Flying to North Jersey

Last week my husband and I took a flight up to Northern New Jersey.  As I mentioned last time, if you have a pilot’s license and are qualified on the plane, you can rent an airplane.  So that’s exactly what we did. It’s like renting a car except you rent a plane.

Throughout the years, LOLZ blog has taken many different turns about life and other random topics.  Most recently, flying has seen its way into my life.  Like going to diners, it’s a fun hobby that both my husband and I enjoy doing so it makes sense to blog about it.  Since I’m not running much, I need something to talk about right?

tim and I

This time, we decided to fly up to Pompton Plains, New Jersey.  Neither of us had been to that general area of New Jersey, so we thought why not?  We also wanted to check out the Pompton Queen Diner.  It was recently ranked as one of the top diners in New Jersey, and I can see why! That deserves it’s own post for another day…

We flew out of Southern New Jersey and headed north along the Delaware Riverfront overlooking Philadelphia.  We saw a prison from above which I thought the design was neat.  Not neat enough that I would want to be behind bars though…

prison

We flew over Princeton.  It was so neat to see it from an aerial view.  I thought I might even see some of my friends doing a track workout or something.

princeton

Next, we saw New York from afar.  As you can see, there is a layer of smog there.  For our next flight, we want to fly to either Long Island or somewhere out that direction. For security reasons, you aren’t able to fly too close to New York.

new york city

Where we landed, in Pompton Plains, is a hilly and wooded area.  The runway sort of appeared out of nowhere.  pompton plains flying

Once we landed in Pompton Plains, we headed to the Pompton Queen Diner, which was only a few miles away.  In fact, we ended up walking back from the diner to the airport.  It was a fun little adventure.

pompton plains 1

It was a beautiful walk back to the airport, and I’m glad we did.

nature walk

I enjoy flying and checking out various places. Both my husband and I enjoy flying around and exploring new areas of the tristate area.  I’m not sure where we will go next!

flying

Incase you missed the Flight to Cape May.

Questions for you:

Have you ever flown in a private plane?

Do you have any recommendations of places to fly?

Delmar Diner

Delmar Diner

Last week I stopped at the Delmar Diner located on the border of the Delaware and Maryland.  I’ve driven by on the way to college and work in Upstate, NY as well now back home to New Jersey.  It’s a diner I’ve passed a lot and have never paid it much attention.  I was getting hungry, so I stopped at a rest stop, googled diners and found this one.

Atmosphere: C
As I said earlier, it’s easy to drive by the Delmar Diner.  The outside blends into the scenery, and most people are focused on the state line 100 feet away.

Delmar Diner

The inside atmosphere is decent but nothing out of the ordinary.  The restaurant itself is clean, however, nothing unusual.  It’s a small restaurant with a small town feel.

Service: A
The waitress brought several refills to my water and coffee.  It was great service, and I have no complaints.  The food was brought out within 15 minutes, and I was in and out within 45 minutes.

Coffee: A
The coffee was a milder roast.  I liked it, and there were plenty or refills.  Any coffee that doesn’t taste like water is a win for me.  Even though there were plenty of refills, I forgot to take a photo.  You can only take so many photos of coffee without it becoming boring…

Food: A
The Delmar Diner has all of the typical diner options.  They have a lot of breakfast staples such as eggs, pancakes and omelets as well as a few different diner staples such as steak and chicken pot pie.  You won’t find healthier options here!

I decided to order the chocolate chip pancakes.  I’m a pancake snob.  I like big filling pancakes versus small dinky ones. The pancakes at the Delmar Diner were light and fluffy.  There were plenty of chocolate chips, and they were cooked all the way through with no uncooked batter.

They added more powdered sugar and chocolate chips on top.  I liked the pancakes a lot and after all of that sugar, I had plenty of energy to drive back to New Jersey.

pancakes1

Cost: $
For my coffee and pancakes, the cost was $8.  For the amount of food and coffee, it is a good value.

Would I come back?
I thought it was a good stop along the way, and I would stop again.

Summary:
Atmosphere: C
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $8-13
Overall: A-

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite type of pancake?
Do you like to stop and eat while traveling?

Random Musings of the Week

Oomph what a week but I decided to participate in a thinking out loud post and update you on my life!

This week has not been optimal for sleep.  I don’t know why I’m not sleeping well, but I’ve found myself tossing and turning most days of the week.  I need 8+ hours of sleep to function well.  I’ve said before, some people can function on 2-3 hours, however, I’m not one of those people.  

Hopefully I can focus on getting some sleep for the next few days. 

So what else is going on?

Let’s start with the good news.  I was recently selected to be on the Rock N Roll #rocknblog team.  I’ve run a few Rock N Roll races, including Virginia Beach in 2014 and 2016 as well as Philadelphia this year.  I’ve always had a great time and so when I saw there were applications, I decided to apply.  I thought, why not me?

Rock N Roll RockNblog

I received an email a couple of days ago saying I was accepted.  To be honest, I was surprised!  I don’t apply to be an ambassador unless I already like something a lot…to me, it’s too much commitment.

So what does this mean for my running and racing? 

I will run a few more RnR races.  I’m hoping to travel a little bit, and RnR Denver, Chicago and Seattle have all peaked my interest.  Since I’m not made of money to fly for every race, I probably won’t make it to all of them (or maybe any?).  I will do RnR Virginia Beach again.  Surprisingly though, the timing of Philadelphia probably won’t work for me.

I will say, I don’t have plans to take midrace selfies and will still race as if I’m paying for the race.  My only obligation for #rocknblog is to have fun and of course promote the race series too.  To me, “having fun”, is running well and being able to smile at the finish line.  For others “having fun” is about posing at various signs and statues during the race…whatever floats your fun boat!

I feel like that is my big and exciting news of the week…can the rest of my post even compare?

I found a mysterious crack at the bottom of my windshield.  My guess is a rock hit directly underneath my wiper causing a huge crack.  It was invisible to the driver or passenger.  I was cleaning my windshield from the salt only to lift the wiper and see a noticeable crack.  The entire windsheild had to be replaced, and it was not cheap.  Much cheaper than my previous Pontiac Firebird, which I do believe half of the car was a giant windshield.

One of the few photos I have left of my car...seriously all windshield
One of the few photos I have left of my car…seriously all windshield

Moving on, a few people have asked how my skin has been since my antibiotic problems.  In summary, I went on a new antibiotic which took over two months to feel good again.  Before October, I had never had any issues with antibiotics.  I never had any reactions and I honestly have a stomach of steel.  Then in October, everything was thrown off and even after going off the medication I felt off.

Now I’m not longer taking an oral antibiotic and just using topical gels.  My physical health and my skin have been a lot better since just using the topical gel.

Questions for you:
Have you run a Rock N Roll race? Is there one I should look into traveling for?
What’s a random fact about your day?

Two Weeks of Training

Training:
Since the vacation week of workouts was easy (and boring), I combined the last two weeks of training into one post.

January 18-23 (The Warm Weather)

Training during my vacation week was low key.  My husband and I ran together, but we didn’t stress about running.  I didn’t do any workouts because I was recovering from the Carlsbad half marathon.

We ran easy miles and enjoyed the beautiful weather and change of scenery.  Easy miles are boring and except for the-the views, nothing eventful happened.

Speaking of views:

Watching the sun rise was one of the best parts of our runs.  Especially since we never left East Coast time, it felt like we were running at 10 am.

me coronado

As I mentioned on Friday, I jumped into a local 5k last weekend.  In summary,  the race was on a moderate course and after running and hiking all week I was extremely pleased with my time.  It was my second fastest 5k in the last two years (behind my PR).  We weren’t expecting to race so we didn’t taper.

January 24-31 (The cold weather)

Monday: Easy run at Point Loma
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 6X1 mile repeats (6:24 pace) 4 miles warm-up, cooldown
Thursday: Easy miles
Friday: Easy miles
Saturday:  Easy run
Sunday: 10k tempo run
 Total:  70 miles

Monday was my favorite run because we were still in California. running california

 

Workout Wednesday: 6×1 mile hill repeats (average 6:24 pace)
I took Tuesday off which is probably why my average pace was significantly faster than usual (8 seconds per mile is a lot).  I felt good during the workout.

I slammed into a wall of negativity during the 5th mile.  I was breathing hard, my quads were on fire, and I was cold.  Luckily I toned my negativity down and reminded myself I just had 15 mins left.  I ran a 6:35 mile regrouped and came back on number 6 to run a 6:17.

I was surprised when I got home and saw that my miles repeats were the fastest I’ve done.  It did not feel effortless, and I knew I had been working hard.

My Saucony Zealots have a lot of miles on them now, so I decided to replace them with the Saucony Kinvara.  I’m surprised with how much I like them.  I’ll post a review when I’ve run a few more times in the Kinvaras. workout wednesday

I wasn’t going to run on Friday, but my husband asked if I wanted to join him.  We ended up running 7 miles around the neighborhood.

Saturday was another easy run and Sunday (today); I did a 6-mile tempo run.  I felt good during the tempo.  It did not feel as if I was going “all out” and racing but it did feel challenging.

There aren’t too many races this month which is fine because I’ve raced plenty in the last six months.

Thoughts:
Both weeks went well for me.  I had a great month of training and racing for January.  My plan for February is to get quality workouts in preparation for a few bigger Spring Races.  I will jump into a few races in February, but I’m not planning to taper for any.

Questions for you:
What was your best workout recently?
Would you rather run in the snow or on the treadmill?
If it’s icy and snowy, I’ll run inside.  It’s not worth another fall to me.

A Quick and Enjoyable New Years Trip

Last week I was able to go home and see my parents for New Years. It’s hard to believe I hadn’t been to my Virginia Beach hometown since the RnR Virginia Beach race in September.

I’m close with my family, so it was nice to spend a few days with them.  It was a great few days and we got to relax, enjoy New Years and run the Resolution Run.

My mom made the best Christmas gift.   When I was younger, I used to play with American Girl Dolls and had everything for those dolls. My mom has a small business and sews outfits for them (as well as other custom made items), so she made a LOLZ running outfit complete with runderwear and all.runner american girl doll

When I was much younger, my hair was dirty blonde, so this was me at about age 10.

You can go to her facebook page here if you are interested in her stuff.  She makes everything from American Girl doll clothing to baby blankets and bibs.  She ships too! 

My family, husband and I just spent time relaxing and hanging out.  Plus drinking coffee from one of my favorite coffee shops.

Jojacks Coffee
Is that enough whipped cream?

After running a 5k PR at the resolution run, we came back to enjoy family time.

An adorable photo of my 16 year old cat.
An adorable photo of my 16 year old cat.

One of my favorite desserts that mom makes is her Chocolate Ribbon Pie. It’s a pie made from cool whip, cream cheese as well as chocolate pudding. I’ve never attempted making it because I know I would be disappointed that it doesn’t taste like moms.

Chocolate ribbon pie
Chocolate ribbon pie

After a delicious and fun New Years lunch, we headed back north. I never realized how short the drive from Virginia to New Jersey is when you don’t stop ten thousand times along the way. It’s only 5.5 hours!

Questions for you:
How was your New Years?
Do you like pie?

State Line Diner

The State Line Diner

After a friend recommended the State Line Diner a few months ago, I added it to my “diner to do list.” I have wanted to try the diner for a while so when we were driving back from Syracuse it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

state line diner me

Atmosphere: A

The State Line Diner is a picture perfect diner. The outside signs are retro. The inside is clean, modern and neat. You enter the restaurant directly in front of the bakery. The diner has a few main rooms with plenty of booths, tables and even a bar area.  The diner itself was crowded, but we quickly found a seat.  That is the thing about diners, is that the parking lot can be full but there is somehow never a long wait for a table.

Service: A

The waitress was extremely friendly, straight to the point and on her game. She gave us great food recommendations and refilled our beverages quickly.  She had several tables, but we watched as she gave each table personal recommendations and was very friendly. She took her time and made everyone feel right.  She is one of the best waitresses I’ve come across.

Coffee: A

The coffee was perfect. It was refilled a lot, and the whipped cream was clearly homemade. It was hot every single time, and I never had a bad cup.

state line coffee

Food: A

The State Line Diner has a 10-page menu.  They have everything from breakfast to pizza and, of course, staple diner options and salads too.

I ordered the egg salad sandwich and French fries. I have been in an egg salad mood lately, and this sandwich was large and in charge. I had run the Festival of Races earlier in the day, and I was hungry. The French fries were cooked perfectly and not soggy or burnt. Everything was good and cooked well.  I enjoyed how big the sandwich was, and it needed toothpicks to keep it together!

state line diner egg salad

Dessert: A

Several people had advised me try the Rainbow Cake. When we asked our waitress for dessert recommendations, she also said it was the best dessert they had. I’m normally a chocolate cake person, but I must admit the Rainbow cake was incredible. I also had ice cream because cake and ice cream is a staple.  The Rainbow cake was a vanilla tie dyed flavor cake with chocolate frosting and a chocolate layer in between.

state line diner rainbow cake
I’m not saying this cake is what dreams are made of…but it is…

state line diner ice cream

Price: $$$

For my meal, coffee, ice cream and cake the cost was $30. To be honest, the quality and amount of food is justified, and it was a great deal.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back:

I’m very glad I don’t live close by because I would be at the State Line Diner very frequently. The food, the dessert, service and coffee is all perfect.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $10-30

It’s in the top 5% of diners I’ve been too and a must stop for anyone!

Questions for you:
Have you ever had Rainbow Cake?
How do you like your French fries?
Steak fries, waffle fries, stringy, burnt, soggy?

Raining and Training: 64 miles

I’m finally back on track with my training (Track pun intended). I’m slowly getting back to where I was (training wise) before September. September was a weird month for me because I took more rest days and also had a couple of weeks with no speed workouts. I’m glad to go back to my “normal” routine.

The only thing is I wish I could find a track that was open. A lot of the local schools have gym classes that utilize the track, so they aren’t open during school.

Training:

Monday and Tuesday were easy runs around my new neighborhood. I figured out that I could run to one of the turnpike rest area stops It makes sense that employees had a specialized area to park versus having to take the pike to work every day. It was neat, but it’s not somewhere I’ll frequent.

Workout Wednesday:
16X400s with 1-minute rest
I did this on the road and in the pouring rain.

It was my first workout in a few weeks as well as my first road 400 workout. I averaged 6:23 pace, but I think I’ll be able to run much quicker once I get back into the rhythm. Due to the rain, I had to change my clothing three times for that run (one after warm up, after the 400s and after the run itself). My whole neighborhood was flooded.

rainy run meme

Thursday I ran easy and Friday I took off.

On Saturday Tim and I ran together before leaving for Syracuse. The weather was awful due to the Hurricane but nothing unbearable. I have no issues running inside or not just not running if I’m uncomfortable with the weather. I catch up on my trashy TV with the treadmill.

On Sunday, I raced the Festival of Races 5k in Syracuse, NY. I made a quick trip up north to race and see Heather. I ran a 19:13 which is one of my better time right now.  It’s an extremely competitive race and one I’ve always wanted to do. I’ll have a race recap next week.

In summary, it was a good week for me. I recovered well from both the Rotary 5k and Maple Shade Soccer Club 5k last weekend. I haven’t done a long run in about a month now so hopefully I’ll get back on that next week. I don’t think it’s necessary, though, and the quality miles for me come from speed work.

Festival of Races 5k

Total Miles: 64
Workout miles: 7.1

Questions for you:
What was your best workout this week?
How do you do your track workouts when school is in session?