Flying Fish 5k (19:17)

Last weekend I ran my third 5k since returning to the running scene.  I’ve run the Flying Fish 5k before and enjoyed the race.  Last year was extremely hot, and I ended up winning the race in 19:35. I was coming back from an injury and pleased.  Since I have less running under my belt; I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Since running the 19:47 at the Philadelphia Airport two weeks ago (in ideal weather), I was realistically hoping to be around that time.  Recently, I have put in more miles and run through hilly regions such as Chambersburg, Tennessee and North Carolina.  At the start line, I didn’t feel bad but nowhere near feeling fresh either.

I also knew a couple of faster females would be there.  It is hard going to race you’ve won, knowing you won’t, but I’m happy to have a deep field of incredible women to run with.  Many of whom are good friends.

My good friends, Danielle and Amelia came down and stayed at the LOLZ hotel to run the Flying Fish as well.  Amelia had a 20 miler that day.  Spoiler: she ran 18 miles before the race, ran Flying Fish, and PRed.

danielle amelia and i

I warmed up and got the start at 9:55. I chatted with a few friends including the women who won, Erin and women who got fourth overall Grace.  With that introduction of characters (minus my husband who ran the race as a marathon tune-up), we were off.

During the first mile, I felt better than expected.  However, I took it out faster than what I’m currently capable of and ran a first mile 5:55.  As I crossed the first mile and looked down, all I could think was: Oh $hit.  Not in a good way and not in the way I’ll hold that pace.

During the second mile, I found my groove and held on.  I hoped I wouldn’t regress into a 20+ min 5k, but I also knew I deserved it for running the first mile that fast if I did.  (To compare my fastest mile before that was 6:07).  I hit the second mile in 6:23 and I didn’t feel great but also not terrible.  There was a small hill that I forgot about, but I was happy with that.

The third mile of any 5k is usually a blur.  In a 5k, I like it that way, and I just wanted the race to be over.  At the end of the race, the Flying Fish has a half mile long straight finish.  I could see Erin about a minute ahead, followed by another female I recognized, then me.  I just focused on the finish which did not feel as if it was coming closer.

I hit the third mile in 6:12 and finished as the third female in 19:17.  It was 20 seconds faster than last year as well as my previous 5k so I can’t complain too much.

me running flying fish 5k

Progression:
8/20 Run the Runway 20:54 1st F
8/26 Philadelphia Airport 19:47 1st F
9/6 Flying Fish 19:17 3rd F

Questions for you:
Do you run the same races each year?
What is your favorite race time start?
Since it’s at a brewery, this one starts at 10 am, but I typically do better with 8 am starts.

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Flying Fish 5k (19:35)

To be honest, if I weren’t so excited all month to run the Flying Fish 5k, I would have skipped it.  The Flying Fish Brewery is a local Brewery with some of my favorite beer.  The race director is great, and we did a special group run with them a few weeks ago.

After running RNR last weekend, I can tell you I wasn’t recovering well.  It took me four days for my calves to loosen up, but they were still sore. On Thursday someone burst my bubble and said the temperature high was going to be close to 100. The race started at 10:00 am so I knew it would be a tough day.  I don’t typically like to race at 10:00 (I like the race over) by 9:00 but this race was worth it.

I woke up at 6 am and had no idea what to do beforehand.  The race was closeby do I didn’t have to leave early either.  After twiddling my thumbs for a few minutes, I opted to clean my house and head over.  When I got out of my car, I realized just how hot it was.  I easily picked up my bib, warmed up (which meant I just sweat more through my clothing) and headed to the start line.

The race announcer said the race was going off promptly which I was thankful for.  After the countdown, we were off. There was a lead pack of several men followed by two women, then me.  The first mile went through several turns and by the end of the first mile I found myself as first woman overall.  I was unsure if I would be able to maintain that lead throughout the entire race and honestly if it was another mile, I probably wouldn’t have.  I crossed the first mile in 6:08 which was my fastest mile after injury.

The second mile got hot.  I was running alone, but I knew the two women were on my tail.  I tried to power through, but my legs had minimal pep (which I know was from racing Rock n Roll the weekend before).  After running up the hill and doubling back, I crossed the second mile in 6:37.  I was worried it might be a 5k where I regressed the final above a 7 min mile.

The final half mile was a long straight away where you could see the finish line, but I knew it was coming.  Combined with the 93-degree heat and no shade, I knew it would also be tough.  I knew I had zero kick and that the second place woman was closing the gap.  I had to fight and dig deeper than I had to win.  Did winning fuel my fire? Maybe, but I also really didn’t want to log another 6:30+ mile.  I knew I could potentially run a post injury best, and I wanted to give that a fair shot.

I also knew I had zero kick and that the second place woman was closing the gap.  I had to fight and dig deeper than I had to win.  Did winning fuel my fire? Maybe, but I also really didn’t want to log a 7-minute mile.  I knew I could potentially run a post injury best, and I wanted to give that a fair shot.

I mentally blocked everything out and dug as deep as I could go.

I hurt.

I hurt a lot, but I didn’t injury hurt.

As I saw the finish line draw closer, I saw two kids holding a tape to break.  I powered through and crossed the third mile 6:18 and finished in 19:35.

Flying Fish 5k

I was extremely pleased for several reasons:

  • It was my fastest 5k after my injury, and I was injury free.
  • I actually showed up to the race, which I wasn’t sure I would in the heat.
  • I mentally pushed myself out of my comfort zone again.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m pleased with my time.  I do believe when my legs feel good and with a good weather day, my fitness is closer to 19:00 right now.  I might be biased but the Flying Fish 5k is one of my favorite 5ks because it’s hosted from one of my favorite local Breweries (Flying Fish).  If you’re ever in the area, you should definitely check them out (but you should invite me too).

Questions for you:
Do you have a favorite beer?
Have you ever run from a brewery?

Skylark Diner

Last weekend I met Danielle and Amelia at the Skylark Diner. After a more than eventful day I was happy to see some friends, enjoy my whipped cream coffee and try a new diner.  To give you a brief overview of what I mean by eventful:  I ran my longest run post injury, hit traffic on the way to work, work was 3X as busy as normal (I loved that part) then I locked my keys in my car.  (That has become a really bad habit since moving to NJ).  I used a shoe horn to prop my window open and break into my car.  Clearly the TV show Beyond Scared Straight has done nothing for me.  I actually have no idea how that worked.  So when I actually arrived to Skylark I was happy.

Skylark diner has been on multiple NJ “Best Diner” lists so I knew it was one I had to go too.

Atmosphere: A
This is one of the cleanest, most open diners I’ve been too.  Judging the diner simply on atmosphere it was great. They really flew (bad pun) with the travel theme.  I liked the inside a lot.  If you browse the website you can see they went with a modern, flight (Think the Jetsons) type of theme.

Coffee: A
This diner was in the top five best coffees I have had. It had the biggest mugs, the waitress provided several refills and it had delicious whipped cream. There was nothing else I would want more in diner coffee…except more.

Skylark Coffee

Food: B
I ordered the Mediterranean salad. It had chicken, artichoke, greens, blue cheese and Parmesan. For $14, I expected a larger salad but it was good. I also ordered a side of pita bread.  The food itself was good.  I was just left hungry.

skylark salad

The diner looked like it specialized in seafood. Next time I come, I’ll be trying the salmon salad. Danielle’s sandwich which looked good.

Dessert: B
I ordered the bread pudding. I haven’t had bread pudding in ages and it’s my favorite dessert. Personally I like my bread a bit more toasted but it was good. At first the waitress said they were out (and none of the other desserts appealed to me) but she came back and said they had some.

Skylark Bread pudding

Cost: $$$
For coffee, salad and dessert it was 30 dollars. It was by no means the cheapest diner but it was definitely more of a restaurant style than diner. That being said, for the price of the salad it should have been a lot bigger.

Overall thoughts/would I come back?
The food was good. It was a little bit more expensive than I would have thought. The service was also rather poor. The waitress poured half of Danielle’s beer as foam and still charging for a full glass (if LOLZ can pour beer better, you know you have an issue). I actually prefer the Edison diner down the road.  That being said I probably would come back if Danielle or Amelia wanted too.  I can’t refuse a good date with friends.

One last note, my biggest pet peeve for food is when I pay in cash and a wait or assumes I don’t need change. I left five dollars over my meal cost and when she brought back Danielle and Amelia’s cards, she didn’t bring back my change/receipt. She didn’t ask if I wanted to change but assumed I didn’t. Unless the service is god awful I will always leave at least a 15% tip but I really get peeved when I am not given the option to choose exactly what I want to leave. Not peeved to complain though…

Another diner down…one million to go.  Long story short: It was a decent diner but not one I would consider to be the best of NJ.
Questions for you:
What is on your strange food quirks?
For me my coffee with whipped cream.  Or the fact I like pita bread and ketchup.  When I lived in England, we would always have ketchup sandwiches.  I guess that’s where I got that from.
What is a restaurant pet peeve of yours? 

The Light Beer Waffle

Light beer is not my thing but finally I have one more beercake recipe for you light beer lovers.  It’s just as easy as dark beer and Guinness pancakes…maybe easier then winocakes but no matter if you like light beer I suppose it deserves it’s own little recipe.  I make things and say…it’s all for the blog.  I only blog for my readers and only make weird combinations of pancakes…for the readers…

Light beer and dark beer is like asking people if they like vanilla or chocolate ice cream then when giving a recipe just saying oh sub either or…they should both be equal…I guess.

So that is that.  These are rather simple (duh), I’m just bringing your attention to the fact that well…they do exist.  (As most of my recipes are…)

lightbeerwaffle

Light Beer Waffle

2/3 cup flour

1 egg

1tsp baking powder

6 ounces light beer (for some reason all I had at the time was bud light lime…so that’s that).  I guess they can be nicknamed the budlight waffles.

So there for you light beer fans who want a nice flavor boost.   I’m thinking next time you could add more mix ins.  The beer makes the pancakes more moist (as opposed to just adding water) and the taste isn’t strong or overpowering.  They are nice light and airy daytime boozy brunch cake.  I’m thinking next time I might add actual lime and see where that takes it.

Question for you: Favorite light beer?

I guess mine would be bud light lime but I blame that on one of my housemates from college really liking bud light.

Guinness Pancakes

It’s no secret that my favorite beer is Guinness.  I’ve never denied it on my blog.  Since my favorite beers is Guinness, it would only make sense that one of my favorite desserts is well…Guinness flavored anything.  Lately, I’ve seemed to be able to enjoy this a lot more since many of the foodie places I’ve gone have had this option…

No I did not have this for breakfast before work because well…that might be enough to lose my job.  They are a nice treat for dinner if you are feeling it, but then again I’m always feeling a casual beer at dinner so why wouldn’t I feel a casual bunch of Guinness Pancakes?

Guinnesspancakes2

2/3 cup flour

¼ cup cocoa powder (I used gheridelli cocoa powder but I know Hershey’s dark cocoa would be good here too)

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup Guinness

1 tsp vanilla extract

*Personally I used NO sweetener here because I like the raw flavoring of Guinness.  If that isn’t your thing than maybe these pancakes aren’t your thing but you can always use a different brew or add sweetener.

Guinnesspancakes1

My verdict?

Well duh these are my new favorite.  They are extremely dark and almost fudge like.  I bet they would be just as good in waffle form so that’s what I’ll probably do…tonight.

GuinnesspancakesGuinnesspancakes1

Questions for you: 

Favorite alcoholic (or nonalcoholic) drink?

Mine is almond milk with a splash of seltzer water and 2/3 tsp chia seeds…whatever that means.  Just kidding my drinks diet is typically water, coffee, milk and Guinness.

Empire Brewery Review

There are a few highest honors you can have in my life.  A very important one is meeting my dad.  My dad isn’t scary and I don’t really know why people are intimidated by him…actually he downright hilarious.  Last week I begged Laura to come to dinner with dad and I before she left for the Cleveland marathon and I left for VA(which she rocked…you can read about it here).

empire

We settled on a local brewery at Empire Brewery in downtown Syracuse.   They make their own beer and have some of the best and most delicious bar type of food I’ve had to date.  I’ve been a few times (as to why I can write a proper LOLZ review) and gotten the Mediterranean platter, Greek salad, and feta chicken flatbread…

The reason I like their salads so much as not only do they add a ton of actual food (I’m actually not still hungry after eating), there is pita bread (+1 point), I can get multiple dressings (+1 point) and they have couscous in the salad (+1)…Not sure what these points are adding up too but it’s my review and I’ll add points if I want.

empiregrilledchickensalad

The main thing is the food filled me up and tasted good.  Oh and wasn’t expensive.  It might be a little bit of a lie if Laura and I hadn’t discussed the dessert options beforehand so that is that.  We settled upon each getting a sundae made from a special dark beer (similar to Guinness).  Wow, this was probably one of my favorite ice creams to date.  It wasn’t like beer overload but it had all the deliciousness of beer and ice cream combined.

laurandidessert

Then dad shocked the world and ordered a cheesecake.  He said it was “for the blog” (my dad routinely makes fun of my blog) and he also has absolutely not sweet tooth at all.  The cheesecake was also deliscous but left to my own I would (and next time I come to Syracuse) will get the sundae again.

dad

So would I recommend Empire Brewery?  Well if you can’t tell I don’t generally write restaurant reviews unless they have become a LOLZ staple.  (Though I know eventually I’ll write a snarky one) I think I should make a review tab at this point.  Oh and yes I would recommend Empire and I would say go big and get the sundae too.

Questions for you: Favorite flavor of ice cream?  Favorite beer? 

Dates with Legends Part 2

 It seems like forever ago, but really this week is really flying by due to packing and finishing up loose ends.  Hopefully whoever has them is done with finals…or doing well.  Last weekend I went to hang out with Laura in Rochester.  I honestly had one of the greatest weekends I’ve had in a long time and I’m really glad that I did.

After our nice shakeout run in the AM (and barely avoiding the rain) we headed to one of our favorite restaurants.  I know I would be a regular here if I lived this close.  Jine’s restaurant is always pretty busy when we go (but we always go during brunch time after a run on weekends) but they do serve some of the best brunch. You know how I like my omelets since I can’t cook them.  The two times I’ve been to Jimes, I’ve gotten a Lox Omelet with pita bread.

omelettepita

Both times, it’s been exceptionally good.  I don’t have too much to say other than the food was excellent (and I highly recommend it) as well as the waitress who we had was so kind and really took an interest to us.  We were literally chatting for about 10 minutes.  Even when it was busy, she made time to chat and really take care of us.

We went to the Rochester Lilac Festival, a big festival that is…well centered around Lilacs.  They had crafters, venders, food, music and even a road race…but that is next weekend.  I was really eye balling the funnel cake and fried dough but knew it probably wouldn’t be the greatest idea before a race the next day.   I love me some fried fair food but I’ll have to wait until there are some events in VA I suppose.

highlandfallslauraandi

And also went to Highland Falls, a gorgeous view in Rochester.  Am I really still in the city here?

highlandfalls

After hanging out, gossiping, shopping at target and doing stuff for a while we decided to get ready for our date at TRATAThe Restaurant at the Armory is a tapas style restaurant that you can get a bunch of small dishes (or just one large entrée for yourself) and share with each other.

The restaurant itself is three floors tall and had some of the coolest decors I’ve seen in any restaurant.

trata

We opted to first try the duck quesadilla which was extremely delicious.  I can’t even begin to tell you how good the quesadilla was and when we had it I was more than excited to try the steak salad next.  I could have filled up on a few of those alone really.

duckquisadillatrata

The steak salad was also really good but there isn’t really a bad way to make a steak salad I suppose and with goat cheese I was in love.  My only little issue was I probably could have eaten 3 times the amount that was given.

steaksalad

But that was okay because it gave me room for the world’s BEST Guinness cake.  The cake was so rich and delicious, and I ate the entire thing (then I was full LOL).

Caught in the act.  I'm not even sure Laura knew I got her.
Caught in the act. I’m not even sure Laura knew I got her.

Would I recommend TRATA?  Absolutely, the atmosphere, the service and the food was amazing.  I would say you are probably going to spend a good amount of money (our meal together was around 70) but it’s certainly worth it and a nice treat.  Heck, I would personally just go there for dessert and a beer the cake was that good.  So Guinness cake and Guinness?

All in all, I had an amazing weekend and I can honestly say that I will absolutely miss Laura to death.  (Yes, I’m sappy admitting that on my blog).  The LOLZ is a sappster.

Questions for you:

Favorite beer?

Mine is Guinness…followed by heinakin.  I’m certainly a dark brewed person. 

Have you ever been to a fair or festival?