The adidas Supernova is a brand new shoe from adidas. It replaced the Adidas Glide. I never ran in the Glide, but I have run in the Energy Boost which I liked. Boost is the material that adidas chooses to construct their shoes out of. It’s a much more “bouncy” shoe, and it reminds me a lot of Newtons (which for anyone who read my blog in 2010-2012, I almost exclusively ran in).
Like with the energy boost and almost all of the adidas line, adidas fit narrow. The shoe is seamless so if you have wider feet (like myself), then it will stretch to fix your foot. However, it does run narrow. In most models of shoes, I wear a 10 wide. In the adidas Supernova, I wear a 10. The 10.5 was too long, and the shoe does not exist in wide. It fit pretty well, but if there were a wide, I would have gone that route.
A huge plus is that the shoe is seamless. You don’t have to worry about the shoe rubbing bunions, or if you have a high instep, it won’t rub there either.
The boost material in adidas shoes makes them much more bouncy and responsive. The heel is well cushioned where the forefront of the shoe has less boost and is more responsive. With every step, I felt propelled off the ground as the boost material responded.
The Supernova Glide is a great option for those who want a lightweight but want to stay in the adidas line. Especially for someone currently training in the Energy Boost and wanting a lighter shoe to race or do speed work in.
Another bonus about adidas is they use Continental tire rubber at the bottom of their shoes. There is more traction than several other brands. It was my shoe of choice when running outside in any conditions with possible ice.
Last weekend I had the itch to race. My husband and I discovered a 5k in Birmingham. Since I just moved to Montgomery, I had no idea about the race community, area, terrain or anything else. But a race is a race, right?
As long as there is a time, the course is fairly accurate, and there is just more than my husband and I running, I can’t complain.
We arrived in downtown Birmingham around 7 am and did a quick warm up. I was coming off a tough training week and knew it wouldn’t be a PR. My legs were stiff, but the plan was to give it what I had for the day. My coach and I wanted a solid effort for where I was in training.
My husband and I made it to the start line where several high school marching bands were playing. (It would sense with the race title “Drum Run”.) The bands all sounded great and it was such a unique start. I lined up and by the time I knew it we were off.
During the 200 meters, a lead pack quickly formed ahead which included two clearly fast elites, my husband, another female, and a few others. I found myself in the no mans chase pack of one. It was evident the two elites were going to jog there way to a 16 something 5k which is what ultimately happened. They looked effortless as they pulled away.
The first mile went over a few small rolling hills in the downtown and I crossed the first mile in 6:07. Since my legs were heavy, plus the course wasn’t entirely flat, I was happy.
I could see the lead female in front. I felt as though I was catching her. By the second mile, the lead pack was also strung out. There were the two elites who were now out of sight, my husband and then a larger pack of 3 people including the woman. I passed the larger pack around the halfway point. The second mile had less hill but more turns. I ran the tangents well. I crossed the second mile in 5:54 and felt better. My legs were stiff, but I felt like they were loosening up.I was pleasantly surprised with a sub 6-minute mile.
I ran the final mile alone. I could see my husband about a minute ahead and LOLed at the idea of catching him. There were a few small rolling hills throughout the downtown. Even when he isn’t training for 5ks (like now), he can still gut out a faster 5k. I counted down the last mile… by every quarter of a mile. I wasn’t fading, but I was ready to be done. I crossed the third mile in 5:58 and gutted down to the finish line.
The final portion of the race was downhill, and I just powered to the end. With the downhill, my final kick was 5:16. If only all races had a nice downhill finish. Even though I cut the tangents well, the course was a little long, and I finished in 18:40. I was fourth overall and the first woman.
I am pleased with how the race went. When you race often, you can’t expect a PR and each race has a goal. My goal for the MLK 5k was to get a quick workout on my legs and to explore a new city. Both of which I did.
Another week of training down and what an interesting weather week it was! Sunday started off with a run in 10 degrees, and by the end of the week, it was 70. The south is obviously a bit warmer, but it’s been unseasonably warm here all week. Most of my runs were done in 60 degrees, and by mid-afternoon, it was up to 70+. It was definitely a shock from last weeks 10 degrees.
Easy 7 miles (untimed)
Easy 7 miles (8:27)
15 minutes core
Midweek Long Run (11.2 @ 8:27)
AM: 8 miles (8:35)
PM: 4 miles (8:42)
Easy 8 miles (8:40)
MLK 5k (18:40)
After getting to Alabama on Sunday and acclimating, my legs were stiff. Being cooped up in a car for 3 days is never pleasant, and my legs were tight for most of the week.
Workout: 6X800s (average 3:05)
The goal was to run much faster than 3:05, however, the track is actually located near a runway. (I can’t make this stuff up!)
To give you an idea of the wind from the planes, when the planes were taking off my 800 was 3:20 (6:40 pace) and I was working hard! Luckily, they weren’t taking off for all of the workout, and I could get a few quality 800s in as well as well as some “wind resistance training”. It’s impossible to know the plane schedule and takeoff/landing times, so there is no point in trying to find the “best time” to workout. If the planes hinder me too much, I’ll go elsewhere, but that is the price of living on base.
Even though some of the 800s were significantly slower than anticipated, I’m not upset. My legs were stiff, and you have to factor in the wind (or whatever element you’re dealing with).
The rest of my runs were done in the morning with my husband. I’ve been running around 5:30 am in the dark. I haven’t adjusted well to central time, and I’m waking up at 4:30 am. It’s nice to have someone to run with though!
MLK 5k: (18:40)
On Saturday, my husband and I ran the Birmingham MLK Drum Run. Even though the course was a little long, it was well put together. The goal of the race was to get a good workout in after a tough week of training. I knew my body was tired and it wasn’t a PR race.
When I toed the line, my legs were stiff. My splits were 6:07, 5:54 and 5:57. I gave it everything I had for the day which ended up being 18:40, on a slightly long course and I am happy with the result. I wasn’t expecting a PR, but I do know when I’m tapered I’m capable of it.
In summary, I’m happy with the week of training. It was a quality week, and I don’t have any complaints.
A while ago, I visited the Route 248 diner in Easton, PA. Right before I moved to Alabama, I went to several out of state diners (like yesterday’s review at the Gateway Diner). While my primary goal is to go every NJ diner, PA diners are often closer to me. Plus I drive through PA frequently.
I arrived at the 248 Diner around 4 pm on a Saturday, and they were packed. A packed diner is always a good sign that people like it. The waitress informed me they had several large parties.
The Route 248 Diner is clean, and it’s a nice atmosphere, but it reminds me more of a steakhouse, not a diner. In fact, with the exception of the name, nothing even screams diner. There are plenty of big screen TVs, tables and a lounge with a bar.
The coffee was fresh, but there was nothing unusual or unique. It was boring and I forgot to take a photo.
It was clear the bigger tables took precedence and everything about the service was slow. The waitress was very friendly but barely came to the table. When I went to pay at the front, there was a line of 8 people! It actually took me about 15 minutes to stand in line and pay.
The food at the Route 248 Diner is catered more towards a steakhouse as well. They had several new dishes and I opted for their brand new salmon avocado salad. It had avocado, bleu cheese, pico de gallo, feta and onions.
It was a good combination, and it was delicious. There were plenty of greens, and the lettuce wasn’t white as many lettuce based salads are.
The salad, thankfully, came with dinner rolls with cinnamon butter. Personally, I prefer bread with my salads. The cinnamon butter was unique and I liked it.
For my coffee and salad, the cost was $20. I’ve had more and less expensive dishes so I can’t complain.
Summary: Atmosphere: B Coffee: B Service: B Food: B Cost: $12-20 Overall: B
Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
The Route 248 Diner wasn’t bad, but it isn’t a diner. In fact, I honestly don’t know that it had any qualities that make it a diner. That being said, it’s a good restaurant and the food is good.
A few weeks ago, I was driving through Albany, New York. While driving through, we were hungry so a quick google search led us to the Gateway Diner.
The outside of the Gateway Diner has lots of lights. It resembles a space ship or disco club.
The inside looks like it could be updated and it honestly seems like it’s right out of the 90s. It wasn’t bad; it just needed an update. It’s an unusual combination from the outside to the inside. Disco club outside and very 1990s inside.
The coffee was luke warm at best. The whipped cream stayed intact on top of the beverage and didn’t melt. I like hot coffee. One of the biggest ways for me to dislike coffee is if it’s not hot. Coffee is made to be either hot or cold.
The hostess took our drink orders and then forgot to bring them back. After asking the waitress for coffee twice, she brought the coffee out. Most of the staff was very nice, just forgetful. We also went extended periods without seeing anyone, which was surprising because there weren’t many parties in the diner. Throughout our entire meal, there was never more than three parties in the Gateway Diner.
The Gateway Diner has several options but surprisingly, not a lot of breakfast options. I decided to order the sirloin off the specials menu. It was a thin steak that came with three sides. I chose a soup, french fries, and beets.
I ordered the cream of corn chowder. I’m not sure if I have ever had cream of corn chowder before then. There was plenty of corn plus it was hot. I wish my coffee had been that hot.
The steak was tough, but the broth made it good. I hate to say the steak relied on the broth but I think without it, I would be dousing my meal with ketchup. The beets were great. I enjoyed the French fries as well. They were crispy and not overly greasy.
Overall my meal was pretty typical of a diner. It wasn’t a fancy 5-star restaurant but it was a good meal.
For my entree and coffee, the cost was $15 which was a great deal for the amount of food I received. It wasn’t the freshest, but there was a lot of food.
Summary/Would I come back?
I liked the Gateway Diner, and it was a good meal. The service was slow as well as lukewarm coffee but it was inexpensive, and there was plenty of food. If I’m in the area again, I will go back.
Atmosphere: B Coffee: C Service: C Food: B Cost: $10-15 Overall: B Questions for you: Do you like beets? What temperature do you like your coffee?
I originally began writing this post when I thought I would be living through a New Jersey winter. Now I’m sitting here in Alabama, and it’s close to 70 degrees outside in January. As long time readers know I’ve been through many different temperatures during winter.
I went to college and worked in Upstate NY where there is often 2 feet of snow, but nothing closes. It ranged from -30 to 30.
I’ve lived in Virginia and New Jersey where a few inches generally shuts down everything.
And now I live in Alabama where today the high is 70 degrees (but last week it was 25). So my 2017 winter will be a combination of a couple of states from New Jersey to Alabama.
With anything, it’s important to run and train smartly. If you ever feel unsafe, run inside or rest. There is never shame in that. (In college, I slipped and fell on ice. It resulted in a fractured humorous, and I wasn’t even running outside…I was just walking!)
Another fun fact about winter training is that all of my PRs now are currently from winter races.
First and most importantly: Don’t be afraid to adjust your workout:
A few years ago, I was visiting friends in Rochester the weekend of my last long run. Rochester ended up getting a massive blizzard and running outside was unimaginable. (You know it’s a problem when things in Rochester close!).
I ran my last 20 mile run on the treadmill (see why I don’t hate the treadmill). It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t desirable either. Running outside would have been unsafe and hazardous. If I hadn’t felt good on the treadmill, I probably would have skipped the run altogether. Luckily, I felt fine.
You will be amazed at what a difference Yac Trax make while running outdoors. You’ll be able to grip the ground and ice much easier and stay safe. I cannot stress how awesome they are (no they aren’t paying me to tell you).
Don’t Forget: Main Roads are Plowed First:
The main roads are going to be plowed before local roads and sidewalks. Who knows, your sidewalk may never be plowed. Being smart with how and where you run is important. Always run on the opposite side of traffic and don’t run down the middle of the road.
Some local are often cleared quickly too:
My high school was located in a neighborhood, and the roads to and from the school were cleared quickly. During winter storms I could often run a 1-2 mile loop around my high school. Boring? Yes, but if you like outdoors then that was your best bet.
Even when the temperatures are brutal outside, the wind factor can play a bigger role. Layering appropriately is important. It’s not just about “wearing as many layers as possible”. Runners World has a great “what to wear” calculator here.
I recently learned that Vaseline can be an excellent protection against the cold and wind. It’s waterproof and helps block the wind too. I don’t know how I didn’t know that!
You can prepare for the snow but don’t forget about the rain. In my opinion, winter rain is one of the toughest elements to run through. It’s important to appropriately layer. My personal favorite jacket is from Gore-Tex. I’ve run through 30-degree torrential downpours, and my long sleeve underneath has stayed completely dry. While it is pricey, it’s worth the cost if you are running outdoors in the winter.
With that, winter running can be an enjoyable experience. Training through the winter can set you up for Spring PRs.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, and I feel as if there is so much to catch up on.
In late December, I decided to get Insidetracker done again. While it is cheaper than getting several tests done through insurance, it’s not inexpensive by any means.
Since I’m a healthy adult and nothing is “life or death”, blood tests are not covered by Insurance. I chose to get InsideTracker again because I knew it would help. I did receive a discount from Insidetracker which was helpful. I got results done in July and ultimately found my iron was too high as well as a few other things. (Detailed post here).
So What Happened in the Last Few Months?
After receiving my results in July, I did start taking a probiotic as recommended. I gave the probiotic 3 months, but I didn’t notice a change in anything. At an extra $90 ($30 per bottle at the recommended 3X per day), I couldn’t justify the cost and not noticing a difference.
Since July, I’ve also worked to lower my iron, but it seems I worked too hard and it plummeted almost to the “too low” category. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever had too such low iron. The fact that it dropped that quickly is alarming.
But it would explain why I’ve been more tired.
How did I lower it?
Since July, I went off my multivitamin which had 100% iron in it. While I prefer dark chocolate, I ate a lot more milk chocolate with less iron.
I already consumed (and still do) red meat 2-3X per week as well as leafy greens. That’s probably why it didn’t lower anymore.
Now that my iron is too low, I think I’ll go back on my multivitamin with iron in it and dark chocolate.
Since getting my previous results, my liver enzymes have stayed “at risk.” They need work and to be honest, I’m not surprised. They took a backburner while I worked towards everything else, so I didn’t do much with them.
This time, I am going to add both wheat germ and an extra serving of almond, sunflower or peanut butter to my diet each day. I’m actually not a huge peanut butter fan. I don’t hate it, I just don’t have it often.
So what’s the Plan?
I’m spending the next 6 weeks focusing on making these small changes because it’s perfect timing. While I do have responsibilities and things to do, I’m not working full-time. I have access to cooking, preparing and eating foods that would work for me. If I cannot make these changes now, there probably won’t be an easier time.
For the next six weeks, I plan to watch and monitor my diet. I’m not going to make a lot of extreme changes, and I don’t plan to change the caloric intake, however, I do plan to eat more nutritionally dense food for me.
What I like about InsideTracker is they make recommendations for foods that can help optimize your personal results. While I could spend hours researching, how to increase iron levels or decrease liver enzymes, it’s right on my dashboard. For me, it means including a lot more wheat germ or nut products. I can’t make any promises, but I’m sure I’ll be sharing my experiences along the way in the food and diet world too. Although I like to read other people’s posts, nutritional posts haven’t been on the forefront of my blog for a while.
I would definitely recommend InsiderTracker as it’s a great tool to help you figure out what nutrition your body needs. You cannot get more of an awakening than learning your blood results.