Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In Which Jenn Goes On A Halloween Run

Happy Halloween! In honor of this festive holiday, I did the only thing I could: I slapped on a pair of Minnie ears and went for a run.



It was my first run since the marathon and I was sooooooooo slow, but my IT Band held up okay so I'm calling it a win. But none of the other runners I passed were wearing any costumes. What a bunch of ADULTS.

Anyway. As I ran along with great dignity and refinement, I had an idea: what if someone put together a haunted run? I'm not talking about a zombie run or any such thing that already exists; I mean a haunted maze you're supposed to run through.

See, the reason I hate haunted houses is that I have a very strong fight-or-flight instinct. When I'm scared, I want to either punch the offending thing or run away immediately, or both of which are strongly discouraged in your standard haunted houses. I despise shuffling through close quarters knowing for certain any moment something's gonna jump out at me and there's nothing I can do to defend myself. ("But it's not real!" WELL MY IMAGINATION IS MORE POWERFUL THAN YOURS SHUT UP.)

But what if there was a haunted trail designed to be run through? Naturally it couldn't be as visceral as a regular haunted house, but there could be spooky atmosphere and intimidating silhouettes looming in the distance and whispering voices and scary vignettes you got to RUN PAST. Jump scares would be strictly verboten. 

Bonus: if you get freaked out, simply run faster!

I love this concept because I'm into the idea of a lot of horror-themed activities, I just can't manage to enjoy the actual product, what with my jumpiness and all. It wouldn't have to be a race; it could just be a course to run for fun. Of course you'd probably need to make every runner sign a waiver twelve pages long, but they say nothing good comes easy.

And yes, there could be ghostly balloon ladies. All roads lead to runDisney, after all.

What do you think of my haunted trail idea? Does it already exist and if so, how do I sign up? If not, should I try to set it up or just cut out the middleman and sue myself?

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, October 26, 2017

In Which Jenn Kills A Bug With Her Face At Busch Gardens Williamsburg


After the physical difficulty of the Baltimore Marathon, my quads and Achilles were shot. Naturally I chose to spend my Sunday traipsing all over Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

WORTH IT.

Honestly it was probably good for me to keep myself moving and stretch out my muscles, and anyway we had an awesome time. And with a half price Groupon, why not?

BGW, for those unfamiliar, is themed to the various countries of Europe (mostly; New France, how'd you get here, eh?). The entry area is England (the "Main Street USA" if you will) followed by a Scotland hub. It was here I enjoyed the highlight of the whole day: I PET A BORDER COLLIE. Her name was Daisy and she was the sweetest and YES I would love an amusement park that was nothing but cuddly animals please build that for me.

But after our snuggly pitstop in the Highland Stables it was time to get down to the real business of BGW: the roller coasters. As soon as the lands opened we hightailed straight to the park's newest coaster, InvaDR. A hybrid wooden/steel coaster, this was... only okay, frankly. It was neither particularly swoopy nor speedy nor elaborately themed. After one ride we wandered off...

... And over to France for Pat's favorite coaster in the park and possibly the world, Griffon. It's a dive coaster with a vertical drop of over 200 feet, and riding in the front row is mandatory. 

Next up was Apollo's Chariot, my favorite coast in the park (but not the world). This coaster is so smooth and full of air time that riding it is almost soothing. I love the bunny hops at the end!

Finally we took a couple spins on Verbolten, the most Disney-esque ride in the whole park if you ask me. It's barely more than a kiddie coaster but the queue is elaborately themed and the coaster itself features a show building with a vague storyline.

It's kinda crazy how slow it was in the off season - by noon we'd taken multiple rides on all the coasters we cared about. We spent the remainder of the afternoon wandering around, poking around in shops, having a couple drinks at the pirate bar in the Italy area, and occasionally taking in an additional coaster ride.

We had lunch at the Squire's Grille, which seems to largely fly under the radar. The fare is simple - burgers and chicken nuggets and the like - but honestly it was better than any of the Festhaus or Trapper's Smokehouse offerings. If you're just looking to get some food in you with a minimal wait, I'd highly recommend it.

The Howl-O-Scream crowd started rolling in around 2pm, so we took in some shows instead. The More Pet Shenanigans show was cute and of course the animals were adorable, but the acting was pretty cringey. I wish they didn't act at all. 

As for the new predator show, it's... largely the same, if you ask me. They've rearranged things a bit and the dialogue's been tweaked but, again, ENOUGH WITH THE ACTING. Just present the animals already! 

We were both pretty tired by that point and Pat wanted to go grocery shopping that night, so above my feeble protests he led me out around 5pm. So we missed all the Howl-O-Scream stuff. But I hate haunted houses so whatever. If we go again next year I'd like to check out some of the Terror-tories, though.

This is the fourth time I've recapped a day at BGW on this blog, and I worry sometimes that it's all too repetitive to be worth posting. And I rarely have many pictures because of BGW's no bags on rides policy; my phone (and everything else) is shoved in my bra most of the day.

I knew going in if I wanted to do a post I'd need to find an interesting hook, but before I could even really get any ideas going it happened for me:

It was our second ride on Griffon. As we surged down that first, massive drop something hit me in the teeth and lip and then just hung there. The coursing wind quickly blew it off but I was bothered the whole rest of the ride - what WAS that? 

Pat was quite convinced it was a bug. Okay, that's a story of sorts in an of itself. But it got much more interesting when we noticed on subsequent rides that there are wasps ALL OVER the track of the first hill. So PROBABLY I killed a wasp WITH MY FACE.

And we all know what that means: I AM JUST LIKE FABIO.



Have you ever been to Busch Gardens Williamsburg? Have your ever killed a bug with your face?

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, October 25, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 10/25

Needless to say this week was not my greatest triumph. Oh well; next week is rest week too and then after that hopefully I can start getting back to normal.

Sunday | rest

Monday | 40 minute abs and arms sequence

Tuesday | rest
I decided, in anticipation of the marathon, to do NONE of my regular exercise this week. No training runs, no walks, no ballet, the idea being this would allow my IT Band to heal.

Wednesday | 40 minute abs and arms sequence

Thursday | rest

Friday | 40 minute abs and arms sequence
This was also expo day! I left work early and drove to the Baltimore Convention Center where a decent expo spread was set up. I liked a lot of the Under Armour official race gear but nothing I liked was still available in my size. Nothing much else struck my fancy.

The one booth I did hit up was KT Tape. Most of the employees had been siphoned off to the Marine Corps Marathon expo, so there was only one guy working the table. And man, was he HUSTLING. He was taping legs and selling tape like nobody's business. If he wasn't being paid double he should be.

I had him tape my IT Band and he did it slightly differently from how to KT Tape YouTube video recommended, but I ended up liking it a lot better and it held up great during the race. 

It looked like this!

Also he told me I had very soft skin, which in the context of his earnest disposition was sweet but out of context is something a serial killer would say...?

Saturday | The Baltimore Marathon - 27.46 miles in 5:23
As previously established: bad news bears. And I still think it's weird that my GPS logged so much more mileage, but what can ya do.

I spent the night at my parents' house before the race, and while there I dropped off a bag of Disney clothes for my mom to try on - White Rabbit and Eeyore tees, a Minnie tank, even my Cheshire Cat dress. When we go in December, I want her to get into the spirit of the thing!

We'll see how willing she is to cooperate, of course; REAL adults can be strangely resistant to tapping into fantasy dressing. I, being a sub-adult at best, have no such qualms. The important thing to remember is that it's Walt Disney World and you can be as childlike as you want.

Roundup!


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, October 24, 2017

In Which Jenn Recaps The Baltimore Marathon


I ran this race with my heart. I want to be absolutely clear that when I say this I mean it metaphorically, because "I ran this race with my heart" is just a nicer way of saying "my physical body failed me."

And with that cheery start, let's dive into a recap of the Baltimore Marathon!

My morning began with my dad very kindly dropping me off at Camden Yards, the site of the race start. (Always encourage your parents to live near airports and large race events.) I was uncertain what times the roads would close so I got there unnecessarily early, but hey, better early than late.

I was so early, in fact, that the race organizers were still in the process of setting up the start fences and banners and such. I killed time alternately wandering around and hiding in the comparative warmth of the bathrooms. (Yes, real bathrooms! Courtesy of the baseball stadium.)

About the weather - it started off chilly, but by the time the afternoon hit it was pushing 80 degrees. Not horribly humid, thankfully, but not ideal running weather. That's strike one. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to my kinda terrible marathon!

A little before the 8am scheduled start I wandered into the corral area, which was self-selected with labeled minute-per-mile sections. I ran into the 5 hour pace group and decided to stick with them - it seemed like a reasonable way to pace myself.


The Baltimore Marathon, while a fairly large race, isn't nearly as huge as the Marine Corps Marathon, and has less fanfare accordingly. An anthem and a few remarks from the mayor later and we were off. It only took two minutes to get from the 11 minute mile area to the starting time pad!

Now seems like good a time as any to reminder you all that I had been suffering from IT Band issues for a couple weeks. I got the KT Tape booth guy at the expo to tape it up and it seemed to help a lot, but I approached this race with some trepidation and the ultimate goal to finish in one piece.

And as I started off, it seemed feasible. I kept up just fine with the 5 hour pace group, and no horrific pain accompanied me. Things were looking up!

The course took us through Druid Hill Park and into the Maryland Zoo, where my run real regret of the race took place: they had a penguin out for photo ops and I didn't stop. I was trying to stay with my pace group, but (spoiler alert!) since this didn't end up happening anyway I may as well have gotten my penguin photo. Next time! Other than that we mostly ran through unexciting portions of the zoo with no animals, but I can see how that would be necessary for maintaining their comfort.

After that we headed into several miles of Baltimore streets, which included some hilly portions. I was okay, though, because I had picked up some conversation buddies from my pace group, including an awesome lady from Orlando who was going for 50 marathons in 50 states and planned to run the Atlantic City Marathon the very next day. (If you're ready this: hi, Wendy! How'd it go?) I chatted with her and others off and on and felt pretty okay. My troublesome right IT Band felt good! Things were going well!


Then around the halfway point it happened: I stopped to pee. Rookie mistake, but I had to go. Of course I lost my pace group, so I took off by myself at an unintended but naturally brisker clip. Around mile 14 I could see them and I was happy... and then my IT Band started screaming. The pain! The agony! THE LEFT ONE!

Yes, my OTHER IT Band decided to make its presence very, very known. Right, historically problematic IT Band? Fine! Left, historically well-behaved IT Band? RAGING!

As the race progressed, it was a more and more serious problem. But for the next couple miles I was able to keep running, albeit at a slower pace. I ran past the global headquarters of Under Armour, through Patterson Park, and up Washington Street. I lost my pace group. It was hot. My It Band was increasingly upset. There were rolling hills. Things were bleak.




So at the 18 mile mark, I busted out my headphones, packed in my wristlet specifically for this occasion. I jammed out to the new J. Roddy Walston & The Business album, then looped the Moana soundtrack for the remainder of the race. It was definitely a big help.

By the time I hit mile 20 and Lake Montebello, it was bad. I turned to some poor man's effed up intervals: running anywhere from 10 to 50 feet, stopping to walk the same, running again. It was gross, but still several minutes per mile faster than walking. I didn't want to walk the whole thing in; I knew I had the time but it felt like giving up.

Another annoying thing was that by the time I hit the last 6 miles my GPS was a full mile ahead of the official mile markers. I'm used to some discrepancy but at the end of the race my watch registered 27.46. That seems like a lot over marathon distance but it's a certified course so what do I know? But it was sad knowing that I was actually a whole mile behind what my watch was telling me.

Things improved in the 23-24 mile area when at least the course was mostly downhill. I was still doing my dreadful excuse for intervals but the downhill made it easier. And the spectators were out in force. I got lots of high fives! Bonus points to the super talented girl playing random snatches of jazz trumpet.

When the finish line loomed into my vision, I was shot. I run-walked my way across about 25 minutes slower than I should have been, absolutely certain from a personal standpoint, it was the worse race ever. But damn, how 'bout that medal?



The finish line festival was in the Inner Harbor, and that at least was pretty awesome. There were all sorts of tents up, free food and drinks for runners, and the Harbor itself. (Hello, National Aquarium!) I plopped down on a curb, tore into some Utz salt and vinegar chips, and pondered my life choices.

The good news is I don't think I damaged my body in any permanent fashion. My Achilles tendons and quads are sore as hell from my altered gait and my left knee has developed a sliiiight twinge, but nothing a little rest can't cure (knock on wood). And I finished. Always a good day when you finish.

I picked up a Lyft to my parents' house, then drove home where Pat gave me Malbec and homemade mac and cheese. The end.

This one might require a redemption run.

Have you ever had a really bad race?

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, October 19, 2017

In Which Marathon Time Is Upon Jenn Once Again

Last week I dreamed that for some reason I thought the Baltimore Marathon was a virtual race I could complete on the treadmill. But then I was in the city and people were running a real course! I thought if I changed into my running gear really fast I could make it to the start line, but I kept getting sidetracked and then I heard an announcement that the start was now closed and then I woke up.

So it must be marathon time!



Yes, marathon #8 is upon us - this Saturday I will run the Baltimore Marathon. I'm not sure how it's going to go. On the one hand I completed strong 15-, 17-, and 20-mile training runs. On the other, I have recent knee issues, I haven't run in almost two weeks because of said knee issues, and I hear the course gets hilly in spots.

Oh well! Nothing I can do except show up for the race and see what happens. At least without training runs to worry about I've been able to really concentrate on the other aspects of preparation: sleep, hydration, carbohydrates, the works.

Honestly, as long as I finish in a minimally pained state I'll be happy. (The nice thing about going into a race with low expectations is that the odds of being disappointed decrease significantly.*)

Anyway. Round 8. I've got my fuel, I've got my tape, I've got my throwaway clothes. Time to do the thing. Wish me luck!

* BUT DO NOT GO AWAY.

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, October 18, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 10/18

Hey, remember that time when my knee started bothering me and I wrote this whole post about how I took some unscheduled rest days and sometimes you have to do that and then you're all better yay?

Hahahahaha PSYCH.

Oh, man, guys. This isn't good. I have a marathon THIS SATURDAY and while this is self-diagnosed I am 97% sure I'm having IT Band issues. The good news is that I've at least been smart enough to rest it and with the judicious application of some KT Tape sent by angels I have improved the situation considerably. The bad news is that frick frick frick, I'm going into a marathon with an uncertain health status and my recent training has been shot all to hell.

See?

Sunday | rest
This was wise.

Monday | ran 9.12 miles on the treadmill in 1:35
This was ultimately not wise. But I wanted one more long run before the marathon! I did not consider it could be my LAST run before the marathon...

Tuesday | walked 2.43 miles outside in 40 minutes; 65 minute ballet class
This probably wasn't the best idea either, but I was desperate to keep up the rest of my exercise schedule, so...

Wednesday | 40 minutes of arm and ab work

Thursday | rest
It occurred to me that ballet was doubtless not helping, so I gave that up too. I don't know if you know this already, but injuries SUCK.

Friday | 40 minutes of arm and ab work

Saturday | rest

So that's where I stand. The KT Tape is helping a lot, but I'm not sure if I should risk trying for one more training run or if I should just go into the race cold but with a presumably even healthier IT Band. Help?

Should I just eat my marathon Sour Patch Kids in advance or what?

Non-sequiter: ROUNDUP.


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, October 17, 2017

In Which Jenn Unscrambles Disney Trivia

I got an amazing text from Elizabeth a couple weeks ago.


In case you can't see the image, here's the gist: Elizabeth's trivia team was the only one to correctly answer a Disney-themed bonus round answer. It was an anagram that contained the name of the Disney movie AND the name of a character in that movie.

Obviously I immediately demanded that she tell me the clue, just as I'm sure you, too, are screaming that at your screen. Far be it for me to deny you. Behold!

DEALT LEG THONG

Go ahead, think about it. I'll wait. (Don't look at the keywords; that's cheating!)

...

...

...

No pressure, but Elizabeth said I got it even faster than she did.

...

...

...


Ready for the answer? Well, GET ready, because here it is:

TANGLED, GOTHEL

And that, children, is yet another example of how encyclopedic Disney knowledge can win the day.

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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

In Which Jenn Selects Her Favorite WDW Bars

My cousin's wife, by some great fortune, is a Disney parks nut. Whenever I hang out with my dad's side of the family, we inevitably end up talking shop. That's awesome. What's less awesome: my cousin himself is not that into it.

Oh, he goes on the trips, of course, but while his wife and I are chatting about which resort they're staying at and FastPass+ strategy, he's in the background, grumbling. "All I'm saying," is his refrain, "is if I didn't have kids, it's not the vacation I would choose."

Fine. Not everything is for everyone. I have a mental strategy to handle anti-Disney rhetoric. But there are clues in his grousing that explain why he might not be having the best time.

"It's expensive," is a common theme. Which, well, yeah. Disney vacations are indeed expensive. They at least take a shot at making you enjoy the wallet raid, though. The goal is "Man, Disney took all the money I have, and I loved it!" That addendum is a very important part of the experience.

Not to say you can't have fun at Disney on the cheap, but I think my cousin's taking things a little to far. "I'm bringing my own beer," he declared of their next WDW outing. "I'll have a couple six packs of Miller Lite in the fridge. I'm not paying $11 for a beer!"

Which, okay, fair enough. WDW prices are no doubt inflated. But I think this is entirely the wrong attitude to take. I understand not wanting to pay that much for a drink, but now you're drinking regular beer... of the same type you always drink at home... in your resort room... out of a mini fridge? Dude. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY INTRICATELY THEMED AND DESIGNED BARS FULL OF DELICIOUSLY UNIQUE LIBATIONS YOU ARE SQUANDERING???

Sorry; got a little excited there. To each their own. It was all I could do to bite my tongue and say that followed immediately by a long string of restaurant, bar, and beer recommendations. But it did get me thinking: if someone were to ask me to recommend the best bar in each park, what would I tell them?

The Magic Kingdom
This one is easy: the answer is no. I don't care if they've added alcohol to some of the restaurants; restaurants are not the same as bars, and from what I hear the selection isn't very good anyway. The only real option here is to hop the resort monorail. The question is: to where?

Initially I intended to pick one bar per park, but I'm going to immediately break my own rule here because I think it depends on what you're looking for. Craft brews and wines? Get off at the Contemporary and march yourself right into The Wave. Likewise, if it's nighttime and you think you can wheedle your way in, I'd try for a coveted spot in the lounge area of California Grill for some fireworks watching. And if cocktails are your jam, Trader Sam's at the Polynesian is a must. I think the latter is my pick given no other criteria.


Epcot
... Oh, shoot. The World Showcase has so many options... can I cheat again? No? Okay. I'm going to say La Cava del Tequila is my bar recommendation here, because the inside of the Mexico pavilion is absolutely enchanting and I dig margaritas. But know that Tutto Gusto wine bar in Italy is a solid second choice.


Disney's Animal Kingdom
Nomad Lounge, hands down. Delicious drinks, nifty atmosphere. It juuust edges out Dawa Bar because their specialty cocktails are premixed, but they do have Burudika and other entertainment, so I wouldn't blame you if you went there instead.


Disney's Hollywood Studios
THE BROWN DERBY LOUNGE. THE BROWN DERBY LOUNGE. THE BROWN DERBY LOUNGE. Great drinks, great food, great location. Unless it rains. Then, uh... good luck, kids.


What are you favorite WDW bars? Do you think I'm being too hard on my cousin? Or do you think I should smuggle a Hightower Rocks back from Nomad so he can better understand his mistake?

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, October 11, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 10/11


As I mentioned yesterday, I developed a minor injury last week that's put a serious cramp in my training style. I'm tapering for the Baltimore Marathon anyway, but I've had to skip more runs than I'd like all the same. Still, if it takes not running at all to not have a miserable marathon, then that's what I'll do.

Training log, go:

Sunday | ran 7.26 miles outside in 1:15
This is where the trouble started. Nothing actually happened; just all the sudden the side of my knee started bothering me. So naturally I...

Monday | ran 5.51 miles outside in 60 minutes
I know. I KNOW. Such a bad idea. If I could take it back I would. But I hadn't yet accepted the reality of my situation, which is why I had to enlist Pat's help.

Tuesday | walked 2.61 miles outside in 40 minutes; 60 minute ballet class
Sat out on the jumps in ballet this week. At least I'm THAT smart.

Wednesday | 35 minutes of arm and ab work
And no morning run. :(

Thursday | walked 2.46 miles in outside in 40 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Friday | 35 minutes of arm and ab work
I was gonna shoot for 45 minutes this time, but Pat texted me about 25 minutes in and asked if I wanted to meet him at the bar so, yeah.

Saturday | rest

It was otherwise a fun, (run)Disney-fied week in some ways - which you already know if you follow me on Twitter. Otherwise, you'll just have a to wait a bit to find out what's up!

Roundup, you're up.


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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

In Which Jenn Doesn't Hurt Herself Worse For Once


During my run last week I experienced some mild knee discomfort, on the side. Just a sort of stiffness, really. It mostly subsided afterward, so like an idiot I just taped it up and ran again the next day. Thankfully this didn't create a firestorm of pain, but the twinginess definitely did not subside.

And so, when my next scheduled run rolled around, I was forced to make a tough decision: do I run or do I take... God forbid... an UNSCHEDULED REST DAY???

Pros: I have a marathon coming up and I don't want to turn a minor issue into a major one. 

Cons: I have a marathon coming up! Loss of fitness! Monthly mileage goals!!! Calories burned!!!!!! THE PLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know if you, too, suffer from dreadful guilt over a run not taken, even with justifiable cause. Maybe I am the sole crazy one in this world (probable). But if you also suffer from irrational exercise compulsions, perhaps you can benefit from my solution, which was this:

I found Pat. Pat used to be a competitive gymnast. He has broken every bone and torn every ligament in his body, basically. He knows a thing or two about healing and recovery. I explained my why I was considering a rest day against my own will, and he said,

"DON'T RUN. Ligaments take forever to heal. If you make it worse you could have a serious injury on your hands."

"So I'm making the right decision?" I responded hopefully.

"You are making the right decision," was his emphatic reply. And I didn't run for a week.

Next time you think you might need a rest day but can't seem to pull the trigger, go find a cooler, wiser head to make the decision for you. Sometimes it takes a little outside perspective, you know?

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

Friday, October 6, 2017

Happy Friday: A Resting-Free Philosophy

"What's a fermata?"

"I don't know. What's a fermata with you?"


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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Fairest Week In Review: 10/04

Ah, yes. Back to normal. More or less. (I wish it was less. Beach, I miss you!)


Pictured: the beach I miss.

Sunday | rest
Gearing up for...

Monday | ran 20.16 miles on the treadmill in 3:25
No, it wasn't that bad, I swear. But it wasn't, like, good. What is it that makes a 20 mile training run so much more painful than the actual marathon?

Tuesday | 70 minute ballet class
I had planned to walk, too, but wound up stuck at Mount Vernon for a business meeting. Because that's how your life goes sometimes when in you're in the arts industry in the DC area.

Wednesday | ran 5.51 miles outside in 60 minutes
This was not as bad as I feared it might be but I was definitely still a bit sore from Monday.

Thursday | walked 3.12 miles outside in 50 minutes
No ballet this day because I instead drove up to Ocean City to meet Pat and his family for an extra beach day! Hooray!

Friday | ran 5.08 miles outside in 50 minutes
As always, the boardwalk is a magical place.

Now for a little WDW vacation planning chat. Namely, let's talk about how I am dumb.

I got the email that my FastPass+ window had opened on Sunday, but I was busy so I didn't jump on it right away. This is generally fine - my mom's not a thrill ride person - BUT it meant that OF COURSE by the time I got around to it (like, less than 48 hours later) all the Flight of Passage FPs were gone. Blast. Forgot about that one.

Oh well. It'll be fine; we'll just kick it in standby early in the morning or late at night. I hear the queue's pretty impressive anyway.

And now for some people who know what they're doing. Roundup!


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

Monday, October 2, 2017

In Which Jenn Runs 20 Miles Thanks To Jeopardy

I didn't have to do it.

There were a million reasons not to. I had the remains of a splinter in my heel. I suspected I might be fighting off a very very low level cold. I'd already run a 17 miler, and that's been enough marathon prep in the past, right?

But it was on the schedule, so I did it: my 20 mile training run.

Normally I knock out my good-marathon-prep-mandatory 20 miler during the National Capital 20 Miler. This is a race put on by a local running club in bare bones fashion; no medals, few spectators, just a bib and an out and back course. BUT. There is course support! Snacks and drinks I don't have to carry FTW!

Unfortunately, this year's race was the same morning I would just be leaving the Outer Banks, so I had to skip. That left me to tackle the dreaded distance alone. And sure, I could've done it outside, but then I would've had to worry about on course supplies and bathroom breaks and water and weather and... forget it. I'd done 20 on a treadmill before and I could do it again.

I can feel 99% of you clenching your pork butts at the mere thought. I hear you! Long distances on the treadmill can blow in a lot of ways. But sometimes they're necessary, and to that end, I figured I'd walk you through mine to see how I cope (for more tips on long runs on the treadmill, click here).

First, supplies. I picked up Swedish Fish and a peanut butter packet for fuel, plus I have a big 32 oz water bottle that I refilled at one point (yet one advantage of the gym setting).

Next, physical prep. I slapped some KT Tape on the hip and knee that have been known to give me trouble. I also hit my chafe points with some Vaseline to prevent discomfort on that front.

Most importantly, entertainment. I think that's where a lot of treadmill-haters get tripped up. Something about the lack of scenery changing makes you all antsy. That's where audio comes in! Fire up your playlist, by all means - but it's important to have a plan. The same old tracks may not cut it when the boring chips are down, so make sure you have a stash you know will excite you.

I highly recommend something with a long through line, such as a full album you love or is new to you, a movie or musical soundtrack, etc. For this occasion I decided to re-listen to the entire Hamilton soundtrack, which I have only done once before (normally I pick and choose favorites). This slammed me through almost 2.5 hours of running time! I have also successfully used Disney park show soundtracks, like Festival of the Lion King.

When the going gets rough, though, music alone may not be enough. I know some people like to watch TV on the treadmill, and that can be a good distraction - but this time around I stumbled upon a surprising distraction solution. Please try this: watch Jeopardy.

I didn't plan this. I just glanced up at one of the gym's many, many TV monitors and there it was. So I started to watch, and get involved with answering (questioning?), and when I next glanced down I realized 5 solid minutes of treadmill time had passed without me noticing it despite being on, I don't know, mile 14 at the time. And so for the next half hour I focused on Jeopardy questions as hard as I could and wouldn't you know, it worked.

So my advice to you is now this: consider intellectual game shows for your long run treadmill needs! Jeopardy! Cash Cab! Reruns of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego!

No, but like, seriously. WHERE?

I know the treadmill is not for everyone, but I hope these tips will help make your next indoor long run more bearable. Next stop: The Baltimore Marathon!

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