In Which Jenn Shares Her Long Run Disney Parks Playlist

Pray for me now and in the hour of my 17 mile training run.

I will appreciate those prayers when the time comes (tomorrow), but as they say: the Lord helps those who help themselves. In addition to prayers, I shall try to make my long run as painless minimally painful as possible with the help of such items as KT Tape, mocha Clif Shots, a spare water bottle, and, of course, music.

I will start out with my usuals from Amazon Music (Aerosmith!) or my own personal iTunes stash (J. Roddy/Floggy Molly/Jukebox the Ghost), for at the absolute least the first nine miles or so. But when the going gets tough, I’m gonna bust out that big guns. You know what blog you’re reading, so of course you already know it’s Disney music.

But not just any Disney music – Disney parks music and parks music only! But not the background music loops; they’re designed to create ambience, not capture your attention. For running, performance music is where it’s at. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more transportive than a good show soundtrack. I’m talking fireworks, parades, nighttimes spectaculars – you know, with the stirring orchestral scores and catchy medleys, the ones that immediately thrust you back in time and put your imaginary feet on Main Street. You’ll forget you’re running at all

Want to follow along? C’mon, we’ll run together – I put together a playlist special. It’s unlisted, but I’m willing to share it with my bloggy buddies.* If the below embed gets wonky or you lose me at any point, here’s a direct playlist link. Lace up and step into the magic!

*You know, all these other people think I’m talking to them, but I’m really just talking to you!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Has Forgotten How To Run In The Cold

Christmas Run

Hello and welcome to The Fairest Run Of All, 2021 edition! Shall we start out the new year with a little light complaining? Let’s!

Because boy howdy, kids, as a denizen of the warm and humid land of Puerto Rico for almost two years now, I have all but forgotten how to run in the cold. I ran a series of 5Ks over the last couple weeks while in Maryland’s wintry throes, and while I knew intellectually it was going to be chilly I was not prepared.

Literally. I wasn’t prepared. I almost was – I packed gloves for my runs, and long-sleeved shirts and pants, and even puffer vests. So far so good. 

I also own four pairs of crew socks, the kind that go halfway up your calf. They’re soft and thick and warm and perfect for running, and currently live in a drawer in Puerto Rico. Of course in Puerto Rico they’re useless, but I keep them there so that if I’m ever flying somewhere cold, I can pack them. In this case, I did not remember to pack them. My ankles were COLD.

Not the end of the world, of course, but you know what ELSE winter running throws at you on top of the cold? Wind! Frickin’ GUSTS of wind! What is that about? Is the cold not enough??? (After the 2017 Rock ‘n Roll Marathon DC, you think I’d learn, but I guess I blocked the memory from my brain.)

Oh, and the rain. Why not add some rain while we’re at it? That’ll make it extra fun. Nothing like a good rain juuuust above 32 degrees – all the cold and wet with none of the pretty snow elements.

And the ice! The day after it rained, it got down to below freezing overnight, and during my next run there was ice. I kept my eyes on the ground and didn’t fall, but I still thought that was impolite.

Although! It did flurry on Christmas. I liked that. And the cold makes me much faster – a good minute per mile, sometimes. And once you get started and warm up a little, if the wind can just chill tf out, it’s really not so bad. 

I guess I did formerly run outside all winter and survive. I could get used to it again. Except that I’m back in Puerto Rico now, and don’t have to. Let the cycle begin anew!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn PRs In The 10K Thanks To Southwest Airlines

Okay, I know we JUST did a post about a training run of mine and I generally try to mix it up, but I had the BEST run on Sunday – all thanks to Southwest Airlines. Naturally I simply must tell you about it.

So here’s what happened: I was going to get up at 8am and run that week’s Rock ‘n Roll virtual 10k. However, a notification popped up on my phone as I was setting my alarm: I needed to check in for my flight home to Puerto Rico at 8:55am on the dot. (For those not familiar with Southwest’s seating policies, it’s first-come first-served, with boarding groups and numbers assigned by how early you check in.)

Not wanting to stop in the middle of my run to accomplish this, I got up half an hour earlier. But as I finished dressing, hydrating, etc., I realized I would still going to need to push myself a bit if I wanted to make my time cutoff.

So I did. Rather than attempt to curtail my early-run instinct to pick up the pace, I let myself go kinda fast. And then… I continued to let myself go fast. Not sprinting, but a good clip. No reining it in or pulling it back in an effort to keep the entire thing comfortable. Hell, by the last mile I was decidedly NOT comfortable, but I also wasn’t incapable. I kept the pace and my final mile was in fact my fastest.

You know what else was my fastest? This 10k! By a full minute! During training! Not a race! I have NEVER done that! I’m STILL pleased with myself!

I have to give a shout out to the excellent running weather that morning in Maryland, where I enjoyed upper 60s temperatures the likes of which Puerto Rico may well have never seen. And an extra thank you to the parking lot of the tech school behind the house, which has only one slight incline and is otherwise an ideal running circuit.

Now I am back in Puerto Rico, where it’s hot and humid and running fast can be a challenge. But I’ll give it a go sometimes anyway. As the professionals like to tell us, to run faster you’ve just got to… run faster. Pam was right all along!

P.S. A27 and A28. Boom!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Runs In OBX

Hello from OBX! Yesterday morning I completed my first long run outside of Puerto Rico in literal months and my God, did you know that in North Carolina it gets almost CHILLY at NIGHT? And that there’s a BREEZE and the HUMIDITY isn’t 8,000 PERCENT??? What a delight! I like to think all my hot weather training is going to convert into faster times in cooler climes, but it’s nice to turn down the heat a bit now and again.

The only downside to pointing due north is that the sunrise is later, so I couldn’t get quite as early a start as I would’ve liked (there aren’t lights on the roads down here or sidewalks either, so visibility is important. Always run against traffic!). But I was still able to pop out a practice half with comparative ease.

I started by hanging left off our beach house and running down to Lee Robinson’s General Store, a distance of about 4 miles. If you’re ever in the Cape Hatteras area, definitely pop in there and get some chocolate peanut butter fudge and Blenheim ginger ale, but as they weren’t open yet I was sadly unable.

Then I turned around and ran back to the house, where I swapped in a fresh bottle of water and finished my 13.1. I passed a couple of pro-Trump signs during this portion of the run – it’s the south, after all – but I flipped them all off for my own cathartic purposes. Please vote Biden so poor Ruth Bader Ginsburg can retire, okay?

One of these days I should really try running on the beach again, but the flat, fast roads are so hard to resist!

Do you run on vacation?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Week In Review: 4/20

Hola y salutations! Hello! Happy 4/20 if you celebrate!

Okay, first things first: if you are a pale person in Puerto Rico, you need to wear MORE sunscreen. I didn’t say you need to wear some sunscreen, I said you need to wear MORE sunscreen. MORE. You can’t even trust the umbrellas with the margaritas under them. MORE. SUNSCREEN. ¿Entiendas?

Next thing: I am cranky because I only brought one pair of running shoes, which was wise because we were way over the maximum weight for a lot of our luggage as it was. But I am feeling annoyed that I’ve spent 3 weeks in the same exact pair of shoes. Oh my God, I am such an entitled Runner Type Person. What can you do.

Third thing: last week I ran 4 miles and change every weekday. I’m still easy into this Running In Puerto Rico thing. It’s hot out here.

Fourth thing: roundup!

Just Me & My Running Shoes has some marathon stats.
The Disney Tourist Blog reviews WDW’s “worst” restaurant, which I really thought was going to be ABC Commissary but as it turns out is the Electric Umbrella.
My beloved easyWDW reviews this new DAK tasting menu thing.
The Tomorrow Society thanks the Phoenicians.

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!

The Fairest Week In Review: 4/12

Hello and welcome to week two of Jenn Lives in Puerto Rico! I continue to enjoy being warm all the time, even if it comes at the cost of very sweaty runs. I talked about running here a bit yesterday.

Although I just realized I forgot to include the fact that while I do all my runs in the morning, and I see quite a few people running at twilight, I witnessed a guy running at noon the other day. In the full sun! And humidity! Mid-80s! There is not a big enough water bottle in the world!

I suppose for short runs it wouldn’t be so terrible. And short runs is mostly what I’ve been doing, to get the feel for things. I don’t have super accurate data right now because my other computer is in the process if being shipped over and that’s where it all lives, but I did a 5k or so every weekday morning last week. Huzzah!

Jeez, without the full day-by-day workout recap these week in review posts look kinda anemic. Ummm… here is a picture of Ruffian being adorable. There, now it’s been worth your while!

Okay, roundup time.

Elbowglitter knows that comparisons are odious.
Darlin’ Rae reviews an Insta-famous sports bra.
Fairytales & Fitness ponders some memorable runs.
Disney In Your Day reviews the new Dumbo live action movie.
easyWDW does the legwork on another research topic: does the day you visit a WDW park matter?
Skyway to Wonderland explores one of my favorite Disney Springs stores, the Marketplace Co-op.
Davelandblog shares images of a forgotten Mary Blair mural in Disneyland.
Pixie Dust Savings calls out the places to hang with characters outside the parks.

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 In San Juan

While we apartment-hunt for a permanent place, Pat and I are staying in a little place by the beach in Ocean Park, in the northern part of San Juan on the coast. It’s not a proper hotel and there’s no gym… but like any good addict, I’m not about to let my training just drop, y’know? Mama needs her mileage! … Ew. Why did I say that? I mean, it’s true, but why did I say it like that?

Anyway. So it’s hot here in Puerto Rico (WUT) and humid, and even in the middle of the night it’s 75 degrees. But I’m a warm weather person so that’s okay. The first week I did a series of 3 milers, and then a series of 4, and it’s working out fine.

The routes are a little weird, though. I mean, not weird, just not ideal. The neighborhood we’re in is compact so I do a lot of doubling up around blocks and stuff. A nice feature, though, is a park about a third of a mile away from our place. I mean, can’t hate on that view, can you?

San Juan running

And this sidewalk… embossing? Or whatever. It’s pretty cute.

San Juan running

San Juan running

There’s even a track in the park, although I’m not a huge track fan. I’ve used it once or twice but I prefer the neighborhood streets.

The sidewalks are rough, though, man. There are uneven curbs and potholes and random uneven bits. All throughout my ballet career my teacher has told me to stop looking at the floor, but in running this particular skill has served me well. You gotta keep your eyes on the ground or you’re going down. Hell, I almost broke my ankle this morning while walking. Thank God I have flexible joints.

I’m still hoping to snag an apartment with a treadmill when the time comes, but for now, this is working out fine. Now if I can only find a good race series…

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!

The Fairest Week In Review: 4/06

Did I say service would be uninterrupted? Okay, well, I guess technically it hasn’t been as I did make a post this week, but I’m obviously a little behind… like 3 or 4 days behind. Oh well. I’ll get into this Puerto Rico rhythm yet!

Another thing I’m way behind on: The Barkley Marathons. I know they’ve been a huge thing since that one documentary in 2014, but when news reports of the 2019 version once again lauded its incredible toughness (no one finished for the second year in a row) I finally decided to take a second look. And boy howdy, it is fascinating.

The original documentary, The Race That Eats Its Young, is no longer on Netflix, but I was lucky enough to stumble upon it on YouTube yesterday morning. By that evening it had been pulled for copyright infringement. Right place, right time for me, but unfortunately I can’t share it.

However! There’s another, more recent YouTube documentary that, if not as explanatory, is just as interesting and soul-destroying. Please enjoy this account of Gary Robbins’ attempts to finish. The ending rips out your heart and stomps all over it. You’ll love it!

Anyway, back to the usual week in review stuff: I still haven’t fully set up my Strava account after the untimely demise of Daily Mile, but I can tell you that last week I did a practice half, two 5 milers, and then moved to Puerto Rico on Friday. Wee!

And now for the roundup:

easyWDW tries out the new VIP Taste of the Magic Kingdom tour.
The Tomorrow Society continues its deep dive into Spaceship Earth’s scenes.
Living A Disney Life considers although those recent internet-breaking Disney parks rule changes.
EPBOT explores this year’s Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.
WDW For Grownups selects the best cookies WDW has to offer.
This Fairy Tale Life tries out a Disney Princess Breakfast Adventure.

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!

The Fairest Week In Review: 3/21

Ah, but let us pour one out for Daily Mile. The run tracker I’ve been using for at least five years died yesterday. I finished yesterday’s run and then, like I always do, immediately opened my phone to track my time and mileage. And then I frowned, deleted the Daily Mile app, and shoved my phone back into my pocket. An era has ended.

Anyway, anyone have any suggestions for a new run tracking site? Right now I’m looking at Strava because it’s all you ever hear about, but it seems much more complicated. I just want to input my freaking runs and there are tooooo many doohickeys cluttered up the screen. Anything simpler but also free you can recommend?

Speaking of workouts, things were pretty quiet last week, it being my post-marathon rest week and all. Here’s what we’ve got:

Monday | walked 2.04 miles outside in 35 minutes; 55 minute ballet class

Tuesday | rest
Can’t remember why I didn’t walk. Crappy weather, probably. No, wait, I think I took my car to get its oil changed on my lunch break. Yeah, that’s the one.

Wednesday | walked 2 miles outside in 35 minutes

Thursday | walked walked 2.06 miles outside in 35 minutes
Skipped ballet to go to the MVA. Found out while there I was missing paperwork. Needless to say it was a thrilling evening.


Friday | walked 2.09 miles outside in 35 minutes

Saturday | rest

And here’s the roundup:

The Fairest Week In Review: 3/13

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present… a post-marathon body in a state that does not worry me!

Okay, that’s a weird thing to say. Let me explain.

After the Marine Corps Marathon, my inner knee was doing its weird unexplained one-day-delayed pain thing. After the WDW Marathon, my inner knee was fine but my IT Band, which I THOUGHT I had fixed years ago, acted up a bit. After the Wrightsville Beach Marathon last weekend? I am fine!

Frickin’ IT Band.

Well, to be clear, I am definitely stiff and sore in areas. I do think I have some imbalance areas to correct. And my inner knee did hurt the tiniest little bit for a hot second the next day. But any pain was all gone by Monday. Nothing wrong with me now that a little rest and some stretching can’t fix, baby!

And on that happy note, let us proceed to the workout recap:

Sunday | ran 5.08 miles outside in 50 minutes

Monday | walked 2 miles outside in 35 minutes; 55 minute ballet class

Wednesday | ran 3.21 miles outside in 30 minutes

Thursday | walked 2.13 miles outside in 35 minutes
Skipped ballet to do laundry and prep for my race weekend.

Friday | rest
Drove down to North Carolina, stopping first at UNC Wilmington for bib pickup and the race expo. I’d say it’s a medium-sized race, and it has a medium-sized expo to match, but several local businesses and running stores were represented. I grabbed my bib and bought a couple energy gels, but mostly I wanted lunch so I didn’t linger long.

Saturday | Wrightsville Beach Marathon
I lived!

Roundup time!


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!