Cinnaminson Diner

Recently, I went to the Cinnaminson Diner in Cinnaminson.  The diner just reopened, and I wanted to try it. I have been twice now and had positive experiences both times.  The first time I arrived around 6 pm on a Friday night, and it wasn’t too crowded. Since it’s located in a shopping center, there is plenty of parking.

Atmosphere: B
The Cinnaminson Diner is clean and open. It’s not a giant metallic building, but it’s clean and modern. Inside there are plenty of booths and tables.

One atmosphere point I found interesting, was this crack in the window. Was it caused by hail? A bullet hole? The world will never know…

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh. Other than wishing I had more, I have no complaints.

cinnamonson diner

Service: B
While the restaurant was busy, the service was still rather slow. The waitress came over a few times, but we were left without beverage refills a few times.

Food: A
The Cinnaminson diner has everything a typical diner has. One of their newer specials is lobster ravioli. My dad ordered it the first time I went, and after seeing it, I thought it looked excellent and ordered for myself the second time.  It was one of the biggest and most filling portions I’ve had in a while.  Embarrassingly enough, I forgot to take a photo the second time I went!

I don’t order a lot of pasta when going out to eat and haven’t had lobster ravioli in years. I don’t have any complaints it was good.

The first time I ordered the Greek Salad which was just as good.  It was a large portion was fresh ingredients.  Instead of pita bread, they gave garlic bread which was unique.

cinnamonson diner

Cost: $
For my coffee and lobster ravioli, the cost was $13. It was a good deal and I left full.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I enjoyed the Cinnaminson Diner both times. It’s a typical diner with nothing too crazy or unusual but it’s a good stop and one of the better ones along Route 130.  I feel like I need to go back based on my lack of photos. 😉

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Service: B
Food: A
Cost: $10-15
Overall: B

Closeby Diners: Jersey Diner, Route 130, Continental

Questions for you:
Do you like lobster?
What is your favorite type of pasta?
I like either ravioli or lasagna

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Brooks Pureflow 6 Review

This Spring there have been a lot of updated shoes I’ve wanted to try.  Since I took a big portion off, I have a lot of catching up to do!  I haven’t necessarily found a shoe I’m “married” too, but I have found most of the shoes I’ve tried are good updates.  I work at a local running store, but I’m not paid by any company.  All thoughts are my own.

One shoe I’ve wanted to try for a long time has been the Brooks Pureflow.  Unfortunately, I have a wide foot, and it never felt comfortable.  I also don’t train every day in flat, minimalist shoes.   For me, it’s more of a speedwork shoe.

The Pureflow was one of the last shoes I tried before taking a running break.  I was using it as a speedwork shoe.  During my running break, I rotated it into a casual shoe, and it was just as comfortable.  The shoe has almost reached the end of its life, and I’ve probably logged equally speedwork and walking miles.

Fit:

As mentioned, the Brooks Pureflow has run narrow.  The updated version has become wider and accommodating.  Like many Brooks shoes, the upper is now seamless, so even if you have a bunion or wider forefront, your foot will probably still fit into the shoe.  I usually wear a size 10 in running shoes, and size 10 fits well.

Feel:

The Brooks Pureflow is part of the Brooks “Pure” series which includes the stable Pure Cadence as well as trail Puregrit. The focus of the Pure line is low profile and minimal design.  For some runners, this is their everyday trainer.  For others, like myself, it’s more of a speedwork shoe.

To me, it feels like a typical speed work shoe.  It has a little more cushion than the Saucony Type A and a little less than the Brooks Ghost. In my opinion, it would be an ideal half marathon to marathon racing shoe for someone looking for a little less shoe but not a racing flat.

Pros:

  • Less than most trainers ($100)
  • Wider than previous models and can accommodate more foot types

Cons:

  • Less shoe means less durability.

In my rotation, the shoe is replacing the Launch 4.  I didn’t hate the Launch and would buy it again, but I wanted to try something different.

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Glycerin 15 (daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (recovery runs)
Saucony Type A (races)
Asics Nimbus 19 (cross training)

Questions for you:
Do you prefer more cushion or less?
What is your current favorite pair of running shoes?

Westside 5k (21:00)

Jumping into a race after time off is always humbling.  Last week, I ripped off the band-aid and ran a 5k in Wilmington.  Before the race, I didn’t look at the course terrain or elevation.  I just saw the date, time and that I could make it to work on time. When my husband and I got there, we realized how hilly the race would be.

I had no goals race the race.  I wanted to finish healthy and injury free.  Spoiler: I did just that.  The night before, I had a migraine.  I hadn’t slept the best during the last week, so I ended up falling asleep at 8 pm and slept until 6 am.  When I woke up, I had my doubts I even wanted to do the race, but my husband asked: so when are we leaving…I groaned and said in an hour.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to race but I knew it would be a shock to the system.With that, we arrived for the race, signed up and did a 3-mile warmup.  I felt fine warming up, but I knew the hilly course would make it a difficult course whether I was in shape or not.

There was both a 5k and 10k starting together, and the races went off together.  The first mile went almost exclusively uphill.  I was running with a pack of people, and I felt good.  I thought: surely I must be going around 6:30 miles.  I crossed the first mile in 6:55.  I was shocked but happy with my effort.

The next mile continued to climb.  I’ve run several races in Wilmington, so I knew the general terrain and area.  As we reached the halfway turnaround, I saw my husband in second overall but was quickly catching the first place.  He looked comfortable.  We turned around and headed back towards where we came.  I crossed the second mile in 7:01 and thought: I guess a 21 minute 5k is probably going to be out of my reach today.

I never felt bad during the last mile, but not in shape either. I just charged back to the start.  I passed one person and finished the last mile in 6:30.  I was pleasantly surprised.

I finished the 5k in 21:00 exactly.  My slowest 5k in a very long time?  Yes but I’m pleased with my race.  My goal was to finish healthy and strong which I did.  The course was difficult.  My husband ran an 18:30 which id about 90 seconds slower than he has been recently running (so it gives me more confidence it was a challenging course).  

Is it hard not to compare myself to when I was running 18:30 a few months ago?  Of course, but I’m happy with how I ran and I’m looking forward to gaining back my fitness.

 Questions for you:

What is the most difficult course you’ve run?

Workouts Last Week: Back to Running

Last week was my first substantial week of running.  I increased my mileage a bit more than I anticipated but I felt good and didn’t have any issues.  Right now, I’ll probably find a local race weekly and work on chipping my 5k back down to where it was prior my break.  I won’t add much solo speed for a while.  It will be a long road to get back to where I was physically, but more importantly I’m already mentally back.

Monday: 3 miles+15 minute core workout
Tuesday: 3 miles+ 15-minute core workout
Wednesday: 6 miles with Montana
Thursday: 6 miles with my husband
Friday: 3 miles+strength class
Saturday: 5k (21:00) Total miles: 9
Sunday: 6 miles with Laura

On Saturday, my husband and I chose to race a 5k.  We had briefly discussed it on Friday but I got a migraine and went to bed early that night.  I slept from 8 pm-6 am.  I woke up groggy and to be honest, I didn’t feel ready to race.  My husband turned to me and asked: So when are we leaving…so I decided I guess that would be the day I would jump back into it.

I know downtown Wilmington well, and suspected the course wasn’t flat.  What I didn’t realize, was it would probably be one of the top 5 hardest 5k courses I’ve done in a while.  Not because I haven’t been running, or it was hot but because it had an uphill climb.  That being said, I raced the course and my ability.  I had no goals other than to finish healthy (which I did).  I ended up finishing in 21:00 exactly and as third female overlal.  My husband actually won the race in 18:30 (which is about 60-90 seconds slower than what he has been running…so it gives me confidence the course was actually difficult…plus GPS watches don’t lie…right ;)?

Next week I plan to keep chipping along.  I don’t plan to increase mileage too much (if at all).  I just plan to continue strengthening my base.

Posts from the week:

A Day in the Life on Global Running Day

Benefits of Adding Protein after Running

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

What is the hilliest race you’ve done?

Crystal Lake Diner (Revisited)

Many moons ago, the Crystal Lake Diner was one of the first diners I reviewed (Not to be confused with another favorite in Toms River: The New Crystal Diner).

When we originally went, were living in central Jersey at the time and taking a day trip to the Haddonfield area.  Oddly enough the following year, we ended up moving about a quarter of a mile from the Crystal Lake Diner.  We have since moved again but we aren’t the only ones who have gone through changes in the last few years.

We never went to the Crystal Lake Diner while living so close because shortly after we originally went, there was a massive fire which left it closed for about 2 years.

When they reopened several months ago, I knew eventually I had to go back.

Atmosphere: A
To be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot from the previous visit a few years ago.  Now, the interior is brand new.  It’s modern, clean and had plenty of space.  We were immediately greeted with a dessert case including red velvet cake.

Crystal Lake Diner Haddon Township
Image via NJ Pen

Coffee: A
The Crystal Lake Diner brewed Lacas coffee which is a personal favorite of mine.  It’s a local blend and it’s hard to mess it up.  The waitress brought plenty of refills with plenty of whipped cream.  I couldn’t ask for better coffee.

Service: A
The waitress was one of the best I’ve had in a while.  Even though it was a busy Saturday night, she was always attentive to our table.  She made sure we had plenty of refills the entire time.  She was also extremely friendly.

Food: B
I do remember the menu at the Crystal Lake Diner is similar to their previous menu.  It’s typical of a diner and they have several specials but nothing too unique.  If you’re looking for a stereotypical diner menu, the Crystal Lake Diner is ideal.

Our dinner came with a homemade bread basket which came with cinnamon rolls, cheesy bread and corn muffins.  Each were great but my favorite was the cheesy bread.

Crystal Lake Diner Haddon Township

I decided to order the lobster ravioli.  It came out in a nice marinara sauce.  The ravilis themselves had plenty of lobster stuffed in without being overpowering.  I would have preferred something else to come along side the ravilis or just more of them.  I was actually surprised the portion size was not bigger.

Crystal Lake Diner Haddon Township

Dessert: B 

The lobster ravioli came with a pudding dessert so I chose the bread pudding.  The waitress asked if I wanted whipped cream and how could I refuse?

The bread pudding with good and it was obvious they made it in house (and it didn’t just come from a tube).  It was one of the better bread puddings I had, especially for coming with the meal.

Crystal Lake Diner Haddon Township bread

Price: $
For my lobster ravioli and coffee the price was $15 which wasn’t bad for the amount of food I got.  Especially considering it came with dessert!

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I enjoyed the Crystal Lake Diner both times I’ve been.  I will definitely be back and it’s nice to see it reopen after the fire.  The service was by far one of the best I’ve had in awhile.

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

Closeby Diners: Metro Diner, Black horse Diner, Legacy Diner
 

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to a restaurant after it reopened? 
What is your favorite type of pudding? 

A Day in the Life on Global Running Day

I don’t typically blog “day in the life” posts, and actually, I haven’t been blogging much on Fridays either.  I run out of things to say by Friday, or I don’t feel like blogging.

I’m not sure how it happened, but Wednesday was one of the busiest, but most fun days I’ve had in awhile so I thought I would share.  It doesn’t hurt that it was Global Running Day either.

If you followed LOLZ blog last year, you might remember seeing one of my friends Montana.  Montana is a good friend, and I ran and raced with her several times.  Unfortunately, (but fortunately), a job took her to Rhode Island.

She was back in town for a couple of days, so we were able to start Global Running Day together with my longest run in a while (6 miles).  The run flew by, and it was one of the best I’ve had in a while.  As I continue running, I can’t say it feels amazing, but I feel mentally good about where I’m at right now.

After that I got ready to head up to North Jersey.  I like New Jersey for many reasons but since it’s a small state, driving “across the state”, isn’t a big deal.  When I lived in Texas, it was also 90 minutes to drive to a big city.

I met up with my friend Devon at the Urban Griddle in Newark for a date and what better place than a diner?  Devon is one of my good friends; I just wish we lived closer! She recently ran the Boston Marathon and PRed with a 3:06.

After a fun couple of hours, I made the trek back home.  As most people know, the New Jersey Turnpike is great…until it’s not.  The Delaware Memorial Bridge had a construction fire and they closed it completely down.  It’s the main arterty of East Coast travel.  They also completely shut down the turnpike at exit 4 (my exit).

This created a massive backup on both the turnpike and 295.  The Garden State is typically known for traffic, but it’s unusual for it to be on the turnpike on a weekday.

That was no big deal, except with every vehicle getting off and going through the toll at exit 4, it created a huge backup.  It took me over 90 minutes to go 3 miles.  Needless to say, I spent most of the time contemplating my escape route incase I had to use the bathroom.

After that, I stopped at home for enough time to eat and headed off to work.  As most people know, I work at a running store and you have to celebrate Global Running Day there right?

We had a big group run complete with raffles from various shoe companies and Lululemon.  We had a tremendous turnout with over 200+ people.  As much as I would love to have run with the group, it’s important for me to take things at my pace right now.  (Plus I ran with Montana and I didn’t need a bonus run).

Finally, I got back home at 9 and by that time, I was ready to go to bed.  (Not that that is any different than any other day).  In all, it was a great and wonderful day.  I caught up with so many friends and it made me appreciate the sport even more than I do now.

Questions for you:

How did you spend Global Running Day? 

Do you like to stay busy or prefer relaxing time? 

Benefits of Adding Protein after Running

I have read many articles about the importance of adding protein after running.  However, during many other training cycles, I let life get in the way.  I packed runs in before work or events. Getting the proper nutrition, stretching and “the little things,” fell through the cracks.  Half of the time, I was lucky to make it to where I needed to go on time.

This particular training cycle (what I’m actually training for is TBD), I have made an effort to do the little things like having protein after a run or core work.  Am I perfect?  No, but in the past few weeks, I’ve been more consistent.

As most people know by now, Quest Bars are my favorite protein bars. Recently they released three new bars called Hero Bars.  The Hero Quest Bars are different from their regular protein bars and cereal bars.

 

How so?

Every Quest Hero Protein Bar features a sweet, chocolatey coating, and a gooey filling and with a protein core.  They resemble candy bars versus the typical protein bars.

I tried each one:

quest hero bars

My favorite is the Chocolate Caramel Pecan.  It resembles a candy bar!

quest hero bar chocolate caramel pecan

So how have I been incorporating protein after my diet?

Thinking out loud, it’s actually obvious and I’ve been having a protein bar after each run (no matter the distance) and I seem to be coming back well.  I’m nowhere near PRing shape, but I’ve gone from struggling during 4 mile runs to running 6 miles like no big deal (well, I’ll leave it at running 6 miles).

What are benefits of consuming protein directly after a run?

Protein helps speed muscle repair after hard workouts (right now that is every run) which lead to faster recovery.

It also reduces the response from cortisol.  Cortisol is the stress hormone.  While I have another post about this soon, I recently got blood work done again, and my cortisol is lower than it’s been in a very long time!

Thanks to Quest for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own and I find the Quest Hero bars to be my favorite way to consume protein after a run.  They are easy to carry in a bag (when I don’t run from home) and easy to digest.  Since originally trying them, I have bought several boxes and continue to have a bar after each run.

Questions for you:

Do you consume protein after runs?

What are little things you find that help your running?