Brooklawn Diner (Gloucester City)

The Brooklawn Diner (Gloucester City)

Last month, my parents and I drove by a metallic diner in Gloucester City.  The Brooklawn Diner looked great from the outside, so we were excited to try it out!  We planned to go to a different diner, but we saw this one along our route and decided to try it out.

Brooklawn Diner Atmosphere: A 

The outside of the Brooklawn Diner is a typical metallic and shiny building.  The reason we decided to stop was that the exterior was so inviting!  The inside of the Brooklawn Diner is nice as well with blue hologram lights and the diner is lined with booths and tables.  You can’t get a classier diner then that!   

Brooklawn Diner Service: A-

The service started somewhat shaky, but the waitress opened up at the end.  She made sure we were all taken care of.  Another random thing I found extremely welcoming was the hostess pulled out my chair for me.  That earned a lot of bonus points!

Brooklawn Diner Coffee: A 

The coffee at the Brooklawn Diner was a local brew from the Melrose Diner.  It was good.  It wasn’t anything unique or crazy, but I have no complaints and the waitress gave plenty if refills.

brooklawn diner coffee

Brooklawn Diner Food: F 

The Brooklawn Diner menu has a lot of different options from breakfast to full dinners.  There isn’t anything unusual or unique but it has the entire typical diner fare.

This time I ordered a greek salad. It was surprising that the diner didn’t have pita bread at all.  I think this might be the first diner I’ve been too that lacked it. In my personal opinion, a salad that is marketed towards a meal should include bread.

I asked for rye bread instead and received a piece of unbuttered, cold, straight out of the package rye bread.  The piece of salmon was also tiny.

brooklawn diner salad

If I was only rating my food, I would have given the diner a C.  However, my mom found a piece of black hair in her hash.

Brooklawn Diner Price: $

For five people, the bill at the Brooklawn Diner came out to $60.  The Brooklawn Diner ended up removing mom’s meal because of the hash incident.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 

Honestly probably not.  The staff was friendly at the Brooklawn Diner, but the food was boring and bland.  Plus who wants a hairy meal surprise?

Atmosphere: A 
Service: A-
Coffee: A
Food: F
Price: $8-12
Overall: C

You can see all of the diner reviews here.

Questions for you: 
Have you ever found a piece of hair in your food?
Should bread come with meals?


Articles and Life

I don’t have a lot to say this week.  It seems like when my running is going well, life is chaotic.  Lately, I’ve been busy with work.  This weekend is a big race weekend in Philadelphia and New Jersey.  On Saturday is the Philadelphia RnR and Sunday is the Run the Bridge 10k.  While I’m not racing over the Ben Franklin Bridge, my work has packet pickup and helps out a lot with the race.

I’ve also been dealt a slice of humble pie with military life and culture.   To be honest, the last two weeks have been mentally rough!  This month has taught me that everything can change in a blink of an eye.  It’s been hard to schedule anything but I’m okay with that.

Speaking of the military, I’ve also been lucky with a few blogging opportunities.  With Veterans Day coming up, I was contacted to help promote Great Clips.  Believe it or not Great Clipsis giving out free haircuts for all Veterans.  I think this is such a nice gesture.  Both my brother and husband are in the military and my father was as well.  If you know any Veterans who want or need a haircut, let them know.  I’ll be expanding upon this as Veterans Day draws closer!

Dad and I
Dad and I

As seen on twitter, I went for a shopping trip to my local lululemon recently.  They were having a sale and I was lucky enjoy to scoop up a few things.


Anyways, here are some articles I’ve found to be interesting and a few of my recent posts…

You Don’t Have to Run
12 Struggles that Real for Accident Prone People  (After my fall last month I suppose this is appropriate
Why October is the Best Month to Start Running

7 Signs You are Becoming An Adult (Hilarious)
Rare photos of What People Look Like Before Coffee

From LOLZ:
Why a Sub 19 minute 5k?
Adding Track Workouts
Staying Safe While Running
Online Running Shoe Reviews are (Mostly) Worthless
Bone Run 3.05 (18:11)
JCC 5k (19:15)

Have a great Friday.  It’s definitely been a long week! 

Questions for you:

What articles are you enjoying this week?
Are you racing this weekend?  Where at and what distance?


JCC 5k (19:15)

Following my near PR on Saturday, I decided to race again on Sunday.  I’ve been doing a lot of back to back races lately because they are great speed workouts. I know that every race won’t be a PR, but it’s nice to get out there.

This local 5k was about a mile from my new home and it benefitted a great cause.  It was hard to pass up, plus my boss was planning to be there.  I woke up a little earlier than I would have liked, but it gave me plenty of time to relax and get to the start.  It took me all of 5 minutes to get there even while being stopped by all 6 stop lights. I would have just run, but I’m high maintenance and need a lot of things at a race.  I didn’t want to run carrying a bag.

I arrived at 8 am.  My boss and I warmed up together and got to the start around 8:55.  It was dreary weather with a bit of rain and slick pavement. The race was delayed about 15 minutes, and I went immediately to sit back in my car with the seat warmers.

Once we lined up around 9:15, we were officially off.  It was a very fast start with many people taking it out too fast.  I found myself as the first women overall and 7/8th overall.  The race went straight onto a crowded but closed road.  I found myself running with a pack of 3 dudes. I felt like I was hidden away.  I wanted to pass the pack but because of how narrow our lane was, it was impossible.  We hit the first mile in 6:09 and ran into the neighborhood.

jcc 5k

As we entered a neighborhood, the pack began to separate.  I charged the downhill and never looked back.  At that point, I found myself in 5th place overall. The second mile was boring.  There was nothing to write home about.  I hit the second mile in 6:27.

Similar to an injury and second guessing your recovery, I always second guess myself during the third mile. I feel like I might crash and burn.  Recently, I broke through a plateau but that time drop hasn’t been with the first mile.  Breaking through my plateau has been on the third mile…instead of running a 6:5x mile, I’m now running <6:20.  That’s an entire 30 seconds!

Anyways, when I begin to positive split, I begin to wonder if I’ll add another 20 seconds or more. I second guess myself, my training, and racing 5ks.

During the third mile, I focused on the finish line.  It was an out and back course, so I knew exactly what to expect on the course.  I knew there was an uphill to the downhill from the first mile. I also knew that we went back in the crowded street and on a slick parking lot.  I was lucky because no one was too close to me, so I didn’t have to worry about being boxed in on the main road.  I charged up the last mile, made a LOLZy comment to the volunteer (who I knew well) and charged the finish line.  I finished the third mile in 6:14 which I was happy with.

The last .1 deserves its own paragraph because it was the most dangerous part of the race.  We were on a slick parking lot, and I nearly took another nasty spill.  My boss yelled, go that way and before I knew it my balance was off. I caught myself but for a split second I saw my knee and stitches flash in front of me.  I powered through to the end and crossed the finish in 19:15.

jcc 5k 1


It was a solid effort and run for me.  I am euphoric with the race.  Before October, this was the pace I was running on an exceptionally good day, and now I’m racing it consistently the day after a previous 5k.  Since I ran the day before, it wasn’t going to be a PR but more of a workout.  To be honest, I expected between 19:30-19:45, so this was a great surprise!  I’m excited to continue racing.

Questions for you:
Do you like running in the rain?
What is your least favorite mile of a 5k?

Bone Run 3.05m (18:11)

Last weekend I ran the Bone Run in Vineland, NJ. Where I live is parallel to Philadelphia and considered South Jersey. I drove another 45 minutes South.  Is the Vineland considered Super South to North Jersey residents?

My friend Jen recommended the race and said it was scenic and well put together. I decided to go because it’s one area of Southern NJ that I have never been too.  I enjoy about racing and discovering new places to run. The race took place in Parkin Park which is gorgeous and I’ll be back to run there. I arrived to the race around 8 am, warmed up and got to the start at 8:55. I noticed a lot of fast males and females. I was excited to race a competitive 5k.

The race went off right at 9 am. The course began on the road but quickly moved to a single track dirt path. It made it almost impossible to pass people, and I was stuck behind several people. I think being stuck was a good thing because it prevented me from taking the race out too quickly. The first mile went up and around the lake. It was beautiful, and the dirt surface felt nice. I hit the first mile in 5:58.

bone run race

At the start of the second mile, I counted six females in front of me. I passed a pack of three women early into the second mile. I felt strong, and I didn’t feel as if I was fading. Generally during the second mile I feel as if I’m beginning to slow down.  When I hit the second mile in 6:01, I felt incredibly confident. As I passed another woman, I felt strong. It was motivating. Midway through the race and mile, I got tucked into another pack of men. It was hard because the course was extremely narrow so no one could pass anyone. I also was trying to keep my mind focused because there were several roots on the path and I didn’t want to fall. I hit the second mile in 6:01.

During the third mile, I was getting both extremely excited and motivated. I felt great, I wasn’t fading, and I was still passing people.  It was a Christmas miracle (Christmas in October?) I passed two more females and found myself as second women overall. I was beaming as I ran the last mile and felt like I was running in the twilight zone.

I was becoming more and more confident that I could hold this pace and possibly turbo charge into a 5k PR. During this race, I wasn’t just “holding on” but pushing out of my comfort zone.  I wasn’t fading but increasing my turnover!  I ran the last mile with a pack of two other men.   We rounded a corner and to my surprise the finish line came up a lot quicker than a 5k did. As we rounded the corner, I saw the finish clock in the 17s. My watch beeped 3 miles and too soon later, I crossed the finish line.  The course was short.

I finished the last mile in 6:02 and crossed the finish line in 18:11. My watch read 3.05 miles. Now to some they might round up for this course, but I know I’m not in 18:11 shape.  Sure I could claim this as my PR but it’s not.

bone run 5k


We complain about courses being too long but don’t acknowledge when they are too short.

After finishing, a range of emotions went through my head like: Will I reach my 5k PR pace again?  What if this is just a fluke?  Why couldn’t it have been a few yards longer?  I’m confident if it was the right distance I would have Pred on Saturday. I was feeling strong at the end, not fading. My last .05 was a “5:48” pace because I wanted a PR more than I wanted a giant mug of coffee.

I will say despite being a short course it was motivational to see on a good day, I’m ready to PR in the 5k. I strung three, 6-minute miles together.  Who knows when the next good day will be but I’m ready for the PR. It’s nothing to get too upset about but it is frustrating, and I won’t claim it as a PR.  If a short course is the worst to damper my day, then I would say I’m doing okay.

Questions for you:

Have you run a short course before?

I think this might be the first official short course that I can remember.

What was the last confidence booster activity you did? Running, life….whatever.

Why Sub 19?

Why the sub 19-minute 5k goal?

It isn’t a PR; it isn’t a time standard to qualify for anything but just an arbitrary number.  For me, a PR in a 5k would be below an 18:35.  That’s exactly 6 minutes per mile, but I only ran that pace once.

For the last four months, I have had one goal, and it wasn’t to PR. It was to break 19 minutes.  19 minutes Is a random time; it’s not a standard I must meet, and it’s not a PR.  It seems like a random number at best.  In fact, unless you followed my blog a couple of years ago you might have thought my PR was a 19:30 or 20 minutes.

For almost the last two years, I’ve consistently run between 20-20:30 minute 5ks. During the last two years, I was a different runner with different goals.  I was training for my first marathon, but honestly I was dealing with a lot of post-college growing pains as well (that is a post for another day).

I’ll be the first to admit, training for my first marathon two years ago terrified me.  As someone who has had a number of injuries from a stress fracture to chronic plantar fasciitis, my primary goal was to make it to the marathon starting line and the finish line healthy.  

Training in Texas for my first marathon....
Training in Texas for my first marathon….

Unlike 5ks, a marathon is a one shot deal.  If you have a bad marathon, you must wait a few months to recover and try again (there are obvious exceptions).  I’ve had plenty of bad 5ks that have been replaced with solid performances the next week.

When training for my marathon I chose to run less stressful (read slower) miles.  My first marathon was a whole new experience training wise and the second one I was coming off injury. Long story short, I made it to the starting line healthy. I tweaked something in my butt during the Phoenix Full, but both were solid training cycles.

Phoenix Full Marathon

During my marathon training, my speed and turnover took a significant hit.  I wasn’t using my fast twitch muscles, so they faded away.  When you don’t use a muscle group, you lose it! It makes sense, and my training resembled someone training for long distances.

For the last two years, I’ve been running to run.  My love for running has always been there but my desire to train hard for speed and turnover was not. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different distances. I’ve enjoyed running. My last two years have not been recording setting but except injury, they have been enjoyable.

So what does that long history have to do with a 19-minute 5k goal?

After finishing the Phoenix marathon with an injury, I decided to back away from marathons.  Neither the training or the race had been enjoyable, and I was tired of high, easier paced mileage.  I don’t get paid to run, and my life doesn’t revolve around the distance I choose to run…so why run a distance that I honestly don’t like?

After getting my butt healthy (Thanks, Dr. Kemonosh and Craig!), getting married and returning home from my honeymoon, I decided my plan was to race my way into fitness.

In Southern New Jersey/Philadelphia, you can find anywhere from 1-10 races most weekends.  That’s not an exaggeration at all.  Instead of spending $200 for a marathon, I was going to pay $25 for a weekly 5k…and that’s what I did.

From June until now I’ve run nearly 30 races.  At this point in my “running life”, doing races as speed work is what makes me happy. I enjoy running a race each weekend, seeing friends and watching others succeed.

My goal from racing was to continue to run knowing each week would not bring a PR. Some races might be terrible, and some might be awesome…I just wanted to be out there running. 

One of my first 5ks
One of my first 5ks of the “racing season.”

Each race taught me something about my racing and racing strategy.  I’ve started to build my speed and turnover rate. Now that I’m not doing extremely high mileage, my endurance might not be there but it doesn’t need to be for a 5k.

As I continued to build fitness throughout racing and eventually adding speed workouts, I made my first, of many goals, to break 19 minutes. I wasn’t sure how long it would take.   Initially I thought it would happen in July or August but instead I hit a plateau for most of the summer.

Would it happen in the summer? In the fall? In the winter? Next year….who knows, before last week the last time I ran under 19 minutes was July of 2013.

To me, below 19 minutes in a 5k signifies I am coming back to the fitness level I once was. It means progress towards PRs. It is one step in many.  Every major goal has many smaller goals to help get you there.

So that is why a sub 19-minute goal has been one of mine the last four months. Now that I have reached that, my goal is to consistently achieve a sub 19 minute 5k and hopefully PR shortly.

And yes I plan to continue racing most weekends.

Questions for you:
What is a fitness goal you are working towards now?
What is your favorite race distance? 

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