Park Wayne Diner (Wayne)

A few weeks ago, I was up north and decided to go to the Park Wayne Diner.  This isn’t to be confused with the Wayne Hills Diner which I went to last year.  Funny enough, this is the only diner in that area (including a personal favorite: Pompton Queen), that we didn’t fly too.  It was weird to drive through because it felt like such a long flight.

Atmosphere: A
You couldn’t ask for a more stereotypical New Jersey Diner.  It has a big, metallic, shiny exterior and the interior is filled with multiple red tables and booths.  Out of the diners I’ve been too, this definitely has one of the most stereotypical diner atmospheres.Park Wayne Diner

Service: B
For a weekend morning, it wasn’t as busy as I had anticipated.  That was okay by me!  The waitress didn’t bring us a lot of refills, and it felt as though they might be understaffed for the day.  She was friendly and gave us several recommendations which I can always appreciate.  It wasn’t bad service, but they needed more servers.

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot every time, but it was nothing to write home about.  The cups were also a bit smaller than I wanted.  It wasn’t bad but it didn’t stand out either. Park Wayne Diner

Food: B
The menu at the Park Wayne Diner is huge.  They have a dozen pages. Since they are open 24-7, they serve anything anytime.  Those are my favorite types of diners, but it’s not as common as it used to be.  Believe it or not, 24-7 diners are becoming harder to find.

I decided to order the arugula, spinach, and cheese omelet with a side of grits.  It was one of the biggest omelets I’ve ever had, plus it was stuffed filled to the brim. Park Wayne Diner

The grits, however, were boring and bland.  Since it’s rare to find grits in the Northeast, I was hoping they would be more interesting, but they tasted like they came from a box.  Yes, I realize that I’m not in the South but there are plenty of restaurants that serve excellent foreign cuisine, and I don’t live there either.

Cost: $
For the omelet, grits, and coffee the cost was $12 which wasn’t expensive for the portion size.

Overall thoughts:
You won’t find a more stereotypical NJ Diner then the Park Wayne Diner.  Overall, I enjoyed my experience there and will definitely be back next time we go hiking up that route.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: B
Coffee: B
Food: B
Cost: $8-15
Overall: B

Closeby Diners I’ve reviewed:

Pompton Queen  (one of my top 5 favorite NJ diners!) and Wayne Hills
Also relevant: Flying to Pompton Plains

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite type of omelet?
Where can I find southern style grits in NJ or Philadelphia?

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How Easy is it to “Get Out of Running Shape”?

I am not in peak running shape.  In fact, I am still a healthy and active person, but I’m not “in shape” right now either.  Thinking out loud, one could argue being “in shape” is actually just a gray area.  Just like fast and slow, elite or not.  One person’s “in shape” is another person’s out.

It takes a long time to lose running fitness.  You don’t lose fitness with a day or even a week off.  In fact, the benefits of rest far outweigh any small consequences.  You could argue the benefits of taking 1…2..or 3 months off of training too.

This is the longest I have taken off from seriously running since starting in 2011, and I’m okay with that.

So Back to the Question: How Long Does it take to Lose Fitness?

Something I learned a while ago is there are two “types” of fitness:

  1. Aerobic fitness which is essentially your endurance!
  2. Structural fitness which is the ability of your body to withstand the impact of running. (Essentially why you can’t go from not running to running 10 miles all of the time without an injury…)

Both are equally as important, but they are both different.

Aerobic Fitness:

For most runners, it takes between 1-2 weeks of full rest (doing zero things) to lose fitness.  Doing any cardio whether it’s biking, elliptical, swimming…whatever will keep your aerobic fitness going.  Since I’ve been doing random things, I haven’t lost 100%.  To be realistic, I’ve probably lost about half.

There are many factors of how fast you lose your aerobic fitness.  For instance, the longer you’ve been doing something, the longer it takes to lose that fitness.  Someone who ran for a month and stops, loses fitness much faster than someone who has been running for a decade.

It’s also important to note you can’t be in peak fitness forever and you shouldn’t try too.  If you never take time off, your body will get hurt, and you’ll be forced to take time off.  Which leads us to structural fitness!

Structural Fitness

We all know I’m injury prone, so this is the fitness I care personally more about.  You can regain your aerobic fitness with proper training and build up.  You cannot recover your body once you have permanently damaged it.  Structural fitness is what keeps your body healthy and injury free.  It can take months to years to gain this type of fitness, but at the same token, it can take months to years to also lose it.

When you don’t use certain muscles, your body loses them.  (This isn’t limited to running.)  As many readers know, I swam for nearly 15 years before starting running.  If you asked me to swim now…well…LOL.

Even if you choose to stop running entirely, doing a little bit of strength can keep those muscles stronger.   When returning to running, it’s important to watch and monitor your body.  Don’t go out for a long run your first week back.  Don’t jump into old training methods and don’t expect your body to be as strong for the activities you were once doing.

Ease slowly into running to build strength as well as function in your muscles.  It can be difficult (yes even for me!), but it definitely keeps you more injury free.

In short, fitness isn't built in a day and it's also not lost in a day.  Your fitness journey spans the course of your life and it's important not to get caught up in a single week, month or even year.

Related Posts:
Racing My Way to Fitness
Quick Core Ideas for Runners
Five Tips for Coming Back after an Injury
The Importance of Easing Back into Training

Questions for you:
How often do you take rest periods?
When was the last time you fully rested? 

July Workouts

Where to begin about July?

Maybe with a LOL.

Weekly workout logs are one thing but reflecting upon a month of no real “training” is weird. Am I a runner? Am I a running blogger?  Do I just Instagram?

In June, I had all of the intentions to start running again.  Life happens and that went on the backburner.  Am I cool with that?  Yes, my body is just resting from heavy training a lot longer than I ever imagined.

At this point, I’m barely able to keep record of my own training log.  My running might be like a bad train wreck you may or may not be able to look away.  That’s cool though, I’ll get back to serious training and crushing PRs at some point soon in my life.  While I said this last month, I do anticipate August to be busy and September, not as much.

Moving forward, the month of July was laid back as far as training went.  I ran when I could.  I was able to run more outside than I previous ly anticipated but nothing more than 5 miles.  In fact, I think the last time I ran more than 8 miles in a row was before April.

First and foremost, I am happy.  Life is going fine and I’m enjoying everything that has kept me busy.

Something I did not anticipate, is it is hard to explain not wanting to run.  When I tell someone I’m not running, they immadiately ask if I’m injured.  Followed with am I pregnant. I’m not injured, pregnant, or whatever else.  I

I’m not injured, pregnant, or whatever else.  I prioritize other things and when I’m not busy volunteering and working, I’m living life.

I could wake up at 4, go for a run and be out my door between 5-6.  Be gone for anywhere between 10-14 hours.  Then come home and do it again.  But honestly, that doesn’t sound pleasent and I still wouldn’t be training well.  So I choose not to.

July Stats: 
Miles Run: 90 (about, my Garmin is now on 3 months of not being charged)
AlterG Miles Run: 30
Cross Training Sessions: 4
Favorite Workout:
Hiking Stairway to Heaven

Posts from the Month:
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven
Staying Fit While Not Training
Brooks Ghost 10 Shoe Review
Staying Prepared on Long Days
Running on the AntiGravity Treadmill

Personal: 
Flying through NYC
27 Facts about Me

Goals of August:

I posted on twitter but I want to jump into a local 5k this month.  I haven’t picked one out and I don’t expect any miracles but I would like to just run a race and get my feet back in the water.  Now, that I’m more aware of my schedule I also plan to consistently run.  I’m hoping I can begin to build a base.  My goal is to run 45 minutes/5 miles most days.

Questions for you:
How was your training in July?
Are you getting ready for anything? 

 

Workouts: I Did Them…

Another week of workouts of down…

And another week of summer in the books…

I feel like this summer is the most “nonsummer,” summer I’ve ever felt.  I have yet to go to the beach and have yet to do anything all that “summery” minus (hiking).  I guess that is adulthood.

This week and the next two are going to keep on picking up with work and life.  I won’t be able to do a lot of new and exciting fun stuff, but I will be working and hopefully getting a few runs sprinkled in.  The month of August is going to be busy in general.  I’m okay with that though.  Like the last 5 weeks, I’ll do what I can do.  Text can’t always paint the right story, but I’m not bitter about not running, I just can’t run right now.

I keep blogging because life isn’t always about cranking intense miles.  Life also isn’t about running high mileage and it’s also not about taking a 100% break.  As competitive runners, you can run less or low mileage and be fine.

Monday: 4 miles easy
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 4 miles easy
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 1 hour Alter G
Saturday: 4 miles easy
Sunday: 6 miles easy

In all, I felt good.  I’ll have a full month of workouts recap tomorrow.

Posts from the Week:
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven

Questions for you:
What was your best workout last week?
Are you training for anything? 

Hampton Diner (Newton, NJ)

Lately, I’ve been to a lot of North Jersey Diners.  The Hampton Diner has been on my to do list for a while. However, it’s almost 2 hours from my house.  I could drive there and back, but it would be a 4 hour day and between tolls, not my cheapest endeavor.  So finally, when I was already in the area, I stopped by.  Surprisingly, the Hampton Diner is not in “Hampton” but in Newton, NJ.  To my knowledge, there is not actually a “Newton Diner.”

Atmosphere: B

The Hampton Diner is a big, normal, building.  While it’s decorated, it almost feels as though it’s missing a sign at the top.  There is a street sign, but it needs an actual sign inside.  The inside is large with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Coffee: A

The coffee at the Hampton Diner was good.  It wasn’t the best I’ve had, however, it was often refilled. When I needed a refill, no less than 3 servers asked.  How awesome is that? I have no complaints. Hampton Diner Newton NJ

Service: A

The service at the Hampton Diner was at the top.  As mentioned, when I needed more coffee or beverage refills, I was asked by three different people.  The food came out quickly too.  It was in the top 10% of diner services I’ve had.

Food: B

The Hampton Diner has plenty of options.  The Hampton Diner has one of the bigger diner menus I’ve seen.  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

I’ve heard positive things about their pancakes, so I ordered banana pancakes.  They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t life changing either.  They were light and fluffy and had several bananas chunks mixed in.  Plus they were each about the size of my hand.

Hampton Diner Newton NJ
My apologies for the lighting situation there

Cost: $

For the pancakes and coffee, the cost was $11.  Not a bad price.

Thoughts/Would I Come Back?

I enjoyed the Hampton Diner.  It wasn’t my favorite diner but not a bad stop either.  When I’m back in town, I will go back.  I will say, the service was excellent and it was worth the stop for that alone.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food: B
Price: $8-12
Overall: A

Nearby Diners I’ve been:  I haven’t explored too many around Sussex but the closest is the Jefferson Diner (a top 5 of mine!)

Questions for you:
What is your favorite kind pancakes?

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)

As someone who works in a running shoe store, I can tell you I’ve personally fit about 1000 people for running shoes, and I’ve watched hundreds more be fit too.

Searching for your own personal shoes can be tough.  What do you look for?  How do you know when they are “right”?

When searching for running shoes, I always advise people to get fitted at their local running store.  Thinking out loud, people that work in a running store have seen dozens of brands, styles, and companies. Plus they know shoes well.  That being said, you know your feet.  You know what feels most comfortable.

Most people come in and have no idea what to look for in a running shoe. 

The short answer: Does it feel good? 

Yes, then it’s the right shoe for you.

No?  Then it’s not the right shoe for you.

The Long Answer:

Here are some important details you should look for in shoes.

Size (Length): 

I cannot emphasize this enough.  Do not buy your shoes too small.  During the day, your feet can swell and lengthen anywhere from a half-full size.  This is magnified during running!  Always make sure there is a thumb’s width of space between your biggest toe and the end of the shoe.

Yes, your feet lengthen over time and age so make sure you get your measured frequently.  After putting your shoes on, make sure you can wiggle all of your toes.  If you can’t the shoe is too tight or too narrow.  This brings us to point number 2.

Size (Width): 

The width of a shoe is one of the most underlooked aspects of a shoe.  Most running specialty stores carry at least wide if not double wide!  Do not be scared to go into a wider shoe.  If you are getting holes on the side of your shoe from your pinkie toe, this could be a sign the shoe is too narrow.  Having extra room is always better than not enough.  I never knew I needed a wide until working at the store.  Now, I love it.

Heel: 

In any running shoe, your heel should feel both snug and secure.  It should never feel tight.  If you feel as though you are “slipping,” lace your shoe to the final eyelet. This will you’re your heel more into place.  Some shoes are cut lower than others but make sure you’re comfortable in the cut of the back too.

The heel should never feel tight, but there can be a little bit of movement.  If the heel feels uncomfortable in the store, then it won’t feel good while running.

Feel:

You can be fit into the appropriate shoe but it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t.  How a shoe feels to you is one of the most important aspects of the shoe.  You want a shoe that feels natural.  You don’t want a shoe that “you’ll have to get used too”.  Don’t get a shoe to alter to your stride because that can create many more issues.  Running Stores recommend taking the shoe for a quick run in the store.  That initial few steps often can tell you an immediate yes or no.  Also, most running stores have an exchange policy to work with you.

With so many different shoes out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is “best for you”.  Remember, there is no right or wrong answer but only what feels good and keeps you injury free.

Other Running Store Topics:
Thoughts While Working at a Running Store
How to Get the Most Shopping at a Running Specialty Store
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
There is no Perfect Running Shoe

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?
When was the last time you bought running shoes?

Hiking the Stairway to Heaven

During the summer, my husband and I enjoy hiking in Northern, NJ.  The fall is also nice, but we tend to go more in the summer.  We have more free time as well.

Last week, we decided to head to the “Staircase to Heaven” on the Appalachian Trail.  We’ve hiked several portions including in New York at Bear Mountain.  The Staircase to Heaven is supposed to have one of the best views in all of the state.  Spoiler: It did not disappoint!

stairway to heaven nj

There are several portions of the trail you can park to get to the top. There is about a 2-mile hike/walk, followed by a steep 1.5 mile hike. It’s a longer hike, but it’s scenic.  The closer spot is close to the mountain, where you you have about a 1.5 mile steep and rocky hike to get to the top.  Since we were later and assumed the closer lot was filled, we parked further away and hiked 3.5 miles to the top.

stairway to heaven nj

After an extremely rocky hike, we made it to the top, and the view was fantastic.  So far, it’s definitely one of my favorite views in New Jersey.

stairway to heaven nj

After making it to the top, we decided to explore the Appalachian trail a little further and found a water fall.

staircase to heaven njIt was perfect because the weather was so hot, so it was nice to take a refreshing dip in the stream.  Thank goodness running clothes are basically like bathing suits and dry quickly.  Ha!

staircase to heaven nj

Afer that we took the hike back to our car.  It seemed to go much quicker this time, thankfully.

Other Hiking Posts:

Getting Lost at Bear Mountain and Revisiting (not getting lost)

Seeing a Bear While Hiking

Hiking the Hollywood Sign (LA)

We are hoping to get another hike in before the end of the summer so we will see.  Tristate locals: do you have any recommendations of hikes? 

Questions for you:

Do you like hiking?  Where is your favorite?