Today's Mighty Oak


Currently, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is hosting the Festival of F1rsts, and I’ve been lucky enough to catch four premiers!

First up, was “Manifold” a live concert and projection onto the side of the Benedum.  It was live after the performance of “The Show That Goes Wrong” and was pretty neat, although sadly, I didn’t realize it was a live orchestra until after.

Just a few steps away, we stopped by to see “Beyond” which I really loved.  You step into this corridor and the screen at the end, as well as the sound, lights and fog surrounding you give you a ten minute show!

Next, I saw Cirque Eloize’s “Hotel.” I’ve never seen a circus show before, and if Beyond din’t make me miss my Burner friends, this certainly did!

And finally, I was able to see Quantum Theatre’s “Chatterton.”  Much like their production of “TAMARA,” you move about the space and don’t see the whole show, following different characters as they interact with each other.  “Chatterton” took place in three time periods, and was a wonderful mystery to piece together, it’s still playing, so if you get a chance to go see this world premier, do it!

As a bonus, not specifically part of the Festival of Firsts, but after The Great Race Expo, I stopped by Rethink Perception, a small, temporary art gallery filled with works from the US Veterans’ Artists Alliance.

To see all the photos and short videos from my Festival experience, you can find the gallery here.



Race week!  My last couple runs, picking up of rental cars, packing of bags and vehicle totes and hitting the road for a new adventure!

  • Monday – Four miles
  • Tuesday – Eight miles, as well as getting all set up for the Smartr Study, so I got my FitBit and Nokia scale.  The nutritionalist I met with answered a lot of questions, and as I found out, she’s a runner too!  She wanted to hear all about the GAP relay after, and she’s heading out to California to run her first half pretty soon!
  • Wednesday – Three miles – My last miles before the race, just an easy shake out run.
  • Thursday – Rest – Drive down to Cumberland for packet pickup, runner social, safety meeting and trying to find some sleep the night before the race.
  • Friday-Saturday – GAP Trail Relay.

I’ll be back with a full race report!



This week was bonkers.  I was running (literally and figuratively) all over the place, but somehow, I managed to get just about everything in.

  • Monday – No miles, but had a team meeting for the GAP Trail Relay and put myself at ease.  We have a great team (and a great late addition after one member had to drop due to some injury issues).  Finally really looking forward to just getting out there and running!
  • Tuesday – Rest day – Another hectic day, but a friend came to visit from Paris, so I was more than happy to not run and spend time with him before he flies back to another continent.
  • Wednesday – 10 x 400 – My last speedwork of the plan.  I am really proud of myself and how I’ve gotten faster, even if it’s just a little bit.  While I try not to compare myself to others (especially since it seems everyone around me is getting faster quicker than I am), but looking back, I’m so incredibly proud of how much I’ve been able to improve.
  • Thursday – 6 miles.
  • Friday – 6 miles – Nothing too exciting, just getting in the miles.
  • Saturday – 15 miles – Let’s talk about the weather (not like “Welcome to Nightvale” weather, although if you want, please turn on some music).  I got out of the car at the trail and was like walking in soup.  By the time I was done, it was 82 degrees and cloudless.  This was October 6.  Sigh.  It was a rough run, and I walked when I needed to, my stomach was not happy with the weather and sun, and I should have put on sunscreen.
  • Sunday – Cross training – I was originally going to run, but after Saturday, my left leg was not feeling great.  It’s given me problems in the past, so I at least know it’s not completely out of commission, just need to be careful on it for a few days.  Because the world is awful and everything is terrible, I did some self-care and took a hot bath (with a bath bomb) and the heat helped a lot, so I’ll be running again tonight.
  • Cross training – I got out of the habit of doing any body weight work, and I can feel the difference.  We’ll see if I can get some planks in this week, and I’ll be hitting the r/bodyweightfitness routine again after the race.

I started packing the totes for each van over the weekend, we’re finally to race week!  I’m excited to just be out there running!



A fulfilling week, and also the calm before the storm!  This week is going to be absolute hell and it’s going to be a struggle to get everything in, but let’s keep our fingers crossed!

  • Monday – 6 miles – Swapped Monday and Tuesday and ran after I got back from Cleveland.
  • Tuesday – Rest day – did my cross training on the previous Saturday, so had the day to rest!
  • Wednesday – 40 minute tempo run
  • Thursday – 3 + 4 – Another double day, which I enjoy, and really like how it’s preparing me for the GAP relay!
  • Friday – Rest day – Went down for The Great Race expo.  Picked up my favorite flavor of GU that my running store doesn’t carry (chocolate mint) and met up with some friends.
  • Saturday – 7 miles – I was scheduled to do 15.  I woke up and just couldn’t stomach doing that long of a run, mentally it just wasn’t going to happen.  I took care of some things that needed done and that helped clear my mind a bit, and I went out with the intention of doing 8.  Got some weird pains (clothing issue, at least partially), so I called it at 7, which all in all, was the smart choice.
  • Sunday – 10K, The Great Race – Went into this just to have a happy run with my racing partner.  It was an absolutely beautiful day and we had such a great time on the course.  We negative split the whole thing, and we both got PR’s, breaking one hour for the first time!  I also got a 5K PR on the second half of the course, so that’s pretty awesome as well!  Grabbed a couple pics with both the Frontrunners and PRorER and headed home.

    Also got in some cross training with a bunch of walking and stair climbing during Quantum Theater’s world premier of “Chatterton.”  Much like “TAMARA,” you move around the space (this time a cathedral) to different scenes, following characters as the story unfolds.  The audience is split, so you don’t see the entire play, but you do get the opportunity over dinner at intermission to discuss what has happened with who you’re following.

  • Cross training – I got out of the habit of doing any body weight work, and this week doesn’t look promising to start back up.  I’ll try to fit some planks in if I can, those are a big help and that’s a good place to step back in.

This upcoming week is bonkers with a friend visiting from Europe, doctor’s appointments, working a career fair, and all kinds of other things.  I have beer waiting for me as a reward!



Alright, let’s see what we have today, it’s a fairly short update.

First up, what we witnessed on Friday, while showing the absolute strength, resolution and power of women and sexual abuse survivors, was, all-in-all, one of the most heinous things concocted by the Republicans in the 242 year history of this country, and that is saying something.  Don’t forget to take some time for yourself and self-care, and if you need help, reach out.

A priest in Chicago defied the Archdiocese and performed an ‘exorcism’ of a Pride flag, burning it.  A reminder, the Catholic Church is a hate group, full stop.

There’s a new trailer for the next Fantastic Beasts movie:

Google celebrated Mister Rogers this week with a wonderful Doodle!

That’s it for today, have a great one!



This week’s update is late, but it’s been a crazy week.  Spent the early morning hours of Monday driving to Cleveland and now I’m filling in for the receptionist the rest of the week as well.  Training is going well, but that, combined with the extra work, horrible allergies and just a lot on my calendar is leaving me ragged.  Hopefully I’ll get some good sleep this weekend before my last big long run!

  • Monday – 35 minutes cross training – Back to an oldie but a goodie, walking/stepping with my Wii Balance Board as I watch TV.  Not the most entertaining, but it gets it done!
  • Tuesday – 3 + 4 miles – This was my first doubles day!  Woke up early to do 3 miles at the gym, then did 4 miles that evening with the Frontrunners.  It’s good simulation of what I’ll be doing in the GAP, so even though it’s tough, it’s good practice.
  • Wednesday – 9 x 400 – The next step up in my speed work.  Had a blast, felt good, and I’m super excited that I was able to do these repeats at the speed I wanted to, which is faster than last year!
  • Thursday – 6 miles.
  • Friday – 7 miles (night) – Went down to Schenley park to run and did three loops: the one mile CMU loop, the four mile Frontrunner loop and two mile Cathedral of Learning loop.  About halfway through the final loop the skies opened and I got caught in a downpour.  I ducked under a tree for a bit, but that wasn’t helping, so I just sucked it up and finished.  Had to take my glasses off since I couldn’t see a thing, which made for some harrowing running, especially through the ponding water.
  • Saturday – 14 miles – I went downtown to run, on a neat route that took me through the Strip District, the North Shore, Point State Park and the Cultural District, as well as down the Riverfront Trail, where I passed two of my teammates who were out with SCRR!  We grabbed a quick photo and we were off (in different directions).

    After my run, I took advantage of being parked downtown and got in my cross training for the next day, walking the Strip District and stopping at Penzy’s Spices and grabbing some loose leaf tea.

  • Sunday – Rest day
  • Cross training – I did planks on Thursday, but that was it.  I’ve been so busy I’ve fallen off doing my cross training, but I need to get back to it.  Maybe a week off is a good mental break, but time to hit it once again.

This week has been just as crazy (hence why this is posted on Thursday), but hopefully things calm down after this weekend.  Long run on Saturday and then The Great Race on Sunday!



As part of the 25th anniversary of Myst, Cyan launched a crowdfunding campaign that, among other things, included copies of all the games on Steam.  Being my favorite game, I jumped all over it, and last night finished up playing through Myst ME.  I figured I’d write about each game as I finish them up.

Myst, being my favorite game of all time, is one that I’ve played many times.  So I was able to go through faster than someone figuring out the puzzles for themselves for the first time (Revelation will be tough, I tried to put most of that game out of my head).  But I made sure to take the time to read all the journals and enjoy the ambiance.

It’s a bit dated of course, but for 25 years old, it still holds up, and it’s amazing the type of innovations they were able to figure out to make the game work and make it an immersive experience.

As always, I left the Selentic Age for last, but at least now, my ear seems to be much better trained than the last time I played through.

I think the Channelwood Age is my favorite, but just walking around the island of Myst itself is always such a pleasure.  The bundle includes RealMyst which I’ve never played, so I’m excited for that, and I’ll be doing that last, and at least just wandering around a bit instead of playing the whole game again.

I also, of course, love the look of Stoneship, and Mechanical was actually the first Age I remember getting to.  It also reminds me of Garrison from URU, so it’s neat to see that influence.

The ending is so well written, and such a wonderful way to conclude the game, leaving you with an emotional journey, as well as teasing Riven.  I’ll be starting Riven probably sometime next week, but that’s a much, much larger game, and I think has the hardest puzzles of the whole series, so it will be a while before I”m back writing this again.



I can’t believe it’s week 8 already!  Got housing nailed down for the night before in Cumberland, now the last big piece of the puzzle is the vans.  I know I’ll get one, just have to figure out who will get the other one down there.  This week also put me over 900 miles for the year!  I never thought I’d get anywhere near 1,000 miles, but marathon training in the winter/spring put that within reach, and I’d like to see if I can possibly stretch it out to 1,200 for the year.

  • Monday – Cross training – Did a lot of walking, mostly due to having to keep running all over the enormous store At Home, but I found some great additions for the chandeliers I’m building for the Burn!
  • Tuesday – 6 miles – Stupid hot week, so back to the gym.  Literally nothing changed from the previous week, sigh.
  • Wednesday – 8 x 400.  Met friends at a local high school track to once again do speedwork during their football practice.  The heat and humidity made it tough, but it felt great to be out there doing this.
  • Thursday – 6 miles.
  • Friday – 21 night miles.  Once again the team met up for some night running!  Had an absolute blast doing some even more scenic running including a trip down the Hazelwood Greenway which was just single track through the woods (with some amazing views) and a group of people just off the trail at a campfire ring.

    The numbers fluctuated a bit, and it ended up being the same three of us that went the longest last time doing it again (from our ultra team).  Throughout the night, we found a monument to the Pittsburgh Marathon and Great Race, as a group got catcalled by a 15 year old, got encouragement from some drunken Frat Bros on a balcony, saw some epicly drunk student stumble around Schenley and generally just had a blast.

    Sadly, as we were wrapping up and packing up to go after our third loop, one of our cars got egged.  It cleaned up, and they missed hitting any of us, but was still disappointing.  Driving home that night at 3 a.m. I did see another runner out there on the streets, so that was cool to know there are other people just as crazy as us!

  • Saturday – Rest day
  • Sunday – Rest day
  • Cross training – I did the r/bodyweightfitness Recommended Routine on Monday and Wednesday.  I was sore after the long night run, so Saturday I just did the planking section of the workout,

I was stuck in my mind something heavy at the beginning of the week, but my mood significantly improved after the crazy miles Friday night.  Something about doing something pretty destructive to myself either distracts me or just helps me work things out (or most likely, a combination of both),  The long run, combined with me just not getting enough sleep anyway, made me pretty useless on Saturday, and that’s what happened last time too.  I’d like to continue doing these long loops once a month or so, I’ll just need to work on that a bit.  Plus, it’s great ultra training, so wins all around!



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, in case you forgot, the TEA party didn’t actually care about deficits.  They were just racists.

Also, Debra Messing is not messing around.  Good for her, a fuck Susan Sarandon.

Brett Kavanaugh, who is incredibly anti-gay, won’t say on the record his opinions about same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws.  But his court writings reveal he’s as far, if not further right, than Scalia.

In that vein, 16 states are petitioning the US government to let them fire workers for being gay, after that executive order was struck down.

The Russo Brothers put out an awesome video that goes over all the deaths in the MCU:

Kipchoge broke the World Record in the Berlin Marathon this morning.  Dumb Runner, always spots on, weighs in.

I wrote a while back, at least I think I did, about the article ‘the epidemic of gay loneliness,’ and a recent Savage Love column looks at that as well, a good read for everybody.

In case you need some positive news, a heartwarming letter from a gay man’s little brother went viral.

Okay, that’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon!



Week 7 and it feels like we’re getting a lot closer to the race, because we are!

  • Monday – Cross training – Did my fall landscaping, removing all (or at least most) of my old flowers and replacing them with some mums!
  • Tuesday – 6 miles – Stupid hot week, so back to the gym.
  • Wednesday – 35 minute tempo run.
  • Thursday – 6 miles.
  • Friday – Rest day.
  • Saturday – 6 miles and two new pairs of shoes!  Through a combinations of sales, coupons and gift cards, I was able to score two new pairs of shoes.  I ran these six miles in the Brooks Revel 2’s.  Felt good on my feet, although boring as hell (all gray/black).  It was a woven upper, which is new, but overall I liked them.

    Also got a pair of Brook’s Ghost’s (I forget the number), will be running in them this week and will report back.  These are black and bright freaking orange, so more fun!  Although both will be getting some rainbow laces for sure.

  • Sunday – 12 miles in the rain.  Really, really rainy.  But it was fun to see the few other runners out there putting in their miles the same time I was.  The weather was cool and I wore shorts and a long sleeve shirt, and it felt amazing.  I did four different loops around Schenley (4 mile Frontrunner night course, 1 mile CMU loop, 2 miles Cathedral of Learning loop, 5 mile Frontrunner day/night hybrid course).
  • Cross training – I did the r/bodyweightfitness Recommended Routine on Saturday.  I was sore after the long night run last week, so Monday and Wednesday I just did the planking section of the workout,

Overall it was a good week, although I wish the cooler temperatures would stick around, it felt like it was a tease the little bit we got over the weekend.  This upcoming Friday we’re back out for our second night run with the team, I’ll be playing it a little bit more by ear that night since I have a game day planned for the next afternoon.

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