Amwell Valley Diner (Ringoes)

Amwell Family Diner (Ringoes, NJ)

Recently I went to the Amwell Valley Diner in Ringoes, NJ. It’s only about an hour from me, so it’s surprising it’s taken me this long to venture up there.

I arrived at Amwell Famly Diner around noon on Sunday. I expected the Amwell Family Diner to be more crowded, but I quickly found a booth.

Amwell valley diner ringoes

Amwell Family Diner Atmosphere: A
The Amwell Valley Diner is an old school metallic diner. It matches everything you visualize in a diner from the chrome exterior to the powder blue booths inside.  There are plenty of booths, tables, as well as a full-length bar.

Amwell Family Diner Coffee: A
The Amwell Valley Diner brews the local Lacas coffee which was a nice surprise. Even though the mug was small, it was refilled often.

Amwell valley diner ringoes

Amwell Family Diner Food: B
The Amwell Valley Diner menu has all of the stereotypical diner options: eggs, wraps, and a few dinner options. There isn’t anything unique on the menu, but it has enough options to please anyone.

At the Amwell Family Diner, I decided to order the new Mediterranian sampler. It came with olives, hummus, pita, Tzatziki sauce, and an olive tapenade. It was thrown together and could have used a better presentation. Other than that, it was good. There was nothing special but a good appetizer I would order again.

Amwell valley diner ringoes

Keeping in a Greek mood, I decided to order a gyro with fries. The gyro was stuffed with plenty of gyro meat, Tzatziki sauce, and lettuce. The fries were nice and crispy, which is my favorite.Amwell valley diner ringoes

Amwell Family Diner Service: A
The food came out quickly at the Amwell Family Diner, and the waitress was friendly and funny. It was clear all of the waitresses enjoyed their job and working there.

Amwell Family Diner Price: $
For my appetizer, gyro, and coffee, it was $18.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Amwell Family Diner?
I liked the Amwell Valley Diner and would go back. It was a pleasant stop.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $8-15
Amwell Family Diner Overall: A

You can see all 236 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:

Do you like gyros? 

What is your favorite kind of fries? Crispy? Waffle? 

how to be an instagram runner
How to be an Instagram Runner
Step One: You have an Instagram.
Step Two (maybe?): You run.

In that order

In the last few years, social media has taken off. Before Instagram, there was blogging, and before blogging, there was myspace and Xanga. Who logged a workout on those?

Now social media is here to stay because who doesn’t want to take photos of themselves and promote their running. If there is anything I’ve learned, people love to talk about themselves (myself included).

So Now You’ve Thought: “Being an Instagram Runner is for me”…

First, keep in mind there is a difference between a runner on Instagram and Instagram runner.

how to be an instagram runner

Here are a Few Easy Techniques to Become an InstaRunner:

Step One: Create a (FREE) Instagram:

You need an Instagram account to be an Instagram runner. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need to run. (Fake it until you make it!) You just need an Instagram.

Step Two: Run (Maybe):

Here is the thing about being an Instagram runner. You don’t actually have to run; you just need to say you did! I always advise honesty but don’t feel pressured to run just because you are an Instagram runner now. You never know with any runner on Instagram, but honesty is always the best policy. You don’t need to be an elite runner, but I do advice to run and race.

A Few Posts You Should Include in your Feed:

The Instagram Runner Watch Pose:

Stand with your watch on your wrist with your workout done. Snap photo to maybe include shoes. Decorate your wrist with pieces of jewelry to enhance the wrist. Bracelets, charms, whatever. Just add your own artistic flair.

Tips:

  • Try to find pretty grass to stand on. The bathroom or dirty floor is not desirable.
  • Clean your watch face.  It’s your watches time to shine!
  • If your workout did not go as planned and you would like to look faster, just end early. Want to look like you ran 13.1 miles in 62 minutes, just end early and log the 62 minutes. You could even write (in PaintShop) 13.1 on your watch for better authenticity.

The Instarunner Run Shot:

This can be the hardest to master, so don’t get discouraged. Some instarunners actually have professional photographers to follow them around every workout! Talk about glamorous. If you have a spouse or running coach, position them at the finish line to take instagram worthy photos.

Tips:

  • Buy a high-end camera. You have to pay to play! $800+!
  • Don’t choose a rainy day, that makes photos blurry. You don’t want to view that post on Instagram only for your shoes to be blurry.
  • Jog in place. That way you can get higher-quality instarunning photos.
  • If you don’t have at least one fight with your significant other about taking the shot, you are doing it wrong!
  • Use video mode and just grab a shot that way.

The Instagram Runner Motivational Shot:

Now, this is usually a recycled photo and that’s okay. Got a favorite picture of yourself from the 1980s with a big perm?  Perfect. The point of this photo is not the photo; it’s the caption.

Tips:

  • You should have a minimum caption length of 400 words. This is generally what is accepted to be “motivational.”
  • It should provide some sort of motivation. Hard to get out the door that day? Struggle from lack of sleep? Pants just don’t fit right? Struggle to balance everything? Did you get out there for 15 minutes of solid cross-training? Those are just some starters, but any old motivation will do. Remember, you are your biggest fan.

Instagram Runner Post-Run Selfie:

This can get confusing because you don’t need to run, just post a selfie saying you did.

Tips:

  • Make sure to download a photo app that allows you to make your skin as smooth as porcelain. Runners don’t sweat or have any lumps and bumps.
  • Just selfie. Work your best angle from myspace angle to straight forward. Do you have a signature pose? Mine’s winking!

The InstaRunner Flatlay:

Once you’ve found a few brands you like, this is your time to make them shine.  Before a race take a photo of every piece of gear, you plan to wear (don’t forget underwear!).  Arrange neatly so your fans can see your plan. They might want to track or recognize you on the course (thank your new found celebrity instagram runner status!).

Tips:

  • Include everything, even things you might think you would want but will never use. It’s better to be safe than sorry in this shot.
  • Make sure to find a beautiful backdrop. Don’t use the bathroom. Perhaps go to a fancy hotel with a 50,000 dollar rug. The hotel bought that rug for you to take the shot on!

These are just the basics to help you become what you’ve always dreamed, an Instagram runner!

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. 

Question for you: What other Instagram Runner techniques do you use? Who is your favorite instarunner? 

 

 

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race
How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

The week before last I had a bad running race at the Phillies 5k. While yes, you can argue it was windy, my disappointing race wasn’t because of that.  Honestly, it wasn’t my day and these things happen.

While it stinks, I race so frequently there is no point to let one bad race ruin my day. When you’re an experienced runner you’ll learn that every race is a learning experience: the good and bad.  In fact, you’ll probably learn more from a frustrating race experience.

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

So How Can You Bounce Back from a Bad Race? 

Like the movie, Frozen, let it go…

Every athlete has both good days and bad days.

Find the Positives:

Every running race has a silver lining. When I  crossed the finish line at the Phillies 5k, the first thing I thought was: Wow I felt awful. Then I quickly remembered I’m injury-free.  The entire race was miserable, my mental spot was not great, but I finished healthy.

After cooling down, I caught up with one of my closest friends and still hung out. I saw many locals and chatted for a while. They asked how the race went, and I said: “awful it wasn’t my day for running, but it’s just running”.

Running isn’t my job; it’s a hobby.  If a hobby stresses you out or causes you misery, it’s time to find a new one. Sure, I won’t always “love running” but instead of dwelling on a bad race, look for the good.

It’s important to look at the silver line and positives of your running race:

Did you finish healthy and injury free?  Could you smile afterward and have a good day? 

Reflect so you can “Get Over” your Bad Running Race:

Immediately after the 5k, I chalked it up to being “a bad race”.

Now that I’ve sat back, reflected and recovered from a bad race, I know there are plenty of reasons the 5k was not a great race for me. You’ll never move on and get over your bad running race if you dwell on it.

My body was still tired from the weekend prior. I knew going into the race my body didn’t feel good. I haven’t eaten or slept well, and I’ve increased speed training and racing. Plus, I ran a half marathon the weekend prior. I’ve done it a dozen times, but I’ve always been more fit.

None are excuses but they all contribute to why my race didn’t go well.  Reflecting back and having a few answers is better than, “it just didn’t.”

It gives you ways and reasons to improve.  You can make adjustments to your training, nutrition, or sleep patterns.

With distance running, there is always another race. There are always more long runs. Marathon training is a long distance to cover and it’s important to also look back at training.

Most Importantly: Recover and Set New Goals:

After running a bad race, it’s important to take time to recover.  Even though the race didn’t go well, don’t go crazy. Take time to recover and relax.

Then set your sights on running a PR, new time goal, or maybe a new event altogether.  Maybe you need a change in training plans, training cycles or a new running coach.

Maybe a marathon burned you out…

Or maybe you want to run longer races…

Find something to get excited and refocused about! 

Remember there are many race days to come. For me personally, I have run many races over the next two months. While I’m not looking for magical redemption, I’m looking forward to chipping away my time and getting back into better fitness.

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:

How do you get over a bad race? Do you bounce back quickly? 

What has been your least enjoyable race?

On cloudswift shoe review
On Cloudswift Shoe Review

The On Cloudswift is a brand new shoe from On Running. For those not familiar with On Running, it was created in 2010 and based in Switzerland. It’s lightweight but well cushioned. On Running uses “cloud elements” which help and cushion each runner.

The On Cloudswift running shoe uses a slightly different material called Helion Foam. Compared to other models from On, the Helion Foam provides more energy return as well as durability. Helion Foam is extremely light but provides a big energy return.  As a brand, On Running is light yet responsive.  Helion Foam is also more durable to temperature changes and On Running claims it to be a “superfoam”.

The On Cloudswift has a slightly different shape to the Cloud Elements. The Cloud Elements are more diagonal than horizontal. You probably don’t notice much of a difference.

On cloudswift shoe review

Fit:

On Running shoes are narrow. This has typically been a problem for me, and I find myself more comfortable in a men’s shoe (because they don’t make wides). I’m usually between a women’s 10-11 wide.  This is the first On shoe that a woman 10.5 fits well, and I wouldn’t need to go into a wide. It has the most comfortable fit of any On shoe I’ve run in. The Cloudswift feels great and has a secure fit in the heel area.

The On Cloudswift also has an engineered mesh upper with a wide, roomy, toebox. The breathable upper is great for the summer when your feet tend to sweat more.

On cloudswift shoe review

The white elephant in the room is how stylish the brand looks. It’s a great option for someone who wants a “stylish running shoe” for walking around and living day to day life. Do I think you need a stylish shoe for running? No. But if you want a shoe with a lot of cushion that doesn’t “look” like a running shoe, this is one for you.

Ride:

The brand, On, is light by nature.  The cushioning system uses empty pods, “cloud elements” that compress where you need them.  Obviously, a hollow pod doesn’t weigh a lot.  The On Cloudswift has minimum rubber which can also weight a shoe down. You’re able to use the shoe for road running or trail running. Keep in mind, rocks will get caught in the shoe if you run on trails.

The downside is the less rubber, the less durability.  Even with the lack of rubber, I’ve found it to grip the ground well enough to run on rainy days.

On cloudswift shoe review

Even though there is plenty of cushioning, the On Cloudswift is still light and responsive.  Both the firm plastic and speed board, allow for a smooth and responsive transition. For me, it’s best as a workout shoe. I prefer it for shorter intervals.

I appreciate the versatility of the shoe, and if I needed a shoe in a pinch, I wouldn’t be afraid to take it on an hour run (there are plenty of racing flats I would not).

Summary:

In all, I like the On Cloudswift. For me, it’s a great workout shoe.  If you have a wider foot, it’s one of the first options from On Running I would recommend.

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs/Daily Runs: Hoka Mach 2, Brooks Glycerin 17, New Balance 1080v9

Long Runs/Tempo Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Workouts: Nike Fly, On Cloudswift, Nike LT Streak LT 4

Races: Nike Fly

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 tried On?
Do you like white shoes? 

baseball phillies 5k me running
Phillies 5k (20:08)

Phillies 5k Race Recap

I haven’t been that disappointed with a race in a while. The Shamrock half didn’t go well but I wasn’t that upset. Last weekend, I raced the Phillies 5k and it just wasn’t my day. This year I ran a 20:08 at the Phillies 5k. My slowest time by over a minute. I’ve won the Phillies 5k 3 years in a row, and this year I got third place overall.

The Annual Phillies Charities 5k is hosted by the Philadelphia Phillies. The proceeds go to charity. There is plenty of parking for the Phillies 5k since it starts at Citizens Bank Park.

Truthfully, I knew I didn’t feel 100% leading up to the Phillies 5k. I didn’t feel great all week and even with extra rest, I felt like garbage. My legs just felt stale and lacking, the “run fast” they needed for the day. I woke up the morning of the Phillies 5k and just felt meh. My thought process was: “how fast can I get this done with”. Not a great racing thought process but that’s where I was.

As I warmed up for the Phillies 5k, I felt stale. I’ve started consistently racing again which means I’m in the part of the training that I question “Why the am f I’m doing it.” My body isn’t used to the mileage or the speed (one reason I’ve added 2 rest days a week right now).

With that, I lined up at the start for the Phillies 5k. I was happy my husband was able to run this year. The race went off and we headed out. The first mile was extremely windy and I found myself as the third woman at the Phillies 5k where I stayed the entire race. We went around a couple of turns and I got boxed in and almost took a nasty fall. My husband said: “come with me” and I couldn’t. He ultimately ran about 18:20 at the Phillies 5k and there was no way I was keeping up with that. Sadly, because I have run an 18:27 at the Phillies 5k before.

I hit the first mile of the Phillies 5k in 6:35. Slower than most miles at the 7-mile race I did recently. It’s windy I thought. I also knew my legs just didn’t feel good.

The second mile of the Phillies 5k went down around the Navy Yard. I’ve run a few races that way and I always appreciate it. It doesn’t make it any easier when it’s windy. There was military handing out water and high fiving which I appreciate. I hit the second mile of the Phillies 5k in 6:35.

We headed back towards the start for the final mile of the Phillies 5k. During the final mile of the Phillies 5k, you pass racers going the other way.  It’s always motivating. I could see the second-place woman picking it up and I couldn’t match her. The long straight away and stadium in the distance, makes it feel like it’s not getting any closer. We turned right and faced the last .25 towards the finish of the Phillies 5k. I could see the Citizens Bank Park Stadium but not the finish line of the Phillies 5k. I realized at about 3 miles the wind had knocked the usual banner down for the Phillies 5k. I hit the third mile in 6:20 and powered to the finish of the Phillies 5k.

I crossed the finish line of the Phillies 5kin 20:08. It’s my slowest time by a minute. Yes, it was windy but it’s been windy years prior. I’m not in the same fitness I’ve been every other year of the Phillies 5k and this was a humbling reality check.

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:

How do you get over a disappointing race?

Are you a baseball fan? Have you done the Phillies 5k? 

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