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Park Place Diner (Matawan)

Park Place Diner (Matawan)

After the Sheehan Classic Asbury Park 5k, I decided to stop at the Park Place diner (Matawan). It’s located right across from Aberdeen Shopping Center, and the Town Square Diner.

Park Place Diner Matawan

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Park Place Diner in Matawan is typical of a modern diner. It’s not metallic or shiny, but a nice modern building.

The front door is located next to the dessert case as well as a bar. Inside, there are plenty of booths and tables.  Apparently, it’s a great local spot to hold a business meeting.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress refilled it often.

Park Place Diner Matawan coffee

Food: A

The menu at the Park Place Diner is massive, and they have everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials. They also serve everything all day long, which is nice.

Park Place Diner Matawan Farmers Omelet

I decided to order the farmers omelet, which came with pancakes. The Farmers Omelet was stuffed with Ham, Onion, Peppers, Potatoes and Cheddar Cheese. It had the most cheese I’ve seen in an omelet.

Park Place Diner Matawan Farmers Omelet

Ordering pancakes at a diner can always be risky. I’ve had good pancakes, but I’ve also had bad, flat, pancakes. The pancakes at the Park Place Diner were light and fluffy and tasted good. I was pleased!

Service: A
The waitress was one of the friendliest waitresses I’ve had recently. Even though the Park Place Diner was busy, she made sure to refill my coffee, and the food came out quickly.

Cost: $
For my omelet and coffee at the Park Place Diner, it was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Park Place Diner?
I liked the Park Place Diner in Matawan, and if I’m in the area, I’ll be back. Some of the lunch and dinner options interested me.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $8-15
Overall: A

You can see all 256 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of omelet?
What is the riskiest item at a diner to order?

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Hiking Cheesequake State Park

Hiking Cheesequake State Park

A few weeks ago, I decided to take a trip to Cheesequake State Park. I’ve seen Cheesequake Park from the Garden State Parkway, and it even has it’s own Parkway exit. A dirt road runs underneath the Garden State Parkway to connect the northern and southern sides of Cheesequake Park.

Despite being that close to the Parkway, you don’t hear the cars rolling by. Cheesequake State Park has always been on my “to-do list,” but the timing or weather neer worked out. Cheesequake State Park is located in Old Bridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

After doing research, I learned the name Cheesequake comes from the following Native American Lenape words:

Cheseh-oh-ke, which means “upland.”

Chiskhakink, which means the “at the land that has been cleared.”

Here are a Few Things Cheesequake Park Has:

  • Camping, Tent and Trailer Sites with flushable toilets and shower facilities (facilities within walking distance of campsites)
  • Picnic Areas with Fire Rings
  • Swimming with Lifeguards
  • Fishing for trout, largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish
  • Interpretive Center with History of the Park and Colonization History
  • Roughly 8 miles of easy to navigate hiking

 

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJCheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Part of the trails were almost flooded over. I was wearing my Hoka Speedgoat Midi Boot which prevented any water in my shoes.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park offers some beautiful views. There are no mountains to climb, but you do get some glimpses of the North Jersey shore.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

This might be the most unique thing I’ve noticed on a hike. I looked down to see a “swarm of caterpillars” all climbing over them. I’ve never seen anything like it. After talking with someone in the nature center, she mentioned the caterpillers do this for safety with numbers. It’s known as “as a rolling swarm of caterpillars.”

The caterpillers were harmless but a group of caterpillers bunched together is not something you see every day.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

In all, I had a fun couple of hours at Cheesequake State Park. If you’re looking for an easy to navigate state park with trailer sites, fire rings, and picnic tables, Cheesequake Park is a good stop.

You Can See All Hikes Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever seen a swarm of caterpillars?

Where is somewhere you’ve wanted to hike around you? 

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

The Hoka One One Rincon is a brand new shoe from Hoka this year. I’ve been curious about this shoe since it came out in June but needed to prioritize buying trainers (like the Hoka Bondi 6) I knew I could run miles in with no issues.

I knew I would probably like the Hoka Rincon, but also knew I needed to have at least one shoe in my rotation that was tried and true. Anyway, the long story short is it took me a little while to buy a pair.

The Rincon is designed to be a fast shoe from Hoka One One. It’s lighter than most (I believe just the Hoka Cavu 2 is lighter).

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

Quick Stats:
Weight: 6.3 oz
Drop 5 mm

Fit:

Like most of their shoes now, Hoka uses a single layer of engineered mesh for the upper.  It’s thin and lightweight, plus it breathes well. If you’ve run in the Hoka One One Carbon X, it fits very similar.  The single layer of mesh allows wider feet or someone with bunions to feel more comfortable. I’m usually a women’s size 10-11 wide, and I find the 10.5 to fit well (they aren’t made in wide…yet).

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

One thing to keep in mind is that there isn’t much structure in the upper of the shoe.  The feet can splay out. Like the newer models of Hoka, there is a pull tab at the heel counter to get it up. There is a lack of plastic in the heel which keeps it from pinching the Achilles. The pull tab allows it to slide up without damaging it.

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

Ride:

The Hoka One One Rincon has a unique ride to it (even from Hoka). It has as much cushion as the Hoka Clifton, however, weighs about an ounce less. It’s much more responsive than the Clifton and feels like a shoe I want to run fast in (like the Mach and Cavu). The Hoka Rincon uses the early stage Meta-Rocker to allow for quicker turnover. It’s designed for true speed or as a race shoe. (You can read more about Hoka’s technology and “Meta-Rockers” here).

If you’ve never run in Hoka before, this is a great model to start. It’s responsive enough that you won’t feel too disconnected from the ground.  For me, it fits best as a fast-paced, long run shoe, or even a race day shoe. I like more amount of cushion for a daily trainer.

One last thing to add is there is a lack of traction on the bottom of the shoe. I do wish added rubber on the bottom. There is rubber on the outsole in strategic spots but it’s not a shoe that would perform well in rainy/icy conditions.

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

Hoka Rincon Conclusion:

Sometimes brand new running shoe models miss their mark, but the Hoka Rincon has quickly become one of my favorite Hoka One One models (my favorite for heavy training is the Hoka Bondi and for speed, work is the Hoka Cavu).

If you’re looking to try out the brand Hoka, the Hoka Rincon is a great place to start. If you are familiar with Hoka and looking for a lightweight racer or trainer, the Hoka Rincon would be a great shoe for your rotation.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6Brooks Ghost 12

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Hoka Rincon

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  Reebok Run fast Pro

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

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. This week is all about carbon plate shoes,

Questions for you:

Have you tried a new shoe lately?

What is your favorite running shoe?

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

The morning of the Sheehan Classic Asbury 5k was chaotic. At 6, I was debating going to the race but decided I would go. I was tired and hadn’t got much sleep, and I’m not someone who functions on little sleep.

Asbury Park is around an hour from me, and I arrived around 7:30. The pickup line was long, so I only had time for about 10 minutes of warmup. Usually, I like to do about 2-3 miles before a 5k, but that wasn’t an option.

When we lined up, I was delighted to find out Governor Murphy was standing right near me. He gave a quick speech, and we were off. Our Governor is a runner, but I never seem to line up at the same races (For those curious, Governor Murphy ran around 28 minutes). I’m still working on trying to get him to come to a south jersey race.

Anyway, the first mile went out fast. The Asbury Park Sheehan Classic (and Belmar 5) races are notoriously competitive and fast. The last time I ran, it was a different course, but I knew the competition wouldn’t be much different.

We went up a small hill, and I hit the first mile in 6:17. I thought I could maybe break 20 minutes. My legs didn’t feel great, but I was moving fast enough; I thought it could be a possibility.

During the second mile; I realized how much my legs don’t have the turnover. My breathing didn’t feel difficult, but my legs just couldn’t move faster. We went up a small hill, and I hit the second mile in 6:26.

During the third mile, I knew it would be close to 20 minutes. I tried to move my legs faster, but they weren’t doing it. When we entered the boardwalk, I saw my watch at 19:20, but I hadn’t quite reached the third mile.

The finish line felt like it wasn’t getting any closer. They told women to stay left and men to stay right. I thought it was unusual for finishing. I crossed in 20:04. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to break 20 but happy for my effort the day, considering I almost didn’t go.

After crossing, they gave me a number, number 18, which I realized meant 18th female. I didn’t understand why but then they gave the top 50 finishers a cool mug.  In all, I’m happy with my race and performance at the Sheehan Classic Asbury Park 5k. From almost not going to running my fastest 5k in a while, I don’t have any complaints.

Questions for you:

Have you ever gotten a coffee mug at a race?

Have you seen your Governor before? (Let’s say the last Governor wasn’t doing road races LOL)

Big Cottonwood Marathon Week 11: Quality Miles

Big Cottonwood Marathon Week 11: Quality Miles

The goal of this week was to get the mileage in. Isn’t it always? In general, my week of marathon training was good.

Anyway-

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: AM: 4X1 mile averaging 6:40 pace with 2 minutes recovery
PM:  6 Easy downhill miles on the treadmill (elevation drop 750)
Thursday: 3000 Meter swim
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k: 20:04 Total mileage: 10
Sunday: 17 mile Long Run Averaging 7:59

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets 56 MPW
Week 8: It’s Very Hot 58 MPW
Week 9: Tetris Runner 56 MPW
Week 10: Long Week and Personal 5ks 54 MPW

Week 11:

Thoughts:

The week started slow, but I felt strong towards the end. Everything seemed to go off with no significant issues. I had some personal life stuff, but nothing that kept me from running. My weekly mileage remained high, and my peak weeks with 20 miles will come hopefully in the next two weeks.

Swimming:

I was able to get into the pool once last week, which I’m happy about. I’ve been hard on myself because as marathon miles increase, once in the pool seems to be about all I have time for. It’s nice to get some cross-training each week. Due to travel, I don’t think I’ll be able to next week.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 mile averaging 6:40 with 2 minutes rest in between

My good friend, Skip, and I decided to head to the track on Wednesday. He was much faster, but it was nice to have someone running around with me. It was already 85 degrees when we were running, so it felt tough, but I’m glad we got it done and ten total miles for the day.

In the afternoon, I did six downhill treadmill miles. Since the Big Cottonwood Marathon is downhill, I’ve been trying to get a few downhill miles in each week. Big Cottonwood is known to be a remarkably beautiful road race with a speedy downhill slope. When I ran another downhill marathon, the Mesa-Phx, I wasn’t prepared, and it shredded my quads.

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k: 20:04

This was the race that almost wasn’t. I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. At 5:40, I found myself desperately wanting to sleep before the race. I decided since it was a beautiful day I would o anyway. I’m glad I did, and I ran my fastest 5k in a while. My splits were 6:17, 6:26, and 6:35. Of course, I wish I broke 20 minutes again, but I’m happy with my effort for the day.

Long Run 17 miles averaging 7:59 pace:

I knew I wanted to run hard, but I wasn’t sure what my body would allow. I’ve been enjoying running in Philadelphia lately. I did the 8.4-mile loop twice around the Schuylkill River Trail and added on. My last few miles were my fastest with a 7:33 and 7:36 in there.

In all, I’m happy with the week. It’s one of the few that has gone by with no hiccups, which is great because there are only five weeks until the Big Cottonwood Marathon in Utah.

Posts from the Week:

Brooks Ghost 12 Shoe Review

Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer vs Collagen Latte

Town Square Diner (Matawan)

Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave (Guilford, CT)

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. This week is all about the Nike Next%, Turbo 2, and Fly. 

Questions for you:

Where is your favorite spot to run?

How much sleep do you get on average? 

 

 

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