Friday, May 29, 2015

In Which Jenn Goes To WDW In 1990

My mom recently sent me an email informing me that she had found an old photo of us together at Walt Disney World in 1990. Naturally I immediately requested a scan.


Apparently 4 year old me wasn't that impressed? I certainly don't look too thrilled. Dig my mom's stylin' Mozart t-shirt, though. I think we can all agree that this was taken in the Magic Kingdom, probably somewhere in Fantasyland - I'm thinking near the back entrance of the castle but I wouldn't swear to it. Any more specific theories out there?

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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, May 28, 2015

In Which Jenn Passes & Is Passed

Does anyone else find passing people... awkward?


I don't mean in races - passing is perfectly normal in races. So is being passed. Generally speaking in a race it's happening so constantly that you become numb to it in either case. But I find it weird when on an outdoor training run.

Actually, being passed doesn't bother me that much. I long ago accepted that by comparison to many people I am just not that fast. So what? I have serious endurance. I'm plugging away at ten miles here and it's not even 8AM yet. You wanna pass me? That's cool. I will mentally wish you Godspeed, watch you disappear into the distance, and revel in the fact that solitude has returned once again.

Passing, though? Passing feels WEIRD. For starters, I don't do it that often, so there's that. Moreover, though, I feel PRESSURED.

I bring this up because, naturally, I have a recent example. I was in my last few miles of a morning run when I saw a girl running up ahead. Every time I glanced up I was slightly closer to her, which was a bit concerning but strange things happen on occasion. A quarter mile later, however, events took a startling turn: I was RIGHT BEHIND HER. Right ahead of her was a HILL.

Traditionally I walk this hill. But I was about to pass someone. If I passed her and then started to walk right after, that would be stupid and I don't know, potentially rude? But if I didn't pass her I'd spend the next two minutes mincing along at a slower pace than necessary - and if there's any time I DON'T want to be going slower than necessary, it's when home is within reach.

My brain bandied about the possibilities for a bit before my subconscious decided to take the wheel and I surged ahead and passed her. RIGHT ON TOP OF THE HILL. I glanced backwards in the vain hope that she had turned onto a different road and was no longer following me, but nope, she was still there. Also, probably she saw me glancing. AWKWARD.

Of course by that point I had no choice but to subsequently run the entire hill. So, uh, thanks for that, random girl!

Anyway, my point is that the entire passing thing, while no doubt not a big deal at all for a normal person with a healthy psyche, stresses me out.

Corollary issue: when I come across a runner headed in the opposite direction and I'm coming up on a walk break, I CANNOT STOP until they've passed me. I have been known to extend this policy to oncoming cars as well.

How do you feel when you pass and are passed on the road?

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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, May 27, 2015

The Fairest Week In Review: 5/27

JENN: So, just saying: the WDW Marathon is still only 72% sold. No pressure! Merely stating a fact, in case anyone is interested.

MOON: Ha, point taken! If I were definitely training for a marathon right now then I would be failing miserably... This week I went for... ONE run? It's been very busy! Too many graduations, parties, first-world problems.

JENN: Hey, one run is better than no run! Registration for the Princess Half doesn't open for a couple weeks yet, so there's still time to ponder our next runDisney adventure.
MOON: Haha, have you had any luck persuading Elizabeth to try one?

JENN: I think she'd do a 5K if we asked her! The WDW Marathon Weekend 5K is sold out, though, so we'd definitely have to go with the Princess Half if we want to bring her along. Shall I email her? I CAN DO IT RIGHT NOW.

MOON: I'm not sure she would thank me for that. :P

JENN: Haha. she would love it! She can stop every ten feet and take pictures with characters! I'm totally going to email her. She can always say no!

MOON: I will say that she won't need to worry about pressure. XD Princess was fun our first time!

JENN: It was!

Maaaaybe?

MOON: How was your week?

JENN: Pretty good - I got my thirty miles in, which is always a plus. I think I might buy new sneakers this week! I've been wanting to try the Brooks Ravenna 6 and I figure now's the time.

MOON: Cool! Let me know how they feel. I've heard positive things about them.

JENN: I will! I will also let you know about the blog roundup.

- Fairytales and Fitness gets organized.
- Pink Elephant on Parade changes what it means to win.
- The Runner's Guide to WDW recaps the final Expedition Everest Challenge.
- Theme Park Insider looks inside the mind of a cast member.
- Walt Disney World for Grownups eats awesome DAK snacks.
- And Pinch of Pixie Dust eats ooey gooey toffee cake and I'm jealous.
- Disney With Me considers the contradictions of Mary Poppins.

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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, May 22, 2015

In Which Jenn & Elizabeth Are Splash Mountain Virgins

JENN: And now we welcome once again one of my favorite traveling companions, Elizabeth.

So! Splash Mountain! What do you recollect?

A constant refrain when going through my WDW photos:
"Who's that guy?"

ELIZABETH: Well let me see, I remember enjoying the ride! It was slightly strange because I never saw Song of the South, so the characters weren't familiar like they were on all the other rides. Compared to water rides i was used to as a ride at amusement parks and such, it was waaay longer because of the dark ride elements you go through first, which I thought was awesome. But the big drop at the end wasn't as bad as I was expecting, probably because it was meant for kids.

JENN: Specifically I wanted to talk about the first time we ever rode it because it's one of my favorite Disney memories and also because I'm curious as to rather you remember it that way too. It was that one time during out 2008 trip, just you and me, 'cause Bekah wouldn't do it at the time and Megan was probably busy plotting my murder for walking too fast all the time.

ELIZABETH: There was a part where they do a mini fake-out drop, which had me all braced?

JENN: That's it! We knew there was a big drop, obviously, but since we'd never ridden before we didn't know when. There are at least two mini-drops before the big one, and every single time we were all AHHHHHHHHH - oh.

ELIZABETH: Yes! I remember we sort of turned to each other and laughed.

JENN: It was glorious. Like the first time you rode Verbolten!

ELIZABETH: That was a horrible yet totally justifiable thing you did to me there.

JENN: ^_^ Now that you've ridden it many a time and are a total pro, where does Splash Mountain rank in your mental ride list?

ELIZABETH: Hmmm. Well, it's a bit below the roller coasters and the safari ride from the Animal Kingdom, however it's still pretty high on my list for that park. It would also rapidly climb my priority list on a hot day. The unfortunate thing about the water rides is that we generally go when it's fairly cold. It's definitely a ride I'd take kids on (if I had any), but now that I think of it I'm not sure how I'd explain the fact that they can't watch Song of the South when we get home.

JENN: The ultimate Disney contradiction!

ELIZABETH: Yes! Oh well. In some ways that gives it a mysterious quality, unlike all the other characters that you see in every gift shop and advertisement. Oh! And I think that the ride tells a story - not that that's a unique feature in a Disney ride, but I remember getting to the bit where you're escaping into the briar patch and thinking "Oh, THIS must be the end!"

JENN: And so it must be. As always, thank you for your time and assistance! :D

ELIZABETH: Any time!

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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, May 20, 2015

In Which Jenn Runs In Place(s)

Last week, I ran four times. Each was in an entirely different place. IT MAY NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

1. Toms River, NJ

My family went to my grandmother's house for Mother's Day. I figured since I had a little time I might as well fit a run in. I remembered to bring everything I needed - except my headphones. FAIL. Luckily I hadn't run in that neighborhood for YEARS, and I was kept reasonably entertained exploring various side streets. Afternoon runs are hot, though.


Is this what Richard Adams meant about the primroses being over?

2. Bethesda Trolley Trail

This is my standard outdoor running route. So, you know, whatevs.

3. Potomac Valley State Park

My dad asked me to dogsit for one night last week as his dog is a hyper-intelligent weirdo with trust issues and he takes the euphemism "number two" very seriously, which is to say that he will only go number two for me or my dad. Therefore I went to my parents' house after ballet on Wednesday, walked the dog, went to bed (after sulking about the Caps game seven), got up, walked the dog, and set out on a run.

My parents live within a short walk or run of an entrance to Potomac Valley State Park. This was my running area back when I first started running, although back then I was just jogging, really. I'd never run as far into the park as I did that day, and I must say I rather enjoyed it. There are certain parts of the path where the outside world melts away just enough that you can imagine yourself in a fairytale (a paved fairytale but a fairytale nonetheless). The road follows the creek and I even saw a woodpecker!


The primroses were way, way over.

You kinda had to be there, I guess.
Bonus: a real bathroom stop if you need it.

4. The Treadmill

Good ol' treadmill.

Where's your favorite place to run?

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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, May 19, 2015

The Fairest Week In Review: 5/19

JENN: Here's a fun fact: the WDW Marathon is still only at 70% capacity. The Goofy Challenge is at 97% but I dunno if you wanted to do that one anyway.

MOON: Ha, thanks for the update! I'm still in decision limbo.

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaybe?

JENN: Well, there's clearly still time to think. Have you signed up for the Baltimore Marathon?

MOON: Can't quite yet. But if I can, I am. Well, when I can.

JENN: Sounds awesome. How's your training going?

MOON: This past week wasn't the best, but I still got in two runs. How was yours?

JENN: I ran four times and each time was in a different place. Admittedly one of those places was the treadmill, but still. Variety!

MOON: Yay!

JENN I'm hoping to keep improving my outdoor runs, but I did some speed work on the treadmill and I think that's going to be key.

MOON: I've found that running outside gives a good estimation of what your baseline is. Sometimes it surprises me. Then again, sometime is makes me depressssed.

JENN: Psh, no need for that! You're much faster than I am! Anyway, I almost always perform better at a race than in an outdoor training run.

MOON: I foresee a pause in my training.I know I just moved about a month and a half ago... But, we have to move again at the end of June. We've been indecisive about where to move. But! One place we visited yesterday is near the starting line for the Baltimore Marathon begins!

JENN: That would certainly be convenient!

MOON: I'm not going to lie... Thinking about being able to wake up and literally walk down the street, run 26.2 miles, and then walk right home is pretty appealing.

JENN: Also pretty appealing? The roundup!

- Pink Elephant on Parade has thoughts on the insanity of runDisney expos.
- Living a Disney Life has learned much from this whole running thing.
- Running, Loving, Living deals with withering running motivation.
- Sparkly Ever After takes an organized bag to the parks.
- Parkeology gives a hilarious rundown of WDW attractions that may as well be extinct.
- Home is Where the Mouse Is eats awesome Epcot snacks.
- Theme Park Insider reports on Test Track's secret corporate lounge.
- Enjoy a monorail-fueled beer crawl with Beers and Ears. Loved the beer flight at the Wave!

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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, May 14, 2015

In Which Jenn Laments A Sudsy Disney Injustice

I have stayed at Disney's value resorts many, many times. I have stayed in a moderate and a deluxe resort once each. Naturally the former have a great many amenities to recommend themselves over the cheap option, but since I'm not a high-powered executive I tend to stay at good ol' Pop Century anyway. For the most part, I don't miss much - sure, the nicer rooms, more impressive lobbies, and more extensive food choices are nice, but I'm mostly in the room to sleep. Who cares?

And yet there is one thing Disney skimps on at value resorts that really bugs me for some reason. I'm talking about this baby:



That's combination shampoo/conditioner, people. Or "conditioning shampoo" as some call it. Disney seems to be claiming that it is a bottle containing both shampoo AND conditioner in defiance of all logic.. That is some sub-Econo Lodge nonsense right there. I get that a value resort does not deserve high-quality toiletries, but come on. We're paying twice as much as your average Econo Lodge room for your "value" option - can we not get actual, honest-to-God separate shampoo and conditioner here? I can assure you the difference is real, and it would save me having to lug my own bottles to and from home, to say nothing of heavy luggage and spillage risks.

Don't be ashamed, guys. Your value-level soaps and such smell lovely - digging the orange blossom stuff that started showing up a couple years ago! I'd love for my hair to smell like that, but I'd also love hair that isn't a tangled mess. You finally gave us refrigerators, and I'm sure that was a much larger expense. Won't you give us this tiny upgrade?

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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!