The Fairest Week In Review: 4/11

Ooh, hey! I come to this week in review bearing gifts. Want to run with me in Annapolis on June 2? The people behind the Wayfarer’s Half just sent me a discount code! JourneyMate will net you $10 off the half and/or $5 off the 5k. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to run with me. I mean, I’ll be there, but you don’t have to find me or anything.)

Although, who wouldn’t want to run with this clearly very normal person?

And on that happy note, let us adjourn to the workout log:

Sunday | ran 7.2 miles outside in 1:15
Never run RIGHT after lunch, even if your schedule demands. Or maybe do; I got through it all right.

Monday | walked 2.03 miles outside in 35 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 7.16 miles outside in 1:15

Wednesday | ran 5.24 miles outside in 55 minutes

Thursday | walked 2.41 miles outside in 40 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Friday | ran 7.21 miles outside in 1:15

Saturday | rest

So I’m pondering trying to talk Pat into coming with me for the Dark Side Half again. (Yes, I know I said I wasn’t into the race; just trust that I have my reasons. ALL WILL BE REVEALED!). Thing is, I checked out the calendar for next year, and the usual weekend for Dark Side is… Easter weekend. I don’t know if Disney would hold a race on a religious holiday, however chocolate-centric, but I do know that I ain’t about to mess with no Easter crowds. I’ll be very interested to see when they choose to schedule the 2019 version…

Anyway. Roundup!


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

In Which Jenn Runs Hot

You know that Runner’s World app thing where you can punch in the temperature, time of day, weather conditions, etc., and it’ll tell you what to wear? Well, I can’t use it. No matter what I do, it always seems to assume I want to feel the chill. 55 degrees out? Try shorts and a tech tee! 30 degrees? Eh, maybe slap on some pants, but keep the tee.

This may be a slight exaggeration, but the RW attitude seems to be one shared by the majority of runners: cooler is better. But I’m not afraid to say it: what the hell is wrong with you people???

I am a warm weather girl. Give me summer. Give me sundresses and popsicles and the confidence that I won’t need a coat. And while I certainly don’t want to go for a run in the 90 degree sunshine, I do not fear the 70s. Hell, I’ve done runs with temperatures in the 80s, and while I took advantage of the shade and lucked into sporadic cloud cover, I was totally fine. Not my optimal speeds, mind you, but perfectly content. Heat holds no fear for me.

Which I why I found comments overheard at the Dark Side Half baffling. To start, runDisney sent out a heat advisory email. Sure, okay, covering their butts from a legal standpoint. Makes sense.

Then came the race and the complaints were all around me. It’s so hot! It’s so humid! This is terrible! I can’t run like this!

Um, it was, like, 71 degrees the whole time. Largely in the dark, so no sun beating down on you. And sure, it was a bit humid, but there was also a consistent light breeze. I found the combination of elements delightful. I was never uncomfortable in either direction.

And yet I bet if I’d ask the RW what-to-wear app, it would have advised me to go naked. That thing is just trying to freeze me to death, I’m sure of it.

Man, I can’t wait to move somewhere warm.

Do you run hot or cold?

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!

In Which Jenn DID NOT PEE HERSELF DURING THE DARK SIDE HALF, SWEAR

Perhaps you are rolling your eyes already at the subject line of this post. Perhaps you are quite sick of looking at me. Perhaps you have written me off as a narcissist. It’s okay. I understand.

But my Annual Pass expires in December, and with it, my free PhotoPass downloads. Will I ever get another? Maybe. As of now, though, these are the last free runDisney photos I will ever download.

SO NATURALLY IT LOOKS LIKE I PEED MYSELF IN HALF OF THEM.

It’s thigh sweat! THIGH SWEAT!
And possibly some anti-chafing gel? I tend to slather it on for races. Things to rethink…
JESUS CHRIST.

IT’S SWEAT, PEOPLE! SWEAT!

WHY? WHY?? WHY DID I WEAR GRAY INSTEAD OF BLACK? WHY DO I SWEAT BETWEEN MY LEGS?????? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!?!?!

Whatever. Girl Moff Tarkin OUT.

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: Dark Side Half Marathon Recap

It’s trip report time again! I love trip reports! I’m recapping my April 2017 trip to WDW for the Dark Side Half. You can see all the posts in this report here. Onward!

This is going to be an interesting recap, and here’s why: despite the great course, the inherent fun of a runDisney race, and a really good run, this was simply not the race for me.

I should really have known this going in, because I am – and please don’t hate me for this – not a Star Wars fan. Which baffles me, frankly, because I SHOULD be. I am a huge nerd in other areas. You would be hard pressed to find someone better versed in the vagaries of Star Trek: Voyager. I would be happy to tell you all about what was wrong with the Narnia movies. I am very pro-Doctor Who. I can talk Firefly. Come at me with your Douglas Adams, your Terry Pratchett, and ABOVE ALL your Robert A. Heinlein. I am here for it.

But for some reason, Star Wars doesn’t do it for me. And I underestimated the impact that would have on my enjoyment of this, a Star Wars-themed race.

That uplifting intro aside, let’s talk about the Dark Side Half, shall we?

I was up at the crack of 2:55am with my frankly terrifying wake-up call – those Disney phones are shrill. I whipped through my morning to-dos and rolled out the door in my Grand Moff Tarkin costume. Don’t ask me why, but of the Star Wars I’ve seen, Peter Cushing is my favorite.

I saw only one other Grand Moff Tarkin.
He was way better.

Outside I was greeted by: nobody. Nothing. Riverside was a ghost town. I didn’t see a single other runner until I approached the main lobby. I checked the date twice.

Anyway, weird deathly quiet notwithstanding, I made it onto a bus and was at the start area before 4am hit. The race started at the Ticket & Transportation Center and ended in the traditional Epcot parking lot; since not all tents were necessary in both places, I didn’t see, say, a merch tent. There was the usual deejay (“Uptown Funk” plus the SW cantina music was interesting) and a ton of character photo ops, but the lines were ridiculous and I didn’t care enough.

I became a bit of a nomad, camping in one spot to eat my Sour Patch Kids, then another to wait a bit before I hit the bathroom – I didn’t want to go too early and wind up with another Wine & Dine-style last minute bathroom dash. (I didn’t – not exactly…)

Post-bathroom break and slid into corral C just as the announcers were beginning their spiel. A lot of the usual stuff: honored charity, some crowd interviews, sponsors, etc. Plus like a million Star Wars trailers, which were minimally diverting, I guess, but I wasn’t the right audience.

The emcees mentioned something about doing the corrals in, I don’t know, mini-waves or something? With 20 separate starts including wheelchairs? I don’t know what they were talking about, though, because aside from the initial arrangement of the corrals being a little further from the start I noticed no difference. My corral was called and I started to run. Anyone know what the multi-starts were about? Maybe it kicked in further back?

Would you like to know how to guarantee yourself negative splits? I’ll tell you how. All you have to do is realize just as you cross the start line that you need to pee again. Then refuse to stop until you reach the real bathrooms.

Bladder aside. The race course kicked off from the TTA and out onto the highway – I don’t even remember seeing any resorts or anything, although I could be blanking. The roads seem unusually dark, like some planned lights were missing.

The first item of note was what I believe was supposed to be a lightsaber fight but was largely just blinking lasers. I don’t remember there being an epilepsy warning for the race, but I guess it was in the waiver. There were also several photo ops, including the ewoks, but the line for them was nuts so I kept rolling.

I’d say we hit the Animal Kingdom around mile five, and I kid you not, I took two steps in and made a beeline for the first bathroom I saw, by Kali River Rapids. And just like that, I was a faster, less sloshy person. Tada!

DAK was of course beautiful in the dark, all lit up and sparkly. I was really getting into my happy runDisney place. And I tried to do a standard happy runDisney place thing: go for a photo stop. I pulled off for a photo with some stormtroopers and ultimately regretted it. It took awhile and didn’t event turn out well, and a quarter mile later when I left DAK there was a glut of characters with much shorter lines.

And I didn’t really care about ANY of them. I don’t even know who a good chunk of them were. After the race, I kept asking Pat questions like “Was there an abominable snowman on Hoth? Because I think I saw a photo op for that.” Apparently being actually interested in the photo stops is a prerequisite of a good time. Who knew?

So yeah. This is probably one of my more boring runDisney recaps. It’s funny, but in terms of running, it went really well. My last three miles were rockin’ negative splits: 9:37, 9:22, 8:30. If I hadn’t stopped off for the bathroom and that pointless stormtrooper photo op I might’ve had a PR on my hands. But that’s not really the point of runDisney, is it? I could’ve had a new PR at the WDW Marathon but I’m not mad about it because I enjoyed all the stops and had a great time.

But back to the race. After DAK, more highway, then a teensy bit of the Studios, basically in and out. Then along the Boardwalk – a fair amount of spectator support here, as per usual – and into Epcot from the back.

You may recognize all this as the last portion of the WDW Marathon. It also resembles the final bit of the Wine & Dine Half. BUT. There is one important difference between W&D and the marathon: WORLD SHOWCASE.

That’s right, we ran through the World Showcase!! During a half! And it was awesome. I didn’t see any characters out, but lots of CMs were hanging out on the course, waving flags and cheering. There were also a ton of photographers, and I learned an important lesson: if you wear your bib on your leg, don’t bother doing fancy ballet jumps because you’re NEVER GONNA SEE THOSE PICTURES.

I whooshed out of WS, across the bridge to Future World, past Spaceship Earth and out. It was a good race. The course was fantastic. I felt strong and fast. I always love running through the parks.

But I couldn’t help but feel sort of removed from the excitement. Why don’t I like Star Wars?? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???

So that was my Dark Side Half. It was amazing. But I don’t think it’s the runDisney race for me. Which sucks because the course is AWESOME. Can someone work on diverting Wine & Dine into the World Showcase?

Well? Why don’t I like Star Wars?

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!

In Which Jenn Is Headed For The Dark Side

Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. TomorrowLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND!!!

Tomorrow we go to Walt Disney World for the Dark Side Half, a brand new race for me! Needless to say I’m hella excited. It’ll be my second time taking Pat, and I’m super psyched to enjoy time with him in my favorite place in the whole world. While I loved loved loved doing the Dopey Challenge, it didn’t make for the most relaxing trip. This time around we’ll be able to slow down a little.

Trip bucket list:

  • Get Pat onto Splash Mountain as many times as humanly possible – an occasion two decades in the making (it was closed when we went in January 2015)
  • Catch Wishes one last time (sniff) from the California Grill
  • Take a picture on the Dark Side Half course with my double, Grand Moff Tarkin (is he there? Please say yes!)
  • Finally get my hair cut in the Harmony Barber Shop – I have an appointment this time
  • Try out some new Disney Springs restaurants, with an emphasis on drinks from Jock Lindsey’s
  • Get the white wine flight from the Brown Derby Lounge assuming it’s still available (Disney’s website still lists it on the menu, so here’s hoping; I WANT CHAMPAGNE, DAMMIT)
  • Get a pic with Anna and Elsa to show Pat’s niece, who is officially on the Frozen train
  • Enjoy my first-ever go round with the Flower & Garden Festival food booths
  • See Rivers of Light or, if the lines are too crazy, at the very least catch some Tree of Life Awakenings
  • Maaaaaaaaaaaaybe Pandora soft opening???

As they say: one more sleep! Man, some things just never get old.

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!

In Which Jenn Makes Her First Running Costume EVER

I just counted, and here are how many runDisney races I’ve done, not counting Sunday’s Dark Side Half: eleven. And here’s how many of those races I’ve run costumed: zero. I mean, my focus has been primarily on making it through the race something semi-akin to the right temperature and without chafing my thighs off. I’ve historically left the cosplay to others.

That ends this week with the Star Wars Dark Side Half.

No more halfhearted Minnie ears plus whatever I was gonna wear anyway. Instead, I’m dressing up! By moderately augmenting a regular race outfit. Whatever. Shut up.

You’ve heard of Star Wars villain Grand Moff Tarkin…

For comparison. And appreciation. Because he’s awesome.

Peter Cushing’s bone structure is INSANE.

Now get ready for… GIRL MOFF TARKIN.

Yeah, no. Not super impressive stuff. No light-up skirts or elaborate props here. On the low end of good. But being easy and not too cumbersome, I think it’s a good entry-level effort.

If you’re looking to nab a cartoonish but passable Grand Moff title of your own, the process is pretty simple and relatively cheap. I got a suitably dark gray running outfit from Marshalls for $19. The rank insignia is made out of foam board, which I purchased in the necessary colors, cut, and glued. The pen caps or whatever the hell he’s got are pipe cleaners wrapped around safety pins (I know I’m missing one on either side; this will be corrected before the race). It all came to less than $10 at Michaels. The belt buckle is just tinfoil wrapped around leftover foam board and attached to a running belt. And although the Grand Moff rarely wears a hat, I’ve got a military-style cap in my arsenal just in case it looks like rain.

The one thing I do NOT have and cannot get are Peter Cushing’s cheekbones. Do you think I should try to contour them on?

See you at the Dark Side Half Marathon!

Will you be at the race? Are you dressing up? 

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 Week In Review: 8/10

Hey guys! Quickie intro this time around; I’m at a conference AND Pat gave me a cold just in time for said conference, so I’m not going to lie: I’m phoning it in a little here. But at least I can tell you this happened:

More on that later of course.

New week in review format continues with a few minor changes – let me know if you have any thoughts on it!

Sunday | ran 4.45 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes

Monday | ran 7.03 miles on the treadmill in 1:10

Tuesday | walked 2.15 miles in 35 minutes, 75 minute ballet class

Wednesday | ran 10.21 miles outside in 1:50

Thursday | walked 2.17 miles in 35 minutes, 75 minute ballet class

Friday | ran 4.15 miles in 50 minutes

Saturday | rest day

That’s all. Roundup time! Not a ton this week for the same reasons as listed above, but I betcha next week’ll be a BIG one.

The Magic of Running dives into making your race selections.
Fairytales & Fitness knows running isn’t immune to Murphy’s Law.
The Disney Hipsters do the Last Photos thing too (and did it first, I should point out!).
Mouse on the Mind uncovers a weird “Mickey” of sorts.
The Disney Tourist Blog considers the worth of Disney’s club level rooms.
WDW for Grownups selects the best cookies of WDW.

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!