Westway Diner (NYC)

Westway Diner (NYC)

Westway Diner (NYC)

The last diner I went too while in New York is the Westway Diner. I arrived around 11:30 on a weekday, and it was fully packed.  It’s only a short walk from Times Square in New York, NY. It was one of the few diners I had to wait for a table. That means the Westway Diner must be good, right?

Westway diner NYC

Westway Diner Atmosphere: A
The Westway Diner sticks out on the main road.  It has a more authentic “diner feel” than many diners I’ve been too in NYC. The inside is one ample space with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Westway Diner Coffee: B
The coffee at the Westway Diner was brewed hot. I asked for whipped cream a couple of times, but it never came. Unfortunately neither did a refill.  Other than that the coffee was right, I just wanted more.

Westway diner NYC

Westway Diner Food: B
The Westway Diner has plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. They have all of the usual breakfast options from eggs to pancakes, and french toast. After a minute, I decided to order lunch and there plenty of unique options from corned beef to salad sandwiches. I had no idea what I was in the mood for.

Westway diner NYC

One of the Westway Diner specials, the butternut ravioli sounded interested. I’ve never had butternut squash ravioli, let alone at a diner. The sauce was a little watery. The ravioli was stuffed with the butternut squash. It was good.

Service: B
The waiter was friendly, and our food came out quickly, but we could have used more drink refills. Or any drink refills.

Cost: $
For my food and drink, it was $20.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to the Westway Diner (NYC)?
I enjoyed the Westway Diner, and it’s one of my more favorite diners so far in NYC. I would go back, and hopefully, the service is a little better next time. It’s an easy stop for anyone on their way to Times Square or Penn Station. It gives you an authentic diner experience.

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Do you like ravioli?
What is your favorite type of squash?


Brooklyn Diner (NYC)

Brooklyn Diner (NYC)

Brooklyn Diner (NYC)

I had high hopes for the Brooklyn Diner. I wanted to try a new diner while in NY, and the Brooklyn Diner seemed like a great start. They have two locations in Manhattan (43rd Street and 57th Street.) I went to the 43rd street diner. The Brooklyn Diner is a well-known restaurant in New York City.

Brooklyn Diner Atmosphere: C
The Brooklyn Diner on 44th Street is right in Times Square. The outside stands out, and it’s hard to miss it. It matches the atmosphere of Times Square: big, shiny, and over the top.

Brooklyn Diner NYC

Inside, it’s very cramped, and you are sitting on top of people. I would have had a better experience if we sat in the back.

Brooklyn Diner Coffee: D
When the coffee came out, it was borderline ice cold. It was so bad that I requested to have had fresh coffee (something I’ve never asked in the 250+ diners I’ve been too).  I asked for whipped cream twice, but the waitress brought cream both times, and so I gave up. The second round of coffee was better.

Brooklyn Diner NYC

Brooklyn Diner Food: B
We arrived at the Brooklyn Diner around 11:00 am, and they didn’t start serving lunch until 11:30. The Brooklyn Diner has everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I thought their much menu looked more appealing. It had hot pastrami sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken soup, chicken pot pie, chicken salad, and lots of white hickory chicken specials. I’ve noticed a few diners don’t start serving lunch until 11:30, which is disappointing. I wasn’t in the mood for breakfast but didn’t want to wait until 11:30 to order either.

Brooklyn Diner NYC

I decided to order the hand-chopped smoked salmon, caramelized onions, and scrambled eggs. It came with crispy corn polenta, Pomodoro sauce, challah, rye, or whole-grain toast. The food itself was good. I’ve never had polenta before, so it was a good experience.

Brooklyn Diner NYC

Brooklyn Diner Service: C
When we arrived at the Brooklyn Diner, we waited about 5 minutes to be seated. We then waited another 15 minutes for the waitress to come over.  It seemed as though she was not in the mood to deal with us.  The food itself came out quickly, which was nice.

Brooklyn Diner Cost: $$
The Brooklyn Diner is one of the most expensive diners I’ve been too (including in NY). For my breakfast and coffee, the cost was $24. The coffee alone was nearly $4.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to the Brooklyn Diner?
The Brooklyn Diner is not one of my favorite diners in the city, and I probably won’t be back. I would be most likely to go to the second location and order lunch if I do.

Atmosphere: C
Coffee: D
Food: B
Service: C
Cost: $15-25
Overall: C

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What time do you usually eat lunch?
Do you like smoked salmon?

Times Square Diner and Grill (NYC)

Times Square Diner and Grill (NYC)

Times Square Diner (NYC)

Recently I stopped at the Times Square Diner in NYC. Initially, I had anticipated it was in Times Square and would be busy, but it’s a couple of blocks over on 807 8th Avenue (Between W 48th & 49th St.).

Times square diner NYC

Times Square Diner Atmosphere: B
The Times Square Diner has a small sign out front, but it doesn’t stand out on the street.

For a diner in NYC, the inside has plenty of space. You aren’t sitting on top of anyone.  There are several booths, a few tables, and a full-length bar. It’s surprising how big the Times Square Diner is!

Times Square Diner Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but nothing unusual or unique. I could have used more refills, but it was decent coffee.

Times square diner NYC

Times Square Diner Food: B
The Times Square Diner has a lot more healthy options than a typical diner. There are many different salads as well as wraps and sandwiches. They have the usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, but if you are looking for a healthy choice, they have that too.

At The Times Square Diner, I ordered the Greek appetizer which came with pita bread and tzatziki sauce. The pita bread and tzatziki sauce were both excellent. I dare say the pita bread was some of the best I’ve had.

Times square diner NYC

Since the Times Square Diner had so many healthy options, I decided to order the beet salad. There were plenty of beets as well as goat cheese, but I could have used more salad. The beets and the steak were good, but it needed more salad.

Times square diner NYC

I like salad greens, and the trend of salads without the greens (maybe it’s an East Coast thing?) is not my favorite.  In short, the salad was good, but I needed more.

Times Square Diner Service: C
The server at the Times Square Diner was friendly, and the food came out quickly. After our meal, it took a long time for the check to come. We needed to go but waited entirely too long despite asking several times.  I think I waited longer for the check than the meal.

Cost: $$
For the coffee, appetizer, and salad, it was $24.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Times Square Diner (NYC)? 
I liked my meal at the Times Square Diner (NYC), and it was a good stop. I am disappointed in the service though.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: C
Cost: $15-25
Overall: B

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
How do you prefer your steak?
Do you like beets?

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York…New York.

The New York City Marathon Race Recap will be long. It’s taken me a couple of days to process and write the NYC Marathon recap.

It hasn’t been a secret after my last marathon I said I was tired of them and had no interest in marathoning. So for over 3 years, I didn’t. Then the opportunity to run the TCS NYCM in the sub-elite corral presented itself, and I knew I would kick myself for not taking it. The sub-elite corral lines up right behind the pro women at the New York City Marathon I was nervous, and I knew, and I would be the slowest person in the corral, but I decided to go for it. Spoiler, I have no regrets.

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It moved me because I’m here.

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The morning of race day was just as great as the marathon, if not better. I got to be around the best of the best. We boarded the bus and were off to Ocean Breeze on Staten Island with the pro-women. Initially, I thought being at the Ocean Breeze track would be ideal because if it rained or was inclement weather, I would stay drier.

The weather for the New York City Marathon was beautiful, and I spent about 3 hours just hanging out and watching elites and other sub-elites warm up. Not every person warmed up, and I was on the team no warmups (Running 26.2 miles is enough for me).  It was very relaxed and peaceful which made it hard to think…I’m going to run my 3rd marathon soon. It was fun to watch many of the professional athlete’s warmup and see what they do in person.

Since many people asked, I ate a waffle at 5 am, and then a bagel around 8 am. I get hungry in the morning and starting a race at 9:50, I knew it was the best option for me.  It’s probably a lot of food for most people, but I don’t like running on an empty stomach.

When I went to go pin on my bib, I realized OMG my pins had fallen out of my bag.  So like a goon, I had a race bib but no pins. I hung my head in shame and asked one of the volunteers (who was actually talking to Jared Ward) if they had any and they were able to get me some.

By 9:20, we were off to the Verazzano Bridge. We got back on the bus, and when we got off, I felt like I had entered a whirlwind. People were shouting, get to the bridge, drop your stuff off now.  NOW! The excitement finally dawned on me, that yes I was about to run 26.2 miles in the TCS New York City Marathon.

The professional men stood in front of us, then us, then about 30 feet behind corral 1. Since I was the slowest person in the corral, I stood at the back. It felt kind of cool to say; I am the slowest one here.  I chatted with several other women, many of whom, were going to attempt a sub 3. I knew that could be me someday, but New York was not that day.

All of a sudden, they were filming us, and the gun went off.  The first mile is up over the Verrazano Bridge. It’s 100% uphill because you are climbing a bridge. I ran a 7:28.  Many people from the first corral were flying by me, which was fine. I just stayed in a straight line and did my thing. I don’t really ever feel pressure anymore when people run by.  They do them…I do me…

The second mile was my fastest, as it was down the Verazzano bridge, and I ran a 6:36. I knew it was downhill but seeing a 6:36 made me feel a bit better.  I didn’t have a time goal and I knew with the constant climbs, my miles would be everywhere.

New York City Marathon me running

For the next few miles, I settled into a groove. My goal was to make make it to mile 8. I knew that was where I had the highest chance of seeing friends, although I didn’t.  The next several miles of NYC Marathon are also the flattest. I averaged between 6:45-6:55.  I could see the 3: 00-hour pacer up ahead but I knew I wouldn’t be running 6:50s up the Queensboro Bridge and in Central Park. I briefly thought about joining the group, but then ultimately decided it would probably cause me to blow up.

So I just kind of trecked along. I took my first Maurten Gel around mile 5. I have a stomach of steel, so most gels do the same thing for me. I felt the same as if I had taken a Gu. I didn’t need a gel at mile 5, but I planned to take them every 5 miles which seems to have worked for me.

Around mile 6, I felt my shoe untie a bit. I also had to use the bathroom, and some people will pee on themselves, but that is not me. I decided when my shoe finally came untied I would tie it.

When I hit mile 8, I saw no one I knew. I wasn’t really surprised, but the crowds gave me life.  I wasn’t bad, and I maintained miles in the 6:50s.

Somewhere around mile 9, my shoe came untied, even though I had double knotted it. I am a clumsy bafoon, and I won’t run any race with an untied shoe and hurt myself. I found an opening on the side and tied it. It took me a little longer than I had hoped because the double knot got wedged in there but I told myself, the more you “panic”, the longer it will take.  I dropped my gloves as well.

I had planned to use the bathroom too but there wasn’t one so I just continued on and never did.  With my stop, I logged a 7:22 mile. I asked New York Road Runners to pause the clock for me while I tied my shoe…but they didn’t so I didn’t pause my Garmin either.

New York City Marathon me running

I hit mile 10 in just over 1:10. The next two miles, were two of the quietest from the crowds. The only parts of the race that are quiet are the bridges and around mile 10. I took another gel around mile 10. I grabbed Gatorade at every mile I didn’t take a gel, and water when I did.  I was mentally struggling for the next two miles, thinking about how far I needed to run.

Around mile 12, I snapped out of it because I knew the half mark was coming up soon. I reached 13.1 in 1:32 which was only a minute slower than the Air Force half marathon. I knew I wasn’t going to negative split and I would probably struggle to run another 1:32. I decided that maybe somewhere between 3:05-3:10 was probably doable. It would be a PR, but also it would be on a much more difficult course than my PR in Pheonix.

New York City Marathon me running

After 13.1, I began mentally prepping myself for the Queensboro Bridge. I stand by the thought that during my first marathon, (which was also the New York City Marathon) mile 15 was one of the hardest miles I’ve ever run in my life. I needed to mentally prep myself to know, it would hurt.

Mile 14 clicked off in 6:55 and then I saw the Queensboro Bridge ready to be conquered. Ok…here we go.  Mentally in mind, I just blocked off the Queensboro Bridge as being “almost done”.  My mind just thought, when I was there, I was essentially done…which is dumb because after you still have 10 more miles to the finish line.

New York City marathon me running

We began climbing…and climbing. It was quiet because there are no crowds on the Queensboro bridge. Suddenly, I looked around and realized I had begun passing people.  It reminded me of when Des Linden said about the Boston Marathon: Well I wasn’t feeling great, but no one probably was, and I was feeling better than other people.  It was true, and I passed a lot of people up the bridge.  I hit ran the mile in about 7:30 which I was pleased with.

As we came down on 1st avenue, the crowds for the New York City Marathon were incredible. During the downhill, I felt my inner thighs and quads locking up. It reminded me of my first marathon, but also my second. I never really felt good during either after mile 16. Was this it? Was I done?

But as I continued, I realized I felt decent.  Both miles 17 and 18 were relatively flat, and I saw Danielle who was motivating. I ran both in 6:52 and 6:56.

From then on, I began mentally counting down. First I counted down to mile 20. I reached mile 20 and said: “just a 10k to go”.  I knew last time, it was a very long 10k.

This time I didn’t feel as bad. The next couple of miles went without much note. I didn’t feel awful, but I didn’t feel like the beginning of the race either.

Somewhere around mile 22, I saw some friends including Hayley.  I waved and it’s where this photo was taken.

One of the prouder moment is that I was able to see and wave to so many friends from 20 onward. During my first experience at the New York Maraton, I couldn’t do that and in fact, I don’t remember the last 10k of the race from 2013. I guess I had tunnel vision.

When I reached 24, I thought, just another 5k until you cross the finish line.  Hollie, you like 5ks.  Although one of the hardest and longest climbs comes around mile 24 and I ran a 7:27.  I knew friends would be between miles 25 to the finish, so I gazed along Central Park looking.  My legs burned as the neverending climb in central park continued.

I saw my dad around mile 25 and even waved to him too.  I’ve never been that coherent to wave to someone at mile 25 so I felt good about it. We ran over multiple parts of the street painted TCS NYCM.

New York City Marathon me running

The last mile felt as though it took forever.  It was my slowest mile, and I ran a 7:34.  I saw the sign “800 to go” and began sprinting (or what I thought mentally was).  I passed a man who was wearing too short of shorts which weren’t covering…anything. :O

New York City Marathon me running

OMG, that is two laps around a track.  I begin powering through.  Then 400 to go to the finish line.  Then I crossed and averaged a 6:34 last .2.

New York City Marathon me running

I crossed the finish in 3:07.15 which is my fastest marathon by over 7 minutes.  It’s 10 minutes faster than the last time I ran NYCM.  I’m proud of it.  A few days later, I’m not all that sore and I feel like I was sorer after both of the trail races I did this summer.

New York City marathon me running

Now that I’ve run a marathon and I had a positive experience, I do believe I could run faster at some point.  I don’t foresee myself running another marathon soon, but I do know eventually I’ll run another one.

Yes, I have qualified for the Boston Marathon and I don’t take that for granted, but that isn’t a race that interests me right now. I can barely plan 2 months ahead, let alone a year and a half.

New York City Marathon me running

I still like the half marathon and 5k better, but I am glad to have started and finished the NYC Marathon training cycle healthy and with a PR.  Thank you Tata Consultancy Services New York City Marathon (what a mouthful) for such an incredible experience. I hope to run TCS NYCM again someday, as it’s my favorite marathon.

Questions for you:

Have you run New York before?

What is your favorite race distance?

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Last week was a good week.

Because it was the week of the marathon, which I Pred. I’ll write an entire recap later, for the most part, I’m happy with the week of training and tapering itself.

For the last two weeks, I’ve dealt with a lot of calve tightness.  Nothing injury-wise, but my legs have felt very stiff.  It isn’t something taper “made better”, and they were still stiff before the race. I will say, they felt the best they’ve felt in the last two weeks.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 10 miles
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Easy 30 minutes
Friday: Off
Sat: Easy 20 minutes
Sunday: NYCM 26.2 miles (3:07.15)


All of my runs were easy and without a watch. It might have been a little overboard to run 10, the Tuesday before New York but it was fun to chat with Skip, and it didn’t feel bad.

After Tuesday, I kept repeating to myself you can only do too much but to be honest, it wasn’t that hard to even cut mileage. Between work and life, I didn’t have a lot of extra time to squeeze running in. Sure I could wake up at 4 am to run more miles, but I would rather sleep and taper more.

My legs seem to loosen up more as the week went on. After the Atlantic City half two weeks ago, I felt great. The few days after, it didn’t feel as though I had even raced a half marathon. Then my calves just felt like they locked up. It was like no amount of stretching could loosen them up.  I wasn’t “worried” because I knew I wasn’t injured, it was just frustrating because I didn’t want to feel stiff.

NYCM: 3:07.15

My last marathon Phoenix was a 3:14.59 and my first marathon, NYCM in 2013 was a 3:17. So it was a PR. I’ve always been more proud of my race at NY, but that is neither here nor there.

On race day, my calves felt better than they had the week before. I didn’t feel great, but I felt as great as I could be. I have a lot of thoughts about my fitness going into NY and I know I’m not in the same fitness as when I ran a 1:22 this winter.

The race itself was amazing. I will probably have my longest race recap yet about it. Essentially, the miles clicked by pretty effortlessly.  I had to stop and tie my shoe (which I did double knot) around mile 9 but other than that I felt good the entire race.

Since I was in the sub-elite corral, I spent about the first half of the race being passed by hundreds of people. It’s kind of funny to just have people consistently whirling by you like you’re standing still but I ran my own race. Starting out too fast is usually not a problem I have in races anymore…my mentality is you do you…I do me…

The first 8 miles were just focused on getting to mile 8. That is where I knew the highest chance of me seeing someone I knew spectating was…but I didn’t see anyone. After that, I just kept trucking along.

Around mile 9, my shoe came untied, so I pulled over to the side and tied it. I’ve always found in those situations if you stress and panic it takes more time. I wasn’t really panicked but it took me nearly 30 seconds. I don’t think it was entirely lost time because I caught a lot of people I was running with.

I hit the halfway point in 1:32.15.

The next goal was to make it to the Queensboro bridge around mile 15-16. In 2013, the Queensboro bridge destroyed me, and I honestly wondered how I would ever run 10 more miles. This year, I was ready, and it became the turning point of the race of when I started passing people.

As we came down, I passed even more people. I still was slowing down, but not as much as many. As I started to pass more people, I became more confident.  The next miles just counted down until the finish. I was smiling, waving, and sidefiving all of my friends. In fact, every photo people caught of me was after mile 20.

The last 10k was difficult, and the hill in Central Park was no joke.  In fact, since I was hurting so bad last time, I don’t even remember it.  I saw my dad around mile 25 and just powered through. I’ve never run a marathon where I’ve been able to raise my arms and wave at mile 25. In fact until yesterday, I don’t like I’ve run a marathon I could wave at mile 18.

me nycm marathon

I crossed in 3:07.15 and felt good. I never felt like I overexerted myself and I finished smiling, happy, and strong. That isn’t something I can say after any other marathon.

Here are all my splits via my Garmin so take it with a grain of salt.

nycm marathon splits

Many people have asked me…now you’ll do lots of marathons and the answer is no. I still like 5ks and half marathons better, but I do like the marathon a little more now. I don’t foresee myself traveling to marathons over halves for a while if ever. I’ll do another marathon again, but I don’t know when.  I also don’t have any plans to do Boston anytime soon, because like NY it’s hard to plan for a race a year out.

I’m proud I started and finished the training cycle and healthy.   My PR was just icing on the cake.  Now I’m taking 2 weeks off. I’ll still be around but my body needs time to recover, and my mind does too.

Posts from the Week:

 October Training

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

Questions for you:
How was your week of training?
What body parts gets the most for you, running wise?

For me, it’s always my calves.

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