Happy New Year & Happy Birthday to ME!

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to ME!! Hard to believe that another year has gone by so quickly. Today I am the BIG 3-3!!! I am a year older, perhaps wiser, definitely stronger, maybe a little less glass half empty kind of girl, and I am another year closer to being included in the Willard Scott’s Smucker’s Birthdays on The Today Show, too bad he’s retiring.

Happy Birthday!

I am more than happy and ready to close the door not only on 2015, but on being 32! Being that 2015 was an odd year, it has been well odd to say the least. This year has been filled with moments of joy, celebration, bonding with old friends, building new friendships that will last a lifetime, tears and heartache, false promises and disappointments, but 2015 also proved that I will prevail. I will try to remember the year 2015 as a reflection of my resilience, strength, and determination. 

One of my proudest moments was setting in motion a goal that I intend to continue into 2016: promoting mental and physical health. This past year I completed another year with a company that I love, traveled around the world, fell in a koi pond, ran a lot of half marathons, 10k, and a few 5ks in between, and ran 102.7 miles in Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

A year from now, I don’t want to have any regrets or heartache. Life is all about the little bumps and bruises along the way. I am embarking on a new outlook towards life. My wish for next year is to be easier on myself, focus more on the good and less on the bad, and honestly just give myself a break. To simply believe in ME. 2016 will be the year of ME.

As many of you may or may not know my middle name is Joy and I’ve decided that 2016 is the “Year of Joy” and I hope that you will adopt this as your theme too. Whatever happens professionally, financially or personally it will not rob us of the joy that is this life. Go forth and be joyful!

runDisney Running Down Memory Lane

With runDisney’s Inaugural Star Wars Weekend coming up this weekend I thought that it would be fun to take a look back and see where it all began for me as a runDisney runner.

2009 Disneyland HalfRunning the 2009 Disneyland Half Marathon might have been my second half marathon, but this is where I fell in love with funning. Crossing the finish line I knew that I would be returning the following year. Where the madness began and the start of my LOVE with runDisney events began!

Princess 2010Little did I realize that past September that I would be continuing my journey as a runner in less than six months later in Walt Disney World March 7, 2010! Running through the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT with friends and family was an amazing journey made even more magical by the runDisney team!

RunDisney Disneyland 2010My one year love affair with runDisney and my Runnniversary was celebrated at the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon. Despite having a double ear infection and a 100 degree temperature I not only crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, but I also earned my first Coast to Coast medal!

2011 Disneyland HalfThe 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon was the beginning of  13 Going on Crazy. This race was celebrated with my family, which made the start of 13 Going on Crazy even more special.

Tinker Bell Half 2012

What better way to kick off my 29th birthday and the 5th race of 13 Going on Crazy than to run in RunDisney’s 2012 Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Notice the tutu? This was just the start of the running costume madness! Now I can’t imagine running in a runDisney race without running in costume! Ah, to be young again! :0

Disneyland 2012

The 2012 Disneyland Half Marathon was the culmination of 13 Going on Crazy and it was definitely a weekend worth celebrating. Memories and friendship were made that weekend that I know will last a lifetime. Crossing the 13th finish line in 13 months was an exhilarating experience, which taught me the value and lesson of setting your goals high! Regardless of how many finish lines I cross I always feel as though I could move mountains. This time I however felt that I could move not only the Matterhorn, but continents as well.

Donald Duck's Half Marathon 2013

Along with my ever growing runDisney costume collection, my goals seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. After completing 13 Going on Crazy I fondly say that I went from “CRAZY” to “GOOFY”! When I first read about runDisney’s 2013 20th Anniversary Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, I simply thought that was beyond insane! From seeing the gorgeous medal and all of the social media hype, I went from thinking that it was a goal out of reach, to something that was accomplishable. That same January I turned the BIG 30 and celebrated in a really big way! I completed not only my first full marathon, but my first Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Running in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday and the Walt Disney World Full Marathon on Sunday is not easy. It’s takes dedication,  a lot of hard work, and perseverance.  Training might not have been smooth sailing, but I just kept repeating to myself Walt Disney’s profound words of wisdom, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

First Full Marathon

If running 39.3 miles in one weekend was not goofy even enough, I sprinkled a little pixie dust on myself, flew back to Los Angeles and prepared myself to run in the 2nd Tinker Bell Half Marathon that following weekend. Wanting to keep my Perfect Pixie status I simply could not  resist participating in another runDisney event. What made participating in this race even sweeter was that I would be earning my second Coast to Coast runDisney medal! Notice the costume, it just keeps getting better and better.

Tinker Bell Half

Flash forward to September 2013 where I was very lucky to have been able to participate in the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, DDD. While I had to wait almost ten month’s to this race it was well worth the wait! The DDD was the first challenge in the runDisney race series, consisting of 19.3 miles, a 10k and a half marathon during two consecutive days. I was so excited that they decided to have it coincide with my favorite race weekend, Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Training for an event such as this is very similar to the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge, so I was well prepared! Another element of fun for this race was that I did not just have one race to come up with a costume for, but two!!! I decided to up my game once again and this time I ran as Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Snow White.

Train Station Dumbo 2013

Since participating in the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare race runDisney has released serval more challenges and new races, which is pure delight and joy for this runDisney Junkie! During the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge 2014 I earned my twentieth runDisney medal!

Running is a journey where you keep rediscovering yourself and finding your inner strength. Running especially with runDisney has proven that anything is possible and as Walt Disney say’s, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” The calm in the air and feeling in my heart as I run down Main Street towards the castle is a feeling that never gets old. It is exhilarating each and every time.

I tip my mouse ears and raise my runDisney water bottle to future runDisney events. Here’s to the Inaugural Star Wars Rebel Challenge, Glass Slipper Challenge, Expedition Everest Challenge, Dumbo Double Dare, and Avenger’s Half Marathon Weekend, it is going to be an AMAZING 2015 runDisney race calendar!

QOTD: Which runDisney race is your favorite? If you have not participated in a runDisney race, which race would you select for your first RunDisney race?

Running Down Memory Lane…2014

While 2014 was not always sunshines and rainbows, I am very thankful for both the good and bad days. For all of the experiences, trials and tribulations, and days that literally took my breath away, make me appreciate and savor every moment. Everyone thinks that there will be time. Turns out there’s just roads. Long and paved filled with potholes. So what are you waiting for?

Here are my top moment’s from 2104:

Birthday!

Most Magical Inaugural Race: There is a very soft spot in my heart for inaugural races especially if it is a runDisney event which then gives me the opportunity to strive to become a Legacy Runner. I am entering my 4th year as a Perfect Pixie for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and my 3rd year as a Perfectly Dumbo for Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. Lucky for me I live in California and I was able to participate in the Inaugural Avenger’s Half Marathon weekend. November is typically an excellent time of year to run a race in California. Avenger’s weekend despite the beautiful temperature, it was awfully windy, but all in all I have to say it was a magical run. I simply loved that it was a different course than the Disneyland Half Marathon and Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Running this race made me realize how given time everything falls into place. For the first in a very long time, I felt my stride coming back, my pace returning, and I was starting to get my groove back. My heart and soul that blistery windy weekend was finally all taped up and glued back together! Needless to say it was a Thor-ific weekend!

Thorific!

Proudest Moment: In light of the previous months, it was honestly a miracle that I was not only on the road to good health, but I was able to participate in the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare Challenge during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.  That weekend I earned my 20th runDisney medal. Since 2009 I have run over of 188.9 miles between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. That is seriously A LOT of miles!

Figment DDD 2014

Most Inspiring Race Weekend: Participating in the 2014 Napa to Sonoma Valley Wine Country Half Marathon with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation was an amazing experience. I have personally never been in a situation where I was with so many people who have had so many similar experiences as I have had. Very few people my age have walked in my running sneakers or at least so I thought. I always knew that I was not alone and not the only one, but to actually see and hang out with people in my situation, who like me DON’T give up was an eye opener.  For those that know me, know that this weekend almost did not happen for me. While I am not going to mention names, you know who you are ;-), without my running partner who grabbed my hand to cross the finish or my friends who kept checking in on me via text along the course, or my running coach who stayed with my running friend and I for the last few miles this race weekend would not have been possible and for that I am forever thankful.

Napa!

Coolest New Race Distance: I have always felt that if you are going to run a 15k you might as well run at least a half marathon, otherwise what is the point. Well let me tell you, if it is the right race series or event a 15k could be a perfect alternative to running a half marathon. While planning a special weekend the idea to run in the Hot Chocolate 15k Scottsdale was thrown into the festivities of fun. I have never participated in an event hosted by the Hot Chocolate racing series and they did an amazing job! Being the holiday season I thought that it was only fitting to run as a candy cane and my running partner in crime very sweetly agreed to go as Buddy the Elf. WOW!! How lucky was I to have someone go along with my crazy scheme to run a race in a costume, especially in yellow tights!! This was a wonderful way to end the 2014 race season. If you have ever thought about participating in a Hot Chocolate race I suggest that you give it a try in 2015!

Hot Coco

As I reflect on the enormous lessons and the gratitude that I have for 2014 I can’t help, but reflect on how far I have come. Often times we lose sight of that and get stuck in the moment. Everything in life happens for a reason and while I thought that I would never bounce back or be the runner that I once was I am slowly, very slowly, might I add, but surely not only am I becoming the runner that I once was, but even better.

QOTD: What are you most looking forward to in 2015?

January 2015 Goals

Happy New Year! I sincerely hope that this year brings more laughter, happiness and more joy.  Being the Disneyaholic that I am I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year and celebrate my birthday than at Disneyland!

IMG_1398

It has been awhile since I set monthly goals and to be honest with you I feel that it honestly keeps me focused, on track, and grounded. Let’s take a look at my January Goals, while some of these goals are not new per say, but I am adding a few new ones, here it goes…

1.) Finish the Inaugural Star Wars Rebel Challenge plus 5k in the upright position: Goals and objectives change. This is self explanatory. May the force be with me! Less than two weeks!

2.) Pile on the Miles: I intend on running a minimum of 40 miles this month, which sounds like a lot of miles, but the quick observer and mental mathlete will notice is that it is a realistic goal. At least ten miles a week for four weeks equals 40 miles. :)

3.) Stretch: I need work on this. I am going to make it a priority to stretch at least 3 times a week. And foam rolling would be added benefit too!

4.) Yoga: This going to be an ongoing goal throughout 2015 and I think that it will blend nicely with my goal to stretch and run 40 miles this month.

Here’s is to an AMAZING 2015, let’s start the year out right, and make every day count!

QOTD: What are your goals for January?

Are you Ready for ME, Dumbo? Four Day’s till #Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

In less than fours days I will be at the Disney Half Marathon 2014 Expo picking up my bib for the Second Dumbo Double Dare!! Could Thursday get here any sooner?

Picking up my bib at the Expo!

Picking up my bib at the Expo!

Here is my top 5 Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Wish List…

  1. Have an amazing time celebrating crossing the finish line and completing 19.3 miles and earning 3 MEDALS!! I’m on my way to being PERFECTLY DUMBO!
  2. DumboNot have any GI issues during the race. This is a constant wish and theme for majority of my races!
  3. Cross the finish line not only with a smile on my face, but under the 3 hour mark for the half marathon and 1:25 minutes for the 10k.

    Celebrating with my three medals. I DID IT!

    Celebrating with my three medals. I DID IT!

  4. I am optimistic that the more elusive characters will be along the course. I would love to see Constance Hatchaway and Lillian Gracey aka The Tightrope Walker both from The Haunted Mansion. They were both along the course at the Inaugural Tinker Bell 10k while the line was long they were worth the wait!My favorite ladies!
  5. Celebrate this amazing weekend with a gluten-free & dairy-free cake made by Chef Chris at Storytellers. Since there are not too many desserts that are both gluten and dairy free in Disneyland I rarely have dessert unless it is my birthday. This wish is on Disneyland! A dream is a wish and a girl can dream right?Birthday Cake 

QOTD: If you’re running Disneyland next weekend, what are your goals?

YOLO…Disneyland

Life is all about taking chances. Throwing your hat in the ring and following it down the rabbit hole. The moment is now, not yesterday and definitely not tomorrow. As Nike says, “Just do it.” Embrace yourself to have the confidence and the YOLO spirit to take every moment in stride with a smile on your face and to always hold your head up high. While it has always been known and in the back of my mind, I have learned way too much recently just how important and short life truly is. With my streak of carpe diem I have had one incredible week!

Mae West

(Source)

This week I have been presented with two awesome opportunities the first being able to participate in a special meet-up hosted by Disney Parks Blog to attend a special sneak preview of what’s planned for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary celebration on July 17.

Disney Blog

 

QOTD: Were you selected to attend this event? Any exciting and unexpected news this week?

 

 

January 2014 Goals

Happy New Year! I sincerely hope that this year brings more happiness and more joy.  Being the Disneyaholic that I am I plan to goto Disneyland over the weekend as I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year and celebrate my birthday  at Disneyland! It has been way too long since I have been in Disneyland and I plan on spending a lot more time there in the coming year! I managed to stay up until midnight in Scottsdale and let me tell you there is not too much do there!

IMG_1398

It has been awhile since I set monthly goals and to be honest with you I feel that it honestly keeps me focused, on track, and grounded. Let’s take a look at my January Goals, the quick observer will note that I some of these goals are new and I am adding a few new ones, here it goes…

1.) Finish Tinker Bell Half Marathon in the upright position: Goals and objectives change. This is self explanatory. Less than two weeks!

2.) Pile on the Miles: I intend on running a minimum of 40 miles, which sounds like a lot of miles, but the quick observer and mental mathlete will notice is that it is a realistic goal. At least ten miles a week for four weeks equals 40 miles. 🙂

3.) Stretch: I need work on this. I am going to make it a priority to stretch at least 3 times a week.

4.) Yoga: This going to be an ongoing goal throughout 2014 and I think that it will blend nicely with my goal to stretch and run 40 miles this month.

Here’s is to an AMAZING 2014, let’s start the year out right, and make every day count!

QOTD: What are your goals for January?

It’s Friday 13.1!!! Let’s Set GOALS!!!

At 13 Going on Crazy the number 13 for obvious reasons 🙂 is a VERY lucky number, which got me to thinking about 13 things that I want to accomplish once I turn 31…

Friday 13.1

  1. Have the courage to sign-up and train for the Walt Disney World 2015 Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Yes, I understand that I have already completed this race in 2013, you can read about my half marathon and marathon Goofy experience, this will only be my second full marathon!
  2. Have the courage to follow my dreams and listen to my heart. Not an easy balance.
  3. Stay up all night and see the sunrise, okay maybe just wake up early and see it rise. I don’t do well on lack of sleep.
  4. Practice yoga &/or Pilates 2 to 3 a week.
  5. Run a half marathon sub 2 hours 30 minutes
  6. Race with Team Challenge, supporting Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation during the 2014 season!
  7. Completely follow The Paleo Diet. I have been doing it for years, now let’s go all the way!
  8. See Bruce Springsteen &/or Bob Dylan in concert
  9. Go horseback riding on the beach
  10. Go scuba diving
  11. Take classes in American Sign Language
  12. Feed the homeless people soup during a rainy cold day
  13. Fall in love & not get my heart broken
I am hoping to hear some very interesting suggestions on what else to add to the list, should I have made it 31 during 31st year or stick with lucky 13? I would love it if you’d join me in the madness and come up with your own lists, 25 before 25, 35 after 35, 13 before 2013, whatever get’s the blood in your veins flowing! I would love to hear from you. I hope that with this little assignment, we’ll inspire each other to stop putting things off and seize the day.

Remember, wherever you are there you go!

Dumbo Double Dare Tales…Rewards for Running

As if earning anyone one these would not be motivation enough to lace up my running shoes this summer…

Dumbo Double Dare 10k

10K Dumbo Double Dare Classic "D" Disneyland Half Marathon

For those who are less intrinsically and more extrinsically motivated such as myself I like to reward myself for running. Yes I will be earning all three of these gorgeous medals at the runDisney’s Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare this Labor Day Weekend, but I for many reasons need a little extra push this year. It is kind of odd that I need such push as I honestly and truly look forward to this fun filled weekend each and every year. I even start planning almost a year in advance!

So what is that extra little push? I think that it is fun to reward yourself for reaching small, measurable, and specific running goals. Now these goals are specific to you individually for me it is how many times I actually run a week versus some might want it to be how many miles are logged in a week. Now that the goal is set you need to think of rewards….

  1.  Pay yourself to run….a dollar a mile is an excellent idea, especially if you have an upcoming race and you can spend your money at the expo. Each item purchased will have been earned by your dedication and devotion.
  2. Running Outfits…Have you had your eye on a  running top or skirt from your favorite running store? I like to print these images and tape it to my door when I leave the house or the refrigerator. Once I reach my running goal, I literally like to run out and buy it!
  3. Snacks…Interested in trying a new running snack. This could be a reward as well!
  4. Running Accessory….have you been looking online at “The Stick” or some other really cool running accessory? Go for it, but not until you reach your goals!

When determining your rewards make sure that you that this reward will actually fit into your budget, otherwise you when you realize that you earned it is just sad and disappointing! 🙂 Don’t promise yourself a new Garmin watch if you can only afford a new running shirt! Regardless of how you motivate yourself out the door, get out there and enjoy the run!

See you at the start line!

 

QOTD: Do you like to reward yourself to run? What types of rewards do you give yourself?

Monthly Goals: July 2013

Since I literally blinked and June was over I must admit that I need to roll-over all of my monthly goals. Sadly June slipped through my fingers tips, I was a little lost, and life turned a slightly sideways. I might have been lost, but I have been found! I have a solid game plan in tack that will get me through the rest of summer and hopefully the rest of the year! Before I get too ahead of myself let’s revisit my goals for the month of July. The quick observer will note that I have added a new goal!

July Goals

1.) Dumbo Double Dare: Roll Over Goal…See Monthly Goals for May 2013

2.) Create a Monthly Blog Calendar: It is very similar to last month’s goal to simply blog more, but similar to marketing and social media calendars, which I have created I think that this is my smartest and best bet to stay accountable!

3.) Ab Challenge: There is a 30 Day Ab Challenge that I found “on-the-line” (Bonus Points if you get the humor) and I aim to complete everyday of this challenge! You can participate in this fun challenge, all you have to do is follow the 30 Day Ab Crunch Challenge Board I created on Pinterest.

4.) Pace: I always preach that it is my race and I am not competing against anyone except myself, but let’s be honest we all want to improve right? Well here I am trying to improve.

5.) Motivation: Since the temps are rising I too need to rise early, not hit the snooze button and get out early in the day to run.

6.) Multi-Vitamin: I have been advised more times than I could count the importance of taking a vitamin and the many health benefits. I aim to not only find a vitamin that works for me, but to also stick with it and take it consistently.

QOTD: What is one of your goals for July? Did you accomplish any June goals?