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Linden House Diner

Linden House Diner

Recently I was at the Linden House Diner in Linden, NJ. I was hungry so decided to stop.

Atmosphere: B
The Linden House Diner is definitely different from many diners. It’s a small, local, diner. There are plenty of cute little coffee designs on the wall.  It almost reminds me more of a bistro versus diner.  It’s apparently a locals place, and I enjoyed that vibe.

Linden House Diner and Grill

Coffee: A
The waitress brought plenty of refills.  She brewed a fresh pot and made sure drinks were always refilled.

Linden House Diner and Grill

Food: A
The menu at the Linden House Diner is not as big as all diners but there are still plenty of options.  There were breakfast, lunch, and dinner options but not 100 pages like many diners.  It has a reasonable menu.

Linden House Diner and Grill

I had no idea what I wanted but ended up ordering a burger. I can’t remember the exact name of the burger but it was topped with bacon and cheese. In all, it was a surprisingly good burger.  The sweet potato fries were one of the best I’ve had in a long time!  Nothing crazy to write home about but a good burger and I have no complaints.

Service: A
The waitress was very friendly and kept our beverages refilled.  She always made sure we had everything we needed.  One thing I also enjoyed is it was clear the staff was all friends.  They would chat about random things and all got along.  It’s always nice to see that!  To top it off, our food came out quickly.

Cost: $
For my burger and coffee, the cost was $14.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
I was pleasantly surprised with the Linden House Diner, and it was definitely a nice surprise.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Price: $8-14
Overall: A

To see all 204 diners, click here.

Questions for you:
Do you like burgers? What is your favorite?
What is the last surprise you’ve had at a restaurant?

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Why you Need to Be Fitted for Running Shoes

Why you Need to Be Fitted for Running Shoes

Hoka Clifton 5 Shoe Review

Hoka Clifton 5 Shoe Review

I’ve run in most of the versions of the Hoka Clifton.   Since the Clifton 1, I’ve found the Clifton itself to become more and more durable.  One complaint I’ve heard over the years is the Hoka Clifton has gotten heavier.  That is accurate but with the few ounces in weight, has come a lot more rubber on the bottom as well as durability.  From a specialty standpoint, it’s definitely one of the most popular Hoka models.  For some runners it’s their racer, for others it’s their easy and recovery day.  For me, it’ a daily trainer and I prefer a heavier model such as the Bondi for recovery days.

Hoka one one clifton 5 shoe review

Fit:

The upper of Hoka Clifton 4 saw the most significant change from the 3.  It became a seamless engineered mesh.  The Clifton 5 removes even more seams, and it also fits true to size.   I wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide, and in the Hoka Clifton 5, I wear a 10.5

The Clifton 5 uses fine engineered mesh in the upper which gives it more structure.  Your feet don’t feel as though they are “free floating” around like in some seamless uppers.

Hoka one one clifton 5 shoe review

Ride:

If you have never worn Hoka before, know it feels very different from any other brand you’ve worn.  You either like Hoka, or you don’t, and there is no shame in either.  Your feet sit lower to the ground than you think.

Many people ask: “will I fall because I’m higher” and the answer is no.  What people don’t realize is most Hoka models are actually flatter, and it takes time to get used too.  A lot of cushioning, especially in the Clifton is more visual, and your feet sit much lower than you think. Most models are between a 4-5 mm drop versus 8-11 like many traditional brands.

Personally, I find the cushioning in the Hoka Clifton 5 is much better.  It’s a bit firmer.  I’ve heard from several people who got arch pain in the Hoka Clifton 4, just because of how soft the shoe was.  If you have ever imagined running on marshmallows, the Clifton 4 was the closest thing.

The Hoka Clifton 5 is much firmer (not as firm as the Mach or Bondi).  I prefer the Clifton 5 much more than the 4 regarding ride.

Hoka one one clifton 5 shoe review

Conclusion:

In all, the Hoka Clifton 5 is a great update, and if you like the 4, you’re fairly certain to like the 5 too.  If you had issues with the arch of the 4, the 5 is worth your while to revisit because Hoka has firmed it up.

Like the Clintons before it, the ride I still very smooth and soft.  If you’re looking for a more responsive shoe, you’ll want to go with the Mach. It’s a great shoe in the rotation for both recovery or daily runs.

Other Shoes I’m Currently Running In:

Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Hoka Clifton 5, Saucony Ride ISO, New Balance 1080

Workouts: Underarmour Sonic, New Balance 1400

Races: Nike LT Racer, Nike Zoom Fly

Questions for you:

Have you tried Hoka?

What is one shoe you’ve run in most model of? 

Walk Out a Mile and It Down Pours

Walk Out a Mile and It Down Pours

This is the tale of a hike that was supposed to be a hike but then wasn’t.

I was up in the Allentown area last week.  I needed to be up there sometime in the mid-afternoon.  If you’ve ever dealt with Philadelphia traffic, you know you don’t play games during that time (like any city really).  So I left early and ended up having 5 hours of free time.  I like to see various areas and had the day off, so I thought why not?  The drive could either be 90 minutes earlier or 2.5 later in the day.

There are a few hikes I’ve wanted to do in the general area, so I decided to kill some time and went up to Hickory Run State Park.  While driving up, the weather was beautiful.  There wasn’t any rain, and it wasn’t forecasted to rain.  It was sunny, but cooler for the summer (around 80).  I thought it would be an ideal day to hike.

Starting out at Hickory didn’t go as planned either.  I like Nuun when hiking and prefer the caffeinated Ginger.  I would prefer noncaffeinated ginger, but to my knowledge, they don’t make them.  (I’m not a Nuun ambassador and prefer something with more substance while running.).  With Nuun, I also eat food while hiking, so I don’t really eat gels.

Anyway, I accidentally dumped an entire canister of the Nuun into my pack.  So I didn’t see stars from that much caffeine, I diluted, but at that point, I knew the hike would be “one of those hikes”.

I started off on Blue Trail.  It’s a thin trail that winds through the forest. It connects both the Pine Hill and Sand Spring trails.

The path went along a stream crossing, and while trying to cross, I fell in.  I do have a pair of Goretex Brooks Cascadia which are fantastic but when you fall into a stream, there is only so much that will protect you.  As I continued along the trail, the skies opened up, and it started downpouring anyway.

Hiking Hickory run park

I wasn’t expected rain, so I didn’t have anything I would usually have like a jacket or hat.  I kept trecking along.  The trail was overgrown and the further I got, the deeper the water was.

Hiking Hickory run park

Around an hour, and probably only going 1.5 miles, I ended up turning around.  It was a trail I know I could have covered hiking 3 miles per hour, and I wouldn’t make it anywhere at the rate I was going.

Hiking Hickory run park

In all, I’m definitely happy I was up at Hickory Run Park near Allentown, and I do want to go back on a better day.  Nothing about the hike went as planned but I made the best of the situation and that is all I can ask of myself.

The park looks awesome, and there are so many fun trails.  I love NJ, but I’ve done 75% of the hikes here now!  I don’t regret the short but fun hike, I’m happy to be able to do it.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour
Hiking through Belleplain State Forest
Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYC

You can see all the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you hiked in the rain?

Where is your favorite place to hike? 

Training: Another Week Down…

Training: Another Week Down…

August has continued the trend of boring running.  It seems the weeks are going by quicker and I’m just moving along. The first two weeks have been busy with life and I know the second two will be similar, but that’s okay!  You can’t be full out training all of the time.

Many people have asked, but I haven’t picked out any goal races for the fall and won’t until mid-September.  Yes, later than probably appropriate but that is really my only option right now.  I know I have a decent base that I’m nowhere near “starting from scratch” training for a new race.  Until then, I’ll just keep cranking away at mileage.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes + 5 mile hike
Wednesday: 12X400s averaging 6:01
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 45 minute run+3 mile rainy hike
Saturday: 60 minutes easy
Sunday: 15 miles with last 7 averaging 7:03

My easy runs were just that, easy.  I say that every week but for the most part, there isn’t anything thrilling about them.  I don’t use a Garmin for pace, I either use a route I know the mileage (IE this is 5 miles) or just use a start/stopwatch for 45 minutes (or whatever).  I could go 8-minute miles…or 10…but the world will never know, including me.

I did quite a bit of hiking this week as well.  On Tuesday, I had only meant to go about 20-30 minutes in a new park but got lost and ended up going 5 miles.  As I said on Instagram, it was my own fault because I chose to “trust my gut” versus look at the park map.

Then on Friday, I needed to be up near Allentown.  I arrived with a few hour hours to spare (mostly to avoid rush hour Philadelphia traffic) and so I decided to do a short hike in Hickory Run Park.  It started downpouring quickly into the hike, so it was nothing but an adventure.  It was fun, and I look forward to going back when it’s not pouring rain and flooded out.

Wednesday: 12X400s at 6:01 pace with 400 rest

I do my workouts on the roads since that is where I race.  To be honest, I felt much better than I anticipated.  That workout went much better than I thought and I have zero complaints.

Sunday: 15 miles with last 7 at 7:03

As I mentioned on Instagram, long runs have become one of my more favorite runs.  I enjoy getting out there and having a short workout in them.  My favorite are fast finishes, and I try and do the second half faster than the first.  It gives me something to “look forward too” as well as keep it interesting.  Sunday’s pace surprised me.  It was humid in the northeast and the due point high, so I wasn’t expecting to be able to work into some sub 7-minute miles.

Thoughts:

In all, I’m happy with the week.  My summer has been awesome regarding life.  It has been uneventful regarding running.  Yes, I’m running, but I’m not actively training for anything.

Posts from the Week:

 Top Benefits of Collagen

Factors You Never Knew That Play a Role in Your Running Shoes

New Balance 1080v8 Shoe Review

Questions for you:

Are you training for anything?

Do you have a fall goal race picked out?

Malibu Diner (Hoboken)

Malibu Diner (Hoboken)

A few weeks ago, I ended up in Hoboken at the Malibu Diner. I’ve heard the diner itself is good and have wanted to get up there for a while. It seemed to work out well.  When I arrived around noon, it wasn’t crowded at all. I was shocked! There isn’t a lot of parking so it was a nice surprise!

Atmosphere: A
The Malibu Diner is typical of any North Jersey Diner.  There is a bar and plenty of tables and booths.  I sat in the corner booth which was quiet.

Malibu Diner Hoboken

Coffee: A

The coffee at the Malibu Diner was good. I was pleasantly surprised to see they served Lacas coffee. It was hot and the waitress brought plenty of refills. Hard to argue with that!

Malibu Diner Hoboken
Food: A
The Malibu Diner has every option you need in a diner. I wasn’t sure what I was craving!

For those who don’t know, North Jersey has far better bagels than South Jersey so I decided to order a bagel.  I’m sure it wasn’t the best ever (according to my good friend Amelia’s view) but it was much better than anything in South Jersey.

Malibu Diner Hoboken

I decided to order a protein wrap which had every kind of breakfast meat you might want.  It was extremely packed. I was happy with it.

Malibu Diner Hoboken

Service: B

The waitress left for long periods but after a while she warmed up.  The food came out quickly and the manager checked on us a few times.

Cost: $14
For my wrap, bagel, and coffee the cost was $14.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?

The Malibu Diner is definitely one of my more favorite diners in the area and I would go back.  I was definitely happy with my experience.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: B
Price: $10-15
Overall: A


To see all 202 diners click here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of bagel?
Do you have a favorite breakfast?

Meadowlands Diner

Meadowlands Diner

On my way to the Taylor Swift concert, I decided to stop at the Meadowlands Diner. It made sense to stop at the Meadowlands Diner because it’s only a few minutes from the Metlife stadium.  The traffic getting into the area was enough to make me want to go home.  My drive from South Jersey to north, is about 80 miles.  When I left, it said it would take about 90 minutes via the NJ turnpike to get there.  It took about 2.5 hours.  We got 70 minutes in 90 minutes and another 10 miles in an hour. Oomph.

Atmosphere: A
The Meadowlands Diner is typical of most NJ Diners.  There are plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  When we arrived, it was fairly empty which was nice.  I needed a quick meal, more than I needed a “good meal” because we were running almost an hour late (for those who doesn’t know, one of my biggest triggers of anxiety is timeliness).

Meadowlands Diner meadowlands Metlife standium

Coffee: B
The coffee was decent.  The waitress said she needed to brew more, then forgot until the meal came out.  I actually wanted full strength coffee since I knew it would be a late night.  When the coffee arrived, it was good, and I have no complaints.  It was brewed well and hot.  I just could have used more.

Food:  B
I ordered a burger.  It was topped with an onion ring and (a lot of) blue cheese.  The burger itself was good, but the french fries were kind of boring and left a lot to be desired.  I appreciated the size of the burger and topped with blue cheese it was good.

Meadowlands Diner meadowlands Metlife standium

Dessert: C
I decided to order a piece of cake with whipped cream.  It was a mistake as the “Boston Creme” cake was rather dry and crusty.  It felt as though it had been sitting out for a few days.  It wasn’t terrible and wasn’t molding, but I wouldn’t order it again.

Meadowlands Diner meadowlands Metlife standium

Cost: $$
For my meal, coffee, and cake the cost was about $20.

Service: B
The waitress was spacey and forgot our beverages.  She was funny and personable, and the food came out within 15 minutes.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I liked the Meadowlands Diner and thought it was a good stop.  I would go back but would definitely order something else.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: B
Dessert: C
Service: B
Cost: $8-15
Overall: B

You can see all 202 Diner Reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of cake?
Have you seen any concerts recently? 

 

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