Friday, July 10, 2020

In Which Jenn Luckily Already Has A Splash Mountain Souvenir

No doubt by now you've heard about how Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom had a 240 minute wait yesterday- for the gift shop. People were queuing up for a legit 2-hour wait to buy endangered ride merch.

Sure, that's kind of insane, but I do get the urge - Splash Mountain is a great ride, and as much as I'm down for the Princess & The Frog redo for a variety of reasons, I'll miss it. It would be nice to have a memento. Alas, I'm not sure I'll be back to WDW before it shuts down for the refurb, thus ruining my chances at both a final ride and a final shopping experience.

But wait! Thankfully I remembered I already have a Splash Mountain souvenir: a t-shirt I picked up in June 2011. If I remember correctly I grabbed it on the very last day of the trip. It's not the most eye-catching of designs (where are the characters? Why is the color palette so muted? What is the ride name barely legible?), but the fitted crop cut is cute and - this was important as I can be cheap am frugal - it was on sale, which is probably what tipped me into "buy" mode.

Unfortunately, while I have no memory of anything ever happening while wearing it, it hasn't aged well, which is why it hasn't made it into a park wardrobe rotation previously. It's got some weird discoloration on one sleeve and a tiny hole in the upper left near the collar. 

I think it might be salvageable, though, with a good steam and some minor modifications - the discoloration doesn't bother me too much, and I think I can cover over the hole and make it cuter with an iron-on patch. I'm currently trolling Etsy for a such a find, so if you have any recommendations, let me know!

I suppose this would decrease its value as an authentic piece of Disney Parks merchandise of a bygone era, but, I mean, it isn't in great condition as it is. What is it with me and vintage Disney t-shirts?

If my mission is successful, you may see this shirt in my next Disney Dandy post; I have a brown suede skirt that might go with it well, or some skinny jeans if the weather calls for it. In the meantime, best of luck for those trying to get your hands on a Splash souvenir of your own. Here's hoping it stays open long enough for us to get those last rides and shopping sprees in!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, July 6, 2020

In Which Jenn Is Probably Forgetting Something

Hello! Are you a paranoiac? Are you forgetful? Are you a forgetful paranoiac? ARE YOU A PARANOIAC BECAUSE YOU'RE FORGETFUL???

I feel you. Oh, do I feel you. My anxieties seep into all aspects of my life, running included. But I adapt and manage them as I go along - and I think I've got my pre-race readiness paranoia licked (one down!). The solution is simple: photography!

Next time you lay out your race gear, lay it ALL out. Is your breakfast bar in the fridge? Go grab it and toss it on top of your sports bra. Have you cut your KT Tape yet? At least lay it out with some scissors. Watch? Water? Credit cards? Add EVERYTHING for race morning to the pile.

Once you're absolutely sure every element of your race is in one place, take a picture. Afterward your race is over, evaluate. Were you missing anything? No? Great! You've got yourself a race prep platonic ideal!

Then, when you're prepping for your next race, consult your photos and look over the contents. Anything missing? No problem; you've caught it in time!

Certainly it's not a foolproof method; different races have different requirements. But it's helped me cool my anxiety jets and/or saved my running bacon on more than one occasion. Can also work for long training runs. Practice while you're waiting for races to start up again. You know how to get to Carnegie Hall, after all.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

In Which Jenn Has A Weird Running Tan

It all started at the 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon.

I don't know if it was record-breaking heat, but it was certainly the hottest WDW Marathon I'd experience, so much so that they cut the course short for some of the slower runners

Thanks to that heat, I made the unusual choice to wear shorts. They worked out fine, but with the broiling sun I wound up with quite the shorts tan. Even weeks later I was rocking a distinct straight line across my thighs, like a farmer's tan if farmers wore very pale bike shorts.

Oh, and a KT Tape tan too, for good measure.

Of course, not too long after that the COVID shut down came, and I wasn't able to hang out on the beach in an effort to combat this problem. I was, however, able to continue running outside in the mornings. In my shorts. Problem: compounded.

But wait, there's more! I've been running more and longer in Puerto Rico, and in the summer the heat and humidity here is pretty brutal. I sometimes come in from perfectly dry runs looking like a just slogged through a rainstorm. One way to make this problem more bearable? Ditch the shirt.

This works great! Ladies, you should all ditch the shirt! Run in just the sports bra and be free! There's no need to be weighed down by redundant torso fabric!

But you should know: you will get a weird band of tan around your abdomen. Unfortunately I can't show you the overall effect because I can't quite reconcile a Disney blog with nudity, so you're going to have a trust me. Combined with the aforementioned thigh tan it's an... interesting look.

Then again, what isn't... interesting these days? Lean in!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, June 29, 2020

In Which Jenn Joins The Splash Mountain Fray

Sooo I waffled back and forth about whether to post this, but here we are.

I had a Twitter conversation about Splash Mountain's announced re-theme on Thursday evening in which I was pleased with some of the points I made. I took some screenshots with the intention of posting them here on Friday, but after thought decided against it. I'm not trying to get anyone cancelled, and others may disagree with me with civility if that's their wont. 

However, while I debated peacefully enough on Twitter, I have since seen it has gotten rather uglier in other corners of the Disney world. (Metaphorically. You know, as separate from the Disney World.) As such, I think it is once again time to make my thoughts known, not because I think anyone's on tenterhooks waiting for my hot take, but because I want to make sure it's clear where I stand, if only for posterity.

As such, here as some of the thoughts I have about the upcoming Princess and the Frog redo of Splash Mountain. I have removed the tweets of my verbal sparring partner because they weren't rude and I'm not here to call anybody out, but I'll fill in any gaps with the gist of their arguments. Onward!

After which someone responded that New Orleans doesn't make any sense either which, fair enough. However:

To which came the rejoinder that it did matter because The Princess and the Frog could've had a brand new ride anywhere, people who grew up with Splash would miss out on sharing it with their kids, and this person's children would not be interested in the change.

My rebuttal:

To put it another way:

  • Give Disney a chance to figure out the themeing and location because Splash Mountain isn't perfectly placed as is.
  • I'm confident Tony Baxter won't let anything terrible happen to an attraction he pioneered. At the very least, see what he comes up with, along with what I can only assume is an amazing team of Imagineers.
  • The Princess and the Frog is a great movie with some FIRE music and the concept art looks pretty appealing! Sure, there's a princess in the title but Mardi Gras fun should be perfectly accessible to boys. As we tell kids about just about everything else in life: try it; you might like it!
  • If I can get past my seething hatred for Avatar and take some begrudging pleasure in Pandora's rides, you can do it too.
  • And finally: however hard Disney may have tried in the past to sidestep the more unsavory aspects of the movie, Song of the South can't help but impart at least some of its racist undertones upon Splash Mountain's story. Walt wanted his parks to be for EVERYONE to enjoy. That can only come to pass by learning, growing, and making changes in the name of social enlightenment - yes, even when it comes to classic attractions. Your sore nostalgia gland has nothing on the pain of systemic racism. No one should ever feel sad and/or uncomfortable at Walt Disney World! What the hell do you think this is, real life???

So there's that. I'm sure you were all wondering. Anyway, I shall bid Splash Mountain a fond farewell but I think this overlay has every capacity to be fabulous; I'm excited to ride it someday!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

In Which Jenn Finds A Race Costume Loophole

I have found it! I have found my race costume holy grail! It's... WHITE RACE PANTS THAT WON'T MAKE IT LOOK LIKE I PEED MYSELF ON COURSE!!!

Perhaps this seems like a frivolous request. Perhaps the solution should be simply to not wear white running pants; problem solved. But. Do you have any idea how many runDisney race costumes require some white for clear recognition?

Marie from The Aristocats! EVE from Wall-E! Baymax! Any iteration of Duck, be it Donald, Daisy, or an assorted nephew! Those first three in particular I have been pondering forever, but I was afraid to take the plunge because of my fear of sweat-through. 

Then I found them. The running pants to fix the problem. They're Senita, I got them on Thredup,* and they circumvent the whole problem so neatly I immediately bought some Baymax ears to go with them.

Keep the top black and just put the white on the bottom, less-sweaty portions on the body? Genius! I'm so running as Baymax for the marathon - I have just the shirt for it.

I may have an EVE hat coming in the mail, too... A girl's gotta be prepared.

What's your latest race costume?

* Heads up: referral link.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

In Which Jenn Does NOT Bless The Sands Down In Africa

A view of the mountains from my balcony. They're there, okay? Just trust me.

Today I did not run because of the weather. Was it stormy? No. Aggressively windy? No. Hail? Hurricane? Flood? Extreme heat? All logical for Puerto Rico, but no.

It was sand. In the air. FROM THE SAHARA DESERT.

Look, The Washington Post even published an article on it yesterday. They're saying it's a record amount.

A record amount of sand, yes, but not an unusual phenomenon: we get Saharan sand over here every year in the summer in the form of the Saharan Air Layer. NOAA can explain it to you in more detail, but basically the SAL kicks up over the desert and then crosses the freakin' Atlantic to hang out in the atmosphere over here. 

As I understand it, this phenomenon is useful in mitigating the intensity of potential hurricanes, so that's good. But it's not fabulous for air quality. When the SAL shows up, especially in the levels we're currently seeing, it's recommended you stay inside and not breathe too much of the sand air. Particularly if you have asthma or anything else that causes difficulty in breathing.

I myself have some exciting allergies to dust, and while I had planned to go for a run this morning Pat was VERY dubious about the wisdom of this choice; he asked me like eighteen times if I was sure I wanted to go for a run. So I did my arms/shoulders workout instead. BUT I DIDN'T LIKE IT. (Not that I ever really do, but that's not the point.)

Pat assures me the levels are supposed to go down tomorrow, so I intend to knock those missed miles out then. Hear that, Sahara Desert? You ain't ever gonna keep me down! (Ain't never? I can't remember how good Chumbawamba is about grammar.)

What's the weirdest weather you couldn't run in? Or heck, the weirdest weather you could?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, June 22, 2020

In Which Jenn Has A Nifty New Running Trail

I've found a new running trail! It (mostly) hugs the beach all through Piñones, and features some pretty sweet views of the ocean and sometimes even the mountains. 

It has some hills, too, which obviously aren't always a good time while you're doing them but are great for training purposes. My times got significantly faster when I started running outdoor routes with hills. Between that and the heat and humidity, I expect to crush my next mainland race, of course. 😜

I've followed the trail as far as 5 miles, but I've seen more trail across the street from where I stopped so I know there's more! Out-and-backs aren't always the best, but they're a helluva lot better than doing laps in a parking lot to fill out your mileage, I can tell you that much.

I tried to take a video during my last long run during my favorite portion of the trail. I can't say it turned out great, per se, in that it a bit herky-jerky and I didn't always control the camera as well as I would've liked. In my defense I was also partially concentrating on not tripping and falling on my face.

All the same, this video will give you the gist, and Pat doctored it nicely and added some music (Nellie McKay's "Caribbean Time," since you asked). It doesn't do the trail justice but it'll have to tide you over until you can come visit.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!