Walking the Manasquan Reservoir

Walking the Manasquan Reservoir

Recently I was at the Manasquan Reservoir.  Even with the number of times I tried to spell it writing the post, I’ve struggled!

Anyway, the perimeter loop is 5 miles and it’s an, scenic, flat loop. You can run or walk, whatever you’re feeling like.  It took me about 2 hours to walk, but I was taking my time and seeing what I saw.  It would be a fairly nice loop to run or even do a workout on.  Why didn’t I run? I was catching up with a couple of people and it was a cross training day. I would come back and run.

It’s definitely an easy hike or walk but there is always a view along the way.  Plus, I saw people riding horses which I haven’t seen in a while. I parked near the boat ramp and just walked around that way.

The Manasquan Reservoir Park has about 1,200 acres which include the reservoir itself plus the surrounding forests and wetlands. While it was cold when we were out, you can definitely boat or fish at the reservoir too.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

It’s well marked with plenty of signs. It’s next to impossible to get lost (believe me, if there is a way to get lost, I will)

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

A few bridges in the beginning

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

The water wasn’t frozen over but the tree branches had their fair share of icicles.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

Much of the path is easy, crushed, gravel

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

A pack of deer literally right next to me. They were tame and didn’t care…

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

The final section goes by the road. It’s not more than 1/2 mile though.

manasquan reservoir perimeter trail

In all, it was a beautiful but cold adventure. I like the Manasquan reservoir and I definitely want to come back and run.

You Can See All NJ Hikes Here.

2019 Winter Hikes I’ve Done:

Hiking to the Headley Overlook at Mahlon Dickerson

Questions for you:

What is your favorite season to hike?

Have you ever come close to a deer? 

Training: Half Marathoning and Vacationing

Training: Half Marathoning and Vacationing

Training last week went well. While I’ve been running, each week it seems as though I have a hiccup.  This week was the first in several weeks that I haven’t had any hiccups! Whether it’s an extra rest day, missed workout, or whatever, it’s the reason fitness hasn’t come back as quickly as I hoped.

As most people know, I’ve been vacationing out in California. We didn’t come out “to race” but instead get out of New Jersey during my least favorite month, and check out north of San Diego (When we came in 2016, we stayed almost exclusively in San Diego).

So far it’s been fun and the sunshine has been welcomed.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes with Alexis
Wednesday: 3X1 mile
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes with Jen M.
Friday: Rest and Travel
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes Laguna Beach/3 mile hike
Sunday: Carlsbad Half Marathon: 1:29.47


It was nice to run with Jen and Alexis last week. Both days were bitter cold, but each run felt more accomplished to get out there.

Wednesday: 3X1 mile (6:07, 6:09, 6:08)

Boy was I running late that day. I slept through my alarm and ended up having an extra 5 minutes to spare before making it to work on time. The workout itself went well, and it’s amazing how fast you can go, when time is not on your side.

I took 1-minute full rest in between to try and push my legs as much as possible.

Carlsbad Half Marathon 1:29.47

I knew going into this race; it wouldn’t be a PR.  My trip to California wasn’t really for a race, in fact, the half was actually out of the way to where we were going (San Fransico).

That being said, I like the race because it’s beautiful and because I’ve PRed. So we decided to tac into our trip.

Due to lack of hydration, I hit a wall during the second half.  After running in 20-30 degrees, 60+ felt like a beautiful sauna, and I wasn’t hydrated appropriately. There also wasn’t a lot of electrolytes on the course which didn’t help. That being said, I’m proud of my ability to muster up some sort of leg speed to break 1:30.  I’m not estatic, nor sad about the time. It’s right in the middle of half times I’ve run in the last few months.

Next week, I’m just enjoying both running and hiking on our trip.

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Trying to catch a sunset and eating hair. Typical.

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Posts from the Week:

Saucony Triumph ISO 5 Shoe Review

A History of Injuries

One Year with Collagen

Questions for you:

What is your favorite spot for vacation?

Any recommendations for San Francisco?

Alexis Diner (Denville)

Alexis Diner (Denville)

After Hiking the Mahlon Reservation and Headley Overlook, I stopped at the Alexis Diner. When I arrived around dinner time, it wasn’t crowded and there were plenty of booths and tables open. I got a booth in the back which was peaceful.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Atmosphere: A
The Alexis Diner is everything you expect in a diner. The atmosphere is big, shiny, metallic, and stands out in a local shopping center.  The inside is lit by blue lights with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  There is a large dessert case towards the front with plenty of delicious looking treats.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was good but nothing unique or unusual. That’s been the trend lately. It wasn’t the best or worst, just average.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Food: B
After hiking, I was hungry. Alexis Diner has 10+ pages of food, so you’ll struggle not finding what you’re looking for.

I can never turn down a good Greek platter and ordered the  “Greek Pikilia” for an appetizer. It came with olives, spanokopita, grape leaves, pita, and tomatoes. It could have used hummus to round it out, but other than that it was good.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

For my entree, I ordered the “Heartburn Hotel” which came with hot pastrami, imported swiss, cole slaw, and spicy mustard. The sandwich itself was good, but could have used more mustard. It also came with French fries which were good, but nothing unusual.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

It was so much food, I ended up bringing some home.

Service: B
The waitress was friendly and one of the best I’ve had. I was disappointed because both the appetizer and entree came out at the same time. It wasn’t a make or break for coming back but I doubt I would have ordered both if I knew they would come out at the same time.

Cost: $$
For the coffee; appetizer, and meal it was $30. It’s definitely one of the most expensive diners I’ve been too.

Overall Thoughts:
I liked the Alexis Diner and I would go back if I’m in the area. It’s definitely expensive though.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee:  B
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $20-30
Overall: B

You Can See All 226 Diners Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of sandwich?
Do you like hummus?

Saucony Triumph ISO 5 Shoe Review

The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is a high cushioned neutral trainer from Saucony. More cushion than the Saucony Ride ISO. I’ve run in several models of the Saucony Triumph ISO, with my favorite being the first.  The Triumph is a high cushioned, but lightweight trainer.

I’ve typically had a version of the Triumph in my rotation but recently moved towards the Ride.  For the last year, the Ride has felt better to me personally. When it was released, I was eager to see how the Triumph felt.

saucony triumph iso 5 shoe review


The Saucony Triumph ISO has run short for several versions, but this year it runs true to size. I typically wear a women’s 10-11 wide, and 10.5 has been great.

Like many Saucony shoes, the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 uses Saucony’s ISO Fit upper. What ISO Fit? It helps to lock in your foot while moving and adapting throughout the run. It can also fit more feet; whether you have bunions, narrow feet, or full but don’t worry, the shoe also comes in wide.

The second update to the Triumph upper includes a “Jacquard” engineered mesh. According to Saucony, this helps to accommodate more foot types (with the updated ISO  fit, it does).  The jacquard mesh is basically fancy mesh.

saucony triumph iso 5 shoe review


New for this version, Saucony added 2mm of EVERUN Topsole cushioning.   There is supposedly more energy return than ever before. The topsole is on top of the Everrun, so the shoe feels more cushioned and more energetic.

Something to note is the grip is much better than previous versions too.  I’ve run in the downpouring rain, and the traction has been fine.

The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 feels closer the original ISO 1 than ever before. Maybe I’m just reminiscing on the shoe, but it finally feels like Saucony put more into the again. For the past few generations, it’s taken a backseat to the Freedom or even the Ride.

saucony triumph iso 5 shoe review

I’ve run about 100 miles in the shoe (long runs, easy runs, workouts) and for me, it’s best fit as a daily trainer or long run.


I like the Saucony Triumph, and I think the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is the best it’s been since the first version. I’ll continue running it.

Current Rotation:

Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Brooks Ghost 11, Hoka One One Cavu

Workouts: Nike LT Streak, Nike Zoom Fly

Races: Nike LT Streak

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Questions for you:

What is your current favorite pair of running shoes? 

Have you run in Saucony before? 

A History of Injuries

A History of Injuries

One of the most requested posts is about my history with injuries.

I haven’t always stayed injury free, and I have several injuries throughout the years. Before recently, my blog could have alternative names such as fueledbyInjuries or InjuriesNlolz.

Many of my injuries were because I overtrained or ran easy runs too fast.

Over time, I’ve learned that you can’t outrun an injury. Life doesn’t work like that. If you are worried, rest. Resting a few days often saves you from resting a few weeks, months, or even years. You don’t gain fitness in a day and you definitely don’t lose it either.

When I first started running in 2010, I had many years of haphazard running.  It took a lot of trial and error and learning from experience to determine what works best for me. As with anything, I learn best when I do something and make mistakes along the way.

You can read my full running story here (or in one of the headings above).

In summary, I began running in July 2010.  I ran off and on and was still a member of on my collegiate swim team.  Swim season lasted from September until late February, so there was no running during that time.  During the off-season, we were allowed to work out as we pleased, so eventually, I picked up running.

run for the hill of it

Here is my History with Injuries:

My first serious running injury:

Tibial Stress Fracture (July 2011-September 2011)

How it happened:
I ran every day for an hour on the treadmill.  I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to train fast every single day.  I thought to race faster you must train faster.  So every day I made the goal to beat the previous day’s mileage for 1 hour.  I never ran for more than an hour, but I ran seven days a week. I was running between 7-7:15 pace for an hour.

Ultimately I was far more exhausted from running 50 miles then I am now.  My body broke at a road race on my 21st birthday. Midway through a run-swim-run race, my body broke, My tibia fractured and I was done.

I learned more about myself than any other injury.  To be honest, I needed that injury to realize that training was idiotic and not right.  My tibial stress fracture shaped my training to include a lot more easy miles. I don’t time my easy runs anymore, and I don’t GAF whether the pace is 10 minutes or 8 minutes.

Happy 21st birthday to me with my non detected tibia SF

Cyst: August 2012-October 2012:

How it happened:
During September 2012, I developed a cyst in the arch of my foot.  The doctors still don’t know exactly how it formed it could have developed anywhere in my body (I’m so thankful it wasn’t my brain).

They don’t believe it was running related, but it prevented me from running.  I was able to run with minimal pain until the cyst became large enough to rip the muscle from my bone. After tearing the muscle off my metatarsal, it halted running completely.

After recovering for two months and a shot to reduce the swelling, I came back and ran my fastest college cross country race.


Fractured Elbow (August 2013):

How it happened: 

While cooling down at a road race in August 2013, I was hit by a cyclist.  I was knocked to the ground, and it fractured my elbow.  I was devastated, but after a week, I was able to run slowly.

I decreased mileage, but it ended up being the most nonserious elbow fracture I could have.  At the time, the decline in mileage was terrifying because I was training for my first marathon, NYCM.

It taught me; you have to roll with the punches. A few days of rest does not impact fitness.

When I got my sling off

Second Metatarsal Fracture (August 2014)

How it happened:
Fast forward to moving to Texas and then New Jersey. In August of 2014, I got a second metatarsal fracture. In hindsight, I believe I upped my mileage too quickly.  Even though I was running easy, I think my mileage went up too fast.  At the time, I was training for my second marathon, Wineglass.  I healed by race day, but it would have been dumb to run a marathon on a newly recovered stress fracture.  To be honest, I don’t think my heart was ready to race another marathon, and it was a good out.

I chose this photo because I think I ran a hard track mile and then the next day ran a 20 miler for the marathon. #dumb

Bum Butt (February 2015-March 2015)

How it happened:
I tweaked something running my second marathon and kept running.  Around mile 18, my butt started to throb.  By the end of the marathon, my whole left side was in pain.  Should I have finished the race?  Probably not…Did I PR? Yes…

I didn’t heal as fast as I should have because I continued to run after the marathon.  I took two weeks off (which helped) but then I ran too hard too fast.  Looking back, I made good progress and then threw it all away running again.  This is something I’m 100% kicking myself for…even though I had an excellent time at Shamrock 2015.  If I had taken a month off, I wouldn’t have had two months to deal with the issues.

Ankle Fracture June 2016:

How it Happened:
This was the only injury I’m not entirely sure what I did. Did I tweak my ankle running on trails? Did I run too much? I don’t know. In June of 2016, something felt off. I couldn’t pinpoint it, and it almost felt like plantar fasciitis on the outside of my foot. An X-ray confirmed I had a minor fracture. The fracture healed with time off but it worried something else was not right. Test results found my calcium, vitamin D, and blood levels were fine.

One thing my ankle fracture taught me was I liked hiking. After healing, I spent a good portion of the summer hiking and enjoying the outdoors that way.

There are many times I look back at my training and think: If I had taken a few more days off, or if I had realized that ache was a minor bone pain….but each is a lesson to move on.  I have learned that running in pain isn’t worth it to me.

You cannot outrun injury, and it will catch up to you.

I tell any runner, new or old; there is no shame in rest and easy days. I am to the point in life and running that it will never be my sole purpose in life. Resting and staying healthy is more important to me than running every day.

Question for you: Have you had a running injury before?

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