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Kings Arms II Diner (Belford, NJ)

Kings Arms II Diner (Belford, NJ)

Last week, my good friend Layla was in NYC so we decided to meet at the Kings Arms II Diner (Belford, NJ). I picked her up from the Middletown Train Station and it was an easy drive to the Kings Arms II Diner.

Kings Arms II Diner Belford NJ

Atmosphere: A
The Kings Arms 2 Diner is located on the main road in Belford, NJ. Getting into the parking lot is confusing with the one ways but the parking lot is big.

The inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh. I could have used more refills but it was good.

Kings Arms II Diner Belford NJ

Food: B
The Kings Arms 2 Diner has everything you can imagine in a diner. There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

We arrived for lunch and there was an entire page of salad specials. None of them spoke to me but I was craving a salad. Since I was at the Kings Arms II Diner, I decided to order the Kings Arms salad with steak. It came with mixed greens, pears, craisins, walnuts, goat cheese and sherry vinaigrette.

Kings Arms II Diner Belford NJ

I added the steak. It concerned me when the waitress didn’t ask how I wanted my steak done but once it came out, it was cooked medium are which I like.

It wasn’t the best salad I’ve had and for the cost, I could have used more greens.

Service: A
The waitress at the Kings Arms 2 Diner was friendly and the food came out fast. I have no complaints.

Cost: $
For my Kings Arms Salad with steak and coffee, it was $24.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
I liked the Kings Arms II Diner in Belford and had a pleasant experience. If I’m in the area again, I’ll have to go back.  Apparently, the original Kings Arms Diner is on Staten Island so I’ll have to go there.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $10-20
Overall: B

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite salad topping?
How do you like your steak cooked?

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Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)

Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t think I would be running the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon. We didn’t travel to Ouray for the race, but the timing worked out so, we thought…why not? The start of the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon starts at nearly 8000 feet of elevation. It runs from Ouray, Co to Ridgeway, Co. The Mt. Sneffels Marathon runs from Ridgway to Ouray, back to Ridgway. It was one of the most challenging and beautiful half marathons I’ve done. I’ve raced probably 500 times, and this is one of my favorites. The race is named after the beautiful Mt. Sneffels which is located in Ouray.

We stayed with family outside of Montrose and only 40 minutes from Ouray. We picked up our packets the night before, and it wasn’t until the night before I realized the race started at 7:30 am, not 6:30 (the Mt. Sneffels Marathon began at 6:30 am).

We arrived in Ouray around 6:30 and just relaxed. It was nice to take in the scenery. I knew the race would be tough, and my goal was to run smartly. I didn’t want to dry heave my way to the finish line and also didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize the Big Cottonwood Marathon coming up.

The race started promptly at 7:30. I ran the first mile with my husband. The first mile went through the town of Ouray, and I found myself out of breath by mile .5. Oh…this is going to be something I thought. I just relaxed and found myself finding a groove. I hit the first mile in 7:37.

During the next mile, we headed into a small park and then onto the gravel road. Most of the race was on a gravel road through the mountains. I was happy for the soft surface. I began to find my groove and hit the second mile in 7:16.

The next few miles, I ran alone. The mt. sneffels half marathon was a bigger race, but I found myself in a pocket of solitude, and I didn’t mind. I took in the gorgeous mountains around me and just focused on me. I ran a 7: 00-minute 3rd mile, followed by 6:54, and 7:04.

I was happy my miles seemed to have progressed. I wouldn’t have been mad if my overall pace was closer to my first mile, but I felt good I could settle into something faster.

The race course director had warned us that mile 5 would have some rougher terrain as they are fixing part of the road. It was hard to get a footing in the soft gravel mixed with rocks, but I didn’t think it was terrible.

By the time I knew it, it was mile 6. I saw the leaders for the Mt. Sneffels Marathon. It was awesome because the second place overall was female.

I passed a couple of people and kept running. I felt strong, but miles 6-9 can be challenging in any half marathon. You don’t want to get too cocky and surge, only to ride the pain train home. I ran a 6:58, 6:57, and 6:59. I was happy with it.

I crossed mile 10 in 1:11, which is a full minute faster than the Sea Legs Shuffle I ran last month. Completely different circumstances (it was sweltering there) but it was comical. Then at mile 10, I saw about .5 ahead, the most prominent hill I’ve seen in a road race. I thought, there is no way we would climb that…but I was wrong. I saw in the distance a few people climbing. So for about half a mile, I was starting at the hill. We started climbing, and my legs and breathing were on fire. I relaxed and focused. When we got to the top, the women asked Gatorade or water, and I was so out of breath I just pointed. I finished mile 10 in 7:21. I was happy with that effort.

It took me about 1.5 miles to feel comfortable with my breathing again. I ran a 7:18 12th mile. The final mile, I was focused on the end. I kept thinking if they are okay with throwing that mile 10, who knows if there are some crazy hills on mile 13. Luckily there wasn’t, and I just powered to the end.

I crossed the finish of the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon in 1:33.58 and was second in my age group. It was a surprise because I was not expecting that.

Thoughts:

In all, I’m happy with my efforts at the Mount Sneffels Half Marathon. It was a beautiful race, and I hope to do it again sometime.

Questions for you:

What is the highest elevation you’ve run at? 

What is the most beautiful race you’ve run? 

 

Exploring Box Canyon Falls (Ouray, Co)

Exploring Box Canyon Falls (Ouray, Co)

After running the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon and refueling, my husband and I decided to check out the Box Canyon Falls (Ouray).  This wasn’t so much a hike as a tourist attraction, so it’s a great stop if you don’t feel like walking much, but want to see waterfalls.

Located in the city of Ouray, the “Box Cañon” Falls, is the point where the Canyon Creek narrows and spills thousands of gallons of water a minute over the falls. It’s one of the more beautiful waterfalls I’ve been too. The Box Canyon Falls are an 85 foot waterfall that falls into the narrow Canyon Creek.

The Box Canyon is also home to the Black Swifts which are swifts that migrate from Brazil. They stay from June to September, but sadly we didn’t see any.

We arrived around noon, paid, and talked the person in the Visitor Center. He gave us plenty of information, including trail information, history, and geology of the area.

At the Box Canyon Falls, there were plenty of people of every age visiting. If you are looking for something low key and quiet, this probably isn’t your stop. There is a parking area located right next to the Box Canyon Visitor Center.

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Colorado you were fun. Until next time.

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At the Box Canyon Falls there are three trails:

  • The Main Trail: The Falls Trail is an easy, level 500 foot trail that takes you to the Box Canyon Falls. There are steps to go down the canyon.
  • The High Bridge Trail: 95 rock steps take you up 200 feet for a beautiful view of Ouray. It also connects to the Perimeter Trail. If we hadn’t decided to run the half marathon, I would have loved to do the Perimeter trail in Ouray. It’s a beautiful view over the falls as well as Ouray itself.
  • The Native Plant Loop: The Native Plenty Loop looks and identifies several native plants as well as animals along the Box Canyon. This is also short and easy.

We did all three trails and even taking our time, and it took us about 45 minutes. If you are in Ouray, I highly recommend checking out the Box Canyon Falls.

Box Canyon Falls Ouray Co

The Box Canyon Falls

Box Canyon Falls Ouray Co

Walking through a tunnel a the top of the High Bridge Trail

In all, it was a beautiful and short walk to the Box Canyon Falls. If you are around Ouray and have 30 minutes, I highly suggest stopping.

Box Canyon Falls Ouray Co

View from the top of Box Canyon

Box Canyon Falls Ouray Co

The Box Canyon Falls

You can see all the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Box Canyon Falls or Ouray?

What is your favorite waterfall?

 

 

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Shoe Review

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Shoe Review

The Nike Pegasus is many people first shoes. (In fact, the Nike Pegasus was my first shoe). With 36 versions, it’s been around for several years. For the last two years, Nike has added a few versions of their Pegasus while still keeping the original Pegasus.

For the 36th version, there is the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 (also known as the Nike Turbo 2) as well as the Nike Pegasus Trail.

Keep in mind, all of these Nike Pegasus are in the zoom series or zoom family and use zoom air as well. It’s just easier to remove the word Zoom, so the shoe name isn’t longer than the review. (How obnoxious would it be to write The Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Turbo?)

The updated Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 is the faster and more workout oriented version of the Nike Pegasus 36. It’s lighter and uses the same foam (The Nike ZoomX Foam and React Foam) as the Nike Next%.  All three versions of the Pegasus can be used for daily running and training. Of the three, the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo is could also be used for race day or long distance too.

Nike Zoom Pegasus 2 Shoe review

Quick Stats:

Weight: 7.2 oz (size 9)

Drop: 10 mm

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Fit:

The Nike Pegasus Turbo 1 (Nike Pegasus turbo 35), fit almost big. It remains one of the only shoes a women’s size 10 fit well. With the Nike Turbo 2, the fit is similar, and I find myself liking a women’s size ten as well. My usual size in any running shoe is between women’s size 10-11 wide.

For the Nike Turbo 2, the flywire is removed. It makes the shoe a bit wider and less snug through the midfoot. Nike also removed the racing stripe to increase breathability.

The upper has been redesigned to a thin and breathable engineered mesh. Between the brand new engineered mesh upper and removal of the flywire, the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 weighs almost .3 of an ounce lighter. It also fits and breathes better.

Finally, the heel collar is higher, which Nike claims will irritate the Achilles less. I haven’t had an issue with it. Many of the “Nike Fast Shoes” have almost a fin-like heel. Nike claims the angled heel optimizes initial touchdown and helps to provide a smooth transition from heel to toe.

Nike Zoom Pegasus 2 Shoe review

The Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Ride:

The  Nike Turbo 2 midsole is similar to the Nike Zoomx Vaporfly (now Next%) without the carbon plate. The Nike Turbo 2 combines both the Zoom X foam followed by the React Foam. With both foams going the full length of the shoe, the energy return is higher, and the Nike Pegasus 2 absorbs impact better than previous versions.

The Nike Turbo 2 is designed to run fast. While the Nike Pegasus 36 might be the everyday trainer, the Nike Turbo 2 is designed for workouts, long runs, and fast runs. Instead of wearing out your Nike Next%, use the Nike Turbo 2 for those hard workouts.

I appreciate that there is plenty of traction on the Turbo 2. It’s much better this year in elements like rain and ice. It’s not perfect, but better. The Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 is also much more durable than last year. Last year, the Pegasus Turbo probably got between 150-250 miles, but this year the zoom cushioning is lasting to about 300 miles.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Review

I’ve run a few workouts and long runs in the shoe. For me, it does fit best as a “fast shoe” and a shoe I know I want to run well. I wouldn’t use it as an easy run or recovery shoe. Last year, it was hard to justify the Nike Pegasus Turbo 1 over the Nike Zoom Fly, but this year the Turbo 2 is a faster, more quality shoe.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Review

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Conclusion:

The Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 has been updated well. It’s much more durable than previous versions as well as being more breathable. Of the three Nike “fast shoes” (the Next%, Zoom Fly, and Turbo), I think the Turbo 2 is the best update from Nike Running. Last year I couldn’t justify the $180 price cost, but this year I believe the shoe is worth it.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Review

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Brooks Ghost 12

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Hoka Rincon, Nike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  Reebok Run fast Pro

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you tried a new shoe lately?

What is your favorite running shoe?

 

Big Cottonwood Training Week 12: Altitude and Half Marathons

Big Cottonwood Training Week 12: Altitude and Half Marathons

Last week of training was fun. How can it not be when you are traveling? My husband and I decided to take a mini trip out to Colorado. Since we were in town, we thought we would do the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon. I had no goals other than finish the half marathon and spoiler I did just that.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 75 minutes
Wednesday: AM: 4X1 mile with 2 minutes rest (total miles 16)
PM: Easy 6 minutes downhill
Thursday: Rest and travel to Colorado
Friday: 60 minutes shakeout run in Vail
Saturday: Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58) Total Mileage 20
Sunday: Easy 30 minutes

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets 56 MPW
Week 8: It’s Very Hot 58 MPW
Week 9: Tetris Runner 56 MPW
Week 10: Long Week and Personal 5ks 54 MPW

Week 11:: Quality Miles

Thoughts:

What a week, my runs, for the most part, went well. My weekly mileage has been good, and I’m happy to get the running distance in. I was bummed I didn’t have the time to swim, but with travel, cross-training didn’t work out.  I’ve mentioned before, but swimming will always be there, and I’m not competing in swimming, so there isn’t a point to make myself miserable to get to the pool.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 mile

I got to run with my fast friend, Skip. Originally we had planned the track, but it was completely occupied, and there was no way to get on. We decided to head to a local paved path which worked out well, and I had my best workout in a long time.

Since Big Cottonwood Marathon is a downhill race, the race says “a speedy downhill slope,” I opted for 6 miles in the afternoon on the treadmill. I set my treadmill on a decline and run for an hour to get my quads adjusted to that. After running Phoenix and not being prepared appropriately, I asked for training tips for Big Cottonwood. Runnin downhill should have been a no brainer, but I’m glad someone suggested it.

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon 1:33.58:

I’ll have a full recap this week, but I had no plans for the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon other than to run smart. I took out the race very easy (for a race), and my first mile was 7:37. I didn’t know how I would feel. Looking back, I probably could have taken it out faster, but I haven’t done a road half marathon at altitude (I raced the trail Copper Mountain 25k last year).

The race itself is mostly on gravel, and it was one of the most beautiful races I’ve ever run. It’s a remarkably beautiful road race, and I would recommend it to anyone. I was able to negative split the race. Around mile 10.5 was the hardest hill I’ve ever climbed. It was a steep 300-foot climb in about a quarter of a mile. I found myself extremely winded for the rest of mile 10 and 11. I’m happy with the race, and afterward, I ran an extra 7 miles to get in 20 miles. I wouldn’t have done that, but that’s marathon training for you. For Big Cottonwood Marathon, all of my 20 milers will be on race day, and I appreciate that (but it does not make it any easier when it’s time to run after the race).

In all, I’m happy with the week of training. It’s hard to believe the Big Cottonwood Marathon is less than a month away.  My goal has always been to get to Salt Lake City and the start line healthy. My marathon training plan has been just to stay healthy and run smart. I’m running enough miles per week to feel prepared without being overcooked when it’s time to run 26.2 miles.

Posts from the Week:

Hiking Cheesequake State Park

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you run at altitude?

What is the most beautiful race you’ve run? 

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