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Cape May 10k (42:35)

Cape May 10k (42:35)

The Cape May 10k begins my racing to get back into shape.  It’s been mentally tough to start at one of my slower points in many years, but it is what it is.

After going to a college roommates wedding on Friday in Baltimore, we got home late Friday. Cape May is about 90 minutes from my house, which means between the 2 hours to Baltimore, 2 hours home, then 90 minutes to Cape May, my car got a workout before the race. Did all of this play a role in how I raced the day after, probably.

I like Cape May a lot. It’s a small town and one of the most beautiful in NJ. I take any opportunity to get down there. I got there around 7:20, ran a couple of miles and got to the start around 7:55. After talking with a new friend, Sandy, we were off.Cape May 10k me running

During the first mile, I felt pretty good. I thought: maybe this will be the unicorn day that surprises me with how I feel. I logged a 6:36 mile and was pleased.

The second mile looped around the shore, and we got a little breeze. It was lonely, and I found myself running alone the entire time. It felt like a time trial. I ran a 6:43 and I couldn’t get a groove or find a new, faster gear.

Between the 2nd and 3rd mile, the 5ks headed toward the finish line and truthfully I was jealous. I was over the race already. I hit the third mile in 6:48.

Cape May 10k me running

I tried everything to get back into a better headspace — just three more miles. Already halfway done. I couldn’t get back there. I didn’t give up, but my legs felt like they hit a wall. I ran the 4th mile in 6:59.  I was running alone and it just felt like I couldn’t find a faster groove.

The next two miles were just focused on the finish line. I got to run with my good friend Skip, who I run with regularly back home and training. We tried to keep each other motivated.

Cape May 10k me running

I hit mile 5 in 7:01 and just kept going. We ran up on the boardwalk, and I nearly slipped and fell on the sand. At 5.5, you can see the finish line, and it does not feel like it’s getting closer. I weaved around a few 5kers and crossed in 42:35.

Thoughts:

I would be lying if I was particularly pleased with a 42:35 10k, but it gives me room to improve. The next day, I ran 12 miles and ran my last 3 miles at 7:08, 7:01, 6:56 and felt better than the 10k. I’m actually racing several 10ks this summer. I plan to keep racing and hopefully race my way back into shape.

Also thank you to my good friend, Lindsay, for the photos.

Questions for you:

Have you run a 10k?

What’s your favorite town in your state?

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Walking Around Belleplain State Forest

Belleplain State Forest (Cape May County, Cumberland)

Recently I found myself back down near Maurice River and at the East Creek Trail in the Belleplain State Forest. Belleplain State Forest is a 20,000+  acres located in both Cape May County and Cumberland.  There are plenty of different trees like pine oak and Atlantic, and animals lurking around, and it’s pretty well maintained.

Belleplain State Forest was established in 1928.

The trail itself at Belleplain State Forest is a very flat, and runnable (if you want, I did not) 4.8-mile.  The creek is located in Belleplain State Forest. It’s marshy, swampy, and in the summer has a lot of mosquitos.  If you go to Belleplain State Forest in the Spring, Summer, and probably fall you will deal with mosquitos, but it’s like that anywhere in the Pineland area.

Also, check for ticks because I saw plenty of deer ticks of grass blades and picked about 10 off me.  Yes, 10.

Never the less, hiking at Belleplain State Forest was a lot of fun, and it was a nice and relaxing morning.  As most people know, one of my goals this summer is to get outside and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!

Here are a few photos from Belleplain State Forest:

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

 

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

 

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

many fallen trees

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

Extremely long boardwalks that I almost fell a few times

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

Where the bugs harbor

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

In all, Belleplain State Forest was another fun spot to go.  I’ll go back but probably wait until the winter when there are fewer bugs.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite bug spray? 
Do you have any plans for the summer?

Rio Grande Diner

Rio Grande Diner

Rio Grande Diner (Rio Grande, NJ)

After running the Cape May 10k, I was hungry and ready to eat.  I arrived at the Rio Grande Diner around 10 am on a Saturday.  A quick google search led me to the Rio Grande Diner.

Rio grande diner nj

Rio Grande Diner Atmosphere: B
The Rio Grande Diner looks like a typical NJ diner.  There are several booths, tables, and a full-length bar. The hostess sat me next to the door which I wasn’t ecstatic about.  The Rio Grande Diner could use interior updates. My booth had part of the booth duct taped up and needed a bit of a makeover.

Rio Grande Diner Coffee: A
The coffee was the locally brewed Lacas coffee, and I have no complaints. Our waiter refilled it often, and it tasted great.

Rio grande diner nj

Rio Grande Diner Food: A
I had no idea what I wanted. I had woken up early (4:30 am) so by 10 am I was starving for lunch.  The Rio Grande Diner menu has everything you would want in a diner. There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

Rio grande diner nj

I decided to order the Rio Grande Slam, which came with pancakes, bacon, eggs, and toast.  I also ordered a cinnamon bun because I was craving one.  Everything tasted good, and the cinnamon bun was extremely sweet.  I have a big sweet tooth, so I don’t find a lot of things “too sweet.”  In all, the food was excellent.

Rio grande diner nj

Service: A
Our waiter was hilarious, and the food came out quickly. It was one of the better experiences I’ve had.Cost: $
For the Grande Slam, coffee, and cinnamon bun, the cost was $12.

Overall Summary/Would I come back to the Rio Grande Diner?
I liked the Rio Grande Diner and would go back.  It was inexpensive, quick, and the service was great.

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

See all Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What do you like to eat after a race?
What is your favorite breakfast food?

Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse

Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse

Cape May Lighthouse (Cape May. NJ)

One of my goals for the Spring and Summer is to go on more walks and hikes through NJ.  Like going to different diners, it’s fun to see different parts of the state.  Recently, after running the Cape May 10k, I went to the Cape May State Park.  I wanted to spend the day outdoors, but I wasn’t in the mood to ‘just lay” on the beach.  Plus, it was slightly too windy and too cold to do so. The Cape May Lighthouse popped up so I decided that was a good idea. The Cape May Lighthouse is located in Cape May Point State Park.

The Cape May Lighthouse is a major attraction in the area.  Since it’s along the shore, the Cape May State Park has a constantly changing shoreline, several freshwater coastal marsh, and ponds.  The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859 and was used in World War II. Plus, the Cape May Lighthouse is still an aid to navigation, harbor defense and the coast guard. Visitors who climb the 199 steps to the top of the Lighthouse are rewarded with a beautiful view from the top of Cape May County, the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and Jersey Cape.

What I didn’t know, was the Cape May Lighthouse is also a well-known location for viewing birds.  Many people travel to Cape May Lighthouse to view birds, which was neat and not something I’ve ever done.  For those who don’t know, I’m terrified of both turkeys and geese, but other birds interest me.  Of any animal, I find them to have the “most personality.”

cape may state park

At the Cape May Lighthouse, there are a few trails.  All are easy, along the coast, and we saw people of all ages walking.  We stopped a lot to look at birds but there is no elevation change and many are even on the boardwalk.  If you are looking for a rigorous hike, there isn’t for you but if you’re looking something relaxing and scenic, you’ll enjoy the Cape May Lighthouse.

cape may state park

Trails at the Cape May Lighthouse:

Red Trail at Cape May Lighthouse:

  • about half a mile long and wheelchair access accessible
  • offers hikers access to both the lighthouse ponds
  • Each of the two ponds has a platform to view the birds, swans, and even osprey

Yellow Trail at Cape May Lighthouse:

  • 1.5 miles long.
  • My favorite of three due to the different habitats including the shore, wetland marsh, and beach

cape may state park

Blue Trail at Cape May Lighthouse:

  • About 2 miles long
  • Most floral and fauna
  • Like the yellow trail offers there are many different habitats along the shore.

If you are looking to view birds and nature, both the yellow and blue trails are your best bet at the Cape May Lighthouse. The red trail gives a quick glimpse of the park and access to the Cape May Lighthouse.

cape may state park

cape may state park

cape may state park

I guess after all of that, I should tell you we did make it to the Cape May lighthouse.

cape may lighthouse

I’m glad we took some time to visit another of NJ’s parks.  As I mentioned, this Spring and Summer my goal is to visit more parks and the Cape May Lighthouse was a wonderful stop.

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:
Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Hartshorne Park in the Highlands

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever been bird watching?
What are some of your plans this Spring and Summer? 

George’s Place

George’s Place (Cape May)

George’s Place falls into the gray areas of dines. Is it a diner? A restaurant? There are many conflicting opinions about it. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I flew down to Cape May.  While walking around in Cape May, we realized we were hungry.  George’s Place has been on my to-do list for a while.  Guy from Food Network recently and loved it.  Spoiler: it’s worth going too.

George’s Place Atmosphere: B
Georges Place is located on the corner in Cape May.  Cape Mat downtown is cute with plenty of local shops and restaurants. To be honest, there is not a lot to indicate the restaurant is there.  In fact, we walked right by twice before realizing it was there.

georges place cape may

Image via Cape May Times

The inside of George’s Place is clean, and there are about ten seats.  I like it because despite George’s Place being small, you aren’t sitting on top of anyone.  In some diners and restaurants, you feel as though you are dining with ten strangers.

George’s Place Service: A
The waitress at George’s Place was extremely friendly.  After ordering, I decided I wanted extra pita bread, and she was more than accommodating.

George’s Place Food: A
George’s Place menu has breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, they close from 3-5.  They are well known for their breakfast specialties like their waffles, hash browns, and french toast. I want to go back sometime for breakfast.

Their menu is strictly Greek Specialties.  Greek food is one of my favorite choices at a diner so I was excited to try it out.

We chose the “hummos sampler”  It came with four types of hummus.  I’m not typically a hummus fan, but each flavor was delicious.  Since the pita bread was so good, I decided to order more with my meal.

Georges Place Cape May

George’s place specializes in Greek Food, and that’s all they have.  I ordered the lamb chops which came with orzo and a side Greek salad.  The lamb chops were cooked to perfection.  The Orzo was cooked in a thick Greek flavored sauce which was tasty. The side salad was bigger than the size of many entree salads I’ve ordered.  Very few meals have left me as full as this one.

Georges Place Cape May

Georges Place Cape May

George’s Place Price: $$
For the appetizer and lamb chops, the price was $30. The meal was well worth it, and the quality of food is the best I’ve had for a while. It’s important to note, George’s Place is a cash-only restaurant.  There are several ATMs in Cape May located nearby.

Would I come back/Summary of George’s Place (Cape May):
Georges Place is one of my top five diners, and I’ll be back next time in Cape May. If you are ever in Cape May or take the Lewes Ferry, I suggest making the stop.

ETA: I’ve been back to George’s Place several times and always had a pleasant meal.

Overall:
Atmosphere: B
Service: A
Coffee: N/A (I know shocking I did not get any)
Food: A
Price: $15-25
Overall: A

You can see all of the reviews here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to a restaurant on the food network?
Do you like lamb chops?

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