Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Fairest Week In Review: 6/22

This Week In Jenn's Running Innovations: treat yo' self to a Fla-Vor-Ice post long run. You know - those soft plastic sleeves of sugar water you always got at summer camp back in the day. I did it on Monday and it was everything I thought it would be. Well, except speedy - I had to toss the last third in favor of making it to work on time. But I stand by the concept.

Important tip: if you plan on being anywhere in public after your ice, choose pink or red as your flavor. Otherwise you may end up with an interesting... mouth color... situation. If you know what I mean.


All of this is to say that the consumption of a Fla-Vor-Ice was the most noteworthy part of my training over the past week. Anyway, how are you?

Um... roundup!

- DISTherapy offers vacation running tips.
- Heather Through the Looking Glass drums up some running motivation.
- run Geek runDisney lists running gear favorites.
- Disney In Your Day got to do that Animal Kingdom Lodge Dine with an Animal Specialist thing! I tried to get an ADR to that once and was blocked out. :/ Some day!
- WDW for Grownups is psyched for summer at WDW.
- Main Street Gazette tries La Cava's new Maelstrom... margarita?
- Meanwhile, The Disney Hipsters investigate the DAK beverage situation.
- Mouse on the Mind checks out Disney Springs' The Ganachery.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

In Which Jenn Has Her Very Own DAK Cocktail

GUYS GUYS GUYS. I HAVE MY OWN ALCOHOL.

So I was reading easyWDW like I do when I want to giggle to myself while reading Disney stuff, finding out all about the new Nomad Lounge connected to the Animal Kingdom's latest fancy pants restaurant, Tiffins. I'm scrolling, I'm scrolling, not paying very careful attention to the images of the menu proper as I'm generally more interested in the food selected for review. I get to the bit where Josh describes all the drinks... and suddenly, THERE IT IS.

Original blog post here.

GUYS GUYS GUYS. I HAVE MY OWN ALCOHOL.

It's called JENN'S TATTOO because MY NAME IS JENN WITH TWO N'S AND I HAVE A TATTOO. And it has watermelon in it. I LOVE WATERMELON!!! Do you think it's legit watermelon juice? I hope so; I LOVE WATERMELON JUICE.

You'd best believe that come November I am going to march myself over to that lounge and get myself a JENN'S TATTOO because I AM JENN and that is MY DRINK.

Oh, Walt Disney World. There truly is no end to your magic.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Monday, June 20, 2016

In Which Jenn Is Confused About Shoes

I am confused. Confused about shoes.

I just wanted to rhyme. That's my blog post for today. Thanks for stopping by!

Nooooooo, I will elaborate. Maybe one of you magical readers can alleviate my confusion.

Last summer I went to Road Runner Sports to get fitted for running shoes. I'd been using Brooks Ravennas pretty happily for awhile but it never hurts to reevaluate now and again, no? Roadrunner had a whole fancy pants process for determining my best fit, including videotaping me running barefoot on a treadmill. My shoe specialist told me that while my right foot does pronate bit, my left foot remains absolutely neutral; as such, she would never have put me in a support shoe like the Ravenna in the first place. Gasp!

What followed was your standard shoe fitting montage: I put on, like eleventy-billion pairs of sneakers, ran in them a bit, slowly narrowed it down, and eventually settled on a pair of the Nike Zoom Vomero 10, a neutral model with a ton of bouncy cushion. Not did I enjoy said bounciness, they fit my feet like an absolutely dream - no breaking in required!

At first everything was great. I ran some training runs with no issues. I even set a new PR in my first race with them. But then the National Capital 20 Miler happened, and I came out of it with a messed up hip and angry knees. In terror of the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon, I bought a new pair of Ravennas and used them for the marathon instead, convinced that the problem was that the neutral Vomeros didn't provide enough support for very long distances.

So I wore the Ravennas for the marathon and that was fine - up to a point. I finished the race no problem, but my knees and hip definitely bothered me. Then two weeks later came the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, and it being a shorter distance I decided to go with the Vomeros again. Indeed, it turned out to be a much shorter distance (more on the quarter marathon here), so much that I wound up knocking out a quick 5K a few days later on my own. No issues.

Until a few days later, when I attempted to run a few miles on the treadmill and began experience steady discomfort in my right Achilles tendon. This pain - not sharp but constant - followed me around for a good six weeks before I finally gave up and gave myself a couple weeks off from running entirely. Suspecting the Vomero's lack of support, I wound up running the WDW Marathon at the beginning of January wearing the Ravennas again, with the help of professionally applied KT Tape on my Achilles.

Luckily that worked, and from then it was nothing but improvements until I felt no pain at all. Great success! And you would think, too, that this would cement my love of the Ravennas forever. And yet...

I do love Brooks Ravennas. They're really great, supportive and cushiony. But they're heavier than the Vomeros, and my God, guys, I can't even find the words to explain exactly why the Vomeros feel so good, but the fit is just... right. They feel... bespoke, almost. I don't know. They feel good.

So for whatever reason I've been breaking out the Vomeros off an on for shorter runs over the last couple months... and over the last week and a half I ran a practice 13.1 and then 15 miles in them. No pain, no problems.

Correlation, as we know, does not imply causation. Let's look at a couple things that could have caused my pain for other reasons that happened to coincide with the arrival of my Nikes:
  1. As I mentioned the other week, I wasn't quite as ready as I could've been for my long distance races. In all honesty my muscles weren't sufficiently prepared, at least not for a good showing.
  2. The National Capital 20 Miler is a trail race, which is generally going to be harder on your body than a treadmill or road race. I do train outside, but a lot of my route is sidewalks and paved trails; I don't get a ton of packed dirt and grass time in.
  3. As opposed to the shoes, it could've been the one-two-three punch of Marine Corps Marathon, Wine & Dine + walking around Walt Disney World, then squeezing in another early morning run the day later that caused my strained Achilles.
  4. Or all of the above could wrong and the neutral ride of the Vomeros could be the culprit after all.
This is, of course, speculation. I am by no means a professional fitter and an unproven diagnostician. And I'm feeling very uncertain as to where to go from here. I think I may have outgrown my beloved and steadfast but clunky Ravennas. I love the Vomeros and have been experiencing success with them of late, but I worry that there may be a mileage threshold there and I don't know where it is. Nike does make a support Zoom shoe called Structure, but I hesitate to start purchasing shoes that haven't been specifically suggested to me. Maybe I should go back and get fitted again? I just don't KNOWWWWWWWWWWW


Any suggestions from the audience? What have been your best and worst shoe fitting experiences? Shoe-related injuries? How do you select your shoes? Have you ever bought a shoe blindly based on description? Obviously I'm interested in any shoe-related tale you wish to share, so sound off!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Fairest Week In Review: 6/16

Here's some exciting news: I think I'm actually kinda on track with my training this year!

After my half I did another, practice half, and then a week later I did a fifteen miler with reasonable success. Now I'll take a couple months to do some speed runs and tennish mile maintenance long runs, knock out another fifteenish miler at the end of August, taper a bit, and then it's race season!

I'm happy because in all honesty I think I may have botched my training a bit last year. Not horribly, but enough so that I didn't have enough really long runs until my belt before the National Capital 20 Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon. This would explain why I ended up with some minor but legit injuries. Possibly my new sneakers were not to blame after all (and you can bet I'll be diving into shoe drama in an upcoming post). Hopefully a more careful training plan this year will help me smoke those races this time around!


I don't really have a good segue, but here's the roundup. Enjoy.

- Disney In Your Day believes even a non-runner can enjoy runDisney.
- Live, Run, Grow has some interesting thoughts on runners and our ability to quit - or lack thereof.
- Fairytales & Fitness observes people frequently seen while running.
- Similarly, Living A Disney Life spots the types of moms seen at WDW.
- Just Me & My Running Shoes makes a Disney dinner at home.
- It's WDW water park season! Sparkly Ever After has some tips.
- This Fairy Tale Life cheaps out at Aulani.
- The Disney Tourist Blog knows how to have an awesome day at Epcot without riding ANYTHING. Two words, kids: WORLD SHOWCASE.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

In Which Jenn Would Defend Swedish Fish To The Death

I had, just, the WEIRDEST conversation with my boss the other day.

She had picked up some candy to give out at a festival we're hosting, and was giving out some samples to staff. I overheard someone mention getting Swedish Fish, and I said: "Swedish Fish? I LOVE Swedish Fish!" because they are AMAZING and the best running fuel ever. Do you remember me lunging at that poor Swedish Fish-distributing girl during the 2016 WDW Marathon? Yeah, they're that important.

Which is why I was shocked, SHOCKED when my boss said, "Oh, you like Swedish Fish? I didn't think anyone liked Swedish Fish. That's why I didn't mention them."

And I frankly don't know what to do with this information. Swedish Fish are such a staple of my running diet. I like to eat them before runs of 15 miles or more. No, they're not "formulated" as sports fuel per se, but they're cheap, easy to obtain, taste delicious, don't mess with my digestive system, and provide a nice sugary, carb-y shot of energy. They are manna from heaven. They are life.

So I said, "It must be a running community thing."

But everyone else is missing out.


Do you like Swedish Fish? Or did you also assume that no one likes Swedish Fish? What's your favorite running fuel?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The First Photos: WDW & Disneyland, 2013 - 2016

Finishing up the Disney portion of my First Photos series. (And catch my Last Photos series here.)


The year: 2013
The companion(s): Moon
The title of the album: I Know Every Mile Will Be Worth My While
The why: An otherwise mundane photo, but Moon and I tremendously enjoyed that our Magical Express driver's name was Rockland Steel. ROCKLAND STEEL.


The year: 2013
The companion(s): My mom
The title of the album: Look for the bare necessities
The why: I was all confused and out of sorts stepping away from my beloved Pop Century, so I grounded myself with a snap of All Star Music's gift shop.


The year: 2014
THE PLACE: DISNEYLAND!
The companions: Moon
The title of the album: You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!
The why: Moon's version of this photo is way better; in it, Disneyland comes out of my head. (Moon says: It may as well.)


The year: 2014
The companion(s): Many wonderful bloggers and buddies
The title of the album: Y'know, for a clownfish he's not that funny
The why: I took this photo out the window of our Magical Express bus as we entered WDW proper and immediately texted it to my boyfriend, a portent of things to come. Which brings us to...


The year: 2015
The companion(s): My boyfriend
The title of the album: Thank you, Florida (where my Silicon Valley peeps at?)
The why: I'm walkin' right down the middle of Main Street, USA! It's the heart of America; the heartbeat of a holidAAAAAAY-AY-AY-AY! NO YOU SHUT UP.


The year: 2015
The companion(s): Elizabeth
The title of the album: The thingamabob that does the job
The why: Behold the mighty runDisney expo! IT WILL CRUSH YOU AND NOT EVEN CARE.


The year: 2016
The companion(s): None!
The title of the album: A very merry unbirthday to me
The why: Blogger rule #1: when you eat food, ALWAYS TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH. Anyway, this is sushi from Morimoto Asia. It was okay.

Next up: Universal Studios!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Happy Friday: We'll Have A Dalmatian Plantation...

Where our congregation can roam
In this demarcation
Our whole aggregation
Will love our plantation home!



P.S. Fifteen spotted puddles stolen? Oh, balderdash.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!