Photographic Memory: Pre-Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2014


JENN: We haven’t done a Photographic Memory in forever, so let’s do a really good one now. I LOVE THIS PICTURE.

MOON: The good days!

JENN: This is us waiting around in corral B for the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon in Disneyland, back before they moved it to May. January weather in Anaheim!

MOON: Why May? o_O

JENN: I dunno. It’s Mother’s Day Weekend or some such. They have a Star Wars Half in January now.

MOON: Star Wars?! Oh, barf. Oh, wait, that’s a Disney thing now, right?

JENN: Yup, they own it! I don’t think most people were pleased with the change, but whatever. We got in under the wire!

This was my third-ever half marathon and my second runDisney race and I was so happy and excited!

I mostly remember it was the first steps we ever took in Disneyland proper. And I PR’d! (That PR would stand until the Parks Half.) Good times, good times.

MOON: Haha, is it bad that I remember my text messages to Christian that day?

JENN: Not at all!

MOON: We were a new couple then. Look at us now. About to uproot and move somewhere. I wonder what races we’ll be looking back on in five years’ time. Or, we could look back on posts about races we did a long time ago!

JENN: Let’s run another race together ASAP!

Got a silly race photo to share? How do you like to look back at your races?

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!

An Open Letter to Pace Charming

Dear Pace Charming,

I alluded to this in our Tinker Bell Half Marathon recap, but I wanted to tell you formally: you saved me.

When I first saw you in corral B, I knew vaguely that you were important, in the universal sense. I knew that I could tell how well I was doing, based on whether you were ahead of me or behind me. I thought your sign was funny, so I took a picture. But I had no idea how vital you would be for my time.

I pulled ahead of you at the start of the race, and, despite a rough start, by the time I hit Disney’s California Adventure I was feeling good. The miles through the parks passed quickly and happily.

Yet once I exited Disneyland and hit the streets of Anaheim, I was dragging. I found myself under-stimulated by the scenery. I walked through every water stop and started up again only with great mental effort and the knowledge that Moon was ahead of me and I could not lose sight of her because if she was still going then I was too.

So. Moon was my rabbit. You were my kick from behind.

First, around mile eleven, I saw you next to me. I realized two things:

  1. If the 2:15 pacer was next to me, I was in danger of dropping behind that pace.
  2. I was actually on pace for 2:15. OR FASTER, if I could just speed up.

I surged forward and left you behind.

But it was still not my race, and after a while I began to flag again. Then I heard you behind me, somewhere ahead of mile thirteen. You were calling out motivational things to your clustered group of followers: “We’re almost there! You can do it!” Better things than that I’m sure; I don’t quite remember. Yet as we passed by the thirteen mile marker and the finish line came into view I knew that if I could just keep it up for .1 more miles I would finish ahead.

My official time was 2:14:39.

Pace Charming, you pushed me into a finish ahead of 2:15. But also, just generally, you pushed me into a finish much faster than I would ever have accomplished otherwise. If you hadn’t been there to let me know exactly where I stood in the race – if you hadn’t been there to give me a clear point against which to measure myself – if I hadn’t know that the moment you passed me was the moment I gave up and accepted that today I would be slower – I almost certainly would have eased up. I might’ve even walked for a bit.

But you were there.

You were a wall.

I ran to beat you.

Thanks.

Love,

Jenn

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 atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Trip Report of All: Tinker Bell Half Marathon Recap

Hi guys! Time for another glorious trip report, highlighting our time in the Disneyland Resort. For the sake of flow, this report will be written by Jenn with Moon popping in for notes – don’t worry, these will be clearly delineated. As with my last trip report, a lot of food reviews will be held for a later post, so stay tuned for that. Hope you enjoy! To read all the posts in this report, click here.

JENN: I had set no less than three alarms for 3AM, but I woke up no problem to the first one and actually felt pretty okay. Hooray for Eastern Standard Time!

MOON: I was already awake! And terrified!

JENN: Did you sleep at all?

MOON: I did BEFORE the fireworks started going off. I mostly listened to music all night, I think.

JENN: Oh dear. I seem to recall that you weren’t feeling too hot…

MOON: 
Yeah, I felt pretty bad that morning. I was really scared to get out of bed and put on clothes because my energy still felt low and it still felt like 30 degrees to me. So, I checked my phone when I decided to get out of bed. In my text inbox I had the BEST message. I will not disclose it here, but I finally felt the resolve I needed.

JENN: Yeah, I remember asking you if you were up to running and you were all I’M DOING IT.

MOON:  Yeah! Although, I was still scared I wouldn’t have enough energy to run the whole thing. This was my inner dialogue all night: “Nooooo…”

JENN: I was a little worried, but I’m not gonna lie – I was relieved you meant to try. Didn’t want to go without you!

MOON: Anyway, I ate a Clif bar and tried to mentally tell myself all would be well.

JENN: So yeah. We dressed and ate and put on makeup in the effort to improve photos and walked down to Disneyland. We were by no means alone – there was a constant stream of fellow runners all around us, acting as shepherds.

By contrast to the Princess Half, it was COLD out. Moon and I had on hoodies. These will be important later.

MOON: And very much missed pieces of clothing…

JENN: We headed past the Disneyland/DCA courtyard and through Downtown Disney, then banked I think a left into the Paradise Pier hotel area. We briefly hit the family reunion/pre-race area, but I hardly even remember what was in it. The tents for bag check, but we weren’t using that service. We kinda milled around a bit and then left.

STEVE HOLT

MOON: I remember the Princess being a little more organized this respect.

JENN: Yeah, the Princess pre-race was much more high-energy, with a dance party and photo ops. Of course, it was also much more crowded.

MOON: Yes, but you also knew where you were supposed to go!

JENN: 
True!

We headed toward the corrals, gleefully skipping past the frequent security checks on your bib letter before you could proceed. Corral B, baby!

MOON: Hip, hip for Corral B! Starting in B was a huge improvement from the Princess Half. SO much less congested throughout the entire run. I stayed with many of the runners I started with; that’s always kind of nice!

JENN: By that point it was only 4:30AM, so we had half an hour to kill. While it was a little boring, it did allow us to stand pretty close to the front of the corral, which was a bonus. We took some pictures and social media’d a bit to keep ourselves entertained.

Eh.

Much better.

There were hosts on a stage to the right of the first corral that kept up some chatter, but it was mostly filler. The event really began with the singing of the National Anthem, the start of the one wheelchair participant, and then – corral A was off! Ten minutes later WE WERE TOO.

MOON: So, I just have to say: once I started running, I was all set. I felt good (although coooold), and adrenaline kicked in!

JENN: By contrast – I did not feel good.

I have documented before how my lungs tend to react with extreme negativity whenever I try to run in the cold. It wasn’t freezing out, but it was definitely chilly. We crested our first hill and, while it was very steep, I had to take in just enough extra air that I could feel the restriction kicking in. Gotta say, it scared me.

MOON: Maybe this is when my throat’s weirdo illness worked in my favor. I didn’t feel much!

JENN: Just like in the end of Signs when the boy doesn’t die because he has asthma!

MOON: Ha!

JENN: Luckily the feeling eased on flatter portions of the course, but I was rather tragically Not Feeling It.

This is where we have THEME PARKS TO THE RESCUE! We ran into Disney’s California Adventure in short order and there it was: the World of Color fountains going. Quick calculations determined that if I stopped for a picture it would also give my lungs a brief rest, so I called Moon over and we took some quick photos.

MOON: This is the part when Jenn recaps all the important things… Of which I have no recollection. Although, I DO remember lights and general pretty things!

JENN: Haha, you were in the zone! Whereas I was desperately seeking distraction, and the parks did not disappoint. We took our very first steps into Disneyland – running steps – and it was awesome. We stopped for a photo op with the castle – I had read that it was tiny by comparison to WDW’s, but I didn’t realize how tiny! It was still fun running up the drawbridge and through the tunnel.

Jenn was unprepared, expression-wise.

MOON: Yeah, it was almost like running through a miniature town.

JENN: From there we ran through Fantasyland (loved the characters on the carousel!) and past it’s a small world, its facade all lit up, and we stopped for a photo there too.

But my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE stop was next! HORSES. They were SO cute and sweet and I wasted way too many precious seconds cuddling with them but it kicked my morale up several notches and that’s what counts!

MOON: You should have mounted up and gloriously crossed the finish line on horseback.

JENN: IF ONLY.

Roundabouts then we left the parks and it all goes downhill from here, folks.

MOON: So… The Anaheim Suburbs. Running through Anaheim was not the most exciting portion of the run…

JENN: I dunno, guys. I knew the second half of the race went through the streets of Anaheim but… really, Disney? That’s IT? Cheerleaders? They weren’t even doing any fancy routines, just yelling encouragement. Which we already have from spectators, and while they are less likely to come in coordinating outfits they sport funny signs. They win.

There were a couple marching bands, too, but I never saw any characters or the promised Polynesian dancers. Or puppets or displays or other ways WDW dresses up its boring street sections. Maybe we came through too early or something.

MOON: Well, at least there was lots of water!

JENN: You mean the water stations? Or did I miss a fancy water entertainment portion?

MOON: Ha, yes, you missed the part where World of Color shoots magical colored water into your mouth as your run past.

JENN: God, I’m so oblivious.

MOON: Yeah, water stations, ha!

JENN: It was in the streets of Anaheim that Moon started to pull away from me. All the ill portents aside, she had conquered sickness and was feelin’ it. I was not.

MOON: I periodically looked back because I really wanted us to stay togetherrrr. Most of the time I could spot you!

JENN: I stopped at every water station for water AND Powerade, but Moon started up again sooner than I did and little by little she pulled away. But not TOO far away – I could see her up ahead, and I gotta say, she kept me going. Aside from those water stops, I didn’t stop once, even though I was tempted to.

At one point I saw a hill coming and my internal monologue let out a belting NOOOOOOOOO but I saw Moon run right up it and I decided I would too. No walking for me!

MOON: I was pissed we had to run up the same obnoxious hill TWICE! Anger shot me up that one. And the promise of the race ending…

JENN: So Moon was keeping me going up ahead. And then around mile 12, when I was really starting to feel the sad, I heard the voice of the 2:15 pace guy. I had seen him in our corral before the start and I knew that if I could JUST KEEP AHEAD OF HIM I would pull out a good time. I intend to write a more involved love letter to the man who propelled me forward when I needed the push, but for now let’s just say that without him and Moon I could never have pushed past my sluggish body and made a PR.

MOON: And to add: there were so many jackets on the ground! I was so cold near the end. I seriously wanted to pick them up and wrap myself in them.

JENN: Oh, right, I totally forgot to mention that part! So as we entered Disneyland part, we ran up Main Street, and we were elated – Moon was feeling good, I was boosted by the sites and sounds of Disney, and were happy. All that adrenaline warmed us up, so we counted it down – THREE TWO ONE!!! – and tossed our hoodies.

We had made a huge mistake.

MOON: Way too overzealous. I still regret it. I feel cold now.

JENN: By the end of the course I had salt crusted on my face from sweat that had dried too quickly in the cold. It was crazy. But anyway. Where was I? Oh yes. The end of the race. I lost sight of Moon by the time I passed the 13 mile marker, but I had Pace Charming on my heels and even though I once or twice felt like I might puke I powered through and FINISHED BECAUSE STEVE HOLT.

FINISH HER!!!!

How was the end of the race for you?

MOON: Well, before I talk about that I just want to shout out to my favorite part of the race.While running through the Anaheim suburbs, I passed a lady who was out in her bathrobe, sporting a MIMOSA (the sun had not yet risen). When I ran past her she said, “Good morning!!” And that made me laugh, therefore… Great success.

JENN: Haha, excellent! I enjoyed the Red Hat Ladies, myself. But WHERE WAS THE GOSPEL CHOIR?! In the Princess Half we had a gospel choir at mile 13 and it was AMAZING.

MOON: Yeah, it’s pretty hard to give a race that and then TAKE IT AWAY for the next. But, I did well at the end. I found the end a little ambiguous at first because I wasn’t sure it was happening… and the kind of a windy path.

Survivors!

 Annnyway! Remember before we left and we said we would reveal our goals for the race?!

JENN: Yes!

MOON: Sooooo, did you make it?!

JENN: Well, no. Technically. I had wanted us to be at the parks at opening and we didn’t get on our first ride until 9:40AM. But that was my own fault – I dawdled in the shower and afterward. We probably could’ve made it if I’d really hustled us, but it felt nice to relax a bit. I think it was okay. I got a PR by about six minutes, and that’s what counts. 🙂 You?

MOON: While I didn’t finish with my personal best time, I did finish with a new official best time!

JENN: Yay!

MOON: I wanted to run the entire race – no walking. This happened, yay! I also wanted to finish under 2:20. This ALSO happened, yay! And those were my goals before getting sickly. The day before my only goal was, “Don’t drop out.”

JENN: Ooh, incidentally, my time was just under 2:15 and I think your official time was just over 2:13? The clock seemed a little off but that’s where we ended up. Not bad either way. AND we stopped for several photos!

MOON: You’re right! So, all in all we did really well. That pleases me. 😀

JENN: I guess it would’ve been nice to get those 4-5 minutes back, but they really improved my morale and gave my crotchety lungs a rrest.

How did you feel post race? Those reflective blankets were a LIFESAVER.

MOON: Yeeeeeah, I wanted all the reflective blankets.

JENN: We pretty much just got our snack box, water, and Powerade, and got the heck up outta there. It was COLD.

Snack box contents.

One thing I must say I rather enjoyed – the course actually ran right past our hotel. We had finished so early, runners from the last couple corrals were still coming through. To get to our room, we had to do the dart-across-the-course thing. Felt pretty good. 🙂

MOON: I still don’t know what happened to my Powerade.

JENN: Neither do I. I also don’t know what was up with that bibbed girl who was running on the opposite side of the street from the course as we walked back.

MOON: Haha, yeeeeah, girl was on the wrong side of the street. And this time it wasn’t because of lost costume parts like our lobster friend from last year’s race.

JENN: And that was our race experience! Next up: DISNEYLAND.

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! 

The Fairest Week In Review: 1/27

JENN:  Sooooo… we’re back.

MOON:   So….. We’re back, yeah.

JENN: It’s cold here. I want to go back to Disneyland. 🙁

MOON: I want to burrow in a volcano.

JENN: That sounds delightful. You have always wanted to go to Hawaii.

MOON: I hate adjusting to life after a trip. Especially when the temperature difference is 75 degrees.

JENN: Indeed. I’m actually looking at hostel prices in various European countries in the hopes of further delaying the onset of real life.

MOON: If you could go to any COLD country right now, where would you go?

JENN: Cold? Norway. It’s on my shortlist. The springs are hot, the men are tall, and the horses have mohawks.

Sweet, sweet mohawks. (Source)

MOON: You propose a strong argument for Norway.

JENN: I do. But Dublin would be cheaper and I like the cadence of their speech, so the jury’s still out.

MOON: I’d be nearby in Denmark.

JENN: They do have Tivoli. I learned that in Number the Stars! Good book.

MOON: So, what of last week shall we discuss? We had a lot going onnnn.

JENN: We did! We’ll have a race recap and Disneyland recaps later this week, of course.

MOON: Of course.

JENN: But now that we’re back, have you been for a run since?

MOON: Yes!

JENN: ME TOO!

MOON: I went for a short 5K the morning after we returned. Worked on speed, did well! It was cold.

JENN: Outside?! Lordy.

MOON: I didn’t run outside, haha! But, I had to walk there from my apartment… >_>

JENN: Bad enough. I went for a run on Thursday and gave myself the option of stopping early… naturally I had a GREAT run.

MOON: Yay!

JENN: It was awesome, but I was like WHERE WAS THIS ENERGY DURING THE RACE?!

MOON: Probably still sleeping.

JENN: This is a good point. The Wine and Dine Half in November will be at night. FINALLY, people start to do things in accordance with my internal clock.

MOON: Is this happening on a Saturday or a Sunday? I’ll probably forget ANYWAY, BUT…

JENN: Haha, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a Sunday as per usual. Any good music during your run?

MOON: I kept my playlist from the Tinker Bell Half going. I was hoping I could relive past glory to keep me motivated while running, cold, on the saaaad treadmill. It worked!

JENN: Nice! I listened to “Touch the Sky” from Brave for two hours/11.5 miles on loop. What can I say? I’m as strong as the sea is stormy.

MOON: Haaaa, very good! I believe we had a Twitter conversation going on about this.

JENN: Yes, you suggested that people dare us to try to run for X amount of time ONLY listening to Y song. I am intrigued. And a little scared… Let me just say right now that I DON’T DO LINKIN PARK.

MOON: Same, don’t give me that. It’s gotta be BALLSY, people, or we’re not doing this!

JENN: So let’s hear it, no doubt vast and untapped readership! Hit us in the comments!

And on that note: roundup. I am now EXTRA behind on my blog reading, so as always, if you have a post you’d think I’d like don’t hesitate to comment with the link.

The DisBroads discuss that age-old runDisney dilemma – PR or pictures?
Over at Fairytales and Fitness, it’s time to get organized!
Pink Elephant on Parade considers the sobering fact that the Dopey Challenge is really expensive. And yet here I am, seriously pondering it…
Prairie Princess Runners enumerate ways to avoid unhealthy snacking. Totally agree about #4.
Elbowglitter has a wonderful story of running inclusiveness. I haven’t tried much of his method, but everything I read about Jeff Galloway makes him seem pretty awesome.
Running at Disney has the scoop on being a voluntEAR.
– Not to beat a dead movie, but The Disney Project has come out with a great podcast about Escape from Tomorrow. Spoiler alert: they didn’t like it either.

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!

In Which Jenn & Moon Return From California

… And we are NOT happy with the temperature shift. We would like to speak to a manager, please.

Anyway. We ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and there were PRs all around and much Disneyland to be had and the trip report begins next week. GET READY.

 
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!  

In Which Jenn & Moon Are Headed to Disneyland for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon

JENN: Let’s talk Tinker Bell Half Marathon goals!

Primary goal: get something like this around our necks.

MOON: What’s your biggest goal?

JENN: My goal is to have the race done in time that we can shower and change before Disneyland opens! We’re in corral B, so it could happen. BUT they’re also offering post-race massages for $1 a minute… I can’t say I’m not a little torn.

MOON: Well, the massage will be all you. I’m afraid of massages.

JENN: Really? I’ve actually never had a real one. But I don’t want to make you hang around waiting for me!

MOON: No, no! Nothing would make me happier than a happy Jenn.

JENN: Oh, a Jenn that makes rope drop at a Disney park is a very happy Jenn indeed. Let’s just stick with that one!

MOON: So, how has your week been so far? Did you stick to walking?

JENN: I actually ran on Tuesday! I wasn’t a bolt of lightning but it was fine. I feel better about the race now. How was your Tuesday run?

MOON: …Don’t kill me. But, I freaked out about getting the weeks mixed up and ran 13.1 today. I was scared that Sunday would come and I wouldn’t be able to do it all the sudden.

JENN: Are your legs tired?! Don’t run anymore this week until our mini-run on Friday!

MOON: That’s the plan.

JENN: Good. 🙂

MOON: New PR, though!

JENN: Awesome!

MOON: The one redeeming factor.

JENN: So what’s your race goal?

MOON: I am feeling rather superstitious and would rather not say! When we do our recap, I’ll come out with it then (even if I don’t make it!).

JENN: Haha, okay.

MOON: Honestly, I’m scared of being lost in a sea of people. I think that’s going to hurt us the most.

JENN: Well, there are more corrals, so the herd’s been thinned, hopefully. That should help. And corral B should move faster as a whole.

MOON: What’s your goal?

JENN: To be done before Disneyland opens! That’s all.

MOON: Can we have some numbers? Some of us do not know when Disneyland opens 😉

JENN: 9AM that day. Honestly, Moon, it’s like I’m the one doing all the planning. 😉

MOON: HA. That’s because you are, my dear.

JENN: And that’s how I like it!

MOON: I follow where Jenn goes. But, at least I know the race is Sunday, Expo is Saturday, and we’re leaving Friday.

JENN: Correct x3! Well done!

So… I’m thinking if we pull a 2:30 and shower fast we should be able to make it?

MOON: I think that’s doable! Yay!

JENN: Do you have any goals for CA generally? Things To Do?

MOON: I would like to see a redwood tree.

JENN: It’ll take a bit of a road trip north for redwoods, but as long as you can find a good hotspot we should be able to manage it.

MOON:
I also want to enjoy the sun. It’s quite cold here. I’m under three blankets. This is no way for a girl to live.

JENN: Amen to that!

I want to read a book in the hot tub. Our hotel is supposed to have an amazing pool complex and for once I want to enjoy it.

MOON: What book will you bring?!

JENN: Oh man!! Ummm… I got a new Heinlein novel for Christmas. Or maybe I’ll bring something to re-read. Something fun, like The Phantom Tollbooth. Or maybe The Last Unicorn! So many options…

MOON: I’ll have to make some decisions pretty soon. I just finished a book, so tonight I’m scoping out two others.

JENN: Excellent.

MOON: Okay, so we’re all set! Steve Holt!

JENN: STEVE HOLT!

Anything at Disneyland you’re dying to see?

MOON: OH! So, during my trip to Austin, my boyfriend and I were listening to Patton Oswalt. There’s a bit about Disneyland, actually. He mentioned that you can find out what your Spirit Animal is. I must find out what mine is. I’m rather hoping for something like a hawk, but I hear you can be given a skunk.

JENN: I thought we already knew yours is a flatworm?

MOON: Haven’t spontaneously combusted yet. 😀

JENN: Good show, good show.

MOON: Anyway, I’m sure flatworm will not be an option, so we’ll see what I am within this new pool.

JENN: I myself am excited to ride the Matterhorn! And the Indiana Jones ride! And I understand that it’s a small world will still have its holiday overlay, so that’ll be fun to see. AND with any luck the California Screamin’ roller coaster will actually be functioning this time around.

MOON: I’m suspicious of anything of the roller coaster persuasion…

JENN: I won’t MAKE you go on anything… just ENCOURAGE. 😀

MOON: I’ll do my best! Bring some tissues.

JENN: Awwww. You’ll be great!

MOON: 😀

In short: we are WAY EXCITED about this long-awaited trip to Disneyland for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon! Who will we see there?! We’ll send out a tweet when we’re headed to the Expo in case anyone wants to hang with us. It’ll be Saturday morning, and I know a lot of you will be doing the 10K at that time, but you never know.

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! 

The Fairest Week In Review: 1/14

JENN: Hooray for everyone who ran over the WDW marathon weekend! That having been said – we leave for Disneyland and the Tinker Bell Half on FRIDAY! IT’S SO CLOSE.

It. Is. TIME.

MOON: Wait. Not THIS Friday?!

JENN: THIS Friday!

MOON: … I seriously thought it was NEXT Friday.

JENN: The race is on Sunday, silly!

MOON: I could have sworn the race was the 26th…

JENN: Nee-ope!

MOON: Well, there goes my schedule for next week! Ha, I’ll have to send out some emails tonight. My bad.

JENN: Aren’t you glad we’re doing this blog?

MOON: I better get my running on. My last 13.1 was Christmas Eve. Slightly worried now. Guess who’s running 13.1 tomorrow?

JENN: No no no! Tapering is vital!

MOON: I am too anxious for tapering!

JENN: I wouldn’t run more than seven at this point. Don’t worry; I haven’t run the full 13 since December either. In fact, my runs have been AWFUL lately. I’m in a major slump.

MOON: I’m sorry, but that IS slightly comforting. 😉

JENN: I’m seriously considering just taking very lengthy walks this week in the hopes of recharging.

MOON: That might be good. I thought about that too. But don’t worry, I’ll be there to keep you going! 😀

JENN: Of course!

MOON: Actually, I’ve just been doing shorter, faster runs.

JENN: That’s great for speed!

MOON: So far so good. But the weather is KILLING me. I really want to run outside. I almost dozed off on the treadmill the other day.

JENN: Oh no! Yeah, the extreme cold plays merry hell with my lungs. I honestly wonder if that’s related to the yuckiness of my training lately, even if I am doing it inside.

MOON: Winter malaise… My nemesis.

JENN: Well, we’ll get some good strong California sun soon! Maybe we can do a mini-run on Friday, just a couple miles.

MOON: Sure, sounds like fun!

JENN: Got any good music powering you through the last couple pre-race weeks?

MOON: Wild Beasts have a new single out! That’s all I have going on right now. I plan to put Beethoven’s 9th on the playlist come Wednesday.

JENN: Beethoven’s 9th is pretty magnificent. Speaking of magnificence – on to the roundup!

Run Walk Fastpass Repeat dispenses advice on taking great race day photos.
Through Heather’s Looking Glass features a guest post on things beginning runners should know.
The Adult Side of Disney discusses the new runDisney/New Balance sneaker distribution system.
Will Run for Ears is mysterious as the dark side of the moon.
MousePlanet makes the case that runDisney should offer race insurance.
Just Me and My Running Shoes tries out volunteering at a race.
The Disney Food Blog has some great post-race restaurant suggestions.
A Pinch of Pixie Dust highlights my star-crossed lover, the Cake Cup. Someday. Someday.

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! 

The Fairest Week In Review: 12/23

JENN: Let’s start by noting that we finally got around to putting together our flights for the Tinker Bell Half, and I’m super excited!

MOON: We are flying to LA, whhhat!

JENN: And our flight out is even nonstop. Unprecedented!

MOON: The cares weren’t too steep either. I mean fares.

JENN: Indeed.

MOON: Quite.

JENN: Yes. Overall, I think it’s an auspicious beginning.

MOON: So… tell me about your week. I hear there was a muscle injury?

JENN: 🙁 Yeah.

MOON: I’m so sorry. Did you walk today?

JENN: Yeah, today was just a walk.

See, on Thursday I went for a run with Nicole in DC. We ran from DuPont Circle to the National Zoo and back and it was awesome and fun and we had a great time.

But the next day I felt a little twinge in the muscle next to my Achilles’ tendon. It didn’t seem unusually sore, so like an idiot I went for another short run anyway and turned it into a legitimate problem.

Luckily it’s feeling a lot better now – I may even try running again tomorrow – but I’m trying to be smart about not pushing things.

MOON: You might be good for a short run, but whenever I push it, I always make things worse. Tread lightly my dear.

JENN: I’ll grit my teeth and be careful, promise!

Did you run this week?

MOON: I did! I had two great runs. Speed and distance was pretty good. Improvement is happening, and my excitement for January is heightening. I’m glad to say I’m getting back into my normal routine.

JENN: Yay! Which reminds me! We got our corral assignment for Tink, annnnnnnd… CORRAL B. WHAT. That deserves the comic strip sound effect salute!

MOON: BOOM!

JENN: SHAZAM!

MOON: High five!

JENN: Anything noteworthy musically this week?

MOON: A lot of indie electronic, nothing too spectacular to note this week.

JENN: Yeah. I’m on a Flogging Molly kick again, but that happens, like, every two weeks.

MOON: That’s my Queen, girl. I must say this, however! Beethoven’s birthday was this week. I LOVE running to the symphonies. Magic happens.

JENN: Beethoven owns us all.

MOON: Amen.

Your lord and master.

JENN: Right then. Roundup time!

Running Toward the Prize can help make cold runs less miserable.
Learn to love the treadmill with Mom’s Magical Miles.
– Searching for info on the Tinker Bell Half? Margaritas, Miles, and the Mouse has the lowdown.
Make your own medal display with Fairytales and Fitness.
Run Eat Repeat offers a healthier version of a peppermint shake.
The Disney Hipsters share the best Christmas card ever.
Read another take on the questionable Escape from Tomorrow from Food Fitness Fantasy.

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!

The Fairest Week in Review: 10/7

Last week my boss was all excited because her daughter’s wings had come in for her Halloween costume. Her daughter is going to be the… Halloween… Fairy… something? Apparently it’s a book? Anyway, my boss had them shipped to work, so she showed us: perfect, Tink-style fairy wings, only orange-y yellow.

Half-joking, I declared that I would have to borrow them for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, and she replied with an enthusiastic YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THAT! So I now have wings, if I want them, and my boss reliably informs me that the wings would be the perfect color for a resident of Pixie Hollow known as Iridessa. I’m taking her word for it.

Me?

Training! Last Sunday I ran the Annapolis Run for the Light House Half, so I only had two runs last week. They were not inspired but they went fine. There was one thing I wanted to mention, though… what was it… oh yes:

Dear Leasing Office,

FIX THE TREADMILLS. THEY ARE NOW BOTH BROKEN. IF YOU DO NOT FIX THEM POST-HASTE, I WILL DO NOTHING IMMEDIATELY. I WILL BIDE MY TIME. BUT WHEN THE ALIENS COME, I’M VOLUNTEERING YOU AS GUINEA PIGS FOR THEIR OTHERWORLDLY EXPERIMENTATION.

Yours until the final frontier,
Jenn

Roundup.

Create a perfect race costume with Just Me and My Running Shoes.
Fantastic fitsperation from Prairie Princess Runners!
Carrots ‘n Cake helps us tackle that long run.
We Run Disney acknowledges – and conquers – the fear of group running.
– Headed for a night race? MousePlanet has tips for tackling runDisney night races, but a lot of advice is applicable to night racing generally.
– As a DC denizen, I have to share this Theme Park Insider post on the Disney/Obamacare/shutdown connection.
– And finally, the Disney Hipsters go to Hershey Park. YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHERE I WAS ON SATURDAY. More later this week!

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!

In Defense Of Our Predicted Tink Finishing Time

JENN: As you will know if you read our Princess Half Marathon recap, our finishing time was 2:52. And as you will know if you read our Tinker Bell Half registration post, we put down 2:20 as our projected finish. You might be thinking to yourself, “Hmmm. That’s quite a jump.”

But wait! We can explain! We feel that many factors slowed our time during the Princess, which incidentally was our first half. We learned a lot in it.

MOON: That, and… Jenn and Moon: now with bionic legs.

JENN: It’s true. We got the upgrade. We stroll to the moon on our lunch breaks now. But we’ve decided to play fair and don regular legs for the half. You know, so as not to demoralize the others.

MOON: Right!

JENN:
Which brings us to warp Factor #1: the weather. The Princess Half was not blessed with running weather.

MOON: No. Hot and humid. Not quite to the max, but enough to make running at 6AM unpleasant.

JENN: Experts recommend you decrease your speed in the face of heat and humidity. This was therefore not a help.

However! Southern California is professionally a sunny 75 degrees year round, right? That’s what it DOES. 5AM should feature a lovely brisk running weather forecast.

MOON: Well, I’m currently getting a lot of practice in unpleasant weather. So, either way, I will be set!

JENN: Factor #2: the crush of people. During the Princess, we encountered what seemed at times to be an impenetrable series of human walls. We did a lot of dodging and braking and weaving and going around. It adds up.

MOON: I remember getting to the 5K mark and thinking, “will this let up?”

JENN:
It sort of did, eventually, but not until… mile seven, would you say? Definitely after the castle. The castle was still crowded.

MOON: Yeah, it got a little better, but I don’t think I was ever running freely, if you know what I mean.

In my head, I imagined running through the castle gloriously one-by-one and having a private moment of triumph, ha!

Like this, only faster.

JENN: If only! But we have some strategies to combat this problem for Tink.

First off, by aiming for a 2:20 finish, we’ll hopefully be placed in a corral among faster runners who are less likely to form a blockade.

Second, one of the nice advantages of Disneyland is its compact nature. You can walk to everything, and that includes the starting line from our hotel.

That means no huge line for the bus. No fighting traffic once we’re ON the bus. No lengthy walk just to get to your corral, even! (Or so I hear!) So – we can get up at the same time, but be at our corrals MUCH sooner. Hopefully toward the front, so we can start the race off free and easy!

MOON: Yay!

JENN:
This brings us to Factor #3, which is the factor we brought upon ourselves: we walked. Two. Whole. Miles. Not in a row, but STILL. Why did we do that again?

MOON:
I think at the time the question was more, “Why not?” Honestly, when I work out at home I usually never walk for more than .25 miles

JENN:
Me neither! I think our psyches got the best of us. At the time I was like, “Well, I’ve run nine miles already. I’m tired.” It made sense. But looking back on it, I know I didn’t need it. Not really.

MOON: Agreed. I think we burned out physically and mentally near the end.

JENN: And it was our first half marathon. We just wanted to DO it. Well, now we’ve done it. We know we can. Time to starting doing it RIGHT.

So. Not to say walking is verboten in all future cases, but we’ll know better than to keep it up for more than the few minutes we need to replenish our energy stores.

MOON: We will be ready! We’ve been keeping up with our running schedules, running together, eating well, and now we’re even blogging about it!

JENN: And that brings us to Factor #4, which is essentially – we will be ready!

MOON: Steve Holt
! (We haven’t said it in a while, right?)

JENN: I wouldn’t say we were under-prepared for the Princess, but it was our very first race and we only had our eyes on the prize for a few months.

But we decided to go for the Coast to Coast medal pretty much as soon as the Princess medals were around our necks. Which means that by the time January rolls around, we will have had nearly a year to prepare, both physically and mentally.

And! It will be our third half marathon, because we will have run our second in September, which means more learning about how to most effectively run a race.

MOON: I’m actually pretty excited about September!

JENN: My PR for 13.1 miles in training is down to 2:13. My goal is to have it shaved down to 2:10 by the time we hit CA, but secretly I’d like to get to 2:05… we’ll see!

MOON: I just started training again at the end of May, so my goal for September is 2:20 with no walking. Then we can resubmit our proof of time, which may help our corral placement!

JENN: To review:

Better weather + fewer roadblocks + less walking + more preparation = a half marathon finish time that’s 30 minutes faster than the Princess. We can do it!

MOON: We WILL do it!

JENN: As Moon so rightly said: STEVE HOLT!

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!