Cruising

We ended up going on 7 day cruise on the Royal Caribbean: Oasis of the Seas.  When we booked, we had no idea that the Oasis of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world.  Including the crew, the ship had about 6,000 people on board.

royal carribean oasis of the seas

Being on such a large ship meant we never ran out of things to do…As I said earlier, we opted to spend our cruise relaxing.  We didn’t want to be doing something all of the time.  That is overwhelming! Neither of us like giants crowds and weren’t looking to go to the 12:30 am (yes am) singles meet and greet.  That is some people’s thing but wasn’t ours.  We relaxed, drank and just enjoyed life and our honeymoon.  It never felt overwhelming or too crowded though (which was nice).

As runners it was nice to be able to go for runs (on treadmills) next to each other too.  Part of the reason I do like treadmills is we could run our own pace and do our own thing but still talk.

Some random Cruise events:

I was somehow nominated to be a judge for the “Worlds Sexiest Man Contest”.  I had to sit in front of hundreds of people and judge the contestants.  It was a comical show and when they asked me what I looked for in the “Sexiest Man” I said he had to be able to booty pop.  So in the contest I became the judge of good booty popping and even got to show the cruise how it was done…it was an hour of my life I’ll probably never forget.

Dancing on stage showing them how it's done...
Dancing on stage showing them how it’s done…
Being danced on
Being danced on
Judging the Contest
Judging the Contest

The Cruise Ship also had a .43 mile long track and had a sign that said “joggers don’t forget to stop and stretch”.  I found it hilarious and had to take a photo with it.  I actually used the treadmill more often than not because I found it easier to run without getting motion sickness (like running around in a circle while moving).

Don't forget to stretch
Don’t forget to stretch

We went to quite a few shows including an aqua show.  It made me (almost) miss swim meets and seeing divers perform.   It took me way back to my swim team days when I would watch during swim meets.

They did it in black light outfits too!
They did it in black light outfits too!

My personal favorite nights on board, were the formal nights.  Everyone got to dress up and look fancy.  I always love a good excuse to wear a really nice dress so this was perfect.

formal night

Posing with the towel animal afterwords.
Posing with the towel animal afterwords.

The cruise was a lot of fun and I cannot wait to go on another one.  It was my third cruise and certainly the best to date.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been on a cruise?

Where has been your favorite vacation spot? 

Key West

I guess I’ll do honeymoon posts before the Wedding…because that makes complete sense right? Since professional photos take time, I want to wait for those before posting about the wedding.

I won’t recap every single thing from the Honeymoon because that would be another 10 days of posts.  For our honeymoon we decided to take a short trip to Key West followed by a 7 day cruise.  Together we spent about 10 days away.  We really enjoyed seeing many different places and areas.

Before boarding our cruise we decided to head down to Key West.  I’ve been to Key West twice (once on another cruise and once for a swim team training trip).  T had never been before!

We landed at Fort Lauderdale and drove the (close to 4 hours) south to Key West.  It was a really enjoyable and pretty drive.

We didn’t have any big plans in Key West and just enjoyed that.  We walked around and enjoyed various aspects of the area (from the glass bottom boat to the “Better than Sex Dessert Bar”).  We are both very laid back so we felt no pressure to have everything planned to the minute.  That isn’t our style at all.

The first order of business was to buy these t-shirts.


game over key west

Some other activities we enjoyed:

Watching Dolphins and creatures from our glass bottom boat

dolphins in key west

We went to several restaurants including the Banana Café (diner review to come)

Our favorite restaurant was the famous dessert and drink bar “Better than Sex”.  It only serves dessert and drinks.  Since we both have a huge sweet tooth we had to go.  Plus how can you not go to a restaurant titled Better than Sex?

We decided to order the “Cookie Nookie”.  It was a cookie cake topped with chocolate and caramel sauce as well as whipped cream.  It was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had.

cookie nookie

I ordered a chocolate stout and T ordered the “Cream in my coffee”.  Both drinks were really good and came with a chocolate rim.  They melted chocolate and decorated the rim of the glass.

chocolate stout 1

 

Something we also enjoyed was the different areas to run.  When we first arrived to Florida, we were not used to the heat at all.  It was a struggle for us to get acclimated but once we did it made for great running.  I haven’t run in a sports bra in what seems like forever.  My favorite run was running to one of the local beaches and back, it was a beautiful view and a gorgeous run in general.  I am already wishing I was back.

running to beach

We also ran to the Southern Most Point of the US.  Whether you run there or not, it’s something you must visit while going to Key West.

southern most pointAs you can see, we had such a great time in Key West.  I really enjoy the area and it’s somewhere I really enjoy vacationing too.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Key West?

Have you ever been to a dessert bar?  

 

 

Quick Recap of the Month of Real Life

The last month has been a whirlwind and I honestly don’t know where to begin.  I got married…I went on a honeymoon (which was the most fun of my life) and now today I’m back…back in real life.  I did a lot of stuff that will never make the blog.  I made a lot of memories that won’t be blogged about…

To say these last few weeks were incredible is an understatement.

And then never ending dancing

Between my wedding, honeymoon and my new found enjoyment of running injury free, I don’t really know where to begin blogging. So here is a little recap of the last month and I’ll break it down at a later time.

Wedding:

For T and I, our wedding was perfect.  We got to see a lot of family and friends and enjoy the evening with them.  Everything went perfectly (thanks to my wedding planner and vendors).  We didn’t have to worry about anything and could just enjoy the entire evening.

I did a post about our wedding here.

Here are just a few photos (more to come):

Dad walking me down
Dad walking me down

ceremony wedding

Honeymoon: 

We went to Key West, Florida for a few days followed by boarding a cruise.  We both really enjoyed doing this and we felt like we did a lot of fun and new things.

Southern Most Point
Southern Most Point

In Florida, we rode a glass bottom boat and saw dolphins.

A dolphin...
A dolphin…

In St. Maartin, we went kayaking and snorkeling.

kayaking

I somehow ended up dancing and booty popping on stage for the “World’s Sexiest Man” competition.  That is a lolz post in itself…

dancing 1

In summary, the 10 day honeymoon was perfect for us and that is all that matters.  We didn’t stay up until 3am drinking nor did we drink every single night (but we did indulge and spent 10 stress and worry free days). We came back to NJ still married and that is important…

formal night

Running:

I posted a long winded summary yesterday but right now I’m running injury free (knock on wood).  I made a few mistakes along the way from racing to not seeing a specialist sooner but I’m excited to begin running well again.  During our honeymoon, we ran together most days.  It was hot, we weren’t acclimated to the weather but it was really enjoyable because I was running injury free. 

Since I won’t get to writing a post about running goals for a while, my major goal of the summer is actually participate in 5-10ks versus talking about running them and never signing up.  I think reworking my turnover and not focusing on 20 mile runs will be beneficial for my body.  Who knows where the later summer and fall will take me but I will approach that topic at another time.

My 5k PR of 18:35 from 2 years ago...something I have not been able to touch since...
My 5k PR of 18:35 from 2 years ago…something I have not been able to touch since…

Long story short, it was a great month for everything.  I’m excited to be back and begin “Real” real life.  Thank you everyone for their love and support.  It truly means a lot to both of us.

The Chronicles of the Bum Butt

I’ve waited awhile to write a post about how my bum butt is doing.  I’m not entire sure bum butt is a common term but both my Glute Medius and Glute Maximus have not been firing correctly. I said that if my butt was not feeling better after my honeymoon, I was going to get an X-ray and MRI.  In the cliff notes version: my bum butt is not an issue right now.

Anyways how did I get to this point?

Demonstrating that my butt hurts
Demonstrating that my butt hurts

To be honest, my butt (known as the #bumbutt) has been one of the most frustrating injuries.  While this is a running blog, so much has taken place post-marathon that I haven’t spent an extended amount of time whining and complaining.  For better or for worse, the whining has been minimized.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been frustrated with my injury and num butt; it just means I haven’t been internet whining.

Now that I’m married and settled in, the whining and nagging can begin! 

Long story short, my bum butt is finally starting to get better.  This is a combination of many factors, but a big one is going to see Dr. Kemenosh and his team (and no, I’m not being paid to say that).

I’ve had seven appointments now (the last being right before the honeymoon).  The first 4-5 times my butt wasn’t seeing much improvement.   I completely tore my body apart running the Phoenix marathonI did damage that I needed a lot of time off for…that makes complete sense, and anyone who saw me after about mile 18 can realize that.  I was so amped on endorphins I did not know the damage I was doing.

Except I don't really look happy
Except I don’t look happy

Was it the smartest to finish the marathon with a bum butt?  Maybe not, but I don’t regret it…

Post marathon, it was hard to get into the mindset that “this isn’t a quick fix.”  Healing was going to take time versus one visit and I’ll be 100%.

Things I’ve been doing to promote healing of the bum butt:

  • I have kept a journal since beginning my recovery in March. I have recorded how my run felt and when I felt pain (if I did).
  • I’ve stepped almost entirely off of dailymile. It’s not that I don’t enjoy dailymile but I didn’t need more advice and I didn’t have the time to keep up with it.
  • I’ve been strengthening my hips, glutes and everything along the legs.
  • I’ve alternated shoes between the Asics Nimbus and Saucony Triumph. Both are similar high cushioned neutral shoes but I have found the Saucony triumph don’t irritate my foot and cause blisters.  Eventually, I would like to run most (if not all) miles in the Triumph but I’ve been hesitant due to sticking to what works.  The fact is the Asics nimbus 16 worked for me, but I’m not 100% convinced the 17s do.  I’ve had a nasty blister on top of my foot (and yes, I wear proper socks…).
  • I’m going to specialists (Dr. Kemenosh and team) to get my muscles and bum butt loosened up. This is the most essential aspect of recovery and I would not be as recovered as I am without doing this.  They can pinpoint exact trigger points that need to be released so the muscle releases.

Noticeable differences:

After my marathon, I had a lot of pain everywhere on my left leg.  I had pain in the glutes, the piriformis, adductor muscle (it was painful to turn corners).  Anywhere from my bum butt to halfway down my quad had pain at some point.

Basically everywhere here
Basically everywhere here

 

Slowly respected muscle groups became less obnoxious and painful.  The first to deflame was my adductor muscle.  Within a few visits and realignments to my first chiropractor, that felt better.  I was able to walk normally.

Next, my piriformis began slowly deflaming.  Beginning in mid-March, my piriformis became less inflamed.  The only part that bothered me was a small attachment in my glute medius and the bum butt.  The pain was no more significant than the diameter of a pen but somehow was able to control my entire butt.  That’s why we called it the bum butt!

Running the Shamrock half marathon was probably not one of my better ideas either, but it is one of my favorite races.  I don’t have regrets running that race either.  After Shamrock, I decided to get my act together.  I had given myself 3 weeks of recovery, and I knew this was something more serious than “second marathon blunders.”  Although I knew I had done damage when I finished the marathon and had pain.  I probably extended my recovery by running Shamrock, but oh well.

But so fun!
But so fun!

Bum Butt Cliff notes:

I am slowly getting better (emphasis on slowly).  I know that going to a professional has expedited this process for the bum butt and I would not be anywhere close to where I am now without them.  I am honestly about 95% better at this point.  In a world that we want nothing but quick fixes, injuries that take time are the most frustrating.

I have another post later, but long story short, I don’t enjoy marathons.  I’ve run two full marathons and neither has been enjoyable.  I am going to stick with shorter distances for a while.  I have lots of shorter summer races in the plan this year and I’m hoping to stay injury-free to do them all.

What an extremely long post about my bum butt.  Luckily my bum butt is almost healed and it’s time to move forward.  Hopefully, it helps someone else in their bum butt recovery.

Question for you: Have you ever dealt with bum butt issues? IE: pain in your gluteus medius or gluteus maximus? How did you overcome it? 

The Edison Diner

Edison Diner (Edison, NJ)

I was racing in Northern Jersey a while ago and decided to stop somewhere to eat post-race. Of course, when we are in a new area, we google diners.

The Edison diner is located in Edison, NJ directly off of exit nine on the turnpike. When we got there around lunchtime on a Sunday, it was crowded. Despite getting the last parking spot at the Edison Diner, we only had to wait about 10 minutes for a table.  As I have mentioned before, diners are like black holes.  When the parking lot is full, there is somehow always room in the restaurant.

Edison Diner Atmosphere: B
The Edison Diner is easy to locate from the highway. It’s a nice building outside with a large sign that says,”Edison Diner.” If you can figure out the jughandle turn, it’s a cute diner along the main road.

The inside of the Edison Diner is a typical diner. There are several booths and restaurants. We sat in a (tiny) two-person booth. Personally, there was not enough room for me, but we didn’t have to wait too long for a seat.  I wanted to sit at the bar, but I’m always starving after a race so that waiting never happens.

Edison Diner Coffee: B
I always wonder if all coffee tastes better post-race or long run. There was nothing to write home about this coffee, but it wasn’t bad.

The whipped cream melted before I had a chance to photograph.
The whipped cream melted before I had a chance to photograph.

Edison Diner Food: A
The Edison Diner is known for its comfort food and extensive menu. We were both pleasantly surprised. We had not looked at the Edison diner menu beforehand, but we assumed it would be the typical diner fare. While looking through the menu, we quickly realized there were over 100 menu items.  The Edison Diner has salads, burgers, fries, bread, finger foods, shrimp, plenty of lunch, and dinner specials too.

Since it was the morning, and the Edison diner had over 50 omelet choices, I was determined to try one. I ordered a feta cheese omelet with spinach, onions, and chicken.

The omelet looked like a greek salad with eggs…or something like that. It came with a side of sourdough bread and hash browns. The omelet was perfect, and I have no complaints.  It was not the prettiest meal at all (neither was plate actually), but it was delicious.

omelet

Edison Diner Cost: $
For my omelet and coffee the cost was $11. It’s a cheap diner, and with the amount of food you receive, it’s a deal.

Would I come back to the Edison Diner?
Overall thoughts of the Edison Diner: B
I thought the Edison diner was good. I was impressed with how quickly we found a table, ordered and received our food (because of how busy it was). This diner is now about 90 minutes from my house, so if I’m in the area, I’ll be back, but I wouldn’t drive 90 minutes to get there.

Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Cost: $7-14

In summary, the Edison diner is a great and quick stop right off of exit nine on the New Jersey turnpike. I would recommend stopping if you are in the mood for typical diner fare.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite post-race meal?

Do you like to sit in restaurant booths or small? 

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