Malaga Diner

Earlier in the month, my dad was driving through and stopped for the evening at my house.  On his way South, we decided to go to the Malaga Diner.  There were a few Southern Diner choices, but we ultimately decided upon Malaga solely because my brother, Matt, is stationed in Spain near Malaga.  It seemed like a reasonable way to pick out a diner.

I had driven by the Malaga Diner a couple of years ago when I went to the Pegasus restaurant.

Atmosphere: A
When driving by the Malaga Diner, you can’t help but notice the diner.  There is a huge diner sign on route 40, and the outside has “Malaga Diner” on a big red light up sign.  There is enormous tinted windows and cobblestone on the sides.  You can’t miss it (in a good way)!

malaga diner

The inside is a stereotypical diner with plenty of booths, a full-length bar, and several tables.

Service: B
The waitress was friendly, refilled our beverages often and came over and chatted.  However, the food was very slow to come out.  We waited about half an hour which for the amount of people in the diner, I was surprised!

Coffee: B
I’ve had a lot of boring but good diner coffee lately.  There wasn’t anything bad about the coffee, and it was refilled enough, but like I mentioned nothing unique or unusual. 

Food: B
The Malaga Diner has everything a stereotypical diner has, no more and no less.  There are about 2 pages of breakfasts, 2 pages of lunch/dinner and a page of specials.

I ordered the Hungry Woman Special with French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and sausage links.  For those not familiar with diners, I would say about 75% of New Jersey Diners have a “Hungry Women Special”.  It’s a staple breakfast dish.

Thank goodness I took a photo because to struggled to remember everything that fit on the plate. malaga diner

The French toast was one of the best French toasts I’ve had.  They used big, thick, bread which is a definite must.  The rest of the meal was filling with nothing unusual, and I had no complaints, but the highlight was the French toast.  I liked everything but next time I might just end up ordering 10 pieces of their french toast.

Cost: $$
For the coffee and hungry woman, the cost was $12.  They did charge $1.50 for whipped cream in the coffee…some diners do, and some don’t.  For the amount of food, it was worth it.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
The Malaga Diner was a good stop, and I’m glad we finally made it down there.  I would definitely go again.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Service: B
Food: B
Cost: $6-15
Overall: B
Closeby Diners I’ve been: Pegasus, Elmer, Point 40

Questions for you:
Do you like French toast? 
What is your favorite way to eat eggs?
I like scrambled or over easy

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Why Building a Base is So Important for Running

Right now, I’m running easy.  As I mentioned in my recent training log, I’m building a strong foundation and base. It takes time, it’s unglamorous but it’s also necessary to stay healthy.  My plan was to begin base building two months ago, but life happened.  Oh well, better late than never.

So What is “Building a Base”?

Like building a house, laying the foundation is one of the most important things you can do for your training cycle.  Wheather you’re a new or seasoned runner, it’s important to put in those easy miles.  Personally, I will spend about a month running easy and building mileage. 

Personally, I will spend about a month running easy and building mileage. I don’t care about pace, just that I’m getting out there.  During base building, I’m not pushing it or doing workouts.

Building a base is important for everyone.  If you skip a base, you might find yourself injured or overtrained quickly. Many injuries like stress fractures or muscle problems occur over time.  If you skip base building, you might feel great at first but be injured later.  While running, you should be able to talk and have a conversation during the entire run (which should be anywhere between 75-85% of your total effort).

The goal of base building isn’t speed, it’s building aerobic fitness.  In the last 2 weeks, I’ve worn a GPS watch once (for distance measurement).  I’m fairly certain most of my runs average anywhere from 9-10 minute pace but I don’t find the need to track every mile. In fact, I couldn’t care less about pace.

How I’m Planning to Build My Base:

Thinking out loud, for the first two weeks (last week and this week), my runs will be almost exclusively easy.  The only goal is to dedicate 45-60 minutes getting out there.  Confession: I use my Fitbit start/stop watch on my runs, and it works well. The GPS is mediocre, so I don’t pay attention to it. (Fitbit told me I ran 8 miles at Broad Street in 2016 and I can assure you I’m not a cheater).

For the following two weeks, I will continue with 45-60 minute runs, but I will also include a longer run that will peak around 10 miles. After a few weeks of building back mileage, I might jump into a local 5k to test my fitness.  This could actually be at the end of this week or maybe next.  Will I PR?  No probably not.  Will I get a good indication of where to go from there? Yes.

This isn’t a training plan, and I’m not a coach.  Base building is important for most runners.  Without a strong base, you’re more susceptible to injury.

In take away, the point of base building isn’t to race mileage or run your fastest mile.  It’s to lay a foundation so you can incorporate speed work.  Without a strong base and foundation, your training will crumble.

Relevant Running Related Articles:
How Easy is it to Get Out of Running Shape?
Why a Running Break is Necessary
Why You Should Take a Rest Week

Questions for you:
How long do you typically build your base?
Do you prefer longer easy runs or short fast workouts?

Brooks Glycerin 15 Shoe Review

For the past year, the Brooks Glycerin has been one of my personal favorite shoes.  I ran in the Brooks Glycerin 14 and am currently running in the Glycerin 15. Spoiler: The Brooks Glycerin is 15 is just as good, if not better, than the Brooks Glycerin 14.

A common question I recieve both at work and on this blog, is do you like the Brooks Glycerin or Brooks Ghost better?

Brook glycerin 15 shoe review

My answer is: I wish I could take the fit of the Brooks Ghost (it’s wider) and have the cushion the Glycerin.  Both have their positives and negatives and I like both shoes about the same.

In short, the Glycerin is the most cushioned shoe from Brooks.  Whether you are running 100 miles or walking 1, it’s going to provide a soft and well cushioned ride.

Brooks is not paying me to review their shoes and I’m not a Brooks ambassador.

Fit:

One major update from the Brooks Glycerin 14 to the Glycerin 15 is the redesigned upper.  There are less seams and it is a bit wider.  Without the seams, the Glycerin fits many more people with bunions or people that have fuller toe boxes (like myself). The wider toebox update is welcomed from the Glyercin 14.

Brook glycerin 15 shoe review

The redesigned upper is positive and you’ll have a lot more room for your toes to spread out.   Fit wise, I wore a 10 wide in the Brooks Glycerin 14 and I still wear a 10 wide in the Brooks Glycerin 15.  My feet have much more room and they are happier.

Ride:

The ride of the actual shoe is very similar to the previous model.  To me, it feels almost identical in a good way.  You don’t have to worry “the shoe update has changed” and it won’t work for you.  It still has a very high cushioned and soft feel.

The Glycerin Line Itself: If you’ve never worn the Glycerin, it’s a very high cushioned, soft, shoe.  There is a lot of cushioning throughout the shoe but it’s not heavy or bulky either.  A major reason I like it, is the amount of forefront cushioning.

me running brooks glycerin 15

Brooks Glycerin 15 Conclusions

The Glycerin 15 is a solid update from the Glycerin 14.  There isn’t anything too crazy changed, so you won’t feel as though it’s a brand new shoe.  Let’s be honest, minimal changes in the running shoe world are a good thing.  With the amount of cushion, it’s a personal favorite of mine.

Current Rotation:
Brooks Ghost 10
Hoka Bondi 5
Saucony Freedom
Brooks Glycerin 15

Questions for you:

Have you run in the Brooks Glycerin?

What is your favorite running shoe?

Workouts: Uncomfortable Zone Week 2

I’m in the uncomfortable zone part 2…

Last week, I opened my training blog that I was uncomfortable with running and this week I feel the same.

I mean being uncomfortable in the best way possible.  I’m slowly starting to feel good with running. Of course, I don’t want to jynx myself, but I’m starting to regain confidence.

I haven’t picked out any goal races but have picked out a few races in the future I might sign up for.  Of course, two weeks hardly justifies ready for anything.  I don’t expect to PR for several months, but each race will serve their purpose as a workout towards future goals.  Two years ago, I raced my way into shape and enjoyed that concept.  It led me to my still standing, Carlsbad half marathon PR.

Moving forward, this week I felt mentally good.  Physically, my calves have been noticeably tighter in the last week, and I’ve tried to make time to see my PT/ART specialist: Dr. Kemonosh (and no, they are not paying me to say that).

Monday: 45 minutes easy/15 minutes core
Tuesday: 45 minutes easy
Wednesday: 45 minutes easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 45 minutes easy/ART Dr. Kemonosh
Saturday: 45 minutes easy/15 minutes core
Sunday: 70 minutes easy (8.5 miles)

Between: 33-35

Obviously, this is a quite boring training log.  I’m not going on pace, time, or even distance.  I’m not doing workouts and didn’t race. I would rather be boring and healthy versus exciting and injured.  Not that you can’t be interesting and healthy, however, building mileage is usually boring.

Getting back from April has been a slow progression with running.  This has been the first time I’ve attempted to really come back from a break and not felt good.  It’s also the first break I’ve had not related to an injury.  Typically coming back from any injury, when I begin running, I feel great.  This hasn’t been the case.  It’s taken a lot longer to adjust to running and I’m still adjusting.

Progression:

Week 1: 31-33 miles

Week 2: 33-35 miles

Other than that, not too much going on with training.  Life itself has been going well.  I’m still busy with work, but that will slow down soon as a couple of projects I’m working on finish up in the next couple of weeks.  As that slows down, my Running Store job will pick up with cross country, marathons, and fall training.  It will still open up some morning time to run as well.

Posts from the Week:

Reflecting on 7 Years of Blogging

Visiting the Thomas Edison Historical Park

Questions for you:

Do you normally follow the 10% rule when building mileage?

How long does it usually take you to get back into shape?

Americana Diner (West Orange)

There are a lot of Americana Diners in the State of New Jersey.  There are also a lot of towns with the name “Orange”, but that  is neither here nor there.  

Last week my good friend, and New Jersey Isn’t Boring website owner and I, and I met up to go the Thomas Edison Historical Park and a diner.  She shares the same love of diners as I do, and we’ve been to about a dozen together.  

Atmosphere: A

The Americana Diner is located on a cute main street but sticks right out with its retro silver and chrome exterior.  The inside is just as stereotypical diner.  It seats about 25 and has a full-length diner bar, multiple booths, and tables.  

Image via New Jersey Isn’t Website

Coffee:  B

The coffee wasn’t anything unique or unusual, but it was good.  I had plenty of refills.  

Americana Diner West Orange Coffee

Like the diner itself, it was stereotypical (but good) diner coffee.  Americana Diner West Orange Coffee

Service: B 

The waitress was friendly and gave us plenty of time to order.  Since the diner was relatively empty, I expected the food to come out quicker than it did.  

Food: C

There are plenty of options at the Americana Diner, but it’s also not a 20-page menu like many others.  I wasn’t terribly hungry, so I ordered one of my diner classics (which I actually can remember the last time I did?), a Greek salad with salmon.

Americana Diner West Orange

The salad itself was a bit watery and could have used a few more greens but had olives, anchovies, and a lot of onions.  They added a lot of dressing so it was one of the better diner salads I’ve had but it wasn’t amazing. 

Price: $$

For my coffee, and salad with salmon, the cost was $17.  

Overall Thoughts/Summary:

I liked the Americana Diner, and it wasn’t a bad stop.  It wasn’t my favorite diner but it wasn’t a bad stop. I can always appreciate a metallic, chrome, diner. 

Atmosphere: A

Service: B

Coffee: B

Food: C

Price: $8-15

Overall: B

Closeby Diners I’ve Been: Tops, Nutley (one of my favorites) and Six Brothers

Questions for you:

What’s one of your favorite restaurant meals?

Reflecting on 7 Years of Blogging

Blogging has changed a lot since I started in August of 2010.  You can read my first post here.  Sure, I could correct several spelling errors in my first post ever, but it wouldn’t be as “authentic”.  So I leave it as my 2010 college self-wrote it.

If anything has remained the same in my blogging, it’s that I don’t have the best grammar or spelling.  I spell check, but there is always something.  If you have ever held a conversation with me in real life, you know I talk a mile and minute, and my blog is pretty much the same.

But Back to Blogging in General… 

I feel like a crabby, old fashioned blogger even saying that blogging has changed so much.  When I first started blogging, it was just that.  Blogging.

There was no Instagrams, twitters and people did not make facebooks for their page.  You just wrote stuff and hoped someone subscribed through email.  After you posted an entry, you moved on with life.

Now blogging is more competitive and social media is far more advance.  You don’t write something and move on.  You write something, link it to all of your social media, multiple times, promote, promote, promote and maybe promote some more.  By the time you finished pushing your master piece of writing, it’s time to promote the next one.  It’s no wonder blogging can get so damn tiresome.  The least time-consuming portion of blogging is writing the post. 

Hey you!!!  Have you subscribed to my internet? 

But here we are.  I often reflect on blogging.  Many bloggers who started much later than I did make a full-time income from blogging.  They do the ten (thousand) step process of blogging, great content, and whatever else it takes.

siteheader1.jpg
The first LOLZ header is 2010.

That is their choice but blogging full time has never been mine.

Is it great to make money from something you work hard at? Of course.  The majority of the money I now make through blogging pays for the 10,000 races I run each year with it…but that is really it. I don’t make a full-time income and I don’t spend hours on content creation and sponsored posts.

An early header

Part of the reason begins with I won’t promote products I don’t personally stand behind. I can truly say I’ve used and enjoyed every product I’ve promoted on this blog.  Throughout the last 7 years, I’ve probably turned down close to 5,000 dollars worth of sponsored posts (whether money or product) because it doesn’t reflect my life or interests.

If you blog full time, you make more money by taking more sponsored posts.  You can’t “love” everything so you cannot like and use every single product you promote.  It’s a fine balance of blogging about product, life, and whatever else.  Too many sponsored posts and you are a fraud.  Too few sponsored posts and you eat ramen for dinner.  That sort of balance doesn’t interest me.

Plus, to be honest I don’t sit still well.  I don’t like sitting at home, I’m usually boring, and I don’t like to people, socialize, and network every moment of my life.  I just like to run, eat at diners and talk about various topics that pop into my mind (like reflecting upon blogging).

So How Has Blogging Changed Since 2010?

First, as I just said I’m not a professional. Many bloggers, social media experts, and internet users know far more about “how blogging has changed”.  I can tell you what I’ve noticed in the last several years.

From about 2010-2014 blogging thrived.  Page views were high.  There were months in 2013 and 2014, I would get 50,000 page views on LOLZ blog.  I wasn’t even a popular, superstar blogger, so I can’t imagine what others got!  But people were visiting blogs!  Blogging was booming!  There wasn’t a lot of excess social media.  Just people and blogs.

I remember when I first started my twitter, I kicked my feet.  Everyone had a twitter, but I didn’t find it appealing or necessary.  I was finishing my junior year of college, barely staying afloat in Spanish class and dreaming of math equations and proofs.  Then I started a twitter, and it’s still probably my favorite platform.  You can follow people and things and not be creepy.  There isn’t anything you really can’t follow on twitter at this point.

In 2014-2015, Instagram was starting to evolve and pop up.  More people had instagrams, but the captions were short.  I would Instagram everything.  My coffee, flowers, dirt, a pineapple sitting on top of a cup.  Then I would filter the $hit out of it pretending I was a professional photographer.

Now you can find Instagram captions that are longer than some blog posts.  As Instagram continued to grow, blogging began to fall.  My blog that once got 50,000 monthly views now gets about 20,000.  

In the recent few years, several of my favorite bloggers shut down their blogs.  Also, blogs that used to post weekly went to 1-2 times per month. Few people blog but more people used Instagram!  My reader has dwindled for several posts daily to 1-2 per day that consistently update.

Now in 2017,  the Instagram trend is still growing.  With the addition of Instagram stories, which I occasionally use, it’s more fun and more live. As Instagram grows, I do find myself attempting to take more quality posts (all from my trusty phone).  Personally, I like to follow friends and look at pretty photos.  So I’m trying to mirror that.  Will I ever take out a loan and buy some fancy camera.  No…

Just after college graduation header

So where does that leave the mother hen old lady LOLZ blog?

Will I continue to social media in year of blogging?  Probably.

Will I continue to use all of my social media?  Once again, probably.

Will I get a Strava?  No, I can’t even remember to charge my Garmin.

I will continue blogging about life, running or whatever else happens.  I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, next week or next month (LOLZ to think about next year).

I don’t commit to anything.  I don’t know what curves life will throw.  I can’t guarantee, I won’t completely stop blogging for whatever reason but I have zero intentions today…not sorry I love talking too much. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite social media platform?

If you blog, how long have you been blogging for?

Visiting the Thomas Edison Historical Park

Last week, my friend Cyd and I went to the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange.  Cyd owns the website, New Jersey Isn’t Boring, so if there is something unique or interesting in the state, she’ll know. I’ve been enjoying traveling the state and learning new things.

To be honest, I didn’t realize Thomas Edison worked in New Jersey.  Many of his most well-known creations were all created in West Orange!  If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend checking out the site.  It was one of the more interesting and historic sites I’ve seen.

At the very site we visited, he created the motion picture camera, improved phonographs, sound recordings, movies and the “nickel-iron alkaline electric” storage battery.

After eating at a diner, we headed over to the Thomas Edison Historical Park.

Here is a little bit of information in case you are interested. The Site itself hosts both Edison’s home as well as his lab site.  It was designated as a National Historic Site in 1955. It was closed for several decades, and it reopened on March 30, 2009. During its closure, it was in service and used to manufacture several of Edison’s inventions.  After renovations on the entire lab complex, it was completely reopened for visitors on October 10, 2009.

Here are a few interesting photos:

Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Lab Site
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Behind that wall he created the first motion picture.
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Ediphone Convention on August 12…1920 😉
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Also important is where the first waffle irons were created. How would I have my prerunning breakfast (waffles) without it?
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
This is one invention perhaps the world did not need…
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Another lab
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
A replica of where motion pictures were created

This is his desk exactly as he left it.  Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Thomas Edison Me New Jersey Isn't Boring
They even had a selfie station with Thomas Edison himself. As you can see, he prefers the Black and White option

The museum took about 2 hours to view.  I highly recommend it, if you’re ever in the area.

Questions for you:
What was the last museum or historic site you’ve been too?
Are there any historical sites in your local area?