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 Piñones, 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 -


Oh.

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!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

In Which Jenn Almost Ruins Her Own Race Schedule

In today's post I am going to take you on a brief tour of the inside of my brain. Now, I want to be up front with you: it's scary in there. Don't panic! I'll be with you the whole way and I won't let anything happen to you. I promise I can safely shepherd you through the full experience; I live there, after all.

It all started two days after Princess Half Marathon registration. I can't quite put my finger on the catalyst, but I believe I was thinking through potential flights surrounding the February 21 race when suddenly it dawned on me: I was also signed up for the Wilmington Marathon. Historically this race is in mid-March, but for next year it had moved... to late February.

You can see where I'm going with this.

Now. For a normal person, this would be mildly problematic. They would register some slight concern, then check the dates. Not me! As is my wont, I initiated Stage One Panic: a shot of adrenaline mixed with dread. I was instantly like 90% sure the two races were the same weekend. Neither is particularly generous with their cancellation policy.

Still jacked up on the epinephrine rush, my brain jumped ahead to Crisis Management Mode. I must fix this oh no oh no no I can fix this how do I fix this solutions solutions?????? Could I defer? Was there a virtual option? Given how popular Princess is, would runDisney make an exception and let me return my bib ahead of public registration day?


Luckily while my mind was galloping ahead, my spinal cord took over my hands and I actually looked up the date for the Wilmington Marathon.

It's February 27.

To reiterate, the Princess Half is February 21.

I was gloriously wrong. THANK GOD.

The relief came flooding over me and washed the dread away. The day was saved! But I was still in such a tizzy that I got halfway through making pizza before realizing we didn't have any sauce and THEN I messed up the replacement stir fry and THEN Pat accidentally dumped an entire glass of water on my laptop. I think I'm getting to him. (Don't worry; he took the back off and managed to dry it out for me.)

So yeah, I'll be running a half marathon and a marathon within a week of each other, but that's okay, I've done that and worse - much worse. Mind you, I'd prefer the full and then the half, but I'm sure I'll manage. If anything, it'll encourage me to slow down and enjoy Princess. Stop for those characters. Take my time.

The important thing is that they aren't the same weekend and my brain did not explode. And with that, the tour is over, kids! You made it! Now go forth and be functioning adults!

Have you ever inadvertently double booked races? Do you also spend two-thirds of your life teetering dangerously close to a nervous breakdown or is that special for me?

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, June 12, 2020

In Which Jenn Is A Princess

Alrighty, let's dive back in.

I'M A PRINCESS, EVERYBODY!


Yes, for the first time since my very first half marathon and runDisney event in 2013, I'm running the Princess Half Marathon. I outlined my thought process in this post, but basically I'm so afraid of 2021 race FOMO I'm willing to throw caution (and money) to the wind in order to mentally insure myself against potential cancellations. 

As I've said as recently as the last paragraph, I haven't run the Princess Half since its 5th anniversary in 2013, so I'm woefully out of the loop as to what to expect. I'm pretty sure the course hasn't changed, and I hear the expo is still a bit nuts, but I'm excited to see what princess characters are out and about. What else should I be looking forward to?

Incidentally, this was the first time I wound up in a virtual race registration queue in like two years. I did not like it. You guys going for challenge bibs and 10Ks and all that really popular stuff have nerves of steel.

Good luck to all those gunning for a bib when they drop to the public on Tuesday - fight for your own hand!

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 11, 2020

A Transitional Interlude

Hey guys - it's been a bit since I've posted. I don't mean to alarm you if you hadn't already noticed, but things are... weird. You know, what with the pandemic and racism and riots and police brutality and political incompetence and whatever else.


I'm not usually one to broadcast my political views, and on some channels such as Facebook I haven't made any statements simply because I don't historically do so; starting to use some platforms now feels uncomfortably disingenuous. But I talk a lot on Twitter and I talk a lot here, and I want to be clear: Black Lives Matter

For all of us who aspire to the title of ally, now is the time to put our money where our mouths are, figuratively (in the form of signing petitions, protesting, etc.) and literally. If you're looking for a way to help, some organizations I have personally donated to in the last few weeks include the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the DC Legal Support Fund, and the Black Visions Collective. But there are TONS of worthy causes out there. If you're not sure where to start, I suggest looking up your local bail fund and going from there, but lead with your heart. 

You can also support Black businesses (webuyblack.com is one good resource), watch Black-led shows and movies (I'm watching Self-Made because I adore Octavia Spencer!), follow Black public figures on social media (Ally Henny has been thought-provoking for me) - basically, broaden your horizons.

And if it's not already apparent, I'm not suggesting I'm the foremost authority on allyship, race relations, or any of that! These are just some ways I'm pursuing improvement and growth. I'm 100% open to additional suggestions and discourse in the comments or anywhere else. 

Okay. So. Now what? Well... I don't want to say "let's get back to normal," because a) that's not happening any time soon and b) "normal" as defined by "just the same as before" needs some improvements which the populace is collectively addressing at present (see above).

That being said, I do intend to start posting my light, Disney- and running-related content again. If this is not your bag right now, that's okay! You don't have to visit my particular corner of the internet if it's not working for you. No hard feelings.

All right, that's my statement. It certainly can't to cover the depth and breadth of... everything... but it's a start.

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!