In Which Jenn Runs A Boardwalk 5K

Hello from Orlando International Airport! My flight took off three minutes ago. Haha, just kidding! It was supposed to take off three minutes ago. Now it takes off in two and a half hours.

Clearly I have some time to kill, so I’m going to tell you nice people about the conference 5k I ran.

This race is always a fun run with no chip times, just approximations, plus they don’t even promise it’ll be exactly 3.1 miles, but I like to participate every year anyway because hey, free race!

In this particular case there was the added incentive of running amok on Disney’s Boardwalk. It was enough of a draw to get me out of bed and hanging out at the Swan lap pool before 6:30am, 78 degrees and humid or not. Truly the magic of Disney conquers all.

The start was informal, and the pack set off with no real preamble or organization beyond: okay, go! The course matched the Swan & Dolphin’s suggested run route exactly, so we saw pretty much all there was to see of the Boardwalk.

First we set out across the bridge headed for the Yacht & Beach Club, curving around Seabreeze point where a breakfast buffet was being set up for a private event (an Epcot wedding, maybe?). Then we passed by the pirate ship – WDW Marathon deja vu! – and curved around to pass by the Boardwalk area proper, with ESPN and Ample Hills and Boardwalk Bakery and all that jazz.

From there we veered onto the path toward Disney’s Hollywood Studios – so, now in reverse of the marathon course. Luckily for my sense of cognitive dissonance, we were turned around at the top of path right before the bus stops and sent back down the trail, now in full accordance with marathon proceedings.

It was a blurry day.

After that it was one more loop of the Boardwalk before hitting in the finish, back where we started by the Swan. There was water and some Kind bars, plus plenty of cheering conference spectators. A couple of them were even cheering from swan paddle boats out on the lake!

As for my performance, it wasn’t too bad for all that. It was hot and muggy (aka Florida), and at the start I had to dodge around some slow people and a briefly narrow course, but I brought the whole thing in under a 9 minute average mile. All in all I wasn’t displeased.

Mostly I was just happy to be running at WDW again – and proceeded to do so twice more before I left. But that’s a story for later…

Have you ever run the Boardwalk? How do you feel about it?

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!

The Fairest Week In Review: 8/16

I was at a conference last Sunday afternoon through Thursday morning, so my schedule was a bit discombobulated – no lunchtime walks and in some cases unfamiliar running territory. I did do a fair amount of power-walking around the conference center, though, which added to my daily count step even if it’s not GPS official. Here’s how all the official stuff went down:

Sunday | ran 14.22 miles on the treadmill in 2:25
Woke up to the exciting realization that I was getting Pat’s cold, but I had 14 miles on the schedule and BY GOD I WAS RUNNING 14 MILES. So I did. And it actually went pretty well, which makes me feel optimistic about my 16 miler next week when I hopefully will not feel my ears when I swallow. But the rule is that if all your symptoms are above your chest, you’re cool, right?

Monday | ran 3.53 miles on the treadmill in 40 minutes
Cold moved away from my throat so I did this run as planned. Sad that this hotel gym did not have flavored water like last year’s.

Tuesday | Conference 5K in National Harbor; 3.1 miles in 33 minutes

Wednesday | rest
I had planned 4-5 miles AND a ballet class, but my cold had progressed to Coughing Mode and I elected to sleep in and chill my night away.

Thursday | ran 5.41 miles on the treadmill in 1:00
I had planned to go to ballet this night too, and technically I COULD have done it – but I was post-conference tired and kind of still in recovery mode so I wimped out. I’ll get back on track next week.

Friday | ran 5.91 miles on the treadmill in 1:05

Saturday | rest

Monday is my 16 miler. Send good thoughts.

YOU WILL NOT OUTNERD ME

Okay. Roundup time!

Fairytales & Fitness gets the most out of the act of running races.
Back At Square Zero knows how to build a comprehensive training plan.
Mouse on the Mind gets her Imagination Pavilion on
– … and so does The Disney Tourist Blog.
Living A Disney Life assembles some purposeful WDW day bags.
Sparkly Ever After takes a VIP WDW tour.
The Disney Hipsters are back with more Last Photos in Epcot.
Disney In Your Day enjoys the best drinks WDW has to offer.

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 Recaps A (Literally) Sick 5K

Raise your hand if you’ve ever run a 5K while sick!

Damn, there are a lot of us, aren’t there? Yes, I ran a 5K on Tuesday while nursing a cold. Well, to be fair, it was a “5Kish.” We’ll get there.

The conference I annually attend hosted said 5K, which explains why I went: it was right there outside the doors of my hotel, it was super low-key, and it was a great way to get a short run in without having to think too hard about it. So when my alarm rang at 5:30am I said nuts* to my cold, threw on some clothes, and meandered down to the Gaylord National pier.

There was no chip timing, and we all just kinda lined up behind the start and went when we were told to go – if you wanted a shot at actually winning, you needed to be at the very front, but I’m not a winning kind of runner anyway. I settled into a natural pace and let things ride.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the National Harbor area, but I’m guessing not many of you because it’s a huge pain to get to even if you do live in DC. But if you’ve been to a new development recently, the kind with a lot of shops and restaurants and high rises and brick walks in places and it’s all really, really nice but also it has a sort of weirdly Stepford vibe, you know what it’s like.

Anyway, the course started off down one of those brick walks, past a bunch of shops on our way to the waterfront. There was a water stop by the carousel, but it was only like .3 miles into the race so I ignored it. From then on we ran on a path along the harbor and Potomac river, occasionally a bit muddy but reasonably flat.

UNTIL WE GOT TO THE INCLINE. There was spiral ramp up to a bridge over the highway, which we were not running over but we WERE running to the top. Luckily I had the memory of the ZOOMA Half Marathon‘s hills to keep things in perspective. And let me tell you, the downhill portion was excellent.

Which is to say that it was an out-and-back, but that’s all right – on a waterfront course of only a 5K that’s not so bad. In fact, I never even bothered to stop at the water station; I just barreled right on through the entire race. Mind you, that race turned out according to my GPS watch to be only 2.8 miles long, but for what do you want for a free conference 5K? We even got medals this year! Cheap plastic medals, but medals all the same.

I’m not really sure what my time was as I let my GPS watch run while I did my cooldown. Supposedly there’ll be times eventually but nothing’s been posted. I’ll update if I see anything.

I’m still kinda sick so I apologize if this race recap is particularly whackadoodle. TL;DR: I ran a 5K with a cold and it went fine.

Have you ever run a race while sick? How did that work out for you?

* Where my WWII historians at?

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 Finally Has A Race Schedule In Place

I’ve been putting this post off for quite a while due to chronic boredom. Not that I’m bored with running and racing, but rather my race schedule was boring. For some time my first planned race wasn’t until September. September. Ugh. What kind of runner can wait that long???

Well, the kind who didn’t enjoy last year’s Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and doesn’t want to brave the potentially perilous weather of March for Rock ‘n Roll anything. And more importantly, the kind of runner who is trying trying TRYING SO HARD to guard her wallet for once. (You’re still hurting me, Dopey.)

What changed, then, you ask? Well, yesterday this happened:

Race 1: ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon, June 4

From Dancing to Running posted something the other day about training for ZOOMA Annapolis and I was like “Annapolis say what now?” Do you know who lives in Annapolis? Elizabeth! Do you know who already have a pre-race sleepover and post-race breakfast plan in place? Me and Elizabeth! Not even the threat of an out-and-back could keep me from registering for this economically reasonable, friendshippity awesomeness of a race.

Pro tip: if you want to run this race, check for discount codes. I found lots of 10% off codes for various locations.

And now for the rest of my plans!

Race 1.5: Tessitura Network 5K, sometime in August

This year the conference is in DC, so I may or may not be staying in the conference hotel. If I’m not, there’s no way on earth I’m braving early morning Beltway traffic for a basic 5K. Nuh uh. Not on your life.

Race 2: Parks Half Marathon, September 11

I mean, it’s practically in my backyard. I can walk home from the finish, for crying out loud. I made my half marathon PR last year. How can I not?

Race 3: National Capital 20 Miler, September 25

Because I need a redemption run. Also, this acts as my 20-mile practice run for…

Race 4: Marine Corps Marathon, October 30

Assuming I make the lottery. But even if I don’t, I’m reasonably confident I can get a bib through the sanctioned bib transfer program. Anyone ever done this? I have discovered I find charity bibs too stressful.

Race 5: Wine & Dine Half Marathon, November 5

My wish list: for it not suffer cuts due to inclement weather. Really, for there not to be inclement weather. Other than that: I AM ALREADY EXCITED FOR FOOD. I MEAN THIS RACE. I MEAN FOOD. I MEAN WHAT???

Bonus Race 6: WDW Marathon, January 10

Peeking ahead a bit to 2017, I’m already planning on hitting up the WDW Marathon again, even if it means another weekend trip. I maaaaay do Goofy, but I’m still pondering. Once I have finished my ponder, I will share my thought process here, because I have a blog so I can tell you about the things happening in my brain whether you like it or not. HA!

There it is, friends: my 2016 race schedule. Not as robust as some schedules I’ve had in the past, but it’ll keep me going through the long runs of training. And that’s what racing is all about, no?

What’s your race schedule look like? Will I see you at any of the above?

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 Is A Poor 5K Recapper & Great Balcony Viewer

So, I don’t know, I feel like a should recap all my races, even if they weren’t that exciting. With that in mind, I give you: the 2015 Tessitura Network 5K, which is held annually during the conference I attend.

You may recall that last year’s went great. This year’s? Not so much. Oh, it wasn’t that bad. It just wasn’t awesome. Part of the problem may have been the 14 miler I knocked out a few days previously followed by NO rest days, but I followed a similar model in 2014 and it turned out great, so…

Anyway. The race started in the early Orlando morning where it was already hella hot and humid – no surprises there. The course was along the back nine of the resort’s golf course, which was perfectly pretty and nicely lined with trees and the occasional lake, but not particularly stimulating once you got over the perfection of the lawns. Props to the race team, though, which provided several water stations along the course, not always a given during such a short distance. We were also offered bottles of water and cooling headbands at the start and granola bars at the finish, which was nice.

Billed as a fun run, the 5K here is pretty informal; bibs are given out and “times” are taken, but there are no chips so everyone is judged based on the same gun time even if you don’t cross the start line immediately. I ended up with a time around 32 minutes according to them.

I dunno, guys. I know this is a seriously lackluster recap, but as far as I was concerned it was a seriously lackluster race where performance is concerned. I was just tired and not really feeling it. BUT. It did give me the chance to test my new Marathon Motto: “You don’t need to walk, you just think you need to walk.” I only walked at the water stations even though all I really wanted to do was quit and go back to bed. So there’s that.

This is a terrible recap! I need to make it up to you somehow. Um… here are some shots of the view I had from my balcony! At various points during the day you could clearly see Spaceship Earth, the Downtown Disney hot air balloon, the Contemporary, and I THINK Space Mountain – one night I watched the fireworks. In addition, the Orlando Eye and Fun Spot and even Universal Studios could be seen.

Hands down the best, most comforting view I have ever had from a hotel room. 5K idea: run back and forth along the balcony until you have achieved 3.1 miles. IT COULD WORK LET’S DO IT!

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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 Her Race Calendar Planned For Real This Time

And now for another topic where you can ignore everything I said about it before. I’m talkin’ bout my race schedule! I’ve been alluding to it in bits and pieces over the past couple weeks, but now that it’s all settled I like having it all set out in one place. It looks so tidy, no?

1. Tessitura Network 5K, August 18 (I think). This went pretty well last year! Very low key affair but a nice little practice run. Especially since it’s in Orlando this year.

2. The Parks Half Marathon, September 13. Starts in my general backyard-ish area. Ends IN MY BACKYARD, assuming apartment buildings have backyards. What I’m trying to say here is that I can walk home from the finish line. Score!

3. National Capital 20 Miler, September 27. Getting my 20 mile practice run done for me in preparation for the…

4. Marine Corps Marathon, October 25. The return.

5. Wine & Dine Half Marathon, November 7. HELLO WALT DISNEY WORRRRRRLD! Please don’t rain on me quite so hard this time.

And that’s what I’ve got on my race calendar. Who will I see out on the course?!

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

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 A Conference 5K

Hello from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport and my honking ginormous work laptop! (Seriously. It’s HUGE.) As I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve been at a conference the past couple days. And there was a conference 5K!
Features include your very own bib and a waiver acknowledging
that if you run, you could die.
I’m actually kind of excited about this post, because this is why we blog, right? I woke up the morning of the 5K and I was all NO5:20AMDONOTWANTICOULDDOTHISONATREADMILLLATER but then I thought GETUPYOUMORONTHERE’SABLOGPOSTINTHIS. 

It was not my first run of the trip – I’d already made good use of the hotel gym. Which is another reason why I was reluctant to drag myself out of bed: my runs had only been okay and this would be my third in a row. Oh, and it would be an outdoor run, and we all know how I feel about those. Oh, and at 6:30AM it was already 77 degrees outside (thanks, Texas). Basically the entire time leading up to the start I was assuming my performance would suck.

Not that it mattered, since the 5K was advertised as a fun run/walk, an excuse to get some exercise in and nothing more. There were no chips, no corrals; I even saw people still walking to the starting line as I was beginning the course. My time really wasn’t going to be a real factor here.
So I started out with a light enough heart, all things considering. The course was all on pavement between the hotel’s conference center and their pool complex. There was an out and back and you had to loop around part of the course twice, and while this wasn’t particular exciting it didn’t bother me given the short distance. There wasn’t a hell of a lot in the way of scenery but the sunrise views were nice enough.
But never mind all that. This isn’t runDisney; no one’s expecting that much here. What I’m excited about is this:
I
DID
NOT
SUCK
New Garmin record: 9:13 mile. Final 5K time: 30:50. OUTSIDE. OUTSIDE. OUTSIDE. I usually SUCK outside!
Frankly, I can’t figure it out. Was it the fact that the course was fairly flat? Aside from some gradual inclines there was nary a hill to be found. But then the treadmill doesn’t have inclines either. The temperature was NOT conducive to greater speed. Was it the adrenaline? It was just a conference fun run, though; I was hardly all hyped up about it.
I really don’t know. But I do know this: I feel WAY better about the Marine Corps Marathon now. AND Dopey. Guys, I think maybe I can do this!
And a huge chunk of the reason I got up at all was so I could write about it later. Good show, blogging community, good show.
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!