Thursday, March 29, 2018

In Which Jenn Pantsed A Mannequin For Running Tights


What is the present-tense of pantsed? Is it "pantses?" That doesn't seem right. Hmmm...

Anyway, let me tell you the story of how I pantsed a mannequin. Twice. Well, once I was more of an accomplice. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

You may recall a coupled months ago I complained of tripping over a wire in the sidewalk and ripping my second favorite pair of long running tights. (THE HUMANITY.) Since then I'd been on the hunt for more running pants, of course, because if there's one thing I don't have enough of it's running gear.*

*I have plenty of running gear. But oh, how I love running gear!

I tend to be pretty cheap, though, so rather than plunk down the money on a pricey pair I instead trolled clearance racks and online sales. I wanted reasonable quality, of course, but I also wanted a killer price. Alas, the weeks went buy and nothing quite tempted me enough to buy.

Then one day I was prowling around the Target activewear section and saw a pair of running tights... down around a mannequin's ankles. Intrigued by this apparent violation of mannequin rights, I investigated. 

I investigated the pants, mind you. (The mannequin was on her own.) The tights hit my boxes - black, with a pocket, high-waisted. Bonus: cute pattern on the legs. I peeked at the size: small. Could work! 

But the mannequin's feet were firmly attached to the podium. Additional wrinkle: those particular running tights were the only of their kind in the store. I checked all the piles and racks - nada. I checked the Target website, and while these particular tights WERE on sale (yay!). they were NOT available for online order (boo). So I slunk away, defeated. 

Eventually someone must've restored the mannequin's dignity, because the next time I went to Target they had been pulled back up to their proper, clay-butt-covering height. And there they stayed... for weeks and weeks. Taunting me.  (This might be a good time to note that I go to Target weekly for my groceries. I don't, like, hang around Target constantly like a '90s mall rat or anything. Although that does sound kinda fun?) 

Finally I couldn't take it any longer. I resolved that if the tights were still on that damned mannequin on my next grocery run, I would find an employee and I would GET THEM OFF THOSE DISEMBODIED LEGS.

Sure enough, next time I hit up Target, there they were! The waist of tights had been pulled down a bit off the half-torso, as if someone saw me coming and tried to rob me of my victory but couldn't get them off in time. After multiple inquiries I was able to track down a staff member who could help me, and that remarkable employee lifted the mannequin off its support post, slipped off the tights, and handed them over to me like it was no big deal.

At the register, they rung up under $9. AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!!!

And that's the story of how I secured THE LAST RUNNING TIGHTS ON EARTH.

Okay, that's not true. But man, was it satisfying all the same.

What's your proudest running gear purchase moment?

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 3/28

Oh, post-marathon run-free, guilt-free week. You come but three times a year of late, but you are so loved. Until we meet again.



Let us linger on the workout log so as to better remember our time together.

Sunday | rest
If you call driving back to Maryland from NC restful. It's really not that bad until you hit northern Virginia, in which case you may as well be in hell.

Monday | walked 2.37 miles outside in 40 minutes, 60 minute ballet class

Tuesday | rest

Wednesday | rest SNOW DAY!
Yes, on the first day of spring it snowed sufficiently to earn Pat and I a day off work. And beautifully timed, too, as since it was rest week I didn't need to stress about missing any training runs to weather. I wish it had lasted longer.

Thursday | walked 2.11 miles outside in 35 minutes
It was cold. And I had to go back to work. Boo.

Friday | walked 4.18 miles outside in 1:05
I had to work late, so I took a midday break to take a long walk. Fun fact: there is a Saks Fifth Avenue a two mile walk from my apartment. You know, in case I ever need one in an emergency.

Saturday | rest

I'm back to the training grindstone, although I'm easing into it with a lighter week. I've got marathons and Two Course Challenges to train for, people!

Roundup:


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

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: Jockey Lindsey's Hangar Bar Review

Alas, the day has come: this is my last post for my December 2017 trip report. Now comes the long dark stretch between now and November's Wine & Dine Half trip.

But why dwell on such tragedies when there is delicious food and drink to be had? My friends, we now return to Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar at Disney Springs. Is my mom an Indiana Jones fan? No she is not! Nevertheless I dragged her in for a late lunch because it's a great bar and I wanted some SOFT PRETZELS, DAMMIT.

We'll get there. First, can we take a moment to admire the holiday decor on the patio?



One of these days I'll sit in the famed diving bell booth, but so far I've been happy to march through the otherwise lauded themeing of the main bar straight to the cool breezes and beautiful sites of the lakeside outdoor seating. Funnily enough, we wound up at the exact same table Pat and I sat at last time, right by the prop radio that occasionally calls in a plane or two.

On to the comestibles! For drinks, I committed a blogging sin as I so often do: I got the same drink I had during my last trip. But none of the seasonal beverages caught my eye, and the Anything Goes is so good, guys! Made with lime, passion fruit, pineapple juices, and dragon fire spirit, this cocktail is fruity without being cloying and spicy from the alcohol. And look how pretty:



This time around we also got some food, and that's brand new! My mom got the vegetarian fritters, which are currently described as "veggies" but I'm 95% sure when we were there the fritters were specifically sweet potato. She was pleased with her selection. I tried a bite and found the fritters a little lacking in spice, but then I like it a bit spicy (see drink selection above).



I went with the famed Air Pirate's Pretzels, served in an adorable wire airplane with grain mustard and beer cheese fondue on the side. While the argument that these are too expensive is valid, they're soooo tasty. The pretzels are soft with just a hint of salt, the mustard seems homemade, and the beer cheese is of course delicious. Way into it.



Although no one seems to be fully able to explain to me why Disney chose to theme an Indy bar to such an obscure character, I'm a fan of Jock Lindsey's so far. I can't wait to go back and try new things! (Yes, maybe even a new drink.) (Maybe.)

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

Friday, March 23, 2018

In Which Jenn Pens A Polite Apology To Lumiere

Hey, remember a couple years ago when the Wine & Dine Half was made into a morning race? And runDisney introduced the Two Course Challenge and I was like, pssssh, AS IF. And then I punched Lumiere DIRECTLY IN THE FACE.

Well, I owe Lumiere an apology, because this just happened:



I know! I'm surprised too. But - and prepare for a real shocker - it wasn't my idea.

See, the week after I got back from the Walt Disney World Marathon, I was in the dressing room at ballet chatting to a friend about my race. Another friend, Erika, piped up that she'd always wanted to run a race like that. 

WELL, I said, always eager for the opportunity to spread the gospel of runDisney, if you want, you can come with me for Wine & Dine weekend! And she expressed interest, so I emailed her the details. She was more confident about the 10k, and I told her if she wanted I would be happy to run it with her - but she had to let me know in advance so that I knew to sign up for both races.

But you know how these things go - when it comes to trips and running, many talk the talk but very few walk the walk. Registration approached and I hadn't heard anything, so I assumed Erika had decided not to go. All good! Totally understandable. But I was all set to sign up for the half only.

So imagine my surprise when Erika emailed me the day registration was originally supposed to be and asked me why it wasn't working! I have her the details on the pushed registration date, and she told me she was not only in, she wanted to run both races. Without any provocation whatsoever!

And that's how, against all odds, I found myself registering for the Two Course Challenge. I was nervous because Erika came in a little late to registration, but it turns out I didn't need to be; as of this writing both the half and the challenge are still open. Weird. But who cares? We're both in and it's gonna be awesome!

Clearly my powers of persuasion are stronger than I thought. I wonder if they're strong enough to convince Erika to go in on matching costumes for the 10k...?

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

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 3/22

It's been quite an eventful week for running - I ran a marathon, then I signed up for more races - not only Wine & Dine (more on that later), but also the Marine Corps Marathon! How? The MCM race organizers unexpectedly provided a "rush" option Wednesday morning, releasing 11,000 guaranteed registrations, and I snagged one. Once again, I'm gonna run with the Marines!

Workout log, prove I can do it:

Sunday | ran 6.01 miles outside in 60 minutes
I was hoping Moon could join me for a post-bachelorette 10K, but alas, she had to ship up to drive back to Boston.

Monday | walked 2.08 miles outside in 35 minutes

Tuesday | ran 5.21 miles outside in 55 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Wednesday | ran ran 3.29 miles outside in 35 minutes
One final pre-marathon jaunt.

Thursday | walked 2.01 miles outside in 35 minutes
And then I packed for my marathon weekend trip!

Friday | rest
Drove down to Wilmington. I started in the early Maryland morning at 36 degrees, and by the time I hit NC I had my air conditioning on. It. Was. AWESOME.

I drove straight to UNCW for packet pickup, where the man who gave me my bib did a double-take at the second line. Look, if you're going to ask me to "show my school spirit" at registration and then make the field mandatory, you'd better be prepared for the truth.


The expo itself was otherwise unremarkable - I was there about an hour after opening and it seemed like people were still setting up their booths. I didn't spend much time there, but did stop for a free can of an energy drink called Sunshine that I actually very much enjoyed. Plus I really needed the hydration!

After the expo I rolled over to my parents' place to prep. And then...

Sunday | Wrightsville Beach Marathon, official time 4:33:06
BEASTED.

Roundup:

- Elbowglitter ponders mental health and how exercise alone might not be the answer.
- I Run For Wine can help you fuel up for your next race.
- easyWDW performs a thorough exploration of the Magic Kingdom's menu changes.
- The Tomorrow Society considers Disney parks and their place in the consumer landscape.
- On a similar note, The Disney Tourist blog wonders if Disney is relying too much on banked fan goodwill.
- Disney In Your Day got to attend an official Toy Story Land preview event.
- Getting hitched in WDW? This Fairy Tale Life has some tips and tricks to know.
- Living A Disney Life offers an insider look at the Disney College Program.

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

In Which Jenn Recaps The Wrightsville Beach Marathon

And now for a tale of triumph! Comparatively speaking!

My traditional fitful pre-race night's sleep led to me bouncing out of bed before my alarm (still got to sleep until very nearly 5am which for a runDisney enthusiast is a tremendous luxury). I quickly dressed and gathered my stuff, then bolted down some breakfast and headed out.

Race day weather promised to be beautiful, partly cloudy with a high in the upper 60s, although chilly to start. My dad dropped me off at the start about 45 minutes ahead of gun time, and I wrapped myself in my leftover runDisney space blanket and walked laps around the staging area to keep the blood moving.

About half an hour before the scheduled start there was a muffled announcement; what I think happened was that the shuttles from race parking broke down or something like that? And they were delaying start to make sure they got everyone to the corrals in time. We only ended up waiting an extra ten minutes, which wasn't too bad. A quick national anthem from a violinist, a race prayer (awww, the South!), and we were off.

At which point I immediately needed to pee. This happens to me WAY TOO OFTEN of late but I need to figure out how to better manage my fluids, but there wasn't anything to do except hold it until I found a suitable porta potty. Meanwhile dude were stopping off to the side to demonstrate their superior aiming abilities; maybe I should just start lugging a funnel with me.

Aside from that, the first few miles were uneventful. The half and full started together, so the course was a bit crowded, but not debilitatingly so. We were directed into the local gated community, Landfall, which I thought was sort of interesting; apparently the rich people of Wilmington are okay with letting a bunch of runners clog their roads for several hours? And it seemed like they were indeed largely fine with it, as many people were out spectating.

We emerged from Landfall, and I hit the bathrooms around mile 3, where the first relay handoff was - a bit early if you ask me, but nobody did. I multi-tasked by shedding my throwaway layer and took off again.

The next area of note was downtown Wrightsville Beach, and this is probably a good time to apologize for not taking any photos. That's 'cause my phone battery has SUCKED lately and I needed to conserve it for later if I needed to call my parents or an Uber. That being said, we never actually saw the beach OR the ocean, marathon name notwithstanding, and aside from a few piers and a lake nothing was all that noteworthy from a visual perspective. 

Where was I? Oh yes, the downtown area. We passed multiple shops and restaurants before running across a bridge and through some neighborhood areas... and then somehow we ended up downtown again? And also somehow it had turned into an out-and-back?

I saw a pace group leader headed toward me, on the back part as I ran out. I craned my neck around to see what his timing was.. and he was doing 3:40. Almost an hour ahead of me. One of the longest out-and-backs of my life.

But at least there was reasonably interesting scenery, and I was amused to see the same restaurants and shops three times in a race, not to mention the bewildered tourists who were just trying to swing into town for some breakfast. Super bonus points for the girl in the inflatable T-Rex suit, who was there for all three downtown drive-bys and gave me an enthusiastic high-five.

Points to the race organizers: at the turnaround point they had officials carefully taking note of which bib numbers were passing by, lest anyone try to cheat. Gotta keep those race results honest!

From there we cruised down some streets until about mile 8, when the half split off to head toward the finish while the marathoners (and relay folks) trudged on. Those of us in it for the long haul were directed into a pretty back neighborhood along a marina. As I emerged from a wooded trail onto the street, I was greeted by a small cheering section of locals. "You don't even look tired!" declared a very nice man who really should've stuck around to see how I looked around mile 24.

A few streets over and I was hitting that halfway point, and feeling pretty solid for all that. I was a little sad not to have music (battery conservation again), so I cheered myself up by pretending I was running the WDW Marathon again. Since it's mile 13, I said to myself, you'd be passing the Thirsty River Bar and Expedition Everest right about now. I continued to use this tool to bolster my spirits throughout the race and it even kind of worked.

Through the whole race aid stations were solid, offering water, Gatorade, and gels at reasonable intervals. Which reminds me, just before the mile 16 station I saw a girl stop suddenly and blow chunks onto the road. She apologized to me - I assured it it wasn't necessary and asked after her status - and she assured me she was all right. I hope things ended well for her.

I plodded on, beginning to feel the length of things but still in decent spirits. So far I was on track to PR - and, if I was very lucky - PR hard. I adjusted my A goal to be 4:35 or under, a new record by well over ten minutes but some quickly mental math told me as long as I didn't slow down too much I could do it!

Mile 20 brought with it music, a pirate randomly positioned by the side of the course, an aid station - and confusion. See, I saw the 20 mile marker, took like 10 more running steps... and saw the 23 mile marker. Fearful I had missed something important (like, oh, a few miles), I backtracked just a little and asked a bystander if they knew what was going on. She assured me that I would be running the same section twice, and like that the course map lit up in my head - she was totally right and I had just forgotten. 

So I marched forward, my feet beginning to hurt a bit but enjoying the lakeside scenery. From there we wound up in neighborhoods again, some with just enough incline to make me a bit sad; but seeing as how the course had been fairly flat overall, I couldn't really complain. 

The course split again a bit later, with those who had already completed two loops of the completed portion bearing left to head toward the finish (lucky jerks). Those of us on loop one headed to the right, and as we neared completion of lap 1 a group of volunteers gave us wristbands. These wristbands were our ticket to head toward the finish upon lap 2 as described above. As I said, the race organizers were very on top of potential cheating. And hey, free wristband!

So I made it to the final stretch, slowly but steadily pounding toward UNC Wilmington. As it always does, by mile 25 my spirits were lifting, and I actually found it easier to get through than some previous miles.

When we turned onto the UNCW campus for the final stretch I was feeling pretty spent. But the sight of the finish line galvanized me, and somehow without even thinking about it I picked up significant speed, powering past the finish line for an official gun time of... wait for it... 4:33:06. BAM. New PR by like 14 minutes!!!

And so as you might imagine I finished my tenth marathon feeling rather more pleased with myself than I probably deserved. All that running outside has paid off, people? ... Oh, crud. Now that I run outside, how can I improve more? Is there, like, a outer-outside I can start running in?

Unfortunately the medals had gotten lost in the mail, so I didn't receive one upon completion (they're sending it to me). I did get a small reusable tote with some snacks, and there was also a runners-only room set up with additional food, including sodas, chips, muffins, and hot oatmeal. One of the pre-race emails had warned there would NOT be pizza this year, which leads me to believe that there HAS been pizza in previous years, and I was kinda bummed by its omission. Maybe next year!

The runners-only area also had a massage area, and there was a beer tent somewhere around, but I was tired and kinda just wanted the Reese's egg and coffee I knew were waiting for me at my parents' house. So I picked up an Uber and headed home.

And that was my Wrightsville Beach Marathon experience! I liked it - pretty flat course, good volunteer support, good location. I could do with some better scenery, but hey, they can't all be at WDW. I would probably do it again.

ASSUMING THERE'S PIZZA.

Do you think anyone wants to take a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these pants?!

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

In Which Jenn Goes After Marathon #10


This Saturday, I embark upon a historic milestone: my tenth marathon. 

"OMG, how did you get there???" you ask? Well...


"Damn, you need to branch out more," you say? Your wish is my command: I'm heading down to NC for the Wrightsville Beach Marathon. I hear the course is flat and fast, and my dad can drive me to the start line, which is another perk I look for in a race.

Some interesting (and dare I say heartening?) coincidences here. The weather forecast for Wrightsville Beach calls for a high of 66, which sounds lovely. Except the race starts before 7am, and when I look at the hourly I'll probably be starting with temps in the upper 40s and maaaaybe finish in the low low 60s if I'm very lucky.

I'm a warm weather girl, but these temperatures aren't too far off from what I experienced during my last WDW Marathon... when I PR'd HARD.

Also? My bib number is exactly the same as it was for last year's Parks Half Marathon... in which I PR'd for the half.

So. My IT Band has been behaving lately. I felt strong and capable during my 17 miler. I have good omens on my side. Am I looking at a really great race?!

Probably not, now that I've suggested it. Dammit, why did I have to take up blogging?

Oh well. Wish me luck!

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 3/14

I had planned to begin this post with a joyous "I'M REGISTERED FOR WINE & DINE!!!" but alas, it is not to be - if you haven't already heard, registration has been delayed. Unknown as to why, but supposedly more information will be released later this week. In my heart of hearts, I want it to be because they're changing it back into a night race... but I doubt it. All I can do is keep an eye out for the new registration date. Happy Pi Day or whatever.

Week in review!

Sunday | ran 9.21 miles outside in 1:35
And I was exhausted afterward. No idea why. Low level cold, maybe? I did plow my way through several sneezing fits.

Monday | walked 2.12 miles outside in 35 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 5.28 miles outside in 55 minutes

Wednesday | ran 5.22 miles outside in 55 minutes

Thursday | walked 2.01 miles outside in 55 minutes; 60 minute ballet class
I was frickin' FREEZING during my walk. Whatever happened to March coming in like a lamb?

Friday | ran 5.3 miles outside in 55 minutes

Saturday | rest
Running around DC with my girl Moon! Why? For her bachelorette party, of course! We went to Kramer Books and had dinner at a pretty sweet restaurant complete with a champagne toast and awww, remember when Moon and I used to blog together? Good times, good times.


My bestie!

Roundup:


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

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

In Which Jenn Needs WDW Music To Work Properly

A couple years ago I did a pair of posts about my favorite Walt Disney World background music. I find Disney background music to be incredibly soothing when at work in particular - it cheers me up and helps me focus. It's been awhile, so I thought I'd check in with some of music loops I've been particularly enjoying lately, especially at work.

Let's start with the Disney Springs background music loop. I'd heard several people mention they enjoyed it, but when I first took a listen, I was NOT into it. It's basically Disney songs interpreted as smooth jazz, and I do not enjoy smooth jazz. Yet somehow over time it grew on me - all those familiar songs from my favorite movies hit my brain right in its nostalgia center. Before I knew it, I had gotten past my jazz aversions and totally dug the loop. And at close to 2 hours long, it's great when you need your music to last through a large project or activity.


The Magical Express loop isn't one that would've occurred to me to seek out, but when I saw it pop up on YouTube it felt natural to give it a go. This is a classic Disney mix, featuring songs from both the movies and the parks, and if you close your eyes you can pretend you're sitting on the bus waiting to leave for your resort.


I've mentioned the Innoventions background music before, but it really is one of the most evocative loops for me. Everything about the music screams YOU ARE IN EPCOT. It's also a convenient 20 minutes, perfect for projects you don't want to do but can stand to tackle in small chunks. Tell yourself you only have to hack at it until the loop is over, and there you are!


Another recent discovery is the Animal Kingdom entrance loop. This is a total no-brainer for me, DAK being my favorite park, and I find it to be one of the most relaxing loops in my rotation. The African vocal tracks in particular feel very DAK to me.


Do you like to listen to Disney background music? What are your favorites?

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

Friday, March 9, 2018

Happy Friday: Winnie The... Uh... Er...

This week in things you'll never be able to unsee:


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

Thursday, March 8, 2018

In Which Jenn Reviews Planet Fitness


When my old, walking-distance gym's lease was bought out, I was presented with a dilemma. All the reasonably close gyms were expensive - like $100+ per month expensive. Or there were cheaper options a lengthy walk away. Or for very little money, I could drive... to Planet Fitness.

Which is where we are today.

I have historically relied pretty heavily on the treadmill for my training. In fact, there was a time when I hardly ever ran outside at all. But I slowly came around to face the truth that real terrain and inclines are what really train you for better races. More and more of my runs are now outside. Indeed, when a trip to the gym requires hopping into the car with a backpack full of supplies as opposed to just stepping out the door, the great outdoors become much more inviting.

But lightning and snow and ice and driving rain and prohibitive cold do not cease to exist, and as such, I need a backup plan. Enter Planet Fitness. It's a 20 minute drive from home, but only 10 to/from work. And at $15/month ($10 if you pay for the whole year at once), you're hardly going to find a better price.

That said, it might not be right for everyone, which is why I thought I'd put together this review of the facilities from a runner's perspective. I've only used the Rockville, MD location - you'll want to check out your own closest franchise. But perhaps this quick overview can give you an idea of whether it's worth it.

To that end, let's give Planet Fitness the ol' fashioned pro/con treatment, shall we?


PROS


Lots of treadmills. I've never had a problem securing one, regardless of the time.

Multiple TVs with the captions all on! Seriously, there are like 20 TVs in front of the treadmill area.

Great price. Natch.

Open 24/7.

Large locker room with plenty of lockers, vending machine, and changing rooms. I've never needed to use the vending machines, but they have things like protein bars, hairbands, and headphones - little things you might leave behind but kinda NEED for a good workout. My old gym didn't have any changing rooms so they're nice to have.


Timed circuit workouts. I've never used them but it's nice to know there's a guided format if I suddenly want to use the machines.

Water bottle filler. Mind you, sometimes it's broken, but when it's working it's a nice alternative to awkwardly tilting your water bottle under the water fountain spout.

Near places to buy replacement items, supplies, gear. This may not be the case for all locations, but the Rockville spot is in a big ol' shopping center with restaurants and stores. If you need something or forget something, you might have a replacement a few minutes later.

Easily accessible bathrooms. I note this because my old, two-story gym required you to go alllll the way downstairs and back if you needed to pee. The more centrally-located locker and bathrooms is nice.

Free parking with plenty of spaces.


CONS


Hair is EVERYWHERE in the bathroom. Seriously. It's in the friggin' SINKS. WHY IS IT IN THE SINKS???

There are tanning machines...? Like, are we trying to get fit or are we trying to die of skin cancer? Which???

Treadmills turn off after an hour. This seems to be a weirdly popular "feature" with treadmill programmers, and PF's models are no different, sadly. :/

Only three showers. That said, I've never had trouble getting one, and that includes when I've worked out in the morning before work. But depending on your timing you might not be so lucky.

Only two changing rooms. This is legit not quite enough - I've had to wait awhile on more than one occasion.

Shower water could be warmer. But then as I once stated on this very blog I prefer my water to be pumped up from the hottest pits of hell, so it could easily be fine for you.

Equipment is supposedly limited? I don't know anything about workout machines but they claim they have a "basic" set. Do with that information what you will.

Equipment doesn't hook into modern tech. All the treadmills are equipped for old iPhones with the bar chargers.

Temperature is uneven. For some reason the treadmill area tends to be warm and the locker room is chilly. I would REALLY like to reverse that.


There you go! Some of my initial thoughts on Planet Fitness. For a backup treadmill place, it totally fits the bill. 


Have you used Planet Fitness? What do you think? Or have you found the mythical gym with treadmills that keep going as long as you do? If so, WHERE???

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

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 3/07

Hmmm. Do I have anything interesting to say this week? Let's look at the workout log while I think on it.



Sunday | ran 10.27 miles outside in 1:45
I had hoped to make it to 12 or 13 miles but I had stuff to do and slept too long to fit it in.


Monday | walked 2.l9 miles in 35 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 5.24 miles in 55 minutes

Wednesday | ran 5.24 miles outside in 55 minutes; walked 2.06 miles outside in 25 minutes
Wednesday was beautiful and Thursday was predicted to be gross, AGAIN, so I stacked my run and walk. (AGAIN.)


Thursday | rest

Friday | ran 7.26 miles on the treadmill in 1:15
Had to take my run inside thanks to the windstorm. If the freezing gale wasn't enough to sway me, there was also the prospect of having a tree land on my head. 


Saturday | 70 minute ballet class

... Um... I started wearing my GPS watch upside down because I think it makes it easier to read on the run and I'm tapering for the Wrightsville Beach Marathon and Wine & Dine Half Marathon registration is this week. How's that for quality content?

ROUNDUP!

- Didn't get into the NYC Marathon? Half Crazy Mama knows how you still might be able to squeak in.
Fairytales & Fitness ponders some weird weather races.
Disney In Your Day introduces March Madness for Disney foods. (I LOVE THE CARROT CAKE COOKIE AND I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR IT.)
easyWDW does the legwork as per usual: enjoy these reviews of every single food item from Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival food booths. And if you're only going to read one of them, let it be this one (it may have made me laugh-spit mac and cheese on my work monitor).
A Pinch Of Pixie Dust reviews the Magic Kingdom's fireworks dessert party.
Disney Adulting assembles an adorable list of Disney pet costumes.
The Disney Tourist Blog snacks around Epcot's World Showcase.
The Affordable Mouse pokes around the Magic Kingdom's Confectionery.


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

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: Spice Road Table Review

It's trip report time! You can see all the posts in this report here.

Spice Road Table has never been popular. The reviews I've read have been pretty good, but the restaurant never seems to find favor with guests. 

Nevertheless, when I was selecting a Candlelight Processional dining package, I gravitated to it immediately. I knew it had just the sort of menu my pescatarian mother would be into.

We had one of those weird, 3:30ish time slots where it's too late for a normal person's lunch but also too early for a normal person's dinner, and the restaurant was hushed and dim. We were ensconced in a cozy booth across from a large bay window with a view of Spaceship Earth, and while our server was a little slow he was very pleasant.

The Candlelight Processional dining package comes with an appetizer, entree, and dessert per person. We wouldn't normally order that much food. The appetizer was a total gimme, so we were totally comfortable each ordering the exact same thing: hummus with pita and olives.

And it was GOOD, guys! I mean, it was two types of hummus and olives, and if you don't like those things, nothing about this was transformative enough to change your mind. But the hummus was nicely textured and the pita was soft with a hint of spice, and we both enjoyed it enormously. My only suggestion would be to make the hummus flavors a little bolder, but I know Disney needs to keep in mind those with more timid palates.


For entrees, my mom went light with the vegetarian platter, which meant more pita and hummus plus stuffed grape leaves and falafel. While this is hardly maximizing your dining package value, she enjoyed everything and that's what counts.


I went with the spicy yellowfin tuna, which was SO GOOD, you guys! I hate tuna in a can but when it's raw or a cooked steak it becomes DELICIOUS to me, and this was no exception. The meaty flavor came through, complemented by the spicy sauce. The zucchini and eggplant mix underneath was good as well. I only wish I could've it had come out a little rawer, but that's personal taste. I don't recall the waiter asking me how I wanted it cooked, but I wouldn't swear he didn't...


Finally, dessert! The chocolate pyramid is their signature dish, but the saffron custard really called my name - and my mom ended up getting the same, because she had no concept of bloggability. But we didn't regret it, because it was great! More of a creme brulee than a custard, the delicate taste of the saffron had the chance to shine, and the pudding element was creamy and smooth. Very enjoyable!


Spice Road Table is a bit of a hidden gem, if you ask me. Our experience was relaxed with a nice view and great food. God forbid it go the way of Sanaa where suddenly everyone finds out about it at once and you can't get a table, but what the hell - this place could use the love. Tell your friends!

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

Thursday, March 1, 2018

In Which You Might Have Already Seen This Stuff

And now it is time once again for that glorious annual post: the Recap Roundup.

Mind you, about six months ago I assembled all my recaps on their own pages: one for races and one for trip reports. But perhaps you didn't realize or didn't have time. Or maybe you've read all of it but you're bored and could use a refresher. Or maybe I just wanted a really good excuse to use this gif:

Anyway, I get on my bike and ride off... on the grass.

Whatever the reason, please enjoy this comprehensive listing of all my multi-day theme park (mostly Disney!) trip reports so far:


We also have some day trip park reports if you're into that kind of thing:


And since this is also a running blog and people tend to enjoy race recaps, here's a listing of those too:


*New since the last time I did one of these posts!

Have thoughts on what you read? Feel free to comment no matter how old the post - I can assure you I'll see it. And if YOU have a particularly good trip report you'd like to share, let me know; I love those things!

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