Workouts: I Did Them…

Another week of workouts of down…

And another week of summer in the books…

I feel like this summer is the most “nonsummer,” summer I’ve ever felt.  I have yet to go to the beach and have yet to do anything all that “summery” minus (hiking).  I guess that is adulthood.

This week and the next two are going to keep on picking up with work and life.  I won’t be able to do a lot of new and exciting fun stuff, but I will be working and hopefully getting a few runs sprinkled in.  The month of August is going to be busy in general.  I’m okay with that though.  Like the last 5 weeks, I’ll do what I can do.  Text can’t always paint the right story, but I’m not bitter about not running, I just can’t run right now.

I keep blogging because life isn’t always about cranking intense miles.  Life also isn’t about running high mileage and it’s also not about taking a 100% break.  As competitive runners, you can run less or low mileage and be fine.

Monday: 4 miles easy
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 4 miles easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 1 hour Alter G
Saturday: 4 miles easy
Sunday: 6 miles easy

In all, I felt good.  I’ll have a full month of workouts recap tomorrow.

Posts from the Week:
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven

Questions for you:
What was your best workout last week?
Are you training for anything? 

Hampton Diner Newton NJ
Hampton Diner (Newton, NJ)

Hampton Diner (Newton, New Jersey)

Lately, I’ve been to a lot of North Jersey Diners.  The Hampton Diner in Newton, New Jersey has been on my to-do list for a while. However, the Hampton Diner is almost 2 hours from my house.  I could drive there and back, but it would be a 4 hour day and between tolls, not my cheapest endeavor.  So finally, when I was already in the area, I stopped by.  Surprisingly, the Hampton Diner is not in “Hampton” but Newton, NJ.  To my knowledge, there is not actually a “Newton Diner.”

Hampton Diner Atmosphere: B

The Hampton Diner is a big, normal building.  While it’s decorated, it almost feels as though it’s missing a sign at the top.  There is a street sign, but it needs an actual sign inside.  The inside is large with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Coffee: A

The coffee at the Hampton Diner was good.  It wasn’t the best I’ve had; however, it was often refilled. When I needed a refill, no less than three servers asked.  How awesome is that? I have no complaints. Hampton Diner Newton NJ

Service: A

The service at the Hampton Diner was at the top.  As mentioned, when I needed more coffee or beverage refills, I was asked by three different people.  The food came out quickly too.  It was in the top 10% of diner services I’ve had.

Food: B

The Hampton Diner menu has plenty of options.  The Hampton Diner has one of the bigger diner menus I’ve seen.  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

I’ve heard positive things about the Hampton Diner pancakes, so I ordered banana pancakes.  They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t life-changing either.  They were light and fluffy and had several bananas chunks mixed in.  Plus they were each about the size of my hand.

Hampton Diner Newton NJ
My apologies for the lighting situation there

Cost: $

For the pancakes and coffee, the cost was $11.  Not a bad price.

Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Hampton Diner (Newton, New Jersey)?

I enjoyed the Hampton Diner (Newton New, Jersey).  It wasn’t my favorite diner but not a bad stop either.  When I’m back in town, I will go back.  I will say the service was excellent and it was worth the stop for that alone.

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

You can see more of the diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite kind pancakes?

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)

As someone who works in a running shoe store, I can tell you I’ve personally fit about 1000 people for running shoes, and I’ve watched hundreds more be fit too.

Searching for your own personal shoes can be tough.  What do you look for?  How do you know when they are “right”?

When searching for running shoes, I always advise people to get fitted at their local running store.  Thinking out loud, people that work in a running store have seen dozens of brands, styles, and companies. Plus they know shoes well.  That being said, you know your feet.  You know what feels most comfortable.

Most people come in and have no idea what to look for in a running shoe. 

The short answer: Does it feel good? 

Yes, then it’s the right shoe for you.

No?  Then it’s not the right shoe for you.

The Long Answer:

Here are some important details you should look for in shoes.

Size (Length): 

I cannot emphasize this enough.  Do not buy your shoes too small.  During the day, your feet can swell and lengthen anywhere from a half-full size.  This is magnified during running!  Always make sure there is a thumb’s width of space between your biggest toe and the end of the shoe.

Yes, your feet lengthen over time and age so make sure you get your measured frequently.  After putting your shoes on, make sure you can wiggle all of your toes.  If you can’t the shoe is too tight or too narrow.  This brings us to point number 2.

Size (Width): 

The width of a shoe is one of the most underlooked aspects of a shoe.  Most running specialty stores carry at least wide if not double wide!  Do not be scared to go into a wider shoe.  If you are getting holes on the side of your shoe from your pinkie toe, this could be a sign the shoe is too narrow.  Having extra room is always better than not enough.  I never knew I needed a wide until working at the store.  Now, I love it.

Heel: 

In any running shoe, your heel should feel both snug and secure.  It should never feel tight.  If you feel as though you are “slipping,” lace your shoe to the final eyelet. This will you’re your heel more into place.  Some shoes are cut lower than others but make sure you’re comfortable in the cut of the back too.

The heel should never feel tight, but there can be a little bit of movement.  If the heel feels uncomfortable in the store, then it won’t feel good while running.

Feel:

You can be fit into the appropriate shoe but it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t.  How a shoe feels to you is one of the most important aspects of the shoe.  You want a shoe that feels natural.  You don’t want a shoe that “you’ll have to get used too”.  Don’t get a shoe to alter to your stride because that can create many more issues.  Running Stores recommend taking the shoe for a quick run in the store.  That initial few steps often can tell you an immediate yes or no.  Also, most running stores have an exchange policy to work with you.

With so many different shoes out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is “best for you”.  Remember, there is no right or wrong answer but only what feels good and keeps you injury free.

Other Running Store Topics:
Thoughts While Working at a Running Store
How to Get the Most Shopping at a Running Specialty Store
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
There is no Perfect Running Shoe

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?
When was the last time you bought running shoes?

stairway to heaven nj
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven

Hiking Staircase to Heaven (New Jersey)

During the summer, my husband and I enjoy hiking in Northern, NJ.  The fall is also nice, but we tend to go more in the summer.  We have more free time as well.

Last week, we decided to head to the “Staircase to Heaven” in NJ on the Appalachian Trail.  We’ve hiked several portions of the Appalachian Trail including in New York at Bear Mountain.  The Staircase to Heaven is supposed to have one of the best views in all of the state.  Spoiler: Hiking the Staircase to Heaven did not disappoint!

stairway to heaven nj

There are several portions of the Staircase to Heaven hiking trail you can park to get to the top. There is about a 2-mile hike/walk, followed by a steep 1.5 mile hike. Hiking the Staircase to Heaven is a longer hike, but it’s scenic.  The closer spot is close to the mountain, where you have about a 1.5 mile steep and rocky hike to get to the top.  Since we were later and assumed the closer lot was filled, we parked further from the Staircase to Heaven and hiked 3.5 miles to the top.

stairway to heaven nj

After an extremely rocky hike, we made it to the top of the Staircase to Heaven, and the view was fantastic.  So far, hiking Staircase to Heaven is one of my favorite views in New Jersey.

stairway to heaven nj

After making it to the top, we decided to explore the Appalachian trail a little further and found a waterfall.

staircase to heaven njIt was perfect because the weather was so hot, so it was nice to take a refreshing dip in the stream.  Thank goodness running clothes are basically like bathing suits and dry quickly.  Ha!

staircase to heaven nj

Afer that we took the hike down the Staircase to Heaven back to our car.  It seemed to go much quicker this time, thankfully.

Other Hiking Posts:

Getting Lost at Bear Mountain and Revisiting (not getting lost)

Seeing a Bear While Hiking

Hiking the Hollywood Sign (LA)

We are hoping to get another hike in before the end of the summer so we will see.  Although coming back to the Staircase to Heaven would not be a bad idea.

Tristate locals: do you have any recommendations of hikes? 

Questions for you:

Do you like hiking?  Where is your favorite?

Workout Log and Rambles

Another week of boring running in the books…

That’s one-way to start a post right?  If you live on the East Coast, you know last week was extremely hot and humid.  I would love to tell you I missed seriously training in the weather, but I didn’t.  Training in the 90s doesn’t appeal to me.

On a life standpoint, I do feel like the heat really takes it out of me. During the last few years, I used to be fine in the heat, but this summer I’m exhausted almost every single day I come home!  I’m thinking about joining the local neighborhood swim club for the month of August, just so I can soak up some Vitamin D while being lazy in the evening.  (That should go in a training log right?)

To be honest, each week I contemplate not writing a training or workout log.  I’m not exciting, I’m basically running easy, and nothing is ever eventful.  Heck, I’m not even cross training much right now.  I feel like maybe I should even give up for a while on the runner and healthy living and blogger track.  It doesn’t help that many runners only post training on Instagram anyway now.

But here I am, still blogging.  Which is probably where I will stay. I’m still busy with work, volunteering, and life.   This post probably takes about 30 minutes at the most so somehow I keep writing it. Plus it’s not like I’m running while eating breakfast…

Enough of my rambles:

Monday: 30 minutes running
Tuesday: 1-hour AlterG (75% body weight)
Wednesday: 30 minutes easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 30 minutes easy
Saturday: 1 hour AlterG (75% body weight)
Sunday: 30 minutes easy

I could tell you that cross training is important and doing strength good will keep you injury free, blah blah blah.  I know these things, but right now I’m not prioritizing any of it.  As I mentioned on Thursday, I’m trying to do something active most days.

Don’t get me wrong, I am loving life, but running is just not a priority right now.  

Posts from the Week: 
More Hiking and Running
Flying around NYC
Brooks Ghost 10 Shoe Review
Staying Fit while Not Training

Questions for you:
Why do you blog?  I ask myself this often.  In the last 6 years, I think there are still maybe 2 bloggers I follow that still blog.  It’s not my full time, and I’m not even that exciting.
How was your week of training?

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