Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In Which Jenn's Lungs Mutiny

This story begins, as it so often does, with the gym breaking down.

It's kind of my own fault, really. No, not the gym breaking down; just the part where it screws me over. See, I was supposed to run on Sunday, but my Saturday suuuuuuucked and I was feeling tired and down so I skipped it in favor of sleeping. I'm not saying it was the smart thing to do, I'm just saying it happened.

So on Monday I traipse down to my apartment complex's gym, feeling kinda ready to run for a change, and what do I find? The power's out. Not in the building, mind you - just the gym.

I immediately fired off an email to the (by now closed) leasing office, but that still left Tuesday and the unfortunate possibility that things would not be fixed in time for my next run. Thus I made a bold decision - not only would I attempt another outdoor (ugh) morning (UGH) run, I would do so in the COLD.

I used my suddenly free Monday evening to hop over to Target and drop a small fortune on cold weather running gear: long running pants, a vest, a hat, and some cheap touchscreen-compatible gloves. Add the long sleeve tech shirt I got from the Light House Half Marathon and I was ready to roll.

Which is why my alarm clock went off at the ungodly-unless-we're-going-to-WDW hour of 5:45AM. I put on my fancy new duds, tossed back half a pack of Clif Shot Bloks, and...

Look. I'm not generally given over to selfies. Not that I harbor a refreshing lack of vanity or anything noble like that; I just tend to put so little effort into my face on your average day that I don't particularly want to share it (extra vain!). Even the below photo is marked by unflattering lighting and a complete lack of makeup, but something told me to take this photo. Something told me that there would only be one way to sum up my feelings on the cold weather running experience.

And I was right. Observe:



I look so sad and apprehensive, no? I wish I could say it was for nothing, but I experienced exactly the difficulty I feared, a problem that first began to plague me a mere three years ago: I COULDN'T FREAKING BREATHE.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. At no point did my respiratory system shut down. But less than a mile in my lungs were already starting to rebel. I just couldn't quite get a full lungful of the cold cold air; three quarters of the way and my chest would constrict. After a mile and a quarter I knew it just wasn't happening. It pains me to say this, but I had to quit. I went home, took a shower, and went back to bed.

Happy ending! The gym WAS fixed by Tuesday evening, and I knocked out another twelve miles in the safety and comfort and nice friendly air of the indoors. But still, I'm bummed. As much as I tend toward the treadmill, it's good to know that the option to run outside is available if I need it. As long as winter continues to, y'know, be winter, I'm outta luck.

Also, now I have long running pants for no reason.

In conclusion: obviously, I need to move to Orlando, where current highs are in the mid to upper 70s. I mean, am I right?

Long shot, but - has anyone successfully conquered this problem?

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.com. See ya real soon!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In Which Jenn Solidifies Her Disney Park Planning Cred

My now sadly former boss is planning a Walt Disney World vacation for her extended family, and I have, as is my wont, been offering advice every step of the way. I assisted in her resort selection, her dining reservations, and lately she's been sending me emails asking about My Disney Experience.

I have now gone through two rounds of helping her pick which attractions to FastPass+, and my last email garnered this TOTALLY AMAZING response:

This weekend as we were doing these plans, I said to my parents, "Are you SURE you don't want me to make dining reservations for you two?" My parents: "We'll want to go out, but we'll figure it out there."  My husband: "Oh man, what would Jenn German say about that!"

WWJGS

YOU GUYS. I HAVE MY OWN ACRONYM.

Next time you're planning a Disney trip, remember: WWJGS. We all need this on t-shirts immediately.

BOW BEFORE ME

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.com. See ya real soon!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Fairest Week in Review: 11/25

Oof.

To be perfectly frank, I had a rough weekend.

That's a bad start to the post. Please forgive me. Please forgive me, too, for depriving you of Moon's virtual company; she got a couple training runs in this week and was going to get in on the Week In Review for the first time in forever. Unfortunately, in an effort to combat said weekend roughness, I ended up at her apartment watching silly YouTube videos all evening and nothing productive got done.

In sum, I am Not Feeling It, I'm afraid. Let us simply say that my training was fine if lackluster last week, and that Flogging Molly's "Float" is a great song. Okay? Okay.

Fear not! There is a shining light on the horizon, and it is called Walt Disney World. Nine days, guys. THANK GOD.

Oh, WDW. You're always there when I need you.

Anyway. The roundup thingee.

- Prairie Princess Runners suggests we stop the war on women's bodies, and I wholeheartedly agree. (Also, boys are jerks.) (Except of course YOU, if you're a boy. I hear great things about you!) (DO any boys read this blog?)
- Just Me and My Running Shoes hits the Epcot trails.
- Run Eat Repeat interviews ultramarathoner Dean Karzanes. Now I want pizza.
- Margaritas, Miles & the Mouse shares an adorable story about her first brush with celebrity.
- Princesses and Pixie Dust starts the running journey.
- This Happy Place shares the best story tangentially related to the Sherman Brothers EVER.
- Theme Park Insider offers important info on what to do if you're sick at WDW.
- Headed to the Grand Floridian's giant gingerbread house? (I am!) Gluten-Free & Dairy Free in WDW has the scoop on what they're offering for special diets.

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.com. See ya real soon!

Friday, November 22, 2013

In Which Jenn is Insufficiently Excellent

My dad has this saying: "The excellent is the enemy of the good." And lately I feel like the phrase was coined with running in mind.

When you first start running it's hard, physically and mentally - but in other ways, it's almost easy, because practically everything you do constitutes a personal record. Slowly you build up your mileage and your speed, and before you know it you're regularly knocking back ten miles and isn't that amazing?!

In the immortal words of Strong Bad:
YES I'M AWESOME

And then you run your first race, and no matter what the length or how long it takes you, you just finished your first race, and isn't that amazing?

And then you run your first half marathon and it doesn't matter what your time is, really, because the fact that you made it to the finish line means that you've just ticked off another box in your list of accomplishments.

But once you've established the basics - once you've run the race, run your longest, run your fastest in your life - the progress stalls. Speed stops climbing; even decreases. Bodily effects are not as apparent. Suddenly it gets harder and harder to pull out a new personal record. And it is at that point that the good training we do every week no longer feels like enough. It is no longer good enough to be simply good because we are accustomed to being excellent.

I fear that's where I feel I'm hanging out right now. I have ticked off some of the standard accomplishments - half marathon completed, BETTER half marathon completed, twenty miles run... now what? Well, now the never-ending struggle to improve, and it's not happening fast enough for me because I do not want to be only good. But it seems that "good" is my hangout spot right now.

So. I don't want to say I've hit a wall, because I don't think it's that bad, but I am feel unexcellent. Remarkably specific, no? Anyone got tips on overcoming this exciting little problem of mine?

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.com. See ya real soon!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In Which Jenn Has Thoughts On Escape from Tomorrow


So, Escape from Tomorrow - that much-hyped and agonized-over piece of indie film, making Walt Disney World into a horror show. Has anyone else seen it? I know I'm way late to the party, but I finally did! And here, in a nutshell, is what I thought: kinda boring, made no sense.

Okay, that's a little glib. To clarify, I want to point out that I am not giving it a poor review because of any perceived anti-Disney sentiment. For all the fuss about it being a horror movie filmed without permission, I don't think Walt Disney World was a silent villain so much as a backdrop. It's a place where people are supposed to be happy, and the juxtaposition of the family's misery felt like more a device than any particular stab at the Disney company specifically. Sure, they weren't painting the park(s)* in a great light, but there was nothing about the plot that couldn't have been adjusted for a vacation in, say, the Grand Canyon, or a generic amusement park, or any other traditional family getaway. Anyone looking to Escape to Tomorrow as a modern horror fable about the evils of mega-corporations and/or modern entertainment trends is going to be disappointed.

* They do know that we know that only Disneyland has an outdoor portion of it's a small world, right? I'm just saying. It's kinda jarring and takes you out of the moment when you're suddenly on a different coast.

WARNING: THIS IS WHERE SPOILERS START TO KICK IN

Indeed, any anti-Disneyism largely comes from the perspective of the viewer, be it someone who already hates Disney or someone who loves it so much that they pounce on any perceived slight. Heck, the robot scientists who traps the protagonist dad Jim in Spaceship Earth for a brief time even goes so far as to say that Disney has no idea the lab is down there. Sure, he could be lying, but there are no indications of duplicity.

Yes, there is one moment where the mom starts to see faces mutate and has her own minor nervous breakdown, declaring "It's this place!" Yet like the father, her visions are brought about by a barely contained fury - it's not the place, it's the place reflecting her own psyche.

And yes, you have the D-Team cleanup crew coming in at the end and making all trace of evidence of Jim's death vanish, but it's not like Disney had a hand in that death. As far as I can tell.

Which leads me to my largest complaint: WHAT ON EARTH HAPPENED?! Pretty much everything after the "Intermission" card has me utterly perplexed. Wait, Jim is important somehow? No, his son is important somehow? To the point where if he rode Buzz Lightyear it would be a problem? The Siemens Robot Scientist is... helping? Hurting? Is never heard from again because there are seemingly no consequences to Jim decapitating him? Why is the Disney nurse crying already? Is she an oracle or something?

What about the French teenagers? When Jim was just being creepy and stalking them, that was unsettling but at least it made sense: he was furthering his own psychological breakdown. But when one of the girls approached him like she was involved in some larger plot (again: helping? Hurting?) it unraveled a lot of the internal logic.

Actually, I think that would've fixed a lot of the problems with the plot if you lifted just those two scenes: the bit inside Spaceship Earth with the robot scientist that ascribes some greater overarching importance to the situation, and the bit where the French girl approaches Jim and speaks to him like she's an agent in a spy movie. Even if her spitting on him is supposed to be what gives him (gross) cat flu, it would make more sense both on the surface and as allegory if that contact was accidental and facilitated by Jim being too close for innocence.

So you would go directly from Jim being a perv regarding the teenage girls, to Jim sleeping with that random woman (which could be explained by him blocking out his own inappropriate behavior by pretending to be the victim of "witchcraft," a known synonym for what Disney calls "magic;" if you read it literally it's just another illogical fantasy element) to Jim getting too close to said teenage girls, contracting "cat flu" as a metaphor for his poor moral character, and dying of a sick mind as manifested by a sick body.

The reason that, to my mind as least, this works is because it makes it less ambiguous as to whether Jim is battling internally or externally. And I know, I know - filmmakers LOVE ambiguity. But there is ambiguity, and then there is muddled plot. I suppose you could claim that the conversation with the French girl is a product of Jim's imagination (although it isn't shot like daydreams he has earlier in the film). But throwing in such an absolutely wild flight of fancy as the whole robot doctor sequence takes it from "Huh, that's interesting. I wonder if..." to "Wait... what? But what about...?" Sure, you can argue the whole thing takes place in Jim's head, but if so, his internal producer suddenly decided to take a completely different approach to how the inside of his head was shot. You can't just switch your visual cues that late in the game.

In conclusion, I don't subscribe to the idea that Escape from Tomorrow is a horror film about Walt Disney World. It is a horror film that happens to take place in WDW, in which a man engenders his own demise by indulging in inappropriate behavior while on vacation. This is Man Goes Nuts While At Disney, not Man Goes Nuts Because Of Disney. And once you get past the novelty of the setting, the results are subpar.

All that having been said, if you're a big WDW fan, I would encourage you to see it, if only to stir up some healthy debate. We who love WDW tend to be completists with the attention to detail of miniaturists, and hey, the movie DOES take place in WDW. And it is its connection to that pantheon that gave Escape from Tomorrow what clout it has, so I suppose the ultimate message is this: all hail the Disney corporation! Truly its power is staggering.

Have you seen Escape from Tomorrow? What did you think? Am I totally off base here?

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.com. See ya real soon!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Fairest Week in Review: 11/18

Hi, everybody! How was your weekend? I finally saw Escape to Tomorrow, and I have... thoughts. So there's that to look forward to this week. Aside from that, I'm trying to wrangle Moon for another post or two; her mom's doing fine but she has a new paramour. You know how it is. [insert eyebrow waggle here ;)]

As for my training, it was a little wonky last week. Since I had Monday off, I jammed in one of my loooooong runs - I set my record of 22 miles. I'd done 20 before and really didn't think another two would be a big deal. I was wrong. I mean, I didn't die or anything, but I mostly walked them. Up to 20? Still feeling pretty strong. After 20? Not so much. Therefore I think I'll make my next looooong run another 20-miler and then give 22 another shot.

I have a musical selection this week! I'm not against but not a particular fan of The Lonely Island of "I'm On A Boat" fame, but Elizabeth has introduced me to a song of theirs called "Lazy Sunday" which features a chorus that goes like this: "It's the Chronic-WHAT?-cles of NARNIA!" And as a lifelong Narnian, I am honor-bound to play it every hour on the hour for the rest of my life. It's deeper magic from before the dawn of time, you know.


One more thing... what was it... oh yes: 16 DAYS TO WDW.

SOON.
Roundup!

- Sarah at Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free in WDW ran the Jingle Jungle 5K! Another one catches the bug, folks!
- Half Crazy Mama has suggestions for assembling your next runDisney costume. Oh, I have ideas...
- Are you a fellow blogger? Carrots 'n Cake has tips for successfully hosting your own giveaway. Step one: make Jenn the winner. ;)
- The holidays are steadily approaching - get a jump on your shopping with Run Eat Repeat's runner gift guide.
- Running Toward the Prize discusses why you should share your runs on social media.
- Slightly NSFW depending on your office's swear word policies, but these Pixar memes as shared by the Disney Hipsters are HILARIOUS.
- Whether you're traveling to Disney or somewhere else entirely (... but why?), you'll want to check out these carry-on luggage recommendations from The Disney Tourist Blog.

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.com. See ya real soon!

Friday, November 15, 2013

In Which Jenn Barely Makes Protein Pancakes (And They Suck)

Let's see, what's the phrase I'm looking for?

EPIC FAIL.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

As part of my race packet for the Annapolis Run for the Light House, I received a packet of protein powder. It seemed to go over well post-run, so I bought myself a big ol' tub of it at Target; different brand but same flavor. Well, that worked fine for awhile in my smoothies, but after awhile I just got SO SICK of that cloying vanilla taste. Bleh.

By consequence I have been on the hunt for some way to cut the flavor in my smoothies (experiment one verdict: cocoa powder is insufficient) or, alternatively, a new way to use it entirely. I thought I'd hit upon something when I came across another blogger's post on protein pancakes, which I am not going to link because I don't want to imply that this is in any way her fault.

I started with her recipe, but it was too much of a pain to Tetris my way through the pantry for the flour so I just used the protein powder for both measurements (I recognize that this was stupid; believe that it has been noted in the logs). Then I added the other ingredients, tossed in some frozen peaches for good fruity measure, and cooked up a pancake.

It sucked.

I tried another one, thinking maybe my pancake flipping method lacked proper timing.

That one sucked too.

I noticed that the original recipe did not call for salt; most pancake recipes do, so I tried adding some. That actually helped a little, but not to the point where I, y'know, enjoyed eating the pancake. By the end I just kinda sadly fished the peaches out with whatever battered snuck its way onto the spoon, threw them onto the pan to warm up, and chucked the rest of the bowl's contents into the sink. It looked like this:

Jack White had a brain that felt like pancake batter. I had... this.

Sigh.

Then I ate a chicken sausage and a bunch of Honey Nut Cheerios with almond milk. DINNER OF CHAMPIONS.

No, but seriously, does ANYONE know a good, easy way to use protein powder effectively that isn't gross? All I can think of is adding it to a chocolate cake, but something tells me that's kind of defeating the purpose....

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.com. See ya real soon!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In Which Jenn Makes WDW Packing Edicts

Step 1: Pack your Ruffian.

Hi there! In preparation for my December trip (21 DAYS), I recently sent my mother my go-to Disney packing list. This list was first compiled in 2008, and in the ensuing years I have tweaked, modified, and streamlined it for greater effectiveness. With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to share!

This is the list as I most recently formulated it, so it doesn't include anything you'd need for a runDisney excursion. In fact, I slightly tailor the list every time to the particular trip, so every time I use it, it looks a little different. It may not be that I've forgotten to add something I'd normally need, but rather that I have chosen to leave the item out for this particular trip's circumstances.

All that having been said - if you think of something you think is missing or want to comment on something that's already included, I would LOVE to hear it in the comments!

And so, without further adieu, here is the packing list I sent my mom:

THE FAMOUS PACKING LIST

Not technically packing: Temperature and what to wear on the plane

Average high in Orlando for when we'll be there is around 74 degrees, but we'll of course see what they're predicating closer to the date. We'll want to modify the number of shorts vs. the number of pants we bring according to that predicted temperature, although I lot of the time in the winter months I end up packing a pair of pants in my bag and then changing out of my shorts when the sun goes down.

You should wear something on the plane that will translate to park touring, since our room doesn't technically have to be ready until 3PM and therefore might not be ready when we arrive. I recommend sweatpants and a sweatshirt over one or two shirts (for layering), and your park sneakers, which should have strong arch support.

For your checked luggage (make sure this has the Magical Express yellow luggage tags before you hand it over)

O Socks
O Underwear
O Swimsuit (optional; I doubt we'll use the pool but it never hurts to be prepared
O Hat (I have several if you need to borrow; you don't HAVE to wear one but it's a nice added layer of sun protection)
O Sweatshirt/light-medium-weight jacket
O Sweatpants and/or jeans
O Shorts
O T-shirts
O Pajamas
O Lotion
O Facial moisturizer
O Face cream or wash or whatever
O Sunblock
O Sunglasses
O Toothbrush/toothpaste
O Razor
O Shaving cream
O Deodorant
O Hairbrush
O Hair ties
O Chapstick
O Makeup (you don't have to bring this if you don't want, but keep in mind that pictures will be taken)
O Sunscreen
O Aspirin (in case)
O Any prescriptions
O Books/magazines (handy for waiting for parades, etc.)
O Water bottle
O Granola bars or similar breakfast items, non-perishable
O Drink mix packets (the water in FL tends to taste sulfurous)
    
For Your Carry On

I recommend a "double" carryon; that is to say, bring a large bag or backpack that can store a lot of stuff, then also include a small bag for park touring. That way we can check the big bag at the hotel and not have to lug everything around.
O Boarding pass
O Park ticket
O Wallet
O Digital camera and charger if you want
O Cell phone and charge
O Laptop or iPad if you want (WDW now has wifi almost everywhere, both parks and hotels, although service can be spotty)
O Your "nice" outfit for the fancy California Grill - anything business casual should be fine. I'll probably wear a dress, flyaway cardigan, and nice shoes. Our reservation is that night and we won't won't to have to worry about getting it from our checked luggage. Don't worry - if this takes up a lot of space we can stick it in a locker while we tour the park.

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.com. See ya real soon!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Fairest Week in Review: 11/12

Hello, humans! I had yesterday off for Veteran's Day and used it to cram in my longest run yet. It was supposed to happen on Sunday, but I had a ballet performance on Saturday evening which evidently required a next-day crash; I spent most of the day sleeping. Us artsy types are weird.

Look at my pretty pointe shoes!

But never mind all that. Last week's training went surprisingly well! Even when I took my run in the morning I cranked out a good one - and I am NOT a morning person. I wish I knew what, exactly, happened so I could replicate the build-up every time, but as it is I'm pretty sure my new food-during-not-before-runs approach is working.

As for music: I was at Moon's new apartment a couple weekends ago and started messing around in her iTunes library, locating the most ridiculous music I could find in her deepest archives. I summoned some Bon Jovi and inadvertently planted in myself a sudden adoration for "It's My Life." I've been playing it nonstop during my runs because IT'S MY LIFE IT'S NOW OR NEVER I AIN'T GONNA LIVE FOREVER. Thank you.

And finally, for those of you playing at home, TWENTY-TWO DAYS TO WDW!!!

Roundup time.

- Hard drinking or hard running? Run Eat Repeat sees the commonalities.
- For those who are new to running, Running Toward the Prize lays down the basics.
- Run the Great Wide Somewhere gets packing, runDisney style.
- Check out runDisney from a cast member perspective with The Affordable Mouse.
- Sometimes you're there to watch - learn how to be a great spectator from Live, Run, Grow.
- Compare runDisney against the Rock 'n Roll marathon series with the Disbroads. There's one of the latter in DC in the spring but I'm not hearing great things about it... Anyone have insights?
- Holiday food is starting to make its appearance! Get delightfully non-preachy advice on managing your eating from Prairie Princess Runners.
- Speaking of the holidays! The Disney Tourist Blog has amazingly comprehensive post on WDW during the festive season. SO excited for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party!

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.com. See ya real soon!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Soup of the Evening, Beautiful Soup!

Who for such dainties would not stoop? ... Wait, was the Mock Turtle even in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland? He was, right? Yes? No? I can't remember. Fail. But whatever; today I'm talking soup.

It is simple. It is so simple, you don't make it so much as assemble it. It makes a great work lunch and is infinitely customizable. The ingredients could be described as "things you like." And while it is as delicious as you want it to be, it is also as healthy as you want it to be! I'll walk you through it.

Here are my ingredients:

A quick trip to Target and you, too, can have an awesome shark lunch pouch.

  • A can of tomato soup
  • Enough spinach for a decently-sized salad
  • White beans
  • Egg whites

And here is what I do:

  1. I mix the egg white with a little salt and nuke it in the microwave; then I chop it up and place it in a bowl.
  2. I top the egg whites with all the spinach. I mean ALL the spinach, because I love spinach so much I consider it a go-to pizza topping.
  3. I add a spoonful or two of beans.
  4. I top the whole thing with the can of tomato soup plus a can full of water per the instructions, then mix and microwave for about four minutes.

This is what I get:



The soup cooks down the spinach and heats the beans and all three additions add a faint infusion of their essence to the tomato base. It is tasty and filling and contains all sorts of nutritious ingredients, no?

But let's say you don't like tomato soup and you're allergic to eggs. No reason why you couldn't sub butternut squash soup and sliced chicken sausage. Beef broth with sliced carrots and those mini potatoes for something heartier. If you really hate yourself,  you could add celery, but I still don't understand how people manage to eat celery unless you slap a boatload of peanut butter on top, at which point why bother eating celery? Truly this culinary mystery weighs heavily upon me. (Don't even get me started on the potential evils of mayonnaise.)

Anyway. I'm always on the hunt for healthy lunches that I can enjoy eating without buying a ton of ingredients I won't be able to use before they go bad. Anyone have any suggestions? Like my plussed soup idea? What combination would you go for?

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.com. See ya real soon!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

In Which Jenn Flips Out Over Magic Bands & Makes A Disney Playlist

Is Carol Anne so wisely said in Poltergeist: THEY'RE HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE.

Do Spanish-speaking families receive a box that says 'increible'?

Hello, precious. Hello.

I got home from ballet last night, saw the box on the kitchen counter, and squeaked to such a tremendous degree that my roommate came in to find out what was inside. And then she humored me admirably when I showed her my plastic bracelets.

But guys, seriously - I am SO EXCITED because that means MY DAY IS COMING. Twenty-seven days. Twenty-seven days until I am showing my mom around Walt Disney World!

And in honor of this trip, my mother's first foray into this largely unknown world since 1998, I burned her two CDs. One is the amazing Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs, because that had a lot of songs from movies from my mom's childhood and also Julie Andrews is the greatest human being who ever lived. (Find that one on Amazon here.)

The other is a mixed CD of music that I think will be relevant to the theme park experience. None of the ride or show soundtracks, mind you, because as much as they make me nostalgically happy, I think it's best to experience them fresh for the first time in the parks. Instead, this burned CD features music that pops up a lot in those soundtracks, things you'll hear in Wishes or Fantasmic or Festival of the Lion King. Basically it's everything I ever watched when I was a kid, so she knows most of these songs too; I'm just giving her a refresher. Here's what I've got:

  1. "Beauty and the Beast" from - wait for it - Beauty and the Beast
  2. "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid
  3. "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid
  4. "Kiss the Girl" from The Little Mermaid
  5. "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from The Little Mermaid
  6. "A Whole New World" from Aladdin
  7. "Go the Distance" from Hercules
  8. "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King
  9. "Be Prepared" from The Lion King
  10. "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King
  11. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King
  12. "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from my beloved Mulan
  13. "Just Around the Riverbend" from Pocahontas
  14. "Savages" from Pocahontas
  15. "The Bells of Notre Dame" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Well, whaddya think? Did I leave out anything vital to the proper Disney park experience?

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.com. See ya real soon!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In Which Jenn Uses Space Mountain to Triumph Over Moon's Ex-Boyfriend

JENN: This is another story from our 2004 high school orchestra trip to Orlando.

It was the very last night of the trip, and we spent the afternoon/evening in the Magic Kingdom. I had been to Disney's California Adventure a couple years earlier where I learned about the recently instituted FastPass program, so the moment we stepped into the park I herded everyone toward the Space Mountain FP kiosks.

This was before Moon's Roller Coaster Renaissance, so she made friends with the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. How many times would you say you rode?

MOON: Umm... I think enough where I didn't actually have to get off and re-enter anymore!

JENN: Did you ever get off and do anything else, or was it just TTA on loop until we got off the ride?

MOON: TTA all the way, baby.

JENN: Nice! So when our FP return window opened up, we dropped Moon off at the TTA entrance and whooshed merrily through the FP line.

Just setting the scene.

The regular standby line was about two hours, if I recall correctly (that's what spring and a school music festival will do to you).

MOON: Never go to WDW during a school music festival. Well, unless you're participating. ;)

JENN: As we walked past the line, we happened to see Moon's ex-boyfriend perched on the line divider. He took one look at us whizzing past and said this: "Oh, you bastards." And that is why FastPass wins.

And so we rode Space Mountain AND had time to fit in a jaunt on the Jungle Cruise. TADA!

MOON: Dang. I should have gotten on that ride! I'm actually surprised he noticed you guys.

JENN: The line was LONG and this was before the installed the video games in the standby queue. There wasn't anything to do BUT notice things.

MOON: Even still. You know what I'm talking about.

JENN: Haha, I DO.

And that is how we used Walt Disney World to triumph over Moon's ex. Truly it is a place of wonder.

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.com. See ya real soon!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Fairest Week In Review: 11/4

Mere days go, I received this beautiful, beautiful creature in the mail:


Magical Express tickets = check. ONLY THIRTY DAYS TO GO, GUYS.

Training last week went well! My experiment with not eating beforehand and taking Clif Shot Bloks during went, as the Brits say, swimmingly. I even knocked out a fifteen-miler, not at any particularly great speeds, but I worked for it and by consequence I got it. Good times.

Speaking of mileage, I joined the Pile on the Miles Challenge as hosted by Eat Run Repeat. My goal? I'm shooting for 170 miles over the course of November. I know! That's a LOT. But with my twenty miler a few weeks ago I made it to 167 miles in October, so what the heck. Why not go for it?

Musically, this week I was motivated by - wait for it - The Nutcracker. Yes. The Tchaikovsky score. No, I don't get it either. I mean, Tchaikovsky is great under almost all circumstances, and I've even run to him before, but he's not generally the guy to play as a pick-me-up. Nonetheless, one of the variations popped up in my iPod's shuffle mode, and before I knew it I was rocking out to "Children's Gallop." I don't know. I'm a weird kid. But as far as I'm concerned the Christmas season starts on November 1, so bring it on!

Don't worry, I'm sure there are more normal people to be found in the blog roundup. Probably. I think.

- Lots of people posted the newly released photos of upcoming runDisney medals, but I saw the one on Running at Disney first so she wins.
- I Run For Wine serves up a massive playlist suitable for all your aural needs while marathoning.
- Brush up on runDisney Marathon 101 with MousePlanet.
- Live, Run, Grow shares her Marine Corps Marathon takeaways, as applicable to races in the future. I'm getting really temped to sign up for that next year...
- Check out some Orlando running trails with Orlando Family Style.
- To Fairytales and Fitness, running is...
- Thinking of trying out those Glow with the Show ears? ZannaLand has thoughts.
- Eating WDW digs through the new standard WDW drinks menu - including a non-alcoholic coconut water-based drink that would be great pre- or post-run!

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.com. See ya real soon!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Music + Running: When Headphones & Sneakers Do Not Entertain a Happy Marriage

No doubt you're sick of Jenn prattling on, so for a change of pace, here's a solo Moon post! Yay!

Hey gang!

I’m venturing on a new series, here. Hopefully this narrative will get more interesting as we push forward, but bear with me for a bit. But, before I get too preachy, how about revealing what the series actually is.

Music and Running

Let me preface with the admission that I use the term “running” loosely. I know there are many serious runners for and against listening to music while running. Perhaps we can tackle this debate at a later time, but for now let’s entertain the idea that music is a significant part of the running experience.

I must admit that I consider myself first and foremost a musician. I spend minutes, hours, and days thinking about sonic analysis. Considering form, influence, tone, harmony, historical context, etc. of any musical work gets me up in the morning (quite literally. I wake up to my phone radio in the morning). At the same time, in a perfect world I will follow my morning musical ritual with a run. For me this is a seamless balance. There is nothing more soothing that a steady (however elevated) heartbeat and something to ponder while I am keeping a steady pace.

Okay. Here is the plan. Every so often I will tackle a topic within the broad sphere of “music and running.” Today I’m going to go easy. Today is all about when music and running don’t match so well. And what better way to present this than an embarrassing story of pain and failure (I’m sure you’re all loving my stories so far).

The scene: Music room. New treadmill. Full to the max with running ambition. I spent many hours in the room nearly ripping my hair out practicing, studying, memorizing. My parents had just received a piano from a friend and they thought I would really like a real piano. And you know, I would have… Had the piano been in any sort of shape to be played. This thing was awful. It must have been sitting outside in the elements, being rained on by the tears of the gods for the past 500 years with no tuning or maintenance. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

The piano was right behind the treadmill, that’s the point. The debate before setting off was what to listen to. The age old question that delays most runs for at least ten minutes. This day I was feeling particularly romantic and at ease, so I thought what better than Chopin. If you haven’t heard any of these beautiful piano pieces, take a listen.



I absolutely adore Chopin’s nocturnes. So, on goes the Nocturnes. Everything was going steady for a while, but if you’ve ever spent an afternoon listening to Chopin you know that the state of dreaminess eventually sets in. This is all fine and good while on a picnic, reading a book, going for a walk even. Probably not best for running.

Because I became so relaxed and calm that I dozed off.

Annnnd propelled right into the piano. Talk about irony. So, let’s just say I do not listen to Chopin while running anymore. Although, if any of you have seen the Showtime program Dexter then you probably know that Deborah frequently listened to Chopin while running on the treadmill because her man-crush Special Agent Frank Lundy impressed upon her the beauty of Chopin. It worked for her. If only we could all be so lucky.

This man has no interest in your athletic well-being.

Which begs the question: What songs are NOT on your running list?

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.com. See ya real soon!