Majestic Diner (Ramsey)

Majestic Diner (Ramsey)

Recently I was in Ramsey, NJ near New York State.  I’ve been to a lot of the diners near the NY border so finding a diner near the top I haven’t been too has been increasingly difficult.  Even though I live nearly 90 miles from Ramsey, I’m actually very familiar with the area now from road races as well as hiking.

Atmosphere: A
The Majestic Diner looks like many North Jersey Diners.  The outside is clean, modern, and open.  When you walk in, you face the bakery and dessert case.

Majestic diner ramsey nj

Coffee: B
I enjoyed the personalized coffee mug.  The coffee itself wasn’t the best or worst.  It tasted decent.  I do wish I could have more refills.

Majestic diner ramsey nj

Food: A
The Majestic Diner has a lot more upscale options.  While they do have “traditional” diner items, they all have an upscale feel to it. Due to traffic, I got up much later than I wanted so I arrived hungry.  I ordered the Mezze platter which came out quickly.  It had plenty of grape leaves, olives, pita, and hummus.  i ate it all embarssingly fast.

Majestic diner ramsey nj

There are breakfast options like chicken and waffles and dinner options like fish tacos.

Majestic diner ramsey nj

I’ve had a craving for fish tacos lately, so I decided to order those.  It came out with a side salad, which I had hoped would come out beforehand but came with the meal. The tacos themselves were good. They were a lot spicier than I anticipated but I enjoyed them. They satisfied the random taco craving I was having!

Majestic diner ramsey nj

Service: C
Even though it was quiet that particular evening, the service was slow. The food came out quickly, but I could barely understand what our waiter was saying. The manager did seem nice though!

Cost: $$
The Majestic Diner is more expensive than most diners because it is a more upscale restaurant. The cost of my meal was about $20.
The quality of food is good, and I think it’s worth it.

Overall Summary/Would I come Back?
I liked the Majestic Diner and thought it was a good diner. They have a look of unique and upscale “diner: items that I would like to try.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: C
Price: $15-25
Overall: B

You Can See all 194 NJ Diners I’ve Been too Here.

Questions for you:
Do you like fish tacos?
Where has been your favorite taco?


Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie

Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie

It’s probably hot where you are, but that is because it’s now summer.  I like the heat, but the days where I want hot chocolate after a run are gone.  Yes, I still do have hot coffee though.  Anyway, lately with the weather, I’ve found myself craving more smoothies.

vital proteins ambassador

This year, one commitment I made to myself was getting protein after each run.  I used to be terrible about eating right after a run.  It wasn’t because of lack of hunger, but because I was usually ten minutes late and floundering around trying to get somewhere on time.  Something I could have fixed many moons ago. This year I’ve been a lot better about getting protein and giving myself a little bit more time.

I wrote a post about having Vital Proteins after reach run.  Lately, I’ve enjoyed two scoops of the beauty collagen strawberry lemon. The Strawberry Lemon Beauty Collagen contains 12 grams of collagen peptides which help aid recovery.

I know it’s nothing new, and many runners have enjoyed post-run or workout smoothies, but it’s more new to me.

After running, your body needs a blend of both carbohydrates and protein.  Getting this within 30 minutes is something I’ve been working on all year, and I’m proud I’ve been much better about it.  I’m not a fancy chef, but this is the “recipe” I use.

Recovery Smoothie:


1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup milk (I prefer almond milk)
1 cup Berries (Recently I’ve been in a blueberry or raspberry mood.  It just depends what is on sale)
2/3 cup ice
2/3 cup ice
2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen (Lately I’ve used the beauty collagen, but I’ve used most of the flavors.  A runner-up second favorite is Whey)

Put in blender. Eat.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I do find that I recover faster when I make an effort to have protein after a run.  During the colder months, I preferred the bone broth or flavorless (that I would mix into hot cocoa).

I am a Vital Proteins Ambassador but all thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not being paid for this post.

Here are more Vital Protein Collagen posts:

Skin Benefits from Collagen

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Questions for you:

Are you good about consuming calories after a run?

What is your smoothie recipe?


Exploring the Maurice River Bluffs

Recently, I was down in the Vineland area.  I’ve always wanted to check out the Maurice River Bluffs, and it seemed like a good day to do so.  There are a couple of trails down there! Unfortunately, with the weather we’ve had the last couple of months, part of the trails were closed due to flooding.

That is okay, and I still had a relaxing time just exploring.  I stayed on trails and followed the detour route that is currently in place, but it’s not the same route you’ll find online.

I believe I explored about 3 miles worth of the park.  I was able to make it to the actual Maurice River Bluffs, so I felt accomplished.  Tick season is among us, and along with just everyday safety, I like to stay on trails and not make my own.  Most of the path is pine needles and then along the bluffs is a beautiful sandy marsh.

The parking lot is small, and I don’t know how crowded the park can get.  There was plenty of parking when I went, but as mentioned I’m unsure how busy it can be.  When I arrived, I heard loud music playing.  To be honest, for about 5 minutes I thought there was a festival going on inside the park.  I’m not exaggerating at all!  When I walked up to the front, I realized it was coming from someone’s car.

maurice river bluffs nj

Most of the trail is pines.

maurice river bluffs nj

An abandoned building along the trail.  It was pretty cool as most of the building is gone and you can see nearly to the foundation.

maurice river bluffs nj

maurice river bluffs nj

Looking to the bluffs!

maurice river bluffs nj

Gorgeous view along the bluffs that I had no idea existed around there.maurice river bluffs nj

In all, it was a fun little walk in the Vineland. I enjoy exploring new parts of NJ, and this spring and summer have been great for that!

I have been enjoying the peace of hiking and walking through the Spring and now summer.  I’m hopefully looking forward to continuing through the rest of the season.

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:
Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking Cape May Lighthouse

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to bluffs?

Do you live in an area with a lot of ticks?

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

Blah Blah Blah: Run Easy

It seems every year, I post about running easy.  I’ve been blogging for 8 years, so it’s about 8 posts saying about the same thing.

Never the less, it’s still an important and relevant topic.

Racing your easy runs won’t get you a PR.

It won’t make you an Instagram hero either.

It will, however, get you burned out, or injured.

Don’t think I haven’t been subjected to this and learned the lesson of injury the hard way.  Long term readers know my first tibial stress fracture (7 years ago now) was caused by overtraining.  In short, I ran my easy runs too fast.  My last burn out wasn’t necessarily caused by running too fast, but more life stress, trying to run high mileage, and just doing too much.

Every week I post a running log and mileage recap.  Every month I do something similar.  Every week on Instagram, I get a few messages about “how fast do you run your easy runs,” and I will always respond the same way: honestly I don’t know or care.  Typically I use my Garmin Vivosport.  It’s not fancy, and that’s why I like it.  It will tell me mile splits if I want but for the most part, I just do timer mode.

I have a few ways I do an easy run

  • I run a route I know to be X amount of miles and don’t time it. I could finish 5 miles in 45 minutes or an hour…I will only have a good idea by the kitchen clock.
  • I just run for an hour and if it’s 6 miles or 10…that’s how it goes.  JK, it would never be anything close to 10.

Both work for me and keep me healthy both mentally and physically.

For training, I usually have a rough outline of the runs and workouts I want to do for the week, but I never have an exact plan.  For instance, last week I planned to take a rest day on Thursday, but my body was hurting on Tuesday…so I rested then too.  Some days I have more time in the morning, and some days I have less.  I ask myself: will I miss this mile next week.  No…I won’t remember.

Does Not Caring about Pace Really Help Me?

I have actually found that it does and it does a lot.  First of all, I’m not obsessed with pace.  I don’t care. I could run 10 miles at 10-minute pace or 10 miles at 8-minute pace.  It’s still 10 base miles.  I’ll run with anyone that wants to run, whether you run a 10 minute or 8-minute mile.  That’s why I rarely post paces online, Instagram, or anywhere.  Because I don’t know and honestly, for training runs…I don’t really care.

As I mentioned earlier, it hasn’t always been that way for me. I used to be obsessed with pace and numbers.  Seven years ago as a new runner, I would run in the same 10-second pace range for every run of the week.  That pace was between 7-7:10.  Do you know what I gave myself?  The glorious gift of a tibial stress fracture on my 21st birthday.

Not to mention, during that period of trying to PR every run, I never got faster for races and was miserable the entire time.   I was so antsy in training if my overall pace was 7:11+ and thought I had lost my all endurance.  It sounds silly now, but that is what the newer runner in me thought.

I Thought: Train fast to go fastRace myself and try and get faster every day.

Here are Some Interesting Stats from that Time in My Training:

During that time of my running career, my 5k PR was 20:10.  I ran about 50 miles a week between 7-7:15 pace.

Now it’s 18:13 (and I had to look LOL).  During that time in training, I was running 60 miles a week with about 50 above 8:30 or even 10-minute pace.

Then my half marathon PR was 1:36.56…now it’s 1:22.03

Now, I’m able to do workouts more efficiently and better.  Running an 88 second 400 doesn’t feel as challenging. My body couldn’t handle that when I was sprinting every training run.  I was also exhausted all of the time.  Even though I was running fewer miles, I was more tired.

But the most crucial piece is I enjoy going out to run without worrying about it.

For me, running is a hobby, and it’s something I want to do lifelong without stress. Not caring about pace has turned into continuing to improve on running.

My point is to relax during your easy runs.  Make your easy runs easy, and work hard during your workouts and races.  Honestly, without being injured or burnout, I don’t think I would have gotten to this phase in my life.  No one wants to be hurt but from injury, I quickly learned my body doesn’t respond well to fast runs every day.

I think I should have renamed my blog CasualLOLZ or something.

Questions for you:

What are your thoughts?

Do you schedule workouts every day or fly by the seat of your pants?

Fathers Day 5k (20:06)

Fathers Day 5k (20:06)

Last weekend I ripped the bandaid off and ran a 5k.  I’ve kind of been avoiding them since late April.  I think it was a combination of a meh race the Phillies 5k and then just not doing them.  I knew eventually if I wanted to run fast again, I would need to dive head first and do a few.  On Sunday, my husband asked if I wanted to run a 5k in Philadelphia. I said not really, but we still went.  I had run two days the previous week, and I would consider it a high risk of injury race.  It wasn’t my smartest decision of the year, but I still went.  I decided to run in trainers to minimize the risk of injury as well.

It started at Fairmount park where my current 5k of 18:13 is.  We warmed up, and it was already 80 degrees and humid. I decided to wear a crop top and shorts.  We got to the start at 8:25 and I chatted with people, and we were off.  I knew it would hurt.

During the first mile, there was a sea of people in front of me.  I went back and forth from 1-3rd female with a few women. I didn’t care about the place, but my goal was to hopefully run around 20 minutes.  Eventually, we spread out, and I hit the first mile in 6:17.  I felt good about it, but I knew I wasn’t going to maintain that.

During the second mile, I went back and forth with a woman.  She was in front most of the second mile, and I ran with my husband.  I don’t usually take water during a 5k but it was hot, and I took a cup and splattered across my face.  I hit the second mile in 6:23 and then hit the pain train.

My husband dropped me around mile 2, and I was happy with that.  He hasn’t been running much either, but he is both a faster runner in better shape.  I went back and forth with the first place woman, but she ultimately surged and won.  The third mile was painful and I just wanted to be done.  I knew the race was a good gauge of where I was fitness-wise, but it didn’t make the last mile any easier.

I ran the third mile in 6:40 and crossed the finish in 20:06.   I’ve run most half marathon miles faster, but that’s not the shape I’m in now.  I am definitely happy with my time and looking forward to racing again more.  For an inaugural race, I thought the Fathers Day was well put together.  I got what I needed out of it and had an enjoyable morning.

Questions for you:

Has the weather heated up near you?

Do you normally take water in a 5k?

Training: Rest and a 5k

Training: Rest and a 5k

Last week I took Saturday through Thursday off.  It was the best thing I did for myself.  My body needed a longer break.  As I get back to building into running, I’ll slowly build mileage.  Last weeks rest was important, but not jumping back into higher mileage is just as important.

Not much to say about not running right?  You don’t run, and life goes on.   The rest was great, and it allowed me to recharge both mentally and physically.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Easy 30 minute walk at Maurice River
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 30 minutes
Saturday: Easy 30 minutes
Sunday: Fathers Day 5k (20:06)

Friday and Saturday were just easy runs.  There wasn’t anything too exciting about it.

Fathers Day 5k:

On Sunday, my husband asked if I wanted to run a 5k.  I said not really, but we still went.  He hasn’t been running a lot either but wants to get back into shape. The race benefited a charity associated with prostate cancer.  Unfortunately, we’ve known a few people with this.

I knew it wouldn’t be a fast time for me, but I decided to run and see where I’m at.  The last time I raced a 5k was nearly 2 months ago and the last time I considered myself actively training was around Broad Street.  It was definitely hot, but I’m happy with my race.

Posts of the Week:

Why You Don’t See Many Negative Sponsored Posts

Rest is Best

Saving Time Shopping for Essentials

Next week, I’ll continue easing back into running.  I would like to race most weekends, with minimal expectations to get some speed back.

Questions for you:

How was your week?

Do you like taking breaks from running?

Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Recently I found myself at the Park Ave Grille in Freehold, NJ. Freehold is an area I haven’t been to a lot of diners. I’ve wanted to go to the Park Ave Grille for a while, but it’s only open until 4, so the timing hasn’t worked out.

Park ave grille freehold

Atmosphere: B
The Park Ave Grille looks like you stepped into a time machine to the 80s. It’s located in a large shopping center and attached to a laundry mat.

The inside is small and seats about 30 people. There are plenty of booths, tables, and a bar. Most of the Park Ave Grille is covered in vintage wallpaper, booths, and an assortment of tea kettles.  It was much more unique than many diners!

Park ave grille freehold

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh each time. I appreciated that the mugs were sturdy.  The coffee was often refilled, and I have no complaints.

Park ave grille freehold

Food: A
The Park Ave Diner has most anything you could want for breakfast or lunch.  The menu is low key and not many “fancy” items, but diners don’t need to be.  There were all sorts of wraps, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast items.  I decided to order the Monte Cristo sandwich which came with fries.

Park ave grille freehold

I’ve never had a Monte Cristo sandwich and what better time to try one than a diner.  The bread was french toast and stuffed with turkey, ham, and cheddar cheese.  I feel like I’ve been missing out because the sandwich was excellent.  The french fries were some of the best I’ve had in a while.  To say the meal was surprisingly good, is an understatement.

Service: A
The waitress was extremely friendly, and the food was brought out quickly.  In fact, I was in and out of the restaurant within 30 minutes.  Beating that is hard!

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was around $12.  Important to note, this is a cash-only business!

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I was pleasantly surprised with the Park Ave Grille.  I have never had a Monte Cristo sandwich, and it was great.  The service, food, coffee, and overall experience was excellent, and I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $8-15 (cash only)
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever had a Monte Cristo sandwich?
Where are your favorite french fries from?

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