Tito's Diner Fredricksburg, VA
Diners

Tito’s Diner (Fredricksburg, VA)

Tito’s Diner (Fredricksburg, VA)

A few weeks ago, I went to Tito’s Diner in Fredricksburg. As most people know, I grew up in Virginia, although a few hours South.

We were driving home from Charlottesville and needed a place to stop. Why not a diner, right?

Tito’s Diner Atmosphere: A
If you’re looking for a stereotypical diner, Tito’s Diner is it. It’s a big shiny, metallic, building, located in the center of a large shopping center.  The inside is equally as a traditional diner with plenty of memorabilia and a full-length bar, with plenty of tables and booths.

Tito's Diner Fredricksburg, VA

Tito’s Diner Coffee: A
I haven’t had a great diner coffee in quite some time. It was brewed hot and fresh. My favorite part was the personalized coffee mug; not many diners have those!

Tito's Diner Fredricksburg, VA

Tito’s Diner Food: B
Tito’s Diner menu is extensive with plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

I decided to order the hummus appetizer.  The pita bread was much crunchy and more of a chip than bread. It’s not my personal preference. The hummus was good, but nothing unique or special.

Tito's Diner Fredricksburg, VA

I was craving breakfast so went with the chorizo skillet with rye toast.

Tito's Diner Fredricksburg, VA

I haven’t had a skillet in a while, and while the meal wasn’t bad, it wasn’t the best ever. It was just a standard breakfast meal with plenty of potatoes, hash browns, and cheese.

Tito's Diner Fredricksburg, VA

Tito’s Diner Service: A
The waitress was one of the most friendly waitresses I’ve had in a while. She was one of the best waitresses, and the food came out very quickly.

Price: $
For my coffee, hummus, and meal, the cost was $18.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to Tito’s Diner:
I enjoyed Tito’s Diner, and I would go back. I would love to try some of the other options!  If you’re ever in Fredericksburg, Tito’s Diner is worth your stop.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Service: A
Price: $10-20
Overall: A

You can see all the diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite way to eat eggs?
Where did you grow up?

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me running snow
Running, Training

Training: A Weekend of Racing

Last week was a good week of running.  While not everything went as planned, I did leave the week feeling satisfied.  I saw so many family and friends which always beats running anyway.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: 8X400 followed by 8x200s (6:00 min)
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes+massage
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Adrenaline 5k (18:29) total miles 9
Sunday: Shamrock 13.1 (1:23.21) total miles 15

Thoughts:

8X400 (400 jog in the middle) followed by 8X200 (200 jog in the middle)

The average pace of the workout was around 6 mins.  I’ve done much faster, and I was hoping to feel better.  It was snowing (as many of my workouts have been lately) but my body did not feel great either.  I was happy to be done with the workout.

Adrenaline Run (18:29) 6:00, 6:10, 5:47

After realizing I would need to be in town until Saturday, I decided I would run the Adrenaline Run. It’s sponsored and put on by my work and I’ve always wanted to run.  A few weeks ago, I thought it would be a great way to test my fitness since I would need to be in town anyway. I could leave for Shamrock afterward.  The race didn’t go as I hoped and while it is a fast time for me,  it wasn’t what I wanted. I had a chaotic few days beforehand between life as well as work.  I know I’m in “better shape” than 18:29 and hopefully it will come sooner.

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:23.21)

After the Adrenaline Run, I drove down to Va (about 300 miles) to run one of my favorite races of the year.  I didn’t have a plan for the race other than to have fun.  After a chaotic week, 5k, and driving, making a goal was hard. My primary goal was to have fun and run a healthy race.  I walked around before but didn’t do any extra warm up. I just started at a 6:30 pace and ran by feel.  Slowly I progressed and ran a negative split half which I was pleased about.

In all, it wasn’t the week I thought it would be.  I had hoped to have a fast 5k and see where the half went, but still a great weekend.  The Shamrock half is my third fast ever and the 2nd fastest in the last 2 years, so there are no complaints about that.  I had a great weekend with so many family and friends.

Posts of the week:
Not Every Run is Fun
Hiking the Mesquite Trail (Phoenix)
Dixie Mine Trail

Questions for you:
Have you done back to back races?
How far do your parents live from you?

Running, Running Reads, Training

Distance Series 15 Miler (1:39.46)

Last weekend I ran my first race in almost two months. It wasn’t that I wanted to avoid races. However, races haven’t happened near me.  They have gotten canceled due to storms or just don’t exist. Or the limited that have occurred haven’t fit in my schedule.

Last weekend, I drove to visit my parents. I knew the Distance Series was happening, but I decided to play it by ear.  I’ve run several before, however, not in the last few years. When I lived in VA, I was a member of Tidewater Striders…now I just call myself a Satelite Strider.

I decided if the weather was decent (above 10), I would sign up. As the days drew closer, the weather was looking amazing. It was dreamy.

My dad and I got to the race a lot earlier than we anticipated.  We found ourselves at Fort Monroe a solid 75 minutes before race start. I had no plans to do a warm-up and was able to catch up with friends the entire time.  I rarely do a warmup before half marathons, and since 15 miles was my longest run in a while, I didn’t find it necessary.  I was just going to use the first few miles to warm up.

At 8:55, racers made our way to the start. There was both a 10 miler and a 15 miler. I chose the 15 miler. Even though 15 miles would be my longest run in over a year and my longest race since my marathon 3 years ago. I thought it would be a good challenge for me.  I had no goals and told anyone who asked it was a half marathon with a bonus round.  I had zero clue how the race would go.  I knew I was in decent shape, but how decent was the question.

The course itself is 3 loops around Fort Monroe. If the weather is ideal (like it was when we raced), then it’s beautiful. If there is a lot of wind, then it can be extremely unpleasant. If you asked me to race there in the 20s and a windy day, I would laugh.  I might get blown into the River.  You would never escape the wind since you are running the outer loop of an island. Luckily, the weather was ideal.

I started the race in a large pack consisting of myself, legend Steve, good friend Andrew, and a couple of other local runners. All of them had workouts, and my goal was to finish strong. I knew based on their respected plans, I wouldn’t have people to run with the entire time, but I was going to make the best of the pack while it lasted.

Ultimately we ran the first four miles together. We were talking, catching up and hanging out. Let it be known this is probably the only time I will “hang out” with those guys, as Steve is tapering for the Rocky Racoon and Andrew is getting ready for another marathon.  I’ll take it. The miles went 6:50, 6:46, 6:42, and 6:46. They felt effortless, and by the time I knew it, Steve and Andrew said they were going into their workout.

The other woman and I left the pack. She was doing running the 10 miler and doing a marathon paced workout. She asked if I wanted to join her and I said sure. We ran a 6:36, 6:38, and 6:46 mile. I could tell I was beginning to get antsy and I was raring to go.

So I kicked it into the next gear. I hit mile 8 in 6:33 and felt good. I was surprised and thought, today is the day you need. I ran mile 9 in 6:29 and mile 10 in 6:33. At mile 10 they directed 10 Milers to the finish, and I went into lap 3.

I chuckled to myself because I’ve done a few workouts in my neighborhood doing several laps around the same loop. My 70-year neighbors comment “it’s like watching “real life Nascar” and that’s how I felt.

Between mile 10-11, I began passing people who were on a previous lap. There was some weaving but nothing unmanageable and I thrive off of seeing other runners. I ran mile 10 in 6:31 and mile 11 in 6:25. I couldn’t believe how good I felt.

At mile 12, I grabbed Gatorade and told myself 3 more miles. I knew after 13.1 anything could happen. The half is the longest distance I’ve raced in several years. I’ve run 14 miles in the last few months but not 15 and no races above 13.1. I just hoped I would continue to feel good.  I tried to remind myself it’s unnecessary to run 26.2 miles while training for a marathon and this was the same mentality.

I hit the half around 1:27. I felt strong, and I also felt weird. The last half I ran, the Philadelphia Half marathon I ran in 1:27.57.  I felt like utter garbage and even stopped. Granted I was coming off food poisoning. At 13.1 at the Distance Series, I felt like a million bucks and I was excited.

I passed a few friends on their second loop and gave a couple of high fives. I reminded myself, you now have less than 12 minutes. You can do it.  For some reason, when I feel as though I have 12 minutes left in a race, I tend to get over whatever mid miles mental block I have.

I focused on the guy in front of me who was about 30 seconds ahead. I wanted so badly to catch him. In 2017, I gave up a lot of races because I didn’t have a kick or energy towards the finish. I wanted to start 2018 racing with a new year, new me mentality.

me running distance series va beach

I began cranking, and I ran mile 14 in 6:33. There was a little cross breeze. The final mile faces the finish line. You can see the building in the distance although it doesn’t feel as though it ever gets much closer.

I just ran. I ran as hard as my legs would turn over.  I didn’t waste extra energy. I put all of the energy towards the forward motion of what I was there to do. I passed a lot of people on their second loop as well as the guy I had. Even watching. My last mile was my fastest by far, and I ran a 6:06.

I crossed the finish as the first woman in 1:39.45 and 6:34 overall pace. I was extremely pleased. I hadn’t expected to feel that good, but I have no complaints. It feels good to start 2018 on a good racing foot. I feel as though I gained a lot of my running confidence back.  A couple people have asked but I am not training for a marathon.  It was fun to get out of my comfort zone for a longer race and I felt good doing it, but there is a lot more running, training, and commitment involved with a marathon.

Questions for you:

What is the longest race distance you’ve run?

What are some fun “nontraditional” distances you’ve run?

 

Diners

Sage Diner (Onley, VA)

Sage Diner (Onley, VA)

Recently I went to the Sage Diner with my parents on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  This Sage Diner is not to be confused with the Sage Diner in Mount Laurel.  Coincidentally, my parents went too a few years ago. I drive down the Eastern Shore (from New Jersey to my hometown of Virginia Beach) regularly, but I haven’t been to a lot if diners on the Eastern Shore.

Sage Diner (Onley, VA) Atmosphere: B
The Sage diner is located right on Route 13 and has a huge sign located outside, so it’s hard to miss.  There are several locations.

The building reminds me of a local family is owned business  It’s a casual brick building with a sign that says Sage Diner.  The inside is a large square room with several booths and tables as well as a bar.  There is nothing unique about it but does have a cute small town feel to it.

Sage Diner (Onley, VA) Coffee: B
The waitress brewed a fresh pot and it was brewed hot. There was nothing unique about the coffee and there were a few grounds inside.  Other then that, it wasn’t too bad.

Sage Diner Virginia

Sage Diner (Onley, VA) Service: B
Our waitress was very friendly but she got several parts of our order wrong including my parent’s soup as well as my pudding.  She blamed it comically on “being senile”. (Her words not mine).

She was friendly and treated us as if she had known us for years.

Sage Diner (Onley, VA) Food: B
The Sage Diner menu is huge.  They have the basic breakfast staples such as eggs and pancakes but nothing unusual.  I decided to try the special, “The chicken souvlaki.”  To be honest I had no idea what would come out!

Sage Diner Virginia

I assumed there would be chicken but after that…I had no idea.  The chicken souvlaki had grilled chicken with roasted vegetables and a very thick and heavy oil.  To be honest, there was so much oil it turned into a soup at the bottom of my plate.  The meal itself was good though.  I enjoyed the roasted vegetables and chicken.  It oddly enough reminded me of a grilled fajita on a pita (diner rhyming?).

Sage Diner Virginia

It also came with a side salad which was a perfect compliment.  The menu stated the special came pudding, however, the waitress forgot and by the time she remembered it was time to go.

In summary, I enjoyed my food at the Sage Diner and it was typical of a diner.

Sage Diner (Onley, VA) Cost: $
For my special and coffee, the cost was $13.  It was a lot of food for not a lot of money so I can’t complain.

Summary/Would I come back to the Sage Diner (Onley, VA)?

I enjoyed the Sage Diner and it’s a great stop on the Eastern Shore.  If you are heading through the Eastern Shore, I would recommend stopping by the Sage Diner.

Summary:
Atmosphere: B
Service: B
Coffee: B
Food: B
Cost: $10-15
Overall: B

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Have you ordered anything off a menu having no idea what to expect?
Have you ever traveled down route 13 on the Eastern Shore?