me running
Running, Training, Training Sub 1:25

Sub 1:25 Files…An Injury

After the Hilton Head Half Marathon, I thought it would jump-start my training. Unfortunately, it jump-started me to a minor injury. My Achilles are inflamed, and I have two cankles instead of ankles. They aren’t broken, but putting weight on them doesn’t feel great (running or walking..or living life).

I hesitate to call it “Achilles tendonitis” because my symptoms aren’t quite that. I’ve stretched my calves, etc. With rest, it doesn’t feel better. Running it doesn’t feel worse. My Achilles feels the worst when I wake up, and they feel better when I stretch them out.

I didn’t do anything fast last week, no long run or workout. I ran a few miles here and there and led a 4-mile group run on Saturday. I don’t foresee myself running fast until I feel better. If I feel the same by the end of this week, I’ll probably just stop running until it feels 100%.

Monday: Easy 6 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Easy 5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 6 miles
Sunday Easy 6 miles

As far as recovery, I’ve gone to see Dr. Craig with Dr. Kemonosh for Active Release Therapy on my Achilles. Active Release Therapy (Graston) is painful, but I do feel like it’s helping.

The other component is I’ve just been swamped. Sometimes I feel like adulthood is saying: “this is the busiest week ever,” one week after another. Lately, it’s been like that and next week will be just similar. After getting home on Sunday, I spent Tuesday-Saturday out of my house most of the time except to sleep.

I’m just trying to balance life while making time to recover from this injury. Is it an injury? Is it an inflamed bursa? Achilles Tendonitis? I don’t quite know. I have my suspicions of what caused it (somewhere along racing the Hilton Half Marathon and traveling home).

So yes, a boring training log and more or less me talking out loud. Don’t get me wrong; I’m pretty bummed that I finally started to feel like fitness was coming along and now this. Hopefully, it’s not too long of an issue. I’ve doing stretches, eccentric heel drops, and all of the basic Achilles rehab even though I’m not entirely sure that’s the problem.

Posts from the Week:

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Shoe Review

Hilton Head Half Marathon (1:31.13)

Koala Clip Review

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:

Do you have any Achilles rehab tips?

How was your week of training? 

Fairmount Eats (Hackensack) salad

Fairmount Eats (Hackensack)

Fairmount Eats (Hackensack)

Recently I was in Hackensack, NJ.  I decided to stop at the Fairmount Eats.  I wasn’t hungry but wanted to wait out the traffic and heard the food was good. Hackensack is close to New York and the traffic is significantly worse than South Jersey so I decided to sit at a diner instead of sit in my car. I didn’t wait too long because the food was out in the blink of an eye.Fairmount Eats (Hackensack)

Fairmount Eats Atmosphere: A

Fairmount Eats resembles more of a bar than a diner. It’s located on the corner and has a small parking spot. Looking back, I should have verified there was parking before just stopping by. Anyway, there was a small lot. Inside has plenty of tables, a few booths, and an open kitchen to watch the chefs prepare the food. It’s a cute, modern building, and you never feel like you’re sitting on top of people.

Fairmount Eats (Hackensack)

Fairmount Eats Coffee: A

The coffee at Fairmount Eats was good. The waiter brought plenty of refills and it was brewed hot and fresh. Thankfully, because I was unusually tired that day.

Fairmount Eats (Hackensack) coffee

Fairmount Eats Food: B

The Fairmount Eats menu has plenty of options from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are known for their lunch specials and salads. I decided to order the goat cheese and spinach salad with grilled chicken. The goat cheese salad came with candied nuts, bacon, spinach, and of course, chicken. It was a hardy portion of chicken too! The salad was good, but I do wish the dressing was mixed in.

Fairmount Eats (Hackensack) salad

Fairmount Eats Service: A

The waiter at the Fairmount Eats was great and the food came out fast. He was one of the best waiters I’ve had in a while and I couldn’t have asked for a better waiter.  I was in and out of the Fairmount Eats within 30 minutes.

Fairmount Eats Cost: $$

For the salad and coffee, it was $18 which was more expensive than I was expecting.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to Fairmount Eats?

I liked the Fairmount Eats and it was a good stop. While pricier than the average diner, it was fresh food and I would go back.

Atmosphere: B

Coffee: A

Food: B

Service: A

Cost: $12-20

Overall: B

You can see all 286 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:

What’s your favorite type of salad?

Do you have a lot of traffic near you? 


Park Diner and Pancake House (Linden, NJ) toast

Park Diner and Pancake House (Linden, NJ)

Park Diner and Pancake House (Linden, NJ)

Formally known as the Park 27 Diner, the Park Diner and Pancake House has recently gone through new management. After doing a short run at Warinanco Park, I noticed the Park Diner and Pancake House.  I couldn’t remember if I had been. It looked like a nice diner and I’ve been to Linden multiple times.  After searching my blog, I realized I hadn’t been to either the Park 27 Diner nor the Park Diner and Pancake House. To be fair, this has only happened one other time and I usually remember which diners I’ve been (or not).  That being said, sometimes I go to a diner at night and roads look different. No excuses though.

Park Diner and Pancake House (Linden, NJ)

Park Diner and Pancake House Atmosphere: B
The Park Diner and Pancake House overlooks Warinanco Park. It’s a modern diner. It’s not shiny or metallic, but it is well kept with a large parking lot.

The inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a bar. Plus, the Park Diner and Pancake House also has a salad bar, which is increasingly more challenging to find diners with such.

Park Diner and Pancake House (Linden, NJ)

Park Diner and Pancake House Coffee: A

The coffee at Park Diner and Pancake House was brewed hot and fresh and I couldn’t have asked for better coffee.

Park Diner and Pancake House (Linden, NJ) coffee

Park Diner and Pancake House Food: A
The Park Diner and Pancake House menu has plenty of options. Outside there is a large sign that says new menu specials and hospitality, which I found interesting. There are all of the regular diner options from pages of breakfast specials, lunch specials, and several dinner options like steak and seafood. By the name, I would assume they are well known for pancakes.  I was between pancakes, french toast, or the avocado toast and ultimately I decided to order their avocado mash. Can you believe I’ve never had avocado toast before? A diner seemed like the perfect time to do it.

Park Diner and Pancake House (Linden, NJ) toast

The avocado mash came with two pieces of toast topped with avocado and poached eggs. It also came with a grilled tomato, which I appreciated. It was delicious and fun to try something new.

Park Diner and Pancake House Service: A

The waitress at the Park Diner and Pancake House was friendly and my food came out fast. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Park Diner and Pancake House Cost: $
For my avocado mash and coffee, the cost was $11.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Park Diner and Pancake House?
I enjoyed the Park Diner and Pancake House and I would go back. The food was excellent and there were plenty of specials I want to try. Plus, it’s right near a nice park, so I can see it being a perfect post-run spot.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A

You can see all 284 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Have you tried avocado toast before?
What is your favorite post-run snack?

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Shoe Review
Gear Review, Running

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Shoe Review

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Shoe Review

Somehow I never reviewed the Saucony Ride ISO 2. I have actually run in 2 pairs now. The Saucony Ride ISO 2 was released in November 2019 and between the New York City Marathon excitement as well as downtime, it must have gotten lost in translation. To me, the Saucony Ride ISO 2 is the best neutral shoe Saucony currently has. It’s consistent throughout the years, a $120 price point, and it fits well.

I’ve run in various years of the Saucony Ride including Saucony Ride 9, Saucony Ride 10, and Saucony Ride ISO  (also known as the Saucony Ride 11). The Saucony Ride ISO 2 would be equal to the Saucony Ride 12.

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Shoe Review

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Quick Facts:

Weight: 9.8 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 8 mm

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Fit:

The major change in the Saucony Ride ISO 2 come with an improved fit. It’s snugger in the arch but with more room in the forefront. In the updated, Saucony Ride ISO 2 Fit, there is now a top layer of Double Jacquard mesh. This mesh allows a more breathable and stretching fit but also has more structure to it.

With the previous Saucony Ride, it felt like there wasn’t enough structure at the forefront and your foot was left free-floating. The updated Isofit and formfit technologies cradles a runner’s foot to feel more secure but still has a wide toe box.

The Saucony Ride ISO 2 also has more midfoot support with the ISOfit lacing. The first Saucony Ride ISO was too wide in the arch, which caused many people to feel less secure.

The internal bootie and tongue remain the same as the original Saucony Ride ISO.

One thing to keep in mind is that Saucony shoes have a lower back than other brands. This can be especially challenging if you want to put an insole or orthotic into a shoe. While you won’t run out of a lower back shoe, it will affect how you feel ion the shoe.

Typically I wear between a womens size 10-11 wide and I find the 10.5 wide to fit the best.Saucony Ride ISO 2 Shoe Review

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Ride:

Writing the Saucony Ride, Ride in a review, always amuses me. Anyway, one reason I like the Saucony Ride ISO 2 is that it’s almost a cross between a substantial racing shoe and a lightweight trainer. The Saucony Ride ISO 2 is lighter than traditional trainers but also provides the cushion that you need for easy and training runs. In fact, Saucony actually added 2 mm of foam to the Saucony Ride ISO 2.  Even though there is an additional 2 mm of foam, Saucony has reduced outsole crystal rubber to make the stack height remain the same.

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Shoe Review

When running in the Saucony Ride ISO 2, I’ve found it’s more responsive than previous versions. The Everun topsole sits on top of the Powerrun layer midsole to make for a smoother transition from heel to toe. The flex grooves bend with the foot.

One concern I had with the reduction of the outsole rubber was the traction, but I’ve run in the torrential downpour with no major issues or sliding.

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Shoe Review

I’ve run a few different runs including easy runs, faster longer runs as well as workouts and it works best as a longer run and daily trainer shoe. I like the cushion but also how responsive it is.

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Conclusion:

The Ride ISO 2 is a well-cushioned yet responsive trainer that is more comfortable and snappier than before.

This is really a shoe that does well at just about everything from daily running to tempo training but really excels over longer distances.

For a clear majority of runners this would also be a respectable race shoe. The traditional appearance and feel of this shoe, in my opinion, make it a single go-to shoe for many runners.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3New Balance 1080 v10Diadora Mythos Blushield Blushield Hip 5, Hoka Bondi 6Asics Cumulus 21

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike React Infinity Run

Long Runs: Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe ReviewNew Balance FuelCell Rebel, Saucony Ride ISO 2, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  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.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Saucony Ride ISO 2?

What is your current favorite running shoe? 

Hilton Head Half Marathon
Running, Training, Training Sub 1:25

Hilton Head Half Marathon (1:31.13)

Hilton Head Half Marathon (1:31.13)

Last week, my husband and I took a trip to Hilton Head. I was looking at various winter races and thought the Hilton Head Half Marathon would be fun. We’ve been to the West Coast twice and Arizona twice, so we wanted something different. Typically I like to take a winter vacation to break up January and February. I don’t love the winter, so this gives me a short recoup time. The winter in 2020 hasn’t been winter at all, but we still decided to go down to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Our flights down to Hilton Head were bumpy but fine. We got one of the last planes out of Charlotte before a tornado hit. We arrived on beautiful Hilton Head Island Thursday morning. We did a short shakeout run where I felt like garbage (10-minute miles were pushing it for me). On Friday, we ran again and felt a little better.

The Hilton Head Island Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8k all started at Jarvis Creek Park at 8 am. The course takes participants through two parks on beautiful Hilton Head Island and is supposedly an overall scenic certified course. To me, it was scenic in some spots, but at least half of the race was on a highway or through narrow windy bike paths.

Overnight the weather went from being about 45 at the race start to 39. I didn’t have a hat or gloves, so I stopped at a local Walmart and picked up some stuff. Luckily the $3 headband is actually nice and didn’t get any ear chaffing.

The Hilton Head Half Marathon, Marathon and 8k all start at the same spot at 8 am. While the start has plenty of space, the race does funnel into a lot of small bike paths. During the first mile, I didn’t know who was racing what. We went around a turn and I hit the first mile of the Hilton Head Half Marathon at 6:55. I didn’t feel good or bad and just tried to get comfortable.

The second mile started to spread out and felt like I finally got some space. It was uneventful, and I ran in 6:45. I thought I might have the fitness to be below 1:30, but that didn’t happen.

During the third mile, the 8k broke off, so I was able to see who was in front of me. I didn’t know if they were running the full or half, but I estimated I was around 6th female.

The next few miles of the Hilton Head Half Marathon went by without a lot of anything. I kept to myself and was ran alone. There were people about 20 seconds ahead and 20 seconds behind, but no one around.

I ran mile 3 in 6:58, mile 4 in 6:57, mile 5 in 6:58.

It was fun to run under a toll booth and I can’t remember the last time I’ve done that. I knew there were two climbs in the Hilton Head Half Marathon, but I didn’t know what that meant. I hadn’t run the course, nor really researched it.

Then during mile 6, I quickly realized what it meant. We were climbing up and over the bridge. It gained about 100 feet of elevation in about 1/3 of a mile. It was tough, but I just told myself: “2 minutes of your life”. I climbed over the bridge, passed someone and went sailing down the other side. I hit mile 6 at 6:51, which I was pleasantly surprised with.

Mile 6-7 of the Hilton Head Half Marathon was my least favorite part of the race. There were no less than 12 turns on a narrow, windy course. I felt like I couldn’t get any rhythm and it was just one sharp turn after another. Then we headed into a muddy section of the race. That entire mile made me feel like garbage. I started negatively thinking: “well, that’s it,” the race is done. I ran a 7:08 mile.

The next mile went back onto roads and into a headwind. I was running with a young kid who kept me more motivated and engaged in the race. I hit mile 8 of the Hilton Head Half Marathon at 6:59, which I was happy with. Getting back under 7 made me feel like mile 6 was “just a fluke” with the turns.

Mile 8 of the Hilton Head Marathon was spent weaving around marathoners. We caught back up to those running about a 4-hour marathon and between the narrow streets and weaving, I ran a 7:09. I don’t mind when races overlap, but having them overlap on narrow bike paths is unacceptable and dangerous for everyone.

Ater getting back on the road, mile 9 of the Hilton Head Half Marathon went back over the bridge. I was running with marathoners. I just tried to keep to the left to minimize weaving but this also meant I was closer to cars passing by. The bridge went by quickly and before I knew it, I hit mile 10 at 1:09.30. I was happy that it was 30 seconds faster than the ten miler I recently did. Progress, I thought.

Then I told myself just a 5k to go. We went back down into narrow paths, and I weaved around marathoners on the windy roads again. I was just frustrated that we didn’t have more space.

Finally, we got back onto the main road and it opened up. I was happy to just have room to run again. I told myself 2 miles to go. You can run hard, blow up, and pick up the pieces for a mile. So I did. I just ran as hard as my body would allow. It didn’t feel good or bad, but indifferent. My breathing felt fine and I never felt like I was redlining it. I hit mile 11 of the Hilton Head Half Marathon in 6:44, which was my fastest.

During the last mile of the Hilton Head Half Marathon, I was trying to keep the momentum going. I passed a young kid and a few walkers from the 8k. We cut across the grass and went back down to the narrow paths. I thought I could break 1:31 and I desperately wanted too. I just ran as hard as I could.

I ended up crossing the Hilton Head Half Marathon in 1:31.13. I got the race at about 13.15 on GPS and most people got it longer.

Hilton Head Half Marathon Thoughts:

While I feel like I’m in faster shape than a 1:31 half marathon, it was a tough day. The weather was ideal but several spots on the course made it tough to get into a rhythm. I’m not sad or upset about my time, but I am looking to improve it. Sadly, the Hilton Head Half Marathon might be one of the few Half Marathons that I’ve run that doesn’t do race photos? I don’t think the Hilton Head Half Marathon was my least favorite course of any half marathon, but I don’t think I would run it again. The number of turns and congestion on the narrow paths made it less enjoyable than anticipated.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a half marathon on narrow roads?

Have you been to Hilton Head? Have you run the Hilton Head Half Marathon?