Brookside Diner (Whippany)

Brookside Diner (Whippany)

Brookside Diner (Whippany, NJ)

On my way to hiking, I decided to stop at the Brookside Diner in Whippany, NJ. Since it was Labor Day and about 7:30 am, there weren’t too many people in the Brookside Diner.

Atmosphere: A
The Brookside Diner exterior is a modern diner. It isn’t metallic or shiny, but it is an appealing diner. Parked in the lot, were several vintage cars including an old Thunderbird (all from customers).

The inside of the Brookside Diner has several banners. There is a full-length bar, multiple tables, and booths too. It’s everything you want or need in a diner.

Brookside Diner (whippany

Coffee: A
The coffee at the Brookside Diner is brewed hot and fresh. The waiter added plenty of whipped cream, and I was given plenty of refills.

Brookside Diner (whippany) coffee

Food: A
The Brookside Diner has everything you want and need in a diner. The Brookside Diner has all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner options too. Since it was 7:30 am, I ordered one of my favorite diner breakfasts: steak and eggs. I had the choice of “ribeye steak and eggs” or “sliced steak and eggs,” I thought: why not and decided to treat myself to the ribeye steak and eggs.

Brookside Diner (whippany) me steak and eggs

I underestimated the size of the ribeye steak and eggs. The steak itself must have been over 16 ounces. It was cooked exactly how I asked, rare, and I have no complaints. In fact, it was one of my more favorite diner steak meals (including dinner). The home fries tasted like pure vegetable oil, which I expect from many diners.

Brookside Diner (whippany) ribeye steak and eggs

Dessert: A
The chocolate chip muffins at the Brookside Diner looked appetizing, so I decided to take one to go on my hike. Since I was out hiking, everything tasted good, but I appreciated how dense the muffin was.  Plus, there were plenty of chocolate chips.

Brookside Diner Service: A
Our waitress at the Brookside Diner was friendly, and our food came out fast. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Brookside Diner Cost: $
For my ribeye steak and eggs and muffin, the cost was $21. The meal itself was easily two meals for anyone.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to the Brookside Diner (Whippany)?
I enjoyed the Brookside Diner, and if I get the opportunity, I will be back. The entire menu looks delicious, and I would love to stop by and try a few dinner options.

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

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
How do you like your steak?
What is your favorite breakfast? 



Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

 vNike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Truthfully, I think it’s dumb to post a review about the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% (or just Nike Vaporfly Next%). Before reading anything, you’ve already made up your mind if you are going to buy the Nike Vaporfly Next%. Most brands are coming up with some form of carbon fiber plate shoe. Nike just did so first. There is plenty of research to shoe the Nike Vaporfly Next% does make you run faster, but you also have to put in the work.

It’s no secret there have been plenty of world records run and races like the London Marathon won and Eliud Kipchoge has run the fastest marathon time. The Next Vaporfly Next% is a race day shoe. I would do some training in the running shoes, but save most of the shoe for racing. That way you get the most out of your money because the Nike Vaporfly Next% is not durable.

Anyway, since Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% is a lot to type out, I’ll just say the Nike Next%. You get it.  I do believe the second version of the Nike Vaporfly has gotten a good update, and I wouldn’t be as worried about sliding down the streets on a poor weather day.

If you wonder, will this shoe be good for me? Here is the thing, no running shoe is perfect for everyone. Yes, this shoe can help you improve 4-5% of your running economy, but in order to get that advantage, you must be hitting the shoe exactly like the professional’s the shoe was made for. Otherwise, you aren’t taking full advantage of that technology.  Some people might gain a 1% and some might gain 5%. Due to my form and running economy (which you can see in the last photo), I don’t think I use a lot of the technology. This was a similar issue I had with Newtons. Some might even gain none, but only you can run in the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike Vaporfly Next% Fit:

Like the Nike Zoom Fly 3, the Nike Next% now uses Vaporweave. According to Nike, the Vaporweave absorbs 93% less water. This isn’t limited to rain but also includes sweat. A common complaint was the flyknit upper absorbed the moisture and made your feet feel sloppy (which is true).

The Vaporweave upper material is transparent and also lighter than the Flyknit and mixes two plastics: TPU and TPE.  So be sure to wear cool socks, because you’ll see them.

Outside of the Vaporweave material, the toe box is wider. The Nike Next% isn’t made in wides, but it does fit wider. The offset laces are now asymmetrical to remove the pressure that some had on the top of their foot.

Nike Next% fits true to size. I wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and I found the unisex 9 to be sufficient.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike Vaporfly Next% Ride:

The Nike, Next% ride, is where all of the magic happens. That’s why people (myself included) are willing to spend the $250. Much of the shoe’s performance benefit comes from Nike’s ZoomX foam.

For Nike Next%, the Nike team added more ZoomX.  By adding an additional 4 mm of stack height, they added 1 mm of ZoomX foam. Why does this matter? Due to the new heel toe offset, the ride is significantly different than previous versions. The heel to toe drop of the Nike Next% is now 8 mm when previously it was 11 mm. (Your calves might be sorer).

Finally, the most important feature Nike added to the Next% was the rubberized bottom. Now if you run in a torrential downpour (like say Boston), you won’t slide around. Plus instead of the Nike Next% lasting 50 miles, it will last about 100.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%

Nike Vaporfly Next% Conclusion:

The Nike Next% is a faster shoe than the previous Nike Vaporfly. I’m surprised; it didn’t jump in cost because of more expensive materials to use in the product.  If you are willing to spend $250 to shave a minute or two off your race, then it’s worth it. Other brands are coming out with a similar carbon plated shoe soon too.

With the exception of NYCM last year, none of my PRs are from the Next % series. Last year at NYCM was the first marathon I ran in over 3 years so I don’t attribute PRing with the shoes. I personally have mixed feelings about the shoe. I think there are better shoes for shorter distances, but I do think they are a good marathon shoe (because I didn’t injure myself during last year’s marathon).

Current Rotation:

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

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProHoka RinconNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Next%,  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 bought a pair of Nike Nike%?

Do you love them? 

Vital Proteins RecoveryWave

Vital Proteins RecoveryWave

Recently, Vital Proteins came out with the Recovery Wave protein powder. As most people know, I’m a fan of Vital Proteins Whey Collagen, so I was excited about the Vital Proteins RecoveryWave. RecoveryWave is one word, not “Recovery Wave.”

I’m not paid to promote Vital Proteins, but I have genuinely found over the last year it has made a big difference. 
It’s important to keep in mind these statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. Vital Proteins products are not intended to diagnose, treat, and cure disease or prevent any disease.
Vital Proteins RecoveryWave

So what Makes Vital Proteins RecoveryWave Great?

The Vital Proteins RecoveryWave was intended for athletes and post workout recovery.  The Vital Performance line contains 20 grams of collagen proteins, supports muscles and joints, and replenishes minerals lost during exercise.

The Vital Proteins RecoveryWave comes in Five flavors:

  • RecoveryWave Guava lime (the most tart)
  • Monk Fruit (my favorite)
  • Passion Fruit
  • Watermelon Blueberry
  • Lemon GrapeVital Proteins RecoveryWave

Support Your Joints:

The Vital Proteins RecoveryWave has 20g of collagen peptides every serving. What do the Collagen Peptides do? Collagen Peptides to help build muscle and support joint and bone health.

Amino Acids:

Most Vital Protein products contain animal acids, but each serving of the RecoveryWave also includes 5g of BCAAs.20g Collagen Peptides.

What are Amino Acids and what is the difference between Essential Amino Acids (EAAS) and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAS)?

Our bodies produce 11 amino acids using other amino acids.  The other 9 of the 20 amino acids are considered essential amino acids (EAAs).  EAAs must come from diet or supplementation because the body cannot produce them. Breaking it down further, 3 of these 9 are considered “Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) because of their chemical structure.

The structure of the BCAAs allow them to skip the normal digestion process and become quickly available in the muscles.

The Vital Proteins Recoverywave has 5g of Branched Chain amino acids (BCAA), 2.8g of leucine.

The RecoveryWave products also contain vitamins C, B2 & B6, Zinc, Magnesium, Taurine, and Glutamine. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid

No Added Stuff: 

Vital Proteins products contain no added sugars and are made without gluten, dairy, and soy.


Vital Protein RecoveryWave uses the same electrolytes found in coconut water powder, Himalayan sea salt, and natural sources.

So How can use Vital Proteins RecoveryWave?

I tried to bake it, but it has a bitter taste in recipes, so I’ve found smoothies to be the best and easiest.

I made this Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie but substituted the Vital Proteins RecoveryWave instead.

This quick Vital protein RecoveryWave Pineapple Smoothie is what I’ve been Enjoying Lately:


1/2 Cup milk
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen banana
2 Scoops Vital Protein RecoveryWave (today I used Guava Lime)

Blend and drink

Vital Proteins RecoveryWave

Thank you Vital Proteins for allowing me to try the new RecoveryWave.

Questions for you:

What do you use post-workout?

Do you take EAAs or BAAs? 



Hiking Splitrock Reservior

Hiking Splitrock Reservior

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I headed north to hike Splitrock Reservoir in Rockaway Township in North Jersey. We narrowed it down to a few hikes, but the Splitrock Reservoir won out. We usually use the Alltrails App to find what we are looking for. The hike itself was supposed to be about 11 miles, but we think we might have cut off a mile or so. We heard Splitrock Reservoir was a beautiful hike, so we decided to drive up.

There is about 20 spots to in the parking area and parking lot. After starting the hike, you actually turn left onto Split Rock Road and walk over a dam to get to the beginning of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference trail. While the hike starts on a dirt road, you quickly exit and get onto the Splitrock Reservoir trail system.

Splitrock Reservoir is rocky with elevation change almost every step. You don’t have a lot of steep climbs, but you are either climbing or descending nearly every step. There were also water crossings, and they’ve added rope to help you across.

Before our hike at Splitrock Reservoir, it hadn’t rained much, so the water level was high. About 5 minutes into our walk, it started torrentially downpouring. We thought it would clear up, but it didn’t. It was a soggy but enjoyable hike.  In case you wondered, I used the Hoka Midi Speedgoat which kept my feet dry the entire time.

Several factors made Splitrock Reservoir a challenging hike:

  • Length
  • Scrambling
  • Unforgiving rain

While it was challenging, we did both enjoy ourselves.

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

Can you tell it’s raining on the Splitrock Reservoir?

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

Splitrock Reservoir

There is no real “peak” of Splitrock Reservoir, but this comes the closest

It was a lot of fun, and we hiked somewhere between 9-10 miles. I would love to go back to Splitrock Reservoir when it isn’t pouring rain.

You can see all the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever hiked in the rain?

Do you prefer hiking with a peak or around a reservoir? 



Today’s training log was supposed to an exciting log about how I ran the Big Cottonwood Marathon…but I never made it there.

Admittedly, I chose not to go and I chose not to start the race. It was a conversation I had in my head weighing both the pros and the cons. I’m sure the events would have played out differently for many but at the end of the day, it wasn’t worth it to me to start a race when the risk of a more serious injury was high.

It isn’t my first DNS, and it probably won’t be last. On the day my flight was supposed to leave, I could barely walk. Traveling was a literal pain in the ass. Sitting for long periods…hurt, walking…hurt. Running last Wednesday was laughable. In fact, today, Monday, after a week of not running, it’s laughable (but moving in the right direction).

So what led me to a DNS?

I ran a few short runs after the 18.12 mile challenge with no issues. I felt fine. My gait felt fine. I felt fine. Nothing in my running life would lead me to believe I wouldn’t run my marathon. Somewhere around 7-10 days out from my marathon, my hamstring and butt started to hurt. Not just a phantom taper pain hurt, but something was wrong. I delayed saying anything, hoping it would be a quick fix. Truthfully, I also didn’t want unsolicited internet advice about it would be fine and it was just “taper pain”. It wasn’t me exaggerating; I was in pain.

Dr. Craig from Dr. Kemenosh worked on my legs and butt the last few days using active release. I was also able to make an appointment with Dr. Lisko.

There just wasn’t the time to get me back to running a marathon. I could have probably run. I might have been able to run the entire marathon, but there was a greater chance I would have to stop and walk due to my hamstring. There was also a chance, 26.2 miles of downhill running would lead to a torn hamstring. I knew the chance of me leaving the race, having not finished, something torn, or limping, was far greater than me finishing healthy.

What’s the point? Why put myself through 26.2 miles of pain? The marathon would be miserable, I wouldn’t run well, and I would take longer to recover. I would be out for months. So while the weekend wasn’t “the best ever”, I don’t have any regrets about skipping the marathon.

When I decided to forgo the Big Cottonwood Marathon, the race I spent 16 weeks training for, I didn’t take it lightly. It’s hard not to show up. To not feel like a failure.

Throughout my running and especially in my early twenties, I’ve been injured multiple times with many different injuries. This is the closest I’ve come to being injured race day without it happening during a race. (I broke my tibia during the Allen Stone-Run-Swim-Run in 2011).

The older I get, the more I realize running isn’t everything and never will be. I’m a big proponent of having other hobbies. Other hobbies that don’t relate to running or your “central hobby.”

If all you do is eat, breath, sleep, running, and suddenly it’s taken away from you, you have nothing. The same can be said about anything. If all you do is eat, breath, sleep, sewing…and it’s taken away from you, you have nothing. (and no, social media doesn’t count).

That is why you see more and more professional athletes having other hobbies. Steph Bruce and Lauren Fleshman make Picky Bars. Des Linden brews coffee. You need an outside hobby that doesn’t have you mindlessly scrolling social media, comparing and wishing it was you.

Last Wednesday was my final decision day, and when it came, my decision was easy. It was a no. An easy no. Not a tearful no. Just a no. A not worth it to go no. A do what’s best for me, no.

It’s funny, because I haven’t cried people have mistaken that as “not caring”. I am sad I didn’t race but I know it’s not the end of the world. There are more important issues in the world than not running a marathon.  Do I feel like I wasted the summer training? Not really, I would have still run. I wouldn’t have done 15+ mile long runs, but I would have still run.

After coming to terms with it, my day went on. I felt like I was in a fog, but I had other things to keep me busy.

By the time I knew it, I went to bed and moved on. Thursday and Friday were challenging, and my phone notified me I had missed my flight. I felt a quick sadness but moved on from that too. As the weekend progressed, I tried to stay busy. I went on a date with my husband and enjoyed a walk in Wissahickon.

Sometimes, you have to make hard decisions. Do I want to be injured for a couple of weeks or a couple of years? Would I feel satisfaction in running a 5-hour marathon, when two weeks ago I was in shape to run a 3:15?

So where does this leave me running wise?

I decided I would take two weeks completely off from running. That was my plan after the marathon anyway. Why not start it a week ago? I can walk with minimal to no pain, but the moment I try and run my right hamstring/glute says no. Sitting for long periods also hurts.

I’m still planning to take another week off from running and see where it takes me. If I’m 100% healthy with two weeks off, I’ll find something to salvage my season. (I’m not going to jump into high mileage again…). If I’m not 100% healthy with two weeks off, I’ll give it whatever time it needs to be 100% healthy. Plus, probably get an X-ray to cover my bases.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out, it does mean a lot.

Questions for you:

Have you ever DNS a race?

Has anyone else had hamstring issues?

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