Brownstone Diner (Jersey City)

Brownstone Diner (Jersey City)

I went to the Brownstone diner with Danielle, Amelia, and Dori in October. I know I am a few months behind, but I wanted to wait until I tasted the Legendary Brownstone pancakes. The first time I went to the Brownstone Diner, I was in Jersey City before going to FitBlog NYC. The second time I was on the way to visit my brother (Danielle and Amelia, you guys were out of town, or we would have gone again!). This diner has even been on the food network. One step inside and I can see why!  This is a staple and very well known diner in New Jersey.

Brownstone Diner Atmosphere: B
The Brownstone Diner looks like a normal building that you might drive (or in our case, walk) right by. If you aren’t coming specifically for the diner, chances are you will miss this hidden gem! The inside is clean and cute. I liked the signs to the restroom, the NJ turnpike and NYC.

The attitude of the staff was friendly but nothing to write home about.

Brownstone Diner Coffee: B
The coffee was good. The whipped cream was tasty, but the waitress only refilled the small cup once.

Brownstone Diner Coffee

Brownstone Diner Food: A
While the Brownstone Diner menu is known for their pancakes, all of the food at the Brownstone Diner is good. They are known as a pancake factory, but they have good buffalo chicken, stir fry, and french toast. The Brownstone Diner was even on diners, drive-ins, and dives. The first time I went to the Brownstone Diner, I had had their Greek Salad. The salad was by far the best diner salad I’ve had in a while.

There was plenty of dressing (but not soupy), plus the salad was huge. I ordered a size of salmon, which was very worth it. It came with pita bread and grape leaves. It also didn’t come with a hard-boiled egg (something I don’t care for).  It was one of the biggest diner salads I’ve had, and it was also one of the most high quality.

Brownstone Diner Salad

The next time I went to the Brownstone Diner, I was dying to try the pancakes. I mean that is what the Brownstone Diner is known for! After debating which pancakes to try, I ordered the cherry pancakes. It took me back to college when I did the pancake challenge several times. I have yet to find a restaurant that rivaled the amazement of those pancakes. The pancakes were stuffed with cherry jam and delicious.  These are BY FAR the best pancakes I’ve had in a diner.

cherry pancake

Whipped cream like a boss
Whipped cream like a boss

The problem at the Brownstone Diner (Jersey City) is everything looks and has been so good. The choices are overwhelming.

Brownstone Diner Cost: $
The salad and coffee were 17, and the coffee and pancakes were 11.

Would I come back to the Brownstone Diner (Jersey City)?
Overall atmosphere: A
I hope I get to come back again soon. The Brownstone Diner in Jersey City is excellent, and I’ll be back again.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Price: 5-15 dollars
Brownstone Diner (Jersey City) Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Question for you: Where are the best pancakes you’ve had? 

Five Types of Runners

Let’s face it…when you are in a community of runners, a lot of your friends are runners.   It’s an unavoidable fact.

running friends meme

Runners do the same things.

They geek out to the same new things. (OMG new Asics shoe next month!?)

Runners have the same internet searches…

How to run

How to run faster

How to run faster and PR

Anyways, as runners we are friends with more runners.  It’s also why we display bumper stickers on the back of our cars.  It’s like the bat signal to others of “hey, let’s be friends because I’m a runner too!”.

runner bumper sticker

Here are five types of running friends you have (or if you don’t, the chances are you are that person).

The Injury Connoisseur

runner meme injured

Bless this poor runner’s heart, your friend has had every injury known to runner kind.

Maybe they poorly train or are just extremely injury prone, this poor person always seems to be injured…That being said, if you have any ache or pain from your metatarsal to your ear lobe…you can count on them to know what your problem is.  While they didn’t go to medical school, they still could tell you the symptoms and recovery process to every injury imaginable.

Push the Pace Pat

lazy runner meme

PTPP runs all of his training runs at the exact same pace he races.  If you are looking for a free speed workout, Pat is your guy.  He is probably slightly awkward to run with because you can’t chat since you are sprinting the entire time.  You wonder how he doesn’t get injured but realize he doesn’t improve either.  He doesn’t mind his consistent speed…he just likes his exact 7:02 pace every single mile of every single run.  No faster, no slower.  His secondary titles are Consistency Cal or Racing Raymond.

Technology Tim

New Garmin out?  Tim knows.

New Fitbit heart rate tracking monitor doodad thingy?  Tim knows.

New cross training machine out?  LOLZ, Tim has known for the last few months.

If you have any technology questions or products, Tim will provide you with the answer.  Just don’t go on a long run with him or you might fall asleep while he geeks out to some formula that causes the Fitbit to calibrate to your steps.

Ultramarathoner Unice

Forest was an ultramarathoner before ultra marathoning was cool.
Forest was an ultramarathoner before ultra marathoning was cool.

Unice will run 30 miles just because.  30 miles today, tomorrow and possibly 30 miles every day.  Unice lives for the long run and lives for running on the trails.  Your friend Unice can take you to the best state parks with the best scenery.

Be careful though because they might be gorgeous state parks with hidden intense trails.  A 30 miler is hard enough but adding a 1000 feet climb every few miles increases the difficulty…The male version (Long Run Logan) normally has a long beard because face it…when do ultra-marathoners not have beards?

Hungover Harry

Hungover Harry is the life of the party and the life of the run.  He is always open to running whether he just got done drinking a few hours ago or not.  He is a great and personable guy.  You can count on him to have a good time whether you are running or not.  He just annoys the junk out of you that he will PR and crush your time the night after drinking.

running hungover meme

Questions for you:

Do you have any of these friends?

Do you consider yourself any of these people?

Running Gear I Splurged On

Right now I enjoy running in whatever gear I want. I have no commitment, loyalties or contracts to wear a certain brand.  This is extremely nice because working at a running store, I  see a lot of different gear that comes in and out.  I get to see the newest arrivals and think about my running wardrobe decision before purchasing anything.  It’s impossible for brands to release perfect pieces of product every time so it’s nice to not be linked to one brand.  It is also hard for my paycheck since I see a lot of nice stuff come in that I want to buy (especially with this cold).  I’m always ten jackets ahead of people so I can never have enough layering.

A few weeks ago, I wrote wrote an article about how to save money while running in the winter. This week I wanted to write about products I splurged on and love.  

This post contains no affliliate links and all of these products I bought. 

 Oiselle flyte long sleeve (updated 2015 version): $66 with 30% off

This yellow top
This yellow top

I bought this while I was still on the Oiselle violee team, so I had a team discount. I like how fitted the top is. It fits well that it’s a fashionable top and it doesn’t chafe even I run. It’s not warm and doesn’t block wind well but it’s a great top for running in moderate temperatures or walking around.

New Balance NYCM jacket (similar jacket): $75
I bought this jacket at the NYCM. While I bought it because I was running the race, it has proved to be one of the best wind blocking jackets I own.


New Balance Chameleon Jacket 150 
I liked my NYCM jacket so much that I searched for something this year as well..  The chameleon jacket is one the warmest normal jackets I own.  The front has wind paneling so on windy days in the winter, you aren’t chilled to the bone.  I was on the fence with purchasing it but after I did realized I definitely made no mistake.  It’s warm and breathable.  Go New Balance.

new balance jacket

Nike Element Shield Legging: 90

If I’m paying 90 dollars for a pair of leggings, I want them to keep me warm.  These leggings are one of the warmest on the market.  They have a built in paneling for wind resistance.  This has been my best purchase of the season and the product I recommend to anyone.  I can wear these while running or when I want to keep warm.  They are the ultimate legging.

I tried to find a photo of me, but I can’t do the leggings justice because they look like a normal pair of black leggings.  Trust me, if you invest in them, you won’t regret it.

nike element shield

Together with my inexpensive running clothes and cotton shirts, this makes up most of my weekly winter wardrobe.  If it’s too cold for me, I end up going inside.

Question for you:

What are some pieces of winter apparel you have splurged on lately and loved (feel free to add a link!)?



Why Phoenix Marathon?

With the Phoenix marathon about a month away, I realized I never explained my reasoning for choosing it. There were a lot of factors that went into choosing Phoenix as my first “goal race” of 2015.  I know I won’t be in peak fitness but I know it will be a good way to test my fitness level.  Since my plane tickets are now secure and I am officially signed up for the race, it’s becoming more real.  If you know me, then you know I wait until the last possible minute to sign up for races.

pheonix full marathon

I chose Phoenix for many different reasons.  The first reason is that it gives me plenty of time before my wedding in April.  I don’t want to be juggling marathon training and wedding planning in the same month.  I also don’t want to be exhausted from marathon recovery.  The ruled out a lot Spring east coast marathons such as the NJ full marathon and the Shamrock Full Marathon.

Next, The Phoenix course is flat and fast.  NYCM is the opposite. The New York City course is hard! I struggled with since it was my first and only marathon. I never realized how hard of a course it is! For my second marathon I want to race something flat and fast.  That was a big reason I chose to train for Wineglass last year. It is now the reason I chose to train for Phoenix this year.

Third, the weather is normally pretty decent in February. With some research and advice from friends, I’ve heard the weather is pretty nice for the race.  I can race in my trademark Runderwear and that is certainly a positive.  The average temperature is moderate with minimal wind.  Since we are currently receiving a snow storm on the east coast, any other weather seems better to race in.  Wind is a huge factor for east coast Spring races. Wind is another factor I didn’t choose an East Coast race.

I originally wrote this with the downside that T would not be able to come. After a positive change of events, it looks like he will come with me. In the length of time we have been together he has only seen one of my “goal races”. Words cannot express how excited I am to have him to to travel with me.  That is a huge plus.

The downside:

A direct flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix is 300-400 dollars.  While that isn’t bad, airfare does cost a bit.  My only choices for a winter marathon would require travel. I have a chunk in savings for occasions like this.  While I don’t go travel the world every other weekend, it doesn’t mean I can’t take a mini vacation. It’s well worth it for me to go run this race (I’m not associated with any of the blogging happenings going on at the race).  Honestly that isn’t a downside because it will be a nice mini vacation to the warmth. Everyone knows I’m always 10 jackets ahead of the norm.

Believe it or not, this is the first race I have flown too.

Cliff notes: The race is flat, fast and has great timing for my personal situation. I have a long enough training cycle for a good marathon build up but a short enough cycle to avoid an overuse injury.

Questions for you:
Have you traveled to a goal race before?
When is your next goal race?

Training Week 9: 61 miles

As I mentioned earlier in the week, my calves were tight this week.  This lead to my plantar fascia becoming tight.  I know if I hadn’t taken proper measures, I would have ended up with plantar fasciitis (Proper measures meaning a deep tissue massage and a day off). This lead to my mileage lower then planned but I don’t care since I’m issue free.

One thing I struggle with when recapping each week is I feel like each week is “unusual”.  I always seem to have something pop up that caused my schedule not to go as planned.

This weekend I had a work gathering last night (which means I had to change my long run).  I was up late last night and running 20 miles this morning would have been painful.  (Hashtag: I need my sleep).  Since I don’t live my life to run, I changed my schedule a little bit.

Monday: 5 miles easy recovery
Tuesday: 11 miles
Wednesday: 10.75 miles
1.5 miles jog back from dropping my car off
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Long Run 21 miles
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 10. 75 miles shake out
Total: 61 miles


So was this exactly the week I wanted? No.

Did I get in my long run workout in? Yes.

The runs earlier in the week were enjoyable runs.  I was recovering from last week’s long run and none of my runs were anything unusual.  I had to drop my car off at a repair shop to get some work done so I just ran the mile and a half home.

On Wednesday, I noticed I was feeling overall tight and sore.  My calves were extremely tight and I noticed my plantar fascia misbehaving too. I scheduled a deep tissue massage and it cleared everything up.

My original plan was to do a long run on Saturday.  Just like last week the weather did not cooperate. It poured rain, sleet and snow on Friday night and the roads were dangerous on Saturday morning.  If I had run on Saturday, it would have been on the treadmill. 

On Saturday evening, we had a work party until late.  I also couldn’t schedule a long run the night after a night drinking. My options became running long Friday before work or next Tuesday.  I didn’t want to wait until Tuesday in case something else popped up.  So Friday before work it was!

The run: I ran 10.5 miles at 8:30 pace in my Asics Nimbus.  I came home and ran the second half in my flats around 7:30-7:45 pace.  I always forget how much wearing a heavy shoe plays a role in training.  I didn’t feel like I was working a lot harder in my flats but my pace was almost a full minute faster.  I don’t train a lot in my flats but always notice a decrease in pace when I do train in my flats.

I plan to do one more run before my marathon similar to this.  It gave me motivation and I felt strong during the entire run.  It was one of the workouts I know I’ll look back at for the marathon and say “I’m ready”.

I finished the entire run by 9 am since I had to work by 10.  That’s how it goes.

I rested on Saturday and ran easy today.  It wasn’t anything too exciting but it was smart.

Overall thoughts of the week:

I would have liked to log another 70 mile week but due to the timing of my long run (and extra rest day) that didn’t happen.  I got the main run done which was the most important.

Plans for next week:

I’m going to Rochester, NY next weekend so I don’t have a long run planned next week.  I would like to get a higher mileage in next week.  I’m about 1 month away from race day so it’s time to peak my mileage and taper down.

Questions for you:

What is the earliest you have started a workout?

How is the weather this weekend around you?

We received a small amount of snow and ice.  There is a lot of black ice on the ground.

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