Tuesday, October 27, 2020

In Which Mickey & Minnie Are On Jenn's Jeans, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Hey! Based on the numbers, it seems like you guys actually kinda like it when I ramble on about Disney parks and Disney fashion and wearing Disney fashion at Disney parks. So let's all geek out over my latest acquisition together!

I found these Mickey & Minnie kissing jeans at Hot Topic literally a year ago, and I think I asked for them for Christmas but didn't get them. Which is obviously fine - it'd be pretty entitled to assume you'll get everything you want for Christmas! Curiously, though, I didn't just use holiday money to buy them myself during the post-Christmas week, as is my wont.

But I think I know why - I challenged myself this year to buy no new clothes. Ah, you think, what an admirably minimalist approach! No, no - what I mean to say is that I've bought new clothes this year, just not new clothes. Secondhand, baby! Sustainability!

And whaddya know, I found those exact jeans in my size on Poshmark! And yet, alas, the seller was offering these secondhand jeans for $39, which was more expensive than HT sold them as they are constantly offering discounts. I don't generally like to pay full price under any circumstances, let alone in a reseller's market, but the lower offer I submitted was not accepted by the seller. Such is life.

But I couldn't quite stop thinking about those jeans - I could see them being super cute in the parks, plus for all my copious Disney clothing I own very little that's appropriate for chillier temperatures. Short dresses? Coming out my ears! Stuff for when Orlando decides to give winter a try? Less so.

Weakened by my vision, I came very close to abandoning my challenge and buying them from Hot Topic anyway when they had one of their 30% off sales. But then I discovered HT wanted like $20 in shipping to Puerto Rico, so buying from there went out the window on principle. I wasn't gonna break my resolution for a shafting.

Weeks passed - then months. (You guys remember the pandemic, right?) The Poshmark seller of the jeans lowered the price a few times, but never quite enough to tempt me. Then, one day, after I had made some money selling on Poshmark myself and had a smidge of cash on hand, I got a private offer on the jeans - for $12! $12! Plus shipping of course, but it all still came out to less than $19. Hooray!

By now this is probably feeling sort of like when you click on a recipe page and the author has written an enormous philosophical manifesto ahead of the actual recipe and you're scrolling and scrolling like for heaven's sake, just give me the INGREDIENTS LIST at least, so anyway, I now own these adorable jeans!

Mickey & Minnie Jeans

Mickey & Minnie jeans

I tried them out with some of the Disney masks my mom sent me, and determined the red Minnie one is the best aesthetic fit, Y/N? And my classic Minnie ears, of course. I'm pretty sure these photos qualify me for influencer status anyway.

Me in Mickey jeans

Me in Mickey Jeans

That's my latest sartorial Disney conquest. I hope I can get to WDW soon and try it out!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

In Which Jenn Runs The Virtual Parks Half Marathon

 I've said this before, but just to reiterate: I'm not really a virtual race kinda gal. I only generally do them if a premium is REALLY good or if a race gets virtual-ized and it's the only option available if I want to recoup my investment.

However, when the Parks Half Marathon went virtual, I signed up even though I wasn't registered for the live version. I mean, it's one of my former favorite hometown races, it was only $25, and the premium WASN'T just another race tee! Score!

Unfortunately, when plotting out my training schedule that month, I accidentally placed my practice half a week earlier than the race window started. Oops! I had carefully planned that run, so I did it anyway, and considered just calling that my virtual Parks - I mean, did it really matter?

But I knew too that it would probably bother me just a dab even if it didn't anybody else, so I ran another practice half on literally the very last day of the designated race window. Under the wire FTW!

Of course, this being the MARYLAND Parks Half Marathon, I outfitted myself accordingly.

Parks ballcap and Orioles sports bra
O!!!!! say can you see

The run itself was actually pretty okay, too - not very fast by my normal standards but solid by Puerto Rico standards. Seriously, I was in Maryland for a bit last week and in the autumnal temperatures I was shaving legit minutes off my times. I hear heat training is good for you, so here's hoping that manifests in new personal records in future races!

Thus I earned my groovy medal and a nice heavy weight beanie:

Parks Half Marathon medal and hat

Borderline useless here in PR, but it's good to be prepared for other locales - 2017 WDW Marathon, anyone?

Are you a virtual race person?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Friday, October 9, 2020

In Which Jenn's Race Is On! (Mostly)

Hey! I actually get to run an in-person race!

Remember when I had the audacity to put together a race schedule for 2020? I was so young and full of hope. Which of course turned out to be stupid and everything is cancelled, including some of my early 2021 races. Boo.

Happily, there is one light on the near horizon - the Battleship Half Marathon in Wilmington is ON!

Well, mostly. I was originally signed up to do the 5K on Saturday and then half on Sunday, but the 5K has indeed been cancelled. It was apparently in conjunction with a veteran's parade the same day which is no longer happening; my guess is they were sharing road permits. What can ya do. 

The amazing thing, though, is that anyone who signed up for the 5K has the option of upgrading to a Sunday event OR - get this - receiving a refund! And the people who were doing one of the 5K challenges gets a REFUND! I get a REFUND! I totally understand how some race organizations don't have the resources for refunds but it's so nice that they're able to do that.

So now there's a half marathon and a 10K on Sunday. Oh, and a marathon - they added a marathon, since they're now doing a looping course. I was tempted to upgrade (they said it's the only time they're going to do it and you know how runners love that kind of thing), but I'm gonna stick with the half. Assuming the Rival Half happens (oh God please let it happen), I REALLY need a proof of time for corral placement.

That, and as one of the precautionary anti-COVID measures, there will be NO spectators allowed. A marathon with a quadruple loop course and no spectators? Pass. Additional precautions include required masks when near others and a graduated course start where only 45 participants are released per wave. And no after party, of course.

So yeah! The race is on! But you know what isn't? My flights. A couple days before race confirmation Spirit emailed me to inform me my flights had been cancelled. Okay, fine. I went on their website to rebook... and they have NO flights at ALL until two weeks after I need to leave. Sweet. Now I'm paying twice as much to fly AA. Hooray!

But whatever. I'm running a race! A real race! LET'S GO FAST FAST ZOOM ZOOM RUNNING

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

In Which Jenn Reviews The Under Armour Sportsmask

The first step in reviewing any product is to remember to bring it with you for its intended activity. I was out of the building and halfway to the gate before I realized I had forgotten to don my new Under Armour athletic face mask for my morning run. Therefore this review comes at the expense of approximately 6 minutes' lost time. Please read it!

(Also, for the record, I bought it with my own money in anticipation of potentially needing it for a race. Despite my average running performance, unpopular blog, and minuscule Instagram following, UA mysteriously has yet to offer me a sponsorship.)

Don't forget to cut the tag out before you use it.

The Under Armour Sportsmask
will set you back $30, which is a bit steep for a mask, but in exchange it promises enhanced comfort and breathability using high-quality, antimicrobial materials. It's also allegedly water-resistant. It's recommended that you hand-wash it but machine-washing is supposedly okay too.

This is my good eyebrow side.

First impressions: it was indeed a comfortable material, and seemed to fit reasonably well. There's a wire bit at the top so you can mold it across your nose. I liked that there was enough space at the middle and bottom that I didn't feel like I was playing Suck and Blow with the fabric. (Is that a real thing or did Clueless just make it up?) 

I did not, however, feel cool - my hot breath was definitely winning that game.

This is my bad eyebrow side.

Then I took it for a quick 5k. Let's compare my experience against the selling points one by one:

  • "Made with high-performance UA materials, designed to be worn all day & when playing sports" - It was comfortable enough. I was able to zone out and forget I was wearing it now and again. I did occasionally feel like it was sliding off my nose but every time I reached to check it was still fine. I have a S/M and I don't think this was a function of needing a smaller size.
  • "Structured design sits up off the face & lips for added comfort & breathability" - As the run progressed and my breathing got a little more labored, I found that the fabric did hit my lips during some inhales, but it wasn't too bad. 
  • "Water-resistant outer shell features smooth, breathable spacer fabric" - It didn't rain during my run so I'm not sure how that would work out. I definitely sweat, though, and the mask retained its shape.
  • "Anti-microbial treatment on the inside layer to help keep mask fresh" - I noticed no funky smells. It'll definitely need a wash every time, though.
  • "Polyurethane open-cell foam lets air through but makes it hard for moisture & sweat to pass" - I never felt like I was struggling for air, nor did any sweat drip out of the bottom of the mask.
  • "UA Iso-Chill fabric on interior lining & ear loops feels cool to the touch for as long as you wear it" - I guess. Look, I'm running in Puerto Rico in September, so we've already set the dial to 11 in terms of heat and humidity. The fabric never felt super hot, but it didn't feel expressly cool either, even when I first put it on. And I definitely sweat underneath of it. 
  • "Fabric is soft & smooth for next to face comfort & moves moisture from your mouth to the insert layer" - The fabric next to my mouth never felt soggy, so that seems to work, yeah.
  • "Built-in UPF 50+ sun protection" - I can't wait to add weird facial tan lines to my weird runner's tan!

Obviously the ideal mask situation while running is no mask at all in a world where there's no pandemic. But as long as we have to wear one to keep everyone safe and race (fingers crossed it actually happens), I think the UA mask is perfectly serviceable. I wasn't blown away, but I don't dread potentially running 13 miles in it. 

Pro tip: if you want to potentially take it off to drink water or wipe away sweat for brief periods during your run, make sure you put your headphones on BEFORE the mask. Otherwise you're taking both off every time and it's annoying.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

In Which Jenn Cheers Herself Up With A New Disney Dress

Ugh, fine. Here's the post I was gonna write before I was so rudely sidetracked.

Back in simpler(?) times, before the mass cancellation of runDisney race weekends, I elected to cheer myself up with a new dress from the Disney Dress Shop. Disney was offering 30% off all orders for Annual Passholders and it seemed the time to strike.

So I indulged myself in the purchase of a super-cute yellow dress featuring the flamingo from Fantasia 2000. As has been previously documented, I absolutely adore Fantasia 2000, and the flamingo's tale that goes with Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals finale ranks among the top 2 segments out that exemplary anthology. Should we just watch it real quick? Let's just watch it real quick:

Right? Right! I never would've guessed Disney would see fit to make that little guy a dress but they sure had my number when they did it.

It's a great dress, too! While I love The Dress Shop, some of their designs can err on the side of frumpy; indeed, the skirt on this one is a bit long. Can't a girl show a little knee anymore? But the colors are fun, the print is cute, and the cut is flattering. I'm into it!

I wore it out for the first time to dinner a couple days ago. The waitress accidentally spilled Coke on it which was just as well because then, when I inadvertently dumped ketchup and mustard in my lap, I already had club soda and napkins available. And if that ain't 2020, I don't know what is. 😭🀣

P.S. Who wrote this?!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

In Which Jenn Mourns More Lost runDisney Races

Annnnnnnnnnd there it is.

I was just about to sit down and type up a cute little post about my latest Disney dress, but NO - the universe had to go ahead and hit me where it hurts.

As you are more than likely aware, both Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and Princess Half Marathon Weekend are cancelled. To quote myself expressing my feelings on the matter:

Blarg. Blarg, I say!!!

I know, I know. It's not the end of the world. But boy am I bummed all the same. The WDW Marathon is my favorite day of the ENTIRE YEAR. Hell, I would cite the 2018 version as the happiest day of my life so far. Losing it is a blow to my life force.

Ah, well. If they feel they have to cancel, that's how it is. I'm sure runDisney did not make the decision lightly or happily. I am a little surprised they took out Princess at the same time, but I suppose the two races are indeed quite close together. I suppose it's gonna save me some money, anyway.

Which is to say: I will definitely be requesting a refund. A) The prices for the virtual versions are exorbitant and B) I'm just not much of a virtual race girl. I value medals as physical reminders of a beloved experience, but medals for the sake of medals don't do much for me. If they do for you, good! You find joy in many things and are doubtless an overall happier person than I am. But a virtual version isn't gonna fly for me.

The only question in my mind at present is what to do as regards the WDW trips I had planned around those races. Should I go anyway? My first instinct is to say no - I'd rather reallocate those funds to trips that do include races. 

But on the other hand, I kept my Annual Pass because of those trips. If I don't go on them, the pass's value is significantly diminished. I could call Disney and see if they'd let me cancel my pass now even though the deadline is passed on the strength of this setback, but I doubt it'd get me that far.

Both of those trips also involve people who were suppose to share my room, so I'll have to talk it over with them too.

Things to ponder.

Thank God I opted for my 2020 runDisney race registration strategy. I'm still holding out hope for Rivals weekend - and I'll be ALL OVER Wine & Dine registration when it opens.

2020 really is the worst.

Are you also bummed? Or are you bummed too, also?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

In Which Jenn PRs In The 10K Thanks To Southwest Airlines

Okay, I know we JUST did a post about a training run of mine and I generally try to mix it up, but I had the BEST run on Sunday - all thanks to Southwest Airlines. Naturally I simply must tell you about it.

So here's what happened: I was going to get up at 8am and run that week's Rock 'n Roll virtual 10k. However, a notification popped up on my phone as I was setting my alarm: I needed to check in for my flight home to Puerto Rico at 8:55am on the dot. (For those not familiar with Southwest's seating policies, it's first-come first-served, with boarding groups and numbers assigned by how early you check in.)

Not wanting to stop in the middle of my run to accomplish this, I got up half an hour earlier. But as I finished dressing, hydrating, etc., I realized I would still going to need to push myself a bit if I wanted to make my time cutoff.

So I did. Rather than attempt to curtail my early-run instinct to pick up the pace, I let myself go kinda fast. And then... I continued to let myself go fast. Not sprinting, but a good clip. No reining it in or pulling it back in an effort to keep the entire thing comfortable. Hell, by the last mile I was decidedly NOT comfortable, but I also wasn't incapable. I kept the pace and my final mile was in fact my fastest.

You know what else was my fastest? This 10k! By a full minute! During training! Not a race! I have NEVER done that! I'm STILL pleased with myself!

I have to give a shout out to the excellent running weather that morning in Maryland, where I enjoyed upper 60s temperatures the likes of which Puerto Rico may well have never seen. And an extra thank you to the parking lot of the tech school behind the house, which has only one slight incline and is otherwise an ideal running circuit.

Now I am back in Puerto Rico, where it's hot and humid and running fast can be a challenge. But I'll give it a go sometimes anyway. As the professionals like to tell us, to run faster you've just got to... run faster. Pam was right all along!

P.S. A27 and A28. Boom!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, September 7, 2020

In Which Jenn Runs In OBX

Hello from OBX! Yesterday morning I completed my first long run outside of Puerto Rico in literal months and my God, did you know that in North Carolina it gets almost CHILLY at NIGHT? And that there's a BREEZE and the HUMIDITY isn't 8,000 PERCENT??? What a delight! I like to think all my hot weather training is going to convert into faster times in cooler climes, but it's nice to turn down the heat a bit now and again.

The only downside to pointing due north is that the sunrise is later, so I couldn't get quite as early a start as I would've liked (there aren't lights on the roads down here or sidewalks either, so visibility is important. Always run against traffic!). But I was still able to pop out a practice half with comparative ease.

I started by hanging left off our beach house and running down to Lee Robinson's General Store, a distance of about 4 miles. If you're ever in the Cape Hatteras area, definitely pop in there and get some chocolate peanut butter fudge and Blenheim ginger ale, but as they weren't open yet I was sadly unable.

Then I turned around and ran back to the house, where I swapped in a fresh bottle of water and finished my 13.1. I passed a couple of pro-Trump signs during this portion of the run - it's the south, after all - but I flipped them all off for my own cathartic purposes. Please vote Biden so poor Ruth Bader Ginsburg can retire, okay?

One of these days I should really try running on the beach again, but the flat, fast roads are so hard to resist!

Do you run on vacation?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, August 31, 2020

In Which Jenn Saw Those Yellow Minnie Ears Coming

 Hey, guys, I'm psychic!

That's right - I asked the universe for yellow ears and BAM! Two weeks later, Disney serves 'em up. Clearly I am a person of taste with my finger on the pulse of fashion trends. Disney Dandy powers, arise!

Anyway, there's a new pair of ears I want. Initially I was disappointed by the lack of sequins, but I'm really coming around on the velvet.

Hmmm. Let's see if I can pull this off again, shall we? What'll be the next color trends to emerge from the hit-and-miss minds of Disney merchandising execs? Let's do a trifecta horse race betting style, so as to give myself better odds of winning at least some, I don't know, internet clout or whatever:

  1. Royal blue
  2. Lime green
  3. Periwinkle (we haven't done that one yet, have we?)

Brb, just gonna run down to the Haunted Mansion to consult with Madame Leota on this one...

What do you predict will be Disney's next quote-unquote color trend? 

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

In Which Jenn Tests KT Tape Pro Extreme

Pat would like to contribute the following: KiTty Tape!

I'm sure you know KT Tape. I've been using it for years. You probably have too. I tried Rock Tape once but found it to be little different for more money, and the CVS version worked okay but lacked sufficient stretch. No, KT Tape works fine for me. Hell, it once saved my IT band. I guess you could say I stan.

HOWEVER. Since moving to Puerto Rico, I have run into a bit of a problem: the humidity is so high here and the answering sweat so profuse that, well, this happens:

Yeah. And, like, ALL the damn time. If I wanna keep it on my body I need to barricade it with longer running pants, which sucks because, as I said, hella high humidity, but what can you do.

Perhaps you can do one thing. You can upgrade.

Turns out there are three versions of strip KT Tape: regular, Pro, and PRO EXTREME!!!!!!πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ (Emphasis, er, mine. But how can you not???). Pro Extreme allegedly tackles a lot of the problems above, per the box below. Reviews on Amazon were mixed but since I was able to pick it up for a reasonable price I figured it was worth a shot.

Test 1: KT Tape Pro vs. Extreme

First thing I did was a one-to-one comparison with my last piece of KT Tape Pro, which is I think what they use at expo booths and as probably considered the standard when actively working out (although I've definitely used the original and gotten away with it). I did one knee in Extreme (black) and one in Pro (blue). I also made sure to wipe down my skin with a paper towel and then rub the tape after application. Here's where we started:

And here's where we ended after 3 miles. I had to yank the Pro off because flappy tape irritates me; top piece came off after about a mile and bottom piece surrendered around 2.5. Score one for Extreme, although you'll notice it didn't exactly come out unscathed either.

Test 2: Two Knees of KT Tape Extreme

Nevertheless, I took a leap of faith and donned two full knees worth of Extreme(!!!!!!!!) for a 10 miler. Note I used the exact same style as for last January's WDW Marathon which was so hot and humid the course got shortened for some and as you can see from the finish line photos my Pro tape held. Here's where we started:

And here's where we ended. Weird, right? Both are Extreme but one stayed pretty well intact (although still showing a bit of peeling around the edges) whereas the other finally gave up the ghost entirely around mile 7.5, I think. 

In neither test did I have any trouble removing the remaining tape; it slipped right off.

So I don't know. I'd say Extreme probably is noticeably more adhesive than Pro, but not to the point that you can 100% trust it in truly humid conditions. I will say that a KT Tape expo booth rep once sprayed me with alcohol to dry up my skin in advance and help with adhesion, so I might give that a shot. Still, I wanted to see what it could do straight out of the box first, as ideally we wouldn't need to add anything to our sleepy morning pre-run routines. Alas.

One other note: a different KT Tape booth rep another year entirely once told me they had stopped utilizing any stretch when applying the tape. I did not like this and wound up redoing my tape myself the way I'm used to, but maybe it's not designed for torque anymore? Feels off to me but who knows.

I wouldn't discourage you from giving Extreme a chance if you feel like you could use it, but definitely shop around. You can get it on Amazon for comparable prices to Pro if you're not picky about color.

Have you used KT Tape Pro Extreme? Did it work for you?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

A Brief Rundown Of runDisney's 2021 Proof Of Time Cutoffs

Someone asked me the other day to remind them of the Proof of Time cutoff for WDW Marathon Weekend. Not remembering off the top of my head, I hit Google, where I discovered plenty of information on Proof of Time cutoffs in the abstract sense but nothing about the exact dates for 2021 runDisney races.

This does make sense in that these dates are rolling each year in relation to the precise date of the race. But I thought in the present moment it might be helpful if someone collected 2021's cutoffs all in one place so that you don't necessarily have to go through each individual registration to check. And that someone is me!

2021 WDW Marathon Weekend: "Proof of Time can be submitted and/or updated by October 20, 2020. Only races run between July 1, 2018 and October 20, 2020 can be used as proof."

2021 Princess Weekend: "Proof of Time can be submitted and/or updated by November 17, 2020. Only races run between August 1, 2018 and November 17, 2020 can be used as proof."

2021 Star Wars Rival Run Weekend: "Proof of Time can be submitted and/or updated by January 19, 2021. Only races run between October 1, 2018 and January 19, 2021 can be used as proof."

Wine & Dine 2021 is pending; registration will probably open early-ish next year. All above information was collected directly from the runDisney website but is of course subject to change per their mighty whims.

You're welcome.

One last thing - if, like me, you find your 2020 race schedule has been largely COVID-cancelled out, you may find your quest for the perfect POT before the deadline to be an increasingly deflated one. I am trying to remind myself that runDisney is about the experience more than being in the speediest corral and if ya gotta weave a little, well, ya gotta weave a little. It's KIND OF working... 

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Friday, August 7, 2020

In Which Jenn Has A New Hope

Whew, it's stressful out there in runDisney registration land lately!

Yesterday I jumped into the Annual Passholder presale virtual queue for next year's Star Wars Rivals Half Marathon (take two). I won't leave you in suspense: I made it! I'm registered! Hooray!

But holy guacamole, getting in was anxiety-inducing. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that the order to get through to the purchase page is randomized, I bounced into line as soon as it showed up around 9:50am. A couple minutes later, just to be safe, I fired up my phone too. 

And then I watched the little waiting room spinner go round and round and round and round and...

I don't know if runDisney is still limiting the number of bibs released to allow for social distancing if needed, but as each minute ticked by I got more and more nervous. I'd say my phone probably got through around 10:14am, and I was v. relieved to see that not only was the half still available, only the challenge by itself was sold out.

I FLEW through the registration process and a couple minutes later I was the relieved recipient of a confirmation email. (I can't remember if I've already mentioned this tip, but: as you know, if you don't move fast enough, a race could literally sell out while you're putting in your credit card info. One way to speed up the process is to skip putting in your proof of time and making any decisions about merchandise add-ons. After you've registered, you can go back into your account and edit those things at your leisure.)

Out of curiosity, I let my computer continue to run the virtual queue screen, just to see how long it would take to get in. It finally came to the registration screen at 10:22am, 8 minutes later. If I hadn't also busted out my phone... it would've been fine. The half was still available. In fact, it was the same setup as before - everything but the bare challenge.

I checked back later around 10:35am and the only additional things that had sold out at that point were the half+virtual and challenge+virtual. And then I kinda got distracted so I can't give you very precise timestamps after that, but I can tell you by 11:20am everything was gone but the 5K, oddly enough.

So yeah. The challenge is a, um, challenge to get through to fast enough, but it seems like most of the other races don't require the level of nerves I historically apply to the process. But I guess each registration day is different.

If you're gunning for public signups on Tuesday, I say to you: qapla'! 



No, seriously, what?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

In Which Jenn Shows Off More Disney Dresses

Normally I save my Disney Dandy posts for upcoming Disney trip wardrobe reveals, but I am disturbingly low on upcoming Disney trips. I definitely have some planned, but the first isn't until January if I'm lucky and it feels a bajillion years away. How am I supposed to replenish my mental health from outside Orlando?!

Anyway. As I was saying, it's gonna be a minute before I can share a trip wardrobe post, so let's just pretend, shall we? I've snapped up some sweet second-hand Disney finds in the last year or so and I want to show them off.

The first three were all from ThredUp* but I know for a fact that at least two were sold at Hot Topic and I feel like the last one was too? Not that I regularly troll Hot Topic's Disney clothing selection or anything...

So we've got the Snow White collared dress, which particularly eagle-eyed and elephant-memoried Twitter followers might remember from years ago, when I polled the crowd on which of three Disney dresses I should buy for my next trip. I wound up purchasing my Peter Pan dress, but when the previously rejected Snow White number popped up on ThredUp I remembered it immediately/had to have it.

Slightly easier to remember but still a deep cut, longtime readers may recall how I did an entire post on this Marie dress. And then... wound up not buying it. And then when I wanted to they were out of my size. But then I found it on ThredUp and my wardrobe was complete (hahahaha AS IF - Cher Horowitz).

The Frozen cameo heads dress was an impulse purchase during a sale. To be honest it's a little subtle for my tastes, and I'm not even super intro Frozen (Moana FTW!). But I knew my nieces would dig it, and sure enough when I wore it to Thanksgiving the older one clocked that my dress had Anna and Elsa on it in like ten seconds. Kids know what they like.

And finally, my Baymax dress! There's a white Baymax costume dress floating around out there that I kinda wish I'd gotten instead, but as we've discussed at length before, white shows sweat and black does not. This dress I snagged on Poshmark for a mere $5! If there's a piece of Disney clothing you wish you'd picked up back in the day, definitely check Poshmark - it may just be hiding there.

Good hunting, everyone!

What are your latest Disney purchases? Are you also bereft whenever not safe in WDW's loving embrace?

* Affiliate link, as you do.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

In Which Jenn Is Slow (& It's GREAT)

I was in Ocean City, MD last week. I KNOW. Look, I'm not saying it was a good idea. Largely we went so that we could be the buffer between the world and an immunocompromised family member who was going. We wore masks any time we stepped outside, but you wouldn't BELIEVE how many people on the boardwalk didn't. It's a mess and if you were thinking about going, maybe don't?

Anyway. Personal choices aside. I was there, and I was able to get in some boardwalk runs. Don't worry, I got up early and knocked them out before the crowds rolled in. 

I had planned to keep it pretty chill, just a series of 30 minute jaunts. Of course, the boardwalk is such a delightfully straight, flat running path, I couldn't help clocking some unintentionally fast miles.

But then one particular morning, I had been asked to swing by the post office to drop a card in the adjacent mailbox; since this was off the boardwalk and I'd need to pay attention to a new route and the hazards therein contained, I decided to take the run extra easy.

Holy guacamole, guys, it was AWESOME. I just cruised all 3 miles. It felt almost effortless. I hardly even knew what to do with myself but I knew I was enjoying the hell out of it. I may do this all month.

Runners tend to be goal-oriented with a need for gains, in both speed and mileage. But if you haven't tried a short and gentle jog in awhile, I would highly encourage it. Finishing your run with a jaunty step and a smile on your face will make you that much more excited for your next hard slog. After all, isn't running easy and fun? 😜

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Friday, July 10, 2020

In Which Jenn Luckily Already Has A Splash Mountain Souvenir

No doubt by now you've heard about how Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom had a 240 minute wait yesterday- for the gift shop. People were queuing up for a legit 2-hour wait to buy endangered ride merch.

Sure, that's kind of insane, but I do get the urge - Splash Mountain is a great ride, and as much as I'm down for the Princess & The Frog redo for a variety of reasons, I'll miss it. It would be nice to have a memento. Alas, I'm not sure I'll be back to WDW before it shuts down for the refurb, thus ruining my chances at both a final ride and a final shopping experience.

But wait! Thankfully I remembered I already have a Splash Mountain souvenir: a t-shirt I picked up in June 2011. If I remember correctly I grabbed it on the very last day of the trip. It's not the most eye-catching of designs (where are the characters? Why is the color palette so muted? What is the ride name barely legible?), but the fitted crop cut is cute and - this was important as I can be cheap am frugal - it was on sale, which is probably what tipped me into "buy" mode.

Unfortunately, while I have no memory of anything ever happening while wearing it, it hasn't aged well, which is why it hasn't made it into a park wardrobe rotation previously. It's got some weird discoloration on one sleeve and a tiny hole in the upper left near the collar. 

I think it might be salvageable, though, with a good steam and some minor modifications - the discoloration doesn't bother me too much, and I think I can cover over the hole and make it cuter with an iron-on patch. I'm currently trolling Etsy for a such a find, so if you have any recommendations, let me know!

I suppose this would decrease its value as an authentic piece of Disney Parks merchandise of a bygone era, but, I mean, it isn't in great condition as it is. What is it with me and vintage Disney t-shirts?

If my mission is successful, you may see this shirt in my next Disney Dandy post; I have a brown suede skirt that might go with it well, or some skinny jeans if the weather calls for it. In the meantime, best of luck for those trying to get your hands on a Splash souvenir of your own. Here's hoping it stays open long enough for us to get those last rides and shopping sprees in!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, July 6, 2020

In Which Jenn Is Probably Forgetting Something

Hello! Are you a paranoiac? Are you forgetful? Are you a forgetful paranoiac? ARE YOU A PARANOIAC BECAUSE YOU'RE FORGETFUL???

I feel you. Oh, do I feel you. My anxieties seep into all aspects of my life, running included. But I adapt and manage them as I go along - and I think I've got my pre-race readiness paranoia licked (one down!). The solution is simple: photography!

Next time you lay out your race gear, lay it ALL out. Is your breakfast bar in the fridge? Go grab it and toss it on top of your sports bra. Have you cut your KT Tape yet? At least lay it out with some scissors. Watch? Water? Credit cards? Add EVERYTHING for race morning to the pile.

Once you're absolutely sure every element of your race is in one place, take a picture. Afterward your race is over, evaluate. Were you missing anything? No? Great! You've got yourself a race prep platonic ideal!

Then, when you're prepping for your next race, consult your photos and look over the contents. Anything missing? No problem; you've caught it in time!

Certainly it's not a foolproof method; different races have different requirements. But it's helped me cool my anxiety jets and/or saved my running bacon on more than one occasion. Can also work for long training runs. Practice while you're waiting for races to start up again. You know how to get to Carnegie Hall, after all.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

In Which Jenn Has A Weird Running Tan

It all started at the 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon.

I don't know if it was record-breaking heat, but it was certainly the hottest WDW Marathon I'd experience, so much so that they cut the course short for some of the slower runners

Thanks to that heat, I made the unusual choice to wear shorts. They worked out fine, but with the broiling sun I wound up with quite the shorts tan. Even weeks later I was rocking a distinct straight line across my thighs, like a farmer's tan if farmers wore very pale bike shorts.

Oh, and a KT Tape tan too, for good measure.

Of course, not too long after that the COVID shut down came, and I wasn't able to hang out on the beach in an effort to combat this problem. I was, however, able to continue running outside in the mornings. In my shorts. Problem: compounded.

But wait, there's more! I've been running more and longer in Puerto Rico, and in the summer the heat and humidity here is pretty brutal. I sometimes come in from perfectly dry runs looking like a just slogged through a rainstorm. One way to make this problem more bearable? Ditch the shirt.

This works great! Ladies, you should all ditch the shirt! Run in just the sports bra and be free! There's no need to be weighed down by redundant torso fabric!

But you should know: you will get a weird band of tan around your abdomen. Unfortunately I can't show you the overall effect because I can't quite reconcile a Disney blog with nudity, so you're going to have a trust me. Combined with the aforementioned thigh tan it's an... interesting look.

Then again, what isn't... interesting these days? Lean in!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, June 29, 2020

In Which Jenn Joins The Splash Mountain Fray

Sooo I waffled back and forth about whether to post this, but here we are.

I had a Twitter conversation about Splash Mountain's announced re-theme on Thursday evening in which I was pleased with some of the points I made. I took some screenshots with the intention of posting them here on Friday, but after thought decided against it. I'm not trying to get anyone cancelled, and others may disagree with me with civility if that's their wont. 

However, while I debated peacefully enough on Twitter, I have since seen it has gotten rather uglier in other corners of the Disney world. (Metaphorically. You know, as separate from the Disney World.) As such, I think it is once again time to make my thoughts known, not because I think anyone's on tenterhooks waiting for my hot take, but because I want to make sure it's clear where I stand, if only for posterity.

As such, here as some of the thoughts I have about the upcoming Princess and the Frog redo of Splash Mountain. I have removed the tweets of my verbal sparring partner because they weren't rude and I'm not here to call anybody out, but I'll fill in any gaps with the gist of their arguments. Onward!

After which someone responded that New Orleans doesn't make any sense either which, fair enough. However:

To which came the rejoinder that it did matter because The Princess and the Frog could've had a brand new ride anywhere, people who grew up with Splash would miss out on sharing it with their kids, and this person's children would not be interested in the change.

My rebuttal:

To put it another way:

  • Give Disney a chance to figure out the themeing and location because Splash Mountain isn't perfectly placed as is.
  • I'm confident Tony Baxter won't let anything terrible happen to an attraction he pioneered. At the very least, see what he comes up with, along with what I can only assume is an amazing team of Imagineers.
  • The Princess and the Frog is a great movie with some FIRE music and the concept art looks pretty appealing! Sure, there's a princess in the title but Mardi Gras fun should be perfectly accessible to boys. As we tell kids about just about everything else in life: try it; you might like it!
  • If I can get past my seething hatred for Avatar and take some begrudging pleasure in Pandora's rides, you can do it too.
  • And finally: however hard Disney may have tried in the past to sidestep the more unsavory aspects of the movie, Song of the South can't help but impart at least some of its racist undertones upon Splash Mountain's story. Walt wanted his parks to be for EVERYONE to enjoy. That can only come to pass by learning, growing, and making changes in the name of social enlightenment - yes, even when it comes to classic attractions. Your sore nostalgia gland has nothing on the pain of systemic racism. No one should ever feel sad and/or uncomfortable at Walt Disney World! What the hell do you think this is, real life???

So there's that. I'm sure you were all wondering. Anyway, I shall bid Splash Mountain a fond farewell but I think this overlay has every capacity to be fabulous; I'm excited to ride it someday!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

In Which Jenn Finds A Race Costume Loophole

I have found it! I have found my race costume holy grail! It's... WHITE RACE PANTS THAT WON'T MAKE IT LOOK LIKE I PEED MYSELF ON COURSE!!!

Perhaps this seems like a frivolous request. Perhaps the solution should be simply to not wear white running pants; problem solved. But. Do you have any idea how many runDisney race costumes require some white for clear recognition?

Marie from The Aristocats! EVE from Wall-E! Baymax! Any iteration of Duck, be it Donald, Daisy, or an assorted nephew! Those first three in particular I have been pondering forever, but I was afraid to take the plunge because of my fear of sweat-through. 

Then I found them. The running pants to fix the problem. They're Senita, I got them on Thredup,* and they circumvent the whole problem so neatly I immediately bought some Baymax ears to go with them.

Keep the top black and just put the white on the bottom, less-sweaty portions on the body? Genius! I'm so running as Baymax for the marathon - I have just the shirt for it.

I may have an EVE hat coming in the mail, too... A girl's gotta be prepared.

What's your latest race costume?

* Heads up: referral link.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

In Which Jenn Does NOT Bless The Sands Down In Africa

A view of the mountains from my balcony. They're there, okay? Just trust me.

Today I did not run because of the weather. Was it stormy? No. Aggressively windy? No. Hail? Hurricane? Flood? Extreme heat? All logical for Puerto Rico, but no.

It was sand. In the air. FROM THE SAHARA DESERT.

Look, The Washington Post even published an article on it yesterday. They're saying it's a record amount.

A record amount of sand, yes, but not an unusual phenomenon: we get Saharan sand over here every year in the summer in the form of the Saharan Air Layer. NOAA can explain it to you in more detail, but basically the SAL kicks up over the desert and then crosses the freakin' Atlantic to hang out in the atmosphere over here. 

As I understand it, this phenomenon is useful in mitigating the intensity of potential hurricanes, so that's good. But it's not fabulous for air quality. When the SAL shows up, especially in the levels we're currently seeing, it's recommended you stay inside and not breathe too much of the sand air. Particularly if you have asthma or anything else that causes difficulty in breathing.

I myself have some exciting allergies to dust, and while I had planned to go for a run this morning Pat was VERY dubious about the wisdom of this choice; he asked me like eighteen times if I was sure I wanted to go for a run. So I did my arms/shoulders workout instead. BUT I DIDN'T LIKE IT. (Not that I ever really do, but that's not the point.)

Pat assures me the levels are supposed to go down tomorrow, so I intend to knock those missed miles out then. Hear that, Sahara Desert? You ain't ever gonna keep me down! (Ain't never? I can't remember how good Chumbawamba is about grammar.)

What's the weirdest weather you couldn't run in? Or heck, the weirdest weather you could?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, June 22, 2020

In Which Jenn Has A Nifty New Running Trail

I've found a new running trail! It (mostly) hugs the beach all through PiΓ±ones, and features some pretty sweet views of the ocean and sometimes even the mountains. 

It has some hills, too, which obviously aren't always a good time while you're doing them but are great for training purposes. My times got significantly faster when I started running outdoor routes with hills. Between that and the heat and humidity, I expect to crush my next mainland race, of course. 😜

I've followed the trail as far as 5 miles, but I've seen more trail across the street from where I stopped so I know there's more! Out-and-backs aren't always the best, but they're a helluva lot better than doing laps in a parking lot to fill out your mileage, I can tell you that much.

I tried to take a video during my last long run during my favorite portion of the trail. I can't say it turned out great, per se, in that it a bit herky-jerky and I didn't always control the camera as well as I would've liked. In my defense I was also partially concentrating on not tripping and falling on my face.

All the same, this video will give you the gist, and Pat doctored it nicely and added some music (Nellie McKay's "Caribbean Time," since you asked). It doesn't do the trail justice but it'll have to tide you over until you can come visit.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

In Which Jenn Wants To Go To WDW... In Her Pajamas?

Like many of your parents too, I'm sure, my parents number among the worshipers at the altar of Costco. I'm not a member myself, but I must admit to enjoying the odd trip when I visit them; Costco has so much STUFF to poke around in!

Some of that stuff, believe it or not, is Disney stuff, and when my mom offered to send me some Minnie Mouse pajamas, I wasn't about to refuse.

Look how cute they area! They're soft and pink and even have pockets! Why, they're so cute they almost look like... a matching shorts set...

Okay, hear me out. You know how lately it's a thing to wear pajamas on the red carpet? Zendaya's done it, and Billie Eilish, and Rashida Jones, and Tilda Swinton of course because she would. You can totally do it and it's totally chic as long as you elevate it in the accessories.

What I'm trying to say is... I can wear my Minnie Mouse pajamas to the parks, right? Look! I tucked in the shirt and added ears and sneakers and the Kate Spade purse I got for my birthday! Sweet drip, right? (Is that how you use drip? I've only ever heard it from Hasan Minhaj but it sounded cool when he said it.)

I mean, it's not like I'm naked. I can't see why Disney would have any objection -


Well? Should I take the shot or stick to, like, actual clothes?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!