Disney to Run By Part 2

13 Jul

OK, I left here it is, the top 10.  I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t even want to read this list because what kind of crazy person doesn’t have I’ll make a Man Out of You in the top 10?!?!”  Listen.  It was tough.  I’m sorry.  What can I say, Disney has got a lot of good music?

If you missed Part 1 and wanna catch up, you can do so here, otherwise, let’s get on with the show!


I admit, I might be SLIGHTLY biased because I’m obsessed with tangled, but I mean, this song is all about dreams!  And living them out!  I’ve got a dream…to finish this race and not die.  Plus it’s catchy and will get you moving, guaranteed.


Again, this song is all about motivation.  People think you’re nothing?  But are you nothing?  NO!


IT’S THE GUMMI BEARS!!!! This song will have you bouncing here and there and everywhere along the race course!


Granted a song called “Almost there” might not be the best thing to here at mile 2 of a half marathon, but it’s about working for hard for something and it’s time to get it, “nothing is going to stop you because you’re almost there!


Hercules, one of the more underrated Disney animated films, but dammit it has some good music.  We’re all stars of our own races.  Don’t lose hope when you’re forlorn…


What?  What song is this? Granted not a Disney song in the traditional sense, but everyone forgets about the singles Disney plays during the credits and include on the soundtracks, but this is one from Mulan.  I mean, ok, I am a sucker for a 90s boy band with an added Stevie Wonder bonus, but just listen, I dare you to question this choice!


I can’t explain it, all I know is I’m humming this song the entire time back to the hotel and when it pops on my running play list, I get a little more pep in my step.


Yes, this is my second song from Tangled, but I mentioned I’m obsessed with it right?  And that Disney has singles they play during the credits?  Well yeah.  This song.   There are no words for how perfect it is to run to!


Yes, this too is the 2nd song on my list from a movie…The Princess and the Frog specifically.  Can I help it the movie has amazingly motivational catchy songs? The song is called Dig a Little Deeper, ’nuff said.


Is this the obvious choice for the #1 song?  Yes.  But there’s a reason it’s the obvious choice, IT’S GO THE DISTANCE!  Don’t you judge me!  I’ve run and had this song come up when I needed it and dammit it works!

Honorable Mention…again.

When I created this list, I had not seen Zootopia yet.  Saw it.  Loved it. Love the song.  It belongs somewhere on this list. The End.

Disney to Run By Part 1

11 Jul

In honor of Wine & Dine weekend race training beginning this week, I give you an actual blog post!

Whenever I run a race in Disney, I always have a playlist consisting of EVERY Disney song I own. That includes from movies, theme parks and yes, The Disney Afternoon.  Now while it makes perfect sense to listen to these songs while enjoying the parks, ALL these songs may not carry over as well into the outside Disney races.

And with that, I give you the top Disney songs to run a non-Disney race to!

These songs were determined based on content  (inspirational and motivating) and/or music that just makes you get up and moving.

First up are some honorable mentions.  You could listen to them for any race, but they work even better for specific ones.

For the New York City Marathon (or any NYC based race really)
“King of New York” from Newsies

I mean this one is kind of self explanatory.  It gets you moving and let’s face it, you cross that finish line, you pretty much feel like the King of New York.

Also great for NYC races is “Why Should I Worry?” from Oliver and Company

It’s about being a New York sung by a NY legend – Billy Joel (even though he’s from Long Island, we forgive him for that).

For the Marine Corp Marathon (or any DC based race)

I may or may not have listened to this multiple times while running through our Nation’s capital.  It’s not particularly quick paced, but I get chills when I hear it and it’s motivational (also the video clip is over 7 minutes long, the song is not).

For Big Sur (or any California based race)
Soarin’ – Soundtrack from Epcot

Now,granted this version of the attraction no longer exists, but any one who has ridden the original incarnation of this ride, just sees California when they hear the music.  Smell those oranges, run through scenic Cali!

OK, Enough with this honorable mention nonsense, on to the main list!

We’re going to kick off the countdown by kicking it a little old school.


This song is no longer played during the Carousel of Progress, as the ride went back to the song from the original World’s Fair song, but you can still find/get the song.  It is both motivation and peppy to get you moving!  Whether it’s your first race, or your 50th, getting out there and accomplishing a race finish, “Now is the time, now is the best time, now is the best time of your life”


I clearly have a hard time of letting go of things as this is yet another version of song/ride that no longer exists (BRING BACK DREAM FINDER!).  This is just another song that you can’t help but sing along to and makes you happy, especially if you grew up with this version.  It’s playful and fun.  What better way to get through a race then to sing along to something fun?


A Disney Classic.  It’s not particularly quick tempo, so perhaps something to play at the beginning of your run to prevent you from starting too fast.  But you’re feet are a magic carpet and you fly down the course.  It’s inexplicable this song works, it just does.  I spread my arms wide (horrible running form) and I’m soaring through the clouds.


Come on.  I shouldn’t even have to explain this one.  You’re singing and dancing along to this one already.  Look for bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your blisters and you cramps – oh wait, that’s not how the song goes…


It’s a song about motivating yourself to get down to business and defeat that course!  Be swift as the coursing river!  With all the strength of a great typhoon!  I did a RunDisney Song Remix out of this song and barely had to change any of the lyrics!

Alright, that’s it for now.  Next time, I will bring you the top 10!

My Borough Hates Me

20 Jun

I know never did my recap from last year’s NYRR Queens 10K, but this past Saturday was THIS year’s NYRR Queens 10K and my first race since Princess.   This race has consistently been horrible for me, even when I was my fittest, so this year I was expecting nothing short of a shit show.  Sure enough, spoiler alert, that’s what I got!

I don’t know why NYRR hates Queens and makes this race in June (the first year I did it was actually in July).  They hate it even more by giving it an 8:30am start (the 5K gets the earlier 7:45 start, which I understand makes sense, but at the same time, doesn’t).  Do you know how hot and humid it is in NY in June by 8:30am?!?!

Anyway, with all this negativity, the question should perhaps be “why do you do this race then?”  Well, I need to do 4 of the 6 offered borough races (yes, there are 5 boroughs, but 6 races) in order to get automatic entry into the NYC half.  In addition, this race is surprisingly inexpensive, especially by NYC/NYRR standards.  The race is approximated 15 minutes from where I live.  And, the course is pretty freaking flat.  The reality is, if this race was held any time between September and May, I would love it!  It’s just the damn heat/humidity that makes it sooooooooooooooooooooo bad.

OK, enough bitching, on to the recap!

The race was off to a rocky start when it got delayed an additional 15 minutes.  That 15 extra minutes of heat setting in.  Here’s the race in short:  Saw Karla right before the start line (jumped up and down like a total geek!), ran 1st mile WAY too fast, threw up by mile 1.5 (sorry TMI), legs felt like dead weight by mile 2 with some side stitches thrown in, walked most of mile 3 to stop feeling light headed, shin splints and weird hip cramp/pain for remainder of the race while feeling thirsty the entire 6.2 miles.  BUT I FINISHED!


This race was frustrating because it was a harsh reminder of how far I am from were I was, not just physically, but mentally.  BUT, I’m never gonna get back to where I was if I give up, so I gotta get over the frustration and figure it out.

And through all my bitching I will say this, NYRR does their best to deal with keeping runners cool.  There was a water stop pretty much before every mile (and did NOT run out of water, even for us back of the packers) and they had 2 sprinklers going.

Next stop is the Bronx.  I’ve got 3 months to make that not a shit show.  I’ve also got 3 months to get back to cross training.  I gotta say, I really miss my superhuman power to recover that CrossFit gave me.  This walking around sore thing is painful!


Next year Queens, YOU WILL NOT BEAT ME!

I Lied

2 Jun

Remember once upon a time when I did a TBT Gone but not forgotten Disney post (I should really start those again ESPECIALLY SINCE DISNEY IS TAKING AWAY/CHANGING BELOVED THINGS!…sorry, I digress) about how you could register for a RunDisney race?  No?  Forgot that one?  Don’t blame you, it was a year ago…you can read about it here if you like, if not, I understand.

Well, basically, I bitched about how in the good ol’ day you didn’t have to register within the first 30 seconds to get into your desired RunDisney event and now you do.

It looks like the tides are turning.  Is it the addition of more races?  Have they drastically increased the size of these races?  Perhaps the cost increase is FINALLY a factor?  Who know?  But either way, there are still RunDisney events where registration opened MONTHS ago and there is still availability.  Most shockingly, it’s the challenges.

As of this morning the Disneyland Half marathon was still available (last week the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge was too…), as well as the Walt Disney World Marathon, Goofy’s Race & Half Challenge and the Dopey Challenge are all still available…

How do I know this information?  Because I am a RunDisney stalker.  Because since these races did not immediately sell out, I am constantly checking out the RunDisney website, going through all the steps of registering and then FORCING myself to exit out because I have to at least attempt to be fiscally responsible.  BUT I am seeing a dent being made in my Disney Visa.  And what is my Disney Visa for?  DISNEY TRIPS/RACES!  Doug did tell me I should register for more races so I could find my “happy” again…

So ladies and gentlemen, I lied.  I lied when I said I wanted to be able to NOT have to register immediately.  I have no will power.  I have no restraint.  The longer it takes for the events to sell out, the harder it is to resist them.  I can neither confirm nor deny looking into hotel costs for January.

If you bump into someone one the street mumbling “I will not register for Goofy, I will not register for Goofy” that’s probably me.


There May Be Hope

13 May

Last night I went to the grand opening of my CrossFit box’s new box (so now they have 2 locations).  I was filled with anxiety over going.  I haven’t been there in 8 (ok more like 9 now) months and was worried about if I would know anyone anymore.  Then there was concern over the people I did know thinking “you’re still injured?  Really?  Milking it a little bit, no?”  Or that they wouldn’t remember.  Or that basically they’d be like “what the fuck are you doing here, you quit”

All silly fun irrational low self esteem feelings.

But, I went last night, because when you’re an addict, you go for what ever fix you can get.  And I admit it.  I held a bar bell.  I grabbed it from the rack and just held it in the rack position and man have I missed that feeling! (Not to mention the new barbells they got for that place are really nice.)  I also may have grabbed my beloved 14# wall ball and given a toss to the fancy schmancy new 10ft target they have (again at our old box it’s just a piece of tape on the wall indicating where you have to hit it).

And then nice things happened.  People missed me.  They wanted me back.  One of my old coaches (who isn’t an owner and gets no financial gain from me returning) said I was one of the strongest girls there.  He thought (incorrectly, but still nice to hear) that I had the heaviest deadlift.  And that I should come back soon and not to be worried about how much strength I lost because I really haven’t lost as much as I think (I’m not so sure about that, but ok).  Yes my engine is gone and will have to be rebuilt, but it will come back and it will come back quicker than how long it originally took to get there.  I know it’s dumb to care about this, but it actually made me feel good about myself, that people asked about me while I was gone, they want me to come back, and that they believe in my physical capabilities because those are all things that I don’t believe in myself.

Then the owners put their money where their mouth is.  They said when I’m ready to come back, they will work something out for me so that I can afford it.

I’ve never been athletic.  I’ll never be the “best” at something and that’s OK.  But these guys.  This community, they have a way of making you feel like a badass no matter what you do.

I don’t really know what the point of this post was.  I guess maybe just that there’s hope.  I’m still not in a great place yet, but I can start to see the path that leads out of the darkness and that’s something.

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Where Adults Vacation in Disney

25 Apr

When Doug and I joined DVC (somewhat impulsively while on our honeymoon) there were only 2 resorts at the time to buy into: the Aulani (where we were staying) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.  One of the perks of DVC is the ability to book your “home resort” at 11 months out.  Now, as amazing as the Aulani was, there was no benefit to being able to book there before the rest of the DVC world can because, well, it will be another 7 years from this point before we can afford to go back.

That being said, by default we chose AKL.  Admittedly if the Boardwalk or the Beach Club was still available (keep in mind we did do this on our honeymoon so we didn’t really know about/look into resale options) we would have booked there.  But, the reality is, I LOVE the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  The only thing that makes this hotel “less” than the aforementioned is because you can’t walk to a park or have some sort of “fun” transportation to a park from the hotel.  But at the same time, it’s perhaps this “lack of convenience” that contributes to one of it’s best features.  There are no kids there.

OK. This is not to say it is not kid friendly, it’s Disney, OF COURSE it’s kid friendly.  But whenever I have stayed there (both as DVC and non-DVC) I’ve never really noticed an abundance of children.  I know they are there.  I see them in the lobby listening to stories and creating crafts.  I see some of them by the pool.  But there’s no “OMG THERE ARE CHILDREN RUNNING AROUND AND SCREAMING EVERYWHERE” feeling there.

Animal Kingdom Lodge has two building/areas/sections: Jambo House (the original building) and Kidani Village (the DVC add-on).  If you are DVC you can stay at either location.  If you are not DVC you can stay at either location.  This post specifically will be about Jambo House.

Let’s discuss it’s awesomeness and beauty for a moment.


Let’s talk animals for a moment.  I mean, it’s the ANIMAL Kingdom Lodge.  You can see a variety of animals just from wandering around the resort.  (Tip:  If you are not staying here and looking for something “free” to do, swing by the hotel and check out the animals).  There’s multiple Savannahs and Savannah views.  One of our favorite discoveries is a hidden “nook” that overlooks that Savannah with rocking chairs.  They also have outlets there if you need to recharge your devices while you relax and recharge yourself.  Because you can only access this area through a door, it often goes unnoticed and so you often have it all to your self.


Such an empty pool for a beautiful day!


The pool area is large and peaceful and comes complete with a poolside bar!  Plus, you can choose a chair that either allows you to look at the pool itself, or the Savannah.  Albeit, it’s not the pool at the Yacht and Beach club, but this pool is still delightful and has a slide and hot tubs hidden away.


At night there are two fire pits, one indoors and one outdoors where you can sit, relax, sip a beverage of your choice.

For food options, there is a quick service at The Mara.  You have certain standards there, but you also have twists and African cuisine, making even the quick service a unique dining experience.  Don’t even get me started on the Zebra Domes and flatbread!  YUM!  Of course Mickey Waffles are available for breakfast.  There’s Boma if you prefer a buffet option.  Again, includes standards as well as African cuisine.  And then there’s Jiko.  Jiko is getting it’s own post, but it’s the “fine dining” option at the resort (amazing!).  It also has Victoria Falls lounge for cocktails or snacks.

As I previously mentioned, although you could see the animals from public access points of the resort, my personal opinion is that staying in a Savannah view room is a must.


Waking up with the animals, falling asleep to the animals, it’s pretty freaking awesome.  Each Savannah offers different possible animals so you may see different ones with every stay.  This past trip from Princess offered the added bonus of being able to see the Star Wars fireworks from our room.  It’s definitely a view that’s hard to say goodbye to.

I had previously mentioned that there’s no “fun” transportation or anything with in walking distance, but, as far as having to bus it goes, AKL provides pretty sweet spots.  At the resort itself, it has the screen which reveal the times for the arrival of each bus.  I believe they are implementing this across the board, but it is definitely at AKL for now.  In addition, at MGM, sorry Hollywood Studios and Epcot AKL is the first bus stop.  I mean, it’s still taking a bus, but hey, if you gotta bus it, that’s not a bad drop off/pick up location.

Essentially my words (and pictures) do not do this resort justice.  What it boils down to, if you can stay here, do it.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – Part Deux

20 Apr

I know you were all hoping I wouldn’t recap the remainder of my trip after posting part one, but if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1000 times, DISNEY MAKES ME HAPPY AND SO I AM SHARING MY PHOTOS DAMMIT!

And on that note…

Day Four:

Animal Kingdom in the morning, Hollywood Studios in the afternoon, a walk over to mini golf and dinner to at Crews Cup.  Low key day, but a LOT of walking for the day before the 10K (During mini golf, I started making Doug place and pick up my golf ball.  I may have done too much for my back…OOPS!)

Day Five:

Didn’t really do much, Enchanted 10K in the morning, watched the Kids Races (recap coming) hung out at the hotel, headed to Epcot for dinner and then called it an early night as the half marathon was the next day.  There are NO OTHER PICTURES!  What?!?!

Day Six:

Princess Half Marathon in the morning.  “Celebrating” in Epcot in the afternoon (yes I went back and saw Baymax because BAYMAX!).  Dinner at Jiko (review in separate post).

Day Seven:

Yes, that’s right.  SEVEN DAYS!  Hung out in Magic Kingdom.  Breakfast at Crystal Palace (review done).  OK, given how few pictures I had of the remaining part of my trip, I probably could’ve/should’ve squeezed it all into one post.  Oh well.  After MK, it was back to AKL for pick up the Magical Express, which is never magical when it’s taking you to the airport 😦

And sadly for me (but happily for you) we are at the end of the trip!  But fear not!  More boring reviews to come…again, see beginning where Disney makes me happy and so I’m gonna share stuff dammit.

I Will NOT Register For Goofy!

19 Apr


Today is early registration day for Annual Passholders and DVC members for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

I was originally planning on registering for Goofy due to the pangs of grief I felt when I was not participating in it this year (this is also the year they actually had a nice jacket for the challenge and the marathon.  While I love my “I Did It” shirt, I was MAJORLY disappointed there was no jacket for Goofy, and the marathon was a sweat jacket).

Anyway, I know, I know, I’ll never do another marathon, get all the “I told you so”s out of the way now.  I hate training for a marathon.  But the reality is, with the exception of a meltdown in the middle of Wide World of Sports (that place is evil), I HAD SO MUCH FUN DOING THE CHALLENGE!

Plus, just being down there that weekend is great!  The flights are extra cheap, the parks aren’t nearly as crowded.  You still get some of the Christmas decorations leftover.   Overall, marathon weekend is a great time and I’m really annoyed that it’s princess weekend that I’m “bound” to.  (Nothing wrong with Princess, it’s just more expensive and more crowded).

Plus, with the marathon costing the same price as the half, Goofy is pretty much the best RunDisney Challenge bargain you can get!

However, I have decided to pretend to be fiscally responsible and not register for Goofy this year (especially since Dopey 2018 is gonna be a hefty price tag).  Well, at least not register today.  I may need reminding of my fiscal responsibility when registration opens for everyone.


Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

14 Apr

OK, weekend is misleading as we were there for practically a full week!  It’s so exciting, I know.  Please, try and contain yourself.  I have a couple of other reviews/recaps to do from this trip, but I’m having a REALLY shitty time and I need the pick me up of Disney, so I’m just gonna post the remaining non-review/recap specific pictures and try and relive the happiness…

Ahhhhh memory lane.

Day One: We checked into our home resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge (separate post coming), hung out, relaxed, ate lunch and headed off to the Magic Kingdom.  We had dinner at Be Our Guest (separate post coming) and caught the end of wishes from between Cinderella’s Castle and the Beast’s castle.  We were literally between the fireworks.  It was pretty awesome.  By the way, the weather was PERFECT.


Day Two:

Went to Downtown Disney…sorry DISNEY SPRINGS…had lunch at Jock’s Hangar Bar (separate post coming), and then went to Epcot for much drinking and enjoyment.  Thank the Phoenicians!

I had to resist getting this guy:


Introduced recently to Epcot was a new character meet and greet at Epcot:  BAYMAX!  Ummmm yeah, I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy to meet him.  And he spent lots of time interacting with us and it was worth EVERY second.  Yes, I am a dork.  Deal with it.

Day Three:

Had the race expo in the morning (separate post coming) and then we headed off to MGM…grrr…HOLLYWOOD Studios and caught both fantasmic AND the amazing fabulous Star Wars Fireworks (which are now a permanent fixture and I’m so EXCITED)!


And that’s where I’ll leave you for now…yes, there’s still more days for me to bore you with to go!



Crystal Palace – Character Buffet

12 Apr

Sometimes, as adults, Doug and I like to do character meals.  And sometimes your friend and her 3 kids are in WDW at the same time as you and you can totally pretend that you’re only doing the character thing for them.

Admittedly, had my friend not been there, Doug and I would have skipped this, but I’m glad we did it, although we probably will not be doing it again any time soon.

We had the breakfast buffet at the Crystal Palace, located in the Magic Kingdom.  The reviews on this experience were mixed.  There were complaints about crowds, noise, etc.  However, when we were there, there were plenty of empty tables.  Perhaps it was because our reservation was on the later side of breakfast (10:30am) when most kids have already eaten.  I don’t know.  I didn’t find the crowds to be an issue.  And believe me, I HATE CROWDS.

All the buffets at Disney are pricey, and the reality is you’re not paying for the food.  They pretty much all have the same food available, with perhaps a variation or 2.   The variation at Crystal Palace was this puffed french toast and that was amazing!  I may have had thirds of those.  It was essentially a fried piece of french toast.  Crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside.  Almost like a french toast zepole, but better.  Yes.  I said something was better than a zepole.  Shocking.

The rest of the food is fine.  The standards: make your own omelets (although I did see a cast member make chocolate chip pancakes at this station for a little guest), breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, fruit, danishes, croissants, fritatta (or however they’re spelled) and of course the classic delicious Mickey Waffles (which no breakfast in Disney is complete without), just to name some.


Mmmmmmm bacon

The reality here is while the food is good, you are not paying way too much money for the food, you are paying way to much money for the easy access and one on one lengthy attention from the characters.

All the character breakfasts have a theme with the characters used.  At the Crystal Palace, it’s the adorable characters from the 100 Acre Wood.  You get to meet Winnie the Pooh, Tiger, Piglet  and of course Eeyore!  If you’ve met me, you know I LOVE Eeyore.  Like I may have pushed kids out of the way to meet Eeyore.

The characters spend lots of time with you and never make you feel rushed like “OK, I got to move on to the next table, so please stop squeezing Eeyore so tightly, he needs to breathe and move on”

I loved the character experience.  If you WANT to do a character buffet, I have no hesitation recommending this one…especially if you’re gonna be in the Magic Kingdom anyway and your kids (or you) love the characters from Winnie the Pooh..  Just be prepared to pay a a large price tag.    They do accept Tables in Wonderland discounts, but they do NOT accept the DVC or Annual Pass ones  (drats!).