Springfield Diner

Springfield Diner 

A few weeks ago after coming back from a race, I decided to go to the Springfield Diner.  I could have chosen a New Jersey diner. However, I heard the Springfield Diner was good, and so I decided to go.  Since I live within 15 minutes of PA, there are several PA diners closeby too.  I don’t want to get too predictable and switched states up.

Of course on a Saturday for brunch, everywhere is busy.  There were only a few spots left in the huge parking lot, and I worried it would be a long wait. Luckily it was only 15 minutes.

Atmosphere: A 

The Springfield diner was a busy place.  It was a loud and bustling restaurant.

Springfield Diner

The outside decor is a huge shiny and metallic building.  It’s a very stereotypical diner.  The inside consists of mostly booths and a bar.  It looked like there were a few tables in the back too.

Coffee: A 

The coffee was hot and refilled several times.  There was plenty of whipped cream.  I have no complaints.

Springfield Diner

Service: A 

The waitress was extremely attentive and friendly.  She refilled our coffee, brought refills and made sure we’re doing okay. Although every table in the restaurant was filled, our food was brought out in 10 minutes.  10 minutes!  It was impressive.   So we waited 15 minutes to get seated, 10 for our food and left within 50 minutes.  All of this when the diner was jam packed.  Efficiency is an understatement there!

Food: B 

The Springfield Diner had all of the classic diner options and more.  They had a lot of seafood options that made me want to come back for dinner.

I decided to order the red velvet pancakes.  It came with strawberries and bananas topped with cream cheese, whipped cream and chocolate chips.  The pancakes themselves were just plain.  Don’t get me wrong; they were good pancakes, but they definitely weren’t red velvet.  It was just plain pancakes with chocolate chips on top.  Most people know red velvet is my favorite dessert, so I was disappointed.  The pancakes were good, just not what I was expecting.  To be honest, I thought they had accidently messed up my order but that that their take on red velvet.

Springfield Diner

Cost:$$

For the coffee and pancakes, the cost was $13.  Not bad and I left filled me on a sugar high.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 

I enjoyed the Springfield Diner and would definitely go back.  The food was good, just not what I was expecting. I would love to go back and try dinner.  It was one of the most efficient diners I’ve ever been too.  I can’t imagine what they are like at a slower hour!

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

Overall: B

Despite the food being good, it was not exactly red velvet so I feel as though I have to give it a B.  I’ll definitely be back and I would be interested to try their dinner and dessert options.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite dessert?  Do you like red velvet?

Do you like pancakes? 

Happy National Coffee Day

There are very few “foodie” holidays I celebrate.

National Coffee Day

Why?  Because there are so many, in fact, there is a food “holiday” almost every day…See this master list.  Thinking out loud, it’s no secret that I enjoy coffee.

National Coffee Day

Coffee, however, is one that I do.  I drink coffee almost every day.  I like the taste.  I’m also in the minority that drinks decaf after noon because I want to sleep.

My top 3 favorite places to get coffee are Wawa, Starbucks and a local place down the road.  Oh look, even at my wedding, we had a coffee bar.

coffee station

There isn’t a lot of coffee I don’t like.  My favorite way is to top with whipped cream.  It gives a little bit of sugar, and the bottom is more creamy since the whipped cream eventually melts into the coffee.  So it’s dark and bold at first, then more creamy and “dessert like” at the end.

Mustache Bills Coffee
At Mustache Bills Diner
Want free coffee?  Here are a few places celebrating the day.

Wawa: free (any size) coffee today

Krispy Kreme: free 12-ounce cup of coffee and a free glazed doughnut

Dunkin Donuts: Dunkin Donuts is celebrating National Coffee Day and being in business for 66 years.  They priced a medium hot coffee for 66 cents on Thursday.

Starbucks: Starbucks is not giving free coffee but will donate a coffee tree for every brewed cup of México Chiapas coffee you buy.  Today’s cup can help a farmer’s future.

national coffee day

Finally because who doesn’t like a little bit of history about the beverage they love? 

History of Coffee: “According to a coffee history legend, an Arabian shepherd named Kaldi found his goats dancing joyously around a dark green leafed shrub with bright red cherries in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.”

History of Coffee and How is Spread Worldwide: Interesting video documentary/video

national coffee day

Questions for you:

Are you Celebrating National Coffee Day?

How do you like your coffee? 

Maple Shade Soccer Club 5kish (19:36)

After racing a 5k on Saturday, I decided to run on Sunday too.  I had run the race last year, and it went to a great cause.  Since I ran last year, I knew the course was long.  It wasn’t a matter of Garmin “telling me so”, it was a matter of the course being 3X1 mile loops and then a loop on the track.  (which made for about 3.25-3.3).  If I was that upset about it, I wouldn’t have run the race.  Honestly, I would rather run a longer race than short.

5k shot

The race started at 9 am, and I got there at 8.  My stomach has felt off lately, and I can’t pinpoint what it is.  When I warmed up, I didn’t feel great but not awful either.  After all, I had raced the day before too.  My stomach felt off and “sloshy”.  I got to the start line at 8:58 and didn’t feel too ready.

In typical local 5k fashion, a young student yelled, “don’t start yet, I’m tying my shoe” and we waited for a minute.  Then abruptly like last year, we were off.  During the first mile, I found myself as fourth person overall.  I could see the high schoolers in front me and it kept me motivated.  We rounded the first loop and I hit the first mile in 5:53.  I was shocked and excited.  I didn’t feel “amazing” while racing.  My stomach wasn’t bothering me like in warmup but I didn’t feel great either.

During the second mile, I focused on the two boys immediately close to me.  I knew the winner was way out of my sights, but I thought I could stay focused enough to pass the other two.  Last year, the roads were under construction, and there were a lot of potholes.  This year it was a smooth and perfect road.  I passed the first boy around the second mile and ran a 6:03.

After that, my only goal was “not to fade too much”.  I passed the second place male during mile 3 as well.

There was a volunteer who was patrolling the course in a golf cart who stopped short in front of me.  I nearly ran right into him and stopped short. I told myself during the third mile; I would be happy with anything under 6:30 but surprised myself was another 6:03.

As we rounded the third mile, I couldn’t remember how to get to the track.  There was no volunteer, and the course wasn’t marked.  I tried to remember (in about 1 second) what we did last year and went with it.  I figured they would yell at me if I was wrong.  Since you have to go on the grass field to get to the track finish, I blazed my own path.

I got on the track and was going to the correct direction towards the finish so I figured I was okay.  I crossed the end in 19:36 and ran around 3.26 miles.

Thoughts:

To be honest, I didn’t expect to feel that good, especially after racing a 5k the day before.  I’m extremely pleased with my results and have no complaints.  Garmin tells me I crossed the “exact” 5k mark at 18:35 and averaged 6:01 pace, but you race the course you’re given.  It’s my fastest paced 5k since (by a lot!) before my injury so I can’t complain!  Last year I ran a 20:51 and this year a 19:36.  Granted last year I was recovering from a late weekend, 30 seconds per mile is a lot.

Questions for you:

Have you ever dealt with stomach problems during a race?

When was the last time you surprised yourself?

Rotary 5k (19:41)

On Saturday I ran the Rotary 5k.  I ran it in 2015 after spending a night at the Air Force Ball.  Needless to say, I was out late and wasn’t “prepared” to run the race last year.  Last year, I ran a 20:12 which I was happy with.  This year my only goal was to beat that time.

When I arrived at the race on Saturday, it was windy and somewhat cold.  I warmed up, and my legs didn’t feel good or bad.  They felt sore from the RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon but other than that I felt fine.

The race started, and I immediately found myself as fourth overall and 1st woman.  I stayed there the entire race, and there was no one 20 seconds in front or behind me.  It makes for a very boring race recap, but that is how some races go.  Heck, I don’t even have any race photos.

The first mile was both windy and hilly.  There are a few minor hills, and we were running into the headwind.  They closed down the road, but we were running close to several cars.  My legs felt decent.  I was surprised to run the first mile in 6:16 which wasn’t as fast the Flying Fish 5k two weeks ago.

During the second mile, we went into a neighborhood.  The course is out and back, and I nearly got lost in the middle mile.  Luckily, a police officer directed me in the correct direction.  At the turnaround, I saw I was still fourth overall, and the three males in front were quite far ahead battling it out.  We turned the corner, and I began seeing other racers behind going in the opposite direction.  There were a lot of high schoolers, and it was motivating to see them out running (considering I couldn’t even run a mile in high school?).  I hit the second mile in 6:27.

During the third mile, I just focused on finishing.  There were a lot of hills and turns.  The course was well marked and even though I had no sight of any other racers, I was confident I was going in the right direction.  (To be honest, I couldn’t remember the course at all).

Finally, we wrapped around the high school and headed towards the finish line.  I crossed the third mile in 6:27 and the finish line in 19:40.

Thoughts:

I was happy with my results.  My time was 30 seconds faster than last year on the same course.  (Although this year I had not been out late the night before😉.  I don’t have any complaints.  Some race recaps are more boring than others, but that is what happens when you run the race so frequently.

Questions for you:

Have you ever raced alone?

Do you run the same races each year?

Workouts: 2 5ks and RIP Cell Phone

Training last week was spent recovering and moving forward.  After running a surprising Rock n Roll Philadelphia, I spent the week running easy and recovering.

running me

Monday: Easy Run
Tuesday: Easy Run ART/Pt
Wednesday: Easy Run with a friend
Thursday: OFF ART/PT
Friday: Easy run
Saturday: Rotary 5k (19:40)
 Sunday: Lee Sharples 5k (3.3 miles) 19:36 average 6 min pace Core
Total: 60 miles

 

Monday was a miserable run.  When I started the run around 6:30, it was beautiful.  About halfway into the run, it started downpouring.  Then it started to lightening and thunder.  The three miles home was the scariest miles I’ve run in a while, and unfortunately my phone was not a survivor, and I had water damage.  Luckily I had insurance, and they delivered a new one, but it was frustrating.

The rest of the runs for the week were easy.  I ran with a friend on Wednesday but other than that, nothing of interested.

Saturday: Rotary 5k (19:40)

I ran the Rotary 5k last year after going to the Air Force Ball the night before.  Sometimes I go back and read the recap for the LOLZ…In summary, last year, I was sleep deprived and not at my best.  The weather was beautiful, and I was content with my 20:12.

My only goal this year was to beat that time.  Despite it being extremely windy, I ran a 19:40 and was the first woman overall.  I can’t complain.  I like the race, and it supports a great cause.

Sunday: Lee Sharples 5k 3.3 miles 19:36

Tis the season of double 5k workouts!  Typically, I don’t care about the course being long, but this course is well known to be a longer course.  I ran each mile split in 5:53, 6:03, 6:03 and honestly I’m still in shock. I ran over a minute faster than last year and can’t believe it.

It’s interesting because I didn’t feel the greatest before the race, considering I had raced well the day before. I crossed the “exact” 5k mark at 18:35 but unfortunately the longer course had the extra mileage.  No harm was done and I knew going into the race that it would be long.

In summary, I’m proud of all of my runs and races.  I’m going to continue doing races with no workouts for a couple more weeks and see how I feel after that. Tis the season for 5ks every everywhere, and I enjoy seeing friends out there running.

Posts from last week:
Rock n Roll Philadelphia (1:27.37)
Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review
Goodbye Summer

Questions for you:
Would you rather race a long course or short?
Have you ever gotten water damage on your phone? 

Fountainbleau Diner

Fountainbleau Diner
Last week, the owner of New Jersey Isn’t Boring, and I met up at the Fountainbleau Diner in Piscataway Township, NJ. It was one that neither of us had been too, so it made sense.  She is also going to every diner in New Jersey, but been to quite a few more.  We got to the FountainBleau Diner on a weekday for lunch and it was moderately busy but not overwhelming.

We got to the FountainBleau Diner on a weekday for lunch and it was moderately busy but not overwhelming.

Atmosphere: A
The diner itself has a cobblestone exterior and the interior is old school with plenty of mirrors.  There were a lot of mirors and it made the space appear bigger.  It felt like the “What Not to Wear 360 Mirror” but it was cool.

It was clean and nice.

Fountainbleau diner

Service: A
The waitress was friendly and funny.  Any waitress that cracks a few jokes is a winner in my books.  You can’t beat that and she brought plenty of refills.  Our food came out quickly and I have no complaints.

Coffee: B
There was nothing unusual or unique about it but it wasn’t bad either.  I haven’t had any amazing coffee lately but I haven’t had bad coffee either. I enjoyed the coffee and there was a good amount of whipped cream.

Fountainbleau diner

Food: A
The Fountainbleau diner has several options but it’s not overwhelming.  The diner actually has a smaller menu with “only” 4 pages.  I’ve been to some diners with 10-15 filled pages.

What is overwhelming is the amount of lunch specials they have for $8.51.  It took me a few minutes to decide what I wanted.  I decided to go for the Chicken Souvlaki.  I had ordered it a few weeks Sage Diner and I liked it.  It might be one of my new favorite lunch staples.

The special came with soup and I decided to order a salad instead of fries.  Lentil soup is one of my favorite soups and it was thick and full of lentils.  It had huge chunks of celery and I liked it.

Fountainbleau diner

The chicken Souvlaki was much different than the previous diner.  It was stuffed with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, grilled chicken and onions. It wasn’t too greasy and I enjoyed it.  While I forgot to

While I forgot to photo of the salad, it was a typical side salad.  There was nothing unusual.  Next time I think I’ll just order a greek salad too.  Even ordering a full Greek salad, two meals would be cheaper than a single meal at several other diners.

Fountainbleau diner

Cost: $
This was one of my cheapest meals to date.  For my entire meal including the coffee and side salad upgrade, it was $10.

Overall/Would I come back?
I really enjoyed the Fountainbleau diner. The food as very inexpensive as well as large portions. I would go back.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Service: A
Food: A
Price: $7-10
Overall: B

Questions for you:
What’s the cheapest meal you’ve had?
What is your favorite soup? 

Rock n Roll Philadelphia (1:27.37)

Last year, Rock n Roll Philadelphia was several weeks later due to the Pope coming to town.  The weather was brisk and perfect, and I ran a solid 1:25.45.  The weather was perfect, so I knew this year wouldn’t be a course PR.  Plus coming off an injury and a half marathon two weeks, I didn’t expect to be close to that time. I was okay with that.

I was lucky to get a ride over with my boss.  Two days before the race I had no idea how I even would get to the race.  He wasn’t racing the half marathon but placed second overall at the 5k the day before.  After arriving at the start, I chatted with a few people and hung around.
I didn’t warm up for the race as it was hot enough.  During the drive over I realized I had forgotten my watch.  There wasn’t much I could do and honestly I had to suck up racing without a watch. I was irritated, but it was either race without a watch or miss the race.
As I lined up in my corral, I was overwhelmed with a bunch of familiar faces like my coworker Colleen and the famous running blogger, Michele.
The race went off and during the first mile, I felt extremely boxed in.  I felt like I was running slow because I couldn’t get around people (and people couldn’t get around me).  We were packed in like sardines.  When I hit the first mile in 6:38, I was shocked.  That was much faster than Virginia Beach, plus, I didn’t take into account I had crossed the start line 10 seconds later.
The second mile began to spread out.  The second and third mile, take you back towards the starting line.  I like this aspect of the race a lot because the spectators are there cheering you on, and it’s a full crowd.  It’s hard not to feel motivated!

We rounded the third mile and went down Spring Garden.  The section is about a mile out and back with an 180-degree turn.  As I ran the fourth mile, I saw the elites going the opposite direction.  It’s always humbling to see them glide by effortlessly.

I rounded the 180 turn and didn’t take it well.  I’m bad at turns and tend to take them too wide, but I would rather do that than fall.  A couple of extra seconds is not worth falling.  I headed back the opposite direction.  As I was running, I saw several friends and coworkers running the opposite direction.  I had no idea the time or pace, but I hit mile 5 in 33:00 exactly (per the course clock).  I was surprisingly pleased.  I saw one of my good friends Anita and continued to Kelley Drive and around the river.

Rock n Roll Philadelphia

I’ve run the 8.4-mile loop around the Schuylkill a dozen times.  I know the loop well, and it’s a boring, unshaded loop around the Schukyill River.  Not that I care but starting that loop when you aren’t even halfway done is mind numbing.

I hit the 10k just under 41 minutes per clock time.  I was pleased.  The next few miles were just spent staying mentally engaged.  I knew if I lost focus, I would unknowingly slow down my pace.  It was hot and humid, and I sweat through my entire singlet.  I kept hoping the water stops would have Gatorade, but it was minimal.  In fact, there wasn’t much in the form of electrolytes for the entire race.  It was something I thought about during Virginia Beach as well.

I hit mile 10 in 1:05.30 and made it my goal to finish under 1:28.  I knew the last three miles would be tough.  There was no wind; it was heating up, and my clothing was soaken through. I kept reminding myself:

I set my 5k PR on this exact course, and I can race it well.

A man asked my goal, and I said 1:28 sounded reasonable.  He said that was his goal and asked if we could run together.  After a few exchanges, we realized we were at mile 11.

I saw a pack of 5 women in front as well as a man with a cast.  Honestly, I wanted to catch them all, and they kept me focused.  The last two miles is always tough because you can see Center City but it never seems to get any closer.

I hit mile 12, at just over 1:20 and I knew if I could maintain my pace I could break 1:28.  I saw the pack of 5 women, and I ran right by them.  If you know me, you know this hardly ever happens, and it’s a huge accomplishment.  In fact, it might be the only time I’ve outkicked anyone.

Typically I get passed in the final mile…like in Shamrock when I went from 7th place to 14th in the last half mile.

At the final stretch, another woman outkicked and passed me.  She kept me engaged up a minor uphill.  I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 1:27.37 and as 30th woman overall.  I was 10th in my age group.

Rock n Roll Philadelphia

I even got to cool down with Sarah D, who set a half marathon PR of 1:25 in the heat!

Rock n Roll Philadelphia

Thoughts:
I’m both pleased and surprised with my result.  To be honest, I was hoping to run between 1:28-1:32.  After not getting the best nights sleep as well as the weather.  I’m extremely happy with my time considering it was 2 minutes faster than two weeks ago, plus I was injury free.

rock n roll philadelphia

September in Philadelphia is unpredictable.  I thought it was extremely humid, but I’ve raced RnR Virginia Beach as well as the Remember the Alamo 13.2 which were both hotter and more humid.  It stinks because this course has potential to be extremely fast in the fall (like last year when 40+ athletes qualified for the Olympic Trials).

Questions for you:
What is the hottest you’ve run in?
Have you ever forgotten your watch or something important to a race?