8 weeks to Dopey! And 8 Great Disney Workout Songs

I love my weekly countdown, but it also kind terrifies me that every week I’m 7 days closer to the craziest, well, the DOPIEST thing i’ve ever done.  🙂   And here we are, just 8 weeks away!

There was discussion in one of my Facebook groups this week about training.  And do you really need to train for Dopey.  I think everyone runs it for a different reason – and for the reason I do?  It involves training.  Because I run to make sure that my Perfectly Dopey brother has as much fun as I do.  And for that?  I need to be even better trained that he is. LOL

So, this week was the first of my planned multi-run weekends. Nothing too dopey… Just 3.1 Friday, 5 miles Saturday and 16 miles Sunday.

Friday was a treadmill 5k walk, listening to Disney music – which is what inspired the list i’ll share below.  Sometimes when you’re training for Disney races, listening to Disney music helps set the mood and make you almost feel like its a ‘walk in the park.

Saturday I ran the Edaville Rail Run.  One of my favorite fall races – 5 miles of trail through cranberry bogs. This was my 4th time running it and actually (despite specific speed training) only 45 seconds off my fastest.  Sweet!  I was SO fast my sole sister Karen missed me coming across the line (the race got one tho…)

But she did get this great one of me right after I finished.  Speed makes me smile. 😀

Sunday was supposed to be a slow easy long run… but my legs hit a groove midway through and took off. Must be this amazing fall weather.

And now back to the music…

I don’t use music outside (yes, I will be running Dopey mp-free), but if i’m on the elliptical or treadmill its a must.  And while i’m a rock & roll – fast & furious music lover, sometimes you just wanna have fun.  Music you can sing along with or smile listening to.

And for that….here is an 8-song Disney ‘feel good’ workout playlist.

  • Try Everything – Zootopia
  • How Far I’ll Go – Moana
  • You’re Welcome – Moana
  • One Jump Ahead – Aladdin
  • Friend Like Me – Aladdin
  • Be Prepared – Lion King
  • I’ve Got a Dream – Tangled
  • Mr Blue Sky – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Try Everything is 100% my favorite.  I won’t give up, no I won’t give in, ’til I reach the end and I start again. Every.  Single.  Time.  This is an ultra song.  Its loops, its life, its getting outside your comfort zone and being who you’re meant to be.   I wanna try everything even tho I can fail. 🙂

Moana – my favorite overall Disney soundtrack in years.  Shiny!  But How Far I’ll Go and You’re Welcome are the two I listen to most often.

Aladdin – One Jump Ahead and Friend Like Me just have this great upbeat happiness to them.  One Jump Ahead just rolls like a broadway number.  And the late great Robin Williams outdid himself with Friend Like Me.

Be Prepared – a shout out to the Villains.  I love the beat of this song and Jeremy Irons snarl and disdain.  Plus the lyrics are fantastically clever.

I’ve Got a Dream – Who doesn’t? I know that some people prefer When Will My Life Begin.  But this one is more my style.  So many voices, so many dreams. And with every waking hour, i’m so glad I left my tower…

Mr. Blue Sky – yeah, okay this might be on here even if it wasn’t in a Disney movie.  But now I can’t hear it without picturing baby Groot just having the BEST time dancing.  🙂 The song, makes me happy.

What Disney song makes you happy?  What is your favorite one to workout to?

And happy training to all my Dopeys out there!

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Right song…right time

Well folks…we’ve hit taper. And for once, i’m SO glad.

For some reason, this marathon training cycle has been a beast. August humidity and warmer temps combined with stress and whatnot just made my long runs way more difficult that usual.

Saturday’s 20 miler was basically my last attempt at redeeming my subpar training (and the disaster the prior 20 was) and giving me any shot at confidence going into Adirondack.

But let me back up… the week headed to that 20 miler was spectacular. We were up in Bar Harbor/Acadia for a few days and while i’d brought running clothes, I also was kind of planning to not use them. Leave it to the hubs to be the one to drag me to the gym one morning. Where I begrudgingly got on a treadmill and then knocked out some sprintervals. It was the next morning, when he returned from walking Gus and told me that he’d seen someone running on the sandbar out to Bar Island and “you should go join them” that i got that gleam in my eye, chugged the rest of my coffee and went. And OMG amazing! Sure, its like a 1/2 mile long so I ran it six times…but I could have run it all day. So pretty being along the sea.

I had stopped post run to text the hubs that I was going to beach comb for a few minutes when I saw another runner grinning coming back from his, so I chatted for a minute and found out, had I been brave enough to run the trail on the island (wrong shoes plus i’m SUCH a trail novice) i’d have been rewarded with deer crossing the trail. COOL. 🙂

But instead…I stepped over to the beach where i’d found oodles of sea glass. And the first thing I find? A unicorn!

That run was exactly what I needed. A chance to clear my head and find my happy on a run. I was still kind of unsure about the 20 miler ahead. But feeling less freaked out about it. (the sea…it heals)

So when Saturday morning hit and I planned my route and headed out into the cool pre-fall air for my run, my head was in the right place. I just hoped my legs were.

Mile 1, right on pace. Mile 2, oops…maybe wanna slow down a little. Mile 3, same as mile 2. Huh…well…okay why not. Because i’m not banking time for later, but hey, if my body wants to go sub-10 right now I supposed I shouldn’t complain. LOL I just am not going to look at my watch.

Around mile 6, I encountered a car wash fundraiser for a girls soccer team. They offered to wash my sneakers. Ha!

Around mile 7 I sailed up and over the steepest hill on my route and stopped for a photo along the river (if there isn’t a runfie, did it actually happen?).

By mile 9, the legs started to go wonky (ummm what is this weird thing in my thigh? Better stretch it) and the brain was getting bored. I had my headphones with me, but i didn’t want to use them yet. I plan to carry them at adirondack and use them maybe around mile 15 when that long flat stretch comes after the hills and I might need them. But this was too early. So I started singing in my head…. Quiet your mind by Zac Brown. This…. right song, right time.

Because the next few miles went okay. I hit a groove and kept chugging along. Any time my brain went wonky, back to the song.

At mile 14 when I came up to another hill I really didn’t want to do I stopped. I told my self “they only way back is through”, took a deep breath and went. Not only did I beat that hill, but I nailed the harder one after it no problem. YAY

Mile 15 I was dying for more water and just trying to get to the convenience store when a car stopped in traffic called out the window “You’re doing awesome!” and gave me a thumbs up. I laughed and thanked him. And was glad for the boost.

At mile 17 I realized I hadn’t walked yet. MAJOR improvement from the last one. But I knew when I took my next gel I would. Just to give the legs a break. And suddenly, coming from the radio of a house I ran by was “Aint No Mountain High Enough” OMG YES! Right song…right time. Because there isn’t a mountain high enough that I can’t get over. And we all know Adirondack is chock full of them. This might just have to go on my race day playlist. 🙂

I finished my run. I walked that 1/4 mile when I had my gel. And I walked another 1/4 mile at mile 19 when I tripped over a bump on the sidewalk and realized I might kinda not wanna fall.

And when I was done I collapsed in the lawn next to my puppy, who had come out to play ball and spectate my last two miles. Thanks Gus…

I am feeling WAY better now. I have set my race day goal to 4:44. A course PR and one that, if I ran like I just did, i’ll have no problem reaching.

So bring on the taper…I want some extra rest days, some extra carbs and some extra time with the world’s cutest dog. While I plan just the right songs for 11 days from now.

Hello August…

The worst part of fall marathon training is that most of it occurs in the summer.

I don’t like the heat. I mean, you probably wouldn’t know because i’ve been doing my share of mid-day runs along the river…outside…in the heat and sun. But it usually involves stopping at ALL the water fountains during the second half.

And sure, I did do three races in July…but none of them were quite as good as earlier in the year when the weather cooler.

My poor garmin is getting dusty because I refuse to have digital proof of how awful my paces have been. I mean i’ve actually been eying this training shirt. LOL

But i’m 54 days out from the Adirondack Marathon, which means its time to really get serious. To decide if I have a PR goal, or merely a course-PR goal.

You see, that sucker is HILLY.

And while the first half is crazier hills than the second, the last time I ran this my goal was to beast the hills. And I did, and then the wheels came off by mile 17 and the ‘rolling hills’ in the later miles felt harder than the spikes.

So I plan to spend August ramping up both the strength training (adding a 3rd day a week), the hill training (wherever I can) and, as usual, distance (August’s schedule includes a 16, an 18 and a 20 miler). Dusting off the garmin so I actually know how fast (slow?) I’m going. And hoping that August is mild (yeah, I know….likely not happening).

I’m also going to up my hydration game (my running buddy h2o is about to get in some more miles) and maybe go back on the music (my single-ear sports bud isn’t getting its exercise either). Might be a good month to run to Zac Brown and Jimmy Buffet. oooh – virgin pina coladas in the h20 pouch? LOL

So, if you need me this month…i’ll be out running hills, feeling tropical and thinking fall.

Confessions of a Running Metalhead

So this weekend, while sitting outside relaxing with the hubs and noticing that someone had read one of my blogs (yes, I check daily, and yes I LOVE my readers!), he said to me…

“You’re a really good writer, but you need to branch out on your topics. All you write about is running.”

So after I went all ‘Rudolph after Clarice tells him he’s cute’ (lol), I told him, okay, I will write about music this week. But as they say to write what you know… I am going to give you my top six favorite running songs. And why I love them.

People might be surprised that they are ALL metal. But its because a) I LOVE metal and b) you can’t run fast to a slow song. Its about trying to keep your feet to the beat. So make it a good one.

These songs make it onto ALL of my speed playlists – be it a 5k, half-marathon or just Thursday Sprintervals. They were there when I set my 5k PR (Turkey Vision Quest playlist) and kicked asphalt at the Blackstone Valley Half (2:01 or bust playlist). They are those songs that when I hear them when i’m not running, they make me wish I was running.

They are:

6. Ready to Rock – Airborne
Why? The lyrics start with “Went down to the crossroads, made a deal with the devil. Sold my soul for a guitar. Became a rock & roll rebel” Plus those O’Keefe brothers are mad talented. Love the whole Black Dog Barking album.  But this song? As it surges, so do I. I’ve put it on repeat before and run the whole time to it. Its fast and hard and my sub-8 mile pace song. Are you READY????

5. Electric Eye – Judas Priest
Why? Its fast. Its fun. I’m listening as I write this and can’t stop moving my foot. It moves.

4. Stand Up and Shout – Dio
Why? Cuz its Dio. And like the others on this list, starts out with a bang. And never slows down. Plus I love the lyrics. “You’ve got desire so let it out. You’ve got the power.” YES… So what if I lip-sync on the treadmill.

3. Riding on the Wind – Judas Priest
Why? Cuz its awesome. From drums to guitar to them together…. i’m just trying to keep up. And Rob’s vocals are spot on.

2. Death Alley Driver – Rainbow
Why? Ritchie freaking Blackmore. Because the song starts out setting a great uptempo beat. And the guitar solo mid-song just makes me smile. And push the pace even more. And the lyrics are SO running.. “You’ll never win the race, but you won’t give up the chase” resonate with this mid-packer.

1. Kickstart My Heart – Motley Crue
Why? That opening. This is my leadoff song for most races. It kicks in fast and hard early and just sets the groove. Guitar, to Drums (tommy sets a killer beat) to Vince’s scream..it just moves. And so do I.

So…. how many of you are itching to run right now? Or tapping your foot? LOL Who else is secretly a running metalhead? Are any of these on YOUR must list?

Rock on my friends…🤘🏻🤘🏻

Seven Weeks & Seven Songs…let’s marath-on!

And just like that we’re one week closer. 49 days to Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.


Getting excited yet? I sure am!! 😁

Training is still going great…run, lift, rest, repeat.  This week was just a 12 mile long run. Nice and easy and right on pace. 😀 And i’m looking forward to a sweet 16 on Sunday.

Hope you all enjoyed last week’s helpful tips. And this week, in honor of the 7 week mark, I bring you 7 songs…Disney songs of course…that best describe running Disney.

This is by no means a playlist, more the Marathon told by songs. 😀🏃🏻‍♀️❤️

  • Be Prepared – this one is pretty obvious. Train, plan, organize, and be ready to roll bright and early race morning. (Or should I say dark & early?  Either way…the pixie dust will be flowing and you won’t even notice.)
  • Heigh-Ho – it’s race morning. Off to work we go!
  • Let it Go – I always say no matter how well you prepare, you can’t prepare for everything. Weird things happen race day. Be it weather, or a cold, or that runner cutting you off on course.  It happens. Let it Go. Don’t let whatever it is ruin your race.
  • Life is a Highway – You will spend a chunk of time running Disney’s ‘highways’.  Its okay, because its wide and open and full of entertainment!  Characters and Pirate Ships and Army Men and whatnot.  The portion not in the parks is no less quality than the miles that are.
  • Go The Distance – Whatever distance you’ve chosen for race weekend, know that you got this.  Its all you.  You can…go the distance! (Even if at like mile 21 you’re tired and have stones in your shoes from running the warning track and you just wanna quit.  Just keep swimming…er running.)
  • It’s a Small World – The World Showcase never looked so good.  When you get there and you know you’ve got just 1.2 miles left, you celebrate and let the crowds carry you.  That last mile is pure adrenaline. And…a small world after all
  • Hakuna Matata – No worries! Because Disney is truly the most magical race on earth. And your run will be the experience of a lifetime.  So breathe deep, smile for the photographers and let this problem free philosophy be your guide through the miles. 

There is also one non-Disney song that I’ve heard during the races both times i’ve run. Its simple…and obvious…but oh so true.  “Don’t Stop Believin”

How ya feeling fellow disney runners?  Are you ready?  Because in just 49 days… You Can Fly!

I play the road

I woke up with a song stuck in my head. And it stayed with me through my five miler today. At mile 3 it caused an a-ha moment. Thank you Zac Brown!

I play the road. And the highway is my song.

I was never a team sport girl. Serious lack of hand eye coordination kept me off the high school sports fields. I couldn’t hit, throw or kick a ball very far. I also don’t want to be responsible for a team losing because I’m the weak link.

I’m self-competitive. I like to win, and by that I mean beating old times and old distances. Pushing myself to improve, for me.

I spend hours a week practicing my sport. Time alone out on my field of choice, the streets of Massachusetts.

The road is my gym, my teacher, my friend. It is always there for me. It expects nothing in return. It is what I make of it.

I am an athlete. I am a runner. I play the road.

I got the music in me

One of the most popular questions runners ask each other is “do you run with music?”

And my typical response is “when I’m inside yes, when I’m outside no.” But that’s not entirely true.

I always have music in my head.

When I first started running I carried my MP3 player with me at all times. It was a crutch, a security blanket, a way to not get bored and to keep my mind occupied.

Then one day I read an article in Runners World magazine about running without music and decided to give it a try – outdoors only of course. On a treadmill I need all the distractions I can get!

And I discovered that I really enjoying running mp-free.

I notice more of my surroundings. Which is not only safer in this world of distracted driving, but lets me see things I might not have otherwise noticed.

Things like the stone walls in the woods, the hawk flying overhead, the deer standing in the field hoping I don’t notice him.

Nature starts to take on a song of its own – the chorus of the peepers, the wind through the trees, the stream rushing over the rocks.

And then – there are the songs in my head. From years of carefully cultivated playlists comes a memory full of favorite songs. Songs that I can recall at a moment’s notice to get me through a boring or rough patch of route.

And sometimes they pop unwilling in there. Yes, I did once find myself singing along to Rainbow Connection on a long run.

From Rainbow Connection to Rainbow’s Death Alley Driver – my songs run the gamut. But are always there when I need them.

So do I run with music? Yes, always. You might just not see it.