypso or Caly for short was a wonderful, loving and beautiful black lab. She was part of our family for 11 years. While that might seem like a lot to some, it felt very short lived when the time came to say goodbye. Calypso’s name was inspired by the goddess from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie and the fact that we adopted her in October. She loved Puppacino’s from Starbucks and walking around the neighborhood. She was a big fan of a seasonal bandanna and could often be found dressed up in a t-shirt hanging around the house. She greeted everyone with a wagging tail and a look that let you know that she was happy to see you. Popcorn was one of her favorite snacks at night before bed and it didn’t feel like dinnertime unless she was laying at your feet, waiting for anything to fall.

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The vet is not exactly sure what caused such a dramatic turn in her health that lead her from being perfectly fine on a Friday morning to us having to say good bye to her on Sunday night. While I cannot go back in time and change anything, my head and heart feel there is a disconnect for exactly what happened and I have trouble making sense of it all or accepting it.  However, I am grateful that I got the chance to say goodbye to her in person and make sure that even as she crossed the rainbow bridge she had one of her toys with her and was comfortably wrapped in her cozy blanket.

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Calypso, you were such a loving, sweet, amazing member of our family and if love alone could have kept you here, you would have lived forever. You are so missed by us and Indiana Bones.  Rest in Peace and now that you are so loved.

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Finding Balance- My Top 5 Tips

Finding Balance Photo

Hello Again!

I hope that you are having a fantastic day and a great week so far. It is finally Thursday!

Yesterday was my first day back to work after D and I  got back from a short vacation up North. It was nice to get away for a little bit but first day back to work is always the hardest.

As the title implies, balance is one of those things I have been struggling to find for what feels like quite a while now. I will say it has definitely gotten better but I have had to really fight to make it possible some days. Since the company I work for consists of a small team, the expectations for each of us is high which means it is not your typical 9-5.

One thing that has really driven me to find balance is my health. Over the past year I have been dealing with being sick on and off with sinus infections as well as a stress rash. While this was not necessarily fun, this last round of sinus infections (yes, that is plural) made me realize that I needed to practice some better habits in the form of self-care.

For the longest time, the idea of self-care was something I balked at and felt was not something that I  had the time for. Now, I am fully aware that I need to take a break every once in a while and breathe.

My top 5 tips for finding balance are:

  1. Make yourself a priority. I  know, I would scoff at that one time and wonder to myself, “when will I find the time to make me a priority”, but I am here to tell you that you NEED to make you a priority. All the people in your world who rely on you to be there for them need you to take care of yourself.  Even if you just take 30 minutes and get your nails done or sit on the couch in your sweatpants watching Real Housewives, you will be doing yourself a favor!
  2. Make a to-do list. I am a list girl. If you were to look in my purse right now, there are probably 5 lists that I am actively working on and that does not count the one on my desk at work or the one on my desk at home. For me, list making is a great way to feel a little less stressed. I often refer to it as a “brain dump”, which is when I take all the little thoughts or ideas and just write them all out so they are on paper and I can organize them into something constructive. I sometimes take it a step further and color code it so that I know what is work related and what is personal. (Have a great tip on list making? Share it with me!!)
  3. Go For a walk. Sometimes just getting outside is the best thing for you.  The other day I got off work a little early and was able to get outside in the sunshine for a walk with my sister. I don’t know if it was the endorphins, the company or the sunshine or maybe a combination of it all, but I found myself feeling a little bit lighter on my feet and quite a bit happier than I was at the beginning of the day. Elle Woods put it best- Endorphins Make You Happy!
  4. Celebrate every accomplishment. You are amazing!! Read it again! You are amazing! I don’t care if all you did today was get out of bed and make a cup of coffee… you are rocking it! Celebrate your accomplishments, even if they are small.
  5. Have Fun! Try to do something fun every single day. It doesn’t need to cost money or even require leaving the house. If your idea of fun is dancing around the living room listening to Bon Jovi, get it girl!

 

How do you practice self-care?

Any good tips for finding balance?

 

Starting Fresh

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Hi There,

I have to admit, I have stared at this blinking cursor wondering how start this post and if I really wanted to get back to blogging. I have left this blog idle and abandoned for almost a year, not because it wasn’t on my mind and not something I wanted to do, but simply because I was busy. I realize with intention you decide what is a priority and for the last year this has fallen by the wayside. The reason I am back is because I missed it.

For me, blogging is a wonderful outlet and a platform on which I have meant a number of my “running friends”. In the time I have been away, my life has gone through a number of changes and time seems more and more fleeting everyday. A book I am reading currently (that is totally rocking my world in the best way) is- “Girl Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. If you have never heard of Rachel Hollis before, please visit her website HERE and check out what she is about! She speaks to you both in her blog and her books like she is a friend joining you for coffee (or tea, whatever suits you best!) and slaps you in the face with reality. She also will absolutely not allow you to give up on your dreams. Which is what lead me back here. In one of the chapters that stuck out to me most, she discusses the importance of really looking deep within yourself and finding out what your dreams and goals are, at least that was my interpretation. The entire time I was reading, this was all I was thinking about. This space of the internet that is just mine, where I can connect with like-minded people and share a little piece of my life with you is where I want to be. At the end of that chapter, I knew that I needed to be back here, sharing a more real and authentic version of myself that you may not have known before.

For a long time when I first started this blog and the version that existed previously, I felt that I needed to live or at least pretend I lived a picture perfect life. That my world only existed in rose gold and white hues so that it would be more aesthetically pleasing. I will be honest, that is not the life I live!Surprise!

My life is messy and stressful and sometimes there is not enough cups of coffee to make it through the day, but it is mine! I am slowly learning that if I want something more for myself I have to fight for it. I am also learning that along this journey, I need to give myself the grace that I give to others freely and take care of myself the way I would take care of a friend who was in need.

Over the next few days I will be slowly easing back into blogging so the topics may vary but should ultimately bring you up to speed so that we can start fresh in this space that still, even after all this time feels warm and comfortable.

I can’t wait to get started!

Do You Believe In Signs?

Hi There,

I hope everyone had a beautiful day. Today was an okay day for me. It would have been my Aunt Joan’s birthday today so it made the day a little bit sad.

Which brings me to a story and the question that titles this blog post.

On special occasions, my mom likes to let a balloon off and send it to my aunt. Today, while the sun was setting, we wrote messages on the balloon and released it into the sky. After watching it float away for a few minutes we heard the Rolling Stones come on the radio. It was a bit serendipitous because one of the concerts I attended with my  mom, sister and aunt was the Rolling Stones. So while that in itself was pretty amazing and made you smile… the name of the song was what had us all tearing up a little. While we listened to it play we were all trying to figure out the name of the song. After trying to play it in our heads I finally took to Google to find out. The song that was playing was Miss You by The Rolling Stones.

Now I know some of you are saying, well that is just the line up of the songs they were scheduled to play. However, it still made that experience feel special, like she was getting the message we were sending up and sending one right back to us.

 

Have any of you experienced anything like this?

 

Hello Again

Hi There,

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Whew! I think typing the title and getting started was the hardest part of this post! So again, Hi! I know, I know. It has been a long time. I appreciate everyone who has stuck around or visited for the first time in my absence. To those of you who found me via my guest posts that have popped up here and there, welcome!

It has been such a long time since I last posted, I am not sure where to start with giving you an update. I think the best strategy is to just keep typing and see what pops up but I will try hard to organize this as best I can.

Life in General Update: I last posted in October before Halloween so…since then I started a new job (more on that later). In November, we celebrated my sisters birthday and I celebrated a birthday where I turned 31! I celebrated with my family on the Saturday before  my birthday with dinner and a hockey game. The day of my birthday, which happened to fall on the day before Thanksgiving, was spent prepping for the holiday and enjoying a home cooked dinner. December was a blur of work and Christmas. January was celebrated by buying myself a new car, my first big adult purchase! February we celebrated my mothers birthday and D’s  (formerly known as my main squeeze but this is easier!) Birthday along with Valentine’s Day. D (the main squeeze) and I kept Valentine’s day low key this year and opted to eat dinner at home and watch a movie. I am not going to lie, I lucked out big time in finding a man who will happily cook for me!

Love Update: I am still happily in love with the man of my dreams. We will celebrate 2 years of this adventure we call life together on April 20th! Since October, D and I have been on a multitude of adventures. The biggest adventure we are planning for is our trip to San Antonio in May to attend D’s graduation! This will be my first plan excursion since I was a little kid so I am a little nervous but really excited!

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Health Update: This one is a little odd to share but I figured since I am still currently dealing with this, I should share it. Asthma wise, I am doing well. Unfortunately, I am dealing with a bit of an enigma health wise. In February, I had a bacterial infection in my ear that I was put on antibiotics for and it cleared up within a few days. However, on the last day of treatment for that I broke out in a strange rash that was just on my shoulders, face and neck. I wound up at Urgent Care on Friday, March 2nd since I was concerned what might be causing it. Antibiotics cleared it up within 2 days. Or so I thought! Friday at work a co-worker mentioned to me that it looked like I was getting a flare up of the same rash. Her comment was correct and by Saturday morning I had a full on breakout going on. Since I had already paid for and planned on running a 5k on Saturday morning, I Chose to still attend since the rash does not cause me any discomfort. The race went well and I showered and tried some Aloe Vera on the rash after that. Since that had no affect and I felt that the rash was affecting my throat on the inside, I ventured back to Urgent care today to try and figure out what is going on. This doctor is/was a little baffled by exactly what is causing this rash. He chose to put me on a steroid (the third burst of it within 3 weeks!) to see if that will help it clear up. He is under the impression that the main culprit of this rash and its flare up seems to be stress. Which leads me to my next update, my job.

Career Update: I will admit, my job is awful and the amount of stress that I am under on a daily and weekly basis has been astronomical compared to other stress in my life.  I started this position at the beginning of November and in the beginning, I loved it. However, as the weeks went on, my boss quickly started showing their true colors and the experience has been less than wonderful. There have been many nights spent crying in D’s arms or in the shower after hard days. It has been a unique experience and not one that I have had at any of the previous jobs I have had and not something I feel I can continue to do for a long period of time. However, the thought of quitting is stressful in itself. But in the long run,my health is being effected and that scares me. This is something I do wonder about because honestly, I do not know what I want to do career wise. There are fleeting ideas but not anything concrete that sticks in my mind as something I WANT to do. Ideally, in a perfect world, I would blog full time and freelance on the side and/ or work as a virtual assistant. These are things I have looked into but it is scary to take the leap!

Running/ Working out/ Weight Loss Update: My relationship with running is so love/ hate these days. Working full time has had a definite impact on my running and working out. I know, I know…people who work longer hours and jobs that are more difficult still find the time. However, for me personally finding the correct balance of eating health has been hard. In October, I ran two 5k’s- The Corner Store Country Run and the Sparkys Challenge. Both were really fun events and I had a wonderful time getting out there. I am planning on doing reviews soon for both of those events. In November, I ran 3.1 miles on my birthday to commemorate turning 31. December, no races or running took place but I did go hiking a few times. January started with the best of intentions but soon fell off. February, a few hikes but nothing worth documenting specifically. This month I had to skip the MDA Walk , which made me extremely sad because that is a race/walk I have participated in for a few years now. Yesterday I participated in the Run To Fight Children’s Cancer 5k which was a lot of fun and the weather was beautiful! As for weight loss we are stuck on a plateau. However, I have spent today contemplating how I can effectively move on from here and adjusting my attitude to help meet my goals. With my big trip coming up in May to Texas, I am actively focusing on what I would ideally like to look and feel like while on that trip. It sounds weird I know but I am a visual person and this helps. One way I have been actively visualizing is that I picked a dress I would like to wear to D’s graduation. The visual of it helps me focus on the changes that I need to make in order to feel good about myself while wearing the dress of my choice.

I think that catches us up on the important things that have occurred and brings us current with life. What about you guys?

What have you been up to?

Any fun vacations planned?

 

 

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Hi Guys!

I haven’t forgotten about you!! I hope that you can forgive the long pause between posts.

I will definitely be posting a “catch up” post but for now I figured we should celebrate the start of October.

Time is so crazy and feels like it is flying by so fast. I do love Fall and the transition into cooler-ish weather (it’s Arizona…lol) but we are no on the official countdown to Halloween, My Birthday, Thanksgiving and CHRISTMAS!!

To start this month of right, I thought I should share with you one of my favorite cookie recipes for fall, Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.

This recipe was a test recipe for my sister’s company that I came up with and tweaked till it was just right. If you are in Arizona and don’t feel like baking, my sister runs an amazing online bakery and will happily bake you a dozen (or more). http://www.cierrasbakeshoppe.com

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

3 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour

3 1/2 tsp Cornstarch

1 tsp Cream of Tartar

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp Salt

3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground Ginger

1/4 tsp Ground Allspice

1 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed

1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Salted

1 Large Egg Yolk

3/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin Puree

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

For Rolling:

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar until just combined. Mix in egg yolk, and then mix in pumpkin and vanilla extract. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Divide dough in half and place each half in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat over to 350*.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar with 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Scoop dough out a tablespoonful at a time and shape into ball, roll dough in cinnamon sugar mixture then place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Enjoy!

 

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I came across a fun photo challenge while scrolling through Instagram the other night. It is the #FallitoDisneyStyle October Photo Challenge.

For today the challenge is- Disney Parks Halloween Decor. This picture is of one of my favorite decorations in Disneyland.

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What is your favorite Halloween/ Fall Disney Decoration?

Where is the Runner Girl?

Hi Everyone,

I hope that everyone is having a great week so far.

Mine has been full but wonderful. Lots of time spent with my main squeeze since he finally has a few days off. Other than that trying to stay organized while waiting for final exam grades to come back. Once that occurs I can get get my final few classes in order and hopefully knock them out quickly.

I have a confession to make… I haven’t run more than 3 miles since the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend in May. Those races were exhausting! I had never done a challenge race before and I quickly found out how hard 22.4 miles in one weekend could be.

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The prep for that weekend felt tedious to me in the end and I am not sure if that had to do with me adding an extra race or dealing with IT band issues. Either way, ever since I got home I have run once. I start out each week with the intention of that being the week, the week I finally hop back on the treadmill and my inner runner girl emerges. I will tell you, she has been elusive. My main squeeze always jokes asking where his runner girl has gone. Lately, I have been wondering the same thing. Why do I not miss it more? Do I want to run another race? ( The answer to this one of course is yes!) But I do wonder where my running mojo went. In a previous post, I wrote about the feeling I got when I received my first medal. Ever since that very first race, I never wanted to quit and any race that came along was one I wanted to do! However, lately that love for running has ceased to exist. I do stare longingly at the bling of others and wish I was there, at the same time the thought of getting on that treadmill makes take back that thought.

I do believe a big part of my desire not to run is the heat here in AZ. I don’t hate the treadmill necessarily, but knowing that is is the only option unless I want to run in the middle of the night makes it tough. Luckily, it has started to be a little bit cooler in the morning, so the itch of getting out there to enjoy a run outside has started to creep up on me more and more. Hopefully, you will soon start to see postings about amazing runs in my neighborhood or hiking with my main squeeze, until then I will live vicariously through all of my running friends and praise them for their miles.

Have you ever lost your mojo for running?

 

 

Medal Monday #1- Neverland Family 5k 2012

Hi Everyone!

Thank you so much for being patient while I finished a horrible final! Only a few more classes before graduation now.

Today’s topic is – Medal Monday!

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This is a new topic but I was dusting my medals the other day and thought why not take a few Monday’s to share the story behind them.

First Up is the Neverland 5k – 2012

In 2012, the first Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend took place and the Neverland 5k was at night! It is crazy to think that it has now switched to being at 5:00 a.m. and is now in May instead of January.

The importance behind this medal, for me anyway is that it was my first race ever! This one really does take me back to where my journey began. Lets start from the beginning shall we….

My mom signed up for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in early 2011 at the prompting of a friend. Seeing as this was something new she was trying, my sister and I figured we would give the 5k a try. Keep in mind back then I was over 200lbs, in a terrible relationship and physical activity was not the top of my list of fun things to do. We signed our names on the dotted line and started to “train” as best we knew how. It is amazing to me now when I think back how little knowledge about running I actually had. I was training in cotton socks with shoes I had, had for years. The first morning I got up at 6:00 a.m. to walk outside….was not fun. It felt tedious to me to go out and walk around the neighborhood for a race that wasn’t for a few months. However, after that first walk…I felt good. I was amazed at how proud I was of myself for getting out there. As the weeks went on I kept getting out there and walking, even walking quite a few training laps with my mom on occasion. As I progressed I noticed some definite changes in my attitude and in my body. The closer we got the faster I noticed I could walk and for longer periods of time,I even found myself slightly sad I wasn’t doing a longer distance. Once we got to race weekend and I experienced my first race expo at the Disneyland Hotel, I was hooked. I had never participated in team sports and always assumed that running was a solitary sport. I realized quickly that was not true when I stepped onto the expo floor. I had never met so many like minded and kind people who were all there because we loved the same thing. Once we figured out where to go we picked up our race bibs and prepared for the day at Disney and the race that we were going to be running.

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My First Race Bib!!!

Once the sun set, the nerves set in.. I changed into my race night outfit which consisted of running capris (the one thing I got right!), cotton socks, cotton t-shirt, cheap sports bra and $20 shoes from Target. As we sat contemplating what we were about to do, my sister and I laughed wondering how we wound up here for this race. But we pushed through the nerves and lined up at the starting line on Main Street.

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My bangs and outfit were terrible!

Once we got started I quickly realized what a huge mistake those shoes were and my feet KILLED me the entire race. However, being around all these encouraging people was amazing. I loved how enthusiastic and amazing the other runners were and knew that I had found my people. Plus, running through Disneyland and California Adventure wasn’t half bad either! We completed the race in a little less than 50 minutes and finally crossed the finish line hand in hand.

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Once we finished the race and received our medals, I knew that this was the sport for me. As soon as we got back to the hotel I was already looking for another race!

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While my medal collection has grown since then with a variety of medals from different distances, this one will always be special because it was the first.

What was your first race?

Friday Favorites

Hey All!

I am sorry for the extended absence, I am right in the midst of finals and slowly losing my mind! I cannot wait to graduate and it seems to take longer and longer the harder I work.

I hope all of you are having a great week so far.

I wanted to take today to share with you some of my favorite things!

#1- Reusable Cups! I am a huge sucker for a reusable cup especially when it is Disney or coffee related. This reusable coffee cup from Dunkin Donuts gets me refills for $.99!

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#2-Monsoon! The monsoons have finally started in Arizona and I am loving the rain we are getting. The one thing I dislike is the humidity it is creating. I am really hoping the weather breaks sometime soon so I can finally start running outside.The other issue is that the freeways are getting messy with flooding. This picture is from Tuesday and it was crazy to see the cars trying to cross the water on the news.

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#3-Bath & Body Works Coupons. I love a good deal and with my coupons and their Buy 3, Get 3 deal I was able to snag all of this for a pretty low price. I am excited to see that the fall smells are finally out so I will be picking those up on my next visit.

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#4- The Killing. I have been searching all over Netflix for something new to watch and stumbled upon this show. I have been binge watching this all day and can’t seem to stop!

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#5- Target! I know that I am not alone in saying that Target is one of my favorite places. Mine is making a great change, self check out lanes!!! I love anywhere that has a place where I can run in, make my purchases and get out quickly. Yay, Target!

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**One of my favorite things from this week was getting to spend the whole day with my main squeeze on Monday. We did not take any photos but it was a great day.

Those are my five favorite things this week, what are yours?

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I am so glad it is finally Friday! I feel like this week has dragged on forever. I will hopefully be done by Saturday with my finals and can start working on my final projects I need to get done before graduating.

 

 

Running Playlist- Disney Style

Hi Everyone,

Running Playlist- Disney Edition

I apologize for the post not showing up yesterday!! Friday Favorites has not turned into songs of Saturday, haha.

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of Disneyland as well as Run Disney events. Since sign ups for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon are right around the corner in September, I am trying to get my butt in gear to actually start running more and feel like I could conquer a 5k , 13.1 and possibly the 10k as well. I know I did complete it this year but , Oh My Gosh, it was a challenge!

One way I am actively trying to get myself motivated is with a playlist that is fun and inspirational as well. Here are my top 20 motivating Disney songs that keep me running.

  1. When Will My Life Begin – Tangled
  2. I’ll Make A Man Out Of You- Mulan
  3. Zero to Hero- Hercules
  4. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious- Mary Poppins
  5. What’s This? – Nightmare Before Christmas
  6. Under The Sea- Little Mermaid
  7. Life is a Highway- Cars
  8. Friend Like Me- Aladdin
  9. Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride-Lilo & Stitch
  10. Let it Go- Frozen
  11. Go The Distance- Hercules
  12. Be Our Guest- Beauty and the Beast
  13. I’ve Got A Dream- Tangled
  14. He’s A Pirate- Pirates of The Caribbean
  15. Go The Distance- Hercules
  16. Almost There- Princess and The Frog
  17. Stepping Time- Mary Poppins
  18. Dig A Little Deeper- Princess and The Frog
  19. Strangers Like Me- Tarzan
  20. I Just Can’t Wait to Be King- The Lion King

I could literally go on and on because I feel that almost every song can fit into some facet of my training run! P.S. – In the fall I add the Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas Holiday Ride Soundtrack to the mix. This soundtrack is just like being on the ride but it always makes me anxious to get back to Disneyland!

 

What is your favorite running song?

Have you participated in any Run Disney Events?