Tuesdays on the Run: Shhh, I am in love with another man…

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run. This week’s topic is “Running Valentine”…

Don’t tell my husband, but I am in LOVE with another man…

For over 5 years,  we secretly meet up hidden by the darkness before dawn.  His voice whispering in my ear my favorite 4 letter word and then a few seconds later the three letter word that strikes fear to my fluffy body.  He and I go round and round, longer and farther than the time before. And as a gift I for my faithfulness, I am rewarded beautiful things to wear around my neck…

When I tell people that “run” half marathons, I almost feel like a fraud…

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Look at me I am certainly not the image of what many people envision a runner to look like and the way that I “run” my half marathons (or any distance) would have my middle school track coach kicking me off the team.

Thank goodness I am way beyond those middle school track days and Coach Carlson.  Although sadly though not beyond the harsh judgments (even if they are all in my head) of other people,  but I do “run” half marathons it is just a matter that my running looks different than many runners and non-runners think running looks likes.  I LOVE the fact this fluffy, middle aged woman can hold up the bling and say “Yep, I did 13.1 miles and finished the race!”  Thanks to my love affair with a man named Jeff Galloway.

While Jeff Galloway may not have been the first to run-walk, his method of interval running allows many people, myself included, to be “runners.” Basically for me a run is a short period of running followed by a longer period of walking repeated over and over until I finish the distance.  In a normal week, my training plan is 2 miles 2 x a week and 1 long run (determined by whatever my distance is that I am building to).

I love that Jeff constantly reminds me that “I am the captain of my own ship” and it is me that determines how far, how fast and how much I will walk or run.  Here are some other reasons that I love the Jeff and the Galloway method.

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  • I don’t have to do speed workouts, but I do keep track of my minute/mile pace for each run so I can compare how I am doing against where I need to be to not be swept from a race.
  • I don’t have to cross train, although occasionally I do in the pool and recently thought about getting a personal l trainer and work on some strength training.
  • If I am just not feeling my long run, then I can walk it…after all it is all about practicing the time on my feet and getting my body used to a distance, aka endurance.
  • The distance for my long runs seems more manageable because it is broken up into, “30 seconds till I can walk again.” I also find it easier to push past the wall.
  • I feel good after a run, not fatigued because I have had control over the fatigue the entire run.

If I can learn to love running, anyone can, I guarantee Jeff will make you fall in love too!  After all life should be about the things we love…

Check Out Run Walk Run with Jeff Galloway…

http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/run-walk/

Tuesdays on the Run: Running Fuel Confessions

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run. This week’s topic is running fuel…

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Do Mickey Bars or Dole Whips count?  I am almost scared to admit it but I am not a big running fuel person.  NO LECTURES NEEDED, my body tells me all the time and I am working hard at listening.  

So let’s get down to what I know my body needs the night before a race.  Trust me that these are NOT good choices the night before a race…

In all honest, been there tried both and paid it right after my race the next day, thankfully not during the race (so sorry Chef de France bathroom).  I have since learned my lesson that water and a clean protein (grilled chicken or lean steak) accompanied by some fibrous veggies and a plain carb (usually rice) is the best bet for my body (although as you can tell I have a hard head).  

Just prior to the race as I stand around for 2 hours in my runDisney corral I like to carry along a packet of Justin’s peanut butter and a banana.  A race is about the only time I ever eat a banana and I think I do it then just because everyone else does it.  Occasionally, I will fix an instant oatmeal cup before heading out the door.

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During the race (and most training runs) it’s a couple of peppermints and a few sticks of gum.  I have tried the 3G’s (gummies, goos, gels) and find that they don’t do much for me…although the salted caramel cliff gel is AMAZING!

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Ultimately, they just end up making me more thirsty and the only time I hydrate is during water stations where I pick up a cup of water and a cup of Powerade.

Tip:   After way too many times of nearly soaking myself or choking to death, I have learned that if you squeeze the top rim of your cup and make it like a funnel you have a better chance of actually getting some liquid down your throat!  YOUR WELCOME!

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I have also tried the not so running type of fuel of skittles (thank you @tankgirl, you could have mentioned NOT to pop an entire handful in my mouth) and sour patch kids (which I quite like but they tend to get all sticky).  

On a long training run I am bad…I don’t fuel or hydrate properly the night before, prior to the long run or during the run. NO NAGGING…I know none of this is good for me or for my run and I am working to fix this issue.   It is just that I can’t stand to have anything in my hands, poor excuse since I normally am wearing a SparkleSkirt with those amazing pockets or my latest Kohls find…FILA running capris with even better pockets.  But really it comes down to my fear of carbs and sugar, which are both needed for a run but not so much my fluffy body.  

Now let’s talk about post fueling, that is MOST important, right?  Traditionally after a non- Disney race me and 5 Guys have a date.  

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And when I am at Disney, you can be certain the first things gone are those heavenly salty torialla chips and plastic cheese

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(which if you save for a treat to get you through till your next Disney race is about the nastiest stuff on earth, talk about runDisney magic).   

As I spend more time reading and researching how to train and finish a full marathon (without dying, that is the key), I know my fueling habits must change.  So I am looking forward to reading all linked up blogs to get ideas on how to deal with my challenging fueling choices…

And for the sake of all honestly, I will be scoping out all those great Disney food blogs for my post full marathon fueling.  Be honest you too runDisney so you can eat & drink Disney just like me.

 

Want to runDisney so you can eat Disney?  I can help you with both adventures. Contact me today for race bibs & runDisney packages (I can offer you presale bibs as well as insurance in case something happens and you can’t run). Then I will be your personal cheerleader and travel planner to make sure you have a magical runDisney runcation!

Tuesdays on the Run: My 2018 Races

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run. This week’s topic…

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Favorite Hometown Race.  This topic is certainly a hard one for me, because I prefer not to run in my hometown thanks to some very negative experiences with local runners who put on an elite mentality when it comes to runners like me.  In fact, my very first race had a lasting impression…

It was my first 5K ever and I was trying to get an idea where I was starting at.  There was no time requirements and put on by the local running club.  I finished to my calculation in about 51 minutes, now this is my calculation for a simple reason.  As I was finishing they were putting up the timing equipment.  I was a little shocked, okay more embarrassed because the response to my crossing where the mat should of been was “We did not want to wait for you.”  Seriously? Way to make someone want to join your club, let alone ever want to run again.

I am a back of the pack runner and I will always be.  I use the Galloway method of run-walk-run and I am proud that I can get out there and not only feel, but be successful.  I don’t take my running to seriously, unless I am training for a race, when it is important for me to be prepared.

So instead of looking at Favorite Hometown Races, I am going to give you a rundown of the races I am looking at running this year…

  • Blue Bell Fun Run (10K)-I ran this race, or the 5K at least a few years ago and loved it for 2 reasons:  running through the Texas Hill Country in the Spring (bluebonnet beauty) and there is all you can eat Blue Bell Ice Cream Treats at the end. 
  • Slacker Half Marathon-This race caught my attention…Highest DOWNHILL half marathon in the country and who can no run a race with Slacker in the name.  Plus it gives me an excuse to go home to Colorado and run a beautiful course.
  • Missoula Half Marathon-Being a huge fan of the movie River Runs Through It, I have been wanting to go to Missoula for sometime. This is also one of the highest rated half marathon/marathon events in the country in terms of runner support.  I had wanted it to be my first full marathon, but that is not going to happen this year.
  • Texas Wine Series:  Llano Estacado-This is another repeat event for me.  I also ran it several years ago and set my personal best, almost breaking under a 3 hour half marathon.  A great flat course (praying it will not be windy) and there is A LOT of wine and after party when you finish.
  • Texas Quad:  Tortoise Half & Texas Double (November) & Whine Not Another Half (December)-I am looking at these events as one that I can use to get the distance in leading up to my full in January 2018.  Running the Distance seems to be a running club after my own heart as they highly encourage first timers with no cutoff times.  I plan on signing up for the half and then continue on the course until  have finished enough for my marathon training at that time.

My goal for 2018 is simply to work on dropping some pounds and training properly for the entire year for my first full marathon in 2019!

What races are you looking at for 2018?  Drop me a line in the comments, as I am always looking for races with a great atmosphere & pack of the pack friendly.  

And if a Disney race is in your future, I can help you with that…plus provide you with insurance should something happen during your training and you can’t run (something runDisney can’t do for you).  

#(almost)wordlesswednesday: Disney Weenies

It’s #(almost)wordlesswednesday, that means linking up with Focused on the Magic to share my #DisneySide through pictures and a few words, since nothing for me is ever wordless with me!

This week we are focusing in on Disney Weenies and the first image that came to my mind was this guy (aka #monsterchild)…

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I am really hoping that he will grow out of this, but in all honesty that is not what a Disney Weenie is.

A Weenie is what Walt Disney and his Imagineers called the iconic structures or focal points in each of the Disney parks and lands. They are big enough to be seen from a distance and interesting enough to draw you closer for a better look.

Here is a look at some of at my favorite Disney Weenies from each park…

Tower of Terror in Disney Hollywood Studios

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It is really not the Weenie that makes this my favorite in Disney Hollywood Studios but what is inside these walls….

Everest in Animal Kingdom

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This is probably one of my favorite pictures I have ever taken.  I really can’t say that I get much credit other than capturing the beauty of a December rope drop morning in Animal Kingdom.

Italy Pavilion in Epcot

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Each time I visit Epcot’s Italy I am reminded of the experience of actually being in St. Mark’s Square in Venice and all the wonderful memories of our trip to Italy.  

Tangled Tower in Magic Kingdom

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One of my favorite Disney movies and certainly the most beautiful theme park bathroom areas.

What are some of your favorite Disney Weenies?  Make sure you check out my Instagram (Mylifeinears) and my Facebook Travel page to see my favorites from Walt Disney World.

Tammie’s Take Thursday: Review of Tiffins

Follow me long enough and you will find that the real reason I run and vacation at Walt Disney World is for the food.

Most days, my inner foodie is locked away.  Although I live in an area where we have more dining locations per capita than any city in the United States it is hard to unleash that adventurous foodie side of me with a Steak House on each corner, don’t get me wrong…I am “Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner” kind of girl.  Between Disney trips, you will find me pouring over menus, stalking trip reports and following several Facebook groups and blogs dedicated to Disney Food in search of the next tasty morsel I must try.   My Disney Food list often dictates my daily park schedule as I always have my dining list written before I have a trip, I am just that serious about Disney Food.  

One of my favorite things to do each trip is to splurge on 1 special meal each trip, a where I dress up and ignore the prices on the menu.  My splurge meal has to meet a few criteria:

  • Great Atmosphere
  • Interesting Food choices that push me out of my box
  • Amazing Dessert

Well that certainly narrows it down, almost every table service at Walt Disney World meets this criteria, for this trip I added that it had to be someplace new.

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Tiffins in Animal Kingdom caught my attention, although you could not tell that from how many times I made this ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) and cancelled it in the 6 months leading up to my Heigh Ho/Bucket List trip as I just could not get timing worked out in my overall schedule.  Finally, it came down to being able to get a FastPass for the Rivers of Light performance with my meal, that WOW factor I suppose.

The first thing about Tiffins that caught my attention in my “Disney research” (aka blog lurking) was that Tiffins was more than just a signature restaurant, it’s a gallery of art and mementos gathered by imagineers while planning Animal Kingdom. If you love Animal Kingdom (minus Pandora), like I do this is the place to truly appreciate the park and look behind the scenes.  

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What is a Tiffin?  It is a fancy name (proper English-Indian) for not only a midday meal but the vessel used for the meal.  

I was running a little late to my reservation, thanks to the filming of the Disney Parks Christmas program or should I say I was a little distracted by who was filming…

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It was really hard to pull myself away from Darrius smooth voice, (I know he is Hootie, but I am a country fan) but I knew the meal I had visioned in my head for 6 months was about to become a tasty reality.

My check in went pretty quickly, since I was dining at the beginning of dinner service.  It was not long before I being lead to my table…

Tiffins is divided into 3 galleries or dining rooms.  The Grand Gallery is the largest where the animals (Tree of Life) is celebrated.  The Safari Gallery celebrates Eastern and Southern Africa and the Trek Gallery, Asia.  Tiffins also has a lounge, the Nomad Lounge which can be accessed through its own separate entrance or from the check in station inside.  The Nomad Lounge is an ode to the “What wisdom would you give to other travelers?” and it on the top of my Disney food list for my next trip because it has a different menu with lots of interesting offerings!  

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I was hoping to be seated in the Grand Gallery, but instead I ended up in the Trek Gallery which actually represents my favorite place in Animal Kingdom, Asia.  The Disney table gurus knew exactly where to I needed to be seated.  The first thing that struck me was how bright the room was, thanks to a huge wall of windows looking into the “wilds” of Animal Kingdom.  You would never know that you were in a theme park when looking out these windows.  The sunlight did dampen my celebration somewhat, but then I would have missed the beautiful view.  

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Looking around, I knew I was seated perfectly to enjoy all of the artwork and mementos.  Hanging next to me was probably the items that I take the most pictures of in Animal Kingdom (yes, even more than the Tree of Life), the Tibetan Prayer Flags.  They seemed to flutter above the corner booth.  And then there is this guy…

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And you know how much I love going on an expedition in hopes to encounter him! One thing I will do next trip, is to get up and look at each of the displays more closely than afar.  

If I was feeling uncomfortable about dining by myself, my Cast Member server Julie made sure that  those feelings evaporated from the moment I sat down.  In fact, she helped me make my first decision, what cocktail should I have…

Hightower Rocks (Casa Dragones Blanco Tequila, Watermelon, Sweet-n-Sour, Lime Juice). What a refreshing and light drink. Julie also brought out the complimentary Tiffins bread service.  The bread consists of Pomegranate Focaccia bread with a mix of Pomegranate, Molasses, and Olive Oil on the side. Oh my, I had forgotten what high quality olive oil tasted like which gave the dipping sauce a more savory flavor despite the molasses.  And the bread was nice, too!  I was proud of myself, as I actually paced myself with the bread plate.

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For my appetizer course, the olive oil made made want more so of course I decided upon the Heirloom Tomatos and House-Made Mozzarella (Toy Box Tomatoes, Smoked Olive Oil, Fig Vincotto). My only complaint, I wanted more!  Such a beautiful dish, not sure what the little watermelon looking things are called but they were fun!

When it was time to decide on the main course, I already knew what I was ordering months ago (although secretly I was having an inner battle with myself over the duck, next time)…

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Wagyu Striplion and House-Smoked Brisket (I told you I was a “Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner” girl) which included rainbow carrots, Peruivan Purple Potatoes, Sherry Shallot buter, and a guava demiglaze.  This was my opportunity to sample Wagyu beef, and I seized it. I was a little disappointed the appearance when this dish was served, I was expecting a lot more color.  What the plate lacked in color, the beef made up for it in flavor.  I had died and gone to steak paradise…tender, flavorful and most importantly cooked to MY perfection.  I savored each bite, thankful that the bread plate in front of me and my choices up until that point allowed me to really enjoy the meat!

Now to my favorite part of any meal…dessert!  Again, I knew what I was ordering 6 months ago because most of the time I base my Disney ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations) on the dessert.  I simply had to try the…

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South American Chocolate Ganache with a beautiful glass of Zuccardi Malamado Malbec Port.  I know this looks like a very tinny serving, but don’t let the size fool you, like it did me. This was the very best dark, rich Chocolate that I have ever had. This is meant to be slowly savored!  And accompanied with the glass of wine with it was the BEST DESSERT, sorry Narcoossee’s Almond Crusted Cheesecake, you have been bumped to #2.

At the end of the meal, Julie brought me an unexpected surprise, and not it was not the check, along with my River of Light Fast Pass.  

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Remember how I said that I like to celebrate by dressing up and not looking at the prices.  Well, I did not get to dress up (thank you again Southwest Airlines) but I did not look at the prices until the check came.  

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Please do not freak out. Yes, I know this is for 1 person, but remember this was my splurge meal, my treat to myself and I don’t look at prices.  Also, it came with a FastPass and if you priced each component of my 3 course meal you would find I saved a lot going with the fixed menu. Not all Disney restaurants are this pricey, this is a signature restaurant (fine dining in Disney terms). And don’t worry, I left a very nice tip!  Trust me, the portion sizes look small and they are but I can honestly tell you I left full and not uncomfortable.

If you are a fan of Animal Kingdom, are more adventurous eater, and want a place that takes you away from the theme park craziness, I recommend Tiffins! My dining experience was a masterpiece that exceeded my expectations both in atmosphere and food.

How about exploring your inner foodie side at Walt Disney World.  I have lots of great suggestions for your next meal, and it does even have to break the bank.  Although, it is fun to splurge!  Book your Disney vacation with me, and I will make sure that your taste buds are happy!

Tuesdays on the Run: Motivation to get the Steps In

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run. This week’s topic…

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Predictions for 2018 in January.  

STOP…Call me a little superstitious, but making a prediction in January for my 2018 running year seems to be tempting fate.  I am already feeling somewhat nervous with my runs, because each time my hip, ankle or knee have the slightest discomfort I immediately am afraid it is going to be the end to all the things I have planned this year in terms of running.  So I am not making any predictions, instead focus a little on what I am doing to keep my goals on track, and even make a few more Disney App pennies so I can run Disney when the time comes again.

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My goals this year is to get back in shape, actually get in better shape than I was before the dreadful non-run year 2017 happened.  So, I am tracking my food and making sure that I am more active.  I have set the goal of 10K steps a day.  I know for someone who is planning on running a marathon this time next year 10K steps seems awful low, but you have to remember I have had little exercise the past year and I tend to sit way too much during the day.  There have been a couple of days where I literally had to get on the treadmill before bed and knock out a 1,000 or more steps, but I have managed a 17 day streak in 2018!  

Your probably thinking how does all of this fit into make a few Disney pennies?  Well, did you know that you can get paid to exercise!  Seriously, you can!  

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First, there is a great little app called Achievement, where they pay you to track your steps (and a whole lot more).  From the website…

“Achievement is a free service used by over 1.5 million members. You’ll be able to see all your health apps in one place and earn points for activities you already do! We’ve awarded over 100 million activities to date.

Connect over 30+ Android/iOS apps and we will reward you with points for activities such as walking, meditating, logging food, sleeping, tweeting, answering surveys or opting into a challenge.

Earn $10 for every 10,000 points. Rewards are paid out within 3-7 business days, and Achievers can redeem cash directly into their PayPal account or bank account of choice.”

I actually downloaded the app sometime in 2016 year, but paid little attention to it, in fact I almost deleted the whole thing when I was having password issues.  I am glad I didn’t because I am just a few points from earning my first $10 without even realizing that each time I used or opened my fitness apps I was getting points.

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Here is what I have connected to my account

  • Fitbit
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Runkeeper

I was scrolling through the list of apps, and there is a couple more that I think I might check out and add, I sure could use some mediating right now!  The best part is, once I sync my apps to Achievement, I do nothing and start earning.  These apps are all the things I am already focusing on this year, so why not get a little Disney money for my goals. Each week I get a weekly report on how many points I have earned!  

Here is my referral code if you would like to sign up:  http://tinyurl.com/ybkzzmb3

In my email this week there were 2 different emails inviting me to join Stepbet and SpryFit, plus they both offered me free games to try the apps out.  Basically, players basically put their money on the line as encouragement to get themselves stepping. If you don’t hit your targets, you lose the money, and it gets paid out to everyone who does complete their goals.

While I know that I won’t make but a couple dollars on each bet, I will be out there getting paid to keep my commitment to myself and we all can use a little motivation on those days when we just don’t feel like it, and trust me 17 days into the new year I have already had way too many of those days.  


What are you doing to keep yourself motivated? Drop me a line the comments!

Tuesdays on the Run: Running Guilty Pleasures

It’s Tuesday, so that means I am linking up with Patty, Erika & Marsha for Tuesday’s on the Run.

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This week’s topic…

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I admit it, I love running because of all it allows me to indulge in some of my guilty pleasures…

I run because I really like dessert…

running affords me (or at least I think it does, the scale not so much) a few extra calories, right?

I run because I love runcations…

I have run in some pretty cool places (literally cool) and what a great excuse to get out of town for a weekend (okay, what a great excuse to use on Mr. Grumpy to go on yet another girl’s trip to Walt Disney World).

I run because I get to pick the music (and turn it up real loud)…

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With 2 teenage boys in the car, mom’s music isn’t so much respected or appreciated…most of the time I don’t even get control of the dial.  I love that I can blast a little Charley Pride, Air Supply or Ozzy while I run.  (Yes, my musical taste is very diverse). And I have to say, the 2 teenage boys did a great job with my Christmas present this year!  

But you want to know the biggest guilty pleasure I have when it comes to running?  My biggest guilty pleasure is running.  

If you would have said that 5 years ago (hey, I just celebrated my run-anniversary on January 1st)  when I started on this running journey, I would have laughed at you because then running was just a way to get to my guilty pleasure of a vacation to Walt Disney World with the girl’s.  My mindset has shifted, with the help of a boot for 6 months and everything that came after it was gone.  When I didn’t have running, I realized how much I missed running and how much I needed it (and my family too, for their own personal safety).  Running is MY ME TIME, something precious that most of us can relate too.  It is during my runs that I have an outlet to release all the things in my daily life that are weighing on me.  I have the time to reflect and pray, often finding clarity and strength to deal with things when the run is over.  Sometimes a good run is the release that I need to “Let it Go…” (yes, I it’s on my run playlist and is on my most played list, too).  

So not only does running afford me some of my favorite things in life, it also is one of my favorite things (remind me that after my next bad run).  

What does running bring to your life, guilty pleasure or not? Drop me a line in the comments!  And if a Disney vacation is a guilty pleasure that you would like to indulge in, I can help you with that…contact me for your free, no obligation quote today!