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Training Log: Because I’m Training for Something!

Training Log: Because I’m Training for Something!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you might know I was selected to run the Big Cottonwood Marathon (Yes, MARATHON). A week ago, training for a marathon wasn’t my plan for the summer. I wanted to get speed and get back into shape, but I didn’t have any huge goals in mind. I applied for the Team Hylands Big Cottonwood Team because it sounded like an awesome experience. I never thought I would be selected.

Big Cottonwood is the exact opposite marathon experience of what I’ve been used too. I’ve run NYCM twice, and it’s crowded and hilly. Both of my better marathon times have come from NYCM (3:17, 3:07) despite it being one of the toughest courses out there. The second marathon I ran, Phoenix, was downhill enough that it doesn’t count towards an OTQ but you can still Boston Qualify. I ran a 3:14 there, and at the time was a PR. It wasn’t close to the 3:10 I wanted and my quads were on fire from the downhill.

Am I entirely sure I will excel at a new downhill course? I don’t know, but I am excited to have a big race on the books.

I’m not in the same shape as last spring, summer, or fall, so my goal is to get back into shape. I would be ecstatic to run about the same time as NYCM, knowing it wouldn’t translate into the same fitness as a 3:07 at NYCM. I’m most excited to train for something.  I’ll have a post about it at some point, but I’m going to wait a couple more weeks to start “training.”  I want a shorter training cycle with 2-3 20 miles. I don’t want to focus much on doing anything past 20 miles because in the humid summer, that is unpleasant. I would rather take shorter quality miles, than longer, slogging through the humidity miles.

That was a long intro to my training log, right?

Monday: Easy 60 minutes/3000 meter swim
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 12X400 averaging 6:20 pace
Thursday: 3000-meter swim
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Movie Madness Half Marathon (14 Mile at 7:10 pace)
Sunday: Easy 60 minutes/3000 meter swim

 

Thoughts:

Besides marathon training, I guess. As always, my easy runs are just that, easy.

Workout Wednesday: 12X400 averaging 6:20 pace with 90 seconds recovery

I do my workouts on roads. I like it better, and most tracks aren’t open except very early or very late. So I do them all on roads. When school is done for the summer, I might get on the track.  The workout was a little faster than last week, which is progress.

Swimming:

I still plan to swim throughout the summer. I’m enjoying the cross training, and even though I’m marathon training soon, I think the extra cross training is going to keep me healthy.

Movie Madness Half Marathon: 14 Miles (7:10 average):

After my weekend plans changed, I decided to skip town and run the Movie Madness Half Marathon in Harrisburg. You can’t beat a $60 half marathon these days. The short story is, I was misdirected around mile 3 and ended up running 14 miles instead of 13.1 While yes, it stinks to get lost and run longer, my goal for the race was to get quality miles in. I wasn’t in a “race mode,” and I didn’t go to the half marathon to run my “fastest” ever.  It was fun to get a long run done elsewhere and enjoy myself.

Anyway, that was my most exciting training log for a while, because I’m going to start training for something.

Posts from the Week:

Exploring Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA)

Reebok Floatride Run Fast

Cape May 10k (42:35)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about why running shoes are so expensive.  Each week in the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you run the Big Cottonwood Marathon? Have you run a downhill marathon? Any tips? 

Are you training for something this summer?

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West Essex Diner (Fairfield)

West Essex Diner (Fairfield)

Recently I was at the West Essex Diner in Fairfield, NJ. I was in the area and googled diners closeby, and it came up. I’ve been to Fairfield a few times, and I wondered why I hadn’t ever discovered the West Essex Diner. Once I got there, it was abruptly clear. The West Essex Diner takes the place of the Versaille Diner which I went to last year. I didn’t “love” the Versaille Diner, so truthfully I wasn’t surprised it closed. I did laugh, when I got there, and I was like “I’ve been to this location before” and realized it had closed and reopened.

Atmosphere: A
The West Essex Diner is clean and modern. The outside is welcoming. When I was there last, it was under construction, and I remember watching construction workers do work on the outside. The inside is clean, bright, and looks exactly like what you picture in a NJ diner.

West Essex Diner Fairfield nj

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, but there wasn’t anything unique or unusual about it. It was terrible but not surprising either, somewhere in the middle as diner coffee goes.

West Essex Diner Fairfield nj

Food: B
The West Essex Diner has everything you can imagine. There are pages of breakfast options, different lunch and dinner options and a full page of specials too.

West Essex Diner Fairfield nj

I decided to order the “Heart Attack Burger.”  It was two patties with American cheese, grilled onions, and mushrooms. It also came with fries. The burger itself was good. It was a lot of burger, and there was plenty of grease that dripped off. The fries were bland, but they weren’t terrible. I would order it again.

Service: B
When we arrived, the diner was about 1/3 filled. We were sat in an awkward location and waited for a long time for someone to come over. It became clear that none of the servers knew we were in their section. Our waiter was friendly, and our drinks were refilled often. I think I blinked and our food came out, in fact, it came out in less time than it took to take our orders.

Cost: $
For my burger and coffee, the cost was $17.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I think the West Essex Diner is a much improvement of the Versaille Diner and I would go back if I’m in the area. They have a lot of fun breakfast options that I would like to try.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: B
Cost: $12-17

You Can See All 243 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite kind of burger?
Have you ever been to a place that’s reopened under new management? 

 

Paul’s Family Diner (Mountain Lakes)

Paul’s Family Diner (Mountain Lakes)

On our way to go hiking at High Point State Park, we stopped at Paul’s Family Diner in Mountain Lakes, NJ. The area is about 2 hours from me, so I don’t make it up here a lot. Northwest NJ, has a lot of hiking and elevation change. I enjoy how rural it is.

When we got to Pauls Family Diner around 7 am, there were only a couple of other parties in the diner.

Pauls family diner mountain lakes nj

Atmosphere: A
Paul’s Family Diner looks like a modern, NJ Diner. The outside is chrome and draws you in.  The inside has plenty of seating including booths, tables, and a bar. There is a massive dessert case which captivated me every time I walked by.

Pauls family diner mountain lakes nj

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh. The coffee was excellent and at 7 am on a Sunday, you hope it is!

Pauls family diner mountain lakes nj

Food: A
Paul’s Family Diner has all of the regular options from breakfast meals including pancakes, omelets, and french toast. There are many different lunch and dinner options as well as a page of specials. They even had a sheet of breakfast specials (which you don’t always see at a diner).

I knew we were going to be out hiking for a while, so I ordered the steak and eggs. Steak and eggs is one of my favorite diner breakfast meals.  I’m more likely to order an egg meal versus pancakes. The steak itself was massive, and I ordered scrambled eggs which were cooked well. It came with buttered rye toast and hashbrowns, both were good.

The meal was exactly what I was looking for.

Pauls family diner mountain lakes nj

Service: A
We couldn’t ask for better service. The waiter was friendly, and the food came out within 5 minutes. I think I blinked and it was done.

Cost: $$
For my steak and eggs, it was $20. Most steak and egg breakfasts in North Jersey Diners are between $15-18 because of the steak, but still not cheap.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed my meal at Paul’s Family Diner, and I would go back. It was cooked well, the service was excellent, and I have no complaints.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $15-20
Overall: A

You Can See All 242 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite breakfast?
How do you like your steak cooked?

Exploring Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA)

Exploring Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA)

Recently I found myself just north of Philadelphia. Since I was already up there, I thought it would be fun to check out a new park and see what I saw. I spent about 2 hours there and walked between 4-5 miles. Some of the park is paved trail, some is grassy, muddy, and rugged terrain. It truly has a bit of everything. There are plenty of runnable paths and it would be a good spot to run if you’re in the area again.

A lot of the trails are paved which can be used for biking too.  During my walk I saw bikers, walkers, hikers, and even horseback riders. In fact, when I stopped to let a horse pass, it licked me.

I enjoyed all of the different surfaces of the park.  I wanted to test out my Hoka Speedgoat Midis on new surfaces so opted to wear them. They were great for all terrain including pavement, dirt, grass, and muddy water (my feet stayed dry when I sunk into a few inches of mud).

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

It starts off walking across a dam.  It’s all paved and there were people fishing as well.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

While there isn’t a lot of drastic elevation change, there is some.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

We walked through huge fields as well. I thought perhaps it could be used as a cross country course too. Maybe it has been.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

Even found some “creatures”.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

I also thought it would be funny to try and fit into this tree that had fallen and was hallowed out. Why, I don’t know.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

There is even a beautiful covered bridge in the middle of the park as well.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

In all, it was a quiet, fun, hike. If you are in the area and looking for something relaxing to do, I recommend it.

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite low key park?

Have you ever been horseback riding?

I did when I was much younger.

Reebok Floatride Run Fast

Reebok Floatride Run Fast

Like I mentioned with the Reebok Floatride Run fast Pro, if you had asked me if I would be running in Reebok a year ago I would have laughed. Now I run in two shoes from Reebok.  Plus, the Runfast Pro rivals the Nike 4% and in my opinion, a better shoe when it rains.  Recently, Reebok stepped up their game and reentered the running industry.

Reebok Floatride Run Fast shoe review

Floatride Run Fast ( $140)
Weight: 6.05 oz
Stack Height:8mm drop.

Fit:

It fits more similar to a racing flat than a true trainer. It runs narrow, and the top is pointy. If you have a wider foot, it’s better to go up a half size. I found the 10.5 to be a good fit, but I think it was running longer I might go higher than that.

The upper uses a very thin engineered mesh. I can appreciate how the mesh is seamless. If you have a bunion or wider forefront, it won’t rub. The upper is one of the lightest and most breathable of any shoes I’ve run in.  It’s worth noting that with the lack of seams, there isn’t a lot of structure to the shoe.

Reebok Floatride Run Fast shoe review

Ride:

The Reebok Floatride Run Fast is a shoe that is designed to run fast. It’s not a true racing flat and has more cushion than the Pro, but it’s a great option for speed work and tempos.

Since it has enough cushion, it could be used as a long run or an easy run shoe, but I don’t think I’ll keep it there myself.  If you like running in something flatter or lighter (like the Saucony Kinvara, Hoka Cavu, or New Balance Beacon), you might prefer to train in it.

Reebok has the best traction of any road shoe on the market right now. When it’s raining or wet, I’ve gravitated towards Reebok just because of all of the rubber on the bottom. If I run another rainy race, I’ll probably race in the Run Fast Pro.

Reebok Floatride Run Fast shoe review

Conclusion:

Reebok is definitely back in the running game with their shoes. The Run Fast is a great option for speed work and faster runs. For me, it won’t be an easy run or recovery shoe because I need more cushion.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Mach 2, Brooks Glycerin 17

Speed Work: Reebok Float Ride Runfast Pro, Nike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, 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. This week I talked about the differences between social media runners and running specialty.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite shoe in the rain?

What shoe are you racing in right now? 

 

 

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