Happy Friday: If You Have Time To Walk, Pan, You Have Time To Do Push-Ups

This joke is not funny. I know this. But I chose it for this week’s Happy Friday all the same, and here’s why: the green army man who is always on the hill around mile 20 of the WDW Marathon. In 2016, he yelled at a runner dressed at Tink, “Didn’t I tell you you could never, never land?!” and for some reason, in my mile-20-of-a-marathon stupor, I found this UPROARIOUSLY HILARIOUS.

In loving memory:

What marathon madness has made you laugh uproariously for no real reason?

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

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: Reviewing Some Of The World’s Sushi

Last post of the mini trip report! I’m covering my quick weekend trip for the WDW Marathon. To read all the posts in this report,click here.

And now for the most interesting part of any trip report: a food review.

My boyfriend is not a sushi fan, so I don’t end up eating it very often in normal life. Throw me into a solo trip, however, and it’s all sushi all the time! (See exhibit A.) So for my WDW Marathon Weekend Mini-Trip, I had sushi for lunch both days. It was… it was kind of disappointing, actually.

First up: the new Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs. The sushi menu there is pretty small and rather expensive; I went with a veggie roll for $7 and a spicy tuna roll (hold the spicy mayo) for I believe $12. You’re given the option of brown rice or white, and in the interest of health and marathon fueling I went with brown. Not sure if this affected my experience, but…

For an Iron Chef, I expected more than this. I asked for my tuna roll without spicy mayo because I feel like it masks the rich flavors of the fish. Well, the rich flavors weren’t there. Probably with the spicy mayo it’s all about that and the raw tuna is more for texture, but that’s not what I go into a tuna roll wanting.

The veggie roll is basically a garden salad wrapped in rice – cucumbers, carrots, greens. No daikon, thank God. I got my veggies in but I wasn’t impressed.

It being marathon weekend I was unable to sample what looks to be an extensive sake collection, and for that reason alone I would come back. I’d hesitate to drop cash on the sushi, though. I understand Morimoto’s signature dish is duck; maybe sushi isn’t really his thing and he only includes it because people expect it of a Japanese restaurant. Then, too, the restaurant is still fairly new and they may still be working out the kinks. If anyone eats here in the future, let me know what you think!

My second sushi experience was at Kona Island Cafe in the Polynesian. This counter service spot is located next to the Kona Cafe sit down restaurant in the lobby, across from ‘Ohana and the Tambu Lounge. The Island makes all the sushi rolls for the Cafe, so if you’ve had sushi from one of these locations you’ve had it from both. (And note that because of that, you may have to wait a bit for your order even if you’re the only person in line; it looked like Cafe orders may be prioritized.)

Anyway. I got what I believe was called the sushi combination or chef’s combination or something like that: a tuna and veggie roll alongside a chef’s selection of nigiri and sashimi. In both cases the latter turned out to be one each of salmon, tuna, and a believe yellowfin? With tax and such it ran me somewhere in the area of $15, which I consider a good value for decent sushi. Indeed, I thought it was better than Morimoto’s, although still not as rich as I wanted it to be.

None of the fish I tried at either place had a strong, full flavor. Maybe it has something to do with Orlando’s fish markets or something. Seriously, what is going on? I’ve had better sushi from the counter service place in DC’s Union Station. Of course, that place is pretty awesome. You should try it.

If you’re at WDW and you’re in the market for sushi, there are a bunch of places to get it. I hear great things about California Grill’s sushi menu but have never tried it personally, although you’ll need to be prepared to shell out all the money you’ve ever had and ever will have. I’ve eaten at Tokyo Dining in the Japan pavilion several times and invariably enjoyed the experience. You can also get prepackaged sushi in the Katsura Grill counter service restaurant in the Japan Pavilion. It’s exactly the same sushi – marked as being from Mitsukoshi – that you’ll find in some resort grab and go food selections, so again, if you’ve had a California roll from one you’ve had it from them all.

Personally I find sushi to be a great pre- or post-race selection – protein from the fish, carbs from the rice!

Have you eaten WDW’s sushi? What did you think? Which place has the best?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 1/10

Mini trip report time! I’m covering my quick weekend trip for the WDW Marathon. To read all the posts in this report,click here.

I arrived back at Pop just after noon, which gave me a little under an hour to do my shower thing and get out per the late check out rules. I ate a couple snacks, cleaned myself off, did some last minute packing, and headed out.

Disney doesn’t require in-person check out unless you need to adjust your bill or something, but I still needed to swing by the front desk: my Magical Express ticket home was AWOL. Luckily the concierge CM got this straightened out without difficulty, and after checking my carry-on bag with luggage assistance I snagged a bus to the Magic Kingdom. Time for more park-free exploring!

I wandered past the Magic Kingdom entry area and up to the Resort Loop monorail station, which I took first to the Polynesian. Alas, my hopes were immediately dashed: although Tambu Lounge was open, they didn’t serve food until 5pm and the opening of ‘Ohana. No bread pudding for me. :/

My brain briefly flashed through alternatives but I knew I kinda needed to eat more than anything else. Solution: Kona Island Cafe right across the lobby, where I got coffee and sushi which I will detail in a later post.

The loss of my bread pudding was continuing to make me sad, though, so I turned my back on the Polynesian and took the monorail to the Grand Floridian, where I resolved to make a very thorough examination of the unique shops. Most of them were surprisingly standard Disney gift and clothing shops, admittedly in fancier packaging. The Basin White soap store was the only truly unique place I saw.

Some suspicious characters, if you ask me.

It occurred to me as I passed it that what I should have done for food was see if the Garden View Lounge had any openings for afternoon tea. Next time!

I briefly pondered making a third stop at the Contemporary, but instead I took the monorail to the TTC and then grabbed another monorail to Epcot. Mind you, I didn’t get off; I simply enjoyed the ride as it took me within Epcot’s boundaries and then away again.


Excited yet? You will be when I tell you that my next act was to take another monorail back to the Magic Kingdom. How do I even live at these speeds?! I chose this particular option so that I could listen to the Main Street music track (it’s the same as what’s just outside, right?) as I walked down to the bus stop.

I took the bus back to Pop and got some Babycakes brownie cupcakes at the food court; I don’t have any food allergies but I liked some of their stuff I tried way back in the day when they had a store in Downtown Disney (which they do again now under a different title, but that doesn’t feed my nostalgia so whatever). The brownies were pretty delicious, with chocolate chunks in the brownie proper and different flavors of icing on top (mint, raspberry, and two… chocolate? Mocha?). The consistency of the icing is a little different than the norm, but it’s good. My only complaint is that there could stand to be more of it.

After that it was a simple matter of killing time. I made a careful perusal of the gift shop and bought an extra bag of sour gummy worms just in case there came another drought. Then I got my bag from luggage services and took the Magical Express to the airport.

Just two more things before we wrap up the report proper:

  1. MCO was the quietest I’ve EVER seen it. I barely had to wait in line at security at all. Is January 10 the day no one flies or something?
  2. Almost everyone on the plane was coming from WDW Marathon Weekend. The girl next to me had come down to spectate as a surprise to friends. I heard conversations about the races in front of me, behind me, from every direction. In a weird way, it was comforting, and kinda of like the plane ride was an extension of the experience. Good times.

Okay, that’s it! My two-day WDW Marathon experience. It was 100% worth it and I would do it again, but I must admit I would arrange my non-park time a little differently. Day two as it stands was, frankly, a bit boring. I would instead use my post-expo time on Saturday to go to the Polynesian and get my all-important bread pudding to go, and then hit up Disney Springs on Sunday instead. There’s some sort of race after-party there anyway. Who knows? Could be fun!

Stick with me – I’ve still got one more post about this trip to go. Sushi, anyone?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: The WDW Marathon

Mini trip report time! I’m covering my quick weekend trip for the WDW Marathon. To read all the posts in this report, click here.

Did I dream it? Did I dream that I dreamed it? In either case, I sat bolt upright in bed. Had I slept through my alarm???

2:48am. Whew! Also: damn. Never gonna get those 12 minutes back, not the way they could’ve been. Ah well. Better than the alternative, no question.
At 3am, my phone alarm went off. I sat up and turned it off along with the other two backup alarms I had set. Two minutes later the phone rang with my wakeup call. I was already eating a snack. Wasn’t gonna sleep through this one!
I stepped out into the dark night, but not the cold – it was 70 degrees outside, and humid as all hell. I kinda regretted my decision to wear throwaway coverups, but I wasn’t about to turn back for that. At about 3:35am I arrived at the bus line, and just before the hordes, it seemed; I looked out the window from my seat and saw the line stretching all the way back to the luggage check desk.
The trip from Pop to the Epcot parking lot wasn’t that bad, really. There was some traffic, but nothing like what I hear some other routes were dealing with (I was texting with Nicole and she sent me a photo of a nightmarish line of cars ahead of her bus). It was shortly after 4am when I entered the pre-race area, and I quickly grabbed a spot in a port-a-potty line. Thus relieved, I took a spin through the merchandise tent (nothing worth having) before heading toward the corrals with the deejay’s blessing.

I was early to the corrals, and easily secured myself a spot at the very front of H. Then, of course, came the waiting. The various race hosts began their chatter about that time and I admired their efforts even if it was way too early in the morning to match their energy levels. In particular I noted Carissa’s Sorcerer Mickey outfit for future Disney Bounding/race costuming. We were held back for a surprisingly long time, but were finally allowed to move forward around the time corral E took off. We inched our way toward the start line and let fly just after 6am.

The first couple miles were, as always, uneventful. Roads. I was pleased to note that neither my Achilles nor my hip (a new potential problem) were immediately voicing any displeasure. It was definitely EXTREMELY humid and I wasn’t feeling boundless reserves of energy, but I was doing a-okay so far.

The real fun began to kick in as we passed the Magic Kingdom tollbooths, and I was positively thrilled as I took my first few steps into the Magic Kingdom itself. Indeed, I did something unheard of, especially while running alone: I turned off my music. And never turned it back on. Not getting a chance to hang out in the parks made me want to soak in my run through them as thoroughly as possible, and that included listening to the music as I ran down Main Street, into Tomorrowland, and on.

Didn’t even notice the Princess Bride sign until I was looking
through my photos later.

Did I mention the humidity? The 100% humidity? I mean, it wasn’t that hot – around 70 degrees, warm but hardly day-ruining – but the tremendous humidity made it feel gross all the same. In that moment I decided I would become a Pictures Girl, and I came to a halt in the line for two Country Bears, which became three by the time it was my turn. Score!

Pat loooooooves Splash Mountain, so when I saw Brer Fox and Brer Bear out for a rare photo op I had to stop.

Some CMs are better at photos than others.

Right after which I got a text from Nicole: “I see you by Splash Mountain!” She soon joined me at the Maleficent dragon float from the new parade, and we took off together down the road.

And now for the boring part. Well, not immediately. At first you’re in the monorail resort area, and that’s nice. But then you’re just kinda on roads, with no speedway to break things up. Not that the speedway was that great, but the classic cars were nice and it was a change of pace. Oh well. At least they had the characters out, including the Evil Queen and the very exciting appearance of none other than Shan Yu.

Soon enough, however, we were approaching Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which was as full of honor and glory as Shan Yu isn’t: Festival of the Lion King performers and adorable animals were there to greet me! Also a boar had a nervous breakdown and had to be tackled in the middle of the race course, so that was new.


This rabbit’s name is Fezzik! Everything is connected!

Next we entered DAK proper, where things were starting to wake up. The Magic Kingdom was magical to run through, of course, in the dark with the sparkling castle lights, but there is something to be said for a park just about to open – a TON of Cast Members cheered us on as we entered Harambe, and it gave me energy.

We passed Expedition: Everest at 8:45am; unfortunately, an inquiry to a CM yielded the information that they couldn’t guarantee a ride until 9am. We hemmed and hawed a bit about staying but ultimately decided that a 15 minute pause was just too much. Off we ran again, through Dinoland and out of DAK. (Pro tip: use the bathroom just past the Finding Nemo theater. Yes, it’s a bit far from the path, but no one is in there.)

Then came the long march: no more parks to be had for miles. Sounds gloomy, right? That’s probably why we came across the Haunted Mansion gravediggers shortly after.

Around this time I start outpacing Nicole a bit, as she was courageously doing Dopey. She shooed me ahead just as we entered ESPN Wide World of Sports. Thank you, brave Nicole, for sticking with me as long as you did and being an excellent running companion!

WWoS doesn’t really do much for me. The baseball stadium is kinda cool, but otherwise there’s not much to look at besides fields and buildings. Last year this was a rough patch for me. This year it was just as boring, but I had something I have frankly never had during a marathon ever before: energy reserves. The combination of stopping for photos and slowing down to accommodate Nicole’s Dopeyness (I hope everyone knows what Dopey is or that sounds like a terrible insult…) meant I hadn’t burned through my stores. I actually felt pretty good as I exited WWoS. The entrance and exit of the area come together on the course. “Remember when we saw the people ahead of us and hated them?” a woman near me mused. Indeed.

I kept up a semi-decent clip – not fast, but consistent – as I ran up the hill presided over by the Green Army Men. “If you have time to walk, you have time to do pushups!” declared the senior officer. “Tink and Peter Pan!!! Didn’t I tell you you could never never land?” (I have of course heard this joke a million times before but for some reason in this context it struck me as hilarious and I spent several minutes afterward laughing like an idiot. I may have been punch drunk. Run drunk?)

And then, finally, I entered the Studios. This is my least favorite park (although we’ll see what the future brings). but I was still happy to be nearing the end in more interesting surroundings. I dance my way through the disco costume hallway with medium spirits, and by the time I reach Sunset Boulevard, my spirits were high – there were SO MANY spectators! The parks were open and CMs and guests alike cheered us on as we ran out of the Studios and down toward the Boardwalk.

Where it became even more of a cheer fest, as the entire Boardwalk resort area was lined with spectators giving out candy, giving out beer shots, holding up signs, and shouting encouragement. One group had even brought their English bulldog, who sat in a camping chair. “Nacho is proud of you!” yelled his owner, but I think his expression and demeanor communicated more concern than anything else.

There had been a chocolate stop in the Studios, but I was not feeling chocolate. Neither was I feeling smarties, Twizzlers, or any other offerings, which made me feel kinda bad because it’s really really nice of these people to offer, y’know? But just as I was about to hit the bridge I saw her: a girl handing out baggies of small red candies. “Swedish fish?!” I practically screamed at the girl as I barreled toward her. “Yes!” she said, and I grabbed the bag and said “You’re the best ever!!!” and she responded “I love you!!!” and basically I think somewhere out there I have a new best friend.

Then I was into Epcot and on my way through World Showcase, where the crowds continued to be out in full force. I felt tired and slightly pained. But more than that I felt awesome. I felt like everyone there was cheering just for me. I felt like I was doing my best at something I’m not naturally good at. I felt like runDisney was amazing and everyone was amazing. Is this that “runner’s high” thing people always talk about?

I had one mission on my trip around the lagoon: a photo with Mulan. Unfortunately there were some non-runners in line ahead of me taking their time with selfies. Is that even allowed? Anyway, I got my shot and carried on. Yay for goals met!

Before I knew it I was running toward Spaceship Earth, out and around past the gospel choir, and then I was… done. Marathoner x 4. My time of 5:42 wasn’t great, but considering the number of photo stops I took, the number of times I stopped to adjust my shoe, the humidity, and the simply fact that I HAD NOT HURT MYSELF AND MY ACHILLES SEEMED TO HAVE ACCEPTED EVERYTHING made it all okay.

I collected my medal, Powerade, and snack box, and headed straight for the buses. I would’ve loved to hang around a little and bask in the atmosphere, but I had an important date with my shower.

Would it be too cheesy to say I PR’d in fun? Yes? Then I won’t say it. I’ll just think it quietly to myself.

Next up: time spent in the monorail resort area.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Trip Report Of All: 1/09

And now for the Briefest Trip Report Of All!

I began my whirlwind marathon weekend with a 7am flight. The airport was uncharacteristically empty, and since I didn’t need to check any bags I waltzed through security and had a Jamba Juice smoothie in hand in short order.

My flight took off early, but landed half an hour late due to a brand new experience for me: two go-arounds. Conditions in the Orlando morning were foggy and it wasn’t until attempt #3 that we managed to land. (I assume instrument landings are for special occasions only.)

I wasn’t particularly worried about time, but I still booked it down to the Magical Express because booking is the only way I know. While on the bus I got a text informing me that my room was ready; all the same, I the moment the bus arrived at Pop Century I hopped into the check-in line to ask about an all-important late check out – which was given to me without difficulty. Shower ahoy! 😀

From there I ran over to my room, which was in the ’60s section per my request (I like to be near the main building). Surprisingly for a non-preferred room price it face inward, toward the kiddie pool, and was for some reason handicap accessible? I had a big king bed and a shower with a seat and a movable shower head. Unnecessary, of course, but having these things I rather liked them.

After changing and unpacking my running gear to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, I grabbed a bus for the expo. By Saturday, I expected it to be pretty quiet, but I was WRONG. Traffic just getting in was crazy, and once I arrived I was met with hordes upon hordes of people. I saw tons walking around with half marathon medals on, prompting this question from me: why are you back??? Bib pickup itself was speedy – for once, NO ONE in front of me in line! – but when I entered Jostens Center and the exhibitor’s hall it was back to bedlam.

My first act after picking up my marathon shirt was to attempt to have my Achilles taped at the KT Tape booth, but I was told the come back later as the line was INSANE. I wandered into the official merchandise tent instead, but as usual I left empty handed. The things I liked were either too expensive to justify or didn’t come in my size. I was very jealous to see how cute this year’s Dopey stuff was; last year’s kinda blew. If only it didn’t say 2016 I would’ve bought me a tank!

I took an exploratory, time-killing loop of the entire expo space before returning to the KT Tape booth, where I was turned away AGAIN as the line had kinda gotten out of hand with people not following instructions and coming in from multiple points (the booth staffers told me the expo committee had assigned them WAYYYY too little space for their line). So I set off again, perusing a few booths and considering and then dismissing buying things. In keeping with my trip type, I was trying to keep the wallet damage as low as possible.

While wandering I came upon a Garmin table in the Fit2Run section. I had forgotten my GPS watch charger and asked if they had one I could buy/borrow. The guy just straight GAVE it to me, which was amazing. He told me not to mention it to anyone, which unfortunately means I can’t very well report this extraordinary customer service moment to corporate, but let his good deed be memorialized here.

Next I grabbed a few samples from Clif before checking out the New Balance booth, featuring runDisney sneakers. It seemed like they might actually have some in stock, but I once again talked myself out of any purchases. The Ariel model was pretty cute but why drop $125 on a running shoe that isn’t the one I use?

Okay, back to the KT Tape booth! Where I was turned away AGAIN but I found the staffer I had originally talked to and she let me in since I had been patient. The wait was lengthy, but I had my Achilles properly taped up at last.

That about took care of my expo-related needs, so I took the bus back to Pop and then turned around and boarded a bus to Disney Springs. The last time I can actively remember going to the erstwhile Downtown Disney was in February of 2013, so it’d been awhile, and much has changed. Since I didn’t have any park tickets, it seemed the perfect time to do some exploring.

Thing one upon arrival was to head into Goofy’s Candy Kitchen, where I found them: the elusive sour gummy worms which had been so distressingly absent in November. I immediately bought two bags to take home plus a Powerade for my more immediate hydration needs.

From there I set off to investigate this new Disney Springs thing, taking mental notes about what I might want to check out in more detail on the way back. I did stop at the shop in Raglan Road to enjoy some Extremely Irish Stuff, then headed into the new Morimoto Asia for some sushi. More to come on that!

I wound up walking all the way to the other end of the area, grabbing a coffee along the way. Sad note: if you buy your Starbucks at Disney Springs, you do not get the special Disney cup. 🙁

On the way back I began ducking into any shops I fancied, but I spent the bulk of my time in The World of Disney, of course. I made a very thorough investigation of every room and pondered a few things but ultimately spent only my time there.

Then I headed into Tren-D to see if anything was cute, which it was, and affordable, which it wasn’t particularly. Tren-D spills directly into the Marketplace area, where I was thrilled to discover a store called Cherry Tree Lane. I also took a spin through the Wonderground art gallery, which has some great Haunted Mansion canvases and prints if you’re interested.

I also ducked into the toy store and the Christmas store, but it was The Art of Disney that unexpectedly commanded my attention. Most of the stuff in there is obviously out of my price range, but there are some little prints that are potentially affordable. Leafing through the stacks, I found a lone Figment that I came sooooo close to buying. So close! I almost pulled the trigger after I saw another person looking at it and immediately felt territorial, but after considering the added cost of framing and the difficulty of getting it home I demurred. If it’s still there in November, though…

By that point it had started to rain in a rather serious way. It was about time for me to go anyway, so I made my way back to the buses and grabbed one that was headed to the Art of Animation. Why there and not Pop? Because I wanted to Create My Own Pasta, of course!

And so did every other runner on property, it seemed. The line was a billion miles long, and a CM was walking the line informing everyone they had ready-made pasta with chicken at another bay, but no one seemed deterred. Certainly I wasn’t – I waited and I got my whole grain linguine with chicken, spinach, garlic, marinara, and parmesan, and it was AWESOME.

I left AoA, immediately came back because I realized it really helps with the whole pasta consumption thing when you have a fork, got said fork from a cashier, and headed back to my room. I changed into a t-shirt and sat on my bed eating pasta and watching Miss Congeniality because being a hotel practically requires that you watch stupid TV, and also William Shatner.

I puttered about prepping for the race and setting multiple alarms before checking in for my flight home the next day, then finally went to sleep. Or tried. For some reason someone thought it would be a great idea to play “Celebrate” on repeat. Maybe at the pool? Dunno what was going on there. Also I was cold, so I supplemented my blankets with every towel the bathroom had to offer. And then, after what felt like forever, I fell asleep…

Next up: the WDW Marathon!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Knows Which Miles Are REALLY Magic

I have made a poor show of things – I haven’t written up anything about my marathon trip. I will. I promise I will. Soon! In the meantime, I just want to say this:

Flying down, grabbing your bib, running the race, flying home?


They say every mile is magic. This is a lie. Miles 15 – 21 blow chunks. But miles 22 – 26 are everything.

Tune in later this week for some actual, legitimate recapping!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!