Visiting New York City

After my husband came home, we decided to go visit New York City.  Even though we live approximately 90 miles away, we rarely go.  Between, traffic, tolls, and parking it’s not the easiest place to get too.

So last week, we decided to take the train from Trenton.  It was an easy process, and we made it to Penn Station and into Manhatten.  We ended up staying on 57th street close to Central Park, Broad Way and Times Square. We had booked the hotel before I decided to stop running, so we had planned to run in Central Park.  One day we will (that isn’t the New York City Marathon!)

While in NYC, we didn’t do a heck of a lot.  Both my husband and I are relaxed and we like to take trips with not a lot of plans.  We figure it out as we go along.  For the most part, we walked around New York just looking at sights.  We did go see some of the big things like the Empire State Building and Times Square.  I’ve been before, but it’s always fun to see again! empire state building

We got close to the Empire State Building but opted not to go in.  empire state building

Times Square

One thing we both wanted to do is get a New York Bagel.  As someone who went to college in New York (way upstate at SUNY Potsdam), we got used to good NY bagels.  NJ just doesn’t compare.

My favorite is a Nova Lox.   It was a good bagel (not that I’m an expert) and I have no complaints. 

The one thing we did do was go see a Broadway.  We booked tickets to “Waitress” starring Sara Bareilles.  I like Sara Bareilles as a songwriter, and the Broadway was about a diner waitress…how could we go wrong?  It was excellent, and I highly recommend it if you’re ever up that way.

Before leaving, we also checked out Ellen’s Stardust Diner near Broadway.  The Diner is unique in that the servers are always performing.  You get a meal and a show.  You’ll see your server perform for the entire restaurant.

ellens stardust diner me

We had a great weekend away.  It’s funny, as I mentioned, New York is not a far commute for us, but we never go!  We will definitely go back sooner rather than later.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to New York City?

Where was the last weekend trip you took? 

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WhiteHorse Diner

Recently I met up with personal friend Christine at the Whitehorse Diner in Hamilton, NJ.  Not to be confused with the Black Horse Diner in Camden County. Until a week ago, I hadn’t heard of the Whitehorse Diner, but with over 500 diners in the garden state, you’re bound to find one (or 100) you haven’t heard of.

We arrived on a Friday for lunch, and it wasn’t crowded at all.  In fact, for most of our meal, we were the only ones.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Whitehorse diner is what you picture for a diner.  The outside is big, metallic, and shiny while the inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot each time, and I had no issues with it.  It was definitely one of the better coffees I’ve had lately.

White Horse Diner Trenton

Service: A
Since we were the only ones in the Whitehorse diner, the attention was all on us.  I’ve seen this go both ways in restaurants.  The waiter or waitress is either overbearing or doesn’t show up much at all.  For us, it was perfect, and the waitress gave us plenty of attention, refilled our beverages but didn’t hover.

Food: A
The menu at the Whitehorse diner is everything you could want in a diner plus several additional healthy choices.  They have breakfast, lunch and dinner specials.  I opted for something more healthy.  Both Christine and I ordered the same thing!  Twinners are winners right?

We ordered a Greek salad with arugula and salmon.  When it came out, I couldn’t ask for a better salad.  It was a huge portion of salmon, and everything was fresh.

White Horse Diner Trenton

Cost: $
For my salad with salmon and coffee, the cost was $16.  I can’t complain at all because the food was fresh.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Whitehorse Diner and have no complaints.  They have a great menu with a lot of options.  I wish they advertised more because they are hidden.

Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $9-15
Overall: A

Closeby Diners: Daphne’s Diner, Town Diner

Questions for you:
What is your favorite salad?
What is the last hidden restaurant you’ve found?

Living Minimally

It’s hard to believe I’ve been back in New Jersey for 10 days.  It’s been an adjustment to life, weather and just getting back into my regular routine.

I didn’t have to stay 6 weeks in Montgomery.  I did have to go down, but I could have driven back solo while my husband finished his course.  I could have driven down, did what I needed and drove back to New Jersey (driving close to 4000 miles in 6 weeks). Instead, I chose to drive down once, stay there during the quiet weeks and drive home together.  That way, we could drive one car, stay together and it would be more enjoyable that way.

When we moved to Alabama, I packed everything I would need in two suitcases.  We weren’t sure the exact time frame, but you can live out of a suitcase for 2 months.

To be completely honest, I was nervous to go down there.  As I mentioned, I left my job for 6 weeks.  I didn’t know anyone in Alabama.  While I had things to do, it definitely was not as much as living back in New Jersey.

But I wanted a risk, new adventure, and challenge.  I told myself: if I had lived in the middle of nowhere, Texas, I could make it Alabama.  Thinking out loud and truth be told, despite the constant tornados, I liked Alabama.

Living in Alabama taught me a lot how to live minimally.  I learned I have far too much clutter here in New Jersey.

Essentially, I lived out of a suitcase in a two room hotel for 6 weeks.  In the hotel, we had a kitchenette but no oven.  It wasn’t bad, and we were able to eat healthy and make do without it.

So how did we go from too much stuff to a suitcase full? 

Lucky for my husband, he has two work uniforms.  Then he needed about 2 regular clothing outfits. Since he was running and training for his marathon, he brought more shoes than I did. Realistically, he could have probably lived out of a backpack…As an over packer myself, I could not.

Downgrade:

Do you really need 5 pairs of black leggings? Sure, the material might be slightly different or the pattern but is it necessary?  I brought exactly 10 outfits that could be paired differently.  Different tops and different pants.  I brought three pairs of leggings and did laundry every few days.  I grew to love that clothing enough that I won’t be wearing any of it for a few weeks now that I’m home.

When I got home, I had even forgotten I owned certain leggings.  At that point, I realized I had too much stuff.

We Learned New Simple and Basic Recipes:

We didn’t have an oven.  So we were forced to cook the majority of foods from a pan or the microwave.  For example, one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables is by roasting them.  Roasted beets are delicious!  Instead of forgoing beets at all, we decided to try something new and boil them.  It worked out just as well and honestly it’s something I’ll do back in NJ too.

So while living in a 2 room hotel for a while wasn’t ideal, it did teach me a lot.

When I got home, it took me about a week, but I downsized and donated a lot.  What were some questions I asked myself:

  • Race Tshirts: Does the shirt have meaning to me?  Did I PR? Do I like the shirt, if it wasn’t my favorite, it was donated.
  • When was the last time I wore an item?  If it wasn’t in the last full calendar year, it was donated.
  • Do I have multiple of the same thing?  Base layers are great, but do you need 4 pairs of nearly identical black leggings?  I couldn’t even remember all of the similar styles I had.
  • Running Shoes: As someone who works in running retail, I had over 20 pairs of shoes.  I’m actively running in 3 pairs right now! I kept one model of each brand, and donated 13 pairs.  It feels like a fresh hair cut.

I’m happy to be back and I don’t regret staying down in Alabama for the full six weeks.  I learned a lot about myself and what was truly important to me.

Questions for you:
How do you figure out what to keep or donate?
What are some tips you have to live with less clutter?

 

Training: Back to the Cold

Last week was a solid week of training.  My easy runs felt good and I had two quality workouts. Since the Mercedes half marathon was more of a workout, I recovered quickly.  Not that I’m complaining…

Monday:  Easy 60 minutes at McAlpine Park in Charlotte
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: 12X2 minutes with 30 seconds rest
Friday: Easy 70 minutes
Saturday:  Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 2X4 mile tempo (6:42 pace)

I didn’t race this week and I probably won’t next week.  Due to weather, February is typically a “drier” race month in New Jersey. I’m happy to get a couple of quality weeks of training under my belt as well.  My next major race is the Shamrock half marathon in about a month.  That will be a race to hopefully test my fitness.  Incase you are interested, I wrote about my 2017 Spring Goal Races here.

Speaking of New Jersey, I’m having a hard time adjusting back to the climate.   When I left, we hadn’t had a lot of cold days and now running in the 20s feels difficult.  It’s quite a shock from the drastic humidity of Alabama.  So if you see someone running around in a parka, it might be me.

Workouts:
Thursday: 12×2 minutes with 30 seconds rest (average 6:15 pace)

I appreciate my workouts are rarely the same.  This is one of the better workouts I’ve had lately.  I’m back to doing workouts on roads and I felt good

Sunday: 2X4 miles (6:42 average)
This workout intimidated me.  The goal pace was 6:44.  I did the workout on roads and it flew by.  I never felt amazing but I was able to make the pace.

This week will be similar.  I’ll just crank through workouts and get them under my belt.

Posts from the Week:
Mercedes Half Marathon
Saucony Freedom ISO Shoe Review
Love Yourself

Questions for you:
How was your week of training?
Where is your favorite spot to workout?

Training last Week: Travel and 5k (18:42)

Training last week clicked off well. I ran what I needed to and got the mileage in.  I don’t have any complaints about the week.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes (9:20 pace) Core
Tuesday: Easy 7 miles (8:40)
Wednesday: Workout Core
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes (9:05 pace)
Friday: Easy 60 minutes Core
Saturday: Workout: Polar Bear 5k (18:42)
Sunday Easy Mercedes Course Preview
Total: 59  miles

Easy Runs:

My easy runs were slower than usual last week but it was also humid. Most of the days last week were either running in 100% humidity or the rain. I didn’t feel bad or injured, but the heat change was noticeable.

Wednesdays Workout:
4X60 seconds (average 6:00)
1X10 minutes (6:33)
1X3 minutes (5:56)
4X60 seconds (average 6:10)

The workout was definetely different and a nice change. Something I do like about my coach is that he doesn’t give the same workouts weekly. I’m not doing 10x400s each week hoping to see improvmeent, or worse comparing myself when I don’t.

As far as execution, it was one of my better workouts in the last few weeks.
Polar Bear 5k (18:42):

My husband and I decided to take a road trip last weekend. We went to Atlanta and then Birmingham. We have been to Altanta a few times, so we stayed away from the touristy things. We stumbled upon a 5k and when we went there, I was shocked! It was a 1000+ person 5k and we weren’t expecting that. I had a workout that day of 2X5k at 6:45 pace.

I ran the first 5k at 5:58 and the second at 6:50. It was a lot faster than planned.

My splits were 6:00, 5:55 and 5:58. I ran a smart race and I’m happy with it. It was a moderately difficult course and I’ll have a recap soon.

This workout is more mentally challening than anything.  The second 5k is always extremely difficult to get out there. It takes a lot of mental pep talk after a race to get back and run hard by yourself again (I’ve done this workout a couple times: Haddonfield Road Race and Run for Jack). I didn’t want to interfere with racers and I ended up running part of the workout in a hilly neighborhood.

We swung by Birmingham on the way back and did the last Mercedes Course Preview Run.  While the Merecedes half won’t be a goal race for me, it was nice to check out the course.  I didn’t realize it was as hilly as it is.

In summary, it was a good week. The next two weeks are bigger race weeks for me with the Double Bridges 15k in Pensacola next weekend and the Mercedes Half Marathon the following.

Running Related Posts from the Week:
How to Run with a Significant Other
Running Books I’m Reading

Questions for you:
What is the biggest race you’ve ever done?
How was your week of workouts?

Training Last Week: 400s and Moving

Greetings from the Cotton State. As most people know, I have relocated to Montgomery, Alabama for the next few weeks. While it wasn’t what I anticipated doing in 2017, sometimes things happen. Even though I’ve been here less than 24 hours, I’ve had a positive experience.

So how was training last week?

With working, packing and moving, training took a back seat. I still ran but life was more important. To be honest, I’ve been in a funk with running. My guess it’s a combination of having several runs in pouring rain and 30 degrees or bitter wind. Running in that weather hasn’t been the most pleasant but I’m hoping a change of scenery will also help.

Monday: Easy 60 min run
Tuesday; 10X400s warmup/cooldown
Wednesday: Easy 65 min run
Thursday: Easy 70 min run
Friday: Easy 65 min run
Saturday: 12 Mile Long Run
Sunday: Easy 65 mins
Total: 63 miles

Workout: 10X400s with 90 seconds rest

As most people know, I generally do my workouts on roads. Back in New Jersey, I didn’t have access to a track, plus I race on roads. My pace for the 400s averaged about 6 min/mile pace. I would have liked to be faster but my legs didn’t have it. I finished the workout feeling meh. I wasn’t confident but I wasn’t overly upset either.

The rest of the runs were easy with nothing major of note. I always enjoy running in Central PA and did my long run out there.

The plan for this upcoming week is to continue trucking along. (Isn’t always the plan?) I’ll be getting used to a brand new (life) schedule and brand new running routes. Neither of which I mind but it will effect training.

Posts from the week:
December Training
Run for Jack 5k (18:30)
Runners You Might Encounter this Winter

Questions for you:
Do you do workouts on roads or on the track?
How was the weather where you are?

Next Stop: Montgomery, AL

As you read this, I am on the 1000 mile road to Montgomery, Alabama.  I’ll be living there for the next 6 weeks. montgomery, alabama

Due to my husband’s job, we will be residing down there for the next 6-8 weeks.  It came up last minute so instead of mentioning it when we found out (about 3 weeks ago), we chose to keep it quiet.  With anything in the military, things can change last minute, so you never know.

We told family and a few friends but other than that we didn’t tell a whole heck of a lot of people.  But if you don’t blog about it, it never happened right?

Of course, I feel guilty that many people will find out via this blog post or Facebook, but it all happened so suddenly.  I enjoy living in New Jersey but six weeks is not a long time in the grand scheme of things.

As most people know, I work in a running specialty store.  Luckily, January and February are the quieter, so it wasn’t as big of a deal for me to need the time off.  I am lucky RunningCo. is good to me.

So I guess there isn’t much more to say.  I’ll be in the Montgomery area for the next 6 weeks. I’ll be relatively busy but if you’re local or have any recommendations for the area let me know.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get down to Pensacola as well as Atlanta for at least a day or two.

Questions for you:

Have you ever had a short term move?

Have you ever been to Montgomery?  Do you any have recommendations of things to do?