In Which Jenn Is Neither Seen Nor Heard

And now I make my annual pilgrimage to the Outer Banks. None of you losers are invited (especially Florence).


Nah, just kidding. You’re all invited! (Except Florence.) IF YOU CAN FIND ME. AHAHAHAHAHA!!!


Right, so anyway, in accordance with my vacation I’m taking a week off from the blog. As always, if you’re terribly bored, I highly recommend visiting the trip report and race recap pages for my arguably too-detailed descriptions of everything I’ve ever done.

In the meantime, I’ll be doing a 1,000-piece Walt Disney World puzzle I bought off eBay and listening to the waves. Meet you back here in a week!

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

In Which Jenn Is In Love With Boardwalk Runs

If your regularly running trail is riddled with changes in altitude and terrain, perhaps your mind, too, wanders back to happy memories of runDisney races. Specifically: the flatness of Florida.

How easy it is to run in Florida! So level! So devoid of hills! How glorious it would be to clock all your training there, perhaps lacking in challenges but blissfully free, with a far-reaching horizon.

That’s where my head’s at right now – I’m logging all my training outside where the hills are, since I’m between gyms and without a treadmill. It’s good for me, I know. It makes me stronger. But man, sometimes I wish I could just put my head down and run straight and fast.

There is a place outside I can do this. It is not Walt Disney World, but it’s the best Maryland can offer me. It’s the boardwalk.

Ocean City’s boardwalk is just shy of 2.5 miles from end to end. Over last week’s vacation, I ran it three times, just over 5 miles per run – and each run came in at 50 minutes. And I wasn’t even pushing myself!

There’s an ocean breeze from one side and all your standard boardwalk staples on the other: silly shops, restaurants, arcades and carnival rides. The wooden path is soft on the joints. There are water fountains by ever bathroom. Families in surreys pass by. If that’s not enough visual interest, there’s always the giant shark through the Ripley’s museum. Duh.

Would I lie to you?

Those three runs were the happiest, loveliest runs I’ve had… in forever? They felt easy and unhurried and interesting. Of course, being on vacation and logging light mileage for the week helped.

If you have access to a boardwalk at any point during your running life, I highly recommend you take a lap or two. After which, if you like, you can take a cue from Moon and run straight into the ocean.

Do you run on vacation? Where was your favorite training run ever?

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 Jenn Guide To Running On The Beach

Newsflash, everybody: running on the beach is hard.

I was cavalier, going in. I hear running on the beach is hardER, I thought to myself, but I’m a marathoner – how bad can it be?

WELL.

Let’s back up a moment. I never planned to run on the beach, for a multitude of reasons that will be discussed here. Unfortunately my time in the Outer Banks came right after a large-ish storm blew through, leaving VERY SERIOUS PUDDLES in its wake, which didn’t dissipate until the very last day.

VERY SERIOUS PUDDLES.
Here’s the road our house was on.

Clearly I was not going to run on the road unless I wanted to start working on post-swim triathlon transitions. But I was bound and determined to run that week. This left only one option: the beach itself.

I wound up running about two miles four times over the course of the week. It was an experience. I have thoughts. (Although please remember these are the thoughts of an amateur, not a professional trainer!)

THOUGHT: Do NOT plan a long run on the beach if you’re not used to it. Running on the sand is tough and engages your body in ways it may not be used to. I know there are people out there who run miles and miles and miles along the coast but I’m pretty sure they had to work their way up to it, y’know? I never felt spent at the end of my runs, but I was tired in new and exciting ways. Speaking of which…

THOUGHT: Do NOT, repeat, do NOT try to run on dry sand. Unless you really relish the ground giving way beneath you. It’s not impossible, but it’s REALLY REALLY HARD and will make you miserable and maybe even cause you to roll an ankle or something. Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I found my best bet to be sand that had recently been wet by some of your farther-reaching waves.

THOUGHT: Try to find the flattish stretch of beach possible. The steep inclines common to the shore play unfortunate merry hell on your joints. My skeleton didn’t love it when one foot made impact at a higher altitude than the other. That being said, and given that it’s hard to avoid some incline, try to work in a halfway turnaround point so that both sides of your body are worked evenly.

THOUGHT: Listen to your body. This is always the case, and as runners we love to ignore it, but this time try to really do it. You’re putting yourself through a brand new variation of the same activity which means you mostly know what you’re doing but not entirely. The tendency is to be overconfident but fight against that. Be careful. If you feel pain or severe discomfort during your run, stop and walk home. If you feel sore or tight the morning after, take a day off. I know it goes against the proverbial grain but try to do it.

THOUGHT: Sometime a wave might catch you and you’ll end up with soaked feet. It’s cool; keep going. You’re only doing a couple miles, right? When you get back, though, make sure you rinse those bad boys off or you’ll wind up with socks o’ sand next time you put them on. And give them plenty of time to dry before your next run, for obvious reasons.

THOUGHT: Ocean breezes make a short summer afternoon run actually viable. Depending. Check the weather first.

THOUGHT: WATCH OUT FOR FISHING LINES. And dogs and children and crabs and sand castles and big holes and sharks and the kraken. But mostly the fishing lines.

THOUGHT: Okay. I’ll admit it’s scenic.

Have you run on the beach? How did you fare?

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 Week In Review: 9/13

DAMMIT. I had a whole post set up to go out last week explaining that I was in the Outer Banks this week but don’t worry, I was DEFINITELY going to run and I’d see you all next week etc. etc. But I forgot that in addition to scheduling a post, you have to hit publish, even though you’re not publishing right exactly then, the point of this whole paragraph being: you were supposed to get an explanatory post last week but you didn’t because I’m an idiot.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the Outer Banks.

Nice, right? You may remember it as the site of Runs That Were Not Great and Runs That Did Not Happen At All. But this time it was the site of not only Many Runs but Runs on the Beach. As you might imagine, I have a LOT to say about that, maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, know I ran two miles FOUR times. On vacation. WINNER!

That takes care of last week. Therefore, in this week’s review we will hearken back to the exercise I got the week before last.

Sunday, August 28 | rest

Monday, August 29 | 13.33 miles on the treadmill in 2:15
I can no longer remember why I did this. Tapering for my upcoming 20 miler, I guess.

Tuesday, August 30 | walked 2.1 miles outside in 35 minutes

Wednesday, August 31 | 10.07 miles outside in 1:50; 65 minute ballet class
Pickup ballet class before the start of the new semester. I prefer to stagger my running and dancing where possible, but as I would miss the first week of class in favor of the beach I wanted to get some ballet in there while I could.

Thursday, September 1 | walked 2.07 miles outside in 35 minutes

Friday, September 2 | run 4.52 miles in 45 minutes

Saturday, September 3 | rest

And now for the roundup:

The Magic of Running talks hydration and replenishment.
– For you multitaskers, Elbowglitter recommends triathlon gear.
Fairytales & Fitness attends pet safety class. Especially important if you run with your dog!
Parkeology reveals the truth about Epcot’s favorite villain, Stupid Judy.
easyWDW checks out the Shanghai Disneyland exhibit in Epcot’s China.
This Fairytale Life puts together a week of cute Disney park outfits.
The Disney Hipsters show off their Last Photos in the Animal Kingdom.
The Disney Tourist Blog tells it like it is re: living near a Disney park.
Main Street Gazette is up on ToT/TZ trivia.
Disney In Your Day knows how to force everyone around you to talk about Disney with you. (Maybe the forcing bit is specific to me…)

Let’s never leave each other suddenly again, guys.

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 Runs On The Boardwalk… FOREVER???

Now that we have my itchy, welt-y, icky rant out of the way, we can talk about the nice things that happened on vacation. And there were lots!

  • Hanging out on the beach and jumping over waves
  • Eating “Sweetest Fish” Italian ice because it’s finally out of litigation
  • Playing with Pat’s niece
  • Going to the Kite Loft toy store and admiring a stuffed penguin that Pat later surprised me with after the trip because he is vying for Best Boyfriend Ever 2016; please vote for him
  • Not being at work

And finally… going for all three of my planned runs! Luckily I got them in before my plague level rose to code red, and they were all pretty good. I knocked out three runs of five miles every other morning, along a route that by my estimation is as close as you can get to a treadmill in the real world: the Ocean City boardwalk. Straight, flat, and the wood ain’t too rough on the joints. And the ocean breeze – and ocean views – are a niiiiiiiice touch. Plus, water fountains!

It was only super hot one morning, but as I made a point to be out of the sun and into the shower by 8:30am I didn’t suffer too badly. What really boggles my mind is that I often saw people running on the boardwalk in the middle of the day. What are you trying to do, drop dead of heat exhaustion?

This is my favorite part, though. Remember way back during my first boardwalk run when I found the sign that told me I had to touch the spot or I wasn’t finished, and also, I was immediately to turn around and do it again?

WELL. There’s another such sign on the OTHER end of the boardwalk. How did I never notice that before?

What I love about this is that it creates a feedback loop. Even if I do touch the spot, I am instructed to repeat my run on both ends. Therefore if you begin running on the boardwalk, you can never stop. That’s running the Rod Serling way!

That about wraps up this edition of Vacation Running. Check back in September when I take on: THE OUTER BANKS.

Do you run on vacation? How about at the beach? Do you do it in the middle of the day when it’s 90 degrees? STOP THAT.

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 Has Gallivanted Off To The Ocean Again

Guess where I am right now!

If you guessed Walt Disney World… you’re wrong. 🙁 I know, I’m upset about it too. But I am in Ocean City, MD with my boyfriend and his family, and that’s one hell of a giant step above normal life/work, no?

I’m planning to knock out three runs on the boardwalk over the course of the week, a la this one and this one. As usual, I intend to indulge the rebel in my heart and not touch the spot. We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, all this is to say that I’ll be back next week. While you’re waiting, Fozzie Bear can tell you more about the ocean.

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 Week in Review: 7/29

JENN: Okay, here’s my first report for the week: the running skirt I bought last week was a bust. I tried it on and it fit really comfortably, which should’ve been the first red flag. Since the undershorts weren’t gripping my thighs with deathly force, they naturally rode up as soon as I started to run.

MOON: I figured they would probably ride up too much for running.

JENN: It’s not a total loss, since it was only fourteen bucks and it’s always useful to have a skirt with undershorts for picnics and other sitting-down endeavors, but as a running accoutrement: no good. Ah well. Back to the drawing board!

MOON: How was training this week?

JENN: Right! The actual running thing! It was decent. I got some long-ish runs in with okay times. I’m a little concerned that my right knee has started bugging me when it always used to be my left, so I’m giving myself an extra day off and just walking tomorrow. Hopefully that’ll take care of things.

MOON: A break will probably do you some good. I hope your knee feels better soon!

JENN: How about you?

MOON: So, this week I have been mostly in Delaware at the beach. I have done all of my running outside and I must say that it has been the best running week I’ve had since I moved to Baltimore (and had to do a lot of running inside).

JENN: Yay!

MOON: I’m convinced it is the R&R, but my speed and distance improved. I coerced [our friend and Moon’s roommate] Andrew into taking a walk that was over 3 miles (he will be ready for 5k in no time!).

And here is the best part: Yesterday I went for a swift 5 mile run. It was around 2:30PM and rather hot. The sun was out full force with no shade, but this was all part of the plan… because when I finished my route, I ran into the ocean!

JENN: Niiiiiice!

MOON: The water has been quite cold all week and I haven’t really been in much, so I figured the only way for me to get in was to just go for it.. and to do that I needed to be really hot, so there you go. I recommend this to all runners; it was pretty glorious.

JENN: I think runDisney should arrange for a GIANT swimming pool at the end of the course. And then the finish line is six inches in front of the edge. Maybe they can alter the course so that it ends in Typhoon Lagoon’s wave pool.

Preferred race end (parfait optional).

MOON: Hahaha, I second!

JENN: What songs accompanied you on this glorious run?

MOON: I am still listening to Wild Beasts; nothing new there! What about you?

JENN: Plumbing the depths of my Flogging Molly collection. “Factory Girls” is pretty good.

MOON: I haven’t listened to them for years. I should get that album out.

JENN: Another Bag of Bricks” is my favorite. I break it out whenever I need a speed boost!

They opened with “Another Bag of Bricks”! IT WAS AWESOME.

By the bye, if anyone has any running song suggestions, we’d certainly be happy to hear ’em. Always good to have new material in rotation.

And now for a humble collection of noteworthy blog posts:

Katherine of Food Fitness Fantasy discusses our home away from home, Pop Century. Ask for a room in the ’60s building!
Did you know that Disney Legend Bob Gurr blogs for MiceChat?! I didn’t! Did you know that the ’50s rocked? I did!
Sarah of Gluten-Free & Dairy Free at WDW is starting her own runDisney journey! Go encourage her!
MousePlanet has another great runDisney article, this one about running on a budget. Never hurts to have more advice on the fiscal front, no?
Sarah of RAD Living talks hydration. Especially important with the temperatures we’ve been experiencing of late.
Learn about the eight different types of runs with Carrots ‘n Cake.

That does it for today – see you back here tomorrow for more of the usual awesomeness! (Really, this is the week we’ll be awesome. I can feel it.)

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.com. See ya real soon!