Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Fairest Week In Review: 7/29

JENN: How'd your training go this week?

MOON: The last part of the week was good! I fiiiiinally have some new music!

JENN: Yay!

MOON: Nothing motivates me more than a good jam. How was yours?

JENN: Okay. I ran outside exclusively this week. The first run went well, but the humidity was so high the next two days that I felt awful.

MOON: Awww. There was one BEAUTIFUL morning last week (of course I didn't have time to run that morning), but the rest were pretty terrible. :(

JENN: I did do four half walking/half running miles while my boyfriend skateboarded with me. Not fast, but kinda fun.

MOON: Oh, that's fun! At least you had some company. :)

JENN: Indeed. Also, I have a story about him that I'm going to tell here because it concerns Walt Disney World.

MOON: Ha, fire away

JENN: Apparently his family went to WDW when he was three and his brother was five. His brother was tall enough for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad but he wasn't, and this made him SO ANGRY that his dad had to take him away and bribe him with ice cream.

My question: "Did the ice cream actually placate you, or were you just sulking into the cup?"

His answer: "Oh, I was sulking into the cup. The ice cream was not enough to make up for the fact that they let my brother on the ride but not me."

To the parents of the world: your ice cream bribes are buying you NOTHING.

Artist's rendering. (source)

MOON: And did you inform him that he missed absolutely nothing but terror?

JENN: Haha, no. He rode it when he was older and he was fine. You're the only one on earth who finds that ride terrifying. Well, except for my mom, but that's only because the ride stopped briefly and she spent the rest of the experience convinced we were going to derail.

MOON: Derailment is not as bad as death.

JENN: But you're still alive!

MOON: For now.

JENN: Well, I guess we'd better head to the roundup before she keels over.

- We Run Disney conquers race day anxiety.
- Back to Square Zero contemplates Race Face.
- Running at Disney counsels NOT running yourself into the ground.
- Running Toward the Prize looks at runDisney from a princessless angle.
- Will Run for Ears longs for the good old days when runDisney races didn't sell out in ten seconds.
- Run Walk Fastpass Repeat has ways to get FASTER.
- At last, a nutrition article that speaks to me: Active.com believe that runners shouldn't diet.
- DO YOU FEEL THAT? That's the sound of the Food & Wine Festival galloping this way. Prep with overviews from The Disney Tourist Blog, Beers & Ears, and Eating WDW.

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, July 24, 2014

In Which Jenn Makes A Food & Wine Festival To-Eat List

IT'S ON.

(source)

The Disney Food Blog just posted all the menus for this year's Epcot Food & Wine Festival, and since I will ACTUALLY BE THERE THIS TIME EEEEEEEE I naturally dropped everything I was doing and made another one of my crazy Disney food to-eat spreadsheets.

BoothItemNotes
BelgiumPotato & leek waffle w/ beer-braised beefI am intrigued by both combinations
BelgiumBelgian Waffle w/ warm chocolate ganache
BrazilPao de queijoCHEESE BREAD
Brewer's CollectionShofferhoffer grapefruit beer
CanadaCheddar cheese soupAvoiding a pricey Le Cellier ADR
ChinaHappy Lychee w/ tequila & vodkaWait, do they mean you choose one, or both at once?
Desserts & ChampagneYes, please
Farm FreshKey Lime wineThis could be TERRIBLE, but I must try!
FranceSparkling pomegranate KirI already love Kir Royal, so...
GermanyBratwurst in a pretzel rollANYTHING in a pretzel roll
GreeceGriddled cheese w/ pistachios & honeySO EXCITED FOR THIS
GreeceTzatziki martini... What?
HawaiiTuna poke<3 raw tuna
HawaiiSweet pineapple wineAnother one that could go either way...
Hops & BarleyArtisan cheese plate
IrelandKerrygold cheese selection
IrelandWarm chocolate pudding
JapanSpicy hand roll
MexicoSweet corn cheese cake... What?
New ZealandVenison sausage
PolandBlaufraenkische Donausonne, Hungarian wineDunno why it's there, but YEAH HUNGARY REPRESENT
Puerto RicoFrituriasCheese fritters, you say?
ScotlandFresh potato pancake w/ smoked Scottish salmon
ScotlandCrannachan dessert trifle
ScotlandLoch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich® 12 yearI just want to sing the Loch Lomond song
South KoreaKimchi dog
South KoreaiCing Grapefruit Sparkling Rice Brew... What?
TerraChocolate blood orange cupcake
TerraFresh watermelon juice

Well? What do you think? I'm sure some of these are return items; have you had them before? What are you most looking forward to eating at the festival?

Right then. If you need me, I'll be in a corner jumping up and down and squealing until November. Okay? Okay.

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, July 23, 2014

In Which Jenn & Elizabeth Have A Great Adventure

Elizabeth and I recently went to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. While this comes nowhere close to a whiff of a whisper of a shadow of hanging out a WDW, I thought you might like to hear about our experiences anyway. And now here we are!

JENN: Please welcome back the World's Greatest Traveling Companion, Elizabeth!

ELIZABETH: So, where should we start?

JENN: Remind me again how you found out about Six Flags Great Adventure?

ELIZABETH: Well I think I had been researching the best amusement parks, and Great Adventure came up as one that had a lot of roller coasters, and you mentioned that your grandmother lived close by. And since I'd never been there, it seemed like a good idea.

JENN: So I'm thinking we'll start with Safari Off Road Adventures, since we did that first?


ELIZABETH: Sounds good!

JENN: When I was a little kid, this was one of those drive-through safaris, but it was recently revamped into something not until Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

ELIZABETH: Yes, I can only imagine that was their inspiration.

JENN: The main difference, I'd say, is the lack of theme. That is to say, Kilimanjaro Safaris is set up so that you only see portions of Africa. SORA goes all over the globe.

ELIZABETH: Including North America! There were bears! Asian bears too, if I remember correctly.

JENN: Yup! Black bears and brown bears.Fun fact: black bears can be dark blue. Also, lions and tigers. So: the trifecta.

ELIZABETH: And there's a station in the middle of the ride where you can get off and feed giraffes. There was a lion cub at the station that was completely adorable.



JENN: Ah, yes, that's another difference. There's a stop-over in the middle. They also had a bunch of snakes and lizards. Unfortunately the giraffe feeding was an upcharge.

ELIZABETH: We saw an anteater trying to escape! He was so cute.

JENN: Ah, yes, that too! How would you say it compares to Kilimanjaro Safaris overall?


ELIZABETH: Hmm, well, the transitions were less seamless than Kilimanjaro, but I did really like the opportunity to stop and look at animals at my own pace for a while. I'd say SORA was more education-based, while Kilimanjaro might be more fun more kids with the plotline about capturing poachers and such

JENN: Oh, they've tossed the poacher plot line since you were last there. I can't say I mind.

ELIZABETH: Oh really? Did they replace it with anything?

JENN: Nah, you're just looking at animals. It's awesome.

One unfortunate thing about SORA by comparison, though, is that there isn't the same level of naturalism that Kilimanjaro provides. Fences and barriers are obvious, although enclosure sizes were pretty decent. I guess you need WDW money to recreate environments so perfectly.

Shall we move on to the main event? Namely, roller coasters?

ELIZABETH: Yes! The main event! Sometimes I think I should spend more time on other rides at amusement parks, but then I remember how awesome roller coasters are.

JENN: Exactly!

ELIZABETH: So, I think the first one we did was the Runaway Mine Train?

JENN: Correct. Not much to this one, although that makes it great for newbies. I'd say it's more intense than Big Thunder Mountain Railroad but much less intense than Expedition Everest.

ELIZABETH: If I remember correctly, they said it was the first roller coaster at the park, and it made a good starter since there aren't any loops and it's quite gentle.

JENN: Indeed. Ultimately a good time but perfectly skippable if you're in a hurry.

Next up: Bizarro. This used to be called Medusa, which I still maintain is wrong. Roller coasters and ships should not be renamed. A pretty good coaster, though. Nice swoopy drop. Interesting fire effect.

ELIZABETH: Yes! I had forgotten about the fire so it was a bit of a surprise for me.

JENN: I believe El Toro was next? Theme Park Insider polled this as the #1 coaster in America, and while I wouldn't call it my personal ultimate favorite, I can definitely see why.

ELIZABETH: Yeah, I would definitely rank it near the top for wooden roller coasters (which I often find too rough). It was nice and fast, unlike a lot of other wooden roller coasters that feel more leisurely.

JENN: Well, it was a hybrid - the track itself was metal, which is what allows for such a steep first drop angle. The first couple of drops in succession were amazing - very intense. You didn't get any recovery time between.

ELIZABETH: It's definitely a good one for raising your arms and feeling the drops.

What was our next one after that?

JENN: Nitro, yes?

ELIZABETH: I think so!

JENN: We were going to do Skull Mountain but it was down briefly so we did Nitro instead. Nitro was my favorite!

ELIZABETH: Yes! That was another good one, for mostly the same reasons as El Toro.

JENN: It reminded me of Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg - very swoopy with lots of airtime.Each drop kinda propelled you into the next and made you hang there a bit before you dropped again. Love that!

ELIZABETH: That momentary feeling of weightlessness is the best part for me. So Nitro gets top marks.

JENN: I think we did manage to do Skull Mountain next? It was okay. Kinda like Space Mountain without all the stuff that makes Space Mountain awesome. You know. Lighting. Effects. More than a couple minor twists.

ELIZABETH: Hahaha, the mismatched theming was oddly adorable. There was a bizarre pumpkin Halloween thing at the end, which clashed horribly with the Indiana Jones theme of the outside I thought.

JENN: Yeah, whoever designed it wasn't really sure what they were going for. It's an okay ride, especially for beginner riders. For everyone else I say: eh. Skip.

ELIZABETH: Agreed.

JENN: Next up is Green Lantern, which I found disappointing. The concept - you stand up during the ride - is nifty. The execution is spotty. Once the novelty of standing wore off I found myself underwhelmed. It was short and really kinda tame.

ELIZABETH: I think it would have been more impressive if the coaster itself had been more interesting. But yes, there was a loop and a couple inversions, but nothing exciting

JENN: Absolutely. On the other hand, I found Superman, which you ride lying down, to be more interesting, largely because of a better track. It wasn't anything major but the combination of a simulated flight position and nice smooth drops made it fun.

ELIZABETH: And you can't see where you're going, which is different.

JENN: Haha, yeah - I had pretty much no idea where we were headed the entire time! The bit where we looped and flipped onto our backs was interesting.

ELIZABETH: I personally found it made me nervous having all my weight on the shoulder straps, but yes, that was fun.

JENN: K, that brings us to our final ride: KINGDA KA.

ELIZABETH: Which, while awesome, took waaaay too long to wait for.

JENN: We waited in one helluva line for that thing but I think it was worth it for a first and only ride.

ELIZABETH: Although we did get to watch people get dropped off Zumanjaro while we waited.

JENN: Which is as close to a drop tower as I intend to get, thanks. At least the Tower of Terror has other distinguishing features.

ELIZABETH: Yes, it looked too intense for me.

JENN: Kingda Ka is, however, pretty amazing. Much less intimidating than it looks, which is nice.

ELIZABETH: How fast is it supposed to take you?

JENN: 128 mph in 3.5 seconds when you first launch.

ELIZABETH: It ripped the bobby pins out of my hair!

JENN: I don't know how much that speed depreciates when you go up the hill, but you go down the other side in a 418 ft series of spirals. By the time you get up there, though, you're already going so fast that there's no real bodily impact. So I was just like WHEEEEEEE!

ELIZABETH: Yeah, I hardly felt the drop really.

JENN: The most anxious part of the entire thing for me was briefly thinking your glasses were trying to escape from my pocket. Incidentally, if you wear glasses, take 'em off and secure 'em before you ride.

ELIZABETH: Ah yes, I'm sorry I had to do that to you

JENN: No worries! I just didn't want to fail you!

ELIZABETH: Yeah, PSA: they wait until you're strapped in to tell you to take them off which I thought was unfair. Lucky you were there, because I had NO suitable pockets.

JENN: Yeah, that's information that would've proven useful earlier.But I DID NOT lose your glasses on Kingda Ka, and all was well!

ELIZABETH: It was! The ride is very short, because after the spiral drop, it's really just slowing down.

JENN: Yeah, that's my one complaint - I'd say actually ride time is somewhere in the area of 20 seconds.

ELIZABETH: So it's worth it for one ride, but I wouldn't wait multiple times for it in one day

JENN: Indeed. I think the only other thing we rode was the Houdini ride? Which had an interesting premise but no follow through.

ELIZABETH: Ah yes, I was hoping for something like a dark ride.

JENN: There's a pretty good pre-show where you're supposed to be performing a seance for Houdini. Then in the actual ride area it turns out to be nothing more than one of those rotating houses that make it look like you're spinning upside down.A dark ride would've been way better. A shame - the idea has promise. As it is, though: skip.

Where does that leave us? Food was lackluster. Edible but kinda on the level of your average middle school cafeteria.

ELIZABETH: Mmm, yes, the only interesting thing was the caramel apple funnel cake sundae.


JENN: Which was delicious, but WOAH. I'm all set on funnel cake for the near future.

ELIZABETH: Yeah... I think I was still digesting it 24 hours later.

JENN: Basically there is nothing gourmet happening here. Fair food. Decent fair food, sure, but that's about all you're gonna get so be prepared.

Another point: HOLY LINE-JUMPING, BATMAN.

ELIZABETH: YES. I've never seen so much in my life.

JENN: I don't think we stood in a single line that wasn't plagued by anywhere from one to three separate people/groups "catching up to their party." GET YOUR PARTY TOGETHER BEFORE YOU ENTER. And for the record, NONE of these were small children who may have needed a bathroom break.

ELIZABETH: Grown adults/teenagers, always.

JENN: Technically this is against park rules, but I only saw it enforced once.

Any other thoughts? I'd say Six Flags Great Adventure is by no means worth a special trip. This is NOT Walt Disney World, for a wide variety of reasons that should be evident from the above.

But if you're in the area and have some time, go for it. Though only if you like roller coasters. If you don't, there's very little for you here. Or, wait. The safari might be worth your time if you don't like coasters. Hopefully you like both!

ELIZABETH: I agree. We didn't go on many of the other rides, but then again there weren't very many that weren't kiddy things.

Well I think that wraps it up!

JENN: Indeed! Thanks for swinging by in the metaphorical sense! Hopefully we'll go on another adventure soon!

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, July 22, 2014

The Fairest Week In Review: 7/22

JENN: So how was your training this week?

MOON: Not so good this week. I've had a stomach bug most of the week. :(

JENN: Oh no! Well, that's definitely a good reason not to run.

MOON: I'm sure yours was better!

JENN: Mine was pretty good. I pulled out an okay 15 miler on the treadmill on Monday and then managed two outdoor runs. I found a new portion of my regular trail, which was nice.

It's been humid though, even in the morning. After one run I was desperate to break open a bottle of water and the cap WOULD NOT budge so I ended up stabbing a hole in the top and sucking it out that way.

Hydration desperation.

MOON: Have you had any luck finding shade?

JENN: I've been sucking it up and running between 6:30 and 8AM. It runs completely counter to my natural inclination toward sleeping in but it's the best way to avoid the heat.

MOON: Yeah, I've been having some problems with heat. Mostly the sun.

JENN: It's been reasonably overcast the past couple days. Unfortunately all that cloud cover makes for some impending rain makes for some humidity like woah.

MOON: Plans for this week?

JENN: More outdoor running. I really need to make progress on this. Someone please tell me the Marine Corps Marathon course is flatter than my neighborhood...

You?

MOON: Hmm, probably do some outdoor running! No big plans for this week. Maybe take the BF out with me.

JENN: Ooh, if you run anywhere fun you should definitely do a guest post. Or make him do it!

MOON: We're still looking for a good half to do together.

JENN: As well you should. You should also read these posts from the roundup:

- Running Toward the Prize goes searching for the perfect running shorts.
- On the Go in MCO goes for a run around the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
- Run Walk Fastpass Repeat investigates means of registering for sold out runDisney races.
- Mom's Magical Miles asks: Are you a REAL runner?
- Pink Elephant on Parade GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS TO DEFEAT THE HUUUUUUNS.
- The Disney Tourist Blog advocates for Tokyo DisneySea.

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, July 18, 2014

In Which Jenn Ponders Her Running Future

Okay, here's a post I've been planning for awhile, except I had initially planned to discuss it in the abstract. It's about when the running stops.

Well, no. Not stops. But diminishes. For the past two years or so I've been running 30 - 35 miles per week over the course of 3 - 4 days per week. I have run almost exclusively after work because I am not a morning person. I sometimes adjusted my schedule around hanging out with friends, but it was never very hard.

Even in this easily managed period, I started to wonder: how long can I keep up this time commitment? Certainly not indefinitely...

Two months ago I started seeing someone. And I did the unthinkable: I blew off a few runs to hang with him. No, not ALL my runs. I've come in more or less on point with my mileage more weeks than I haven't. But I have a sneaking suspicion it'll happen again... and maybe not even entirely infrequently. (Just to clarify: he has never asked me to skip anything. It's my own decision to say I'm not busy.)

Now, this doesn't come down 100% on the head of the boy. We're dating, that's all. Heck, he's on vacation this week; when he gets back he may well inform me that he found his time away from me highly enjoyable and would I kindly remove myself from his universe permanently. It could be a self-solving problem. It's not impossible. But neither is it the point.

Because: six or seven hours dedicated to working out every week, plus a handful of ballet classes. That has been my M.O. for a very long time. And as much as it's worked for me in the past, I have to accept that it's unlikely to be sustainable forever. I mean, maybe things WILL work out with this guy; countless new time-sucking scenarios could stem from that. Or maybe I'll get a promotion or new job that's more demanding. Maybe I'll find myself unexpectedly caring for a sick relative, or needing to get a second job to make ends meet. I don't know. And I don't know what impact it will have on my training schedule.


So I'm wondering: has anyone made the transition from plenty of time to run to not enough? How did you deal? How do you balance your training with work and personal life? Or do you recommend that I cut ties with all non-running-buddy humans?

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, July 17, 2014

In Which Jenn is a Poor Disney Archivist

What you are about to see may hurt you a little. You may feel betrayed. You may wonder how I could possibly let this happen. I DIDN'T KNOW, OKAY? I DIDN'T KNOW.

It was the last time my family went to Walt Disney World, 1998. I was a mere twelve years of age. Disney's Animal Kingdom had yet to open its gates, ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was still a thing I refused to go near, and Journey Into Imagination was everything I remember it to be.

I had yet to splash merrily into the pool of thrill rides and I had not yet found my dodger's feet in the Magic Kingdom's oppressive crowds, but in Epcot the line for Figment's ride hardly existed. It was gentle, and the interactive exhibits at the end had an upstairs. It was glorious.

When my parents prompted me to pick out a souvenir, I settled readily and definitively on this.



I know. I KNOW. It's faded from years and wears and washings and I cut a slit in the neck because I hate tight neck holes. I have destroyed this poor poor wonderful relic of days past. And I'm sorry for that. I wish I'd thought ahead. I wish I'd realized how precious this simple memento was, would become.

And yet, over a decade and a half later, it remains in my closet. Maybe the only item of clothing I own to last so long. I love you, Figment t-shirt. Next time I'm in WDW I will finally buy those Figment mouse ears I've been eying for so long.

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, July 16, 2014

In Which Jenn Cheats With Frozen Fruit

This cheater's recipe is also a cheaper recipe. Basically I want to talk to you about frozen fruit.

I know this is terrible sacrilege but I... don't really like a lot of raw fruit. Apples? Bake them in a pie and come back to me. Pears? A little better but I'm still not super into it. Bananas? Talk to me after you've frozen them or topped them with peanut butter. I'm on board with raspberries and melons but they're way more expensive and peaches seem to be truly in season for like three days in the summer at most. So - how can I get the nutrition of fruit without blowing my money on fruit that I'll actually, willingly, y'know, eat?

I can assure you that Target didn't pay me to say this: those Market Pantry giant bags of frozen strawberries and bananas are the BEST. They're frequently on sale for $10 and you get 48 whole ounces. Awesome!

So what's the cheater's method of using this frozen fruit, you ask? (Besides smoothies, of course?) Why, to make killer breakfasts, of course! I give you the Non-Parfait (for when you need a hit of healthy protein) and its inbred cousin, the Oatmeal Mess (for when you need a hit of healthy carbs).

The Cheater's Non-Parfait

You will need:
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Frozen fruit (I use the Market Pantry strawberry and banana mix, but you do whatever makes you happy)
  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  1. Measure out a cup or so of frozen fruit into a microwave-safe bowl. Add a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and nuke for approximately two minutes, until the fruit is warm and the peanut butter is a little melty. Mix.
  2. Ladle several spoonfuls of Greek yogurt over top.
  3. Hit the whole thing with a big ol' swirl of honey and mix.
  4. If you prefer the temperature to remain homogenous, stick it in the fridge and come back to a cooler treat in about an hour. If you like a little hot-and-cold contrast, dig in!
Unfortunately, the Non-Parfait isn't very photogenic, so let's skip now to the similar Oatmeal Mess.

The Cheater's Oatmeal Mess

Ingredients are the same except swap out a serving of dry quick-cooking oatmeal.
  1. Measure out a cup or so of frozen fruit into a microwave-safe bowl (but hang on to your peanut butter for now) and nuke for about a minute, just to soften things up.
  2. In a separate bowl, microwave your oatmeal according to the directions on the package.
  3. Quickly stir in a heaping spoonful of peanut butter. 
  4. Add your warm fruit, drizzle with honey, mix and enjoy!
Oatmeal Mess before mixing because it looks nicer that way.

What do you do with frozen fruit?

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!