Today's Mighty Oak

Last week before my first stepdown week, and I am thankful to get there!

  • Monday: Rest day. Threw a little get together with way too much food, board games and drinks. More on that below.
  • Tuesday: 6 miles. Went to run with the Frontrunners early to try to time getting my extra two in before we all left for the four mile loop. This time was successful.
  • Wednesday: 5 miles at the gym. Lots of resolutioners, but they seem to leave not too long after I’m there, so I can mostly ignore them, locker room has been super crowded though.
  • Thursday: 6 miles. Once again tried to time it with the Frontrunners, not successful, but it worked out in the end, a couple of them were doing extra, so me getting back early and their extra miles worked out just about perfectly!
  • Friday: Rest day. Became an impromptu game and drinks night with a friend, so I moved things around for the weekend.
  • Saturday: 5 miles at the gym. Had a lot of errands to run, and this was the first stop. Had tried to get a new pair of Ghosts, but the running store is restocking, so hopefully next week.
  • Sunday: 16 miles. Originally I was going to run this on the GAP, but with the snow that came down the night before (just in time for me to drive home in it from downtown), I didn’t want to deal with it on the trail. Headed to Schenley and did the Frontrunner loop four times. I enjoy doing loops like this, seeing the changes each time (and getting honked at by a driver who I inconvenienced for about a second and a half by running in the cleared bike lane versus the ice covered sidewalk; I then flicked him off, which I know I shouldn’t do, but it felt right).
  • Core/strength: I did the next two full classes of Dedicate, the 30-day Yoga with Adrienne series, on the other days, I did her 7-minute runner’s yoga, which I’m finding really helpful to loosen things up. I like that a lot more than the full classes, but I’d like to incorporate both, we’ll see what happens moving forward.

Overall it was a good, but busy week. Glad to have a bit of a down week, but of course that just means I filled my schedule in with everything else I want to get done, but so it goes.

Here we go, week two!

  • Monday (New Year’s Eve): Rest day. Threw a little get together with way too much food, board games and drinks. More on that below.
  • Tuesday (New Year’s Day): 6 miles. Mini loops in the neighborhood. Almost got hit by a car backing out of a driveway, and saw tons of doggos out for their afternoon walks!
  • Wednesday: Rest day, miles added to Sunday of previous week due to doctor’s appointment and catching up with some friends for drinks.
  • Thursday: 6 miles. Still lots of resolutioners at the gym.
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: 14 miles. Back on the Great Allegheny Passage. My body couldn’t decide if it was going to be hot or cold, which was annoying. I went out slightly faster than I should have, and although I kept it up the entire run, my hips paid for it the next day.
  • Sunday: 5. Pretty beat up from my long run the day before, so kept it slow, but still walked a bit at the end. Gym still very crowded, especially for a Sunday.
  • Core/strength: I did the first two full classes of Dedicate, the 30-day Yoga with Adrienne series, on the other days, I did her 7-minute runner’s yoga, which I’m finding really helpful to loosen things up.

At my New Year’s party, I had a bunch (too much) of some sliced summer sausage. I’ve used that exact same item while making mujarada at the Burn. This last year at the burn especially, and New Year’s, I was horrified to see my ankles and feet disappear into a wobbly, bloated mess. As in, I could feel the swelling sway as I walked.

I looked up the sodium content in it, and it’s through the roof, so I’m thinking that, or the possibility that there is something in it that I’m allergic to, makes me realize that I need to never eat it again, as well as pay better attention to my sodium intake.

Here’s my yearly roundup of all the yearly wrap up videos. First up, YouTube Rewind. This may be the last year I include it. One, it’s not a great video, and two, I recognize less and less of these creators each year. My bits of Youtube aren’t represented (and that’s okay!).

Next up, DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop:

And here is Google’s year in search:

I’m working on putting together my 2018 year in review video, that will be up sometime soon!

Starting a new training plan, so a new series of weekly training recaps! This time, I’m doing a 24 week plan (if I counted correctly) from Relentless Forward Progress.

  • Monday: 6 miles on the mini loop (1/3 of a mile) around my neighborhood.
  • Tuesday (Christmas): Rest day (swapped from original plan with Monday, due to the holiday)
  • Wednesday: 5 miles
  • Thursday: 6 miles (mini loops in the neighborhood)
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: 12 miles. Back on the Great Allegheny Passage, and it was such a wonderful run, although a bit windy on the way back, but very enjoyable!
  • Sunday: 5 + 5. Was supposed to do only do five. Because of New Year’s and a doctor’s appointment, I opted to do Wednesday’s miles as a second workout. A bit sore the next morning, but glad I did it.
  • Core/strength: I’m finishing up the TravelStrong intermediate squat challenge (for Buttmas, the follow up to Planksgiving), and on Tuesday, we’re starting Namast-New Year, a 31 day yoga challenge!

Since we’re at the end of the year (and I’m not running tonight), I figured this would be a good time to look back at the year!

My first race was the VeteRun half marathon in West Virginia, which I turned into a mini runcation with my friend Cat and ran with my Aunt! I also set a new PR for the distance, even in the windy conditions!

The year continued with my first full marathon, and then onto the extra long 5K that was Stride for Pride! I finally broke an hour in the 10K at The Great Race, and of course, there were a few virtual races in there.

October was my fall A race, the GAP Trail Relay, and then the next morning, the Mario Lemieux 6.6K (where I exactly tied my PR for the distance) and a 10K in Central Park!

All in all, I ran 1,222.8 miles. I don’t run with Strava or any other kind of tracker, I just use a spreadsheet to track the miles (rounding down to the nearest mile, except for races, where I’ll add in the tenths). After my marathon plan, I made a goal to hit 1,200 for the year, averaging 100 a month, and I’m so glad that I did it!

I also had an amazing year in terms of clubs and teams! PRorER had our official meetup at Eagle Up Ultra (videos located down the page here), we had a mini-meetup in Pittsburgh and continued to grow our little running family through new members and two babies! We’re getting ready to tackle Jackpot in February (as well as a host of other events throughout the year), and a Pittsburgh ultra, dumb run in the woods event over the summer!

Our team from the GAP relay learned we loved running at nights so much we’ve kept doing it, leading to the creation of PRANK: Pittsburgh Runs At Night Klub. And my running group, the Front Runners, heads towards our 35th anniversary with a growing membership and some of the best running friends I could ask for.

What does 2019 bring? Well, starting the second week of my next training plan, and have a bunch of races on my calendar, including my fall A race (at least I think it will be my A race), the Philly Half, so I can get the Keystone challenge medal.

I’m looking forward to another year with wonderful people and using running to see new and exciting places. I’ll probably do the same and set a mileage goal after my spring A race, as a way to keep myself motivated throughout the summer and the rest of the year!

Elections have consequences.  The Justice Department filed a brief to support of businesses being able to fire workers for being trans.

And the presidential administration has fired HIV+ Airmen, because of their status, right before Christmas.

The administration also shut down a study looking to cure HIV.

President Obama is featured on the final Hamildrop:

Steve King says that Nazis from Austria would be Republicans here…and he’s not wrong.

A Florida man was kicked out of his apartment because he’s gay, and has no legal way to fight it, the sad reality most of the country lives in.

The first teaser for Avengers: Endgame has dropped:

A gay professional wrestler in Australia is using his OnlyFans account to raise money for suicide prevention, and I think that’s both wonderful and admirable, as well as a great use of the platform (and his physique)!

And the teaser trailer for the Downton Abbey movie has also dropped:

NASA’s new Mars lander, Insight, has sent back selfies from the surface of the red planet!

And finally, the president of the company that owns Grindr, thinks gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married.

I run with the Pittsburgh Frontrunners, and the name was derived from the book, “The Front Runner” by Patricia Nell Warren.  I’ve never read it, and I’d like to, even though I’ve heard it’s a bit dated at this point.

However, it spawned a global running community, there are Front Runner chapters all over the world, and the International Front Runners participates in things such as the Gay Games.  That group, has awarded Warren an honorary lifetime membership (the first such award) to honor her writing and the birth of a global running organization.

I’m so happy to run with the Frontrunners, having found a great group of friends, both at my pace, and not, all of whom I’ve learned so much from!

Happy Guy Fawkes Day! (one of my annual posts). For the love of all that you hold dear, make sure you have a plan and go vote tomorrow.  Do it for the people you love who at this point don’t see a future.  We’re all depending on you.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I know of no reason

Why the Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent

To blow up the King and Parli’ment.

Three-score barrels of powder below

To prove old England’s overthrow;

By God’s providence he was catch’d

With a dark lantern and burning match.

Hulloa boys, Hulloa boys, let the bells ring.

Hulloa boys, hulloa boys, God save the King!


A penny loaf to feed the Pope.

A farthing o’ cheese to choke him.

A pint of beer to rinse it down.

A faggot of sticks to burn him.

Burn him in a tub of tar.

Burn him like a blazing star.

Burn his body from his head.

Then we’ll say ol’ Pope is dead.

Hip hip hoorah!

Hip hip hoorah!

Alright, let’s talk about the GAP Relay!  Our team had a blast.  The organization of the race was a total shit show.  So let’s get to it!  More after the break (it’s a long one):


(Note: I’m still processing the mass shooting in Pittsburgh from this weekend.  But we all also need and deserve spaces to put the world behind us and have a bit of normalcy.  I’m taking that space.)

First up today, the trailer for Aquaman looks really awesome!

It’s just a teaser, but the live action Aladdin looks neat and I got really excited for it:

In horrific news, a transgender girl was excluded from an active shooter drill at a school.  So not only do we have to have active shooter drills at schools, but they were fighting over where she should go.  The world is disgusting.

An eight year old pulled a 1,500 year old sword out of lake.  I”m pretty sure she is now our Queen.

Randy Rainbow is back with Just Be Best:

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