Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy Friday: Spanish Buzz Lightyear

Happy Friday! And since Fridays are happy, and today looks like it should make for a very happy Friday, here are two videos that make us SO VERY HAPPY.



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 29, 2014

In Which Jenn Ponders Intuitive Eating

Something weird happened while I was on vacation last weekend. I ate whatever I wanted - and I felt better for it.

And "whatever I wanted" isn't code for "I ate whatever kind of salad I wanted" - I really ate whatever the house was preparing that day. That included hot dogs and french toast and arroz con pollo and at one point there was even a fried turkey.

Now, I will say that I kept my portions down and often left off fillers like hot dog buns, but I ate freely all the same. As a result, I was full enough that I didn't snack too terribly much, and - bizarrely - I felt LESS bloaty. I even wore a bikini once. And I had way more energy.

There is no logical way that my body requires vacation food all the time. I'm sure if I continued indefinitely it would bite me in the butt somehow. But it makes me wonder about why my usual careful, healthy diet and exercise doesn't make me feel as good. Do I run too much? (I hope not.) Do I not, dare I say it, eat ENOUGH calories? Do not ENOUGH calories come from - hold the phone - fat?

Please tell me if I'm being crazy here.

I've been investigating the world of Intuitive Eating of late - the idea that rather than following a set dictate of what you should eat and when you should eat it, you should trust your body's signals. From what I can tell, it basically boils down to this: basically, every time you're hungry you ask yourself, what do I WANT? And then you eat it.

This means that sometimes you'll want cake and you'll ask yourself if you really want cake and the answer will be yes, I really want cake, and you'll eat cake. Sometimes you'll want a cheeseburger. But then also sometimes like the other day there will be leftover apple Danish and mini-muffins from the board meeting and you'll think to yourself, do I really want a Danish and/or muffin? And the answer will be: no, actually I'd rather have this cantaloupe. Your desires aren't wrong; your body is just providing information.

I like this. I don't know if it'll work for me - I'm still trying to gently extricate myself from the calorie-counting web (more on this later) - but I like this. And in such a spirit, I have decided to make myself a new goal. For the rest of the summer, I will go home to eat lunch at least twice a week. That way I can escape from the borders of What-I-Happened-to-Pack-for-Lunchland and vacation in Whatever-I-Want-topia.

I'm lucky in that I live under a ten minute drive away from work, so I have time to cook a little. My question to you is this: what do I want to make? Recommendations for healthy but also thoroughly crave-able eats? Salads that actually satisfy without requiring a thousand expensive and difficult to find ingredients? Portions that will actually keep me full? Meals that can be assembled without buying things in large amounts that go bad before I can use them up?

I can always make one of my cheater's recipes.

Do you ever feel much better when you don't diet AT ALL? Have you tried Intuitive Eating? Am I even supposed to capitalize that?

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 28, 2014

In Which Jenn Runs In Dewey Beach

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent the Memorial Day weekend in Dewey Beach, DE.

View from our porch. I wasn't mad.

And for once, I actually DID get in the run I said I'd make time for during vacation! Surprise!

If you've ever been to Dewey, you know it's pretty darned crowded. When I first stepped out, I was dodging pedestrians left and right. A giant group of about ten guys had the sidewalk completely blocked; I am supremely proud of myself for dancing right on through the group without touching anyone. They never knew what didn't hit them.

Luckily, a friend had gone for a run yesterday, and she had some advice: If you want to run unencumbered, head for the highway. There's a nifty shoulder set aside specifically for runners and bikers, with lanes and everything.

Naturally I don't know where you're staying, but if you run past the Rusty Rudder bar you'll soon find yourself here.


It's a pleasant route, if you're asking me. It's not right along the coast, but you catch glimpses of the bay as you run, and the entire route is a veritable pancake of flatness (and a ruler of straightness). I ran out 2.5 miles and then turned around and headed back to the house for a total of 5, but you could easily keep going if you wanted.

Best of all - my lungs never bothered me in the slightest. I think I might be getting the hang of running outside!

I have but one thing to add:

Miniature golf is very dangerous and should not be embarked upon lightly.

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 27, 2014

The Fairest Week In Review: 5/27

JENN: How was your extended weekend? Did you run at all?

MOON: This is terrible, but for the second week in a row: noooo. This week has been a sick week...

JENN: Oh no! If you're feeling ill it's probably better not to run, so it's good that you're taking precautions. Are matters improving?

MOON: Yeah, yesterday was actually a pretty okay day for me! What about you? How were your runs?

JENN: Not bad! I tried running outside again last week and it sucked. And then I did it again on Sunday out of necessity and miraculously it DIDN'T suck (more on this tomorrow). Mind you, I only did five miles, but still. It's a start! It probably helped that I was at the beach for the weekend and I got to run along the bay-side coast.

MOON: That sounds great. What beach did you go to?

JENN: Dewey in Delaware, as a belated celebration of my roommate's birthday. I'd never been before. There sure are a lot of drunk people at all hours!

MOON: Well, it is a small stretch of beach for so many people!

JENN: I'm hoping that this jump starts a more successful outdoor running career. We should try tackling the airport loop trail again.

MOON: Okay! Give me a few weeks to get back into things and I'll be all set.

JENN: And this time we can go the right direction. Not that I didn't enjoy accidentally running through the Bowie train station, mind you.

MOON: Ha, we got a good 6 miles out of going the wrong direction last time at least.

(Source)

JENN: Now let's head the right direction with the roundup.

- Survive the infamous runDisney expo with The Runner's Guide to WDW.
- Add some Disney songs to your running playlist with Why I Run Disney.
- We Run Disney has some good safety advice.
- Construct a dream runDisney race with The Run Streak.
- Disney Every Day confirms the existence of the Disneyland Paris half.
- The Adult Side of Disney voluntEARs.
- Eating WDW eats a Yoda cupcake just for me.
- Sidestep sunburn with WDW for Grownups. (I am SO MAD at myself for successfully avoiding sunburn until the very last day of vacation. Way to go, me.)
- Bwana Blog has awesome news: there's a new kind of tiger at DAK!

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 23, 2014

In Which Jenn Makes The Cheater's Stir Fry

I bring you another cheater's recipe! This one earns the title because you make everything in two pots/pans total, thus minimizing cleanup later. Otherwise, it's SO simple I almost didn't make this post for fear of being met with a resounding DUH. But I also made it recently and found that it kept me full much longer - and I had a pretty good run later that day.

The science? Or, okay, the theoretical science? It's got brown rice for carbs and tons of protein from the chicken sausage AND egg. Let's proceed.

The Cheater's Stir Fry


 You will need:
  • 1 chicken sausage (I use the Target brand Archer Farms' spinach and garlic chicken sausage because it's low cal and you can pronounce all the ingredients, but use your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup spinach, cooked
  • 1/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 egg (or equivalent egg whites, but don't you think yolks are nice?)
  • Soy sauce or olive oil and your favorite spices
  • Cooking spray
  1. Get your rice cooking in a small pot or rice maker. If you're using slow-cooking rice or a rice maker that, like mine, takes its sweet, sweet time, you'll want to get this step rolling early so it that will be ready in the five - ten minutes the remaining steps take.
  2. Meanwhile, hit a small saucepan with some cooking spray and turn your burner to medium heat. Lay down your chicken sausage (I recommend splitting it) and get one side browned.
  3. Now flip your sausage to start work on the other side and lay down your spinach next to it. Crack open the egg and add it to the remaining free space. You can scramble it if you want, but I recommend sunny side up for reasons that will become apparent shortly.
  4. Drain your rice if needed and/or remove the pot from the rice maker.
  5. Once everything in the saucepan is sufficiently cooked, remove it from the burner. Slice the chicken sausage and add that and the spinach to the rice pot. Then carefully move the egg over to join them... AND BUST THAT YOKE! 
  6. Add soy sauce to taste (if you don't like soy sauce or live in fear of sodium, use a dollop of olive oil and your favorite spices). Mix it all up and enjoy.

When I plugged this into a recipe nutrition calculator, it came out with over 20 grams of protein and over 30 grams of carbs. FUEL, people. Fuel!

What's your favorite fuel?

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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In Which Jenn Runs A Sucking Simulation

I am a treadmill girl. We know this. But I know this, too: I need to get more experience running outside with terrain and inclines and all that jazz (thanks for the heads up on that fact, MCM 17.75K). And since it was a nice day on Monday, I decided I'd give the whole running outdoors thing another go.

Guys, I think I'm gonna just rip out my lungs like the Vidiians did to Neelix that one time.

Don't worry; he got some holographic ones. And then a new one from his girlfriend.
(Source)

Turns out it's not just cold they don't like - it's pollen, too. And they constrict, and I can't quite manage to breathe properly. It's caused me to pack up and go home to my dear sweet treadmill on more than one occasion. Indeed, I considered doing it this time. Or maybe just doing half outside, the other half inside.

But then I had I thought. The thought was this:

What if this lung issue occurred during a race? What if it happened during the Marine Corps Marathon? What if it happened during Dopey? What would I do then? Would I just pack it in and DNF?

Correct answer: NO. I might send companions ahead without me, sure, but I would most certainly not give up. I would find a way to deal with it.


Okay then. I decided that this unhappy lung thing would be a practice run. I would practice having a bad race. A Sucking Simulation, if you will. My chest was tight, yes, but not debilitatingly so. I felt okay to keep going.

So I ran on. I had to take a lot of walk breaks, but I ran on. And, interestingly enough, my lungs actually improved. The constriction pretty much went away. I was still unusually wheezy in the ol' chest cavity and I'm sure everyone I passed wondered why I was huffing like I was running through fresh paint, but matters did improve. I never really got into the swing of things, but I tried some new routes through the neighborhood and got a little hill running in. Mission accomplished.

My final average was a 12:25 minute mile over eleven miles. This is not remotely good compared to my treadmill runs. In fact, I'd go so far as to label it downright bad. BUT. The Marine Corps Marathon has a pacing requirement of a 14 minute mile. BAM. Well within the limits.

In short, my Sucking Simulation taught me two things:
  1. My lungs CAN adapt. So far, they adapt imperfectly. But maybe if I run once a week outside during the summer, there is reason to hope they will become stronger in the case of air adversity.
  2. I may have a bad race - but a bad race can still be a successfully finished race.
Oh, also, can anyone recommend a less cumbersome means of hauling your water around while you run? I got tired of carrying my giant bottle might quick; I wound up hiding it in a storm drain and taking sips every time I doubled back by. I am leery of water belts because I have these things called hips.

Have you ever run a Sucking Simulation?

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 21, 2014

Squirtgun To Your Head: Least Favorite Disney Character?

JENN: It's time for another Squirtgun To Your Head! As we put the figurative gun to the head of a character we don't like. Yes, the question today is this: Who is your LEAST favorite Disney character?

I know mine: Boo from Monsters Inc.

SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND GET OUT OF MY FACE

I CANNOT STAND BOO. She straight up ruins Monsters Inc. for me. Not even Billy Crystal can save it, and I love me some Billy Crystal.

MOON: I haven't seen Monsters Inc. yet, but I hear thiiiings.

JENN: A lot of people love the movie and think Boo is so cute. I spent the whole time wanting to kick her in the shins. Because I am a terrible person with a low tolerance for "adorable" small child antics that are actually REALLY IRRITATING. The only good thing she does is burst into tears when Sully accidentally scares her.

And now, as the hordes run my blackened, heartless shell out into the frozen tundra to die, who's your least favorite?

MOON: Hmm, so I have some arbitrary dislikes, but here's one with a reason. Bambi's father (father-deer?...)

NOT PICTURED: The ideal single father.

JENN: Do you resent him for not showing up in Bambi's life until he was no longer needed? I think his name is Prince, btw.

MOON: Absolutely.

JENN: Some men just can't handle the pressures of paternal responsibility, I guess.

MOON: Haha, I feel like I made this post suddenly very serious.

JENN: I could talk about kicking a computer-generated toddler in the shins again if that would help?

MOON: Being 4-5 and remembering that Prince is a jerk is heeeeavy stuff.

JENN: You were wise beyond your years. That's why you're such an adept time traveler.

How about you, dear reader? How do you feel about Boo and Prince? What Disney characters rub you the wrong way, if it's not too blasphemous to ask?

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 atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Fairest Week In Review: 5/20

JENN: Did you run at all this week?

MOON: Hmm, I think another mile? The progress is rather slow over here...

JENN: Hey, that's one more mile than a lot of people manage!

MOON: Yes, but about 25 less than I usually do... XD I have been hunting for half marathons for the late summer, though!

JENN: Any prospects?

MOON: Hmm, there was one in Chicago that caught my eye. I think that was early september. I might have to go out there for school things, so it would be the two birds one stone idiom, right?

JENN: Indeed!

MOON: Did you run?

JENN: Yup, I got 'em in there. One session was pretty bad, but another was pretty darn good, so  hooray for averages! I'm still not as fast as I've been in the past, but baby steps.

I THINK I might try running outside once this week, see how that goes for me. Hopefully it's warm enough to prevent lung rebellion.

MOON: It's great outside! A little chilly for just hanging out, but perfect for a run.

JENN: Awesome. Here's hoping.

Any good music happening in your earspace of late?

MOON: Actually, yes! It's been about half melancholy and half electronicdancedancedance.

DANCE DANCE DANCE

JENN: Haha, that can be a good motivator for runs! I spent 40 minutes of my last run listening to the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" on repeat. Liz and I watched that 20 Feet From Stardom documentary last weekend and I got totally sucked into that song. They're right, the backup vocals are mesmerizing.

You know what else is mesmerizing? Other people's blogs.

- Find your ideal running shoe with Run Eat Repeat.
- Refinery29 brings in a nutritionist to debunk diet myths. Hooray for carbohydrates! :D
- Avoid post-race sickness with Running, Loving, Living.
- The Runner's Guide to WDW considers the best resort selections for runDisney denizens.
- Incorporate some post-run yoga into your routine with Running at Disney.
- My No-Guilt Life has the scoop on that new Castaway Cay 5K challenge.
- Food Fitness Fantasy rightly rails against the weirdness that shows up at girl-centric races.
- Check out this fun runner's scavenger hunt with Fairytales and Fitness.
- Follow a runDisney first-timer with MousePlanet.
- Home is Where the Mouse is has DISNEY CUPCAKES.
- Jack Spence of All Ears mourns little changes at WDW.
- Rolling with the Magic highlights the music of Future World.

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 16, 2014

In Which Jenn Considers the Week of Runs Not Taken

Two weeks ago, I did not run at all. AT ALL. The time had come.

Pictured: Not running.

Pictured: Still not running.

 Did I miss it? I hardly had time to miss it.

Pictured: All the time I had.

Since then I've had a couple good runs and a couple bad runs. I've pushed myself. I've barely eked it out. I've been happy and unhappy with my performance.

Pictured: Performance.

Running can be hard. It definitely saps a lot of my time.

Is it worth it?

All I know for sure is this:

Whether or not my run was good, I feel good for having run.


Now let's start training for a marathon!

Pictured: The beginnings of a post-marathon collapse.

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 atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Photographic Memory: Two Moons Meet Two Sheep In DAK

JENN: Okay, I am SUPER EXCITED for this Photographic Memory because I'm fairly certain it proves that Moon is a time traveler. Behold this scene from Disney's Animal Kingdom's Conservation Station!


Look at the clothes. Look at the joyous faces. Look at the love of sheep. THAT SMALL CHILD IS MOON VISITING HER FUTURE SELF.

MOON: I wonder when I get to do this...

JENN: Past you is way more technologically advanced than future you.

MOON: A future me as a younger self going to visit adult me. Or maybe I missed something

JENN: Incidentally, Moon LOVES sheep. Have we mentioned that?

MOON: I do!!!

JENN: So DAK's Affection Section petting zoo is like her place of zen.

MOON: They were cool sheep.

JENN: If I remember correctly, the white sheep is named Dolly and the brown and white one is named Fleming. The Cast Member on duty taught Moon all about how to charm Fleming. Ear rubs, I think it involved.

MOON: D: I don't remember. But I remember which sheep Fleming was. :D

JENN: I'm sure eventually future past you will come explain it, thus bringing the entire sheep adventure full circle.

MOON: Maybe it's just me from my crazy Disney universe dream. Parallel worlds!

Conservation Station is not generally considered a must-do in the travel guides, but we just love the Affection Section. Have you spent much time there? Which animal is your favorite?

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 atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In Which Jenn & Moon Do the Liebster Award Thing

Fun fact: the fabulous Danielle of Live, Run, Grow nominated us for a Liebster Award! This question-trading blog series helps us all get to know our fellow bloggers. Read on for the answers to the questions Danielle set to us!



1. If you could run any race in the world, what would it be?

JENN: I'm pretty excited for the WDW Marathon, but since I AM running it and the question seems to suggest a think-big mentality, I'm gonna say... the hypothetical Disneyland Paris half that doesn't technically exist yet. Or, if you insist on something real, maybe a race in Hawaii?

MOON: I would run the Honolulu Marathon.

JENN: Right, what she said.

MOON: Haruki Murakami didn't start running until he was 33, I think. He's definitely a bit of an inspiration. He wrote a memoir about running and I remember a section on Hawaii. I figured if I ever sucked it up and started running again I would do that.

JENN: So your dream race is "one run next to Murakami." Universe, can we set that up?

MOON: Haha, yeah! Then I just need the energy to keep up...

2. What is the best race you've run so far?

JENN: Although my time was SOOOO much better at the Tinker Bell Half, I'm gonna go with the Princess Half because the entertainment level was so much higher throughout. The Annapolis Light House Half was boring and the Marine Corps 17.75K had too many HILLLLLLS. And untimed 5Ks don't count.

But I have a lot of runDisney races coming up, so for the future: who knows!

MOON: Hmm, well, since I don't have many to choose from... The Tinkerbell Half. The first time my body did something I didn't think it would be able to do. But, I agree with Jenn. The Princess Half was a lot of fun!

3. What is your favorite book?

JENN: OH MAN. All of them?

MOON: SERIOUSLY.

JENN: Um....

MOON: I think the survey just ended. We'll be on this for days.

JENN: No kidding.

MOON: I know one we can both agree on! Good Omens?

JENN: Haha, yes! Terry Pratchett is AWESOME.

I like Kurt Vonnegut a lot. And James Herriot. And C.S. Lewis. And Robert A. Heinlein. But these are authors. Books. Books books books. Boooooooks.


MOON: Hmm, I also really like Vonnegut. I would say my favorite is Breakfast of Champions.

JENN: I like Cat's Cradle and God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian and of course Slaughterhouse-Five.

Um... shall we just go on to the next question?

MOON: Okay! But first I need to get a few out there: Peanut Butter and Jeremy's Best Book Ever!, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and The Robots of Dawn. There had to be soooomething.

 JENN: True. Then off the top of my head: Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back, Shoeless Joe, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Last Unicorn, The Door Into Summer.

4. What's your favorite TV show?

MOON: Haha, uh oh. This... I have noooo idea. I suppose I'll have to fall back on Arrested Development?

JENN: You should've said that you don't understand the question and you refuse to answer it.

MOON: Haha, true.

JENN: I'm gonna go old school and way dorky and say "Star Trek: Voyager," because Tom Paris and I are that tight. But also "Psych." Let us never forget "Psych." You know that's right.

MOON: "The X Files" for me. If ever there is a biography written about me, I'm pretty sure "The X Files" will take up at least a chapter of my high school days.

JENN: That and our mutual devotion to The Doctor.

5. Is there a skill or talent you wish you had?

MOON: Hmm, maybe polyglotism?

That or confidence.

JENN: Haha, you and me both.

Let's see. It would be nice to be ambidextrous. And I still can't freakin' whistle.

MOON: How about ambidextrous AND a polyglot? You would be the communication queen.

JENN: No kidding. Which president was it who would write with both hands on two separate pages in two separate languages? Was that Jefferson? They just don't educate us for the real world like they used to.

6. Favorite Disney character?

JENN: We've actually answered this before, so let's see if it's changed!

MOON: Ha, I feel like mine will probably change.

JENN: Mine was Eeyore last time. I still love Eeyore, but I think I might go with Mary Poppins this time around. Because Julie Andrews is the best. At everything. Ever.

MOON: I would say Mary Poppins, but she's not technically a Disney character? Well, not Disney's creation I should say.

JENN: Neither are a lot of them - Eeyore either!

MOON: I would also want to say Emelius Brown... I'm going with Mr. Ray and Emelius Brown if I can.

JENN: Mr. Ray is what you said last time - consistent! :D

MOON: Yay!!

JENN: Okay, then I'm going pick that little blue fish who says I'M OBNOXIOUS!

MOON: Hahaha!

7. What's the best job you ever had?

JENN: I like my current job, actually. I work for a performing arts center and we've got a concert hall and an education center and a gallery and there's dance and music and it's pretty awesome.

MOON: I haven't had my favorite job yet. But, my music students are awesome.

8. Is there a food you just can't stand?

JENN: Ha.

Okay, I have a REALLY REALLY WEIRD phobia. I am afraid of small round objects. Grapes and peas TERRIFY me. I don't like blueberries or cherry tomatoes either, but they don't get me like grapes and peas. You put a plate full of grapes on the table and I will edge around the room like there's a mosquito I need to watch out for.

MOON: I once sat down next to Jenn for lunch, but I had a bowl of grapes. She got up and moved without saying a word.

JENN: It's an affliction.

MOON: For me: pizza. I don't care for pizza. And meat, but I figured that didn't count as an answer.

JENN: That's not true! We half the cheese and double the tomato sauce, and you're all about pizza. And I agree, because pizza sauce is AMAZING.

MOON: Tomatoes are AMAZING.

9. What's your favorite, can't live without piece of running gear?

MOON: Asics? Is that too obvious?

JENN: I would say my Yurbuds running headphones, which lock in my ears. Because a long run without music is a sad run. And music coming out of headphones that I keep sweating out of my ears are scarcely any help at all. So: hooray for Yurbuds!

Okay, last one!

10. What's the one tip you would give a new runner?

JENN: I would say: get fitted for sneakers at a dedicated running store. It makes a world of difference and keeps your joints from revolt.

MOON: I would say the same thing. I also feel that I don't have any authority to instruct anyone in the ways of running.

JENN: Well, there is that. So maybe just say: try it! See if it works for you! Maybe not! But maybe so!

Okay, now for some nominees:
  1. Pink Elephant on Parade
  2. Food Fitness Fantasy
  3. My No-Guilt Life
  4. We Run Disney
  5. Prairie Princess Runners
  6. Fairytales and Fitness
  7. I Run for Wine
  8. Running at Disney
  9. Just Me and My Running Shoes
  10. Will Run for Ears
And here are your ten questions!
  1. When your energy is flagging and you need a boost, what song do you play?
  2. What's the worst piece of running equipment you've ever made the mistake of using?
  3. What's your favorite way to fuel before, during, and/or after a run?
  4. Assuming practicality is no object, what's your dream race costume?
  5. What race should runDisney add to their schedule?
  6. Which Disney park is your favorite?
  7. How do you like to reward yourself post-race?
  8. If you became a Disney princess, what would you be like?
  9. What is THE BEST food?
  10. Once and for all: who makes the best running shorts?
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 atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Fairest Week In Review: 5/13

MOON: How was your weekend?

JENN: Crazy. I was tasked with taking care of my grandmother on Mother's Day. I pulled up to the house to discover an ambulance in the driveway and a fire engine on the curb. Turns out she'd fallen, been incapacitated, and used her Life Alert.

MOON: Oh, no!

JENN: She repeatedly refused to go to the hospital, so the paramedics had her sign something to that effect, then they had ME sign something as witness that she didn't want to go to the hospital, and then they left.

But she was clearly out of it all day, and eventually my aunt came over and decided that she needed to go to the hospital after all. So we called 911 and another set of paramedics showed up and carted her off.

Meanwhile, my parents were in NJ visiting my other grandmother, so they cut that short and turned around and met me at my grandmother's house where I had stayed because, oh yeah, my dad had left his dog there for the day. We all trotted off to the hospital where we took turns watching the dog and visiting.

As a small consolation, he's a very cute dog.

MOON: It's probably best she was looked at, especially if you could notice she wasn't herself afterward. How is she now?

JENN: You're right, she's all right now - she was dehydrated and had a minor infection and all that jazz, but she perked up with some fluids. It all turned out okay, but my God was that an exhausting day. I've played host to paramedics before, but never two separate sets within 24 hours.

MOON: I'm glad she's doing better. Also glad you made it out all right. Hospital related situations are always exhausting.

JENN: Good times.

So how's the whole running thing going?

MOON: Well, I ran ONE mile.

JENN: And what a lucky mile!

MOON: I've been doing other cardio exercises lately, but this week I am ready to get back into running.

JENN: Yay! Should be fun. I feel pretty good after my hiatus. Not stellar, but not bad. Had some decent runs. Even the one where I accidentally put my KT Tape on the wrong knee. Hopefully a warm up for an awesome week this week!

MOON: Yeah! I hope so, too!

JENN: Anything else interesting to report?

MOON: Well, I suppose I am working on getting ready to disclose details about our trip to Israel. Annnnnd wedding pictures. To the readers: there are many Jenn gems.

JENN: ... Oh, good.

MOON: Photos forthcoming!

JENN: Haha, something to look forward to!

If you're more into instant gratification, keep yourself occupied with these posts from the roundup:

- Check out this race self-assessment form from Run Eat Repeat.
- Explore the world of runDisney legacy runners with MousePlanet.
- Carrots 'n Cake teaches exercise stick-to-it-iveness from around the blogosphere.
- Bwana Blog has a look at the new Festival of the Lion King theater, which, as everyone knows, is my very favorite thing.
- The Disney Tourist Blog honors the Studios on its 25th anniversary with a top 25 list.
- The Disney Hipsters terrify me with Haunted Mansion brides.

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 atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Friday, May 9, 2014

In Which Jenn Makes A Recovery Smoothie

Yesterday I ran fifteen miles, but they weren't good miles; they were the hot, sweaty, somewhat uncomfortable but entirely determined miles of a person who doesn't know when to let Plan A succumb to Plan B, Plan B being to stop at the normal eleven miles and go home. But I had said to myself, today I shall run fifteen miles, so by God I ran fifteen miles. Then I went home, and felt a little sick for the rest of the evening.

Don't do that, guys. Plan B is still a good one. Know when to cede to Plan B.

But my point here is not that I'm an idiot (although that's true and something you should know about me if we're going to be friends) but rather that by the time I had finished those dumb stupid fifteen miles, I was stumbling back to my apartment internally screaming MY KINGDOM FOR A RECOVERY SMOOTHIE, which, incidentally, makes me think first not of rightful Shakespeare but rather that scene toward the beginning of Robin Hood: Men in Tights where Cary Elwes Rents-a-Wreck. 

Cary Elwes notwithstanding,* I made my recovery smoothie, and it was awesome, and while it's not overly complicated I thought I might as well share the recipe with you, y'know? Because I am a giver. 


Jenn's Recovery Smoothie
So says the White Knight: It's my own invention!


You will need:

  • Coconut water (I usually use one single-serving container of Grace brand because it's cheaper)
  • A heaping spoonful, approx. 1/4 cup, of nonfat plain Greek yogurt (I use Chobani because a full serving of that stuff has 22 GRAMS OF PROTEIN YOWZA)
  • The largest handful of spinach you can muster, about a medium-sized salad's worth
  • 1/2 cup frozen mangoes (frozen berries also work nicely, but not blueberries because yuck)

Optional additions:

  • One packet EmergenC in a complementary flavor; as a general rule anything orange will work
  • One serving or dose or whatever of fiber powder

Directions:

Naturally in a smoothie recipe situation it's tempting to just say "Combine ingredients, blend, drink," but I have discovered that the order of operations affects how effectively - and messily - your blender does its job. So, in my as-per-usual too-detailed way, here are my instructions.

  1. Dump the frozen mangoes in the bottom of the blender.
  2. Add your Greek yogurt on top.
  3. Now pile your spinach inside.
  4. If using, sprinkle on EmergenC and fiber powder.
  5. Douse the whole thing in coconut water - electrolytes, baby! 
  6. Okay, NOW you can blend and enjoy. 

I think the plain Greek yogurt, in addition to adding delightful protein, has a pleasant tang, but if you're into something sweeter you can use a fruit-based version or add some honey or a sugar packet. You can also adjust the amount of yogurt and/or coconut water if you'd like a thinner or thicker smoothie.

How do you recover after a hard run?

* When is Cary Elwes ever notwithstanding? He's the Dread Pirate Roberts AND Pierre Despereaux!

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 atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

In Which Jenn & Elizabeth Expose the Dementors

JENN: Let's welcome back the one, the only, Perfect Traveling Companion, Elizabeth!

ELIZABETH: Ta-da! You'll spoil me with those comments. My ego is getting so inflated.

JENN: She is vital to today's discussion, which is: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. We want to get our thoughts down before Diagon Alley opens and The Wizarding World goes all old-school-retro. And since Elizabeth not only accompanied me on a Universal trip in January of 2010, but also actually remembers what happened in all the books (whereas I briefly forgot what Gringott's was), we NEED her.

 

ELIZABETH: I have my uses. I was actually surprised they built Hogsmeade first, but I guess that was the only way to include Hogwarts.

So, where shall we start?

JENN: I'm thinking I'm going to throw out an attraction, and you're going to tell me, from a literary perspective, if it was any good. And then I will provide the philistine's perspective.

A philistine's favorite perspective.

ELIZABETH: LOL, okay. I hope I can remember enough.

JENN: Let's start with an easy one: butterbeer.

ELIZABETH: It was very tasty! Although not alcoholic, which means it fails the "exactly like the books" test. I remember it being essentially cream soda with a toffee-flavored cream topping.


JENN: I thought it was fantastic. We got the non-frozen version where everyone raves about the frozen, but I had the frozen later and prefer the regular kind. What can I say? I love bubbles.

ELIZABETH: I didn't have the frozen either, but then I think it was January and not very hot. As for authenticity, though, I remember the place where we ate breakfast had a pretty good English Breakfast. I thought blood sausage was kind of gross, though. But delicious!


JENN: Yes, you went authentic. Me, I got pancakes. They came with a croissant, which I thought was kind of redundant. But the pumpkin juice was nice.

ELIZABETH: Yes, I think the pumpkin juice was probably the best part.

JENN: And the themeing of The Three Broomsticks? Assuming I'm getting the name right? That's the one in Hogsmeade, right?

ELIZABETH: That's what it was! It was well done, I thought, although I haven't been in many real English pubs. I remember beams being visible in the ceiling.

JENN: If I'd known it would be important, I would've taken notes while I was reading... I swear to God I read all the books at least once! I didn't necessarily like all of them, but I swear I read them, honest.

Okay, let's jump to the candy shop. I completely forget what this is called.

ELIZABETH: Honeydukes, I think.

JENN: THAT'S IT!

ELIZABETH: I'm a genius!

JENN: All I know if that I bought my dad and brother chocolate frogs, and they were just milk chocolate in a frog shape. BOOOOOORING. They liked the trading cards, though.

ELIZABETH: Yeah, I got one too! I can't remember who was on the card I got...maybe Dumbledore? I still have the jar of peppermints I got there (minus the mints); and I mean, if you want a semi-useful souvenir, the glass jars are reusable and have the "Honeydukes" logo on them.

JENN: Yeah, I have one of those too. Pretty cute, even for a barely-casual fan such as myself. I seem to recall they had a few other things from the books. Those hellacious jellybeans, for starters.

ELIZABETH: Yeah, nice idea but I didn't want to actually eat them. And they had some other old-timey candy like lemon drops and ribbon candy. And I feel like there were cockroach clusters....

JENN: There was I think a joke shop next to it? I don't remember what this was called either. This is why I brought you in.

ELIZABETH: Zonkos! That's the one they just closed so they could open the Weasleys' shop in Diagon Alley! (I DO read the articles you send me! ;) I don't remember a whole lot about that one... hmmm.

JENN: Well, if you don't remember then it can't have been that good. I shall mourn it not. But I faintly recall that it, too, featured items from the books, although I believe a lot of them didn't really do anything.

ELIZABETH: Probably why I don't remember much, except looking around briefly. Well, they just can't live up to the magical pranks in the books. I want an ACTUAL nose-biting teacup.

JENN: Let's see. Ollivander's. We did the walk-through for this one.

ELIZABETH: Oh yes! The wands were pretty cool. And there was a bit where kids could "find their own wand" as it were. I remember wanting to buy a wand, but they were a bit pricey.

JENN: It was actually a nice set up - you walk through the shop and a wizard chooses a kid to help select a wand. <cynicism>Then he sells the kid the wand.</cynicism>

I mean, the guy playing the wizard was actually really good... but unless you were the kid in question, it was kind of like watching someone else buy a car, except you don't know that person so you'll never get to ride in it.

ELIZABETH: Can you imagine being the parent? "No Timmy, you can't have the wand that chose you, it's a scam!" Although if you're a parent, you should be resigned to shelling out for a wand.

JENN: Ah well. That conveniently fed directly into the largest gift shop, I believe. Which admittedly had some nifty stuff. I succumbed to the siren song of a Ravenclaw scarf and a stuffed barn owl and I'm not even that into the Potterverse.

ELIZABETH: I still have my scarf! I remember there being all kinds of jerseys and such, especially for Griffindor and Slytherin, of course. Oh, and I got some stamps and post cards too. I still have a few of the stamps, although now they're not enough to actually send anything.


JENN: Okay, I think that about covers the merchandise angle. Moving on to the rides. Let's start with the simplest: Flight of the Hippogriff.

ELIZABETH: Let's see...that was the rather tame roller coaster, right? The kiddie one?

JENN: Yeah. There was a cute animatronic hippogriff nodding to you as you went up the first lift. (See? I remember the thing about the nodding. I totally read these books.) Other than that it was a pretty run-of-the-mill kiddie coaster.

ELIZABETH: Yeah, not very exciting for us seasoned pros.

JENN: We hopped in line because it was short for once, but I remember the average wait time being around 50 minutes. Not worth it if you ask me.

ELIZABETH: Bleh, no.

JENN: The Dueling Dragons coaster was more our speed, although the queue was a thousand times more well-themed than the ride itself.

ELIZABETH: Yeah, I remember being kind of disappointed by the coaster itself. But then, it also can't live up to the description in the books.

JENN: 
It's fun, but it's just a re-themed roller coaster with dual tracks. Once you've picked your side - Hungarian Horntail or Chinese Crested - you could be riding any ol' dragon-themed coaster.

But the queue WAS impressive. They had various scenes from the Triwizard Tournament, and the crashed Ford... Anglia? Was that it?

ELIZABETH: Yes! I wish the car had come back for the later books... They should make a ride based on THAT adventure (are they?).

JENN: I don't think so. I think it's just Gringott's and the Hogwarts Express.

ELIZABETH: Bah! It totally needs to be an alternate, high-impact coaster way to get to Hogsmeade.

JENN: Now for the big one - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

ELIZABETH: How many times did we ride that again?

JENN: I don't know. Sixty-three? Seventy-five? First give us a quick rundown on authenticity and then we can talk terror and Dementors.

ELIZABETH: Right! Well, they did a good job immersing you in the scenes. I give it high marks for authenticity - just about everything was taken from the books (albeit with some embellishment). They did a pretty cool mix of screen and animatronic effects.

JENN: Let's see... I believe it went: dragon, giant spider whose name I forget, Whomping Willow, brief Quidditch scene before you're attacked by Dementors, escape. Please note that just about everything in that list is TRYING TO KILL YOU.

ELIZABETH: True... and the Dementors were legitimately creepy. I'd forgotten about the spider.

JENN: I almost said "Was the spider named Agrajag?" and then I realized that's the multi-lived creature Arthur Dent keeps accidentally killing in the Hitchhiker's Guide books. I am really no good at this Harry Potter thing.

ELIZABETH: Aragog, so you were close!

JENN: Anyway, the first time I rode the ride I was TERRIFIED. Those fancy cars take you WAAAAY up close to the scenes so it often feels like something might touch you at any moment. I don't do touching. I can't even ride Stitch's Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom, that's how much I don't do touching. Luckily nothing does and by the time we'd ridden for the umpteenth time I was pretty desensitized, but I'm surprised more little kids don't come off traumatized.

ELIZABETH: There definitely needs to be some personal space. I think I closed my eyes for the dragon and Dementors bits... Oh oh! Can we talk about the time the ride shut down?

JENN: YES! It was supposed to be the very last time we rode before we went home.

ELIZABETH: And then, right when we're getting to the SUPER creepy bit with the Dementors and it's really dark... everything stops. We sat in the dark for a little bit, which was unnerving, because I had a Dementor RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE. But they eventually turned on the lights, which was AWESOME, because you could see all the equipment making everything work.

JENN: Also, it revealed that the Dementors are basically extremely large potato sacks artfully draped.

ELIZABETH: Yep, they were just big arms attached to the wall they didn't seem so scary after that, LOL.




We were pretty lucky in that the cars didn't have us at a particularly weird angle, but some people were leaning towards the ground or angled up to the ceiling. And you can't move in those things: the straps are tight.

JENN: At least they let us skip the line and hop back on the ride for one last unadulterated run!

ELIZABETH: Haha, yes! So we got to end on a good note. Although that was the most awesome ride interruption I've ever had.

JENN: I agree!

ELIZABETH: Oh wait, and was that the one where the line took you through Hogwarts?

JENN: Yes! How did it look to your expert eye?

ELIZABETH: It was good! Very similar to the movie depictions (I mean, everything was) there were some cool effects there that are probably worth seeing on their own. I think if *I* had been designing the attraction, I would have made Hogwarts the life-size part instead of Hogsmeade. Although i guess that would have been more expensive.

JENN: Campus grounds, you mean?

ELIZABETH: Yeah, and dungeons to explore, and the classrooms, and the north tower...

JENN: That would indeed be pretty nifty.

ELIZABETH: And tunnels! They should have included the tunnels to Hogsmeade. They should make a ride based on the challenges for the sorcerer's stone from the first book. Giant chess match, anyone? They clearly can't keep up with my imagination!

JENN: I think you should take over.

ELIZABETH: Hahaha, I would spend ALL their money.

JENN: The only other feature of the current Wizarding World I can remember is that show they had, with the Beauxbatons and Durmstramgs or whatever you call them. If I recall, we watched this for like two minutes and then wandered off.

ELIZABETH: Ah, yeah, I vaguely remember that. Not particularly impressive. But then, in the movie they literally shot fire and live birds, and that's hard to duplicate live.

JENN: I've only seen one of the movies and it wasn't The Goblet of Fire so I have no idea how authentic it was, but if I were them I'd keep the ribbons on sticks for rhythmic gymnasts.

ELIZABETH: HAH! now THAT'S something I would pay to see. I actually thought GoF was one of the better movies. It contained my favorite line:  "Oh my god. I've killed Harry Potter!"

JENN: Ha!

ELIZABETH: It's even better in context!

JENN: I just like yelling CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

ELIZABETH: That's *definitely* the best catchphrase.

JENN: Let's see, am I forgetting anything?

ELIZABETH: There was a Hogwarts Express train that you could take your picture with.

JENN: Oh, yes! The conductor was pretty funny.


ELIZABETH: Other than that I think we've hit everything.

JENN: So, to end our Potter post: I've been sending you a lot of articles about the new Diagon Alley/Knockturn Alley/Hogwarts Express expansion at Universal. As an established Potterite or Potterhead or Pottermouth or whatever you want to call yourself, what is your opinion?

ELIZABETH: It does sound very exciting. They definitely did a very good job with atmosphere for Hogsmeade, so I think having the expansion will make it feel like you've walked on set, which should be pretty awesome. And I'm intrigued by this Hogwarts Express ride. I just hope they add some more exciting rides and not just places to buy merchandise. But that's the cynicism talking.

JENN: I hear there will be strawberry peanut butter ice cream, so they have my attention..

ELIZABETH: Ooooh.

JENN: In conclusion: we'll definitely have to go. But next year. Once the furor has died down. Late January was just about perfect.

ELIZABETH: I agree!

JENN: Thanks for providing the actual knowledge portion of the program!

ELIZABETH: I did what I could. I wish I remembered more details to compare, but ah well. Thanks for inviting me onto your 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 atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!