Monday, September 18, 2017

In Which Jenn Invites You To Plumb Her Archives

(That's what she said)

Heeeey! You'll never guess where I am right now... Because it's not WDW, and you'd totally guess that.

Nope, I'm back at the beach for our annual Outer Banks sojourn. I'll be back next week with tales of sun, sand, and ... sruns? I'm gonna run. I'M GONNA. You'll never beat me, vacation!!!

Anyway. If you came here because you're bored and now you're saddened by the lack of entertainment, never fear! New options are available to you. Particularly sharp-eyed readers may have noticed I added two new pages to the FRoA menu some weeks ago: Trip Reports and Race Recaps.



Basically it's what it says on the bottle: trip reports from WDW and other theme parks and summaries of my race experiences. They've all been on the blog before, but now they're handily collected in one place so you don't have to go rummaging around in the archives. Read them! Live them! Love them!

While you're doing that, I'll read 8,000 books in the hot tub, and we'll meet back here in a week. Okay, break!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

In Which Jenn Gives Her New Car A WDW Name

Once, in the very recent Holocene, I was lucky enough to be gifted a new car by my parents. They wanted something sturdier and sportier and, well, it's a long story, but the end result is that they gave their current car to me in exchange for my old car as a trade-in. Score!

It's a weird adjustment, though - my old car was from 2006 and the new one is a 2016 model. My GOD has a lot change in the space of a single decade. This baby has two separate display screens that tell me things like the temperate and the date and how many miles I can drive before my tank is empty, it charges my phone and plays music through a USB port while simultaneously allowing me to use the GPS, bluetooth capability allows me to answer calls via a button on the steering wheel... Even the gas cap is this sleek cover you press to pop open. Every time I slide into the driver's seat I feel like I'm at the helm of the USS Voyager.

The most disconcerting thing for me is the automatic headlights. They don't dim immediately after exiting the car, so I find myself walking backwards and pausing, waiting for them to shut off because what if this time they don't and the battery drains and I'm SOL before work???

For most of you, here in the future where the regular cars are, this is probably old hat. But let me tell you, Rowdy had NONE of these features.

Oh, right! Rowdy. I gave my car a name because if there's one thing I'm good at, it's anthropomorphism. (Sometimes I still wonder whatever happened to that poor lamp.) I named my first car Rowdy after the dog from Scrubs.


Naturally my new car needed a name too. I tossed some ideas around - Bruce, Aziraphale - but none of them seemed quite right. Then I hit upon the thing: perhaps a name themed to Walt Disney World?

Of course Figment was my first thought, but this car is silver, and if I'm going to spend that kind of frivolous money, it's gonna be on WDW itself, not unnecessary pastel purple paint jobs. (Although that would be sweet. With orange detailing, obvs.)

It didn't take me long to hit on the best fit: WDW ride vehicles. Doom Buggy was a good one, but not quite right for a small silver hatchback. I gift that moniker to the black SUVs and tinted-window sedans of the world.

The Peoplemover was out, too; while I love that ride with all my heart, when applied to such basic transport as a car it seemed mundane. A car named Peoplemover strips the magic out of it.

And then I had it. I knew my car's name.

It's from a ride that, while not a slam dunk with everyone, I happen to love. It has a whimsical feel appropriate to the vibe of the car. It implies the sort of advanced technology that is suddenly hitting me in the face. It even has the exact same lady robot voice. What is it? That's proprietary.

Just kidding! Allow me to present: THE TIME ROVER.


So every time I drive it I can say things like "meteor shower approaching" in a robotic voice and then laugh.


......... Do you think Rowdy thinks I abandoned him...?

Does your car have a name, WDW or otherwise?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

In Which Jenn Has An Excellent Parks Half Marathon

I didn't mention this half much in advance of my running it, and here's why: I didn't want to jinx myself. I've gone into races with fanfare before, bellowing about how I was going to crush it, and wound up crushingly disappointed. Which is guess is tangentially related, but not really what I'm going for.

Well, the Parks Half went great. But I don't feel 100% good about it. Run with me.

I woke up to a near perfect race day: morning lows in the mid-50s with a predicted high of the low 70s, meaning a brisk morning perfect for running. I jumped out of bed, gathered my race stuff, and picked up a ride from Pat's boss (he was also running the race and lives close by and he kindly offered, which was nice).

The course was different from the first time I ran it, so we had a little further to drive - all the way down to Shady Grove. Pat's boss graciously dropped me off by the start line and I did my usual thing: porta potty stop, Swedish Fish snack, dancing around in a giant throwaway sweatshirt because I'm cold.

I found my fellow runner/friend Sarah and we chatted a little before race start, which was pretty unceremonious - if there was a pre-race anthem or announce we couldn't really hear it. At the last minute I decided to take one more quick bathroom jaunt. I was unable to pee then but immediately wanted to five minutes later and basically the rest of the race. Oh well.

Anyway, the race started and we took off down the road. The first mile or two was in residential neighborhoods that quickly gave way to a trail around Needwood Lake. This portion in particular was a little hillier than I would like, especially in contrast to the downhill start of the old course, but thanks to my hill training I was fine.

Once we left the lake area things started to flatten out helpfully, but otherwise the course wasn't terribly interesting. There were a few stretches of spectators, including two dressed as pirates and one as Mr. Incredible. I did kinda like this bridge:


Past the bridge we made it back into the eponymous county parks that comprised the whole of the former course. It was a little weird remembering seeing the same stretch but at a completely different point in the race; I was constantly experiencing strong deja vu with the caveat that it all should've happened earlier.

This unfortunately meant that the famous Silencer, a hill that's not terrible but not NOT terrible, came several miles later in the race, which of course isn't what you want. But a group of children had renamed it High Five Hill and offered such with off-brand Mickey gloves, so that was good for morale.

For almost all of the race I hung with the 2:10 pacer, and that mostly worked fine. The vast majority of our miles came in under 10 minutes, which was great, although maybe if I hadn't needed to pee I could've been faster...? What can ya do. Regardless, around mile 11 I picked up a little speed and left the group in the dust. It was passin' time! (And time to be passed, but they can't all be winners.)


Now comes the bit I feel uncertain about. My GPS watch showed just under 13 miles when I turned the corner and saw... the finish line? Usually my GPS clocks MORE mileage than a half, so I was totally taken aback when I finished the race and saw 12.98 on the screen. Only .12 off, but still. Mind you, it's a legit course, and I know that GPS isn't 100% all-the-time reliable, but it makes me a little uncomfortable with my PR...

Oh yeah, my new PR! My originally record stood from my last Parks Half, and it was 2:10:21. This time around I blew past that number with an official finish of 2:06:46. Is that right...? I mean, I did almost match my old PR on a very hilly ZOOMA course, so maybe...?

There was a ton of food and water and other stuff at the finish line, but I had a different plan for my post-race activity. I found Sarah and we proceeded to... RUN HOME.

More on that in a later post. In the meantime, I really hope my GPS just suffered a brief hiccup because I want the PR.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 9/12

Greetings, friends! I come to you as the humble bearer of a brand new personal record in the half marathon. Hotcha!

But more about that tomorrow. For now, let's check in on the training log:

Sunday | ran 5.54 miles outside in 60 minutes
And then I saw Counting Crows and Matchbox 20 at Jiffy Lube Live! Gotta say, while I'm waaaay more of CC fan, MB20 had far superior showmanship. Rob Thomas knows how to present.

Monday | ran 5.48 miles outside in 60 minutes
Humid, but I wanted to front load my training at the beginning of the week so as to have plenty of rest days before the Parks Half.

Tuesday | walked 2.17 miles outside in 35 minutes; 70 minute ballet class

Wednesday | ran ran 5.48 miles outside in 60 minutes

Thursday | walked 2.07 miles outside in 35 minutes; 70 minute ballet class

Friday | walked 2.11 miles outside in 35 minutes

Saturday | rest, mostly
I did a little bit of ab work but hardly anything worth noting. Then it was off to bib pickup for Sunday's half. It's a local race but one with a pretty far reach, and the sports store where the hold pickup was mobbed. It was way too crowded to do any shopping, but I did snag an old race pint glass for $1. Sure, it's for the year before I first ran it, but $1!



And in amusement park news, I just snagged a Groupon for tickets to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, so look for that recap coming in a month or so. It's dive coaster time!

Roundup:

- easyWDW continues full coverage of Epcot's Food & Wine Festival and I want it all and I don't get any and I'm very jealous and sad. :(
- Disney In Your Day begins to report back on the festival as well.
- Jambo Everyone visits one of my favorite WDW bars, Nomad Lounge in DAK.
- The Disney Tourist Blog parses out the differences between visiting WDW at Halloween vs. Christmas.
- Disney Adulting takes a deep dive into the history of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Monday, September 11, 2017

In Which Jenn Invents A WDW-Inspired Smoothie Recipe

I am always impressed by the industrious bloggers who are constantly coming up with their own unique recipes. Even the smoothies are themed - strawberry cheesecake smoothies! Pumpkin pie smoothies! THE ULTIMATE GREEN SMOOTHIE RAAAAAAAAR!!!

Me, I was just trying to put together a high-protein smoothie to drink after my morning runs that kept me full until lunch and tasted okay.

By some miracle, I did that. But then I got greedy. I thought, how come I can't put together a fancy-pants smoothie with a legit flavor profile? Why can't I theme it to Disney???

And so I did. Fire up your blender, because today we're making...

THE WDW CHOCOLATE-COVERED BANANA-ON-A-STICK SMOOTHIE

Uh, is it technically called something specific? I know it has a wrapper but I'm usually too busy ripping it off to read it. You know what I'm talking about, though. One of these:

*insert inappropriate giggling here*

NOW LET'S SMOOTHIE-FY IT.

You will need:

  • 1 banana, sliced thin and frozen
  • 1 cup chocolate Greek yogurt (I used Oikos)
  • 4 heaping tablespoons chocolate PB2, TruNut, or other powdered peanut butter product, preferably chocolate flavor (or you can also use a scoop of straight peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup milk or plain-flavored milk substitute
  • OPTIONAL: Handful of spinach; you won't taste it, it's just for some extra nutrition
  • OPTIONAL: Crushed peanuts for garnish

Directions: Put it all in the blender and have it do its thing until smooth. C'mon, guys. It's a smoothie. Get it together.

Variations: I'm all about variations because I like to be able to farm what I already have without necessarily taking a trip to the store, especially in cases like this where you're just trying to throw together something quick. Taste and texture will vary, but what can ya do. That is the philosophy of the cheater's recipe! With that in mind, here are some flex ingredients:

  • You can take out the yogurt and add a serving of chocolate protein powder and double the milk. I thought this was okay but the consistency isn't as nice. Also, protein powder is very hit-or-miss with me as far as hunger goes. Also also, every chocolate protein powder I've ever tried has been weak sauce, but maybe that's to counterbalance the equally inevitably aggressive vanilla flavors? 
  • Vanilla or plain yogurt and some cocoa powder could also work but I haven't tried it. 
  • Or chocolate almond or soy milk could mix well too. 
  • Peanut butter allergy sufferers may substitute the nut butter of their choice.

Anyway, if you make it as I did, you're looking at a minimum of 22 grams of protein - 15 grams from the yogurt and 8+ grams from the PB2 or whatever. And that's not even taking the milk into account. Not too shabby.

And if you close your eyes and pretend you're eating it while chilling on Main Street, USA? Less shabby still.

What's your favorite smoothie recipe? Bonus points if it's WDW-related! (Or Arrested Development related, I guess...)

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Happy Friday: The Unvarnished runDisney Truth

I don't know who made this meme, but they deserve a medal. Every time I look at it I start laughing all over again.


See, it's funny 'cause it's true!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

In Which Jenn Goes On A Running Food Bender

Let's see, how to explain this. Have you ever... gone on a sort of... pre-long run food buying spree... like, way in advance... without planning it?

Now that I'm officially training for the Baltimore Marathon, I gotta get those mega-long runs on the docket. And I have - I have a 15 miler, 17 miler, and 20 miler laid out on the calendar. For my normal long runs - say, 9-12 miles on average - I don't usually require much beyond a pre-run snack and some water, but these big'uns need a bigger sustenance commitment.

There are lots of ways to do it: water, sports drinks, gels, chews, gummy bears, pretzels, honey... a lot of peoples' boats float a lot of different ways. I have found I perform well with Swedish Fish, so I bought one box for my 15 miler, just to start things off. So far so well measured.

Then last week I was doing my weekly Target grocery run. I was in the candy aisle to grab some 90% dark chocolate (TRY IT!!!!!! YOUR TASTE BUDS WILL EXPLOOOODE) and happened to pass by the theater box candy. Well, I'm here and thinking about it, I thought, so I might as well grab two more boxes for 17 and 20.

That simple act opened the floodgates. In the drinks section for some seltzer, I saw Body Armor sports drinks were on sale. I usually go with PowerAde since that's runDisney's MO, but what the hell - I grabbed two bottles without hesitation.

Over by the peanut butter, I was picking up a canister of chocolate PB2 when I saw that Justin's individual nut butter packets were on sale as well. What an amazing mid-run snack that would be for my really long runs!! I said to myself, even though this is something I've never tried. Well, I will now! Into my cart went two peanut butter-and-honey packs.

And, uh, here's all the stuff I hadn't planned on buying for runs some of which aren't for another month:


Will it all be actually good for my long runs? WE SHALL SEE.

Do you ever impulse-buy food in the name of training? What are your favorite pre-and mid-run snacks for long runs?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 9/06

And so marathon training begins:

Sunday | rest
End of that wedding weekend I mentioned last week. Spent most of the day either chilling with friends or driving home.

Monday | ran 5.59 miles outside in 60 minutes

Tuesday | walked 2.3 miles outside in 40 minutes; 25 minute workoutThere was no ballet this week, so I did a little workout on my own time - ab work and arm work and such. Fun fact: jump lunges are the devil.

Wednesday | ran 5.85 miles outside in 60 minutes
This run was significantly helped a long by a girl who kept almost passing me, until I was like NEVER AGAIN and took off. Nothing like a rabbit to get the legs moving.

Thursday | walked 3.11 miles outside in 50 minutes; 20 minutes ab and arm work

Friday | ran 15.39 miles on the treadmill in 2:35
Actually, I think it was closer to 16 miles EXCEPT about 45 minutes into the run I tripped and the safety zealot of a treadmill just SHUT OFF. All my data went WHOOOOOSH into the ether and since I wasn't 100% sure where I was, I just called in 40 minutes, 4 miles, even though I really think it was more like 44:XX and somewhere in the area of 4.5 miles but I don't KNOW so :(

Saturday | rest

WDW planning update: all's well that ends well with that whole Candlelight Processional dining package time/Behind the Seeds tour time discrepancy. I called the tour line, they moved us to a different, earlier tour, and we're squared away.

Meanwhile, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival just started, and since I am tragically not attending this year I am sulking and voraciously reading the coverage. Hence this roundup:

- Our man in Havana easyWDW is in his usual process of reviewing EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. AT. THE FESTIVAL. and it is beautiful and bittersweet. (For me, not for him.) (Probably.)
- The Disney Tourist Blog chimes in with a review of the festival's Light Lab booth.
- Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free in WDW points out the specifically vegetarian and vegan festival items available.
- In other WDW food news, The Main Street Gazette checks out Pandora's Santu'li Canteen.
- The Disney Diner makes an adorable Rapunzel bread braid.
- A Pinch of Pixie Dust reviews the Disneyland Hotel's E-Ticket Club.
- Halloween is coming! Get group Disney costume ideas from WDW for Grownups.
- Ride through the original Universe of Energy with The Tomorrow Society.


Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

In Which Jenn Dreams Of triDisney (Literally)

Longtime blog readers will know that I frequently have runDisney dreams, and 97% of the time the theme is My Screwing Up. I've slept through dream races, forgotten dream bibs, crossed dream start lines too late... Pretty much every race morning screw up you can imagine, I've dreamed it.

Today I share with you another runDisney dream... but it is unique in two ways:

  1. I made it to the start line without incident.
  2. It's not really runDisney. It's... TRIDISNEY!!!

Yes, in this dream for some reason my brain decided to posit that runDisney had added a triathlon to its ranks. (I guess kinda like that one time they tried to CrossFit?)

The first odd thing to note about the event was that it was taking place at night. This seems like a poor choice to me, but hey, I don't run triDisney.

The second thing that was weird was the the first portion, the swim, was taking place in... the World Showcase Lagoon...?

Talk about the perfect place for aquatic sports. (Source)

But wait, there's more! Not only was the swim in the lagoon, it started from one of those random islands in the middle. So we had to take a Friendship Boat out to the start, wave by wave.

The third weird thing is that evidently we were starting before the park was cleared out, so there were a handful of regular guests also on the boat, including - wait for it - Brad Pitt. Why was Brad Pitt there? Beats the hell outta me - aside from a general fondness for Fight Club, I've never been one to follow him or his work. My subconscious had to really dig around in the archives to pull that one up.

Anyway, he was there, and he was annoyed about all these random wet-suit clad weirdos hanging out on his means of transport. "Why are you doing this?" he asked me, glaring, and I gave a noncommital murmur along the lines of, "To attempt a triathlon...?" You're the one who's late leaving the park, Brad, but okay.

I escaped the wrath of Brad... and dream me promptly blacked out. I don't remember my wave starting or anything. Next thing I know, I'm flailing in the water. I'm pulled out of the dark nighttime lagoon and back onto the Friendship boat. "You failed," my rescuer told me. "You're disqualified." And then I woke up.

So I guess this is just my mind getting out ahead of any possibilities? I mean, I didn't even make it to the bike portion. If Disney ever does hold a triathlon, this would certainly make me think twice about registering...

Had any weird Disney dreams lately, runDisney or otherwise?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

In Which Jenn Is Running The Baltimore Marathon


Surprise! I'm running the Baltimore Marathon!

Maybe it's not that surprising, given that it showed up among the possibilities when I wrote a post about which fall marathon to choose. But it might not have been my first choice - if I hadn't tripped and fallen into a bib.

My friend Sarah is also a runner with multiple marathons to her name. Last year she signed up for the Baltimore Marathon but was forced to defer. This year (why? Don't ask me) she signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon too, based on the assumption that, like last year, they would be on different weekends. Well, they are not. So she was sitting on two bibs when she only needed one.

Enter me, a person who has been mostly building her race schedule up as she goes along. "Which one don't you want?" I told her. "I can take it off your hands if you like!"

And that, friends, is how I wound up with a Baltimore Marathon bib.

It's a more challenging course than Marine Corps; or, to words the used in the website course description, it is "challenging but fair." Which I guess means it's got hills but not, like, Big Sur level of hills? It also promises a Heartbreak Hill-esque portion BUT ALSO the last five miles are allegedly downhill. Downhill! Not just straight - DOWNHILL. So already we're in better shape than Rock 'n Roll DC.

Bonus, I get to run through Camden Yards! Go Os!!! (Also it ends at Ravens Stadium, but, like, yawn.)

It'll be a convenient race for me, too, since my parents live just outside Baltimore and I can crash with them for ease of commute. Uber-ing in FTW.

I can't claim not to be a bit apprehensive about taking on a brand new course, but hey, I can do it, right? Right??? ANSWER ME.

Now for a 15 miler, a 17 miler, a 20 miler, new sneakers, fuel... Marathon #8, here we come.

Right???????????

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 8/30

Hey guys! I had an amazing long weekend at the wedding of a couple friends, and it was glorious even if I did let my face get a little sunburnt and I didn't get any running done at all. It's cool, though, because I prepared with a frontloaded training schedule. Look, I can prove it!

Sunday | ran 10.17 miles outside in 1:50

Monday | walked 2.19 miles outside in 35 minutes; 55 minute workout class

Tuesday | ran 7.33 miles outside in 1:20

Wednesday | walked 2.3 miles outside in 40 minutes; 55 minute workout class

Thursday | ran 7.33 miles outside in 1:20

Friday | rest
Wedding weekend shenanigans!

Saturday | rest
Actual wedding shenanigans!

In WDW trip planning news, you are no doubt aware that Disney recently announced more narrators for the Candlelight Processional, including the dates my mom and I will be there. It's... Whoopi Goldberg again! Who you may recall my mom LOOOOVED as narrator last time. I asked her if she wanted to see it again and got a resounding "Let's do it!"

This means we need a CP dining package, because I don't fancy sinking an hour or three into waiting in the standby line. But now I have a bit of a conundrum.

On the day we can see CP, we also have a 4:30pm reservation for the Behind the Seeds tour. All the dining package lunch ADRs come with a ticket to the 5pm CP, so that won't work - but none of the dinner ADRs are later than 5:30pm. Even if I take a later ADR, I need to change my BtS tour time... but if I'm doing that, I could just as easily also maneuver the schedule so that we can a late morning BtS tour, lunch, and then the 5pm CP... and any way I slice it, I'm looking at one hell of a jam-packed day, so maybe we should do BtS on our Epcot morning instead...?

I dunno. I'm still working through it. Meanwhile I grabbed a dinner dining package ADR for safety. At least WDW planning problems are my favorite kinds of problems!

Anyway, GUINAN.

And blog roundups are my favorite kind of roundup:

- The Runner's Guide to WDW walks us through runDisney costume creation.
- Disney In Your Day recaps D23's Lion King panel.
- This Fairy Tale Life takes us inside Disneyland's exclusive Club 33.
- Parkeology rides it's a small world eclipse-style.
- The Main Street Gazette has the jump on Epcot Food & Wine Festival recommendations.
- easyWDW eats at Boma and I am jealous.
- WDW for Grownups eats at Be Our Guest and I am not too jealous because I have an ADR for December!
- Disney Nerds checks out the (non-alcoholic) bars of Disneyland.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

In Which Jenn Secures All Her Belongings Inside The Ride Vehicle EVERY TIME

(Source)

Say what you will about Dinoland USA, but I have an unabashed love of its flagship ride: Dinosaur. Equal parts intense and absurd, scary and silly, it's a great example of a non-coaster, dark ride/thrill ride hybrid.

After many years and many trips to the past, I can now make it all the way through the ride without shutting my eyes once (I said it was kinda scary!). My one remaining fear? That all my stuff is very carefully stowed in the pocket in front of me. Travel back with me to the much less distant past: 2009.

I was at WDW with a grad school friend - for safety, I'll just call her D - and her two younger sisters, here referred to as B and S (because those are their initials; no subtle commentary here!). We rode Dinosaur. We loved Dinosaur. We left the park for the Magic Kingdom. We went to get a snack at the dearly departed Main Street Bakery. While we ate, we checked our phones, of course, because we are millennial degenerates. Only... B's phone was gone.

How was this possible? She knew she'd put it in her bag, in the side pocket. That was before Dinosaur. But she didn't recall ever checking for it after...

B hadn't put her bag in the ride vehicle's pocket - I think because it didn't quite fit? I'm not sure. She held the strap the whole time and it was fine. But despite the phone being stored in a pocket, it became apparent that the crazy jostling of the time rover had bounced her phone right out of her bag and, presumably, onto the show floor. Her phone was now chilling in the late Cretaceous period.

We immediately went to guest services, where B filled out a lost and found sheet. We were told that there was a nightly sweep of all ride areas, and if her phone was there, it would be located then. In the meantime, we could only wait.

Here's where the magic of Disney kicks in: the very next morning, we got a call that B's phone had been retrieved from Dinosaur! A quick swing by central lost and found and they were reunited.

So all's well that ends well. But it was a stressful experience all the same. And an educational one - you really can't be too careful when it comes to stowing your belongings! Even pockets, without zippers or similar closures, can't be trusted. That's true of all rides, of course, but Dinosaur, with its incessant bouncing and open cars, now makes me extra paranoid.

Maybe next time I can tell you about that time I left my phone in an orange team Mission: Space capsule...

Have you ever lost anything important at a Disney park? Did you get it back?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 8/23

Ummmmmmm... hold on. Did anything interesting happen to me last week? Somebody tell me.


Training log, you got anything?

Sunday | ran 11.14 miles outside in 2:00

Monday | 2.14 mile walk outside in 35 minutes; 50 minute modern dance class

Tuesday | ran 5.68 miles outside in 60 minutes

Wednesday | walked 2.18 miles outside in 35 minutes; 55 minute workout class
Nobody showed up for hip hop dance class except me, so the teacher and I just said the hell with it and did an, I don't know, "body pump" kinda workout thing. Good for my arms and abs so I was down for it.

Thursday | ran 5.65 miles outside in 35 minutes

Friday | ran 5.6 miles outside in 60 minutes
SO HUMID, GUYS. (It's kind of a thing lately and I'm not into it.)

Saturday | rest

When I first started running seriously, I was doing three 10 mile runs a week because I had lots of time and beginner's enthusiasm. Once that was revealed for the insanity that it clearly is (enter: overuse injuries, serious boyfriend, generally doing things that aren't running, did I mention overuse injuries?) I modified that schedule to two 10 milers and a 5 miler. Once I transitioned to doing most of my runs in the morning before work, I've gone from two long runs and a short to one long run and three short in the average week. Honestly I think it's one of the smarter moves I've made - so far the injuries are at a minimum and I feel pretty good about my training. We'll see how it all shakes out as the fall race season hits.

Hey, you know that conference I usually go to every summer? I run the 5K? I went to Universal that one time? Well, I wasn't able to go this year, but NEXT year it's... wait for it... IN ORLANDO again. Not only is it in Orlando, IT'S IN THE SWOLPHIN. Oh my God, guys... I could be a Crescent Lake snob. It's a whole year away so there are no guarantees, but man that would be awesome.

Speaking of awesome, enjoy this roundup.

- Elbowglitter volunteers at a triathlon.
- Darling Rae preaches the gospel of CrossFit for runners. I'm not a joiner, but it definitely proves I really need to up my cross-training game...
- Inside the Magic highlights my ABSOLUTELY ALL TIME FAVORITE Disney cartoons - Goofy's instructional shorts.
- Parkeology shares one last secret from the dearly departed Great Movie Ride.
- easyWDW reviews Epcot's Spice Road Table. Trying to decide if I want to take my mom there in December...
- Disney In Your Day counts down WDW's top 10 counter service restaurants.
- This Fairy Tale Life shares what goes down in a Disneyland wedding brunch tasting.
- Disney Nerds eats the famous Monte Cristo sandwich at Disneyland's Cafe Orleans. I can't believe I didn't do this. Next time!

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

In Which Elizabeth Is Running Her First 10K Ever

You guys remember Elizabeth, right? I have dragged her along on several WDW trips. She is such an excellent travel companion that I am slowly grooming her for the cult of runDisney.

Kidding! Kidding. She makes her own decisions. Totally autonomous. And I'm sure my nagging and cajoling and promising to run with her had NO impact on her decision to sign up for her very first 10K in November - the Across the Bay 10K on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

She'd never classify herself as a runner, but I'd say that by now she's done enough 5Ks to claim the title if she wants it. She can absolutely tackle the 10K distance as long as she puts in the training. It's gonna be awesome!

I think a lot of us have been running distance races for so long that we've forgotten what it's like to be taking our first tentative steps into the race world, so I made asked Elizabeth to shoot me her thoughts on signing up for her first 10K ever. She even provided illustrations!
I am torn between my dislike of long-distance running and my affection for the Bay Bridge, which is apparently the scariest bridge in the country to drive over, but that only makes me love it more.  I figure 10K can't be THAT much harder than 5, right? And those views! Anyway, the Across the Bay 10K seemed like the least-objectionable way for me to try my hand (foot?) at something a little more challenging, and Annapolis is a pretty fun area for doing some practice runs, assuming I don't trip on the bricks.  Hopefully I won't embarrass myself too badly come November. If nothing else, I'll end up with a good "that time I freaked out trying to run over the bridge and had to be carried off" story.  :)
Both of these together probably sum up my conflicted feelings: 


Do you remember your first long distance race? Have you ever dragged a friend into the running community?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Monday, August 21, 2017

In Which There Was Blood On The Saddle

So there I am, minding my own business at my parents' house. Am I there because in the morning my dad is going to drive me to the airport so I can go to Walt Disney World? I don't remember. Probably. Statistically likely.

Anyway, I come out of the bathroom next to the computer room and: there it is. I'm briefly uncertain. Is it...? It totally is. I grab it and bring it to my dad. "Do you know who this is???" I demand.

"Sure," he replies immediately. "That's Big Al from The Country Bear Jamboree. Your grandfather loved him!"


Guys. There is a Big Al piggy bank chilling in my parents' house. That my grandfather bought in WDW! The Country Bears are my family legacy! Who knew? Well, my dad, obviously, so maybe the question is more why didn't he tell me???

I get the idea this item was pretty common - a brief internet search yields the same model for $20 to $30. I'm guessing it's from the '80s but I'm not sure.

On a related note, this car is always parked at the gas station near my ballet studio:


I guess you could say Al and I frequent the same places.

Ever found any random Disney merch in an unexpected place?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

In Which Jenn Selects New Running Shoes (Small Giveaway!)


Hey, remember that time I went to Road Runner Sports for a shoe fitting and walked out of the store with the Nike Vomero 10? And remember how I wasn't sure it was the right shoe for me after awhile? And then remember how I ended up loving it and using it anyway?

And then remember how Nike ruined everything by changing the Vomero 11 so much that it didn't feel like my shoe anymore? :( :( :(

When your favorite running shoe betrays you, there is only one cure: a new fitting. In that spirit, I used my half-day off last week to head back to that same Road Runner Sports for a new go-round with their Shoe Dog fitting system.

The Shoe Dog process starts with a fitter asking you some questions about your goals, mileage, injuries, etc., and measures you feet. After that you run on a treadmill while a video records your steps (one thing that was different - last time they had me do it barefoot, whereas this time they put me in some neutral, basic sneakers).

A weird thing happened: after watching the video, my fitter declared that I had mildly flexible ankles and needed a support shoe. Last time my fitter declared that while I had some very slight flexibility in one ankle I was definitely neutral and he would never put me in a support shoe. So shoe fitting is not an exact science, I guess...

Anyway, with my new diagnosis in hand I headed over to the try-on area, where some employees brought me a bunch of shoes to try. There were several treadmills available, and I was left to pop a pair on and give a bit of running a try largely unsupervised (it was pretty busy and I guess I looked like I knew what I was doing?).


First up were some New Balances; I'm not sure what model as I couldn't seem to locate that info on the box. Not that it mattered because the second I hit the treadmill I haaaaaaated them - they were so loud and clunky and stompy! I felt like a Clydesdale and not in a good, majestic way. Just a loud, clunky, stompy way. Instant pass.

Next I tried some Asics Gel Kayanos. I liked these well enough and found the gel interesting underneath my toes, so I stuck them in the maybe pile. One annoying thing, though: there was a tag attached to the laces, something informational about the gel, I think, and I was constantly afraid I would trip on it as I ran. Knock that off, Asics!

I also took shots at the Brooks Adrenaline and Adidas Boost Supernova, but neither of them really registered with me. I didn't feel blind hatred a la the New Balances - I even gave the Adrenaline a second chance - but they both ultimately went into the no pile.

One thing I remember distinctly when selecting the Nike Zoom Vomero 10s was the beautiful fit. I specifically recall pulling them onto my feet and feeling Cinderella-esque comfort. I hadn't been brought any Nikes, but I wanted to know if they could pull it off again.

I was initially brought a pair of Nike Odysseys, and they looked like the winner for awhile - essentially the structured version of the Vomero. But there was something slightly off. The fit wasn't flawless; I felt my foot inside the shoe, if that makes any sense. I had accepted this in shoe fittings in the past, but after my transcendent Vomero 10 experience I was reluctant to do so again.


So I requested any other structured Nikes with medium-high cushioning they had - and when I slipped on the Lunarglides, I knew I'd found the one. It was that same incredible feeling of the shoe kind of... existing around my foot, you know? Bonus: they were $30 cheaper than the Odysseys and super cute. Score!


Did I make the right call? That remains to be seen. I learned from the Vomeros that sometimes you have to give your body time to adjust to change (I'm a slow learner). I've taken the Lunarglides on a couple runs now, and so far so good. Further updates as events warrant!

Mini-contest of sorts! My receipt came with a one-time-use $20 off coupon to Road Runner for a friend. Should work online, not just in store. (Sadly it's for new customers only.) I'd be happy to give this away to anyone that wants it. If that includes you, reply to this post by noon Monday. If only one person replies, great! It's yours. If multiple people want it, I'll assign numbers and randomly pick a winner. And if no one responds by the deadline, the first person to ask for it gets it regardless of time lapse so long as the coupon hasn't expired (September 30). Good luck!

Cannot be used on Nike's latest release, the Ruffian (runs large).

When was the last time you had a sneaker fitting? What criteria do you use to make your selections?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 8/15

As of Friday, I am an innovator. Let's look at the logs:

Sunday | ran 12.11 miles on the treadmill in 2:00
My first experience at Planet Fitness! I'll be doing a full review at some point in the next couple weeks; needless to say it was a touching treadmill reunion.

Monday | walked 2.19 miles in 40 minutes; 50 minute Horton jazz dance class
It was raining, but no worries - I brought my amazing bubble umbrella. Unfortunately, I discovered that it is extremely difficult to keep up a brisk walking pace when your feet are slip-sliding around in wet rubber flip flops.

Tuesday | ran 5.64 miles outside in 60 minutes

Wednesday | ran 5.63 miles outside in 60 minutes

Thursday | walked 2.15 miles in 35 minutes; 80 minute ballet class
My ballet teacher played Broadway music for our exercises for some reason and it was the BEST CLASS EVER. Judy Garland and Gene Kelly and everything!

This is what I see when I close my eyes to sleep.

Friday | ran 5.14 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes
Back to Planet Fitness and the glorious treadmill for a speed run in brand new sneakers! More on my sneaker fitting later this week.

Now for my innovation: I discovered after my post-workout shower that despite my otherwise impeccable packing job, I had thoroughly failed to stash myself any kind of bottoms - no shorts, no pants, no skirt. Nothin.' The most obvious answer would be to put my running pants back on, but I was clean and they were all sweaty and gross. Nooo thank you.

Yes, I was suffering from a lack of pants, but what I did have was the extra t-shirt I brought to dry my hair. I can't remember if it was a medium or a large, but whatever the case, I managed to shimmy the collar over my shoulders and down around my waist, where it sat very comfortably. I tucked in the sleeves, pulled my (mercifully long) regular, torso-covering shirt down over it, and BAM: I was wearing a skirt. And no underwear, but whatevs. Problem solved!

I'd hate to be the one to have to follow that magnificent story. Which brings me to the roundup.

- Tragedy has wrung the tears out of the Disney blogosphere as both Universe of Energy and The Great Movie Ride are closed for good as of today. The Disney Tourist Blog, The Disney Hipsters, futureprobe, and Disney Travel Babble all join me in mourning the sad goodbye to Ellen and Bill Nye...
- ... and The Disney Tourist Blog (twofer!), Zannaland, Parkeology, and Rolling with the Magic wave fond farewell to The Great Movie Ride.
- easyWDW tries out the latest iteration of the IllumiNations dessert party, an experience we can be reasonably sure will never go away so long as Disney finds us willing to lay down large sums of money for unlimited cupcakes.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Monday, August 14, 2017

In Which Jenn Notes Something Odd About "Jolly Holiday"

A truly great animated film transcends age, appealing to audiences of all ages. Of course, sometimes there are jokes aimed squarely adults that fly merrily over the kids' heads, often sexual, political, or otherwise sly. When we go back and re-view the films of our childhoods, it's not uncommon to have a couple OHHHHH moments.

Patty-cake?!

Here's my favorite: in Mary Poppins, there's an entire verse of the "Jolly Holiday" song dedicated to the fact that unlike many men, you can totally trust Bert not to rape you.


Let's break it down.

Mary Poppins sings:

Oh, it's a jolly holiday with you, Bert
Gentlemen like you are few [BERT: A vanishing breed, that's me]
Though you're just a diamond in the rough, Bert
Underneath your blood is blue [BERT: Common knowledge!]

Okay, MPopps, with you so far: you're saying Bert is a blue collar worker with a genteel soul. Do go on.

You'd never think of pressing your advantage
Forbearance is the hallmark of your creed [BERT: True]

So, like, Bert's #1 rule is not to hit on girls? Okay, that's fair. What else?

A lady needn't fear when you are near
Your sweet gentility is crystal clear

A lady needn't fear? And this is a vanishing breed? What the hell are the men in Edwardian England like?

It's cool though, ladies; you can be sure Bert won't sexually assault you. What a guy.

(Actually, I know why they did this - P.L. Travers insisted that there be no sexual or romantic tension between Mary Poppins and Bert,* and I guess this verse was drawing the explicit line. But geez, guys. Subtle much?)

* Julie Andrews is on record as saying that she hopes the two got together all the same. Also she assures us that Mary Poppins both uses the bathroom and has orgasms. God, I love her.

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In Which Jenn Has A Favorite Pre-runDisney Meal

I have a runDisney suggestion for you. It's not that exciting. You are not going to be jazzed about it. But you have to trust me.

Articles abound about the best place to carb-load pre-runDisney race. Pasta places and pizza places are the favorites - Via Napoli, Tony's, restaurants with flatbreads and noodle dishes. If you don't want to have a sit-down meal, a lot of resorts have make-your-own-pasta stations.

Well, sit-down restaurants can be expensive and time-consuming. It may be tough to get the ADR you want. And I can tell you from experience that the lines for those resort pasta stations the night before a race are loooooong.

I would like to offer a different solution. It is multi-pronged. It is available at just about every resort. It is about as cheap as Disney gets. It is: The Pasta Kid's Meal.


Clocking in at the time of this writing around $6, the pasta kid's meal nets you a bowl of pasta with the sauce of your choice (and sometimes a meatball if you want one and your resort offers that option, as I find only some do), two sides, and a small drink. Some CMs will even throw in a breadstick for free, although some count this as a side.

I am not going to lie to you. This pasta with sauce is, to be frank, not delicious. It's extremely bland. It's kids' food; it's designed to be bland. I'm not talking about a taste sensation here. I'm talking food that will carb you up good WITHOUT MESSING WITH YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM. Very important, that last bit. And the kid-size bowl is built in portion-control; no risk of overeating pre-race.

But that's not the only advantage of this meal. It multi-tasks! Your $6 meal comes with a small drink. Choose the mini bottle of water. Buy an additional bottle of PowerAde for tonight and drink that mini bottle in the morning before your race.

You also earn two sides. These could be grapes or apples or carrots or cookies, depending on location. I always get two cookies. I eat one with my pasta and save the other for first thing in the morning while prepping for the race. It's delicious and small enough that even when I'm not hungry yet, I don't have trouble downing it, thus sending me into the race with a shot of carbs and sugar. Energy ahoy!

Am I describing an amazing meal? God, no. But I've used this strategy three races in a row and felt great for all three of 'em - energized and sated without feeling heavy. Give it a try!

What's your favorite pre-runDisney meal?

Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!