Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (25:55)

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (25:55)

This is my fourth year racing and my fourth year winning. As I posted on Instagram, it’s my slowest year yet, but I’ve been running less this winter as well.

The race started, and 10 and my husband and I arrived around 9. We picked up our bibs and warmed up. We had gotten a lot of snow and rain the week prior, so the course was torn up. The course itself is an easy trail, but after weather, the path can be flooded muddy, and slippery.

At 10 am, we went off. There were a few men, including my husband, that took off in front of me.

Before entering the trail, the race goes around a huge loop in the park. This particular year, some barricades crossed the regular path. The first 20 people or so, including myself didn’t think much of it and just kept going straight.

You would think running the course four times; I would know that’s wrong. All of a sudden we heard yelling and saw other runners going the other direction. We cut across the field and got back on track.  The field was muddy and with plenty of potholes. I didn’t sprint because I didn’t want to misstep into a pothole.

me running grilled cheese and tomato soup 4 mile

Messing up the course messed with my rhythm but I found it again around mile 1. I hit the first mile in 6:31 which was slower than I wanted to be but put it in the back of my mind.

The next mile headed straight. At this point, there were two males in front of me, including my husband. I was essentially running alone. I hit the second mile in 6:26.

me running grilled cheese and tomato soup 4 mile

The third mile had a turnaround, and with the mud, I took that extremely slow. Slow enough I know I lost a solid 5 seconds. Doing a 180 in mud, I could visualize myself falling into the canal next to the path.

me running grilled cheese and tomato soup 4 mile

I caught the second place male and found myself second overall. The third mile goes straight back, so you see everyone running in the opposite direction.  I appreciate this aspect because I like seeing other racers and friends. It also lets you know where you stand in the race. I hit the third mile in 6:26.

me running grilled cheese and tomato soup 4 mile

For the fourth mile, I just focused on getting back. We got off the path and ran towards the start. About 40 seconds in front of me, I watched my husband break the tape. I sprinted towards the end and finished the last mile in 6:31.

me running grilled cheese and tomato soup 4 mile

Thoughts:

I’m happy with my effort. It can be hard not to compare yourself to previous fitness levels, and I’m trying not to do that. I know it will take a long time for me to get where I want to be. After any of my marathons, I’ve felt like my speed has taken a hit and it takes me a lot longer to gain it back.  Finally, many people asked but after the race, there is an unlimited grilled cheese and tomato soup buffet.  Plus all racers get a free tomato soup/coffee mug. (one of the reasons I enjoy the race is how unique it is)/

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Questions for you:

Have you done a 4 miler before?

Would you rather run in mud or sand?

Base Building Week 6: Bonus Rest Days

Base Building Week 6: Bonus Rest Days

Last week started off well, but the day after Christmas I woke up not feeling the best. No big deal and after a couple of unanticipated rest days, I was able to feel a lot better. Funny how rest works?

Monday: 10 miles to the top of Caledonia
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes with my father in law
Wednesday: 20-minute walk
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 12X400s Averaging 6:10 pace with 400 jog in between
Sunday: Easy

Thoughts:

Last week, I had hoped to run 2 workouts and have a solid training week but my body needed the rest.  I’ve posted a dozen times, but it’s important to listen your body. It wouldn’t have been quality runs so there wasn’t a point.  Resting isn’t something that bothers me anymore, if you need it…you need it and life moves on.

Monday was my favorite run. My husband and I ran to the top of Caledonia State Park in central PA.  Then ran back down.  It was beautiful and already had a lot of snow.  It was about 1000 elevation gain in total.

On Sunday, I planned to run but I woke up after minimal sleep and felt like garbage. After already taking 2 rest days off, I thought I made sense to add a third and make it a down week. A run on Sunday wouldn’t have been productive anyway.

Workout: 12x400s averaging 6:10 pace with 400 jog in between

I was debating between week 3 of my lonely 5ks but because I plan to run a 5k on New Years Day, 400s seemed like a better option. The weather on Saturday was perfect and I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Posts from the Week:

Fitbit Ionic Review

2018 in Running

Next Week:

I’m looking forward to doing a local 5k on New Years Day as well as getting back into training. January is a busy month for me, thankfully, because with the cold and lack of sunlight, it’s typically one of my least favorite.

Questions for you:

How were your Holidays?

Do you have any New Years plans?

Four Seasons Diner (Mayfair, Pa)

Four Seasons Diner (Mayfair, Pa)

Recently I went to the Four Seasons Diner in Mayfair, Pa.  I was in the area, and I’ve heard the Four Seasons Diner is excellent. After going to diners for almost 4 years, the closest diners I haven’t been too are in Pa or even De.  (Which to be fair, Pa is only 15 minutes from my house, and Delaware is 30 minutes).

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

Anyway, I arrived at the Four Seasons Diner around dinner time. There was plenty of parking, and it wasn’t too crowded. My party and I quickly got a booth.

Atmosphere: A
The outside is one long building next to a McDonalds with plenty of parking. The inside is lit up with neon signs. There are many booths, tables, and appeared a bar as well.  I appreciated that the booths were very personal and you weren’t sitting on top of anyone.  There was also a large salad bar in the back.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

How many diners do you know with a fish tank? I think in the 250+ I’ve been too, I’ve seen a fish tank 5 times at most.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

Coffee: B
The coffee was excellent and the waiter refilled it often. There wasn’t anything unique or unusual about it but it was good.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

Food: A
The Four Seasons Diner has every option you could want or need. There were even some unique options I’ve never seen at a diner before like creole! I can appreciate a restaurant with a salad bar too. I was in a pork chop mood so I ordered that. It came with an overwhelming amount of food.  I had run that day but still found myself unable to finish everything.

I started with the matzah ball soup and salad bar.  The soup was good and I rarely see matzah ball soup have strips of chicken in it too.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

The salad bar had a lot of options. It’s one of the better salad bars I’ve seen. There were several different kinds of greens, the usual salad toppings, three bean salad, beets, artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms and pickled vegetables, cornbread, and even grape leaves.  You can tell I like beets, artichokes, and Italian dressing.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

My entrée came with pork chops, applesauce, and a baked potato. The pork chops were cooked well, and they weren’t too rubbery. They were some of the better diner pork chops I’ve had. The applesauce and baked potato were typical of a baked potato and nothing unusual about them.

Four seasons diner mayfair pa

Service: A
Our waiter was one of the most friendly waiters we’ve had.  He refilled our beverages often, plus our food came out fast. I couldn’t have asked for better service.

Cost:  $
For my meal and coffee, it was $15.  That is a lot of food.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed the Four Seasons Diner, and if I’m in the area again, I’ve be back. I was surprised by how great the food was and it’s one of my more favorite diners in the Philadelphia area.

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

You can see more diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite salad bar option?
Do you like pork chops?

Christmas Classic 5 Miler (32:46)

Christmas Classic 5 Miler (32:46)

Last weekend, I ran the Christmas Classic 5 Miler in Bethlehem, PA.  I haven’t been to Bethlehem since the Runners World half in 2017, so it was nice to go back.  I’ve run the Runners World 5k and half for a few years, so I know that Bethlehem is not flat. I wasn’t expecting a pancake course, and it did not disappoint.

The race started at 9:10 which was nice because my husband and I could sleep in.  We left the house around 6:45 am and got to Bethelam around 8.  Packet pickup was at the YMCA and there was plenty of parking. I don’t usually get excited about race t-shirts but a cotton long sleeve race t-shirt is the unicorn of running shirts.

Before leaving for the race, I hadn’t made much of an effort and threw a bunch of stuff in a bag.  When I got to the race, I realized I didn’t have a long sleeve shirt or my puffer vest. It was 20 degrees and I had planned to run in both. I almost ran in the race shirt, but since I had capris, I figured the tank and arm warmers would be fine.

I warmed up and felt decent.  Just as we got to the start, the 5k was off. The 5k started 10 minutes before the 5 miler. It was a crowded downhill start.  I found myself as fifth women overall. My legs didn’t feel great and just felt like I’ve started training again. I didn’t have a big goal for the race, just to get a hard workout in.

I hit the first mile in 6:35 and felt okay about it. Lately, I’ve struggled not to compare myself to earlier in the year, but I know that fitness will come again.  We caught up to many of the 5kers which was frustrating because we were going around many people walking 3-4 across. Finally, we turned off and went different directions.

During the second mile, I passed two women and found myself running side by side with a male.  He would tuck in behind me as if I provided some sort of draft for him.

I liked the course because I could get an idea of where I was in relation to other racers.  I saw my husband flying by and I was happy for him.  He had a rough week as well as a long flight the day before, so he wasn’t thrilled to be running.

We passed the water stop around mile 2.5 and I needed water. I hadn’t hydrated enough and I found myself probably getting a side stitch.  Unfortunately, due to crowding of the 5k and 5 miler, there was no way I could grab water. I didn’t stop and kept going.

I hit the third mile in 6:35 and felt decent. I knew the last 2 miles would be rough. We were at the lowest part of Bethlehem but the race itself had started at the highest peak. When we would go up?  It was a question I kept wondering…

We didn’t run back up in the fourth mile.  During the fourth mile, I found myself running alone and as the second woman, although I knew 3rd was coming up behind me.

Then around mile 4.5, we hit the hill. The 5kers were also climbing the hill and I weaved around people. I tried to run the tangent as best as possible but also not look like I was struggling, and just make it up. The entire hill wasn’t more than .25, but it was steep.  At the last turn, I high fived the local running store mascot and powered to the finish.

During my last .1 finish, I was weaving around 5kers trying to hold the next woman off. Two 5kers went to raise their hands, and cross holding hands but unfortunately one smacked me directly in the face. I looked overly dramatic but I wasn’t all that mad. I crossed in 32:46 which was a decent time for where I’m at fitness wise as well as for the course.me running christmas classic

I’m happy with my effort on the day. I’ve only run a few courses that have racers overlap at different distances and now I’ve done it twice in a row. 5

Questions for you:

Do you like themed races?

Have you ever run in the race t-shirt?

I thought it was borderline comical when I said I might end up doing that and the number of people that thought it was “the end of the world.”

Queen City Diner (Allentown, PA)

Queen City Diner (Allentown, PA)

Recently I was in the Allentown area.  As I mentioned on my hiking at Hickory Run post, I wanted to get through Philadelphia area traffic early.  It also left me with plenty of time to try a new diner.

Queen city diner allentown

Atmosphere: B

The outside of the Queen City Diner is that of a typical diner.  There isn’t a lot about the Queen City Diner that is unusual, but it is old, metallic, and shiny.  The inside resembles the quintessential diner with plenty of booths, tables, and even a salad bar.

Queen city diner allentown

Getting inside the actual diner was difficult because many people were congregated and waiting in the doorway.

Queen City Diner Allentown PA

Coffee: A

The coffee at the Queen City Diner was good.  One thing I appreciated was the fact they left a pitcher of coffee so I could manually refill it myself.  That ended up being great because the waitress didn’t come around much.

Queen City Diner Allentown PA

Food: B

The Queen City Diner has everything you would typically want in a diner.  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  Since it was around lunchtime, I decided to order an omelet.  It came with both hashbrowns and toast.  The omelet itself was good and was stuffed with plenty of filling.  The toast took an extra 10 minutes to come out after the food which was frustrating.

Queen City Diner Allentown PA

Service: D

To preface the waitress was nice but food took entirely too long to come out.  I think we were in the diner for over an hour.  When the food came out, it came out at different times.  One of my “pet peeves” is when food comes out at very different times.  I dislike when I get my food 15 minutes before someone else or vice versa.  The entire diner just seemed disorganized.

Price: $

For my omelet and coffee, the cost was $10.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:

The Queen City Diner wasn’t the worst diner I’ve been too, but definitely not the best either.  The problem was the disorganization with food orders and the waiting time.  I would come back to see if I just hit it at a wrong time.

Atmosphere: B

Coffee: A

Food: B

Service: D

Price: $8-15

Overall: C

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:

Do you have a restaurant “pet peeve”?

What is your favorite type of omelet? 

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