Thursday, August 30, 2018

In Which Jenn Thinks The Swolphin Is...

Since I spent most of this WDW trip in a conference, I won't be doing a traditional trip report, but I definitely still have a lot of stuff to tell you about that will be loosely collected under the July 2018 trip keyword. Read on!

I'm not really going to do a full review or overview of the Swan and Dolphin Resort. Lots of other websites have already done one, almost certainly better than I could've done and probably frequently updated, too. 

Instead, I'd like to discuss my impression of the hotel in the pantheon of Disney lodging options and why, even with its many advantages, it is probably not for me in the future.

But first, let us be objective: the Swolphin (as I and others generally refer to it) is a great hotel. It has tons of dining options, from full-service fancy-pants restaurants to grab-and-go coffee shops. The pool complex is extensive and includes a slide and hot tub (I am never warm enough). There's even a gym!

My personal interactions with the staff were all excellent, and the rooms were nice - although being a Starwood Preferred member didn't seem to garner me any special treatment as my view kinda sucked. Amenities were certainly a step up from a value resort, with free water and a coffee maker in-room. Views from the hotel's general area were by contrast largely great, and of course the location - with easy walks to Epcot, the Studios, and the Boardwalk - can't be beat.

Much is often made of the price; depending on the time of year the cost can be comparable to that of a Disney moderate resort. Of course, the Swolphin tacks on a resort fee and does not include the Magical Express, so you'll have to pay to get yourself to the resort, too.

All the same, from a purely practical perspective, the Swolphin can't be beat - except that it falls down, hard, in one key area.


What I love about Disney resorts - hell, you could argue what I love about Disney general - is its ability to create a sense of place. I love a good theme. I could sit in the village of Harambe or Serka Zong all day because they both evoke lands beyond. (Psst. DAK is the best park.)

This particular skill of the Imagineers extends to the resorts. For all our complaints about it, Port Orleans Riverside beautifully conjures the bayou. The Polynesian takes you away to a faraway island. Animal Kingdom Lodge has a freakin' safari. Even the value resorts, with their colorful statues and terrible puns, create a sense of whimsy and irreverence.

The Swolphin's theme is: a very nice hotel.


Much of what I love about Disney parks is that wonderful ability to rip me away from reality. Themed resorts are less showy than theme parks, but they too create a story that, when done well, weave me into the tale. While I can't say for sure I'll never stay at the Swolphin again, for now I'm content to pay a little extra for Disney to take me far away from the real world.

Have you stayed at the Swolphin? Am I overreacting or what?

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, August 29, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 8/29

I am bummed! Here's why: I bought running shorts from Thredup because they had a 6-inch inseam, perfect for NOT chafing. It was hella hot this morning, so I was correspondingly hella excited to try them out. Well, not only do the shorts ride up when I run, there's the added twist (ha!) that they give me a full, front-to-back wedgie. :/

But! I also bought LONG running pants from Victoria's Secret Sport during one of their bra + pants = $55 sales, which is a bonkers savings although you could make the argument that I didn't technically need them. (I may have a slight running gear addiction; we will discuss later.) Needed or not, I LOOOOVE them. They look great and have THREE pockets! THREE!!!

All this reporting on lovely running gear is brought to you by my workout log:

Sunday | ran 14.36 miles outside in 2:30
I have a 17 miler coming up on my marathon training schedule and I gotta be ready!

Monday | walked 2.42 miles outside in 40 minutes; 50 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 5.43 miles outside in 55 minutes

Wednesday | walked 2.39 miles outside in 40 minutes; 45 minute jazz dance class

Thursday | ran 5.29 miles outside in 55 minutes

Friday | walked 2 miles outside in 35 minutes
I took an active rest day before my 5K race the next morning. My GPS didn't clock my first mile for some unknown reason, so i just called it my bare minimum of two miles on my usual walking route.

I also decided to go into DC and pick up my 5K bib to save the anxiety of needing to pick it up in the morning before the race. Sadly by the time I got down to the zoo most of the animals had already gone to bed, so I didn't get to see much except a couple vultures. Bib pickup was at least quick and easy, and in addition to a shirt the goodie bag included a Kind bar and a rhino made of squishy stress foam, among other things.

Then I went home and laid out my race gear. Ruffian helped.

Saturday | ran 3.14 miles outside in 26:01.7 seconds
The Fast & The Fierce 5K - my chip time was 25:57 and I came in 99/563! Yeah breaking the top 100! :D

Speaking of super awesome things and animals (but nahtazu), I made my flight reservations from the Walt Disney World Marathon this weekend. Kidani Village, here I come! ^_^

And now, the 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!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

In Which Jenn Recaps The Fast & The Fierce 5K

I waffled about signing up for The Fast & The Fierce 5K for a couple weeks. It was put on by the Friends of the National Zoo as a benefit for rhino preservation. While a zoo race sounds delightful, the course wasn't actually through any portion of the zoo. But by the Wednesday before the race the weather forecast looked unseasonably delightful, so I went ahead and impulse-registered. If nothing else, that's $40 more for the rhinos!

The race start was Metro accessible, but the timing made me nervous - if I took the first train at my station of the day, I'd only arrive 15 minutes before the race. Fine if I knew exactly what I was doing, but as a high-anxiety person I decided to pick up a Lyft instead.

Well, the pre-scheduled Lyft I was assigned took 23 minutes to arrive at my apartment! Yikes! Luckily I still got to the race start in plenty of time (thank you, early morning traffic patterns), but that was kind of nerve-wracking. I think if I run it again next year, I could get away with the Metro now that I know where I'm going and what I'm doing.

The start area was very well organized, with a bag check and morning-of bib pick-up for the people who aren't high-anxiety. The crowd milled around Freedom Plaza - and some of the crowd included dogs! The race was pet-friendly, yay! I pet the prettiest shepherd/greyhound cross and wandered off in a great mood.

The pre-race email had encouraged costumes, so I had dolled myself up in my Big Cat best for the occasion. I was surprised to see how few people were dressed up, though. I mean, there was definitely a costumed presence, but the percentage was much lower than I might have expected. Serious runners!

My only real complaint about the race as a whole was the porta potty situation: there were four in the start area. Four! For over 500 people! Luckily I got in early, but the line was looking pretty bonkers as I took my place at the start line. (While we're on the subject, I don't remember seeing any porta potties on the course either, but then I wasn't looking for them so who knows.)

There were no corrals; everyone placed themselves at will. I set myself up a bit back from the start mats to let the really speedy people get out in front first. A quick rendition of the national anthem, and we were off!

As is sort of inherent in any 5K, there's not a ton to tell you about the course - after all, we were only on it for three miles! It was flat pretty much the whole way. which was nice. We started on Pennsylvania Avenue heading toward the capitol building before swinging a right and edging our way along the National Mall. We looped our way around a square of Independence Avenue and then headed back the way we came, with the peak of the Washington Monument peeping over the tops of the buildings. Then the finish line. The end!

Okay, some more details: there was one water stop in the middle, offering water only (no sport drinks or snacks). This was totally fine for me for such a short race but an extra water stop probably wouldn't've been terrible for August. The scenery was mostly just buildings and the mall, which, as a jaded lifelong DCite, was nothing much to me. But for someone from out of town it was probably super fun!

I personally had a very solid race. I did start out a liiiiiiittle too fast, but backed it off for the second mile and was able to deliver a negative split for mile number 3. I managed a sprint to the finish with a chip time juuust under 26 minutes. Goal A achieved!

Volunteers were handing out medals at the finish, which were super cute in embossed wood:

There was water, bananas, and granola bars at the finish, plus a couple vendor tents. A credit union was wisely handing out tech towels, and a juice company had samples too.

There was an official after party at the zoo, but you had to get back on the Metro and then walk a couple blocks to get there and I was all sweaty. Once I was on the Metro all I wanted to do was go home and shower. It's a nice zoo, though - I'd recommend it if you've never been!

I don't usually go out for 5Ks, preferring longer races that can count more toward my training, but The Fast & The Fierce 5K was nice. It was well-run, the course was nice and flat for PR pursuit, and the chipped bibs were a nice touch. Recommended!

They should look into making it at least partially in the zoo, though. If Baltimore can do it, why can't they?

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, August 23, 2018

In Which Jenn Has Ample Hills Ice Cream For Lunch

Since I spent most of this WDW trip in a conference, I won't be doing a traditional trip report, but I definitely still have a lot of stuff to tell you about that will be loosely collected under the July 2018 trip keyword. Read on!

Picture it: lunchtime. The final day of the conference. I've just left my last session of the trip. I walk out of the Swan resort and into the bright sunlight and think: I simply cannot stare down one more conference buffet lunch. I have had all the build-your-own-salad and chicken in chafing dishes I can take for one week.

Lucky for me, I was on Disney's Boardwalk, a shopping and dining complex featuring no small number of food options. I could sit down for a burger at Big River Grille. I could get a fresh caprese sandwich at the Boardwalk Bakery. Does Flying Fish even do lunch? I could find out.

Or I could skip the whole nutrition portion of the meal and proceed straight to ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery. Jackpot!

My original thought was that I'd get one of their fancy sundaes, probably one of the kind with "gooey butter cake," whatever the hell that is. Whatever; I like gooey desserts AND butter, so how could I lose?

However, upon being met with a dizzying array of choices and a dearth of understanding of what flavor would even go with gooey butter cake, I decided on an ice cream flight instead.

Having made this selection, a Cast Member dutifully deposited mini-scoops of ice cream into a specially designed plastic clamshell. Even with six slots, it was hard to narrow it down. My particular CM was generous with her scooping, and my clamshell could hardly close!

I tried: 
  • Sweet Cream 'n Cookies
  • Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (so that solved that problem)
  • PB Wins the Cup (with homemade peanut butter cups!)
  • Baked/Unbaked (featuring both dough and baked cookies)
  • Sally Sells Seashells (WDW-exclusive flavor)
  • Malty Salty Pretzel Punch
All six were delicious, as you would expect - sweet, creamy, and of course, fast-melting. My personal favorite was PB Wins the Cup; you could really taste the difference in those homemade peanut butter cups. 

That being said, I would not recommend an ice cream flight. GASP! Why? Because with my spoon bouncing from sweet and chocolate-y scoop to scoop, the flavors ran together until all my tongue was getting from any of them was a general sort of creamy sugar taste.

No, I recommend instead making the hard decision and selecting one, maybe two flavors. Make it a sundae if you like. But really focus on your choice. Savor it. Come to understand it. Once you have become one with that flavor, only then you may try another. Oh, darn; I guess you'll have to go back!

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, August 22, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 8/22

I had a friggin' BONKERS dream last night that I was running the WDW Marathon but somehow took a five hour nap in the middle? I managed to catch up with the stragglers but my final time was over ten hours because, well, five hour nap. Which I evidently took in the Hollywood Tower of Terror, which had a few legit hotel rooms available. Kevin from Brooklyn 99 was the proprietor, obviously.

Thanks, man. I forgive you for ruining my marathon.

So that's where my head's at. Meanwhile, in the real world (UGH) here's the workout log:

Sunday | ran 10.06 miles outside in 1:45
My hamstrings STILL hurt from that stupid exercise Pat had me do the Thursday before. I told him I'm never doing it ever again and he was all, "But how will you get stronger???" and maybe I quit? I dunno.

Monday | walked 2.05 miles outside in 35 minutes
I did go to ballet, but the power was knocked out by a storm so my class ended up being cancelled. Boo.

Tuesday | ran 5.28 miles outside in 55 minutes

Wednesday | walked 2.37 miles outside; 50 minute hip hop dance class
About 50/50 working out versus dancing this week.

Thursday | ran 5.3 miles outside in 55 minutes

Friday | ran 5.16 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes
Speeeeeed ruuuun. Increased my top speed to 8.2!

Saturday | rest

Annnnd roundup:

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

In Which Jenn Does Training Runs On Disney's Boardwalk

Since I spent most of this WDW trip in a conference, I won't be doing a traditional trip report, but I definitely still have a lot of stuff to tell you about that will be loosely collected under the July 2018 trip keyword. Read on!

I knocked out a 14 mile run in the gym of the Dolphin resort because I knew that I didn't want to mess around with Florida's heat and humidity for that amount of time without character stops, y'know? But for two subsequent training runs, I dragged myself out of bed in comparatively cool hours of the morning to run Disney's Boardwalk.

How can you complain about an early morning run there? If you're early enough, the string lights on the Boardwalk might still be up. The sun rises over the Yacht & Beach Club as you crest the bridge and take your first steps onto the boards.

The Swolphin offers run route for one mile, two miles, and a 5K. We covered the 5K in my recap of the conference race. For my training five milers, I eked out the mileage with some doubling back. I said hello to the Tower of Terror twice and, the second morning, did a few loops in the vicinity until the gate to the International Gateway was unlocked and I could take what turned about to be a scant few steps there.

So yes, I think we can all agree the Boardwalk is an excellent place to run because of the location. But as it turns out, the Disney magic creeps into the people too.

One my two training runs, there was an older gentleman taking a walk around the Boardwalk at the same time. Every time I passed him, he cheered and clapped for me like a spectator at a legitimate race, with sincere enthusiasm. The second day, the last time I passed him, I turned around to offer a high five, which he met with vigor. 

See, even awkward weirdos like me can make friends while running! Truly it is a magical sport in a magical setting.

Drat, just missed it.

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, August 16, 2018

In Which Jenn Goes Online Disney Thrifting

Psst. I'm going to tell you a secret. It's related to being a Disney Dandy. If you aren't already aware, I am one - I loooove to dress up Disney-style in the parks. Of course, good Disney outfits don't necessarily come cheap. That's where my secret comes in.

Enter Thredup.* I'm sure you've already heard of it, but just in case: it's basically an online thrift store. You can send in your clothes for a small profit, and/or you can browse the one-of-a-kind offerings after the fashion of a garage sale. If you're willing to wear used clothing, you can nab some very impressive deals.

(Note, though, that the quality of the site experience and customer service are about as good as you might expect at a garage sale. Think incorrect listings, a poor search function, and annoying shipping and restocking fees. Go in with the knowledge that you are taking a risk, and mine those deals accordingly.)

Anyway, my point is that of course Thredup has Disney clothing! I can't tell you what Disney clothing exactly, because in true thrift store fashion there is generally only one of something and once someone buys it, it's gone. But I have a permanent search out on the term "Disney" and it's shown me all sorts of things - parks merchandise, cute Mickey t-shirts, a Bambi skirt, Peter Pan leggings, Jack Skellington sweatshirts, even my exact Lion King dress.

One thing I've noticed as that the term "Disney" seems to be applied across brands - for example, that Hot Topic Lion King dress referenced above comes up in the search, even though it's not sold through by Disney directly. So you probably don't need to do separate searches to look for, say, Dooney & Burke or LeSportsac collaborations. Mind you, if that's what you're hardcore searching for, you might want to try separate brand searches too. I haven't seen anything like that come through, so I can't be sure.

So if you, too, are a Disney Dandy, definitely check it out.* But don't buy the things I want. They're MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE

*Affiliate link. If you use it, we each get $10 to spend on the site. But I'm not partnered with them or anything. You can also just open a new tab and search it fresh; no hard feelings!

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, August 15, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 8/15

I've been eating watermelon in my work lunches, officially because it's hydrating but mostly because it's delicious. Those big hunks are kind hard to pack, though, so I indulged in a box of Mickey freezer bags and I gotta say, it really cheers me up.


Speaking of nutrition and fitness, let's check out the workout log!

Sunday | ran 10.11 miles outside in 1:45
This was hot and humid and rough but any run you get off of is a good run, right? Or is that flights?

Monday | walked 2.13 miles outside in 35 minutes; 45 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 5.38 miles outside in 35 minutes
I might be falling in love with these Under Armour Hovr Sonic running shoes... more on that in a bit.

Wednesday | walked 2.11 miles outside in 35 minutes; 50 hip hop dance class
This time it was actually hip hop dance instead of a glorified workout. I was very very awkward. >.>

Thursday | ran 5.29 miles outside in 55 minutes; ab and arm workout with Pat
Oh God. Pat had me do this exercise where you sit on the ground with your legs in a gentle straddle... and then you lift them into the air. MY HAMSTRINGS ARE STILL UPSET.

Friday | ran 5.23 miles outside in 55 minutes

Saturday | ab and arm workout with Pat


Just Me & My Running Shoes considers the transformative power of running.
The Magic Of Running puts together a fantasy WDW Marathon course.
Disney Adulting assembles a very thorough runDisney training playlist.
This Fairy Tale Life locates WDW-themed running gear.
easyWDW exhaustively researches the latest Magic Kingdom snacks.
Plus The Magic unearths a vintage WDW puzzle.
The Main Street Gazette underlines the importance of Main Street's background music.
Disney In Your Day ponders the criminally underrated Fantasia 2000(Check my thoughts!)
Disney Travel Babble does not care for Disneyland Paris's Walt Disney Studios.
WDW For Grownups highlight the Disney Conservation Fund.

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, August 14, 2018

In Which Jenn Attends A Private Party In Epcot

Since I spent most of this WDW trip in a conference, I won't be doing a traditional trip report, but I definitely still have a lot of stuff to tell you about that will be loosely collected under the July 2018 trip keyword. Read on!

Somewhere up there in Conference Heaven loves me: not only was my conference at the Swolphin, but there was a wrap-up party... IN EPCOT!!!! I know! It's like they planned it just for me!

Our evening began by entering Epcot via the International Gateway, our badges being our ticket in. We were herded over to World Showplace, the cavernous building between the UK and Canada that's exclusively used for private or hard-ticket events. The only thing I can think of that it hosts on the regular is the hard-ticket Party for the Senses during the Food & Wine Festival, so I was hella jazzed to get a look inside.

Not that the building is designed with much beyond "get a bunch of people in there" as far as I can tell; it wasn't much more decorated than any ol' hotel ballroom. There was a stage for the band, accompanying screens, and some vaguely interesting sculptures hiding the bathrooms, but that's about it.

Nevertheless, the Disney magic began almost immediately. As we entered the area, waiters stood scattered about offering trays of drinks. This is not uncommon in the conference and wedding functions I've attended; if you can get most people to take a drink you've already got, they won't crowd the bars immediately. 

But this time was different. Because among the alcohol offerings... was SCHOFFERHOFER GRAPEFRUIT BEER! Yes! The same delicious beer-grapefruit juice hybrid with the cult following that I myself have paid actual money for at the Germany pavilion! And they just GAVE IT TO ME!

Alas, I wound up drinking only one. But that's only because when I later approached the bar for a second libation, I saw they had POG juice with rum on tap. I had specifically earmarked this as something I wanted to try from DAK's Dawa Bar in November. Now I didn't have to wait! Or pay money for it! (Although I just read they changed up the mixers on this one at Dawa, so I'll need to give it another go on my next trip. You know, for science.)

It was with slow delight it dawned on me: all the catering was from standard WDW menus, too. Some things I sampled in between flailing and screaming out the provenance of every dish to confused onlookers, I ate:
  • a cheeseburger egg roll from the cart in Adventureland (actually as good as they say! Who knew?)
  • a potsticker from the tea kiosk in China, I think?
  • butter chicken and naan from Sanaa (although - sacre bleu! - my Indian coworker told me that while it was good Indian-spiced chicken, it was not what she'd call butter chicken, and now my worldview is askew)
  • Cobb salad from the Hollywood Brown Derby (it... was... a Cobb salad? To be honest I don't get the hype)

There were other selections too that never made it to my personal plate, including meatballs from Mama Melrose. But we had earlier been informed that the desserts would be bonkers good, and I was paralyzed with fear. What if I ate too much of the savory items and was too full for, say, unlimited school bread???

I needn't have worried - if the desserts were from any area of WDW in particular, they eluded me. There were coconut and watermelon sorbets, some sort of panna cotta with berry topping, and an admittedly rich and delicious chocolate cake pop. Yet my expectations had been cruelly raised by those cheeseburger egg rolls, and I was wholly unsatisfied by the lack of signature cupcakes, 'Ohana bread pudding, troll horns, homemade ice cream sandwiches, etc.

No matter - after drowning my sorrows in several more POG juices with rum, it was time to head over to our private viewing areas for IllumniNations! They had a Canada viewing open for us but also the central location in front of the bridge to Futureworld; I led my group to the latter as I know that the show was designed to be ideally viewed down the middle.

There were bars set up for us in the viewing area, so we grabbed glasses of wine and headed over to the railing to watch the show. IllumiNations isn't my favorite nighttime spectacular (hello, Happily Ever After!), but it still gives me the warm and nostalgic fuzzies. In particular I love the parts where the lights go out at the very beginning, and then when the string lights around the pavilion buildings start to go on in the middle. My heart was very happy as the show ended.

But wait, there's more! Some conference sponsors were paying to keep a couple rides open for us. I managed to talk my coworker SM into trying Soarin' even thought she is staunchly anti-thrill ride. Admittedly she started screaming when our gliders began to rise, but ultimately she was fine.

She was a firm no-go on Mission: Space and Test Track, though, so just new conference buddy JR and I went through those too. We did Mission: Space on the orange side because we are more intense, although can I just say that Gina Torres does an extremely lackluster job introducing the ride? I miss Gary. :/

Figment says he misses Gary too.

After that it was about 11pm, and while those three rides would be open for one more hour I allowed myself to be talked into going back to the hotel. Part of me regrets that, but the other part of me knew that I planned to run in the morning and needed to go to sleep. Both versions of me loved wandering back to the Swolphin from the International Gateway - I can see why you Epcot resorts people love it so.


Visit again soon - I still need to tell you about my training runs on the Boardwalk!

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, August 9, 2018

In Which Jenn Did NOT Register For A Race

I got an email a couple months ago about a half marathon in my area. The race description assured me that I would never forget that race. It's in July so, it's hot! It's full of hills! Do not attempt if you've never run a half marathon before!!! No shirts, no medals. JUST PAIN.

BUT, came the tantalizing caveat, at mile 8 you shout out the flavor of popsicle you want and a volunteer will hand you that popsicle

I'm not gonna lie, I was tempted. I'm more heat tolerant than most but I hate hilly courses. A popsicle in the middle of a half marathon, though? How often do you come across that? Take my $30, please! I want red!!!!

I was about to click the registration link... but I stopped and reassessed. By all accounts this was unlikely to be an enjoyable experience. That's fine - sometimes physical exertion is more about saying you could and you did than having a great time in the moment. (I like to think this is why I continue to run marathons despite the existence of the miles in the middle.)

All the same... was it worth $30 for a popsicle and a bib? $10, sure. $15, maybe. But if all I want is a hilly course and an icy treat, I can run my usual trail and cajole Pat into handing me a popsicle on my second loop. Y'know? Running trail: free, box of popsicles: $4 or whatever, rolling out of bed and onto the road: priceless.

So apparently that's where I draw my line. Where's yours? What stops you from registering from a race? Price? Course? Location? WHAT???

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, August 8, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 8/08

Hmmm. I know I mentioned this on Twitter, but I can't remember if I told the blogosphere - have I told you yet that a lot of that Mickey Mouse for Target collection of which I reviewed a bit is at least partially on serious clearance right now? I picked up a bunch of the Mickey face masks at 50% off, as well as a Mickey-themed nail file set for less than a dollar. My Target also had scads and scads of Mickey head-shaped bath sponges if that sounds like something you'd be into.

After all, it's important to keep yourself clean after a workout, like these ones I did last week:

Sunday | ran 10.24 miles in 1:45

Monday | walked 2.35 miles outside; 45 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 5.3 miles outside in 55 minutes

Wednesday | walked 2.33 miles outside in 40 minutes; 50 minute hip hop workout class

Thursday | ran 5.11 miles outside in 50 minutes
Are my new Under Armour sneakers magic? Stay tuned to find out! And by that I mean, we'll find out together, because it's too soon to tell. Lord knows I could use some magic sneakers.

Friday | ran 5.14 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes
Ah, summer speed runs on the treadmill.

Saturday | 20 minute arms and abs workout with Pat
In case you're wondering where my arms are on the fitness spectrum, I have to use a chair to do pull-ups.

... I did already tell you guys I signed up for the 2019 WDW Marathon, right? I mean, it's not like anyone's surprised. I did say I'd never miss it again. But it's certainly relevant.

Dang, forget my own head next. Or even forget the roundup! Oh, wait, here it is:

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, August 7, 2018

In Which Jenn Is Prepared For The Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Remember how last year I was so distraught about missing the Epcot Food & Wine Festival I made a to-eat list even though I wouldn't be there? Some of my saner work, I must say.

Well, this year no one needs to worry about my mental state: I am, as is right and proper, going to be at the festival. I'm going to run the 10K and half, and then eat and drink delicious foodstuffs. It is written!

As is traditional, I have painstakingly combed through all the pre-released menus and selected the items that stand out to me the most. These shall be the flavors of priority. And there are a lot this year - is it just me or are the F&W offerings getting more and more intriguing with time?

In the past I have sometimes found the certain dishes will disappear between announcement and actuality, or get bad reviews, or be usurped by new foods that unexpectedly catch my eye in the moment. But I like to have a list to start from, y'know?

Anyway, here's what I intend to eat:

+ means I have eaten it at past Food & Wine Festivals and liked it enough to add it to the list again

- means I've had it on my to-eat list before but for whatever reason never got around to trying it

Active EatsLoaded Mac 'n Cheese+
Active EatsPineapple Coconut Hard Sparkling Water
AfricaJam Jar Shiraz+Or maybe the wine flight?
The Almond OrchardChampagne!!!+I still don't understand why it's in an almond orchard, but okay.
BelgiumBelgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache-
BrazilPao de Queijo+
BrazilBrazilian Seafood StewIn it for the coconut-lime sauce.
Brewer's CollectionSchofferhofer Pomegranate Beer-
CanadaCheddar Cheese Soup+In it for the pretzel roll.
CanadaMoosehead RadlerAll those juice infusions!!
The Cheese StudioCheese Trio-A profiterole! A macaron! Smoked salmon!!!
The Cheese StudioMaple Bourbon Cheesecake
ChinaXi'an Pancake with BeefPancake, you say?
ChinaRoasted Duck Bao Bun+I will eat practically anything in a bao bun.
ChinaJasmine Draft BeerThis could be disgusting. I MUST FIND OUT.
ChinaByejoe PunchMust resist urge to shout the name a la FALCON PUNCH!
Chocolate StudioDark Chocolate Raspberry Tart+
Chocolate StudioPumpkin Spice Chai & Chocolate Shake
Coastal EatsBaked Shrimp Scampi DipIs it weird I just want the baguette?
Craft DraftsChocolate Milk Stout-
Earth EatsSteakhouse Burger
Earth EatsImpossible Burger
Earth EatsKombucha Flight
Festival CenterThe Wine of Kurt Russell-Wait, is that not what it's called?
Flavors from FireSpicy Chocolate Mousse
GermanyShinkennudelnUnless there are peas in it, in which case HARD PASS.
GermanyRoast Bratwurst+In it for the pretzel roll.
GreeceBougatsaAssuming it looks good coming out of the kiosk.
HawaiiGrilled Tuna TatakiWasabi cream, you say?
HawaiiTeriyaki-glazed SpamLovely Spam, wonderful Spam.
IndiaEither the Curry or the KormaI can't decide. Both?
IndiaMango Lassi with Indian Cream Liquer
IrelandRoasted Irish Sausage-
IrelandCheddar Cheese Dip+
IrelandGuiness Baileys ShakeNot 100% sure what this means but I'm willing to find out.
Islands of the CaribbeanQuesito-
ItalyFritto Misto
JapanTeriyaki Chicken BunMy kingdom for a steamed bun!
JapanBeef Nigiri
JapanSpicy Roll
Light LabCider Flight
MexicoCoconut Rice Pudding
SpainCharcuterie in a Cone-
ThailandRed Hot Spicy Curry BeefBRING IT ON.
Taste TrackPancake MilkshakeWUT

What are you most excited to try at the festival?

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